The Menstrual Cycle is an important process to understand in the context of health, fitness and training. It has an impact on energy, performance and progress.
This video/podcast takes you through the science, the roles of oestrogen and progesterone and how to plan and adjust training and nutrition around your monthly cycle.
This is all from a general perspective - any issues you have or fundamental changes you think you might need to make should be discussed with a doctor or qualified health professional, whom you usually get advice from about contraception and hormone health.
Click the image below to listen to the Podcast on Spotify
Below are the resources I refer to in the video/podcast.
Any further support I can offer please email firstname.lastname@example.org - including coaching, programming and training plans optimised around your Monthly Cycle through the Kickstart Challenge 2.0.
Go to www.mwfitness.net for more information, including prizes worth £250 for the best transformation and progress through the 8 Week challenge.
The James Smith Podcast with Dr Louise Newson - Surviving The Menopause
This podcast covers far more than just issues around the Menopause. It is definitely worth a listen for further understanding of the Monthly Cycle, the role of hormones in health and wellbeing and debunking the myths around the latest HRT treatments for women.
Coleslaw - a perfect addition to a Summer BBQ or a crunchy alternative to salad but the shop bought slaw you pick up is slathered with mayo and soon turns a healthy side dish into a calorie dense extra that you just don’t need.
Here at MW Fitness we don’t like giving up the things we love so we have come up with a delicious alternative that tastes great, is easy to put together and is super healthy.
This coleslaw is a mix of red cabbage, tangy apples, carrots and red onion all mixed together with lime, wholegrain mustard and greek yoghurt. It may sound like an unusual combination but trust us, it is so good and it really is as easy as 1,2,3!
1. Grate your carrots and apple and finely chop your red onion and cabbage (you may only need half the cabbage)
2. Mix it all together with a good dollop of greek yoghurt, a teaspoon of wholegrain mustard and the juice of ½ - 1 lime. These amounts are down to personal taste. If you want to you can substitute half the greek yoghurt with some light mayo however don’t substitute the whole amount as not only will the mayo be more calorie heavy you will lose the delicious fresh taste that the yoghurt brings.
3. Serve with your favourite meal and enjoy!
Download the recipe here: healthy_homemade_coleslaw.pdf
Smoothies are a quick way to have a tasty breakfast or snack - blended together in super quick time.
We use them often in the morning - and the kids like coming up with recipes too!
They can be high protein, fruity or green depending on your tastes.
A great combo to try is:
1-1.5 Scoops Protein Powder (Chocolate is good)
A handful of frozen berries
A teaspoon of peanut butter
This sets up the day with protein, fats and fruit.
There are many more combos and ingredients to try - banana, spinach, almond milk - if it is tasty and blends it should be good.
We all know how easy it is to get stuck in a breakfast rut. Life is busy and although the idea of scrambled eggs in the morning is lovely we often end up grabbing something as we run out of the house, frantically trying to grab our coat, bag and keys as we go!
Whether you are trying to stick to your macros or just want a little bit of variety in your life these savoury breakfast muffins are perfect. They are really simple, you can make them and store them in the fridge so they are easy to grab for breakfast or a snack.
You need muffin cases, eggs and your choice of fillings. Chop your chosen fillings and pop them in the muffin cases, whisk your egg and fill the muffin cases (they will rise so don’t go crazy!) then pop them in the oven at 180 degrees for 15-20 minutes and voila!!
In these ones we just used pepper and red onion as our veggies and then did a few with bacon, a few with chorizo and a few with ham. Obviously you can use whichever fillings you like!
Here is the basic recipe to download: Savoury Breakfast Muffins Recipe
Recipe by Hanna - email@example.com
Power balls, bliss balls, protein balls, little bites of deliciousness….whatever you want to call them these bite size treats taste great and pack a great punch of healthy fats and protein without any added sweeteners or nasty stuff. They are super easy to whip up and you can keep them in the freezer so there's no excuse not to have 1 (or more!) on hand for when you’re feeling peckish.
You can substitute a variety of dried fruit, nuts and seeds depending on what you enjoy and what's in your cupboard. My baking and cooking is fairly creative (or experimental!) so these amounts are flexible depending on taste, often I just eyeball it and add things as I go but here is the basic recipe.
1 ¼ Cup Dates (These can be medjool or regular - just make sure you take the pits out first!)
1 Cup Walnuts
1tsp Vanilla Extract
A pinch of salt
Now here is the easy bit….bang it all in the food processor and blend, blend, blend! You may need to stop and scrape down the sides a few times to get all the mixture evenly blended but that's basically it. When the mixture is the consistency of sticky dough and squashes together easily then it's ready.
Using a teaspoon, get the mixture in your hands and roll it into a ball, repeat until you run out of mixture! I dust mine with cocoa when I’m done, put them in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge or freezer. Kept in the fridge or freezer they should keep for a good few months.
If you do decide to freeze them just take them out a few minutes before you want to eat them.
Download and save the recipe here: Walnut and Date Power Balls
Recipe by Hanna - firstname.lastname@example.org
Another passion of mine is music and DJing (I mix all my own class music) and I have a a little more time during lockdown to get back in the groove. I live streamed this evening on MixCloud Live. Here is an upload of the mix to have a listen to - more info below.
Lovely mix done live on MixCloud this evening. No direct save on the platform yet so pressed record in the laptop and got the Vinyl House Classics Mix saved!
Check it out here...
And please give the new page a like www.facebook.com/funkandthat
Bank Holiday weekend (again)
And in these challengeing times we need some joy - and that can come from food and drink. But if every day (or extended weekend) has been indulgent for a while just stocking up and cracking on might not be the best for the waist line!
Sensible swops can help - just being mindful and having alternatives to hand will help. For almost every one it is total cals in that matter (not so much where those cals are from) - so ease that back and keep some sense of maintaining your health and fitness, whilst also enjoying this, or any weekend 😀
Choice of drinks and sweet treats are quick wins - there are more choices in the supermarket now than ever before to have great enjoyable alternatives to the regular brands 👊🏻😀
Have a great bank holiday 🍻😀
Why do we think what think?
Why do we like what we like?
Enjoy some things and not others?
Personality and character is individual and unique - and understanding yourself can really help in so many areas of life.
A healthy you is in a much stronger place to support those around us and know what we need from those close to us.
Try out the tests below for some fascinating insights into yourself and how you function.
We talked about this in Morning Coffee on the MW Fitness Page this morning.
The link is here:
We talked about 3 different online tests you can access at the links below:
The Enneagram Tests:
Test and basic results shown - we can point you in the right direction for more insights.
This is the 16 Personalities website: https://www.16personalities.com/
Free test and background information to understand the results
5 Voices: https://5voices.com/ - has a free assessment and information about each type
Extra: Love Languages Quiz - very useful for understanding yourself in the context of relationships and friendships:
(https://youtu.be/ESqcTIVbAZI - yesterday's Morning Coffee discussed this).
For any help to understand the results of any quizzes please send a message or leave a comment and I will send some info asap.
Morning Coffee is a daily chat about life, family, fitness and more on the MW Fitness Facebook Page.
Find it at 7am Monday to Friday, 8am Saturday on the MW Fitness Facebook Page
It is uploaded to the page and also to YouTube and added to this playlist here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLrGFewqN3halNYbaXCYBTNs96mP_ks5gl
Pop by anytime and say hi 👋😀
Stress is unavoidable - the body and mind need "stress" (or stimulus) to act and react - it keeps us safe and alive - depending on the situation!
Stress - in the more modern parlance is usually a mental and physical response to pressure - again this can be positive and negative.
Training puts the body under stress, a challenging work task is a stress. It is the level that determines if it is a manageable stress or an overload.
Extreme overload can look like overwhelm, anxiety or similar. Prolonged periods like this will have a mental and physical toll.
Most of us, fortunately, experience manageable stress day to day.
The main implication in the body is the raised level of the hormone cortisol - this is to down regulate the stress hormones - mainly adrenaline - and bring you back to a place of mental and physical balance.
You can help your physiological response along in a few ways:
- Meditation - focusing on a positive thought pattern
- Mindfulness - similar to meditation, but more a slowing and reduction having thoughts rolling around
- Breathing - eg Box Breathing to lower the heart rate, control gas exchange in the lungs and slow fight or flight responses
- And more... See second picture below
Hanna and I talked about this in this morning's Morning Coffee chat here:
Stress is necessary - our reaction and support strategies can be a big help in smoothing our ride through life ?
We are the product of our habits.
They can work for us or against us.
Adding new habits can be hard work - we have to literally rewire the brain - and it takes longer than the often touted 28 days to embed a brand new behaviour.
Stacking a new habit with something you routinely already do is more realistic.
- Do your rehab stretches while the kettle boils in the morning
- Read one chapter of a book, instead of 10 mins Netflix just pop it on after)
- Cook one new meal a week on a quieter day or evening
Any other ideas comment below.
Morning Coffee 13/04/20 (video below) - Hanna and I talk over Habits, Reflect & Refocus and balancing "habits" in a healthy way
Reflect & Refocus template download here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1fn0ZUJx72oZoxDPf4tHCtaw4oubJqaNC&fbclid=IwAR2vJH4lXhpmn66lftotVRAVYzxq412yESScSJBHY6IzQA_s9LiXpdBkZqk