Updates! Goals! Blondes World!

How is it even possible that it’s already nearly 9 months into the year? I said 2016 was going to be a good year, it’s been a little challenging at times for sure but all in all, with a few hiccups in tow I’ve grown, learnt and made progress towards goals.
My goals change almost daily, but here are a couple of more consistent things I’m working on right now:
The Shred this is probably my biggest challenge at the moment. It’s taking a lot of time and a lot of focus, determination and discipline. I started strictly following the if it fits your macro’s with the goal of losing 6% Bodyfat. I’ve been doing the shred religiously now for 2 weeks and have so far lost 2.4% with a further 2.6% to go. At the same time I’m fairly small and don’t want to lose my muscle that I do have so I am eating a fairly high protein diet with moderate carbs and low but essential fats. A lot of people think the idea of if it fits your macros is that you can eat whatever you want so long as it’s within that particular macro count for you, which is true. Howeverrr… your body is not going to benefit from eating 51g of carbs from a donut as it’s going to eating 51g of carbs from sweet potato or oatmeal. So being mindful of what makes up your macro’s is going to impact not only the final results of your shred but also the energy levels in your body as you aim to hit your physical activity goals during a shred. My go to foods are: Proteins: Salmon, Egg Whites, Impact Whey Protein, Chicken Breast, Ground Turkey & Tuna Fish.  Complex Carbs: Oatmeal, Brown Rice, Sweet Potato, Beans Healthy Fats: Salmon, Egg Yolk, Avocado, Coconut Oil, Extra virgin olive oil, Almonds. High Carb Fruit & Vegetables: Apples, Bananas, Corn, Sweet PotatoLow Carb Vegetables: Sprouts, Spinach, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Avocado, Cucumber, Green Beans, Brocolli, Peppers, Zuchinni I typically Avoid: Processed foods, cereals, sugared drinks, fried snacks. Drinking 2-4 ltres of water and green tea per day plus BCAA’s and Protein shakes to support exercise. In regards to the exercise.. I aim to workout a minimum of 5 days a week, it really depends on how much time I have available to me, if I have only 45 minutes first thing in the morning I will do a fasted cardio session, LISS training being my preferred option and then I will chuck in a 5/10 minute ab blast at the end. If I have 60-90 minutes available to me I will do a 10 min cardio warm up and then hit the weights. Sometimes I will design my own workout but lately I’ve really been enjoying following workouts from Jen Heward and Michelle Lewin on FitApp. Form Over Technique: I am not the strongest chick in the gym… not by a long shot!! So I don’t over bare my squat rack with heavy weights and I will only lift what I feel comfortable I can personally handle. I would rather lift 10lb lighter than the chick next to me and get it right, safely, and make progress a little slower than try to compete and match weight affecting my form and end up bruising my muscles or damaging my back. At the end of the day, these are my goals, this is my body, I have no interest in competing with anyone or being better than anyone, other than myself.
Minimalising… I’ve moved house twice this year, lugging a walk in wardobes worth of heels and dresses twice in 9 months was enough for me to decide I would rather go forward with my life with a less is more approach. Soooo knowing I was going to move again in the first move I vacu packed 80% of my wardrobe other than my day to day clothes I actually wore and my gym clothes. I decided if by the second move I had forgotten what was in the bags, they would be donated or sold to better homes. Sure enough by the second move I didn’t have a clue what was in them. Donating and selling brand new tops/dresses with the tags for little to nothing still on was really hard, all that money I had spent, gone. At that moment I vowed I will be more mindful about what I spend my money on. I do like 3 laps around a store with the item in my hands, if at the end of that only if I can still be bothered to stand in line for the check-out is it a keeper.
Learning… I invested in myself this year, to qualify as a personal trainer. Currently 3 quarters of the way through Level 2 (Fitness Instructor) I’m amazed at just how much knowledge is required to train someone else professionally! I mean I know I’m not the first person to think ahh that’s easy, you just earnt £30 stood there bossing someone around! I take my hat off to anyone that has REPs qualified themselves it’s hard stuff!! I purchased an at home training course buying both Level 2 & 3. Not entirely sure what I’m going to with the qualification once I have it, maybe I’ll train people in a gym, maybe run boot camps, might even just do online coaching. I will most likely go on to do a qualification in nutrition afterwards,. If completely honest, I’m just really enjoying learning something new and being able to expand my knowledge to improve my own training right now.
Generally being the best that I can be… I’m not particularly superstitious nor do I believe in Karma but whether it’s turning up to the office on time, helping an old lady cross the street, hitting my personal goals consistently 3 days on the trot or just doing something small to make a loved one’s life easier for 5 minutes – I think being a good person, with good intentions is far more rewarding than focusing your minds energy on the negative side of things that need to be improved in the world or your life.

~ There’s nothing more badass and sexy than a happy, confident woman who has got her sh*t together! *Blonde opinion.

Okay I’m rambling… off to Paris to enjoy some relaxation and fine French foods for a couple of days and then it’s back to routine next week!

Happy Bank Holiday Weekend!

Blonde xo 


Beating The Bank Holiday Bloat!

The August Bank Holiday is the last hurrah of summer and the last Bank Holiday of the year and is always a good excuse to throw caution to the wind when it comes to sensible food choices and alcohol consumption.  Consequently many of us end up with that dreaded bank holiday bloat which can be both uncomfortable and also make us feel more self-conscious too.
According to leading London dietitian Emer Delaney (BSc. (Hons), RD, BDA, INDI): 

“If you’ve spent the bank holiday indulging in fatty or over-processed foods, sweet treats and excess alcohol, the chances are, you’ll be feeling a little bloated.  Alcohol and food choices can adversely affect gut flora in our digestive tract, leading to a build-up of gasses in the intestines causing bloating and abdominal discomfort.”

Digestive bloat and trapped wind are common problems that many people simply grin and bear with.  However, according to Dietitian Emer Delaney, there are some natural and easy ways to help reduce post-bank holiday bloating:

Tip One: Increase your water intake. It may seem counter-intuitive to drink water when you’re feeling full and bloated, but it will definitely help! If you’re drinking plenty of water, you’re sending signals to your body that it’s okay to release the water and sodium that makes you feel bloated in the first place.

Tip TwoCut out sugar from your diet for a few days.  Sugar feed the ‘bad’ bacteria overgrowth in the gut, prolonging the bloating.

Tip Three: Chew your food really thoroughly. Give your digestive system a head start by chewing food really thoroughly, making it easier on the stomach, and also triggering digestive enzymes to be released via your saliva and digestive juices to help break it down.

Tip Four: Try a good quality probiotic supplement. The best way to support gut health is to introduce probiotics. There are many different types on the market but only a handful are supported by sound clinical evidence. One I recommend to patients is Alflorex®, a food supplement containing the unique 35624™ culture.  The 35624™ culture has been clinically studied in IBS patients and has been shown to increase regularity, decrease gas and bloating and help prevent constipation and diarrhoea.

Tip Five: Swap the latte for a fennel tea. Clinical studies have shown that drinking 2-3 cups of fennel tea every day can help regulate contractions of the small intestine and gas expulsion too. Fennel also relaxes the gut, which can help relieve GI tract spasms.

Alflorex® is:
·      Backed by robust science Alflorex is supported by peer-reviewed, published clinical studies.
·      Available over-the-counter, no prescription needed
·      Contains B-infantis 35624 a proven probiotic species
·      No need for refrigeration.
·      Only 1 capsule per day, taken with or without food
·      For best results take Alflorex daily for at least 4 weeks
·      No contraindications

Alflorex is now available from Boots, Rowlands and Day Lewis pharmacies nationwide in the UK. RRP is £29.95. For more information, visit www.alflorexbiotics.com/

*This is a collaborative post


FairTrade Finds! GeoBars!

Last month Britain made the decision to leave the EU. I won't go into my opinion on the matter, however, one of the many concerns surrounding Brexit is the increase of costs on day to day items such as fruit and vegetables that are imported from other countries that remain inside the EU. With the cost of healthy foods already being an excuse for many not to eat clean my fear is that to save money to cover their increasing shopping bill people will opt out of purchasing Fairtrade products all together. Let me tell you why I think Fairtrade Products such as GEOBars cereal pick me ups should remain top of your shopping list. 

What is Fairtrade?
When you buy any product sporting the FAIRTRADE logo, you are supporting farmers to improve their lives, their communities, you're providing them with protection for their environment, giving them their workers rights, allowing them to invest in further business' to provide work to those in their community. In return they vow to produce in a clean, economic meeting the highest environmental standards. 

A little of what Fairtrade Prevents:
Slavery, illegal child labour, discrimination, unsafe working environments

"Fairtrade as a certification is much more than merely an environmental certification, it is the only and best ethical and social certification that really ensures social and environmental, ethical and economic impact, and therefore human impact." - Enrique Calderon - Coffee Farmer, Coopeagri. 

For over 15 years GEOBAR has been pioneering a global mix of Fairtrade ingredients from around the world. This Fairtrade Fortnight saw GEOBARS hitting the shelves with flavoursome combinations that are now even tastier, responding to customer feedback that they should be less sweet and a source of fibre.
As part of its pioneering work in Myanmar, GEOBAR is also set to benefit from a Traidcraft ‘world first’ which will see the first Fairtrade Marked exports of the country’s rice. Traidcraft is working with farmers to support their business through improved farming practices and training, which will make them better equipped for the future and ultimately lead to the rice being used in Fairtrade products including the GEOBAR range.

The packs themselves have a vibrant, refreshed look and feel, and the new range includes chewy cereal bars in wild apricot, mixed berries and chocolate flavours. For the 46% of people who snack between meals GEOBAR provides the perfect energy boost at any time of day!

Available in stores across the UK, consumers can pick up the new and improved GEOBAR range at Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and a range of independent health shops and Traidcraft stockists. For more information, visit www.lovegeobar.com  

BLONDE Recommends: Wild Apricot - Oh Em Gee...OOO

*This is a collaborative post


Cutting Caffeine & Ginger Love!

The benefits of cutting down the caffeine in your life are pretty impressive, here are the top reasons as to why you should consider relooking at your caffeine intake to improve your quality of life:
  • ·         Better sleep – no caffeine after 12pm can improve how long it takes you to get to sleep as well as improving the quality of the sleep.
  • ·         Decreased Anxiety – caffeine stimulates your adrenal glands which may be helpful if your about to hit a crazy weight training work out but if you’re not and if you are prone to anxiety attacks already, caffeine is not your friend.
  • ·         Hydration/Dependence -  Caffeine is one of the biggest causes of dehydration which can lead to being lethargic, if you cut out the caffeine your body is forced to find a natural energy balance without depending on caffeine.
  • ·         Weight Gain – when you are dehydrated your brain often sends confused signals to your body that leads you to believe that you are hungry, so your more likely to hit the vending machine during your caffeine come down than at any other point. Unless you take your coffee black, artificial sweeteners, milk, sugar and other bits you may enjoy adding to your morning cuppa joe can also lead to weight gain over time.
  • ·         Healthier Teeth – Coffee & Tea are known for staining your toothy pegs while energy drinks and fizzy pop erode your natural enamel and causes tooth decay. Look after the pearly whites!

Healthier alternatives to that cup of joe:
Water – you should be aiming for 2-3 ltres of water a day, believe it or not the oxygen & minerals you put into your body by drinking will aid you in fighting that morning fatigue feeling without having to pick up the coffee pot!

Hot lemon water – this should be everyone’s morning go to hot drink, the benefits are endless – pectin fibre aiding digestion, vitamin c boosting your immune system, flushes out toxins.. need I go on?

Green Tea & Health Drinks – I’ve written an entire post on the benefits of green tea and I swear by the stuff so you can find that on Blonde Ambitionz already, but something new I tried lately and really enjoyed was GingerLove by Lombardia drinks, made with 100% organic fresh fruit and herbs it’s a really refreshing source of fibres, this drink was my god send when I recently suffered with a poorly tummy, I couldn’t recommend it high enough. 

Check them out at your local Holland & Barrett, £7.99 for a box of 4 Sachets – note you can probably get two servings out of one sachet, it’s fairly strong in flavour!

Ginger Love

*This is a collaborative post.