Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Muay Thai - first class back in more than a few years!

Ergh Grumpy Cat, you are so right after this one!

Last night I went to my first Muay Thai kickboxing class in more than a few years. I recently found out that classes are held near where I go to CrossFit, so I was super keen to sign up to a class as quickly as possible.

This was my "I am tough, get in the mood, listen to your lifting playlist" face on the way to the bus stop.

I know that my fitness is still not anywhere where it used to be, so I was petrified that I would faint or even worse, vom during the class!  As some of you might know, it doesn't matter how fast you run, how much HIIT you do or other training - pushing yourself for 3 rounds of 3 mins on pads is hard yakka.  It can make anyone feel light headed and tired or you are not conditioned for it.

The class started off well with some warm up rounds of shadow boxing and various strength exercises. Once that was done, we got put into pairs for some forearm pad work.  This is the part that I was scared about.  Thankfully the girl I was paired up with took the lead and went first while I held the pads.  It felt so good to be be back again! I LOVE holding pads and used to pride myself on being an excellent pad holder for my friends while they were training to fight back home.

It was a great test of my coordination as well.  Overall I think I got the hang of it again very quickly and my partner didn't have any bad feedback at all.  Score!

Now, my turn for the punching and kicking.  Agghhhhh it felt so good!  My footwork really needs a lot of work, and my kicks are not nearly as strong as they could be - but it was an excellent starting point and I am really happy with where I have ended up.  My trainer said to me afterwards that he made the class easy for me, just to get back into it - so I look forward to all kinds of punishment next week.

I was so sweaty afterwards that I had to stop in the street on the way to the tube and take my tank top off.  Someone walked past and was like, WTF is this chick doing?! But I had to.  I was saturated with sweat and it was way better off than on.  I had forgotten what it was like to finish class and make my way home, sweating profusely. 

Since the class was at 7:30pm, this meant that once I left the gym at 8:45pm - I wasn't home until after 9.30pm.  Gross!  I hate being home late after the gym because I was so hyperactive and starving.  I quickly ran through the door and cooked up this dinner - which was almost a copy of brunch the day before.  You know me, once I buy some fresh produce I have to eat it all quickly or it goes off and then it is a waste of my precious money.

I am more than happy to eat the same thing for a few days/nights if it means it is fresh and doesn't go to waste.  You have to be realistic with your eating habits, expectations and budget!

Anyways, I have some pretty epic bruises all over me today - this is a direct result of my body not being conditioned to this type of activity.  I love the bruises though.  I know I busted my arse to get those and it was FUN.  I'll take a picture of the special one on my left thigh, it is going to be a corker for sure.

Ps. I am still drinking my butter coffee in the morning and I love it.  Have any of you tried it out yet?

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Err... I just put butter in my coffee!

Since starting at my local CrossFit box - I have been exposed to more and more people who's diet and lifestyle choices are Paleo.  I have been reading up over the last year about this "caveman lifestyle", and all the principles and guidelines behind this diet definitely make sense to me.

No counting calories
High in fat, moderate in animal protein and low to moderate in carbs
Eat good amounts of fresh vegetables
Eat low to moderate amounts of fruit and nuts
Cut out all cereal grains and legumes from your diet
Eliminate sugar, soft drinks, packaged products etc
Eat when you are hungry - do what feels natural
Eliminate most sources of stress in your life, sleep the most you can. Go to bed when it is dark, wake up when it is light

The list goes on, but you get the gist of it.  I will definitely be putting some of these suggestions into practise, slowly, as I still don't eat red meat in London.  

As you all know, I am not necessarily a lover of coffee - but I do love trying new things, especially when I am super motivated (which is right now, my third week of CrossFit).  I stumbled across this recipe for BulletProof Coffee.  One of the girls in my class was talking about how people put butter in their coffee, and it was weird, but you got used to it and then couldn't stop drinking it.

This is the recipe I stumbled across from The Paleo Mumma.

I modified it to suit my liking and ability.  Not being a coffee drinker, immediately means I don't have a French press or anything fancy.  I have instant coffee and a kettle :/

Make your cup of coffee as you usually do.
Let it brew for a little while (this also gives it a chance to cool)
I then poured this cup into my smoothie blender and added the following:
- 1tsp of coconut butter
- 1tsp of unsalted grass fed butter (no substitute will do unfortunately)
-1 sprinkle of cinnamon to taste

Blend until you see the frothy goodness.  Enjoy!

So while we are here, I thought I would share with you my epic brunch from yesterday.  It just looks so pretty doesn't it?

I quite possibly would have taken more photos of it, however I wanted it in my mouth ASAP.
This brunch isn't completely Paleo - as those sausages are tofu.  Still lots of protein and a very healthy meal so I am 100% happy.  And full!

My energy levels felt really good yesterday.  I had my coffee for breakfast, then this brunch at around midday or so, then nothing really until a bit of a snack of hummus/mushrooms later in the evening.

Well, I am off to start work for the day.  Tonight I plan on going to a Thai Kickboxing class - which should be interesting as I haven't trained for quite a few years.  Very, very exciting stuff :)

Sunday, 15 September 2013

My second WOD - snatch practice and ring dips

Wednesday night, after my first WOD - I came home and sorted through all my exercise wear.  I was so motivated and excited about my next class that I almost started planning my outfit.  I can be such a girl sometimes :/

I realised that my "exercise wardrobe" didn't exactly cater for CrossFit and travelling too and from the gym, especially now the seasons are changing.  Woohoo - an excuse to go shopping!  I spent around one hour looking at the Nike web store that night, adding ten things to my cart and dreaming about how one day I might be able to afford everything I want as opposed to having to pick and choose two things.  So, on Thursday afternoon, I went off to the Nike store in town to pick up some new training shoes and some bottoms.

Nike Air Max Fusion training shoes - £70 from here
Nike Epic Run Printed Tights - £50 from here
I cant seem to find the tights above online - but they are training capris.

I felt pretty good when I went off to the 7am class on Friday morning. New shoes, new pants and super motivated.  I know it sounds really silly, but for me, if I am not excited about wearing my exercise clothes, then I am not really super motivated to exercise.  If I have cute things that I want to wear, then I will wear them.  That really is how simple my brain is.

Snatch Practise (Squat, Power & Hang).15 mins
Pick Light-Medium load
*Used the 7kg bar.

I really enjoyed this snatch practise. I know that I have to be a lot faster when it comes to snatching the bar up/getting underneath it.  I felt good though with how low my squat was, once I was there.

21-15-9 reps, for time of:
Ring Dip
Kettlebell High Pull (No deadlift, therefore no knee bend but hip flexion allowed), 24/16kg

Used 12kg Kettlebell
Used blue band for ring dips

Oh my goodness these dips almost killed me.  I used one of the easiest bars and it was still a killer.  My wrists are NOT used to holding myself up on rings and I am NOT used to having to go so low on the dips.  Crazy but SO excited to one day be able to do these unassisted.

Also, I pretty much caught the kettlebells on my chest with every rep so I need to work on my technique with those and I am really looking forward to how the bruise looks when it comes out. Awkward.

As predicted, right after class I was on the biggest high and pretty much stayed that way throughout the day - even though work sucked and I just wanted to throw my laptop out the window.

My arms were super sore when I woke up on Saturday morning so I decided to head into the local shopping centre to pick up some new season clothes, then come back and go for a run.  It was a good run and I am pretty sure I ran faster in some sections than what I usually do - even though I haven't been running for a week.  Hmmmm.  Interesting!

Anyways, hope you guys are having a good weekend. Mine is nice and quiet and normal - a nice change from the usual for me :)

Thursday, 12 September 2013

My first WOD

So here I am back again, trying to get into the habit of blogging.  To be honest, it is a bit hard to be motivated to write about something that you are getting slightly bored of.  Not that running is ever boring while you are doing it, you just probably don't want to see post after post about me running all the time.  Snore.

This is my silly face at a wedding I went to a few weeks ago :)

Anyways, the good news is - I signed up to a CrossFit box! Finally.  I've only been religiously following it and googling it for over a year now so it was only a matter of time before I pulled my finger out and actually went to a box.  I did the same thing with the BodyRock workouts when I first started with those.  Should have seen this coming, shouldn't I?

Anyways, I signed up to have an hour long assessment with one of the trainers before they allowed me to move right into the WOD classes.  That was a relief.  The thought of spending two nights a week for three weeks, going over things I already knew the basics of, made me cringe.  Thankfully I aced the test and last night I completed my first ever WOD class.

The class started with some foam rolling, stretching and a bit of skipping. I have to completely change my skipping technique as I am used to the speed of skipping in a boxing/Muay Thai gym - not the slow jump but fast arms to get double unders right.  Something to practise :)

Turkish Get-Up
3 sets of 4
(Choose heavy Load)
For time:
50 Double Unders
– then –
3 rounds of:
10 Push Jerks, 40/30 kg
10 Toes-to-bars
– then –
50 Row (calories)s
I had been taught the Turkish get-up in my one on one class, so I was familiar with the movements.  I didn't chose that much of a heavy load though as I didn't want to push myself too quickly too soon. I think I only went with about 4kgs kettle bell?  I will make more of a note next time.

The WOD was pretty fun.  Instead of completing double unders I did single leg jumps, 50 on each side.
The push jerks I used the 20kg bar and it felt pretty easy.  Will have to go up a notch next time.
TTB's, well, there is NO chance that was going to happen for me so I completed these on the floor and pulled my toes up to the bar that way.
The 50cal row was a killer at the end.  I have to change my technique for this as well.  Lay off the speed and work on using my legs and really pulling towards my chest when my legs are straight.  Apparently this is more effective and is less 'cardio'.

I completed all the above in roughly 9mins.  Not a bad start, but definitely some things there to work on.  I also strolled casually from one exercise to the next - so at least next time I could knock off around 30sec/1min.  Ha! I can't wait for my next class (Friday) to see what is next.  I am absolutely hooked and I have made it my goal to be top 10 girls in the gym within the next 6months.  

I have goals and I am not afraid to try and smash them :)

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Update &Vegetarian Smokey Fajitas

Welcome back!  It has been a while, hasn't it?!  As most of you know, I quit my job at Lacoste and started working for Atticus Clothing.  It has been really busy and a massive lifestyle change.  I knew that it would be, but I don't think I was prepared for how it has turned out.

These days I am working from home, only having to go out for the occasional meeting in Central London if needed.  I have been to Download Festival, Reading Festival, several London gigs and a few launch nights. It has been a lot of fun, but to be honest - coupled with every other social activity going on during the London summer, I am pretty stoked for things to quieten down.

These are my new little Lacoste sandals and ASOS shorts.  Perfect for those hot summer day where you don't want to wear a skirt, but you still want to look cute :)

My bestie Michelle and I have had weddings, birthdays, camping trips and many other things to do on the weekends and during the week.  It has been an amazing summer and I don't want it to get cooler at all, but I could really do with a weekend of doing nothing.

Does that make me officially old?  

I have been trying to keep active as best as I can.  I run the hilly run or I run the long flat run.  I have been using my sandbag and I have been doing home workouts in my lounge room.  I haven't been posting them online because I spend so much time at my laptop during the day for work, when I finish, I don't want to type anything else at all.

 It has been so lovely and hot, when I get home from running the sweat is beading off me.  Gross, but so worth it.

It is funny, people would think that working from home means you get to slack off a bit.  Sure, I am lucky enough to put a load of washing on if I need to or enjoy a hot meal once in a while, but I am so busy it it literally relentless.  I switch my laptop on in the morning to check personal emails etc, and the work starts coming in.  I think Michelle assumes I sit at the lounge room table all day every day. Well, that isn't far from the truth! She sees me sat here in the morning when she leaves, and I am generally sat here late at night when she returns.  

So, in keeping with trying to have some kind of healthy balance in my diet, I made these delicious Vegetarian Smokey Fajitas the other night. They were so cheap and easy!

Here was what I bought from Sainsburys.

£13.80 isn't bad considering I got three dinners and a lunch out of it!

Here were all the lovely ingredients I bought.  I wouldn't usually add carrot to this recipe, but I thought it would be a tasty and welcome addition.  I was right ;)

I chopped everything up as "fajita like" as I could, in strips.  Then popped it into the pan to cook.

As per the instructions on the box, I spread some of the salsa out over the base of the dishes and then the rest over the top once the wraps were in.

I made the wraps by spreading out the re-fried beans, whole grain rice, then the mix of peppers, carrots and onions from the pan.  Roll them up, pop them in the dishes, cover with some cheese and yogurt, then throw them into the oven and cook for about 20mins on 180deg c.

My goodness they were so tasty and filling as well.  If you want, you could add some guacamole to the side but we had without and they were really yummy. 

How good is my food photography?  You all know that I can't really be bothered with presentation etc. I just want to take a quick snap before it gets cold and then stuff it into my mouth.  That's the best way to be!

As you can see I enjoyed this meal with a beer and some left over low fat natural yogurt that I mixed some of the smokey spices into.  Have a go and see what you think!

This week I am off to start CrossFit.  I was supposed to start with a foundation course on Monday but since I have already done loads of the lifting exercises, they said that I could just do a 1-2-1 class for an hour on Friday morning.  Yep, that's tomorrow.  Nervous!  But excited and super happy I don't have to do a three week course.  Gross!  Just get me in there already.

Anyways, hope you are all well.  I hope to post a bit more soon when work has slowed down a little.  But in saying that, Christmas is coming and we all know what that means for retail companies.  Busy busy busy!