DECHOX

ID-10040067So I am a bit of a choc-a-holic. I love it. Mainly milk chocolate. Mainly cheap chocolate. Can’t be doing with fancy chocolate. One of the things that scares me the most is the thought of dying young from heart disease/heart attack etc.

So when I saw that British Heart Foundation were running a DECHOX this year, I thought perfect.  I get to give up chocolate for a whole month, yep you read that right, a WHOLE BLOODY MONTH and raise some cash for the British Heart Foundation to carry on their research.

No word of a lie, this is my most daunting challenge yet but I’m up for it, nothing chocolatey for the whole of March, right over Easter, didn’t think this through did I? LOL

Anyway I am hoping this might give me a kickstart to ditch chocolate long term, or at least cut back considerably my consumption of sugary treats.

So tomorrow morning I will be making a carrot cake (https://andthatsjustthewarmup.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/paleo-carrot-cake/) in a bid to curb my sugar cravings.

So if you would like to sponsor me, then follow this link, every £1 is greatly appreciated.

http://www.justgiving.com/owner-email/pleasesponsor/dechox2016helenstokes

H x

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Fiery cheesy chicken

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So this is a little recipe I knocked up just now and it is super simple & super delish! It serves 2 but is easily scalable.
Ingredients


2 chicken breasts
6 mini mozzarella balls (you could buy a big one and slice it up but for speed I like the little balls)
1 tsp chipotle paste
2 slices of back bacon

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees c (fan assisted)
  2. Put a slice in the top of each chicken breast to create a pocket
  3. Stuff your mozzarella balls in to the pockets (3 per chicken breast)
  4. Smear the chipotle paste over each chicken breast
  5. Wrap the bacon around the chicken breasts
  6. Cook in the oven for approximately 40 mins (adjust the cooking time based on the thickness if your chicken)

This is a great recipe to make the day before, then slice up and have cold with veges for lunch.

H x

Ginger Garlic Parsnip Noodles

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I’ve not posted any recipes in ages but I have been trying a lot of new ones recently.

This is an absolute winner if you love Asian noodle type dishes. Super easy and super delish. I was concerned the parsnips might be overly sweet but they aren’t at all.

This recipe is great with grilled chicken or steak and reheats well the next day too, but it isn’t suitable for freezing really.

http://meatified.com/ginger-garlic-parsnip-noodles/

H xx

If I told you…

IMG_4929… you just wouldn’t understand.

This is me after my training session today. There are very few people who get why I do, what I do.

“why you doing that?” “ugh why don’t you just do xyz?” “join a gym” “what’s the point?” “what a waste of time/money” “I’d rather be fat/watch corrie/eat chocolate” etc

I could spend hours explaining why I do what I do. I could tell you about how far I have come, the progress I am making mentally as well as physically. I could tell you I am not the same person I was 3 years ago, about how much I’ve grown as a person. But to be honest, this is nothing like most people will ever attempt. Unless you’ve tried it yourself you will  be unlikely to ever understand.

But one thing I will say is, understand that it is important to me. I enjoy this kind of training and I am making progress, getting stronger mentally & physically. I’m getting healthier and fitter. It isn’t easy, some days it is really bloody hard but it is what I do. So don’t tell me I’m crazy, daft, that I should do xyz instead. Just support me, encourage me.

H x

Sometimes it is good to look back…

4bf5e-img_1345Well they say when things get tough, remember why you started in the first place. So I’ve just been back to my very first blog post, that documented ‘why’ I was going down the health & fitness route.

It has been good for me to look back where I started and where I got too. Yes I’ve put a bit (A LOT) of weight back on and my confidence is a lot lower than when I made that first post after 7 months of training. But I am not the same person that stumbled in to the gym nearly 3 years ago and had zero intention of training.

So I’ve got some work to do but I know I can get back to where I was when I was at the height of my training before I got pregnant. There isn’t the pressure there was last time (where I was desperate to get pregnant at a particular time to maximise my maternity leave) but I do have new personal goals I want to achieve.

So if like me you’ve been struggling a bit to get your form back, look at why you 1st started. It is quite motivating.

You can read my 1st post here:

http://wp.me/p4bBEj-R

Good luck!

H x

Game Changer

static1.squarespace.comOne of the most important things I’ve found with this fitness lark is finding someone to work with who you trust. Because in my experience over nearly 3 years some of what I’ve done, well, it hasn’t been plesant. I’ve felt sick, dizzy, on occassions quite possibly like I was dying (not even exagerating!) But I’ve gone with it, trusted my trainer/coach/yoda and in the long run he’s been right, I’ve not necessarily seen it at the time but hours, days even weeks after I’ve realised I’ve overcome a hurdle.

But every once in a while a session comes along and knocks your confidence, it shakes you to the core and makes you question everything. It is rare, in 3 years it has maybe happened twice but it does happen. And last night’s training session was one such occassion.

Without going in to details, I was asked to do something that mentally I wasn’t comfortable with doing, like not in the slightest. Physically it wasn’t a demanding task, but mentally, for me, it was huge! For another person, they’d have shurgged it off and cracked on but something about this task bought about a shitload of fear. I’m not afraid to admit, I cried too! So that gives you an indication about how I felt about this particular task. So I point blank refused. “Nope I’m not doing that”, “if that task is going to be a part of these sessions then I’m done”. Yep ladies and gentlemen, right there, for a split second I analysed the situation and the task I was being asked to do was suddenly this huge stumbling block, a non-negotiable. ~

You see, every week I’ll say “I can’t do that”, “are you f**king kidding me?”, “you’re serious, arent you?”, “no” and for the most part this is just my knee jerk reaction to being asked to do something that is ultimately physically or mentally hard. By and large my coach ignores that because he knows me well enough to know I say no first, then do and I trust him enough to know that if I do something I’ve said no to it will be ok. I trust him to know when I’m bullshitting and when I genuinely have an issue.

But last night was different. The task last night, there was just no way on this earth I was going to even attempt it (Think Lady C on I’m a celeb) and because there is a trust there, he knew not to push down that particular avenue, well not last night anyway.

Now that isn’t to say I won’t attempt this task at some point in the future. I’ve been pondering it all day and I’m angry. Angry at myself for not having the bottle to just do it, regardless of how I felt. Angry that something seemingly straightforward created such a reaction in me, that I couldn’t move forward. And I’m upset and I’m not really sure why to be honest, I think this is going to take me a bit of time to reconcile in my head.

But last nights session was a game changer. Last night I could have called it quits, last night I could have quite happily said “do you know what, I could be at home in my leopard print onesie, eating icecream straight out of the tub with a spoon watching Corrie” but I didn’t. I had a session that in my eyes was a bit shit but I learnt something. I learnt that I won’t always get something first time, sometimes I need to build up to things. Yes sometimes it is import to just throw yourself in to things regardless of how uncomfortable they make you feel but sometimes (rarely) you have to build up to something. I mean you wouldn’t deadlift 100kg barbell the first time you picked one up, you’d learn the technique, get your form right and increase the weight steadily to ensure that you’ve bulit your muscles up to it and to avoid damage yeah? So to me this is kind of the same but on a mental level. I’ll just have to build up to it over time. I’m not saying I’ll never attempt this task, just not yet.

So I meant to post that last night but didn’t, that was all Thursday night. It is now Saturday morning and by now I should be warmed up and just about to start a kettlebell session with my coach but I’m not. I’m sat here in my fluffy dressing gown and slippers, eating my breakfast after a shocking nights sleep with the smallest Stokes (he was sick yesterday at the childminders and has had a temperature all night, so he’s been in our bed, kicking me in the head). So I’ve got a banging headache, I’ve still got a cough lurking myself so I’ve cancelled. Ordinarily I’d be disappointed at cancelling a session but on top of my crappy session Thursday my confidence is at an all time low. I thought after Christmas I was begining to get a good routine going, that I was finally getting somewhere but now I feel I’m not getting anywhere. I’m so angry as I feel I’m not anywhere near where I was before when I smashing out 5 sessions a week.

So what is the point of this post? Well I get a fair few readers who message me about the inspiration they get from reading this blog but I think it is important to show that yes you do get shitty sessions, weeks even months! There is sometimes a misconception that I find it easy all the time and I can assure you, I really don’t. Yes there are times when I think it’d be easier to give up and yes, it would be the easier option to give up but it wouldn’t be the better option. I wouldn’t be getting fitter, healthier, slimmer. Long term I’d be more miserable than I feel after one shit week.

So what I am saying is, if you’re thinking about taking a similar journey or maybe you are on that journey at the moment, don’t expect it it be amazing all the time, be prepared for the peaks and troughs, the highs but also the lows. Know that when the lows hit, you will come out the other side and hit that high again, you just need to hold on and not give up.

And that is why this post is called game changer. That session Thursday has made me realise shit happens, this isn’t a disaster, it is a temporary low. I just need to keep going to get back to that high and it has to happen. Whatever comes down has to go back up again and vice versa. Peaks and troughs.

So I guess that brings me back to the original point about trust. Trust is so important. I trust my coach that I’ll get there, I trust him when he says this is all part of it and you have to take the rough with the smooth. I trust him that refusing to do a particular task then crying about it isn’t a failure, it is just life and I’ll come back to it further down the line. Because at the end of the day if I didn’t trust him, I’d have quit months ago!

H xx

Find what works for you…

  It’s taken me a while (years) to find fitness. I’ve dabbled in swimming and a variety of classes but I can honestly say what I’m doing now, I enjoy. It’s bloody hardwork and I don’t always get it right but for the most part I really bloody enjoy it. And I wish could get you all to realise how ace it is. 

But not everyone could do what I do. When I first started at the gym and working with Jason I didn’t think I’d stick it longer than a month, just enough to get me started I thought. But then I got hooked and now my training has evolved. Mentally what I do now is harder so whilst physically its not harder as such just different, after all it still makes me want to vom,but yeah mentally it takes it out of me. 

But not everyone would stick this kind of training. Outdoors, regardless of weather, regardless of mud etc and that is fine. At the end of the day you need to find what works for you. If that’s running, classes, cycling etc whatever enjoyment is key because if you don’t enjoy it you won’t stick at it and make progress. 

H xx

Today I need a bit of motivational fairy dust…

fairy-dust-fairies-17694885-500-667So the type of training I do is not ‘girly’. It isn’t pink and fluffy. There’s cold and rain and mud and slugs and worms and thorny bushes. It’s uncomfortable and pushes you mentally & physically. Jason isn’t the sort of ‘Woo yeah, come on you can do it!’ kind of trainer. He doesn’t skip about in lycra either. Don’t get me wrong you get praise when it is due but he doesn’t pay lip service to make your ego feel better. And I bloody love it. I don’t think I could stick it if he was sickenly positive all the time, that might work for some but not me. Life isn’t all Disney, there aren’t little forrest animals skipping about singing and cleaning my kitchen. (I bloody wish there was!) So to me my training shouldn’t reflect that either. And I don’t mean I want someone barking orders at me, making me cry (although that has happened in several training sessions LOL) and telling me I’m a loser either. Just realism. That’ll do me.

But just occassionally you need a bit of sparkly motivational fairy dust. I’m a having a self indulgent, woah is me kinda morning. I’ve got a splitting headache, I ache all over, my throat appears to be making a bid for freedom through my ears. I want to curl up under my duvet and sleep (unlikely with a nearly 18 month old trashing my house and shouting ‘car car!’ at me!)

I’ve just done the school run and I don’t know what the weather is like where you are today but its raining and freezing here, I had right brain freeze. But I took the long way home. Ok it isn’t a session flinging kettlebells around but it is better than nothing and today is about my limit.

And I know this post will generate a lot of ‘you should rest up, sack it off for a day’ etc missing one session won’t hurt but honestly this fitness lark, once you get in to it is like being a crack addict. You need your next fix and if for whatever reason you don’t get it, you feel shit, mentally & physically.

So you see, I don’t need the fairydust this morning to motivate me to do a session. I need the fairydust to motivate me that it is ok to rest and I can just crack on again tomorrow. I need the fairy dust to motivate me that ok I might not do kettlebells today but I’ve done the school run, despite the freezing wet conditions and that I can have a day eating clean and it doesn’t need to be a total write-off. I don’t need to say ‘oh well, no kettlebells, lets have chips and chocolate for breakfast lunch and dinner!’ Because that for me is the hardest bit of all this. Staying motivated to eat well even when you’re not training.

H xx

Not every session is perfect…

 

IMG_4655I’ve had a really good run recently. Several smashing sessions, I’ve been up for it, motivated, focussed, back on form, positive, pushing it etc but it is inevitable that not all sessions are like this, no matter how much you want them to be.

Today was one of those sessions.

I went to bed late, I didn’t sleep brilliantly, got up late, felt nauseous, was still half asleep. Yoda arrived at 7am bang on the dot and I just felt sleepy and out of sorts.

The first set was a shocker. I was hazy, sleepy, couldn’t focus, couldn’t remember what I was doing, “Clean up, ok, right, what? How do I do that again?”

The second set was better and the third set better again (although not up to the standard of previous weeks).

Everyone has duff sessions now and again the difference is what you do after it? You could throw a strop, eat cake, pizza, crisps, chocolate and then sack off tomorrows session (I have definitely done this on more than 1 occasion!) ooooorrrrr you could chalk it up to experience, learn from it, move on and do a belter of a session tomorrow.

So what have I learnt? Go to bed earlier, get up earlier to give myself chance to wake up and engage brain LOL

I actually feel surprisingly good about the session today, it wasn’t perfect, in fact it was a long way from perfect BUT I feel ok about chalking it up to experience and doing a better one tomorrow. Pre-Christmas a session like today would have sent me spiralling in to a frustrated, out of control strop. No session will ever be perfect, some sessions will be better than others but it is about what you do next  that counts.

Tomorrow is another day!

H x

The breakfast with no name

I struggle with breakfasts, mainly for time. But this is quick, easy and tastes awesome. I’ve no idea what to call it though.

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Ingredients

  • Chorizo sausage cut in to 1cm thick discs
  • Raw veggies (I used red cabbage, broccoli & frozen peas)
  • 2 large eggs, whisked
  • Garlic Salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Dried chilli flakes

Method

  1. Fry the chorizo in a dry frying pan (you wont need oil as chorizo leaches its own oil packed with flavour!)
  2. Once the chorizo is cooked through, add the veggies
  3. Add a sprinkle of garlic salt, some pepper and a good pinch of chilli flakes
  4. Continue to fry until the veggies are cooked with a bit of bite but not raw!
  5. Add the whisked eggs and continue to fry until the scrambled eggs are cooked.

    Delish!

    H x