My Fitness Achievments, Goals and Inspiration!

Monday, 9 June 2014

If we're honest, we've all tried them. We see summer creeping up and inbetween the bad habits that Slimming World teach and the hugely unsatisfying Weight Watchers meals, we end up loosing out on more money than weight!

I am as experienced in this as the next person. I always geared myself up ready for weightloss clubs, thinking I was going to magically shed 2 stone in 2 months, thanks to their promises of 'eat as much as you want and lose weight' and 'no gym necessary', but it never really happened. And even if I did stick it out and lose a stone, it always seemed to creep back on - plus more!
This may be a touchy subject for some of my readers, and while I want to majorly stress that nothing is better than being confident in your own skin (no matter what size!), I just did not feel happy with the way I was and I was looking for a life change, not a diet. I was happy to put in hard work and not expect a quick fix and quick results. That's when my dear friend Cat introduced me to the Clean lifestyle.

If you haven't heard of this lifestyle before, it is one in which you motivate yourself - no club membership fee's, no ready made heat up meals, just good, clean, natural home cooked foods. This doesn't mean to say you can't enjoy all your favourite goodies anymore -  if anything you may discover even more! Its important to get the balance right, of course! Clean eating isn't about what you eat, its about how you prepare it! And its not about your waist span, but about your life span!

I have been following the clean lifestyle for just over a year now, but I really stepped it up when Dan and I moved into our own home in February and I am so happy with what has changed, not just about my weight, but my attitude and life quality too! I find it almost addictive! Stumbling across all these great new foods and recipes is amazing!

Even though Cat and I don't train together physically she has reallllyyy been my inspiration and motivation through my whole clean eating journey - this is mainly though her fantastic Instagram page (which you can see here) - it is bursting with images of fresh, delicious home cooked meals, recipe inspiration, plus monthly fitness routines to target specific body issues! And, more recently, Cat has started her very own blog (here) and facebook page (here) to inspire us even further!
So you can imagine my excitement when Cat announced that she is going to be releasing her very own clean eating recipe E-book this year! Its going to be packed full of filling, nutritious food ideas which are gluten free!

Some examples of Cats Instagram page - Colourful & Inspiring!

Cat has been and is working so hard on this book. It is something that she is passionate about, and she really knows her stuff so I am eager to get my hands on it (virtually) and try out the recipes!

The Clean lifestyle has really changed my attitude to not only food, but also health and fitness. I used to dread the thought of exercise but now that I am eating fresh delicious and nutritious foods I have so much energy that I love exercise!

I practise Resistance Yogalates every morning (Louise Solomon's 'Energizer' is my favourite!), this may not seem like exercise but the combination of yoga and pilates plus the resistance band work really makes me sweat! I have toned up a little and the breathing exercises have helped me sleep so much sounder at night time, too! 
Now that Dan and I have moved to a country village I also spend a lot of time riding my bike round the pretty fields. Its a pretty hilly place and when we first moved here I had to get off my bike and walk it up the hills but I pushed myself to not get off my bike and keep pedalling and I can now make it up the hills! We also ride to the local farm once a week and buy fresh eggs! It doesn't sound like much, but any exercise is so good for you and an hour workout is only 4% of your whole day - now what's your excuse?!

I make all of my meals, and they're so colourful and delicious. I have a fruit smoothie every morning - it tastes just as good as a store bought shake but it doesn't have any sugars or additives and it gives me so much energy! I also enjoy filling breakfasts of waffles (yes, waffles!), yoghurt and fruit and even a full English occasionally - I just fry it in coconut oil so that it isn't swamped with grease!

I enjoy snacks like everyone else, My favourites are fruit and granola bowls, apple and homemade peanut butter, and home made fruit icelollies - so refreshing, but wont give you a sugar crash a few hours later!

I was so surprised that I could still have my favourite treats! Its just about how you prepare them! I love having waffles with honey (I make them with wholemeal flour, almond milk, mashed banana and natural yoghurt!). Sweet potato pizza is aaaammaazing (I'll share Cats recipe for this below), you can top it with so many things and it is so filling and delicious! I also love to make my own clean muffins!

I really recommend this lifestyle to everyone! There's no weigh-ins (unless you want to of course!), no pressure and no 'Oh I cant have that', so you naturally enjoy it and it just becomes habit! The benefits are endless and you just feel so good all round! 
You really have to be prepared to give this lifestyle your all, there are no excuses. So many people say 'I don't have time to make my dinner from scratch' but it takes, on average, 40 minutes for your takeaway to arrive, right? In that time you could have whipped up an amazing clean pizza or wholemeal pasta dish! The key is preparation and if you really want something you will make time for it.
'I cant afford fresh produce' is another issue a lot of people have. On average each Brit spends £1,320 on takeaways and fast foods a year. We seem to find money for that, but wouldn't it be better spent at the local market on fresh fruit and vegetables?! The answer is yes - you just have to be in the right frame of mind to do it!

Image courtesy of Cat

Sweet Potato Pizza
Cat's recipe for gluten free sweet potato pizza inspired me so much, (you can find the original here on her blog). Dan and I eat this every couple of weeks and it is just perfection! You can add so many toppings and it is all good for you and natural but so delicious - you wouldn't know the difference!

To make one medium pizza you'll need 
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 cup rolled gluten free oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil as liquid (melt before if using solid coconut oil)
  • salt and pepper seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano dried herbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon of chopped garlic granules 
Topping Ingredients (Or use your own favourites)
  •  Gluten Free BBQ Sauce
  • Spinach
  • Grated cheese (mozzarella is our favourite!)
  • Chopped mixed bell peppers
  • Cooked meats such as chicken or bacon!
All you have to do is;

  •       Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius
    • Peel, chop and boil the sweet potato in a pan until soft - around 10 minutes.
    • Meanwhile in a pestle and mortar add the gluten free oats a bit at a time and ground to make an oat flour
    • Drain the sweet potato & mash it.
    • Mix the mashed potato and oat flour with your hands!
    • Then add the other ingredients and mix with hands until combined
    • Cover a baking tray with greaseproof paper
    • Place the dough on it and shape the dough into a circle and flatten it down with your fingers.
    • Then bake the pizza for 20 minutes.
    • Remove the pizza from the oven and add your toppings 
    • Then place the pizza back in the oven for a further 5 minutes
    • Remove from oven and then cut into slices.
    Hey Presto! Healthy but equally delicious pizza! I really cant say how much I love this, I could eat it every day haha!
    When I started clean eating I was creeping up to a size 16, and while I am not judging people on their clothes size or saying any size is wrong, I just did not feel comfortable and confident in my own skin, and I hated that.
    Since February I have lost just over a stone and am now wearing a size 12. I am so pleased with my progress but I am not done yet!
    Although the weight loss has been such a great feeling I am so focused on getting fit right now that anything else is an amazing bonus! I am hoping to tone my arms, legs and stomach further and I would love to lose another 2 stone, and make a dress size 10! I know that this is going to take time and that hard work and dedication pays off in the long run so I am happy in knowing that this will not happen over night!
    Last year when Dan and I went on holiday I was so concious and I only bought swimsuits as I wanted to cover as much of my body as possible, but we are going away with some friends in a couple of weeks and I have bought a Bikini to wear! I know I will still feel a little out of my comfort zone but I am just pleased to have made the step forward!

    Clean eating has really changed my attitude and my life and its so hard to get my passion across without it sound like I am a clean eating representative selling it to you! Haha! 
    I understand that my journey has taken a lot of dedication from myself but I want to thank Cat so much because without her motivation and positive attitude and words I know that I would not have kept it up long enough to actually start enjoying it and let it become a lifestyle rather than a diet! I cant wait for her book to be released! If you guys want more info on her book or the clean lifestyle, follow her through the links at the start of the post. She is so friendly and always happy to help out, so ask away!

    What do you guys think of the clean lifestyle? Would you like me to post any more recipes?


    1. More recipes would be great! :):)

      1. You got it jo! Thanks for reading <3

      2. I don't think slimming world creates bad habits its a stepping stone into clean eating. It teaches you the basics of clean eating.... I lost 2st in 2month on slimming world but am doing slimming world and clean eating as flaxseeds are high in syns. I think its interesting and well done to you for changing your life style :). Changing a life time of habits is always hard so well done :) xx

      3. Congrats on your amazing achievement! That's brilliant! I tried Slimming World, it wasn't for me personally, but everyone is different so we all have our favourite ways to do things :D Oh, and you're so right, it is very hard to change a lifetime of bad habits! Thankyou for reading! xx