Posts tagged 'faya'

SNOW BIGGIE, JUST RUN !!!

All the magazines I read try to sell me aspirational premium sportswear, which is great, but sometimes I don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on a new training look. With that in mind, I’m loving H&M’s new sporty range at the moment!

In all the pics below, I’m wearing a new pair of Hennes ‘sports tights’ as they call them. Printed-pattern pants continue to be a huge trend this spring/summer. These tights come with an elasticated waist, they are super comfy, functional, breathable, and have a funky jungle print (!!). Best of all, they’re just £15 (!).

And yes, it’s minus 3 degrees and snowy in London this morning but this jogger (me), to her surprise isn’t feeling cold at all – rather refreshed and very awake! A run in the snow is twice as peaceful, especially on this picturesque 4.5 mile route around the Maida vale canal – lovely! http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=5795165

See all the pics here… Faya x

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BREAK THE FAST !!!

 

Breakfast – the most important meal of the day – today I made it a healthy bowl of fruit salad, a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, and afterwards, a bowl of porridge. Ready to take on the day! Happy saturday! Faya x

MY VEGETABLE RECOVERY JUICE

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It’s snowing in London to round off the week, & I thought that being a Swede / Viking / Thor, I’d be used to this kind of weather by now, but no, BRRRRRR! If you’re feeling a little under-the-weather but still want to keep up your energy to train, this recipe may come in handy. It’s my ‘Vegetable Recovery Juice’, and it’s immune boosting, packed with vitamins, minerals & antioxidants, low calorie, rich in dietary fibre, and could be just what you need to get the weekend started. It is also be the perfect hangover cure to end the weekend. Either way, have it this weekend!

Grab these gorgeous veggies next time you’re passing a shop (Braeburn apples, Jaffa oranges, carrots and parsley – all organic). Wash, peel, chop, and then blend with water until it’s smoothie-texture. It takes max 10 mins to make, and you can store any extra in the fridge for tomorrow! It’s thick and very filling. The juice is packed with iron (for blood oxygenation and strength), vitamin C (neutralises harmful free radicals, boosts immune system), vitamin A (for healthy sight) and folic acid (anti-carcinogenic, immune-boosting & anti-inflammatory properties).

Some  extra benefits ? READ MORE

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DOES MY TUM LOOK BIG IN THIS ???

Ab workout by the pond at Regent’s Park – throw on a hoodie, no excuses and no membership required!

One of my clients’ most frequent questions is how to get the illustrious ‘six pack’. There are of course health benefits to training the abdominal area (reduces risk of lower back pain, promotes improved posture etc.), but when it comes to ‘abs’, health seems secondary to cosmetics! First, if the stomach isn’t flat, there’s likely too much fat being stored; sit-up after sit-up won’t help, as they burn fewer calories vs. proper cardio. ‘Spot training’ simply doesn’t work for this.

The solution is genuinely simple – reduce body fat by increasing activity, whilst controlling calorie intake – abs then will begin to show definition of their own accord. Exercises can improve the shape and bulk of the muscles, but they won’t show unless the fat layer goes first. To do that, above all, engage and work the transversus abdominal muscle, which acts as a muscular corset connecting the upper and lower body, holding in the waist. Try to hit the stomach muscles from all angles. Here’s a 3-point attack plan, with photos! …. (more…)

GO COCO-NUTS !!!


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This recipe for my super-nutritious Asian Coconut Broth is meant to prove that Asian food can not only be incredibly full on flavour, but can also be very healthy. To tick the ever-important protein box, I’ve thrown in prawns, but chicken also works fine with this dish (see photo below). To make it interesting, I’ve given it some more substance by adding quinoa (a low GI seed which packs a complete protein, as discussed in my previous post ‘Nature’s Protein’, here). I’ve also used coconut milk, which apart from being gluten and cholesterol-free, is very rich in manganese (to balance blood sugar), calcium and phosphorus (for bone strength), iron (1 cup provides 25% of your daily requirement, for energy & healthy blood oxygenation), vitamin C (for immune health) and mounds of dietary fibre. Note, coconut milk whilst rich on flavour, is relatively high in fat (20g saturated fat per 100g milk, but no transfat) therefore I only used half a tin, and diluted it with an equal part of water, which still gives it all the taste it needs. Lime gives the dish a sharper kick, but also supercharges the vitamin C content, whilst the flavoursome chilli and ginger raise the body’s metabolic rate, helping you burn your calories quicker! Served piping-hot, it’s a massively hearty (& healthy) option for a midweek meal! Here’s the ingredients list and the ‘how-to’:

Enjoy! Faya x

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FEELING STRETCHED ???

WHY STRETCH ?

Alot of my clients don’t (at first) think they need to stretch. Some don’t see the value. Some think they should be lifting something instead, or running somewhere. Some think they’ll (embarrassingly) never be able to reach their toes! BUT by stretching for a few minutes, you will see and feel the benefits. Here are  just 6 (of many) reasons why I consider it vitally important to stretch, in no particular order!

1) Reduces your risk of injury drastically, and keeps you mobile as your body matures.
2) Improves your flexibility, by increasing the range of motion of a joint by stretching out the surrounding soft tissue (i.e. muscles tendons & ligaments)
3) Speeds muscle recovery – after an intense workout, the muscles remain in a partially-contracted state, and by not stretching afterwards, you will feel stiff and sore for longer. Stretching relaxes, elongates and softens the muscles which is important for both strength and endurance training.
4) Creates correct muscle balance – failing to stretch regularly after workouts can lead to problems with posture, & muscle imbalance. Consider someone who sits at a desk for 10 hours everyday, some of his / her muscles will naturally become tighter, others weaker. For example, the hip flexors will be in a mildly contracted state whilst seated, and after a while the hip flexor can tilt the pelvis forward, causing the spine to round, which leads to pack pain. So even if you’re not working out, stretching out the pelvis, hip flexor, back, neck and shoulders for a few minutes every day, will help your body stay conditioned.
5) Improves balance – by increasing the range of motion in joints, it gives the body one fewer reason to impede itself and fall over, as stretching encourages uninhibited movement.
6) Muscular growth – The fascia (fibrous tissue) surrounding muscles is said to limit the amount of space muscles have to grow. By stretching a muscle under a resistance, you can encourage further muscular growth (hypertrophy). Be aware though, Extreme Fascial Stretching (for muscle growth) is very stressful to muscular tissue and can cause injury if not practised properly.

TYPES OF STRETCHING ?

1) PRE WORKOUT ? Dynamic Stretching – always warm up for c. 5 minutes before stretching, making sure the muscles are actively prepared, and then perform dynamic stretches, which effectively means ‘stretching whilst moving’. These stretches should only be held for 3-10 seconds each. Some examples are walking lunges, lunging and reaching, power skipping, knee hugs, quad walks etc.
2) POST WORKOUT ? Static Stretching – these are slow and constant, and each stretch is usually held for 10-30 seconds, during which you’ll consider them mildly uncomfortable. Sometimes they’ll be passive, as someone stretches you out whilst your body relaxes. You should avoid bouncing whilst holding your static stretch, as it can risk tearing muscular fibre. These stretches aren’t designed to make you sweat, rather to lengthen/relax the muscle spindles.

Stretch safe, here are some pics of me having a stretch! Faya x

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SKIPPING – NOT JUST FOR GIRLS !!!

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WHY TO SKIP? Skipping (or ‘jump rope’ in America) is a fantastic way to get fit! 20 minutes of intense skipping can burn 4-500 calories, not to mention the thermogenic after-effects that keep you burning calories all day! Walk into a boxing gym and it’s almost certain that all the boxers there skip – it’s not just for girls! It improves footwork, speed, coordination, stamina, agility, and it strengthens the muscles in your legs as well as your abdominal, back, chest, arms and shoulders muscles. Also it’s relatively low impact on the joints, yet high intensity, which gives a fabulous cardio workout that’s less dangerous and surely less strenuous than running.

HOW TO SKIP?  Beginners, have patience. Skipping is not something you learn the first time so don’t give up in frustration after 5 minutes – stick with it!  If you’re new to skipping, view it as a skill to learn before using it as a tool for conditioning. Once you have learned the skill you can start using it as a full-on workout! I suggest kicking off with frequent ’20-second-then-10-second-break’ skip sessions and extend the duration from there. It helps to practice in front of a mirror, viewed front and side-on. Start with the rope behind you, arms relaxed at your sides and rope on the ground. Use your wrist to turn the rope, keeping the rest of your arms as motionless as possible. As the rope approaches your feet jump lightly (from your toes) over the rope. Stay on the balls of your feet when you jump. Keep your knees slightly bent all along. It’ll feel unnatural at the start, but with a little practise, the technique will come!

WHERE TO SKIP? I recommend a shock absorbing surface – a sprung wooden floor, a gym mat, an outdoor track, or a tennis court. Theses surfaces are kinder to your ankles and feet.

WHAT ROPE TO GET? You’re spoilt for choice! Popular ropes include the speed rope, the digital rope and weighted rope. (Whatever you get make sure the length is correct. The way to measure it is to stand in the middle of the rope, & the handles should come up to your waist, lower ribs – if it reaches your shoulders it’s too long.)

a) The Speed rope: As the name suggests it’s lightweight and great for speed, great for warm ups, it’s cheap, light to carry around, but can make it harder for advanced foot work as it’s unweighted.
b) The digital rope: Through the magic of technology, it enables you to estimate the distance, revolutions of the rope and the amount of calories burnt. It’s similar to the speed rope in the way it’s so light, & therefore harder to do advanced foot work.
c) The weighted Rope:  Weighted handles are great for wrist, forearm and triceps strength.
d) Personal Favourite? I recommend the Nike weighted jump rope – it’s a bit heavier than most speed ropes & it’s great for more complicated foot work. It’s slightly more expensive, but worth the investment I think!

Good luck! Faya x

HIDE UNDER A HAT !!!


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No time to shower after a workout? Need to pick up something at the supermarket? Feel like hiding? Caps are cute and perfect for hiding, and I find the block black and white ones are great as they go with everything in my training wardrobe!

Whilst a cap is a small thing, it’s part of a bigger theory on gym attire; I think it’s worth getting a few key outfits for the gym, including accessories and footwear. It encourages you to go to the gym more, because you’re not going to feel motivated to train whilst putting on a smelly old t-shirt. It’s not a catwalk but you are allowed to look good at the gym, and dedicated training gear can be designed to enhance your performance (e.g. oxygenating, breathable fabrics etc.)! I’ll be posting new gym kit on here…

Back to the cap? I Went to Barcelona a while ago and bought this cap from the Gaudi museum, I think it’s rather fun as it has an F on it (stands for Fitnessontoast, obviously)! These extra photos where taken on the roof spa/gym complex of my hotel.

Happy shopping this weekend, hope you find a great training cap 🙂 Faya x
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CHILI? WARM UP WITH SOUP & +1UP METABOLISM!

This is not just a recipe for soup, it’s a way to trick your metabolism. My Winter Lentil Soup is one of my favourites, and one which is super-quick to make (10 min max – recipe below). It has all of the key nutritional values you’d look for (protein rich thanks to the lentils, plenty of dietary fibre and vitamin-B too), but healthy shouldn’t mean tasteless, so what better way to improve a soup’s flavour than with some fresh chili. I’m frozen on these cold winter days but eating spicy foods can make you feel warm and cosy (and occasionally give you a comically red face!) – in chili this is because of the chemical called ‘capsaicin’, which gives it the heat and potency, and also stimulates a natural process where other food you eat is converted immediately to heat. This process is called thermogenesis, meaning you burn up calories immediately rather than storing them.

So, spicing up a meal with chili significantly increases the pace of thermogenesis. More good news – it often boosts the amount of fat, rather than carbohydrate, that is burned in the process, AND it can reduce appetite. So it’s a natural dieting agent that tastes good! A few more foods that can do the same, you ask? Ginger, mustard, green tea, coconut oil and coffee. Click ‘more’ to see my yummy recipe…

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