Archives for category: Review

If you read my last blog and have decided to go for it on a health kick this October, then good for you! Whether you have decided to go it alone or join my online club, the main things to keep in mind are EAT CLEAN and KEEP MOVING.

If the concept of clean eating is new to you, it may all seem a bit daunting but there’s really no need to worry. Clean eating is not about being hard on yourself and depriving yourself, it’s about treating yourself to real, natural and tasty food to give your body all the nutrients it needs. There are loads of amazing blogs and cook books out there to help you get started, and there are lots of variations of clean eating out there too – paleo, vegetarian, raw food vegan…to name just a few – but the one thing they all agree on is that you need to stop poisoning your body with over-processed food, unnatural chemicals and refined foods. If you can clear the junk out of your diet and load up on nutrients, you’ll be astounded how much better you’ll start to feel.

So, here are some of my favourite blogs and recipe books. Have a browse and see if you can find some really delicious recipes to look forward to over the next few weeks. Remember, healthy eating doesn’t mean ‘tasteless’, it means using fresh, high quality ingredients, plenty of herbs and spices, lots of healthy fats and the perfect seasoning. Concentrate on all the yummy foods you should be eating rather than worrying about what you ‘shouldn’t’ be eating.

My favourite cook books:

I Quit Sugar – simple, quick and easy to make recipes. I love this book and many of my go-to recipes like Paleo Veggie Bread and Coco-Nutty Granola come from her blog.

Honestly Healthy Cleanse – I especially recommend the broccoli, grain free pizza base from this book. Believe me, it tastes about 100 times better than it sounds and it will change your views on pizza forever.

Deliciously Ella – what I especially like about this book is Ella’s introduction. I really enjoyed reading her story and found it very inspiring. There are some nice, simple recipes and ideas in this book, although Ella is very keen on buckwheat, which doesn’t seem to agree with me. It’s always worth trying these things out for yourself though as everyone reacts differently to different foods.

My favourite blogs:

The Gracious Pantry

I Quit Sugar

mindbodygreen

Gluten Free Zen

Changing Habits

As I said, there are loads out there, so just google clean eating recipes and see what comes up. Oh, and of course, don’t forget to browse my blog too for recipes and information about healthy and unhealthy foods.

Good luck

x

OK, so this is not really health and fitness related but since I’ve been sharing my love of writing with you over the past couple of weeks and since one of my main goals for the February ‘Love Yourself’ project was to make time for writing, I’ve decided you’d forgive me for mixing things up a little bit. One of my children’s books is finally published! I’m so excited and it was just the boost I needed to keep me motivated and inspired this month. I’ve just written a blog post about how it all began over at the publisher’s website, here, so I thought I might as well share the good news with you lot as well.

My lovely little picture book, Lilly Mae, is a collaboration between myself (the writer) and my extremely talented sister, Ruth (the illustrator). It tells the tale of a feisty little girl who lives on a cloud and changes the weather according to her moods. If you’re at all interested in children’s books and beautiful design, please do head over to our website and take a look www.lillymaebook.co.uk.

Right, there we go: shameless plug and bragging over. I shall return to well-being related posts tomorrow. 🙂

x

As I mentioned in my blog post last week, I’ve been busy setting up a new business. I’m sure you’ve all been eagerly awaiting the big reveal (!!) so here it is, my new website: www.sarahthorpfitness.co.uk

Based in the Banbury and Oxford area, I am a trained dancer and qualified personal trainer with over 10 years’ experience working in the fitness industry. If you want to lose weight and tone up, improve general fitness or train for a specific sport or activity, I am here to help.

I specialise in sports fitness and conditioning for dance and offer a range of services from group classes to personal training and private dance lessons, as well as nutritional advice and sports massage therapy.

I’m just about to launch two exciting new classes: Barre Fit and Sport Fit, so if you happen to live in the Banbury or Oxford area or know anyone who does, please check out my website and spread the word.

You can contact me about any of my services on here or via email at contact@sarahthorpfitness.co.uk

And that’s my shameless self-promotion done for the day. I hope to hear from some of you very soon. Wish me luck!

x

I am not a saint when it comes to food. I really wish I was. I wish I had a little bit less of a sweet tooth and a-lot-a-bit more self-control, but I don’t. I eat well most of the time and I mostly keep my sugar cravings at bay, but every now and then my love of sweet stuff takes over and my inner sugar monster rears its ugly head.

Not surprisingly, this is exactly what happened over Christmas. Like many people, I ate whatever I wanted whenever I wanted and when I began to feel a bit ill, I took a break for half an hour and then started again. Yuk! Why do I do these things to myself?

The outcome was, by the end of December I was extremely grumpy, quite a lot blobbier than I would have liked and every joint in my body was stiff and aching. I knew exactly what I needed to do. I needed to go clean and get off the sugar and the bread and the rich foods….and yet, somehow I just couldn’t do it. I’d wake up each morning full of good intentions and by bedtime I was feeling guilty, grumpy and full of chocolate once again.

I needed a little help to break this unhealthy cycle and get me back to healthy eating again. So I signed up to Mission Clean & Lean, an online detox programme set up by Fern Whittaker and Jo Parry. Ordinarily, I don’t think I would have signed up for something like this, but Jo Parry is an international fitness presenter whose classes I’ve enjoyed at Fitness Fiestas for many years so I was confident it would be good.

I wasn’t disappointed. The programme started on 7th January and ran for 21 days. A couple of days before the diet started, I was added to a private Facebook group which would become my social support network for the next 21 days. Each day Fern and Jo would post the food plan and the 10 minute exercise video (to be done twice) for the next day. The rules were different each day: some days we would be allowed a small snack as well as our meals, other days it was just 3 clean meals, whilst other days we were asked to fast, which was not as terrifying or painful as I’d expected it to be. There were various fitness tests to be completed throughout the week to chart our progress, and weight and measurements to be taken every Monday.

The whole programme is excellently designed to keep participants interested and motivated, and the emphasis is on enjoying food and exercise rather than starving yourself.

But for me the real genius of Mission Clean & Lean is the Facebook group which, I have to admit, became a bit of an obsession. I found myself checking the group every few minutes to see if anyone had posted anything new: a picture of their dinner perhaps, or a new recipe idea, maybe even admittance that they’d had a few too many cashew nuts that day! As time went by I felt as if I got to know the other people on the diet, even though I’d never met them, and that is the beauty of Mission Clean & Lean because the Facebook group keeps you interested and focussed and makes you feel supported and motivated.

I can honestly say there isn’t a single person who wouldn’t benefit from signing up to Mission Clean & Lean. Whether you want to lose weight, kick start a new fitness regime, or simply feel happier and healthier in yourself regardless of size and body shape, this is a great programme. My goals going into the diet were to detox and break my sugar addiction, and maybe lose that last, stubborn bit of baby weight. I succeeded.

Thank you Fern and Jo. And thanks to all the other Clean & Leaners for your support. x