My Beginner’s Workout Routine

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Since returning from Nepal and turning 19, I decided it was about time to start taking my health and fitness seriously. I’ve been working out 5-6 times a week for the last 3 months, and have already seen major improvements in my fitness, mental health and muscle definition.

I want to share with you a Workout Routine that I put together at the beginning of my fitness journey. It’s a mix of some of my favourite exercises to target all the major muscle groups. Have fun!

Workout Routine

  • Warm Up: 5mins running on treadmill between 8.5 – 10.5km/h 
  • Weighted Squats x 15 (Incorporate a shoulder press when rising out of each squat. I use 2lb weights)
  • Half pushups x10
  • Straight leg donkey kicks x10 each leg (on all fours, straighten a leg behind you and raise it to be inline with your back. Feel those glutes burn!)
  • Fire hydrants with kick x10 each leg (on all fours, raise your knee out to the side, then extend the leg out straight)
  • Tricep dips x10
  • Side leg lifts x10 each side 
  • Leg raises x10 (lie on your back and -keeping your legs straight- raise them to a 90° angle, then lower them to the floor again)
  • Elevated glute bridge (lie on your back and place your feet on a chair or bench, raise your hips to create a straight line, and lower again)
  • Run on treadmill between 8.5- 10.5km/h x3 mins 
  • Repeat for 3 sets 

 

Hope

x

 

 

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Self Care Ideas

Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 16.33.44.pngIt’s great to have a bit of me-time now again, especially if you’ve been feeling a bit under the weather.

I’ve compiled a little list of ideas to inspire you to practise some self-love ❤

  • have a bubble bath
  • light some candles
  • do a facemask
  • paint your nails
  • make a cup of loose leaf tea
  • bake something new
  • do some mindfulness (I recommend the Calm app)
  • do some yoga (Yogawithadriene on YouTube has some great videos to follow)
  • put on some music and dance
  • write letters to friends
  • colour in
  • take a walk outside
  • call a friend
  • play a musical instrument 

Above all, remember to love and accept yourself for who you are ❤

 

Hope x

Healthy Easy Vegetarian Recipes!

Countdown to Christmas: 7

Hello lovlies! Since turning vegetarian in July, I have spent many hours scouring Pinterest for some inspiration to create my own delicious, healthy (mostly) and simple recipes. The following are all tried and tested and very tasty 🙂 hope you enjoy!

1. Sweet Potato & Quinoa

FullSizeRender-13You will need:

  • Sweet potato
  • Quinoa
  • Natural Yogurt

This is a great lunch option especially for the colder months I would say. Pop your potato in the oven at 200°C for around 45 minutes. I love the taste of sweet potato, they’re also great for you as they contain lots of vitamins A, C and B6. Place your desired amount of quinoa in a jug of boiling water and leave to soak for around 20 minutes. Quinoa is super rich in protein (great for vegetarians and vegans). When everything is ready, plate up and add a tablespoon of natural yogurt, and enjoy! 🙂

2. Turkish Couscous Salad

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You will need:

  • 250g couscous
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp ground paprika
  • 1 red onion
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 fresh chilli
  • 1 bunch of fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh coriander/parsley
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • zest and juice of 1/2 lemon

Add the first 3 ingredients into a pan and cover with boiling water for about 10 minutes. Then mix in the tomato puree. Chop the herbs and vegetables and chuck those in as well. Finally stir in the oil and lemon juice and zest and voila! This dish goes really well with grilled halloumi 😛

3. Mixed Salad

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You will need:

  • Romane lettuce
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Carrots
  • Peppers
  • Cucumber
  • Optional: Kiwano fruit

Salads are always a winner. You can add what ever vegetables you like, it’s great to add ones with lots of flavour, so you avoid using lots of dressing, which is full of fat and salt. Basically chop everything up, mix it around and you’re done. I added some Kiwano fruit, which I found in the supermarket, for a bit of something extra, though it didn’t really add much flavour.

4. Spicy Veggie Bean Burger

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To make 4, you will need:

  • 425g kidney beans
  • 410g cooked chick peas
  • 100g sweet corn
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 tsp ground paprika
  • 50g breadcrumbs
  • 3 spring onions (chopped)
  • 1 fresh chilli (chopped)

Family barbecues can be tough for the veggies, but do not fear! This burger is amazing, your meat-eating friends will be so jealous 😉 Place all ingredients into a bowl, mixing and squashing it all together with your hands. Then simply shape into patties and cook! I also made some wholewheat rolls to go with them.

Hope you enjoyed this quick recipe selection. Let me know if you’d like to see more posts like this, I have plenty of ideas to share 🙂

Have a super amazing day, and merry Christmas!

Hope x

 

 

 

My Workout Routine

Countdown to Christmas: 6

A few months ago I wrote a post about how to motivate yourself to exercise. At the time I was being very lazy, but I have since headed my own advice, and today I’d like to share with you my current workout routine, and hopefully inspire you to get active during these colder months!

I used to run 3-4 times per week, but when my anxiety and depression got pretty bad, I stopped going out. I still go on the occasional run, but I have found other methods of staying active, which to be honest, I never thought I’d do. Looking for alternatives, especially in the winter months, can be a good idea. Try getting creative, doing something new, until you find what works best for you.

So what does my exercise routine look like now? I go to the gym after
school for an hour and a half twice a week. There I do a variety of exercises, including push-ups, weighted squats, sit-ups etc., as well as running on the treadmill or elliptical. I really enjoy this actually, going with a friend makes it much more fun.

I also enjoy practising yoga three to four times a week, either in the morning at the weekend, or before bed. I love doing Youtube yoga videos. I would really recommend Yoga with Adriene if you’re a beginner starting out. She has a great range of videos, I especially like her Power Yoga episode for something slightly higher intensity. If you’ve been doing yoga for a while, and looking for something slightly more challenging, Yoga with Tim is also great.

If you’re looking to become more active, making little steps in your daily life can be very beneficial. Walking the dog, or simply turning on some music and dancing! Exercise should be fun 🙂

Let me know what types of exercise you enjoy most in the comments below! Have an amazing day!

Hope x

So last week I went vegetarian…

Hey guys, this is a bit more of a personal post. A while ago I wrote a post describing why I don’t eat red meat. I stopped consuming the meat of cows, pigs and lambs in April, and I want to share with you today why I’ve decided to take this next step and cease eating meat all together.

I wouldn't eat a dog, so why should I eat a pig?
I wouldn’t eat a dog, so why should I eat a pig?

To be honest, I have been thinking about vegetarianism for quite a while. But there had always been things holding me back. Would I miss the taste of meat? Would there be enough options for me in restaurants? Will I get all the nutrients I require? And most importantly, how much of an inconvenience would this be for my family?

I’ve done a large amount of research into the meat industry, and it has horrified me. Just a wee disclaimer; I’m not telling you to become veggie, I simply want to share my knowledge and experience with you guys. It all came to a climax one evening when I watched a speech by Gary Yourofsky, and although he is pretty extreme in his views, it was a real slap in the face for me. I couldn’t sleep for hours. I like to think of myself as quite a caring person, but how can I say that if I support the torture and slaughter of innocent animals? I wouldn’t kill a pig if someone put it in front of me, so why should I pay someone else to do that?

So, I’ve summarised my main reasons for becoming vegetarian into 3 categories:

Animal Welfare: In today’s meat industry, farms are factories and animals are treated like commodities. I find it appalling and simply unnecessary. There is no humane way to slaughter a living being, period. I don’t want to support this cruelty any longer.

Environment: The meat industry produces more greenhouse gases than all of the world’s transport systems combined. By becoming vegetarian, you can decrease your greenhouse gas emissions by 27.8%. Rainforests are being destroyed to make space for cattle grazing, and a huge amount of water and grain is required to feed the animals bred for meat. If we gave that grain to people instead, poverty could be eradicated- easily.

Health: Vegetarians live on average 10yrs longer than meat eaters. And yes, you can get enough protein from plant sources. As long as you’re eating a balanced diet, all your nutrients can easily be obtained from plants.

A vegetarian meal that I made: cous cous salad with grilled halloumi :P
A vegetarian meal that I made: cous cous salad with grilled halloumi 😛

After educating myself about the realities of the meat industry, I personally feel that it is wrong of me to support this. So how has it been going so far? It’s taken some time for my family to warm to the idea, but they’re starting to accept my decision to be veggie on the condition that I continue to eat fish until the end of the year. So far I don’t miss meat at all. Unfortunately, where I live there are almost no vegetarian fake-meats like Quorn, but I have recently discovered halloumi, a type of salty-tasting cheese with a meat-like texture, and I love it!

Let me know what your opinion is. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me 🙂 Have an awesome day,

Hope x

Motivate Yourself to Work Out! 10 Tips

86f68445e3b8f371e8e7285c005ed59fYes, summer is here, I’ve been waiting all year to have the time and weather to work out and… wait why am I still lying on the sofa eating chips?

Sound familiar? Yep, I am no fitness role model. I used to be pretty sporty but with so little time and energy I’ve become lazy with doing exercise. But now is time for a change. I want to get this back under control. Here I’ve compiled a list of tips to make the daunting task of working out simple and fun!

  1. Create a routine: This is one of the most important things to do. It takes 21 days to start a habit, right? If working out becomes a habit it will get so much easier. Find out what time suits you best; early in the morning? Before dinner?

    Here I am finishing 3k in a competition in Copenhagen. I completed it here in 13m03sec, and the first time I ran this distance I took 17mins! This just shows how much you can improve through training.
    Here I am finishing 3k in a competition in Copenhagen. I completed it here in 13m03sec, and the first time I ran this distance I took 17mins! This just shows how much you can improve through training.

    Set an alarm on your phone and lay out your clothes so you don’t forget!

  2. Start with something low intensity that’s easy to maintain, then build it up: When my anxiety and depression got really bad, I had no energy to run anymore. Instead, I started doing yoga videos on Youtube. It’s lower intensity, but it’s great for muscle strength and flexibility. My favourite Youtubers for yoga are Yoga with Adriene and Madeleine Shaw. Another alternative is pilates, I recommend Blogilates on Youtube. You can also start by walking, then introduce interval running, before switching to running.
  3. Create a board of motivational quotes on Pinterest: This can be really helpful in encouraging you to work out. You can check out my Sport Pinterest board if you’re interested.
  4. Work out with a friend: It can be much more fun to exercise together. Decide to meet up once or twice a week to go to the gym, or instead of meeting to catch up over coffee, why not go for a run together instead?
  5. Document your progress: Write down how you feel after every workout, this is great to convince you to get out the door! Why not time yourself doing a certain activity, and write down your improvements. 599e4e825c7c8553e1ebb8991201d599
  6. Buy new workout clothes: You won’t be able to wait bursting out the door in your new kit! I love buying new running shoes, it works well to motivate me.
  7. Remind yourself of the benefits of exercise: Write a list and stick it on your mirror. Examples include; boost endorphins, cardiovascular health, muscle gain, fat loss, improve mental health etc.
  8. Create a list of short and long-term goals: This is a great way to document your progress and motivate yourself to work out. You could also enter competitions or races, to motivate you to train for them!
  9. Music and fitness apps: Create an upbeat music playlist to listen to when you work out. I also use the Runtastic app, it tracks your speed and how far you run, so that you can compare your performance.
  10. Keep a postive mindset: Don’t beat yourself up when you skip a session! Reward yourself when you work out. You could put 50cent into a money jar after every workout.

I hope you enjoyed these simple tips and feel somewhat inspired to work out! My work out routine is mainly comprised of running, swimming and yoga. Let me know what sort of things you do to exercise!

Thanks so much for all the love and support, it means a lot to me ❤

Hope x

Why I Don’t Eat Red Meat

Hello again! How are you doing today? I’d love to share with you the reasons that I gave up red meat and became a pesco-pollo vegetarian. I’ve been doing this for over 3 months now and I’m really happy that I’ve made this change to my diet.

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Just look how cute we are! ❤

Before I start I would just like to say that yes, I believe chickens and fish have feelings too. Ideally in the future I would love to become fully vegetarian, or switch to a plant-based diet, but for now I’m taking it in small steps. I believe that cutting out red meat is better than not doing anything at all.

  1. Animal Welfare: this was a big factor for me when I made my decision to stop consuming red meat. I feel like the treatment of the animals is something that we prefer to ignore when eating our steaks and sausages. Just go on Youtube and see how cows, sheep and pigs who are bred for meat are treated. I am a big animal lover, and it kind of made my burger look less appetising after I’d educated myself about where it came from.
  2. Environment: red meat production creates the most CO2 pollution of any type of meat. 53 gallons of drinking water also goes into producing one quarter-pound hamburger. If we all switched to other meat alternatives, less trees would be cut down to create grazing pastures, and the grain used to feed the cattle could be given to people instead.
  3. Health: another factor that I took into consideration was my own health. Red meat is the leat healthy of all meat types, all the nutrients it contains can also be obtained from other sources. Consuming red meat increases your risk of heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes. A study at Harvard found a link between meat consumption and decreased life-span as well!
  4. Taste: when I asked myself what my first step should be to becoming more vegetarian, it seemed pretty obvious that I should give up red meat due to my personal taste preferences. I’d much prefer to eat chicken or fish than steak or lamb for example.

I hope you found this interesting and maybe learned something new. Personally, I didn’t find the transition that hard at all. We don’t tend to eat a massive amount of red meat at home, and there are always alternatives at restaurants. I did miss salami quite a lot at the start, but the longer I go without eating red meat, the less it actually appeals to me. If you’re considering giving up red meat or becoming vegetarian, make sure that you are getting sufficient nutrients from other sources, like protein and iron for example.

Hope x

Quick Update: sorry I haven’t been posting for a while my lovelies, I have exams beginning on Thursday 😦 I also got bitten by a mosquito on Friday and the bite has swollen up so much! I think I’m allergic :/ Apart from constantly applying Fenistil, I’ve been enjoying the sunshine and plenty of coffee  🙂 love you all xx