Jay’s Top 10 Fitness Tips

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In celebration of another 365 days on this beautiful planet, I thought I would put together a list of my top fitness tips to share with you guys.

  1. Set a goal: Your goal will act as a source of motivation. Make sure your goals are specific and realistic.
  1. Create a plan to achieve that goal: Once you’ve determined what your goal is set out a plan that will ensure that you will achieve that goal.
  1. Choose and approach to training and nutrition: make sure that your training and nutrition plan are sustainable and allow you to train and eat in a way that you enjoy. This way you are more likely to stick to it. 
  1. Don’t compare yourself to others: Stop focussing on what everyone else is doing. Focus on improving your own practices daily. 
  1. Being healthy goes beyond the physical aspect: Being healthy is not just about looking good. It is easy to take fitness to an extreme. It is not healthy to deprive yourself of food or rest. Make sure you are also taking care of your mind and overall wellbeing. 
  1. Stop looking to quick fixes: If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Quick fixes are dangerous and will often leave you in a worse position than where you started off.
  1. Motivation is overrated, create discipline: Motivation is an amazing tool, however, it will come and go. Focus on building discipline and creating daily habits that will ensure that you always do what you need to do, especially when you don’t want to.
  1. Sleep and recovery are important: Sleep and recovery are just as important as your training. Make sure you’re not overlooking their importance.
  1. Ask for help: If you are struggling in a certain area (i.e. training, nutrition, goal setting, etc) just ask for help.
  1. Be consistent: This is hands down the best fitness advice I have ever received in my life. You don’t have to be perfect, you just need to be consistent. It’s what we do most of the time that matters.

Hope you guys find these helpful.

Jay xx

Being Active When You Work A 9-5

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For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s that time of year when it is cold, wet and dark outside. With Christmas just over a month away and social events at full swing our motivation and willpower is constantly being tested. 

It is very easy to lead a sedentary life at this time of year. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with having a lazy day here and there, but it is important to ensure that we get enough movement, especially if like me, you work a 9-5 desk job. So I thought I’d put a few tips together to help you stay active this festive season.

  1. Walk More: Consider walking to work more often. If you work too far away from your home, park further away or get off public transport a few stops earlier. You can also take a 15-20 minute walk during your lunch break, you’ll get some fresh air and exposure to natural light which can help give you a wee energy boost. 
  1. Make sure you have a nutrient dense diet: studies have shown that diets which are well-balanced and full of nutrient dense foods can lead to reduction in mood swing, anxiety and depression as well as providing our bodies with energy.
  1. Plan your gym Session: Plan ahead and create set days and times to head to the gym. Make sure you train at a time that suits you and your lifestyle the best, as this will help to ensure that you remain consistent. Getting a training buddy or investing in some personal training sessions can also help you to remain consistent with training by acting as additional sources of motivation and accountability. 
  1. Get involved in seasonal activities: embrace the cold and take on the elements while having fun through activities such as ice-skating, snowboarding and skiing.

Hope you guys find these helpful.

Jay xx

Raspberry, Cinnamon & Nutmeg Protein Muffins

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You guys have asked and I have listened. Here is the recipe for my delicious raspberry, cinnamon and nutmeg protein muffins with dark and white chocolate chips.

Ingredients: 

  1. 1 Scoop vanilla protein powder
  2. 1 Tablespoon coconut flour
  3. 1 Teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1 Teaspoon cocoa powder
  5. 1/2 Teaspoon nutmeg
  6. 1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon
  7. 2 Tablespoons 0% fat greek yoghurt 
  8. 75 grams fresh raspberries
  9. 2 medium sized eggs
  10. 30ml almond milk
  11. 1 square dark chocolate and 1 square white chocolate

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 150 degrees
  • Blend together the protein powder, coconut flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, greek yoghurt, raspberries, eggs and almond milk until mixture is well mixed and a smoothie like consistency.
  • Place your mixture into a muffin tin/cupcake moulds
  • Chop the chocolate up into smaller squares and place them on the top of the mixture
  • Place in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes
  • Let cool for 5 minutes 
  • Enjoy 

Hope you guys enjoy these as much as I did

Jay xx

Self-Love: Practice Makes Progress

 

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We often overlook the things we can’t easily measure progress with and unfortunately self-love falls within this category. As with any other goal there will be good days. The ones where you feel confident and happy in your own skin. But, there will also be bad days, when you want to sit in your sweatpants with messy hair and drown your sorrows in a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.

No journey is linear. Regardless of the goal you set, there will be ups and down. The important thing is to keep practicing the habits that will help you make progress. No matter how small that progress may seem. 

Companies and society have been benefitting from our insecurities for years. We fear natural process such as ageing (getting wrinkles and grey hair) because we are constantly told that we should buy products to avoid it. Despite the fact that there is no such thing as perfection we constantly criticise ourselves and buy into products which cover up our uniqueness (which some people may refer to as flaws).

Life is too short to be spent trying to live up to societies expectations. So the following are a few practices which can help you continually make progress with self-love:

  1. Stop comparing yourself to others
  2. Lines on your stomach aren’t going to create eternal happiness
  3. Be kind to yourself 
  4. People are going to think what they want of you, regardless of what you say or do. So don’t bother yourself with what others think
  5. Practice speaking to yourself in the way you would speak to those you love. 

Just some food for thought

Jay xx

Jay’s Top 4: Tips to Get you Motivated and Keep you Motivated

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When it comes to making improvements to our health and fitness levels we all now WHAT we need to do. We know that we need to move more and eat better. The WHAT isn’t the problem. The thing that most people struggle with is the HOW. How do we go about making these changes and keeping ourselves motivated and committed to the changes that we are making?

So, I thought I’d share with you guys a few tips that have helped me stay motivated and committed to my long-term goals.

  1. Train in a way that you enjoy: You are more likely to be consistent and remain committed to a style of training you actually enjoy. 
  1. Take it one step at a time: One of the main reasons people give up on their goals is because they try to do too much at once and become overwhelmed. Instead of trying to change everything at once,s pick one thing to focus on.
  1. Focus on building discipline: motivation is unreliable and dependant on your moods and feelings. By building discipline you give yourself the necessary tools to focus on what you need to do (in order to achieve your goals) especially when you don’t feel like doing it.
  1. Remember Why You Started:  Make sure that the reason why you are embarking on your journey is strong. Your reason why will help you to keep disciplined and motivated on the harder days. 

Hope you guys find these helpful.

Jay xx

Vanilla & Cinnamon Protein Muffins

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Ingredients: 

  • 1 scoop  vanilla protein powder
  • 1 scoop water
  • 1 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tsp almond butter and 2 tsp hazelnut spread

Method: 

  • In a blender or nutribullet blend together the protein powder, coconut flour, cinnamon, baking powder, water and eggs
  • Make sure mixture is completely blended together and place in muffin tin (should make about 4 muffins)
  • Bake at 150 degrees for 8-10 minutes (or until golden)
  • Slice off the muffin tops with a knife and let muffins cool for 3-5 minutes
  • Put the peanut butter on the bottom half of 2 of the muffins and the hazelnut spread on the bottom half of the other 2
  • Slice the banana and place it on the muffins
  • Place the muffin tops back on and enjoy

Jay xx

WIHF: What is Health & Fitness?

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Health is defined as “the state of being free from illness or injury” and fitness is defined as “the condition of being physically fit and healthy.” If you ask me these definitions allow for a broad interpretation of what health and fitness involve and what they look like.

What is health and fitness to you? Is it to be strong, to be explosive, to have endurance, to be lean, to be flexible, to have balance, to be precise, to feel good, to be able to perform daily tasks without feeling pain or fatigue or a combination of these and other things?

The reason I’m asking this question is that I feel that there are far too many people who are influenced by what they see on social media platforms and believe that in order to be fit and healthy they need to look a certain way (i.e be extremely lean and have a six-pack). What a healthy body looks like will depend upon the individual in question, for example for one person being healthy may be to reduce the risk of disease by lowering weight and body fat while for another person being healthy could be to increase body fat and overall weight.

In the age of social media it is easy to get caught up comparing yourself to strangers online. You don’t need to look like your favourite IG model in order to be fit and healthy, you don’t need to do what they do or eat how much they eat. Truth be told doing that doesn’t guarantee you the same results anyway. The fitness industry is so diverse that you should be doing whatever it is that you enjoy be that participating in a sport, bodybuilding, powerlifting, dancing, running, etc.

The key point I want you guys to take away today is to realise that health and fitness are broad and that a healthy body will look different on everyone.

Just some food for thought

Jay xx

Stress & its Impact on Our Digestive System

 

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We all experience stress from time to time and short bursts of it can be beneficial to us however prolonged exposure to it can lead to chronic illness. It is not uncommon for us to believe that illness is the root cause of our symptoms when stress may actually be the real culprit. Today I thought I’d share with you guys a few ways that stress can have an impact on our digestive system.

  1. Stress can shut down digestion: which can lead to either constipation or food passing too quickly without nutrients being absorbed.
  2. Stress can cause heartburn
  3. Stress can eliminate the good bacteria in our gut which helps to fight viruses
  4. Stress can weaken your metabolism by slowing it down

Eating Well On a Budget

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From a very young age my mum always drilled the fact into my head that there are certain things in life where you look to make a bargain and others where you need to invest and focus on quality. Our health is definitely in the group of things that we need to invest in, because no matter how much money you have you can’t buy health and wellbeing. That being said investing in your health doesn’t need to cost you and arm and a leg, so I’ve put together a list of 10 of my favourite foods that are nutrient dense and won’t break the bank.

  1. Vegetables (e.g. potatoes, leafy veg, broccoli, carrots, etc)
  2. Tinned beans and lentils
  3. Eggs
  4. Fruits and Frozen Berries
  5. Oats
  6. Chicken and lean meats (Butcher shops do chicken and lean meat packages so make sure you check out your local butchers alternatively there are several places online that do chicken and lean meat packages)
  7. Tinned fish (e.g. tuna)
  8. Yoghurt
  9. Grains
  10. Seeds and Nuts

Just some food for thought

Jay xx

Self-Love Is The New #RelationshipGoals

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The most important relationship in your life is the one that you have with yourself. Not only does this relationship dictate and affect the relationships you have with others but it also impacts all areas of your life. It is crucial that you learn to have a good and loving relationship with yourself because unless you do it won’t matter what you achieve or who you date, you’ll constantly feel as if there is something missing and you’ll keep setting goals for yourself and trying different things in hopes that they will help to fill in the missing piece, but they won’t.

In my last relationship my ex didn’t value my worth, he disrespected me and convinced me that I was lucky that someone like him would even consider being with me. The crazy thing is that I believed him and I stuck around. I’m ashamed to admit that the only reason he was able to treat me the way he did was because I didn’t have a strong relationship with myself, because I failed at that time to see my true worth and because I lacked confidence.

The reason I’ve wanted to share this experience with you guys is to illustrate how great an impact the relationship we have with ourselves can have on the other areas of our lives. Maybe some of you have a similar story not necessarily as a romantic relationship but perhaps the relationship with your parents, a friend or even your boss.

A poor relationship with yourself can act as a barrier blocking you from reaching your potential, be that in a  job (you won’t apply for because you don’t think you’re good enough) a goal (you won’t aim for because you believe you’re incapable of achieving it) or a relationship with someone you like (that you won’t pursue because you convince yourself they are too good for you).

Many of us spend so much of our lives searching for external factors (be that a job, a partner, a fancy car, our dream body, etc) because we believe that these things will bring us happiness, when in truth the most important factor that we need to be happy can be found within ourselves and through changing our mindset. It may be a cliché but that doesn’t stop it from being true!

I’m not claiming to have perfected the relationship with myself, as with any relationship in life it is not perfect, but I am working on it and I am investing in it because it is important. As someone who grew up hating every single thing about myself right down to the colour of my skin (which is absurd because this melanin is lit AF) I can honestly say that changing my mindset and continually working on building a better relationship with myself has improved all areas of my life. Not only do I choose to focus on the positives but I’ve come to learn to love the things I once hated about myself. Learning to love and appreciate myself over the years has also helped me ensure that I will never again allow anyone to be a part of my life if they try to bring me down or attempt to diminish my self-worth.

The key message I hope that you guys take from this today is that you are good enough, you are amazing, you are smart, you are beautiful and you’re an absolute badass. There is nothing that you need to achieve or acquire, there is no relationship status that you need to gain for any of this to be true. The sooner you realise this, and the sooner you build a strong and healthy relationship with yourself, the better life becomes. “Never forget there is only one of you and you are as breathtaking as they come.” -E. Russell

Just some food for thought.

Jay xx