This month’s issue:…
- Greetings and Events This Week
- What’s in Season at the Allotment
- Easy Recipe: Retro Fruity Flan
- Resisting Temptation: Set an Alarm
- Fad or Fab: Merino Wool
- Article: Kickstart your fitness in 2013
- And Finally…
Hello healthy people,
Happy new year! Whether you had a healthy or a hedonistic one, it’s time to look forward to 2013. Being informed and motivated are crucial elements to your success, so do come along to one of my free talks this week:
‘Does your New Year Resolve, Dissolve?’
Grassroots Organics, Woodlands Road, Glasgow
7pm this Thursday 10th January
An informal workshop on how to get really motivated… and stick to it! With Q & A’s at the end.
To book your place call Grassroots directly on 0141 353 3278
‘Healthier and Fitter with the Healthy Living Yearbook’
Blackwell’s Bookshop, South Bridge, Edinburgh
2pm on Saturday, 12 January
Do you resolve to get fit every year, but somehow never keep it up?
Bring a pen and paper and be prepared to learn the easy way to get in shape, and stay there, for 2013 With Q & A’s at the end.
To book a ticket contact the bookshop on 0131 622 8222 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re just dipping your proverbial toe in the water of getting fit, perhaps a Healthy Living Yearbook is what you need;
only £9.99 with free delivery from www.healthylivingyearbook.com
What’s in Season at the Allotment
It’s planning time on the allotment, as we work out what we’d like to eat over the coming year. 2012 was the worse growing season many seasoned gardeners had ever experienced. We’re not very experienced, but the fact our plot was flooding regularly wasn’t a good sign. In the shops you may have noticed that fruit and vegetables have gone up in price. It’s all about the weather.
To condition the soil, we had delivered half a tonne of ‘zoo poo’ direct from Edinburgh Zoo; elephant and panda poo (and other herbivores too). We continue to harvest a leek a week, but there’s not much else growing. On new year’s day I noticed the rhubarb growing back, a positive sign for a new year. Here’s hoping it will be a better growing year…
Easy Recipe: Retro Fruity Flan
Back in the eighties my Mum used to make strawberry flans for BBQ’s and parties. I loved them and I can remember her telling me how simple they were to prepare – she used double strength jelly, but I have discovered a vegetarian ‘red quick gel’ product which is available in the baking section of the shop.
This is not typical fitness food, but we all like a treat from time to time. The ready-made flan base is surprisingly low-cal, low fat and has some protein. It’s good to have a few quick and easy sweet recipes up your sleeve. I prefer fresh fruit, but at this time of year, even tinned fruit tastes good. It’s relatively healthy, a tinned peach version coming in at just 112kcal per slice (an eighth a flan).
Tin of fruit or a punnet of fresh berries and fruit when in season
Red quick gel mix – vegetarian available
– Drain tinned fruit, reserving juice to make the jelly. Arrange fruit on flan base.
– Make the gel as per packet instructions.
– Pour onto flan base and allow to set. Serve with low fat natural yoghurt, rather than cream.
Resisting Temptation Hint of the Month: Set an Alarm
We change behaviour by changing habits. When you think about it, habits are simply processes that make you daily life easy. For example, you don’t need to concentrate on brushing your teeth, you probably do it on autopilot. So if you want to change habits, sometimes it’s about reminding yourself to do your new habits. Set a regular alarm to remind you to walk home from work rather than bus. I use a daily alarm on my phone to remind me to do my press-ups (and only dismiss it once I’ve done aforementioned press ups).
Fad or Fab: Merino Layers
A valued client recommended merino base layers and I am so happy I followed his advice – thank you David! Merino sheep live on the top of mountain ranges in New Zealand, and their wool is brilliant for a warm base layer. A base layer is what you wear next to your skin, so the non-scratchiness of Merino wool is ideal. The Icebreaker brand is the best but not cheap at around £60; interestingly as they’re wool they are odour resistant for up to ten days (so I’m told). A definite fab, see you if you can find one in the sales. I’ve also tried a cheaper Endura brand merino top (around £35), however Icebreaker is definitely superior. A must for those who feel the cold.
Article of the month: Kickstart Your Fitness in 2013
Kickstart your fitness in 2013 with this ten point action plan to get you working in the correct direction.
1. If you have made a New Year’s resolution to get fitter, write it down. If not, think of a personal goal for 2013. It may be running a race, looking fab in an outfit for a special occasion, or even fitting into your old jeans. Choose a single measurable goal.
2. Use your calendar, diary or smart phone, and mark the date of your challenge / race. If it’s an event, enter straightaway so you will actually stick to it (and as a bonus you might get an early bird booking discount).
3. It’s not essential to rope in a mate, and training alone may mean you have more flexibility and won’t get distracted by your friend. Plan which days of the week are your training days, aim for around three times a week to start (every other day). Schedule this in your diary.
4. Make sure you have the equipment you need. I recommend everyone use a heart rate monitor that will help you train to your own personal effort level. A comfy pair of trainers are also a must, if in doubt go to a specialised footwear shop to get fitted (Run and Become are very good). For women a good sports bra is a bust must.
5. Keep a check on calories in: fad diets don’t work in the long-term, however a food diary does. There are many free online food diaries (eg www.myfitnesspal.com) to help make your eating accountable. Cook from scratch whenever possible, and add twice the amount of vegetables you’re used to.
6. Visualise your goal as often as you can. It will spur you on to really get the most out of your workouts. Acknowledge landmarks along the way.
7. Remember strength and flexibility: Stretch after workouts, when muscles are warm, to maintain suppleness and help avoid injury. Basic regular strength exercises will also help to bullet-proof your body.
8. Enlist an expert: If you’re not sure of what you’re doing, or are not seeing the results you hoped for, dial in an expert. A good personal trainer will help you reach your goals quicker and will be able to personalise a programme to suit you. This is especially useful if you’re coming back from injury or are deconditioned (unfit).
9. Consistency is key: Meaningful results take time. Body fat doesn’t go on overnight, nor can it be removed overnight (unless you’d like to try liposuction).
10. Read all about it: read fitness books and inspiring sporting biographies to educate yourself. Check out my Healthy Living Yearbook and your local library for inspiration.
This article was originally published in the Scotsman newspaper, 5 January 2013:
Here’s a wonderful clip that explains why we all need exercise in our life… http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=2lXh2n0aPyw
The easiest way to fit in fitness is to make it fun http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUaInS6HIGo
Have a happy and healthy January,
© Copyright all material Tracy Griffen 2013