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August plotting and planning and bootcamping…

I didn’t blog as much as I’d have liked last month but the 2 solid weeks of Pilates Instructor Training preceeded by months of hard work and followed by a week of mooching around wondering what to do with myself meant that blogging was the last thing on my mind. I’d given so much of myself in the Pilates course that I didn’t think I had anything more to say to anyone. But I think I’m rediscovering my voice. I had a lovely day yesterday training Karina of Stressless Solutions in children’s yoga stretches which I am an expert in and which I think I had forgotten about. Then Chris and I sat for hours yesterday evening talking and planning and dreaming about the Stretch NI studio and what this will look like when it gets off the ground this autumn. And now that’s only a month away! So, it’s back to laptop so that my plans for world domination can continue unabated!

One thing I am hoping to do in the new studio is a Stretch NI Body Bootcamp. Basically, this will consist of three 45-minute sessions of yoga and Pilates moves a week combined with dietary advice (not by me who think a Mars Bar is a vegetable but by a real-life dietitian from the Southern Health Trust). This bootcamp will take 7 weeks which will make us all gorgeous just in time for Christmas! But the serious reason for doing a 7 week programme is that the yogis used to say it took 21 days to create a habit so 3 sessions over 7 weeks will give us 21 sessions and lead us into a new way of relating to food and fitness. It’s also much more achievable at this rate rather than 7 sessions a week for 3 weeks. I don’t want this to be a diet or a fitness fad. I want it to lead us into a healthier lifestyle… And, I’ve already started! I am going to be trying the bootcamp principles throughout August and will be reporting back my results. After all, it’s about time I started to practice what I preach! What do you think? Does this sound like something that might interest you?? And would you attend morning classes to make sure you get your 3 sessions a week?? Or does it all sound like too much hassle and you’d just prefer to do a regular ‘Weightwatchers/ Slimming World/ Unislim’ style weigh-in??? Cos that could be arranged!


Busy, busy, busy…

I was so busy yesterday interviewing for a new freelance trainer position and preparing for a 2 -hour stress management workshop today that I forgot to post yesterday. I also seemed to forget to sleep! Ironically, delivering a stress management can be very stressful and I was running around at after 1am getting worksheets and handouts in order. Then I was up with the lark to make the long drive to Belturbet, Co. Cavan for my session on ‘Stretch for Stress Relief’ with Me Unltd. It was well worth the journey! The ladies were lovely and fully engaged with all the physical activity and especially with the chocolate meditation…

For those who don’t know what this is, it is a special mindfulness meditation technique where you take around 10 – 20 minutes to eat ONE piece of chocolate. It sounds strange, but by bringing all of your awareness to the sensations that come up in your body when you eat your one piece of chocolate, you find it is the tastiest piece of chocolate you have ever eaten in your life. You also find you are full up after your one little bit and no longer want to devour the entire chocolate aisle at Tescos!

As for those who are wondering how I could deliver a chocolate meditation when I’m on a raw food diet – don’t panic. I had brought strawberries with me as well and I tucked into that. I also tucked into a fabulous salad when I came home. This diet is the easiest thing I’ve ever done and I can’t believe that I didn’t do it sooner!


Raw Food Diet

Not everyone know this but I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 12 years old. The reason not everyone knows this is because I spend all my time in yoga and Pilates classes telling people about having pizza, or ice cream, or Chinese, or M&S treats, or CHOCOLATE!!! They also wouldn’t know to look at me because I am overweight (with a pot belly that stopped being cute when I left my 20s) and I pretty much always have spots somewhere on my face or chest. Lovely! So after over 20 years of eating mostly a wheat-based diet with mostly pre-prepared foods, I have finally decided to diet. And not just any old diet but a raw food diet!

According to

“People who follow a raw food diet believe it has numerous health benefits, including:

  • Increased energy
  • Clearer skin
  • Weight loss
  • Reduced risk of disease

The raw food diet contains fewer trans fats and saturated fat than the typical Western diet. It is also low in sodium and sugar and high in potassium, magnesium, folate, fiber, vitamin A, and health-promoting antioxidants. These properties are associated with a reduced risk of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. For example, a study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that consumption of a raw food diet lowered plasma total cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations.

The raw food diet is also thought to have a favorable acid-alkaline balance, being low in acid-forming food. Too much acidity in the body is thought to result in disease.

Besides the immediate benefits, the raw food diet may theoretically slow the aging process and reduce inflammation, because it contains fewer advanced glycation end products and other potentially damaging compounds.”

I don’t want people to start panicking though, because I’m only doing this for a week to see how it goes and then I’m going to reintroduce more processed foods (like bread, pasta, chocolate – PLEASE). I have been doing this since Sunday and, although it’s only Tuesday, I have noticed that my stomach is not as swollen as usual and my skin has a real glow about it. Plus I feel full of energy so long may this last!