5 of the Worst Post Gym Outfit Choices

what not to wear after gym

No this isn’t a scathing, mean review of people’s outfits, more a look at the worst pieces of clothing to put on after a gym session. I get ready at the gym before work at least 3 days a week, and although many of these items are unavoidable, I hate having to put them on. However, it’s not as bad as forgetting a crucial item of clothing, which you discover with horror as you’re getting dressed. Someone who will remain anonymous forgot both her tights and bra a few weeks ago, and I’ve had to wear my sports leggings to work, as well as trainers with numerous outfits!

5 of the Worst Outfit Choices for After the Gym

Tights- awkward and ugly enough to put on at home, awful for the entire changing room to watch you heave them up to just below your bra. Plus you will definitely step in a puddle of water just after you’ve put them on resulting in wet feet for the rest of the morning.

Boots- great to wear, annoying to pack into whatever bag you’re carrying, especially long boots. Plus they don’t work so well with yoga gear if trainers aren’t required. Same goes for heels.

Skinny jeans- the jean lunge or jump around is fine(ish) in your own bedroom, less fine in public. Straight out of the wash skinny jeans are less than ideal to get on, plus a hot body in tight clothing can bring on the dreaded sweat lip, making make up application impossible.

Back zips- why do they create dress and tops where you physically can’t do them up without assistance. Scrabbling around trying to do up your dress isn’t the ideal start to a day, luckily some changing room companions may see your pain and offer help. I have had to go to work with a dress half undone (coat over) to ask for a colleague’s help.

Anything tight- anything that will make it difficult to raise your arms over your head to dry your hair, make you hot and exacerbate aforementioned sweat lip, or feel just plain uncomfortable after your yoga class.

Why all Runners Could Benefit from Aqua Aerobics

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On a recent trip to St Lucia, Tom and I were lucky enough to be given a guest pass to The Body Holiday. With numerous activities on offer to guests, as well as daily spa treatments included- it sounds like my ideal getaway! Not to mention the stunning view.

We positioned ourselves on sun loungers right next to the Smoothie Bar to ensure we could try as many as possible (apparently we were more interested in these than the rum cocktails on offer at our hotel!) Just as I was tucking into iced coffee smoothie, I heard them call out for Aqua Aerobics. I stated to Tom that it sounded fun, but sat back with my book. However after a little encouragement, and the promise that the lady sitting on the lounger next to us would join me, I made my way to the pool.

Surrounded by 20 or so other women, of all ages, shapes and sizes, the music started pumping and our instructor told us to get moving. We were kicking our legs about, swishing our way around the pool all while laughing a lot.

Aqua Aerobics

Aqua Aerobics

Why All Runners/Everyone Could Benefit from Aqua Aerobics 

  • It’s low impact, so great for the joints and aching muscles.
  • It attracts people of all ages and abilities, all shapes and size. You can end up speaking to the most fascinating people that you may not bump into at your regular gym.
  • You can’t take it too seriously, no-one can excel at Aqua Aerobics, so you just have to give it a go. Unless you’re a synchronised swimmer, or maybe Tom Daley, you look just as mal-cooridnated in the water as the rest of us. I spent most of the session laughing with the other ladies.
  • You can easily adjust the resistance based on effort- it’s far harder to get your leg out of the water when doing high knees than keeping it just under the surface!
  • All fitness levels are on a level playing field, great to do with friends or family that might not be that sporty.
  • It can easily be done as part of a double day workout, or on a low impact training day.
  • Most local gyms and pools offer Aqua Aerobics classes, meaning it can be a really affordable option.
  • It makes you fully understand the importance of a good swimsuit. (I wasn’t prepared to be bopping around in the pool, and so didn’t know whether to use my hands to hold up my bottoms or my top.)

After my very strenuous workout, it was back to the smoothie bar to recover and enjoy the view…

The Body Holiday

The Body Holiday

Beauty Benefits of Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil

 

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has been a staple in my kitchen for a while, however recently a jar has migrated to my bathroom. It boasts antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that are great for you inside and out. And of course it is 100% natural, which couldn’t be better for your skin and hair.

Eye Make Up Remover- this is honestly the best make-up remover I’ve used. I rub a little onto my eyes while I brush my teeth and it literally melts my mascara and eyeliner off. I then wash my face as normal with Liz Earle cleanse and polish. It’s so gentle and doesn’t sting my eyes, like other make up removers do, nor do you wake up with panda eyes.

Moisturiser- I’ve got really dry skin, especially in the Winter. I’ve been slathering this all over my body, as bits of my face for a delicious smelling, thirst quenching moisturiser just before bed. I wouldn’t use this on my face everyday, and I avoid the slightly greasier areas of my face.

A Hair Mask- rub into the dry ends of your hair and leave in while you shower, or overnight for deep conditioning. I would avoid the roots as much as possible. It will leave your hair shiny, soft and healthy looking after a few moisture sessions, just make sure to wash it out properly.

For only £4.99 for 250ml, its cheaper than buying all three products, plus you will smell amazing!

Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil

Lunch at The Fat Duck

Lunch at The Fat Duck has been on my bucket list since I wrote my first list years ago. While writing an article on ‘How to Get a Table at a Top Restaurant’ for Good Housekeeping, I thought I’d try my luck using the very processes I was writing about and see how I got on. As luck would have it I managed to secure a table for four of us for lunch

When you first arrive you are presented with an enormous tome, bound in leather which is in fact, the wine list. It can be slightly overwhelming with wine tasting menus ranging from £150-500 per head, and not too many bottles of vino on the cheaper end of the scale. We opted to start with some champers, telling ourselves that we would probably only be eating here once and we wanted to make the most of it.

The Fat Duck

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First up was an amuse bouche of aerated beetroot with a horseradish cream. We were told to eat it quickly and all in one go.  It had a wonderful biscuity earthy taste and texture, despite looking a little like a cake pop.

Next on the menu were Nitro Poached Aperitifs, with the option of Vodka and Lime Sour, Gin and Tonic or Tequila and Grapefruit. I think you can probably guess which I went for- G&T obviously. A waiter came to the table , and using liquid nitrogen, made mini savoury alcoholic meringues. They were designed to stimulate the appetite (much needed before 14 courses) and cleanse the palate.

The Fat Duck

 

The Fat Duck

 

Course 3 was a Red Cabbage Gazpacho with Pommery Grain Mustard Ice-cream poured for you at the table. It worked as a brilliant palate cleanser, with the slightly bitter flavour of the red cabbage. The gazpacho was impossibly smooth, with a little texture added from the wholegrain mustard balls in the ice-cream. A little weird, but very delicious.

The Fat Duck

 

The Fat Duck

 

Number 4 was one of my favourite courses of the day; Jelly of Quail and Crayfish Cream, with chicken liver parfait, Oak moss and truffle toast. We began by placing a small piece of film on our tongue that dissolved leaving had an oaky taste, before our table was transformed into a dry ice forrest, enhancing the olfactory senses with the smell of the forrest apparently so that you could imagine yourself hunting for truffles.

The Fat Duck

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The Fat Duck

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DSC_0785

A basket of fresh bread, and rolled, salty butter was passed around, and despite the upcoming feast, we all tucked in. I had actually finished my fresh white slice completely when the waitress returned to offer me another, ‘because the bread was meant to be enjoyed with the next two courses’. Whoops.

Snail porridge- a dish I’d heard a lot about and was secretly dreading. It was green, their were obvious whole snails lurking within the creamy oats, and it was topped with fennel (one veg that I’m not overly fond of). It wasn’t my favourite, but it did intrigue me. The sweet and salty balance in the dish was spot on, and the fennel served the purpose of lightening the taste. Not one I would have ordered, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

The Fat Duck

 

Roast Foie Gras with barberry, confit kombu and crab biscuit. This strange combination of textures wasn’t to everyones liking, but I loved the sweetness of the meat off set with the crunchy salty biscuit.

The Fat Duck

 

The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party- if you watched Heston’s shows a few years ago, you would have seen this one featured as an impressive spread. With Mock Turtle soup created from a gold leaf encased stock ‘watch’ swirled in hot water, and poured over an egg laced with mini morelles, celery and ham (I think!). Served alongside toast sandwiches- we loved the layer of toasted bread within the sandwich and thought this little trick could quite easily be made at home. This course was pure fun!

The Fat Duck

 

The Fat Duck

 

The Fat Duck

 

Halfway through came a course I’d also heard a lot about- The Sound of the Sea, where you’re given a shell containing an iPod shuffle that plays the sound of waves lapping, seagulls crying and the howl of the sea air. You’re instructed to listen to this whilst tucking into a plate of the sea, featuring sand (tapioca starch combined with fried finely chopped sardines), cured yellowtail kingfish, octopus and cured mackerel, alongside seaweed and samphire. The presentation was impeccable.

The Fat Duck

 

The Fat Duck

 

The Fat Duck

 

I thought I might not enjoy the Salmon Poached in Liquorice Gel as I am not a fan of liquorice and aniseed flavours, however this sweet dish turned out to be one of the most enjoyable. Served alongside vanilla mayonnaise, with artichoke and golden trout roe and grapefruit pieces. I’d love to try to recreate a easier version of this dish at home!

The Fat Duck

 

We’d all been looking forward to a bit of ‘Umble Pie’- venison served alongside kale (or cabbage- whoops, can’t remember) and parsnips, with a spelt truffle risotto. Very rich, very indulgent but wonderful and warming. This felt like the true main course. I could have easily eaten more of this dish.

The Fat Duck

 

This bizarre drink was hot on one side, cold on the other, and after receiving instructions not to move/turn the cup, we tucked in. It was a rather odd sensation having one cold and one hot side of your mouth, but this Hot and Iced Tea was a treat, and a fab start of the sweet courses.

The Fat Duck

The most incredible sweet course came out first, what looked like a whole egg, nestled on a bed of straw, turned out to be a white chocolate egg shell, with a lemon citrus poached egg within, sitting on sugar strands, creating a crunchy, soft, sweety gooey pudding that I wish was available on a regular basis. This dish was called Egg in Verjus, Verjus in Egg.

The Fat Duck

The Fat Duck

I don’t know how to describe the next pudding, and it’s name does little to give away what was about to be presented. ‘Botrytis Cinerea’ was a series of flavoured spheres, that reminded me of Christmas in both its styling and taste.

The Fat Duck

Whiskey Wine Gums were presented on a map, denoting where they had originated. We were told to eat them in order of 1-5, with the first and last boasting the most mild flavours, whilst number 4 had an incredibly smokey, and slightly unpleasant flavour in my opinion. However I am no whiskey connoisseur .

The Fat Duck

Our final course, was described as ‘Like a Kid in a Sweet Shop’ where we were presented with bags of sweets, including an aerated chocolate with mandarin jelly that tasted like a cross between and aero and a jaffa cake. An apple pie toffee complete with edible wrapper, and the most incredible ‘Queen of Hearts’ strawberry pie, fashioned into a playing card, tucked into an envelope with an edible seal.

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The Fat Duck

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After a quick tour of the kitchen, where I was able to ask the chefs a few questions (sadly no cameras in there), we left, four hours later and considerably heavier. Somehow although we’d eaten an enormous amount, the portion sizes and balance of flavour, I wasn’t uncomfortably full. Well done to the amazing Fat Duck team, and thank you for a wonderful day.

 

Project Awesome- London’s Answer to the November Project

Project Awesome

Project Awesome

Have you heard of the November Project?

It’s a free fitness movement that started in Boston as a way of keeping people motivated to exercise throughout the cold winter months. Now in many major cities across the US, they are encouraging people of all shapes, sizes and fitness levels to get active.

This isn’t the November Project. This is Project Awesome.

It follows many of the same principles, offering free amazing workouts in the city, keeping people accountable during the winter with their verbal agreements. If you renege on your verbal, be prepared to be named and shamed.

Led by the very huggy, and enthusiastic Danny, you’re immediately made to feel at home. Zoe, Char and I were introduced as newbies and given a high five and well done by the rest of the team. It was so lovely to meet one of the girls that reads my blog! (so sorry I didn’t catch your name.)

Project Awesome

Project Awesome

The morning’s workout was 16 laps of ‘The Scoop’- which I didn’t think sounded too bad, until it became clear that we were running up and down the stairs, adding an additional step in each time, for a total of between 8-10 up and downs in each lap. It was exhausting. Zoe and I actually began to wish there were breaks in between each lap for a set of burpees, squats or lunges!

The heavens opened about halfway through our session, but this didn’t stop us. High fives on the way round and Danny’s constant encouragement ensured we continued on with our workout, although I am pretty confident that I didn’t complete all 16 laps.

project awesome

project awesome

project awesome

With sessions every Wednesday at The Scoop, next to Tower Bridge, and Friday workouts in Primrose Hill at 6.30am, you bet I am going to be attending them to keep me motivated throughout the winter. And a major plus is that my friend Char has agreed to come too.

Everyone grabs coffee at the end of the session, which really makes you feel involved and part of a group (sadly I had to rush off to work but next time I am getting my well-earnt latte!)

Just show up….

Project Awesome

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