- Testimonial of the Month
- Easy Seasonal Recipe: How to Cook Globe Artichoke
- Article: Address your Stress and Stress Less
- And Finally… Coco Fitness Pug on Instagram
Hello healthy people,
It’s the summer holidays for many, a good time to get into the outdoor exercise habit. Get the family involved… Remember if you refer someone to Griffen Fitness and they book in, then you get a half price PT session as thanks.
Testimonial of the month:
“I signed up for a 5-session block with Tracy and it was absolutely brilliant. She created a bespoke training plan for me as I already had a lot of running experience and I had specific goals of wanting to start training for a full marathon and also get more core and upper body strength. Tracy gave me personalised workouts to do at home, and she was really supportive and helpful in my studio/park sessions with her. I thoroughly enjoyed my 5-session block with her and will be going back for some “top-up” sessions in the future.” – Sheila M, June 2018
Easy Seasonal Recipe: How to Cook Globe Artichoke
It’s been a bumper year in our allotment for these spiky treats – get them from your local greengrocer if you don’t own a plant. They’re full of nutrition, notably fibre and protein as well as minerals: potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, manganese, and iron. Artichokes may look a bit alien and seem awkward to prepare but here’s a simple method for you to try:
One or more fresh globe artichokes
Butter to serve (optional)
– Chop the stalk close to the artichoke for easier cooking.
– Most methods advise trimming the spiky bits from each leaf (as per photo), this is partly aesthetic and partly to avoid getting spiked. Often I don’t bother with this. Remove the toughest outer leaves.
– Pop into a pan covered with boiling water with a squeeze of lemon.
– Cook, covered on a low heat for around 30 minutes or until tender. Be sure to check occasionally and top up water level.
– When tender, remove and drain.
– Eat immediately, peeling each leaf off and dipping in a mix of melted butter and lemon (or natural, my preferred option).
– You’ll get to the artichoke heart and can then chop it up and enjoy scattered on a salad, or just wolf the lot.
Article of the Month: Address your Stress and Stress Less
It is inevitable in our modern lives that we will encounter stress at some point. But have you ever thought that it is how you react to a situation that creates this thing called stress? Feeling stressed is basically a survival instinct. Otherwise known as the flight or flight syndrome, our bodies react to a potentially threatening situation. In the old days, that may have been coming across something of danger (i.e. a predator), in which case a heightened heart rate, release of adrenaline and redirection of blood from the digestive system to the muscles would help us take flight (or fight) if required. In a modern situation we don’t often come across predators, but often overly-demanding situations instead. This is where chronic stress comes in. Old fashioned stress would be over within minutes, when we would have either attacked or fled from the physical threat. With a never-ending demand on our systems in a demanding workplace, the ‘threat’ never goes away so we find ourselves continually, or chronically stressed. This is not ideal.
It’s holiday week so many of us are relaxing, so it’s worth contemplating coping strategies for when ‘stress’ returns. There are easy and effective ways of dealing with it, namely looking after the basics: food, water, oxygen, rest (and activity). The key is to think like an endurance athlete.
Food: As mentioned above, when your body is in a state of stress you might find your appetite diminish. This can lead to all sorts of crazy eating patterns. Many folk don’t eat during the day, when busy with work, then come home and eat everything! This is normal, but not helpful. You need to fuel your body when it’s in demand (i.e. during the day). So even if you’re not hungry, start with a good breakfast and have healthy snacks handy. A selection of fruit and wee container of nuts on the desk can fuel you when you need the energy. lt stabilises blood sugar levels therefore enabling you to think clearer.
Water: Hydration is hugely important in everyday life. Staying hydrated will help alleviate head and muscle aches. Carry a bottle with you and have it on your desk – and drink it. When we’re busy we quite often forget to drink water, but as your whole metabolic system functions better with good hydration, you will have more energy when euhydrated.
Oxygen: We need food, water and air to exist. Stress can lead some people to holding their breath, or not breathing deeply. Taking 10 deep breathes in a stressful situation can immediately diffuse it. Our brain needs oxygen to function, and deep breaths can also slow your heart rate down thereby quashing the feeling of panic. You need to remember to do it, so nowadays when I’m stressing, I have made a mental cue to translate “I’m feeling stressed” to “I need to do 10 deep breaths”. Normally by breath five you’ll find you calm down. I also find this useful for panic attacks (it happens to many of us, and it can be helped).
Rest: Perhaps one of the most important, it’s bizarre how we expect our bodies to function optimally without adequate rest. Set a bed time, and switch off technology around an hour before. Rest is when your body repairs and ‘updates’ itself, so you do really need to switch off and let your body recover and prepare for another busy day.
So there you have it, the basics you need to consider before entering a busy period. And remember a situation is not stressful unless you allow it to be. Some stress is good, if managed well. And we’ve not even discussed how you react to stress can make it better or worse.
And Finally… Coco the Fitness Pug on Instagram
Due to popular demand, we’ve launched Coco the Fitness Pug’s Instagram channel. You can see her doing all of her favourite fitness pursuits and most recently, getting doggy physiotherapy.
No need to worry about Coco though, the physio was to help improve a weakness in her right hind leg (she twisted it three years ago in a hero ball leap, and it niggles from time to time). he loves her balance training… with treats.
Have a happy and healthy summer,