Fun fact about me that most people don’t realise – I’m actually from the countryside. The constant takeaway coffee in hand, innate knowledge of most bus routes in West London and shellac manicure every fortnight without fail may have you fooled, but I grew up and spent the first 18 years of my life deep in the Cornish countryside. So when brand new healthy snack range Off The Eaten Path invited me on a guided walk in Sussex with qualified walk leaders Two Blondes Walking I couldn’t lace up my trainers and pack my rucksack fast enough! However it has been a while since I’ve been properly out in the countryside, so I was extremely grateful for all the useful information and tips the ladies shared with me – which in turn I am delighted to be sharing with you.
There are a few staple items that make up your average fitness bloggers’ food cupboard – chia seeds, protein powder, avocados, and of course oats. I am no exception and porridge in the Winter and overnight oats in the Summer are my breakfasts of choice, so when White’s Oats (who have been milling oats in Co. Armagh, N. Ireland since 1841) asked me to create a recipe using their Organic Jumbo Porridge Oats, which are 100% natural and high in fibre, I thought this will be a piece of cake (or bowl of zoats should I say!) But when I thought about it more, I decided I wanted to create a savoury oat recipe because I truly believe they have so much potential beyond our breakfast bowls. So here is my recipe for Italian Vegetable Oat Crumble, using White’s Organic Jumbo Porridge Oats.
I think it would be fair to say that people who know me well would describe me as both motivated and fearless – I’m not one to back down from a challenge, nor am I someone who gives up very easily. But on 30th April I faced one of the biggest mental and physical challenges I have ever encountered – Abseil for the Animals. I took part in the UK’s highest freefall abseil from the ArcelorMittal Orbit in Olympic Park – and thankfully my terror at the top was not in vain as my personal challenge was all in aid of The Mayhew Animal Home, and whilst I knew this would be something outside of my comfort zone, I had no idea just how much inner strength I’d have to summon to get me though.
If you’re a regular Wildcat Fitness Blog reader or social media follower you’ll know I don’t shy away from a physical challenge. Over the past few years I’ve gone from not being able to support my own body weight to push ups and heavy deadlifts, and from barely being able to run for the bus to hill sprints and tuck jumps. So this year I thought it was time for a new way to push myself, which is why I am taking on the not only physically but hugely mental challenge of Abseil for the Animals – the UK’s highest freefall abseil in aid of an amazing charity – The Mayhew Animal Home. Why a mental challenge? Because I’m not great with heights and even the thought of being at the top of that 300ft sculpture (the ArcelorMittal Orbit in Olympic Park) and looking down, knowing I have to jump off makes my palms sweat just sitting here, so goodness knows how I’ll do it on the day – but – one thing is for sure – I will do it – because I am determined to raise as much money as possible for these incredible animals and this incredible cause, and here’s why.
Not a single week seems to go by these days without me getting at least a couple of emails or Direct Messages from people who are thinking about studying to become, or who are in the process of qualifying as a Personal Trainer asking my advice about starting in the industry. Firstly, I am flattered that anyone would want to ask my advice and am always happy to offer it, and secondly, it is amazing that so many people are now interested in careers in the fitness industry. I’m well aware I post often about how much I love my job and my clients and how I genuinely feel blessed to live the life I do, but as with any job, not everything in the life of a Personal Trainer is shiny new Nikes and super happy clients. Whilst I believe it is one of the most rewarding jobs in the world, it can also be hugely demanding at times, so in the interest of balance and honesty I wanted to share with you the Secrets of a Personal Trainer that no one else will tell you….
Winter may be dark and cold but it is good for one thing – root vegetables like parsnips, turnips and celeriac being in season. As well as this, these starchy vegetables pack a nutrient punch whilst at the same time satisfying our carb and comfort food cravings on dark Winter nights. This Winter Vegetable Gratin recipe works with pretty much any root vegetable so do feel free to experiment and find your favourite combination. I personally love the taste of celeriac (which is extremely low in calories but contains plenty of vitamin K which can boost bone health) and in this particular version I combined it with parsnips, squash and sweet potato – but carrots, potatoes, swede, fennel and turnip also work really well – if you have a favourite root vegetable now is the time to let it shine! This recipe makes a great side dish – I served it last night alongside steak for my husband and tuna steak for me, but it also works well with white meat. It was also delicious heated up again today for my lunch, so it works really well as a stand alone dish as well as an accompaniment. So how do you make it?
As you will have seen me boldly state on the Wildcat Fitness Personal Training website – fitness IS my number one passion in life. But do you know what comes a close second? Make up and beauty products, as my overflowing bathroom cupboards and bedroom shelves will testify. You might think make up and the gym are not a match made in heaven, and for many people they aren’t, but personally I still like to look good even when I sweat, and I certainly like to appear groomed when I train my clients or go to meetings, so it’s very rare that you’ll see me bare faced. However, I also like to look after my skin and hair and also not feel like I am caked in products and my skin can’t breathe – so over the years I’ve honed down the contents of my make up and toiletry bag and have a handful of products I now swear by. And I’m about to share them with you!
And whilst I love to pretend that this is my routine every day before working out, sadly this is a flash back to a photoshoot with Tom Miles and my amazing make up artist Lauren Ross!
For a variety of different reasons – health, environmental or even just emotional – more and more people are giving up eating meat, or at least limiting their intake. Personally I have been a vegetarian for over 15 years, which means in that time I have had to come up with many different ways to make meat-free dishes, and create my own recipes. When people first give up meat they can sometimes find it hard to be creative or have variety in their meals – which is hopefully where I (and this recipe) can help!
One cuisine that is super-vegetarian friendly is Indian – dhaals, ghobis, saag…. all of these dishes are vegetable based. So I’ve come up with a simple vegetarian curry recipe that is easy and inexpensive to make, and should easily last at least 3 days, so it’s the perfect dish to cook on a Sunday night to see you through midweek suppers and lunches.
So without further ado, here is my recipe for Squash, Spinach and Lentil Curry.