Almost Friday post


Hope everyone is well. It’s been an absolutely gorgeous day today and I got to fully enjoy it (benefits of working in  a middle of a park lol). Look who I have spotted:

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

We get a swan or two from time to time so I took a quick picture for posterity lol

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

And that’s the view on a way into my office. Not too shabby, eh?

Level 2 of 30 day shred is still killing me and I have to say I feel like a wim coz when I’m doing chair squat with v lifts I can only cope with using 1 kg dumbbells (in my defence I do have to do that move twice for a whole minute at a time). I’m slowly getting my mojo back and after my injury induced break I am a lot more aware of people doing exercises wrong. I am no longer impressed when someone’s doing overhead lunges with 10kg dumbbells in each hand if they have to overarch their backs and basically collapse their lower vertabreas together. I seen two young, clearly new to the gym guys tonight, following a Men’s Health encyclopedia of exercise doing just that. It looked absolutely awful, I wish I was braver and had the courage to help them but they looked very pleased with themselves so wasn’t sure how my comment would be recieved.

My eats haven’t been all that exciting today:

Omelette with goats cheese and rocket (3 egg whites+2 whole eggs) with sunflower toast
Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Another container of popcorn with coconut oil (I think this will be in snack rotation for forseeable futire as it’s just that good and pretty low cal as well)

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

and for lunch I had soup again (sorta run out of the space in the freezer and we did make a big batch so…)
Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

and for before the workout snack I had rice cakes sandwich with strawberry jam, peanut butter and mixed seeds

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Tea was the best:
2 Polish sausages, cauliflower mash, mixed vegetables and the best caramelised onions I have eaten in ages. I may or may not have licked the plate lol

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

I’m going out for a meal for my friend’s birthday tomorrow so that should be interesting as it’s wuite late 8.30 at a Thai place:
a) I really dont like Thai I find it too spicy
b) I don’t want to be eating starchy carbs too late on

so after looking up menu online I may just setlle for stirfried vegetables. Either way it will be nice to catch up with birthday girl.

Have you got any plans for the weekend?


Physio update & Shirataki noodles


Guess who got cleared yesterday for any reasonable exercise?


I am beyond overjoyed, my physiotherapist said I don’t need to see him anymore unless my back pain returns 🙂 I can start including more plyometrics as long as I stay sensible and not overdo it, which is fair enough.

I didn’t think I would get the all clear so soon so was very surprised yesterday. I celebrated the news by starting level 2 of 30 day shred. Oh boy, did it kick my ass or what? I am redescovering my exercise DVDs as they all feel ”new” to me given how much more difficult and challenging they feel now. Definitely getting my money’s worth from them ha:)

This year I am trying to grow some veg and we got onto planting the seeds last night. We are planning to move it into the garden when things start sprouting. I am hoping to have:






Mixed Salad



Cherry tomatoes

Here’s how it’s looking now:
Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Please note the ever so cute watering can in the shape of pink elephant (that was only 99p so a bargain in my book)

To break my habit of always eating omelettes and scrambled eggs I made another batch of Kristi’s egg muffins this time with Polish sausage and aspargus served with extra aspargus

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

I am seriously loving aspargus at the moment so picking up 2 bunches from tesco for 17p each was a godsend

I also finally got round to trying shirataki noodles:
Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Mr A served them with homemade tomato and onion sauce over chicken pieces and it was surprisingly filling considering those noodles are basically water and fibre lol
Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

I should be ok with not needing to prep lunches for a couple of days as we also did a big batch of turky, veg and lentils stew last night.

Happily bubbling away:
Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App


Have you tried any new ingredients lately?

No More Trouble Zones Review


Apologies for this post appearing on Mon and not Sun I was away for the weekend and auto schedyled it but picked the wrong date doh 🙂

So today I want to give you an overview of Jillian Michaels No more Trouble Zones Dvd. It’s not one of the newest ones (released in 2009 if memory serves me right) but it still gives you plenty of  a good workout.

According to Amazon this DVD is :

” Get into the zone with TV’s kick-butt trainer, Jillian Michaels, and tackle stubborn problem areas with her surefire circuit training formula that combines upper- and lower-body sculpting moves to obliterate fat even faster. Say goodbye to saddlebags, muffin tops and wobbly arms with this heart-pounding, 40-minute circuit workout that targets trouble zones like never before. By keeping you constantly challenged, Jillian will transform your body from flab to firm in no time! Warm up and cool down before and after this grueling workout.”

Unlike her most other DVDs there are no different levels per say as it’s just one workout, but that by no means makes it easy and you could still progress by increasing the weights, speed of movement etc. There are 6 different circuits (about 7 mins long each) where you do 5 different exercises per circuit for 30 seconds. These include compind movements and core exercises. Unlike other DVDs of Jillian there is no cardio portion per say though your heart rate will be elevated with all the strenght training.

Good points:

  • It’s Jillian Michaels so as always very motivationg, clear instructions
  • You don’t need tonns of equipment you can make do with a fitness mat (or a blanket if you don’t have one) and some weights (or big bottle of waters, books etc for resistance)
  • Every part of the body is covered during the 40 mins
  • There are modifications available if you have problems with any of the moves
  • Whole thing (including warm up and cool down) won’t take you over 50 mins mark
  • if you have done any of Jillian’s DVDs before some of the moves will be familiar and the circuit format will be familiar too to some degree
  • You only do each more for 30 secs and who can’t cope with whateer for 30 secs right?

Not so good points:

  • The moves may be too familiar for some
  • It’s slightly longer than levels of her other DVDs (but sooo worth it)
  • Some may not appreciate Jillian’s motivational  style

In conclusion I would highly recommend this DVD to anyone who likes to get their butt kicked by Jillian. It does make  a nice change from 30 Day Shred and othere multilevel workouts on offer and will leave you with a lovely feeling of good pain in your body.

Have you tried No more trouble zones before?

My back and figure skating story


So because I didn’t quite get round to photographing my food today (bad blogger me) I thought I’d do a full post on my back injury.

So…once upon a time in a land far, far away where polar bears walked the streets (aka Poland) a 4 year old girl started figure skating. It was something that her granddad and dad have done and her auntie trained top dance figure skating pairs for this magical land.

The girl cried the 1sdt time she got on the ice and when she met her coach but soon she was spending 6 days a week, normally twice a day at the ice rink. It soon became her second home.

If you’re still following that girl was me. I was a competetive solo skater till the age of 14 when I tore my ligament. Plus my body changing (with the hips and boobs didn’t help either as it throws most teenage female skaters pretty off for a bit). I spent Mon-Sat at the ice rink couple of hours before school and couple of hours after (not to mention extra dance, gymnastics or swimming sessions). I adored it and even placed 3rd in the country at the age of 8 (my claim to fame). Which doens’t say that much considering Poland has not produced a single decent male or female skater in the last 15 years, but I loved having the whole of the ice rink to myself, I loved the speed and I loved the attention.

However, as any competative sportsperson I did pick up an injury here or there even before my grand finale of the injury. After I was done at 14 I went back to being a reguklar teenager and for a number of years (first out of anger, then out of laziness) I did not do anyting exercisey at all.

It changed couple of years ago when I got really really unhappy with how I looked. Granted,  my expectations were a lot higher than a *regular* persons due to my figure skating past but I felt fat nonetheless and changed it.

All was great for a while but then I picked up a right calf strain, then another, thenmy left cal was complaining, then my hip flexors were extremely tight, then my shins wre getting worse. And in the background I had a dull back pain as well. For over a year, just to keep myself moving and able to do ridiculous amount of exercise (we are talking between 10-15 hrs every week with 3 classes back to back), I was getting sports massage every two weeks. I got new trainers, I got knee and calf supports, I lowered the impact, I dropped the amount of hours at the gym and I was still complaining of lower body strains. That’s when my lovely sports therapist suggested I go and see her colleague in the practice who was a physiotherapist.

Don’t get me wrong I have seen physios before when I was competing and yes they would get me out of pain (hello cortison injections) but it would come back sooner or later.

This time it was different- during the first appointment after looking at my spine my physiotherapist told me that I must have either been a ballerina, a gymnast or a figure skater- all that from looking at my spine!!!


It turns out that my back problem is a typical one of the competetive world. Those 3 sports have a lot in common- the need for elongaged, feminine figure which is achieve by pushing your upper body forward




Yes, it does look fabulous but as I have done this for 10 years that’s what my body was doing now skates or no skates!!!

And this resulted in my bottom vertabreas being crunched together (hence the pain) and my ahmstrings doing 80% of the work! For everyone else they should be doing about 10-20% ? My glutes have been taking a nap for the past 15-20 years and that was why I was constantly picking up injuries so now for the past 10 weeks I have been doing physiotherapy exercises religiously to get myself back into a better place.


So that’s my story in a nuthsell 🙂


What injuries have you picked up along the way?

Tuesday recap


Hope your day today has been as good as mine 🙂 Work flew by, I managed to get some time off before the D day of 16th of May so I can panic in the comfort of my own bedroom lol, finished my monitoring report and had a successful session at the gym.

It may not sound like much but today I exercised for 55 minutes in total doing 30 day shred (still level 1), my normal physio exercises and I thrown in some abs moves at the end plus stretched well. I am trying to build up my time at the gym slowely as not to overwhelm myself and fingers crossed but so far my back is cooperating so yay 🙂

I really really planned to take pics of all my food that I take to work but I got distracted and thats the best I have got:
Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

In the blue containe we have got homemade vegetable soup with chicken breast and some noodles

In green and purple fairies (don’t judge) container we have got chopped up melon

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

In yellow container theres cottage cheese with radish

in red container there are brown rice dippers

One of my energy bars

A carrot

and my water bottle

Everything got eaten and on a way back from the gym I nipped into Aldi when I picked these lovely flowers for only £1.50
Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

They definitely brighten the room and smell gorgeous

And here’s my tea after the workout.
Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Compliments of my freezer we have got a portion of cauliflower mash, Polish sausage and two eggs plus 2 gherkins

It may not look like much but it totally hit the spot and was the quickest comfort food ever (3 mins for the eggs and 2 mins in the microwave to reheat mash and sausage).

Time to prep food for tomorrow now.

What’s your comfort food of choice?

Workout plan for the week



Just a quick post (mostly to keep myself accountable)


New workout regime this week as follows:

w/c 12.03.2012

Monday: 30 day shred level 1 Day 6 + 20 min physio exercises

Tuesday: 30 day shred level 1 Day 7 + 20 min physio exercises

Wednesday: 20 min physio exercises

Thursday: 30 day shred level 1 Day 8 + 20 min physio exercises

Friday: 30 day shred level 1 Day 9 + 20 min physio exercises

Saturday: 30 day shred level 1 Day 10 + 20 min physio exercises

Sunday: 20 mins physio exercise+ 1hr yoga class


Do you tend to plan your exercise?

Weekly feature: In my DVD collection Turbofire


My exercise is still on track and I am getting excited for my evening yoga class so I thought I’d try something different for a change. I have stacks and stacks on fitness DVDs so I’m gonna start a weekly feature looking at more detail into every single one of them so that people get a better feel for them before spending their hard earned money lol

First up Turbofire by Chalene Johnson:

When I got it over a year ago it was not available in the UK but now beachbody is starting to become better know in the UK and they are selling some of their programmes online. I appreciate that £99 is a steep price but you do get a lot of resources to keep you on track.

Taken from the website:

TurboFire® is the intense new cardio conditioning programme

from fitness innovator Chalene Johnson. She’ll help you get leaner with exercises that burn up to 9x more fat than regular cardio does. And with more than 20 smoking-hot music remixes, TurboFire will pick you up and push you past your limits.

Chalene’s New to Class option also gives you the breakdown on how to do each move with the right form.

So forget the excuses. Forget the gym. Now the hottest classes in Southern California come to you.

You get 11 different DVDs covering 12 workouts of varying lenghts:

  • Get Fired Up – Chalene guides you through the program to help you get the best results.
  • Fire 30 Class/Stretch 10 Class – Throw smoking-hot hooks and make big leaps to the bass of “Give Up the Funk.”
  • HIIT 15 Class/Stretch 10 Class – Dial it up for your first High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) class.
  • Fire 55 EZ Class/Stretch 10 Class – Don’t let EZ fool you, because you’ll be sweating to “Dazzey Dukes.”
  • Core 20 Class/Stretch 40 Class/Stretch 10 Class – Chalene’s most popular class targets your tummy with moves that deliver incredible abs.
  • Fire 45 Class/Stretch 10 Class – Kick, dance, and punch your way into shape to the beat of “Wiggle It.”
  • HIIT 20 Class/Stretch 10 Class – “Turn This Mutha Out” with 7 sizzling fire drills in 20 minutes.
  • Fire 45 EZ Class/Stretch 10 Class – Take a break from the fire drills, but not the fire, as you sweat to “In the Ayer.”
  • HIIT 25 Class/Stretch 10 Class – Here are 25 minutes of your most intense fire drills yet with Chalene.
  • Sculpt 30 Class/Tone 30 Class – Develop shapely muscles with Chalene’s challenging resistance classes.
  • Stretch 40 Class/Stretch 10 Class – Increase your flexibility and lengthen your muscles for a long, lean look.

Besides the workout DVDs you also get a lovely looking and very informative Fuel the Fire nutritional guide with tasty recipes ( thought for myself I found them to be erring on the side of people wanting to lose a decent chunk of weight hence I had to add more calories in for myself than prescribed in the programme). You also get The TurboFire 5-Day Inferno Plan to kick start your weight loss that claims you can lose up to 10 pounds in 5 days (but I gotta be honest with you and say I have not tried it but I do not have any reasons to think that the anticipated results would be exaggerated knowing Chalene lol).

You also get Turn Up the Burn Fitness Guide to give you more behind the scenes info of why this programme will work (being a fitness geek that made me very happy as I like to know the theory behind things) and a nice big TurboFire Class Schedule so that you know exactly what DVD you are mean to be doing each day (I think it can work as a great motivational tool not to skip any workouts if it’s displayed prominently somewhere). To help with the workouts themselves there;s  a sculpting band and a lower body band included. Beachbody even throws in a tape measure so you can see your own progress ( so it’s not just all about how much weight you lose, which I think is fab).

Looking at beachbody website they are actually offering 90 day money back guarantee which can never be a bad thing.

So now onto the workouts themselves:

*Disclaimer: I haven’t actually done all the DVDs in the prescribed order and everyone has different needs and preferences so take what I say with a pinch of salt, ok?*

What I liked:

  • Music: It’s funky, it’s upbeat, it’s contemporary and it’s infecious. It definitely made me want to put the DVDs on and it makes the time fly by
  • The moves: I have done LesMills BodyCombat before and I used to do Thai boxing on a weekly basis so martial arts types of moves are down with me a lot. I enjoy imagining I’m kicking the crap out of someone,ok? 😉 If that’s your thing you’re not going to be disappointed by Chalene. There also some other more aerobic based moves so everyone will find something for themselves (hopefully)
  • Instructors: Chalene Johnson has been in the fitness industry for over 20 years and it shows!! In the most positive way ever – It’s not her first ever programme, her cues are spot on and she has such a positive energising personality you will be giving it your all even at the last DVD drill. There are also two more ladies one diung lower impact version so you don;t have to miss out on the fun if you need to modify due to knee/back etc problems
  • Variety: some other programmes I have done you do the same workouts for a number of days (hello Jillia Michaels). There is nothing wrong with that but Turbofire keeps it fresh and maybe a tiny bit less boring by switching things up a lot more often.
  • Stretching: I like the bigger focus on stretching as often on other fitness DVDs warm up and cool down take all of 2 mins (and yeah you may be told to stretch some more but let’s be honest here who will? ). By including it within the programme once I’m done with the DVD I am done with the workout too.


What’s not so great:

  • Price: Already said it, compared to stand alone DVDs it is a big initial outlay, but you get variety for that price
  • Workouts: I do lvoe them BUT even with new to class feature (that shows you the moves slowly so you can get a hang of them) I still at times have no idea what’s going on. And this is coming from someone who has done over 10 years of figure skating and can follow routines for BodyCombat, BodyBalance or yoga fairly easily. Not that I let this put me off, if I get confused I stick with a combo I know till we move onto the next part
  • Need for room: It may sound fairly obvious but still you need a decent amount of space to be able to do the DVDs when we were away last year I found that the room itself was too small for me to be doing kicks without knocking something down.


All in all Turbofire is really good and I do fully intend to do the full 90 days following the schedule properly as soon as I’m cleared by my physiotherapist to do so. I follow Chalene on twitter for extra motivation too 🙂


What’s your favourite fitness DVD?


Previous Older Entries