Health & Lifestyle.
Chinese New Year fell on the week of school half-term this year. I seized to opportunity for us to mark the occasion with family days out, as well as arts and crafts. In a previous post, I talked about the challenge of celebrating our cultural heritage in...
Nahdia from Nahdz Adventures posted a meet up at the Ragged School Museum, over the school half-term. What an awesome location, right?! We had never been to the museum before. The kids and I were excited to see what activities would be offered and I was...
I recently completed health survey on NHS' One You page. What a shock when the results told me I could do better. Do better really? I’m at the gym three times per week but according to reading I’ve done since; ideally I should be working out five times...
‘Santa’ was very generous to Miss V last Christmas. She received the pressies she wished for, one of which was a doll’s stroller. In fact, the stroller she was gifted exceeded her little imagination. It's quite snazzy and looks real. 'Santa' gave Miss V a...
One of the frustrating things about expat life is; when something exciting happens back home you miss out. Sometimes it feels you are forever on the outside looking in, looking at events happening at home from a far, an never being totally at home in your...
At the risks of sounding corny, over the Christmas holidays I got teary-eyed because I was so full of joy. Yeah I know, but it’s true. I said a little prayer and thanked God for my blessings, all three of them, my family. Life wasn’t always that joyous for...
In a previous post on coping with Christmas and an expat, I mentioned getting away from the madness of the season. We tend to take a family break over the Christmas holiday. It's our tradition, now. We love going to places with wide open spaces and give...
The Frog and his Dancing Shoes is a newly published children’s picture book written by Tolulope Ogunmefun. Prior to writing his book Tolulope was well known as the YouTube sensation ‘Don’t Jealous Me’. The book's title reminded me of two of my favourite...
My first Christmas in England was amazing! I was still living in Cambridge with a mate’s family. I had the ultimate English Christmas. At the time I was also working at the Classical Faculty Library, Cambridge University, so it was an occasion of champagne...
Cardboard boxes rescued from rubbish removal bins can be turned into wonderful Christmas gifts. Your family will love these because you make them yourself and they'll know they are environmentally friendly. You'll also be able to really personalize them...
Weightloss journey: update #3
I’ve dropped a dress size! Since joining the gym in July, I’ve lost 12 pounds. When I began my weightloss journey, I aimed to lose twenty pounds by Christmas 2015. Now, I’m re-evaluating my decision. I’m stronger than I’ve been in the last four years. I’m slimmer than I’ve been in the last three years. I feel great my confidence levels are high. Nonetheless the reason for my change in goal is how I look. I question if the loss of eight pounds would look good on me. In my opinion being super thin in your 20’s and 30’s is great, but in your 40’s if you are not naturally super slim it may not look as attractive. Personally, when I loss too much weight my face looks gaunt and that’s not a look I want at this stage in my life. I’ve continued to lose weight because whenever I plateau I change an element of my regime. Last month I introduced breakfast smoothies into my diet.
Hubby and I finally invested in a Nutribullet smoothie maker. Baring the odd occasion when the rubber around the blade pops out, we are happy with our decision to buy it. Its small, compact and there is zero loss of fruit. Unless I peeled the fruit prior to it putting into the Nutribullet, I get 100% of what I put in. Best of all its super easy to clean. I tend to make smoothies that combine fruit, vegetables and nuts. I use a variety of liquids depending on the texture and flavour smoothie I want. I use: fruit juice, tap water, coconut water, yogurt, cow’s milk. I have a breakfast smoothie when I’m going the gym directly after the school run, or if I’m going to have a very busy morning. It saves on time and I don’t miss out on the most vital meal of the day. I don’t get hungry until midday because I make those smoothies quite thick. I’ve noticed when I’ve had smoothie before my workout I feel more energised. I have the power to charge through my workout of choice which is usually Zumba! I LOVE ZUMBA!
Overall, I’m thrilled about how my weight loss is going. For November, I want to focus more on my abs and back. My sciatica is acting up again and I’m told strengthening that area will help improve the condition. Just as important, I’ve always put abs at the bottom of my weight management regime but now I’m on the other side of forty I need a new approach. How’s your weight loss journey coming along? Are you waiting for the New Year to start your weight regime? I’d like to hear from you.
My top 5 post workout snacks
I don’t often snack after my workout, due to the time I’m able to go to the gym. I usually go after breakfast or before dinner. So I have lots of water because I perspire a great deal. Ten minutes into my work out and I’m wet. When I’m able to, I treat myself to coconut water after my workout. However, on the occasion when my routine has been altered or dinner is running late, I go for light snacks. Every calorie is important to me because I’m on a calorie counting diet to lose weight. I’ve had my eyes peeled on social media to see what other blogger and keep fit enthusiasts have for their snacks. I also spoke to my fitness instructors at my local gym and I came developed my list of top five post work out snacks.
According to my instructor, generally its best to have fruit before a workout instead of after due to the sugar content. However in everything there are always exceptions. I don’t always fruit though. Sometimes I have crackers and a topping, or just nuts to much on. Here’s five of my favourite post workout snacks:
- Oranges- good glycogen-replenishing carbs to help you recover faster and due to the fibre it will fills you up.
- Banana- good for quicker recovery and the potassium is a key mineral is muscular emery. After an intense workout your potassium store will have been depleted so top them up.
- Ryvita crisp bread & Peanut Butter- I find this combo quite filling and peanut butter is source of protein, unsaturated fats, and vitamin E.
- 4. Nuts- I’m a nuts-lover but as an after workout snack I opt for unsalted and unsweetened ones. Cashew and Hazelnuts are great choice but in general nuts pack a high in protein and healthy fats. A small handful is advisable, portion controls is key.
- 5. Greek Yogurt with muesli- I like muesli that has raisins and nuts for sweetness and crunch. The yoghurt has a good dose of protein and a small amount of fat, while the fruit provides a boost of carbohydrates, vitamins and fibre.
You can find nuts, dried fruit and other healthy snack options at Nuts.com. Check out their website to find out what healthy treats they have in store.
What do you snack on after your workout? Leave a comment below to share you healthy snack tips.
#Weightlossjourney end of week 5
I’m pleased to say that my weight loss regime is on track. The 5th week of my gym membership passed last week and I’ve lost 6 pounds. I’m thrilled with my progress. I’ve been using an app on my phone called My Fitness Pal to keep track of what I’m eating and my calorie in take. At first I found it difficult to stick to the daily ration set by the NHS weight loss guide. It found it easier to follow My Fitness Pal’s calorie intake suggestion. I don’t always stick to it but because I’m also working out I’m losing weight. I’m losing on average one pound per week which is what I wanted.
According to the NHS weight loss plan, as a woman I should stick to 1,400 kcal for most women per day. I found this quite challenge. However with My Fitness Pal, I’m advised to stick to 1,750 kcal. I found this more achievable and as stated earlier with my gym regime, I’m have still been losing weight weekly. As I’ve stated in previous post, portion control is one of my problems. Therefore, I opted to take this method of losing weight because it makes me think about what I’m eating. Recently I was shown an article that explains calorie counting and how it works. I do still have sweet things and other treats but in much much smaller quantities and usually on gym days.
At the end of week 5, not only did I lose weight I lost inches. My under bra measurement is now 35 inches and my waist s 37. Which means I’ve lost 5 inches on under bra and three on my waist. This means I’m now back to a firm UK16. It’s my aim to do down to a UK14. I look my best at that size. I’ve now added drinks to help me detox. I start my day with warm lemon water, then follow up with fresh fruit juice. Hubby and kids love the fresh juice and its great we can share elements of my healthy regime together. I’m not making smoothies at the moment because our smoothie maker broke. I also have more herbal teas. They help be curb my hunger SOMETIMES. Do you calorie count? If I’m having rice or pasta I try to have brown or whole wheat.
How many calories do you aim to take in per day? What do you use to monitor your intake? Feel free to share you stories. We can motivate each other.
As you may already know, after four years break I recently returned to the gym a few weeks ago. I’ve been having a wonderful time because the gym has always been an important part of my pre-children lifestyle. My local gym began running a campaign which made joining affordable so I enquired about the terms. Upon enquiry I found out monthly membership entitled me free crèche for up to two hours. I’m now a happy gym member again. I’m enthusiastic about keeping fit and losing weight. To maintain the momentum, I like mixing up my regime. So, I was delighted to receive a bulletin from Tots100 regarding a keep fit event. As it turns out it was a #newmumfitness event which was collaborative venture with Kimberly Wyatt (former Pussycat Doll and reigning champion of Master Chef UK) , with Instructor Live and Kiddicare.
I’ve found Kiddicare to be a brand that strives to support parents to be the best they can be. Their blog is full of useful information about various aspects of parenthood. Kiddicare’s #newmumfitness campaignis no different. It provides information from getting started, to gym kit, to jogging buggies and more. On the day of the #newmumfitnesss event, bloggers, magazine writers and editors were invited to trial Instructor Live’s workout with Kimberly Wyatt and Glenn Ball. The 24 minutes workout packed a punch! I was relieved when Angelo (who attended with me) needed a toilet break. Nonetheless I thoroughly enjoyed the session. It had a dance element to it which I quite liked. I prefer to have fun while I workout. It feels less of a chore. Please view the video clip below for a taster of what attendees experience on the day. We also share our thoughts on the programme.
After the workout showcase, we attended a Q&A session. On the panel were:
- Luke Walker, co-founder of Instructor Live
- Kimberly Wyatt on Mum On A Mission
- Dan Cartner, Marketing executive at SportsShoes.com
- Mike, Marketing executive at Asics
- Postnatal fitness instructor Margarita Bennett
- Lynn Coates, Head of Commercial at Kiddicare
It was beneficial to hear from Postnatal fitness instructor, Margarita Bennett’s, experience about the ‘injuries’ that some mums sustain from pregnancy and childbirth. She stressed the importance exercise to the healing process. It was driven home that new mums must get the all clear from the GP before starting a regime and then take it slow at first. I felt Kimberly was passionate about getting the idea across that mums should do what’s best for them at their own pace. She says ‘do you’ and have fun with it. Dan Cartner from SportsShoes.com spoke about having the appropriate gym gear to fit the regime and new body needs. It’s necessary that new mum’s body has the appropriate supportive clothing.
Here are few images from the #newmumfitness event. You can find more on The Tiger Tales Facebookpage.
Additionally for more information on Kimberly Wyatt’s #mumonamission campaign click here for her Q&A with Kiddicare.
Instructor Live was described as the Netflix of keep fit. You can register for 10 days trial free, cancel anytime. Monthly subscription cost £5.99. Instructor Live allows registrants to select what the programme they want. Choose from: lose weight; sculpt and tone; general fitness and more. You can get social and follow them on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. They post motivational quotes workout quotes, mini workout, competitions etc Although the event was called new mum fitness, the routine is suitable for all whom who want to keep fit and physically fit to do so. It’s always advised to speak to you GP before starting an exercise programme.
Many thanks to Kiddicare, Kimberly Wyatt, Instructor Live for a wonderful keep fit experience. Special thanks to Tots100 for keeping parent bloggers in the know.
Weightloss Journey: end of week 2
It’s the end of the second week of my weight loss regime. I’ve lost 3 lbs so far and I feel GREAT! In Zumba class I can lift my legs of the floor. In Total Body Workout, my sit-ups have improved. I no longer look like an upturned cockroach. My 9th wedding anniversary is on 4th August. Hubby and I are planning a date night out. I’m hoping to lose another 2lbs by then. I will not be my 11 stone self that I was in 2006 but I will be slimmer than I am now AND toned! I’m super excited about the results I can see already. Here’s how the last week has been for me.
At the gym I’m still doing mostly cardio workouts. I want to burn as much fat as I can. I LOVE ZUMBA. I feel as though I’m at Latin dance party! I also enjoy lifting free weights but I do get addicted, when I start. So I’m taking it slow to burn fat first then start with the free weights full on. Although, in my Total Body Workout class we do use weights, but I keep it light to perfect my positioning and complete the reps. No point selecting heavy weights, then not being able to do all the reps required in the session.
I’m not an organized diet meal planner. I decide in the moment what I want. If you follow me onInstagram and Facebook you will notice that I’m not deprive myself of anything, I’m simply applying portion control as best I can. I’ve also downloaded an app on my phone where I can log what I’ve eaten and calculate the calories. It also features useful and informative blog articles that keep me motivated. I save my treats for workout days that way I know I will work off the calories. I do make certain not to eat back the calories I’ve worked off, that would be pointless.
I do my best to keep hydrated. I have a variety of drinks. I don’t have problem drinking plain water. It’s the best. However on gym days I do sometimes have coconut water, or fruit infused waters just to shake things up a bit. I also have more herbal teas and less English teas. I add more sugar than I should when I drink English tea or Coffee. Herbal teas help me manage bloating and hunger pangs.
Are you on a summer diet or simply living a healthy lifestyle? Please share you tips and ‘tricks’. I’d love to hear from you.
My Weight Loss Journey
I’ve battled with my weight for years. Portion control is probably my biggest problem, especially when I’m not I a good place emotionally. For as long I can remember, I comfort ate. When I shed my excessive ‘baby fat’ at age 10, everyone marvelled at my transformation which was the result. After that I was anxious about regaining any fat. Fortunately, I had a 15 minutes walk down a winding hill to secondary school and a 15 walk back after school. By my mid-teens I began exercising at home. My food sins were kept under wraps. At University I made use of the gym facilities and there began my love affair with the gym. At one point I was in the gym at least 4 times weekly for 2 hours. This was my golden time. I had optimum body confidence. In my late 20’s I moved to England, got married had kids left the gym and my food sins were brought to light.
Over the past 20 years I’ve gained 69 pounds. I’ve gone from a UK size 8 to a 16-18. For a while my height and figure flattering styles helped to camouflage my growing size. Then came the aches, pains, the double chin, AND the damning photographic taken by a friend at the start of summer. It was time to take action. I’m not obese. However, I am over weight. Coming from a family where hyper tension and diabetes is a problem on both side of the family tree, I have to health-aware. I’m on a mission to get fit, lose weight and get healthy again.
I’ve joined a gym and I’ve found a weight lost plan on the NHS website. It’s been one week and already, I feel better. Baring work out pains, I’m ache fee. I’m counting my calories, so I’m more aware of how much I ate. I feel more positive, confident, alert and happy.
My target is to lose 21 lbs by Christmas. As I type these are my stats:
Weight: 191 lbs
Height: 173 cm
Waist: 40 inches
Bra Underband: 40 inches
I aim to lose at least 1 lb per week. If stick that I’m well on my way to success to my new svelte figure in time for winter festive season. And back to being the woman I used to be.
Please visit my Instagram and Facebook pages to see what meals, snacks and beverages I have. I’ll also share health tips I discover along the way, not mention product reviews.
Hi! I’m Maria. My family and I live in London but I’m originally from Trinidad, West Indies. My beloved and I got married in 2006. He’s Chinese/Italian. When we decided to increase our family, the first inevitable question was ‘what the child would look like?’... [ + ]
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