Monday, 17 June 2013

Progress & Tips


So I posted some progress photos on my instagram, it is always important to recognise progress whether it be big or small!...

Slowly but surely...which brings me onto some of my best tips/advice - on top of doing HIIT and weight training/target toning, I focus on doing conditioning! 

The best advocate of this that I have found is Tracey Anderson (and her method), most of her stuff is readily available on YouTube so please have a look! My absolute favourites are her standing arms and standing abs routines but I regularly do all of her stuff (at least once a week)

The way in which it works is you use very small and specially created dynamic movements that "condition" the muscles and tighten everything up, bringing your different muscle groups closer together and also closer to the bone (this is just a simple explanation, it's not entirely scientifically correct obviously but it basically brings everything together and I think it's very important!)

I always stress the importance of finding a balance and this is definitely a major factor for me! I think it really helps keep my femininity and is helping me get tighter!

Make sure you all have a go! The specific DVD I use is the "Tracey Anderson Method: Mat Workout", its 59 minutes long and has 6 sections plus a warm-up and cool-down (all available on YouTube)


Saturday, 15 June 2013

Today! Phew 😊💦


So I have been SO BUSY today, I also just found out that I'm working over 50 hours this week (as a domaciliary nurse), so my e-book may be slightly delayed...sorry! And I've teased you all so much! I'm so mean 🙊🙈

After having done my 45 min power walk with Dan earlier, I did 3 hours of vigorous cleaning for my mum (always put in 100%, no matter what you're doing!) and then as I was feeling so energised, I decided to do some HIIT! I will do a post on HIIT at another date but I will put it simply for now: it is extremely beneficial both in terms of cardio vascular fitness, endurance and agility, as well as muscle building, "toning" and defining! My workout looked something like this (I did it for 30 mins)

This is such a great diagram, you can pick and choose what you prefer and do alternatives! Not all exercises are suitable for everyone

Whilst I was doing this (amazing multitasking I know 😉) I had this delicious and nutritious meal cooking to be ready for when I was finished! 

That is: pan-fried salmon with chopped ginger, red chilli, coriander, garlic, shallot & lime with peas, beans & brown rice! 

I am absolutely dead! Getting an early night as I work starts at 6:45am tomorrow, then I'm going out for a family Father's Day lunch! 

Hope you're all well

Power Walks

Hello everyone! Posting off my phone currently 😊 

Here's a picture of my little brother from our power walk!

It started off sunny but towards the end there was a big downpour of rain but that didn't stop us ☺

There is nothing better than a power walk early in the morning to get your day going and to clear your mind! I usually do about 40-60 minutes and walk at approximately 5-6mph the whole way (very fast but we have long legs so very doable!) and I always make sure we do some inclines and declines in our route! I'm not that much of a runner, but we always tend to run the last 400m home at full speed (we make it fun by chasing each other) 

Hope you've all started your day strong, I will post my workout when I've done it later (I think that's the best way for you to understand how I workout!) and I will post lots of my tips about how to stay active. 

Love Amy 

Friday, 14 June 2013


Free of all things university related (although I can't guarantee I won't be retaking in August..however I'll worry about that when I get my results!)

Thank you to all the people who have been checking out my blog, I hope you like it and please give me any topics/suggestions/questions that you'd like me to answer on here in greater detail (its really hard to answer in detail on Instagram!)

So, I am going to talk about why I don't weigh myself anymore. I admit, I definitely have been tempted but I don't give in!

I took this photo earlier to demonstrate what I mean. So many of you let the scale determine how you feel, how you look and you let it diminish your progress and even get obsessed with the number it shows! (we've all been there). Let me tell you that unless you are competing in a bikini fitness/body building competition, or are morbidly obese, the scale is not the best way to measure your progress. The amount of times you and I have felt like we were doing so well, had noticed good progress and others even commented as well which is all forgotten about once we get on the scale and see that we have only lost a pound or two. 

We've all been there, trust me! And this relates back to why I also don't count calories any more (that's another post for another day!) 

So why should you forget the scale!? Here are some of my simple reasons:
  • Muscle weighs 3x more than fat - ie. when losing "weight" healthily (through clean eating and exercise), we tend to lose fat and gain lean muscle, therefore, losing fat won't show as "good" results on the scale as losing lean muscle will (which you want to avoid at all costs) - and obviously the same goes for gaining lean muscle whilst losing fat, the scale tends to go up!
  • The scale doesn't take into account body fat percentage. Just imagine a 140-lb woman with 35% body fat and a 140-lb woman with 19% body fat. They may weigh the exact same on the scale, but their body compositions will be completely different!
  • Muscle also occupies a lot less room in the body than the equivalent weight of fat. Therefore, when you are losing fat and gaining lean muscle, you are (usually) getting tighter and losing inches from your body; which you may not be able to see on the scale at all (it may even go up), but can measure using tape measurements
Instead of using the scale, I tend to use measurements and focus on how I FEEL inside and out! And they both work, trust me

So why not put this scale to a little test? See exactly what I mean when I say don't use it to determine your success. If you don't believe me (or want to just try it out); weigh yourself tomorrow morning as soon as you get up and take mental note. Then go about your business as you usually would, maybe 5-6 nutritious meals, 3 litres of water, one workout, a shower etc. - now weigh yourself before you go to bed...chances are you're probably going to be about 2 pounds heavier than you were in the morning, if not more! And no, don't panic, it is near impossible to put on 2 pounds of anything in one day! So the answer? During the day you retain water weight, you can store up to 3-5 lbs of weight in your bowels and your clothes may even add on a few pounds!

From this I hope you all understand why I don't use the scale, and why I would never let the scale determine my progress again!

Love, Amy

Friday, 24 May 2013

Protein Powder

From the depths of revision I am writing a post on protein powder as I get asked about it a lot! And there are MANY misconceptions when it comes to protein powder, weight gain, 'bulking' etc. So I am going to help set them straight!

So I will begin by saying YES I do use protein powder! These are the exact products I currently use:
I am so so happy with the taste & textures of all of these flavours and I can't wait to try more! The vanilla is amazing for using in cooking and they all taste amazing mixed with water or milk. Per 29g scoop there is 24g of protein (amazing) 1.6g carbohydrate (again, amazing) 1.2g sugar and 1g of fat with 18 of your essential and non essential amino acids! I might also add here that even though my hair already grows extremely fast, since using whey protein it has started to thicken out and grow even faster!

So I get asked A LOT "If I use protein powder will I put on weight?", "If I use protein powder will I get fat?" and "If I use protein powder will I get really bulky?" - and the answer is no to all of the above! I will now explain why :)...

Whey Protein helps REDUCE fat and PRESERVE muscle
  • Contrary to popular belief amongst us females, whey protein actually does the opposite to what we seem to think. Because of the high protein and low sugar and carbohydrate content, whey protein actually aids fat loss and promotes lean muscle gain as the body burns more energy breaking down protein and therefore burns more calories! Increased lean muscle also means that your body burns more calories at resting rate to maintain  it. The addition of lean muscle may lead to a 'weight-gain' on the scales as muscle weighs 3x more than fat, BUT it occupies a smaller area in the body comparatively to fat, therefore you will appear tighter, healthier and more 'toned'. (I have a HUGE vendetta against using weighing scales to measure progress with many reasons, but I will brush on that topic at another time!) 

Whey Protein helps rebuild, repair and reduce soreness in the muscles after a workout
  • It is most beneficial to have whey protein after working out (especially after heavy lifting) as the body absorbs it very efficiently and therefore it works very quickly. Protein in general is essential for ALL growth, rebuild and repair in the body, and if you are looking to tone-up or gain lean muscle, you will probably need an extra source of protein so that your body is working at an optimum level, and whey powder is perfect for this! Because it repairs the muscles after a workout, it means that you don't have to skip workouts due to extreme muscle soreness and you don't feel as lathargic afterwards (although you still will if you go hard enough :)!). 
There are SO many other benefits which I am not going to mention, but just google it and you'll see for yourself! Now the last FAQ about looking 'bulky' is a HUGE common misconception amongst us females, and it goes hand-in-hand with women's fear of using heavy weights. This is ANOTHER post for another day BUT I will finish with the fact that women have no where near enough testosterone to become 'bulky', and it would be extremely difficult to do so. What I THINK the reason is for women thinking they will get bulky or are bulky is because they need to lose fat in order to be able to see more muscle definition without the layer hiding it, which is where the quote "abs are made in the kitchen" comes from - in order to SEE your abdominal muscles (or other muscles), you need to lose fat in order to show them off. They will have been there the whole time but until your body fat is lower, you can't see them and you will appear softer!

Anyway, I hope this is slightly coherent and you all understand the information! All of it is off the top of my head so there may be mistakes, and it's from my own research :)


Thursday, 23 May 2013

Hi lovelies!

Welcome to my blog!

Hopefully I can answer ALL of your questions on here to my best ability

So for my first official post I thought I’d start with the very basics; what I have stocked in my cupboards, fridge and freezer at all times

Fridge – So the fridge is always chock-a-block with heaps of fresh vegetables and salad (can’t go wrong there), fruits (again, can’t go wrong there), dairy (skimmed milk, NATURAL pro biotic yoghurt, cottage cheese and eggs) and deli meats (not considered clean so I don’t have them too often but at least once a week!)

Freezer – The freezer is the best! I always have frozen chicken breast, turkey breast, white fish (cod, tilapia, basa etc), tuna steak, beef steak, salmon all stored away, I try so hard to make the most of great deals at the supermarkets so I usually have tons of meat & fish at the ready. Also because berries are so expensive, I buy frozen berries & other exotic fruit that I can use in my porridge and in smoothies! Another great thing to do is to buy fresh herbs in bulk and cut them up into bags and freeze them. I do this with parsley, chives, ginger, coriander, chilli etc so that if I’m making a stir-fry I can whack them straight in from frozen! I also have frozen peas and sweetcorn and spinach; again if I’m meal prepping they’re so quick to chuck in a steamer and be ready to take with me to uni/work

Cupboard – The main dry herbs/seasonings I tend to use are Cajun, fajita, chilli, cinnamon, Italian herbs, turmeric, herbamere, black pepper and honey. I do have stevia but I use it VERY sparingly (only small amounts in cooking). I keep canned tuna and salmon (great for making fish cakes!) and other canned goodies like beans at the ready (again, so great for quick food prepping if you’ve got little time). Now as for carbohydrates, I eat A LOT of sweet potato, white potato, brown rice & oats. I would have loads of nuts in the cupboard BUT as you may know, I am allergic to all of them apart from almonds, peanuts & coconut (but I don’t eat them often as I am scared of all things that are nutty! Also I love peanut butter & almond butter, if you like it too you need to make your own! So simple). In terms of hot drinks, I always have green tea, camomile tea, green chai tea, mint tea etc.

I really hope I haven’t forgotten anything too major, but that pretty much sums up my kitchen! I have A LOT more variety of things when I am at home compared with uni which is why my food on instagram always looks even more delicious when I am there :)


ps. please bare with me, I have no idea how to use this thing!