My 2nd Trimester!

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Oh 2nd trimester - you dream! 

SYMPTOMS

My 1st trimester symptoms of nausea/dizziness/tiredness lingered around until about week 16. I’m not sure what I expected but it certainly didn’t all disappear overnight at week 12! Between weeks 12-16 there was a sort of transitional period and my symptoms very gradually started to decrease. I’d have days when I’d feel amazing then other days I’d be back to feeling icky. I’m now writing this in my 29th week though and it feels like a long time ago! 

WONDER WOMAN!

Since about week 17 I can honestly say that I’ve felt a bit like wonder woman! My 1st trimester symptoms had gone and I had a new energy: bouncing out of bed pre-6am, no naps, back to CrossFit, back to cardio, back cooking my own food - chicken and vegetables firmly back on the menu - woohoo! In fact, I felt so good that originally I would often forget I was pregnant…and obviously you do need to remember that you ARE pregnant (!!), don’t overdo it, take care of your body and look after yourself ie. don’t burn the candle at both ends all the time. I was definitley guilty of overdoing it at some points.

I’m a huge promoter of exercise whilst pregnant and believe it’s really helped me physically as so far I’ve had no back or pelvic pain - it’s also been great mentally - helping me to deal with the hormones! BUT there are times when you are just knackered and you need to rest….but other times when you might just be being a little bit lazy! Finding your own rhythm and balance with it all is very important & don’t swayed by other people. Do your research, arm yourself with the facts and crack on!

CHANGES IN EXERCISE WHEN PREGNANT

The main change I found was that my heart rate would easily go through the roof when I exercised (or sometimes even the stairs if taken too quickly!) and I really had to manage it. This is because blood volume increases in pregnancy and the heart is having to pump faster to circulate all that blood round the system. During exercise I found I needed to do less work to reach the same level of intensity and it’s very important to factor this in. I have definitely been working at a lower ‘effort’ level but still getting a sweat on. I use the talk test as a measure of my exertion - I literally talk out loud to myself and if I can have a conversation/talk in sentences then I’m working at a safe level. If I’m too breathless then I won’t stay at that intensity and back off a bit.

However I do think the body is more resilient than we think and I believe 2nd trimester is definitely the time to get your exercise in. There is a lot of conflicting advice out there - you’ll be following someone on instagram doing 60kgs cleans in her 3rd trimester whilst your granny is telling you to just put your feet up for 9 months. You have to go on what you were doing before you were pregnant and how you feel during - I just make sure I’m being honest with myself but also leaving my ego at door! We know the benefits of exercise in pregnancy now so do remember that moving your body can be more beneficial than playing it safe and doing nothing at all (depending on your situation & doctor sign off!).

MOVEMENT!

By week 22 I could feel fluttering movement and the pop of hiccups which is an awesome (if a little weird) feeling! The fluttering turned into proper squirming and what now feels like big knocks & kicks. Then at week 26 a big shift happened. I had been quite small (20th percentile) and people couldn’t believe I was as far along as I was…but then I suddenly popped and I felt different. I think I felt properly pregnant! During weeks 17-25 I had felt physically unaffected by my belly and pregnancy - no pains, no feeling of off balance. All of a sudden I felt bigger and slower….more tired, a bit wobbly occasionally and I was needing to rest again (though not always a full nap) in the afternoon. I had grown - we were now 50th percentile! 

SELF CARE

Now I’m in my 29th week and third trimester, I’m stepping it up a notch with my self-care. I am still doing my workouts but I’ve taken my weights right down again. It still feels so good to move & maintain my strength & fitness but I want to look after my body & mind now as much as I can in this final stretch. I’ve found a pregnancy yoga class I like, I do pilates once a week plus I’m having some sessions of reiki, acupuncture & my usual soft tissue massage. I’ve still got quite a few weeks to go but so far my body feels great! A lot of this I believe is because I’ve made the choice to work hard at looking after myself and I’ve stuck to it. I’ve eaten well 80% of the time (even when I haven’t felt like green veg I have shoved it down!) and I haven’t given my power over my body away to ‘oh that’s just what happens when your pregnant’. There are undoubtably things that will happen that are out of your control but what you can control I believe you absolutely should!

My 1st Trimester!

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NEWS!!!

What a relief to finally be able to share the news - I’m pregnant! I’m not the most maternal of people (!) but I have always wanted  kids so I’m very excited for this next chapter and as ready as I’ll ever be. Just trying not to over-think the fact that a human is growing inside of me and all will be fine ;)

If you didn’t know (I didn’t!) - the usual way that pregnant ‘weeks’ are counted is to start 40 weeks from the first day of your last period. So if you do a test the earliest that you can possibly do a test and you get a positive then you’ll already be about 3-4 weeks pregnant. So I was 4 weeks when I found out and I just knew! Surreal but very very exciting!! 

PT & PREGNANT

This post is just an overall recap of my 1st Trimester living and working in London but more-so as a busy Personal Trainer - how I felt and how I handled it in regards to working, nutrition and training. DISCLAIMER: one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that every single person’s pregnancy is different. So many people have given me advice and given me their opinions on many topics - but as everyone’s pregnancy is as unique as we are individual - you cannot compare your pregnancy to someone elses. So the below is most certainly NOT advice from me - it is simply me documenting my journey so far!  

I know many ladies go through extremely challenging 1st trimesters and compared to them, I know I have been lucky. However - it’s not been completely plain sailing and at times I have struggled even with a strong PMA! Of course, it’s 100% worth it but I have a new found respect for women who silently go through this time juggling so much.

TIREDNESS, DIZZINESS & NAUSEA

I was around 7 weeks when I started to get symptoms. The first thing was tiredness. Just knackered all the time - even if I went to bed super early and got 8 hours sleep, I’d wake up in the morning and find it hard to extract myself from the bed. Very hard for me as I get up around 5.30am every week day morning for work, I’m a total morning person and love my usual get up and go! If I could sneak a quick nap in the afternoon then I would ahead of evening clients - unheard of for me as I find it really hard to nap but I'm a pro now!

Next was nausea. So bad as soon as I woke up I had to eat something straight away - I usually kept a banana by my bed as otherwise I’d dry wretch brushing my teeth. This kind of lingered throughout the morning & sometimes into the afternoon but to be honest, I found once I’d levered myself out of bed told myself to get over it and crack on - I could deal with it. A few deep breaths if it ever got a bit much! 

I also got quite dizzy often, if I stood up too quickly or...did cardio! From doing my pre & post natal PT course a year ago I believe what was going on is called vascular underfill. Your blood volume increases when you’re pregnant to account for the extra oxygen that is required for your baby so your blood vessels increase in size to allow for this. Sometimes in the 1st Trimester the size of the vessels increase before the blood volume so it’s essentially like having low blood pressure. Sitting down for a bit or lie down with legs up helped! After a while I got used to what set it off so I could avoid!

SMELLS

The other thing that happened very strongly was smells. I went off a lot of my regular surrounding smells and they made me feel so sick! I had to throw away perfume, candles and room diffusers because they made me feel sick. There are a few smells which I smell now in some places which still turn my stomach. That sort of consistent smell that hangs around the tube can absolutely do one! Weird!!

NUTRITION

I haven’t had regular cravings for anything in particular. Initially I wanted anything that had a crunch - granola, crackers….salt and vinegar crisps. Then it had to be cool and fresh - like fresh juicy fruit, crudités or freshly squeezed orange juice. THEN I WENT OFF MY OWN COOKING!!! I love making my own food - lots of chicken, rice and green veg and I couldn’t face any of this! Cold food seemed to be fine so my normal breakfast proats were ok, salad was ok…but nothing cooked. There have been a few mid-week Deliveroo dinners. Especially if I got home really late from work and I was exhausted. I just tried to keep it as healthy as possible - Nando’s or Turkish (chicken, rice & salad….). I wasn’t mad on beige food as I know a lot of people can be but I did get a new yearning for chips of all things which I’m never usually bothered about! If I realised I hadn’t had any greens in a day I’d try to get a green juice in. It was really important for me to keep my protein high so, after prioritising whole foods, I think whey protein is absolutely fine to have when pregnant and I still do have this every day. It's basically milk and if you use a good brand like Neat Nutrition or In the Kin it's all organic, a handful of ingredients only and nasty free!

All in all, I haven’t been as consistently healthy as I usually am which I’m relaxed about. I can honestly say I have done my best and that’s good enough for me! Many people told me ‘just relax and eat whatever you want’ and I don’t agree with that. Yes it’s hard but more so at this time your body needs nutrients and good food. It’s fine to indulge in a bit of what you fancy (which omg I did!) but I practiced hard at saying stop at a certain point and I’m so glad I did. Eating for 2 is a myth and if you are craving pizza then try to put it off for a bit…then if you’re really still craving it then maybe have it....but not every night!! I just tried to think - will a massive bag of Percy Pigs benefit a growing baby?!

TRAINING

The benefits of excercise whilst pregnant are now known thank goodness and gone are the days where you just have to sit at home legs up! (Though you will still come across some people who think this is the way). The research says you can train as normal in your 1st Trimester or some suggest 80%. I trained around 80% of normal until about week 6 - weights, HIIT, crossfit, yoga - then I really had to cut down. The key thing is not to push yourself and do only what feels right. So pretty much any cardio was out for me as it made me feel dizzy and sick. I also went off yoga which was a shame. I quickly found that I could do a decent 30 minute weight training sesh and that was my limit so I stuck to that. My job meant that I was walking over 10k steps a day and I was active when I was demo-ing. Did I always want to work out? No. Did I ever miss a planned session - yes a few times. Whilst you 100% must listen to your body and sometimes you do need to rest, sometimes just getting up and out is the battle. Once you’re there and you’re moving it feels great, even if it turns into just a stretching session it’s better than nothing and it gives you energy! You can always stop if you need to - I never push myself. The research we have now shows that there are multiple benefits of working out when pregnant as long as you don’t do anything new and you’ve been signed off by your doctor if required. 

SUPPLEMENTS

Again this is very personal and I don't have any authority to recommend supplements - you have to find what’s right for you. This is just want I have been using and I saw a nutritionist plus passed these past my doctor: Nutri-Advanced Pregnancy Multi Essentials (Multi-Vit), Eskimo-3 Fish Oils and....I also have been using Fyborgel fibre supps….yes THAT struggle is real!

14 WEEKS IN.....!

I’m now in my 14th week….I still have a few symptoms lingering but I actually woke up on Saturday & Monday this week and felt amazing! The best I’d felt in a long time - so I’m hoping my 2nd trimester energy is incoming! I'm really looking forward to continuing working and training in this trimester and treating my body the best I can to grow this baby!

The 5 best lessons I've learned to do with 'weight' (fat) loss

Having spent 10 years working in the city post-uni, I've experienced how detrimental working in an office can be to your health if you allow it: busy, tired, chained to the desk, no time to work out....having to attend big dinners and drinks parties which don't help the waistline!

It's just a case of getting the knowledge. I definitely initially didn't have the knowledge when I was in the office! And I easily gained weight, felt tired, didn't sleep well, felt a bit shit. Yet I slowly started to gain more and more knowledge, a clearer picture....and actually - it's not rocket science! 

I won't hold you up here with my story - check out my website for more info. I am now on a mission to help people who are in the position I was in back then sieve through the incredible amount of BS in the fitness industry, translate it, break it down and ultimately GAIN knowledge so they can help themselves to work their busy jobs and still be as healthy as possible!

SCROLL DOWN FOR MY 5 BEST LESSONS

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1. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DO HOURS OF CARDIO TO LOSE WEIGHT AND STAY IN SHAPE! I used to be a slave to my spin bike and never really see any difference in my physique. Once I started to incorporate weights in my workouts I started to see a big difference! Not only do weights nicely shape your bod - resistance training builds lean muscle tissue which ramps your entire metabolism - so you become a fat burning machine ALL the time! It also helps with things like bone density which will help us maintain posture & strength into old age. Even if you are training for say a marathon - so long cardio sessions are your thing - you can still benefit from strength training for speed and power! 

2. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO CUT CALORIES TO A RIDICULOUSLY LOW AMOUNT TO LOSE WEIGHT! I used to also think the less I ate, the more I would burn: energy in vs energy out right? Whilst that equation is true and if you did this you would probably initially lose some fat....when you cut your calories SO low (like 1000 cals or less), your body finds it hard to function normally and starts to think something serious is up. Ultimately your whole metabolism will slow down and your clever body will actually put the brakes on you burning fat! The good news is - your body needs fuel to burn fat - you only need to be in a slight calorie deficit but it will happen. So you don't have to starve yourself! woohoo! This leads on nicely to......

3. YOU DO NEED TO BE DISCIPLINED AND CONSISTENT TO SEE CHANGE. This is why FADS DO NOT WORK. Unfortunately there are no quick fixes and that's why the fitness industry makes so much money off bullshit teas, juice detoxes and '2 weeks to a 6-pack' programs. It's not what you want to hear but you need to give yourself at least 8-12 weeks following a proper training and nutrition program with as much discipline and consistency as you can to see real results. The best thing is - you're more likely to keep these results too....so if you know you're going on holiday in 3 months - don't leave it to 2 weeks before and live off 1 lettuce leaf a day. Start now and you'll look banging! 

4. CARBS ARE NOT (NECESSARILY) THE ENEMY! I did paleo for probably about 3 years in the city. I was a bit miserable yes. I was training quite hard but for only about 1 hour a day. My step count was low and my 'NEAT' (non-activity movement) was non-existent. I didn't really need very many carbs to be honest - so you do have to match your carb level to your activity level. BUT, carb sources such as brown rice, sweet potato, cous cous etc (not really bread and pasta sadly) are healthy, will fuel you, keep you full for a while and can keep you sane!! My carb level was about 50g a day back then and I reckon I could have taken it to at least 100g with a bit of extra movement such as walking. It's part of a bigger picture and you must make sure you're getting protein and healthy fat in too for fuel. Rather that than you have a break down and eat KFC.

5. YOUR MOUTH IS YOUR OWN AND ONLY YOU CONTROL WHAT GOES IN IT! I experienced 'friendly' peer pressure when I started to overhaul my diet and eat healthily. I never ate any of the biscuits or cake in the office and I really cut down on drinking at lunch or even in the evenings after work. This is a big area where I find my clients fall down and it does take time to make progress with this one. You have to realise that - there are NO RULES about what should and shouldn't be done. YOU have the power to decide what you eat or drink and no one else. This isn't the playground - you are an adult. If people give you jip then you have to work on not giving a shit. After a while they will leave you alone or just get used to the fact that they cannot press you into doing the same as them. The bottom line is - how badly do you want to change compare to joining in with your colleagues cheeky snack break?

 

So that's it - the best and biggest lessons I've learned in my journey so far. I'm always learning but these are the ones I feel can really make a difference if you are looking for somewhere to start. Look them up, read about them, ask questions. Learn learn learn. Feel free to email me with any thoughts or questions! Good luck ;)

(BIG) SUNDAY CYCLE SESSION

This Sunday I’ll be cycling in the Prudential Ride London - a 100 mile round trip from London to Surrey. I did it in 2014 in the back end of a hurricane when it absolutely pissed it down the whole time (6 hours). Safe to say it was rewarding but miserable! This year at least the weather looks a lot better (fingers crossed) so I’m getting excited! I’m much more of a HIIT/Strength kinda gal and I do not care much for endurance exercise such as marathons, full triathlons or….100 mile cycles! But this is cool as they close all the roads and there’s always loads of people cheering you on. We cycle all the way from the Olympic Park to deepest darkest Surrey and back, finishing on the Mall.

CONFESSION: It’s Thursday and my bike is still gathering dust in our storage cupboard outside. Yes - I have not trained. Well, I have not trained cycling. I’ve not even been spinning. My ‘training’ has consisted of my regular weekly training: 2 heavy lower body resistance sessions, 2 heavy upper body resistance sessions, 2 GymClasses where I teach (HIIT/Strength combined www.gym-class.co.uk), 2 yoga and daily high step count. The only sniff of a cycle has been the air bike at GymClass….haha

Am I worried? NO!

Obviously it would have been more ideal for me to get out there on my bike and do some long cycles and I am not suggesting for one moment that it’s in my favour that I haven’t cycled at all. However - do I think that the fact my muscles are (for me) the strongest and most powerful they’ve ever been will help me? 100%. Do I think that all the HIIT I’ve been doing so that I’m the fittest I’ve ever been will ensure I can get round? Absolutely. 

One of the things that gets massively overlooked by people when they decide to train for a major event in a discipline they don’t perhaps take part in regularly is strength and HIIT training. If you’re running a marathon - yes you need to train running and long runs for that endurance stamina - but you also need strong glutes and hamstrings to power your legs, along with a strong core. Cycling 100 miles is exactly the same - you need aerobic fitness but also strong muscles and you need to pull explosive power out the bag to get you up those hills!

Studies have shown that short bursts of maximal effort can help you get fit quickly and may stimulate the same cellular pathways as long steady state training. Less time training - same results. The other great thing about HIIT & plyometric training/power training (ie. box jumps) is that it works your fast twitch muscle fibres. You don’t need these so much in endurance exercise as your slow twitch do most the work, but in the final few miles of a race when your endurance system is knackered you might benefit from an extra injection of energy from trained fast twitch muscle fibres through HIIT. So when I get to the bottom of Wimbledon Hill nearing the end of the 100-miler, I know I’m going to need to call on my fast-twitch muscle fibres to get me the hell up it! 

So I am testing this theory on Sunday! Whilst a combination of training across all systems is preferable….can you nail an endurance event without doing specific training for it, instead focussing on strength training/HIIT/Plyometrics? Well....guess I’ll let you know next week ;) 

RECIPE - Tempeh & Sweet Potato Hash (Veggie OR Vegan)

I've been experimenting with recipes for meat-free Monday recently. We had this last night - it was ok...there's a couple of bits I would change to make this better which are in this recipe for you to try out :) If you want it to be vegan then just take the eggs out!

Tempeh is awesome - it's soybean - so like tofu but it's fermented so it's easier to digest plus the texture is (I think) way nicer than tofu. It's not rubbery, it crumbles a bit so great for things like chilli/bolognese PLUS it's porous so soaks up marinades deliciously. It's high in protein and low in carbs and fat.

Tempeh & Sweet Potato Hash

Ingredients (serves 2 with healthy appetites!):

  • 400g x Tempeh (I got mine from the shop As Nature Intended on Commercial St Spitalfields)
  • 300g x Sweet Potato (diced)
  • 3 x large carrots (diced)
  • 1 x shallot (chopped up)
  • 1 x chilli (chopped up)
  • 1 x Pepper (chopped up)
  • 2 x eggs
  • Handful x Kale (chopped up small)
  • Soy Sauce
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Salt & Pepper 

Process:

Soak your tempeh in a marinade of soy sauce for as long as possible. Overnight if you want! This ensures it properly soaks it up and the taste is there - otherwise the taste is a bit....off ;)

In a saucepan, cover the tempeh with water, bring to the boil then simmer for 5 mins. Then take out and cut up into very small cubes.

Heat a teaspoon of oil (I use coconut) and then fry all the veg together apart from the kale. Add a couple of teaspoons of smoked paprika and a bit of salt & pepper now. 

After about 10 mins or so when the potato & carrots are soft, add the kale and cubed tempeh and fry for about 5 mins until the tempeh is hot and the kale is wilted!

Then use a biscuit-cutter to make 2 holes in the hash and drop an egg in each cutter. Fry for about 3 mins...then your hash is ready to be served with a nice big side of green veg! I also made a quick tomato salsa to go with this by blitzing tomatoes & olive oil in my food processor. Once all on the plate - cut everything up and mix it all together - hash, egg, salsa, bit more soy sauce. Good stuff!! Enjoy :)

 

Vegan Week: REVIEW

I'm clocking off from my week eating as a vegan! Please scroll down to see what I found out....

OBJECTIVE

  • Eat as a Vegan for 1 working week, Monday - Friday 5pm
  • Do not use vegan ‘meat & dairy replacement’ products (egg replacer, vegan burgers, vegan sausages, vegan cheese, vegan bacon, veganaise etc. Tofu & Tempeh is allowed as they are not replacers)
  • Attempt to stay within approx daily macros: CALS/1700, PRO/149g, CARB/149g, FAT/57g
  • Especially focus on hitting protein whilst not overloading on carb & fat

REVIEW

The hardest part by far was down to the fact that most vegan foods that are high in protein are also high in another macro: lentils are really high in protein but they are also really high in carb. Almonds are a great source of protein - but obviously high in fat so you can’t get much of your protein from almonds or….well….you know! Taking into account that one of the main reasons for this research was to nail down how to eat a healthy & balanced high protein vegan diet - the logistics of juggling this all was initially a bit of a nightmare! I spent quite a lot of time planning daily meals on a spreadsheet in advance to work this all out but I pretty much hit my macros each day so quite pleased! The key to getting in high protein is to get it from a variety of different sources in small amounts (please see my instagram for the vegan protein spider gram). So like any diet - meal planning was key. I had to ensure that if I had a higher carb breakfast & lunch, my evening meal was low in carbs and therefore high in fat etc. This is pretty standard for any diet, vegan or not, but getting the variety of protein from lots of different sources added another layer of complexity into the mix.

However! Please bear in mind that I was being very strict on myself purposefully for ‘research’ and it’s actually not that hard to eat a balanced diet as a vegan with high protein without going overboard on calories. I did supplement my diet with vegan protein powder, but I’m confident that a good level of protein can be reached daily without this. It really didn’t take me too long to get used to balancing out my meals and I got on a bit of a roll with things once I’d made a couple of meals - but they don’t always need to be fancy! On Monday and Tuesday I spent way more time in the kitchen - by Wednesday I was throwing salads together and eating out at non-vegan restaurants no problem. If I was doing this longer term I would definitely get used to batch cooking.

No slip ups - I can honestly say I haven’t eaten any animal products for 5 days. How do i feel? Many non-vegan foods are much easier to digest than animal products and I definitely felt ‘lighter’ digestion wise though I never really have any digestion issues with animal products. On Monday night I felt very bloated but I’m putting this down to eating lentils and black beans (alone with some brussel sprouts!!) which is not my normal diet. Now - I feel normal - I don’t really note any marked differences; I’ve done my usual training with no issues, I haven’t felt unusually tired, nothing has really changed for better or worse! I feel quite on it and alert, but I am usually quite healthy so I generally feel like this…so that confirms there has been no detrimental effect from not getting nutrients from animal sources. Being honest though - I have missed eggs for breakfast and it’s so easy to make meals with chicken! 

CONCLUSION

There’s no doubt there is a strong movement towards becoming a vegetarian or vegan in the US and also in UK for any number of reasons which I discussed in my previous blog post. It’s been a bit of a eye opener doing this and if you are thinking about all of this or are interested then I would urge you to look into doing with this 5 dayer or even dipping a toe in and doing meat free Monday - just to see that it is possible to not be SO reliant on animal products. I’ve listed my daily diet breakdown below but please feel free to contact me to discuss more or if you’d like the full spreadsheet then shoot me an email: ebdfitness@gmail.com - I can also help you put together vegan menus if you think you are struggling with it.

If you’ve got to this point then thanks so much for reading!

Ems x

 

Menus

 

Day 1

Breakfast - Proats

Snack - Chia Pod

Lunch - Lentil & Quinoa bowl 

Snack - Post workout protein shake

Dinner - Tofu Stir Fry

 

Day 2

Snack - Soy fat white and banana

Breakfast - Black bean burger and veg

Snack - Post workout protein shake

Dinner - Cashew Caesar salad & Chana Masala (chickpea & sweet pot) at Cafe Gratitude Vegan restaurant - be careful - big portions!

Snack - Protein shake

 

Day 3

Breakfast - Protein pancakes/biscuits (went wrong but confident it can be done!)

Snack - Post workout protein shake

Lunch - Salad with avocado, quinoa, chickpeas, spinach & kale 

Snack - Protein shake

Dinner - Cashew Raclette, Kale salad, Raw Lasagna and Tempeh Udon (shared all this with Stru and purposefully kept my carb & fat low the rest of the day to allow for it!)

 

Day 4

Breakfast - Protein shake with oats, banana, almond butter & spinach

Snack - Post workout protein shake

Lunch - Tofu Tacos

Dinner - Smashed avo on toast

Snack - Popcorn 

Nighttime snack - Oats and almond milk

(This was the only day I was slightly off with my protein and overall macros. We went to the Staples Centre to watch the Basketball and I was out working in the afternoon and forgot to pick up a healthy snack to take with me….so it ended in salted popcorn and late night oats. Could have been worse! Fail to plan then plan to fail people!!)

 

Day 5

Breakfast - Oats with chia, almond milk & butter

Snack - Post workout shake

Lunch - Tempeh fried rice with spinach

Snack - Brown rice cakes and Hummus

My thoughts on: VEGANISM and VEGAN WEEK!

I can’t hide the fact that steak has been my favourite food forever. Everyone who knows me knows that I love going to steak restaurants and I order my steak blue - so a bit of a carnivore!

For the past few years this has served me well, especially on a mostly paleo diet. To be honest, before veganism became more of a mainstream issue (ie. in the past 3-5 years), I didn’t give it too much thought. I did have Skinny Bitch and Skinny Bitch in the Kitch back in the day (but that was another matter altogether). I’m being honest here because if you feel the same then that’s absolutely fine. In my opinion - what matters now is that we educate ourselves and gain knowledge about veganism and why it’s important. I’m not saying that I necessarily want to become a vegan right now, or even become one at all, but I do want to learn alot more.

WHY

The most obvious reason is care for animals - why should they suffer to provide for a human. 

The second is that animal products have been linked to many diseases. I’m not a professional in these areas but I personally believe that (generally) it is not just consumption of animal products that leads to disease but it can be a contributing factor to an overall picture. Discussion for another time though.

The third and most growing is to save the planet. I’ve take some points from a summary from vegnews.com as it gives a great overview:

  1. It conserves water: It takes a lot more of the planet’s water sources to grow meat as opposed to plant based food sources. Going vegan could be more important than shortening your shower or turning the tap off when brushing your teeth! Seafood is also an issue here as it creates overfishing, damages habitat and species endangerment. 
  2. It clears the air: cows release a lot of methane in their farts and nitrous oxide in their manure and these emissions are largely connected to climate change. Animal agriculture is therefore considered a large contributor to greenhouse gas.
  3. It saves energy: a study found that producing animal-based protein requires eight times more fossil-fuel energy than creating plant-based protein. 

WHAT NOW?

Whatever your theory, it’s obvious that there are different qualities of animals products. Some are mass-produced, live in appalling conditions and travel miles to get to you whereas some products are from the organic farm down the road from your parents house. Being more mindful about this part, I think, is the first step - rather than mindlessly consuming loads of meat from any source. 

The second step is to take action and cut back on meat. This does not need to be an overnight switch to becoming a vegan. Just by beginning to think about it all means you are making a start to look into it: what other protein sources are there, how can you put together different plant based amino acid sources to gain complete protein in your diet, how do you not overload on carbs and fat in the process etc. And actually - there’s loads you can do - it’s not all just salad and nuts!

VEGAN WEEK

I know a few vegans and I know people who have become vegan for a month and I seriously respect them. Some people have adopted meat free Monday which is great and I’m keen to implement. I am in LA right now - the queen city of vegan accessibility - so I’ve decided to do a full working week eating as vegan next week: Monday - Friday. Ideally I would do longer if I was making any dietary change to note how it truly affects my body, but this is not simply how my body responds, but how it fits into my lifestyle too. And also…baby steps…it is enough to teach me loads about it!

Easy right? Just don’t eat animal products. Actually - harder than you might think if you workout a bit and are trying to get in enough protein whilst also staying within certain macros. I’ve started planning my menus and I’m already a bit worried! Even the vegan restaurants like Cafe Gratitude create delicious vegan dishes but they’re loaded with carbs and fat. I’ve also browsed Whole Foods for the best organic vegan ‘replacement foods’ and the cheeses, vegan burgers and other bits are quite frankly loaded with rubbish! It’s tough to find a natural high protein vegan food source that does not contain an amount of carb and/or fat…. BUT there are vegan athletes so it can and will be done! I will be tracking all my food and posting it all afterwards so you can see for yourself how easy…..or challenging it might be and then follow the meal plans if you so wish for yourself! You can also keep up to date on my instagram stories @squatsandshakes

Here we go!

 

Sweet Potato & Chicken Cakes/Hash!

I really fancied something different for brunch last weekend and so, as we are also in the states and they do 'breakfast hash' (which can be pretty unhealthy), I created my own healthy version of potato cakes which is delicious for brunch! It's great too if you want to swerve bread but are craving carbs. I didn't add enough sweet potato so it turned into a hash - but I quite enjoyed that!

Prep & Cook time = approx 20 mins (Makes 4 cakes - so for 2 people)

Ingredients:

  • 2 x Chicken Breasts
  • 2 x Whole Egg 
  • 2 x Medium Sweet Potato (or less if you like more 'hashy')
  • 1 x Red Onion
  • 2 x Garlic Cloves

Process:

  • Cut the garlic, onion & chicken into really really small little pieces (this holds better in the cake...as I found out)
  • Start to fry in a little coconut oil
  • Whilst that's cooking, peel the sweet potato, cube and microwave until mushy
  • In a large bowl, mix the mashed up sweet potato with the whole eggs (keep stirring!)
  • Then add the garlic, onion & chicken once cooked
  • Shape mixture into cakes with a spoon (careful not to burn yourself if you use your hands!)
  • Fry cakes in coconut oil for a few mins each side
  • Serve with raw spinach and some 0% Fage yogurt! 

I'm pretty sure this is isn't revolutionary (!)...and there's loads of things you could do to it such as add spices and maybe bacon etc. BUT this one is cheap, easy and very healthy - only 5 whole food ingredients! Let me know if you make it any other way!

 

 

Class Review: AGOGA, Sydney

I’m a big advocate of resting your body and doing different things when on holiday like paddle boarding, city cycling or simply walking loads to sightsee. However, wherever I can, when I travel I also love to try out local fitness classes. I’m spending Christmas and New Year in Sydney with my family and this morning I tried out AGOGA in Bondi.

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This is hands down one of the hardest but best classes I’ve ever done. I got an inkling it would be as I saw the people leaving the class before mine all in amazing shape AND looking like they’d just had their arses handed to them. 50 minutes of functional plyometrics, strength and HIIT cardio work where you’ll ‘train like an athlete’. Our trainer was Veronika - a MMA (Mixed Martial Art) trainer from the Czeck Republic who had designed this workout based on the training programs she gives to her athletes. Strong.

The studio is ground level near Bondi Junction but dark with low level lighting inside. Reception is on your right as you enter along with big blackboards chalked up with the day's workouts - Crossfit style. Cable pulley machines line two sides of the room whilst Woodway treadmills line the back wall.  Ceiling to floor mirrors cover all the walls (so you can check yourself out whilst you’re dying, yesss).

THE CLASS 

We did AGOGA Signature. The class is divided into 5 sections with warm up & cool down, plus we took about 5 mins at the start getting a demo of all the movements:

  • (A) 1 min - plyometrics (think bear crawls with jumps & kicks thrown in)
  • (G) 7 mins - strength (using pulley machines, bosus and vipers to target full body….I’m not a fan of vipers but we didn’t do any of that weird viper stuff)
  • (O) 15 mins - HIIT Cardio (absolute killer. Mostly floor & bodyweight work but with some treadmill sprints & skipping thrown in. 1 burpee consisted of: star jump-press up-mountain climbers-tuck jump)
  • (G) 7 mins - strength
  • (A) 1 min - plyometric finisher

THE THEORY

The theory is you use all 3 energy systems from initial CP, into anaerobic then aerobic so a big fat burner, plus improving ‘athletic' fitness. It was seriously tough, a bit gritty and pushed me to my absolute limit. Even with the support of my extra Christmas calories I felt like I’d used everything in the tank!

My only issue was that it’s 35 degrees in Sydney today and the air con was pretty poor so it was BOILING. Otherwise there were only 10 of us in the class so Veronika was pretty good at knowing our names and coming round to give us a motivational push which was required as there was no actual rest apart from changing equipment. Though I always think this makes the class go faster as you have less time to slow down & think about it!

THE VERDICT

Great full body blast covering everything I love in a class. Whilst I was doing it I swore to myself I would never come to this class again but now I’ve finished, of course I think it’s amazing and can’t wait to go again! Definitely one to try if you ever find yourself down under!!

Protein Zoats!

zoats-2
zoats-2

I've trained pretty hard this week on quite a low carb diet. When I woke up this morning all I could think about was OATS! So post training my morning clients I've just made these delicious protein zoats (zucchini-oats). It's so easy to make - have a go!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 x Courgette (or 'zucchini') grated
  • 70g x Oats
  • 200ml x Unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 scoop x Protein powder of your choice (I used vanilla casein this morning as I'm not working out until later and it gives a slow release of protein, but you could use whey post-workout. The vanilla makes it nice and sweet)
  • Toppings: almond butter, coconut shavings, cinnamon, fruit etc - whatever you fancy!

PROCESS (1-5)

  1. Heat the oats slowly in a pan with the almond milk.
  2. Add the grated courgette and mix in well.
  3. Add the scoop of protein powder, mix and add water if too dry.
zoats-1
zoats-1

4. Leave the lid on the pan and take off the heat for a few mins so the oats plump up.

5. Stir and serve with any toppings of your choice!

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zoats-3

Eat Your Greens!

Green vegetables are underrated. 

Maybe it stems from childhood and the fact that we weren’t allowed to leave the table until we’d eaten our greens. Perhaps it’s the stigma that greens are something you ought to eat but they are tasteless & boring so it’s a chore - I'd rather have sweet potato fries as my daily veg please! Or actually, if just boiled or cooked in the wrong way, green veg can be a bit limp and slimy. In a nutshell - people don’t really like greens.

But green vegetables are actually a superfood! Put the acai berries aside - eating leafy greens every day is possibly the thing you are missing if you are dealing with a lousy immune system, struggling with weight loss or feel like you just haven’t got the glow.

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image1-7

SCIENCE

There is a reason why as children our parents tried to force greens on us - the nutrients are key to healthy growth but they are just as important when we are adults! Greens are an excellent source of fibre plus many vitamins & minerals. If you do not eat greens then you may be missing some of these micronutrients which are essential for many major functions in the body such as:

  • Growth, development and maintenance
  • Releasing energy from food
  • Protecting & supporting our immune system as antioxidants
  • Regulating the metabolism
  • Providing structure to body tissue (bones/teeth/blood cells etc)
  • Helping to support the body carry out its functions including those of the brain & muscles

…..the list does go on!

HOW 

Greens are inexpensive and easy to eat - some you don’t need to cook to consume but if you do then it’s just a case of boiling quickly (heat for too long and they start to lose their nutrients), steaming or microwaving. However, nowadays more and more it seems it’s easier to reach for fast, ready made food that is all protein, fat or grains, with no source of any vegetables or salad - let alone greens which are perhaps one of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat.

Here are ways to make them interesting & include them in your diet:

  • BREAKFAST: Raw spinach leaves dressed with olive oil & balsamic vinegar with your eggs
  • LUNCH: Raw kale rubbed with olive oil to soften, add to rocket & raw baby spinach, pine nuts plus a source of protein for a delicious salad
  • DINNER: Spiralize courgette into courgetti, fry in coconut oil and eat in place of spaghetti with your bolognese
  • SNACK: Stir fry green veg (sugar snaps/pak choi/purple sprouting/kale etc) with chilli & garlic in coconut oil and a little soy sauce

BENEFITS

If you aren’t eating greens, this is perhaps one of the main things you can do to benefit your health right now. I try to eat greens with every meal Monday-Friday at least and I  cannot remember the last time I was ill with flu or a bad cold (touch wood!). They are also low in calories, so if you’re trying to lose weight they can be a great way to fill up. Check people like Jamie Oliver’s websites for exciting recipes (his sprouts & bacon dish is one of my favs!) and get creative! Change your view of greens - increase them in your daily diet and reap the rewards!

The Protein Powder Down-low

What is in a protein powder? Is it good for you, bad for you - will it make you hench? I'm not here to recommend protein supplements but just to give you the basic facts if you wondered what it's all about... Basics

Protein is one of the main 3 macronutrients your body needs to survive. It's required for many bodily functions but in regards to training it's important to get enough protein to repair and grow your muscles. Everyone's protein requirement amount will differ depending on their size, age, lifestyle, training program etc. As an example, I am a female weighing around 60kg and I aim for around 120g of protein a day. I am an active person and do about 3 days of resistance training a week, 1 day of sprint training and 1 day of LISS.

Whole Foods

In the first instance, you should aim to get your protein from food sources through your diet: meat, fish, dairy, vegetables, eggs, nuts to name a few. However, sometimes it isn't convenient to have a meal or snack or maybe it's not possible to consume or stomach the volume of food you might need to match your protein requirements.

Protein Powders

That's where protein powders come in for the people that choose to consume them. Protein powders usually come in a range of different flavours and 1 scoop usually contains about 20g of protein. A popular one is whey protein - which is made from milk - on it's own it's usually low in fat and one scoop can be around 150 cals, though different brands vary. It's fast absorbing and post-workout will get to your muscles quickly.

Vegans use pea protein or hemp protein - I've tried a couple of these vegan brands and found them lighter on the stomach than whey.

Another popular protein powder is casein - this is another milk protein but it's slower to digest than whey, so it's better consumed not directly after exercise but perhaps in the evening so it keeps your protein levels up overnight (NB - this depends on your personal requirements).

Conclusion

On it's own - a protein powder should not make you hench or fat! There's a few other things you will need to do as well to make those things happen. I usually have one protein shake a day post-workout with whey protein but sometimes I eat enough protein through meat and eggs so that I don't need one. Again - it's best to get protein from your diet. Do your research and feel free to email me with any questions (ebdfitness@gmail.com). My preferred brands are Neat Nutrition and KMPT/In the Kin as their brands are simple and contain just a few, quality ingredients.

How do you eat it?

You can shake it up with some water in a shaker bottle (convenient post-workout if you're on the move), whizz it up with some other ingredients for a tasty smoothie or create protein pancakes for breakfast. My fav protein shake recipe is below.....

kmpt-protein
kmpt-protein

Protein shake recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein
  • 1 small banana
  • 10 blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon Meridan almond butter
  • 1 cup (ish) of almond Milk

Whizz in nutribullet with ice and consume!

Email me with any questions: ebdfitness@gmail.com

Grain-Free Granola!

If you hadn't already read from previous posts, I'm a big fan of a high protein + healthy fat breakfast. It's nutritious and keeps me going for ages. Whilst I love cereal and toast as much as anyone else, we all know that cereals are loaded with sugar and usually offer little nutritional value. Toast and peanut butter is delicious but I'll be reaching for a snack quite quickly after I've had it. I actually made this granola for my Dad! He is also a full supporter of eggs for breakfast (and sometimes bacon....) but if he's rushing out the door in the morning he literally loves having Dorset Muesli. Whilst this is better than some other brands it's still going to get him on the sugar band rollercoaster early doors.

So I created this granola for him and want to share it with you too as a healthy alternative to other cereals/granolas/mueslis if you are in a rush in the mornings or need a snack on the go. It's a mixture of nuts, seeds and spices roasted in coconut oil so full of healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. I usually eat it as a snack with some 0% fat Fage greek yogurt which is high in protein. If you feel like you really need some grains you can add some organic oats.

Recipe 

grainfreeganola1
grainfreeganola1

Makes about a weeks worth when using 3 pudding spoons of granola mix a day. Whilst this is *healthy* it's high in fat so don't be toooo liberal with servings. A little is very filling but if I'm really hungry I'll just increase the yogurt serving I have with it or add lots of fresh blueberries/strawberries/raspberries. 

Ingredients:

  • Black sesame seeds - 4 pudding spoons
  • Pumpkin seeds - 4 pudding spoons
  • Sunflower seeds - 4 pudding spoons
  • Flaked Almonds - 2 pudding spoons
  • Walnuts (crushed in pestel & mortar) - 2 pudding spoons
  • Coconut flakes (shredded & unsweetened) - 3 pudding spoons
  • Flax (must be milled) - 1 pudding spoon
  • Chia Seeds (white or black) - 2 pudding spoons
  • Cacao powder - 1 pudding spoon
  • Cinnamon - to taste but don't be shy
  • Coconut oil for cooking - 1 pudding spoon

Directions:

  • Pre-heat fan oven to 175 degrees C
  • Put the coconut oil in a flat deep-ish oven dish and heat to a liquid
  • Bring the dish out of the oven and add the rest of the ingredients coating in the oil
  • Put back in the oven
  • Bake for 20 mins in total, bringing the mixture out and stirring at least every 5 mins so it doesn't burn
  • Allow to cool and store (and eat.....!)
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grainfreegranola2

Granola mix on a bed of 0% Fage Greek Yogurt topped with Goji berries. You could eat with almond milk as an alternative with fresh berries! You can even eat this mixture without baking....experiment & add/take away any nuts and seeds and add any spices you think will work!

grainfreeganola3
grainfreeganola3

Walking: why we should all be doing MORE!

ibiza hike
ibiza hike

I'm in Ibiza for a few days with my husband for our 1 year anniversary. We got married here last year and it's very special to us! We're in the north of the island sunbathing, reading, chilling out, swimming, doing yoga and hiking...

Hiking is basically a long walk...maybe in slightly wilder surroundings and on more challenging gradients than regular walking, but essentially it's the same slow-ish paced consistent movement.

Walking & Overall Health

Walking is a low-impact, full body exercise, free transport service which almost anyone can do at any time with no equipment! It gets the 'blood pumping' which can clear heads and make you feel more energetic and alert. It also gets the muscles working which makes you feel less stiff & stops muscles getting tight. It uses energy - burning calories & increasing fitness. Walking is great for the mind, it's therapeutic, gives you a break and gives you time to think. Plus you can easily build it into your routine.

Walking & Weight-Loss

I used to think I was an active person because I hammered the gym every morning before work for an hour, but at that time I was working in an office and I would then sit down all day at my desk. I couldn't understand why I couldn't lose weight. It was only when I starting to simply move more in my day that I saw changes.

Your body uses energy for all functions whether conscious or unconscious: the beating of your heart, sleeping, thinking, digesting food, working, shopping, driving, walking, running, lifting weights etc. This is why those very general guidelines say that women need 2,000 calories a day and men 2,500 calories a day just to live. Energy expenditure all adds up but even though I was hammering the gym, my otherwise sedentary lifestyle meant I wasn't getting the results I wanted. So I started to make sure I was walking 10,000 steps a day on top of my workouts and saw so many positive benefits in weight-loss and my energy and fitness levels.

10,000 Steps 

How much is this?

A recent study found that the average person only manages about 5,000 steps a day, so whilst 10,000 is probably more than you think, the good news is once you start you'll feel better and find it easier to find ways to get them in.

I measure my steps using the health app on my iPhone (it's the app with a red heart on it) - have a look now as it will have logged your steps without you knowing for however long you have had your phone! A fit bit can obviously help too and make you more conscious of it as it's on your wrist.

These are all approximate as everyone is different, but some average guidelines:

  • 1 mile = 2,000 steps
  • 5 miles = 10,000 steps
  • 30 min walk = 4,000 steps

Don't forget that ALL steps count, so try not to see this as a huge task.

Ways to Walk 

Whatever your preferred fitness activity, increasing your steps per day on top of it can help your overall health and fitness.

Ways to incorporate walking into your day:

  • Walk to and from work or get off bus/tube/train a few stops early
  • Go for a walk with a friend to catch up instead of a drink
  • Take the stairs (that old chestnut...)
  • Walk on your lunch break
  • Have a walking meeting in a park or take a call on hands free
  • Walk to a colleague's desk to speak to them rather than email, even if on another floor...or another building!
  • Walk around a new city to explore
  • Hike on holiday!

Modern Living: Ways to help calm a stressed out mind!

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image

If you're anything like me, my mind is usually charging around at full pace every day on various things I've got going on. It's easy to feel quickly overwhelmed! I've been meditating for a couple of years now using the app Buddify (which is amazing by the way especially if you're new to it - lots of long & short meditations for different situations). Taking a short break in your day, even 5 mins to clear your head can be really helpful. It doesn't have to be a daily thing or a huge deal. I'm not a regular meditator - just when I feel I need it - there's no right or wrong practice! I often use a sleep meditation from Buddify when going to bed if my mind is not switching off and I'm usually asleep in 5 mins.

Another way I like to calm my mind is by finding an amazing view to stare at. Of course holidays are our way of getting away from it all and we can usually stare at a beautiful vista for days - but what about when you're not on holiday? One of my favourite places in London to go is Primrose Hill. The view of London from the top of the hill puts things in perspective and always gives me some headspace. The other place I love to go is Wapping down by the River Thames where I used to live - the view of Tower Bridge and up river is so cool - but really any view along the river is amazing.

There's lots of research on the fact that water is calming for the mind - not that we necessarily need it as we all know staring out to sea can be very therapeutic! There's a marine biologist in the US who has written a book called 'a blue mind' which looks at ancient rituals and believes human brains are hardwired to react positively to water - any water!

So this means that if you're feeling stressed out, seek a view with some water, go swimming, go paddle boarding or even take a shower or a bath!

Building rituals which your mind can recognise as soothing I've found can really help in switching off for bit which is so helpful in this fast paced lifestyle we lead!

Mobility - how important is it?

mobility.JPG
mobility.JPG

🙆 M O B I L I T Y 🙆

In the past 3 months, I've made 2 changes: 1) I've been dedicating about 10 mins before every workout to mobility training and 2) I've been doing yoga twice a week for approx. 45 mins/1 hr (sometimes in my house/garden from a youtube video - free & easy!).

What a difference it has made! Stretching used to never really be part of my workout apart from a bit of foam rolling on a rest day and being seated at a desk for so long leads to tight hip flexors, lazy glutes & rounded shoulders. I had major issues squatting properly, gained a serious shoulder injury lifting with bad upper body posture and had a constant niggle round my right shoulder blade which sometimes turned into a sharp pain when doing particular movements.

I've really started to reap the rewards of all this mobility work, safely lifting heavier than before, my squats are much deeper than they used to be and my core is the strongest it's ever been. My posture has hugely improved and I'm burning more fat at rest from stronger muscle.

So if you choose to start incorporating mobility into your workouts, try not to see this as a chore but a complementary part of whatever other activity you are doing! Here's a typical mobility warm up I use:

Lower body:

- 3 points contact on the floor front/centre/back - 10 reps (straight legs/soft knees - stretch out back of legs) - Walk out - 5 reps - High plank - right foot to right hand & stretch right arm behind you (same for left) - Cossack squat - 5 reps each leg - Squat hold - 15 secs x 3 (deepen every 5 secs if you can) I then activate glutes using a band which also raises heart rate for warming up - usually lateral walks, kickbacks, clams etc

Upper body- broomstick drills (there are loads of others you can do but here's an example): - Hold the stick in front of you resting on your thighs with a wide grip, keeping arms straight roll it up above your head, round and down your back as far as it can go - but don't arch and don't force x 10 - your range should increase by the tenth rep - Keeping arms straight roll stick to the left and up behind your head, same on the right side x 10

EGGS every day?

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eggs1

Can you eat eggs every day?! Aren’t they cholesterol?! Isn’t cholesterol bad?! Why have eggs got such a bad reputation?

In my opinion, eggs are one of the most versatile protein and fat rich foods we can eat, especially if you are vegetarian. I eat them almost every morning for breakfast in my quest for a (mostly) overall balanced diet to get protein in early but also because they’re delicious!

+ C h o l e s t e r o l  - Without getting too technical…..cholesterol is an essential fatty, waxy substance MADE by our bodies that lives mainly in our cells. We could not live without it for various reasons, including the fact that it enables our bodies to make certain hormones and produce vitamin D. This is our ‘blood cholesterol’.

+ E g g s - also contain some cholesterol, this is ‘dietary cholesterol’. Research has shown that - if we are getting cholesterol from our diet, then our body will make less of it’s own cholesterol and if we don’t get enough from our diet then our body will make more - like a self-regulating thermostat! So in theory, eating eggs should not give you high cholesterol in itself.

High cholesterol is the result of a diet too high in saturated and trans fats (think pies, sausages, McDonalds, deep fried beige food, processed cakes) but also other factors like not enough exercise, too much booze and too much smoking.

So - can you eat eggs everyday? This is up to you and your individual situation but if you are a generally healthy person and lacking in your protein intake and perhaps eating sugary granola for breakfast and can’t shift that excess weight - have a look into this one!

PS - don’t throw out the yolk! The yolk especially contains many many nutrients including omega 3 fatty acids which cannot be produced by the body and are important for many bodily functions! An average egg contains about 6g of protein and 5g of fat…are you really willing to forego that goodness for a mere 5g of fat?

Holidays & Exercise/Nutrition

NYC!

My last day in New York where we've been for a long weekend - it's been amazing, I love this city! Went to Shadow Box this morning as I just really enjoy smashing the bag and doing loads of burpees...

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image1-5

H o l i d a y s & E x e r c i s e • Do you still exercise & keep an eye on your nutrition whilst on holiday? Or do you take a holiday from all that too? Of course it's so important to rest and relax when you're away, but when it comes to staying healthy - the key aspect for me is that I don't go sod it & let my holiday completely derail everything I'm working towards. Whilst being away this weekend, I haven't stressed out about workouts and instead we've done lots of walking & today was my first 'proper' workout since last Thursday. Sometimes it's great to do something different anyway and give yourself a break from the norm & being regimented. We're staying in a hotel & I definitely haven't woken up every morning to do HIIT in my room. If you're somewhere hot then try something like paddle boarding or swimming in the sea....or if in a city then just walk everywhere! If you've been training for a holiday, & you're not usually a regular exerciser, then I think the more active you can be on your holiday then the more likely you are to make it a part of your life when you get back.

H o l i d a y s & F o o d • I can't have my food planned like I would do at home, but I've tried to keep my protein & green veg intake up as much as possible and I've been drinking lots of water. So I don't feel guilty about some of things I've eaten this weekend (pancakes! 😍) as I know overall it's not a big deal. SO on your holiday!! It doesn't need to be all or nothing....just do your best where possible...and enjoy!