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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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.

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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

(V)(C) Mediterranean Mix with Sweet Potato

As you know, I am not one to stick to a strict recipe, so tonight when I got in I thought I would just throw whatever I could think of together and see how it went…

It was good enough that I had to share it immediately, with Oliver’s review a simple “YUP”.

What you need:

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • A can of Cannellini Beans
  • 1/2 cup dried split peas
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • Some sea salt
  • Some proper peppercorn pepper (the ground stuff just doesn’t cut it)
  • 2 shallots (finely chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • Dried coriander leaves
  • Italian herbs mix
  • Dill
  • Coconut Oil

For the bean mix:

Drain, wash and pat dry the beans. Put the beans, lentils, split peas, shallots and garlic in to a pan and cover with water. Then add in the coriander leaf and italian herbs, be generous because the flavours really need to soak in to the water to taste! Put on a low-medium heat until it boils (I put it on for about 25-30mins before taking it off to reheat once the potatoes were done… I wasn’t planning on making a recipe for this so didn’t take exact notes).

For the sweet potato:

Chop the potatoes in to quarters lengthways, place in to a shallow dish (the pyrex kind) and sprinkle loads of dried dill to cover the potatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Melt some coconut oil and pour over (about 1 tbsp worth). Put on a high heat (I did it at 225C on my fan oven) and turn so all 3 sides spend time facing down. Just before they’re done, sprinkle some more salt on the skins to crisp them up. It took 45 mins for the sweet potatoes to cook for me but just keep an eye until you’re happy they’re crispy enough!

MedMix
SO. GOOD.

You can tell how good this was by the fact I was so excited about it that I had to share it immediately!
Enjoy and leave a comment/review below if you try it out!

(C) Crème Fraîche on Ryvita

What you need:

  • Fruit Crunch Ryvita (the deep red packet)
  • Crème Fraîche (300ml pot, don’t buy the fat free kind – it’s packed with sugar)
  • Chia Seeds (3 tbsp)
  • Ground Almonds (1/2 cup/around 4-5 tbsp)
  • Rose Water (a glug – you’ll need to taste it to see how much you want. I got a 190ml bottle for approx £1.50 from ASDA)
  • Sunflower Seeds (to top with)
  • Berries (I used dried cranberries and fresh blueberries and again these are to top with)

This is so super easy and should make enough to last a full work week (5 days) and will take about 5 minutes if you’re super slow at mixing.

Method:

Empty the crème fraîche in to a mixing bowl, add in the chia seeds and ground almonds, mix this all together. Add a teaspoon at a time of rose water, stir and taste as you go, once it’s to your taste it’s pretty much ready to eat!

Spread the mixture on top of the Fruit Crunch Ryvita as thick as you want, top with sunflower seeds and berries and that’s it! A delicious breakfast that will last days! (Store just the additional crème fraîche mixture in the fridge to keep it fresh).

Crème fraîche goodness
The finished product

Give it a go and don’t forget to leave a comment below!

 

(C) Dinner Parties – the clean way! (Part III)

I hope by now you’ve had a chance to try the starter and main course in this thread of recipes and enjoyed them as much as I do!

This is, by far, the simplest of all of the courses and is so ridiculously tasty. If I’m honest, I thought this would be the most disgusting thing I have ever eaten in my life and was very pleasantly surprised when I took my first spoonful and found the texture and taste to be incredible. This recipe should serve 4 people (but if you enjoy it as much as me, it may disappear before you get a chance to put it on the table…).

Dessert – Banana, Almond and Chia Seed Pudding

What you will need:

  • 1 cup chia seeds
  • 4 bananas
  • 1 carton almond milk (if anyone has nut allergies you can use soya, coconut or oat milk)

Method:

Chop up the banana and put the almond milk and banana in to a blender/smoothie maker and blend until smooth.

Split in to 4 serving dishes – I used a fancy latte glass I had hanging around. Make sure there is some room in whatever you’re using… you’ll see why.

Put 1/4 cup of chia seeds in to each dish, mix, and place in the fridge to cool. The chia seeds will absorb the liquid and become soft, they will also grow. The longer you leave it, the softer they become. I left it about 30 mins and the texture was like mousse however you can eat it straight away, the seeds will just be crunchy.

Chia, banana and almond milk pudding
Looks weird, tastes great!

Serve and enjoy!

As usual, please leave your comments below.

(C) Dinner parties – the clean way! (Part II)

I hope you all enjoyed yesterdays recipe Flaxseed bread with Guaca-HOLYMOLY.  Today I’m bringing you the main course, one of my absolute favourites. I love pizza; pizza is glorious, pizza is great. Traditional pizza is also full of all those things that you really should not eat… so when I started eating clean, I thought this would be my downfall. Except, as it turns out, the best thing about clean eating as opposed to dieting is that you can still eat all of your favourite foods, you just find creative and innovative ways to adjust them to suit you!

Okay okay okay… so this recipe is not 100% clean… BUT with clean eating you still need a balanced diet, so the cheese is fine as long as you aren’t eating loads of cheese every single day (and your body processes dairy fine). Moving swiftly on…

Main Course – Courgette Pizza

What you will need:

For the base:

  • 1 courgette
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese (grated)
  • Dried Coriander

For the sauce:

  • 1 punnet plum tomatoes
  • A splash of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Dried Chives

For the topping:

  • Cheddar cheese (grated)
  • Any other toppings you want to add!

Method:

Start by chopping the courgette in to very small pieces. I do this by using my spiralizer to make “curly fry” shapes then chop those up even more finely with a sharp knife. Pop this all in to a large mixing bowl (or, as in Part I, if you don’t have a mixing bowl just use a large pan). Add the coconut flour and eggs and mix it all together, if it’s still too dry add a small amount of water. Add in your cheese and a generous amount of dried coriander. Mix well then place on a baking tray, smoothing it out in to all of the edges. Pop this in the oven at 180oc for a normal oven or 160oc for a fan assisted oven. Leave until it turns golden-brown (see pic below).

 

 

All our pizzas are in your base

 

Whilst this is cooking (it can take around 10 mins) you can work on making the sauce. Keep an eye on the base as it might need taking out whilst you are making the sauce, though!

Chop up all of the tomatoes in to quarters and place in a pan on the hob on a high heat. Add a splash of apple cider vinegar. Stir well and allow to boil. Add in 1 chopped clove of garlic and a generous amount of chives. Turn the heat down to a medium heat and continue to stir regularly, letting the tomatoes completely break down. Once they are completely broken down, let the mixture cool for a few minutes and blend to a very smooth consistency. Pour over the base and spread with the back of a spoon.

Add your cheese and toppings and place back in the oven at the same temperature as before. Keep an eye on it and let it cook until the cheese is all melted and looks like you would normally have your pizza – I leave it about 10 mins.

Serve and enjoy!

PIZZAAAAA!!!

 

Pro tip: If you want some a side to go along with your pizza, make some sweet potato chips. I have a tefal actifry which makes the most incredible sweet potato chips, however if you chop up and place them in the oven (just like frozen oven chips but without the guilt), add some melted coconut oil over the top and some salt, you can get equally tasty sweet potato chips!

NB: I wouldn’t normally serve pizza and chips at a dinner party, but with the twist on these it is more acceptable I believe, plus it caters to all ages!

As usual, please let me know how this recipe worked for you in the comments below!

(C) Dinner parties – the clean way! (Part I)

Firstly I would like to apologise for my absence over the past week – it’s been a busy one at work and I haven’t had much spare time to blog. However, I have managed to perfect a three course meal suitable for clean eaters, vegetarians and coeliacs – for those times when you want to have people over but don’t want to break your diet! I’m going to aim to do each recipe so that it can feed up to 4 people, however I do live alone so this may vary depending on how much food people eat (as with every recipe).

First Course/Starter – Flaxseed Bread with Guaca-HOLYMOLY

What you need:

For the Bread:

  • 2 cups milled flaxseed
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp bicarb of soda OR baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the Guaca-HOLYMOLY

  • 3 avocados
  • 1 1/2 tsp Cayenne Chilli Pepper
  • Dried Mixed Herbs (for garnish)

Method:

This recipe is super simple!

For the bread:

Preheat your oven to 200oc or 180oc for a fan oven.

In a mixing bowl (or, if you don’t have one like me, in a large pan), put the milled flaxseed and add 3 eggs, mix this all together so it is a wet mixture.

Add the bicarb of soda/baking powder, ground almonds and salt and mix again, it’s going to dry up pretty quickly so now is the time to crack in the extra egg and add the 3 tbsp of water.

Mix it all up until it is almost a lumpy cake mixture consistency.

That is it, all you need to do now is pour it in to a small loaf pan, pop it in the oven and wait 20-25 mins. Stick a knife through the centre and if it comes out clean, it’s ready! This bread is delicious and surprisingly light – you can add nuts to it or leave it plain. It’s so versatile, it’s worth playing around with adding different ingredients to see how it turns out! (I will be experimenting with Monterey Jack cheese and jalapenõs soon).

Flaxseed bread with guaca-HOLYMOLY

For the Guaca-HOLYMOLY:

Cut the avocados in half and remove the stones. Remove the peel and place all the flesh in to a bowl, cut in to small chunks. Mash the avocado flesh with the back of a fork until it’s a smooth consistency (this can take some elbow grease and patience! It may be easier to do these one at a time). Add in the Cayenne Chilli Pepper and mix it all up, I would suggest doing this a bit at a time and tasting throughout until it’s at a heat that you are happy with.

Once the bread is cool enough, spread the Guaca-HOLYMOLY on to sliced pieces and garnish by sprinkling some dried mixed herbs over the top.

SO SO EASY, yet so full of flavour!

Let me know what you think of this recipe in the comments section below.

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

(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!’