Cycling 100 miles for Bowel Cancer UK

Today marks the end of April and Bowel Cancer awareness month so although it’s a long way off what better day to mention that I’ll be cycling in the Prudential Ride 100 this Summer and riding to raise money for Bowel Cancer UK.

This charity actively works to help people like me, young people with Bowel Cancer, and funds research which I and others like me benefit from. The ride isn’t until the start of August so it seems a bit early to mention it but it felt like the perfect way to mark the end of this month of awareness.

I won’t manage to get out and train for it – I only have Sunday afternoons off each week and by then getting in a bike is the last thing my body wants to do, so I’m just aiming to make it through the 100 miles in one piece!

If you want to support this amazing charity then there’s a link to my fundraising page below.

Whether you want to support it or not please go and check out their info on spotting the symptoms of Bowel Cancer and make sure you know what to look out for – knowledge is power! This disease is treatable if caught early enough 💜🙌🏼

Thank you! Xxx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Always Tired?

Tuesday Tip: Always Tired? 😴

Are you constantly tired although you slept enough? Barring any medical issues there are other reasons why you feel so lethargic.

#1 Rhythm

It’s not just hours of sleep but the rhythm too. So if you always go to bed at different times this can have a negative impact on your health (just like sleeping too little).

#2 Diet

Eating too little leaves you lacking energy of course, but equally eating too much can make you lethargic. Meat, bananas and legumes contain tryptophan which makes us sleepy. Meat is also requires the digestive system to work harder to digest it, which requires additional energy. Too much coffee can be a problem too, initially it stimulates adrenaline production , but leaves you feeling more tired afterwards.

#3 Water

The body is over 50% water. If we drink too little, our metabolism slows down and our body shifts into low gear. So, it is no surprise that we feel dead tired.

#4 Exercise

I know exercise is the last thing you feel like when tired but it gets the heart pumping, boosts metabolism, and increases circulation. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine showed that regular exercise can improve the quality of your sleep. So, get moving! Park your car farther away, take the stairs or go to the gym!

#5 Light

We need daylight to stimulate our circadian rhythms (internal clock). Try to spend as much time outside as possible. Even on cloudy days, you will get more light outside than inside so go for a short walk. You can also try the special daylight lamps, or leave curtains slightly open to allow morning light in.

#6 Stimuli Stress

We are inundated with so many stimuli every day and this can really wear you down. Our brain has to constantly decide which sensory impressions are important and which can be ignored. With more stimuli the brain has to work harder which uses more energy. So if you’re feeling bombarded try setting specific times to address emails etc rather than checking them at all times of day etc.

So if you are always tired consider if some of these reasons may be contributing.

Happy Tuesday 🤗xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Good potato, bad potato… 🥔 🍠

Good potato, bad potato… 🥔 🍠

The common perception is that white potatoes are somehow a ‘bad’ choice, whilst sweet potatoes are inherently ‘good’.

Sweet potatoes are good – they have a lower glycaemix index than white potatoes (though it’s not actually ‘low’) which means it has a lesser impact on blood sugar levels. It’s also a great source of vitamin A, C, B6 and Potassium and also fibre.

In contrast white potatoes have a higher glycaemic index, slightly less fibre and less vitamin A, but are also good sources of Vitamin C and B6. They aren’t ‘bad’ though.

Despite the higher glycaemic index it’s not the individual foods that matter in that context but rather the glycaemic index of the whole meal, so it will depend what you’re eating with the potatoes. Combined with other low GI foods, protein and fats, the overall GI of the meal will be lowered.

In addition they actually contain fewer calories than sweet potatoes. So from a fat/weight loss perspective you’d be marginally better off having white potatoes.

So if you’ve been tucking in to sweet potatoes thinking they’re better for weight loss then perhaps think again. In reality the difference is pretty small, and the calorie impact is fairly similar. So just have the potatoes you actually like the taste of!

Enjoy 🤗


Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Bigger weights aren’t always better

Tuesday Tip: Bigger weights aren’t always better 🏋🏻‍♀️

If you want to get stronger and fitter you have to lift heavy weights in the gym, right? Wrong! Several recent studies have shown this isn’t the case at all. You may have seen mention of this on the TV last week, I’ve had a look into the study behind the story.

Recent studies in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that lifting light weights (30 -50% of 1 rep max) for more reps, was just as effective as lifting heavy weights (up to 75-90% of 1 max rep) for 8 – 10 reps both for increasing strength and muscle size. Participants took part in a 12 week program of total-body resistance training (leg press, bench press, shoulder press, leg extension, bicep curls) – half used light weights, half used heavy, all lifted until failure. After 12 weeks, both groups made equal gains in strength and size, except for the chest press, where in fact those lifting lighter weights showed greater gains! Muscle strength increased 25-30%, and both groups put an average of 2.4 pounds of lean muscle on. In addition, biopsies of the muscles showed there was no difference in the growth of muscle fibres in either group (type I and II).

If you want to get stronger then you need to increase your muscle mass (don’t confuse this with getting “bulky”) by activating as many muscle fibres as possible. Day to day activities use the type I fibres first. As demand on muscles increase (more reps, or more weight) you recruit type II fibres – which is what you want. Conventional wisdom states that you can ONLY recruit type II fibres by lifting big weights for fewer reps, but what these studies show is that you don’t need to do that. The key is lifting to fatigue – with whatever weight you choose.

Great news for anyone who wants to get fitter and leaner but doesn’t fancy lifting heavy weights in the gym. You CAN still get strong by doing things like body pump, or workouts with smaller weights IF you are reaching fatigue by the end of the set or track. Lift to the point of exhaustion and it doesn’t matter whether the weights are heavy or light.

Happy Tuesday 🤗xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

A healthy snack….. or is it?

A healthy snack….. or is it? 🍫

There are lots of snack bars out there that are marketed to imply that they are a “healthy” choice. This is a perfect example – this bar definitely looks like it’s a healthy choice. It’s got oats and banana in it – which are great for a sustained energy release, and it contains chia seeds – they’re a super food right so it must be good?

So you might decide to reach for this rather than reaching for a chocolate bar thinking it was a better choice. Well that may not always be the case.

Although it does contain a good range of nutrients and will definitely give you energy and keep you full, it’s also very high in calories (and fat and sugar). You could actually have 2 crunchie chocolate bars for fewer calories. So if you were trying to lose fat/weight and looking for a snack, then rather than reaching for a “healthy” snack bar you’re probably better off just going for a snack you actually want – like a chocolate bar if that’s what you fancy. And if you do want the oat based bars then be sure the read the labels carefully as some are extremely high in calories.

Ultimately, if you’re trying to lose fat or weight, it comes down to calories. So enjoy a balanced diet overall and just be mindful of the calories in what you’re having.

Enjoy 🤗


Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Perfectly Imperfect

Tuesday Tip: Perfectly Imperfect 💜

When you’re starting a new healthy kick it’s very easy to get caught up in having to be perfect; feeling bad or guilty because you didn’t manage to fit your usual work out in that day, throwing the towel in because you went out for dinner and blew your calories etc

Try to stop that thinking right now. You don’t need to be perfect, you don’t need to be 100 percent. Sure, if you’re an Olympic athlete or a professional body builder, then yeah you probably do need to be close to perfect! But most of us aren’t, we’re normal people who just want to lose some weight or improve our health or fitness.

No time to fit in the 45 Min workout your trainer has given you? – do 5 mins, or ten mins, or 2 mins of skipping! Something is better than nothing!

Gone over on your calories today? Not ideal, but neither is it the end of the world – forget it, move on, don’t let it cause you to think sod it and gorge on junk food.

Can’t hit the macros (amounts of protein, carbs and fat) you’ve read you should be eating? – really don’t worry. Who cares? It won’t make a massive difference whether you’re slightly over on carbs and under on protein (total calories are more important anyway). Sure if you manage to get more protein and fats in you’ll probably feel fuller for longer and it will help you stick to your calories but it won’t impact on your weight loss (unless you’re over eating on total calories).

You’ve read you should eat X within 45

mins of your workout but it just doesn’t doesn’t fit in to your lifestyle – don’t worry – you’ll still be fine. This sort of fine level detail is only really important for managing performance or body composition for actual athletes – for you and me, it doesn’t matter.

If you’re not perfect it doesn’t matter – you’ll still make progress, it may take a little longer, but you’ll still get there. So don’t get hung up on doing everything perfectly – anything is better than nothing – keep doing what you’re doing – a few blips on the way aren’t the end of the world, they just mean you’re human!

Happy Tuesday 🤗 xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

I started my day with a clean brekkie…

I started my day with a clean brekkie… 🍉

‘Clean’ eating is a recent trend we often see on social media and I often hear people telling me they are ‘eating clean’ in order to lose weight/fat.

‘Eating clean’ is essentially the idea that you’re eating foods which are perceived to be better for one reason or another (that might be based on properties the food supposedly has, or nutrients it contains etc).

There is nothing wrong with that at all, though I’m not a fan of demonising foods, but if you want to eat certain foods for whatever reason then that’s fine. The problem is that the common misconception is that because a food is ‘clean’ or promoted as healthy, that it is automatically going to help you lose weight/fat and that it must be a ‘better’ option than other foods you may also love.

The breakfast granola and smoothie bowl is a great example of this. They’re very photogenic and found all over Instagram. It’s essentially granola and smoothie in a bowl topped with fruit, seeds, nuts etc. They’re delicious and full of great nutritious foods, but they’re also rather high in calories and sugar (mostly from the large amount of fruit used). In this example, based on a standard instagram smoothie bowl recipe, there are 761 cals in one bowl! Combine that with a bottle of “healthy” smoothie and you’re looking at over 1100 calories in total.

In comparison a Gregg’s sausage bap with a small white coffee is often perceived as a bad or dirty choice. In fact it has less than half the calories of the clean option with only 511 cals in total. It still provides carbs, protein and fat so will keep you satisfied until lunch. I’m not suggesting you have one every day, but it’s certainly not terrible!.

So if you’re trying to lose weight/fat, and you really enjoy a sausage bap for breakfast then go for it! As long as it’s part of a balanced diet which contains fruit and veg etc it’s fine! Don’t be swayed by beautiful Instagram photos and Instagram experts telling you that you need to eat clean to be lean. You don’t.

Enjoy a range of foods and be mindful of the calories and you’ll be fine! 🤗xx

Enjoy 🤗


Tuesday Tip

Tuesday tip: Celebrate the Small Successes

Tuesday tip: Celebrate the Small Successes 🏆

We’re past ‘blue’ Monday – supposedly the most depressing day of the year and a day when many people give up their new year’s resolutions. It’s easy to get despondent if you’re not seeing the scale shift but just because you’re not losing weight it doesn’t mean your weightloss journey isn’t a success. It’s all about creating sustainable, long lasting habits that help you live a healthier lifestyle, so we need to celebrate those too!

So today’s tip is all about celebrating the small successes! Here are a few examples:

– Often maintaining your weight is a victory itself. It’s just has hard to maintain as it is to lose, so if you’ve maintained then give yourself a high five!

– Doing your belt up a notch tighter, smaller clothes sizes, finding the clothes you have are a little looser in certain areas are all massive successes! Celebrate the progress!

– Maybe you’ve just completed your first run! Or your first cardio class, or gym workout! That’s amazing!

– You’ve managed to fit exercise regularly in to your weekly schedule – that’s awesome!

– Perhaps you’ve avoided the sweet snacks at work, or said no to the dessert you’d usually have, or passed up on that glass of wine with dinner – huge successes! Be proud!

– Maybe you’ve seen improvements in things like blood pressure or cholesterol etc or you’ve been able to reduce your medication as a result of lifestyle changes you’ve made.

– Getting through that spin class without having to stop, managing those burpees or jump lunges in bodyattack, completing the push ups, moving an extra kg up in your weights – these are all things to be proud of.

– Choosing healthier options without even thinking about it. Stop and think about your meals and snacks – have your choices changed? Sometimes these changes happen without us even realising it.

– maybe you’ve had a stressful day or week but managed not to turn to chocolate, crisps, wine, whatever your favourite comfort food/drink is. That’s a massive achievement!

So here’s to all those successes that the scales don’t measure! Do you have some to celebrate? (we all do!) – share yours below! 🤗💜

Happy Tuesday 🤗