Be the best you wanna be

Right now it's time for snuggling by the fire and spending the evenings doing absolutely nothing apart from eating and watching films. But 2018 is just around the corner and it's time to start thinking about what you're going to do to improve your well-being throughout the coming year and more importantly, how you're going to stick to it. So many of us start January so determined but by late February we're back to our old ways, it's time to make goals more achievable and here's how...

1. Baby steps

You may have a big goal in mind for 2018 like lose 2 stone or climb Mont Blanc, but if that's you're only goal and there's no in between, it's pretty hard to envisage how you're going to get there. If you've got a big goal, make lots of little goals to help you get there; if you want to lose two stone write out how you are going to get there, for example: 

.In 1 month I want to lose half a stone, I will do this by doing 5 HIIT classes a week and cutting out alcohol in January. 

If you make smaller goals, it makes the bigger one seem more attainable, plus if you write down exactly how you're going to get there it makes the goal much clearer and much harder to deviate from. 

2. Do something you'll actually enjoy 

What's the point in making you goal to go to the gym 5 times a week if you hate the gym? It ain't gonna happen. The whole point of creating a New Year's resolution is to improve yourself and you won't be doing that by forcing yourself to do something, sure you may lose weight but you won't have enjoyed the journey. If you love netball, join a netball team and get fit that way, or join your University dance club, anything is better that nothing and more'll enjoy it. 

3. Don't go it alone 

I can guarantee that someone else you know has a similar goal to you so why not help each other out? If you've got a friend by your side it makes it a whole lot easier to keep aiming for your goal, you can motivate each other to keep going and encourage one another to stay strong. Other thing such as using apps to track your progress and share it on social media make you accountable for your goal and your friends and family can follow you on your journey. 

4. All the gear 

No one has ever wanted to workout more than someone with a new pair of trainer. FACT. New Year new you right? Well kit yourself out in brand new gear to keep you motivated during the hard winter months. Something that I do is buy workout gear I wouldn't normally wear so I can surprise myself looking fab in it once I've reached my goal..... and that means sports bras. You can buy what i'm wearing in this blog from Pretty Little Thing

5. Spend a little YOU time 

If you've spent 2017 running after other people trying to be a people pleaser (as most people do) your main goal should be to focus more energy on yourself. This can be as simple as taking a bath once a week with your favourite bubble bath and reading a magazine, or maybe taking up a hobby that you've not yet had the time for. Anything that makes you feel better because until you start looking after yourself, you won't be able to help others, self love is key. 


How to get a good night sleep

It' not new news that we all need sleep, and a good amount of it in order to function on a day to day basis, but have you ever asked why you actually need sleep? Truth is, I don't know the answer and neither do the scientists, they know what happens to our body when we sleep but in terms of the bigger picture, are yet to understand why exactly we do it, but let's just say it provides many benefits. 

Why do we need sleep? 

When you sleep you may think that your boy shuts down to rest but it is in fact doing the exact opposite. Your body is processing all of the information from earlier on and organising it so that it makes sense. Your brain cells make new connections during the day and are then strengthened during sleep, it is also a time for your brain to clear away any waste chemicals that have accumulated during the day. Plus, if you've been working out it gives your muscles time to recover and grow. Aside all of this, it's pretty clear that we need sleep just for everyday functioning, when you've had little to no sleep everything seems to be x10 harder and you consume unhealthy amounts of caffeine and sugar in order to keep your eyes open. If this sounds like you, here are some ways to get a better night sleep. 

Turn it off 

We all love a cheeky scroll before bed, but your phone, Ipad, laptop, tv are the worst things you could be looking at before you attempt to go to bed. The brightness of the screen keeps you awake at night and it is advised that you stop looking at a screen one hour before you go to sleep. Give your eyes a rest, read a book. 

Meditation and yoga 

If your problem is switching off at night then why not try your hand at meditation. This is one of the best ways to zone out from busy life and take a step back, I'd recommend using apps such as Stop Breathe & Think or Headspace if you're a beginner and don't know where to start. Another thing that I do if I'm really finding it hard to stop thinking is to close my eyes, breathe heavily in and out and focus on the motion of my breath. Not only does this stop you from thinking of other problems because you're focused on the task at hand, but it can also be quite therapeutic. 

Stick to a routine 

Your body is going to have no clue when it's time for bed if your routine fluctuates like the weather in England. Asleep by 10pm one night but up till 5am the other after a night out? Give your body some slack, it may be clever but if you mess around with it like that it will mess up your sleeping pattern big time. Decide what time you want to go to bed at night and wake up in the morning and stick to these times. It may not sounds appealing getting up at the same time on a Saturday as you do on a Tuesday, but eventually your body will grow used to it and your body clock will be in sync. 

Omega 3 

These fatty acids work wonders for your body and if you want to know more about how they can help you read my post of the Mediterranean diet here, but in terms of sleep they are pretty useful too. A research study was conducted on 362 children in the UK between 7-9 years old and the children that had more omega 3 had nearly 1 hour more sleep on average than those that took the placebo. Sleep deprivation often leads to poor health and cognitive problems, similar problems that arise when you have a deficiency in omega 3, so the scientist put 2 and 2 together. If you find yourself a little sleep deprived or tend to wake in the night, eat more oily fish such as salmon and tuna and you may see an improvement.. 


A Brief Guide to the Mediterranean Diet

It's no new news that the Mediterranean diet is good for us, it's been in the media for years and presenting many benefits for our health but many of us will jug down the wine and splash a bit of olive oil on our meals without knowing why it is good for us. This is just a post to give you some information of the main points of a Mediterranean diet, which bits will benefit you and how they will benefit you.

Healthy fats

These are your oily fishes such as salmon, mackerel and tuna, plus olive oil, all of them are rich in omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids. These type of fats are monounsaturated (the good kind) and have shown signs of being able to reduce inflammation, improve joint movement and reduce the risks of heart disease, plus lower your blood pressure. Around 2 servings of oily fish a week should do you good, and drizzle olive oil over your salads and pasta. Extra virgin olive oil is best uncooked as cooking it at a high temperature can destroy some of its most beneficial properties.

Reduced red meat

Now i'm not sure about how much red meat the average person eats as I really am not a fan anyway, but it's recommended that you stick to one serving per week and no more. The same goes for processed meats such as ham, bacon etc. Red meat does have benefits like being rich is iron and is also full of B12, a vitamin that helps build you DNA and can only be consumed from animal based sources. The Mediterranean diet does not mean eat a big mac each week though, go to your local butchers and get yourself a proper piece of meat, cook it to perfection and you'll enjoy real flavours.

Moderate wine intake

I thought that it was a stereotype that French people love wine but after living here for 6 months I can safely say there is a reason why the stereotype exists....they love it. But I can tell you they aren't going to their local Bargain Booze and picking up the cheapest bottle of red they can find and slugging down a bottle each before a night out. No, moderation is key. Red wine has shown signs of reducing the chances of heart disease and is full of flavanoids that are antioxidants and can help to reduce inflammation, but this is one glass in the evening, not a bottle. 

Veg, veg, veg ,veg 

I could keep writing the word because Mediterranean people tend to eat a hell of a lot of them. I really don't need to go into detail about the health benefits of fruit and veg because we all know they have an infinite amount and that you should try and eat as many as possible. Another thing about the med diet is that they get a variety of different flavours and colours into each meal, don't just stick to the vegetables you're used to, venture out and try and get at least 15 different fruit and veg each week. 

So there you have it, a simple guide to following the Mediterranean diet, make small changes to make a big difference and you'll be on the road to a healthier diet in no time. 


Why I don't count macros

I feel like as I am writing this I will be scrutinized by other Personal Trainers and people in the fitness industry that are adamant counting macros is the best way, but it's just not for me. There has been a massive growth in the fitness industry in the last few years and I'm a part of it, which I am really happy about as I am helping to make people healthier. With this growth has come many methods of losing weight, gaining muscle and counting macros has become part of the hype, however body builders have been using it for ages. I am completely not against counting macros as it obviously gets results, if you speak to any fitness model it's 90% guaranteed that they do it, but why don't I? 

What are macros? 

Just in case you don't know, macros are the macronutrients your body needs to survive, these being fat, carbohydrates and protein. 

Too much time 

I'm not going to be a hypocrite and say that I don't have the time to count the macros in all of my food because everyone can find the time, the fact is I don't want to find the time. There are plenty of other things I would much rather be doing than weighing my food, like spending time cooking delicious meals and going outdoors. I have nothing against people that do this and they have an end goal, but for me it is just far too time consuming when I know i'm at a healthy weight and I know which foods are good and bad. 

I don't want to be a fitness model 

Recently I have also found a bigger pressure on Personal Trainers to compete and look like all of the fat has been sucked out of them, i'm not going to do that. Once my mum was worried I'd start fitness modelling and my first comment was "mum I won't even wear heels on a night out do you think i'm going to step onto a stage is transparent 6 inchers". Again, nothing wrong with competing, I actually think it's pretty amazing what these people do as they have so much self control, but for now I don't want to look like that so I don't need to be so strict with my macros. 

I like to improvise 

When i'm cooking I just throw stuff in the pan and generally like to discover what I've made when I taste it. I also like to decide on the day what I want to eat so I go to the supermarket pretty much everyday. This sounds like a nightmare for a lot of people who like to do the 'big shop' once a week but I love to cook and so does my partner so I don't want to be restricted by what I've bought 4 days earlier. Plus, if I'm hungry I'll eat as much as I need to, not just what is within my macros. 

I know what's healthy and what's not 

I have my level 3 in nutrition and I am very aware of which foods are good and bad for you, as are a lot of people. You don't need to count your macros to eat well, make it as simple as possible for yourself; protein with every meal, at least 5 fruit and veg a day and reduce your amount of processed foods. As long as you're not overeating and you exercise regularly you should be okay, the issue can come with macros when people decide that you can eat what you like as long as it's in your macros. For example people who miss meals so they can have a big mac later, sure it's in your macros but it's not healthy is it? 

Again I want to emphasize that counting macros does have its benefits, it's a great way to track what you're eating if you've got a goal to achieve and as long as you stick to it you can get great results. It's just not for me....if you want to know more about macros drop me a message!