Tag Archives: Healthy Mammas

Ditch the diet

So now it feels like Christmas is well and truly over it seems the adverts are all about booking a holiday and infact they are right – we should be thinking about our beach bodies now not in June.

Rather than starting a drastic diet (that cuts out everything you love) in January or a few weeks before you head off for your holiday why not start to swap your bad habits for healthier ones now and lead a healthy lifestyle.

Good food

A sustainable plan should allow for treats whilst supporting your body so that you have:

  • Loads of energy
  • Glowing Skin
  • Able to wear anything you want
  • Feel good wearing clothes that show off your body
  • Good sleep
  • Toned body
  • Free from illness and disease
  • Feeling happy and healthy

It’s not that difficult to achieve all of these but you have to start doing something such as:

  • Drinking a herb or fruit tea instead of a cappuccino or latte
  • Going out for a walk during your lunch hour
  • Taking a big bottle of water to work with you and making sure you have drunk it all by the time you leave
  • Adding some more vegetables into your dinner
  • Having nuts and fruit for a snack instead of a biscuit or cake
  • Only having alcohol one night a week instead of several
  • Starting the day with a green smoothie (check out some recipes in my cookbook)
  • Swapping your lunchtime sandwich for a vegetable soup or a salad
  • Joining an exercise class

It’s great to see how already after just 2 weeks at bootcamp our new members are noticing they can do more (that’s why we make the 4 weeks a progressive programme that gets harder). No matter what level you are starting at you can always make improvements – even if you feel other people are much fitter than you. Everyone has to start somewhere and that’s why our longer term members are very supportive of new people as they know how it feel when you start out and even just the warm up gets you hot and sweaty.

Our next trial week starts on Monday 2nd February so if you are still struggling to get back into your clothes after Christmas or are feeling bloated and lethargic and just not as healthy as you’d like to be, then why not join us?

Maya Tweeted this a few days ago “Feeling amazing – thought I’d hate exercising outdoors but I love it” and Fiona loved being back at bootcamp doing boxing after several months off.

For any of you ladies who aren’t able to get to Bath for bootcamp but want to do something for your health why not join our f.ree webinar on Thursday 29th January at 8pm

“Ditch the diet forever –  7 Simple strategies that get results and you wish you’d known years ago”  – REGISTER HERE

Look forward to seeing you soon at bootcamp or on the live online webinar

Zita

Sweat fat crying

12 days of Christmas workout

How are you feeling – got the elasticated waistband out yet?

To help you get your body moving I put together a little bodyweight workout that you can do anywhere, anytime.

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It takes less than 20 minutes and you can rest when you need to so it doesn’t matter what your level of fitness is.

To get the PDF of the workout plus a link to the technique video please complete your details below and I will email it to you so you can get moving and feel great.

Enjoy

Zita 🙂

ps if you live near Bath and want to exercise outdoors with like-minded people in a supportive, non-military group environment then why not book a trial week at Zest Bootcamp starting on 5th January. Find out more HERE

Little Black Dress

Here is a guest post by Colour and Style Expert Gilly Montgomery to help us girls with what to wear this festive season…..

The Little Black Dress – it doesn’t have to be black or little!

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Have you thought about what might make you look your most gorgeous?

it’ll be something unique to you that brings out your very best, so you can

relax and know you look amazing.

OK here are some pointers to help –

  • Ask yourself what your best assets are – yes, we all have them.
  • Some ideas – great legs; sexy, curvy body; beautiful cleavage;

a swan neck, a slim straight silhouette, lovely shoulders – go on,

which one/one’s resinate with you?

  • You want to focus on on your best qualities when choosing an outfit.
  • Shapes and styles for the party season:

Sartorial elegance for straight body shapes ie, shifts, cocktail dresses,

simple and classy

Miss Mod and all things from the 60’s for the boyish, neat youthful look

ie. feminine meets tomboy, short shifts, masculine looks, tailored trousers with

girly tops and accessories

Cosmic Couture for sexy, curvy silhouettes where the waist and cleavage are

a must, with ruching, rich textures and lux fabrics. Use glamour and decadent embellishments to show off your body shape.

Petite Cosmic Couture for the more girly youthful shape.  Do the above with

lighter fabrics, prettier embellishments, smaller accessories – keeping the very

feminine, pretty look.

Black isn’t strictly a colour.  You could dare choose something else!

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If you are fair and light eyed how about turquoise or violet?

if you are auburn haired you could try bronze, peacock, or gold.

If you are dark haired and have smokey eyes try damson, berry colours.

Whatever you choose remember you are beautiful and unique, so enjoy it!

Gilly

You can find out more about Gilly here

Small Business Saturday

Did you know today is Small Business Saturday –  to inspire, support and promote small businesses in UK on 6th December.

It reminded me that looking after your health and fitness is a bit like running a small business.

Weekend Magazine Feature

{ This was an article in Bath Chronicle Weekend Magazine a few months ago.}

IMAGINE if when we started Zest Bootcamp almost 6 years ago, we just did an initial advert and then no promotion at all in the time after that – not sure many people would know about us.

Same as if you did a month of exercise and healthy eating, got great results and then didn’t carry on those habits – you wouldn’t still have the results you achieved at the start.

IMAGINE if we did exactly the same workouts every month for 6 years at bootcamp – people would get bored.

Same as if you do the same workout every time you go into the gym, or you just go running on the same route every week for same length of time – your body gets bored. You have to challenge your body and mix it up to get results as well as avoid overuse injuries.

IMAGINE if I never did anymore courses, study or self development in the time since starting Zest Bootcamp – I would become stale. In this time I have worked with several coaches on my technical knowledge and skills as well as learning about relevant business aspects to constantly grow and evolve.

Same as if you just rely on what you read in magazines and on TV to get a better body – you may be wasting your time. By hiring a professional to work with you, it’s likely you will not only achieve better results but you will probably get there quicker.

**** You wouldn’t try and fix your car engine if it broke down so why should you expect to know how to fix your body.*****

Having worked crazy hours, under immense pressure for someone else before I changed careers and not looking after my body therefore being overweight, bloated, lethargic and unhealthy, I am super passionate about helping more people run their own “body” businesses better.

So if next year you don’t want to try and run “your own business” alone join us at Zest Bootcamp for a trial week or even our online programme for women called Healthy Mammas.

Running your own business is hard but it does bring benefits. EXACTLY like looking after your own body

Easy to follow diet

So not long until Christmas and as I’ve said in previous posts you can either give up and eat all the high calorie treats that are everywhere at the moment or you can still keep on the healthy nutrition for 80% of the time and allow your self to enjoy some Christmas treats in the run up to the day Santa arrives.

During most of the week you can focus on eating vegetables, meat, fish, some nuts, some fruit and some starches such as sweet potato, rice, quinoa plus making sure you get plenty of water every day.

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This means that if you fancy a glass of mulled wine, mince pie or gingerbread latte occasionally you can enjoy it without putting on the average 5-10lbs that most people put on over the upcoming festive season.

Here is a quick tip I recorded to share with you to ensure you don’t have an excuse of being too busy to eat properly.

Also if you don’t yet have my 7 day detox diet plan which is packed with tasty, filling meals that are easy to prepare then grab a copy and follow it for an easy way to feel less bloated and sluggish.

If you add in some exercise then you will feel more energetic and vibrant.

Yesterday I had this lovely text from one of our Zest Bootcampers

“Zest Bootcamp has been life changing – really!”

So if you want to make 2015 the year you get your health and fitness sorted out we would love to help you. Why not sign up for a trial week at Zest bootcamp if you are in or near Bath – hundreds of people that we have helped over the last 6 years can’t be wrong 🙂

Grab your easy to follow 7 day healthy eating plan here so you can feel great in your festive clothes!

Getting enough fibre

Just a quick post reminding you that our bodies are designed to go to the toilet after each meal we eat so theoretically if you don’t do a “no 2” every day you have seriously got to increase the amount of fibre you are eating.

If your diet is high in refined foods such as white bread and also a lot of meat but low on fresh vegetables it is likely that there is a serious backlog happening in your digestive tract.

Think of your body like the kitchen sink – if you throw fat and other things down there it will get blocked.

Foods that supply plenty of fibre are fruits, vegetables, whole grains but also some other special foods such as flaxseed and chia seeds.

So to keep it simple just look at the amount of fibre you are eating and try and increase it.

Half your dinner plate should be vegetables (no potato doesn’t count) – does that sound like a lot?

A great way to include flaxseed is in these sweet treats I made this week. I was doing a presentation at a local business hub about how to increase energy and productivity and as the event is called “coffee & croissants” I decided to make some healthy treats to take along and share.

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Here is the recipe if you want to have a go:

ZITA’S APRICOT CHIA NUT BITES

These dairy, sugar ang gluten free sweet treats are packed with fibre, good fats and protein and can be stored in the freezer if you make a batch. Store in fridge once made. Ingredients can be found at good health food shops or online.

Makes about 20 balls

225g bag of chopped, dried, apricots (could use dates for a sweeter flavour.

4 tablespoons flax seed

1 tablespoon chia seeds

2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil

2 tablespoons unsweetened peanut butter

1/2 cup ground almonds

2 tablespoons tahini

1 tablespoon cinnamon powder

1 tablespoon vanilla powder

Blend everything in food processor then make into balls and coat in sesame seeds.

If you like the recipe feel free to share this blog post with your friends 🙂

Pumpkin Workout

So it’s finally Halloween – a chance to dress up, eat sweets and try to avoid A&E carving a pumpkin.

Any trick or treaters knocking on my door will be getting a healthy nakd bar – lucky devils 🙂

On the flip side Halloween is a great chance to use a pumpkin like a medicine ball for a total body workout and then afterwards make a tasty, healthy soup 🙂

That is exactly what we are doing at Zest Bootcamp today so I thought I’d make a video of some of the great exercises you can do with a good old pumpkin!

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In this pumpkin workout can either do 30 seconds of work with 30 seconds of rest or for a tougher challenge work for 40 seconds followed by a shorter 20 second rest.
You can do 3-4 sets of the whole workout after a little warm up and don’t forget to stretch afterwards too.

Watch out – If you have a giant pumpkin you might want to stick to the 30 seconds!

The exercises are:

1. Plank Tap overs – optional extra set of mountain climbers too
2. Overhead Press
3. Alternating circles
4. Squat
5. Squat Press
6. Side Lunge
7. Reverse Lunge
8. Pullover
9. Ab curls
10.Hop overs

Once you have done your workout you deserve a healthy bowl of soup so here is a gluten free (if you use a gluten free stock cube), sugar free and dairy free recipe.

This will make a big batch so half can be frozen.

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PUMPKIN SOUP
Chopped flesh from 1 pumpkin or 2 butternut squash
2 sweet potatoes
2 – 3 onions
2 – 3 carrots
4 sticks celery
2 gloves of garlic
Stock cube or fresh chicken or vegetable stock
2 -3 cups of unsweetened almond milk or 1- 2 cups coconut milk
optional :
fresh ginger, tumeric, chill

Chop all vegetables – start by gently frying the onion in coconut oil or ghee then add garlic and fry for 1 minute. Add all remaining vegetables, stock and make sure just covered with liquid. Bring to boil then simmer for 20-30 minutes. Blend then add almond milk or coconut milk. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Delicious and nutritious!

Depending on how much garlic you put in I bet you could get your children to enjoy it too.

If you’d like more healthy, tasty recipes then check out our Healthy Mammas programme where we are offering you some quick, easy alternatives to breakfast – you can download your free copy here 

Happy Halloween!

Christmas

So not long until Halloween, which means Christmas is coming!

This pretty much means we have 2 choices when it comes to our health & fitness

  1. We might as well wait until January now as there are sweets at Halloween, burgers on bonfire night, Xmas meals out so lots of socialising, eating & drinking…….  busy with Christmas shopping which often means more eating & drinking as there are extra temptations with gingerbread flavour lattes, mulled wine, mince pies etc that pop up everywhere and the list goes on.

The other option is………

  1. Do something NOW so that come January 1st we don’t feel like a bloated, beached whale, lacking energy and having to wear our “fat clothes” because nothing else fits.

You don’t want to look like this gingerbread man do you?

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The wise people will accept that eating and drinking a bit more than normal a few times over the run up to Christmas is perfectly natural and part of the fun.

They realise that in order to feel good in their clothes at the Christmas parties the hard work has to be put in now.

They understand that regular exercise will not only help them feel better in their clothes, but also will keep their energy levels up ( through what can be a challenging time for some people.)

They know that immunity, positive mental attitude, strong toned muscles and a healthier, fitter body will only be achieved if they put the effort in to do some exercise.

They want to enjoy some Christmas treats knowing that they can burn them during their workout.

These are the people who realise that our bodies are designed to move and so regular exercise is part of their life.

Which one are you?

Do you want to stick your head in the sand and wait until January, along with half of the population who decide they have had enough of feeling bloated and lethargic then no need to take action.

>>>>>> However if you want to breeze through the next few months feeling and looking great then take action now.<<<<<<<<

For those of you in Bath our next Trial week at bootcamp is on 27th October (a week Monday).

But for anyone who is not local to Bath (or me for 1-1 personal training) then there is our new online programme called HEALTHY MAMMAS. (yes you have to be a mum but that is the only requirement – your kids may have left home but that’s fine, you are still a mum).

The Healthy Mammas programme is for any mum, any age, anywhere in the world as the short workouts are done in the comfort of your own home plus there is nutritional support and a private group on Facebook for more help should you need it.

ps If you know anyone who might want to come to Zest Bootcamp in Bath please share our trial week page with them.

pps If you are not a mum but might know someone who is and wants to get back her VA VA VOOM then please share the website with her – there is a free breakfast recipe collection to download too HERE

Sweet treats

If you have been reading my blog for a while you will know that I love food!

And I also like a sweet treat now and then 🙂

sesame energy balls
In an attempt to create “cleaner” healthier versions of foods, as a way to not feel deprived, I love to see if I can make dairy, gluten and sugar free versions of different things. Sometimes it works – sometimes it doesn’t!

This is how I do it….

1. Decide what I am in the mood to create
2. Throw a bunch of ingredients into the bowl
3. Taste it and if it seems ok, test it out on Mr Z
4. If we both like it then I might do a further taste test out with Zest Bootcampers as they are always VERY honest!
5. Type up the recipe properly for me to keep and to share if I’m feeling generous 🙂

Luckily these “energy balls” seemed to go down pretty well so here is the recipe:

Energy balls

Actually that was my scribble as I made another version (not photographed) so here is the recipe in full

1 cup of dates

1/2 cup of dried apricots

2-3 tablespoons of (sugar free) nut butter e.g. peanut, almond or cashew

1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil

1/2 cup ground almonds

Optional extras

1/4 cup sesame seeds

cinnamon powder

vanilla powder or vanilla bean paste

1 teaspoon of chia seeds or ground flaxseed

Blend everything well in a mixer then make small round balls in your hand and leave as they are or coat in sesame seeds as I did in the photo or you could try desiccated coconut.

This makes 10-15 balls depending on size.

Store in fridge (or freezer if you want to make them last).

Just realised these are also raw and vegan as well as being dairy free, sugar free and gluten free (just no good if you are allergic to nuts)

These are perfect when you’d like a sweat treat and great for kids too. They contain good fats, natural sugars, some protein and fibre too but like any treat you don’t want to eat too many otherwise your jeans will get tight!

I do also have a COOKBOOK with 90 recipes that are gluten, dairy & sugar free – 30 breakfasts, lunches & dinners that the whole family will love – plenty of customers have told me in the past.

For any of you in Bath who would like to exercise outdoors with like-minded people to improve your fitness, health, body shape, energy levels and to feel more positive and happy – then why not join our next 4 week bootcamp that starts on Monday 29th September. You can come for a trial week to see what you think – find out more here

Have a great weekend

Zita

Very uncomfortable

So X Factor is back on TV and whilst I don’t mind it, I’m much more of a fan of The Voice which could be the reason I had a singing lesson this week …..

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Yes that’s right – at the age of 43 I had my first ever singing lesson!

It was a taster session to see if I liked it and more importantly the teacher.

I was TOTALLY out of my comfort zone but I just thought what have I got to lose. I didn’t even know anything about vocal chords and realise how the force of the air going through them creates a sound, therefore how vital the breathing and using your lungs and diaphragm properly really is.

Infact, as an asthmatic I am not great at breathing deeply into my lungs as well as I should, tending to do more chest breathing (as do most people anyway, especially when we are stressed).

That’s one of the reasons I thought I’d try out some singing lessons to encourage better breathing, plus my husband subtly emailed me a link to a singing teacher a few weeks ago – nuff said!!

So I have done the taster and booked up some lessons but what is going to make a big difference is doing the homework in between, which at the moment is just doing some basic scales.

I realised how similar this was to my work.

Many people don’t ever start a fitness regime either at the gym, at bootcamp, classes or with a trainer for fear of being out of their comfort zone.

****BREAKING NEWS – if you actually want to make progress and get results then you have to get out of your comfort  zone.****

Infact when I changed careers 16 years ago and retrained to become a personal trainer I was WAY out of my comfort zone. As a previous non-exerciser I sat there at the lecture on day 1, surrounded by a lot of super fit people, not even knowing what the quadriceps muscle was (ps its your thigh but I expect you knew that anyway).

So step 1 is to get out of your comfort zone – that’s why we have taster week at bootcamp.

Step 2 is to do your homework – this is why my 1-1 Personal Training clients have home workouts to do between our session, or boot campers have videos for extra stretches, foam rolling and core work to do between sessions.

Step 3 – Keep going – giving up is a waste of steps 1 & 2 and will get you nowhere.

Right, I’m off to practice my scales whilst driving to my next client!

Have a great weekend

Zita “Watch out Tom Jones” Alves

ps If you are in Bath our next trial week at bootcamp starts on 29th September so you have time to SIGN UP HERE

pps If you a mum who wants to have more energy and eat healthier then grab our collection of breakfast recipes here for f.ree  HERE