Good Afternoon everyone!  I hope you have all had a fabulous weekend and are looking forward to what this new week brings.

My weekend was jam packed & I got to spend lots of time with my loved ones.  On Friday I went to my friend’s house for a sinful evening (which meant a hardcore Friday workout to prepare), where Jay (http://food-choice-mcr.tumblr.com/) cooked up a storm in the kitchen!  Saturday, I got some relaxation time with my lovely Mum, getting our nails done & then we picked the husband up & we were off to Ikea to spend some wedding cash.  We bought a new shelving unit, along with some other goodies, which meant spending Sunday sweating it out moving all the furniture in our apartment around!  We didn’t get much gym time in but I put that down to still being on a wedding come down & having to get our lives back in order, however, I did get to try out some new recipes in the kitchen which I will bring to you shortly.  Hope you are excited to see what I made… Pumpkin was the theme of the weekend & quite possibly the theme of October (I’m obsessed).  It’s not as popular here in the UK as it is in the states but I’m hoping that’ll change in order to better feed my addiction.

Enough about my weekend though and more about my Monday morning.  I’m so excited for breakfasts this week as one of my favourite fruits, which I bought a basket load of this weekend, is back in season.  Figs!!  I’ve not always been a massive fan as I think the look & name always put me off before (I don’t know why) but my Mum made me try one last year & I was hooked!

Figs are a sweet & delicious fruit, originally from Asia but are now grown all over the Med.  They grow on the Ficus tree, which is a part of the Mulberry family and come in lots of varieties, even though we (in the UK at least) commonly get purple figs, they can also be white, green & red.  They are thick skinned with a fibrous flesh which encases hundreds of tiny seeds.  As well as being a great source of fibre figs are also rich in potassium (helping to control blood pressure) & calcium (helping promote bone density).  I store my figs in the fridge to keep them fresh but I try to bring them to room temperature before eating.

Anyway, enough of the ‘hard fig facts’, this morning I made the most delicious balanced oats to compliment the figs, including a good source of carbohydrates & fats.

Fig Oatmeal

fig

  • 1 Cup oats
  • ½ cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp Maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 figs

Combine all of the above ingredients (apart from the figs & half of the syrup) and cook on the hob at a medium heat for 5 minutes or until the oats are cooked through.  Pour into a bowl & top with the remaining syrup and slices of the fig!

Simple, balanced & delicious.

fig 2

For a more protein packed version, add one or two egg whites when the oats are nearly cooked, stir and cook the egg through. Done.

I hope you enjoy & I’ll be back tomorrow to kick off October with my monthly goals & a Filling Fall Favourite!

Happy Monday x x

 

As you may or may not have noticed I’ve been off in La la land recently getting married

 

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so for a couple of weeks I’ve allowed my fitness & health obsession, along with my blog (unfortunately), to take a backseat.

I’ve had a fabulous time,

spending time with my loved ones…

time

eating…

eat

drinking…

drink

& generally feeling carefree & happy…

merry

but as the honeymoon draws to a close and I get back into the swing of everyday life, I’m ready to get back to the daily grind and continue making progress on my health & fitness journey!

I’ve made a promise to myself to really keep on top of not only my workouts & nutrition but also on top of this blog.  I pinky promise to you & to myself to produce regular, interesting & fun content on this site; including biweekly spots such as ‘What I ate Wednesday’ & ‘Foodie Friday’, alongside coming up with new workouts & recipes for you to recreate.

My husband (I’ll never get tired of saying that) and I have set ourselves some fitness goals in the lead up to our holiday in Miami next Feb.  We are ready to get in the best shape of our lives…

Who else is with us!?!?!?! 

The first mini goal we have set is to start adding at least one completely NEW and FUN workout into each week.

It’s important to keep it fresh at the gym;

a)      to keep your body guessing &

b)      to stop you from getting bored (which is usually why we quit any new regime).

This week’s Fun workout was something I’ve personally wanted to try for so long BUT like many others I find it can be daunting trying new exercises at the gym.  I find myself wondering, am I doing it right? Will I be able to finish? So it was lovely for me and my husband to do it as a team.

Anywho, the workout went a little something like this…

Warm Up.

10mins incline walk @ 6km/hour (increase incline every minute until you hit MAX)

Circuit.

20 Box Jumps

20 Kettlebell Swings

20 Med Ball wall throws

Rest & repeat x5

We then finished with a 20minute session on the spin bike before cooling off & stretching out.

This style of workout will really help to increase cardio fitness & endurance as well as helping you get lean.  Even better you can fit the circuit part of this workout into even the busiest of days, getting you in and out of the gym in no time, having still got in an amazing workout!!!  Trust me, after a two week hiatus from the gym, I was beat and my heart rate was through the roof but I left the gym buzzing!

Next week we’re going to give the battle ropes a try so keep checking up on mybigfitdiary & if, like me, you keep hearing about ‘heavy rope workouts’ but are too scared to try… I’ll bring you a step by step guide to a ball busting workout!

Finally, I hope you are all as excited as me to see what the – dare I say it – build up to Christmas brings.  It’ll be here before you can say FIT FOR 2014!!!

Alison Paton x

 

So, I’ve reached day 4 of the detox & after 3 days of following the plan to the letter, I have today, had to make some revisions.  After training chest last night, I got up nice and early this morning to go train legs & on my brisk walk to the gym got very light headed.  I stopped off at the shop to get a banana (still staying Vegan for the detox) to help me along as I think it was the carbs I was lacking.  I am now going to add a bean soup into my lunch as well just to get my strength back up after my leg workout & will then go back to following the plan tonight & tomorrow.  Saying this, once I’d eaten my banana & got to the gym I had such an amazing leg workout.  I felt much stronger than I have been lately & burned through a ton of calories!!!

legday

We have to remember to listen to our bodies… take action on any signs your body gives you, such as dizziness, headaches etc.

I do actually love this detox though and am going to continue to incorporate some of the rules into my everyday diet after the week is out.  I have learnt that I don’t have to have meat with every meal and even though I loved salads before, I love them even more now.   There are just endless combinations.

I’m looking forward to seeing my progress tomorrow, but even if it isn’t visible I do still feel better on the inside, with way more energy than when I started the week with.

Anyway, I’ll leave you today with my workout from this morning focusing on the hammies & that booty we all want to build… it’s short but it’s a killer!

Keep Calm, legday workout

Barbell Squats (go heavy) 4x failure (increasing the weights each set)

Bulgarian Split squat – 4×10 (each leg)

Reverse Hack Squat – 4×12 (Possibly my new fave exercise)

SL Deadlift – 4×12

Donkey Kick – 4×12 (each leg with 8 additional partial reps)

I finished this off with a 10 minute walk on 15.0 incline at between 3.5-5km/min, just in case my legs weren’t dead enough already!

Happy Thursday guys…

Alison x

P.s – Don’t forget to stretch!

So yesterday I embarked on a 5 day detox courtesy of Nikki Sharp of Stay Sharp Be Strong. I was really ready and excited to start the detox after coming off my last job (I work in TV) which really took its toll on my workouts and my eating habits. It has also come at the perfect time as I am getting married in less than 2 weeks and need to get my body feeling great, inside and out. Nikki says that doing the detox for 5 days will help get rid of bloating, clear up your skin, it gets you sleeping better & will give you more energy. It isn’t however a quick fix, it should kick start a healthy, balanced lifestyle or like me, get you back on track. I will continue to follow some of the detox rules after the 5 days; however, as the detox is vegan, I will slowly introduce dairy & meat products, alongside the occasional treat.

I spent Sunday food shopping & prepping and I can tell you now, it looks phenomenal.

detox day 1

It is unlike other detoxes where food is in short supply. My meals for the next couple of days are bright, colourful & inviting, making me want to tuck in straight away. I have to be honest though and I did miss meat on day 1, but I definitely don’t want to cheat. I wouldn’t say I’ve been full but so far I have been very satisfied. I usually find it difficult to stick to a restricted diet but I am determined to see this one through. It seems like a very well thought out plan and seeing Nikki follow it herself with great results motivates me further.

I am armed with before pictures and even though I know it won’t be a massive change over 5 days, I am excited to see and (more importantly) feel the results!

Wish me luck guys…

Alison x

P.s – Surprisingly Tofu isn’t actually that bad!!!

Howdy fitfam,

I’m going to start sharing some of my workouts on here for you all to see but before I start I’d like to give you a bit of background to my workouts.

I believe in training smart.  I prefer to work at a high intensity for 1hr rather than taking it steady for 2+ hours.  I always try to finish my workouts off with some HIIT, even if it is only 10 minutes of intense work, otherwise I would struggle to fit extra workouts into my week, purely for cardio.

I always try to switch up my workouts, even if it is working to a different rep range, changing my rest periods or even swapping one exercise for another.

I don’t tend to do a ‘proper’ warm up as I consider mine to be my 20 minute brisk walk to the gym however, I always start with a light weight on each exercise to warm up the muscles thoroughly, increasing with each set I perform.  If you live close or drive to the gym you could start off with 5-10 minutes on the treadmill or elliptical to raise your heart rate and then throw in some dynamic stretching.  Stretching is great before a workout, especially evening workouts after being sat behind a desk for 8 hours straight with little movement.

I’m currently trying to shorten my rest periods as I felt I was wasting a lot of time at the gym sitting around whilst my heart rate plummeted.  I now try to get 45secs rest (which is half what I’m used to).  You can even incorporate active rest periods where you may hop on the treadmill or perform some plyometric movements such as jump squats (more on this later in the week).  If I’m training at heavy (or at least as heavy as I can) I may increase these rest periods to 60 seconds or more.  Try to listen to your body on this one… It will tell you when you’re ready to go again.

Anyhow, today was one of my favourite days… BACKDAY!!!

I always start back with some pull-ups or deadlifts as these require the most energy, so I hit them while I am still fresh.

So here goes… todays beautiful strong back workout

 

DEADLIFTS – 4 X 12,10,8,6 (Then I worked on my 1 rep max)

PULL UPS – 4 x failure

LAT PULL DOWN – 4 x 12,10,8,6

SINGLE ARM ROW – 4 x 12,10,8,6

BICEP CABLE CURL SS TRICEP PUSHDOWN – 2 x 12, 2 x 8

CAPTAINS CHAIR – 4 x 15 (last 3 reps hold at top for 3 secs)

Finish off with 10min HIIT

 

Happy Back day guys!

Alison x

NOTES:

Try to increase the weight for each set.

If you don’t know any of the above exercises then bodybuilding.com has a great exercise database.

SS = Superset – do one exercise after the other with no rest

FAILURE = Perform as many reps as you can with proper form.