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The Skinny

Goodbye Blue Sunday

This sounds really negative but I have never liked Sundays, I’m not sure what it is but there’s just a different feel about a Sunday that doesn’t do it for me. When I was in Canada my blue Sunday feeling literally vanished overnight and Sundays felt like any other day. I lived slap bang in the middle of the city so I’d be out exploring a fair bit, and I also got really into the baseball and basketball. Sunday afternoons or evenings were occupied watching sport which I loved. I was also at the gym most Sundays so that helped pop my endorphins into shape.

Sundays in the UK are a different concept but this year I am determined to kick my blue Sunday feeling into touch. If you’re like me and need to refresh your Sunday try following my top tips to making them a little bit brighter.

  1. A good Sunday starts with a productive Saturday. I know it’s not realistic packing high energy stuff into your whole weekend, but if you have a positive Saturday doing what you love the chances are your Sunday will automatically feel much brighter.
  2. Don’t lie in too long. I slept in until 10am this morning and it was waaaaay too long. It’s good to catch up on sleep but if you have too much snoozy time you’ll spend the rest of the day feeling really lethargic. I know setting an alarm at a weekend sounds like a party pooper thing to do but you’ll benefit from getting up that little bit earlier.
  3. Stretch. I can count on one hand the amount of times I have actually done this, but the times I have, I have felt 100% SO much more awake and alert. Just spend 5 minutes doing a simple stretch like this one and you’ll be happy as Larry all day long.
  4. Eat a good brekkie. Plan your weekend breakfasts out so you have whatever you fancy in the cupboards. It could be porridge, pancakes, a bagel and smoked salmon or fresh fruit. Have something tasty that you really enjoy.
  5. Plan to get fresh air. It’s 4.00pm and I’ve not had enough fresh air today and it’s 100% effecting my mood. It doesn’t matter if it’s raining, snowing or boiling hot. Dressed appropriately and get outside. Just a walk round the block is enough if you’re not up for a 3 hour hike :-)
  6. If you’re a member of a gym go on a Sunday. I love going around 5pm, doing an hour session and then coming home having dinner and getting set for my week ahead.
  7. Read a book, blog, website you like or watch a movie. I know the rules about being on your phone in bed and yes this can effect your sleep but if you like looking on reddit go on reddit before bed. If it chills you out pinning things on Pinterest do it. You’ll know yourself if it’s effecting your sleep and if it is switch to reading a book instead.
  8. See your friends. Sunday’s are meant to be a day of rest so go and chill on your mates couch or meet up and head for a walk. Catching up with loved ones and having a good chin wag will improve your day in an instant.
  9. Draw. I had a colouring in book that I used to use most days. For some reason I’ve stopped colouring but that’s something I will be changing this week.
  10. Listen to some music. Whatever makes you feel jolly and gets you singing out loud. Crank the volume up and get singing.
Work Out
The Skinny

The Gym

I’m aiming to get addicted to the gym. I figure it’s a good addiction to have right? I’ve been making the effort to go at least five times a week and so far so good.

Not only can I feel my body getting stronger (stronger genuinely is better than skinny), my abs are threatening to reveal themselves too which is rather nice of them. It’s also helped keep me focused and in a positive frame of mind. It’s no lie that regularly going to the gym is good for your mental health. I sometimes wake up and feel completely crap, 10 minutes into a gym session and I forget about feeling crap, I am more focused on my fitness goals.

So many of my friends have recently started posting about their own fitness goals, detoxes and runs they have been on and it’s encouraging to see. The summer days ahead and getting in a pair of shorts continues to be my motivation! Whatever yours is just go for it and remember to have a balanced approach to fitness. Eat well, work out hard and give your body enough time to recover.

Gym 17.29.58

eggs
Food & Drink

5 Foods That Will Help To Burn Fat

Whether you’re looking to slim down for the summer season ahead or you’re just looking to adopt a healthy lifestyle, incorporating these foods in your diet can only be a good thing.

Green tea

Step away from the Yorkshire Tea bags and opt for green tea. Packed with anti-oxidants this refreshing drink will give your metabolism a kick start and burn through fat fast. Green tea is also lower in caffeine than black tea and coffee so it’s a great choice if you’re looking to reduce the amount of caffeine in your diet.

Eggs

Boiled, scrambled or poached. Eggs are full of vitamin B12 which contribute to increasing your metabolic rate. Enjoying a couple of eggs for your brekkie can help to break down fat faster.

Fish

Try increasing the amount of fish in your diet as it helps to keep your heart healthy, and yes you guessed it, it helps to boost that all important metabolic rate. Salmon, mackerel and herring are three of the best as they are rich in Omega 3.

Chicken

I don’t mean you should head to KFC here but incorporating chicken into you diet can make a huge difference. Chicken is packed with protein which is essential for maintaining muscle mass. The more muscle mass you have the more efficient you are burning calories. Simple hey!

Brazil Nuts 

These are a great source of unsaturated fat and they digest slowly too which is an added bonus. Pimp up a bowl of cereal by chopping up a couple of brazil nuts and scattering on top.

Colour
The Skinny

Colouring in time

Hands up if you own a colouring book. I have a mini one which is perfectly sized for my handbag and ideal when I’m travelling. I have always been a huge fan of colouring in, I used to love drawing when I was a kid and couldn’t get enough of art class at school.

Being creative doesn’t come naturally to some people but the beauty of colouring books is they encourage people who don’t think they are that creative to pick up a pencil or crayon and just start colouring. Don’t judge me but whenever I’m feeling a little overwhelmed by things I do some colouring in. It instantly starts to make me feel more relaxed (it works an absolute treat if you have a glass of wine too).

I love watching my niece draw and colour and get creative, colouring in shouldn’t just be left to kids though.

Coloring books are stress-relievers, they help reduce anxiety and encourage creativity. There are even colouring clubs, and pretty much every book store has a whole host of colouring books to suit your taste.

If you buy one thing this month I would highly recommend a colouring book. Here’s some cool ones to get you started.

Colouring in

Weekend
The Skinny

It’s the weekend

Life is busy, hectic and on times it can be pretty stressful. Take time out to relax, unwind and recharge. Here’s three ways you can start the process right now!

Music makes you happy

Music is proved to help people relax, unwind and combat depression and insomnia. Stick some of your favourite music on and feel your body and your mind start to feel better.

Head outside 

There is nothing better than getting outside and breathing in some fresh air.

Disconnect

Over the weekend try and disconnect from your phone. Getting away from gadgets and work-related messages will do you the world of good. Saturday and Sunday morning needs to be about waking up slowly and enjoying your breakfast, doing some yoga and relaxing – do not grab that phone!

 

Food & Drink

Tasty Tuesday

 

IMG_1917Looking for some food inspiration? Wondering what to cook for dinner tonight? How about Tilapia salad with a chilli sauce? It actually tastes nicer than it sounds, I promise.

What you need:

  • Tilapia
  • Lettuce or Kale
  • Cucumber (chopped)
  • Red onion (sliced)
  • Cherry tomatoes

For the sauce you’ll need:

  • Chilli
  • Spring onion
  • Butter

How to make it:

This one is pretty simple to make. Cook the fish in the oven – it’s your choice if you want to cook the cheery tomatoes with the fish. Whilst the fish is cooking prepare the salad. You can use lettuce (any variety) or kale depending on what you fancy. Chop the cucumber, slice the red onion and cobble together on a plate. For the sauce, melt a teaspoon of  butter in a pan, add the chilli and spring onion and mix together until warm.

Take the fish out of the oven, place on the salad and place the sauce on the fish. Garnish with balsamic glaze or a salad dressing of your choice.

See, I said it was easy. It’s quick to make and it’s healthy, because it’s January and we’re all meant to be on a detox/health kick :-)

burn 100 calories
The Skinny

10 exercises that will burn 100 calories

It’s that time of the year when most of us start thinking about burning off all those Christmas treats. If you’re refreshing your diet and eating healthy but wondering how else you can shift some calories there are some simple ways you can burn 100 calories. Here are 10 of my favourite to get you motivated.

1. 25 minutes of casual cycling

2. Lifting weights vigorously for 15 minutes

3. 25 minutes of Pilates

4. 13 minutes on a rowing machine

5. Swimming at a moderate intensity for 15 minutes

6. 20 minutes of walking at a 3mph pace

7. Washing your car for 20 minutes

8. Mopping the floor for 20 minutes

9. Running up stairs for six minutes

10. My personal favourite – shopping for 40 minutes

Remember that all bodies are different and some people may burn more (or slightly less) depending on the effort they put in. Always remember to take care when working out.

Calories
Food & Drink

10 ways to cut 100 calories from your diet

You are what you eat and if you’re looking cut down on the amount of calories in your diet there are some simple ways to do it. Here’s my 10 favourite ways to cut 100 calories from your diet.

1. The lovely latte that you have daily tastes so good but it’s packed full of calories. Drinks are the biggest culprit so opt for a regular coffee and you’ll save yourself 100 calories or more. Use zero-calorie sweetener instead of sugar and you’ll save even more calories.

2. When you order a sandwich say no to cheese and you will cut 100 calories just like that.

3. Use a low-fat dressing or vinaigrette on a salad. Eating a salad may seem like the healthier option but if it’s swimming in a calorie packed dressing you may as well have a burger. Measure salad dressing and stay under two tablespoons if you want to cut calories. Leave croutons off your salad too!

4. Switch your milk to 1% instead of 2%, if you have cereal every morning this will make a huge difference.

5. When buying meat go for lean meat as this contains fewer calories.

6. Brace yourself for this one if you like drinking alcohol. A 5-ounce glass of wine and 1.5-ounce serving of distilled spirits have 100 calories each, and a 12-ounce beer has 150 calories. Reduce your calorie intake by one drink and you’ll cut 100 calories immediately.

7. When cooking use an oil mister instead of pouring olive oil straight from the bottle. One tablespoon of oil has 120 calories.  If you use a mister you’ll use a fraction of the calories.

8. Opt for fresh fruit instead of dried. Half a cup of raisins has more than 200 calories, one cup full of fresh grapes has just 80.

9. Eat steamed rice instead of fried rice and save around 96 calories

10. If you can’t resist pizza choose a slice of thin crust pizza over thick crust and save around 110 calories.

Dinner
Food & Drink, The Skinny

Monday Menu

Start the week off with a mouthwatering meal. This week is all about Kale, one of the healthiest things you can eat. If you don’t believe me check out the infographic below. I have been eating it for weeks now and I love it. It’s packed full of good stuff and it goes with pretty much anything.

Substitute lettuce for kale this week and see what you think. Here’s a kale and steak salad I enjoyed the other night for inspiration. It’s super simple to make too. Just chop the kale up finely, throw in a big bowl and add what you want. I went for cucumber, tomatoes, peppers, feta cheese, spring onion and nuts and then drizzle with a delicious dressing, I opted for an asian dressing. Cut the steak into strips and throw some mushrooms and shallots into a pan. Place the kale on when cooked and enjoy. It’s literally the easiest meal to make and a perfect kick start to the week.

Why you should eat it….

KaleWhat my kale and steak salad looked like….Steak & Kale SaladFeature image from Etsy.com