I’m sticking with a fitness theme for the minute, mainly as a way to inspire you to keep your fitness motivation going in the hope my last post gave you a few pointers to get started, and also to give myself a gentle prod along as I’ve not made it to the gym this week.

It’s been one of those where work deadlines and family have taken precedence over pouring myself into my lycra, although I did sneak a few lengths in at a kids swimming party to quash some of the exercise guilt that was setting in.

My aim for this year is to keep working on my ab’s and general overall toning.  Daily planks and weekly gym trips as well as runs, have really paid off but it’s not like you can stop once you’ve reached your goal, there’s nothing more disheartening to see your hard work slipping away. There’s ALWAYS room for improvement and it helps if you’ve got an end goal in sight.

Mine, along with many others I imagine, is a holiday. Somewhere hot where I can wear a bikini (or swimsuit if there are any water slides involved!) which, although months away no doubt, it’s still an end goal and knowing I can walk along a beach without worrying about having to suck in my stomach is my motivation!

Track your changes

Taking stage photos really helps, you don’t have to show anyone (put them in a hidden folder if you have an iPhone and you’re worried about anyone seeing them) it’ll really help you track your progress. Just make sure they’re taken in the same spot and pose. It’s amazing how different you look in various poses, just check out this post from Finish health blogger if you don’t believe me. I’m still to crack the perfect Insta pose if I’m honest, so I try to stick to the same room and background. Just remember not to try look as though your modelling swimwear but do hold a steady pose rather than a slump, you’re only cheating yourself, this is for your own motivation only, no one else.

how to keep the up the motivation to get fit Keep A Bench Mark

If your goal is to solely improve your fitness rather than toning up, then a fitness tracker with heart rate monitor is your friend. I use to judge how fit I was by how quickly I got out of breath speed walking up 2 very steep hills on the way to pick my kids up from school. Although useful, and boy did I notice it after school holidays, I soon realised it wasn’t a consistent way to gauge my improvement.

Now I’m doing a lot more exercise, I try to stick to the same treadmill or runtime then using my Fitbit and a NikeRun app, I’m able to push my pace up and see how my heart rate changes. Just remember illnesses will affect it so don’t be downhearted if you dip.

You can try upping your pace even if you’re walking to see your fitness improve gradually. I love seeing my weekly progress report on my Fitbit app and seeing how far I’ve come.

Find A Motivation Friend

And lastly, why not buddy up. Any challenge is more fun when you have someone to motivate you, a little healthy competition goes a long way. I’d stick to just the one though, no one likes being bottom of the group and it’s a shore fire wat to feeling downhearted and dipping out.

If it’ just the 2 of you, and you’ve have a bad week, you’re 2nd. Not last!

Follow:
Share:

What’s your mantra? Healthy body – healthy mind is one I try live by these days, being a self employed solo mum, I mentally, physically and financially can’t afford sick days, so I do the utmost I can to keep in tip-top shape. Not so much obsessive ‘my body is a temple’ and all that malarkey health freak stuff, consciously careful is probably the best description of my lifestyle.

Wondering what that means exactly? For me I guess it means balancing out sitting at a desk with trips to the gym and occasional runs, I’m a pescatarian and eat healthy yet happy eat pizza on those days when I’m not in the mood for cooking, and my end of the day treat is a glass of wine, sometimes more if its night out but I always keep 3 days alcohol free.

It’s not a difficult lifestyle to maintain and so far so good, all’s looking pretty ship-shape. But that’s only one side to feeling good, as it’s also about what’s going on mentally. Many years ago, I’m talking like 25 ( crikey, did I really just say that out loud?!) gripped by the doom and gloom of being a teenage goth, my mum bought be a self-help book on positive thinking. While I admit, it probably took a few years to sink in and understand, it did set the path for me being an optimist  and to this day, I’m a huge believer in P.M.A – Positive Mental Attitude.

It’s a stance which has seen me through many a tough moment and was tested to the core in the first few months of my marriage ending. For a while, like a few weeks, I hit rock bottom as reality of failing at the basic task of being married set in and I realised the enormity of raising 3 kids on my own, trying to study, run a business and start divorce proceedings. Overloaded was a word bandied around quite a lot. But stubborn me didn’t want to succumb to the black cloud trying to drag me down so on the suggestions from a friend, I tried some alternative therapies.

I called it my first aid kit and it all started with a belief that it would work.

I try keep onto top of my health by eating well and exercising, as well as taking a holistic approach to my mental well being with a 1st aid kit of vitamins, homeopathy and Bach Flower Remedies Number one in this kit was a bottle of Bach Flower remedies. I’d used Rescue Remedy to get me through my driving test and the kids SAT’s and GCSE’s (them not me, I should add) so reaching for an alternative remedy was nothing new. This time though, I sought out some specific formulas tailored to my state of mind. I needed something to help me balance my emotions and get me back onto my positive outlook on life. Sweet Chestnut was my first choice, 2 drops every few hours with the promise of serenity

 Embrace optimism and peace of mind. The positive potential of Sweet Chestnut is having hope

And while life’s pretty god damn fabulous right now, I just need a little reminder to follow my gut feeling now and then when making decisions. There’s been moments when my heart and head have clashed so those days, when things are a little foggy, Cerato is my go to;

Trust your inner wisdom and don’t doubt your own judgement. The positive potential of Cerato is shown in those who trust their own inner wisdom and follow it.

And finally, it’s not all about my mental wellbeing. I come as a unit, and as any parent knows, your  children’s happiness has a massive effect on your own. So when my son was struggling with some negative thoughts, we tried a couple of drops of White Chestnut in a bottle of water.

Don’t let those repetitive thoughts get in the way. The positive potential of White Chestnut is peace of mind.

Knowing that I’m willing to listen and can offer a gentle solution was the first step in helping him retrain his thoughts. Along with a hope that by the process of osmosis, my PMA will filter through to my little hormone fuelled teens.

This is where a supportive, holistic lifestyle has helped us all with our transition through rocky waters. Rather than waiting until you have to treat something with a ‘top down’  approach, I’d rather the boys and I live a preventative take on life, keeping things in check, looking after our wellbeing by getting outside as much as we can, keeping fit, eating healthily and looking for signs when things are slipping. Sort of a nipping it in the bud stance I guess.

Meaning we’re free to indulge, now and then, with the odd lazy day or, my own personal trait of burning the candle at both ends, without it impacting on our health.

Give it a go, if you’re not already, it’s ace!

How to maintain wellbeing with a holistic approach to healthy body and healthy mind

Pin me

Disclaimer

This is a collaborative post with Bach Flower Remedies, and they’re available to buy from www.amazon.co.uk

Share:

Recipe for protein packed strawberry muffins 

Being a vegetarian, I’m always very conscious of getting extra protein into my diet. I usually rely on eggs and greek yogurt but for a healthy start to the day not just for the added benefits of the protein rich ingredients,  this recipe for strawberry oat muffins is perfect. If you still need convincing how a simple muffin can be so healthy, read on;

Flax seeds are great sources of omega-3 , Fiber, protein & vitamin B1, pumpkin seeds are another power house of protein as well as amino acid which enhances serotonin production in the body making them true mood-boosters! While rolled oats are very high in calcium, potassium, magnesium, and have one of the highest protein content of all grains.

I made these for the boys and I last week and by 11am we’d polished off all but 2! Best thing (after I’d eaten 3) was not having a mid morning sugar pang, they kept me going right up until lunch. If they do make it though another day, a quick 10 second zap in the microwave and they taste oven fresh again.

So whether you’re looking to build energy, strength, brain focus, bone maintenance or just general health, protein is definitely an important nutrient you need in your diet.

Ingredients

  • 230g chopped fresh strawberries
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 50g butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 120g plain wholemeal flour
  • 100g rolled oats
  • 4 tablespoons Flax seeds
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

 

Method
Prep:10min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Ready in:30min 

  1. In a small bowl, combine the strawberries and 100g sugar. Set aside for 1 hour. Drain, reserving liquid and berries separately.
  2. Preheat the oven to 220 C / Gas 7. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin, or line with paper cases.
  3. Using an electric whisk or food mixer with the whisk setting together the butter and 4 tablespoons sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. If using a food mixer, switch attachments to a larger one and beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the  oats, flour, flax seeds, bicarb, salt and nutmeg; stir into the creamed mixture alternately with the juice from the berries. Gently stir in the berries. Spoon mixture into the prepared muffin cups.
  5. top with pumpkin seeds
  6. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool in the tin on a wire rack.

 

Disclaimer, 

This post contains affiliate links

Follow:
Share:

A Recipe For Teriyaki Lamb Stir-Fry
I’m a huge stir fry fan. Not only are they quick and easy to whip up at the end of a long day, they’re super healthy and a great way to cram in at least 5 of your 5 a day (or 7 if you go by the current guidelines) Being a pescatarian, I tend to stick with prawn and occasionally quorn but this week I took the leap into the unknown with some lamb in honour of Love Lamb Week (1st-7th September.)
This was a total first for me, I obviously don’t eat it, but my kids are all meat eaters and with lamb steaks being easy and versatile to cook this Teriyaki recipe could be a great introduction for them. (worth noting that you should look out for the Red Tractor mark when buying lamb, as this way you know what’s happening from farm to fork!)

As it happens, it went down a storm and now I know that all 3 of my boys will eat it, lamb will be gracing our dinner table sometime soon. And if you’re looking for a quick and easy healthy meal, then Teriyaki lamb stir fry is one to try. The quantities below are enough for 2 large adult sized portions, I added a courgette and shallot to bump up the vegetables to make it go between 3 adult sized appetites and a toddler.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

350g/12oz lean lamb leg steaks, cut into stir-fry strips

10ml/2tsp rapeseed or vegetable oil

1 x 250g pack prepared stir-fry vegetables of your choice

For the Teriyaki Sauce:

60ml/4tbsp Teriyaki marinade and sauce

15ml/1tbsp light brown sugar

30ml/2tbsp lime juice

2.5ml/½tsp Chinese five-spice powder

noodles (1 nest per person)

Optional 

1 courgette

1 shallot

To garnish:

Toasted sesame seeds, optional


Method:

  1. To prepare the Teriyaki sauce; in a small bowl mix all the ingredients together  and set aside.
  2. Heat the water for the noodles (if using dry)
  3. Heat the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan or wok and stir-fry the lamb for 3-4 minutes.  Add the stir-fry vegetables and cook for a further 1-2 minutes, tossing frequently.
  4. Add the noodles to the water (if using pre cooked, add them to the lamb/veg mix when adding the sauce.
  5. Add the Teriyaki sauce, toss gently and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Season, if required.
  6. Garnish with the sesame seeds, if used and serve with noodles or rice.

Disclaimer

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. [I have received a voucher in return for writing this post.

Follow:
Share:

Chocolate Spread, but not as they know it (shhhhhh)

I’ve been slacking off the healthy eating reins a little lately. My eldest is following in my healthy footsteps, and totally out doing me  if I’m honest.<hides the Crunchie ice-cream out of shame > The tables have turned and it’s been my boy educating me on what I should and shouldn’t eat. I’d love to to take the credit but I suspect it’s more to do with teenagers being generally fitter and healthier these days. Meanwhile,  my younger teen has been taking advantage of my relaxed approach to nutrition by going into sugar overkill.

I’m sure something happens to kids when they first hit the teenage years, along with the lack of vocabulary / selective mutism and grumbles, there’s this overwhelming urge to consume as much sugar as possible. This begins at breakfast time and ends at evening snacks with fizzy drinks and sweets in the middle. As much as I try limit it at home, they can get what they want at school (and grandparents)  So it’s back to my original plan of attack with healthier eating begining at home.

The one area where Ky, my youngest teenager, really goes to town is early evening snacking, so any swaps we can make are starting here. This started out last week when I introduced Jim Jams chocolate spread, which has 83% less sugar, so he can slather as much on his toast without me recoiling in horror at the instant devastation it’ll be doing to his teeth. It also means my toddler can join in and I don’t have to worry about his sugar intake either. He’s not too bad to be fair, as fruit is his thing, but believe me, a lively toddler on a sugar rush is never a good thing always needs careful management.

finding sneaky ways to reduce my kid's sugar intake starting with Jim Jams chocolate spread!

This isn’t the first time I’ve tried to healthy-up a toast topping for us all. I recently made my own hazelnut chocolate spread using raw cacao, maple syrup and ground hazelnuts which went down like a lead balloon. Suffice to say Jim Jams received a much better reception, I don’t even think they noticed the swap. And believe me, my teenager would tell me.

It’s also made it’s way into a family favourite – my own recipe for a Hazelnut, chocolate cake. so even more sneaky sugar reducing tactics going on.

And less sugar highs, mean less sugar lows which is always a good thing.

Disclaimer 

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. [I have received a voucher in return for writing this post]”

 

Follow:
Share: