Stories of 2019 #22

Exercise is a big part of my life. It always has been. From a teenager I was in a competitive gymnastics squad and then at this time I started to go to the gym. More for fun with my friends Jessamyn and Mollie but nevertheless we still went. Since then I have always gone to the gym. The only time I did not go to the gym was the time between finishing my A-Levels and starting university (probably because I found alcohol and going-out far too much fun). From university to now I have been a consistent gym goer (which is good for seeing results… as the saying goes consistency is key) but I have also tried my hand at running, yoga and now boxing.

Now I am home in Hertfordshire and settled back in, I have gone back to the gym and really enjoying it. The gym I am signed up to (Renegade) is probably the best gym I have been too. The classes are mixed and really push you. We run, lift weights, row and do pull-ups – stuff I would not do if I was on my own.

I really enjoying exercising so I tend to aim to between 4-5 times a week but I also listen to my body and if I have little energy or I feel my body cannot work-out or more importantly I am off out with friends or family instead, I will include another rest day.

Anyway, here is a typical week of work outs!

Monday // Cardio (6-7pm). Start the week off with a burn to blow away the cobwebs of the weekend. This class is a mix. Sometimes it will be a non-stop circuit with bodyweight or sometimes it will be heavier weights with cardio included. For example a class we did last week…

10 barbell deadlifts / 10 burpees / 500 meter run outside – x 5

20 seconds kettle bell swings / 10 seconds off / 20 seconds push-ups – x6

Tuesday // Weights (6-6:45pm). Build them muscles! Adding weights into your work-out routine has many benefits. And if you fear the ‘bulk’, weight training really will not make you bulky. It adds such a different element to a work-out and also is a great way to burn fat also and you will begin to develop muscle tone. The weight classes at Renegade at short, often consisting of only 4-5 exercises but you always wake up the next day feeling it! An example weight class is…

Strict overhead press 5 x 5 / 12 twisting lateral raises x 4 / 12 a-frame push ups x 4 / 1 minute straight arm plank x 4

Wednesday // Rest day. Just as important as getting a work-out in!

Thursday // Cardio (6-7pm). Same as Mondays class. Another example of the cardio class is…

200 meter run / 20 bodyweight squats / 10 push-ups – x 4

400 meter run / 10 calorie row – x 3

800 meter run / 30 kettle bell swings / 20 kettle bell snatches / 10 goblet squats – x 2

Friday // Weights (5:45-6:30pm). Again, same as a Tuesday class. More weights to finish off the working week. However, sometimes I do go to the morning class, depending what I am doing in the evening, and that is a cardio class but more often than not I am at the evening session. An example work-out includes…

12 chest press / 12 push ups / 20 tricep dips – x 4

24 bicep curls 6 half, 6 half, 6 full – x 4

Saturday // Squat Saturday (8:30-9:30). A bright and breezy 8:30am class! When my alarm goes at 7am, it is often a battle in my head as to whether to go or not. But once I am up and out, it is fine. I must admit I am excited for lighter mornings. As the class goes, it is in the name. It is based around squats and focused on your legs and glutes. We normally start off with barbell back squats, starting of with lighter weights and increased reps then as you build the weight, you decrease the rep. This is followed by lunges, step-ups, leg press, goblet squats and many more leg burning moves! You are normally left leaving with jelly legs. Example squat Saturday…

20, 15, 10, 5, 3 Barbell back squats / 12 step-ups x 3 / 10 leg extensions x 3 holding last rep for as long as possible / 12 leg press machines x 3 on last set drop set and do 20 reps / 15 wall balls x 2 / x 2 wall sits

Sunday // Boxing (10-11:30am). For two weeks now I have been going to the ladies boxing class at my gym. I am really enjoying it so far! The class starts off with some running and stretching to warm up, followed by a conditioning circuit to help build our muscles to help build our skills. The rest of the session is practicing on the bags (my favourite part) and then sparring in the ring. Daunting but we only do 1 minute at a time (thank god for me at the moment). Boxing is so different to something I have done before and does not even feel like I am doing a work-out.

I have also upped my cardio by trying my hand at outdoors running again. I did my first run yesterday and while it was only a small 20 minute run, I loved it! So keep your eyes out for any running updates.

If you want to know more about what I do health and fitness wise, comment below!

Stories of 2019 #21

January, January, January… it just keeps on going. No one has any money, it is only getting colder when we are now all ready for summer and the food cravings have kicked in after being so good on our New Year health resolutions (hello chocolate). 21 days in we are and still 10 to go. You know it is getting hard when the iconic Facebook memes start popping up – just reminding you of how long this month is!

They call it Blue Monday. Apparently surveys suggest today is the day we all feel ‘blue’ and will moan for an average of 34 minutes… I mean I must be an over-achiever in the moaning department as I do not just stick to a Monday to moan and I am way above 34 minutes. So, that is something to smile about. Women also call this their ‘ugly day’. I am actually laughing at these facts as it just makes me think how us women are all the same. Have you ever had a day when you have said, “I am having such an ugly time at the moment.” Because I can hear myself saying that!

But my thoughts are, life is too short to be blue and yes, January is long, but would you not rather time slowed down a little bit rather than flashing right before your eyes? So, if you do feel fed-up and grumpy today (like I often do ha ha), here are some ways I get out of a rut.

Have a bath // Load it up with bubbles, bath bombs, salts, oils. Everything. You deserve it. Light the candles and sink into this warm, soapy heaven.

Read a book // I am on my 4th book of the year (Bryony Gordon’s – Eat, Drink, Run). I am out-reading my mum, something I never thought would happen. But I absolutely love reading. Especially before I go to sleep I always read for an hour, sometimes more if I am coming to the end. There is nothing better than getting lost in a book to make you feel better.

Get outside // Wrap up warm and set out into the world. Leave your mood and worries in the house! Take in the surroundings, stop of a cup of tea and wander around for as long as you would like. In the midst of writing this post, I went for a run. Filled with terror of what people may think of me of that I could not do it, I just thought pull yourself together India just go for it! And, do you know what, it felt so amazing to be outside and just thinking about running rather than other things. I love being outside and doing exercise, it just makes me feel so good!

See friends and family // Speak to people, socialise, sometimes you just need to make the effort. Pick up the phone or walk round to their house and have a good ole’ chat.

Watch a film/series // I am currently watching series 5 of Grace and Frankie… I cannot recommend enough! Les Mis on the BBC is also incredible. SAS: Who Dares Wins is another good one. There are so many series I could go on for days.

Dance and sing // Turn up the volume on your favorite song and sing your little heart out, whether this be in the shower or in your room. My song obsession at the moment is a bit random… Whitney Houston, Step by Step. Cook // I love cooking, creating something that is going to taste amazing (well, fingers crossed). The task of chopping is soothing and I really enjoy

Or, if none of that works just get an early night and dream into Tuesday.

As Bryony Gordon has said on Instagram today BUGGER BLUE MONDAY.

Have a good day all my readers!

Stories of #18,19 and 20…oops

I am rounding off this week, with a week in pictures. I have been snap happy lately, especially when I am out walking. The blue skies and winter sunshine just makes for the perfect photo. So, from everything from the food I have eaten, selfies with dogs and a day in London – here is my week in pictures.

Stories of 2019 #17

I confess. I am a smoothie bowl addict. I do not care if they contain hundreds of hidden calories, they look and they taste bloody delicious! Pink, purple, blue, Halloween themed, topped with heaps of peanut butter, fruit, granola (best part), flowers, who knows you may even find a mermaid in the depths of a smoothie bowl. I mean there are even Instagram accounts dedicated to the smoothie bowl… How can you resist when they look THAT good.

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Yummy Blue Smoothie Bowl by @isiaaak

A post shared by Smoothie Bowl Recipes (@smoothiebowls) on

You do have to go out and source a smoothie bowl if you want them to look good, unless you are just a domestic goddess and can blend up something as good as this. I know I can’t, so I go on the global smoothie bowl hunt.

They became popular in 2016 and was a huge Instagram trend due to their drool-worthy look. But what really is a smoothie bowl I hear you ask? Well, it is a mix of frozen fruit, vegetables and other so-called superfoods such as yogurt, avocado and oats. This forms a ice-cream like texture, so instead of putting your smoothie in a cup and drinking with a straw, you pour it into a bowl and eat it with a spoon. Then it is time for the crown jewels – the beautiful toppings that are carefully placed sometimes in lines on top of your smoothie, which can be pretty much anything. The aim of the smoothie bowl is supposedly to make you eat more mindfully as you cannot gulp it down – unless you want brain freeze…

However, they are said to be very high in sugar so maybe consume in moderation.

I have to say, not to blow my own trumpet, but I like to now call myself the global smoothie bowl connoisseur. Ubud, Canguu, Byron Bay, London, Townsville, Hitchin, I mean do I need to convince your further? Joking, when I am making smoothie bowls good enough to go on the smoothie bowl accounts, I know then I am the connoisseur.

Anyway, here are where I have had the delicious smoothie bowl.

The Avocado Factory, Canguu // Avo Island Smoothie Bowl
Watercress, Ubud // Acai Superfood Smoothie Bowl
Puri Garden Hotel and Hostel, Ubud // Smoothie Bowl
NUUT Nutrition Bar, Fremantel WA // Nourishing Glow Bowl
Acai Brother, Byron Bay // Ain’t Nothin’ Butter Bowl
The Beet Bar, Townsville // Peanut Butter Swirl
Pluk, Amsterdam // Unicorn Acai Bowl
Feya, London // Pastel Rainbow Smoothie Bowl
Chia Cafe, Hitchin // Acai Smoothie Bowl

By the looks of things I need to take my own advice and think about moderation ha ha. Now make sure you share your smoothie bowls with me and I can go and try too!

Stories of 2019 #16

What a grey day! I was going to write about happiness today as I was in such a good mood yesterday and just felt like a new women. But it just goes to show you how each day if different. My mood and brain match the weather – grey, tired and moody!

I finished the gym last night and my mum picked me up and I turned and said to her, “I just feel amazing. I do not know what it is but I don’t feel tired, achy or down. I just feel happy.” I think this could be due to a number of things. Theory 1, I have come out of the other side of the vegan transitional phase (lol). Being vegan for almost 4 months now, I think I am finally fully adjusted and now feeling the benefits of the lifestyle change! Theory 2, I have come off my pill but this may also be the reason to why today I am moody… Theory 3, I am feeling fit. Not as in fit, good-looking fit, but as in I am improving at the gym, I can run further and I am making way back to the shape I had before going to Australia.

Anyway, that was yesterday and like a true hormonal women, today I am grumpy, I am tired and just need a holiday or a full body massage, or maybe both. Yes, 100% both. We all have these down days so it is sometimes best to just accept it and find the funny side. The funny side of today for me is being able to share with you the ups and downs of being India.

Stories of 2019 #15

One foot in front of the other. Left, right, left, right. It is so simple and it is one of my favourite things to do to pass the time. Walking. Especially when the winter sun is beating down and the skies are the bluest of blues.

Fairlands Lakes, Stevenage // 14th January 2019

There are so many benefits to taking a short or long walk. It can clear your mind and reduce stress if you are feeling a little low or wound up. Walking can help get your heart rate up and that means burning a few calories to help keep you fit and will strengthen your muscles. It can uplift your mood and make you feel more energised. Scientists have also said it can improve your memory?! See, there are so many benefits.

For me, I just love to get out of the house sometimes and get my body moving. I also have to walk sometimes, as I do not have a car!

I put in my headphones and listen to either Spotify or a podcast (as you all know I love one of them) and set off on my journey. Even better, my mum will come with me and we will chat about all sorts for an hour or so. We have even started walking to the cinema on a Thursday night before our film.

Yesterday, we decided to go on a walk around Fairlands Lakes in Stevenage and it was blimmin’ beautiful! The sun was shining and there were so many people out walking as well. It made me so happy and uplifted my mood without a doubt. Well, as you can see from the photos how lovely it was.

The walk overall took us just under an hour and a half and I was glad to get home and warm my hands up with a cup of tea.

Fairlands Lakes, Stevenage // 14th January 2019

If you want to make walking a part of your daily routine there are many ways to do this. You can start walking too and from work, go on a stroll during your lunch break, met a friends for a brisk walk, stop using the car to nip to the shops and go on foot instead or be like me and my mum and walk to the town or the cinema. Even if you walk one way and jump on the bus back home, you still have got out and started moving your body.

You can Google walks in your local area and map out where you want to walk before you set off or you can wander aimlessly enjoying the lovely day. All you need is a comfy pair of shoes and in the winter some warm clothes (I am sporting the Lululemon, of course). As well as, headphones if you want something to listen too.

Now, I am off to walk to the gym after writing this blog post and the podcast of choice this evening is Fearne Cottons Happy Place with Bryony Gordon.

Stories of 2019 #14

So, I went for it. I did my first ever boxing class! And I don’t mean boxercise, I mean an actual boxing class.

Boxing class // 13th January 2019

If you have been reading my blogs, you will know my New Years resolution was to find a new hobby which I was hoping would be boxing. I was meant to go to the class last Sunday but after seeing a video the gym posted online of the girls in the ring, I was too scared to go. Gutted because this is something I really wanted to do.

After speaking to a lady about the class, she persuaded me to just go for it and that I would actually really enjoy it. So, again Sunday came around and my alarm was going off at 8:30am, telling me it was time for boxing. Still slightly dreading it, I finally left my house and started walking to the gym.

An hour and a half later and it was all done. I was sweaty, my hands smelt BAD (I need my own pair of gloves thats for sure) but I really really enjoyed it and so glad I bloody just went and did it.

We started off with a HITT circuit, followed by a weight circuit, then skills on the bags (fav part of the session) and then sparring in the ring. I have never been hit before or hit anyone else, so this did not come as second nature to me ha ha. Anyway, I survived it just about. A lot to learn but I am excited. I will be going again next week.

This just shows that sometimes you just need to throw yourself into the deep end to achieve the things you want! Sometimes you may regret it but more often than not you will be glad you pushed yourself.