I’ve been writing Fitness On Toast for a year now – it’s been huge fun, the response has surprised me enormously, and has taken me on some fabulous adventures! A big thank you to everyone who has supported the blog, for reading, for browsing aimlessly, for your lovely emails and heartening comments… I’d like to propose a toast to fitness; let’s make 2014 the healthiest year yet! Now I don’t want to sound like a spoil sport, and a bit of a tipple is called for around this time of year, but to help you along, I’m reposting this “Alcohol vs Fitness” article I wrote at the start of 2013, as it’s totally relevant for this evening :D! HAPPY NEW YEAR xx (more…)
I’m still splashing away in the pool, learning to swim the front crawl for the fabulous cause that is Sainsbury’s Sport Relief, kicking off on March the 23rd 2014 at the epic Olympic pool. Anyone can take part and if swimming isn’t your cup of tea there’s also the cycle / marathon . You’ll be getting fit for 2014 (the classic resolution) whilst raising money for some of the poorest in the world. Why not sign up?! Check it out HERE!
You might notice that whilst I’m rattling on about swimming, I’m not in a pool in these pictures (shot outside the newly re-opened Kenwood House, just at the top of London’s Bishops Avenue, aka Billionaires Row). Yes, it’s hard to swim through air, but this post is actually about training the small stabiliser muscles that comprise the shoulder; it’s usually these smaller ones that are susceptible to strains in the pool, and are often neglected when you train in the gym. To build them up and prevent injury, there are a few simple exercises you can do with just a trusty resistance band…
Dear Santa, I’ve been really healthy (almost) all year and I intend to be next year as well; after a festive wander through Harrods, here are my 18 top fitness gift ideas that’ll certainly help keep me on track through 2014; including some clothes, trainers, workout equipment, healthy food & drink and other gym knick-knacks. The sort of thing any fitness freak like me would love to open in just a fortnight’s time! 😉 Faya x (more…)
As per my previous post here, the Sport Relief Swimathon March 2014 is just around the corner and I’m burning off my early dose of mince pies in the pool – whilst raising cash for an awesome cause! ‘HOW ARE YOU GETTING ON WITH THAT, FAYA?’ I hear you ask? Well, one minor setback is that I can’t swim… the front crawl (which is the mandatory stroke)! Thankfully, Charlie to the rescue! She’s a fantastic and painfully-tough swimming coach who also happens to be a sports therapist working with Watford Football Club, & will be coaching me all the way into the Queen Elizabeth Olympic pool.
This post contains a ‘Progress Report’ from week 1, as well as the BENEFITS OF SWIMMING, as I see it. As the months go on, I’ll be blogging about my aquatic experiences & fitness tips/tricks along the way, as well as running through the stretching routines, land training, injury-prevention exercises, nutrition, etc. (more…)
I’ve received quite a few emails asking about my breakfast ideas recently. One of my all-time favourite ways to start the day is with my “home made uber-muesli’ recipe. But when that’s not available, here’s another timeless classic that takes a mere 5-10 minutes to whip up (probably the right amount of time to spend preparing your meal in the morning anyway) – the ‘Poached eggs & Salmon on toast‘. It works as ‘wake-up fuel’ for so many reasons; Salmon is high in protein with 22 grams per 100 (good for muscle repair and growth), and is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids – ‘good’ fats which help reduce inflammation, improve cell function, and have been shown to promote an improved brain function. It’s low in cholesterol and sodium, and has 0 grams of carbohydrates, fibre and sugar. The eggs are also high in protein (13g protein per 100g), very low in carbohydrates (1g per 100g). Add in some wholewheat or gluten free toast and you’re done! I personally use Burgen Soya & Linseed bread on occasion – it’s hearty, low-GI, nutrient-rich and sustains me until my mid-morning snack 🙂 See MORE for how-to and ingredients… Faya x (more…)
I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve been asked to take part in the first ever ‘Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games’ next year, running from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd March 2014. I think it’s such an awesome way to combine fitness with a very charitable cause, and represents a great goal or milestone date to aim for (which I always find a massive help with my fitness targets!)
The three fundraising events they’ve got scheduled are 1) the Mile, 2) the Swimathon and 3) the Cycle. You can run, swim and/or cycle your way to raising cash at around a thousand venues up and down the country. The Swimathon (my chosen event) takes place in the landmark Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, (THE venue of the London 2012 Olympics) where I’ll be swimming for a good cause – so ecstatic!
PROBLEM: Since I can only swim the breaststroke and not the required crawl, (oh dear!) the swimathon is going to be a huge challenge! But I’ve always wanted to learn and this is the perfect opportunity. Let the training commence! The great thing about this charity is it doesn’t matter how sporty or fit you are, there’s something for everyone to choose from and whatever event you pick every mile counts, because the money raised will be used by Comic Relief to help transform the lives of some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people both in the UK and around the world.
So why not sign up!?! It’s half price until mid Jan, and after the indulgent festivites around the corner – I’m talking about Christmas and New Year’s eve celebrations – surely this event comes at the perfect time to add some energy and focus back into your workout routine. Getting into a healthy cycle, knowing that every run, every swim and/or ride is for a tremendously important cause, that’s part of the fun on this one!
March is just over 4 months away so I’m starting my training now and hopefully by the time I need to jump in the Olympic Pool I’ll be able not only to crawl but also complete the full length in a decent time. I’ll keep you updated through the blog, Twitter and Instagram on how I’m getting on and what I’m learning through my training. HERE I GO! 🙂
If, like me, you’re passionate about a healthy lifestyle and you love to read to indulge the habit, then stay tuned; from now on I’ll be impartially reviewing fitness books which have struck a chord with me for some reason or another. I love discovering new and exciting fitness / health ideas – whether it’s a different system of eating, training or thinking, there’s always something new to consider. However, there’s far too much ‘ego’ in the fitness industry and whilst some might claim otherwise, I do think that you never stop learning, even if you already know alot, as perhaps somebody’s story can inspire and motivate you to try something different & get off your bum! Pick and choose the bits you do agree with, and leave the rest, like a little pick-n-mix bag of fitness ideas (yum, sweets!).
Click MORE below to read about the radical change methodology I’ve got in the picture above, written by one of the world’s foremost body composition experts – a very good read!
I got the sudden urge for a healthy ‘kitchen experiment’, so here’s my very first attempt to make salmon fish cakes. If I may say so myself, experiment success! They taste yum! See ‘more’ to get detail on nutritional value of Salmon & the other tasty asian-inspired ingredients – and good luck! Faya x
In a bid to make Fitness On Toast more practical / useful this holiday season, this is the first post in a line of travel-related fitness ideas which I’ll be posting over the coming months. The first part of the holiday can be the most difficult, as you relax and sink into ‘holiday indulgence mode’. Before even reaching your fabulous holiday destination, it’s not unusual to have eaten your body weight in tempting travel chocolates whilst waiting out a delay! Being stuck in an airport waiting – bored, hungry, tired and emotional – is no fun, and the odds seem impossibly stacked against you to stay healthy. It’s often the case of grabbing a quick bagel, bag of crisps and a soda. Junk foods, like air, can be found anywhere, anytime. But unlike air, they should be occasional treats and not meals of laziness. In the pic below (all of them shot in Paris, en route to the South of France on the TGV), I’m tucking into a healthy and exotic fruit salad – a travelling gift from FOT‘s friends at the fabulous Buddha Bar Hotel, teamed with a Starbucks tall Green Tea for a hydrating metabolism boost! If you can’t muster up the enthusiasm to make your own healthy travelling meal here are 8 tips & tricks to stay away from all the refined simple carbohydrates and filthy factory foods when you’re jetting off… Bon voyage 🙂 Faya x
1. STOCK UP: Make sure to have a nutritious, sustaining breakfast/lunch/dinner before you even leave the house.
2. DRINK UP: Stay hydrated. Recirculated air-conditioned airplane air is draining, and when you’re already dehydrated you’ll feel even hungrier as your body recognises that it needs *something*!
3. PLAN AHEAD: Bring your own snacks – you control the content – think nuts, seeds, fruit, water – at least until you get to your detstination and can enjoy a proper meal!
4. CHEW SOMETHING: Chewing Gum is a sweet stimulation, to simulate sugar intake, and trick the brain into thinking its meal time. Not great on a totally empty stomach though, as it raises acid levels.
5. GO GREEN: Salads with some protein are a totally fair option if available, but be sure to check fat/salt content of things like the dressing – often a hidden calorie bomb!
6. SIZE MANAGEMENT: Watch your portions – nibbling little and often is better for the body’s natural metabolic pace.
7. MEET THE CHALLENGE: Being a bit hungry isn’t the end of the world and won’t kill you. Many swear that it raises mental alertness as you head into ‘forraging’ mode!
8. SLEEP IT OFF: Low in blood sugar? Feeling tired? Zzzz… far better than scoffing a packet of crisps and chocolate bar for the sake of it!
Click HERE for more to see the rest of the pics from sunny Paris 🙂