Sashimi Sashimi!

If you’re struggling for healthy, carb free, sugar free lunches then sashimi is most definitely a tasty alternative. There are so many lunch places now offering fresh sashimi or sushi boxes. I have found one that does a mixed Tuna and Salmon Sashimi in a pack with soy sauce, wasabi, pickled ginger and chopsticks. Its not cheap but buying sashimi grade tuna and salmon is not easy, so not a lunch I would bring from home!

I had the above for my lunch today, consuming a good amount of protein without any fat, salts or added impurities.

Nutritional Facts

  • 1 piece of Tuna Sashimi
    • 31 Calories
    • 0.067g Saturated Fat
    • 6.63g Protein
  • 1 piece of Salmon Sashimi
    • 41 Calories
    • 0.357g Saturated Fat
    • 6.13g Protein

So by my calculations (I didn’t manage to finish it all) I consumed 247 calories, 1.339g Saturated Fat, 44g Protein! Blasted it! That’s not bad for a lunch – I can afford a treat later now 🙂

Fennel, Orange, Red Onion refreshing salad

After a summer of over indulgence … I am back to treating my body to pure, clean, refreshing food…I’m still in summer mode though so this salad just hits the spot!


Ingredients 

2 Large Oranges

1 Bulb of fresh Fennel 

1 Red onion

Dry seasoning (salt, pepper, chilli)

1tbsp Wholegrain mustard

1tbsp Melted coconut oil

Finely slice the fennel (using mandolin or sharp knife), and onions. Then segment the oranges by peeling off the skin with a knife and carefully segmenting the pieces. Toss all in a bowl. To make the dressing squeeze excess juice from the orange peel and add the mustard, dry seasoning and coconut oil. Mix together and hey presto!

Love this simple dish… Please try it and give me your verdict! I can’t get enough…

Fennel is great for reducing bloatedness, oranges provide some essential vitamin c, low saturated fat, and both are a good source of dietary fibre.

Working out but not really…

I’m the first to put my hands up and admit that come December my exercise regime has seriously left the building and gone 1 million miles in the wrong direction, but hey if you cant enjoy the parties, the eating, the drinking at this time of year then why bother being so good throughout the year?

BUT I don’t want the new year to start with a lull so here are some ‘not so obvious ways of exercising/working out that don’t necessarily feel like hard work….read them, use them, discard them, sample them…but don’t say I never shared them 🙂

JUMP ON A TRAMPOLINE

Probably the most fun and best all-round exercise you can do. You can literally bounce your fat off! Jumping exercises can tone your body, build core strength and shred calories just as effectively as running. It’s fun, effective, non-conventional, can be done with the kids…al you need is a trampoline!

trampolining__large

Hiking

A day out, great views and hills to work your core and legs (biggest muscle group) – so what could be better?! Its time away from TV, technology and gives you an appreciation of the great outdoors whilst working your body…..before you know it you will walk 5 miles!

hiking

Walking

If hiking is not your bag – try a brisk walk – even if its round the block and if you have a small block – 50 times round the block! Go for a brisk walk to do your Christmas shopping, or grab lunch on the go with a walk to a sandwich shop further away…It can be that hard!

Rock Climbing

I love rock climbing (but admittedly I’ve only done it twice).  It’s one of the best arm/back/forearm workouts in existence, victory is sweet when you reach the top of that wall! If you follow the levels – you can challenge yourself as you get stronger/fitter/better.

Dancing

All those nights out over the festive season must at some point include a bit of dancing! Working up a sweat with those dancing shoes may just be what you need to burn off those unwanted calories – but don’t cancel it out with junk food immediately after! Swing dancing, salsa, hip hop, zumba, tango, flamenco – take your pick!

dancing

 

Martial arts

There is a superhero in all of us – ever wanted to give that inner voice a go – give a martial arts class a whirl! Whether it’s Kung Fu, Muay Thai, Tae Kwon Do, Karate or Capoeira, there’s a martial art out there that will make you feel like a true fighter!

Build a standing desk

Face it many of you reading this will say – but i am too busy at work! So instead consider this…There is a strong correlation between sitting all day and an early grave.  Why not fix your posture, strengthen your legs, and spend the day being more productive with a standing desk? Or work on your feet for as much of the day as possible and the fat will burn unnoticed – you can always measure this with your Fitbit/Applewatch or equivalent.

standing desk

Stop meeting for coffee

Cancel the coffee meetings (hidden calories) and go for something active instead! Anything that gets you up and moving.

Clean

Ugh – the worst thing in my mind – but still had to be on the list! Is your house looking a little untidy? Well that means it’s time for the easiest form of exercise and that is cleaning! Hoover, scrub, get on your hands and knees and you are without knowing it squatting, stretching dancing, raising your heartbeat and de-cluttering at the same time! Turn up the music and have fun also…

Do handstands

Its fun, builds core strength and if its been a while – do against a wall to avoid any injuries! It will leave you sweating bullets after even a few minutes.  Find a park, go do handstands, cartwheels, somersaults, and whatever else makes you feel young again.

Yoga

Build flexibility, strength, and learn to relax.  Great for posture – building your core and often less strenuous than an intense cardio workout but still with amazing results. There are million kinds of yoga, so sign up for a few different kinds and see which one lines up the best with what you’re looking for.

yoga

Play active video games

If you have a console with movement enabled remotes – e.g. Wii Tennis, Wii Fit, Just Dance on Xbox Kinect etc.  Make a rule that you can only play while standing up.  A gaming session with a purpose…get the family involved and everyone’s a winner…

Play on a playground

Obviously not when kids are around. Release that inner child in you! Go down the slide, swing across the monkey bars, climb the rope all, balance on the balance beam.  Create an obstacle course for yourself and see how quickly you can get through it.

Play a musical instrument

Apparently playing the violin for an hour burns about as many calories as walking around a track at a moderate pace for an hour?  It turns out, our brains can burn boatloads of calories too. So challenge your brain!

 

Ok I’m already exhausted thinking about all these – the general gist of it is to keep moving – think of activities that tie into your working day or days off that keep you and your family on the go whilst still having fun – then come the celebrations – you wont feel as guilty or pile on the pounds for the new year! Have a good one…

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all my readers!

“There is a skinny person in there somewhere!”…

“There is a skinny person in there somewhere” – what I used to tell myself when I looked in the mirror 19 months ago…I’m not entirely sure I believed it, but I wanted to so badly, and that is how it all started….

This post was always going to be the toughest one to write. I have anguished over sharing my before and after photos for some time, but here goes…. My story from the beginning….

My journey started much sooner than the first photo back in September 2012 a year after my youngest was born. I didn’t dare take any photos back then as I seriously had a long way to go!

For those who know me well, I have never been super-slim and have somewhat battled with weight since childhood, but that all changed from 2004 onwards and for years I maintained a healthy, and dare I say it, ‘lean’ lifestyle! In 2010 I even managed to get my figure back post pregnancy #1 rather quickly… But then fell pregnant again and let’s just say, that is where it all went awry!

What followed were two back to back (almost full term) pregnancies with only 3 months between each one, so no time to recover, retrain my ‘core’, or anything for that matter! Even healthy eating went out of the window as mentally all I wanted was a healthy baby and deep down #2 had probably hit me harder than I cared to admit.

weight

Stage 1 – The Beginning

After a relatively smooth sailing and gluttonous pregnancy #3, there was no urgency to focus on me and it wasn’t until Sept 2012 that I finally realised I had to do something, anything at all!

So what followed was 6mths of personal training 3days/week and a half hearted attempt at ‘cutting down’ food intake. Don’t get me wrong, this boosted my motivation and helped me start my journey but was a relatively small step in the grand scheme of things and before long, bad habits prevailed yet again.

I’ve never been one for fad diets or quick fixes,they just do not sit well with me and never seem to work for me. I knew that whatever I would do would entail a long, hard, arduous slog of continuous focus and effort.

So in January 2014 I discovered Insanity… At the time I hadn’t heard much about it but soon started seeing infomercials galore on every TV Channel. The results were amazing if not unbelievable and in my desperation I ended up purchasing a box set. Little did I know, this was truly a life changing moment. It took me 3 months (I know!) to psyche myself up to opening the box, and in April 2014 I put on the first ‘Fit Test’ DVD. But once I started the 60 day programme, it became addictive and I didn’t want to miss a day!

Let’s be honest I was never going to go from a size 14 to a size 8 overnight! But the vision was there…..I continued with Insanity and, other than a few short breaks in between, I completed 3 whole rounds of the 60 day workout programme between Pic 1 (April 2014) and Pic 2 (January 2015). I started to get disheartened with the results but took my ‘after’ photos nonetheless as I felt I hadn’t changed at all… It was only then that I visualised the changes which spurred me on further .

Stage 2 – The Middle

In January 2015 therefore, I started with InsanityMax30 (similar to the original but in my view more intense over a maximum of 30 mins)…. And continued day after day at 5-5:30am doing my routines, 6 days of exercise a week, 1 day off, 10 weeks in total – repeated 3  times over. Motivation during the dark winters, and maintaining the early starts, were probably the hardest challenge – more so than actually doing the workouts!

Around this middle stage I remember my mum saying to me – “You’ve done so well – don’t be hard on yourself – you’ll never get to being a size 8 now, this is your body shape” – or something along those lines when I was a size 12 still. I was gutted! Really….all that hard work and this was it???!!! Little did she know those words motivated me to keep going…working hard through to the end. I hate being told I cant do something – a competitive streak in there somewhere….

Another 3 rounds of the Max30 complete, coupled with a  greater focus on my food, high protein and healthy eating, whilst cutting out my weakness of desserts…. I was ready to take my next ‘after photo’ in Oct 2015 (Pic 3)….now I could see a difference… Finally!

At this point it was less focus on weight and more on body fat….a target of 22% in mind…but I’m still not there yet!

body fat

BMI

Stage 3 – The End?

I continued beyond Oct’15 – scaling down my workouts but still aiming for 3/4 a week of less intense exercise and some boxing, to Nov 2015 – today …the goals have changed and my journey is still not complete!

Overall it has taken a long time….19 months to the present day. It has not been easy – but I’m damn proud of what I’ve achieved and if ‘I’ can do it anyone can!

But is there ever an end? Now I think the hardest part begins….. Maintaining a long-term lifestyle and heath choice that means I can enjoy without falling back into the traps I used to … Now I don’t know which is harder 🙂

Thank you for taking the time to read this and share my journey. Ruj x

To Fig or not to Fig?

Figs are not fruits that I have sampled much over the years and they are not usually on my shopping list…however in a bid to keep my sugar intake healthy but also consume more fibre, I discovered that figs may well hit the mark…

fig-main

A 100g serving of fresh figs provides approximately:80 calories,1.3g protein, 0.3g fat, 20.3g carbohydrate, 2.2g fibre.

A great recipe I tried recently was simple enough for a healthy, quick evening dessert. Take two figs and cut across the top in an ‘x’ and pull apart the ends like a flower, drop a little coconut oil in the centre, and a drop of honey, then sprinkle with cinnamon powder. Grill for 5mins, and serve warm with chopped pistachios and some plain greek yoghurt.

image1 The result is a sticky sweet, toffee-like dessert – yum! One of my favourites and a great Summer to Autumn dessert we can enjoy whilst still looking after the wasitline. Watch out though – Figs are known to be good for digestive wellness but if eaten in excess can act as a natural laxative! Let me know if you give them a go?image2

The Motivator ….what or who is your inspiration?

There are many people and things that motivate us day to day, but in fitness and healthy eating… Do you know how you are motivated? Is it your family and close friends? Often they support your journey… but is saying how well you’ve done or are doing… Actual motivation? Or are we motivated by events, triggers in the past or an event in the future that we want to be fit and healthy for? These may be short term goals to ‘get there fast’…. But what about the health and fitness journeys that are much longer than a week, month or year? How about ‘fear’ … Does being fearful of what may happen if we don’t look after ourselves (e.g health issues) or fear of society’s view on how we look …. Can that motivate us in our mission? Is progress against your goal the best motivation? What if it isn’t visible? Or measurable? …. I thought hard about all the above over the last two years and it’s not one thing that motivates me but many… The list, however, can be prioritized

in my mind, and at the top there will always be a constant… ME. We push ourselves to achieve the best, we gain support and guidance from our friends and family, but ultimately it is ‘me’ or you,  the person who wakes up each day, who works hard to eat healthy and work out to achieve your goals. No one but the person reflected in that mirror can push you more to achieving, have faith in your own resolutions and follow them through. It won’t be easy but stick at it and eventually results will follow. Self motivation is probably the only constant throughout my journey… Is it yours?

Mirror

Big Bad Boxing Machine!

imageI’ve done a lot of cardio and strength training over the last two years, but get me in front of a bag with my boxing gloves and I’m bound to work muscles that don’t get a look in with other workouts! In my mission to shed body fat at least 2 of my 5 workouts a week will be boxing related… (I’m scared) but boy am I psyched to see if I can be a ‘Big Bad Boxing Machine’ by the end of this! Wish me luck fellow fitness addicts….

Suggestions or tips most welcome!