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Wednesday, 18 May 2016

the challenge: week 20 - an update

Running in the peaks

Have another 4 weeks passed already? That means it’s time for my latest update instalment, and it means I'm a month closer to Total Warrior.  Is now the time to start getting nervous? And if you're wondering what I'm talking about, then check out this post.

Unfortunately the last 4 weeks haven’t been quite as intense and focused as previous weeks, my dad still isn’t doing so good which means I've missed a lot of my workouts to spend time with him and my mum.  While I haven’t let this make me lose focus, and I've been trying to squeeze in other things where I can, I'm definitely feeling the effects. 

A lack of workouts, a couple of weekends away, and a lot of ‘cheat’ meals, I'm feeling like I'm carrying more weight, I feel less fit and generally not as good as I was feeling a month ago.  But, I will not let this dishearten me.  My holiday is in 6 weeks which means I need a 6 week plan to try and lose a few extra pounds, and tone up my stomach more…is that doable in 6 weeks? If it is, can you let me know and point me in the right direction…

All is not lost however, I've been keeping up my weekly run, and incorporated a couple of shorter ones.  I'm getting a little quicker, and it’s getting a little easier (not to be confused with enjoyable though).  And, I did the run from hell a couple of weeks ago while we were away in the Peak District, turns out peaks means hills (who knew!) and it was tough, there was more than one point when I had to give up and walk, and on one occasion the Mr genuinely thought I suffered from asthma and I’d somehow forgotten to tell him in all the years we've been together… Put it this way, me and hills just don’t get along, and in previous runs, I've gone out my way to avoid them.  Given that one element of Total Warrior is hill running, at some point I'm going to have to embrace them.

So what next? I need to get back into my cardio workouts, I need to my heart rate going and help with my endurance, but I think I also need to get back into my strength and toning type of workouts.  This is more for my own aesthetics rather than Total Warrior training (although it all helps) but I’d like to see some definition in my abs again, I say again, I think they were there for one day.

abs progress

This next 4 weeks is going to be tricky, it’s my birthday, the Mr’s birthday and our first year anniversary, not to mention bank holiday, so if that’s not enough excuses to eat cake, drink cocktails and generally chuck the diet out the window then I don’t know what is.

And on that note, I'm heading to Pizza Express for tea, and while my brain says Leggera, my heart says ‘eat all the food’ and do you know what? That’s exactly what I'm going to do…

P.S. If you've been reading my post for a while, you'll probably already know why I'm on this crazy health kick, but if not, head on over here and read this post - I'm in training and raising money for Pancreatic Cancer, if you'd like to sponsor me that would be super lovely of you.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

the challenge: 7 dinners

You've read my 7 breakfasts post, now here's my 7 dinners.  Since starting this challenge in January, I've really been trying to up my protein intake and lower my carbs, and I'm generally pretty good at sticking to this Monday - Friday, we won't talk about the weekend, because that's when anything goes.

I bought the Lean in 15 cookbook (who hasn't?!) and it has quite literally become my bible (this is not a sponsored post fyi), I've never made so many recipes out of one cookbook, and can hand on heart say I haven't had a bad one yet, even the Mr likes them, which is a revelation for healthy meals.  I don't cook meals from the book every night, but probably 3 or 4 days, so I thought I'd show you some of the types of things I eat in an average week. 

However, once I started looking through all my photos I realised that the title of this post was quickly going to be quite right, as I had so many photos I wanted to include that I knew 7 wasn't going to be enough, but whose focusing on titles when there's all this food...
7 Dinners - allaboutthegirl
1.  Steak with kale and chorizo - from the Lean in 15 cookbook, this is SO good, the combination of chorizo and balsamic vinegar makes the kale taste genuinely really good, I haven't quite jumped on the kale wagon otherwise.

2. Chilli with courgetti - we eat courgetti on an almost weekly basis, nope it isn't quite as satisfying as a big ol' bowl of pasta, but it comes close, and with barely any calories to boot.

3.  Prawn and pineapple fried rice - low calorie, low fat and reminds me of my holiday in Thailand, certainly no complaints about this one.

4. Chicken and new potato hash - another Lean in 15 and this one is the Mr's favourite, he actually requests this for his tea, it must be good.

5.  Spanish Omelette - I must eat about 12 eggs a week, and omelette's are regularly on the menu, usually because I can chuck in whatever's in the fridge, they're so filling and I can make a damn good one.

6.  Burger with sweet potato fries - who says you can't eat burgers and be on a diet?  I ditched the buns but added cheese, so this meal is still pretty good for you, lots of protein and I love sweet potato so happy to substitute proper chips for these homemade wedges.

7.  Moroccan quinoa veg thing - I made this after watching one of Niomi Smart's 'what I eat in a day' videos, I vaguely followed her recipe and added a few things of my own, super simple and easy to make and a nice change from my usual dishes.

8.  Singapore chicken noodles - Lean in 15 yet again, but this is de-lish, the curry powder really gives it that asian flavour with the added lime and chilli, I could eat this every week.

9.  Kedgeree - yep, you guessed it, Lean in 15, I never really knew what kedgeree was and assumed I didn't like it, but I've made this three times now and I'll definitely be making it again.  I love smoked fish, and this is just yum, low calorie, low fat, and full of protein...go and make it now!

If you follow me on Instagram then you will probably have seen most of these photos, but who doesn't look a good food tummy is already rumbling!

I'm on this health kick to get myself fit and strong by August as I'm talking part in Total Warrior to raise money for pancreatic cancer.  If you'd like to know more, then check out this post, and if you'd like to sponsor me (which I'd greatly appreciate) then you can do here.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

the challenge: latest #fitspo - steffy white

Another installment in the fitspiration series (check out this, this and this if you want a read of my previous ones) and this week I'm feeling inspired by Steffy White.

I actually discovered Steffy because she happens to be an old friend of a good friend of mine, I've never met her but recently started following some of her yoga tutorials on youtube and started giving them a go.

If you follow me on Instagram then you'll know that I'm a big fan of yoga but it's something I don't do a lot of.  I'd really love to get into it more, I've always been a relatively flexible person, and I think given the time and energy yoga is something I could really get into, and potentially be quite good at (is yoga something you be good at? maybe just giving it a go is good enough...!).  

I currently do one class a week, and while I don't want to sound like I'm criticising, the teacher is very much more of a generic all round fitness instructor, and I don't get the impression she's into the real techniques and flow of yoga (I've never heard her use the term 'chataranga', or corrected my position) and whilst I do enjoy it, the class hasn't changed in the year I've been going and I don't feel my flexibility or strength has either.


For this reason, I've started trying to do the odd youtube yoga class/workout/whatever you call it when I have time at home, and having heard of Steffy I thought I'd give hers a go as I didn't really know where else to start.  I've also been following her on Instagram for sometime, and with a body like that, it's not surprising I wanted to give it a go.  If there's any chance of getting a figure like her, and my leg in those positions, then I am all for trying it.

She's got a lovely gentle Scottish accent, really knows her stuff and guides you carefully through her routines, which are easy to follow but difficult.  You definitely know you've had a good workout when you're finished, but you can see the potential to advance is there if you keep it up.  She's super passionate too, which I always thinks keeps you motivated, particularly when working out at home.

Steffy also runs regular classes and workshops and you'll regularly see the likes of Ella Woodward and Madeleine Shaw popping up on her feeds, so that's a good enough fan girl moment for me.  Next time I'm in London, I'm definitely going to have to see if I can squeeze in a class with her because I'd love to have a go face to face, and maybe she can correct my probably awkward downward dog, and teach me how to do this with my leg, then you know what my drunken party trick will be...

It's now three months till my Total Warrior challenge, if you want to read more about why I'm talking part in it, then please read this post, and I'd really love it if you could spare some change to sponsor me and help raise money for pancreatic cancer.
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