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Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Losing fitness in lockdown?

Tuesday Tip: Losing fitness in lockdown? 🏃🏼‍♀️

I know a worry for many of you (me included) is losing your fitness during lockdown. Suddenly you’re not walking to the office/school run, you’re not able to get to the gym or classes etc. Well don’t panic – it’s not as bad as you may expect.

Studies show that muscle loss doesn’t occur until about 4 weeks BUT that’s only if you stop training completely! And even then it’s minor and happens in tiny increments each week. If you continue to workout even just with bodyweight workouts then you’ll preserve muscle mass, and post lock-down you’ll be back to normal within a few weeks. If you have no equipment then focus on full body circuits, increase intensity by adjusting the tempo, and increase the volume (number of reps) e.g. a 10 bodyweight move circuit repeated 5 times etc a few times a week.

Studies show that over 12 weeks there’s only a 16% reduction in aerobic fitness overall. If you can run or cycle then this will help, but even long fast paced walks will help. If you’re into cardio classes then you’re sorted as HIIT workouts lend themselves to small spaces. You can do your own little HIIT workout, but if you struggle to motivate yourself to work hard then there’s loads of free workouts online now – see my previous posts or ask me for links). Another fab way to replicate cardio workouts is with skipping – 2 mins a few times a day as a cardio blast!

Specific fitness losses will go a degree relate to your own training/exercise history, types of exercise you do (fitness is maintained for longer if you did a variety of types of exercise e.g. not just running, and genetic and lifestyle factors. However, if you’re a regular exerciser it will take longer to lose fitness as things like increased capillary density take much longer to disappear.

So basically – don’t fret! You’re going to be fine! I hope these tips help. If you want any specific advice then please ask, anytime.

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Recipes

Munchie buster! Cocoa-orange balls!

These are a perfect snack if you want something chocolatey but a little more filling. You can use orange zest or natural orange flavouring – whichever (or both if you like it really orangey). You can also leave out the orange altogether and just have them plain chocolate. They are around 158 cals per ball, but it very much depends how large you make them of course! This recipe makes approx ten.

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You will need:

175g cashews

200g Medjool dates, pitted

20g rasins

30g cocoa powder (plus a little extra for rolling)

Zest of 1 orange or natural orange flavouring

 

Pop the cashews food processor and pulse until they’re in small pieces.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the processor and pulse until you have a sticky dough.

It’s very sticky at the moment so scoop it out into some cling film and pop in the freezer for around 20 mins.

Once it’s a little firmer, remove and roll into small balls. Roll the balls in cocoa powder and then store in the fridge in an airtight container.

Enjoy 🙂

xx

Recipes

Spicy Lentil Soup

Soup is always a good option for a filling lunch or dinner and this one really packs a punch!
spicy-halloween-soup
You will need:
1/2 tsp each mustard & cumin seeds
1 large garlic clove, crushed
1 large onion, chopped
3 x celery stick, sliced
1 tsp each chilli powder & paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric & cayenne pepper
2 cups red lentils
2 litres of stock made with vegan stock powder
1 tin chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
Heat the oil on a med-high heat & add the seeds. When they start popping, add the onion, garlic & celery and reduce heat slightly.
Cook for 5-10 minutes until soft & then add all the spices and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Add the lentils and mix well.
Add the stock, tinned tomatoes and puree and bring to the boil, then simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Blend before serving and add pepper & cayenne to taste.
Enjoy 🙂
xx
Recipes

Chickpea Chili

Another bowl of warming goodness! This one combines the veggie mince with chickpeas for an added boost. This is a great one to batch cook and then it’s ready for lunches or dinners all week.

chickpea-chilli

You will need:

250g Veggie Mince (Quorn/soya etc)

2 cans of Chickpeas (or equivalent amount of dry chickpeas cooked in vegetable stock)

2 Leeks, sliced

2 Red Chilli’s, finely chopped

4 cloves Garlic

1 tsp ground Cinnamon

1 tsp Garam masala

1 tsp Celery salt

400 g chopped Tomatoes

1 small can Sweet Corn

4 tbsp Tomato Puree

Salt and pepper to taste

Warm some oil in a pan, add sliced leeks and a pinch of salt, allow to brown gently. Add chilli, garlic and spices. Simmer for a couple of minutes then add the veggie mince, mix well and allow to cook until the mixture starts to brown,  3-5 minutes. Add tomatoes and tomato puree. Add sweet corn and chickpeas, gently simmer for about 15 minutes, adding more vegetable stock if required. Make sure the mixture doesn’t stick to the pot. Cook until the chickpeas are cooked through.

Serve with fresh rocket and a dollop of 0% greek yoghurt or hummus.

Enjoy! 🙂

xx

Recipes

Spiced Lentils

This is another perfect comforting meal. It’s filling and spicy and the combination of sweet, aromatic spices with the hot spices really gives this a wonderful richness. I used the spices I had in the cupboard, and yes, there are a lot, but you could use whatever you want so don’t stress if you don’t have them all.

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1 cup Brown Lentils
1 Onion
1 Red Chilli
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Carrot, 1 Courgette, 1 Stick of Celery (whatever veg you have can be used!)
½ Red Pepper
2 tbsp Fresh Ginger, grated
10 Plum Tomatoes
1/2 cup Tomato Puree/Passata
1 cup Vegetable Stock
2 tsp Ground Cumin
2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Mustard Seed (fenugreek seed is better but I didn’t have that!)
1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
1/4 tsp Ground Cardamom
1/4 tsp Ground Coriander
1/4 tsp Coriander Seeds
1/8 tsp Ground Allspice
1/8 tsp Ground Cloves
1/8 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/4 tsp Turmeric
¼ tsp Chilli Powder
Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Saute the onion, red pepper, garlic and chilli in a pan with a little oil. Add the ginger and spices and sauté for another 5 mins. Add in the carrots, celery and courgette and sauté for another 5 mins, then add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, stock and lentils. Simmer until the lentils are tender. Serve with baby spinach leaves and a dollop of natural yoghurt.

Enjoy 🙂

xx

Recipes

Squash and Bean Chili

If you’re looking for a healthy, comforting dinner or lunch then this is it. It’s a yummy bowl full of love and comfort – full of taste, texture and a bit of heat!

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You  can use any squash or pumpkin you like,  in fact, sweet potato would also work well. You can also use any beans you like – I’ve made this a few times and just used the beans I had in my cupboard – kidney beans, haricot beans, pinto beans, butter beans, broad beans… Or even chickpeas!

For the Chili you will need:

3 cans of beans (drained)
2-3 cups chopped Pumpkin/squash/sweet potato
2 cans chopped tomatoes or 600g of fresh chopped tomatoes
1/2 – 1 cup Vegetable stock (adjust as needed)
2 stalks Celery, chopped finely
1 Red onion, chopped finely
1 Pepper (red or yellow work well), diced
2 large Cloves of garlic, chopped finely
2 tbsp Tomato purée
2 tsp ground Chilli
2 tsp ground Cinnamon
2 tsp ground Cumin
1/2 tsp Allspice
1/2 tsp ground Cloves
1 tsp Cayenne powder
Salt and black pepper to taste

0% Greek yoghurt to serve

Add a little oil to a large pan and add the onion, celery, garlic and pepper and allow to cook until softened. Add all the spices and seasonings, mix well and cook for another 10 mins. You may need to add a little more oil – ensure you keep the heat low and stir frequently so you don’t allow the spices to stick.

Meanwhile, chop your squash into decent sized pieces (approx 2cm square). Bring a pan of water to the boil and drop the pumpkin in. Boil for approx 5 – 7 mins – you don’t want it to soften too much but just to partially cook through. Drain them well.

Add the tomatoes and pumpkin to the stock pot and stir well. Then add the vegetable stock and all the beans. Make sure there is enough liquid to cover the beans well. Then pop the lid on and allow to cook on low heat for 45 mins or until the beans and squash are cooked through. I usually remove the lid for the last 15 mins and keep an eye on it so it can thicken up a bit.

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Now grab yourself a nice big bowlful of chilli and add a dollop of greek yoghurt and enjoy! 🙂

xx

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Fitness and Exercise

Another Quick Bodyweight Home Workout – Another Ten mins, Ten Exercises

Well I’m still missing my classes, as I’m sure many of you are too, so I thought I’d do another little workout for you!

It’s equipment-free. All you need is yourself, a watch/iphone to time it, and a mat if you want one for your knees/hands.

Remember it doesn’t need to be a long session – any exercise is good! This little circuit takes only ten mins again – if you have more time then you can always do it twice or three times, but if you don’t then just do it once! Get everyone involved! 🙂

If you want to do it “with me” then there’s a video below.

Or you can use the pics below or download a pdf of the workout here: Bodyweight Circuit 3

Have fun! 🙂

xx

Ps. If you missed the last workout it’s here (Bodyweight circuit 2) and my first one is here (Bodyweight circuit 1)