My Life / Healthy Intentions

The weeks of disappearing off to London & the illness has finally vanished, I’ve now got time to really focus on earning some money, working hard in the gym & saying no to those galaxy golden eggs. I mean, that’s when you’ve realised you’ve eaten too much, like when you actually go off creme eggs & ‘have’ to move onto something else…

So last week was my first week back, eating clean and training dirty & this week I’m determined to keep the fit train moving. Being someone that’s obsessed with organisation, setting goals have always been something that helps me stay focused… here is this week:

MONDAY/ 

Ab-solutely ab attack
I ‘train’ abs quite a bit, I like the pain when I laugh the next day and I love the burn, it always makes me feel like I’m one step closer to that 6 pack. However, recently ab training has been half-hearted. This week I’m going to follow the HIIT max ab workout 1 – you can buy yours here.

TUESDAY/

Smooth up a smoothie
I’m such a bore when it comes to smoothies, I find one I can tolerate and that’s it, I stick to it. I’m going to try to be more adventurous… this is what i’m trying today 

WEDNESDAY/

Fasted cardio
‘Tomorrow I’ll get up and do fasted cardio early’ *turns the alarm on snooze*… if I’m not at uni, getting up for fasted cardio seems to be fine… sometimes. Recently, however, I’ve had a mare, I really enjoy fasted cardio (cardio before eating in the morning) but I just can’t seem to get myself out of bed on my day off! This week I will…

THURSDAY/

Get to bed early
I’m a sleeper, I can sleep anywhere and at any time. I can be catching flies within 10 minutes of the train leaving the station & on car journeys to London would be asleep before we even hit Exeter [15min drive from my house]. Although I can sleep anywhere, I need to still get to bed early, if I don’t  I can be miserable, honestly horrible [more than usual] & also crave food… 10:30 lights out. The Early bird catches the worm and all that…  women’s health gave us some sleep facts here

FRIDAY/

Stop bingeing
The end of the week, I’ve trained hard and eaten well & now uni is out for the weekend, sugar tends to be on the front of my mind. Not one chocolate bar will do, I tend to have 3 plus a bag of chocolate too. I’m a serial binge & although nearly kicked my habit of weekend bingeing, now my bingeing sometimes happens on a Friday, instead. Well, not this week….

SATURDAY/ 

Make it 3 weeks without drinking
Work have started putting me in for a Sunday shift, 10am-5pm. The perfect excuse for me not to go out on a Saturday night because no way will I get up and ready to work for 10. That feeling of waking up on a Sunday with no hangover & actually doing something with your day, is a feeling of pure bliss… it’s also a bit of a money saver.

SUNDAY/

Rest & Relax
I hate rest days, they are boring &, by the evening I feel fat. However, rest days stops me over training, which I do all the time, I then crash & crave crap. This week, I’m going to try and enjoy my rest day….

Follow me on Insta @chlohodgkinson & on twitter @chloehodgkinson to see if I complete my intentions.

The Thoughts / Feb

A short month but certainly not short in thoughts…

No beer for a year? Could you?
Reckon you could take on the challenge of no alcohol for a year? Well, you can! With the support from oneyearnobeer.com. The sight gives you loads of information and regular tips to stay focused with the idea of giving up alcohol for 30/90 days and then to potentially carry it on for a year. At the moment they are offering their £5.99 E book on giving up alcohol for FREE. So if you’re to cocky for cocktails, you can take on the challenge!

Conquering the World 1 Top at a Time/
Worry no more about lack of motivation… this top will remind you & everyone else exactly what you’re capable off. You can get the limited Edition top now at Active in style… mine’s on order!

Organ Crushers/ 
AKA Waist trainers … Hoping they had been left in 2015 it’s clear they bloody haven’t. Celebs are still wearing them & they are still all over social media but will waist trainers ever stop? I was on the train and saw a girl wearing a waist trainer under her top, I couldn’t help but squirm … Her poor organs.

Spirulina/
Spirulina isn’t all the bad. Right, so a proper protein super food & apparently absolutely disgusting, but I’m not sure whether I’ve just destroyed all of my taste buds but I actually didn’t find it that bad! It’s high in protein and antioxidants & comes in powder form. I chuck it in my smoothie or take a shot it in the morning… an easy way to get more protein in your diet!

The NewyearNutri Guide/
Across social I have been showing this guide, but this NewYearNutri guide is perfect for tips, hints & motivation to help you on your Fitness Journey… I wrote in this guide too along with other bloggers.. see here.

Mind & Life/
Something leaving your life is only making space for new things & if it’s a person? Well then maybe they were just passing through & weren’t meant to stay.

Top Picks / London Health Show

London… the centre of all new products coming onto the market & a place I really love.
Back in Jan, I got invited to the London Health show as press, grabbing my trusty camera and notebook, missing one train & spilling porridge down me, I made my way to Olympia stadium & had a great day of networking and trying out new products.

Here were my top picks from my day at the show & what you all definitely need to try:

The Carob tree, or otherwise known to my family as ‘The Sperm Tree’. These poo like fruity pods grow on tree’s in places like Austrailia, Italy and our family friends having one at their home in Spain. Having no idea what the tree was, it was soon declared ‘the sperm tree’ after someone said it apparently ‘smelt like sperm’… hmm. Anyway, on our holiday, we had absolutely no use for them apart from chucking them in a bucket as part of a game.
At the show, they caught my eye and I was so shocked I was like  ‘oh my god the poo bits from the sperm tree!’ Anyway, turns out they are fruit pods which are amazing for energy, with this brand boasting that their carob products are allergy-free. Turns out, the carob powder is often used as a substitute for chocolate in cakes, & it has Gallic acid which apparently works as an analgesic, anti-allergic, antibacterial, antioxidant, antiviral AND an antiseptic… so turns out the sperm tree is a supertree after all….

100% pure argan oil – this stuff I was a bit sceptical at first but I went, tried it and honestly it works. My hair is so soft and nowhere near as dry from all my dying. It helps with scars apparently too, that’s what I’ll try it on next! You can buy yours here….

Sorry what! Camel’s milk?! Full of nutrients and flavour, this stuff tastes good too, slightly saltier but really smooth and just like other milk. Not only tasty but also better for the environment, with the ratio of cows to camels 18,000:1, check out ‘Cowspiracy’ if you haven’t already to learn about how damaging cows really are. Read here for even more camel milk benefits… it’s more interesting that you may think.

The lords of the nut butter. I’m honestly obsessed with Pip & Nut with the almond butter and the peanut butter being my faves, I’m also partial to the coconut almond butter I must say. A nut butter with no sugar, no palm oil just pure nuts blended and made it’s a gooey amazing mess. I smother on top of rice cakes or just sit with a spoon in the jar. You can get yours and read more here

 A truly inspirational woman, Dr Barbara Mariposa holds no secret of the stressful life she has led and offers her expertise in mindfulness through courses. At the show, she gave us a small insight into what mindfulness means and where she has come from… a lady of pure mindful knowledge! See here…

Have you seen any interesting things on the market recently?

Why I Waved Bye to Whey

It’s coming up to my 3rd year that I’ve been properly into fitness and it’s fair to say my body has changed a huge amount, I’ve gone from a cardio bunny to a bulking curry (it rhymed, I didn’t literally turn into a Korma) and round and round in circles.

When I first started I jumped on the protein hype, the boys did it so why can’t I. High protein diets had started coming onto the scene and I took it as my diet pill, holding protein shakes responsible for every inch of weight loss and every centimetre of muscle. 
Believing the spots on my face were hormonal and the spots on my back were down to sweat. I tried everything to get rid including a trip to the Doc, yet nothing worked. 
I was bloated and every time I drank my trusty shake I felt heavy and overly full, but that was simply because the protein is meant to fill me up right? Over time, I couldn’t stomach a shake before the gym and if I had one to close to bed my moaning gut would keep me up all night… but that’s just my body adapting surely?
A friend had recommended stopping the protein shakes as it really helped her but it felt like I was addicted to it. 
Convinced that any muscle I had would flake away and I would end up as a blob of unlean fatness laying on the floor crying out for a protein shake. I was convinced that those nourishing foods like spinach, chicken and broccoli would never give me the amount of protein I needed. I decided to switch to soy protein…which only made my spots worse.
It was only when I stopped the gym for a few weeks, that I cut protein competely as I felt my body didn’t need it as much if I wasn’t training.
Surprisingly, I lost weight… but it was muscle mass that I had lost. My skin started clearing up (which I assumed would have been from the week in the sun I had a few weeks before), my bloating gone down and my gut let me sleep at night. 
I moved out and got back in the gym and, of course, added my whey protein back in. 1 hour it took… one whole hour before my stomach and gut was churning, I was left feeling heavy and lethargic. The spots? That took 1 day.. the mountains were back & the blocked pores came for a long holiday. That’s when I knew shakes were a goner.

I’m now the leanest I’ve ever been, no spots at all on my back and my face has really cleared up all without the use of protein shakes. So, it turns out that matey clucking around the garden can give you enough protein after all and my trusty shake isn’t so great for my body.

I’m not saying this is what happens to everyone as there are thousands out there that love whey and it really compliments their diet helping them lose weight, get leaner & help gain muscle. Adding suppliments is always worth a go, but if you have any side effects it’s best to stop and not keep ploughing through like I did… I can’t even touch anything with the slightest bit of whey protein now else my stomach flares up.

You can see other common whey protein side effects here.

Beating the Bulk

Excuse the dodgy strap – my heart rate monitor doesn’t seem to stay in place.

For those of you regular readers (basically my Nan & Grandad) it won’t be a surprise to hear I’ve set myself another challenge. I tend to set myself challenges to keep up my motivation, one of my most recent challenges has been to gain strength. I wanted to be able to lift more than I ever have been able to and I’m so proud of myself that I can honestly say, I’m lifting more than ever (with thanks to the best gym buddy, Ruth, for pushing me). Through hard work, sweat and a lot of painful morning afters, I kept pushing myself and slowly adding more and more weight in body pump.

Gaining strength has definitely played a huge part in how my body is now shaped. I’m musclier and more toned but also ‘bigger’, I look bigger and personally that’s something I didn’t want to gain… pardon the pun. Clothes are more difficult.. my waist is smaller, but my legs and bum are much bigger. This leads me on to my next challenge…

2 weeks till holiday and 3 weeks till a friend’s big birthday weekend, so 3 weeks to get smaller. I’m going to be upping the cardio more to slim me down and drop my weight training down to 1-2 a week instead of 5 which is what I have been doing recently. I’ll be back running now my shins have fully repaired, only taking it slow as I can’t afford to get injured again.

Diet wise, i’ll be upping the protein using PHD women’s protein, eggs and lean meat.
Cutting back the carbs, trying to only gain carbs from fresh fruit and veg.
Upping the veggies.
Drinking around 6L of water a day (my 2L bottle filled up three times, this is partly because i’m so active and drinking more water I have seen a huge improvement on my skin – but that’s for another blog post)

Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact i’ve managed to shape my body and love weight training and the burn you get from it, but getting in a bikini is my worse nightmare right now. I have less fat but when you look in the mirror and aren’t happy, that’s when you know you need to change, it’s not other peoples opinions but how you feel, everyone feels different and everyone’s bodies are different.

The Torbay Half

2 hours 4 minutes, 17 minutes slower than Plymouth’s but with slight added baggage. 
Minnie Mouse ran 13.2miles for a very special boy, Joseph. 
Being a regular sufferer of shin splints, I wasn’t overly surprised when I got them quite a bit through training but suffering with them with 6 days to go, certainly wasn’t my plan. I had no option but to take some time out. 
Taking a week off really worried me, I knew it was helping my skins but certainly not for preparing my muscles. My body is used to being in the gym 6 days a week and I had taken 3/4 days off with 13 miles to run on the Sunday, I was bored, my body confused and hitting panic mode.
Saturday, at work, I felt unprepared and lazy and it wasn’t until actual race day that I was hyped for it. 
Sunday, 6:30 am, Minnie was ready to smash it.
It didn’t take long after we arrived for the looks to start and the Newspaper’s to start approaching simply because why the heck was Minie Mouse in Paignton?
I had hoped for rain all week and it was only when my wish came true as soon as the gun went off, I truly thought I could do it. In so many layers, the rain cooled my burning body down.
By the second lap, the rain had stopped, I had lost one of my sport gels, the hills started to annoy me and my Spotify was playing up, I started to hate what I was doing. It was only when a lovely guy started running with me and we got chatting about why were both doing this. An inspirational bloke, 30 years of half marathons running to build more private rooms for young adults in Derriford hospital. Telling me about his lovely wife, her support and how we had been stuck in bed with sickness all week, took the hills off my mind and gave me that motivation I needed. He had been sick all week and was still here racing.
He was like my little guardian angel that day, I eventually ran on past him and when I reached the hills on the way back, guess who was right behind me. With a ‘Do it for Joseph’ and a smile, we both ran on. 
An absolute gem that really helped me when it got tough. 
I mustn’t forget the lovely crowds and children cheering Minnie on and asking where Mickey was – I told them Mickey was at home and that us girls simply do it better. 
The highlight was 100% pushing Joseph in his wheelchair over the finishing line, we will forget the fact I nearly crashed into the barrier, but you can see the finish line video on my Facebook – Vous L’avez.
The panic and freaking out about rest days were totally not needed and sounds strange but when I crossed the finish line I thought ‘oh shit I’m done! That was quick’ … So The Great West Run in October is a must I think… and maybe London Marathon when I turn 21?
Thank you to everyone that donated to ClIC Sargent and supported me – you absolute legends.
                                                                                                                                                                            

Yoogaia for Yoga

‘The world’s first truly interactive Yoga provider launches Broga®, a special yoga class aimed at men and women who want to combine yoga with HIT training moves’ – amazing! I’m so bad for not practising yoga and i’m a complete lover for HIIT and anything fast so this is a great way to incorporate both!

If you haven’t heard of Yoogaia.com yet I urge you to take a look – online yoga training classes.
You go on to your log in and check the timetable for the day and book on to any class you fancy, like your very own gym class in the comfort of your home. 

I love Yoogaia simply because as i’m just starting off as a yoga freak I can do the class without anyone seeing how short my hamstrings are or how I’m as flexible as steel!
You can now start a 7 day FREE trial, so you may as well give it a go!


Yoo-hoo Big Summer Workout #Booty

Everyone wants a sexy toned bum and it does take a while and lots of training but with the right exercises we can get that booty that we all want. What I love about working the butt is the exercises normally work the legs as well giving you lean legs as well as a round bum.

As promised, it’s Monday so here’s my favourite glute workout….

JUMP SQUATS – 30 SEC

Go into squat position and jump up into the air and back down to a squat. 
Repeat.

STANDING LEG RAISES – 12x EACH LEG

Holding a dumbbell of your choice. Stand with your legs shoulder width apart. 
Slowly raise your left leg and bring it back down repeat.

STAIR MASTER DOUBLE STEP – 2 MIN EACH LEG

If you go to a gym, hop onto the stair master and set it to a speed you’re comfortable with. Instead of one step at a time try doing two steps at a time and tense your bum as you step up.

WIDE LEG SQUATS – 12x

Feet slightly wider apart than a normal squat, squat down and repeat. This engages the inner thighs and glutes more. If you can add some weight to a barbell.

CROSS BACK LUNGE – 12x EACH LEG

As if you’re going into a regular lunge, instead of stepping straight back, step back and slightly behind your other leg. Again, engaging the glutes. 

I REPEAT THIS CIRCUIT 6 TIMES.

Make that booty burn.

Yoo-hoo Big Summer Workout #Abs

Summer’s coming and like a lot of people I’m scared I won’t be comfortable in a bikini yet, i’m scared I won’t be able to say no to the huge burger or the cheesecake at my work, i’m scared i’m not doing enough… but relax. I know that i’m not the only one going through this, so, i’ve decided to help you guys out a bit. Every Monday for the next 6 weeks, i’ll be posting my favourite body moves/workouts and where you can get the same information/inspiration from as me… today let’s get 6 packs together.

If abs are what you want to see, here is my favourite killer ab workout and i’d be lying if I said it was easy, the next day I wake up not wanting to laugh because it hurts so bad.

I love love love these moves they burn like crazy and when you add them together be prepared to feel your abs completely pumped up. These exercises I found from the amazing Women’s Health book (yes I know i’m biased towards Women’s Health magazine because they are the best tehehe) – ‘ Flat Belly Workouts’, this costs £7.99 and you get some incredible moves, tips, news and sexy abs in 21 days. Here are my favourite ab moves from this book that i’ve put together creating my insane abdominal workout:

X12 REVERSE CRUNCH

Lying on the floor with your legs bent 90 degrees, raise your hips off the floor and crunch towards the chest. Then slowly bring them back to 90 degrees. Repeat

1 MIN PLANK

Start in press up position with a bend in the elbows resting your weight on your forearms and feet. 
Pull in the tummy and hold.

1 MIN MOUNTAIN CLIMBER

Staying in plank position, come onto your hands and bring your knees to your chest one at a time.

X20 LEG ALTERNATE RAISES

Laying on your back with your feet towards the sky, slowly raise one leg and bring it back up again. Repeat with the other leg.

X20 ALTERNATE HEEL TAPS

Laying on your back. Lift your neck off the floor and reach towards your right heel (trying to go as far as you can). Come back to the centre and repeat the move towards your left heel.

I THEN REPEAT THE EXERCISES 4 TIMES.

Next week: Yoo-hoo Big Summer Workout #booty. 
Top image: Pinterest



Setting Goals

I’ve always found in order to tay motivated the best way is set goals, whether that’s daily, weekly or even yearly or even ‘summer’s coming’.

‘Summer’s comming’ makes me laugh so much, I’m guilty of it too, suddenly the fact that summer is coming we all go out and try and complete a marathon in hope we’ll feel comfortable in our bikini and then we are gutted that is doesn’t work. 
It’s so important to make realistic goals. Instead of weight loss goals which are sometimes disheartening, a fitness goal may be better – why not try aim to run 5k in one month? 
By trying to complete this you’ll have to go out and train, meaning you’ll exercise more which will help burn fat and calories. Match that with eating clean and it will fall off. 
My goals are slightly different this year, last year ‘get skinny’… this year from being more educated on everything it’s slightly more specific. 

– Be more flexible.

 Running and being in the gym constantly and being guilty of not paying lots of attention to stretching, I’m as flexible steel… well not quite but you know. So i’m going to focus a lot more on stretching and trying yoga.

– Get as many vital nutrients I can.

 Regular readers will know that I’m a sucker for a veg smoothie and when Nutri-advanced got in contact with me asking to try out some products I was so excited. Multi-vitamins and a superfood powder are 100% helping me. Taking my mulit-vitamin with a pit of water as soon as I wake up and adding a scoop of super food powder to my smoothie, i’m all vitamin’d up!

– Maintain energy and don’t crash. 

Again nutri-advanced sent me a great product for energy, high in essentials vitamins and nutrients getting up at 6 o’clock for my morning run or getting through my 4 o’clock slump has become a whole lot easier after i’ve had one these.

– Stop bingeing 

My biggest down fall is a binge. A cheat day can turn into calories consumed for what should be a week… i’m talking not just the one chocolate bar but 6…. not even exaggerating… honestly. I need to find the happy medium, I was glad I managed to keep my bingeing under control yesterday. After a 10k charity run I came home to a lovely roast, I would normally binge so much I have to role into bed but I DIDN’T … can I hear WOOP WOOP?

You can buy the products I’m using @ www.nutriadvanced.co.uk