I'm lagging again! Catch up for the past two days training then:

Wednesday 24th August
I did the 'Itty Bitty Bikini' work out followed by this HIIT (high intensity interval training) lower body sequence:

10 wide leg squats (feet turned out, targeting inner thigh)
10 standard squats
10 static lunges on each leg

...take it up a level:
10 wide leg squat followed with a high side kick
10 squat with a leg trap (on standing, bring bent leg in towards side of body and catch your knee and ankle)
10 dynamic (step out) lunges on each leg

...up one more gear
10 Wide leg squats with a double high side kick
10 squat jumps
10 lunge jumps

repeat 3 times and then your legs feel like lead! 

Thursday 25th August
I did my favourite circuit

I love breakfast and I’m pleased that it’s the most important meal of the day as its my favourite.  This morning’s breakfast was inspired by my lovely client Payal who originally hails from Calcutta. Having been brought up in a very healthy Indian family she knows a few tricks about making things taste good without the added fats and sugars and during last nights training, in between body suspension push up sets she talked me through a very simple recipe, for super quick and healthy Ayurvedic stewed apples.  

1.     Core and chop up an apple (I used a cooking apple from my friends tree but any will do).

2.     Place in a non-stick sauce pan with a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.

3.     Pop the lid on the saucepan and cook on a medium heat until apple is stewed in its own juices. Mine took about 4-5 minutes.

Done! It couldn't be easier!

* It’s quite tart. I like it that way but some of you with sweet tooths might want to add a little something to sweeten. If you don’t want to spoil it by adding sugar (rightly so!) I suggest a little Xylitol, honey, Argave nectar or maple syrup will do the trick.

I had a big dollop of this on some natural, fat free yoghurt with half a cinnamon bagel topped with low fat cream cheese and sliced strawberries, half a slice of wholemeal toast spread with almond butter and sliced banana and a chunk of watermelon pre-diced. It’s a little bit of everything – sweet and satisfying brekkie with lots of nutrition. 

Sorry for the photo quality - its a Blackberry shot!
I seriously suck at logging my exercise! Must do better.
Here are the missing few days:

Saturday - Rest day (well unless you count 8 hours of shopping and the sweat on I had in All Saints at the cash till. 

Long shopping trip - well needed and very fancy cappuccino.
Sunday - Sunday runs!! This Sunday had a friend stay with her dog and so I was joined this Sunday by a spirited little cock-a-poo on an 8 mile run. She tripped me up a few times and I was near on dragging her at about mile 6 but we made it!
lots of love before the run
Not so much after!
Monday - Rest day. But I worked up a fury at my car being impounded...and then a batch of chocolate rice crispy cakes so I was soon over it!

Tuesday - Today I did the following training:
I did 16 reps of each exercise and 3 sets With 5kg free weights:

Shoulder press
Bent over Row
Tricep extensions

Followed by a 30 minute jog

Then The following exercises 20 reps of each and 3 sets on the TRX:

Push ups
Tricep extension
Wide row

Finished off with a 20 minute run and 5 minutes of stretches

My car got impounded yesterday because it was parked outside my house in it’s usual spot which had turned into an illegal spot temporarily…London parking regulations and their £265 charges can make a girl need chocolate in a bad way! But before I could dive head first into a self soothing bar of Dairy Milk which would set me back a few training sessions, I dug out the ingredients for my secret snack weapon which can be made in 5 minutes, is low in calories, fat and sugar and is really yummy. This situation was crying out for some of my puffed rice chocolate buns.  Ok they’re basically Rice Krispy buns but I’ll have you know they’re markedly different from the sugary kiddie version - mine are much more indulgent and an altogether smarter snack. Satisfyingly crunchy and chocolatey without the junk and all the excess calories. 

I replace sugary Rice Krispies with puffed rice. When you’re going to dowse them in chocolate, all that extra sugar is totally unnecessary. Puffed rice is just rice with nothing added. I also use dark chocolate such as Green and Blacks 70% that contains less sugar and fat than milk chocolate. I add in sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds which give a nice nutty edge and extra crunch whilst adding some protein and I also include some dried cranberries which work really well with dark chocolate.

Ingredients and method

1 large bar (usually 100g) dark chocolate, melted. (Always melt in a bowl over a pan of hot water, never microwave)

Once the chocolate is melted add in the puffed rice. I never measure but just add in enough so the all the rice is coated in chocolate.

Add in two tablespoons of pumpkin seeds and another two tablespoons of sunflower seeds.

I also added a tablespoon of desiccated coconut, a tiny pinch of salt (salt always brings out the flavour in chocolate) a tiny pinch of chili powder and a tiny pinch of dried basil. You think I’ve lost it don’t you?  The last three ingredients are by no means essential but they do add a little something I think.  Try it for yourself.

Give it all a good mix and divide into individual bun cases. I managed 12, using only 100g of chocolate.  This really does make your chocolate go much further whilst adding in some healthier ingredients so you’re getting at least some nutrition for your sweet splurge! 

If you can hold out, allow them to set in the fridge for an hour, they do taste better once set.  I hope you don’t eat your puffed rice crispy bun whilst being consumed with thoughts of the lovely shoes that you could have bought with 265 big ones. grrr. Oh well I suppose it's a good job these buns are cheap to make!

Training log: I did a 7 mile run along the canal with Stephen fry to keep me company. It was splendid indeed! Well actually quite tiring today if I'm honest. Not sure if it was the sun or Stephen (Of course it's not you Stephen if you're reading) or just me but my heart had to work harder than usual. Some days are just tougher than others. Run keeper told me I did 7 miles in 1 hour and according to my heart rate monitor I burned 506 calories. Got to love the fitness gadgets! 

On a separate note my fridge is being a health and fitness diva. I bought some Hellman's mayonnaise light with a hint of lemon (lovely with prawns) and the fridge quite literally spat it out on to the floor when I opened it...this happened twice. The second time the bottle smashed all over the floor. That will teach me to toy with the health freak fridge. No more mayo then...it was light though. Any one else have a fridge with standards?

Today I did three rounds of my favourite circuit. Something about this workout that makes you really sweat and feel that you've not left out one single muscle. Some of these exercises are not going to be recognisable as I've made them up myself! I will put some videos or demo pics up soon so you can follow!

Squat chop x 20
Push ups x 12
Plank with knee raises (i.e right knee in towards right armpit) x 10 each side

Jog on spot with high knees for 1 min

Single leg weighted deadlift x 15 each leg
Single leg bridge dips x 10 each leg
Plank with leg lift x 12 each leg

Burpees for 50 seconds

Wide leg Squat with tricep extensions x 16
Plank hold with single arm row x 12 each side
Squat press x 16

Mountain climbers for 1 minute

lunge with bicep curl x 30 alternate
Side plank with rear fly x 12 each side
V sit decline press x 16 presses

Jog on spot with high knees 1 minute

Single leg abduction with lateral raise x 10 each leg
Shoulder press with single leg extension x 10 each leg
deadlift into upright row x 20

Floor jumping jacks 1 min (lying face down in plank position)

Repeat 3 times. Takes an hour.

I don't think this is going to make much sense to anyone...pictures soon I promise!

1 week in and I'm already slacking on the daily exercise log!. This was yesterday. I had planned to do an hours circuits but time ran away with me yesterday and so decided to do some strength training instead. I'm pleased I did as (like many women I know) I don't do strength training as often as I should. I wouldn't let me clients get away with this kind of irrationality but I have to admit that there is always something niggling there in the back of my mind saying - cardio is a better workout! Hopefully this blog will force me to more balanced with my own training!

Strength training session
I did these with 5kg dumb bells. and 4 sets in total

(bicep)Curl and (shoulder) press x 12
Front raise x 10
side raise x 10
Narrow bent over row x 16
Tricep kickback x 16

I also did a 20 minute jog later on that evening. (My way of getting back home from work).

This is the Moroccan Garden I found!
Well not exactly an adventure, but more of a workout where I happen to stumble across a lovely Moroccan garden (It was public- not someones back garden!)

The workout looks like this:

1. 6am. Straight out of bed and into some sun salutations. (10 mins)
I find sun salutations the most effective way to warm up, especially in a morning when muscles are stiff.  Also makes me feel like a real virtuous yogi doing sun sals at 6am! I do 4 sun salutations A and 4 sun salutations B.

2. Itty Bitty Bikini work-out from Tone it Up (15 mins)
I love Katrina and Karina from Tone it Up and like to incorporate some of their work outs into my weekly regime every now and then. Got to love those Cali girls...they're awfully keen! I started off this morning with their Itty Bitty Bikini Workout.  This is great for core strength and tummy toner and we all want abs like Katrina and Karena! Its worth pointing out that many people tend to work their core at the end of a training session but I sometimes like to start with it as it encourages me to engage my core muscles for the remaining duration of the work out.

3.  My indoor/outdoor intervals (30 mins)
At home:
1 min star jumps
10 burpees
20 alternate lunges

I then jogged outside for 5 minutes which is when I found the Moroccan garden, went inside and did the following on the beautiful mosaic tiles, next to the lavender and little water fountain:

20 walking lunges
12 push ups
20 tricep dips
20 second long arm plank
20 tummy tucks (from plank position bring right knee in towards right elbow and back down into plank, then left knee in towards left elbow and back down into plank)

5 minute jog along the canal and back to the Moroccan Garden
Repeat the circuit above - second time round.

5 minute jog back home
Repeat the circuit - third time around

4. Finish off with 5 minutes of yoga stretches (5 mins)


5. Breakfast time. This is the best bit of early morning exercise!

Soft boiled egg with wholemeal soldiers, Lizi's Organic granola, with some fat free blueberry yogurt and  chopped watermelon on the side...and of course a cuppa Yorkshire tea!


Today I did a 40 minute TRX suspension training circuit which consisted of:

Circuit 1 (3 times)
1 min Squats
2 min Lunges (1 min each leg)
1 min push ups
1 min fly's

Circuit 2 (3 times)
2 min multi-planar single leg squats (clock formation, 1 min each leg)
1 min narrow row
1 min tricep extensions

Circuit 3 (twice)
1 min wide row
1 min suspended leg single leg squats
1 min suspended plank
1 min full body extensions
1 min bicep curls

Love a bit of TRX :-) I'll do a post on it soon.

I love a bit of fitness data but I'm starting to think that it's gone too far. Yesterday was 'Sunday Runs' day and I messed around for a good thirty minutes just getting all my fitness gadgets set up for an hours run. I realised that my husband had a Nike+ running gadget that was four years old and had never been taken out of the box (Thinking that he needed Nike+ trainers to use it, it never got used). So I had him perform a delicate operation on one of my trainers to remove part of the sole so that I could wear the sensor inside my trainers whilst running. Genius No? Ok now I was ready to rock and roll.

Oh wait I should wear my heart rate monitor too to see how many calories I burn, my max heart rate and my average heart rate...right now I'm ready to go. Hang on how can I listen to music whilst I have the Nike+ calibrated to my ipod? Let's figure that out before I set off. Ok ready to go..

I started jogging. The bloody thing didn't work...after a full scale operation on my asics too. My ipod wouldn't pick up on the sensor in my shoe and now I had a taste for some running data so sat on the pavement shoe in hand, digging out the sole to see whats wrong with the sensor. Couldn't figure it out.

That's it I needed a new gadget to run with. I thought I'd download a new app that I'd heard about instead. RunKeeper...sounds like just the ticket. Only, I have a Blackberry and you need an iphone or HTC to download the application. Good lord this is getting ridiculous but I've come this far, can't stop now - and I know I have a HTC phone somewhere. Right back to the flat. After a good rummage through my drawers I found one and, transferred my sim from the Blackberry to the HTC, downloaded the app and was good to go!  I'm surprised I had any energy left after all that!

It was a lovely run despite some harsh words spoken to my heart rate monitor that I had to keep hitching up every 5 minutes as it never seems to be on tight enough. I have to say I'm loving RunKeeper. There's a lovely lady who talks to you whilst you're running. She's not quite Stephen Fry (who's audiobook I often like to listen to whilst out running) but she does a cracking job at motivating you to run faster by telling you your time, miles and mile per minutes average every five minutes. I'll be using this more often.  Love Stephen but he does a jolly good job of slowing one down to too much of a leisurely pace!

I also discovered to my surprise that the long Sunday run I do every Sunday is not the 10 miles I thought it was (damn you mapmyrun!) but is actually 7.59 miles!  Wittingly or unwittingly, its clear to see how we can easily deceive ourselves into thinking we're doing so much more than we actually are when not using the right gadgets. Or maybe its just me? So it seems it was worth all that fannying around was worth it after all.