Friday, 24 October 2014

5 Things I'm Loving Right Now

Good morning Friday readers!! While you read this I will be sitting at my mums in Ireland enjoying some family time meeting my new nephew yay! I am going to take a break from the blog while I'm away but I will be posting plenty of pictures on my Instagram account of course : )

I'm really enjoying these 5 things I'm loving posts and I hope your liking them too. It's a little reminder for me that the little things in life should not be forgotten just like I blogged about on Wednesday when it comes to your fitness goals, if you missed it catch up here


Coffee! You all know I'm sure how much I love the black stuff but I especially love it when made in my stove top cafetiere, it just tastes so good. When I have time this is my coffee making equipment of choice : )


Running! Well walk/running to be honest. I have an app on my phone which I have been using to get me out and doing a little interval running, now my back is feeling much better I think its time to reintroduce a bit more cardio and the best thing about running round my neighbourhood is the cats I meet along the way. Ha such a crazy cat lady! 


Porridge! Oh yes I am loving me some warm porridge in the mornings especially when there is banana and peanut butter involved. Thank good I can eat gluten free oats without any issues, I used to hate reading through blogs or seeing pics on Instagram of glorious porridge bowls purely because I was super jealous but not anymore!!


The Walking Dead! Oh jeez has this got even more scary and savage or is it just me?! This is literally one of mine and Dale's favourite TV programmes its like a scary movie every week, I'm so excited to see where this season goes.


Last but not least is this wonderful dry shampoo powder from my sisters new online shop The Future Kept. This all natural Lavender and Cocoa dry shampoo smells insanely good and I would highly recommend it if like me you don't want to wash your hair every other day and you definitely don't want to be spraying aluminum straight onto your scalp, which is what your doing using the spray dry shampoos from a can! This is just one of the amazing products my sister is selling in her beautiful new online store, if you like sustainable cruelty free and natural products please go check out her store its wonderful!

Right thats me, have a wonderful weekend and I shall see you next week after my long weekend away having fun in Ireland!

Question:

Whats on the love list for you this week?

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Workout Wednesday: Don't Forget The Little Things.....Its Not All About Weight Loss!

Happy Workout Wednesday guys, how we doing? Do you have a workout planned for today or have you, like me, already done it? I was up early to do a two hour session with a client, we did an hour of strength then hit the streets for a power walk...I am feeling awesome now! The mornings are definitely my workout hour of choice there is something great about getting up and doing a workout before lots of peoples alarms have even gone off and once they have I am already showered and eating breakfast after a killer session! 

I have been thinking and listening to clients, friends and reading blogs and one thing I notice is that we tend to forget the little things about getting fit so today I thought I would dedicate this post to all the things we tend to forget when starting or being on a fitness journey. We may start one because we want to lose weight but its a lifestyle change which needs constant work with ups and downs and lots of little wonderful things that happen along the way.

source

When a new client comes to me it is usually because they can't lose weight and they want to shed some pounds, firm up their bodies and feel better about themselves which is a great reason to start any fitness journey of course. The thing that I love is that on the journey we take together as client and trainer there are so many little things that happen which you don't even think to celebrate for example....

Me and a client went out the other day for an interval walk/run along the seafront which is flat but to get back to my house there is a hill no matter what way you go and usually we will get to the bottom of the hill and my client begins to moan how walking up hills really hurts her back so I'm usually shouting at her "hold your stomach muscles tight, use ya legs, use ya glutes, power your way up the hill!!" but last week we got half way up the hill and she turned to me and said "my back, my back it doesn't hurt anymore and it hasn't for ages!"

YAY! I screamed and its little things like that that really make my day its not the pound you lost although thats great its the fact you are becoming stronger and pain free which is massive!

I think we tend to forget all the great achievements when they seem small and insignificant but its the little things that mean more I think anyway. Of course if your over weight losing the pounds is important because being over weight brings on all sorts of problems for the body but I don't think weight loss should be the only focus or even the main one. There is so much more to becoming fit and healthy like:

Being Strong - before I went out with Dale I was single for about 10 years so I did nearly everything for myself which meant I had to be strong. I didn't have or want help with my shopping bags or to lift a box or piece of furniture so I started to work out and lift weights as well as doing bodyweight exercises to keep me fit and strong. These days I only ask for help when I really can't do something alone but I would hate to be one of those women that has no reason not to be strong and help her self!

Being Flexible - So important! This is definitely something I need to work on, when I was practicing Bikram I was so flexible but moving to a town without it meant I stopped going and I have seen my flexibility really deteriorate, I do at least ten to 15 minutes of stretching each day but its not enough. We need to be flexible to keep our bodies agile and in good nick. The less we move about the less flexible we become and the more pain our bodies will suffer from so getting up and moving as well as stretching is super important!

Being Balanced - Ever tried standing on one leg for a minute? Try it and if you can't then its time to work on getting some balance training! The more balanced you are the stronger your core muscles, which again is really important. Having a strong core means you stand up straight, will suffer with less back pain and you will actually look slimmer. Yep standing up straight with a good posture can kick that pot belly into space! You need balance for every day living so don't forget to add some training specifically for improving your balance : )

Being Happy - I don't know about you but if I am sedentary for too long I get fidgety and just need to do something, I workout most days in some way and if I don't I also become depressed. Working out and eating healthy food makes me feel good which ultimately makes me happy. When a client first comes to me they are usually pretty down, depressed about their weight gain and just feeling shitty then within a month or two this butterfly of confidence and happiness breaks free and I suddenly meet this whole new person which is the best thing about this job. Feeling down about your weight or not being fit and active is a horrible feeling but its so easy to turn round with a little bit of work in the right direction : )

The next time you feel like crap because you didn't lose any weight or your not getting to your goal as quick as you might like remember all the little things that you have achieved like going for a walk or being able to do a full press up these things are all getting you to the place you want to be so keep you chin up and remember if your at least doing something its way better then the person thats still just thinking about trying!

Question:

Do you try to remember the little things?

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Recipe: EmmaLi's Slow Cooked Turmeric and Tamarind Shredded Chicken

Hello everyone, I hope your week has started off on a good note? Mine is going great especially as we are another day down which means only 2 sleeps till Ireland!! 

I keep seeing lots of slow cooked yumminess on the blogs and its just making me feel bad for still not using mine yet this year especially when a friend of mine told me about a meal she was planning using my favourite Coconom sugar. Obviously I'm bias as I do work with the Coconom crew but it tastes damn good and I love the fact my friends are loving it too. So anyway when she explained the meal to me I said she had to give me the recipe and that she did along with some fab photos so this blog post I am featuring my friend EmmaLi's delicious slow cooked chicken...

Slow Cooked Turmeric and Tamarind Shredded Chicken 


Ingredients:
(Serves two)

2 x free range chicken legs
1 x butternut squash peeled and de seeded

Coconut sugar rub:
2 Tbsp turmeric and tamarind coconom sugar
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes
1/2 tsp sea salt flakes
Fresh black pepper
Dried parsley





Method:

Peel squash the cut into large chunks, put a light coat of spray oil on base of slow cooker then lay squash inside. 

Cut slits into the chicken and then dry rub in the sugar mix getting into all the nooks lay the marinated chicken legs on top of the squash

Pour in 2 tbsp water and cook on high for 4 hrs.

Let chicken cool for 5 or so minutes then pull chicken apart with 2 forks

Serve with the squash, and and any other veggies you like, drizzle with some of the cooking juices to add to the flavour.


Well done EmmaLi, this looks so tasty, is easy to make and would be pleasing to many I'm sure! I'm definitely going to be trying this out, Dale would love it. This has really inspired me to get my thinking cap on for more yummy slow cooked meals : )

Questions:

Do you have a slow cooker?

Whats the last thing you slow cooked?

Monday, 20 October 2014

Weekend Highlights

How did Monday come round so soon?! Its true I am sad to see the weekend go but I am super happy this week is well on its way and thats because I am off to Ireland on Thursday to see my sister and my mum as well as meet little Joey for the first time!! To say I am excited is an understatement : )

Although the weekend went far to quickly it was filled with lots of fun sand I thought it would be nice to share my weekend highlights with you....


Pancakes, who doesn't love pancakes? I haven't eaten them for ages then on Saturday morning I got the urge to make pancakes so I did. These were maple and banana pancakes topped with a dollop of crunchy peanut butter, delicious! The recipe for these will be coming up soon so keep yours eyes peeled. 


Saturday was Hastings bonfire night and although me and Dale didn't go out we did walk along the seafront to see the fireworks, they didn't disappoint it was a wonderful show of light...I literally turn into a child again when I see fireworks I love them! 


Sunday morning was very lazy we got up and watched Saturday nights X Factor then went shopping for the weeks food. When we got back we realised we hadn't eaten breakfast so made a yummy gluten free egg and mushroom sarnie for brunch. This was so good and yes there was a helping of tomato sauce of course! 


We spent the rest of the afternoon visiting Dale's family, the sun was out and it felt like the beginning of summer again, if only.......


We were invited to my friends for dinner Sunday evening so I offered to take pudding and as it was still chocolate week I made brownies, OMG these triple chocolate brownies were insane! We actually had brownies and ice cream and everybody praised my offering which was lovely. Obviously I will be sharing this recipe too, how could I not?!

Question:

What are your weekend highlights?

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Recipe: Gluten Free Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

Its still chocolate week people so before this week is out I do hope you will have made or eaten something rather chocolately?! I have succeed on both I made some very chocolately shortbread and ate it with some help of course : ) I love anything chocolate and could happily eat it everyday although I'm pretty sure my thighs might have something to say about that!

I decided to make these chocolate shortbread cookies by chance, I had originally wanted to make a big square shortbread which could have been sliced into lengths or biscuits like this recipe I found but I changed the recipe round a little to make it gluten free which made the mixture really sticky so the shortbread cookies were born! 


Ingredients:

2 cups gluten free plain flour
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1 cup Coconom Original coconut sugar 
226g butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract 

Method:

Pre-heat your oven to 180.

Cream butter then add in sugar, salt and vanilla essence.

Sieve flour and cocoa powder into the butter then stir to combine, then place the mix into the fridge for 10-20 minutes.

Line a baking tray with parchment paper then, using a spoon, take some mixture and place it on the tray leave a little room round each cookie as they spread.

Bake for 16-20 minutes, check to see if cookie bottoms are cooked before removing to cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy with a cuppa.


These are really chocolately and yummy, I think I would make them a tad smaller then I did when making them next time to get them a little more crisp and I will definitely be trying them out with some almond flour added into the mix so keep your eyes peeled for those! 

If cookies aren't your thing then check out my Chocolate Pinterest board below, I'm sure there will be something to take your fancy.......



Enjoy your Saturday peeps and remember you have to eat some chocolate before this week is out!!!

Question:

Have you treated your tastebuds to some chocolate this week?

Friday, 17 October 2014

A Day In The Life - Tuesday

This weeks day in a life is all about what I got up to on Tuesday from start to finish....

5.30am Alarm Alarm ALARM!!! NOOOOO

5.40am - ALARM seriously gotta get up...I do, throw on some clothes get my face kind of ok to be seen by another human and rush out the door! 

6am - Arrive at clients house coffee in hand feeling slightly more awake


7.15am - Arrive back home, sit down and start to check through all my emails and social media sites.

7.30am - Feeling hungry so make a rather delicious breakfast. I used some Natures Path (review coming soon) spiced apple gluten free oats to make porridge. Obvioulsy any porridge of mine has got to be pimped so I add a super soft banana, some apple/mango puree and peanut butter...joyous!

8am - Continue with emails and social media catch up or feed my online addiction some might say! 


9am - Time to get my sweat on! I did a full body Vipr workout that left my muscles screaming! A job well done. 

10am - Shower and freshen up

10.30am - Sit down with a cuppa and browse the job sites.....OMG jobs at the moment suck!

12am - Eat some un-pictured rice cakes topped with peanut butter and cheddar cheese, yes its a peanut butter kind of day : )

12.30am - My client is here so time to work. 

2pm - Meet my friend Wayne in town for a coffee and a catch up in Nero. I can't believe its been a month since we hung out...time flys!


3.30pm Get home and eat a little snack of tuna dressed in basil olive oil and apple cider vinegar with a few slices of cucumber. 


3.50pm Suddenly feel the urge to bake and as its chocolate week I couldn't resist making some gluten free chocolate shortbread cookies......hello! 

4.45pm - Next client arrives. 

6pm - My day is done time to relax, not that my day was exactly strenuous! I wait for Dale to get home so I can get dinner in the oven. He never gets home at the same time due to traffic plus he likes to help me make dinner..or do I force him..either way we make dinner! 


7pm - Enjoy this delicious Autumnal Dumpling Squash for dinner. This was one of those meals that make your tastebuds go YES YES YES!! You gotta try it!


8pm - 10pm - Watch the new Sons of Anarchy season...OMG this is blood bath but so good! Gotta love boys on bikes : )

10.30pm - Bed

Question:

Have you done any baking lately? 

Do you watch Sons of Anarchy?

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Recipe: Autumnal Sweet Dumpling Squash (gluten free, vegetarian)

One thing I love about this time of year is the range of squashes on offer, usually its butternut squash and thats your lot but at the moment we are being offered lots of different ones which are welcomed in our house. I love squash for making soups or adding to a selection of roasted veggies but my favourite way to eat them is stuffed and luckily Dale loves them that way too. While walking round Lidl's the other day on our weekly shop I was pleased to see lots of different ones to choose from, I bought a medium sized Sweet Dumpling squash and made an awesome meal with it for two : )

Autumnal Sweet Dumpling Squash


Ingredients:
(serves 2)

1 medium sized sweet dumpling squash
basil olive oil
sea salt 
chilli flakes

3/4 cup quinoa
1 small red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1 small courgette, grated
coconut oil
1tsp dried rosemary
salt and pepper to season
feta for topping - optional

Method:

Pre-heat oven to 180. 

Chop your squash in half and scrape out seeds. Drizzle some basil olive oil into the squash then use your fingers or a brush to coat the flesh then sprinkle with a little course sea salt and some dried chilli flakes. Place your squash on a baking tray and bake for 25-30 minutes. 

While your squash bakes its time to make the filling! Boil some hot water then add the quinoa and hot water to a pan and bring back to the boil, simmer for 10-12 minutes. 

In a non-stick frying pan add a little coconut oil, about a tsp and melt. Add the diced onion and crusted garlic and leave to sweat for a few minutes over a low heat. Add the carrots and courgette to the pan and continue to heat through.

Once the quinoa is cooked drain and add to the veggie mix along with the rosemary and some salt and pepper to season. Continue to cook over a low heat until your squash is done.

Your squash is ready once it is slightly browned on the edges and a knife slides into the flesh easily. Remove your squash and place two thin slices of feta in the bottom before filling with your quinoa veggie filling. Slice a few more slices of feta and cube them crumble on top. 

Serve, enjoy!


Delicious! The Sweet Dumpling squash has a slight corn taste to it and combined with the other flavours was glorious! Me and Dale thoroughly enjoyed this meal it was healthy, filling and pretty easy to put together. What more could you want from a week night meal?!

Questions:

Do you ever make stuffed squashes?

Whats your favourite filling?