Shake It Off – January Breakfast Smoothie And Exercise Plan

Are you looking to push the reset button and get back in the driving seat of your fitness plan? Here at Mums In Real Life, that’s precisely our intention from this point onwards!

We’ve got loads in store for the week, HIIT, boot camp, Zumba, running and some regular gym sessions in between! We can’t wait to shimmy and sweat away our week with exercise!! Want to join us? Head on over to our website to see the exercise sheets available – more will be available soon: http://www.mumsinreallife.co.uk

What better to way to kick off the day with this super tasty oat, kiwi, banana & honey breakfast smoothie. Made with 150ml Almond milk and 250ml skimmed milk. This is what we’ll be making tomorrow morning to get us going (usually I’d only use 350ml Milk & 20g Oats but I have keen little kiddies who like to try some too).

Ingredients:

150ml Almond Milk (optional)

250ml Skimmed Milk (or 400ml if not using Almond Milk)

1 banana – peeled and roughly chopped

2 kiwi fruits – peeled and roughly sliced

40g Porridge Oats

1 Ice cube

1tbsp honey

Method:

Blitz all of the ingredients together for a few pulses and serve.

Give it a go and let us know how you get on!

Lower Back Pain? Go Back to Basics

So I’m sure you know I hurt my back in July, I’ve been bleating about it the whole summer.

Instead of feeling sorry for myself (ok, as well as) I’ve been seeing the wonderful Anna the Osteopath, and she’s taught me a few important things about exercise.

Think about these next time you’re working out – are all you muscles working, not just the larger ones? Are you creaking and clunking? It might be that you’re not using all your muscles to perform the exercises. So, next time you’re in the gym, or at bootcamp or doing your Davina DVD at home, think about your form.

It’s also important to mix up your exercise – my marathon earlier this year meant my muscles were doing a lot of forward-motion movements, but not many side-to-side moves (which can be lots of reps of small moves) but that are also really important. Things were looking (and feeling) pretty manky…

It’s only since suffering an injury that I’ve started thinking a lot more about strengthening my smaller muscles which support the more major muscles (and how some muscles can take over, leaving the others struggling to work in the way they should.) It’s pretty much the reason my back did what it did. (Was that the record for the most mention of muscles in one paragraph, I wonder?)

Modify, don’t just keep plodding on

Don’t worry, your exercise regime isn’t over. It might need to change for a while, but it’s important not to keep doing the thing which is causing the injury/pain. That’s not to say you can stop exercising BTW!

What’s helped me is seeing the rather fantastic Osteopath Anna who has worked on my body manually to manipulate and guide things back in to the right places. She has also referred me to another, equally brilliant wonder-woman of a Pilates instructor, Ellie from City Way Health Clinic, who is helping me with my movement and flexibility with Reformer Pilates (the one using machines). You can read more about the health benefits of Osteopathy and Reformer Pilates on their website here>>

Personally, this combined with some killer glute exercises, and I can already see the changes happening (both physically and cosmetically) and I can see real improvement in my back pain. I’ve been working on my Spin technique to keep up the Cardio, whilst working on some smaller stretches, Pilates and Resistance Band work. I feel like I might be winning, and that I’ll be running again in January (hooray!).

Want some inspo?

There are a few other sources of inspiration for me. I’ve been using Arena Resistance Bands & exercise cards to help me work on my Glutes, and they have been incredible. Great quality product and also work out cards (as well as a free membership area too). Just so you know, we earn a small commission from any links to Amazon that we share, so by clicking on the product links and buying, you are helping to feed the family 🙂

There is also my personal fave online trainer, Cori from Redefining Strength. I’m currently working through her Glute Burner programme which is exactly what it says it is. It burns. It hurts. It works.

Remember to always ask a qualified professional before undertaking any remedial action, but don’t suffer in silence, you can take positive action to help alleviate pain and rebuild your strength. If you’re local, you might even want to pop over and make an appointment at City Way Health Clinic.

Happy Wednesday lovely people, Tahlia x

My truth about Yoga

Here’s the thing. I first did yoga back in 2001. I was 22, overweight and totally inflexible ( I still struggle to touch my toes now). I spent the whole class berating myself for not being able to hold the poses, for not being flexible enough, for what I’d not done at work that day. You name it, I was blaming myself for it that day. After what seemed like an hour of torture, the class finally ended and I left thinking about what a yoga failure I was. And that was it. For 10 years I thought my yoga days were numbered.

And then I got pregnant. 10 years later, and I found myself wandering in to a yoga studio full of other slightly nervous expectant mums (lots of us first-time and completely and blissful unaware about what was going to unfold over the coming months and beyond). My yoga teacher was a Doula (private midwife) and she eased us gently into the world of prenatal yoga. I have to say, my favourite part at this point was the Shivasna or final rest at the end of the class – basically an excuse to lie still, in the dark for a few minutes. (Still always a class highlight)

I did yoga until right up until my first little bundle of joy came screaming into the world, and screamed all the way until he reached a year old. That saw the end of my yoga for a while. During my subsequent pregnancies, pre-natal yoga seemed a bit of a fantasy as my over-worked hubby balked at the idea of coming home to me bolting from the door with my yoga mat tucked under my arm.

What seemed like a million years after my third (and final) baby was born (in actuality, probably about 7 months), I finally decided that I needed some me time – I needed to do something about my car-crash of a body, and my tired and addled baby-brain desperately needed some quiet time and reflection. Enter postnatal yoga…

The first session was actually a disaster. I failed spectacularly to be able to hold any kind of plank position, and on further inspection was told by the teacher that I had diastasis recti (other known as a bloody-great big gap between my stomach muscles) which could fit around three fingers in. I left feeling a bit dejected and berating myself for letting myself get into such a state. Great start.

The thing was, on reflection I actually quite enjoyed myself. I was surrounded by a group of like-minded mums who showed patience and kindness when I was struggling to keep up, and who showed me how to get into position (despite not being able to hold it). And Pippa, my lovely yoga teacher telling me to go with my body, and do what felt right (and not what looked great, or worrying about whatever anyone else was doing). Being present, and clear about what I could achieve. Aspiration to what I’d like to achieve (being able to hold plank position for starters). Acceptance from a group of like-minded people.

The other pretty life-changing thing for me was taking time to meditate. Taking time to reflect on what was important, and letting go of things which were weighing me down. Growing my self-belief and sense of worth. Showing myself that I can achieve things with my body that I never thought I could. I felt like this was a real turning point in my fitness journey, and also in my life. Growing self-belief, learning to let go of things and taking time to evaluate what was really important to me. Pretty powerful learnings.

I’m not sure I ever told these people how much they did for me, so thank you. If you’re reading this, thank you. Thanks for starting my journey back to fitness, back to self-belief and back to finding myself again. It really has meant the world to me. Namaste. X

Want to get in to Yoga, but don’t know where to start? My tops tips for finding the right yoga class for you are:

Take time to find the right style class for you – try a few until you find once which feels right. There are so many approaches and styles of teaching – it’s not one-size fits all.

  • DON’T compare yourself to everyone else. Go with an open mind, set your intentions for the class and enjoy yourself. Don’t give yourself a hard time if you struggle with a pose – go home and work on it!
  • Try and practice yoga at home. There’s a fab YouTube Channel from Adriene Mishler aka @yogawithadriene with an enormous selection of yoga to try at home (no equipment needed other than a mat!) https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene
  • If you want to improve flexibility, strength and technique you have to work at it – you won’t improve by practicing just once a week so stick with it if you want to see results!
  • Try and find someone to go with – it’s much less daunting than going alone, and you can motivate each other to keep going regularly.
  • Get some clothes you feel comfortable in but make sure it’s not too baggy – loose fitting tshirts can be a pain when you’re doing downward facing dog or inversions (basically anything upside down!)

Do you suffer from lower back or hip pain? It could be your glutes…

Hello lovely people here. I’ve recently learnt a few things about the way my body works, and I want to share it with you – I suspect a few of you may also recognise my story.

I like to stay fit, and exercise four or five times a week – a mix of bootcamp, running, yoga, pilates. It keeps a smile on my face, and helps make allowances for the wine and chocolate in my life. I’d consider myself to be quite a fit person generally, but over the last few years I’ve had nagging back and hip pain which comes and goes, but more recently has been coming more than it’s going.

Last night an Osteopath saved my life…

Ok, so that’s a bit dramatic for a headline but it made me sing ‘last night a DJ saved my life’ so that’s lovely. In truth though, my visit to see the lovely Anna has been a revelation. She asked me so many questions, looked at the ‘whole me’ by talking about my underachieve thyroid and the impact it has on my life and body, and genuinely wanted to delve into the ‘why’.

Turns out I’m a bit wonky (from birth, apparently) but also that I have an underactive left glute too. A marathon runner with glutes that don’t work = sore back and hips!

So, before I jump headfirst in to getting my miles up for the London Marathon next year, I need to work on some core muscles first. Glutes and abs. As well as helping me avoid injury, it should also help me run faster (and maybe give me a figure like Beyonce?). Perhaps the last wish is a step too far, but the first two are definitely achievable.

The good news

It’s do-able – I can build my core and abs, but with smaller and much more intense moves than my usual bootcamp repertoire. So, I’m going back to exercise school and am using a circuit of pilates and pilates-type moves to build things up. Here’s what I’m doing…

  • Skaters
  • Copenhagen
  • Bent Knee Side Plank
  • Hip thrusters (with band)
  • Single leg hip thrusters

Give them a go, and see if they make a difference! You might need to build up from small reps e.g. 4/5 like I did!

I’ve also bought myself some resistance bands to stabilise my exercises, which I’ve been using every day. I’ll share the bands I bought from Amazon below. They aren’t the cheapest available, but they do come with free training videos and recipes too, as well as a practical exercise card book to help you follow the training.

I’ve also booked on to Spin to keep up the cardio, and to help keep the lbs down 🙂

Happy squeezing, lovely people.

Tahlia X

It’s me – I’m back and I have (London Marathon) news!

Hello lovely people, it’s me again. I’ve been AWOL from blog writing for a while now, but I’m back…and I have (London Marathon) news!

A some of you might recall, I ran the Brighton Marathon back in April this year. Now, despite vowing never ever EVER to run another, it appears that I’ve only gone and got myself a place in the 2020 Virgin London Marathon ballot. What are the chances?! (Actually, I know for a fact that they are around 4%, which are ridiculous odds.An incredible 457,861 people entered the ballot!)

So, that puts me back to training – back on the wagon, and (no pressure) with a burning desire to improve on my beginner’s time from Brighton.

Here’s my public declaration of the grand plan…

Between now and December I am going to work on my health and fitness generally. Eating to fuel and nourish (probably with the odd G&T thrown in) and strength training to get my body in the shape it needs to be, ahead of the training regime. Just thinking out loud, my body is almost certainly NEVER going to be in the shape it needs to be, but let’s give it a go!

I’ve been visiting the lovely Anna, who is helping to put my back back where it should actually be, as opposed to where it’s been for the last few years. She’s also helped me identify that I have the most pitiful left glute, which is probably the culprit for my back problems in recent years, along with my ‘mum-tum core’ which we are also working on with gentle exercise and Pilates. When I say gentle, what I actually mean is excruciatingly hard, tiny little movements which make my body scream *WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING TO ME??*

Anyway, that’s the plan. I’m hoping that once again you’ll be there to spur me on with your comments and support, and that my old blogging friend OMIL will be on hand to provide his much-needed wisdom and motivation during my London Marathon training period.

It’s great to be back lovely people. Happy Thursday to you all,

Tahlia X

RESET: September Check-in

Oh, we just love the Summer. Sunny (sometimes) long and balmy evenings, endless barbecues, summer drinks and ice cream. Only there’s a problem. My jeans are screaming out, “For the love of lycra woman, eat a salad. Please!”.

Now don’t get me wrong, I train. I train four or five times a week, I work hard to stay fit. I’m boot camping, running, yoga-ing and doing pilates like my life depends on it (suppose it does when you think about it). You can find out more about our workouts here>>

But here’s the thing. Exercise won’t get you the results you need alone – it’s what we put into our bodies which makes the biggest difference.

Now, I’m not telling you this to make you feel bad. I’m writing this as a reality check to myself. Summer is amazing, but why oh why can’t I get through without piling on the Pimms pounds. So, here it is – my public declaration that it’s time to push the September reset button.

TODAY = DAY ONE!

What I also need is accountability, so I’ll be writing down my fitness goals and will share my journey with you over the next six weeks. Feel free to join me in my mission to look and feel fabulous at 40 (have we told you, we’re off to Ibiza on Thursday?!).

I’ve been having some real problems with my back over the last two months, and have just been diagnosed with something called Spondylosis, which as far as I understand is basically a sticky out vertebra. The reason behind this is that two major muscles are weak in my body: my glutes (yes, I have Mum-bum) and one side of my lower abs (caused by those pesky babies) which makes me majorly wonky.

Here’s my focus for the next 6 weeks:

  • Healthy eating plan to get me in my best shape and banish the summer wobble
  • Focus on isolating and strengthening my glutes
  • Focus on isolating a strengthening my core

Want to join me? We’ve set up a new Fitness Group over on Facebook to help motivate you lovely mummies to get fit, so head on over and join us!

Whatever you’d like to achieve, let’s do this. We’re in this together, right?

Happy Monday, lovely people. Tahlia x

Eight simple ways to a healthier, happier body

Let me just start this by saying, this isn’t me lecturing you. This is me pressing the ‘reset’ button on my summer eating (and drinking). Sometimes I let a few bad habits creep back in, and before I know it, my shorts are a bit snug. You know the saying “It’s all fun and games until your jeans don’t fit’? I’m pretty certain that was aimed at me. You too? Read on…

Every now and again I like to hit the reset button, take a check on what I’ve been eating, and give myself a chance to review and reset my eating habits. After all, nothing will change if I don’t change what I do. (Took me a lot of years to realise that). So, this last week I’m back tracking my food, keeping my calories within my limits and generally being mindful with my eating.

I’ve compiled my top ways to keep a track of your food, to help track and balance your food and fitness. After all, we’re all about balance.

What I’m not saying, is that you should follow this religiously…it’s just a guide.

My top tips for a leaner and healthier body

  1. Eat REAL food. Cook! Use fresh ingredients and lots of colourful veggies. We’ve got plenty of ideas on the blog for cooks of all abilities – give them a go.
  2. Avoid refined sugar, carbs and fat. This is a biggie. You know THAT chocolate bar, the pack of crisps or slice of cake in the office. Eating these more than the odd occasion (and by that, I mean once a month or so) will impact your weight unbelievably unless you are incredibly fortunate and the odd unhealthy snack doesn’t lead to weigh gain or peaks in your blood sugar levels which cause cravings.
  3. Don’t skip meals – not even one. Your body needs fuelling properly to work efficiently. Just fuel it with the right things.
  4. DRINK MORE WATER!!
  5. Move more – up your steps, try and be active at least eight hours a day, and exercise when you can (this needn’t mean hours in the gym. The key to consistency with exercise is to find something you LOVE, and build a fitness family around you to help motivate you (and you, them!). Not ready for group classes? Try some basic exercises at home>>
  6. Mix up your diet. Try and eat a new food regularly, shake off the old favourite dishes and embrace new tastes and textures. Make sure that the largest component of your daily diet is vegetable based too. You’ll eat much more, and not be as hungry without compromising on the calories. You’ll also boost your intake of vitamins and minerals naturally.
  7. Be consistent. Starving yourself for two months a year to fit in to your bikini and then eating badly the rest of the year won’t do you any favours. Find the balance which allows you to eat right most of the time, whilst allowing yourself the odd treat (and a glass of wine or three every now and again). It’s all about balance, right?
  8. Relax, and be kind to yourself. Your body is amazing, so respect it. Rest when you’re tired, fuel it properly and you will see the benefits.

Remember to be kind to yourself lovely people. Embrace your body, treat it well and be consistent. The changes will come. Tahlia x

Make Friday Count

Friday is one of those days we associate with fun – it’s Fri-yay, lets have that drink, eat that chocolate, in fact in our house we’ve renamed it to Treat Friday. We pop to the local news agent on the way home from school, have a chat with the ‘lovely lady’ who works there on a Friday afternoon (we really should ask her name) and leave with a chocolaty treat to have with a cuppa when we get home.

Anyway, rambling as usual. The point here is to remember to make Friday count when you’re training. Earn that glass of wine, lady.

Friday morning is the weekly ‘shed’ session with five lovely ladies and Craig. Today he decided to give it to us full barrels, and we did a Pack of Cards workout. Not heard of that? (probably a good thing). Let me tell you more…

First:

Firstly, get a pack of actual playing cards (hence the name). Assign a set of exercises to each suite, and choose an exercise to assign to it. So, for example:

  • Diamonds = (Jump) Squats, Jumping Jacks, Lunges
  • Hearts = Shoulder Press, Bicep Curls (with a weight), Tricep Dips
  • Spades = Chest Press, Push Ups, Mountain Climbers, Burpees
  • Clubs = Core (sit ups, alternate leg raises, crunches)

(You might want to write it down if your brain is as useless as mine)

Next:

Assign a number to each card – this will be your number of reps.

  • 2 = 2 reps
  • 3 = 3 reps
  • 4 = 4 reps
  • 5 = 5 reps
  • 6 = 6 reps
  • 7 = 7 reps
  • 8 = 8 reps
  • 9 = 9 reps
  • 10 = 10 reps
  • Jack = 11 reps
  • Queen = 12 reps
  • King = 13 reps
  • Ace = 14 reps (yes it hurts!)
  • Joker = 10 0f everything

Then shuffle up your cards and off you go! I’ll put them on an downloadable exercise card a bit later too.

Happy Friday lovely people.

Tahlia x

Strawberry & Banana Oat Smoothie Plus Exercise Plans

Today was day 1 of our ‘Shake It Off’ plan and we’re feeling great!

Starting off our morning with a Kiwi & Banana Oat smoothie was a good way to go. Tomorrow we’re going to get motivated with this lovely Strawberry, banana and Oat smoothie. Check out the ingredients below:

Ingredients:

3-4 Strawberries

1 banana

20g oats

200ml Skimmed milk

100ml Almond Milk

1 ice cube

Method:

Roughly chop the fruit and place into a mixing bowl/jug. Add the remaining ingredients and blitz.

Pour and enjoy!

Meanwhile, here are some previous smoothies and exercise cards/plans  that we’ve recently shared and personally follow on a daily basis (accredited by a fully qualified PT)   Click on the links to take another look:

Super Slick Strawberry & Oats Breakfast Smoothie

Banana & Kiwi Breakfast Smoothie

Monday Motivation! Here’s your beginners circuits card…

Exercise cards are coming soon!

Fitness

Simple Running Plan

Brunch Anyone? *Must Try* Avocado & Egg With Tomato

Recently, we were invited to our lovely friends house for a work out in her garden gym followed by brunch. What lucky ladies we are!

We started off with a warm up run, followed by circuits of planks, burpees, skipping and squats. Some kettle bells were thrown in for good measure too. Oh! And a power hoop.

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We definitely earned the brunch, we were really put through our paces but managed to laugh through all the sweat! Here’s what we did:

60 seconds of each exercise, 10 secs rest. Do each exercise 4 x times. Let’s do this!!

Round One: Squats/Leg Raises/Slam Balls

Round Two: Skipping (it’s tough!!)/Lateral Raises/Shoulder Press (with weight)/Power Hoop (if not, go for side plank – 30 secs on each side)

Round Three: Mountain Climbers/Sit Ups/ Burpees/Jump Squats

You can also download an exercise card here>>

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So, let’s get on to the food. Our gorgeous host made a feast for us!

We salute you, eggs baked on Avocados! Bacon lardons, how we love you sprinkled on roasted Tomatoes! Chives, you are a show stopper! Yes, at this point we were all STARVING!

Why not team up with friends to work out? You can motivate each other, push each other to work harder and reach your fitness goals together. Life’s always better with friends! We’ve been busy with our friends at Keeling Fitness and LA Personal Fitness working on an exciting collaboration which will be on its way soon – watch this space…