How to stay clean and lean on holiday – or whilst moving house in my case

Last weekend, we moved house. My perfect little bubble is now a building site, and I am living with the in-laws for five weeks.

From this.....

From this…..

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To this!!!

This is fine. But I don’t have a gym. That’s like me not having oxygen – and I won’t lie, it’s totally taken me out of my comfort zone! So this is what I have been doing to keep myself on track. You can apply this to when/if you go on holidays or if like me you are moving house and your routine is all over the shop. There truly is no reason why you can’t get your workout in or eat healthy, EVEN if you are away from home. This is what I’ve been doing….

* Find a local gym
I found a local sports center – it’s an school in the day and gym at night. Yes, we did a class in a school hall, but never the less, it was an INSANITY class and actually pretty tough. It will keep me busy on Monday nights for the next few weeks, so that’s one workout taken care off. The gym there is awful, so for now I will stick to the class.

* Follow a workout DVD 
Push the sofa over, pop in the DVD and VUALA!! My current favourite is the Jillian Michaels 30-day Shred. Tough but quick!

* Try an online workout…
like BarreCore. I love their barre classes but it’s impossible to get to a class in London and schedule it around Lacie too, so I love their virtual classes, which allow you to experience the barre burn in the comfort of your own home! I also love the Dan Roberts Methodology X plan, a 21-day plan, a fun and friendly holistic workout, which has been designed to help you look and feel supermodel fit. It starts pretty easy, but Boy, get to day 14 and you’ll notice the change in pace!

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* Have a resistance band or kettlebell to hand.
All you need is a bit of space and you can do a full body workout outdoors or in your living room. My personal trainer, Gideon Remfry from KX Gym has given me a challenge of doing 5 minutes of kettlebell swings, followed by 5 minutes of Clean and Jerk, followed by 5 minutes of kettlebell snatches. My body was screaming for Merci afterwards – and it took literally 30 minutes with a warm up and cool down.

* Body weight!!!
NEVER underestimate the power of your body!! Think pushups, squats, lunges, dips, the list goes on and on. Try 30 seconds of squats, 30 seconds of burpees, 30 seconds rest. Repeat this cycle for 10 minutes. Ouch!

* Know your surroundings
find a path and go for a run – or in my case, take Lacie for a run. I pop her in her Out ‘n’ About Nipper Sport V4 and off we go. I found a nice big hill, which I walk up for my warm up and then have been doing a few laps of the local park.

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* Stick to Protein
If time is tight and I don’t have time to have breakfast or in my case, don’t have a kitchen then I will grab a Protein shake or Protein Bar. My fav this month has to be Maxitone Sculptress Bars. They come in a caramel crunch flavour and contain 16 grams of protein in each bar, which not only supports my muscles after a morning workout but also keeps me feeling fuel to at least midday! My rule of thumb is to have protein with every meal. Think boiled eggs, a handful of almonds, some chicken pieces, A protein shake, some coconut yogurt (CO YO) or slices of goats cheese.

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 15.02.29* Remember that abs are made in the kitchen!
If there are days when you can’t workout – don’t worry, I’ve had a few! Try to keep your diet in check and eat little and often. You should also try and move as much as possible (walk to the shops, rather then drive, or chase your little one around the park). Locate your nearest supermarket too and stock up on water, fruits, veg, nuts, hummus etc, so there are always healthy options to hand.

Despite being worried about coming out of my comfort zone, It really is possible to make healthy choices, smart choices and get your exercise when you aren’t in your usual environment or their isn’t a gym around. Just do a little homework and be prepared, it will only lead to a better and healthier you. Good luck!

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How my diet has changed since being a mum 

Since being a mum, life feels like it’s going 1000 miles an hour. When Lacie was first born, my diet was so important. My milk needed to be as high quality as possible, so I was very strict about eating plenty of good protein, good fats and vegetables. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still strict about eating these good foods but my Sunday night food prep sessions are all about making Lacie the best food possible for the week ahead. Think sweet potato muffins, chicken and avocado wraps, banana, avocado, spinach and chia seed porridge and quinoa concoctions. It’s all about getting the right nutrients into Lacie so she’s happy, healthy and benefiting from stable blood sugar levels. 

Sweet potato, strawberries and spinach with coconut. Sounds yuk - but boy, she likes it!

Sweet potato, strawberries and spinach with coconut. Sounds yuk – but boy, she likes it!

So how about me? I’m all for convenience. Protein bars or shakes tend to be my staple breakfast right now (which still ends up being 10:30ish no matter how organised I am!!) pre-cooked and marinated chicken with ready prepared salad bowls for lunch and some CO YO and Paleo Granola or chopped fruit for my afternoon pick me up. I always cook a dinner though, which I eat with Lacie. That tends to be some sort of protein dish with vegetables and salad. Last night for example was salmon with pesto and roasted vegetables. She’ll sit in the kitchen with me whilst I prepare it and we chat and sing. It’s one of my favourite times of day! It doesn’t take long to prepare but I let her try things like pepper sticks and cucumber slices as I chop. 

I do love the kitchen, and I do miss the kitchen. I have so many recipes (check this sugar-free banana bread out!!) stored on my phone that i would love to bake – but these will have to wait until I have a few hours to play around in the kitchen, which doesn’t happen that often. Right now, it’s all about building good habits for Lacie and giving her a taste of all the good foods out there whilst she doesn’t know any different. I’m hoping she’ll get a taste for these foods and they will be her go to foods for the rest of her life. We’ll see. I’m fully aware that there will be parties to go too, and day trips out with Nannies and Nannas!  

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As for me. I’ll carry on eating my meals with either one hand or really quickly (I’m always in demand!) It’s not forever and as long as I have the right fuel inside me to keep doing a good job as a mother then that’s a that matters. It makes me really appreciate food when I do go out for a nice meal or manage to cook something special. 

What do other mums do when it comes to eating around their little ones? I would love to know! I’m off to go and enjoy a chilli with some cauliflower rice. 

Day 21 of my 21 day fat loss challenge

Ahhh – sorry for the silence. I’ve been manic writing various features, being a mum etc that I haven’t had time to blog about the rest of my challenge. I’ve had a great 21 days though and the last week I’ve been doing a 7-day protein challenge with Upbeat protein drinks, which are high in protein but low in fat, with half the sugar of most fruit smoothies. They have been my saving grace come the afternoon and my favourite has to be the strawberry flavour. The last few days I’ve popped it in the blender with some chia seeds and some CO YO just to thicken it up a bit. I’ve been hungry so this stopped any cravings straight away and it tasted like a thick and fluffy strawberry milkshake. Yum!

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So what have I been eating on my challenge?

Breakfast has either been CO YO or natural yogurt with berries, seeds and a handful of toasted flaked almonds or scrambled eggs with chorizo, spinach and 1/2 avocado.

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 12.40.19 For lunch I made a quinoa and lentil & feta salad, which I managed to have over a few days and tend to stick to salads at lunch with either chicken , halluomi or salmon. My afternoon snack has been a yummy Upbeat drink and if I’m extra hungry I have this with some fruit, a handful of nuts or make it into a really thick smoothie and then dinner I try to stick with protein and veg with no carbs and have been having things like salmon with papaya salsa, turkey meatballs with roasted vegetables or last night I made I pork stronganoff with creme-fresh and lots of onions and mushrooms.

So why do I make sure I have protein with every meal? There’s so many reasons!

1. Protein is found in every one of the trillion cells in our bodies – making up around 15% of the human body.
2. It helps you feel fuller for longer
3. It slows down any sugar release into the body and lowers the GI value of a meal
4. It plays a key role in our immune system
5. And most importantly it’s great for weight loss. There are so many studies saying that protein is the key to losing body fat whilst maintaining muscle mass!

If you want to do your own challenge then here are a few tips to get you started;
* don’t skip meals
* prepare your meals either the night before or first thing every morning
* go shopping!
* drink lots of water
* avoid soft drinks
* Ignore your cravings for the first week and find alternatives to give you a sweet fix like Upbeat drinks, fruit, a handful of nuts and homemade smoothies using coconut yogurt or natural yogurt
* don’t expect to be perfect. If you fall off track don’t think you’ve blown it, then make it 10 times worse than eating everything in sight. Except it, move on and use the next meal to get back on track.

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Day 10 of my 21 day fix

Is anyone else suffering with the February blues? I feel really blah at the moment. Not sure if it’s the weather, the time of year or what. Very strange. If I can find a way of snapping out of it I’ll let you know! I’m thinking I need to set some new goals, get a new programme, or mix my food up a bit. Feel very unmotivated, which is very unlike me. I’m not giving up though!

So, Anyway, food wise, everything has gone to plan today.

I managed an hour’s workout before Lacie woke, then had a bowl of Paleo Granola to start the day.

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Me & Lacie then walked to the park before lunch, which was scrambled eggs, chorizo, goats cheese, spinach and a slice of Sukrin bread.

In the afternoon I had three rice cakes with quinoa topped with almond butter and dinner was fish cakes with a rocket salad.

I’ve drunk lots of water and mint tea and went for a run/walk with a client this evening too, in my new Helly Hansen gear, which is absolutely stunning! It fits nicely, it’s warm and the colours are gorgeous. Looking the part makes me feel so much better, especially in front of my clients.

Tomorrow I’m off to London for a few meetings so I’m hoping I will stop off at WholeFoods on my way back and stock up on loads of healthy goodies. I always spend a fortune in there but it’s well worth it. You can’t put a price on your health!

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Day 7 of my 21 Day Fix

Ahhh we are off to Devon tomorrow, which means we had to do a swimming lesson today instead of tomorrow and I had to swap my run with Lacie for a gym session. Not all too bad but I did miss my half hour lay in.

I started my gym sess with a 5k bike ride, and then when straight into my main session which was barbell complexes. Six moves, six times, six times through, followed by a 90 sec cycle and then repeat. I did this six times through and finished with barbell good mornings, cutsey lunges and gym ball planks.

Someone kept me company in the gym today!

Someone kept me company in the gym today!

We then went swimming and Lacie then had a two hour sleep. Amazing! This gave me time to eat and take my time for once.
I had sweet potato fries, a chicken breast and a rocket salad.

For my afternoon snack I had rye bread with almond butter and a mashed banana.

Dinner was a bassa fillet with an avocado salad followed by a chopped apple.

I’m planning an hour’s run tomorrow morning before we hit the road for our four hour road trip. Hate sitting down all day – I get twitchy 🙂

Day 4 of my 21 day challenge

Day four already, and I’ve probably had more green stuff than I’ve had for a long time. Someone told me my skin looked amazing today too. An effect of the Purifyne Juices perhaps? I’ve also been sleeping so well, which I can only put down to the juices. God, I love sleep!

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So today, I went to gym first thing and now that I’m feeling better, I got back on my Bearwolf programme. I had an amazing workout, then had a juice straight after, followed by a juice at lunch time, which took me ages to drink. It was literally lemon, lime, kale, celery & cucumber. I found it very ‘green’, almost bitter’ish!

I then had a lettuce, chard, apple, asparagus and lime & ginger juice mid Arvo with my Brazil nut butter (I added a banana and some cinnamon as I find it really hard to swallow, then had another juice for dinner followed by a peppermint tea and a few hours of feature writing for WebMD.

So, that’s another day of juicing under my belt after yesterday’s antics, but I’ll be honest with you, I’m not sure if juicing suits me. I eat pretty well (most of the time) anyway and I’m actually starting to crave things I would never usually have, especially mid afternoon. It gets to 4pm and I just want to eat. Tips anyone?

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Day 2 of my 21 day detox challenge

I’ve woken up not hungry and ready to try a light gym session. It won’t be my usual but it will probably feel like it if my resting heart rate is anything to go by this morning. I’m clearly still fighting something off but sometimes doing something actually makes you feel better!

I started with some side plank rotations & side lunge with a reach before moving onto lunge with Kettlebell press, super-setted with maximum press ups. I managed 13 in each set.
My workout lasted for about an hour all in all, and progressed to thrusters, burpees, 5k bike and abs, which I was pleased with. I didn’t push it though!

I then had my first juice of the day…before walking to the park with Lacie.
My hubby then decided he wanted to lunch, so whilst him and Lacie ate, I drank my juice. I won’t lie. I was tempted to give in and have lunch with them but after a few sips of my juice I didn’t feel too hard done by.
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I then had my Brazil nut milk at 4ish, which I find incredibly sweet. I’m not sure if I like it or not, but it’s filling so that’s enough for me, followed by juice for dinner at 7pm and a hot water with a slice of lemon. All in all, I’ve had 4 juices and lots of water.

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I do feel hungry today and I do feel a little agitated BUT my word, I’ve been productive. I’ve written a feature, sorted all the clothes in my drawers, sorted Lacie’s 1st birthday photos and also wrote & sent all her thank you cards.

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I also had a long soak in the bath with Epsom salts, not only because it’s advised on the Purifyne juice programme but also because my hubby ordered in a pizza and some sweets and I just had to get away. How cruel can you be?
I don’t actually eat pizza – but the whole house smells AMAZING.

I wonder if he saved me any?

Day 1 of my 21 Day Fix

Day one of my Purifyne Juice cleanse went well.
I’m still not 100% so I swapped my usual gym session for a fasted hour’s walk (boo! I love lifting weights!) but at least I managed to do something active and Lacie got a sleep at the same time. I feel utterly flaked though!

I then came home and had my first juice; kale, apple, lemon, cucumber, spinach and ginger. It was amazing. I was worried that it would be watery and ‘green’, but it was the complete opposite. Tangy and tasty!

Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 21.33.10 Me & Lacie then went swimming and whilst she ate lunch after her lesson, I sipped another juice.
Mid-afternoon I had a Brazil nut milk which was creamy & lush before finishing the day with one last juice.

Do I feel hungry? No! Do I feel refreshed? No! Do I feel energised? Not yet!
I do feel less bloated though, and proud of myself for sticking to it, despite my hubby eating a chicken Kiev in front of me!

Time to get an early night. Happy Friday!

Weaning; Sugar-free banana bread

We’ve hit a stumbling block! Lacie is usually so, so good with her food and now she doesn’t want vegetables. She doesn’t want fish or protein. And she certainly doesn’t want puréed sweet potato or butternut squash. Until now, she’s been the healthiest, unfussiest (if that’s a word!) baby and it’s phased me. It’s like all of a sudden she’s turned into a stubborn little monkey and knows what she likes and what she doesn’t. Give her bread and she’s happy! Well I’m not!

To help the situation I’ve been baking. Last week I made sweet potato and butternut squash muffins. This week I made banana bread with sweet potato and grated carrots. She loved it. I either give it to her warm with a little almond butter or coconut oil and she’s happy to munch on it.
To help any other mums through this difficult phase, here is the recipe. I like that it’s sugar free and that it’s got only almonds, eggs, bananas, cinnamon and sweet potato in it. I wonder if next time I make it, I can add a bit of spinach? It’s worth a try!

To make, you will need;
2 eggs
200g sweet potato
1 large banana
1 grated carrot
100g ground almonds or almond flour
50g hazelnuts
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
30g Lucy Bee Coconut oil
Pinch of salt.

First of all boil the sweet potatoes until they are soft, then blend (I love the baby cook) until they are puréed, then
grate the carrot and mix with the almond flour, hazelnuts, coconut oil, eggs, salt and baking powder.
Add a pinch of cinnamon before putting the mixture into a well oiled loaf tin and bake at 160 degrees for 60 minute.
Let it rest. Then cut up and store in a cool dry place.

This really is a perfect finger food for lunch time or as an afternoon snack – for (mummy) & baby. Enjoy!

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Post Christmas Detox

Ahhh….it’s been a while. I finished my 21 day detox at the end of November and carried on with the eating well and exercising most days. I even kept it up over Xmas with a few little treats thrown in Xmas Eve and Xmas Day.
Boxing Day was full of treats too, so I had a three-day detox planned for the 27th and beyond – and then BAM! I got a nasty sickness bug that night, which saw me laid up for a day in a half in bed, feeling so, so poorly.

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Not feeling (or looking my best!!)

Thankfully I’m all better now, but any exercise plan has been put on hold for a few days as I’m weak from not eating for a day or so, and I’ve pulled something in my neck when being sick for hours on end (nice!!!).

So instead of telling you what I’ve not been doing, I’m going to tell you what I’m going to do!

For the next few days I’m going to ease myself back gently into the gym. Some light cardio and bodyweight stuff with a rest day on New Years Day. Then come Monday, I’ll be starting another 21-day challenge.

To help me do this, I’ve got my brand new Gym Boss Timer…yay! Some brand new Bamboo Fitness Leggings and top (They are so soft, yet eco-friendly, breathable and anti-bacterial), a brand new iPod with my fav tunes, and a brand new programme from BearWolf, a new online personal training service, which allows you to train with a personal trainer from where ever you are.

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I know, I know, I’m a PT myself, but sometimes us PT’s to be accountable to others too. It’s nice to be given a programme that challenges me and makes me work in the gym differently to what we like to do. Scott, at Bearwolf, also makes me check in all my workouts and my daily nutrition macros (like calories, protein, fats and carbs) as well as send him my starting weight, measurements and photos. It really is like having a PT, but means I can workout in my own time around Lacie, and in my own gym, with my own entertainment and own motivation. If I don’t check in, I get a cheeky phone call or text to ask how I’m doing…

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So, as of Monday, I will be doing five workouts a week (one a recovery 30 minute walk/jog) and checking in with Scott after each session using their online tracking and monitoring service. If I’m not sure of any of the exercises, then I can easily refer back to the BearWolf exercise library, and I can communicate with Scott, or any of the other PTs via my dashboard, which has a messaging service – when Scott send me a message I get an email notification. It really is all very high-tech but super easy to use. I love that I have to check in with my progress; it’s great seeing your numbers in black and white and seeing that you beat last week’s weight or reps. It definitely keeps me motivated.

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So that’s my plan. Keep an eye out for an overview of some of my workouts, and my food diaries. I’ll even share some of my secrets with you – I’m only human. I do get cravings too, and although sometimes I give in, there are a few things I do to fight them off! I’m looking forward to getting stuck in….who’s with me?