Maverick Runners a helping at the annual Christow Show!

We are ever so pleased that one of our client's who runs the Maverick Running group (excuse the pun) has been asked to help with the organising of the 5k family fun run!

It'll be a lovely beginner friendly route across the beautiful country side of Devon.

It'll be held on Saturday 20th August and they hope to get plenty of local support and it's and ideal route for those wanting to try running!

Here's a link to the entry form for the race:

http://teign.info/cross-country-race/

It'll be fun family day out at the show and I know the weather is going to be awesome!

Any questions - feel free to shout out!

:)

Bra's for Africa....literally!

As always I've always got something on the go and recently I saw this little charity on Facebook and as it's about Africa, I felt a connection with this charity and jumped at the chance at doing my bit.

It's so easy - I'm not after your money - I'm after your underwear!  Actually your unused bra's to be exact.

SMALLS FOR ALL is a charity that provides bra's to girls and women in Africa, to help prevent rape and all sorts of horrible crimes.  It's seen as a luxury item, which makes perpertrators think these women are well kept women ie, they have husbands / brothers / fathers who have lots of money and therefore fear what these families will do to them....

 

The charity also collects new knickers for girls aged 3 upwards as the young girls don't have any underwear - and what's even more sad is that when the girls' start their periods they can't go to school!  Can you imagine your daughter not going to school...that's about 12 weeks a year she's losing...AKA 3 months of schooling!

I've set a target goal of 5000 bras within the next year and so far, in 3 weeks we have collected 240!  It's been fun practically ripping the bra's off all my clients' ... okay not quite so bad, but it's been a really great start with little competitions going!

I'm asking you to donate at least one bra....and to get one bra from your friend...and their friend etc.  If you have more bras to donate then I'd be delighted if you gave them to us!  Can you imagine how it would make you feel if you found out that YOUR bra stopped one of those women becoming another victim!  It's such a small thing and at the moment it's just lying in your drawer... so please....

 

SEND ME YOUR BRAS!

 

The studio is open Mon-Thur 9am-1pm & 4:30pm - 9pm if you want to drop them off.  Alternatively, lovely Kathy Wilson who own The Dressing Room Bridal shop in Torquay has kindly offered her premises as a drop off point in Torbay.   Also Cora who owns Flhair in Teignmouth, near the train station, has offered her premises as a collection point for those living in surrounding areas!

If you'd like to get involved or want more information then please contact me by email contact@teignfitness.com.

Join in and get naked!  (okay not quite!)

 

Lots of Hugs

 

 

 

 

What is Mindfulness and how can it help?

Everywhere you turn these days, the term Mindfulness seems to be popping up, but what is Mindfulness and how can it help?  

Mindfulness is often defined as 'paying attention on purpose, moment by moment, without judging and with curiosity and kindness.  This means developing the ability through meditation skills and techniques to pay deliberate attention to our experience from moment to moment..

Becoming more aware of our thoughts, feelings and sensations may not sound like an obviously helpful thing to do, however learning to do this in a way that suspends judgement and self criticism can have surprising results. Many people report finding inner strengths and resources that help them make better informed decisions about their health and life in general.

In our busy, modern lives, most of us find ourselves being frequently ‘swept away’ by the current of thoughts and feelings, worries, pressures, responsibilities; wanting things to be different from how they are right now. In this way we often live our lives on auto pilot, moving from one thing to the next, without really noticing what is actually happening. 

Everyone is different and their experience of mindfulness will be different, but people who have attended a mindfulness course report;

• Finding new and effective ways of managing their stress, pain, anxiety and discomfort

• Feeling calmer and more confident

• Improved immune system functioning and diminished stress-related symptoms like eczema      and psoriasis

• Being less judgemental of themselves and others

• Being more self compassionate 

• Being better able to communicate their needs

• Living their lives more fully

How can I get started?  

It takes some effort and practice to learn mindfulness. So the best way to start is with an experienced Teacher who can guide you and to come with an open mind and an attitude to give it a go and see what happens!

However, mindfulness isn’t all about sitting on a cushion and closing your eyes!  It’s also about learning to be more present from day to day in our busy lives. 

Here’s an idea on how you can have a go yourself at bringing mindfulness to one of your daily activities…..

Drinking your morning cuppa.

 

 
 

It’s a fair assumption that we all look forward to our morning cuppa, whether you are partial to a cup of tea first thing in the morning or a steaming mug of coffee. This may not seem like the obvious place to create a mindfulness practice, but it’s almost perfect.

It’s one of the first things we often do when we step out of bed and it sets the tone for the day. You could continue racing through this simple activity, if you wish, or you could choose to set aside five minutes and sit down with your tea or coffee and just be.

Leave your mobile phone alone. Don’t check social media. Ignore your email. Just take in the flavours and aroma of your morning beverage and enjoy the moment.

If you would like to find out more about Mindfulness, how it can help you, and try some short practices, we are holding an Introductory session at Teign Fitness led by Anna Murch, Mindfulness Teacher (annamurch-mindfulness.co.uk), on Saturday 9th April at 11am – 1pm.  Places are limited to 12. 

Thank you so much to Anna for this blog post!

I'm looking foward to the workshop myself! If you'd like to book a space then please let me know ..... spaces are limited!

Warmest Hugs!

pink pink.png
 


South Devon Business Awards!!

WOoohooo!!!

As some of you may already know .....

Teign Fitness was selected as a finalist in the South Devon Business Awards for BEST NEW BUSINESS 2016!

We are so pleased with this achievement and we attended a rather dashing night in Torquay and I'm exceptionally pleased to announce that.....

 

Teign Fitness were nominated Runner Up in this category!!  

 

We are so chuffed with this achievement and obviously could not have come this far without all the amazing support from all our clients old and new!  

 

For those of you that know Laura Wall of Laura Wall Art in Teignmouth....she won Runner Up in the Growth Award!

 

I'd like to send out a big thank you and love to you all :)

 

Lots of love!!

 

Exercise Your Way To A Better Menopause!

Whether exercise itself has a positive effect on menopause symptoms is an area of much research.  In the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation, menopausal symptoms were more frequent among less active women, with a trend of increasing symptoms with decreasing activity.

Aerobic training resulted in lower scores for depressed moods and higher scores for attractiveness and improvements in cardio fitness and lean muscle mass.  Physical activity like pilates and yoga resulted in postive effects on menopause-specific quality of life and affect (i.e measure of general happiness).  

Remember how awesome you feel after your sessions.....this actually counts alot for your well-being!

 

Although the health benefits of a complete exercise program for women are supported by research, unfortunately, many women are not active and activity levels decrease with age.  (Time to MAKE time for yourselves ladies!!)

A comprehensive exercise program includes activities that target the cardio sysetm like high intensity training (aka HIT Pilates), muscular exercises (PIlates), body composition (bootcamp / nutritional support), flexibility (Yoga / PiYo), and neuromotor fitness (Pilates / PiYo).

This is why we believe in a holistic approach.  We offer unlimited memberships for a reason - don't eat the same foods day in and day out - don't perform the same type of exercise day in and day out.

Push your comfort zone ladies!

From an exercise and hormonal approach - avoid long workouts eg 45 minutes long where the heart rate is raised (for your info PiYo normally lasts 50 min including all the rest in between! and HIT Pilates lasts about 35 minutes).  Long walks are excellent as the heart rate isn't raised to effect cortisol.

ANY high intensity short duration is particularly beneficial for weight loss AND helping balance hormones.

Relaxation / mindfulness reduces stress hormones - which in turn affect Thyroid function and immune function.  Breathing exercises (Yoga/Pilates) also reduces stress hormone levels and boosts other beneficial hormones - those happy ones called oxytocin).   Hence we try and have 5 minutes at least at the end of the session to help reduce all the corisol!

If you have any questions about weight - loss, menopause or what exercise is best for you then please feel free to hit REPLY and email us!

Warmest Hugs!

pink.png
 

Nominated for Best New Business Award 2016!!!!


How Do You Reduce Your Cortisol Levels?

So last week we learnt about Cortisol and the role it plays in menopause and also how it's the big baddy when it comes to weight gain, especially during menopause......

Now here's the good news - it's not that difficult to reduce the cortisol levels in your body and espcially for women - you can reduce those levels by a massive 50 % just by using breathing techniques for 5 minutes!

There's a really good one...

Can you guess which one yet???

1.  Decrease your alcohol and caffeine intake.  Any kind of stress results in cortisol levels increasing......so reducing the stress you're putting into the body - will help reduce the levels.

2.  Add Vitamin C into your diet and make sure it's a high dose!  (great from helping to fight illnesses too.)

3.  Eating Liquorice

4.  Drinking grapefruit juice

5. Partaking in Pilates / Yoga / meditation / mindfulness

6.  Relaxing to instrumental music

7.  Eating Dark Chocolate! (wohoooo!)

8.  Breathing techniques for 5 minutes

9.  Ginseng

10.  Walking outdoors helps to reduce your levels.  It brings you closer to nature and watching the views bring calmness and peace.

11.  Short duration exercise (works on men - not so well on women....... short duration - does vacuuming and doing the dishes count..I wonder??)

So there you have it...

Try and do at least one of these things every day and this will help reduce your cortisol, reduce stress and more long term - help to lose weight!!! 

Next week I'll be chatting to you about which are the best forms of exercise for ladies going through menopause.

Catch you then!

 


CORTISOL & MENOPAUSE

Cortisol and Menopause – the Connection

The number one hormone which effects all other hormones…Cortisol!

Ever met a women that boasts she is so well balanced hormonally – no me neither.

Did you know that 50% of your oestrogent gets detoxified by your liver... in other words it'll either take it out the body or make it less toxic.  

If the liver isn't funciontioning optimally then the uncleared stuff becomes toxic to us and these "stuff" things can be cancer forming.

One of these "stuff" things (ask Paul for all the scientific terms - I like to keep it simple!)....where was I... one of these "stuff" things gets stuffed into our fat cells, which leads to obesity!

Why?

Because the main function of fat cells is to store toxins! If you want to lose fat first lose the cause for having it – ie dump the toxins. CLEAN YOUR LIVER!

 

 
 

 

A quick lesson about Hormones......

Hormones 101 – hormones matter as they affect:

  • Cell metabolism
  • Homeostasis (balance)
  • Reproduction (estrogen:progesterone ratio)
  • Development
  • Behaviour (if you got hormones you KNOW it affects your behaviour - back in the day when I suffered with PMS - it felt like Godzilla!)
  • Organ reserve (have you ran out of the stuff that kept you balanced)

The Main Hormones

  • Cortisol
  • Oestrogen (makes you ALL woman, if dominant can be pro-cancerous)
  • Progesterone (counter balances oestrogen, mellows you out)
  • Testosterone (mental clarity, gives energy and drive – the one that makes men bump                 chests!)
  • Thyroid (directs the hormone choir – if there is hormone imbalance negatively affects                 thyroid)
  • Insulin (makes us store fat)
  • Synthetic and bio-identical hormones can be pro-cancerous!!! (HRT)

Cortisol – What is it?

The Hormone that Governs:

  •  Hunger cravings
  • Digestion
  • Blood pressure (if cortisol is high BP will also be high)      
  • Sleep/wake patterns (cortisol imbalance can lead to waking up at night – and feeling hungry)
  • Physical activity (elevated levels can drain us of energy, which is why I always like to have a period of relaxation at the end of a class - it helps to reduce cortisol)
  • Capacity to cope with stress (one mans meat is another mans poison – this is where mindfullnes can help, if you view something asa stress it WILL negativellly affect cortisol)

Cortisol & Stress

  • 40% of meals are eaten standing up or in a car – cortisol rises.
  • Gluton sensitive – cortisol rises
  • Texts/emails/mobiles/TV/laptops – rises cortisol
  • When we are supposed to be relaxing, physiologically we are not. Our adrenals are ON all of the time! We do not have the organ reserve to deal with a major stressor that comes along. Ever ‘lost it’ over something so pathetically trivial – too much cortisol for too long a period.

How does Corisol affect the ageing process (this is a must read!)

  • 20% cortisol increase over age 50
  • Cell ages but it can be reversed by yoga/meditation
  • Increases all signs of ageing
  • Decreases brain blood supply – can decrease brain size average 10% when going through menopause. If you successfully go through menopause it can come back WHICH IS WHY WOMEN TEND TO LOSE THEIR MEMORY QUITE A BIT DURING MENOPAUSE...

What happens if you have too much Cortisol? 

  • Depression
  • Alzheimers (referred to as type 3 diabetes – cortisol causes disfunction in sugar regulation)
  • Multiple Sclerosis

Here are some other effects of having too much Cortisol in the body....the FIRST ONE IS A VERY COMMON ONE!

  • Weight gain/belly fat – exercise all you want it WILL NOT get rid of that fat. Too long an exercise leads to HIGHER levels of Cortisol.  (so dieting or starving yourself will not make any difference!)
  • Blood sugar disfunction
  • Ovarian cyst – high Cortisol pushes up androgens/testosterone levels – hence unwanted hair growth
  • Insomnia
  • Osteoporosis

 

So you have it!!! Next week I'm going to tell you how to REDUCE your Cortisol levels - and all I'm saying is chocolate ......

Warmest Hugs and thanks for reading!

 

PS!

I nearly forgot to mention!  Many of you have been asking about the Menopause Programme we are going to be running.....

AND

we are just finalising some details and we're hoping it'll be ready to rock n roll in the next month so watch this space!!!!

In the meantime if you want to register your interest add your details HERE and you'll be the first to know!

 

 

 

GOING THROUGH "THE CHANGES"..... ???

I find it truly amazing how road of destinations change and how things develop along the way.  A year ago I had no interest in learning about menopause.... I know it was something my mother experienced when I was a young child - well she was 42 when she had me!  

I remember the sweat pouring off her and her glasses slipping down her nose.  I recently discussed this with her and she said that was about as bad as it got...

as if dripping in sweat isn't bad enough!

BUT ..... since having the studio and our family growing (no I mean the Teign Fitness Family - I'm not pregnant!)... I'm coming across more and more women struggling tremendously with the effects of menopause and it's led me to start my own journey of education ...

is there something I can do for myself now that will make my transition from a supposed baby making machine to a gracefully ageing woman..... more enjoyable and less traumatic...

My findings have been rather intriguing and a lot of your symptoms are because of toxins in the body.... now don't think of toxins as rat poison or anything like that..... hairspray, make up, cleaning detergents, fire retardent material on your sofa...Prosecco... are toxins your body has to deal with.   

AND that's just the outside of your body....

then you have what you're putting into your body - so of course we all know what that's about.... processed foods, refined sugars, alcohol bla bla bla .. nothing new there then.

 
 

Menopause symptoms are becoming worse and worse as the years go by - 100 years ago women hardly suffered as much as they do now.... now some ladies suffer for it for 20 years, I kid you not.... imagine having those night sweats, emotional outbursts etc for 20 years! 

WHY is that? 

Where there mobile phones, tablets, WI-Fi, all the make ups etc 100 years ago?  Well no there wasn't, so our bodies had to deal with less poisons... cars, exhaust fumes, high built up areas are all emitting something or other that our body has to deal with.  

When you think of it - doesn't it make you want to build a wooden hut on Dartmoor far away from everything and everyone....it's no wander Tarzan ran around in a skimpy piece of leather cloth!  

Over the coming weeks I'll be expoloring more about menopause, the symptoms and the causes and what we can start doing to help reduce the agony of it all.

Back in the day it was meant to be a time for women to retreat and look after themselves.  The kids had left home and it was time to move into the next phase of their lives.  However, now with women having children much later and still working, it throws a spanner in the works...and women don't have a choice but to suck it up and deal with it.

BUT...

It needn't be.  I certainly don't want to suffer when it's my turn..... and not I don't think HRT is the answer.... I'll explain to you why in one of the upcoming blogs :)

Join me on this journey of discovery ....  there may be little nuggets of how to ease your symptoms, if you're going through the changes now...

Warmest Hugs!

 



THE MAGIC OF EPSOM SALT

Now there's a few things that I consider my favourite and that I'd spend my money on.  Coconut oil, wheatgrass and Epsom Salts are among my most precious food/minerals.  

As with coconut oil, epsom salt has a large variety of uses and we mainly like to endulge in a lovely hot bath with a cup of epsom salt, a dash of Olive oil and a glass of wine!  Nothing leaves my body more hydrated and relaxed..(although not sure if that's actually the wine!).

Last year I did a 60mile bike event with little training (I was a stand in for someone) and after the event I added a kilogram of salts to a hot bath and I suffered no muscles stiffness the next day!  It was great!

It can also be used internally BUT you must check the pack as not all salts are to be consumed..and let me forewarn you... if you digest it...you'll soon know about it!   You'll notice that your bottom breaths (as we now call it in class!) smell strongly of sulphate!  (think eggs...) and if you have quite a bit you'll be wrapped around the toilet for hours.  It is actually used a brilliant way to cleanse the liver (and everything else on the inside from what I hear!).  I've never actually tried to do a cleanse myself!  

 
 

Here's a few other benefits of Epsom Salt:

1.  It helps raise the magnesium and sulphate levels in your body, hence serving as a superb mineral supplement.  (great for cramps!).

2.  It relaxes the nervous system, alleviates aching limbs, relieves back and muscle ache (and cramps!),  cures skin problems, treats congestions and colds, heals cuts and draws toxins from the body.

3.  It's a stress reliever and even prevents hardening of the arteries and blood clots, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

4.  The magnesium and sulphate components enhance the production of insulin, which helps prevent diabetes or lessen it's severity.

After I've put the ladies (and men) through their HIT Pilates and PiYo paces I'll often dish out a complimentary jar of salts...I figured it's the least I can do after making their legs burn..and they sure need it after their first session!

Now I'm off to have a bath and wine :)  Give it a go and let me know what you think! :)

Warmest Hugs as Always!!

 


COCONUT OIL AT IT'S BEST - TOP TEN USES!!

I'm sure you've all heard me talk about coconut oil - it's used for so many things in our house!

Some people seem to think that because it's "oil" it's bad for you, however there are good oils and "bad" oils and even good oils can become "bad" oils if they're used incorrectly.

Did you know that using Olive Oil to cook with actually damages the molecules and turns it from good to "bad".  It's okay to use it on a very low gentle heat.  The easiest thing is to avoid cooking with it at all.  And this is where coconut oil comes into it's own.  

 
 

Coconut Oil can withstand the heat and it's still a goodie!  I absolutely love it in my porridge as it gives it a bit of flavour, but for those of you that don't like the flavour you can get flavourless coconut oil!

Here are out top 10 uses for coconut oil!

1.  Massage Oil - helps soothe tired and sore muscles.  Add a few drops of essential oil and enjoy a luxurious feel to your massage.

2.  Moisturiser - certainly helps to soften and hydrate, rough or damaged skin.  Paul is forever rubbing it all over his face and his hair has become darker!!! (sssshhh don't tell him I said that!).

3.  Dandruffe - massage some coconut oil into the scalp to ease symptoms of dandruff, both the itching and the flaking.

4.  Toothpaste - again...one of Pauls favourites!  Mix 1 part coconut oil with 1 part baking soda and add a couple of drops of pepperment oil.  This makes a refreshing, natural toothpaste that whitens and cleans without added preservatives, flouride, sweetners or other chemicals.

5.  As mentioned above cooking.  We ONLY cook with coconut oil!  Add a small amount on a teaspoon to the frying pan and cook away!

6.  After shave - it really helps to soothe sensitive skin and promotes healing.

7.  Face Scrub -  Mix coconut oil with baking soda, sugar, or cinnamon and oatmeal for the perfect face scrub and exfoliator and all natural!

8.  Styes/Pink Eye - Rub a small amount of coconut oil on the sty or around the eyes to get rid of these painful and annoying infections quickly.

9.  Nappy Rash -  it definitely helps heal mild nappy rash gently and effectively.

10.  Lice - Ha!  Coconut iol kills and removes the pesky little ****** :)

And there you have it.  Now these are only TEN uses, but there are loads more!!!!  Yes it is a tad more expensive than others - but ours lasts forever cause you only need a small bit .

Awesome stuff!  I love coconut oil!!! (next to peanut butter - crunchy that is!).

Warmest Hugs

 


Why hugs and puppies are good for you....

Hugs and Puppies!!!

Well providing the puppies don't give you hayfever...but next time you see a cute little puppy, kittens and even babies...notice that melting sensation you get in your heart... now that's not something that happens just because.

Your body releases a hormone called oxytocin and this hormone is responsible for that melting feeling and the same goes for when you've just had a massage, holding hands and HUGS!

It is a brain chemical that is responsible for many natural behaviours like maternal nurturing, bonding, trust, loyalty, support and down regulates stress responses including the ever increasing anxiety.

It doesn't just have one function.  It's other function is as a neurotransmitter, which sends information from the brain to the body.

Oxytocin is naturally secreted in the brain in response to touch and it's therefore often referred to as the "love hormone" or "cuddle hormone."  I wander if this is what causes the "love is blind" in new couples!

 
 

There are many benefits of oxytocin and here's a list of 4 of them:

1.  Hugs are fab for the heart

When oxytocin is released in the body, it lowers three majory things that benefit your heart; cortisol levels, heart rate and blood pressure.  This is why hugs are so great for receiving during stressful times - as it helps to calm the body.

2.  Hugs make you less anxious

It's the same oxytocin released from your hug that inspires positive thinking, allowing you to feel more postive and hopeful and encouraged.  Research showed the puppies that were well looked after by their mummy were much calmer adult dogs, than those that received very little nurturing.

3. Hugs help you live longer

Hugs help encourage the relaxation response.....which is the state of deep rest that can change your emotional and physical response to stress.   If you think of adding burden after burden and the physical implications..soon if feels as though the world is literally on your shoulders, the relaxation doens't allow the body to get into that stuck and tense posture.

The more hugs you receive, the less trauma to your body from negative stress = happier and longer lives ....simples!

4. Hugs enhance your immune function

Ever notice how when you're going through a hard time emotionally you seem to catch a cold or the flu so easily.  Yes when you're on top of the world you rarely get ill.  Oxytocin affects the immune system too!

As mentioned before if the body is under stress it doesn't function optimally.  If hugs release the relaxation response this naturally helps boost your immune system naturally!

Another way of receiving oxytocin (although my husband would probably disagree) ..... is a mum's voice.  It is as effective as a hug.  I live miles away from my mum and chatting to her on skype always feels like a big hug, especially when I'm having a down day.  It's like she's right here with me.

Finally PETS - you know that sensation when you walk in the front door and your dog is going mad cause it's been like ten minutes since you left and he is still soooooo excited.... that's a double whammy for you and the god - as you both get a shot of oxytocin!

So your aim today is go out and get lots of hugs (I wouldn't necessarily jump on strangers - you might get arrested), however give your family big hugs, give your friends big hugs - we get so used to just saying words - but how often do we give proper heart warming hugs to our nearest and dearest?

Warmest HUGS as always!

 




Portion Control

We've all heard the term portion control ......  

So what exactly does it mean and is there actually such a thing?  

Or let me rephrase the question....

Should we be doing it?

It's easy for people who are trying to lose weight or become healthier to think I need to control the size of my portions, however, I'm going to go against this ..... GASP! yes I, to a certain extent, disagree with this.

There's what I call good food and bad food - I like to keep things simple cause that's how my brain works.  (If you want a more complex and scientific answer....ask Paul!). But for now let's stick to good food and bad food. 

Hopefully you'll have little lightbulbs going on in your brain as your might start to realise where I'm going with this.  If you were planning on eating the biggest burger you've ever seen, caked in oil and adding your chips and onions on the side, also driping with oil - then yes I agree we need to reduce the size of our portions....

BUT

If you're eating healthy nutritious food I think we need to become more aware of what we are eating.... a bowl of spinach or salad harldy compares to a burger does it.  And those are the things we need to be eating MORE of!  (the leafy veggies - not the burger!)

Basically eating less is NOT the answer - we have to look at WHAT we are eating first.

We need to encourage people to eat MORE of the less energy dense food and decrease the more energy dense food.  This will mean that we can satisfy our tummies - but with the right food that will help us to reduce our weight and not feel like we're starving at the same time.  

 
 

 

All our clients will know that I always say EVERYTHING in moderation - we do no believe in diets - they are unsustainable, what we do encourage is a balanced diet.  YES we have pizza... on Saturdays as that's our cheat night..the rest of the time we try to eat good wholesome food...and that doesn't always go to plan - who cares!  

You are a living being and you're meant to enjoy your life!  Life is too short to not enjoy that cheeky cake - you just don't want to do it every day :)  

So in conclusion - be aware of what you eat...more of the good stuff....less of the bad stuff and it's as easy at that :) 

Warmest Hugs

 


The Most Amazing Recipe EVER!!!

I'm generally not one for cooking - I'm more of an eater...my ideal job (apart from Pilates of course) would be a restaurant critic!!    However, it really does help having a friend that's the most amazing chef and I'm very lucky to get invited around for dinner quite often!

Last week we had this warm salad - and I have to say it was so delicious I didn't actually want to chew ... I just sat with a mouthful and savoured every bit of it.

Here's the recipe he used and I thought I'd share it with you.  He used sliced roasted almonds instead and didn't ad the za'atar (whatever that is!).  

It's going to be a great dish for the winter as it's a warm dish with butternut - also another of my favourite foods!

Hope you have a go and let me know what you think!

 

Roasted Butternut Squash and Red Onion with Tahini

Here's the link to the website where you can find the full recipe!  Thanks so much Ottolenghi for creating such delicious meals!

http://www.ottolenghi.co.uk/recipes/salads/roast-butternut-squash-and-red-onion-with-tahini-and-za-atar-shop

Enjoy it!  This might be one recipe I do actually try myself!

Warmest Hugs

 
 





Pilates isn't just for women...

Pilates isn't just for women....

Pilates isn’t just for women. In fact, it was created by a man, intended for men to do. So here are my 4 reasons why men need pilate's in their lives!

  1. He Plays Golf.  Does he not have a caddie? No problem. You might think golf is easy but did you know that nearly half of pro golfers retire due to golf related injuries There’s a reason why Tiger Woods took up Pilates. Benefits include increased flexibility, decreased muscle tightness, longer muscles, stronger abs, and injury prevention.
  2. He’s Sits All Day. The train, the car, the office… seeing a pattern here? Too much sitting can actually make you sick.  Pilates can help to reverse the effects of all that sitting around.
  3. He’s Had It With The Weights. One weight lifting injury after another? Maybe it’s time to switch it up. Don’t ditch the weights completely but try balancing it out with a few Pilates sessions per week. 
  4. Is he a Sloucher?  All that time at the computer taking a toll on his back? Poor posture is the cause of lots of nasty stuff, like chronic back and neck pain. Pilates can help to decompress the spinal column by strengthen and lengthening muscles and properly aligning the spine. 

Could the Dad in your life use some Pilates classes? You could even treat him to a few pilate's classes for his birthday or christmas?

Top 5 Reasons to do Pilates....

“I must be right. Never an aspirin. Never injured a day in my life. The whole country, the whole world, should be doing my exercises. They’d be happier.” – Joseph Pilates

Everyone’s talking about Pilates these days! We hear celebrities raving on a daily basis about their Pilates workout. Stars ranging from Kate Hudson to Jennifer Aniston are eager to express their love of Pilates.

But why is Pilates such a favorite of the hottest stars who could choose any type of exercise workout to do? Here are five reasons why:

1) QUICK – It takes as little as 10 minutes a day to start reaping the physical rewards of Pilates. You’d be surprised how many different exercises you can do in such a short span of time. 

2) LOW IMPACT –  Pilates offers an intense muscular workout with virtually no jumping up and down or running. This may explain why Pilates is so appealing for pregnant women and new mothers. 

3) MINDFUL – Not only can concentration during exercise relax you, but it can also provide medical benefits for the brain.

4) CONVENIENT – Pilates is so convenient because you can do it from the comfort of your own home – no gym required. Performed on a mat or with equipment.

5) EFFECTIVE – Probably the most important reason to do Pilates is because it works! Pilates is so popular because it brings great results. 

Tanja's Top 5 Meditation Side Effects

Maybe you lot have heard about the benefits to your health or are just looking for a way to chillax? Well either way I'm quite excited for you as you are about to begin a journey of a life time...

So I thought in order to get you motivated I would prepare my top 5 side effects that you probably will experience!

  1. You will feel calmer and less stressed (BRILL FEELING!!)
  2. Make better decisions faster
  3. More focused
  4. Your brain is stronger
  5. You are more productive

I haven't gone into too much details with these because you will all probably have different meanings and ways of looking at them. 

Will you be a different person in 90 days? Lets see!

 

Love

Tanja

Coconut Water- Summer Inspiration...

 

What’s all the fuss about? Coconut water is the clear, slightly sweet and refreshing liquid found in young green coconuts, and is now being sold as a drink on your supermarket shelf. 

It is said to be low in calories and packed full of electrolytes, making this the flavour du jour for sportsmen, the health-conscious and trend-savvy all over the world.

A few facts about coconut water:

  • A coconut can contain up to 1L of water.
  • Coconut water is suitable for vegans.
  • Coconut milk is made from the meat of brown coconuts, while coconut water (sometimes called coconut juice) is the liquid found inside green coconuts.
  • Coconut water is rich in electrolyte potassium which helps replenish the bodies electrolytes. This is especially useful if ill.

On its own, it tastes pretty much like sugar-water but this simple, albeit exotic drink adds a nutritious punch to smoothies, cocktails and desserts.

For a tasty, low-fat treat, make your own popsicles using coconut water and fresh summer fruits. Mmm-mmm, delicious!

Finding time for your own well being!

 

Deadlines arrive, new projects appear and you're putting off that lunchtime workout… as always. With all those To Dos popping up on your list you couldn't possibly make time for your own wellbeing, right? Wrong. 

You should start to think long term! If it seems like taking the time to for a jog or a little spend up will mean hell for everyone who relies on you daily its time to change your ways. The energy you'd get from that jog or spend up would make you better able to give to those around you. And you'd be happier! Your own health and fitness are too important for your quality of life to take a short sighted view. In the long run spending even a few of those precious, over committed minutes in your day moving your body will pay off both now and in the future. Think about how you plan to get through your life, not just your day! 

Remember that you're not just working out for yourself. You're showing your family and friends that you're committed to health and wellbeing. Healthy, fit employees are more productive. Healthy, fit parents live longer, more active lives. 

What I am trying to say is MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF! YOU ARE IMPORTANT!

Lots of Love

Tanya x

 

What is the difference between Meditation and Relaxation?

You wouldn’t believe how many people think that meditation is just another form of relaxation! Wrong it’s nothing like that.

The majority of you probably think of watching television, sitting down with a glass of wine or a good book. True relaxation is something that is practiced- it is also defined by the stimulation of the relaxation response.  Some ways of conscious relaxation may become meditation and many people who do meditate find that they actually practice benefits from using a relaxation technique to find an inner stillness which could help them meditate- Interesting huh?

So what actually is the difference? Well that is a very good question because meditation can actually be relaxing: profoundly so anyway. However, even though the 2 words are often used to describe the same thing, they are completely different practices.

There are a number of different ways to relax- through certain techniques designed to achieve exactly that and others where you just do something you enjoy that makes you feel relaxed (for me it’s a glass of wine in the Jacuzzi ;) )

Meditation is however an exercise that you can practice within your head to teach your mind to be more aware. You need you understand that when you meditate relaxation is not your goal, but more of a great side effect. Compared with relaxation, meditation gives you better benefits which include focus, wellbeing and self-knowledge.

So is meditation worth just 10 minutes of your time? The why not give your head some TLC?

 

Tanja x

 

What Are The HEALTH Benefits of Pilates?

Yes but no but yes but no but....

We all know why Pilates is good for the physical body and that yes it...

1.  helps to reduce lower back ache

2. strengthens the core

3. Lengthens muscles

4. improves flexibility

5. aids recovery from surgery

6. increases mobility

7.. etc etc etc the list is seriously endless.

BUT one thing rarely discussed is what are the HEALTH benefits of Pilates?

Imagine (or some people don't need to imagine) that you have chronic back ache and you've had this ache for years.  Someone recommends Pilates and within a few weeks you start to notice small little improvements.  Nothing major.  Maybe it's that when you wake up you can actually get of bed without stiffness in you lower back, or maybe it's that your back doesn't ache so much while you're driving.  What do you think this small improvement / reduction in pain does for the human spirit???

If you've even been in long term pain you'll understand what that relief does for you mentally and emotionally.  

Pilates is NOT just about the body it's about mental well-being too.  When I had PTSD last year it was the one thing that gave me an escape and space to just be.  It gave me something else to focus on and I sincerely believe that Pilates helped me get through the illness.  

 
 

Another HEALTH benefit is oxygenating the system.  It encourages proper breathing instead of half filled lungs of stale air.  Suffer stress?  Sit back for two minutes and just breath fully and completely, slowly and steadily and make sure you are exhaling to your max.  It helps to lower the heart rate, get fresh oxygen into all your muscles and organs and just calms your mind.

It also releases tension and stress.  I've often had someone come to class in a flap and I could tell they've had the day from hell and lucky they even turned up for class.  After class it's like seeing a different person and even they notice it.  It's change their frame of mind and reduced their flappiness (another of my technical terms).  It forces you to slow down and focus your mind on YOU, not you millions of other chores.

Again, I could go on forever! But I'm sure you catch the drift.  The benefits of Pilates both Physical and Mental are endless.   I always hope that with each of my Pilates sessions someone always walks away feeling like "I freaking love Pilates!" or is that just me?

Warmest Hugs