27.2.14

Elle About Town, February 2014

Well if there is one thing amazing about London it's that there is always something great going on!

In between work, and moving house I've been keeping myself busy! This is a snapshot of what's been going down in February aaaaaand what's coming up!

Classes: Sleek Technique | Ballet Bootcamp



One minute I'm doing Ballet Bootcamp in my bedroom via my laptop in an online class and the next I'm in the Sweaty Betty Soho store doing a live class!

Designed by ex-professional dancers and the founders of SleekTechnique.com, Ballet Bootcamp combines military-style pace and energy with the posture-correcting movements of ballet to sculpt and strengthen the female physique.

A killer workout, it certainly got my sweat on! You can check out the online class too using the video on the Sweaty Betty website... {click here} and see what you think! 

Classes: Capoeira Gym 

After attending the workshop last month I was eager to attend a capoeira class! I was over the moon when I realised the same teacher from the workshop, Baris, had recently started classes at my gym!

I signed up for a Tuesday evening class and got prepared! Plenty of handstand prep, travelling across the space, lots of flexibility and strength work...all made the time go fast! At the time, I felt like I could have gone on for ever but in reality it was a tough workout for me especially upper body wise!

I'm hoping to get back there again! Capoeira kinda makes me a little more confident which translates into improved postures (especially inversions) in my yoga practice!

Events: Parkour Academy Opening 

Image credit: Ben Curwen/Parkour Generations


I was lucky enough to be invited to and attend the UK’s first purpose-built indoor parkour and functional fitness facility opening in Trinity Buoy Wharf in East London.

The venue was spectacular...made even more so by the moves being thrown around by guys and dolls of all ages and levels! That evening, I didn't take part as I had just completed an insane (clue) workout but am hoping to make it down to one of their women only sessions in March!

Events: Park Run 

Made this one of my goals and the universe answered! I was even lucky enough to run with the wonderful Steph and Lissy. We headed north of the river to the Highbury Fields event for a 9am start.  I pre-registered, printed my barcode and off I went!

The course was 5km, 5 point a little bit laps of the course on what turned out to be a glorious morning to be running! I had slightly overdressed but I always prefer to be too warm than cold!

I pushed hard to keep Steph and Lissy in my sight around the course, and doing so brought me in to finish under 30 minutes! I'm very happy with that as I haven't run 5km for over 4 months and only began my run training again two weeks ago! I will be including Park Run in my March goals too so keep an eye out to see what I have planned!

Coming Up....

Psycle 

Another new cycle studio has recently opened it's doors in London, and although I feel like one of the last people to pay it a visit I am at least finally booked to take a class...or two in the next week!

I've heard it's a completely different vibe to all other studios so I am looking forward muchly to giving it a go!

Black and Light Yoga (BLY)





I'm back at BLY this Saturday night! A Jivamukti class with a twist...well a little bit of disco dancing in the middle to be exact! Last month I had a blast and I'm planning on a repeat experience...at least! Check out the details on their Facebook event page

See you there?! 

The Movement 


I've shared this just about everywhere, but incase you missed it, I'm sharing it again! 

Join instructor Emma Henry, a live orchestra, and lululemon athletica to practise in one of London's most iconic spaces. 

Creativity is maximised when you're living in the moment.

Doors open at 3pm, practice begins at 4pm.

All levels welcome.

RSVP by 12pm on Friday 7th March
yoga@thisismission.com
#lululemonlondon


Pancake Day  - Tuesday 4th March 



Last but not least, pancake day is finally, nearly here! It's not like I wait for this day to eat pancakes; I just wait for this day to totally indulge in pancakes!

Check out my favourite recipe for Banana Pecan Pancakes!

Enjoy your pancakes and while they cook let me know about what you have been up to in your town! 

Or anything interesting coming up in the next month you would like to share?! 


Elle :) x

25.2.14

simpElle Book Review: The Fat Burn Revolution

One thing I love about Twitter, is how in the loop it keeps me with what is going on.

Not so long ago, I started hearing Twitter whispers about a book. A book by Julia Buckley called The Fat Burn Revolution. The title in itself is intriguing...what secrets does it hold?!

Next thing I know, I have an ebook copy and I'm flicking through it on my bus journey!


As a Personal Trainer myself I was reading and thinking, "none of this is new!". Then fate had it that I bumped into Becca who writes the From Snickers to Marathon blog - an advocate of Julia's principles and programme. We were chatting and I told her how I felt, and she reminded me that although nothing in the book was new to me...it would be to so many other people!

the revolution starts in the mind 


The book is split into two main sections: section one covers getting prepared for what is a 3 month programme while section two details the workouts that need to be completed.


One of the best bits about this programme is that you don't need a gym. All you need is a copy of the book, a set of dumbbells and an exercise ball with which you can do the entire programme in the comfort of your own home should you wish!

"You have to push yourself outside of your comfort zone if you want to change your body. Regular intense workouts, supported by good nutrition, cause the body to respond and adapt. Thats when changes happen."

you wear what you eat 


As well as covering the principles of the Fat Burn Revolution this first section also covers the basics of nutrition and what to wear!


the time for action has arrived 



Section 2: This is the bit that interested me most! I took a look at all the programmes and loved the way they were set out. Julia use's a lot of "regular" exercises and programmes them into workouts such as "Metabolic: Upper Body" and "Total Body Blast". There are three phases of workouts depending on which month (1-3) of the programme you are in. With 5 - 6 workouts per week and one rest day, this programme is not messing around!


I decided to test out parts of the workouts on my clients in the power plate studio I work in. I had to adapt some of the workouts as there is some stuff you can't do on power plates but most of Julia's workouts were easy to translate.


I created a little mash up of the Metabolic Workout x Total Body Blast for a 25 minute power plate class on Valentines Day! The clients are all used to using lighter weights and when I pulled out (what seem like big and heavy, grey) 3kg dumbbells there was some protesting that they didn't want to bulk up! I clarified for them that this was a fat burning workout which would rev up their metabolism and give them the leaner more toned look that was desired! ...and off we went!


The class went down great will all the clients! With 10 reps for the majority of the exercises the 3kg dumbbells were manageable for everyone and many of the clients surprised both me and themselves! They came back the next day with smiles and excitement from the previous class so I gave them some more!

vive le revolution 


So what are your thoughts?! ...do you challenge yourself with the weights you use?! Are you already a fan of the Fat Burn Revolution?!

Got any questions?! You can find Julia on Twitter - @Julia_B or share your experiences with me on twitter - @X_eLle_S, Facebook or in the comments section below! 


Elle :) x


p.s This is NOT a sponsored post; I was provided with the product to test...but all opinions are my own :) 

24.2.14

simpElle Found: Chia Seeds

At the end of January I was lucky enough to win the This Woman's Word super foods giveaway containing a bag of chia seeds, cacoa nibs and lucuma powder!

my haul :) 

I had never used any of these three super foods so was so excited to try them out! The one I knew least about was chia seeds so where else to find out but twitter! I put a tweet out...


...and the response was eye opening for me!

Here are a couple of my favourite responses:


Off I went straight down to the kitchen and threw my chia seeds in a bowl with some soya milk for the night! The next morning, I realised I should have followed the instructions to stir well but a few minutes of good stirring soon put that right! I added some desiccated coconut, cocoa powder and some dried fruits! I was astonished at how delicious this simple little thing tasted!

my concoction

Then the lovely Kaitlin (who created the raw snickers bars) shared this recipe and amazing picture on the lululemon athletica Richmond Showroom Facebook page!

Roll up, roll up! Our lovely Kaitlin has been cookin' up a storm again, this time in the form of a seriously delicious (and healthy) chia pud.

Here are the ingredients and method:

3tbsp chia seeds
1 cup of nut milk
I tsp cinnamon
1 tsp honey

Mix all ingredients in a glass and stir every 5-10 minutes. After 30 minutes, place in the fridge overnight. Enjoy cold for breakfast with berries and fresh mint.

What Are Chia Seeds?


Chia seeds are potent little bundles of energy with generous doses of omega-3, fibre and protein.

Chia seeds are also a good source of several vitamins and minerals, containing vitamin A, B3, iron and magnesium. 

Here's a little more chia inspiration...

So did you know about chia seeds?! Or am I just late to the party?!

Please share any good recipes / tips with me in the comments, via Twitter or Facebook

Elle :) x

20.2.14

Save The Date - #lululemonlondon is coming!


If you don't already know, lululemon athletica will be opening the doors to it's first store in Europe, on Long Acre in the Covent Garden district of London this spring! No date has been released yet but it must be soon as things are really gearing up!

fancy a dance (or yoga pose) on the wild side?!


Tomorrow lululemon will be holding a yoga flash mob at Piccadilly Circus.

Yoga flash mob. This friday. 12pm*.

Grab a mat and a mate and meet us at Piccadilly Circus in front of the Statue of Eros for a fun flow.

*Late comers welcome. Everyone welcome.

#lululemonlondon


word on the street


Save the date for March 8th! Last year lululemon hosted an exquisitely large yoga class in the centre of Covent Garden and they're set to raise the game for the store opening! A big venue. All us yogis, old and new.

don't know who lululemon are?


No worries. lululemon are a North American apparel brand whose roots are firmly grounded in yoga. Their range covers gear suitable for all activities and the in-between - going to and from the gym / class etc.

You can find them on Twitter / IG here: @lululemonUK

or Facebook for the current Covent Garden Showroom / soon to be new Store: lululemon athletica Covent Garden Showroom

Complimentary yoga classes are offered at the Covent Garden Showroom each Saturday morning at 11am for 60 minutes. Classes are taught by local teachers both well established and up and coming! Turn up in good time, grab yourself a mat (provided) and get your flow on...

Meet you on the mat! 


Elle :) x

17.2.14

MYPROTEIN Prescription

I've been wanting to write a post about protein for a long time but just haven't. I've been busy watching everyone guzzling their protein shakes, talking about their high protein diets and being sucked into buying a boiled egg on a tiny bit of spinach for £2 in Pret because it's called a 'Protein Pot'.

What gets me, is that not very many people talk about how much protein they should be consuming each day, based on their specific weight, training and goals. We just do what everyone else seems to be doing?!

I started using protein shakes quite a few years ago when I was doing the New York Body Plan. I used them as a form of meal replacement and / or as a snack.

These days, I use them to satisfy that post workout hunger and keep me from buying junk food until I get home to where a decent homemade, clean meal is waiting for me.

IDEA Health & Fitness Association posted an article in their journal entitled Protein: How Much Is Too Much? ...just the question I wanted to answer for all of you out there!

Excessive protein consumption rarely has any harmful side effects but is known to cause nausea, diarrhoea and weakness. It basically is a balancing act!

The Crunch. 
Protein recommendations vary based on your activity level and health status. An absolute amount of protein, 0.8–1.2 grams per kilogram of body weight, is necessary to promote fullness and weight loss. Higher amounts are beneficial to body composition (Westerterp- Plantegna, Lemmens & Westerterp 2012). (IDEA 2014)

If you’re a healthy, sedentary adult, the recommended dietary allowance of 0.8 g/ kg of body weight is adequate to preserve and repair body tissues (that’s about 54 g for someone who weighs 150 pounds). However, 1.2–1.7 g/kg is suggested if you’re an endurance athlete (AND 2013a), and 1.4–1.8 g/kg is recommended if you’re a strength athlete (AND 2013b).


For healthy adults, 2 g/kg is the maximum usable amount of protein, and there is no benefit in consuming more (Tipton 2011).

Here are some great sources of protein that can be included in your diet:

Samples Of Potent Proteins
Protein SourceServing SizeGrams of Protein
milk1 cup8
beef, chicken3 ounces21
egg1 egg6
dry beans1 cup16
soy1 ounce25
seeds (e.g., flax, sunflower, pumpkin)1 ounce2–9
nuts1 ounce6–8
yogurt (regular, Greek)6–8 ounces7–11, 14–18
protein powders and drinksvariable10–60
Source: USDA 2013.

I've been trying out some of the protein shakes from MYPROTEIN since I completed my detox in January. First up I tried their Impact Whey which worked well for me even though I am lactose intolerant. I tried the banana, and strawberry flavours both of which I enjoyed. Initially I mixed the shake with just water but next time I use a mix of half soya milk and half water which made for a more filling shake.

whey samples 

Then there was the vegan blend. I was more than apprehensive to try this. Once I asked at a shake bar what the vegan blend tasted like and she responded "erm, earthy?!"...which I took to mean it tasted like dirt.

1kg 

So I was pleasantly surprised when I tried this chocolate smooth Myprotein vegan blend and it wasn't utterly repulsive to my tastebuds! Mixed with just water, it wasn't too runny. The texture isn't quite as smooth as whey protein but it is doable! Here are the key benefits and nutritional information:

  • Suitable for Vegans
  • Over 22g of protein per serving
  • Full amino acid profile
  • Brown Rice, Pea and Hemp protein

Per 30 g serving:
Energy: 472kJ
Energy: 113kcal
Protein: 22.6g
Carbohydrate: 3.7g
Fat: 0.9g
Please note this nutritional information is taken from the unflavoured version. When choosing a flavoured version it will reduce the protein content by approximately 3% for most flavours, however chocolate, due to the added cocoa, will reduce it by approximately 8%.

I mixed them all in my PROMIXX blender (the epitome of laziness?! Or was my workout just so tough I don't have energy to shake my shake?!). Both came out lovely and lump free in little to no time!

before and after

I've turned into one of "them"; them who carry numerous bottles and shakers in their gym bag ready for post workout / hunger strikes! I scoop my protein powder into one of the compartments of my neon yellow SmartShake. As I shared on Facebook, one of my (financial) goals for February is to only eat out for lunch and dinner once per week! Myprotein is being huge support and with 1kg to get through!

scooped to ready to hit the road

I also sampled some of the MYPROTEIN Virtue Bars - nutritionally balanced cereal bars , ideal for active women. I had a fruit & nut bar as well as a maple & pecan; anything with maple & pecan is a winner in my eyes! They proved useful in my handbag for when I fancied a snack / sweet treat!

yum :) 

So what is your Protein Prescription?! 

If you fancy trying something from MYPROTEIN they have kindly provided us with 10% off the entire store - visit www.myprotein.com and use code KISE

Do you monitor your protein intake?! What products do you take to supplement your protein intake?! 


Elle :) x

14.2.14

Guest Post: Raw 'Snickers' Bars

Following on from Kaitlin's very popular Cinnamon and Cacao Granola with Goji Berries I have her next contribution here for you in the form of a perfect treat for St. Valentines! 


Be careful with this recipe. It is seriously yummy and addictive. What could be better than a chocolate and nut melt in the mouth healthy treat like this? There are no nasties in this little bar, it's completely vegan, dairy free and raw, so no heating means all the goodness is preserved! Double the recipe if you like, as this makes roughly 8 small bars depending on how you chop them, but be warned they will disappear quickly! Perfect for Valentines Day, they keep well in the fridge for a few days or freeze them for longer. Enjoy and indulge guilt free! 

Base:
3 tbsp peanut butter 
3 tbsp maple syrup
1/3 cup hazelnuts or peanuts or almonds
1/2 tsp vanilla essence or powder

Caramel:
10 dates, medjool is best
1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
1/2 tsp vanilla essence or powder
a little warm water
1/4 cup peanuts unsalted

Coating:
150g raw chocolate 




Method:
Blend base nuts in a processor until powdery, then mix into the rest of the base ingredients. You want the mixture to hold, if too wet add some more of the ground nuts or if too dry add a little water. 

Spread out on the base of a loaf tin and freeze for 15mins. 

Meanwhile blend the caramel ingredients together except the peanuts, until smooth. A thick smooth consistency is best, so be careful only to add a little water at a time. Add the whole peanuts to the caramel and pour it over the base then freeze for a minimum of 3 hours. 

Cut the slab into bars of preferred size, melt the raw chocolate and coat the bars - this part can get messy! Let the bars chill for 10 mins in the fridge or freezer before eating/serving and store any leftovers in the freezer!



I think this recipe may be forbidden for me! Snickers is one of my all time favourite chocolate bars! ...but this is a healthier alternative, right?! 

For more food inspiration you can follow Kaitlin on Instagram!

If you try the recipe, let us know what you think via the comments section below, Twitter / Facebook

Oh, and Happy Valentines Day! <3 <3 <3 


Elle :) x

12.2.14

I like to move it - Goblet Squat

I got a new workout on it's way to share with you for 2014! It's gonna be a kettlebell super set workout - but some of the moves I wanted to share first so we have the techniques nailed!

Say hello to the Goblet Squat. It's a great variation of a regular squat - working the glutes, quads and hamstrings. It also increases the range of motion in your hips and puts less strain on the lower spine as your torso stays in an upright position.

How: 


picture from women's health mag online

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold your kettlebell (or dumbbell) in front of your chest, elbows pointing toward the floor.

Push your hips back and bend your knees to lower into a squat allowing your elbows to brush the insides of your knees.

Keep the weight through your heels. Push yourself back to start.

Remember: ensure your knees track your second and third toes. They should not knock in or roll out - use a mirror to check your technique.

Try: 

AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of 10 kettlebell swings and 10 goblet squats in 4 minutes.

If you are yet to invest in some home equipment you can find a selection of weights and kettlebells here at Argos.

Share your score with me in the comments below or on Twitter / Facebook

Got a particular exercise you love?! Let me know and we can share it with everyone too! 

Elle :) x

P.S Safety always comes first. If you are new to exercise ensure you seek advice from your GP. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids, wear appropriate clothing and carry out drills in a suitable space. Technique is paramount, and nothing should hurt. Should you experience pain, discomfort, nausea, dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath etc, STOP and consult your GP. 

10.2.14

A Dry January with BRITA Boost

It's like the end of an era; a successful January with the BRITA Boost Challenge!


Firstly, a huge thanks to everyone to has been reading the posts, following my journey and even more so, to those that have been my plus ones (Alicia & my Mum)!

The aim of the month was to forsake alcohol and still enjoy the same experiences and feelings that you get from alcohol.

Here are the 5 key reasons that people drink: 

Taste

Many people enjoy a glass of good wine,  champagne or a cocktail

Socialising

People drink at parties, when meeting up in groups, but do you need booze to have fun?

Confidence Booster

Some people feel that little bit more confident and braver after having a drink.

Relaxing

That glass of wine or beer is how many relax after a busy stressful day.

For the buzz

Some people drink for that buzz, and adrenaline rush.
I managed to fulfil all of the above and here was how: 


Socialising isn't only fun with alcohol - Foodelity Dinner Date 


Confidence isn't found at the bottom of a wine glass - School of Life 


I got high... on life! - Morning Glory 


These Mocktails knocked Cocktails out the park! - Mixology 


A new found way to relax - Flotation Tank Relaxation Experience 

How the challenge got started - Kickstarting the BRITA Boost Challenge  

We're now almost two weeks into February and I still haven't actually had a drink! I don't need to, but should I feel like it, I can! 

I just treated myself to the new Beyonce album with the iTunes voucher I received as well as the 2014 edition of Running Trax to keep me musically entertained now that my run training is beginning! 


My Brita Fill&Go bottle never left my side once in January and I think I just about manage to keep up with drinking two full bottles each day (including some herbal teas no doubt). My skin stayed hydrated with thick body butter after every shower and daily vitamins helped from the inside out! 

All in all, the next 11 months have a lot to live up to! 

How was January for you?! Did you go dry?! If not do you think you could?! 

Elle :) x 

6.2.14

Spanish Omelette with Dill and Sweet Potato

**from the Honestly Healthy cookbook**

Had a couple hours to spare this morning so decided to prep my dinner while I made breakfast!

Tonights dinner is:

Spanish Omelette with Dill and Sweet Potato




Serves 4 as a lunch or 2 as a dinner 

Ingredients 


200g sweet potato, quartered lengthways and thinly sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
6 eggs
30g red pepper, deseeded and cut into strips
2 tbsp finely chopped dill
pinch of himalayan pink salt
mixed leaf salad, to serve

Method

Preheat oven to 170 degrees C / 340 F / gas mark 3.5.

Arrange the sweet potato on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes until tender. Leave the oven on after.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl and add the sweet potato slices, red pepper , dill and pinch of salt.

Grease an oven proof frying pan and heat over a low heat. Add the egg mixture to the pan and cook, loosening the edges every 30 seconds with a spatula. When the eggs have set about 5mm from the edge of the pan transfer to the oven and cook for 15 - 20 minutes. to test whether the omelette is cooked, press the top with a palette knife - no egg should ooze out.

Serve warm or cold with a mixed leaf salad!

Let me know if you try it and what you think! The taste test for me is tonight! 


Elle :) x

5.2.14

Foodelity Dinner Date - BRITA Boost Challenge

What a month it has been taking part in the BRITA Boost Challenge! And what a way to end the month!

The finest ingredients delivered to my door from Foodelity. Everything in exact quantities. Step by step recipe cards. Three courses of restaurant quality food...cooked by me! 

Here are the 5 key reasons that people drink: 

Taste

Many people enjoy a glass of good wine,  champagne or a cocktail

Socialising

People drink at parties, when meeting up in groups, but do you need booze to have fun?

Confidence Booster

Some people feel that little bit more confident and braver after having a drink.

Relaxing

That glass of wine or beer is how many relax after a busy stressful day.

For the buzz

Some people drink for that buzz, and adrenaline rush.
Therefore BRITA provided me with this 'Dinner Party Experience' to show that we can still socialise without alcohol! 

I ended up getting the delivery sent to my mums as I didn't want to miss it! As a 'Thank You' for being my Blog HQ I decided I would cook for my mum and share the experience with her :)

Our three course meal ended up spanning the entirety of Sunday afternoon and evening! Fuelled by cooking together, eating and sipping on elderflower cordial (and a power nap after the starter!)! 

I think I will let the pictures speak for themselves in regards to the food...

Starter: Cheese and Herb Fritters with Tomato Jam 



Main: Five Spiced Loomsbury Duck Breast with Pak Choi and Rice 



Instagram: ellelinton 

Dessert: Chocolate, Hazelnut and Salted Caramel Tart with Vanilla Cream


Dessert was a giggle! It was rated 'Difficult' (something I didn't check when choosing my menu!)...I forgot to take the right baking implements with me so we had to improvise and use muffin tins! They didn't quite live up to the restaurant style presentation but they were not lacking in taste! 

I used BRITA filtered water for all the cooking and mixing up of drinks (one less thing to carry - my mum has a pretty pink BRITA filter)! 


For more pictures check out the keep it simpElle Facebook page

Couldn't possibly think of a better way to end my dry January!

Do you find it difficult to socialise with friends without alcohol?! 

Did you go for a dry January?! How did it go?! 

Elle :) x



p.s for more information you can visit www.brita.co.uk 

3.2.14

Sweat etc. January 2014

jan goals :) 

One whole month of 2014 is well and truly over - oh and totally in the bag :) 

I completed the 21 days of yoga challenge - just! It was a mix of classes, workshops and a couple sessions at home using the Nike Training Club app! It was a tough challenge...! I will of course be keeping yoga in my regular schedule and it will be part of my February goals too...coming up!

new pants #lululemon #colab 

I did my Honestly Healthy detox week (and learnt a lot which you can read here!). I also followed the lifestyle section of the book which meant that I have barely eaten any meat this month! The recipes have been so tasty (some of which I shared on the keep it simpElle Facebook page) it's been a real eye opener! 

spicy tofu skewers with chilli pesto

My weekly schedule sure has been hectic! I have met my goal for 1 reformer pilates class per week, 1 other class per week and 5 / 6 yoga practices per week. Keep an eye on my 'Elle About Town' posts to see what I have been up to! The only one that has fallen to the sidelines in running!! That will have to change for February as I now have two 10km races scheduled and am aiming for Personal Bests! 

this was me :) 

The BRITA Boost Challenge has been a huge success! A full write up of the experience is coming shortly but I still have a lovely dinner party to tell you all about!! Abstaining from alcohol has been a walk in the park for me :) I will really, really miss the support of BRITA in February and beyond though! 

So time to turn my focus to February...

I plan on moving in February which is up there in the list of most stressful things to do in life so I don't want to put too much pressure on myself and give myself too much to do! 

3 goals. Simple as. 

Feb goals :) 


Here is the link to the 10km training plan I will be following {LINK} 

And read all about how this training plan went down last year:


So whats your plan for February?! 

If you are a runner, what distance are you focusing on at the moment?! What training plans have worked for you?! Let me know via the comments below or we can converse on Twitter / Facebook

Elle :) x
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