Friday, 23 January 2015

Gym update ...

Well after vowing to get back to the gym in the new year I've just finished my 4th week of thrice weekly visits.
Its starting to feel less and less like torture so I think next weeki will up my routine a bit. Although it's when I do too much it starts to put me off going. 
I'm pretty busy with work, my kids and college so it is hard fitting it in but by making sure I fit it in during my child free time instead of moping about or spending unnecessary money in shops I'm doing ok.

At the moment my routine is pretty low level. I warm up for 5 mins walk on the treadmill then do 25 mins of uphill walking on a 10.5 incline. I do it without holing on for three minutes then hold on for two and so on.
Then I do 3 sets of 60 crunches and 3 30. Second planks. If I have time I then go on some weights machines for arms and the leg press.
I have lost about 3lbs through this and healthy eating but my main goal is to tone up and build some lean muscle xxx

Monday, 19 January 2015

Changes I'm making to my diet...

As I have mentioned in a previous post, my main goal for the new year is to over haul my eating habits having got into the habbit, particularly on busy days of relying on caffeine and sugary snacks rather than proper meals. Another issue is that my diet consisted of a lot of ready meals and also doing things like buying lunch at subway or Starbucks when in out and about... Could be worse I know but the issue there is more the unnecessary cost.
I'm not necessarily trying to lose weight just become more healthy in terms of evening out my energy levels and appetite. So here are a few changes I've been making:

1. Drinking bottles mineral water rather than tap water as I have read tap water which is unfiltered contains chemicals 

2. No diet drinks - these contain artificial sweeteners and aspartame and offer no nutritional value at all

3. Adding nuts, seeds and even cheese to my salads. I've always been a salad fan for my work lunches. However originally I would only add chicken and a handful of lettuce leaves. Yes this is low calorie but the problem was it was unsatisfying so I would end up snacking mid afternoon on chocolate, cereal bars or cakes. By adding things like seeds, nuts and feta cheese I'm making my salads more satisfying and getting calories from a healthy source 

4.cutting down on caffeine... As mentioned I have cut out the diet coke. I can't give up tea and coffee entirely but I'm trying to limit myself to one coffee per day and 2 cups of tea at the most. Instead I've been experimenting with various herbal teas. There are some good ones . I'm enjoying licorice tea, lemon and ginger, peppermint or nettle teas most.

5. Cutting back on alcohol- like caffeine this is something I couldn't cut out altogether but I'm now limiting myself to only having it at a weekend... No glasses of wine through the week. It's full of sugar, empty calories and disrupts sleep

6. Increasing fruit and vegetable intake- as you will see from my previous post I've invested in a smoothie maker... This will allow me to take in more fruit, milk (I'll be using almond or coconut rather than cows as I don't like the taste if cow milk in anything other than tea or coffee) and super food powder. In order to increase my veg I take I will be making more meals from scratch for the freezer and using veg and pulses to bulk them out 

7. Cutting go back refined sugar- again I can't cut out sugar altogether but I'm trying to cut out things which don't satisfy hunger like cereal bars and biscuits. 

8. Replacing normal bread with rye bread - this bread is actually nicer tasting and is particularly nice with cashew butter

9.Making my meals from scratch- instead of ready meals I intend to batch cook things like casseroles, bolognaise and curry for the freezer or making things like omelettes if I'm pushed for time

10. Eating more antioxidant rich foods ... Such as blueberries, tomatoes, superfood powders like wheatgrass and barley grass and sweet potatoes 

I have been doing this since the start ofJanuary  and am feeling less spikes if hunger and a little more energy. I'd love to see more positive changes in things like my skin and cellulite too.


My New Purchase

After seeing lots of recommendations and pictures on instagram I decided to invest in this Breville active Smoothie maker. I bought it from Very(£24.99) in order to pay in installments but it can be bought cheaper from places like Argos or Asda.

As I am always rushing around and pushed for time what attracted me to it most was the lack of mess and cleaning-the smoothie can simply be blended in its storage flask so all you need to wash after making it is the blender bit (then obviously the flask after drinking it.

It only came today but I have made myself a banana, coconut milk, kiwi, apple, blue berry and grape blend with honey and wheatgrass in. I hope it will keep ok in the fridge over night!

My only concern is the cost of the fruit-I'm lazy so I have been buying ready prepared stuff. However, I guess I am now spending less on things like wine, coffee and cakes and am trying to take my lunch to work every day and eat in the house with the kids rather than grabbing lunch out and about.

I'll post an update on how its going but I think it will be a great way to introduce more fruit into my diet as well as some super food powders like wheat grass and barley grass


Saturday, 10 January 2015

A couple of healthy meals...

Well one of my goals for the new year was to start eating better, including more foods in their natural form in my diet and eating less processed foods, refined sugar and salt. Hopefully gradually I will introduce this way of eating to my kids. However, my son is a fussy eater and very underweight for his height so sometimes it's just a case of giving him anything he will eat. Anyway, I have made a few healthy things this week so I thought I would share on here: 
1. Cajun chicken pitta:

Ingredients: diced chicken breast or mini chicken goujons, natural Greek yogurt or fromage frais (fat free if watching your weight) , Cajun spice mix or similar .

Directions: mix together the yogurt, chicken and spices in a dish, cover with tinfoil and leave in the fridge or at least a few hours. 
When ready place on a tinfoil lined baking tray in a pre heated oven or under the grill (mine is rubbish so I used the oven) until cooked right through.
Serve in pittas with lots of salad!

2. Turkey, sweet potato and butter-bean curry...
Ingredients (I won't put the amounts as this varies on how much you wish to make): pack of diced turkey breast, pack of chopped red onion (or chop a few yourself if they don't make you cry!), at least one sweet potato peeled and diced, cinnamon stick, can of butter-beans, can of chopped tomatoes, spices if your choice such as chilli powder, turmeric, garam masala, tandoori spice...
Directions: heat some oil in a frying pan and once it gets hot add in the onions. When they start to get a bit brown chuck in the cinnamon stick and the other spices and continue to fry. When they start to get browner still and smell lovely chuck in the turkey, sweet potato and butter beans and fry a little longer so they get coated in the spices. Finally add in the tomatoes . Now you have a choice. If you are pushed for time tip into a large pan and cooked on the hob for 20- 30 minutes. Alternatively you can put this into a slow cooker. In fact if you are in a rush in a morning you could just omit the frying stage and chuck it all straight in the slow cooker. I do prefer to brown it all first by frying though and seal in the flavour!

3. Super smoothie ; 
Ingredients: 10g wheatgrass powder, one banana , a handful of blueberries, 3/4 of a glass your choice of milk (I chose coconut but you might like almond, soya, oat, hazelnut or just plain old cow milk) a squirt of squeezy honey (optional)
Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend or if like me you don't have a proper blender, put it all in a jug and use a hand blender 

Enjoy xxx

Friday, 9 January 2015

The relationship with exercise..

I think I first joined a gym in about 2001 when I was a student. I joined a pay and go gym at the local college which was linked with the university I was studying at (allowing me discounted membership). I went three times a week for about 4 weeks and then lost interest and never set foot in their again. A couple of years later, I joined the same gym again and followed the same pattern.

A year or so later I had one child and then another 18 months later so I clearly had no time to exercise at a gym. I did, however purchase a Wii and Wii fit board. I religiously used this for, yep you guessed it, about 4 weeks before losing interest! I then decided that swimming could in fact be my thing especially with the promise of a dip in the Jacuzzi after. I think I actually kept up the swimming routine at a local private gym with a pool on and off for about 6 months. It was actually nice to go there in the evening as a break from putting the children to bed  after I had put my children to bed as my then husband would never have agreed do something like put his own children to bed. After the mandatory 6 month period however, I let my membership lapse as we were in the process of moving house.

In January 2012 I joined slimming world as I had had enough of being about a stone and a half over weight. Once I started losing weight each week I felt motivated to start doing some exercise again. One of the mums from my daughter's nursery who I had began to get friendly with (who is actually now my very best friend) invited me on a guest pass to her gym. I ended up joining up for the gym and stuck to it for longer than ever. With the exercise along with healthy slimming world diet and the stress of being in an unhappy marriage I managed to lose 2 stone. The problem was however that my friend and I decided that it was far more enjoyable to go for our tea after work than slog it out in the gym.

When I changed jobs in 2013 I decided that it would be a good idea to join the gym opposite my new work place as one of the demotivating things putting me off was the 45 minute rush hour drive to the gym after finishing work. Once again though I had weeks where I was really motivated and would go all the time and then leave it for a few weeks and be back to the drawing board of unfitness.

When my year's gym membership expired I decided to join a cheaper gym due to my sporadic visits. This is the gym I am still a member of now and I am still following the same pattern. The problem is my life is pretty busy so at times when I am really rushed for time, the gym is the first thing that suffers.

Currently I have set myself the goal to go at least twice a week and to do some exercises at home in between from my book. Anyway-maybe blogging about my progress might inspire me to stick at it!! Watch this space anyway x x x

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Happy New Year.

Well on my last post which was 6 months ago, I said I would aim to blog more. Clearly, I haven't! I would like to though but I think I will make the blog more general, not only covering makeup and beauty, but fashion, healthy eating, parenting and exercise. I am not an expert on any of these things by any stretch of the imagination but they are all aspects which are important in my life.

My main goal for 2015 is to have a healthy outlook on life. All too often, like other busy mums no doubt, I rely on caffeine and sugar for energy, eat far too much convenience food and wind down with a glass of wine in the evening. I also have a bad habit of buying things to cheer myself up. Although I would like to lose about 7lbs (who wouldn't?!) my aim is health rather than weight loss; more energy, better skin, improved muscle tone, strength and stamina and just really go back to basics living a happy healthy life on a budget.

I have been reading a really informative book by Lucy off TOWIE and Tumble which I have got loads of nutritional tips from and recipe ideas. As well as aiming to live a healthier lifestyle myself, I am also keen to cut out some of the crap from my kid's diet. It may not seem much but initially I aim to cook at least two meals a week from scratch for us to all enjoy as a family.

Ok so now I will sign off this post and write a more specific one xx