Our Fitspo Hannah Ross Talks Overtraining


Here at Fitness Fondue, we too have ‘fitspos’ that we keep track of and who continually inspire and interest us.

One of these girls is Hannah Ross (@hannahelaine624), who recently wrote a very agreeable rant on her Instagram feed…

I personally don’t believe in training for more than an hour at a time. A lot of people feel that training for extensive periods can put the body into a catabolic (muscle eating) state and exhaust your body in all the wrong ways.

Here is what this little fittie has to say about overtraining:

 

So many people are overtraining, including a lot of your fitness icons. I am here to say DO NOT BE LIKE THEM!

So many people flaunt their ridiculous cardio routines and hours of weight training each day. Overtraining is a real thing that can lead to a range of serious and not so serious health issues. 

A few things your should know are:

  1. Training for a long amount of time ultimately increases cortisol (bad) and decreases testosterone (also bad). You are putting your body under too much stress and instead of building muscle and shedding fat, you are going to go into a catabolic state where your body will actually eat muscle and hold onto fat.
  2. Your body needs recovery time. REST IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS DIET AND EXERCISE! When you overwork your body you are not allowing it to rest. People who overtrain typically have difficulty sleeping because their bodies are in constant go mode and are unable to relax. If you do not get adequate rest you will experience more soreness after workouts and an inability to recover.
  3. Overtraining weakens your immune system. So ultimately if you don’t stop overtraining, your body will hit you with constant illness and an overall feeling of in-balance.

These are just a few things among many that your body will go through when overtraining. 

Now, how to avoid it:

  1. Keep weight to training to around an hour a day. Less time does not mean less results. BE EFFICIENT WITH YOUR WORKOUTS. Keep the pace fast and intense. 
  2. Take rest days and GET ENOUGH SLEEP!
  3. Quit doing hours of cardio everyday. For real. Cardio sucks anyway. It’s all about balance.
  4. EAT A WELL BALANCED AND HEALTHY DIET WITH LOTS OF NUTRIENTS. Starvation is never the way. 
  5. ALWAYS DRINK PLENTY OF WATER! 

 

 

And that about sums up Hannah’s very good argument!

Do not overtrain. Stick to a good, hard, varied weights workout and a little cardio afterwards. Eat healthy, drink water and get enough sleep!


Our Top 5 Glute Exercises!


If your goal is to slim down your tush, do the below exercises with a light weight, aiming for 4 sets of 15 reps.

If your goal is to get some junk in the trunk, do the below exercises with a heavy weight, aiming for 3 sets of 12 reps.

 

1. SQUATS - If you want to work your bum , there really is no better exercise than squatting. Squats are a compound exercise, meaning they hit more than one muscle at once, in fact, squats hit several. When you squat, you’re hitting pretty much ever muscle group in your legs and glutes while strengthening your core, hips and lower back. Make sure you get your form right (feet shoulder width apart, toes pointing slightly outward, knees over toes, straight back) and go as low as possible. The lower you go, the more you hit those glutes and hamstrings. Perform 6-12 reps at a weight you really struggle with towards the end. 

 

2. DONKEY-KICK-BACKS - These are a serious compound exercise and will have you sweating in no time! I perform DKBs on the Smith Machine, but you can also do them on the Cable Machine or even with (heavy) ankle weights. On all fours, make sure your lower leg (below the knee) is vertical. Hook / attach the cable to your foot or place the Smith bar on top of it. Keeping your body completely in line on all fours (no wavering limbs please!) kick upwards, using your leg and glute muscles to lift the bar / pull the cable up.

 

3. STIFF-LEGGED-DEADLIFTS - SLDs are great for hitting your glutes as well as your hamstrings. Hold the bar in front of your hips and keeping your upper back straight with a slight arch in your lower back, lower it. Make sure the bar is as close to your legs as possible and keep going until you feel a deep stretch in your hamstrings, then bring your back up.

 

4. WALKING-WEIGHTED-LUNGES - WWLs are incredible cardio as well as weight training. To be honest, these are the only glute exercise that I get DOMS from, so I make sure I include them in every leg day! You can hold a dumbbell, kettlebell or disc in each hand OR you can do these with a barbell on your back. Lunge forward, alternating legs each step. Make sure to go as wide and low as you can, keeping your knees over your toes and engaging your core.

 

5. BARBELL-HIP-THRUSTS - Hip thrusts focus on the upper glutes. Sit on the floor with your back against a bench, feet planted shoulder width apart in front of you, barbell on your lap. Pushing up through your glutes and hips so your body raises (upper back now coming onto the bench) keep going until your body forms a straight line, clenching your glutes at peak position.


How to Break in the Diet


Every day we receive emails from people asking about portion sizes, food groups, calories and macros.

There is so much conflicting information out there, but it’s actually a lot simpler than you think…

I am a strong believer that unless you are ALREADY 100% committed to your training and clean dieting, you should NOT be obsessing over calories and macros yet.

In other words, if you still struggle to cut out beer, chocolate and cake on a daily basis, this is the first thing that needs to change BEFORE anyone tells you to start counting your food grams.

Macros and calorie counting are, in my opinion, for those who have already broken into a healthy diet and are ready to step it up.

YOU WILL GET RESULTS IF YOU SIMPLY CLEAN UP YOUR DIET! YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE ON MY FITNESS PAL YET!

 

SO, if you are still in the chocolate and cake phase, here’s what I suggest:

 

  • All your meals need to be protein based, with small accompaniments of CLEAN fats and carbs. Think 50% protein, 30% carbs, 20% fats.
  • Think of the % in relation to your hand. So a large chicken breast would cover the entire inside of your hand, then a large handful of broccoli would be a slightly smaller accompaniment, and a small fistful of nuts would pretty much hit all the macros you need in every meal.
  • We recommend that your more stodgy carbs (oats, sweet potato etc) should be kept to breakfast, pre and post workout meals only. The rest of the time, keep your carbohydrates on the vegetable side of things only.
  • To make it simple for yourself, pick one of each food group (chicken as protein, broccoli as a carb, sweet potato as a starchy carb, nuts as a fat) and focus on that structure for a few days until you get bored. Then change each option. 
  • Your food does not need to be plain! Soy Sauce, pesto, lemon, Tobasco, chilli, cinnamon, a sprinkling of cheese (that could be your fat in the meal) melted on top…there are LOADS of HEALTHY options to kick up your meals! Just stay away from pre packaged sauces!
  • Try to eat every 3 hours. Aim for a breakfast, a snack, lunch, a second snack, dinner.
  • You may find it quite hard to get your fats in your meals (unless you’re having eggs or avocado), so we suggest snacking on nuts, seeds and peanut butter.
  • If you feel you need to graze and you know you’ve had your snack / meal already, always choose protein. Our body doesn’t store protein like it does fats and carbs, so this really is your best option, especially if you’re lifting.

Vegetables and Fat Loss – Jordan Saunders PT


Vegetables…
We all disliked them as children and pushed them to the side of plate. But how important are they? And do they help fat loss?Many people think going to the gym alone will shed that body fat / weight…but one secret I will share with you is vegetables (and lots of them). A diet rich in a combination of lean protein and fibrous vegetables as a source of carbohydrate is the best way to get truly lean and lose that body fat.

The fibre from the veg tricks the stomach, producing a full feeling. But the body cannot absorb large amounts of fibre, so it is forced to burn off stubborn body fat for fuel. This does not mean you can eat a side salad at lunch and expect results – you need real vegetables!
Veg are loaded with vitamins and minerals that are crucial for your body, all the way from youth into old age. The B vitamins found in green veggies help convert the food we eat into usable energy, antioxidants help decrease the free radical-induced inflammation, oxidative stress, and muscle cell damage we experience from training.

Fill your plate with greens! 
My top 5?
  • Broccoli (otherwise none as broccolean because it is truly magical for fat loss)
  • Asparagus
  • Green beans
  • Spinach
  • Kale

 

Jordan Saunders is a qualified Personal Trainer. Follow her on Twitter @bodybyjord and @bodybyJR_


Fasted Cardio


Anyone who reads this site regularly will know we don’t rant and rave about fasted cardio. This isn’t because it doesn’t work, it’s just because there are so many great options when it comes to cardio that doing it fasted isn’t the be all and end all of success. On top of this, most people find it particularly unpleasant.

However, today we’re going to talk about the pros of fasted cardio…

  • Fasted cardio means doing cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. When we say first thing, we quite literally mean upon waking.
  • Don’t do high intensity the entire time, choose between interval sprints, a light jog or even a fast paced, steep incline walk.
  • The recommended performance times for fasted cardio are between 10 minutes – 30 minutes, depending on the intensity you choose.
  • Upon completing your fasted cardio you must eat breakfast immediately to stop your body going into catabolic (muscle eating) mode.
  • The reason a lot of fitties swear by fasted cardio is because there is nothing for your body to use for fuel, other than its fat stores.
  • If you do it properly (follow our instructions!) you will definitely see great results.
  • If you try it and despise it, don’t worry, HIIT sprints really do work at any time of day!

 


Post Holiday Pounds!


Good morning Fondues!

Most of theFF team has recently been or is currently on holibobs. I myself have just returned from 10 days of sun, sea, sand and sugar!

While it is true that most fitties manage to stick to their diet and some form of training whilst abroad, I personally like to take a physical and mental break from fitness every now and then. 

I do this because for me personally, knowing when to step back and take a break is pivotal to progress. If every single day of the rest of my life was planned out around the gym and my diet, I think I would give in after a year at best. I need to know that somewhere in my calendar there is some downtime.

Taking little breaks here and there is, for some people at least, vital to the long game. As long as you ENJOY training and eating clean, and are EXCITED to get back on track after a few days or even weeks off, it is perfectly safe to take a break.

So, post holiday, I am 6lbs heavier and lacking any kind of definition whatsoever!

Muscle memory is a wonderful thing, and because I have been training for as long as I have, I predict what would have once taken me 12 weeks to achieve, will now take me around 5. This may be extremely optimistic, but I guess we’ll see!

6 days a week I will be doing:

*Intense HIIT

*Lifting as heavy as I can while hitting 4 sets of 12-15 reps per exercise 

*Doing lots of supersets (two different exercise sets back to back)

*Eating plenty of oats, chicken and broccoli

*Drinking an ocean of water every day

*I won’t be having cheats for the first 2 weeks at least, I simply don’t need them after 10 days of pizza and ice cream, but I may start to reintroduce them around week 3.

I will be posting progress pictures and sharing my results in the coming weeks, so if you’re interested in losing the holiday pounds, be sure to check in!


A Great Fat Burning, Muscle Building Circuit Suggestion


Every few sessions with my clients I throw in some circuit training.

I do this for several reasons:

  1. Circuits are a great form of HIIT
  2. Body strength exercises are a great place to start building muscle
  3. Both of the above burn serious amounts of fat and calories
  4. Circuits are a great way to get in a well rounded, all over body workout in a short space of time

The circuit I’m going to suggest is an all over body workout that you should be able to perform 3 times:

  1. 30 seconds – 1 minute - BURPEES 
  2. 30 seconds – 1 minute - LUNGES
  3. 30 seconds – 1 minute – CRUNCHES
  4. 30 seconds – 1 minute - MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS
  5. 30 seconds – 1 minute – PUSH UPS
  6. 30 seconds – 1 minute – SQUATS
  7. 30 seconds – 1 minute – THE PLANK
  8. 30 seconds – 1 minute – HIGH KNEES
  • 2 MINUTE REST
  • REPEAT CIRCUIT 3-5 times

 

See http://fitnessfondue.com/downloads At Home Workout for more circuit / workout options

 


ON THE SPOT Fat Burning & Muscle Building Exercises


If you’re sick of running (and we don’t blame you) or short of space, here are some GREAT fat burning and muscle building exercises you can perform anywhere, anytime…

We suggest you perform the exercises as intensely as you can for 30 seconds-1 minute (depending on your fitness) followed by a 30 seconds-1 minute break. Do 5 – 10 performances in total:

1. Burpees – This exercise is a double all-over-body-strength-cardio whammy. Get down into a push up position, jump your knees up to your chest and then jump up in the air before dropping down and performing again.

2. Mountain Climbers - Get into a push up position and jump one knee up to your chest, then out again, as you switch to the other leg, over and over.

3. Squat Jumps – With your back straight and your arms placed outward in front of your chest, squat down as low as you can and then jump up into the air. Remember to keep your back straight and your knees over your toes or it’s not a real squat.

4. Knee ups - Exactly what it says on the tin! Sort of like running on the spot, but bring your knees all the way up to your chest.

5. Tuck jumps - Again, exactly what it says on the tin. Jump up in the air and tuck both knees up into your chest as you do so.


Fitness Fondue and Muscle Meat!


Fitness Fondue has teamed up with Muscle Meat UK to help you get your protein hit without having to hit the shops!

I am constantly buying packets of chicken from supermarkets I pass on the way home. It can get to be a bit exhausting when you eat as much of the stuff as I do…

So why not have all your meat delivered right to your door, fresh, chilled and of amazing quality?

Muscle Meat UK is your online source for everything PROTEIN! 

All you fitties know how much we depend on the stuff to keep us strong and in shape, and with everything from turkey to lamb, chicken and beef, these guys have you covered.

I’ve been trying out various bits and bobs from this meat factory lately and have become OBSESSED with their Black Magic Chicken. I HIGHLY recommend you give it a go!

 

We are a team passionate about the importance of health and physical accomplishment. 

We have brought together our skills of farming, butchery, health and fitness which has created a winning combination.

At muscle-meat.co.uk the experienced athletes and fitness professionals in our team understand the importance of a high protein diet and it being your first priority to improve body composition, health and athletic performance.  The farmers and butchers of the Muscle Meat team ensure our meat and poultry is of the highest quality possible.

With our experienced fitness advice will help you achieve your goals, and overall improve your health.

Our website will give you the information to optimise your training, improve your physiques and health through the quality of your meat and poultry, alongside the nutritional and training advice the site will supply.

 

Click on the Muscle Meat UK banner on the right hand side of the page and have a browse through everything your muscles (and barbecues) need this summer!


CLEAN Protein Chocolate Macaroons


100% clean, protein, chocolate dipped, coconut macaroons! It’s not the shortest food title in the world but it may well be the best!

These are beyond easy to make. Whisk together:

 

2 egg whites

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 scoop vanilla protein (you may try other flavours if you like)

1 cup unsweetened coconut

 

Bake at 180 for 12 minutes

 

Dip in melted dark chocolate


Protein


Protein is one of the 3 macronutrients (the nutrients our bodies need daily to live, function and perform at its best).

The function of this specific nutrient within our bodies is to build and repair the many proteins from which we are already compromised, and to stabilise tissue via the use of collagen and hormone regulation. In Laymen’s terms, we need protein to rebuild and grow muscle tears post exercise, amongst other things (that you probably care less about).

The body can not create protein on its own, so it is essential we get it from our daily diets. There are roughly 20 proteins available from the human diet, and these are broken up into 2 groups:

1. Essential amino acids – There are 9 amino acids which the body can not synthesise itself, hence why they are essential. Essential amino acids are found in meat, poultry, fish and eggs.

2. Non-essential amino acids - These are the 11 amino acids the body can make, but only once the essential amino acids have been ingested.

For all you veggies out there feeling a little panicky about how to get your essentials in, don’t worry, there are some plant based combinations that can hit those 9 amino acids for you.

Complimenting proteins - Rice and pulses / Grains and pulses / Vegetables and nuts / Vegetables and seeds

Remember that protein is unable to metabolise without fat (another macronutrient). So please don’t think that by cutting out fat and increasing your protein you’re being clever. You’re not.


Knowing What Carbs to Choose


We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again:

CARBOHYDRATES ARE A MACRONUTRIENT – MEANING YOU NEED THEM IN YOUR DIET TO BE 100% HEALTHY!

There are 3 macronutrients:

  1. Proteins
  2. Carbohydrates
  3. Fats

Carbohydrates are your body and brain’s ENERGY source. You really do NEED this food group in your diet, each and every day.

We recommend eating CLEAN (all natural) and trying to structure your diet as follows:

  1. Protein – 50%
  2. Carbs – 30%
  3. Fats – 20%

When it comes to carbs, they type you choose will have a big impact on your goals, whether it be muscle building, fat loss or both…

 

If you want to LOSE weight but you do not exercise or stick mainly to cardio routines, the majority of your carb consumption should be made up of fruits and vegetables.

Yes, fruits and vegetables ARE carbohydrates. If I had a pound for every time someone asked “Should I cut out carbs and just have veg?” I’d be a very rich woman.

You still need the energy these carbohydrate options provide, regardless of whether or not you exercise, but you do not need to consume starchy carbs.

Also, if weight loss is your goal, stick to 1 piece of fruit a day.

 

If you are resistance training (body strength exercises, free weights etc), regardless of your aesthetic goals, you NEED starchy carbohydrates in your diet!

Go for CLEAN whole grains and starches like brown rice, oats, sweet-potato and pulses.

If fat loss is your goal, you only need starchy carbs in your pre and post workout meals. For your other meals, you can stick mainly to veg.

If muscle building is your goal, you can go hell for leather. You should be consuming as much starchy carbs as you are protein.

 


Online Personal Training


Fitness Fondue is now offering online personal training for £50.

 

The £50 buys you a 12 week personalised diet and training programme (we cater to both gym and none gym goers) and continued guidance via email.

 

Tell us exactly what you want to achieve, what’s stopping you, your problem areas, your current training status, your current diet, your lifestyle, your time availability, injuries, allergies etc…

 

We then go away and write you up a 12 week diet and exercise plan that is completely tailored to you, your time and your goals.

 

We stay in touch via email to answer any questions you may have, monitor your progress and guide you along the way.

 

We do guarantee you results – so long as you stick to the plan!

 

If you’re interested please email info@fitnessfondue.com and ask for a questionnaire.


Making Room for Fitness


When I tell my clients I’ll send them exercise plans to do on their own, they look me straight in the eye and say “I just won’t do it”.

I know it’s not easy finding the time to workout. I find it hard to make it to the gym before it closes most days, but I manage to squish, squash and sacrifice so I get there. I’m not deluded here, I know I don’t have kids or a work commute, but fitness is a part of my life and that’s that. When I workout it’s my time to better myself on my own without anyone else’s input – a godsend for someone who suffers with anxiety.

I don’t mean to sound like a total t**t, but in most cases it’s more about not having the will than not having the time.

I promise you, no matter what your schedule, you really can make room for it. 3 hours a week, that’s all you need to make time for. Here are a few suggestions:

 

  • Set your alarm! Yes, it’s horrendous to wake up at 6am, but you’d be surprised how many office dwellers do it. My gym is heaving by 7am and by 8 the zombies are leaving suited, booted and wide awake. 

 

  • Get your fix on go! Cycle, run, scoot, I don’t care. Get your cardio on the way to and from work and it’s done. Perform body strength exercises during your lunch break or once you’re home, and you could be getting a great workout on a daily basis.

 

  • Lunch break means gym break! I remember temping as a teenager, thinking my coworkers were crazy for hitting the gym on their hard earned lunch breaks. Every day, come hangover or sobriety, off they would go to the gym, returning with lunch to eat at their desk. If you’re lucky enough to have a gym near your work, USE IT!

 

  • 24hr gyms are everywhere these days. If you have weird work hours or are up until 2am watching tv, these options may come in handy.

 

  • If you really struggle during the week, make time to hit the gym on the weekend. If you can fit in an hour long workout on a Saturday and a Sunday, you only need one morning/night/lunch during your week to workout. If you can get a workout in 3 days a week, you will see results.

 

Find the time. Make the time. Force the time. You can do it.


Why You Need to Cheat


Learning to eat clean and eat in tandem with your training can take a while to get used to. A lot of people find it almost impossible to adjust and find themselves cheating on a near daily basis.

You have to be stronger in the beginning then you ever will again. Saying no to bad food is all about exercising your will power and the more you do it, the easier it gets. Remember the body you’re working hard to get, and remember that your cheat meal is coming…

We tell you to eat clean here at Fitness Fondue for several reasons:

  • Eating clean will reduce your fat stores
  • Eating clean will feed your muscles
  • Eating clean will get you healthy

And while you need to eat clean to achieve all of the above, you also need to cheat.

No, this does not mean every other day you can have a pizza and a chocolate bar. This means once a week, when your training and your clean eating has not only taken effect but is stable, you can re shock your body.

By having the pizza and the chocolate bar at the end of a pristine nutritional week, you are essentially slapping your body around the face and telling it to wake up. Your insulin is going to spike and your leptin levels are going to rise, re setting the effectiveness of your now very healthy diet and exercise routine.

Without going too far into confusing science, it goes a little something like this:

Leptin is the hormone that regulates the amount of body fat we carry. During prolonged periods of fat burning (diet and exercise) your leptin levels decrease, dropping your levels of liver glycogen, testosterone, oestrogen, T3 and growth hormone. This will then increase cortisol, the stress hormone which encourages weight gain. This process will halt fat burning and encourage fat storing. By indulging in a cheat meal of carbohydrates and sugars your leptin will rise in response to your insulin spike, allowing your body to continue to burn fat and respond effectively to your training.

We recommend having your cheat meal post workout, and putting all that glycogen to good use the following day with another hard workout. This way, all that good stuff will be a lot less likely to get stored as fat.

 


Compound and Isolation Exercises


Compound Exercise

  • Compound movements are great as they target more than one muscle group at once and really challenge your body to perform
  • This makes them great fat and calorie burners, and if done with little rest (45 seconds) between sets can be great HIIT also
  • If you’re looking to burn optimum fat levels and get your fitness up, we suggest you incorporate as many compound exercises into your routine as possible
  • We suggest weighted exercises including presses (clean and press, military press etc), squats, deadlifts, lunges, step ups, pull ups, dips, dumbbell pullovers and kettlebells

 

Isolation Exercise

  • Isolation exercises do exactly what they say on the tin, they isolate and grow one targeted muscle
  • Isolation exercises are more for the boys/girls that want to build on a specific muscle and get serious growth in that area (chest, biceps, triceps and shoulders tend to be the most desired)
  • Isolation exercises include chest flyes, bicep curls, tricep extensions, lateral raises, leg curls, leg extensions and calf raises

Bulking and Cutting


When you see a fitness model or athlete on stage or on the front of a magazine, you’re seeing their hard earned results. Results that weren’t there a few months ago and results that won’t be there in a few months time.

Getting in incredible shape in the way that these people do is transitory. In order to grow muscle and progress next year’s results, there are months that require LOTS of weight gain, lots of HEAVY lifting and CALORIES. In other words, naked bodies that you wouldn’t be NEARLY as impressed by, but training programmes that you absolutely would be.

When the time comes, these fitties will decrease their calories, increase their cardio and re adjust their weight training. This will happen gradually over a period of months, the end game being the phenomenal results you see.

This is a cycle – on, off, on off – so every time they’re on, they look better than they did before.

Unless you have serious aesthetic goals you want to reach, this isn’t something you actively need to partake in. If you keep up with weekly HIIT, resistance training and a clean diet, you will have a great body. Period. You should have cheat meals and rest days weekly, but once you get to that body you will maintain it.

However, if you reach your goal and suddenly realise that you want to go much further, then this method is absolutely for you.

The time scale varies depending on how quickly you gain muscle (expect to gain a little fat also), but bulks and cuts can range anywhere from 2 months each to 6 months each.

If you’re interested we recommend doing your research as it can be very subjective in terms of body fat % and weekly muscle gain. Lyle McDonald has some great books on the matter, and of course there’s always Google ;)


Clean Peanut Butter Banana Muffins


We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: YOU CAN EAT CLEAN AND STILL EAT YUM!

 

Mix together:

2 tbsp Peanut Butter

1 Mashed Banana

1/4 Cup Oats

1 Whole Egg

1/2 Cup Egg Whites

1 Scoop Vanilla Protein

1 tbs baking powder

 

Fill each muffin tin 2/3 the way full.

Top each (uncooked) muffin with dried banana chips.

Place tray in centre of oven and cook at 180 for about 12 mins (until banana chips are deep golden brown).

 


My Top 15 Food Staples


Whether you’re bulking (trying to gain muscle) or cutting (trying to lose fat), you should always try to eat as CLEAN as possible so your body can put your added or reduced calorie intake to good use!

If you are in a calorie deficit or a calorie surplus you must remember that your body needs the RIGHT amount of calories to provide you with energy for your workouts and day to day life.

The clean foods you need should be made up of the 3 macronutrient groups:

  • Protein
  • Carbs
  • Fats

Most of time, in that order. Although many play around with their % to see what works best for their body.

Here are the top 15 food staples I make sure I have in the kitchen at all times:

  1. Oats – Oats are a great, clean, starchy carb source. Whether I’m trying to lean up or gain muscle, I ALWAYS start my day with oats!
  2. Peanut Butter – PB is an IDEAL fat source, 1 tsp with oats is a great way to add another macro source into your meal.
  3. Protein Powder – Adding a scoop of protein powder to your oats and PB will ensure you hit all your macros. Plus, it tastes like dessert!
  4. Eggs – Egg whites provide great protein while the yolks are rich in fatty acids.
  5. Greek Yoghurt – This is the ONLY yoghurt I eat. It is perfect for vegetarians as it is HIGH in protein.
  6. Chicken – Skinless chicken breasts are very high in protein, low in fat and 0% in carbs. Perfect for a high protein diet.
  7. Broccoli – Broccoli is a great, clean, high in fibre carb source.
  8. Avocado – Avocado is a great mayo equivalent. It is very high in fatty acids.
  9. Brown Rice – Brown rice is a great addition to chicken and broccoli POST WORKOUT. Post workout, your body needs a clean starchy carb and protein.
  10. Sweet Potato – Sweet potato should replace white potatoes. It is a clean, starchy carb.
  11. Bananas – I try to stick to no more than 1 a day, but a banana pre workout will boost your energy levels and allow you to train hard.
  12. Protein Bars – Again, I try to stick to 1 a day ON LIFTING DAYS. Protein bars are a great portable snack for those with a sweet tooth.
  13. Dark Chocolate – Dark chocolate is high in fat and 2sqs make a great snack choice for someone with a sweet tooth.
  14. Coffee – Coffee speeds up the metabolism and is a great, NATURAL pre workout. I have 1-2 cups black coffee a day.
  15. WATER – Water is essential. You NEED to stay hydrated and keep your body working at it’s optimum level. I have a gallon a day.

These 15 staples pretty much make up my weekly diet, regardless of what I’m trying to achieve aesthetically.

It took me weeks to get used to a clean diet, and months to find what macros I liked and worked for me.

Don’t give up. Before you know it you will happy, comfortable and seeing great results with a diet like this.


Shin Splints


Shin splints are probably the most commonplace injury amongst us fitties. It’s not too much of a problem unless you’re a runner or avid sports player, in which case it’s a very painful nightmare indeed.

There’s no quick fix to the problem, but there are some changes you can make that will lessen the pain and allow you to continue training.

  1. Are your trainers more than a year old? If so this is more than likely the problem. New kicks are expensive, but they are a necessary investment if you love your running. 
  2. Are you choosing appropriate shoes? It’s so important that you invest in appropriate running / sports shoes. We frequently see girls on the treadmill wearing Converse or flats, these will make that high impact harder on your entire lower body leading to shin splints and potentially worse.
  3. When the shin splints hit, you need to get yourself some anti-inflammitory cream (Voltorol etc). Spread some of the cream onto your shins and dig your thumbs in, pushing right down towards the ankle. This is incredibly painful, but you will feel great relief afterwards. You can do this before and / or after training.
  4. As well as anti-inflammitory creams, ice is a foolproof option. Your muscles will be inflamed and swollen, and you need to get that swelling down asap to allow the muscle to relax. Regular icing will certainly help post training.
  5. When the pain gets too bad to continue running / high impact training, remember there are other cardio options out there! Treadmills are already a more cushioned option to pounding pavement, but there’s also bike riding, spin classes, the cross trainer, rowing machines…switching up your cardio routine for a week or two will probably get you improved results, especially when you get back to running and re-shock your body.

As a long term sufferer of shin splints, I can say option 1 goes a long, long way. But, until those muscles calm down, the others will come in handy.

Happy running!