Thursday, 14 February 2013

Practicing what you preach..

Just after completing their third set of swapover lunges, my client looked at me with a mixture of pain  yet determination in their eyes when they asked me 'do you put yourself through this torture?!' After my first reaction which was a slight chuckle, I responded with an honest answer which was plain and simply 'yes.'

It's like a chef that doesn't try their own food. A BMW salesman driving a Volvo, a dentist with a mouth full of fillings, I think you get the idea.. but at the end of the day, I'm selling myself. The advert for my own business is me. When you enter room, how important are first impressions?! I would say the MOST important factor when meeting someone for the first time. 

Appearance is huge. Especially in my industry. Of course, I can improve like everyone else. I have my floors. I could improve my body composition. I have a dangerous sweet tooth, my tolerance to carbs is pretty low and who doesn't enjoy the occasional pint of Somerset cider with some mates? 

Now this blog isn't a rant about me, me and more me. I just want you to know that I understand what my clients go through day in and day out when they have a desired goal that they so desperately want to reach. It's too easy to give-in. It's too easy to pick up a microwave meal when you have arrived late back from work. It's too easy skip the gym when it's cold and raining outside, It's those situations when you have to apply the attitude of 'just get it done.' The mind is such a powerful mechanism and it likes to test your conscience every now and again.

Vision and imagery are components that are used widely in professional sport. A great example of where imagery is performed with great success is Jonny Wilkinson and 'Doris.' With every penalty kick or conversion, Jonny visualises 'Doris' sitting in the stand behind the post and his objective is to get the ball onto Doris' lap with each kick. Being one of the best goal-kickers in the history of the game, I think you could say that it's proved a pretty successful strategy.

Find your strategy and motivation, whether it's the beach body for the summer holiday, or the impending London Marathon, or a PB with a certain lift and don't stop until you have reached that end point, be relentless. 

Of course, people 'fall off the wagon' that's ok, it happens! Don't beat yourself up about it, and the attitude I see quite a lot is 'Oh I've been bad Monday and Tuesday so I might aswell start next week.' That's the soft option. That attitude of accepting defeat won't help with anything in life.

I'm far from the motivational speaker, I'll leave that to the people that write books and the daily motivational tweets that fly around, but just take a moment and think, you're only here for one life. Why not make the most of it?!

Now put down your Krispy Kreme doughnut and reach for a mug of green tea!


Ps. I'm pretty excited with my new holding page for my website:

Head over to it if you have a spare few mins. I'll be updating it regularly and it would be great to have some feedback.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Banana Bread - Recipe of the week 11/2/13

Another great weekend for rugby, especially if you're English. Congrats to the resurgent Welsh, the French look scared to play the rugby that their famous for and Scotland gave Italy a pasting..

Last weekend I was lucky enough to experience a training session with Professional Boxing coach Shane McGuigan, before this I watched one of his fighters - Carl Frampton complete his last sparring session before his European Title Fight on Saturday night, which he won with a knockout in the 9th round. The quickness and fitness of that man is phenomenal. The media are dubbing him for great things and I can see why. I felt a little bit inadequate stepping into the ring after watching him. Struggling my way through some jab/cross combinations, it was an amazing experience though. Also got to meet Shane's dad, Barry who gave some encouraging words so I went out with my chest out and shoulders spread.

Anyway, the real reason for this post - Banana Bread. Doesn't sound the healthiest does it?! Banana - yep, great, bit of fruit - high on the gi scale but fine. Bread, one of the main foods that I encourage my clients not to eat. So how does this bread differ from the conventional sugar-laden, processed packed normal stuff. Secret ingredient - Buckwheat.

I've already posted on how great this little ingredient is. It's complete protein structure and non-gluten characteristics make for a fantastic alternative to white flour. It works great with pancakes (see earlier post), and now I wanted to try it with a 'cake.' The recipe also contains minimal sugar, literally a dash of agave syrup.

Agave syrup can be purchased in large supermarkets and has a significantly lower impact on blood sugar than normal table sugar making it a preferred choice. It's thinner in consistency than honey however packs the same sweet taste making it a favourite amongst the health conscious.

So here it is:

Banana Bread:


120g Butter (preferably Kerrygold)
1 and 1/2 Cups of Buckwheat flour
1tbsp Agave Syrup
1 egg
3 Bananas (very ripe)
1tsp Cinnamon
1tsp Vanilla extract
2tsp Baking powder
Handful of Walnuts - crushed.


Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees

Mash up the bananas into a paste using a fork.

Soften the butter until melted and add to the butter.

Crack in an egg, the cinnamon and syrup.

In another bowl mix the flour and baking powder together and slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, a little at a time. A hand blender is advised for this mixing process.

Empty the mixture into a cake tin and bake for 35-40 mins. If the top of the bread looks like it is burning, put some foil over the top until the inside is thoroughly cooked.

I'm definitely no Paul Woodwood when it comes to baking, not my thing. But this recipe is simple and fantastic for a post workout treat. Thanks to my flatmate who took the 'rustic' photo of the bread:

Enjoy pancake day tomorrow, I can't wait for it. Have a go at the buckwheat pancakes if you haven't already!