Monday, 25 August 2014

another weekend... in the gym #24

FOOD


Monday - Breakfast: Porridge with berries, chia, flax & bee pollen. Lunch: Homemade spicy lentil & chickpea soup. Dinner: Chicken & feta salad. Snacks: Greek yoghurt with berries, rice cakes with almond butter, tiny piece of leftover clean sticky toffee pudding!

Tuesday - Breakfast: Porridge with berries, chia, flax & bee pollen. Lunch: Homemade soup & chicken. Dinner: Chilli with broccoli "rice", Greek yoghurt & jalapenos. Snacks: #1 Greek yoghurt with berries, #2 Multipower strawberry & cranberry Nature's Power bar.

Wednesday - Breakfast: Porridge with berries, chia, flax & bee pollen. Lunch: Chicken & feta salad. Dinner: Chilli with broccoli "rice", Greek yoghurt & jalapenos. Snacks: #1 Greek yoghurt with berries & granola. #2 Granola with banana, blueberries & almond milk.

Thursday - Breakfast: Porridge with berries, chia, flax & bee pollen. Lunch: Homemade spicy lentil & chickpea soup with 1 slice wholemeal bread & tuna. Dinner: Kale & feta omelette. Snacks: #1 Greek yoghurt with berries & granola, #2 Multipower Fruit Power Bar.

Friday - Breakfast: Porridge with berries, chia, flax & bee pollen. Lunch: Homemade spicy lentil & chickpea soup with a crumpet. Dinner: Made my sweet potato, kale & coconut curry, followed by The Detox Kitchen's raspberry & peach crumble for my Mum's birthday dinner! Snacks: Biscuits, cookies & chocolate birthday cake - healthy pudding was a bit pointless!

Saturday - Breakfast: Porridge with berries, chia, flax & bee pollen. Lunch: Poached eggs & avocado on rye with grilled tomatoes. Dinner: Kale & feta omelette. Snacks: #1 Leftover crumble with Greek yoghurt & banana, #2 cereal with almond milk.

Sunday - Breakfast: Porridge with berries, chia, flax & bee pollen. Lunch: Poached eggs & avocado on rye with frilled tomatoes. Dinner: Spicy baked eggs with jalapeno & cheese focaccia. Snacks: Nakd bar, birthday cake, macaroon, granola....


I realise my diet is a bit crap at the moment. My meals are good as always because they're planned ahead but I keep snacking on rubbish, and once I start I can't stop! My skin has broken out, my belly is bloated and my sleep pattern sucks. I feel disgusting. These are things I never would of noticed before as they were "normal" before I started reducing the processed foods from my diet last year. Once you really start to monitor your diet and understand nutrition, the link is so obvious. Yet here I am munching on handfuls of sugary processed granola... As ashamed as I feel for the crap I'm shoveling down my throat, I think it's only fair that I include it all in this food diary or what would be the bloody point. I'd only be cheating myself by omitting it!

Anyway, I'm addicted to granola. I bought a bag so I could make breakfast for the train this morning (Monday).... I'd finished the bag by Friday. I've nearly finished the 2nd bag which I only bought yesterday!! Never buying it again. 

EXERCISE

Monday - Rest day. Sleepy, sleepy.
Tuesday - Weights.
Wednesday - Metafit. (Chicken loop...)
Thursday - Insanity
Friday - Rest day.
Saturday - HIIT & weights.
Sunday - HIIT & weights.

How's your week been? Eaten anything exciting?

Christy xx

Thursday, 21 August 2014

#LiftHeavy


Girls, do NOT be afraid to lift weights and lift heavy!

You will NOT get bulky or manly - your body isn't made that way. You'd have to eat about 5 chickens a day, plus find yourself some testosterone... never gonna happen! Along with a good diet of nutrient dense, natural foods, lifting weights will make you stronger, leaner and healthier. Use a weight that you find challenging but can keep good form with. Do 3-4 sets, aiming for 10-12 reps each time. You should be challenged by the first set and struggling by the third. Over a period of time you'll start to feel stronger and the weight will feel easier... increase the weight as you progress!

You may burn more calories during a cardio sesh, but lifting weights will keep you burning calories for up to 48 hours afterwards. It fires up your metabolism as your body uses up energy to repair and rebuild your muscles.


If you don't know where to start with weight lifting, don't worry about asking people for advice. Most gyms will have a trainer who will be more than happy to help, it's what they're there for after all! Look out for classes in your local area too as most of the skills you'll learn there can be transferred to the gym - my first experience of resistance training was in kettlebell and circuit training classes! :)


"If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you."

*I'm not an expert in any way! I'm simply speaking from experience and a pet hate of people suggesting that women should be using "girly" 2-4kg dumbbells. #RantOver ;)

Monday, 18 August 2014

another weekend... in the gym #23

FOOD


I'm not counting either by the looks of this week...

Monday - Breakfast: Porridge with berries, chia & flax seeds. Lunch: Chicken salad. Dinner: Grilled salmon with asparagus + bread & butter... a lot of bread & butter. Snacks: Turkey breast slices, Greek yoghurt with berries & flax, 9 bar.

Tuesday - Breakfast: Porridge with berries, chia & flax seeds. Lunch: Chicken salad. Dinner: Bolognaise with spinach & asparagus. Snacks: Turkey breast slices, Greek yoghurt with berries & flax, grapefruit.

Wednesday - Breakfast: Acai berry breakfast bowl. Lunch: Chicken salad. Dinner: Bolognaise with spinach. Snacks: Banana & almond butter on rice cakes, Greek yoghurt with berries & flax, homemade clean cinnamon & raisin cookies.

Thursday - Breakfast: (pre-workout) tiny bowl of porridge with banana, (post workout) acai berry breakfast bowl. Lunch: Turkey wraps. Dinner: Halloumi omelette with salad. Snacks: Homemade clean cinnamon & raisin cookie, Greek yoghurt with berries, 9 bar, buttered roll... pure greed.

Friday - Breakfast: Porridge with berries, chia & flax seeds. Lunch: Poached eggs & avocado on rye with grilled tomatoes. Dinner: Halloumi omelette. Snacks: Multipower honey & seed nature's power bar. Gluten free flapjack. Kitkat chunky, crisps, a whole tub of ice cream... I don't even like ice cream. Lets not talk about it!

Saturday - Breakfast: Porridge with berries, chia & flax seeds. Lunch: Turkey wraps. Dinner: Steak with mustard leek sauce & asparagus, followed by a homemade clean sticky toffee pudding with homemade banana ice cream! (Both recipes from Hemsley + Hemsley's "The Art of Eating Well"). Snacks: 1 Thornton's chocolate, tiny bit of cheese.

Sunday - Breakfast: Porridge with berries, chia & flax seeds. Lunch: Poached eggs, chicken, grilled tomatoes & avocado on rye. Dinner: Chilli with broccoli "rice", jalapenos & greek yoghurt. Snacks: Leftover sticky toffee pudding with a scoop of Ben & Jerry's Peanut Butter Me Up!

For somebody who doesn't like ice cream I've been eating a hell of a lot of it this week! Onwards and upwards.

EXERCISE


Monday - Insanity class.
Tuesday - Kettlebells & metafit.
Wednesday - Hurt my back the night before so took a rest day.
Thursday - Early morning PT. Insanity class in the evening.
Friday - Metafit followed by weights.
Saturday - Rest day.
Sunday - Weights.

My muscle mass is up to 7.4st! Just 1lb away from my 1st target. My PT is on holiday this week but has set me the challenge to be down to 21% body fat by the time he returns. I can't believe I'm not there already, considering my usual challenge is under 20%, but I only have myself to blame. I can't help it, I just love to eat!

How's your week of nutrition and training been? Better than mine I hope!

Christy xx

Sunday, 17 August 2014

The Art of Eating Well

Over time my bookshelf has built up a wee collection of clean eating guides and recipe books. It started with James Duigan's Clean & Lean Diet, then his Clean & Lean Diet Cookbook, I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson, the more recent I Quit Sugar For Life and the more well known Honestly Healthy. They're all great books with great fundamentals at heart, abundant in nutritional advice and recipes. However, none of these have inspired me to get in the kitchen as much as this one. My new food bible... "The Art of Eating Well" by the gorgeous Hemsley sisters.

Proving that dessert can be guilt free: 100% natural sticky toffee pudding, with no gluten, wheat or refined sugar! The sauce is made from dates and  butter, that's it. Even Gordon (the sticky toffee expert) loved this clean version! I made banana "ice cream" to go with it - just chopped banana, frozen and then blended. You can add anything to your ice cream to make different flavours... I'm thinking peanut butter!

Acai berry breakfast bowl - basically a smoothie of frozen raspberries, banana, avocado, acai powder & water. I topped mine with flax seeds, bee pollen & more berries.

Cinnamon & Raisin Cookies. Whipped up a big batch in about half an hour on Wednesday night and shared them with Gordon, my PT and my workmates. *Top tip - distract your PT with healthy treats & he'll be too busy munching away to be mean to you! ;) 

Pep up turmeric tea! Gordon's been full of the cold & doping himself up on lemsips, throat sweets & painkillers. Not good in my book! I made him this tea - a mixture of lemon juice, honey, ginger, turmeric & cayenne pepper - and described it as a homemade lemsip to make him drink it. He didn't exactly enjoy it but I think it's working... 

Steak with mustard leek sauce. I swapped the watercress salad for grilled asparagus. The sauce is unbelievably good and so easy - basically just fry the leeks in the juices from the steak & mix through a tbsp of dijon mustard, salt, pepper & a splash of water. So good that we'll probably have it again next week.

I couldn't think of a better title for the book. The best thing about the art of eating well, is that they believe in making life easy with a meat & 2 veg principle at the heart of many of their recipes, turning food into an uncomplicated, natural art form. The book is divided into sections - starting with what I'd call an "education" in nutrition and wellbeing - and then filled with recipes for breakfast, soups, salads, sides & snacks, meat & fish, vegetablarians, dressings & dips, baking & desserts and finally, drinks. All the recipes I've tried have been quick, simple & easy to follow - each one is overflowing with health benefits!

A lot of the other books I have require some obscure, fancy ingredients that I've never even heard of, let alone know where to find. Rice malt syrup? Arrowroot? Most of the ingredients used in the Hemsley + Hemsley book are already in my cupboards! I'm not saying everybody will have these to hand, but things like coconut oil, nuts, quinoa, honey, apple cider vinegar... they're all staples in my kitchen. Even when I don't have the ingredients already, they've either offered an alternative in the recipe or it's something easy to get a hold of. I actually placed an order with Goodness Direct for things like acai & cacao powder as they're found regularly throughout the recipes, meaning they won't be used once & left forgotten & lonely at the back of my cupboard. Waste not, want not! If you order from Goodness Direct don't forget to enter my "tell a friend" reference number - AB157403 :)

The Art of Eating Well is something I personally think more people need to learn about. You can find the Hemsley + Hemsley book on Amazon here.

Are there any cook books you'd recommend?

Christy xx
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