Happy New Year! 2013 is here!

Here are some words from William Arthur Ward...
"This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!"

Happy New Year! and Keep it SimpElle!

Elle ;) x


The 2012 lowdown

I think the one word I'd use to sum up 2012 is EPIC! This post is just a few of my highlights for the entire year!
  • February: Nike Training Club (NTC) class on the London Eye to mark the leap year. Check out the video below...

  • April: Saw the launch of the Nike Fuel Band. This was the beginning of my journey to keep track of my activity levels on a day to day basis and compete with friend via the app and Facebook
My NikeFuel stats (n.b Decembers data is not complete)

  • April: We trained Super Natural with Katy B at Westfield London; the pictures are all here :)
  • April: I began teaching my first NTC Live Class at Westfield London in Shepherds Bush / White City

  • June: We trained NTC with Serena Williams
  • July: I STARTED KEEPITSIMPELLE! Here was my first ever post...about what I do!
  • July: Saw the first ever NTC Live Festival take place in London. You can read all about it in that specific post...click here
  • July: I ran my first ever 10k in a time of 1:05:52 at the Nike British 10k. Click here for the full story.
  • July: The Nike weekender ended with the FuelFest! An event in which the attendees fueled the night through the Nike Fuel they earned! We Fuelled the night!!
  • September: I became qualified in Ante and Post Natal Fitness. Check out all of my qualifications on the 'About Elle' page
  • October: I ran my first ever Half Marathon. Read about #MyMoments of Run To The Beat 2012
  • December: I completed the Intermediate 1 pole course after an 18 month break. Read about the course and journey in the Week 5 post

Now it's time to look forward to 2013 and set my goals for the year ahead!

Hope you achieved some great things too in 2012! Please feel free to share in the comments below or send me the link to your blog posts about your 2012!

Elle :) x


Wishing you a Merry Christmas ;)

Just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas! Hope you have a fabulous day tomorrow and get everything you wished for! 

If you do anything today, make it some core exercises for an instant (temporary) flat stomach before you don your celebration outfits! Check out my Drill Pack (1) with 3 of my favourites! 

Elle ;) x

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Pole Position; Intermediate 1 (Week 5)

Usually, these courses are 6 weeks long but due to the Christmas holidays mine was just 5. This is a real shame because I followed a learning curve much like that pictured where week 5 is the massive dip and I'm certain week 6 would have been an awesome week! But hey, pole life goes on ;)

So trying to do the routine was a task in itself considering my body seemed to have forgotten a lot of what I had learnt the previous 4 weeks. There were some moments of clarity and lots of laughter! With just two of us in attendance for final week it meant Christina was even more eagle eyed picking up on toes not pointed and wrong hand positioning.

With a few minutes left before the end of the class, Christina taught us some basic moves on the SPINNING pole! This was exciting for me as I had never had a go on the spinning pole before...and my first attempt almost made me die laughing! I mounted the pole with a leg swing into a standing position and the pole started spinning, with me on it, faster than I ever imagined a pole could spin! I closed my eyes with fear, whilst Christina instructed me to "sit" which at the time of fearing for my life meant nothing! Eventually I realised she meant to lower my hips and I did so making the pole slow down considerably! I stepped off and fell to the floor laughing...one of those laughs where you can't even breathe...

Image from Pole Dance Adventures
We got the hang of it though...and I even made a short little video of corkscrew to standing with some twists and backbends :)

Before we left, Christina very gracefully and beautifully performed the routine from Intermediate 2; to me, it felt like a huge step up from Intermediate 1 with lots of inversions, moves based on the straddle and one handed stuff! I think I will aim to repeat Intermediate 1 in the New Year and work on some conditioning during that time before I move onto Intermediate 2!

Yours in Pole, 

Elle ;) x
The rest of the story:


Sunday Brunch: Banana Pecan Pancakes

Good morning! It's Sunday as I'm writing this post! So it's either your rest day, in which case you deserve a treat or it's your long run day if you're in training, in which case you also deserve a treat!

This is a recipe I love to use for Christmas Day breakfast / brunch as well as any weekend that I have to time to make something a little above and beyond 3 minute porridge!

Banana Pecan Pancakes served with crispy bacon
Serves 4-6, 30 minutes

225g self raising flour
300ml of milk (or substitute)
1 ripe banana about 200g unpeeled
1 large egg
75g of pecans roughly chopped
Oil or substitute for frying
12 rashers of streaky bacon
Maple syrup, to serve

1.Preheat the grill. Peel and mash the banana with a fork then set aside. Soft the flour into a bowl with a pinch of salt. Slowly whisk the egg and milk into the flour until smooth. Stir in the mashed banana and half the pecans. Heat some oil in a large frying pan and fry small ladlefuls of the batter in batches. Cook until the tops are dry and set then turn and cook for a further two minutes until golden. Keep the pancakes warm.

2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon until the preheated grill for 8-10 minutes turning halfway.

3. Stack 2 or 3 pancakes on each plate , top with bacon, the remaining pecans and finish with syrup.

Nutritional information: 474kcal, 24g fat (6g sat fat), 53g carbs, 23g total sugars, 1.9g salt

I recently used this recipe when I was carb loading for my half marathon! It def made carb loading enjoyable ;)

I am not a fan of bananas so I never add it when I make this myself. In all my recipes I use soya milk too as I am lactose intolerant. This never alters the taste or texture and means I don't miss out on cakes and treats! You can also freeze these pancakes and use them at you will by either defrosting them or toasting direct from the freezer if your toaster has that option!

Happy Sunday!

Elle ;) x


Pole Position; Intermediate 1 (Week 4)

Me in a "pole sit"
So I had this master plan to video myself doing our routine in class yesterday and then, if it wasn't too cringe worthy I would share it here with you guys! Unfortunately, I was told we aren't allowed to film the routines due to copyright! Hmm. So just a couple of photo's with my update this week!

Week 4 reminded me of Week 1 a little; I had a tired and achy body which made it hard work to do any and everything! 

Each week after warming up we do some conditioning, usually starting with "pole pull ups", 3 with left hand on top, 3 with right hand on top. I can now do my 3 full pole ups on each side breaking only a minor sweat! 

Wrist Seat. Source
One more week to go after this, but we still had more new moves to learn! We learnt how to do a "wrist seat" (see picture) when you hold the weight of your lower body on your wrist. We practised our handstands again with knee slides, into a stag (pictured). 

Handstand stag
Back to the routine, and time to focus on the dance moves and not just the pole tricks! Tricky when you're knackered and achy! By the time we got to doing the routine, I had to leave out the pole tricks! We did work our way through the entire routine though, and I requested that next week we do the routine first so we have a chance to doing the dance moves AND pole tricks before exhaustion sets in. Maybe once my body recovers, and I have finished the course, I can get some practice in at home to get some good photos ;) 

Me in an "attitude layout"

Yours in Pole, 


Keep Calm and Do Pilates (Move & Prove)

Currently I've been evening out my workouts between teaching and me time. In the last week, I had my third week of pole course. I also attended a Pilates class and Frame Work (a mix of ballet, dance, Pilates and yoga).

It's been a long time since I've been to a Pilates class after the timetable at my work place changed in the summer. It's a class I really need to help me with my posture, lordosis (curvature of the lower spine) and to increase my core strength. This class at Shoreditch Pilates was different to any I had ever been to before! Sure we did lots of core work, but it was also dynamic and included a lot of arm work which is great progress towards my personal goals.

I rocked up to Frame thinking I knew what was in store having done the class before but when we got started I realised this was the one class in their signature series that I had yet to experience! Our instructor Natalie was great though; encouraging and motivating us through tough sets of arm, core, leg and cardio drills! (There was nothing we didn't do; downward dog, burpees, crunches, plank, split kicks, hip abductions, stretching...)

On top of all this, I attended yoga on Tuesday which is great after pole to stretch out my shoulders and upper body. I also unlocked Leah Kim's advanced yoga workout on the NTC app at 2000mins! It was an enjoyable 45 minute routine but I found some of the cues a little off time and confusing! I topped that up with the Jeanette Jenkins 15 minute ab blast and that was me for the day! A 45 minute Zumba core class on the wii another day topped up with a 15 minute NTC get focused abdominal workout and that was another day!

How are you making it count before Christmas?! Move and Prove here!

Elle ;) x

By the way: I attended the Shoreditch Pilates class using the 0calendar free class in December offer. I paid to attend class at Frame.


Pole Position; Intermediate 1 (Week 3)

I spent the entire tube journey to my pole class on Monday evening staring at the hand rail in the middle of the carriage wandering what moves I could execute on it! Then I spent the entire walk to the studio examining lamp posts and all sorts wandering if they would work for pole...

I was in the right frame of mind for week 3...

Good job too, as the learning curve is steep in Intermediate 1! Only 2 weeks ago we first attempted basic inversions, and now we are onto handstands with knee slides! One good thing is that I am feeling stronger in my upper body already. I think I am also learning to tolerate some of the discomfort that comes with certain positions such as the 'pole sit with balance' - I did manage a smile as opposed to a grimace for once.

My straddle from standing has improved; I can now actually do it myself!! I just need a little more control as I return my legs to start position. I managed to do a few more 'pole pull ups' (pull ups on the pole) this week too which I am very proud of!

In everything though, we have one side that is stronger than the other due to usage throughout life e.g writing with your right hand, brushing your teeth with one hand; and this is evident when doing pole. Certain moves I can do without thinking on one side, yet on the other side, I can barely take my own weight! I hate using my weaker side when doing pole, but the fact is... "if you hate it, you need it" as I read in the AKR Conditioning blog.

What exercises do you love to do? and which ones do you avoid?

Elle ;) x

The rest of the story:
Intermediate 1 (week 2)
Intermediate 1 (week 1)
My Pole Story
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