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There’s a Swedish saying that goes Patience is the fishermans best friend. For the fisherman, the outcome is often unpredictable and the only way for him to make sure he gets results is to put the time in, which means to wait and hope. If he has a bad day and decides to leave after half an hour, he will most likely leave with nothing but a feeling of emptiness. Some days he might luck out, and catch a fish quickly but on other days that might not be the case. The outcome is unpredictable and uncontrollable, the only thing he can control is his input of time and patience.

How does this have anything to do with fitness and training? Well, in a world where we can readily have anything we want within a few minutes, it’s easy to also to become impatient inside the gym. Many times, we feel a sense of urgency to meet our goals instantly. The good thing with this is that you’re actively thinking about your goals and your development. However, when this might become an issues is when we decide we want it now, or we wanted it yesterday. Our goals can become overwhelming, when in fact they should serve as an inspiration and direction for your training.

So how can we manage our desire to meet our goals, but to not let them overpower us or make us feel inadequate when we are not quite there yet? It’s simply patience.

 

Why is patience important?

  • Patience helps you develop realistic expectations. Like the fisherman, his ultimate goal is to catch a big fish. He will not know how long that will take, how many hours he will have to put in, but he can design a rough plan that ‘today I will go fishing for two hours’. In those two hours, he might catch a fish, and he might not. He sets himself a realistic expectation of what might happen. Realistically, success won’t happen overnight or during a two hour window. Only persistent effort and time will yield the desired outcome.
  • It helps you understand that setbacks are temporary. Our plan and what actually happens might look a bit different… When something doesn’t play out the way you hoped them to, taking a step back and trying to understand why that is and making the right adjustments will actually help you move forward in a more effective way. Setbacks should never be seen as a failure, but instead a chance to learn how we can change our method to further our development.
  • Patience forces you to become focused on the solution. With a patient mindset, you put more faith in the process rather than the outcome. When something might not go as you planned, spend some time reflecting as to why. Did you set yourself up for success today in terms of sleep, preparation, nutrition? Are you enjoying the process of training? Some of these questions will help you find solutions that will allow you to put more focus on the journey and not the end goal.
  • Patience helps you eliminate doubt, worry and fear. Patience gives you the confidence that you know you can achieve your goals, even if it will take a bit of time. Along the way, doubt, worry and fear can creep in and make you doubt the process. Having already established realistic expectations, dealt with setbacks and set your eyes on the solution and development process, you can rest assured that there is no need to worry or fear the outcome. Just trust in the plan and enjoy the ride.

 

I believe that a patient mindset can help all of us move towards our goals in a smarter way. Whether you are completely new to working out, a seasoned CrossFit athlete or recovering from an injury, understanding the need for patience as we develop is key to success. The only things we can control is the effort we put in and the attitude we chose to have about it. Patience and persistence in your effort will not only bring you closer to your goal but also allow you to reach sustained success. It will allow you to reach a higher level of accomplishment than a sense of urgency ever could.

3 April 2017 0 comment
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For those who don’t know, I’ve been doing CrossFit since 2014 when I moved down to London after graduating university. There I left behind a 14 year long spree of being a basketballer, to basically become a CrossFitter overnight. It wasn’t something planned, I just kinda fell into it.

Flash forward, this year is my 3rd time to experience the CrossFit Open and the excitement is just as high as the previous two years. For any non-CrossFit people, the CrossFit Open is basically a world-wide fitness test that lasts 5 weeks, where you do 1 workout a week for five weeks at your local CrossFit affiliate. You then submit your scores and at the end of the 5 weeks, the top 20-30 competitors in each region gets invited to regionals. At regionals they source the top 5 five athletes in each region to compete at the CrossFit Games, which is basically the World Championships of CrossFit.

I love the Open because it enables everyone to test their current level of fitness – regardless of what level you’re on. There is a specific atmosphere created in the gym when you get together with your friends and give it your all to that workout. As adults, we often time don’t get the same opportunity to fully test ourselves in a fitness setting, and instead we tend to think of it as something belonging to our youth. CrossFit really breaks that perception, by creating a worldwide competition in which everyone can take part. It makes me smile just thinking about it.


Now, here I sit, two days after having done the first workout of the Open – also known as 17.1 (first workout of 2017). It was a spicy couplet of dumbbell snatches and burpee box-jump overs, and I think I speak for most people when I say “Ouch my hamstrings and and ouch my back…”. If not, please tell me your secret :D.

Going into it, my goal was to keep moving and maintain my breathing. I had somewhat of an idea of what time I’d like to get but nothing specific. Having coached the previous classes on Friday evening, I knew what awaited me as people one by one completed the workout by falling breathless to the ground making wheezing noises of pain… A friend of mine looked at me and said after she finished hers; “You’ll really like this one Hannah – you’ll embrace the pain and that will drive you”. She couldn’t have said anything better, as that put me in the exact right headspace to go out and give it my all.

I think this workout was great for many reasons.

  1. It was inclusive. It consisted of two movements pretty much everyone can do (different weight categories available)
  2. It had a 20 minute time-cap – This was a long workout, which meant it gave everyone a fair shot at finishing the workout.
  3. It tested your ability to switch quickly between different movements. Going from a burpee into a box jump might not be everyone’s favourite, but it’s still a fantastic test and will get your heart racing.

I’m looking forward to seeing what the next workout brings, and again, I look forward to seeing people give their ALL on that gym floor next Friday!

 

 

 

27 February 2017 0 comment
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As an athlete and coach, I know first hand the importance of good nutrition. However, I know it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the large amounts of information about various diets that exist; should I eat carbs or not? How much protein? What fats are good for me? Should I eat differently depending on whether I want to lose weight or gain muscle-mass?

The thing is, since food is one of our basic needs – it shouldn’t be overwhelming and difficult.  In fact here are three simple ways to get on track with a healthier more wholesome diet.

 

1. Change your food sources – eliminate processed foods and stick to wholesome foods.

This is the most important first step. Processed foods is the thief of a healthy diet, as they are packed with additives, sugars, stabilisers – you name it. It is impossible knowing what you put into your body or what the purpose of it is.

Wholesome foods are foods produced and ingested as it comes. Think of vegetables,  grains , starches, nuts, meat, seeds. By eating wholesome foods you don’t ingest any unnatural substances and you will get the full nutritional value of that food. Natural foods can be superrich in antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. Processed food on the other hand, isn’t, due it having gone through long processes of production that basically strips it of its natural nutritional values.

So therefore, review your current diet – what is processed and what is wholesome? Can you make any changes? Keep it simple!

2. Failing to plan, is planning to fail – Prepare for success!

Food prepping helps you stay in control of your diet. It doesn’t have to be tricky – just choose a couple of meals you enjoy and cook them in bulk. For the work week, you can alternate these dishes as you wish.

Personally, I like to make 2-3 main meals, with my protein sources being turkey, chicken, beef or fish. I then make two kinds of carb alternatives, my favourites being sweet potato wedges/mash and rice. Lastly, I ensure I fill my plate with any type of veggies that I enjoy.  I always aim to get a couple of different colours in each meal – leafy greens such as spinach and kale, bell peppers, tomatoes and broccoli. You can really go to town with these ones, as they are quite low in carbs so can get a significant amount of volume from these.

For snacks – the same principle goes. If you don’t have a ready prepared snack with you, it is easy to fall in to temptation and grab whatever is convenient. Decide on what your morning/afternoon snack should be according to what your day requires of you. Are you working out after work? Then make sure you have a snack including carbs to help fuel you for your workout. Hard-boiled eggs, carrot sticks, oatmeal, nuts and berries are some of my staples.

To avoid feeling overwhelmed – set out to try this method for 3-4 weeks and allocate some time on a Sunday to get your cooking in. Each week, choose 2-3 meals depending on how much variety you need, and cook them in bulk so it feeds you for 4-5 days. Buy appropriately sized Tupperware to help you pack the food away, and try and keep portion sizes to a fist full of protein, 1.5 fist of carbs and as much veggies you like. To ensure you get some fats with your meals, add olive oil or nuts to your salads, fresh avocado to your chilli or even some coconut oil in your morning coffee.

3. Weekdays are for focus and convenience – weekends for exploration!

One way to ensure you stay on track during the weekdays is knowing you have the weekend coming up to explore perhaps some more exciting dishes. These should still fit within the wholesome food criteria, but here you can have a little more freedom. Don’t be scared to experiment with more intricate recipes and spices – this is how we learn and figure out what we like. Treat yourself to something you’ve been holding off from during the week – life is about balance and that also goes for your diet.

18 February 2017 0 comment
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I’m always on the hunt for nice, tasty and nutritious snacks. Recently I’ve been loving these little gems – so thought I’d share the recipe with you. The great thing with these ‘energy balls’ is that you can basically add any ingredient that you like and I’m sure they will taste delicious. Using medjool dates creates that fudgy consistency that allows them to bind together. Therefore, I would advise to make sure you use medjool as they are better at this than other dates.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • 10 Medjool dates (I buy one pack of Tesco’s organic medjool dates)
  • 3 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1 cup cashew nuts
  • 1 cup of any kind of seed mix – I used a mixture that contained sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and cranberries.
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp hemp protein powder

WHAT YOU GOTTA DO

  • remove the pits from the dates – not tasty for you and not great for the food processor… 😉
  • Add the nuts and seeds to your food processor and mix until it becomes a crumbly powder consistency
  • Add all remaining ingredients
  • Mix until it becomes a sticky consistency
  • Create small balls with approximately 1.5 tbsp of the mixture – should make around 24 balls.
  • Put in the fridge to set for 30 mins.

Serving size: 24

  • Calories: 74
    • Fat 3.7
    • Carbs 7.8
    • Protein 2.1

I make a batch on the weekend and have them ready to grab from the fridge whenever I need a quick pick-me-up. Hope you like it!

10 July 2016 0 comment
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So for my birthday this year, I really wanted to try making us some Acai bowls. These are packed with lots of nutrients and antioxidants and I managed to pick up some Vitacai frozen juice pads from Wholefoods earlier in the week. What I like about this recipe is simply how easy it is to make, how delicious it is, and how beautiful it looks. My Mr certainly finished his bowl with a smile on his face.

WHAT YOU NEED

For 1 serving:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 100 ml of frozen Acai – I used Vitacai which contains both Acai and Guarana
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • Fresh strawberries, blueberries, banana to decorate
  • Granola of choice – I used Lizi’s granola

WHAT YOU GOTTA DO

  • Place one pack of Acai in warm water to defrost. Should take around 3-4 mins.
  • In a blender, add banana, blueberries and raspberries and mix together. If you have time, put the banana in the freezer for about 20 mins to add extra freshness to your bowl.
  • Add the frozen Acai to your blender and mix again.
  • Once all blended together, pour it into a bowl.
  • Cut up strawberries and a banana and decorate your bowl together with the fresh blueberries and granola. I went for a stripe design, but you could also do a circle motif.

Once you’re done, sit back and enjoy. This certainly started my birthday off in the best possible way.

 

 

12 June 2016 0 comment
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