The My Fitness Pal App

Track your diet & exercise with this app – it’s amazingly helpful!

I have known about this app for a while but didn’t really understand what it was about or how it could be so helpful.  I was recently re-introduced to it by a nutritionist and Miss Fitness Body Builder called Carla Chacksfield.  Having seen her competition photo’s and listened to what she had to say about diet and exercise, it’s clear we are on the same page.  Carla told me to download this App so I can track my daily food intake in order to make sure I am eating right for my goals.  The day after my first day of tracking I went from 9 stone 1.2 to 9 stone 0.4…not bad!

I actually ate under 2000 calories on the first day, I didn’t feel at all hungry and we also went out for dinner…plus I had 2 small glasses of wine.  Tracking food and water intake made me a lot more conscious of my consumption.

A common problem is that people actually don’t eat enough.  If you enter into this cycle initially you will lose weight.  However, over time it is not sustainable.  You will feel tired, hungry and irritable and in extreme cases cause metabolic damage.  Anyway, that’s a complicated subject, with many factors to take into account and something I feel is for another post.

I shall be adding a post soon about how to determine your calorie and Macro intake for each day (Macro’s are your Protein, Carbohydrate and Fat intake).  This will be for someone who is wanting to burn body fat whilst working out – after all, the two go hand in hand!

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Going paleo…Pancakes for breakfast anyone?

 

Paleo pancakes with arrowroot powder 2

 

Breakfast can be a bit of a pain sometimes…depending on how hungry you wake up.  Sometimes I wake up and I don’t eat until about 10.30 because I’ll usually do a workout first thing.  However, today I have a cold so I’m not exercising and I could so easily have devoured a big piece of toast!

Having been away for the weekend and not having access to my usual foods, my skin has erupted around the jaw area (I think due to dairy and possibly wheat).  This is a good motivator to stay on track with the right foods in normal circumstances.

I’ve found the best alternative to toast is to make paleo pancakes…all you need are eggs, arrowroot powder, koko coconut milk, 1/4 tsp baking powder and a pinch of sea salt.  Don’t bother using coconut flour, I’ll tell you now, it doesn’t work!  Coconut flour absorbs too much liquid which makes them crumble – it doesn’t taste isn’t too good either.

For my Paleo Pancakes Recipe made with Arrowroot powder click here

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Beautiful Indie Bride Photo shoot for Minna.co.uk

It was such a pleasure working with Minna Hepburn, the designer behind these wonderful Indie style bridal gowns and evening wear.  The shoot took place in a sleepy Dorset village on a beautiful sunny day in early July.  Our model, Gertie Lowe did an amazing job and was so easy to work with.  Katharine Davies, the photographer, created some wonderful images for Minna’s upcoming portfolio.  We were also treated to a fantastic healthy lunch at Minna’s home – I love it when I meet people who share the same ideas about food & health, it’s definitely a bonding experience!

 

For more information about Minna Bridal and Evening Wear click here

To see more photography by Katharine Davies click here

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BodyRock Body|Week 1 Day 5|Flexibility, Mobility & Balance

This workout incorporates some yoga moves.  I really enjoyed this one, good for upper body strength as well…hope you enjoy it too!

Bodyrock.tv recommends the following sets and reps based on your fitness level

Beginners: 

2-3 Rounds, 30 seconds Work/10 seconds Rest

Intermediate:

3-4 Rounds, 50 seconds Work/10 seconds Rest

Advanced:

5 + Rounds, 50 seconds Work/10 seconds Rest

For more instructions click here

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Paleo Chocolate Brownies – Gluten and Grain Free, Enjoy!

Having your cake and eating it!

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I won’t lie, I love cake…I also love biscuits, not all the time, but sometimes you just feel like eating a piece of cake or a biscuit.  However, I don’t like the ingredients in processed, shop bought crap, so the only thing to do is make my own.  These chocolate brownies are totally delicious and you wouldn’t know they don’t contain any gluten or grains.

The recipe I’m sharing with you is slightly adapted from one I found online at Elena’s pantry.  I prefer my cakes to be a little less sweet, so I didn’t add the stevia and reduced the amount of dates.

Paleo Brownies

Ingredients

1 Cup Almond Flour

1/4 Tsp Celtic Sea Salt

1/4 Tsp baking Soda

100g Tesco Finest 85% Dark Chocolate

5 Medjool Dates, Pitted (The original recipe calls for 7 Pitted dates, so add more if you need more sweetness)

3 Large Eggs

1/2 Cup Coconut Oil

1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

 

Instructions

1. In a food processor, pulse together almond flour, salt and baking soda

2. Pulse in squares of dark chocolate until the texture of coarse sand

3. Pulse in dates until the texture of coarse sand

4. Pulse in eggs

5. Pulse in melted coconut oil and vanilla essence

6.Transfer mixture to a greased 8 x 8 inch baking tin, or line with non stick baking paper

7. Mixture will be very thick, smooth with a spatula

8. Bake at 180 degrees C for 18-22 minutes

9. Cool slightly and tip out onto a wire rack.  Cool for 2 hours before serving.

 

I store these brownies in the fridge or freeze them so you don’t eat them all at once!

 

 

 

 

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Benefits of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

Spot Treatment and much more…

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I was searching the internet one day, when I came across an acne blog.  The girl mentioned Apple Cider Vinegar as a treatment for acne/spots…you know, those horrible big ones you get under the skin that seem to linger for AGES!  I decided to give it a try and I must say it does work.  Keep the Vinegar in the fridge though, I left mine out and it didn’t seem as effective as when I used fresh Vinegar from the fridge.

I soaked a cotton wool pad in the vinegar and left it on the spot for a few minutes, just to really bathe the spot in the vinegar.  If you have very sensitive skin then mix 1 part vinegar with 3 parts filtered water.  I don’t need to because my skin is as tough as old boots!  I noticed that over night the lump had gone down.  It really does work that quickly!  I also drink a couple of teaspoons of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar in water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.  This helps with all sorts of ailments!  For me it helps my skin and stops the pain in my finger where I have some arthritis.  I don’t have any pain since I’ve been taking the vinegar…my mum has the same thing and it’s on her recommendation I decided to try it.

There are so many benefits to taking apple cider vinegar,… including weight loss!  However, I recommend drinking it through a straw so as not to rot your teeth!  I also rinse my mouth out with water afterwards.

 

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Recent Artwork 2015

New Artwork for 2015

 

 

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Social Occasions and Trying to Keep in Shape

Summer time can be difficult because there are so many social occasions to go to, and who wants to be a party pooper??!!  Not me!!

I’ve been thinking about how I can still enjoy myself whilst keeping in reasonable shape.  Firstly, I do workout about 5 days per week.  Normally 3 days training, a day off, then 2 days training and another day off.  Obviously sometimes things happen and you have to do more workouts in a row, but I do try to stick to this.  If I’m feeling super tired I don’t workout, you have to listen to your body – that’s my belief anyway.  I know when I’m just being lazy, so these times I’ll push myself to exercise.

With regards to food I am good most of the time.  However, if I go to a wedding or a real one off event, I will indulge myself…or at least not worry too much. Fortunately I actually prefer real, healthy food, so if it’s there I will always choose this first.  I’m most likely to undo my good work by eating some chips, crisps or nibbles!

Alcohol…or should I say ‘Wine’ (and Champagne…who can say no to this?) is probably my biggest fail.  I’m not saying I drink bottle at a time (although it does happen! oops!), but I am aware that if I drink a few glasses it can amount to quite a few calories.  So, my new plan is to take my 750ml bottle of water with me and drink it at the same time.  That way I keep hydrated, I’m more aware of how much wine I’m drinking and it slows me down, so I don’t drink as much.  Oh, I should say that I’ve been carrying a bottle around with me for about a month now, making sure I drink at least 1.8 Litres per day (I worked out that’s how much I need for my body weight via a formula).

I think we should all enjoy life and not be too obsessed, unless you have a specific time frame to reach a certain goal (I’ve said this before).  I am not perfect because I sometimes still eat and drink things which mean I’m not going to lose those last 2 inches off my waist…Maybe I should try to lose those inches just to prove to myself I can? Hmm, well, I’ll challenge myself when I’m ready, which might be soon! 🙂

So, this is where I am at the moment with my body shape.  It’s not bad considering how much I love food and wine!  I hope it will prove to you that you can enjoy yourself whilst still maintaining a reasonable shape!

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BodyRock Body|Week 2 Day 5|Flexibility, Mobility & Balance

Don’t be fooled by the title of this workout…it’s still tough, your heart rate will rise and you will SWEAT!! You will develop strength in the arms and shoulders with this one as well as the legs and core.  I’ve done this workout twice now, both times I ached the next day.  Normally I focus a lot on my legs, so this ones a bit different and it feels nice to do some downward dogs and back bends for a good stretch.

Bodyrock.tv recommends the following sets and reps based on your level of fitness:

Beginners: 

2-3 Rounds, 30 seconds Work/10 seconds Rest

Intermediate:

3-4 Rounds, 50 seconds Work/10 seconds Rest

Advanced:

5 + Rounds, 50 seconds Work/10 seconds Rest

For more details on this workout click here

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BodyRock Body|Week 1 Day 1|Legs & Glutes

This is the super hard leg workout I mentioned in my last post! Two days later and I’m still aching – it could have had something to do with the 3 mile run I did afterwards as well :-).  I guess it also depends on how much weight you use – just make sure you chose a weight that’s not too heavy you can’t complete your reps or sets, however, it shouldn’t feel easy.

 Bodyrock.tv recommends the following sets and reps depending on your fitness level:

Beginners: 

2-3 Rounds, 30 secs Work/10 Secs Rest

Intermediate:

3-4 Rounds, 50 secs Work/10 Secs Rest

Advanced:

5 + Rounds, 50 secs Work/10 Secs Rest

 

For more information on this workout click here

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