Saturday, 21 December 2013

A few exercises for my male followers…...

Press up
  •  Begin in a strong plank position. Your heels, hips, shoulders, and ears should be in one line.
NOTE: push your upper body away from your hands and squeeze the muscle under your armpits to keep your shoulders stabilised.
  •  Inhale, bend your elbows and slowly lower yourself towards the mat. 
  •  Exhale, push your body back up into a plank position. Repeat for 12 reps.

Abdominal crunch
  • Lying on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor hip distance apart, neutral spine (natural curve in your lower back).
  • Place your hands by your temples, inhale, and slightly nod the chin to your chest.
  • Exhale, and crunch your upper body up towards your knees.
NOTE: Be careful not to jam your chin to your chest – keep looking at the top of your knees.
  • Inhale to release your head and shoulders slowly back down to the mat.  Repeat for another 20 counts.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Anxiety and 'feeling low'

Most people feel anxious from time to time. However, anxiety can become abnormal if it interferes with your everyday life which it did to me a few years ago.  When my anxiety kicked in, I would feel fearful and tense and normally this would escalate into physical symptoms.  My heart rate would increase, and begin thumping (palpitations), I felt sick, chest pains, experienced headache and rapid breathing…the list continues... Initially, I thought I was having a heart attack and I ended up taking myself to A&E MANY times!  However, I gradually began to understand that these physical feelings were actually my anxiety and I needed to learn how to control it.  

Here are a few things I used to practice to help me overcome my moments of extreme anxiety and moments of feeling incredibly low:

·      A simple breathing exercise:
Sitting down, relax your body. Drop your shoulders and let your jaw relax. Now breathe in slowly through your nose and count to four, keep your shoulders down and allow your stomach to expand as you breathe in. Hold the breath for a moment. Now release your breath slowly out of your mouth and smoothly as you count to seven. Repeat for a couple of minutes.

·      What we say to ourselves has an amazing impact on how we feel.  Turn your negative thoughts into positive thoughts – it helps to write them down on paper.  This can be very hard to do but the more you practise it, the more you will become aware of it and the easier it will become.  Some examples: “I am wonderful just being me”, “It's an opportunity to learn something new”, “I am going to live today as if it’s my last”.

·      Start speaking to yourself as you would to your best friends. What we say to ourselves has an amazing impact on how we feel and what we do. For example, telling yourself things like; “I’m so stupid for doing that”, “I’m so fat”, “I’m so useless” – is destructive and critical. 

·      Cut these words out of your vocabulary – “Cant”, “shouldn’t” and “not allowed” and replace with words like “I will” and “I can”.

Monday, 2 December 2013

GUEST BLOG: 'The Healthy way to Christmas' by Natasha Corrett

The hugely respected Natasha Corrett from Honestly Healthy (  kindly put together these top tips on how to pace yourself through the festive period & stay healthy...

Christmas time can be a month where you are rushing around going to parties, carol services, dinners and all the while fitting in your Christmas shopping. With all of this, a healthy diet often goes way out the window and before you know it you get to Christmas day and you are feeling exhausted, sluggish & bloated (even before your Christmas lunch/dinner).

To help you through, here are some top tips from us on how to pace yourself through this time & stay healthy.

1.     If you are going to a drinks after work have a handful of nuts before you head out – this will help to balance your blood sugar so that you don’t find yourself drinking that mulled wine like water!

2.     Make sure you have a health breakfast every day. This is likely to be the one meal that you will be in full control of so make it count. It is also the most important meal of the day. Prepare something like our Layered Breakfast Jar the night before, or make yourself a large green smoothie (prep everything the night before so that you can just blend & go in the morning).

3.     Source some healthy alternative recipes to the classics. Our mince pies are super yummy & healthy too.

4.     Have a hot water and lemon every morning, not only does this help to alkalize the body after a nights sleep but it also helps to warm the system & fend of those cold and flu bugs.

5.     Try not to loose control completely – remember your portion sizes.

6.     If you are stressed about what to buy someone for Christmas – why not try our cooking classes? Our first class is on 15th January and we have loads of new recipes to teach you all. It is also just a click away so no slogging around the shops! Tickets available here

7.     If you are feeling a little worse for wear after a few to many drinks – have a green smoothie or juice as they are undoubtedly the best hangover cure. Try some of these recipes.

8.     Or food delivery service Fridge Fill can deliver freshly prepared alkaline food to your door so you don’t have to worry about trying to stay healthy. Choose our 2 meal plans if you are going to be out for dinner.

Good luck with it all and in the meantime here is a delicious and health recipe for cranberry sauce. Enjoy & Happy Christmas!

Honestly Healthy Cranberry sauce
(Makes one small jar)

100g fresh cranberries
½ cup water
4 tbsp. agave


Put the cranberries, water and agave into a pan and leave to simmer on a medium heat for 15 minutes.  The water will start to reduce and the cranberries will soften. When the mixture reaches a thick consistency take off the heat & leave to cool. Next, ladle the mixture into your jars & hey presto – the perfect healthy cranberry sauce.

This make such a good present for friends, just get a small brown luggage label & some pretty ribbon and tie it around your jar. Not only that but this is not just a sauce for Christmas time – we use it in lots of our recipes such as our Stuffed Winter Squash.

Nutritional Nugget:

Cranberries are a great source of fiber – half a cup provides about 15% of your RDA and are therefore great for those who are prone to bloating. They also contain vitamin K which plays a vital role in blood clotting – thus cranberries can also help with heavy periods, bleeding gums etc.