My Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle: Join the 16 hour Club

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Hey, hey!

Long Time No speak! Sorry for the silence on the blog but with two kiddies life is busy and I’ve been busy writing, gymming, running and being Mummy. However I just wanted to come on here and talk about my Intermittent Fasting story. (or IF). This is honestly the the smallest and happiest I’ve ever felt and I just wanted to share….

Here goes…..

So, my IF journey started completely unintentionally after Lacie. She was about 18 months when we brought a new house, which we completely gutted. As a result we lived with my Mother and Father-In-Law for nearly four months and just through rushing here and there it was very rare that I ate breakfast until gone 10:30 — sometimes later!
People kept telling me that I had lost weight — and I just put it down to all the rushing around, living in a new environment and not having access to my own kitchen 24/7.
Once we moved into our new house I then returned to my normal routine and I quickly returned to my normal size. I wasn’t big by any means but I was always following the latest fad and felt that nothing worked for me. I stayed the same weight, yet trained hard, walked everywhere and was very aware of my food intake!
I then fell pregnant with my second child and once he was born, again I found it hard to eat before 10am. I was eating dinner with Lacie at 6pm and then not eating breakfast until late, so essentially I was following the 16:8 fasting protocol without even realising it. Again the weight fell off — and I put two and two together. I had been following a type of IF and was well and truly reaping the benefits without even trying that hard!

After further research I decided to experiment further and every night I ate my dinner around 6pm and set a 16-hour timer. I didn’t eat anything for those 16 hours and then just ate my first meal once the alarm rang. I packed all my food into an 8-hour eating window and loved that there was no calorie-counting, obsessing over when to eat — and most of all — no night time eating or sugary evening treats once the kids were in bed – My biggest downfall! Once that timer was on — no food touched my lips as it just delayed my first meal the next day. It worked amazingly well!

After 18 months of following a daily 16-hour fast I can honestly say that I am leaner, stronger, healthier, more in control of my cravings and more time efficient than I’ve ever been! I get up and exercise before the babies wake, I have a black coffee (or two), get them ready for the day, take them on a morning adventure or class and then we all have a early nutritious lunch all together. It works so well and is so effortless! I literally don’t know how I ever had time for breakfast!

After trying everything in the past from Weight Watchers, Slimming World, Juice Detox Diets, Paleo, Keto, The Egg Diet (the list goes on!) I can honestly say that IF has been the simplest and most managable way to improve my weight an keep my weight and energy levels stable — and now it’s my goal to share my IF journey and learnings with as many people as possible! I hope you’re ready!

Me today! May 2018–18 months after my second baby.

Want to know more? What is fasting?
Intermittent Fasting is a more general term for various eating patterns that involve fasting for short periods of time. Unlike a typical weight-loss diet that restricts how much you eat — or cuts out certain food groups, IF is all about scheduling periods of fasting into your day, which in my case is 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of eating.

Experts say that this restricted schedule gives our bodies the chance to process the nutrients stored in foods and burn excess calories, plus further studies show that fasting can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, reduce cholesterol levels, enhance the body’s resistance to oxidative stress and slow the ageing process, stabilise energy levels, reduce hunger and… of course help with weight loss! The weight loss benefit is why I love Intermittent Fasting — and the reduced sugar cravings too.

So are you ready to give it a go? Let me support you on your journey and give you all my tried and tested tips and tricks to help you on your way.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you.
miller82uk@yahoo.co.uk  or contact me here.

 

  • As always, please speak to your doctor or health health practitioner before starting any nutrition and fitness journey – and most of all use your common sense and listen to your body. This is my experience and although I want to help you on your journey you need to be fit and healthy to do this and work with what is right for YOU!  
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My Pregnancy Diet; 28 weeks pregnant

Help, I feel sick! First trimester type sickness but mainly at night and in the morning. What is that? I don’t remember having it with Lacie!? Tiredness perhaps? Low blood sugar? Hormones? I just don’t know but it’s really annoying. I just sat in the bathroom on Saturday morning not sure what to do with myself. It did pass but I literally had to force myself to just get out the house and get some fresh air. I hope it passes soon!

So what else has been going on? Well I’m 28 weeks now and feel very bumpy. Another half an inch around the waist this week (standard!) but no-where else which is good, although I do feel like I’m carrying water.

Here’s a pic of me this morning in the gym. Another workout in the bag. Yay! As you can see I’m rocking a bump – I feel heavy!

 

So what have I been doing in the gym?

  • Core Well there have been no more ab exercises! I was never really big into doing isolated ab work anyway, as the big moves I tend to do like squats, deadlifts, clean and press etc tend to work my core anyway BUT since about 12 weeks I have stopped any twisting movements and any crunch type moves, and instead doing things like bird dog and side planks.
  • HIIT Although I was mega careful in the first 12 weeks and kept my heart rate right down and the intensity low, I’m now back to my beloved HIIT routines and usually following the 50 seconds hard, 10 seconds rest protocol. Since my body is used to this type of training, I was more than happy to introduce this again. Please take note though you need to know your body before doing this sort of training and it’s advised that you check with your GP and midwife before undertaking any sort of training. My midwife knows how I like to train and is happy for me to continue as long as I listen to my body.
  • Running I’m still going – JUST ABOUT! I can manage about 15 minutes before I get stitch like pains and then I just walk until any pain has subsided. I then do 60 second run and 2 minute walk intervals for around 30 minutes or until I reach home. I’m usually out for round 60 minutes and do this on a Saturday and Sunday morning.

Todays workout.
Today I did an hour in the gym first thing and started with my usual 5 minutes on the bike before some sun salutations and side to side tube walking.

I then did a HIIT circuit; 50 seconds work/10 seconds rest
* Deadlifts x 4, star jumps x 4
* press ups x 2, burpees x 2
* Lunge kick through into lunge glute lift, and jump and change
* Side lunge, side lunge, jump forward, jump back (stay low the whole time).

I did this for three rounds and then did finished with some bird dogs, side planks, raised planks and a slow spin on the bike.
I kept my weights low in the deadlifts and did my press ups on my knees to help prevent splitting my abs (Diastasis recti).

How have your workouts change throughout your pregnancy?

 

 

 

 

My pregnancy journey; 23 weeks pregnant 

So I’m 23 weeks now (I think!), I’m seriously losing track. I’m so busy with Lacie & life, that I’m not sitting there counting the days like I did in the first pregnancy. You definitely have less time to rest, appreciate your growing baby and your body second time round.

So here’s my bump. I’m growing nicely, and feeling good. Still gym’ing most mornings, and running an hour on Saturdays & Sundays. These days I’m setting my Gym Boss for 3ish minutes on, and 45 seconds rest, which means I get regular waking intervals to keep my heart rate down and in check.

I hope to run for at least another month or so – so, if you are pregnant and thinking about running, here are my top tips…

* Only run during pregnancy if your body is used to it. I’ve run for years, run marathons, and am generally conditioned to run. Pregnancy is not the time to start anything new.

* listen to your body! A few times I’ve gone out and felt heavy, lethargic and generally not in the mood to run. Instead of pushing it, I’ve either walked or gone back home, and jumped back into bed to watch Peppa Pig with Lacie. I’m not out to break any records, just stay healthy (and sane) during my pregnancy.

* Expect to run slower than you’re used too. This can be hard for some, but not me. I’m just so happy to still be running at this point. I didn’t run when I was carrying Lacie and really missed it!

* Plan your route and know there as toilets you can stop at. I always stop for a quick wee around 20 mins into my run. Most of the time I get there and actually think ‘wow, that was a pathetic wee!’ but with extra pressure on your bladder it feels like I really need to go and then that’s all I can think about for the whole run.

* Don’t get distracted. Gone are the days when I can run and admire people’s houses, gardens, front doors and generally anything other than the path in front of me. Your gait and your balance change when you’re pregnant so it’s easy to fall over or lose your balance. I’ve meant my lesson the hard way – watch where you’re going and be mindful of every step.

* Take your phone. When I fell over I was lucky to be pretty close home (although the ten minute walk home with tears streaming down my face felt for ever!). If I’d had my phone, I could of called Mark, who probably would of come and got me, or just generally reassured me that I’m ok and to help me compose myself.

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I think that’s it! Obviously wearing the right trainers (I love Asics) and sports bra (always Cake Maternity) are a must. I always go and get re-measured when I’m pregnant because your chest changes massively when pregnant and you’re advised not to wear under wired bras and anything too restrictive.

My measurements;
Every week since finding out I was expecting I’ve been measuring myself. Here are my measurements to date. It’s a great way of not stressing about the pounds on the scale & keeping check of how your body is changing.

8 Weeks pregnant
Chest: 32.5 inches
Waist (smallest): 28
Belly Button: 29
Hips: 35.5
Legs: 19.5
Arms: 10.5

23 Weeks
Chest: 32.5 inches
Waist (smallest): 29.5 (+1.5 inches)
Belly Button: 31.5 (+2.5 inches)
Hips: 36.5 ((+1 inche)
Legs: 19.5
Arms: 10.5

 

My 17 week bump and current pregnancy workout 

There’s definitely been a trend with my measurements since finding out I was pregnant, and that’s that I’m putting around 1/2 inch on around my waist EVERY WEEK!

So far the butt has only gained half an inch and my chest the same. Everything else like my arms, calves and legs have stayed the same. Please carry on this way body!

We’ve just got back from a break so I missed one week of progress pics, so this is me at 17 weeks.  My body is definitely changing but not as quickly as it did with Lacie! A boy this time perhaps?

So anyway, despite being away how’s my training gone this week?

Good. I managed to hit my 10,000 Fitbit steps everyday (usually 16-17,000), hit the gym most days and been swimming with Lacie too. Here was my view on my walk up to the gym – and this is the gym I paid £10 a day to use. Shocking! It was however, nice to be in a gym environment rather than working out in my hotel room, which btw is completely possible!

I’m also currently working with my favourite PT from KX Life, Gideon Remfry, who has devised me a plan to help work on some of my weaknesses whilst pregnant, as after all, this is the only time I’m ever going to slow down and take the time to lower the intensity & focus on things like my balance, my deep core muscles, posture & the tiny stabiliser muscles in my ankles, knees & glutes. If I can get all these in tip-top shape before the bubba comes then I’ll be ready to smash it once I’m recovered and ready to exercise again post baby.

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So what am I doing?

  • Tube walking with a band around the arches of my feet rather than my shins. This helps switch on my glutes and works the tiny stabiliser muscles in my ankles, knees and hips, supersetted with a bird dog exercise to switch on my core and glutes.
  • Seated squats with chest band pulls to open up my chest supersetted with TRX one legged squats for balance & stable glutes.
  • Lunge with back dumbbell rows to keep my upper back strong & posture upright, and gym ball flyers whilst squeezing a Pilates ball in between my legs to hit my inner thighs.

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So far I’m loving the plan and reaping in the benefits. It’s making me really focus on my weaknesses, whilst getting my heart rate up to a safe level. I’ve had to lots of foam rolling and stretching on my glutes too, as I’ve had a nasty trapped nerve, which actually left me stuck at the top of the stairs one night….the fun begins!!

Product of the Week; Anita Baby Belt
When I’m pregnant, I like to feel like everything is tucked away neatly and supported, which is why I love this Anita Baby Belt. I may not have a big bump, but my tummy is a lot bigger than I’m used too, and this supportive belly band is adjustible and great for supporting my baby and bump. It also helps remind me that my bump is there, as I’m definitely running around a lot more during this pregnancy. I’m hoping it will help prevent anymore trapped nerves and stop any pelvis pain, which I did get when pregnant first time round. That’s relaxin for you!

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Day 6 of my 21 day fitness challenge

Ok, so the juicing has finished. I finished all my Purifyne Juices and decided to leave it there and not make my own for the next day or so. I do like the thought of juicing but actually I’m not sure it’s for me unless I’m in a bootcamp or retreat sort of environment. I felt hungry and tired the whole time and for the last few days just wanted to eat everything in sight. That’s just not me. I’m usually very disciplined and enjoy healthy meals and snacks. I felt a bit out of control!

Today I’ve stated the day with an hour’s workout, some lemon in hot water and a protein bar.
I then had chicken with 1/2 avocado, spinach & some pesto for lunch, an apple with a few handfuls of Paleo Granola and then a turkey breast with spiralized courgettes and carrots for dinner. For my snack I had some Sukrin bread with almond butter and 1/2 a mashed banana.
I’m not going to lie, I’ve wanted to eat everything in sight again today but had to be really strict with myself and fuel my body with the right foods and nutrients.

I really do prefer this way of eating. It’s all clean, it’s all tasty and most importantly I’m not going to bed hungry and obsessing about food!
The very way it should be!

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 3 of my 21 day diet challenge

Hello day three…it looks like it may be hungry one as I woke up hungry today!

Determined not to venture of track though, I popped Lacie in her running buggy (read my review on the Out ‘n’ About Nipper Sport V4 here) and went out for an hour run before breakfast. There’s a park about 10 minutes from our house, so I walked there as part of my warm up and the set my timer to three minutes running & 30 seconds rest. I did this 10 times before walking back home again. It took about an hour and according to my heart rate monitor I burnt 500 calories.

buggy

When I got home I had a Protein shake with 1/2 a banana followed by some sourdough bread with almond butter. That certainly knocked the hunger pangs on the head and the combination of protein, carbs & good fats helped my recovery too.

For lunch I had Tomato soup followed by a chicken breast with courgette noodles marinated in homemade pesto made from spinach, avocado, basil & pine nuts and then a apple mid afternoon and a sugar free lolly….it was either that or something extra naughty. I always struggle in the afternoons with cravings!

I always go to the gym on Thursday nights too, so as soon as Lacie was in bed I ventured to my local Virgin Active.
I always run there. It takes 8 minutes, which is perfect for my warm up.
I then did 20 glute raises and 20 deadbugs to switch on my core, followed by 20 Kettlebell lunges holding a 12kg Kettlebell to work my lower body. I did this five times, and not only were my legs burning but my heart rate was nice and high too. This is the strength phase of my workout.

To finish off, I did a nasty met-con finisher, where I did 150 Russian Kettlebell swings using a 12kg Kettlebell. I didn’t however just do 150 straight off. I did as many as I could in a minute, then did 10 jumping lunges and did another load of swings until my buzzer went off. Basically on the minute every minute I did my jumping lunges, then carried on doing my Kettlebell swings inbetween.
The whole thing took me 6 1/2 minutes – it was horrible. The first time I did this though it took me 11 minutes so I’m definitely getting fitter!

I then finished off with some tricep dips and side planks and walked home. I usually run but my legs refused!

When I got home I had a nice hot bath with my favourite Liquid Yoga bath soak followed by a pot of CO YO mixed with some lemon juice and lemon zest. It reminds me of lemon meringue pie…and is a perfect post without treat.

So, I’ve had another great day. I’ve eaten around 1500 calories again but burnt 500 during my run and 400 at the gym – leaving me well under my calorie allowance. I think I may be hungry again tomorrow so will plan a nice big breakfast. I’m thinking protein pancakes! Yum!

Sports Bra’s for New Mums. Perfect for Breast Feeding & Running

Sports Bras are absolutely essential for all exercising women, breast-feeding or not – and now I’m back exercising gently I was eager to find a breast-feeding sports bra.

Thanks to my job, I’ve come across some great bras in the past but none that allow you to run and breast feed (not at the same time :)).

They are usually so fiddley to get on and off and so secure (quite rightly) that when you have a hungry baby it can be quite stressful to get off meaning you have a stressy baby wanting food NOW – while your boobs are all over the place as you try to get them out as quick and as ladylike as possible.

So when I came across this Cake Lingerie Orange Zest Sports Bra. I had to get it. It means I can get ready for the gym in the morning, and not worry about having the right bra on to feed her and then have to get changed again when I eventually manage to get my workout in. I literally have to get my workouts in when I can at the moment – and it’s usually when Lacie is asleep. I don’t want to be wasting my precious workout time having to change in to my sports bra – I need to be ready for action!

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So after a few road tests I’m glad to say that this bra is a breast-feeding mothers dream. It’s supportive, sporty, has drop down cups for easy feeding. mesh panels for breathability and a racer back conversion clip, which fits perfectly under your sports tops and I find gives me more support.

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I literally put it on first thing and wear it under my sports top (which I wear with leggings) so I’m ready for feeding, ready for working out and still feeling comfortable and stylish.

3110WF 170924

The bra comes with boxer style briefs too, which are also moisture-wicking, supportive and comfortable. You can’t beat a matching knicker and bra set.

Who said new mums can’t be stylish?

http://www.cakelingerie.com/nursing-bras/underwire/orange-zest-sports-bra

Pregnancy Countdown – 34 days to go. The Low Down on Birthing Balls

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Ok so I’m now officially over 35 weeks pregnant – and coming up to being nine months pregnant – who would have thought time would fly so quickly?

This week is all over getting the most out of my birthing ball – something you may have heard a lot about in your NCT classes or from your midwife. I sit on it as much as I possibly can!

A birthing ball is essentially a gym ball/swiss ball. I find it comfortable to sit on especially if I am working or watching the TV in the evening – as its uncomfortable to sit of hard chairs at the moment and I find it effort having to get up from my low sofa.

It also
* helps me to keep my posture in the right position,
* will help my baby get in the right position for birth and
* helps me to build strength and flexibility in my spine and thigh muscles.

When you sit on the ball you’ll also find that the legs naturally drop to the sides, so therefore open in the pelvis to its widest diameter and adds optimal foetal positioning in preparation for labor.

You can take it to the hospital to help with labor too! My mid-wife defiantely advised me to take it as sitting on the ball encourages a natural swaying motion of the pelvis, which helps the baby descend into the birth canal.

I also like it because the sitting position assumed on the ball, is very similar to the squat – which opens the pelvis and helps the birthing process.
The ball also supports your entire weight making it easier to breath and take pressure of the back.

I will most ceratinly be taking mine with me! One piece of advise though – just make sure it fits in your car before you make the trip to the hospital – that could be pretty embarrassing! I know one lady who had to get a cab to the hospital but leave her ball by the side of the road because there wasn’t enough room for it!

Need a birthing ball? Here are my top three gym balls.

Physical Company – Physical Stability Ball
Pretty in pink – this ball is manufactured from flexton®, a burst resistant material that has undergone static compression testing. 
£14.99; www.physicalcompany.co.uk
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Reebok TWO TONE GYMBALL

The mid-wife won’t miss you in this! It’s suitable for users between 170cm and 185cm (5′ 7″ – 6′ 1″) in height and comes with a DVD for once the baby is born and you want to work on getting your pre-baby body back! 
£29.99; www.idealworld.tv

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Technogym Wellness Ball
O
k, not the cheapest option I know, BUT it is made with special materials that favor perfect stability, traction and cushion during exercises. It also comes with its own bag, Pump and gauge for inflation, so if you can’t fit it in the car already inflated, you can do it at the hospital. 
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Pregnancy countdown – 40 days to go and I’m loving my…

NordicTrack E11.6 elliptical.

I’m now 34 1/2 weeks pregnant and seem to have popped somewhat! My belly feels bloody huge and it makes me a little self-conscious in the gym. I know to shouldn’t be you do get some funny looks! Like ‘what are you doing here?”

This is where my little beauty, my NordicTrack E11.6 elliptical comes in. I had it delivered last week and it’s in my cabin out in the back garden, which I have made into a gym. It’s really cool in there and perfect for days when me and bump just want to hide away yet still get some exercise in.

This morning I was on it for about 40 minutes and did a little routine, which looked like this.

I warmed up for 5 minutes, then did 4 minutes on level 3 going forwards. I then had a 30 second rest and repeated the 4 minute interval but with my legs going backwards.
* 60 seconds rest
I then did 3 minutes in level 5  forwards. I then had a 30 second rest and repeated the 3 minute interval but with my legs going backwards.
* 60 seconds rest
I then did 2 minutes in level 7  forwards. I then had a 30 second rest and repeated the 2 minute interval but with my legs going backwards.
* 60 seconds rest
I then did 1 minutes in level 9  forwards. I then had a 30 second rest and repeated the 1 minute interval but with my legs going backwards.
* 60 seconds rest
I then did 30 seconds in level 11  forwards. I then had a 30 second rest and repeated the 30 second interval but with my legs going backwards.
* 60 seconds rest
To finish off I just carried on at level 5 at one speed until I had completed my 40 minute stint.

To finish the session I did a 30 second plank with a knee dip (static holds tend to push my blood pressure up), then 30 seconds side plank with my arm going from my hip to over my head – again just to keep something moving so I wasn’t in a static position.
I did this three times through.

Although I do love the gym environment, I really enjoyed my session today and will defiantly be doing this once bubba is born and I’ve had my six-week check up. It’s going to be great to dive down into the gym when I can, knowing that she will be safely in the house with my husband whilst I work towards shifting some of my baby weight!

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