Squat Rack Full Body Circuit

This is the circuit day from the training program i am doing from the Australian Strength Coach and Hattie Boydle. Click here to get the program. It’s lower body focused with 3 strength days and 2 circuit days. You can see my really dodgy push ups at the end! haha!!

Try this 3-5 times.

12 x Reverse Lunges (each leg) (I swapped the walking lunges for reverse lunges to save time)

12 x Romanian Dead Lifts

12 x Glute Bridges

12 x Supinated Grip Rows

12 x Push Ups.

 

 

Make exercise a habit and you will never need motivation again

People always ask me how I stay motivated to go to the gym everyday but the truth is it requires no motivation at all. It has turned into a habit. When I first started exercising I went to the gym to miss the rush hour traffic. Even when I didn’t want to go I would still go because it wasn’t worth sitting in the traffic. After a few months I started to reap the rewards.

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Autumnal Cinnamon Blackberry, Plum & Banana Baked Oats

 PROTEIN:4.3G CARBS:50 FAT:2.4  TOTAL CALORIES 227 (PER PORTION)

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INGREDIENTS

30g OATS

2 TSP STEVIA

1 TSP CINNAMON

10G PLUM

90G BANANA (SMALL)

20G BLACKBERRIES

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. COMBINE OATS IN A BOWL WITH 2 TSP OF STEVIA , CINNAMON AND BANANA CHOPPED THINLY.
  2. ADD WATER TO CREATE A WET PASTE (ENSURE THERE ARE NO DRY BITS LEFT)
  3. PLACE OATS IN OVENPROOF DISH (I SOMETIMES USE A CAKE TIN OR CUP CAKE HOLDERS.
  4. PLACE PLUMS AND BERRIES ON TOP AND SPRINKLE WITH STEVIA.
  5. BAKE IN THE OVEN AT 180 DEGREES CELSIUS FOR 20/30 MINUTES

French Yogurt Cake that will fit your calorie budget

Protein 6.5g – Carbohydrate -39g – Fat 7.5 – Calories 250 per slice – Makes 10 slices.

 

 

  • 225g Plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Large pinch of salt
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest (depending on taste)
  • 300g Sainsbury’s 0% Fat Greek yogurt
  • 72g cup olive oil
  • 5 eggs whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

Preheat oven to 170°C. Line a standard (8 1/2×4 1/4″) loaf tin with greaseproof paper. Whisk flour,baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Using your fingers, rub sugar with 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest in a large bowl until sugar is moist. Add 0% fat Greek yogurt, olive oil, egg whites, and vanilla extract; whisk to blend. Fold in dry ingredients to blend. Pour batter into lined pan; smooth top. Bake until top of cake is golden brown and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, 40-55 minutes. Let cake cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Invert onto rack; let cool completely. Can be made 3 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

TIP: I like to cut the slices at the end slightly fatter to compensate for the height being shorter.

Recipie adapted from : http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/french-yogurt-cake-395471

Chicken Pitta Salad

PROTEIN 77 FAT 11.2 CARBS 29 CALORIES 525 

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INGREDIENTS 
5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (200g each)
3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, divided (I did not count this in the macros as it was only marinaded then thrown away)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano, divided
400g cherry tomatoes
100g crumbled feta cheese

For the yogurt sauce:
150g 0% fat yogurt
1 clove garlic, minced
5 pita breads (Food Dr)
2 head romaine lettuce
1 (10.6-ounce) jar kalamata olives, drained, halved, and pitted, or other black olives (optional – not counted)
12 slices bacon, fried crisp (optional not counted)
Alfalfa sprouts
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

NOTE – LETTUCE, ALFALFA SPROUNDS AND CUCUMER ARE NOT INCLUDED.

METHOD

Rinse the chicken breast and pat dry. Combine 3 tablespoons lemon juice, soy sauce, garlic and 1 teaspoon of the oregano in a glass dish. Add the chicken, turn to coat, and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the chicken breast to marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.
Combine the tomatoes and feta cheese in a small glass dish. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons lemon juice and the remaining 1 teaspoon oregano, and stir to combine. Allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
For the yogurt sauce:
In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, garlic, walnuts, and olive oil. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Preheat a grill to medium heat.
Grill the chicken breasts over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until no longer pink in the thickest portion of each breast. When the chicken and onion rings are cooked, place the pita breads on the grill for about 2 minutes per side, until grill marks show. Slice the chicken into very thin pieces.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/grilled-chicken-pitas-recipe.html?oc=linkback

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/grilled-chicken-pitas-recipe.html

 

 

 

Weight loss & Flexible dieting

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The Struggle

I have really been on a mission recently to educate myself regarding diet. Since I can remember I have found it incredibly hard to maintain a body weight I have been happy with. I have tried all the diets. Juice diets, fasting diets, low carb, clean eating and they would all just end up in failure, weight gain and self loathing. I thought there must be a magic food or just one rule i should follow that would solve all my problems. When i got into fitness I thought if I could just stick to eating “clean” then the weight would just fall off and then every weekend i would cave and have a full on binge ruining any progress I had made all week.

Something had to change. I started educating myself on fat loss and now with my basic understanding provided by people like Dr Layne Norton and Mike Mathews I have found an easy flexible approach that will keep my body fat low, my energy high. I can go out with my friends for meals, enjoy a drink and eat a small amount of unhealthy food every day. No more bingeing, no more yoyo dieting and I don’t feel helpless or out of control.

I truly think the secret to weight loss and management is education

Fat loss is fat loss

If you eat less than you burn you will lose fat. Essentially you can lose fat by only eating McDonald’s. You would be insanely hungry, low in energy and the health implications would be less than desirable but it’s possible. But there are ways of manipulating these calories to make dieting easy.

Macronutrients are important

What is a macronutrient?

Macronutrients are those nutrients required in large amounts that provide the energy needed to maintain body functions and carry out the activities of daily life. There are 3 macronutrients – carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

When loosing fat you want enough protein to help maintain muscle and keep you full, enough carbohydrates to keep your workouts energised and enough dietary fat to keep you healthy. I will go more in depth with this another time!

The Importance of Protein

Why is a high protein diet good for fat loss?

  • Protein is filling. It is much harder to over eat protein than fats or carbs.
  • It helps preserve and repair the muscle you have worked so hard for in the gym.
  • Protein has less calories per gram than fat. (1 gram of protein = 4 calories, 1 gram of carbs = 4 calories , 1 gram of fat = 9 calories).
  • It keeps your blood sugar level stable. Eating protein with carbs promotes steady sugar levels so you wont hit a sugar low having you reach for that chocolate bar.
  • Your body uses more energy digesting protein through something we call the thermic effect.

From my experience girls seem to be scared of protein as if it’s something only bodybuilders should be eating. So what does protein do exactly? Protein helps regenerate and repair cells in your body which requires amino acids from proteins. When you exercise however you are causing more damage to cells in your body which will need repairing which is why people looking to change their body composition through exercise need more protein. They will have more cells in need of repairing.

This leads me onto a small tangent about protein powders. The reaction I have had when people have seen my protein powder has made me feel like I may as well been taking illegal substances. I have had comments like “oh no you’re not taking that are you?’. So let me get one thing straight. Whey protein is a bi product of cheese. Whey protein is considered a complete protein and contains all 9 essential amino acids and is low in lactose. It has simply become so popular because of its convenience and as protein foods are usually savoury this creates a sweet alternative.

Flexibility

Flexible dieting allows you to eat the foods you want as long as you are hitting your macronutrients (thus staying within the appropriate calorie intake). I now get 85% of my foods from wholesome and nutritious sources while reserving the last 15% for something I fancy like chocolate, ice cream or biscuits every day. Most people use my fitness pal to track their foods. I personally found it quite a messy app so I made myself a spreadsheet which is super simple to input my foods. I have found a few tricks to make this process easier. I make all my lunches for the week on Sunday which is the same each week. My breakfasts are usually within the same 3 or 4 things so they are easier to track. Then with what’s left i workout my dinner. If I know I am going out for dinner in the evening I know it will be a high carb high fat meal so during the day I will eat mostly protein and veggies and I don’t worry about the rest. At the end of the day you have to enjoy life! This is more just damage control.

Changing Habits

Our lives are built around habits and routine which we rarely question or think to change. I have started questioning some of my routine habits to see if it makes a difference to my diet. I used to think i was a big breakfast kind of girl. I would get up in the morning with an hour and half to get ready so I could have my eggs, bacon on toast with mushrooms and tomatoes. As much as I still love this breakfast I had a rethink and now i spend an extra hour in bed and have 0% greek yogurt with stevia when I get to work. This has saved me an insane amount of calories and I don’t feel like a need a mid morning snack any more. I would suggest taking a look at your day to see how you can readjust things. If you enjoy a big dinner with your family it might be worth thinking about saving your calories for then. If you don’t enjoy breakfast then don’t eat breakfast!! Do what works for you. At the end of the day the best diet is the one you can stick to.

A lot of the information here I have learnt from http://www.muscleforlife.com/. Also from the thinner learner stronger book and the muscle for life podcasts.

I also follow Dr Layne Norton and his podcasts Physique Science Radio.

Roasted Cauliflower & Chicken Salad with macros

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So, I made all this on Sunday on my last day off. I took a rest day from the gym as I realised I hadn’t taken a day off since boxing day. I took the day to get rid of the Christmas tree, clean the flat and food prep for the week. Getting rid of the Christmas tree is almost as good as getting it in the first place! My flat feels so big now! It made such a huge mess getting it downstairs we spent 3 hours cleaning up pine needles! Another thing I bought and tried today is stevia. I have heard so much about it being a great healthy natural sweetener. I eat loads of 0% fat greek yogurt and this works great with it and has 0 calories! I found the spice mix for the chicken on this website.

Roasted Cauliflower, Parsley and Pomegranate with grilled Chicken  

(Makes 5 portions)

Protein 46g Fat 13.5g Carbs 16g Calories 370

1250 grams Cauliflower (about 2 Califlower heads)

3 tbs Olive Oil (33g)

145 grams of Pomegranate seeds (about 1 Pomegranates worth)

not counted in macros

1tsp ground cinnamon

1tsp ground allspice

2tsp red wine vinegar

black pepper

bunch of parsley

5 sticks of celery

For the Chicken

630g Chicken (about 5 small breasts)

2tbs Olive oil (22g)

Not counted in macros

1tbs ground coriander

1tbs ground cumin

1tbs ground cardamon

1tsp ground cayenne pepper

2tsp smoked paprika

black pepper

2tbs lemon juice

Roast the cauliflower in 2 tbs of oliver oil. Chop the rest of the ingredients and add to the salad. Mix in the spices.

Chicken:

Put chicken in freezer bag and flatten with rolling pin. Add spice mx and leave for as long as possible to marinade. Grill until cooked. Easy!!