Uncategorized

Protein Doesn’t Have To Be Shakes

When I started aerial and was looking to increase my strength, the first advice on people’s lips was “protein shakes after a workout”. There is logic in this, because protein heals the tiny tears that appear in your muscles during exercise, making them bigger. However, I can’t help but dislike protein shakes because they always end up really thin and tasting like powder, and that just isn’t appetising.

As a result, part of my fitness journey has become finding tastier ways to get protein in. It’s surprisingly easy, with things like the Grasshopper Smoothie and Chia Puddings on my Recipes page being especially yummy breakfast or dessert substitutes!

Quinoa and chicken are my best friends at the minute because you can do them so many different ways, rather than the traditional chicken-and-rice-bowl that I know is a staple in many high-protein diets. For example, try the Cajun Protein Bowls I’ve recently added – they were a result of me going through my cupboards to see what I could cobble together, and not having time to both cook and eat between work and aerial. You can replace the tomato base in that recipe with a curry sauce for a cheeky Indian πŸ˜‰

As you know my blog is primarily about my anxiety, so people may be wondering where all this aerial stuff came from. For me, aerial is one of the major things keeping me grounded when my brain starts running into darker territories. This is because along with the obvious fitness and physical health benefits of exercise, it’s actually excellent for your longer-term mental health too. Exercising produces endorphins, which are a naturally occurring boost with similar effects to low level doses of morphine, a “high” as such, which can impact your daily living in a positive way. Also released is serotonin, the happy hormone. This combination of natural boosts can help ward off anxiety and depression, as well as boosting self-esteem (who doesn’t want to look in the mirror and think “damn I’m looking good”, or “I nailed that move today, I can really tell how much I’ve progressed”?). Add in the social element and you’re on to a winner. Sure you could get the exercise at a gym or by going running, but make sure you’re interested by the exercise you’re doing and looking forward to your sessions. You’ll get more benefit out of it if you enjoy it πŸ™‚

Have fun and stay happy! 

Namaste x

Advertisements
Uncategorized

Page Updates :)Β 

I’ve been making a move on some sorely-neglected pages lately! On the Products page I’ve added reviews for phD Diet Whey Protein Powder and Dr Stuart’s Skinny Tea, and there’s now a recipe for a gorgeous little protein-packed chia pudding on the Recipes page, along with my favourite super-hygge winter soup. 

As always if you have any particular products, methods, recipes etc you want me to cover drop me a line using either social media or the form on my Contact page πŸ™‚ 

Namaste x

Uncategorized

New Year, New Me!Β 

First of all, sorry it’s been so long! As it tends to do, life got in the way of what I wanted to do and before I knew it it was Christmas.

As we all do at this time of year, I’ve been thinking about New Year’s resolutions and all those over-optimistic goals I’ve set myself over the years. “Get healthy, eat well, get fit” are common yet unsuitable resolutions. There’s no frame of reference to what means you’ve succeeded or not, and no time limit so it’s more than a little tempting to go “Oh I’ll start tomorrow… ” and before you know it you’re making the same resolution again the next year.

This year I’ve decided to take a slightly different approach. My first New Year’s resolution is to attend aerial classes as often as I am able. There’s a lovely class called Vertical Joy in Gainsborough where both pole fitness and aerial fitness (circus hoop, trapeze, Olympic rings and silks) classes are taught at a very reasonable Β£5 per hour, or there are membership options available. The ladies and gents there are all lovely and encouraging, and genuinely make me believe that I can do some of those amazing moves one day – if any of you have seen my Instagram you’ll see that with their help even a complete noob like me can accomplish some pretty awesome things! For those of you who don’t know I’m an engineer, meaning I’m sometimes away with work etc and I confess to letting that get in the way of signing up for things in the past. So resolution number one is to try to attend 3 hours of aerial every week – no time limit per se but it’s very specific and manageable, and therefore I’m less likely to quit partway. 

Resolution number 2 is to eat healthier by being more prepared with the help of meal plans and nutritional guides to make sure I boost my natural intake of everything I need and maybe lose a couple of pounds along the way. At the minute I’m buying food every couple of days and just making food with whatever I have in my cupboards, which sometimes means I don’t always have the most nutritious or balanced meals. Sitting down on a Saturday morning with a cuppa and a notepad to plan a week of meals will take 5 minutes. Why I don’t already do this I don’t know, but I’m going to try to start. At that point I can do a bunch of prep on a Sunday and boom I know I’ve got good food for both lunches and dinner for a full week. Again this isn’t a limited goal in terms of time, but rather a weekly maintenance goal that should be more than manageable. 

And resolution number 3: stop buying things I’m not going to use, and more often use the things I already have. I have a smoothie maker that hasn’t seen nearly enough use in the winter months as a large bottle of cold smoothie isn’t the most interesting thing when it’s cold outside, so I’m going to buy a couple of smaller bottles for it and break my daily smoothies down into a morning one and an afternoon one. For Christmas my mum bought me a lovely new kettle with variable temperature settings so I can make a proper cup of green tea, so I’m going to make a point to sit and have one at least once a day. Small things in their own right, but a good habit to get into.

I’ve rattled on for quite a while this time so I’ll leave it there: I hope you’ve all had a lovely Christmas and will have a very happy New Year!

Namaste x

Uncategorized

Facing Anxiety Head-on!

Anyone who’s met me knows I can be really awkward in social situations. I’m not exactly what you’d call a people person, and crowds make me anxious at the best of times. As a result, when I started getting interested in a particular game, I looked for help with learning on YouTube, through people I already knew, and via online forums rather than just attending a local group. The idea was that I’d learn to play before attending a group because I was nervous of meeting that many new people at once, and knew that whether I clicked with them or not could potentially ruin the game that I’d been enjoying so far.

However, I was struggling to learn on my own. The Internet wasn’t giving me the answers I needed, so I was left with a choice: bite the bullet and go see a group (I’d been in touch with the local group and knew people were happy to help me out), or struggle along on my own. After a bit of deliberation and a chat with my wonderfully supportive other half I decided to give the group a go. He was going to come with me the first time in case I didn’t get on with them, but due to his schedule couldn’t make it for a while so I kept putting it off.

Finally I got fed up of my own inability to go on my own. It was time to face my fear and go for it. So I got togged up and took a nice walk to the pub where they play. Admittedly I was so nervous I went through a full pint before most of the group got there, but eventually everyone arrived and we got settled down and introduced. Funnily enough, I had a great time. Got on with everyone, had a laugh, learned a lot more than I’d managed to do on my own, and all round had a really fun evening, with one of the guys being kind enough to drop me at home when we were done because it was dark and wet and late.

It will sound silly to some people, being scared to embrace a new social situation, but for people who struggle with them it can be really difficult. One thing that’s helped me is that I recently read an excerpt from the book “F**k It”, which is about recognising when things scare you, or upset you, or are things you want to do but your attitude and thought patterns are holding you back, and saying “F**k it, I’ll do it anyway, how bad can this actually go? Yes I might end up being awkward, or not enjoying myself, or being laughed at, but I won’t know if I don’t try and I’m just making things worse by giving in to my own brain”.

In an earlier post I mentioned about how you shouldn’t be scared of relying on the people around you, but forgot to mention that those people includes yourself. Yes sometimes you need to talk to someone else, but don’t fall into the pattern of running to someone else every time anything goes wrong. First look at it and say “Can I tackle this myself?”; even sit and make a list of pros and cons if it helps you, before giving up. If you can’t tackle it yourself then by all means go to someone for help, but sometimes you’ll do yourself a lot more good by tackling your fear on your own.

Uncategorized

So I had a moment last night…

The moment we all know and hate, that one when every dark and self-deprecating feeling you’ve ever buried comes rising up like a tidal wave and paralyses you with pain. All of a sudden, everything that is going right for you vanishes and it feels like all life wants to do is hurt you. Even facts that you know are completely unquestionable become twisted in your brain’s determination to reduce you to a blubbering wreck.

These are the times when you need people. It may be a friendly word or a cup of tea, or just a hug while you let it all out. This is why, even when you are lost in the pain, you must not push everyone away; they are the ones who can look into your feelings and go “hang on, this isn’t true and you know it” and help you come back into yourself. It’s the most valuable thing anyone can do for you in that moment, and the most valuable thing you can do for anyone else who is stuck in that moment.

It’s a bad habit of myself, personally, to try and hide the dark feelings from the people around me, and I bet most other people do it too. As people in a modern society we’re encouraged to not rely on anyone for anything, when in fact trusting and relying on people is the way to get the best out of ourselves.

Don’t be afraid to tell people that you’re Not OK, because chances are they will want to help you through it, and they will probably need you to help them through something similar at some point. If you don’t have anyone physically there then reach out via phone and social media. Even complete strangers can be exactly what you need!

If you ever do need to reach out, feel free to message me on any of the following social media platforms (the Facebook page isn’t completely developed yet but it’s there if you want to contact me!) :

Twitter: @yoginiwishes

Instagram: @yoginiwishes

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Yoginiwishes/

Uncategorized

Late Night Noms!

I admit, I had a late one last night. I ended up arguing with my washing machine and staying up to wait for it to finish. Naturally, I popped YouTube on to keep me company and ended up watching the awesome Rosanna Pansino (Nerdy Nummies channel), which gave me a rare and major sweet tooth. I’ve had a hankering for pancakes for days but I’d never made them before, so I did a bit of searching for (and adapting of) recipes and came up with the one below. I have a dinky frying pan so this batter makes me 3 super fluffy American pancakes roughly 15cm across – this mix is perfect with a citrus topping such as lemon juice, but a savoury equivalent would be easy!

Ingredients:

110g self-raising flour

25g granulated sugar (or icing sugar if you prefer yours sweeter)

2tsp ground Himalayan rock salt

1 egg

200ml milk (I used soya but any should be fine)

Oil/Butter for frying

Method:

Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, sifting in the flour (and icing sugar if used) to discourage lumps.

Make a well in the middle and crack the egg into it – don’t drop the shell in!

Add your milk a bit at a time and mix everything thoroughly, adding the rest of the milk as you go.

Fry over a low heat for 3-4 minutes on each side and serve with something yummy πŸ™‚

2 of these satisfied my late-night munchies quite nicely with a wedge of lemon and a cup of Twinings Green Tea with Peach and Cherry Blossom. Admittedly I didn’t get much blogging stuff done but hey – my belly was happy!

If you give these a go let me know how they turned out πŸ™‚

Namaste x

Uncategorized

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Ginger Nuts!Β 

Well last night I tried making chocogingers πŸ˜€ I absolutely love baking, it’s a great anxiety and stress buster for me and not to toot my own horn but I’m not (normally!)  half bad at it either πŸ™‚ Admittedly I burned the first batch, which was a combination of misreading my oven dial and squishing them a bit too flat to start with, but the second half-batch turned out OK! 

I used the recipe at the bottom of the post for this one, but I’ll list it here anyway because it’s super easy. 

Start by popping the oven on at about 170C (I did the second batch on 150C in my gas oven). Sieve 110g self-raising flour, 1tsp bicarbonate of soda, 1 heaped tsp of ground ginger, and 10g of cocoa powder into your mixing bowl. Cube up 50g of butter and add to the bowl. Crumble it all together until you get a breadcrumb-like texture then add 40g of granulated sugar and 50g of chocolate chips. Give it a good stir, then using a wooden spoon or silicone baking spatula to mix in 50g of golden syrup. It might take a bit of doing, but it’ll turn into a nice doughy texture! 

At this point I put mine in the fridge until my jacket potatoes had finished baking and the oven was free, but if you have the space you can go straight to portioning up! Make about 15-16 balls of dough, pop them on a greased or lined baking tray (they grow a lot so I’d recommend no more than 8 per tray) with even spacing and flatten just enough that they don’t roll around. Chuck them in the oven for about 20 minutes or until they’re golden brown then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Done! 

These biscuits are quick, easy, and super yummy. They’re also quite crunchy and therefore perfect with a cup of tea. I’ll definitely be doing these again with slightly tweaked ginger and chocolate quantities for personal preference. 

There are pictures of the process on my Instagram @yoginiwishes if you’re interested; if you make a batch yourself definitely put pictures up there and tag me, I’d love to see your work πŸ™‚ 

Namaste x

http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/collections/little-cakes/chocolate-chip-ginger-nuts

Uncategorized

Sometimes You Need To Know When To Call It Quits…Β 

… And just take the time to look after yourself. The other day, I learned that lesson very well. 

I’ve been on some new medication for the past month or so that has really screwed with my hormone levels: it’s exhausting trying to maintain a normal attitude at work when inside I want to simultaneously laugh, cry, and curl up in a ball to sleep. I’ve done pretty well so far but it’s both mentally and emotionally taxing, but I refused to let it have its way because it would impact my ability to work. That was mistake number one. 

Mistake number two was letting myself get dragged into worries right before bed. Money, family, work etc so normal worries, but when paired with my anxiety they set off a chain of nightmares all the way through the night. I stayed asleep but it was definitely not a quality sleep. 

Mistake number three was trying to go to work the next day. Bear in mind that I overslept by 2 hours, which has never happened before. I should have paid attention to my body and mind and called in sick for my own sake as well as that of everyone who would have had to deal with me. 

I knew I was in a fragile place, but thought I could power through like I have been doing and went in to work anyway despite being an hour late (thankfully it’s just a 10 minute drive down the road nowadays). Walked in and said hello to the receptionist as always, intending to work my day as normal. I have a reputation at work for always being there at the same time, so understandably she asked if I was OK. 

That was it. That was all it took for me to burst into tears and realise that I’d run myself into the ground trying to fight my own body and mind. A few minutes later, after talking to my boss (and I think I scared him by bursting into tears again), I was on my way home. 

A day of rest and I’m almost back to normal. I barely left my bed for that day from sheer exhaustion. My moods and emotions are still back and forth like a pendulum but now when I feel myself dropping into a negative I pop to the loo, have a cry if I need to, and just take a few minutes to deal with the swing and get back to normal. 

Sometimes you have to know when to call it quits, it just took me a mini breakdown to realise it. 

It’s better to take a couple minutes here and there to check in with yourself than run yourself into the ground trying to pretend everything is OK. 

Look after yourself, you’re more important than your job/project or what people think of you. 

Walk in beauty, 

Namaste x

Uncategorized

Detox Smoothie

I tried a green detox smoothie the other day. Not gonna lie, it definitely didn’t tickle my taste buds. It wasn’t unbearable, but no matter what I put in it I just couldn’t get rid of the bitter taste from the greens; I even tried using my Strawberry Delight Body Sculpt Diet Whey powder! 

If you want to try it then be my guest, but this one won’t be joining my regular mixed berry or newly discovered grasshopper I’m afraid. 

Recipe: http://cellajane.com/2014/01/slimming-detox-smoothie-victoria-secre.html

Uncategorized

Grasshopper Smoothie and Blender

This one has changed my morning routine. It’s delicious! The mint chocolate combination is so nice you wouldn’t even know it’s full of Spinach. I did tweak the quantities a little, using more eyeball measuring than specific quantities, but it’s still awesome and makes the perfect amount for my 600ml bottle. 

I used 2 handfuls of baby Spinach, 2 slightly heaped dessert spoons of Cadbury hot chocolate powder, approx 10 garden mint leaves, 1 tsp of chia seeds, 1 tsp of Maca powder, approx 10g of protein powder, then filled the bottle with almond milk until all the ingredients were covered, gave it a good shake and left it in the fridge overnight. Come the next morning, I chucked a few ice cubes in the top, blitzed and left.

Dessert for breakfast, yay! 

Also, for anyone thinking of getting a personal size smoothie maker, I really can’t recommend better than the Breville Blend-Active my mum bought me for my birthday. It handles everything I throw at it without issue and came with 2 bottles, so I can chuck one in the dishwasher at work and still have tomorrow’s prepped in the fridge, then just swap them over the next day. I will be getting some of the smaller 300ml bottles for making an afternoon mix eventually, but for now the 600ml is perfect. 

If you have any smoothie recommendations please feel free to let me know! I’d love to hear your thoughts 😊 

Walk in beauty, 

Namaste x

Original grasshopper recipe here: http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a33/grasshopper-pie-smoothie-recipe-del0115/