Anyone who knows me will know I’ve become a bit of a health nerd of late.
Someone who opts for the superfood salad at a restaurant specialising in grilled meat. Someone who makes yoga videos, only drinks herbal tea and spends her spare time perfecting her power balls.
But it’s not all fun and games.
Being healthy can be a mighty blow to the bank balance. I shiver at the thought of how much I spend on yoga classes and avocados.
Also, cutting down on sugar means I’m craving the stuff even more. I won’t tell you about the time I binged on 3 Simpson-style doughnuts, an Oreo ice cream sandwich and a slab of homemade banana bread. In one evening.
And I often struggle to even find time to be healthy. You need to be super organised to plan and prepare meals and schedule in those work outs. A bit tricky when I spend all my time going to gigs, events or exhibitions. Because, London.
So, inspired by meeting health guru Madeleine Shaw the other week, and the fact that it was health and wellbeing week at work, I decided to have a totally wholesome, mindful and active week. While making time for my social commitments. Without spending an arm and a leg.
I definitely started with a bang. Monday involved healthy eats and hardcore work outs.
I picked up one of the free breakfast pots being given out at work – yoghurt topped with granola, blueberries and raspberries. Yum. I added some seeds and goji berries to mine for added goodness.
At lunch I went to Gymbox for the first time for my free trial day. I tried their ashtanga yoga session in this crazy-ass room overlooking the rest of the gym. Pretty fast-paced and I definitely worked up a sweat.
At lunch I got creative with some Ryvita, avocados, feta, tomatoes and cucumber.
After work I returned to Gymbox for their ‘Frame Fitness’ class. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so unfit. Like circuits on steroids, it was a blur of pull-ups, squats, press-ups, burpees, running planks, sit-ups and Russian twists. Whew!
I couldn’t believe it when I made it to the end of the 45-minute session. I got a bit of a runner’s high and somehow stayed at the gym for another hour of cross training, cycling and yoga. I just didn’t get tired.
The great thing about working out until 8.30pm is the half price sale at Itsu is on! So naturally I got my favourite – chicken teriyaki salad – at the reduced price of £2.50.
After my insane workout yesterday, I thought it best to take it easy today. I made another tasty lunch with the same ingredients as yesterday, but this time I picked up a multigrain triangle roll from Tesco for 25p.
Next I had a ‘health MOT’ – another work perk. I was tested by a health specialist from Nuffield Health and found out that my blood pressure and glucose levels are normal, but my cholesterol was only JUST within the normal range. Need to keep off the cakes and biscuits…
I started the day with some Planet Organic grain-free granola featuring nuts, seeds, coconut, dried banana, raisins and spirulina (fancy word for algae). I added some goji berries and blueberries to make it colourful. You don’t want to know how much this costs. I got a cheeky one for free at the Madeleine Shaw event.
At lunch I decided to chill out and go to a FREE creative meditation session at Inner Space. A little too relaxing maybe, as I kept nodding off. But I managed to unwind as I visualised being on a tropical beach with white sand and turquoise sea.
I was going to do some yoga when I got home, but since it was two days after my hard core work out, I ached like crazy. So instead I made a batch of power bars. You literally chuck goji berries, sultanas, dates, chia seeds, almonds, cacao powder and coconut oil into food processor, mould it…and boom! Great alternative to a chocolate bar.
Everyone’s going on about matcha green tea at the moment. Apparently it’s the equivalent of drinking 10 cups of normal green tea. So I thought I’d see what all the fuss was about by trying a matcha latte at Salad Pride (sweet little cafe in Neal’s Yard). Let’s just say it won’t be my last…
For lunch I made a yummy wrap filled with cous cous, spinach, avocado, tomato and cucumber.
Later on I had a free chair massage at work, which eased me up after a stressful morning.
The key to a healthy mind is to keep exercising it by learning new things. So I forced myself out of bed to get to an all-day copywriting event at The Rag Factory. It was great to hear from my fellow copywriters and get some tips about freelancing.
On our break for lunch, I strolled down Brick Lane in search of healthy food. I was drawn to Suito, a swanky new place serving up delicious Japanese food. I went for the chicken teriyaki donburi with veg. Seriously good.
My body had finally recovered in time for Be:Fit London – an awesome little fitness festival for women. We started with a ‘Strala Yoga’ class from Tara Stiles. Pretty tough session, but it was so motivating being one of around 100 yogis doing their thang.
After swiping as many freebies from the stalls as we could, we went to a talk from Dame Kelly Holmes. So inspirational. It made me realise that settling goals to be fit isn’t a means to an end. It’s a journey. And the same goes for anything you want to achieve in life. Just enjoy the ride.
We finished with a mini trampoline class. SUCH FUN.
Just look at my haul (below)! The only things I actually bought were:
- Vita Coco coconut water and oil: On offer for £5 together.
- Teapigs matcha kit: A burn at £25, but it will be worth it!
- Trek bars and Perkier bars: These were both on offer for 3 for like £2. Because you can never have too many bars.
I ended the week in style by dining at Jamie’s Italian with my other half. I had the best superfood salad of my entire life. Just look at that avocado and broccoli perched on top of that bed of kale, chicken, pulses and grains. Even my boyfriend (who went for the steak) had food envy.
So it is possible to stay fit and eat healthily with a busy lifestyle.
I ate healthily every day and didn’t eat a single sugary food. I did yoga (twice), hardcore circuits and even trampolining. I probably shouldn’t have exercised so much on the Monday though as I was out of action until Sunday. I didn’t stress about it though. I was mindful and I let my body unwind in the meantime with meditation and massage.
I managed to do everything I wanted to do, and still had time to chill out in the evenings. I didn’t spend too much either.
Admittedly I had a bit of help, what with all the freebies. But it’s allowed me to explore what I do and don’t like (matcha YES, hardcore circuits NOPE), so I can spend my money wisely. And I’m more motivated about being healthy than ever.
It’s all about planning, listening to your body and exercising your will power. Not forgetting to mix things up occasionally to keep things interesting!
Now where can I buy a trampoline…
Yoga Panther x
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