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health

Let go of the six pack. How to change the families health and fitness.

After my second child I struggled.  I struggled to have a consistent habit that had pre kids, and even with the first where I did yoga every day and stay super fit and healthy.  The addition of the second tipped the scales literally.  There were two slightly different routines, life was so much busier and we were comfortable.

The only key was to change the family, and not just myself.  Every time I just changed myself it was like constantly that upward battle.  It was not that my kids were unhealthy in fact the opposite they love vedgetables, and being outside.  However, when I shaped everything as a family holistically it clicked.

Little habits that made a difference:

- Running with the kids to nursery and kindergarten while they were on the scooter

- Swimming lessons every Saturday

- Teaching my kids yoga even if it was a shorter version

- Building muscle as well with kettle bells

Continuing with:

- Letting the kids serve themselves and understand portions

- Likewise for me but also using smaller plates

- Swapping so much wine for lemon and pomegranate iced water

- Swapping milky tea for mint

- 2 or 3 vegetable choices every meal

- Limited packaged or processed food

These were the habits that worked for us. We are fit and healthy, I would not say super fit anymore as gone are the times where I can fit in 2 hours of exercise upwards each day, and nor do I want to (no six pack).  I want to play and cuddle with the kids.  The play time habits just incorporate family fit and healthy.  

I met and teamed up with Arriane Eva Morrin who changes lives in this way.  It's not about big changes or six packs.  In my experience you let go of that.  It is about healthy habits that change your life in a permanent way for a fit, healthy and happy family.

The 4 week programme starts from 24th June http://www.whatifihadapa.com/4-weeks-family-fit-and-healthy-program 

The 5 Minute Quick Super Green Lemon Soup

The 5 Minute Quick Super Green Lemon Soup

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Ingredients for the super green lemon soup simply assemble them all.  I use organic.
Ingredients for the super green lemon soup simply assemble them all. I use organic.

For the days when you are working and going from meeting to meeting, call to call but your body needs that nutrition and energy this is my quick and easy hit.  There are somedays where I need to say I just need to pee, as a mother working it's tough, so this is recipe and my nutribullet are my saviour.  This is great for busy mums.

Chuck the rest of the ingredients into the nutribullet except from the lemon and Nigella seeds.  You need only the juice of the lemon.
Chuck the rest of the ingredients into the nutribullet except from the lemon and Nigella seeds. You need only the juice of the lemon.
Then you have lunch in Max 5 minutes full of lovely alkaline vegetables and citrus fruit, and energy you could change the type of nuts you use from cashews to almonds.
Then you have lunch in Max 5 minutes full of lovely alkaline vegetables and citrus fruit, and energy you could change the type of nuts you use from cashews to almonds.

Downloadable Recipe or Follow the Instructions Below

5 Minute Super Green Lemon Soup

Ingredients

Super Green Lemon Soup

2 bunches of spinach

1 kale leaf

1 spring onion

1 bunch parsley

1 lemon juice

Handful of almonds

1 cup coconut water

Nigella seeds (to sprinkle)

Maldon salt

Equipment: Nutribullet, Lemon Squeezer (optional) you can use a fork if you don’t have one.

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients into the nutribullet
  2. Blend

Total time: 5 minutes

Great Falafel Recipe - A Mothers Working Iron Hit

Great Falafel Recipe - A Mothers Working Iron Hit

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IMG_0635 These falafels are full of flavour and goodness.

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Onion and garlic add flavour

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Spices, egg, herbs and flour bind and tease the palate with textures and flavour.

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A great falafel recipe serve hot with salad in 30 minutes.

Falafels

14 On Demand Fitness Resource - My Journey How to Get Fit After Children

14 On Demand Fitness Resource - My Journey How to Get Fit After Children

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www.whatifihadapa.com 14 @ home fitness resources on demand How to Get Fit After Children

The day I gave birth my life changed for ever, and in so many ways.  One thing that changed is 'me time' and the rarity of even being able to go for pee myself.  The girl that was training for yoga every day in a great studio, and would join classes faded away.  However, it was when I needed it most.  I had a new community of an enlarged family and other mothers, but that feeling I got after a class, that time I gave to myself and health would never be the same.

 

I had a choice I could either keep on trying to fit into the life I had, or ask the question what is stopping you.  The truth was that travelling by train and tram for 45 minutes to the studio there and back, completing a 90 minute class, showering and wait time would cost me 200 minutes.  What was stopping me was that my life no longer had 200 minutes.  Don't get me wrong I would not trade the life I have the way I spend 200 minutes now is packed full of getting s*** done, and so much laughter, smiles and craziness with the family.  It just took time to have a new lifestyle.

One of the things that has helped is health and fitness @home.  My Mum used to come in and teach the home economics, so a to of the health is a real passion for food which has evolved with time sensitive recipes for being a busy mother working.  For fitness I fell in love with my home practice, and have perused all the top 14 of the best @home fitness.  As I did I homed into 3 questions:

 

How to Sustain Fitness After Having Children?

1. When can I make time - even if it's 5 minutes? I get up early and can make 30 to 60 minutes before the kids are up. If I have a crazy day I can fit in 5. 2. What am I passionate about to sustain 'choice' ?  For me it's Yoga and Running.  I focus on the feeling after it motivates me, I know how I am going to feel even if I just do Pranayama and Sun Salutation. 3. Where can I find it on demand to fit into my schedule? I need on demand. I can't be fixed to schedules because I work, and travel.  So as well as a home practice I substitute with Cody, Yogadownload (great as I can download) and Peloton (my hubby and I used to love spinning but we cannot get to a class and it is something we can do together or on a crappy day outside ;)).

The 14 of the best @home on demand fitness cannot be ranked because the answers to 1 to 3 will vary.  The key is to understand what matters to you, so we reviewed: cost, access, availability, choice, schedules and additional add on's available to help other women who want to get fit, but whose life no longer fits with their old life.

They are to fit you and your life now.

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Links to all 14

https://www.youtube.com/user/blogilates

https://www.youtube.com/user/ToneItUpcom

https://www.youtube.com/user/FitnessBlender

https://www.youtube.com/user/ZuzkaLight

https://www.codyapp.com

http://dailyburn.com/?s1

http://www.fitnessglo.com

https://www.pelotoncycle.com/app

https://udaya.comhttp://suzannebowenfitness.com/streaming-workouts/

https://www.wello.com

http://www.yogadownload.com

http://apogeelife.com/videos/

https://www.youtube.com/user/BeFit

Rainbow Sundays

DTJT4973 Sunday the last day of the weekend where we are packing everything into family time at this time of year is full of skiing.  It's usually the day where I am feeling tired and buzzing from lot's of memories, but also wanting to wind down a bit with the Monday start just one sleep away.  A favourite which takes the maximum of 30 minutes to pull together when we get back is a rainbow of vegetables, and dips.

Tahini Dip

Whizz in the blender: Tahini 1 Tbsp, garlic 1 bulb, Raspberry Honey 1/2 Tsp (from a family friend), Lemon Juice 2 Tbsp, Maldon Salt 1/2 Pinches, Water (until the right consistency).

Courgette and Tahini Dip

Courgette x 2 griddle panned, 2 Tbsp Tahini, 3/4 bulbs of Garlic, Tub of Coconut Yoghurt, Bunch of Fresh Mint

Vegetables Raw

Grated Raw Carrots - Yellow (sometimes I add Nigella seeds), Grated beetroots (with Lemon and flat leaf Parsley.

Roasted Vedgetables

Sweet Potato, Potatoes, Courgettes

Staying Fit with Kids - Time Hacks

Staying fit with kids brings out creativity in any parent, because time is short and precious.

  1. Getting up early at the top of the list for more time in the day, but it can frustrate night owls. As an early bird, getting up at 5 gives me so much more time in my day to ensure I get to go for either a run or do yoga.
  2. Boiling the kettle. I plank when I am boiling the kettle, this activity started when I took on a 30-day plank challenge. A quarter full kettle takes about 2.30 Minutes. You can extend the length of time as you build up endurance. This makes use of otherwise wasted time just waiting for the kettle to boil, working your core; ingenious!
  3. Clean eating, metabolism boosters and cleansers. Hot water and lemon, some Aloe Vera and eating clean no processed food means that no time is wasted in trying to repair any damage created by unhealthy foods.
  4. Lunch breaks are a great time for a working mothers or fathers to get out into the fresh air, build muscle and stimulate the natural renewal with a run.
  5. Getting in to work early means that you can leave a little earlier and be back before the kids get home, which allows you to do mediation or yoga working each muscle, and increasing you flexibility as well as health.
  6. A healthy sex life is in itself a work out without being crude; invest time for yourself and your partner, as well as increasing the heart rate.
  7. A healthy night’s sleep is just as important as eating right and exercising. I’m in bed by the latest 10 ready for an energy packed ‘tomorrow.’

Balance a new equation - 5 reasons your career is not = to success

Balance a new equation - 5 reasons your career is not = to success

The Balance Equation

Balance

  • Your career will not secure your health. Indeed nothing will, but time spent on exercise, nutrition and a healthy balance will lead to better long-term health.
  • Your career will not build the personal relationship with your family and friends.  Some of the biggest regrets have been time with partners, or children.  On their death bed no one ever said “I wish I would have spent more time on my job.”
  • Your career will not pick you up, or look after you when you are sick or feeling low.  I have had 2 friends who have recently burnt out.  This has led to some deep reflection of what do I have?  What does it mean?  They realise that all these years of focus on the wrong thing has cost them a lot.
  • Your career will not support you emotionally in retirement.  My mum retired this year she has worked hard since the age of 15, but always had a balance.  Every time I call home she is out catching up with old school friends, friends, salsa, at yoga and next year she is travelling for 6 months.  She has friendships that she has vested in for over 60 years, and which still give her a rich emotional quality of life.
  • Your career is not there in the morning to give you cuddles or long lasting memories. Your partner and children are.

Yes a career can provide financial stability, and a sense of achievement in the mental stimulation that a person may need, and the results they deliver.  It may even provide connections to people who become lifelong friends.  However, it is the actions outside of our career that provide the physical and emotional requirements that we need.  To live a truly balanced life we should not let that mental and financial requirement supersede the physical and emotional needs.

The next level of complexity is that it is not just about your financial, physical, emotional and mental requirements that provide balance. It is the balance of your requirements and whoever else exits in your unit for example: your partner, and children.

A Different Way To Get Kids To Eat Vegetables

A Different Way To Get Kids To Eat Vegetables

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I'm writing this as last night my 2 year old thumped at the fridge, wailed and screamed at me.  I asked her to show me what she wanted. I thought she was going to point to yoghurt, but she opened the vegetable tray and pulled out the Romanesco Broccoli!  As you are reading this, you are probably going really!  Well those were my thoughts last night.  She loved vegetables earlier on, but then had a rebellion.  So what worked, I explained food to her in her words.  A bit like my parents used to I guess  "carrots help you to see". 1.  Do you want to Jump?  If you eat Broccoli you will be able to jump.  Does Mummy eat vegetables? 'Yes.' Can mummy jump?  'Yes.'

This isn't far from the truth we 'adults' just think in terms of vitamin D and Calcium.  This meant nothing to my daughter neither did the concept of being healthy.  What meant more was talking about it in ways that meant something to her, what she would be able to do.  This concept can be applied to other foods high in Vitamin D and Calium: Oily Fish, White Mushrooms, Whole Milk, Kale, Eggs, Oatmeal, Almonds, Oranges, Kale and Raw Spinach to name but a few.

2.  Do you want to be able to skip?  Well to be able to skip your brain needs to co-ordinate.  In our language vitamin B12 which is in: Mackerel, Swiss Cheese, Feta Cheese, Cured Ham, Sardines, Eggs, Salmon, Chicken, Whole Milk, Tuna, Fortified Tofu.

3.  Do you want to be able to see in the dark?  This is the old chestnut that my mum used.  Vitamin A can prevent nighttime blindness, eye inflammation, and dry eyes.  However, it is not just carrots rich in the vitamin, other sources include: Sweet Potatoes, Cod Liver Oil, Red Peppers, Paprika, Mangos, Whole Milk, Butternut Squash, Dried Basil, Kale, Peas, Dried Apricots, Spinach and Papaya.

I continue apply this to everything.  To get more informed about what vitamins and properties are in each food I use the following source http://bembu.com/vitamin-rich-foods.

Hope it helps someone else.  I know that there are many ways to encourage healthy eating, but this has worked for me.

Sweet Potato and Polenta Pizza

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This is so healthy and yummy. It was one of those accidental concoctions but has ended up being a favourite in the house, that I thought I would share.

Chilli optional ;)

Top 5 Energy Foods to Max My Day

The simple things in life keep me going.

Surrounding myself with people who build energy, getting up early for yoga that energises me all day, and feeding myself with energy boosting foods. The last recipe is my favourite and has both broccoli and chickpeas so gives a double boost.

1. Banana Smoothie

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My smoothies are made up everyday.  Just get creative or use what's there so you do not chuck out fruit.  Banana, milk and honey.  Try: dates, strawberries, blueberries or raspberries. Sometimes I add yoghurt or porridge oats.

2. Avocado Fries - Sunset Magazine

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Canola oil for frying
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp kosher salt
2 large eggs, beaten to blend
1 1/4 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
2 firm-ripe medium avocados, pitted, peeled, and sliced into 1/2-in. wedges

Grated parmesan for serving (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 200°. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 1/2 in. oil until it registers 375° on a deep-fry thermometer.

2. Meanwhile, mix flour with 1/2 tsp. salt in a shallow plate. Put eggs and panko in separate shallow plates.

3. Sprinkle the avocado slices with the remaining ½ tsp salt.  Dip each slice in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in egg, then panko to coat. Set on 2 plates in a single layer.

3. Fry a quarter of avocado slices at a time until deep golden, 30 to 60 seconds. Transfer slices to a plate lined with paper towels. Keep warm in oven while cooking remaining avocados. Sprinkle with salt and a little grated parmesan.

Chickpeas

3. Spinach Polenta Pizza - NY Times

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1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, more for pan

1/2 cup milk, preferably whole

Salt

1 cup coarse cornmeal

Freshly ground black pepper

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 cup (about 4 ounces) chopped pancetta

1 pound spinach, washed, trimmed and dried

1 to 1 1/2 cups Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled.

1. Heat oven to 450 degrees; brush a layer of olive oil on apizza pan or cookie sheet. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine milk with 2 1/2 cups water and a large pinch of salt. Bring just about to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and add cornmeal in a steady stream, whisking all the while to prevent lumps from forming. Turn heat to low and simmer, whisking frequently, until thick, 10 or 15 minutes. If mixture becomes too thick, whisk in a bit more water; you want a consistency approaching thick oatmeal.

2. Stir 1 tablespoon oil into cooked cornmeal (polenta). Spoon it onto prepared pan, working quickly so polenta does not stiffen; spread it evenly to a thickness of about 1/2 inch all over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, cover baking sheet with plastic wrap and put it in refrigerator until it is firm, an hour or more (you can refrigerate polenta overnight if you prefer).

3. Put polenta in oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it begins to brown and crisp on edges. Meanwhile, put two tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and pancetta is nicely browned, about 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to take onion and pancetta out of pan; set aside. Add spinach to skillet and sauté until it releases its water and pan becomes dry; sprinkle with salt and lots of pepper.

4. Take polenta out of oven, sprinkle with Gorgonzola, then spread onion-pancetta mixture and spinach evenly on top of cheese; drizzle with another tablespoon olive oil. Put pizza back in oven for two minutes, or until cheese begins to melt and pancetta and vegetables are warmed through. Cut into slices and serve hot or at room temperature.

4 and 5. Broccoli and Chickpea Fritters - Ottolenghi

Otelenghi fritters

These are all my favourite things in one recipe - Broccoli, Chickpeas and Pomegranate on the salad

Ingredients
1 small Romanesco Broccoli, cut into florets
1/2 cup of Chickpeas, soaked overnight and cooked for 15 minutes
small handful of fresh Parsley, chopped
1 clove of Garlic, minced
1 small Onion, finely chopped
2 Eggs
1 tsp ground Cumin
1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Tumeric
Salt & Pepper
Cooking Oil
1 Pomegranate, seeds removed
1 heart of Radicchio, sliced
1 tbsp Honey
1/2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup of Greek Yogurt
1/2 Lime, zest and juice
Olive Oil

Recipe
Start by getting a small pan of water to boiling point. Add the broccoli florets to the pan and cook for 10 minutes or until very soft. When they're cooked add them to a blender to mash. You don't want to puree them so just buzz slowly leaving some small chunks. Add the mashed broccoli to a bowl, then buzz the chickpeas and add them to the bowl. Now add your onion, garlic, fresh parsley and the dried spices. Give it a little mix then crack the eggs in, season well and give it all a proper mix to ensure everything is coated.

Put the bowl to one side, and heat a frying pan with 1 cm of cooking oil. I used rapeseed because it has a high burning point and is cheap and in abundance in Britain, but you can use sunflower or vegetable oil too. Don't bother using olive oil at this point, it will give the fritters a nasty bitter taste. When the oil is hot, take a dessert spoon and spoon the mixture into the oil , if your frying pan is large enough you should be able to do about four at a time. Cook on a medium heat for 2-3 minutes on each side until lightly browned. Then put them on kitchen towel to absorb the oil.

To make the dip, simple mix the yoghurt with about 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley, then add the lime zest and juice and season with salt and pepper. Done!

For the salad, you want to put your pomegranate seeds in a bowl with it's juices, then add the honey, balsamic vinegar and about 1 tablespoon of good olive oil. Give it a quick whisk, then season with salt but skip the pepper. Add the Radicchio leaves and give the whole thing a good toss.

This tastes just amazing with the salad and parsley dip. Enjoy!

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