Fat Don't Make You Fat!!

It's as simple as this - Diets high in fat don't make you fat. 

What may make you fat is overeating and being sedentary. While you're wagging your finger at those poor, over abused fats, try taking a look at those sugars and refined grains. 

Fat doesn't = junk food. 

Fat does have more calories per gram than protein and carbohydrates - however, fat is more satiating so while it may contain more calories, you will get full up quicker and are likely to eat less. 

Now let's be clear, I'm not talking about high fat foods such as biscuits and crisps - I'm talking about the good stuff i.e the fats from whole foods. 

Such as: 

Avocados (obviously top of my list)

Nuts (close second)

Cheese

Eggs

Dark Chocolate

Fish (fatty)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Chia Seeds (high in protein, even higher in FAT)

Empty calories some argue. Can you really argue that a packet of low fat hobnobs is more nutritionally beneficial than an avocado? 

Remember that when you opt for low-fat options there is nearly always a substitute to make it taste good - and it is usually sugar. 

So go for the full fat yoghurt and opt out of the low fat cheesecake. 

Why do we need fats in our diet?

a) Energy

b) Nerve and brain function

c) Healthy skin

d) Transporting fat-soluble vitamins A,D,E and K 

e) Regulate hormones 

It is not beneficial to cut any macronutrient from your diet. It is important to learn how to eat a balanced diet and eat the right amount of calories for the amount of activity/exercise you do - but that is for another blog...

For advice on nutrition and tips to head in the right direction send emails to chelseasiegelpt@outlook.com

xxx

Curb Your Cravings

We all have them and sometimes it's really difficult finding the will power to say no to your cravings. It may just mean thinking about your goal or just practicing a bit of discipline but it is possible!

There are ways to curb those cravings and I'm going to share a few tips that will hopefully help you the next time you're eyeing up that big fat double choc chip muffin ;) 

Tip No.1  - When you're on the brink, DRINK!!

Lot's of the time we mistake thirst for hunger and so result in eating more than you need to and end up dehydrated. So guzzle down a glass of water and see how you feel after a few minutes.

Tip No.2 - Up your PROTEIN!!

Ok, trainers and fitness pro's aside, the majority of us don't eat enough protein and by upping your intake of protein you can feel satisfied for longer. Aim to get some form of protein in all your meals. 

Tip No.3 - WALK it off!!

Keeping yourself busy will reduce boredom eating. So go for a walk to distract your thoughts. Read a book. Go to the gym!

Tip No.4 - Plan AHEAD!!

Meal prep. Keep your cupboard, handbag, office desk filled with healthy snacks. This way you don't have to always go to the shops whenever you're hungry. If you don't have to walk past the ice cream aisle you'll be less tempted to give in to that 20oz tup caramel chew chew :p 

Tip No.5 - Are you being piggy or are you actually HUNGRY?!!

Cravings are one thing, being hungry is another (as my family know only too well!). Avoid long periods without eating and again, have healthy snacks to hand. Once those hunger pangs kick in it won't matter how shiny your apple is cause that golden Lindt bar is gonna shine even brighter...

Tip No.6 - SLEEP (It's a time machine to breakfast)!!

For me, the biggest trigger to giving in to my cravings is tiredness - which is tricky with my job because the recommended 8 hours sleep a night had to go out the window when I decided to become a PT!

If you are struggling to keep your cravings at bay, it may be helpful to make a note about how you're feeling physically and mentally at the time.

And as always if you feel you need a helpful nudge getting started or staying on track then email me for advice to chelseasiegelpt@outlook.com

xxx

Fashionably Fit

Let's have a quick reality check, time is limited - especially if you live in London! Fitting in workouts and classes around work and life is pretty tiring and sometimes near impossible. It means sacrificing time with friends, getting home late or at this time of year leaving home when the moon is so bright it feels wrong to be drinking coffee so late… 

Reality check number 2 is that what you're wearing on the treadmill has become as important as what Kendall Jenner is wearing on the catwalk!

Let's face it, boutiques are not just places you go to buy clothes anymore. Fitness "studios" are resembling upmarket b&b's but with better toiletries and ghd's! It is easy to feel out of place if you thought working out meant wearing an old tee and your bf's sweats. 

I, for one will hold my hands up and say majority of the time I will choose comfort over style but who's to say you can't have both?

Active In Style have helped me out here with some of their recommendations for staple items they insist you should have in your Autumn workout wardrobe! 

THE CROPPED SWEATER
Until its winter coat go-time, layering up with lighter pieces under a mac or leather jacket is the way forward. A cropped sweater is the perfect answer. A style like this works perfectly with a higher-waist legging with a statement waistband. We can't get enough of the Bjorn Borg Paulina Longsleeved Crewneck sweater. It comes in black or grey. 

https://www.activeinstyle.com/designers/bjorn-borg/paulina-longsleeved-crewneck.html

 

A SEASONAL PRINT OR COLOUR
Think burgundy, royal blues and hints of khaki this winter. Whether you find it in a panel on your legging or subtle print, a warmer colour is always welcomed when the seasons change. The Nimble Activewear Khaki Leopard print is a standout style for us and the Lauren 7/8 Legging is a must for a stylishly understated piece. 
https://www.activeinstyle.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=KHAKI

active_in_style_august13638_1-2.jpg

 

 

PAIR OF COOL KICKS
We can't get enough of the ULTRA BOOST by adidas. It is by far one of our favourite sneaker styles and works perfectly for any type of workout, or even with a cool pair of leggings for running errands throughout the day. 
https://www.activeinstyle.com/ultra-boost-black.html

 

 

THE STATEMENT BAG
Every active girl needs her perfect carry all, and Under Armour has delivered the goods in the gym bag department. The Works Tote is every inch stylish and practical; what more could a girl want? 
https://www.activeinstyle.com/the-works-tote.html

active_in_style_august14828.jpg

 

 

AN ATHLEISURE CAP
A faux leather look is always on trend and with baseball caps and snapbacks on the rise, we can't look past the perfect athleisure accessory to complete all looks. 
https://www.activeinstyle.com/designers/active-in-style/athleisure-cap.html

All Photos Curtesy of Active In Style

All Photos Curtesy of Active In Style

As you can see - going from sport to street has never been so easy! Which means you no longer have to choose between going to Barry's or brunch - now it's Barry's and Brunch!

We are living in an age where it's never been as acceptable as it is now to wear activewear as daily apparel and sprinting for the bus has never been easier ;) 

xxx

 

 

 

Stop Self-Hate, Self Love!

It's the easiest thing to criticise yourself if you're not getting results fast enough. You see others around you rocking just a sports bra and teeny tiny shorts (are they even shorts though?) with mega confidence and it makes you want to dive for the McVities even faster and then hate yourself when all that's left is a pile of crumbs on the sofa where you've been hating some more in front of the tv watching Devious Maids (ok that show is my guilty pleasure)!

It's a vicious circle and the only person who can nip it in the bud is yourself! Not all of us are blessed with heaps of will power and self-discipline so all you can do it try, do your best and when you cock up it's not the end of the world!

We are lucky to be in an age where peoples mentality about what classifies as 'healthy' and 'fit' is changing - it's not about being the skinniest bitch at the barre of the beefiest badass in the gym. We are celebrating peoples ability, mobility, strength, physical and mental endurance, mental well-being! Yes - part of being 'healthy' and 'fit' is exercising your mind. 

I read an interview with Hannah Rose Fit for Fashercise and she admitted that she loves her body! Zut alors a woman who is happy in her own skin! Stop sweatin' the small stuff - so what if you have a bit of cellulite on your bum, so does nearly everyone and for the small portion of people who don't? Who cares - lucky them and their perfect bottoms. Can they run as far as you, can they push as hard as you, are they smiling as wide as you? 

It is ok to have areas of your body which you prefer to others, it is ok to admire other peoples bodies too. Just stop comparing because you can never be that person and why would you want to be anyway? You are faaabulous! As long as you know it, those midriff baring, knicker err shorts wearing 'fitspos' will be wondering what you had in your coffee - and you can tell em full fat, chocolate sprinkled, hazelnut syruped latte of happiness with a side of soul, sweetness and contentment (a.k.a salted caramel muffin…). 

Peace Out xxx

Holiday Fit Tips/An Honest Review Of What A Holiday Means To Me...

Alright peeps, so I've had a few people ask about how to stay fit on holiday, how to exercise, what to eat, what to avoid etc. 

I don't know about you guys but when I imagine a holiday for myself - exercise is not at the top of my priorities. And maybe as a fitness professional that will surprise you but for me a holiday is a time for me to relax my aching bones, let my muscles fully recover and give my brain a rest and not worry about burning off the thousands of calories gained at the breakfast buffet...

Don't get me wrong though, I fully admire those that can swap their rare chance of a lie in for a sweaty gym/HIIT sesh - on my last holiday to Portugal I opted for the odd 10-15 minute HIIT. And trust me I didn't do a minute longer because a) I work out all year round and wanted a rest and b) I wanted to do other things - such as eating, sleeping and lazing by the pool. Priorities :p 

And nutrition wise…well anyone who follows me on Instagram or Snapchat will know that 'when in Rome' (so to speak) I eat like a born n bred Roman - pizza, pasta, ice cream, tiramisu…or when in Portugal - meat, meat and more meat. 

I have to say though, weird as I may be - I crave eating healthily if I'm away for longer than 2-3 days. And after a few days of being in-active I also crave exercise because I looove feeling energised after a workout. 

I could give loads of tips for staying fit and healthy on holiday, most of them you've heard before:

Hotel room workouts

Pack a resistance band/skipping rope

Swim in the pool/sea

Run on the beach

Eat one ice cream a day instead of three

Opt for grilled over fried

Pack your own healthy snacks

Drink plenty of water

A lot of these things you already know, it's just implementing them and having the will power to put them into place. And if you have a goal and want to stay on track instead of using your holiday as an excuse to over indulge and feel guilty about your food choices then go you! I support your determination and applaud your efforts!

I, on the other hand will be cheering you on from the sidelines, alongside my jug of sangria and my lazy arse ;)

xxx

Getting Your Fit Life Started

Not everybody loves to exercise - for some people it is a real chore and they find it difficult finding a work out that they enjoy! There are also those of us who love to exercise but still have days where we would rather eat 1000 calories than burn 'em. 

We are all at different stages mentally when it comes to exercise and some days are better than others. 

The hardest part is getting started - especially if it's been a while! You're scared of the burn, of how others might judge you, if you're going to survive the whole work out or even get to half way! 

I still have these days and everybody does. 

Here are my top tips for getting started:

1. Join a Fitness Class - this way you don't even have to think - you just do, you can perform safely under supervision and you are surrounded by people in the same boat as you! 

Some of my favourite studios are Kobox off Kings Road, The Power Yoga Co. in Parsons Green, Heartcore (book in to my class on a Sunday 9am & 10am in Chelsea and 12 & 1pm in St Johns Wood) and for those who enjoy the outdoors get your butts to Swift Fitness (catch me in Battersea on a Monday at 7pm and Fulham on Weds & Thurs 7pm). 

2. Hello New Active wear! - Nothing motivates me more than new workout gear that makes me look good and feel good while sweating my arse off in less than flattering light. 

Check out Active in Style for a wide range of different brands and Lorna Jane for the best sports bras!

3. Set Goals - Why are you putting yourself through this? Is it for weight loss? Muscle gains? Or just to improve fitness levels and feel awesome again? 

Be specific and set yourself a realistic time frame - this way you're more likely to stay on track.

Get inspired by following these fitness bloggers: Zanna Van Dijk , Hazel Wallace and Steph Elswood  

4. Find a Fitness Buddy - make your workout more fun by training with a friend. You can help motivate each other and they can be there to pick you off the floor at the end! 

Plus a little friendly competition will make you work harder - but save the natter for your post workout lunch :p

If you really can't convince one of your friends to join you (their loss!) then use websites such as www.findafitnessbuddy.co.uk to find some one in your area. 

5. Clear the Crap - you can train hard as you like but if you find it difficult to resist temptation then you need to replace the foods holding you back - such as processed or foods high in refined sugars with wholesome, nutritious options. 

It's tough but it doesn't mean you can't have them, just in moderation! 

Using apps such as My Fitness Pal can be really helpful for staying on track and making sure you're fuelling correctly. 

Remember you are not alone! It's completely normal to have good days and bad and it's totally fine to skip a workout and have a cheat day every now and again. 

If you feel you need that extra little push getting going then drop me an email via the contact page or directly to chelseasiegelpt@outlook.com. 

xxx

 

Do It For Yourself, No One Else

Forget everyone around you and decide why are you doing it? What are you working towards? Who are you trying to please?

The answer to each question should be "YOU".

You are doing it for you, you are working towards a better you and the only person you should be trying to please is you!

We get so caught up watching the people around us when in actual fact whatever they are doing, whatever they are working towards - it is irrelevant.

And there is absolutely no need to give a crap about  what they think of you. We are each working towards something individual, be it weight loss, muscle gains, marathons, strength, lifestyle changes...

How you get there is up to you - the journey you take to reaching your goals is entirely down to your determination, perseverance and self belief. 

Just because your friends have fallen off the wagon doesn't mean you have to and equally just because one friend might have reached their goal in X amount of time doesn't matter either. It's your journey, it's your body, your mind and your life.

So quit worrying about if are still doing press ups on your knees or if occasionally you have one cheat meal too many. If YOU want it, you will get there.

Use the support systems around you but don't rely on them. Turn setbacks into experience, make notes of your successes and acknowledge when you know you could have tried harder.

Don't beat yourself up if you haven't reached your goals by the desired date. Without sounding too cliché (but I will) it's not the just end result that's important - it's how you got there. And if you can say hand on your heart that it was YOU that got you there, then there is no better feeling!

Remember that feeling, let it spur you on. Use the the negative and the positive to make you a stronger person. 

xxx

How to Snack Smart

I have to say I find it slightly frustrating when people ask for advice when it comes to snacking and then argue that dates and nuts are too high in calories. No one is advising you to eat a whole bag of dates but we are advising you to put down the family size galaxy bar!

Snacking has got a bad rep over the years as it is usually associated with weight gain. However, snacking 'smart' can actually help you lose those extra pounds. 

The difficulty is having the will power to turn down the snacks that are high in refined carbohydrates and low in nutritional value and instead opt for snacks that will keep those hunger pangs at bay. 

Why do we snack?

A lot of the time we snack out of boredom and this is how we end up exceeding our daily energy/calorie requirements. 

The reason you should be snacking is so you don't overeat at main meal times. If you fight the urge to snack when you are hungry then you will more than likely be starving when it comes to your main meal and consume more calories than if you'd had that mid-morning/afternoon snack. 

Sometimes we make poor snack choices because we feel tired and once your energy levels have dropped all you crave is sugar.

If you can get a smart snack in before tiredness kicks in you will feel physically and mentally more energised.  

I aim to get some form of protein, healthy fats and carbohydrate into each snack. 

Here are some of my favourite go to snacks:

Yoghurt with fruit and nuts

Wholewheat/rye bread with peanut butter (any nut butter!)

Raw snack bars - yes these can be high in calories but there are lots of great brands out there now that contain zero nasties and lower in calories

Protein shake made with almond/coconut milk with a handful of oats

Remember it is only a snack - so the calorie content should be less than in a main meal.

Time your snacks - aim for mid morning and mid afternoon and if you need an evening snack then keep it healthy. 

If you are struggling to stay on track or lacking the motivation to kickstart a healthy eating regime then feel free to drop me an email - chelseasiegelpt@outlook.com 

xxx

 

 

 

 

 

Quick Fix, Long Term Failure…

Who hasn't panicked a week before their holiday and gone on a diet to get quick results? From juicing to eating baby food, living off cabbage soup, the grapefruit diet, just eating raw food, the blood-type diet, the five-bite diet, the cookie diet - the list goes on and on!!

Most of these fad diets centre around the fact that they are low in calories. 

Will a low cal diet will make you lose weight? Yes. 

Is it a sensible weight loss solution? No.

Is it sustainable? No.

Could it have health implications? Yes. 

There are many long term side effects with these fad diets and they are not sustainable. You are also likely to suffer from these short term side effects:

1. Being Hangry - hungry and angry!

2. Increased Stress Levels - Increased levels of cortisol causes stress and possibly weight gain!

3. Bloating - Feeing bloated and gassy is not fun. Be considerate of those around you!

4. Fatigue - Lack of nutrients = lack of energy. Boring!

Besides, how many times have you starved yourself the week before to shed a few pounds, only to put it all back on after getting too excited at the breakfast buffet on the first day of your holiday? 

You will hear it time and time again and not because we are stuck on repeat but because it is the healthiest, the most sustainable and the best for long term results - balance. That vexatious word is not a quick fix solution and is unlikely to drop you a dress size in a day but is a reliable, healthy, sustainable way of losing waiting safely and successfully. 

No, it's not easy. Yes, it takes time to get it right. Yes, you will have bad days. No, you shouldn't feel guilty. 

A balance of carbs, fats, protein, vitamins, minerals and water combined with regular exercise is the recipe for success. Trust. 

Get into a routine that you can sustain all year round so that when you want to, you can indulge on that dinner out or that holiday guilt-free and stress-free! Remember - Life is for living!!!

As usual if you feel you need some help getting started or staying on track or have any queries I will do my best to assist :) 

xxx

 

 

 

HIIT it Right!

High Intensity Interval Training or "HIIT" is a great way of getting your cardio in. It can last between 4 minutes and 30 minutes and creates an after burn that can continue between 12 to 24 hours after finishing - meaning more calories burned! 

But...

Are you HIITing it right? Here are some of the rules to make sure you are really getting the most out of it:

1. Mantra - "Give it all you've got!" Or go home. Half-arsed hiit sessions aren't hiit. 

2. Leg it - Choose exercises that use your legs to really get your heart rate soaring!

3. Start/Stop - Make sure you can accelerate and decelerate quickly. There's no messing around here :p 

4. Fuel Up - Pre Workout nutrition is just as important with hiit training. Go for fast digesting carbs and proteins. If you don't want to throw up in the middle of a power thruster then I suggest  eating 90 mins before. 

5. Less is More - If your hiit workout is more than 30 minutes it's unlikely you are doing it properly. Remember you have to give it your all! It's not called low intensity interval training...

5. Warm Up - Jumping straight into it full force is just going to cause an injury so make sure you've limbered up good 'n' proper before you start those burpees! 

How to know if you're HIITing it right...

1. You're exhausted after the first 3 minutes

2. You need help peeling yourself off the floor at the end

3. You need 'safety' signs so people don't slip on your puddle of sweat

HIIT Mistakes:

1. Hiit is great for losing fat and improving fitness but not for muscle growth. If your goal is to bulk up then stick to lifting big and eating bigger. 

2. Consider your current diet. Hiit workouts require energy and if you are on a low carb or just a low calorie diet you will not have the glucose in your system to help you work at your peak. 

3. Overtraining can be as negative as under training. Apart from possible injury, consider your other workouts and how much stress you are putting on your CNS.  

So, for only 4 minutes of the day you can remove the sentence "I don't have time to workout" from your list of excuses. 

IMPORTANT - Just because they are short and sweet doesn't mean you should do hiit workouts every single day. If you've done a hiit workout properly you should be a broken mess on the floor so you need to give yourself adequate recovery. 4 hiit sessions a week should be enough with a days rest in between to avoid over training and cause injury. 

Keep your eyes peeled for my next Workout Video featuring my favourite HIIT exercises!!

xxx

My Favourite Food Addictions

If you follow me on instagram or snap chat you will see a regularity with certain foods - some may call it obsession, maybe addiction…but what I do know is that as well as making my soul happy they are also packed with nutritional goodness. Boom!!

Number 1 on the list is a staple ingredient for brunch goers:

Avocado

Full of nutrients, healthy fats and contain more potassium than a banana. They also help to absorb nutrients from plant foods.

They are also delicious.

Nut Butter 

Any nut I don't care. Whizzed up into a creamy texture I add it to porridge, spread it on toast, dollop it into smoothies and occasionally (frequently) eat it straight out the jar. 

High in protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. Hand me the spoon. 

Oats

2 minutes to prepare so there's no excuse to skip breakie. I wake up extra early because for me starting the day with a good breakfast is more beneficial than a few extra minutes in bed. 

Sweet or savoury - add a handful of oats to stir fries or minced meat to thicken up dishes and get your carbs in. 

Stay fuller for longer, regulate blood sugar levels and bowel movements :0

Raw Cacao 

I don't have a lot of will power. If you put it in front of me, I will eat it. Without hesitation, without guilt (till later). Discovering this 'superfood' has meant I can snack and satisfy my sweet-tooth without feeling guilty. 

Mood booster, high in magnesium, an aphrodisiac… Nuff said :p

Sweet Potato

As wedges, in brownies, mashed or baked - I do not care. 

They can aid inflammation, digestion and are a great source of beta-carotene. 

I've only listed 5 however trust me when I say the list goes on…!!

What are your favourite food addictions? Tag me in your food posts and use the hashtag #favefoodaddiction 

Naughty or nice :)

xxx

222 Veggie Vegan : Review

Anyone who follows me on Instagram or Snapchat may have thought that I was overreacting when I posted food pics from my recent visit to 222 Veggie Vegan on North End Road. 

But what can I say, it was a revelation to discover just how delicious, filling and unpretentious vegan food can be - for an affordable price too! (London prices). And unlike the majority of 'healthy' food establishments you got a FULL plate - not pay a tenner for a handful of chickpeas and a drizzle of tahini but a full plate! For big appetites like myself this just made me oh so much happier ;)

After researching places to take my vegan brother, 222 popped up straight away as one of the best vegan restaurants in London and I admit when I saw the address I was a little hesitant to book. But just to prove how popular the place was I could only get a table for 5pm on a Saturday and there seemed to be a constant group at the door crossing their fingers and toes, hoping they would get a cancellations table. 

Visually, the restaurant is nothing special - however the mix of people you see filling up the small space goes to show that this place is all about the food. Quantity, yes but more importantly QUALITY. 

We started with a plate of Pitta Dips to share which came with a selection of creamy hummus, pimento and smashed avocado. 

For mains all three of us couldn't resist going for the 222 Burger - a tofu and veggie burger in a wholemeal roll served with leafy salad, oven-baked chips and homemade ketchup. And they were kind enough to swap the chips for sweet potato wedges for myself and Emanuel. 

222 Burger

222 Burger

Even though we were all stuffed we were all intrigued to try the exciting desserts - which includes vegan ice cream, tofu cheesecake, raw chocolate torte…(list of yumminess goes on). After a difficult few minutes deciding I went for the Spiced Island Pie - a raw dessert of almond and cashew cream, with cinnamon, ginger & nutmeg on a nut and coconut base. 

Spiced Island Pie

Spiced Island Pie

Catering for everyone, they have a Key system noting next to each dish whether it is vegan, gluten free, wheat free, wheat free option, raw and/or organic.

I have to mention how great the service was as well - I feel bad for not getting our waitresses name but she made the experience even better with her friendly and attentive manner. 

Wherever you are based, I would recommend making the effort to get your butts down here. Veggies, Vegans and Meat Lovers assemble - your eyes will be opened and your tastebuds will be forever thankful! 

xxx

 

 

A general rant...

We all have things that motivate and inspire us but making sure you are aspiring to be a better you is most important. 

I love Instagram and Snapchat for the amount of women I follow who have overcome amazing obstacles and who share valuable advice many of which I can relate to but majority of which I can’t. 

Yes I went to dance college and felt the pressures of being ‘skinny’ but however restricted my diets were in the past I’m happy to say I never had an eating disorder or felt depressed because I was living off egg whites and raw spinach. I also don’t have a desire to build my booty like some of the girls I follow although I find them very impressive!

My fitness goals are very simple - be fitter, stronger, happier and live longer. My nutrition goals are also very simple - I don’t measure or weigh food as I have an intelligent understanding of what my body needs and what I need to fuel it and also keep my soul happy. 

I love exercise but there are days when all I want is a yin yoga class and lie with my legs in the air for 10 minutes and there are days when all I want is to prop my feet on a pillow and my only exercise is the resistance of eating a whole packet of biscuits - some days I fail miserably. 

Balance is so important and although I’d love to tell you all I eat a completely clean diet and work out every day - that’s not the truth. And although Instagram can fool people into believing that the women they follow spend their life spinning from one studio to the next, taste testing juice bars 3 times a day and promoting activewear lines - they’re probably working reeeally hard on the side lines which we just don’t see. 

Big up the ladies and gents with goals that might not be the same as yours, encourage those who are documenting their progress on social media because it helps them stay on track. Celebrate peoples honesty when they have a cheat meal/day and send a virtual high five to the guys ‘n’ gals living on chicken and brown rice diets to get competition ready.

Find something to motivate you or someone to inspire you and see how you can use their achievements, set backs, goals, experiences to further your personal gains.

Don’t copy. Be the amazing, unique individual you are. 

Rant over.

xxx

Interview with Léa Barbier - Yoga Benefits Everyone

I've been practicing yoga for a few years now and recommend it to my clients, friends and family although quite often I'm met with skepticism and a pessimistic attitude towards this 10,000 year old practice. 

Since January I've been going to yoga on a Sunday evening taught by the lovely Léa Barbier. Her Level 1 class at 5.30pm at The Power Yoga Company is the perfect way to end the week and her soothing voice helps you get through those trikonasanas just a little bit easier!

And so I thought where I've previously failed, Léa might be able to give you all a better understanding of why you should all get your 'OM' on ;)

So Léa, tell us a bit about yourself...

I'm from Paris - born and raised. I've been in London for almost three years. It's flown by!

leasana.com

leasana.com

How did you get into yoga/how long have you been teaching?

I discovered yoga in Paris but really got into it when I moved to London. There are so many different studios and styles here. We're spoilt for choice! With practice, yoga becomes a safe place where you can completely switch off. It's addictive. When The Power Yoga Company, my local studio at the time, advertised their teacher training, I thought "well, why not?". I taught my first class in 2014 and quit my full time job shortly after. 

What are the benefits of practicing yoga?

There are so many! Yoga is a great way to escape and "zone out". With practice, you become stronger, calmer and more balanced - both mentally and physically. 

It's also a good complement to other sports. 

Yoga seems to be on the rise but what do you say to those who stereotype yoga as being "boring"?

Try it out! Not all styles of yoga are "just napping on a mat". 

Photo by Lily Bungay

Photo by Lily Bungay

Do you have a personal mantra that you use on and off the mat? 

"Show up and be there".  Yoga is incredibly grounding - again, both mentally and physically. It helps me be more present in everything that I do, on and off the mat. 

What is your advice for beginners?

First of all, you can't be "bad" at yoga. In the beginning, look around for visual cues and don't forget to breathe. Breathe, breathe, breathe. 

A lot of first timers bring friends for support. It makes it more fun! Yoga doesn't have to be so serious. 

Do you follow a specific diet/are you strict when if comes to your nutrition?

I find strict diets counter-productive. Food isn't the enemy. I eat my greens but I'm also French: I love bread and wine. As a general rule, I aim for balance. 

What's the most important lesson you've learnt? (In yoga and life)

Spend your money on experiences, not things. 

3 favourite moves for beginners...

Downward-facing dog: you can't escape it!

Plank: Core strength is key.

Savasana, or "the little nap at the end". 

Where can we catch you? 

I teach and practice at The Power Yoga Company and Union Station Yoga. During the week, when I'm not on the mat, you'll find me at Lululemon Europe head office, where I work as a localisation specialist. At the weekend, I'm often hanging out in Clapham Common or Brixton or boxing at Kobox (the yang to my yin). 

Portrait credited to Union Station Yoga

Portrait credited to Union Station Yoga

For more about Léa visit her website at leasana.com or on Instagram @leasana

xxx

 

 

 

 

 

Don't Stress…Smile!!

We all experience stress from time to time but learning how you can deal with stress could save you a lot of 'stress' :p

Here's some things to consider when you find yourself in a stressful situation and I hope you find them helpful :)

1. Determine the cause - whether it's something small or something big it's important that you confront it and acknowledge what it is. If you can't remember what caused the stress in the first place then bonus! Smile, move on and do something nice for yourself.

2. Their worry is not your worry - of course you should be there for your friends, be the shoulder they need to cry on, the ears they need to listen…but you don't have to be a tray for them to unload their worries onto. We have enough of our own! 

3. Worry, Why? is it reeeally so important that you are compromising your happiness? There's always a solution to a problem - it may not be simple or easy but it's there. Don't accept that it's 'just one of those things'. Find the solution, smile and focus on something positive. 

4. Don't bottle it up - even if you don't want to burden anyone it's important to express yourself and not pretend you're ok if you're not. Getting it off your chest will instantly make you feel lighter. And isn't that what most of us want? ;)

5. Write it down - speaking to someone can be difficult so if that's the case then try writing it down. It's surprisingly therapeutic and you can spill out your thoughts without anyone judging. 

6. Do something - keeping busy isn't just a distraction. Going for a walk or visiting a museum is relaxing and proven to reduce stress levels. Or if you're like me then working out is a great distraction and an instant stress-buster :)

 

Don't Stress. Do your best. Forget the rest. 

Ethical Eats : Farmstand

My latest recommendation for healthy eats in London is Farmstand on Drury Lane. They've only been open a month but they have a truly lovely thing going. 

All their produce is UK grown and they try to use local suppliers as much as possible, using seasonal, sustainable and ethically sourced produce. 

The packaging is compostable too and they only offer filtered water so you can bring your own bottle or buy their own to fill up. 

Simply decorated with a warm, countryside chic feel - the potted plants dotted around give it an outdoorsy, homely style and having grown up in Cornwall I love the fact that you can find a bit of the country right here in Covent Garden. 

They have options to 'build your own box' or if you're in a hurry they have pre-prepped boxes so however much time or little time you have you can always eat well. 

'Ready to Go' boxes include the chicken box, beef box, fish box, vegetarian box and the raw box so their is something for everyone.

Coconut yoghurt, passion fruit, blood orange & pistachios

Coconut yoghurt, passion fruit, blood orange & pistachios

Just to make your taste buds envious the chicken box is made up of grilled harissa chicken, buckwheat grain and chives, charred broccoli with chilli and garlic' and the raw box is made up of romanesco cauliflower with mustard seeds, kohlrabi, pear and daikon, mild farm stand salsa and seasonal leaves - sounds delicious right? and so nutritious!

Nutritious, ethical, delicious ingredients - what's not to love eh? So if you're in the area then pop in, pick up a coffee in a recyclable coffee cup and enjoy eating out without the calorie count (nearly worked :p)

Blueberry, coconut & chia seed muffin

Blueberry, coconut & chia seed muffin

xxx

 

Guilt-Free Snacking : Energy Bites

Easy, peasy, yummy, healthy snacks that are totally guilt free and full of natural energy. 

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup seeds

1/4 cup brazil nuts

1 cup medjool dates

2 tablespoons chia seeds

2 tablespoons desiccated coconut

1 tablespoon flaxseeds

1 tablespoon cinnamon

Method:

Throw all ingredients into a food processor and whiz up till it forms a sticky consistency. 

Scoop into hands and squidge together before rolling into balls. If it's not sticking together then add more dates or some coconut oil to the mix and whiz up again. 

Once you've formed the mix into balls, place into the freezer for an hour to set and store in the fridge. 

Enjoy guilt-free scoffing!! 

xxx