Eat – Exercise – Pin – Read – Listen – Watch #2

I’m back and I’m bad. (At keeping the regular posts. I’m very sorry!) First thing’s first, I’ve moved over to the world of WordPress, so the theme is looking a little rudimental right now, bear with 😉 Bye for now Blogspot!

Thinking about what I wanted post, whilst taking (an extended) study break, I was flicking through my archive and found the first post of this series back in May. It’s now a new season, new food in my belly, new televisual goodness on the tv, and so I thought that I’d come back with round 2..

Eat – Coincidentally, I just bought a packet of leeks this morning – the same ingredient which I raved about in my first post, which was an additional ingredient to my homemade sweetcorn soup! Since getting back from the gorge-fest of Christmas, I’ve been back to eating really well, so plenty of fresh tomatoes, broccoli and greens have been going down a treat.

This month I’ve had several meals with buckwheat semolina from Lidl as my “carbohydrate,” which come in handy 100g boil-in-a-bag pouches. The first time I cooked with it I consumed the whole thing and was left bursting at the seams, but split in half and with a good helping of veg, your belly is kept satisfied. I also bought a bag of dates today as a *treat* and what I would do for a blob of peanut butter dolloped on top of those…

Exercise – Aaah exercise. My old friend. This time last year I was working out 4-5 times a week, this year it’s been slackened to about half that. I’d like it to blame it on early starts for the library and not wanting to wash my hair everyday, but of course that ole foe laziness plays a part too 😉 The workouts I have been doing however include the faithful FitnessBlender duo, and Joe Wicks’ TheBodyCoachTV. As well as still wanting to lose body fat in general, I’m really interested in core strength this time round, and can already see sliiight definition. When the lighting’s right… ..Before breakfast…

Pin – I’ve been really enjoying Pinning recently! As ever, there are plenty of foodie posts going up, a mix of the ultra healthy to don’t-feed-me-for-a-month heavenly creations. I keep stumbling across great websites, bloggers and Instagrammers who have created brilliant, simple recipes. I’m desperate to try this Unami Fennel Beef Ragu and this highly rated Butter Chicken recipe. 

I’m also pretty happy with how my Interiors Board is going. Lots of bright, airy spaces filled with foliage, wooden features and blue hues – are you an avid Pinner too?

Read – As mentioned in the first post, I don’t really read fiction/for-pleasure at uni, however, some nights I close the laptop early, and read just a few pages at a time of a free eBook I got ages ago on my Kindle. It’s the first in the Farseer trilogy; ‘Assassin’s Apprentice,’ something I probably wouldn’t read if I had picked it up in paper-form. I’m still in the early stages where Fitz is just a young boy, but am really enjoying it! The imagery is brilliant at whisking me away to a bustling coastal settlement that just makes me yearn for the sea and its scents, sights and sounds so badly.

Listen – I’m not a podcasts or audiobook kinda gal, but the songs that I keep hitting repeat on are Jasmine Thompson’s Like I’m Gonna Lose You, and Brandy’s Right Here (Departed). Both pretty emotional in different ways, but lovely listens that make even me sing ’em out loud and proud. – Sorry flatmates!

Watch – One word: Dickensian. Are you hooked too? I can’t really keep up with when the 30mins episodes are aired, but yesterday I consumed 3 episodes back-to-back. It’s a clever concept of intertwining characters from various Dickens’ stories such as The Old Curiosity Shop, A Christmas Carol and Oliver Twist, who all cross paths with Inspector Bucket’s investigation of who killed Jacob Marley (Scrooge’s partner.) You don’t have to be familiar with the plots of the books, and it isn’t overwhelming in terms of the amount of characters and subplots. Catch it on iPlayer now!

My beloved Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast is back in full swing too over on Channel 4, and in keeping with food, the hilarious The Great Sport Relief Bake Off. Television’s never been better. 

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So what has you glued to the screen? What song is constantly on loop in your head, and what are you making for your dinner tonight?!

TTFN, P x

 

Fitness Update #1 – Workout Routines

I’m back home for summer, which means GOODBYE EXAMS. So long third year. Hello Home. I survived, just 😉 I had a lovely couple of days post-exams gorging on every naughty food imaginable: Pizza – gluten and dairy, Cider – the first drink since October, Chocolate cake – no explanation needed, Fish ‘n’ Chips – batter and white carb, Burger, Irn Bru, Pringles, Chocolate biscuits. The list slightly goes on. 

Anyway, the celebrating and long car journeys are over and I’m back on it. This means the morning HIIT workouts are back, and eating consciously, aware again of what I’m putting into my mouth. I never go to the gym and I have (yet) to exercise outside, but am hoping to go running round the park circular with my friend over the holidays. Youtube is my friend, it’s my lover, always there providing just what I need no matter what mood I’m in. Something gentle and Zen? Pilates and yoga videos have got your back, something heart-pumping, body-dripping and floorboard-breaking? You’re sorted.

STATISTICS:

  • Since January I have lost a total of 18lb. Ridiculously chuffed.
  • Since Easter I have lost 6.6lb which is CRAZY seeing as I had eaten lots of treat-cheat foods and did next to no working out due to library days. I guess hardcore revision and brain action really does burn calories!


My Favourite Youtube Workouts:

HIIT
The Body Coach / Joe Wickes – The front man of The Body Coach workout plans and nutrition guides. Joe’s workout videos on Youtube are T.O.U.G.H. Being HIIT, this means that the individual exericse lasts for 30 seconds, followed by a 30 second rest. There are lots of different exercises within the overall workout which I think is crucial if you want to stay focused and not quit early out of boredom. None of his videos are over 30 minutes, but of course you can repeat however many times you want, especially the shorter clips which are under 10 minutes.

Tone It Up  I only use one video from the super-energetic twosome; their Hump Day HIIT. This is brilliant for days where you’re short for time but feel too guilty to skip a workout, and not just reserved for your midweek slump. It lasts 15 minutes, no time for rest, and really gets you pumped for the day ahead.

Gym Ra / Rebecca – I LOVE this gal! She’s a fellow Brit but clearly living the dream out in the land of sunshine which actually acts as great motivation when your own curtains block out the miserable overcast weather, and you’re able to escape for a little while. I particularly like this video as it’s high impact but in every “rest” you squat. Burns fat and works that booteh. What’s not to love?
The Gym Ra channel has videos for days, so there are plenty to choose from. Variety is absolutely key for me, I can’t do the same workout for more than 2 days in a row, or I switch off and have no motivation – a real problem I find with workout DVDs. 

Fitness Blender – These guys!! What a power couple. Exercise aside, the connection the two have is inspiring to watch. It’s so sweet to see them laughing together and helping one another work out. Exercise-wise, their channel also has an extensive choice of videos and different types of workout. Whether it’s HIIT, toning, weights, Barre, you are in safe hands. This video is a hefty 53 minutes long, but it really doesn’t feel that way.

BeFit / Jillian MichaelsOf course. This woman. Her workouts were pretty much all I did last summer, my body a slave to 35-55 minutes of torture hardcore cardio. But in a weirdly gratifying way. She pushes you to your absolute limit in military chants and moves. Her videos are great because she is the trainer, and there are usually at least 2 other people working out under her instruction. Her teasing adds humour and eases the pain of the tight chest or bad thoughts you send to your past self for deciding that this was a good idea. You feel bloody brilliant once completed.

PILATES/YOGA/TONE
Winsor Pilates A lil more chilled out and great for days in between HIIT and weight training. It’s not just an excuse for a kip on the mat however. Your legs get a proper working, as do the glutes, and you’re left feeling awakened and sliiightly smug knowing you’ve exercised well, but without the added bucket load of sweat. I also feel like I’ve stepped back in time a couple decades, you’ll know what I mean 😉

BeFit / Mary Helen Bowers This channel is fantastic for all kinds of workouts, but I really enjoy Mary Helen Bowers’ ballet sculpting workout. 10 seconds into the video and you want to be her, or her niece.. She seems very sweet, but certainly knows her stuff, and it’s tough on the abs. Take a look at the range of workouts available on the channel.

Yoga With Adrienne – I think anyone who has entered the Zen realm of yoga through Youtube has come across Adrienne. Sometimes I felt she was too chilled out and I missed the strict structure of cardio workouts where I’m used to following a tight plan. I suppose this is the beauty of yoga/pilates where you discover what your body can achieve and how far it can be stretched (literally). She clearly knows what she’s doing, and the videos are good for more chilled out days or even if you just want a  bit of “me” time. Adrienne also has a 30 day yoga challenge which would be great if you really want to try a “Before and After” experience of how your body has progressed.

Blogilates – This couldn’t not be mentioned. Cassey is full of energy and positivity. If you’re feeling lacklustre in mind and body her frequent snippets of encouragement and smiles are welcomed. The workouts are tough though. This 10 minutes video squeezes every ounce of energy out from within yourself, and you really feel your core getting a proper pummelling. 


LATEST DISCOVERY
Joanna Soh – Her 30 minute core and cardio video was this morning’s workout of choice. A real problem area of mine is my torso. The belly and the waist are areas that need focussing on, and this video was great for that. The video consists of lots of individual exercises which are repeated twice within each circuit. The time surprisingly flew by and I can’t wait to try more videos from her channel.

The next post is going to be on motivational Instagram accounts! When you surround yourself with good people, you become a better person yourself, when you surround yourself with healthy (pictures of) food, you want to create and consume that yourself, when you surround yourself with “fit” people, you feel motivated to get fit yourself. Instagram is great for little kicks of motivation when you see a gorgeous clean meal, or an equally gorgeous looking set of abs. Stay tuned.

What are your favourite workouts to do? Do you use Youtube, DVDs, paper plans or head to the gym?

TTFN, P x

What I Have Learnt: 1 Week Into New Year

So I’ve survived the first 7 days of January, (hurrah!) What have I already learnt and what am I going to continue into 2015?..

  • Starting a diary again was a marvellous decision. Even though nothing exciting is really happening in my life right now, (which was why having a diary was perfect for when I needed to ferociously scribble down every minute detail about previously more exciting times, (at all hours..)) nothing can buy back the time you had when you were younger; Tardises unfortunately don’t exist, and reading over your past self’s frenzied life, remembering all the ups and downs is priceless. After a 2 year hiatus apart from the odd few days here and there I’m determined get back into it and stick at it. 
  • You can leave it til the sixth day before you do your first workout of the year. My choice was a HIIT one by the FitnessBlender and I properly know what all the fuss is about now after doing it a couple of times. Short sharp bursts of heart-hammering exercise. No boredom here.
  • That familiar nervous/worrying-about-the-world feeling does return as an old year ends and you now face the ever-looming second semester of university which is always much more academically demanding. Also, the prospect of another year of your life coming to an end, and a new one beginning where you have no idea what situations you will face, people you will meet, and circumstances good/bad you may find yourself in can be scary. However, it is also exciting and the annual thrill of entering an unknown can make New Years sometimes feel like a double-edged sword, but we’ll definitely be keeping on the shiny positive side.
  • Family as ever are so important; I spent all of Christmas with them and saw in the new year with them by my side. There have been so many endless laughs and nibbles-binging-on-the-sofa moments and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
  • Packing your holdall ready for heading back to uni in the week before you leave softens the blow of saying goodbye for another few months away, in comparison to doing it the day before. Too emotional..
  • Although I haven’t set up any New Years Resolutions I’m just going to try and exceed and amplify all the good things, positivity and optimism in my life, whilst cutting down on the negative things I allow into and come out of my life.
  • Finally, the Christmas gluttony and half-stone gained will budge. And Spring’s here soon. Everything’s better in the sunshine.


Happy New Year : )

TTFN P x