Fitness Friday - Paige Hathaway

I wanted you guys to read this but not only read it, let these words sink in...
Is there something or someone holding you back? Are the voices around you telling you that can’t achieve something? To achieve greatness, It is necessary to get the energy drainers out of your life. Believe me when I tell you, NO ONE is your discourager but YOU. Many people may tell you that you can't do something but you're the only person who can determine that.
These voices around you, do they make you second guess yourself? Do they make you think you can't do it? Well think again because YOU CAN, so keep working, don’t let up, keep working, don’t quit!! Temporary failure is ok but permanent failure is not an option. We fail to teach ourselves to get back up. We fail to train ourselves to never give up, even when faced with failure we must get up and try again. We fail to weed out the non-committed. The non-committed aren't meant for this journey.

If you want to be great... not good, if you want to be really great, the very best at what you do.. Obsession is a necessity. Once you have that magnificent obsession, once you question the impossible, only then can you achieve greatness. Greatness lies deep within all of us. A special unique greatness is waiting to be found within you. It's patiently waiting to be unleashed. Nothing is impossible! You've heard the stories of your idols.. Well, they are no different than you. They started with a dream and they didn't give up! LET THAT MOTIVATE YOU!!!! You are capable of more than you were ever told. More than you ever thought possible. LIGHT THAT FIRE! This world is full of dreams. YOU CAN LIVE THAT DREAM! 
Allow your new mind set to be-Tell me I can’t do it and I will prove you wrong. I CAN'T will make me more determined to reach my goal. Tell me I can’t one more time.. I dare you.



Thursday TakeOver ~ Challenge Chaloner ~ Fruitarian?

Hello!! My names Alex & I’m a 26 year old female from Oxfordshire, I love all things health related and I am a huge foodie, spending the majority of my spare time in the kitchen cooking for myself and Leigh or friends and family when I get the chance!

I had always struggled with my weight growing up, and never quite understood why. I eat well, I’m not fussy, I’ll try anything and I exercise! Everything your supposed to do to maintain a healthy lifestyle! It was only after nearly a decade of trips to the GP for what was thought to be Coeliac, thyroid, IBS ALL SORTS… Finally in the last couple of years  I was diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic Ovary Syndrome) I started to understand that I would always struggle (due to the very nature of the syndrome) but that the struggle could improve the more healthy I was. I needed to persevere, stay positive and more importantly; to educate myself!

I have recently passed my Level 2 Qualification in Health and Nutrition. I now understand the science and facts behind Health and Nutrition and why it is so vital to our wellbeing, and the effect of a poor diet and lifestyle on our mind and bodies. It has given me am explosion of knowledge and a new lease in life, and I wish to pass on any knowledge to others so they can understand to and stop worrying about the things that really aren’t important (TV and Media) and focus on ’you’.

1 of the interesting things I learnt on the course, was about the nutrients your body needs to carry out its daily functions, and how Vegetarians have to be careful with what they eat to ensure they are in fact getting all of the nutrients they need.
I Learnt that there were ain fact 9 different Vegetarian diets; each stating that you can sustain a healthy balanced diet… There are many different reasons for choosing a Vegetarian diet;  this could be down to religion, cultural, moral or even due to allergies and intolerances. These are:

1.    Vegetarian – No Meat, Fish, shellfish, eggs or dairy (any animal products)
2.    Pescetarian – No fish, Shellfish, eggs or dairy
3.    Demi-Vegetarian – Will eat meat but choose to avoid where possible through belief of environmental impact of meat consumption
4.    Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarian – The most common in the western world, no meat, fish, shellfish but will eat eggs and dairy
5.    Lacto-Vegetarian – Vegetarian but will eat Dairy (no eggs) Eastern religions
6.    Ovo-Veggie – Vegetarian, no dairy but will eat eggs as long as they are free-range and un-caged
7.    Fruitarian – Only eat plant foods that are harvested without killing the host plant and raw…
8.    Vegan – ALL Animal related products are avoided, this includes leather etc…
9.    Raw Vegan – Same as vegetarian and Vegan, but all raw

I decided that I would put these to the test. My point was to try to achieve a ‘healthy balanced diet’ whilst following the rules of each type of diet… I started with Fruitarian… and WOW what a restrictive diet it is… you can only eat certain types of fruit; oily, citrus, fatty, starchy, fleshy fruits and some veg; Tomato, Cucumber and Courgette, along with some types of fruit and nuts… all raw… and this is supposed to be able to give you a healthy, balanced diet. I was naturally puzzled as this contradicts everything I have learnt! But as always I thought you can’t knock it until you try it! I consulted my GP who gave me the thumbs up as long as I took myself off it if I started to feel out of sorts; I would take no supplements & continue to exercise as usual.
I love fruit and I love nuts so I had no problem with consuming them! I did however get very bored very quickly with the sheer amount you had to consume to ensure I was getting enough energy to carry out day to day tasks… as was my bank balance! I was tired, irritable and weak. I attempted exercise but had to stop as I was exhausted and didn’t want to hurt myself without knowing how to recover (id usually have a high-protein post-workout snack or dinner) I looked into the protein content of different fruit and nuts and tried to consume more of these, which would be really helpful if I could consume 26 Guavas per day…. 8 Cantaloupes… or over 250grams of almonds… not going to happen I’m afraid! I missed hot food and was craving Brown Rice and Veg… not even meat! Just anything hot and substantial. I didn’t go hungry… but for the monumental amount of natural sugars I lacked in any energy whatsoever…
After 6 days I took myself off the diet when I noticed (Apologies for the content!!! Ha-ha) that my ‘stools’ were almost chalky in colour, this is not normal obviously, and when looking into it further I learnt that this could be a sign of liver damage… so I stopped immediately.

It was interesting to say the least but in my honest opinion, and my opinion only… NO you cannot sustain a healthy balanced diet without the use of supplements and whilst maintaining exercise on a Fruitarian diet… Next week; Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarian! I think this one will be sustainable!... well hopefully…

See my blog for updates on how these diets work :0)


Wisdom Wednesday ~ The Dalai Lama!

All body and physical goals aside, my day to day goals as a person is to remain full of good positive vibes regardless of the situations I face and to handle difficult times with dignity and a smile. I would never intentionally hurt, offend or throw around negative opinions to anyone who will listen. Whilst I’m not afraid to tell someone what they have done to or said to offend me in the hope of clearing the air/resolving, I wouldn’t then use that chance to spit out personal and derogatory comments at said person. 
It’s simply not my style.
I actually think the way someone negatively portrays another reflects more on who they are as a person than the person they are attempting to portray in a bad light. I’d be lying if I told you the criticism others sometimes express towards me flies over my head, that I don’t care what anyone thinks about me. If I care about someone, of course their thoughts matter to me. However generally, if I have no emotional connection to someone their opinions are invalid. I am my own worst critic, I know my flaws. The things I need to change/improve. I have no shame in admitting to them either, if I make a mistake I will be the first to hold my hands up. What’s the point in pretending to be something that you’re not after all?

I would rather use my words and actions to make everyone’s day a little more positive than be consumed in negative thoughts that will never consequence to anything good. For that reason, I feel like the Dalai Lama really ‘Gets Me’.. Here are a few quotes that I swear by:

“To be kind, honest and have positive thoughts; to forgive those who harm us and treat everyone as a friend; to help those who are suffering and never to consider ourselves superior to anyone else: even if this advice seems rather simplistic, make the effort of seeing whether by following it you can find greater happiness.” 

Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.” 

“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them.” 

“Choose to be optimistic, it feels better.” 

“People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.” 

“If you can cultivate the right attitude, your enemies are your best spiritual teachers because their presence provides you with the opportunity to enhance and develop tolerance, patience and understanding.” 


OH EM GEE Wild Thing Organic Paleo Bars!!

I was so excited this week when I got to try out Wild Thing Organic Paleo Bars – new nutritional and tasty gluten-free, vegan and raw bars made with 100% organic ingredients!

Available in four Scrummy flavors I couldn’t decide which to try first – Berries and Seeds, Coconut and Chia, Cacao and Almond or Nuts and Seeds. I ate all of them within 48 hours….

Made with only five organic ingredients, Wild Thing offers a delicious Paleo alternative to other snack bars.

So whether you’re complimenting a Paleo diet, fuelling your workout or just looking for a healthy alternative to traditional snack bars, you’ll love Wild Thing!

You can find these in Oliver’s Food Stores or Planet Organic if you have one close by.  I’ll be ordering mine online from Amazon they sell packs of 20 for £13.79! Link for my personal favourite flavour Coconut & Chia below:


5 Healthy Dinner Ideas:

Just a couple of simple but tasty & clean meal idea's....
  • Eggplant Lasagna: Preheat your oven to 200 degree’s Celsius, spray a cookie sheet with coconut oil, arrange 2 large eggplants (peeled and sliced length ways) on the sheet and season with pink salt and black pepper. Cook the slices for 5 minutes on each side and lower your oven heat to 180 Celsius. In a blender blitz together 3 cans of chopped Italian tomatoes, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 red chili if you like it hot, a generous handful of basil, 1 tbsp. of tomato puree, black pepper, 1 low sodium stock beef stock cube, pink salt to season & that’s your quick and easy base sauce done. For the cheese sauce grate 75g of reduced fat cheddar or Gruyere cheese and 25g of Parmesan cheese. Place 25g of plain flour into a saucepan and slowly whisk in 450ml of skimmed milk and bring to the boil stirring continuously. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in your grated cheddar and Parmesan and season to taste. Cover and set aside until needed. Next the mince, you can use extra lean mince for this or I like to use turkey breast mince for the protein and lack of fat benefits, you could also use Quorn, I pretty much always have a bag of Quorn in the freezer for a quick high protein dinner. In a large saucepan sprayed with a little coconut oil Brown 500g of your chosen meat/poultry/alternative with 1 large finely diced onion for 5 minutes, add any extra’s you fancy in there, mushrooms, courgette, red peppers, spinach, and cook for a further 5 minutes before adding in your tomato sauce and giving it a good mix. In an ovenproof dish you’re now ready to start layering out your lasagna. Layer one – meat sauce, layer 2 - eggplant, layer 3 - cheese sauce & repeat. Top with a little extra Parmesan and black pepper before covering with foil and baking for 1 hour, removing the foil after 45 minutes to brown the top.
  • Jz Chickadee & Sweet Potatty Salad: On your dinner plate/bowl place a generous handful of washed baby leaf spinach and chopped vine tomatoes, drizzle a little garlic olive oil over and set aside. In Tesco you can purchase bags of ready chopped sweet potato and butternut squash to steam in the microwave, which is a great time saver. Alternatively you'll need to peel & chop 1 butternut squash and 1 sweet potato and put it into a microwave steamer bowl for 6 minutes 30. While this is cooking dice 2 chicken breasts, 4 rashers of turkey bacon &1 onion. In a large saucepan melt 1 tsp of coconut oil & fry your chicken for 5 minutes before adding the onion and 3 cloves of crushed garlic. To season add; 1 tbsp of paprika, black pepper, 1 tbsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp of ground cumin, any other herbs that you fancy just chuck them in and continue to cook through. At this point your sweet potato and squash mix should be steamed as soon as that microwave bleeper goes off take them out and place in a separate non stick frying pan with some black pepper to roast a little – turning every so often. For the last 2 minutes of cooking your chicken add in your turkey bacon and a handful of asparagus heads. Layer your sweet potato/ squash and chicken mixtures to your salad and enjoy! Seems like quite a lot but it actually only takes about 15 minutes once your foods prepped so is an easy clean dinner for the weekdays.
  • Mellies Bacon & Courgetti Salad: Boil/Steam half a cup of peas and half a cup of sweetcorn. Griddle 3 rashers of bacon – fat removed and set aside. In a large saucepan fry 1 diced red onion, with a half cup of mushrooms, after a couple of minutes add 3 spiralized (or sliced with a potato peeler), 1 handful of spinach, 1 tbsp of sesame seeds, 1 garlic Knorr flavour pot, paprika, 2 tbsps.’ of lemon juice and cook for around 5 minutes until it’s all cooked through before mixing in your peas, corn and cooked bacon. Serve with a loving dollop of reduced fat ricotta cheese and some black pepper!
  • Turkey meatballs: In a large bowl put 600g of turkey thigh mince, half a finely diced onion, 2 crushed cloves of Garlic, 10g of chopped coriander, 1 tbsp of paprika, pink salt, pepper and combine with your hands before rolling the mixture into 3cm balls. Place into a roasting tin and pour over a tomato based sauce (like the lasagna sauce) and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Serve with brown rice, wholewheat pasta, quinoa or courgetti & a sprinkle of reduced fat Parmesan.
  • Mexican Bean Burgers: Heat your grill to high, pour 2 tins of kidney beans rinsed and drained into a mixing bowl, mash with a potato masher. Add in 100g of wholemeal bread crumbs, 2 tbsps. of chilli powder, 1 egg and a small bunch of chopped coriander, black pepper and pink salt, mix well and then using your hands form into 6 patties. Place on a non-stick grill pan and grill for 4-5 minutes. Serve skinny with a side salad, avocado and homemade salsa.
  • Homemade Salsa: In a mixing bowl combine 15 ripe cherry tomatoes – roughly chopped, 1 fresh chilli finely diced, half a red onion finely diced, half a red pepper, half a yellow pepper both diced, 1 small bunch of fresh coriander roughly sliced, juice of 1 lime, pink salt and black pepper to season. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.


The Blonde Behind The Blog

I’m the kind of girl not many people get close to, the kind of girl who believes a smile is her best accessory even when times are hard or confusing. Transparency will never be my style.
I believe life is what you make it, and if YOU decide you don’t like the direction your personally heading in that YOU have the power to change it.
I believe change is good, yet at times ridiculously petrifying.
I believe in love, loyalty and friendship.
I believe people are put in your life for a reason - some to bring out the best in you, some the worst.
I call the people who bring the worst out in you ‘Lessons’. Don’t be afraid to give people a chance in fear of the lesson though, without making mistakes you have no room to grow.
I can be the ‘Girl Power, I don’t need a man’ type & I can be the hopeless romantic who looks for the soul through someone’s eyes.
I can eat like a supermodel & I can eat like an unsupervised child in Krispy Kreme (don’t ever leave me alone at a buffet).
Some days I kick ass in the gym, Some days I spend more time looking for a song to get me in the mood than I do actually working out.
I am not perfect. I know my flaws, my fears, my insecurities. I battle every single day to come up on top. To be a better person than I was yesterday, some days I’ll come up trumps n some days I’ll flop.
That’s life. Pretty beautiful though isn’t it?


5 Healthy Lunch Ideas:

Five quick and simple lunch idea's that I've picked up from different recipe books/websites that I have myself on a regular basis;
  • Baked sweet potatoes – clean and individually foil wrap 3 sweet potatoes & bake in the oven for 1 hour at 180 degrees, leave to cool and pack in the fridge for your lunches. To reheat, remove from the foil, cut a slit down the middle and zap in the microwave for 3-4 minutes. Serve with Spinach, cherry tomatoes and a filling of your choice.
  • Ryvita crisp breads – toppings: Avocado, smoked salmon, cottage cheese, turkey ham, rocket & prawns, banana & peanut butter, cucumber & tuna, tomato and goat’s cheese, hummus.
  • Butternut Squash & Coconut Soup: Cut 1 squash in half and rub the cut sides with 1tbsp of melted coconut oil and pink salt, wrap each half in foil and bake for 30-40 minutes at 200 degrees. Then Scoop the squash out with a spoon and set aside. Over a low heat melt 1 tbsp. of coconut oil with 1 tsp of rosemary for 1 minute, and then add in 1 finely chopped white onion – sauté for 5 minutes. Add 1 400ml can of coconut milk, the squash you set aside & 250ml of chicken stock, cook for 10 minutes on a low heat and then serve with chilli flakes!
  • Out of the cupboard lentil and tomato soup: In a large pan dry fry 1 tsp of ground cumin and 1 tsp of ground coriander for 30 seconds before adding 1tbsp of coconut oil, 1 diced white onion, 2 cloves of crushed garlic and sauté for 5 minutes. Then add 100g of red lentils, 300ml of chicken stock, 1 can of chopped tomatoes, bring to boil and then simmer cook for 20 minutes. Serve with natural yoghurt, pink salt and black pepper.
  • Grilled chicken, lemon and olive salad: Rub 2 chicken breasts with 1 tbsp. of melted coconut oil mixed with 1 clove of crushed garlic, 1 tsp of ground cumin and season with pink salt and black pepper – griddle for 6 minutes on each side turning every minute. In a small bowl zest 1 lemon and mix with 4 tbsps.’ of natural yogurt and 2 tsps. of olive oil (mix thoroughly). Thinly slice your zested lemon and add this to the griddle with your chicken. In your serving bowl add 1 small cos lettuce and 10 halved green olives. Once cooked slice your chicken and add to your salad with the lemon and a handful of toasted pine nuts and dress with your yogurt dressing!


5 Healthy Breakfast Ideas:

Olaaa!! Hope everyone's first week back at work after the holidays is going well! 
I've had a few emails requesting healthy meal idea's this week, so starting with the most important meal of the day, here are my top 5 go-to breakfast recipes!
  • Overnight Chia Seed Oats: 1 cup of rolled oats, 1.5 cups of almond milk (unsweetened) 2 tsps. of coconut palm sugar or honey for sweetening, 1 tbsp. of chia seeds, mix all together in a jar, top with blueberries and leave in the fridge overnight.
  • Scrambled eggs with pesto & avocado: for the eggs whisk together 1 whole egg and 4 egg whites with 50ml of skimmed milk. For the homemade pesto: zest & juice half a lemon, in a food processor blend this with 40g of walnuts, 3 handfuls of basil, 6tbsps of garlic infused olive oil, pink salt and pepper to season. Scramble your eggs gently over a medium heat before mixing in your homemade pesto. Serve with Avocado & seeded wholemeal toast. I often also add in some smoked salmon too!
  • Baked oats: Preheat your oven to 190 degree’s, in a large bowl mix together 3 cups of rolled oats, 0.5 cups of coconut palm sugar, 1tsp of ground cinnamon, 2 whole beaten eggs, 3 cups of almond/coconut milk. Spoon your mixture in a greaseproof paper lined 9 inch tin, top with fresh blueberries and bake for 45 minutes or until set.
  • Eggs fried in coconut oil with grilled bacon (fat removed) or healthier yet Turkey Bacon with roasted vine cherry tomatoes. Serve with veggies or/and Super seed wholemeal toast.
  • Blondies Detox Green Shake: Brew 1 cup of green tea and leave to cool. In a blender blitz together 3 handfuls of Baby leaf spinach, 1 banana, 1 tsp of honey, 30ml of chilled almond milk and your cooled green tea. This usually makes around 2 servings so have one for now & pop the other in the fridge for later and just give it a good shake before drinking. Top tip, chop a banana up and freeze overnight, get it out just before you brew your tea and it will be defrosted enough for blending. Gives your smoothie a little more of a chill. 


The Truth About Salt & Sodium

They say abs are made in the kitchen, but one of the things that's often not mentioned is that 80% of the seasonings you use to spice up those foods are packed with sodium. Whilst a diet containing 1500-2300mg of sodium is beneficial to your health, any more than that and it starts becoming harmful to your body. Sodium is naturally attracted to water so consuming too much salt/sodium will cause your body to retain fluids (covering up those lovely abs your feeding)
Not only can fluid retention be physically uncomfortable it can be really dangerous to your long term health. Swelling of your hands, ankles and feet, stiff joints and rapid weight fluctuations. Chronic fluid retention can occur with heart failure, lung disease, kidney disease & arthritis so add a high sodium diet to the mix with any of these conditions and your asking for trouble!
I love Jamie Oliver he's one of my favourite chefs of all time along side Nigella Lawson, but, have you seen Jamie's famous 'Pinch of sea salt' ? Sorry but unless your the big friendly giant, that is NOT a pinch. With many gourmet and television chefs favouring sea salt for it's crunchy texture and stronger flavour and Manufacturers claiming that it is 'healthier' than your regular table salt due to it being slightly less processed and containing some of its natural minerals such as magnesium - Sea Salt has recently become a house hold favourite for many trying to live healthier lives
Unfortunately if it's those abs your after there is very little difference in the sodium content between Sea Salt and Table Salt.
The good news is...... there are alternative healthier seasoning choices available to spruce up your meal your prep with plenty of flavour!
The first is Himalayan Pink Salt:
A lot of manufacturers are now creating 'low salt' & 'low sodium' versions of seasonings, sauces, Bisto for example now do a low salt gravy, to me it tastes exactly the same! Then there are a couple of niche health food manufacturers that have created completely sodium free seasonings such as Flavorgod ~ if your on Instagram following your favourite athletes you will have seen them heavily marketing Flavorgod. Yes it's how I got bought into it.. but it's actually really good sprinkled on your meals, does liven up a bland dish nicely. Pizza seasoning (so good on sweet potato fries) Garlic Lovers, Everything spicy! I think I have most of the savoury range... I really want to try their sweet sugar free seasonings next.. pumpkin spice hmmmnnnn,.. okay I'm blabbing on now. May also be getting very hungry writing this.
Long story short, take the time to shop around, look at the ingredients closely, avoid pre made processed foods where you can and choose Himalayan salt over the table salt.