#NBNworkshop 28th October 2013

This here ol' blogging world is so much bigger than health and fitness! I've been lucky enough to have attended a number of fitness blogging events thereby getting to know who's who in the fitness blogging world.

In the early days though, I joined the Next Bloggers Network as I had purchased a number of my favourites fitness wardrobe pieces from them; they sell branded kit as well as their own!

Next hosted myself and a host of fashion, beauty and lifestyle bloggers for the day over at The Apartment in The Hoxton Hotel Shoreditch at the Next Bloggers Network Workshop #NBNworkshop

So much went on that I couldn't possibly put it all here in one post but I'll share some pictures and let you know that the day was very inspiring! It has fuelled the fire for me to continue blogging and sharing what I do with as many other fantastic people like yourselves who already stop by here at keep it simpElle to read what I post!

I'm now in the midst of compiling my fitness, blog and life goals for 2014! ...and thinking is not easy huh?!

A huge Thank You to everyone who has supported me on my blogger journey so far! ...and if you ever wanna know more about the #NBNworkshop or what I learnt there please feel free to contact me!

Elle :) x

goody bags
schedule for the day 

workshop time

workshop time 

fitness meets fashion 

Thank You again to Next and the NBN for hosting (and spoiling) us for this day! It's always great to meet fellow bloggers and get a chance to learn more about what we do!! 


Train to Run: Weeks 6 -10 Summary

I thought I'd repost this for anyone looking for some run training inspiration to keep their sessions fresh! You can also check out the weeks 1 - 5 summary too if you want something a bit simpler or are just starting out in the ol' running game!

Elle :) x


Living the simpElle life: Nerissa

Welcome again to my mini series - Living the simpElle life - where I talk to someone who has inspired me with their story. 

I heard a great phrase recently - 

"The Universe is made up of stories, not of atoms"

- so that is what I want to share with you, stories, to open up the Universe to us all! 

Each individual we meet embodies what this blog is about. They have dug deep to find motivation, they have sought inspiration and in doing so become inspirational to others. They have been empowered with knowledge to change and that is what their story will do for the rest of us...

Meet: Nerrissa Mata 


This post on her blog details how we met {LINK}... via Twitter, through a shared passion of Nike Training Club (NTC). Ever since then, I have followed Nerissa's amazing journey (in Toronto, Canada btw!) and witnessed the transformation into the amazingly inspirational woman she is! 

- {THEN} -

Elle: What made you decide to start training / running? ...What was your plan / goals?

NM: I started working out w/the NTC app in 2009.  I like most women wanted to drop a dress size down. After 3 months of doing cardio routines mixed w/the strength workouts; four to five times a week with a healthy diet; I felt and looked the best shape of my life!  And boosting my ego, my fiancĂ© marveled at the change in appearance and attitude. 

BOSU workout

- {HOW} -

Elle: What's your favourite way to work out? 

NM: I began running in 2011 and haven’t stopped. Then I read an article on fitsugar.com about mixing up your cardio by heading outdoors and running was an easy way I could do that and get out of the gym. On twitter.com @nikerunning also motivated me w/their monthly challenges to up the running distance.
My favourite way to workout is early morning at the gym when no one else is there, the stereo is off and I can focus on my breathing.  If I miss that window due to meetings etc I’ll hit the road during lunch break to rid my mind of stress or to sort through my thoughts.

Elle: What's your typical weekly exercise schedule

NM: M, W ,F – toning workouts using the NTC app or fitsugar.com videos (gym) Tues/Thurs and Sun is running 5 – 10K


Elle: What / who has been your inspiration? 

NM: Oh man there is a plethora of peepz that on a daily basis inspire me.  This image is my running inspiration...


Elle:  What was the first big difference in you, that made you feel proud and excited? 

NM: It's not the weight loss that really gets me grinning and posing like a model wanna-be. It's the condition of my body: my arms and legs are leaner and toned; I'm a half-inch layer away from showing toned abs. I'm more flexible now, too.

Elle:  Did you make any changes to your diet once you started training?

NM: I started cooking more w/extra virgin olive oil and cut out the late night mindless snacks.

- {NOW} - 

Elle:  How do you track your progress? 

NM: I don’t. 

simpElle life

Elle:  Have your goals changed since you started your journey? 

NM: I’m not in it for weight loss so much anymore, just maintaining a healthy weight and staying toned

Elle: How do you keep yourself motivated? 

NM: Reading other running/fitness blogs and Facebook fitness groups has definitely motivated me to get my sweat on days I feel lazy. It's simply amazing how logging into any of those social media sites and seeing those running gifs/quotes turns your mood around.

Elle: If you could go back and give advice to the "before" you...or any other person contemplating changing their lifestyle...what would you say?!

NM: Don’t expect changes overnight. Commit yourself to making small, manageable changes to the way you live, know what to expect, deal with it and you will definitely see results.

See?! ...inspirational huh?! 

If you'd like to leave Nerissa a comment below please do! ...you can also find her on Twitter

...and if you have a story you would like to share just get in touch! {Contact Elle}

Keep living that simpElle life ;) 

Elle :) 


10 Reasons to Love Your Instructor / PT...

As a Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Instructor myself, I have found that when I attend classes and such I become very critical of the Instructor. I am also qualified to teach the Level 2 Fitness Instructor course as well as (not quite completing) the Assessors course so I am able to critique constructively!

I thought I'd share with you what I feel you should be seeing in your Instructor / PT...things they should do that you should love them for!

pin it :)

In no particular order...

- 1 -  
Your Instructor should be warm, welcoming and friendly! They should introduce themselves by name at the start of the session and give you a little overview of what to expect. You should feel comfortable asking for help when you need it.

- 2 -  
You should complete a Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q) when you join your gym / studio or start working with your PT. This is to check for medical conditions and ensure it is safe for you to exercise. Your instructor should always check for injuries at the start of the session too...


WholeFoods Women's Only Run #MyMoments

Hello Monday! ...Meet Saturday! Saturday 19th October 2013...The day of the WholeFoods Women's Only Run where I ran 10,000m. 2013 is after all the year of the 10km for me!

Here's my rundown of race day...

race collage

The Good:
Race day and the weather held up...at least until we were done running anyway. It really was ideal weather for running to be honest, cool, meaning that you warmed up nicely once you got moving!

I made it to the 'race village' and had no problem picking up my missing race number; my timing chip arrived through the post but no race number was there! I didn't even notice until I went on Instagram and saw that Leah of Naturally, Leah had both a timing chip and race number! I contacted Human Race via Facebook who said they'd send it out again but it still never came! But all is well that ends well!

They also had Garmins available for (free) hire during the event. I was using Nike+ on the day so there was no need for me to have another GPS device. I was with one of the girls who hired one though and we spent a fair time trying to work out how it worked! ...instructions anyone?!


Elle About Town, October 2013

Been doing a fair bit this month (so far already) so thought I would just share with you now!

Events: #CHOSpin at Boom! Cycle Shoreditch

Our friends at Chobani organised a great evening of spinning for a group of fitness bloggers and enthusiasts! I've been to Boom! Cycle once before and had a great time! ...This class was pretty much the same format...except we were treated to yummy Chobani smoothies afterwards.

I already gave credit to this picture taker...can't remember who?!

Events: Keep it simpElle Supple Strength Class

So class went well - have a read of the post here and / or check out the {photo album on Facebook} if you haven't already done so :)

collage of participant photos

Kiera won herself some Yurbuds headphones for Best Feedback. Here is what she said...
"I loved the class, it was totally worth half an hour getting lost between three buildings on Tottenham Court Road! Your friendly, enthusiastic personality really shone throughout the class and helped me feel relaxed in your class. I think the fact you did the class to awesome music helped the class speed by and slightly took away from the epic pain in my weak wrists. I really appreciated you took the time to walk around the class and help correct our positioning, ensuring that we would get the best workout possible and reduce our risk of injury. I definitely felt stretched but sore the next day:) You had some great sponsors at the event, really relevant to us as most of us were runners. I was very sad that I forgot to pick up some coconut water, but have been enjoying the nuun-deffo going to use the discount code. Only negative feedback is the studio space was slightly too small for the number of people and I felt I had my feet in some poor girls face way too much. Can't wait for your next class! Will try to book in my powerplate class with you teaching soon :)"
Kiera's prize

Winner of the Zaggora HotPants was Shirley for her great infogram...

Check out the full image on FB

And Jennifer won herself a couple bottles of chocolate Zico Coconut Water for a great picture of her trying out the Nuun which she received on the evening... 

Love pink! Love Nuun!
Classes: Twerk it Out 

We know GymBox love an interesting class and this one caught my eye for sure! With all the hype about twerking in the press I had to give it a go! ...Unfortunately class wasn't all that atmospheric as after our instructor realised she was in the wrong studio and found us, it turned out her iPhone 5 wasn't compatible with the sound system. So they brought in a portable sound system which wouldn't work with the music up loud! ...Twerking to ambient Beyonce?! Nah, not happening. ...I'm willing to give the class another chance when I have time though...

Classes: Battlebells

Then there was Battlebells! Wow! ...It took me weeks to get a spot in this class as it fills up immediately so I thought there must be something cool happening here! My, oh my. What a workout! ...A mix of battle ropes and kettlebell training... oh and lots of bodyweight exercises such as push ups, pull ups, plank etc made for a madly intense workout...I totally understand everyone's love for this class!

Classes: Whipped / Tread & Shred

I hit up the (not so) new Equinox gym in West London for the dirty double! Two back to back classes with the fitness maestro that is Rory! ...I'm not one to shy away from a challenge so why do one class when you can do two?!

We started off with 45 minutes of battle ropes, bosu's, weights, sand bags (oooo!), squats, press ups... you name it we did it!

A quick 15 min recuperation and it was onto the treadmills for an interval session led by Rory. I've never done a treadmill class before but this was defo enjoyable!

Rory and the battle ropes...

Workout Gear: Add a little luxe to your workout...

Recently the focus has shifted in workout gear. Once upon a time, people would just chuck on any old t-shirt and joggers to go for a run or hit the gym. But it seems the fashion stakes have been raised and the world of working out has become a cat walk show!

I'm not gonna lie...I do enjoy putting together my best outfit for the gym. Fact of the matter is, i wear gym clothes more than I do normal clothes so I need to make it exciting somehow.

Check out Gymluxe; a new British sportswear brand that launched in August 2013.

I got my hands on a pair of their Diamond Cut Capri's. Understated and glamorous at the same time. I whipped out a black high neck sleeveless vest with a mesh panel to match and the two teamed together had me ready to take over the world!

The waistband sat nice and comfortable and the diagonal mesh panels just screamed sexy! I wore these capri's to teach a fantastic group of women who attend classes put on by Mothers Meetings. The ladies loved the leggings and wanted to know all the details of where I got them after class!

pre teaching selfie :)

Coming up...

It's my birthday this month and I've been loving the special offer texts I've had from places I have been loyal to (or AWOL for a while!) ...£10 off my beauty treatment?! YES PLEASE!

...Birthday Bikram?! ..why not!! ...I'm planning to visit Hot Bikram Yoga within the next week and get my sweat on! ...all the in name of flexibility!

I'll be attending the Next Bloggers Network Workshop on October 28th in London! I'm excited to learn more about blogging and meeting other bloggers (most likely non fitness!) from across the UK / London.

I'm off to the Doctor's next week to get my knee looked at! I am a little scared of needing a little operation but the outcome will hopefully be better than a dull ache in my knee all day long :(

And I am THIS close to purchasing a bicycle! ...building up the birthday funds and hoping the weather stays good for a few more weeks at least!

So what's new with you guys?! ...what classes / training have you been up to?! ...how's the bloggers life treating you (for those that blog too!)...

Elle :) x


Living the simpElle life: Victoria

Welcome to back my mini series - Living the simpElle life - where I talk to someone who has inspired me with their story. 

Based on a great phrase I heard recently - 

"The Universe is made up of stories, not of atoms"

- so that is what I want to share with you, stories, to open up the Universe to us all! 

Each individual we meet embodies what this entire blog is about. They have dug deep to find motivation, they have sought inspiration and in doing so become inspirational to others. They have been empowered with knowledge to change and that is what their story will do for the rest of us...

Meet: Victoria Atess 


Keep it simpElle Supple Strength Class - October 9th 2013

"Mighty oaks from little acorns grow"

- Just over a year ago, I had no idea where Keep it simpElle would be by October 2013; but what I do know is that I've worked damn hard to make this a success and sticking to my aspirations of inspiring, motivating and empowering the world...maybe one person at a time...but like the phrase above says...

I completed the Supple Strength course in August and decided I would love to get a group together to trial the class. The biggest part of the jigsaw however, was securing a venue...so when The Workshop at O2 answered my prayers via Twitter, I had a feeling we could all pull this off!

save the date, London

So on Wednesday October 9th, 17 lovely ladies came together in London to test run the class as a result of my invitation via the Save the Date, London blog post!

The schedule looked a little like this:



Revival Bootcamp

I love to put fingers to keyboard when everything is still fresh in my mind. On this occasion, Revival Bootcamp is still fresh in mind...and in every muscle of my body!

Where am i off to?! 

I'm not quite sure where to start...but I'll give it a good go! ...I turned up on the morning (Saturday 5th October) with no expectations whatsoever. This was however due to the fact I'd been too busy to actually read about what I had gotten myself into! This does have it's advantages though :)

Revival Bootcamp has a maximum of 10 attendees per session and 9 were booked for this particular day. Of course, being a Saturday, a few were missing... Not me though...I set my alarm for 7.30am, had my porridge and set off for our 10am start in Richmond!

I got chatting with all the other ladies and we were all discussing whether we were there for just the morning, or for the afternoon too (oh wait, or the entire weekend!). You can imagine...I signed up for the whole day...10am - 4pm. YOLO (You Only Live Once) and all that ;)

One thing I did remember reading was how our Trainer, Marty, was an ex Royal Marine PTI *gulp*. All fear that had built up was immediately eradicated when I met him at the start of the day...a warm and friendly smile definitely put me at ease. We all know not to be fooled by the smile of your Personal Trainer though, huh?! (If not, let this be lesson #1)

Hello there Marty!

This is what they said we'd do...

"The day starts off with a warm up run followed by boxing to work the whole body after which circuit training takes place to improve cardio fitness. Abs and core stability will also be worked on and the day ends with a number of different team games."

...and that is indeed what we did! Jheeeez! 

all prepped and ready to go!

I'm not kidding...I boxed like my life depended on it...I'm actually pretty certain my arms may be useless for at least a few days (this hereby brings me to lesson #2: all exercise enthusiasts should own a top / dress that can be zipped up at the front thus negating the need to lift one's arms above one's head) FACT. 

I used to have two arms...then...

What added to the day, were the fab ladies that were in attendance with me! From radiographers to actresses...we covered all the industries! The one hour lunch break was a great opportunity to chat to everyone and hear about their stories and their journeys. It's also a chance when those who aren't so confident realise how much they share with those you seem more confident! 

After lunch, an intimate group of 5 remained...all the many faces of Wonder Woman I suspect! Must be...! The battle ropes came out (been dying to try these)...and we got going on an assault course after a warm up and some SAQ (Speed Agility & Quickness) Training! 

Squat it like it's hot
arms...more?! NOO! 
Military Pres...told ya not to trust his smile!

By this time, my energy was waining...oh and my bad knee (I'll tell you all about this soon) was screaming for relief! ...But the atmosphere and energy of the group kept us all going...that, and the music!! Outdoors...and tunes?! Winning!

Inspired much?! 

After the obligatory bloggers group picture (I forgot to take one in the morning of all of us)...we left with smiles! ...Smiles at the fact we were off home to eat, drink and relax but also at the thought of what a great day we had and how hard we all worked! 

last women standing
The day made for a perfect way to give my training a boost and inspire me to keep training hard! ...you signed up yet?! I just know this would push any of us past that plateau... Head on over to the Revival Bootcamp website and check out when you can get involved! 

...How do you give your training a boost?! 

Elle :) x

REVIVAL Richmond bootcamps take place on both Saturdays and Sundays twice a month.

Prices start at £25 per person for half a day and £45 for a full day. For more information visit www.revivalbootcamp.com or call 020 3608 3666.


Living the simpElle life: Johanna

Welcome to my mini series -Living the simpElle life - where I talk to someone who has inspired me with their story. 

I heard a great phrase recently -
"The Universe is made up of stories, not of atoms"

- so that is what I want to share with you, stories, to open up the Universe to us all! 

Each individual we meet embodies what this blog is about. They have dug deep to find motivation, they have sought inspiration and in doing so become inspirational to others. They have been empowered with knowledge to change and that is what their story will do for the rest of us...

Meet: Johanna Lappalainen

I was lucky enough to meet Johanna in the short time I lived in Rovaniemi, Finland earlier this year. Y'know sometimes you meet someone, you barely know them to begin with but you DO KNOW that they are a very special person worth having in your life...That is Johanna, for me! 

She live's in a beautiful part of the world where the days of summer are very long...but when winter sets in, it stays put for 8 whole months and keeps a cloud of darkness over everything all day long. But this winter brings with it activities like cross country skiing and snow shoeing...kinda exciting for those of us who live in less extreme climates! 

Anyway...over to Johanna...

- {THEN} -
Elle: What made you decide to start training / running? ...What was your plan / goals?
JL: Not being happy with the way I looked and felt. Then I finally met an amazing person to help me with everything; Elle! It is hard to start training when you don't really know what to do or where to start. My goals were to feel better and to look better and most importantly to feel happy with myself
Johanna & Nelli 
- {HOW} -

Elle: What's your favourite way to work out?

JL: It has been really difficult for me to find a favourite thing! I usually start something and change it after a few weeks. But walking with my dog is always a everyday thing and I have fallen in love with kettlebells now! Maybe I have to try everything to find the favourite! 

Cutest picture ever?! 
Elle: What's your typical weekly exercise schedule
JL: As I said earlier I walk with my dog a few times every day; the distance we walk varies each time and how often! In a bad week on top of all my walks, I train another 0-2 times... but the best week 4-5 times! I include some running, yoga, Nike Training Club on the X Box and more! Right now I am having a good week and I feel GREAT!
Elle: What / who has been your inspiration? 
JL: Elle is my inspiration and the reason why I have found the inspiration in me. I would lay on a sofa eating takeout food without her encouragement
Elle:  What was the first big difference in you, that made you feel proud and excited? 
JL: To see that I had lost cm´s in a short amount of time and the fact that I reaaaally felt better! I had taken measurements of my arms, waist, hips and thighs before I began training and all the measurements have decreased!
making progress
Elle:  Did you make any changes to your diet once you started training?
JL: Yes I did! I quit eating takeout food and put more thought into what I am eating. I still have a lot to do with my diet. I still have too many bad habits.

- {NOW} - 

Elle:  How do you track your progress? 
JL: With checking my weight and also have used Myfitnesspal every now and then as well as using my forerunner watch for running. It tracks my distance, pace and other useful bits of information that I can compare each time.
Elle:  Have your goals changed since you started your journey? 
JL: The more you eat the hungrier you get I hope that´s a phrase in english also
Elle: How do you keep yourself motivated? 
JL: By checking my weight and the way I look. It also helps me to stay motivated when I have nice workout gear!
Elle: If you could go back and give advice to the "before" you...or any other person contemplating changing their lifestyle...what would you say?!
JL: That you don´t have to change everyting at the same time or quit if you miss one workout or feel that you have failed. Don´t make too strict plans at first There is always a tomorrow but why not start today!
See?! ...inspirational huh?! 

If you'd like to leave Johanna a comment below please do! 

...and if you have a story you would like to share just get in touch! {Contact Elle}

Keep living that simpElle life ;) 

Elle :) 


Chobani Berry Banana Smoothie

So y'all remember a couple months ago when I told you all about my new discovery...Chobani?! ...Yes?! ...cool... No?! still cool.

Well, last night, I joined Chobani and some lovely peeps (mostly tweeps) for an awesome indoor cycling class at BOOM! Cycle in Shoreditch.

I'll talk to you more about class another time, but after our workout we refuelled with a real tasty Chobani smoothie which I just had to share with you!

Berry Banana Smoothie 

Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 0 mins
Servings: 2

You will need: 

225g Strawberry Chobani strained yoghurt
115g fresh or frozen raspberries
2 ice cubes (optional)
1 ripe banana
2 tbsp honey (optional)

Puree Chobani, raspberries, ice, banana and honey in a blender until smooth and serve.

Calories: 160

I'm pretty sure the one we had yesterday skipped the banana, probably the honey and was just as tasty (with a few less calories too!) ...And with 10g of protein per serving it's a fab post workout fuel to help you recover to go hard again...tomorrow?!

For more recipes check out the Chobani website at chobani.co.uk/kitchen/recipes

Happy Recovery peeps & tweeps! 

Elle :) x


Better with BRITA: Potato and Kale Curry

Been a while since I have shared a recipe with y'all...with so much to talk about, this one has been sitting waiting, bursting at the seams to find an available day... :) 

Tried this one when I got my BRITA water filter - it was so quick, easy and tasty, it'd be rude to keep it all to myself! If you click the image it will (should) enlarge so you can see all the details! 

recipe card
In no time at all, I had whipped up a lovely dinner (in tag team with my housemate!)...

the finished product 

went down well with salmon and a glass of vino ;)
Kale is a vegetable that I never really knew existed until I tried kale chips, which by the way, are mad yummy! It's high in vitamin C, vitamin K and calcium as well as the fact it has anti-cancer properties. Oh and it retails real cheap! What's not to love?!

I did get real close to making kale chips myself after seeing some recipes on Pinterest; well, I took the kale out of the fridge  (to dry it)...then forgot about it...till two days later...and it turned yellow! hmmmm...better luck (and commitment) next time!

Have you made any delicious recipes with kale?! or tried making kale chips?! Please share :) 

Elle :) 

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