Train insane or remain the same

I am so pleased with my workout routines, I have been pushing and pushing myself to train harder and more often. If someone had told me last year that I would be able to run 10KM this year, I wouldn’t have believed them.

As well as my regular runs and gym sessions, I have recently incorporated “Insanity” into my regime, it is tough as I’m sure most people are aware of, but the buzz I get after completing each session is unreal!

I also found a free app in the app store, which is a calendar for your insanity workouts, it’s great to see those days go down day by day and I can’t wait until I can say I have completed the insanity challenge!

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One of my most recent purchases has been a Fitbit Charge HR,IMG_2018I absolutely love this product and I find it extremely accurate. I was checking my heart rate yesterday evening and could not believe my heart rate was so low, I thought I would just double check this was correct, so I sat for a minute and found my pulse and counted… SPOT ON!

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Although the price tag is quite steep, I would strongly suggest to anyone that if you are serious about logging your exercises and keeping track on your day to day activities, then this is the product for you. It’s light, small and neat and doesn’t disturb any of my everyday movements.

The moral of this post is:

Don’t give up, don’t tell yourself you can’t do it. You can.

Go get the results you wish for.

Jo x

Clean&GreenFitness

The Body Image Issue

I am aware that my view may be controversial but it’s one I think a lot of people secretly would agree with. My view is simple:

There is a difference between promoting body confidence and promoting an unhealthy lifestyle. 

And we’ve gone too far. In trying to promote self-confidence and a love of oneself, we’ve allowed people who are clinically obese to become ‘supermodels’ and role models, these people are celebrated for ‘breaking the boundaries’ and ‘crushing stereotypes’. These people are also wildly unhealthy – one comment I heard from a self-confessed overweight model is that celebrities don’t get criticised for smoking – so why should she be criticised for being overweight? The response was an outcry of people agreeing that she should be celebrated too. My response? You’re right, the person who is promoting smoking should probably be in some hot water too. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

Celebrating obesity isn’t celebrating body confidence – it’s not letting people (especially impressionable young women) know that people come in all shapes and sizes and to be comfortable in themselves – it’s telling these people that it’s okay to be unhealthy. How can we, as a society and as a body image positive movement, justify allowing severely overweight and unhealthy people becoming models when we’ve worked so hard to stop (and in some countries, make illegal) underweight and unhealthy models being hired and shown in the media?

Just because it’s (generally) easier to be overweight than underweight it doesn’t mean it’s any less dangerous. This has to stop.

I absolutely believe that everyone should be comfortable in their own body, and will admit that I was not comfortable in mine  – I am still self-conscious but I didn’t realise it for years. The time I started to embrace my differences is when I focused on health and fitness rather than looks. The one thing I say to people and fully believe is that it’s okay to be any shape, size, colour, or whatever as long as you are healthy! I don’t mean you need to be as fitness obsessed as myself – rather you shouldn’t feel bloated all the time or fear the slightest bit of exercise. To me it’s that simple.

So PLEASE, let’s stop celebrating unhealthy people because it’s in fashion, let’s stop idolising overweight people because they ‘promote body confidence’. Let’s not undo all of the hard work that was put in to having healthy models in magazines rather than underweight ones. Let’s get real – let’s celebrate healthy, strong people.

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Photo from Nike Ad Campaign

(C) Tilly’s Chunky Spag Bol with a twist

My recipes will be very rough guides, don’t follow them too closely, this is cooking – not science!

What you will need:

For the pasta:

  • 1 courgette
  • A spiralizer

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 pack baby plum tomatoes
  • A splash of Apple Cider vinegar
  • 4 asparagus stalks
  • 6 baby corn
  • Dried Mixed Herbs
  • Dried Coriander Leaf (can use fresh if you want)
  • Dried Chives (can also use fresh if you have it!)
  • 100g-200g Mincemeat/Quorn or any alternative thereof

Method:

Using the spiralizer, create your “pasta” from the courgette and place off to one side.

Chop the baby plum tomatoes in to quarters (if you prefer, remove the seeds at this time as well. I leave them in but it doesn’t really make much difference) and place in a pan on the hob on a high heat, add a splash of apple cider vinegar (it really doesn’t need to be a lot, apple cider vinegar is very acidic and has a very strong taste).

Stir the tomatoes until they start to break up. Chop the asparagus and baby corn in to small pieces and add to the pan. Keep stirring until the tomatoes have completely broken down, adding roughly 1tbsp of each of the dried herbs or an amount to your taste (this is where it starts to smell REALLY good). Stir and turn the heat down to a simmer.

In a separate pan, cook your mincemeat until it’s brown all the way through.

Whilst the mincemeat and sauce are cooking, it’s time to cook the “pasta” – you have two choices here; you can steam it or you can boil it, either way cook until the courgette starts to go soft or until it’s the same consistency that you would normally have your pasta. This does not take long so you will need to keep an eye on it.

Drain the excess water/vinegar from the sauce and the fat from the mincemeat and mix together in one of the pans. Heat through.

You’re ready to serve it up! This recipe will serve one active, hungry person (okay, I mean it’ll serve someone who eats a lot like me!) or could feed up to two people, if it’s not enough just add more asparagus, baby corn and mincemeat or scale up the whole recipe. Enjoy and don’t forget to let us know what you think in the comments section below!

Travis and his super long pasta
Travis (my Taekwondo instructor) with a super long piece of courgette pasta – his review of the food “That was lovely – thanks!’

We are Generation (wh)Y

Every new generation brings a definitive, collective movement. Think suffragettes, think MLK and Rosa Parks; now imagine a whole generation campaigning for equality. That’s us. There’s no definitive age range for Generation Y (or Millennials as we’re also known), so I’m going to go with anyone born in the 1980’s all the way through to the early 2000’s.

2014 saw a huge amount of protest and focus on the inequalities people are faced with, whether you’re LGBTQ, black, a woman or Fergusonany of a variety of other minorities, there was a huge movement for you to get behind and it’s still going. (Think: Ferguson, #TransIsBeautiful and #HeForShe, to name a few.)

We’re a generation where the majority of us have never seen a whole year of peace, who have been hit with worldwide recession and who are constantly called ‘lazy, unengaged and unsociable’ by our predecessors. We’re also a generation of innovation, a generation who focuses on health and the environment, who campaign for inclusion and equality. The evidence is that we are more active,  more engaged with politics and current affairs (as could be seen on anyone’s Facebook timeline during the 2015 UK General Election) and more social thanks  to the invention of social media.

On top of this, thanks to the World Wide Web, we have a wealth of information at our fingertips, accessible at any time through smart phones, laptops or tablets (or any internet capable device – the Internet of Things is real, people). We question ‘Why?’ and we find an immediate answer. This has helped us to be more informed and so we fear social change less than previous generations as we can truly understand different perspectives on topical matters. We are willing to learn and work hard to grow, it may be easier to access the information but we still make the effort to look for it – because of that simple question ‘Why?’.

So next time you’re told our generation ‘has it easy’, is ‘entitled’ and are ‘lazy’, don’t be afraid to question it – why do you think that? We’ve been through economical hell, been discriminated against, and are trying to fix the planet that has been destroyed by your greed and entitlement. We are (for the most part) working towards a safer, more inclusive, healthier society and you don’t hear us blaming you constantly for the state society and our planet have been left in.

Stop fighting against us, stop pushing us down. Work with us on creating a new world and fix the mistakes humans have made in the past. I promise you everyone will be happier that way.

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Graphic by domnx on DeviantArt

Disclaimer: I am aware that segregating the generations isn’t 100% accurate and that there are, indeed, some ignorant idiots in our generation and there are a lot of inclusive and active people in previous generations but just let me have this one, okay? 

(C) Pink Smoothie

Hi,

I’m the other one, Jo. I thought I would give you some pink smoothie inspiration to brighten up your Tuesday morning, Monday is over for another week and we are one day closer to Friday Funday!

So this morning I definitely needed some motivation to leave my bed and what better way to start the day with this…

Pink Tuesday smoothie 09.06.2015
Pink Tuesday smoothie 09.06.2015

So what’s in it?

– A large handful of strawberries

– 1 Banana

– 2 tsp Chia Seeds

– 200/400ml Almond Milk (depending on how many servings you would like)

Simple and tastes so delicious! This keeps me full until lunch time, along with lots of water! I have recently been trying to consume more water everyday and found this app which has really helped challenge myself to do so:

Water balance app, free from the App Store
Water balance app, free from the App Store

Enter in your personal details and enter in the water consumption throughout your day and watch the person fill up! You also get achievements like “no coffee for xxx days”

Today is my one year anniversary at work! 😁 I should really start getting ready!

Have a great day!

Jo x

instagram:joannalbarrett

#GetHenchMonday

#GetHenchMonday started as a bit of a joke; I was in my car after completing Taekwondo and an hour at the gym and feeling good about it, so I took a classic bicep curl selfie and plastered it across social media. I’ll even (begrudgingly) post the offending photo here for you:

How embarrassing...
Oh dear… How embarrassing!

Please don’t hold it against me…

Since then, however, #GetHenchMonday has started to mean more to me. It’s become a motivator, a way to start the week off right and to clear my head after (everyone’s favourite) work day.

On Mondays I always push myself harder and continue going for longer, I can’t plan anything social on a Monday anymore because the Iron Paradise and the dojo are the only places I belong! It’s silly and it’s cheesy but it’s become a lot more than just a hashtag – it’s the reason I rush home from work to run to Taekwondo, the reason I am willing to run 3k to the gym after an hour and a half of Taekwondo, push the weights hard for an hour and run back home. It’s the motivator behind exercising from the moment I get home until around 10pm (approx. 5 hours every Monday!).

It also helps me get back in to the swing of things during the work week, reminding me how much I enjoy the exercise, the training, the discipline so I don’t miss a night at the gym. This is especially important if I’ve had a lazy weekend or start trying to make excuses in my head!

I’m also a self-confessed over thinker. We could have a seemingly innocuous conversation about nothing in particular and I may dwell on it for hours, thinking I should have said something differently – or was how I said that rude? Did I come across as pushy? Or a thousand other questions that pop in to my head. This doesn’t happen with every conversation, of course, and it doesn’t happen with every single person. (It isn’t always limited to specific people either though.) Exercise is the BEST and the ONLY way I have found to stop this, and it’s great! Not only does #GetHenchMonday discipline my body, but my mind benefits considerably as well.

As silly as it sounds, I would recommend it to anyone and everyone, start your own hashtag for something you enjoy or something you want to do, do it every Monday and you’ll become more enthusiastic about and learn to look forward to and love it! It doesn’t have to be exercise either – it could be studying or knitting or cuddling your cat. Give it a try and see how you feel – don’t forget to comment your results below!

I’ll leave you with the results of tonight’s #GetHenchMonday here:

Resistance Training
Resistance Training 08.06.2015 (Jefit Pro)
Fitbit Screenshot
Fitbit data 08.06.2015
MapMyRun data screen shot
MapMyRun data 08.06.2015
MapMyFitness data screenshot
MapMyFitness data 08.06.2015

It’s our launch!

Hello!

Firstly I’d like to say thank you for taking the time to have a look around! As you can see from the above tabs, we have 4 main focusses on this blog; beauty, fitness, food and thoughts.

The two main contributors to this blog are myself (Tilly) and Jo, we hope to update you daily with our latest strides towards a happier, healthier lifestyle!

We believe we are part of one of the most interesting, inclusive generations to date, a generation who uses the wide world of Big Data and science to work towards a healthier lifestyle, whilst ensuring that everyone knows that they are important and individuality is celebrated. (We’ll discuss this more later under ‘Thoughts’).

We also really really really love food! Experimenting in the kitchen can turn out amazingly well (or sometimes not so well) and we will share our favourite recipes with you here.

This is a double launch with my new venture with Younique. The Clean and Green Girls business sells ethical, high quality, affordable beauty products. You can buy from my current party or set up a party yourself to earn free make up products!

Always feel free to comment on any of our posts and join in the discussion.

It’s great to be here – thanks for joining us!

Tilly

Josh, Jo and Tilly
Jo (centre) and Tilly (bottom) with our friend Josh (left)