Stories of 2019 #47

My week in workouts! I am thinking of making this a regular Sunday blog post and trying to incorporate more health and fitness into Stories of Adventure, as it is a big passion of mine and something, at the moment, I am doing regularly. Let me know what you think or whether you prefer to see more travel related posts?

This week I have worked out 6 times. Six times a week tends to be what I am doing at the moment, however, I did do a double session on Monday. So, I have technically only been to the gym 5 times, which has been quiet nice to have 2 days off.

It has been a tough week of workouts and I am starting to see more definition in my abdominal muscles but over the next 6 weeks I am really trying to lean out, as I do feel I have put on some extra fat in certain areas, ready to go to Seville in April. I am calling it #6weekstoseville – my new mini series – and I am planning to show/track my workouts, how I feel and food!

Less of me rambling and on to the week in workouts…

Monday

AM – upper body / pull-ups 3 x AMRAP / barbell bent over rows 4 x 10 / cable lateral pull 4 x 12 / rows / 4 x 12 / lateral raises 4 x 8 (heavy I use 6kg) drop set straight away and do 4 x 15 (light weight I used 4kg) / bicep curls 3 x 15 / tricep dips 3 x 15

PM – cardio / 5 x 10 calorie watt bike (horrific, actually thought I was going to throw up) / 200 meter run followed by kettle swings 30 reps x 5 (together)

Tuesday

PM – Iron class / pull-ups 5 x 5 / handstand push-up 5 x 5 (amazed I could actually do these against the wall) / floor chest press 4 x 8 / deficit push-up 4 x 12 / renegade rows 3 x 10

Wednesday

AM – Blitz class / round 1 x 3 / 400 meter row / 15 deadlift (40kg) / 15 burpees / 15 push-ups / round 2 x 3 / 15 calorie watt bike / 15 overhead press (20kg) / 15 jump squats / 15 wall balls (6kg)

Thursday – rest day!

Friday

PM – Did my own upper-body work out inspired by NaturallyStephanie / cable chest press 3 x 15 / incline dumbbell flies 3 x 15 (6kg) / incline chest press 3 x 15 (12.5kg) / round 1 x 5 / 10 overhead press / 20 kettlebell squats / 20 upright row / 15 press up / round 2 x 3 / 8 hanging leg raises / 10 cable oblique twists / 10 cable chest press

Saturday

AM – Squat Saturdays (my favourite class of the week) / wall balls 3 x 15 (in pairs, whilst partner doing wall balls you do body weight squats) / squats 5, 5, 3, 1 (increasing weight – I hit another PB of 100kg!!) / 20 x 3 cable goblet squats / 12 x 3 leg press / 12 x 3 split leg squat (12.5kg each side) / 12 x 3 leg extension… legs are sore today!

Sunday – Rest day! Not planned but we had been out Saturday night and I missed the 9am class… oops. I did go for a walk though and battling the gale force winds was a workout within itself!

Squat Saturday Class // 09.03.2019

Stories of 2019 #45

Wasn’t pancake day good! I mean, I and my mum did not even bother to attempt to make them, we chose the sensible choice and decided to head out for elevenses pancakes. We are not just pretty faces, we knew somewhere else would make them better than we ever could!

Already in the area, we went to my absolute favourite cafe – Chia Naturally Healthy. A cozy plant-based health cafe in the center of Hitchin. So aka, we had healthy pancakes…

Every time I have visited this cafe I have had the most delish food so it is no wonder they have been voted top three of The Sunday Times best plant-based cafes.

For pancake day they were also offering not only 10% off pancakes but also had two exclusive flavour toppings. Pancakes on offer were…

Coconut sugar and lemon

Banana, pecan and maple syrup

Cinnamon and blueberries

Thankfully the words, “shall we get two different and share” come out of my mum’s mouth and I was at the counter ordering one maple and pecan, one blueberry and cinnamon. Coconut sugar and lemon sounded lovely too but I mean if I am going for pancakes, I want all the toppings! We also had an English breakfast tea with oat milk and a matcha latte with coconut milk.

My excitement was building when they arrived and we tucked straight into the three-stack, heavily (thank god) topped pancakes. I was in almond butter heaven and we were switching forks trying to decide which ones we preferred. Both equally as good I reckon and thinking to myself what a great idea this was whilst trying to savour every last bite.

Eyes bigger than my belly, I also ordered a slice of their ginger cake to-go… I mean by the time I am writing this blog post (2:30pm) I have had a sneaky spoonful and I mean it is safe to say the cake will not be there for long!

Once again, Chia Naturally Healthy has wowed my tastebuds and I am itching to go back already!

Not only do they do pancakes but they do a whole range of tasty, wholesome food from burgers to smoothie bowls, to beetroot lattes to protein smoothies.

I am beyond happy that this gem is in Hertfordshire and I highly recommend a visit if you are nearby, even if you are not plant-based.

What did you top your pancakes with?

Stories of 2019 #24

The food of the Gods… Hummus!

Roasted red pepper, Moroccan, sun-dried tomato, caramelised onion, avocado, the list goes on. I am a lover of hummus. I even went to a hummus restaurant over the other side of the world. The Hummus Club in Northbridge, Perth if you live that way!

Hummus is soooo easy to make, with only two ingredients for a basic hummus – chickpeas and tahini. But for this hummus, I have mixed it up. Instead of chickpeas, I have used butterbeans. In my opinion, it actually tasted much nicer than using chickpeas as it was smoother and not so thick.

I added in garlic granules and a pinch of salt with my 250 grams of butter beans and 20 grams of tahini before blitzing it all with my hand-held blender.

Would you believe it is that easy to make and much cheaper than shop bought.

It passed the taste test by me and my rice cakes anyway and that is all that matters haha.

Stories of 2019 #23

On Instagram, I follow and see these amazing women running outside and they look like they are just feeling amazing. And I know, Instagram can sometimes just be someone putting up their best selves and I know that it is only a snippet of someone on a random day but I have been following these women for a long time and I listen to plenty of podcasts about how running makes you feel mentally, amazing.

I used to run two summers ago and I remember doing it often but struggling. I had to keep stopping and I was huffing and puffing but I was out there doing it. When I was doing my Master’s degree, I also signed up to do a 10k in London and even in the cold mornings of February I was doing Park Run around Forest Fields in Nottingham. So, it is not like I have no experience with running but for some reason I was petrified of going back outside and doing it.

Running is simple. One foot in front of the other. It does not matter how fast you are going or if you have to stop and walk or if you even only run for five minutes then turn back. You are out there, running and building strength, doing something good for yourself! I wanted to be that person. But something was holding me back. I even kept Googling, ‘How to start running?’ Like I did not know it was as simple as going out and doing it. I just feared people would look at me funny or I would not be able to manage the route I had planned. However, with over 5 billion results, it looks like I am not the only one. I wonder why running, outside in particular, feels us with such lack of confidence and fear?

But on Monday, 21st January, I made the decision today I was going to run and I set the run time at 10am.

9:50am… The thoughts start to go around in my head… Doubts that I should not go.

10:05am… Still at my house.

10:15am… I stepped out the door, headphones on and the Nike Running Club man motivating me in my ears just to go! If you have not tried this app, it is so good. It is full of guided runs from one minute to a 75 minute run to runs on the treadmill. It is free and I found very helpful when I was out.

10:30am… I was doing it! I was running, OUTSIDE! I was already smiling at the fact I was out and actually running, let alone how far I was running. I did the route I used to do two summers ago and I did not stop once. An achievement I never thought I would be able to do. And, I felt like my favourite Instagram stars, Food Fitness Flora and Adrienne and Bryony Gordon.

When I got home I was beaming so proud that I had done it. I did not even notice the cars going past funnily enough. I was as simple as going out there and putting one foot in front of the other. It was only a short run 3.5k but it was a run and I will be doing it again.

21st January 2019 // My first run

So, if you are nervous to start running my advice is, instead of being like me and Googling how to’s – just do it. In the wise words of Nike! Even if it is to the end of the road. Trust me you will feel great just because you went.

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 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.

View this post on Instagram

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.