Most of us lead busy lives, making it harder to find time to train, easy to grab the less healthy snack or meal, and tricky to unwind and relax. Earlier this week I read an interesting article by precision nutrition on how we often treat our health with an all or nothing approach, in that we go full swing, eating well and training loads, but when we are busy, we pause it all, planning to take it back up when we are less busy. Not only does this make it harder to reach your goals, get fit or lose weight, but also our bodies are like formula 1 cars - to get the best out of them, they need careful looking after. John Berardi talked about having mini healthy habits that you could stick to when busy, so you don’t ‘pause’ your healthy habits, you just turn the dials up or down according to have how much time you have. So what mini healthy habits can you form?
As many of you will know, I spent half term in France, at Condom (yes that is what it is really called!) and had a beautiful relaxing time. Now that I am going there so often, I have had time to observe the French habits, and thought that there are a few things we could learn from them that would make our lifestyles healthier.
Firstly, I think most importantly, they making eating a social occasion, taking time out to enjoy their food and chat to family & friends. This means they take time to eat, and because they are eating slowly, the body is given time to feed back how full it is getting. It also makes sure that they are taking time out of their day to relax, sit down and unwind, which plays a vital role in reducing stress and balancing out our hormones. How many of us are prone to eating on the go, or grabbing a quick lunch, and not having the time too actually enjoy it? Easier said than done, but try and make some of your meals social - catch up with the family, chat to colleagues, or just enjoy a bit of peace and tranquility. Also you don’t see many fast food outlets nor people eating and drinking in the street, on the go!
They eat seasonally - which could be due to the vast size of France, or just their way of life. And because they eat seasonally, the food is fresher, with less preservatives and this means their diet has to be more varied as they move through the seasons. This is a simple way to make sure we eat a wide array of vitamins and minerals, rather than relying on our favourite food throughout the year.
Their supermarkets are simpler, with few ready made meals, and less choice because their towns offer an awesome weekly market, full of fresh fruit and vegetables, butchers in every town, as well as a fishmonger and several patisseries. The whole shopping experience, is just that - an experience, to be enjoyed, planned and time taken. This makes cooking from fresh seem more important and with such a great array of fresh food, cooking is more exciting and enjoyable.
If you go into any small town, or village, you will see they have pretty amazing sports and recreational facilities, from outdoor pools, to lines and lines of tennis courts, a park with a running track and equipment around it, picnic areas and an array of paved idyllic walks. What is more, they don't sit there empty, gathering dust and neglected, they are used, enjoyed and loved. They are near the main roads and available for all to access - no membership needed. So often our facilities are sold off for development or left uncared so they become overgrown and unusable, or privately owned and expensive. I know we have less reliable weather than the French, but the idea of exercising outside, breathing in the fresh air and grabbing some vitamin D from the sun makes the whole exercise idea that much more attractive, especially when you see people doing the same, so it is deemed normal, not for the super fit.
So my little trip to France has encouraged me to get back into my love for cooking, be more adventurous, eat more seasonal and fresher food, get out and enjoy eating socially rather than seeing eating a task that needs to be done quickly, even if that means I take the time to eat in the garden, or read my favourite magazine I am encouraged to utilise the local amenities more - butchers etc, and make my workouts more fun, using the park and natural areas.
Bon Appétit. Vive la France!
With new diets, ‘fabulous’ dieting pills and potions, and new workouts appearing all the time, it can be very confusing as to what will actually help you lose weight and beat the belly. I like to keep it simple, for one reason - you need to stick to it. Research has shown that most people who lose weight on a diet end up putting it all back on and more!! Which is gutting after all their hard work losing it in the first place. So how do you lose weight and keep it off?
Counting calories, sins, or food colours, has been a popular way to lose or maintain weight for years, but making sure you eat a well balanced diet can be so much easier than that, just by using your hand.
My two girls could not be more different when it comes to what they like to eat. One loves the usual kid ‘staple’ foods, whilst the other loves to try anything I am eating. However one thing they are both brilliant at, is avoidance tactics at the table - can I have another drink? I need a pee, It’s too hot, I don’t like it, I’ve had enough, can we watch TV, can I have ketchup? I have pins and noodles (yes thats what they are called in my household), I can’t do it. You get the jist, so when I know they are off for lunch at school or nursery I have to pack very wisely, otherwise I get back a box full of mouse nibbled food. So here are a few of my favourite tactics
This morning I made a series of errors that ended in a major conflict happening before we left the house.
Error number 1 - not eating properly last night
Yesterday was 'Elly & Mummy' day, one of my favourite days of the week. I have the day off and my youngest and I do 'stuff' together. She loves it!! Yesterday we did lunch at our favourite kid friendly place the the moment - The Jolly Postie. Because I had eaten a main meal at lunch - very unlike me, I wasn't hungry by the kids' tea time. I got absorbed in work, buying a replacement car (don’t ask!) and generally pushing paper round my desk, so 10 o'clock came and went, and I hadn't had tea. So I had a yoghurt and went to bed. I of course, woke up starving this morning.
Today has been a day full of the girls teasing out their recorders, screaming with laughter, practising their singing at the top of their voices and wanting to jump all over me. Sounds like an idyllic Sunday afternoon? Yes, normally, but when I had just arrived back from hen do, lacking a little sleep and maybe a glass or 2 too many of the fizz, then I needed a way to get back on form quick. So I thought I would share some of the most natural ways to get a quick pick up, replenish nutrients, rehydrate and remove those alcohol toxins
As voted on Facebook yesterday, we are sharing our Energy Bar Bites - Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Refined Sugar Free. I love a recipes thats easy to make, no baking involved and leaves you feeling satisfied.
If you having been following my quest to clean up my food, then you'll know that I have been seriously surprised by my protein levels. I like to think I eat a fairly high protein diet, but no, that was not the case - a mere 15-20%, which considering I am aiming for 30% is quite far off the mark. So I have been working out ways to make some simple changes to boost protein levels without overhauling my whole routine!!
Most of you will understand that a calorie is the measurement of how much energy food contains and how to measure how much energy we burn up during exercise. Most diets are based around burning a given number of calories, but is that really the best way for a healthy lifestyle?
So as some of you may know, I have started my Summer Shape Up. Not specifically to lose weight, but to flatten the stomach a little, get bikini ready, but most importantly clean up my eating. I am probably like quite a few of you - know what to eat, but find it easy to stray into the biscuit tin, go back for seconds when I am already full, or give in to those sugar urges. I have tried being good by sneaking the odd sweet thing here and there, but before I knew it I had eaten the Easter egg, but rather than doing so in one sitting, I had just grazed throughout the day. What I really needed was something to make me accountable. So after a few friends' recommendations, I have been trying out my fitness pal.
I don't know about you, but as soon as school holidays hit, those pesky colds, stomach bugs and other germs rear their ugly heads. Sometimes we take them in our stride, whilst at other times it just seems to be one thing after another. Believe or not, there are many simple steps you can take to improve your immunity and help fight off those germs and feel energised once again.
Are you having one of those days where everything is such an effort? You can’t sit down as you know you would fall asleep, your concentration power is pretty rubbish, and as for brain power, well let’s just skip that. I don’t know about you, but my kids are great at sensing those days, or maybe I give off an “I’m tired” smell. Anyway, I was having one of those days yesterday during half term. We had headed into town for a spot of musical chairs at lunch, then shoe swopping in the shoe shops (which consists of taking your shoes of, putting on an new pair and hiding the old pair), musical bumps in the street (basically you sit down in the most crowded walking area for no reason other than you fancy it) and last but not least, tag (you run off as far as you can from the responsible adult, in the opposite direction, or just where they have said not to go, whilst they are trying to pay as then they can’t get you!!). Needless to say, by the end of the day I was exhausted and in need of a much needed boost. Now I don’t drink tea of coffee as I hate the taste so I needed something else to pick me up. It got me thinking that some of you might like a few tips in that area too.
About 2 years ago now I was at a training camp, assessing riders etc, when I noticed a display the nutritionist had done - drinks and their sugar content. She had bought some of the most popular soft drinks, worked out how much sugar was in them, and then stacked the corresponding amount of sugar cubes by each drink. It seriously shocked me
Breakfast is massively underrated in my eyes - regularly missed, quite often badly made, and poor choices. Let’s be honest, if an alien were to spy on us during breakfast, he would think many of us were mad eating what quite often looks like shredded cardboard. Breakfast is a great way to start your day as if you eat right, you can curb cravings, reduce snacking during the rest of the day and sneak in some vital vitamins and minerals. Nearly 3 years ago, after Elly was born, I lost 4 kg of weight, that I had carried for many years, and I believe most of it was down to altering what I ate for breakfast. So how can you make your breakfast healthier without too much disruption to your lives?Read More...
Christmas only comes round once a year, so we all like to indulge. However, without realising it, we can have put on a few pounds, so we are share some simple ways to burn off those extra calories without going to the gym
Your body shape is more than what you look like. It tells you how your body responds to different foods and training methods, but it also gives you information on your metabolic rate through your hormonal and sympathetic nervous system. Once you know what body type you are, you can adjust your eating and training habits accordingly. By doing this you will be able to maximise your results.
Breakfast can be a nightmare for your kids, with shopping aisles full of brightly coloured boxes full of sugary rubbish, and the healthier options, lets me honest, look pretty boring through kid’s eyes. So how can you help your child make healthy choices for breakfast that will fill them up for longer, and they will enjoy? We have shared some of our favourite recipes to help.Read More...
We are looking for a mum to work with and support on their health & fitness journey. With the full support of the activemum team, we want to help a mum reach their goal, and share the experience along the way - think it could be you, read more
10 Way To Improve Your Running Through Food
Timing is essential to eating and running. Try not to eat a big meal 2 hours before a run. If you are going for longish run, or fast intervals, try eating a small snack 30min before running, and finally, after running aim to eat 30min. All these allow your body to get all the essential nutrients and energy it needs to run at it’s best
Protein is key to recovery as it helps the muscles repair and regenerate, building new lean muscle as well as may other essential components in our bodies. Protein should make up 25-35% of your daily diet