Daily Blog: Home Workout & Man Crush Monday!

Monday, 28 November 2016

Happy Monday! 
I woke up feeling excited because it's my birthday this week and I get a tattoo done on Thursday! The first week of December is usually a good one.

I made sure to be up before 7am so that I would have time to make breakfast, then jump on Twitter for the #fitbunnieschat. We talked about healthy eating and it was great to hear so many others enjoying meal prep too. 

Time to edit some photos. I was good and did a bulk photography session yesterday, so that the start of Blogmas is a little easier. I'll pretty much be posting everyday until the end of December. It's going to be a busy, but fun month!

I'm feeling a little cramped in my room, so I thought I would come outside and do a little workout. I'm starting with some jump rope to get warmed up. Double Unders still escape me though.

Now onto some deadlifts. I'm doing a lighter weight of 30kgs for three rounds of 15 reps. I like to mix up my weights for toning as well as strength.

Bent over rows 30kgs 3x12
Hang Cleans 30kgs 3x5
Deadlifts 50kg 3x12
Bench Press 30kg 3x5
Glute Bridges 3x20
Russian Twists 3x30

 I can't go too hard on anything, because I have a Crossfit class coming up at 12.30pm. But I am starving now, so I'm going to dig into my meal prep. This week I made a tempeh (a soy-bean meat-substitute that's better than tofu!) with brocolli, cauliflower, and courgettes in a spicy sauce. 

I'm going to enjoy my lunch while watching the latest video from the Blossom Twins, which is all about Lucy sharing what she eats in a day for her cut. I'm loving this series and it's giving me so much food inspiration. Make sure you check it out! 

Time for Crossfit!

We changed it up today and did the strength section of the workout first, instead of the METCON (metabolic conditioning.) We worked on front squats and I was really proud of how I did today. My form felt better and I worked my way up to five reps of 50kgs! That's 20kgs more than I was doing at the gym a month ago. My coach thinks I'll get to 70kg soon, which makes me really excited. It sounds so bad-ass.

Then we went onto our intense round of 21 front squats and 21 push press (25kg barbell) then 15, then 9 of each. It was a tough one but I managed it in 8.51min, so I was happy. That's a lot of squats!

That was a pretty tough session, but that's exactly the point of Crossfit. My collarbone is so red from those front squats! I need a quick snack before I get in the shower and then get to writing.

Someone needs to stop me from drinking so much coffee in a day, feels like I'm in Gilmore Girls (yes, I binged it over the weekend. And yes, I also need more of grown-up Jess in my life.)

Time for some much-needed food because I am starving. I went for my usual protein hit of an English muffin, vegetarian sausage, and an egg. All of which I cannot eat without a lathering of barbecue sauce.

Home from work, which went really quickly tonight. For dinner I am having a cauliflower pizza that I made last night. It has mushrooms, peppers, red onion, olives and courgettes on top, with a few roasted veges to go with it. I know it's not the same as real pizza, but this is pretty damn good.

I found the Nannie Diaries on Netflix the other day and just had to watch it. It played on the movie channel years ago and it's one of those films I can watch over and over. It stars a young Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans before they became superheroes and saved the world. Chris plays "Harvard Hottie" and oh man is he adorable. He's definitely my choice for Man Crush Monday. Just look at that face!

Now for one of my all-time favorite desserts, fruit crumble! We had quite a few apples and pears that needed to be eaten, so yesterday I thought it would be easy enough to make it into dessert. There's no butter or sugar in this, just spices, oats, coconut etc.

When you're too lazy to clean your face properly...I know wipes are bad, but some nights they are a life-saver.

What a great start to the week! Killing a tough workout, delicious food, and enjoying a Chris Evans movie on Netflix. It's always the little things, right?

Who else watched the Gilmore Girls revival? Let me know what you thought in the comments!
Steph x.

My December Bucket-List 2016

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Hello, December. My favorite month of the year! (and not just because it's my birthday month too.)
In 2015, I set myself a bucket-list for the month and it really helped me make the most of the festive season. I completed most of my list and it was one of the best Decembers I have ever had. Naturally so, I want to do the same this year and set myself all new fun things to do. Let's do it!

Buy a new dress for the big day

It's tradition in my family to wear new clothes on Christmas, and I've always loved shopping with my Mum for an outfit. Since we always go shopping on Christmas eve (another family tradition) it's usually done in a hurry, but the fun is in the thrill of it. I'm thinking of going for a nice white dress this year with sandals to match?

Succeed in making a gingerbread house

This was on last year's bucket-list, but as you can probably tell it was a major fail. I'm still determined to make and decorate one of these and I have a feeling it might be the year I do it. I'm gonna look up the best recipes and watch some YouTube videos to get the best techniques. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

Have a Harry Potter marathon and make Butter Beer

There's something about Harry Potter and Christmas that just match perfectly, right? It might be the snow or just the feeling of family. I haven't sat down to watch all of the movies in a while, so one Sunday I will be creating a cozy setting and enjoying some Hogwarts magic. To make it even better, I thought I would add butter beer into the mix as well! After trying it at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Hollywood, I feel in love with the drink and have wanted more. It has the makings of a really great day!

Wear red lipstick. A lot

As much as December is about comfort, I also want to add a bit more glam into my days. I really want to make the most of some of the beautiful reds I own and use it to get a little more festive! It's always an instant confidence boost, especially when paired with a black leather jacket.

Practice Gratitude 

I know this should be an all-year round thing, but we all know what it's like when life gets busy. I'm going to be starting a little project this month (that might continue on in 2017) that will have me thinking about all of the things I feel grateful for. I'm hoping it will help me make it more of a habit of slowing down and being thankful. I'll be sharing this one in the second week of Blogmas!

Write My New Years Resolutions 

I'm a very goal-orientated person, so I look forward to doing this every year. Most of the time my resolutions change and evolve through the months, but it's such a great idea to just sit and think about what you would like the next year to look like. I have a feeling mine are going to be all about blogging/business goals and working hard for that dream life I have in my head. You never know what the year will bring!

Bake and decorate Christmas cookies for my family

This has become one of my favorite things to do in December, so I thought I would make the most of my new hobby and make some edible gifts! My Grandad absolutely loves when I bake for him and that alone makes it worth the effort. I've found so many cute decorating ideas on Pinterest, so I'm gonna get baking and make a whole bunch for him to enjoy!

Buy Christmas pajamas to wear on Christmas Eve
My Mum and I talked about doing this while we were out shopping the other day, and I think it needs to become a new tradition for us. I always see Zoella doing this with with Alfie and his family, and it seems like the cutest idea. I've spotted some adorable pajamas lately that I will be buying on our Christmas Eve shopping ventures (pray for me.)

What's on your bucket-list this December?
Steph x. 

November Fitness Update: A New Chapter

Saturday, 26 November 2016

What a month it's been! A lot of changes have been made to my routine and how I'm training this November. It hasn't just been about challenging myself, or even the Spartan Race. I've had to make changes this month purely on my own happiness and finding the best environment to thrive in. It's taught me that your fitness journey needs to change and grow as you do. The moment you become bored or unhappy, things need to change. Do what's right for you and find the path that makes you the happiest on your journey to getting fit.

Leaving my gym 

This was a pretty hard decision to make, but I know that it was for the best. I had been going there for a year and a half, and it was the perfect gym for my start in fitness. But over the past few months I had grown unhappy with the lack of guidance, boredom with being in a small area, and over old men staring at me while I work out. It wasn't my happy place anymore and I knew something had to change. I took some time off to see if distance helped, but I still didn't want to go back. Sometimes you simply outgrow your gym, but I'm thankful for everything they taught me and getting me in such great shape.

Joining Crossfit

Carrying on from my last point, I booked in for a free trial class at Crossfit gym early in the month and never looked back. I was still at my gym by this point, and trying these classes was a big factor in my decision to leave. I'll be going into more details in another post, but this has been the challenge and inspiring environment that I have craved for so long. I have been pushing myself through some pretty tough workouts and learning all new skills. The best part is the friendly and truly bad-ass people I have met. Crossfit has such a great community and they keep you going when you want to give up. Can't recommend it enough for anyone looking to take their training to the next level. I had been wanting to try it for a while and I'm so glad I did!

Spartan Race Training 

Entries for the 2017 race on Oahu are officially open now (I'm officially registered, woohoo!) and it's getting real! I've decided to do the SUPER course, which is the middle of race difficulty (16km, 24-29 obstacles.) This month I have increased my running to five times a week doing 8-10kms, and on the weekends we have started running uphill courses. Crossfit is the most recommended way to train for the race because of the endurance and strength combo, so that's all go now and I'm really happy with it. I'm learning to push through that mental barrier that holds you back, which I'm going to need to do a lot on the course.

Setting Up A Home Gym 

After leaving mine, I had toyed with the idea of finding a new gym in my city. To be honest, most of them seem pretty generic and boring. It would also be nice to save money on a gym membership with Christmas and birthdays coming up. Recently my brother has been getting back into his fitness and set up a mini gym in the garage. We have a treadmill, bench press, a few weights, and some bands that I occasionally use. At times I would usually go to the gym, I've been going outside and practicing my jump rope, then heading in to work on my lifts with the barbell. It doesn't sound like much but it covers everything I need at the moment and I love working out on my own.

Running 10km In An Hour!

After we surprised ourselves with a great time for 11km last month, my Mum and me set a goal to complete 10km in an hour. We entered the Summer Starter Fun Run and trained just that bit harder every day. On the day of the run, we faced a little challenge with the wind, my sore foot, and pain in my Mum's hip, but we did it! Our time was 01.13min and we are pretty proud of ourselves. We have a couple of 15km runs next year, so I'm sure we will be setting goals for them too.

Overall, November was quite a big month for my fitness and I'm really confident going into December. Crossfit is helping me progress at such a great rate and I can't wait to see where it takes me. Here's to finishing off 2016 fitter and stronger than ever!

How do you change up your fitness routine?
Steph x.

Daily Blog: What I Ate & Cat Cuddles!

Happy Friday, lovely people! 

Friday is always the toughest day to get out of bed, but I'm up and ready to take on my last crossfit class of the week. I've taken some pre-workout to help me wake up a bit (it's very much needed this morning!) I'm still on the NutriGrain bars, I usually eat half now, half later.

Another great session at Crossfit this morning! We did a nine minute round of jumping squats and double unders (which I've still not mastered, so it was single skipping for me.) It went so quickly and all of us had dead calves afterwards. Totally worth it.

Then we moved on to strength, which meant four sets of deadlifts for me. I made it heavier each round and ended up getting four reps 85kg on my last set, which is PR! The boys kept saying "But why aren't your struggling? You make it look easy." Maybe I should have put more on. Either way I'm taking it as a complement! 

Time to get some breakfast going and this morning I'm making my favorite proats with banana and blueberries. Check out this adorable bottle of almond milk! My Mum found it for me and thought I would like it. She's the best. 

I woke up feeling like I might be getting a cold and since we have an overload of oranges, I thought I would make fresh juice! It didn't take long at all and I strained the pulp easily enough. Taste better than anything out of a bottle, and with no added sugar either. 

Time to work on a new blog post and it's a recipe one too. I'm excited because it involves peanut butter a.k.a the glue that holds my life together. It should be up by the time you read this, so go check it out! Also, does anyone else have trouble taking food photos with pets around? Buddy always seems to find me.

Today's pre-run snack is a Petit Miam yogurt, which I used to eat all the time as a kid and it's quite possibly the best yogurt in the world. I thought it would be great as an extra protein source (4.2g) and I could use more calcium too. So happy these are back in my life!

There's a little bit of rain and wind today, but that won't stop us. It's days like this that champions train, right?

Lunch time! We came to our favorite cafe to try some of the new things on their lunch menu. We all went for the halloumi sandwich with mushrooms and wilted greens. It was delicious and I need to know what they put in their sauces!

It feels so good to have my hair washed. I'm still in love with the blonde.

I've been getting work done on that recipe post, desperately trying to get it published before I go off to work (why do I always leave posts to the last minute?) I was in need of a coffee refill and some protein. I've gone back to having English muffins with the Bean Supreme vegetarian & gluten-free sausages. So good and so filling.

Got some more road code studying done! It was so beautiful and warm coming out of work tonight, summer is definitely on the way. Makes me want to get the barbecue out for dinner!

This cheeky one was hanging out again tonight! We call him Socks (because of his white paws) but we have no idea who he belongs to or where he lives. He just wanders where he wants, and terrorizes a few dogs for fun. I finally got him to come over for cuddles a few weeks back, so now he's super-friendly whenever he sees me. So cheeky!

I can finally eat dinner after petting the neighborhood cat for half an hour (totally worth it!) It's the last of my meal prep for the week. I must admit I'm going to miss my quorn and sweet potato mash. Going to have to make it again soon. It's a Netflix night-in for me, so a usual Friday then. I know based on my Twitter feed that everyone else is watching the Gilmore Girls revival, but I was really in the mood for Teen Wolf. I've got the whole weekend to have a Netflix catch-up!

You know what time it is! I swear Terry's Chocolate Oranges are my kryptonite every November-December. I only started eating them after watching Christmas videos with Zoella and Louise Pentland. They have given me a new appreciation for the festive season.

Time for a healthy dessert. All I did was cut a mango and add about half a cup of yogurt and blended them together. Add some strawberries and chia seeds, yum! The mango was nice an sour, just the way I like it.

Not a bad way to end a great week. I'm trying to make these daily blogs as interesting as I can for you guys. Hopefully I can start taking better shots of my workouts. They usually move so quickly that I don't have time, but I shall try!

Not long now until Blogmas! Don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin so you don't miss any of the fun. I'll be posting everyday in December.
Steph x.