Grounding: science and spirituality.

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People freak out when you talk about grounding for fear that it’s a bit hippy or just not scientific! It’s science babe it’s science. The big secret is that Science and Spirituality (and Art) have always been talking about the same thing; one using quantitative analysis to communicate the other using qualitative. (Reality can be ‘measured’ or ‘felt’)

Grounding (putting feet in soil) is soothing, physically, for feet and therefore calming emotionally and mentally, breathing in fresh air and seeing the sky etc people can feel a spiritual/emotional connection with the world.

At the same time the body is an electro-magnetic system. The Earth gives off a -ve charge and when your body has gone through stress, trauma, illness (or you’ve just been an arsehole) it tends to be carrying more free radicals which have a +ve positive charge. These are then neutralised through connecting the two bodies; earth and human. Literally grounding any excess charge.

If you ever find yourself prejudging ANY form of knowledge at all you’re being emotional not rational. 😃

Train Heal Breathe is about researching all forms of free healing!

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My favourite healthy dessert (and snack): pineapple & mango yogurt with hemp and chia

I love finding delicious wholesome (lower GI/sugar, higher protein/fibre) alternatives to regular desserts. Ones that don’t lack on taste or naughtiness.

This is great as a breakfast, dessert or snack.

Ingredients:

  1. 150g Biolive organic yoghurt/soya (dairy free alternative)
  2. 50g frozen mango
  3. 50g frozen pineapple
  4. 30g oats
  5. 15g SHELLED hemp
  6. 10g ground chia
  7. 10g honey (local ideally!)

442 calories with 17% protein 20g mean it’s not lean which I would consider 25% plus. But a dessert which can be as low as 3% protein for a standard chocolate brownie so it’s lean as dessert!

[The higher the % protein, the more it will fill you up per calorie (making it harder to binge).]

14g fat, 60g carbs, 19g protein.

Having whole foods like chia, hemp and oats mean the sugar from the fruit, which is higher glycemic index (how quick the sugar breaks down in your body) is mixed with fibre 9.6g, iron 22% (!!), 39% vit C (!!) of RDA and 400mg Potassium (a good muscle recovery mineral).

What isn’t listed in Fitness Pal is all the other minerals contained in hemp and (they often come alongside iron so if you’re iron levels are high you’re probably consuming these minerals as well).

30g serving of hemp: [double what’s in this recipe so half it for % of RDA] you also get 11% Zinc and 24% magnesium!

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Delicious Plant based fuel

The journey to becoming vegan has led to me to find the most delicious easily digestible training fuel that also smashes my daily nutrient goals: iron, Vit C, Vit E, Potassium.

And includes key minerals that many food diary aps don’t consider like magnesium, copper, zinc that are fundamental to a healthy nervous system i.e. chilled and balanced with good energy levels✌️.

I’m working hard to help share the knowledge that you have to fuel serious training and although you cut down on processed foods, you actually increase the amount of quality fuel (calories) you eat.

So yeap my recipes have calories! But they are all natural, wholesome, nutrient rich, delicious calories! Check it…

Ingredients

1 pink grapefruit (skin removed)

1 large organge (skin removed)

70g frozen mango

5g root turmeric

5g root ginger

30g shelled hemp

10g milled chia

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Dance

The Fruits Are Ripe for Picking! 

After almost 20 years I’ve got a garden. This is rare in London. The whole Train Heal Breathe concept grew out of me not having a garden and finding resourceful ways to connect with local green space, then sharing this with my clients.

At the same time the journey of getting fit took me though green areas in Hackney I would never have seen if I wasn’t for training like jogging or cycling.

As I grew fitter and stronger I found more parks, that gave me more activities to do like barwork, trx, olympic rings and I became stronger still. I trailed Walthamstow and Hackney marshes: meditating, stretching, yoga, running, sprint training, gymnastics, calisthenics, dancing, inversions. I’ve found almost every grassy corner of Hackney to train in.

The green space became more than just a park, it was community space, for everyone.  No social, financial, cultural barriers, if you wanna be fit and strong and beautiful you have to work for it. End of. And in that we are all connected. (Philosophically refreshing!)

Your local green space is healing. You might not be aware of it but what you will feel is a sense of img_9007calm after being outside for a few hours, weathered. Science has done the proving bit to show blood pressure decreases, anxiety levels go down, reduced insomnia, reduced depression etc

Even better if you’ve put your hands in the soil, physically connecting to the Earth (handstands, gardening) and even better still if you can put your head on the Earth like with headstands.

The discipline it took to get out into public space rather than use a private garden was tough!! There’s a lot more prep involved (warm clothes, blankets, food and drink, camera etc) and confidence. I had to grow as a person to be very independent and strong enough to get away if there was trouble. img_8846

Then, one day, I get a garden.  A wild, unkempt and beautiful with massive trees all around, the size that makes you stop, see magnitude, gasp and get perspective. Just moments away from a busy road but total peace. An oasis. Only the people who live in the houses know. This is what I love about London. Lots of hidden gems. Am in awe. And full of gratitude as I appreciate this more than ever!

The garden has been left for years. But there’s so much potential. I was sitting under the tree when I thought hold on, that’s fruit. Jaw dropped. And it looks ripe. What’s so strange is that it was like a mirage because I didn’t spot the fruit before but now that I did I could see ripe fruit everywhere?! Each branch led to more and more fruit! It was like a fairytale, I could see abundance! LOL. I couldn’t see it before but now I could, it was everywhere (hoping the metaphor might roll out into the wallet area too 🙂 )

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And even though I’ve spent as much time as possible in nature I still forget that food grows naturally. That it is free, with a little care-taking and responsibility. That, often, so much grows you can’t contain it (so you make jams and conserves).

Just reaching out with my own hand and eating what has grown naturally on the Earth felt like an illusion. Surely I need to part with cash? Walk into a building? Find a plastic container and buy the food? Be stressed? Put it in a plastic bag? Feel more struggle to get this organic freshly locally grown hand picked berry?

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So this week I discovered that there’s a plum tree and an apple tree in the garden and I’ve picked 3 containers worth of fruit already! This is worth a lot of money!! Calories = coins. And I burn a lot! So pleased on many levels; financial, nutritional, emotional…. picking the fruit was immediately calming, a form of grounding and connecting with the earth. Getting away from day to day electromagnetic energy from phones and laptops.

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The gratitude I feel for having a garden and watching it blossom from not having a garden for so long is a beautiful thing.
This space could potentially provide me with the best quality training fuel, medicine, herbs and sanctuary I could ever wish for. I can recycle food waste as compost, collect water start my own herb garden and vegetable patch (and save a lot of money on food!)

After tasting the fruits it was deep! I hadn’t tasted real food in a long time. Fresh zingy burst of vitamins, real flavour!!

If you want to book personal training session online or in Olympic Park Village/Hackney:

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The Breakfast Smoothie

This is exciting! I’ve found the perfect smoothie! It’s taken a long time to negotiate my way round synthetic protein shakes, whey formulas, vegan powders and even home made protein formulas etc etc.

I’ve found a recipe that combines both home made smoothie ingredients with a delicious protein blend (from several vegan sources) with just a small amount of whey (most whey protein powders are 100% whey). It’s called Purition fuelled by nature.


And I’ve combined it with whole food ingredients that I’ve found to be really good for fuelling training; even if you’re on a diet you need to adequately fuel exercise and that means getting the calories you’re allowed from a variety of whole food sources (whole food means the whole food, not processed or refined).

This recipe is the most natural recipe I could find that is delicious (even a little naughty), fills you up, provides lots of vitamins and minerals, tastes sweet and can be high calorie for muscle gains and advanced level training or low calorie (with half the calories) for weight loss. Either one provides high protein natural fuel to kick start your day in the quickest simplest possible way.

If you’re trying to lose weight and or do some serious training the first thing you need to do is start providing your body with adequate fuel at breakfast; med-low GI carbs, fat, protein. Protein fills you up which is why it’s become so popular lately with weight loss as well as muscle building.

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Pineapple, Mango Breakfast Smoothie

Muscle growth/pro level training recipe 1.2 ltr, 1 large blender cup (3 servings) 324 calories per serving, 9g protein: 

  • Train Heal Breathe Breakfast Smoothie75g pineapple
  • 75g mango
  • 75g oats
  • 100g organic biolive yoghurt
  • 30g Purition coconut protein mix
  • 200ml almond milk
  • 150ml water
  • 30g raw ginger
  • 2 teaspoons honey

If you’re like me and training HARD, work involves training and even your hobbies involve training you’ll be looking for healthy ways to add calories (it’s very hard to eat enough calories for high intensity training if you want to avoid processed foods and take outs). This is really easy to digest and it’s vegetarian too. (I’m almost veggie now because of these shakes and will keep progressing towards vegan).

I’ve split the 1.2 ltrs into 3 servings. For normal people one glass would be enough! I drink the whole lot 🙂 1.2 lt = 912 cals, 157g carbs, 18g fat, 15g, fibre, 27g protein, 102g natural sugar, 319mg sodium.

It’s helped me gain muscle, keep my skin soft and fuel training as I don’t need to wait for bulky food to digest before using the calories to workout and I don’t feel so tired either. As well as help me intake high calories with healthy food, it’s soft on the stomach, quick to drink and perfect for the busy schedule!

Now for the diet version.

Diet recipe 1.2 ltr, 1 large blender cup (3 servings) 177 calories per serving 8g protein: 

  • Screen Shot 2017-07-15 at 17.39.3350g pineapple
  • 50g mango
  • 50g oats
  • 50g organic biolive yoghurt
  • 30g Purition coconut protein mix
  • 200ml almond milk
  • 250ml water
  • 30g raw ginger (optional)

I removed the honey (high calories!), lowered the amount of frozen fruits (pineapple is high calorie so you could exchange for more mango to reduce calories further), lowered the yoghurt content and upped the water.

One serving is a drink that will fill you up like a snack and the full blender cup can be a meal replacement. Cal: 531, 15g fat, carbs 54g, fat 15g, sugar 12g, fibre 12g, 24g protein.

The protein mix is made by Purition Fuelled by Nature. They have lots of flavours and are all really delicious. What I like is the variety of sources of vegan protein providing loads of essential minerals and vitamins that can be missed in our daily diets in the west. So it’s not just a protein drink it’s a highly nutritious, delicious way to add healthy fuel to your diet.

It’s more expensive than the synthetic whey powders because it contains lots of quality ingredients:

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All the essential minerals that a lot of us miss in our Western diets! AND it’s these minerals that helps the body detox, relax the nerves, sleep better, balance emotions the list goes on!! The links between nutrition and mental health are strong.

It’s also the perfect alternative to desserts if you have a sweet tooth. The beauty of whole foods is that they fill you up with fibre and protein so that you can’t eat too much (unlike a lot of desserts, sweets, confectionary or biscuits)! So you get the taste bud hit but can’t consume endless calories.

Enjoy! If you want personal training in East London or online coaching, nutrition support including food diary analysis and meal plans etc get in touch using the links below:

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Take care in the sun! Winter bodies seeing sun for the first time..

Please. I mean it. It’s nearly midsummer and our skin has barely been in touch with the air for 6 months let alone the sun (unless you’ve been on holiday lately). It’s particularly dangerous this year because this fresh wind is clearing the pollution in London and we’re getting south of France style powerful sun.

Make the most of it, get out into your local green space, enjoy the trees, the people, the atmosphere of warmth, don’t hide inside (!). But pay attention because we are jumping from one season to another, 20 degrees within 2 weeks!

Behaviourally (wearing different clothes, carrying sun cream/glasses with us, water) and biologically (skin not conditioned to sunlight, hydration levels not adapted to change in temp, mineral salt loss increases through sweating) we are not adapted to the change in season. Arguably this is the most vulnerable time of the year for the human body, going from cool to hot

Overwhelmed by the excitement of hot sun for the first time we easily mess up and get burnt, dehydrated, heat stroke or even worse sun stroke. But at the same time we need Vit D desperately! So many illnesses are related to vit D deficiencies and it’s a natural anti-depressant too.

I love the sun but I respect the sun too. I try to sunbathe in the shade at this time of the year, wear suncream if skin is in direct sun or cover up, only sunbath in direct sun in the early morning or evening and use a timer. We all make mistakes and get caught short but the aim of this blog is help avoid it.

As we go through the season you are more conscious of what you can handle (my legs rarely burn but upper body is more sensitive to light) and the sun becomes weaker too so it’s easier to manage. It’s this time of the year that we have to be vigilant!

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Respect Mother Nature and take care! Here’s some tips on how to take responsibility for your body in the change in season from spring to summer:
(This is directed at UK or anyone going from 6 months of no sun to sun)

1) Don’t drink alcohol in direct sun. If you can’t handle heat drink be even more careful (and ideally don’t drink!!
2) Know your skin!!! Humans have brains so we must use them! Every single person has slightly different skin to the other. Amazing isn’t it. So it’s your responsibility to not get burnt. 10 mins sunbathing could burn one person and barely touch another. If you haven’t had sun on your skin for 6 months be aware this weekend.

3) Don’t do any training in direct sunlight, only early morning or evening or under shade, if you can’t handle heat you shouldn’t train between 12-4pm. Drink extra fluids throughout the day and bring extra to any workouts. Be careful not to overdrink whilst training too thought!

4) Use a timer if you’re sun bathing, be aware of the strength of sun: its at it’s strongest a month before and after midsummer (Saturday 24 June) May to Aug.

Sunbathing under a tree is nice. But remember the sun moves so set a timer.

2pm is Very strong

1pm and 3pm strong

12pm and 4 pm still strong!

5) Don’t fall asleep in sun!!!

6) Wear sun cream if in direct sunlight! There’s organic sun creams if you don’t like chems. Or the mottled shade of trees (gets you a nice light tan!) or long sleeve light thin clothing. Loosely woven cloths will allow vit d in whilst protecting you.
7) Think about what’s on show when walking about, every minute counts. If your arms and chest are out then you must use some sun cream or cover up (because your mind will be on other things).
8) Take water with you everywhere! You be ver know when you might need it, there’s pollen and really hot transport to contend with. Ideally have a little fresh lemon or lime, some fruit juice in the water to rehydrate most efficiently. Watermelon is ideal rehydration ratios of water to sugar for training too.
9) Take a hat with you everywhere to protect the heat of the sun from your head.

http://www.nhs.uk/news/2016/02February/Pages/NICE-issue-new-guidelines-on-sun-exposure-warn-tanning-is-unsafe.aspx

Later on in the year the sun is less strong (further away from mid summer) and our skin is more conditioned from summer and behaviourally we are used to wearing protection and considering it.

Have a great bank holiday weekend everyone! It’s usually raining so enjoy and take care.

I think I’m an inversion addict…

 

#inversionaddict

I’d seen the hashtag for a long time before I realised! I still saw it as ‘other’, those clever people who can do that stuff. I think, because, I was still focussed on where I needed to go, rather than what I had become. Looking at the photos in this blog, I’m smiling, I’ve achieved some stuff. Stuff I NEVER thought possible at the beginning or even halfway through. I had faith in the process, that training made me feel good in the short term. On that day. (Check out my blog Little by Little for motivation on getting started)

As you grow stronger on the journey you naturally try new moves and often don’t realise they’re impressive until you see someone’s reaction! Check out my instagram… for more. And here’s some of my you tube links:  headstand on beamassisted headstand on beamOlympic Rings.

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My goal was and still is to conquer handstand, by which I mean hold it at will no support and eventually on parallel bars. It’s taken me a long time because I developed headstand strength first, which is more core and neck. And for handstand, despite strong wrists for barwork (pull ups, push ups, dips) and punching, my 90 degree wrist strength needed a lot of work and shoulders loosening.

However once I took a step back and gathered my thoughts I realised, that despite all the work that I have to do on inversions, that I too was a #inversion addict! (about 40% of my instagram shots are me up-side-down lol).

 

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Storytime

It began 9 years ago, it shocks me to say that, feels so recent and so distant at the same time. I’d been working in the office on and off for 10 years (minus 3 years for study). I had dabbled in some dance classes and mini workouts before a long steam but in short I had zero fitness, zero strength and absolutely no core.  At 28 I still looked fine on the outside but I could feel something was wrong on the inside and the rest would soon follow if I didn’t do anything. A looming darkness that something wasn’t right; IBS symptoms, depression, SAD, anxiety and insomnia. I had no idea what the answer was at the time and that training would become my new way of life.

I tried a yoga class at work and realised something profound: I felt like I should be able to do the moves but I couldn’t; it was weird seeing people holding one legged stances and pulling off headstands, I was shocked to the core. What had happened to me? I was really active at school. I didn’t know at this point that you could change your body to be able to do the movement you want (through A LOT of hardwork :)).

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I was a long way off a headstand, in fact 4 years off (training for around 4 hours a day 5 times a week).  Your body knows when it’s not ready and I wasn’t ready. Some people were and I now know why; they had core.

[Piece of advice, when someone tries to tell you you’re lacking confidence because you don’t want to try something, ignore them, your body knows best. It’s moments like these when you get injured. Your body will naturally want to try a new move when it’s ready.]

Inversions are for all levels of ability

Inversions, however, are for everybody of all levels. An inversion at it’s most basic level is standing up on straight legs, bending over and letting your head hang. All the way up to gymnastics bars, olympic rings, flips, headstands, parallel bars…

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no handed ankle weight headstand

Balance mind body and soul

They are an invaluable way of balancing the body system: physically, emotionally, mentally (and spiritually, in brackets because you can ignore it if you wish).

Physically you are putting your heart and lungs above your head. This is calming. It lowers the blood pressure (so any conditions of this nature ask your doctor if it’s ok.)

If you’re feeling mentally stressed it helps clear the mind just by holding your head upside down. If you put your head in the soil you’re ‘grounding’ your body too!

Naturally you feel emotionally calmer from being still, focusing on breathing and lowering your head; extreme emotions like fear and anxiety seem to be balanced by the physical system working against gravity and pumping blood the other way.

 

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How to use an inversion in day to day situations

If you’re in a stressful environment or dealing with a difficult situation I highly recommend taking a minute out to go to quiet spot, empty meeting room, or even the toilet, put your back against the wall and lean over. This will stretch your hamstrings as well. Let your head hang as long as is comfortable, then gently raise, take a few deep breathes once in the up right position before moving. Make a note of how you feel after!

I find submissive poses (like the one below and the one described above where you’re not exerting yourself like in a handstand) help release painful knots in my back and realign my spine after tension.

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Hence my brand logo: my all time favourite go to move in any stressful situation: THE PLOUGH!

Finally an excellent way to cool down.. 

Even for those who have no interest in being upside down, I still recommend it to give the joints a break from the usual angle of force and pressure that you do in your regular training. Much like swimming it gives the lower body joints a break. And it is an excellent way to cool down from a workout.

If you want to book a PT session with me get in touch! book a PT session

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