Fairytales and Supermums!!

Our final week on location in Knutsford! Daniel Brocklebank (Billy) , Shayne Ward (Aiden) and myself have been shooting at a location in Knutsford as part of the current child slavery storylines.

When we finished these scenes on Thursday we all felt really sad! It’s been such a wonderful week, our scripts are fantastic – so well written. And our guest actors have been lovely. It felt like we were on another job that had finished and we needed a wrap-party! I don’t think a day has gone by when Dan and Shayne haven’t had me in fits of giggles in between takes- it’s been such a pleasure – thank you boys!

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Did anyone see the ‘Tonight’ (@ITVTonight) program this week? Presented by the lovely Helen Skelton (@Helenskelton) ‘Kids V’s Career’ explored the question ‘Can working mums really have it all?’ Now I’d like to say yes! I do believe that…

HOWEVER! When children are involved they MUST come first. So of course you make sacrifices. Be it ‘career goal’ wise or financially.

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Pre-Tom and Alfie Id often work 7 days a week because I had no responsibility and love my job . Times have changed. Yes – I’ll always be a career girl- that’s in my make up- it’s a massive part of who I am. But Alfie and Tom come first. Family has to. They are the ones that will stand by me through thick and thin. I’m very lucky that I have a wonderful support network around me- which enables me to work hard at my job and be a good mum. I sympathise deeply with people who don’t have this help and I am grateful every day for it. I feel I’d lose a massive part of who I am if I gave up my job- I think the saying ‘a happy mum = a happy home’ rings very true!!

Thanks for all your comments on Corrie this week. This storyline involving ‘Marta’ the Polish refugee is obviously a very serious subject. Unfortunately child slavery is happening – it’s very real. We hope we help to raise awareness of ‘human trafficking’ by doing this storyline.

Also so glad you guys enjoyed mine and Shayne’s ‘Fairytale’ shoot in this weeks HELLO! Magazine . I’ve wanted to do a fairytale themed shoot for sometime- as I much prefer photoshoots in character or with a theme.


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We had a lovely time shooting it and we’re so pleased you enjoy the pics!

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A staple in my exercise regime is the ‘Romanian Deadlift’ – the main muscle group being worked is the hamstrings:
hold a bar at hip level with a pronated (palms facing down) grip. Your shoulders should be back, your back arched, and your knees slightly bent. This will be your starting position.

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Lower the bar by moving your bum back as far as you can. Keep the bar close to your body, your head looking forward, and your shoulders back. Done correctly, you should reach the maximum range of your hamstring flexibility just below the knee. Any further movement will be compensation and should be avoided for this movement. At the bottom of your range of motion, return the starting position by driving the hips forward to stand up tall.’

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Have a wonderful Valentine’s weekend kids!! I hope you get to spend time with those you love!
Stay happy, stay healthy and dream big!!
Love Auntie Cath xxxx

Diet Pills, Corrie & Bo-Boes!

In the past 10-20 years there has been a worrying rise in people buying ‘Slimming pills’ or ‘Diet Pills’. Let me tell you outright – these pills DO NOT WORK, more than this – MOST are likely to make you poorly in some way. Right through from digestive disorders up to heart attacks and strokes. Am I trying to scare you? YES.

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The majority of people buying these pills (statistically) are young women. We have to look at why. I believe a HUGE part of WHY they turn to these pills is indeed desperation – through lack of EDUCATION. If nutrition was taught properly in schools, around half these desperate young people probably wouldn’t reach for these putrid pills. Because they would know tabout the physiological effect that they’d have on the body…the only way to maintain good body composition and to be healthy is to eat clean and stay active. They would have the tools to maintain this. Unfortunately that isn’t the case. In most schools children are still being taught that the bulk of their nutritional intake should come from pasta and wholemeal bread (Lord save us!)

When people don’t know where to turn in terms of nutrition and fitness they become desperate. A horrible place to be. In a world filled with constant media pressure to look a certain way – they will take desperate measures. The rise in eating disorders and self-harm is quite something – were going very wrong, very fast.

A good friend of mine ordered diet pills from the internet (this is worryingly easy to do) and ended up in A&E with heart palpitations and pain in her kidneys. She was in hospital for two days and told to stop the pills immediately – surprise, surprise – they were full of horrific ingredients. One doctor deemed them ‘In no way fit for human consumption’. I bought my friend some decent recipe books for ‘clean’ eating and recommended an excellent training program – Guess what? She’s now stronger than she was before, happy and healthy and as a by- product has dropped two dress sizes. Go figure!

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My slimming pills are ‘herbal’ I hear you say…really? The UK’s medicines agency (MHRA) has warned the public against using so-called ‘herbal’ diet pills after hundreds were found to be adulterated with pharmaceutical ingredients.

(MHRA) said “dangerous diet pills” were “not the answer”.

Many of these pills are advertised on television and in our local pharmacy’s – they’re NOT authorised medicines – there contents are unknown. Unknown?! You’re literally involving yourself in an ‘Unlucky Dip’ here. Nothing good will come of it. Some of the conceqences are indeed devastating as we so often hear in the news of young girls becoming seriously ill and even dying. A number of these products marketed as ‘natural’ herbals actually contained the synthetic medicine sibutramine, which was withdrawn across Europe and the US in 2010 after it was associated with an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. Scared enough? Good. Education is key – not man-made rubbish. End of rant.

Lets chat about one of my favourite things in life…SLEEP!!

Sleep is crucial for optimal health and in terms of body composition/weight loss. Fitness expert Nick Mitchell (@HEYNICKMITCHELL) spells it out perfectly :

SLEEP IS A NECESSITY, NOT A LUXURY!

To be very clear, if you do not prioritise a restful nights sleep you will not make optimal progress. I don’t care how hard you train and how smart you diet: without the right amount of quality sleep you will never make significant changes to your body.”

In simple terms, not getting enough sleep plays havoc with:

Testosterone Production : Go a few nights on 60 per cent of the sleep you need and see what happens to your sex drive. A teenager or a young man in his 20’s won’t feel this, but wait until the 30s and 40s hit.

Insulin and Cortisol: Your tired mind – never forget how significant the brain is in these things – and body need boosts in cortisol to get them going and they also become more insulin resistant (meaning it is much more likely to store glucose in fat cells). What sort of food do you reach for when you are sleep deprived? The worst kinds always- forget meat and veg and think croissants and candy. You do this for a hormonal reason and it will send you in to a spiral of worse food, lower ‘real’ energy, mental fog and fat accumulation.

Growth Hormone (HGH) Production: We release a lot of our HGH during certain cycles of sleep. Miss these cycles out and you can’t play catch up.

Nick Mitchell (Your Ultimate Body Transformation plan)

I’ll be talking more about sleep in next weeks blog- some top tips for helping you get some good quality Zzzzz’s!
Thanks so much for your support on Corrie this week! So glad you’re enjoying my storylines! Glad you enjoyed Aidan throwing Eva into the van the other night! I was covered in bruises but we had such a laugh filming those scenes!

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Thank you to those of you that have already donated for our charity trek -happening in June! We’re training very hard and any support is greatly appreciated! You can donate here:

Have a happy and healthy week my lovelies!

Dream BIG!

Love

Auntie Cath

Xxx

30 Years Of our Sal, Vikings ‘n’ Valkyries and Introducing ‘Beva’

Huge congratulations to Sally Dynevor who of course plays the wonderful Sally Metcalfe. I’ve grown up watching Sally play Sally and its testimate to Sals ability that even though I’m now lucky enough to work alongside her each day, When I sit down to watch Coronation Street like the rest of the country – I’m still, after all this time, completely in the momenwith her character.

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Sharing her laughter, sharing her tears. I love what our wonderful producers and writers have done with the character of Sally over the years. She’s a firm favourite round our house – here’s to may more years! Who knows – she might even eventually accomplish her dream of being part of that ‘Cheshire Set’. Go Sal – we all love you dearly!!

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Our favourite Vicar – aka Billy, played by the uber talented Daniel Brocklebank has been in cahoots with Eva all week. This pairing are becoming quite the dynamic duo as they ‘bob’ their detective hats on in search of homeless refugee ‘Marta’. And thus (drum roll) …’Beva’ is born! They’re like Charlie’s Angels with flat caps and hotspots!! I love working with Dan – we really hope you guys enjoy these scenes. We’ve had such fun filming them.

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Let’s talk food! I’m a massive foodie as you know! We love nothing more than a slap up meal and good company. A lot of people struggling with their weight use the excuse ‘it’s really difficult to stick to healthy eating when I eat out’ or ‘healthy food on the go doesn’t work’. What do I say to these people? RUBBISH! If you’re serious about being healthy and/or losing weight then you’ll ensure that you eat at places where healthy IS an option. Don’t be afraid to ask for menu tweaks either! For example: chargrilled chicken and chips… It’s doesn’t have to come with chips you cheeky monkeys.

Ask to swap the chips for sweet potato and salad or mixed veg? If they say no and those items are on the menu- they’re plain awkward, leave and eat somewhere else! If you’re telling me that healthy food on the go is too hard… Again…. If you know you’re going to be busy- prepare the night before! Tupperware is your new best friend! Even if it’s a pot of nuts or seeds- it’s better than reaching for a biscuit!

This week I started ‘Viking V Valkyrie ‘ training. Or as I like to call it ‘Hench Momma Camp’.

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untitled2There were several stations in circuit format, including: weighted lunges, farmers walks, watt bike, kettle bell squats, rope-pull, planking and other evil activities!

untitled1We had a blast and I truly felt pumped and invigorated afterwards. I’ll keep you guys posted on my progress and it all helps towards our Trekfest challenge for the Joshua Wilson Brain Tumour Charity and Parkinsons UK , the link to donate to our challenge http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/Vital

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I’ve been filming outside pretty much all week. So when I get home I’m craving comforting, filling foods. One of our faves this time of year is our paleo version of ‘Cottage Pie’

Auntie Caths Cottage Pie

For the sweet potato mash:
•2 large sweet potatoes- peeled and chopped into large chunks
•2 tbsp grass fed butter
•1 tsp freshly chopped rosemary
•Sea salt, to taste
•Ground black pepper, to taste

For the filling:
•1½ lb ground beef
•1 tbsp olive oil (+ ½ tsp for greasing)
•1 medium onion, diced
•1 stalk of celery, chopped/sliced
•8 baby carrots, sliced
•1 cup small broccoli florets
•4 cloves garlic, minced
•1 ¼ cups beef broth
•1 tbsp tomato paste
•1 tsp freshly chopped rosemary
•2 shakes of ground cinnamon
•Sea salt, to taste
•Ground black pepper, to taste
•Ground paprika

Instructions

Prepare the sweet potatoes:
1.Put the sweet potato chunks into a medium pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Then, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. Simmer until soft.
2.Drain the water, and put potatoes back into the dry pot (no heat). Add grass-fed butter, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Mash the potatoes , and stir everything together . Cover pot with a lid and put to one side.

Prepare the filling:
1.Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a glass casserole dish with olive oil.
2.In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef. Drain the fat, and transfer beef to a large bowl
3.Heat the olive oil over medium heat in the large skillet you just used for the beef. Add the onions, and saute for 3 minutes until they begin to soften.
4.Add the celery, carrots, and broccoli florets to the skillet. Stir, then cover with a lid and allow to steam for 6 minutes. Remove lid, add the garlic, and saute for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally
5.Add everything else (except paprika) to the skillet: cooked ground beef, beef broth, tomato paste, rosemary, cinnamon, sea salt, and pepper. Stir everything thoroughly and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, until most (but not all) of the liquid has been evaporated.

Finally…
1.Scoop the beef mixture into the casserole dish so that it covers the whole bottom. Layer the sweet potatoes on top of the beef mixture, using a spatula or wooden spoon to help spread it out evenly. Lightly scrape the top of the potatoes with a fork, and lightly sprinkle with paprika.
2.Bake for 20 minutes, remove from oven, and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
3.Store in refrigerator for up to 3 days!

Until Next week Campers!

Stay Happy, stay healthy and Dream BIG!

NTA Awards and My Body Results!

Busy much?

I’ve had six-day weeks for the past couple of weeks – with amazing story lines and some fantastic shoots. I feel really excited about the story lines coming up for Eva.

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This weekend will be lovely though – I’m not working so we’ve got lots of time planned with Alfie and our lovely pals. My schedule means catching up with people is somewhat of a luxury at present! In fact, washing my hair is a luxury!

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Between being a mummy, learning lines and filming – dry shampoo has become my best mate! Nice!

Mahoosive congratulations to the lovely Shayne Ward who won Best Newcomer at the National Television awards this week! We had such a lovely time at the awards. It’s so nice to all be together and let our hair down once in a while.

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It’s also lovely to catch up with our pals in other productions. Well done to Eastenders – who pipped is to the post for Best Continuing Drama and of course, Emmerdale who have had another amazing year.

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We all work so very hard, it’s lovely to celebrate each other’s efforts! For me it was also a great opportunity to catch up with my ex – ‘Telly fella’ Ryan Thomas! It’s weird when you work so intensely with someone for a long period of time and suddenly you don’t have any scenes together – so it was great catching up with Ryan.

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@MattwarnerPT did my measurements this week! I’m utterly thrilled!!

When I started training with Matt post pregnancy my body fat was 22%… I’m now 13.7%! I have more muscle mass than ever and I’m stronger and have more energy than ever before – so a huge thank you to @mattwarnerpt and @HeyNickMitchell.

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Here’s a mega fit, mega fast recipe, perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner, from my friends @nakeddeli.

It’s cheap to make and will keep you satisfied!

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Caramelized onion and sweet potato fritatta      

Serves 6

Ingredients
3 white onions
1 large sweet potato – grated
1 bunch chives – chopped
10 eggs whole – whisked
A pinch of salt
A pinch of pepper

Method

Fry sliced onions on medium heat until light brown
Add grated sweet potato to onions then remove from heat
Mix chives, whisked eggs, salt and pepper together in mixing bowl
Add onions and potato to mix
Empty mix into 8″ pre oiled pan and place in oven for 20-25 minutes(gas mark 7/180c) until set or firm golden brown

Top with organic crispy bacon and (optional) goats cheese

Garnish with pan fried asparagus and cherry tomatoes

Stay Happy, Stay healthy and Dream Big

Love Auntie Cath xx

Immunity Boosting, Trekfest challenge and Exciting Storylines

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Corrie has been pretty intense this week! My schedule has been back to back but I’m truly blessed to be currently enjoying some brilliant storylines!
I can’t wait for you guys to see!
So,  Eva finds her self in quite a predicament after discovering a woman sleeping rough in the factory. Our young actress that plays this character is wonderful – I think you guys will be pretty riveted! There’s some real seat-gripping moments!

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It seems everywhere is rife with coughs and colds at the moment as Manchester goes from freezing to Baltic. Here’s some top tips for keeping your immune system at its best!!

Stress Head 

Everyone gets stressed- poop happens in life. However if stress drags on for a long time, it makes you more vulnerable to illness, from colds to serious diseases.

Chronic stress exposes your body to a constant feed of stress hormones that suppress the immune system.

You may not be able to get rid of your stress, but you can get better at managing it.

  • Learn to meditate.
  • Slow down.
  • Talk with other people.
  • Work out to de-stress.

Counselling is a big help, too.

Easing stress lowers levels of a stress hormone. It also helps you sleep better, which improves immune function.

 

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It’s all glamour backstage in my PJ’s and bed socks to keep warm!

I did a fab photoshoot this week, with my wonderful team. You’ll see the pictures real soon, I felt the need to give myself a revamp, and I’m feeling so much more confident now after training so hard.

 

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Huge thank-you to my team  @VitalCreatives!

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Fab team!

And a HUGE thankyou to my awesome trainer @MattWarnerPT who has been really mean for the greater good!!

Were working on pull-ups don’t you know! Another fab exercise for the upper body is the ‘Seated Cable Row’ we use different grips on this to change the difficulty of the exercise:

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Seated Cable Row

Sit slightly forward on seat or bench in order to grasp cable attachment. Place feet on vertical platform. Slide hips back positioning knees with slight bend. Pull cable attachment to waist while straightening lower back. Pull shoulders back and push chest forward while arching back. Return until arms are extended, shoulders are stretched forward, and lower back is flexed forward. Repeat.

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How funny is this jumper


Now then! Here’s some fab news!! 
Myself, Tom,  Katie McGlynn and Tisha Merry and some of our friends , have formed a team – and  will be swapping the world famous cobbles of Weatherfield for an arduous 50km trek through the Brecon Beacons, to raise money for charity this summer!

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We are taking part in TrekFest on June 4 – alongside thousands of people set to take part in the endurance challenge.

We have chosen to raise funds for The Joshua Wilson Brain Tumour Charity based in Manchester, and Parkinson’s UK.

These charities are very close to our hearts, if you can afford to donate anything at all – every SINGLE penny is so greatly appreciated!! You can sponsor our team  here:

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/teamvital01

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I shall be in training for this soon – lots of long distance outdoor walking !

Have a lovely week guys! Stay Happy, stay healthy and Dream BIG!!

Love 

Auntie Cath

Farmers Walks and Grandma Talks!!

Happy New Year!! Wishing you all a very happy, healthy 2016 packed with love! Did you all have a good one? I’d like to say we painted the town red… But you lot know me too well now – yup… I was in bed… By 10.30!! I tried to stay awake! Honest! Alfie goes to bed at 7pm so we had cuddles on the couch until then, after that Tom and I watched a bit of telly and called it a night! Boring as we may be I couldn’t help but feel chuffed with my sober self the day after, when all my pals had raging hang overs. That I NEVER miss!

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We went to see my lovely Gran Over new year- she’s most certainly a ‘Glam-Ma’ she looks amazing. Grandma Jean is one of my biggest role models. For as long as I can remember Gramps always said ‘look after your body, your skin, your teeth and your eyes’. Advice I’ve always tried to follow- and if my gran is anything to go by- it should stand me in good stead! She always looks flawless. Hair done, nails perfect, make-up tastefully applied , outfit gorgeous… And thankfully as fit as a fiddle and stronger than some women half her age. Her mum- my Great Gran Lilian died a few years ago at the telegram earning age of 100! Same principal, she ate well, stayed active and looked after herself. Proof is in the pudding! (Or no pudding in this case!)

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We can learn a great deal from the older generations, often they eat in moderation and eat what they were raised on- protein and veg. Processed food wasn’t around as much in their early years and the rations during the war meant they learnt how to grow a lot of their own vegetables and eat frugally. Sugar was truly a luxury, a treat. My grandma learnt how to make nutritious, low budget meals- fast, at a young age. I think something that’s often missing in our generation is cooking with our children. Cooking nutritious meals isn’t just a life skill, it’s a survival skill. If we don’t teach our children how to make healthy food- they’ll turn to fast food.

If they turn to fast food they’re headed for a whole host of ailments and possibly diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Earlier last year whilst watching ‘This Morning’ , one of the features on the show was a 3 year old child who had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes due to her poor diet. This to me is child abuse. More needs to be done. Communities need to help adults that don’t have these skills to learn- for the sake of our future generations… ( not to mention For the sake of the NHS!) Let’s strive to learn. It’s our responsibility and it’s NOT rocket science!

Farmers Walks

During strength training , my trainer ( @MattwarnerPT ) uses one of my favourite exercises… The dreaded ‘Farmers Walk’. In short, this means walking a short distance, with heavy weights (much like my shopping trips!)

You can use heavy dumbbells or short bars if you don’t have access to the weights shown in the video. Begin by standing between the implements.

1.After gripping the handles, lift them up by driving through your heels, keeping your back straight and your head up.
2.Walk taking short, quick steps, ( please don’t forget to breathe!) Move for a given distance, typically 50-100 feet, as fast as possible! You’ll be a gladiator in no time babes!!

Feeling the need to detox post festivities? Try this bad boy!

ALKALINE GREEN SMOOTHIE
3/4 cup raw coconut water or filtered water
1/2 cup raw coconut meat or 1 tablespoon raw creamed coconut
2 cups spinach
1 medium avocado, peeled and pitted
1/2 medium cucumber, chopped
2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
2 limes, peeled and halved
pinch Himalayan pink salt
1 teaspoon minced ginger (optional)
1 1/2 cups ice, plus more if needed
Throw all of your ingredients in your Blender and blast on high for 30 to 60 seconds until smooth and creamy.
Stay happy , stay healthy and dream big!

Love

Auntie Cath

Xx

Last blog of the year!

Firstly, did you all catch the Abba Christmas special on Xmas eve? We had SO much fun taking part in it …untitled5

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Now, come on… be honest with me …How many mince pies did you eat??

Ha ha! I hope you all had a wonderfully indulgent, love-filled Christmas? If like me you’re a little bit ‘over’ the turkey, mince pies and everything else that comes with Christmas, you’ll be wanting to eat clean again right?

I had Christmas day off , but the rest of the time I’m pretty good – as I don’t like the way processed foods make my body feel. For me the lethargy and bloated, sluggishness just aint worth it. Especially when I know I can eat really healthy food with oodles more flavour and health benefits!

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Call me a geek if you want – but I’m old enough and wise enough to know what works for me, mentally and physically. I absolutely had Christmas Day off from the gym as I believe this is family time and one should 100% sit on ones backside and soak up the love!!

But I was back in the gym the day after Boxing day – for a mega leg session – owwwwchhh!

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Alfie’s first Christmas is so special. He wasn’t sure what on earth was happening but he was a giddy little smiler the whole time. He has truly been spoilt rotten!

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I think he’s a bit fed up of the constant fancy dress though! So far he’s been a snowman, an elf, Santa, a reindeer, a pudding and what can only be described as a human disco ball….that child will not thank me for the photographs when he’s 18, of that I’m sure!

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Tom also spoilt me rotten! My main gift was a stunning Alexander MQueen handbag (big points for Tom!). My favourite gift to Tom was an ‘Alfie Calendar’ that I had done in secret!! I took Alfie for a secret photoshoot – with a different costume for each month ( I was sourcing props for two weeks!) But it was worth every second, he was so good on the shoot, nearly 4 hours it took, and he didn’t kick off till we got to December ( I don’t think he liked the beard!!)

We paid a visit to see best pals Antony Cotton and Peter Eccleston this week. Peter is Alfies Godfather and bought him the coolest baby sensory rope lights for Christmas! Alfie was a VERY happy bunny! And they ofcourse received a copy of Alfredo’s Calendar!

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RIGHT you lot!! Lets look towards to New Year shall we? We all make resolutions that we can’t keep, especially when it comes to weight loss/being healthier. Here is my tip, ready?

DONT DIET…IT DOESNT WORK.

End of.

If you want to lose weight and more importantly be happy and healthy – DO NOT buy into diet fads! Learn about what you’re putting into you’re body. Eat clean food from the land, ditch processed foods and eat what we were designed to eat.

Correct your portion sizes and swap simple carbohydrates and bad fats for complex carbohydrates and good fats!! ( CORRECT your body NEEDS fat to survive/lose weight) I’ll go into things in more depth over the coming weeks but very briefly

LOSE

White potato

Bread

Pasta

Processed meat

White rice

Junk Food

Refined Sugars

Saturated Fats

Trans Fats

GAIN

Lots of Vegetables – especially green veg

Fruit low in sugar �(i.e berries)

Sweet Potato/other root veg

Good Fats (I.e olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids)

Fish – this should be you predominant source of protein

Un-processed meat

I’ll be talking to you more about the importance of fat consumption in weight-loss. So many people ‘fear’ fat. We need fat to flourish…deprivation can lead to huge health problems (and early ageing!!) If we eat the right Fats our bodies are able to reduce inflammation and reduce pain, coping with disease and illness much better. When we eat ‘bad fats’ then we are pointing our bodies in the direction of inflammation and pain. If we increase inflammation this can lead to all kinds if illness and ailments.

Next Up…GOAL SETTING!!

Its a New Year – a New YOU! Yes YOU!! Stop putting things on hold and do it today! My main reason for studying nutrition and keeping healthy is my family. I want to be around for as long as possible for my son, and keep him and my family healthy. If you have a family then this reason alone should be enough for you. If you eat bad food – your body WILL sooner or later ,malfunction . That is way to scary for me to ignore. I have responsibilities. This life isn’t about ‘just me, myself and I’. To me , learning about nutrition is as important as studying first aid when my son was born. See where you want to be in terms of body/health goals. Keep a clear image in your head and know that when done correctly – the benefits are endless.

I consider myself on commission from ‘mother nature’ – you look after her – she’ll look after you.

This land has all we need to prepare stunning, healthy meals, there’s no excuse. On a budget? STILL no excuse. I’ve been there – on a very low budget and I still ate healthily.

Yes you’ll need to be more savvy and shop around more, but we only get one body – so its 100% worth it.

Its about keeping your loved ones and you tip-top healthy. I’ll be sharing some low budget, healthy, fast meals with you in the New Year to aid your inspiration!!

You can have anything you want from this life if you believe it and can see it clearly enough. I’ve always believed that.

Unhappy with your weight? Change it. Now. Life is too short to be unhealthy and more importantly unhappy!!

Finally , before i sign off for 2015 – I am thinking about all the people affected by the floods over Christmas , i hope you are all back into your homes and businesses very soon, and that the worst is now behind us in terms of the bad weather.

Stay Happy , Stay Healthy and Dream Big

Love

Auntie Cath xx

Xxx

My ‘Beef’ with Processed Meat & Abba Shenanigans!

Processed Meat… there’s been a lot of press coverage on this subject recently. For me, processed meat goes in the same box as any other processed food. This box should be labeled ‘Avoid’ or ‘Eat Occasionally’. There were some interesting facts brought to light on ITV1’s the ‘Tonight’ program recently. The World Health Organisation have stated that processed meat HAS been linked to increased cancer risks. That for me is enough. I choose to avoid processed anything – as much as I can.

There are 40,000 new cases of bowel cancer each year. 50g of processed meat a day (equivalent of two sausages) increases risk of bowel cancer by 18%. So if you’re spending and entire day eating processed meat, you’re potentially increasing your risk of cancer. Scientists used to think that getting cancer was either genetic or ‘bad luck’…we now know that nutrition is a massive factor, along with lifestyle factors such as drinking and smoking. On the rare occasion I do decide to eat processed meat – I try to ensure its of the highest quality affordable to me. For me the message is simple…it comes back to that key word – MODERATION.

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Some of my previous personal trainers encouraged processed meat, stating that sausages, bacon and burgers were fine on a daily/regular basis. My diet has since changed greatly. I don’t think its at all healthy to consume these foods on a daily basis, its almost encouraging the ‘Atkins’ type diet – which has horrendous side effects. Some previous trainers have encouraged 90% of my protein to come from meat. I also consider this to be poor advice. Its scientifically proven that the Mediterranean diet is the best lifestyle choice. Meaning the bulk of one’s protein intake comes from fish, and ‘some meat’ alongside a huge variety of vegetables, fruit and good fats such as avocados and olives/olive oil. Despite the advice of many current personal trainers – not every meal should contain a steak or sausages! My life-long rule of “if it ran, swam or grew from the earth – eat it” stands steadfast in all of this. Food should NOT be tampered with. We weren’t designed to consume all these additives, preservatives, sweeteners etc – we were designed to ‘eat clean’ , ‘from the land’. If we pump our bodies full of these man-made nasties…ofcourse they will malfunction. So if you can’t keep it clean all the time, strive for for high quality whenever you’re treating yourself to processed food of any kind.

The count down has begun! It’s nearly CHRISTMAS!! I can’t believe how fast this year has flown. It doesn’t seem five minuets ago that i was waddling around last christmas, pregnant with Alfie! Whats the deal when you have kids?? Its like someone presses the ‘fast-forward’ button! Temps fugit! Corrie packs a punch as always this christmas so make sure you are tuned in! Also, as mentioned last week –

CHRISTMAS EVE, ITV1…8PM…THE ABBA CHRISTMAS PARTY!! The lovely Shayne Ward and I will be chirping one of our favourite ABBA numbers! Get your lycra ready!

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cath1Happy Birthday to my Gorg friend and publicist Laura. Laura has also been on a fitness journey this year and she looks incredible. Its fab because we motivate each other now. We’ve worked so very hard this year it was lovely to let our hair down for her birthday this week. Happy Birthday Honey! And well done – you look fabulous!!

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cath4Speaking of training – we gathered together this week in aid of the charities we will be doing something very special with next year. ive set myself a huge challenge and all will be revealed next week!

@SUPERJOSHUAS and @PARKINSONSUK two wonderful charities that I’ll be talking to you more about in the New Year.

I’ll also be posting some top tips from @MattWarnerPT who is doing the challenge with us and helping us prepare ourselves mentally and physically. This is something that I’m very excited about, really hoping we can raise a lot of money for these charities, I’ll be posting a link to our donations page in the New Year – ANY support is so greatly appreciated.

My Top Christmas Tips!!

* All Hail The Aloe!!! This time of year we eat too much (often processed foods too) sometimes we can feel incredibly uncomfortable after stuffing our faces silly .I always aim to address things as naturally as possible – I find Aloe Vera juice a wonderful aid for digestion.

Aloe Vera has natural healing and detoxifying powers and works gently within the intestinal tract to help break down impacted food, whilst cleansing the bowel. It can help ease constipation and prevent diarrhoea. All this helps to reduce discomfort and bloating. A much better option to pumping yourself full of over the counter synthetic crap. I take Aloe Vera all year round, but I often take a little more if I know I’m going to be eating heavy meals or treats.

* Milk That Thistle!

If you like to have a drink over christmas – take Milk Thistle!! Milk thistle extract is used to maintain liver health and to protect the liver from the effects of toxins such as alcohol (GREAT over the festive period if you cant put that Bailey’s down!), a polluted environment or workplace, and a host of liver related diseases.

On going trials also suggest that Milk Thistle helps in the following ways:

•Lowers cholesterol levels, which benefits the heart
•Reduces the growth of cancer cells in breast, lung, colon, prostate, cervical and renal cancers
•Functions as a therapeutic agent for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease
•Improves blood sugar levels
•Contains numerous anti-aging properties
•Reduces cell damage caused by radiation and chemotherapy treatments
•Supplements sunscreen protection and may be useful against multiple types of skin disease
•Reduces hot flashes and other related menopausal symptoms
•Helps with intestinal / indigestion issues

I’m not sure what I prefer, Christmas dinner or ‘left over turkey curry’ on boxing day! We always have a curry on boxing day – we make a huge pot, and freeze what we don’t eat! Here’s a fab paleo- turkey curry to get your chops around!

Tinsel Turkey Curry!

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 tablespoon coriander
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon cinnamon
300g cooked turkey, cut into pieces
800ml chicken stock
1 (400g) tin chopped tomatoes
2 sweet potatoes, mashed
100g frozen garden peas
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

1.Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add onions and garlic, and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the curry powder, coriander, turmeric and cinnamon, and cook for 1 minute. Add the turkey and stir well to coat with the spices.
2.Pour chicken stock and tinned tomatoes into the pan. , and stir to combine and break up the mashed potatoes. Continue to cook on medium-high for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3.Add sweet potato and peas to the pan. Bring just to the boil. Stir in salt, and cayenne. Turn heat down to medium low and simmer until carrots are cooked but still firm, approximately 30 minutes.

Have a truly magical Christmas guys. Count your blessings
Stay Happy, Stay healthy and Dream Big
Love
Auntie Cath xxxx

Christmas Treats, Staying Hench and ABBA!

Are we all set? As IF christmas is one week away!! I’m pretty organised this year – I find it too stressful not to be! Alfie’s first Christmas – we can’t wait!!!!

I’m not going to tell you to not eat chocolate or potatoes over Christmas, what a ridiculous notion! Bloody enjoy it!! Just be sensible!! Have couple of days off… indulge, just don’t go nuts! There’s no need, and you’ll feel a million times worse for it. Especially if you eat clean most of the time. Life is too short not to treat yourself – just make sure you are eating clean, nutrient dense foods the rest of the time – simples!

What an AWESOME start to the week I had!! Shayne (@ShayneTWard) recorded and ITV special… ‘The Abba Christmas Party’. We had a blast!

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Paddy McGuiness (@PaddyMcGuiness) presents this tinsel-filled Christmas Eve treat. In true Paddy style- he’s hilarious as always. With a fantastic line up of singers including Susan Boyle, Union J, Nadine Coyle , The Feeling and Ofcourse our absolute fave – Shayne Ward! This sparkley cheese-fest will air at 8pm on Christmas Eve ITV1. I can honestly say it’s one of my favorite programs that I’ve done for ITV- it was such fun to work on. Tune in to see us shake our baubles!!

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I’ve finished at Corrie for Christmas now- so most of my time is spent with Alfie. However I’m still blitzing the gym when I can… Matts being extra mean on the build up to the festive season! Here’s one our his favourite tortures (I’ve got to say- belting exercise- pretty much every muscle in my back felt like it was being used):

Matt Warner

Do you ‘feel’ your training?

Weight training can often be a confusing and often daunting place to be. Often beginner trainees can become put off for the simple fact that they do not know why they are doing a certain exercise or a certain program.

However there is one fundamental principle that may change the way you see the gym and begin to understand how your muscles work when you lift. That is FEEL.

When you are performing an exercise ask yourself the following question.

Do you really FEEL the muscles that you are supposed to be working?

Lets use a DB row (Picture above) as an example.

When you row do you just pull the weight just knowing that it is a back exercise? Or do you really know where you should be feeling it? If the answer is no (which is true in most cases) then it is time to strip back to basics.

To perform a One arm DB row correctly follow the steps below.

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1.Set the bench on a slight decline
2.Ensure you set up so that your standing foot is wide and the leg on the bench is at a 90 degree angle at the knee.
3.Pick a weight that is heavy enough to work hard but light enough to be able to ‘feel’ the right muscles.
4.To start the movement pull the dumbbell towards the standing leg. This will keep the shoulder and back in the correct position while allowing you to feel the correct part of the back beginning to contract.
5.Once the Dumbbell is at the standing leg immediately row the dumbbell, contracting the back hard until you have reached maximum range of motion, keeping the torso from twisting.
6.Slowly lower into the start position and repeat.

Important note. Take 2- 3 seconds on the lifting phase or each rep. This will allow you to feel the working muscles correctly. Your weight lifted will drop but your results will improve.

Remember. If you can’t feel it, back to basics.

Matt Warner @mattwarnerpt

Thank you Matt!!!

Christmas for us is all about family and friends. We caught up with Tom’s best friend Andrew this week and his gorgeous wife Rebecca. I hope to get to London at some point to , to catch up with all my drama school buddies. We may not see each other often but when we do it’s like nothing has changed- sign of a true friendship in my eyes.

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image5I can’t help but think about those people over Christmas who don’t have anybody. Christmas can be really hard for some people- especially if they’re suffering from depression- depression often worsens in the Winter months. If you feel depressed or anxious for whatever reason- NEVER feel ashamed. You’re NOT alone. 90% will experience these feelings at some point in our lives and there really is some fantastic help available . You can contact ‘Mind’ charity here:

http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/depression/#.VnO9Rl_fWnM

They are ready to listen. They are ready to help YOU. Make the call.

The right nutrition is imperative when it comes to anxiety and depression. It’s scientifically proven that in many cases you CAN help to improve these illnesses with food- amazing right? There are a number of things to look at to give yourself the best nutrition when suffering from depression:

There are also a number of nutritional imbalances that can make you prone to depression such as:
•Essential fats, do you need more Omega 3?
•Serotonin levels, do they need boosting with amino acids?
•Blood sugar balance
•Levels of the nutrients chromium and Vitamin D
•Food intolerances, could they be making you sad?

This much i can promise you – processed foods have been strongly linked to depression – refined sugars, cakes, white bread, junk…have a huge affect. GET RID.

I’ll be sharing some recipes with you over the next few weeks that target this area specifically.

Stay Happy, Stay Healthy and Dream BIG

MERRY CHRISTMAS GUYS!!!

Love Auntie Cath

New Year Goals, Chirping and Yummy Paleo Trees

I had the privilege of performing at the utterly stunning Manchester Cathedral this week.

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I performed alongside my uber talented friend Alexander Stewart (alexanderstewart.net) in aid of The Christie cancer hospital (@TheChristie). We performed alongside several primary schools and the lovely Natalie McGrath @McGrathNatalie an evening of truly festive song – a heartwarming experience – Christmas pud for the soul!!

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The Christie charity raises money for a range of projects and initiatives focusing on 4 main areas, research, care and treatment, education and extra patient services. All of which are above and beyond what the NHS provide enabling them to give patients the best care and treatment possible. From providing continuous funding for the Cancer Information Centre and Wig Service, helping patients and their families cope with the effects of treatment, to raising money for new developments such as the recently opened Teenage and Young Adult unit. So a HUGE thank you to all those that came to support the event. You can find out more about donations and fundraising for The Christie here: http://www.christie.nhs.uk/the-christie-charity/donate.aspx

I can reveal that Shayne Ward and I will be recording an extra special Christmas performance on Sunday! We shall be gracing your screens on Christmas Eve in an ITV 1 Abba Christmas special! There’ll be Abba, dancing, eggnog, glitter, sequins and lashings of snow…In short- it’ll be camp as Christmas! We can’t wait!!! And I’m so excited to be singing with Shayne. I’ve always been a fan – what a voice this guy has!!

Stay Safe With Health Goals!!

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In a world filled with myths and uneducated guesses in the field of fitness and nutrition, it’s easy to get caught up in the January ‘Diet Club’ Rush. It’s GREAT that you want to get fit and healthy- but if you’re thinking of signing up to anything after Christmas please check qualifications. Nutritional advice shouldn’t be a guessing game. It takes three weeks to become a qualified Personal Trainer…A good personal trainer will have furthered themselves more. An excellent personal trainer NEVER stops learning. Be wise! Make sure that your New Year’s resolutions are done safely. The main goal always being – good health.

Now that I’m studying nutrition my eyes have been opened to a whole new world. I despair at some of the advice being given out by some ‘professionals’. We’ll chat more about goal Setting over the next few weeks!

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I’ve got some top tips for you guys! I think finding a ‘happy medium’ over Christmas is important. Treat yourself and have a great time but is there really any need to eat 12 mince pies in a day?! I have Christmas Day off to eat what I want and I treat myself at parties but in moderation. I’m mindful. I don’t like putting rubbish into my body so if I’m going to consume extra sugar/fats then it’s gotta be seriously good grub!! It’s never worth the sugar rush come down at the end! So be wise in your choices! You can still have an awesome time without making yourself feel sick on an entire tin of chocolates!

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Congratulations to my fiancé Tom @TP_PTfitness who is in unbelievable condition after completing a 12 week program. Tom is a personal trainer so he’s always in fab condition but he’s upped his game even more recently for a fitness shoot – well done babe, THAT is some serious dedication! It’s pretty inspiring when you see what can be achieved in such a short time with right knowledge.

On that note! Here’s an awesome Christmas treat from my lovely pals @nakeddeli – I made these this week. A great healthy alternative as a Christmas treat:

Paleo Christmas Trees

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Makes 24

Ingredients-
3/4 cup whey protein
1.5 cups almonds
0.5 cups coconut oil
1/3 cup ginger
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 egg
2 tbsp almond milk
1 tbsp honey
3/4 cup coconut sugar
Nut Meg + salt to taste

Method-
Add all dry ingredients together in mixing bowl and mix
Add coconut oil, egg, milk and honey
Mix together using hands
Sprinkle some almond flour on a clean surface and roll out tough to 1cm thick
Use cookie cutter to shape
Place on baking tray lined with grease proof paper and bake at 180 for 10-15 minutes until golden brown

Enjoy!!

Stay Happy, Stay Heathy and Dream Big.

Love Auntie Cath
xxx

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