As soon as I reach the gym my headphones go in and i’m in the zone, I’m sure for a lot of you it will be a similar scenario. For me music helps get me into that power zone! It pushes me to carry on even when i’m feeling like giving up, I think it’s important to have something pushing you forward letting you hit those new PB’s!
My go to app is Spotify but ultimately there are tonnes of music apps out there! I personally prefer Spotify as its got thousands of playlists to choose from! I tend to flutter from generic workout playlists to my own depending in how much of a boost I need! I’d definitely recommend spending an hour or so finding songs that you find motivating and adding it to a workout playlist.
I tend to pick songs that are really up beat, you know the ones that make you want to get up and dance! The songs you can’t help but sing to (although maybe refrain from this at the gym) Science studies have shown that listening to music does a lot to alter out mood and mindset! So go and pick out your favourite motivational songs and you’ll soon be picking up that gym bag!
So you want to start eating healthy but where do you start? This was me 4 months ago when I first started out, confused, sifting through mounds of information half of which wasn’t even true! To trying to avoid those cupcakes that are calling you from the staff room (we’ve all been there!!). Firstly I think it’s important to mention that when trying to live a healthy lifestyle don’t cut out everything you love! It’s all about enjoying it in moderation. By cutting out all the good foods that you absolutely love not only are you going to crave them more but you’ll probably end up binging on them. (Speaking from experience!)
Find a calorie tracker
Find a good calorie tracker and stick with it, As mentioned in my previous post My Fitness Pal is a great FREE tracker and is so simple to use! Just input your weight and ideal weight goals and it will tell you how many calories you can consume in a day! Trust me you’ll be surprised at how much you can eat without going off your calorie goal!
Set a goal and stick with it!
I think it’s super important that you set small realistic goals and work from there! By setting a preliminary goal for example eating 4 pieces of fruit and veg a day compared to the 1 piece you usually eat means that your not setting achievable goals that could knock your progress and make you fall off the bandwagon! Have a ultimate goal in mind like the ideal weight you want to be or the body shape you want to achieve. Having that ultimate goal in the back of your mind can keep you motivated and allows you to push yourself on the hard days (we all have them). Set a time limit for certain goals so that it gives you that extra push!
Keep yourself motivated!
Find ways to motivate yourself and use them daily! For me listening to music and having a bunch of motivational quotes around me keep me pushing myself every week, if you don’t have that motivation what is going to keep you going?
Don’t be hard on yourself
So you’ve eaten that piece of chocolate cake, so what? You need to remind yourself that it’s all in moderation, just think it could be worse you could have eaten the whole cake! On a serious note allow yourself treats, you’ll enjoy them a lot more and you won’t feel as guilty for eating them! Every day is a new opportunity to smash those goals so tomorrow’s a new day to eat better and forget about the rubbish you ate yesterday!!
How do you smash your healthy eating goals?
For the past month or so I’ve been starting to track my calories, for someone who used to eat anything and everything she wanted it was an alien experience to start actually watching what I was eating. I was shocked to realise exactly how many calories I was actually consuming (roughly around 2,000 per day) I started tracking my calories as part of my new healthy eating lifestyle.
I currently use My fitness pal which calculates exactly how many calories you should be consuming in a day, excellent if your trying to loose weight, gain weight or maintain weight! It’s got pretty much every piece of food in there log including restaurant meals! I’ve gone from eating around 2,000 calories per day to around 1,600 calories per day! Not only have i noticed a difference around my waist but I’ve noticed a massive difference in my mood, I feel so more energetic and I personally feel a lot happier in myself! (win win!)
Not only is it good for keeping control of your weight but it makes you more aware of what your eating! Seeing how many calories certain foods contain makes you make healthier decisions!
Try it out today I promise you won’t regret it!!
So with my healthy eating kick I decided to switch it up a bit with my own healthy fishcake recipe! I absolutely adore fish, a good source of omega- 3 fatty acids (it’s recommended to eat fish at least twice every week!) Its pretty quick to make and best of all they are freezable so you can make them on the weekend and enjoy stress-free during the week! With only 140 calories per fishcake! So onto the recipe!
250g – fish of your choice! (cod is my favourite)
1- medium egg beaten
1 tbsp- fresh parsley chopped
1 tbsp- mixed herbs
80g- wholemeal breadcrumbs
450g- red potatoes
and that’s it!
- chop the potatoes into small chunks, place into a microwave bowl and cook for 4-8 minutes until potatoes are tender.
- whilst cooking the potatoes, place the fish in the oven and cook according to pack instructions, alternatively you can fry the fish in a shallow pan for around 10 minutes
- Once the fish and potatoes are cooked, mash the potatoes until lump free!! I love to use my potato ricer for the ultimate mash!
- Mix the fish flakes and potato together adding in the chopped parsley and mixed herbs, flavouring with a small amount of salt and pepper!
- start to form the mixture into 5 decent sized patties
- dip the patties into the beaten egg ensuring they have a good coverage before dipping into the breadcrumbs
- Once coated place onto a baking tray and place in the oven at 200 degrees until the tops are browned!
- serve with your favourite veg!
Craving a Chinese but not wanting to blow all your calories in one meal? Look no further than this fake away recipe! It’s quick and simple to make with most ingredients already found in your cupboard!
To start with cook the 2 dried egg noodle nests as per packet instructions, once cooked drain and place to one side
Next mix together two chicken breasts with 1 tsp ginger powder, 1 garlic clove finely chopped and 3 tbsp of chicken stock, once mixed heat a wok on high heat and spray with a low calorie cooking spray (my favourite is fry light)
Once heated add in the chicken mixture and stir fry for 3-4 minutes! Then add in the matchstick carrots , sliced red pepper and mange tout and stir fry for a further 2-3 minutes.
Finally add in the cooked noodles, adding 2 tbsp of light soy sauce and cook for 2 minutes! And that’s it! A quick yet simple recipe that for sure will curb those Chinese cravings!
I’ve recently become a major fan of spin classes, I’m very fortunate to have joined a gym that runs weekly spin classes! When I first joined I’d watch the classes come out of the spin studio looking like they’d done 10 rounds with mike Tyson! So intrigued by the sweaty bodies passing me i though I’d give it a go. No word of a lie the first class i literally thought I was going to pass out, my legs felt like lead and I felt like I was producing more fat than a Chinese takeaway! But the endorphins soon kicked in and I felt the urge to book in another class the week after, since then I’ve been going nearly every week! Not only do I still get that endorphin filled high but my body has never looked so toned!
I’m not going to lie spin classes are intense! It’s a full on cardio workout which can burn up to 800-1000 calories per hour!! Due to the bike being stationary (unless something major has gone wrong) it ensures a low impact workout meaning less stress on the joints and reduces the risk of injury! The majority of spin classes focus on speed, endurance, power and a combination of all 3 thus meaning that one class can work a large group of muscles! Mainly the legs and abdominal muscles. The thing I love the most about spin is that you can go at your own pace, it burns a large amount of calories in one class and you get fitter and toner at the same time! What’s more to love!
Go check out the nearest spin class to you! I promise you won’t be disappointed!
What’s your favourite gym class?
So if your anything like me trying to come up with healthy breakfast idea’s can be a bit of a nightmare! I’m very much a breakfast person (read my previous post about how important breakfast is!) but eating the same breakfast over and over again soon becomes tiring! I mean there’s only so much porridge one can stomach! Over these past few months I’ve been trying different healthy breakfast options figuring out which ones i liked and which ones i didn’t like along the way! I thought I’d share some of my favourites to inspire you to try. I’d recommend trying them on weekends when you have more time to cook rather than rushed weekday mornings!
- My absolute favourite- the classic original porridge!
So underrated on so many levels! It’s quick and so simple even a baby could do it! (although not recommended) With tonnes of options to try (if you live in the UK i’d 100% recommend the Quaker oats golden syrup!) My all time favourite topping is blueberries and honey but you can try all sorts! Strawberries, raspberries even kiwi goes. Definitely recommended if you don’t have much time in the mornings.
2. All time american favourite – Pancakes!
Still not the most time consuming and pretty easy to whip up, you can have them thick and fluffy or thin and light! You can pretty much do what you want with pancakes, I’d recommend putting some form of protein powder in if you’re using them as a post-workout snack! Again really versatile toppings can be used! If you’re wanting to feel a bit naughty spreads like the nutty carb killers can be used or alternatively you can use my favourite honey, strawberries and kiwi!
3. Scrambled eggs!
Again another classic which doesn’t require much effort! Scrambled eggs are an eggcelent 😉 source of protein, great if your using it as a post-workout snack! My go to is cheese and tomato a bit of a safer option but hey! you can get really inventive with the ingredients! spinach and Parmesan, garlic and onion are some of the few which have been recommended to me! yet to try though!
Check out my previous post on why breakfast is so important here: BREAKFAST WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT?
What is your favourite healthy breakfast?
And the answer is probably not, on my recent quest to become more health conscious and live a healthier lifestyle I’ve recently been looking into dietary supplements (some may find boring but if it makes you feel better then why not give it a go) vitamin D is mainly gained in two ways:
– exposure to the sun
– taking vitamin D supplements
Unbeknown to me and most of the general public, the amount of vitamin D you receive from your diet is relatively low and you cannot get the right amount just from your diet! There is only a handful of foods that contain vitamin d (fatty fish, egg yolk, beef liver and fortified cereals, milk and orange juice) but even they only contain a low amount of vitamin d.
Exposure to the sun is the main way in which people gain vitamin d but if like me you live in a country that doesn’t have that much sunlight you may find you have a deficiency in vitamin d. The more you expose your skin the more vitamin d it will produce, the body can produce between 10,000 to 25,000 IU of vitamin d in the amount of time it takes for the skin to start burning (obviously you don’t want the skin to burn and you should always restrict the amount of time spent in the sun, ALWAYS wear sunscreen!)
The recommended amount of vitamin d for adults is 5,000 IU per day, it doesn’t matter what form of vitamin d you take or what time you take it! The best supplement is vitamin D3! This is what is made naturally via the sun!
*you can exceed the recommend limit but vitamin d is fat- soluble thus your body has a hard time getting rid of it*
Well there you have it! I’ve only recently started taking vitamin D tablets but I will do a follow up post on if I have noticed a visible change from taking them shortly! I hope I’ve expanded your knowledge on vitamin d slightly more!
Happy Monday everyone! I hope everyone has a great week, I’ve been hitting the gym more often than I used to which means I need more gym wear! Everyone loves a good shopping spree right? These past few months I’ve been wearing My Protein gym leggings, I was slightly apprehensive at first due to the price of the leggings (£20.99) They often do discounts during each month (I’ll share the link down below) I got two pairs for £24!! Lets face it everyone wants a good deal and gym leggings can be so expensive!!
One of my main factors when picking gym leggings is the durability and price! I was surprised how durable the leggings are, I’ve been wearing them for roughly two months now and they still look as new as the day I got them! The two toned colour pattern also means you get more of a figure and it really extenuates your butt (bonus!!) I would recommend them to pretty much everyone! or the price they really are a good deal, They are really comfy yet the stretchy fabric makes them breathable so no horrible sweat marks for you!
What are your favourite gym leggings?
One of my favourite parts of my body to workout is my abs, although not that visible your abs are used in pretty much every movement you make, having a strong core not only keeps you stable but helps to get a strong, confident posture (lets face it we all have bad posture!). In this post i’ll be sharing my favourite ab movement of all time the bicycle crunch!!
The bicycle crunch been voted best ab exercise of all time by the ACE (American council on exercise) as it works not only the upper and lower abs but the obliques at the same time! You only need to do a few reps of the bicycle crunch to feel that burning sensation in your abdominal muscles! I feel bicycle crunches work best as being incorporated as part of a circuit session but they can be performed as lone exercises.
How to perform the bicycle crunch
- Start by lying on the floor with your arms and legs straight
- Place both hands behind your head taking care not to put pressure on your head
- Lift one leg up, bending the knee towards the chest
- Whilst twisting start guiding your opposite arm towards the leg that is bent, don’t worry about getting the elbow and knee to meet!
- Lower the arm and leg whilst bringing the opposite two limbs to mirror the movement.
And that’s it! Not only is the bicycle crunch simple to perform but it is effective! Try incorporating into your workouts at least once per week!
Why not share your favourite ab exercise below?