Spinning Around

You spin me right round, Yes, I am about to review my first spinning fitness class. After recently joining my local gym (when i say local – i mean about 50 steps away from my flat local!) I have been trying out the fitness classes they have to offer, this is my first gym membership which includes fitness classes in the monthly subscription and which i have most definitely taken advantage of this benefit!

There are definitely mixed reviews on spinning and out of the three classes i have attended so far, i thought this one would be my least favourite by far. How wrong I was…

Although I think it is very dependant on what kind of instructor you have on how much you enjoy the class. So far i have attended two spinning classes, one far better than my most recent class.

My first ever spinning class, I was pumped and so motivated. I really pushed myself through the entire 45 minutes, which flew by. The instructor mixed up the different “moves” and changed the rhythm to match the bet of the music. She was smiling and working with you the entire time, giving you praise, when you really needed it! I was so impressed that I kept up the pace of every other member the entire time, I left the class feeling so pleased with myself and wanting to book in for the following week.

clean and green girls

Instagram: @cleanandgreengirls Post spinning & still smiling!

Following my first class, i was really looking forward to my next, the usual instructor was on holiday so we had an alternative, I kept an open mind until we finished the warm up. What i loved about my first class was it wasn’t focused on “imagining we are riding along a road” or “riding up a mountain, racing to the top”  which is exactly what this class turned into. Although i still pushed myself, i definitely found myself taking the resistance off during some of the interval training. I have realised I am not motivated by “imagining to overtake the person next to me” on an exercise bike. I have learnt i am motivated by the energy of the instructor and moving to the beat of the music.

This is most probably where the mixed reviews come in, everyone is motivated in different ways, I would 100% recommend trying a couple of spinning classes (preferably that are held by different instructors) to see if the class/ which instructors method works for you.

Jo x

Legs, Bums & Tums: Bottoms Up

Got buns hun? You will after this class!

Make your fat cry with this low intensity Ab shredding and butt burning fitness class. I am talking about Legs Bums & Tums, you will squat till you drop!

 

Legs Bums & Tums is the perfect full body aerobic workout aimed at specifically toning up your legs, bum and tum. These are notoriously the worst parts of your body when it comes to shifting fat, so by targeting them one after the other you’re tackling all three key problem areas in one fun-packed but very effective 45 minute class.

 

Starting with a stretch warm up to some get pumped music, then moving into the core of the workout, a circuit repeated 3 times, including: Squats, lunges, ab crunches and mountain climbers.

Is Legs Bums & Tums right for you? Are you looking to:

  • Start exercising and not sure where to start?
  • Mix up your regular workout routine
  • Tone and firm Legs Bum & Tum
  • Raise stamina

This class went hand in hand a day after boxercise. Unfortuantely I can’t make next week’s class, but i have already booked myself in to the following week.

 

Can’t get to a class? Try these at home: (Link courtesy of My Protein)

http://www.myprotein.com/thezone/training/training-womens/home-workout-best-legs-bums-and-tums-exercises-to-do-at-home/

 

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Boxercise: Worth a punch?

This month I signed up to my local gym and I have already been 10 times!   Tonight, I thought i would take advantage of the fitness classes my membership includes, so I went to my first class: Boxercise.

I had heard of Boxercise before, but I had no idea what to expect from the class (other than boxing). The class duration was 45 minutes and wow did I feel every minute. It was 45 minutes of intense training and I loved it!

Firstly, we were divided into pairs for the warm up, which included sit ups and light punches , squats and press -ups

Then 3 different circuits, including: jumping squats, kettle bell lifts and boxing. repeat x 2 times

Last high intensity exercise before the cool down: Abs. Oh yeah!

Finally, the cool down and stretching never felt so good!

I was extremely impressed with my first fitness class, I was looking to mix up my work outs to keep me motivated and on my toes, this class will certainly become a regular activity for me!

If you are looking to:

  • Improve upper body strength and muscle tone
  • Release stress and improve overall fitness
  • Learn boxing moves without the worry of getting hit
  • Vary your usual workout

I think you have found your new favourite class!

 

Badasses on roller skates

Have you ever felt intimidated and welcome at the same time? Been around a group of people who are so badass but also ridiculously kind and supportive? Were they on skates?

If the answer to all three of those questions is yes, then you probably already know a lot about the amazing sport that is Roller Derby! If the answer to any of those is no, what are you doing with your life? JOKING!

This year I started the Fresh Meat programme with Surrey Roller Girls. From day one I was hooked. I had a spell of bad luck which meant that I almost had to drop out within the first few weeks of the learn-to-skate prerequisite sessions due to a concussion and a very badly injured foot (both courtesy of sparring at Taekwondo, both separate incidents). I’m so glad that I was given the opportunity to continue, thank you Rachael!

SRG FRESHIES 2016
Some of my fellow Fresh Meat 2016 graduates and me after our first sock scrim! Photo Courtesy of the SRG Facebook Page

Roller Derby is a sport for everyone, no matter your gender, race, sexuality, body shape/size or anything else. There’s no other sport quite like it.

In Roller Derby, having a team of diverse players not only means you have a lot more fun off skates, but it makes you a better team on them. Different body shapes and sizes are advantages, because different people can be put in to different positions and often naturally fall in to them. Saying that, there are some incredible skaters who are double threats [can block or jam] who you really do not want to cross.

The way Roller Derby works is as follows:

You have two teams on the track, each team has 4 blockers and a jammer. The jammer has to get through the blockers, referred to as the pack, and skate around the track and back through the pack to earn points for their team.

There are about a thousand other rules and conditions for earning those points, but I won’t go in to that here. If you’re interested, you can visit this page.

The players on track will hit each other, hard. They will hit each other to try to get other players to leave the track or to slow them down/move them out of the way to let their jammer through. Derby players are HARDCORE. There are specific safe target zones and parts that you are allowed to hit with to ensure that people don’t die, basically.

To run a game, the players aren’t the only people needed. Literally anyone can get involved in Roller Derby because there are so many officials needed for a bout. NSO’s are non-skating officials and help run the game in set positions (you can read about the positions here although I’m sure I’ll post about it some time in the future!), so you don’t even have to skate to be a part of the derby community! Refs are also needed, and a lot of them. There are up to 7 referees to a game. You need a lot of refs with Roller Derby because there is SO. MUCH. ACTION. An unbelievable amount of action, and it would be impossible for one or two refs to be able to see it all.

SUN'S OUT GUNS OUT
SRG’s upcoming Champs home game, SUN’S OUT GUNS OUT! Photo Courtesy of the SRG Facebook page

I’m still a n00b, and I am loving it. There is so much to learn, so many skills that I hope to one day have and I am enjoying every step of the journey.

Thank you to all of the Surrey Roller Girls for making me feel so welcome and empowered and thank you to my fellow Fresh Meat for being just as excited, nervous and nerdy as I am! I feel like I have friends for life already and it’s only been a few months.

If you’re interested in becoming a Badass on Wheels™* then keep an eye out for your local Fresh Meat sessions.

Don’t forget to follow Surrey Roller Girls on Facebook and Instagram!

Peace out,

Tilly xo

*not actually trademarked

Three Mountains, 2 legs!

On top of the World!

Hi all!

We’ve both been busy training, working hard, moving houses and changing jobs so we haven’t had much time to post recently.

We’re committed to bringing you the latest news in our fitness journeys and beyond so will be posting more frequently! YAY!

This weekend I took part in the Three Peaks Challenge with my work colleagues. We had 24 hours to climb 3 of the biggest mountains in the UK; Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon. 

We ascended (and therefore descended) around 3000m across the three mountains with 44km walking and 2000km driving. This was no small feat and was way more challenging than we imagined it would be. The only sleep we could get was in the van between the mountains which doesn’t sound too bad, until you realise that the van is going to be quite erratic to get us there on time and there are 6 other sweaty bodies in there with you (I think the smell of man BO is going to be forever in my nostrils). You can’t stop for decent meals so you have to bring a lot of snacks with you, carbs carbs carbs for between the mountains and high sugar snacks and energy gels to carry up the mountains. All of this plus wet weather kit, lots of water and any additional kit you might need in your pack and you’re looking at carrying a fair amount of weight.

Minibus seat
My bed for the weekend

As someone who doesn’t eat meat, I also didn’t have any particularly high protein snacks with me. The lads were carrying things like biltong to add that extra bit of protein when their bodies were craving it. I survived on a diet of pasta, Mini Cheddars, Skittles and Veggie Percys as well as energy gels, Lucozade Sport and about 6 litres of water.

It was tough, really tough. I didn’t carry walking poles as I found that they slowed me down on our training weekend. This was a double edged sword; I would have been slowed down by the poles but I would have taken a lot of pressure off of my legs and knees should I have decided to use them. I’m glad that I didn’t.

I am so proud of my body and I feel incredibly strong, my legs held out the whole way, I achieved a time that most people can only hope of getting.

89
The full team! Naïvely smiling away.

Our final times were:

  • Ben Nevis Car Park to Pen-y-pass Car Park: 26 hours, 20 mins
  • Peak of Ben Nevis to Peak of Snowdon: 20 hours, 38 mins

We were told before we took on this challenge than anything under 30 hours was an achievement. We smashed that.

The individual mountain timings were:

  • Ben Nevis – start 15:00, summit 18:18, 5 hours 31 mins total climb
  • Scafell Pike – start 02:30, summit 05:20, 5 hours total climb
  • Snowdon – start 12:20, summit 14:56, 4 hours 59 mins total climb

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I learnt a lot about myself on this journey, I am stronger than I ever could have imagined and my willpower and stubbornness can be a blessing. I can sleep in a van (something I couldn’t do before) and dribble a lot when I do so. My sense of humour can withstand the toughest of challenges.

Unfortunately, we hit bad weather on both Ben Nevis and Scafell Pike. At the top of Nevis we were shrouded in clouds which decided to pour hail, sleet and rain on us as soon as we began our descent. Scafell Pike is hell on Earth and we almost got lost due to the low visibility whilst we made our way through the fog of clouds that surrounded us. Fortunately, another group were coming up at the same time as us and one of them knew the way and helped us get back on track (THANK YOU KIND STRANGER). With drops of thousands of feet hidden around us, we had to make sure that we didn’t put a foot wrong. The wind picked up on all three mountains and was bitingly cold, it whipped around us and we had to keep firm footing to keep from being swept away.

It wasn’t just tough physically and mentally, it was incredibly dangerous too. Thankfully we managed to do it with no casualties and no major injuries. Though there were a few sore bums when some of us fell over on the descents. The paths (when you’re on a path) are made of uneven stones which are very slippery when wet. I was lucky to only fall down on the grass bank which I decided to climb to avoid the dodgy rocks on Scafell Pike.

An idea of the treacherous paths
An idea of the treacherous paths

As we descended Snowdon, with sore knees and heavy eyelids, our spirits were still strong. We reached the finish line after one more bend, just one more, oh wait, yeah, one more bend! And we were full of pride for the stellar effort that we had put in. I think we’ll be feeling this sense of achievement for a few weeks yet and I am so proud of the team that I was with for suffering through the pain and reaching the finish line.

Would I do it again? Maybe, when I forget how horrible Scafell Pike is to climb in the dark and what a disgusting climb it is.

Would I recommend it? Yes, absolutely. You’ll never do anything else like it.

Keep an eye out for more posts soon!

Tilly xo

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This challenge was undertaken in aid of the Haemophilia Society. A UK based charity who do excellent work in supporting those with blood disorders and their families. You can see more about their work here: http://www.haemophilia.org.uk/. You can sponsor us at the following link: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Mem3peaks2016

Exciting stuff coming in 2016…

Hi Everyone!

In 2016 I will be embarking on a collection of adventures, these aren’t ‘New Years Resolutions’ and have been in the works for a couple of months already.

The biggest challenge 2016 holds for me is the Three Peaks Challenge. In just 24 hours (although we’ll be happy with under 30!) we will climb Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon. My soul will be broken and my muscles sore but  I am incredibly excited to have this opportunity as it is something that I have been looking to do for years. I will be doing this with a team from work and training for most of us has already begun. Unfortunately, due to a recent bout of illness, my training is already behind! This means I’ll be working twice as hard to catch up over the next few months. The climb date is set for 2nd July 2016. Watch this space for updates on my progress during training and information about the charity we are supporting, as well as information on the best kit to use and the food etc that I will be taking with me!

snowdon
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

 

The second challenge of note was a stroke of luck! Thanks to an Instagram competition, my sister and I are going to be some of the first to try the new Green and Lean workout and meal plan. We won this competition through @honestlyhealthy and will be updating on progress and reviewing the workout plan as we go along!

Green and Lean Winners
Photo Courtesy of @honestlyhealthy on Instagram

On top of these fitness and food adventures, I have a holiday to prepare for! I want to be looking my best on the beach, so I’m going to be working hard to feel confident in my bikini! We fly on 30th March, so I have just 3 months to get ready to #RockThatSwimsuit!

This year also marks the 3rd year I will have been doing taekwondo and the year I can finally obtain my black belt. Thanks to the training and support I receive every week at the Taekwondo Academy I’m feeling ready to hit this goal and to approach 2016 with more determination and dedication than ever before! Today I’m a red belt, by the end of 2016 I hope to be a Black Belt Level 1 Senior Instructor. Bring it on, Travis!

I’ll also be signing up to a collection of races and challenges throughout the year, likely including the Colour Run and the Colour Obstacle Rush. More on this as they get booked up.

I hope everyone is feeling as excited as I am about the New Year and as usual, we would love to hear your goals! Feel free to chat to us in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Happy New Year!

Tilly x

Why I’m not changing my FB profile picture to the French flag

Last night I sat, like most of the world, watching in horror at the events unfolding in Paris and hoping for the safety of all of the innocent people involved, silently devastated at each new loss.

My heart weeps for everyone affected by this heinous act of terrorism, for the destruction and loss.

I am not going to change my profile picture to have a filter of the French flag on it. Here’s why:

  • The same day as the attacks in France, a bomb was detonated at a funeral in Baghdad. I didn’t hear about it until after the attack in Paris.
  • The day before the attacks in France, over 40 people were killed in Beirut and over 200 were injured. I didn’t hear about it until after the attack in Paris.
  • Mexico and Japan have both been hit by major earthquakes, I haven’t heard much at all about these incidents.

Every day more and more people are being killed by acts of terrorism, or huge natural disasters. Changing my profile picture in support of one country is not going to help this. That is why I pledge to donate to relief funds for each of the countries named above and to find out if there are any other ways I can help.

The refugee crisis is still a problem and they are not the cause of these incidents, this is exactly what they are trying to escape. If we block our borders, we’re forcing them to decide to either go back to the same hell we’ve just witnessed or to stay in camps not knowing their final destinations.

They may have different coloured skin, or speak a different language, but they are the same as you and me and they want to live in peace.

I stand with Paris. I stand with Beirut. I stand with Baghdad. I stand with Mexico. I stand with Japan. 

I am human, we are one.

#WeAreOne

Gluten Free

Hi all,

It’s been a while since my last blog post! A lot has been happening recently including :

  • Passing my driving test
  • Completing the Great South Run

So aside from a hectic couple of months, I have also decided to go Gluten Free in my lifestyle, now this is not some “fad diet” I’m trying, this has been an ongoing occurance for the past few months.

When eating anything “heavy” i like to call it ( bread, pasta etc.)I always feel sluggish, sleepy, un-energetic, bloated and sometimes sick.

So for the past few days, i have tried to cut back further on the amount of gluten in my day to day diet and i have found the results to be quite effective.

I also have a skin condition called Keratosis pilaris, which is commonly known as “chicken skin” which causes numerous small, rough, tan or red little bumps around hair follicles commonly found on the upper arms and thighs.

keratosis-pilaris

Keratosis Pilaris affects an estimated 40 to 50% of the adult population and approximately 50 to 80% of all adolescents.

Keratosis pilaris is a common and harmless condition where the skin becomes rough and bumpy, as if covered in permanent goose pimples.

I have had this for as long as i can remember, originally, I thought it was caused by dry skin, a large amount of ingrown hairs and not exfoliating my skin enough, so i started making this part of my beauty routine, although i saw a minimal difference, i would always find some days were worse than others.

I have always been quite self conscious about it when wearing sleeveless tops and shorts.

Since going gluten free, I have noticed the redness has gone down a lot and there doesn’t seem to be as many on the back of my arms. I will continue to be gluten free for the next couple of weeks and then address this to my GP to inform them to hopefully get a better knowledge of if I am gluten intolerant, but for now, I am extremely happy with the results of my skin and hope for it to get better. A relief of what i thought i would have to live with for the foreseeable future.

I wanted to post this to build awareness to anyone else who has this condition and is struggling with confidence and knowledge of what it is as I wish I was made aware earlier.

Keep an eye out for clean gluten free recipes over the next few weeks!

Jo x

Classic Burger

It’s BBQ season, well it’s meant to be!

Unfortunately the weather hasn’t been brilliant the past couple of weeks, but over the bank holiday somehow i managed to get invivted to 4 BBQ’s. Needless to say, i was stuffed come Tuesday!

 

Which gave me an idea for a clean, healthy and guilt free BBQ burger.

I used portobello mushrooms as the “buns”  of the burger (you can use alternatives like sweet potato or lettuce leaves) Peri Peri Hache Steak (again you can use alternatives like lean beef burgers/ chicken burgers, which you can get from muscle food.) I then topped the burger off with some halloumi cheese, chopped tomatoes and parma ham. DELICIOUS!

To make this more of a “dinner” meal i chopped two sweet potatoes in half and took some of the middle out to stuff them with spicy prawns.

Now here’s the recipe and instructions:

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes:

  • Cut the potatoes in half and pop in the microwave for about 5 minutes until, they are soft. Let them cool down and then take out some of the middle.
  • Put the sweet potatoes in the oven on 200 for about 15 minutes
  • Stuff the sweet potato with the spicy prawns and serve!

Portobello Mushroom Burger

  • Cook 4 mushrooms (for 2 people) in the oven for about 10 minutes.
  • Cook 2 lean beef burgers on the griddle.
  • Grill Halloumi cheese for 3 minutes each side on a medium to high heat.

Put all together and Enjoy!

Jo x

Jamie’s Sugar Rush

Hi All,

I have just finished watching Jamie’s Sugar Rush. What a documentary, its extremely inspirational and motivational to cut out sugar from your diet.

Jamie Oliver has now added a tax on all sugary drinks in his restaurants, which is something I applaud, I would love for one day to see this tax applied in all restaurants.

Living a “Sugar Free” lifestyle is challenging at first, but so rewarding to your mind and body. I’ll admit, recently i have slipped with my eating habits, but having watched this documentary and purchased three new superfood and sugar free cookbooks, i am so ready to get back to where i was not long ago and i encourage anyone reading to join me.

You can find all three books on amazon. Sugar Free Sugar Free Sugar Free

Alongside the three cookbooks, i also purchased a spiralizer, which i cannot wait to try! Courgette & Carrot Spaghetti are just the beginning. Look out for future posts from me going spiral crazy!

Jamie Oliver has started a petition for their to be a tax on all sugary drinks, which I have signed to support this. I have copied a link to the petition below, please show your support and sign.

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/jamies-sugar-rush