My last week in Weatherfield and keeping a ‘Peachy Bum’

Well! My last week in Weatherfield before I become a momma!!! Eeeeek!! It’s gone so fast. It’s been quite emotional filming my last scenes here for a while. I am going to miss Eva over these next few months, and I am going to miss my Corrie family massively.

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Big thank-you to all my fellow cast mates for looking after me. Especially my Telly Fella Ryan Thomas (aka Jason Grimshaw) who for the past few months has been on-tap with daddy-tips, back rubs, pickles and bear hugs. Love you Ry – Thank you for putting up with me!! I adore working on Coronation Street as you know, and I’m a workaholic so I never thought I’d say these words- but – I CAN NOT WAIT for a break!! I’ve never been so busy!

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Baby has been so very patient, waiting for me to rest – and let me tell you – I fully intend to do so!! The next few weeks before this little dude arrives will consist of nice walks, swimming, reading and PLENTY of pampering!!!

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Also got a few box sets to watch- the lovely Sue Cleaver has recommended ‘American Horror Story’ anyone seen that?

Big congrats to the uber talented Katherine Kelly (you’ll all remember her as the infamous Becky Granger right?) well Kate hasn’t stopped since she departed Weatherfield. From Lady Mae in Mr Selfridge to Claire Reid in Red Productions ‘The Guilty’ Kate has impressed non stop since graduating from RADA.

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Kate is currently starring in Cy Colemans ‘City of Angels’ at the Donmar theatre. Unsurprisingly the reviews have been fantastic and I’m really hoping I get chance to go and see the show in January.

Well done to all cast and crew and break legs for the continuation of the run!!

The first instalment of ‘What Would Kirk Do? ‘ was released last week. It’s been a great success. You can catch my instalment this week – log onto ITV.com to watch and participate!!

We also have a snazzy new Bistro after Nick decides on a refurb! Check it out! Posh or what!?

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This week I spoke to top Celebrity chef Andrew Nutter @nutsfood , owner of one of my favorite restaurants ‘Nutters’ http://www.nuttersrestaurant.co.uk/

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As Christmas Day approaches- we all want our Christmas lunch to kick ass right? Well here’s some top tips from Andrew (obvs number 5 is my fave ;-)

1 – Pre preparation is the key – get as much as you can done the night before.

2 – Get the family involved – there’s never a more prouder moment than saying – ” I did that ” or “I helped with that”cath6

3 – Don’t over cook your sprouts – simmer gently until al dente / drain / then toss in hot garlic butter with a shower of frazzled bacon.

4 – Less is more with Xmas pudding or why not try something different and do a sticky toffee pudding – but in the sauce try adding a generous spoonful of mince meat – all the flavours of Christmas without the sometimes heaviness of the traditional pud.

5 – Dessert served – feet up / Xmas day Corrie on and get someone ekes to do the washing up !!!!

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Here’s one of my favourite exercises. We did a lot of reps at the start of the week and I’m STILL aching (I secretly love that ache though :-) It’s my body’s way of saying ‘Thank you’ !! Below Tom ( TP_PTfitness) explains the Romanian Single Leg Squat- I usually do this with weights but as my pregnancy has entered the third trimester – body weight is MORE than enough!! It’s all about adapting as you grow! But this is a great exercise during pregnancy – giving you great shape around your quads and keeping that ass peachy!!

ROMANIAN SINGLE LEG SQUAT

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• Placing one foot on a bench behind you deactivates your back leg and transfers the emphasis to the front leg, giving you a unilateral workout.

• Stand looking forward with torso upright, core braced and hips square to your body, resting your back foot on bench. Your leading leg should be half a metre or so in front of bench.

• Lower until your front thigh is almost horizontal, keeping your knee in line with your foot. Don’t let your front knee travel beyond your toes.

• Return to starting position, standing tall engaging core and then repeat.

MUSCLES USED

• Primary muscle used is Quadriceps

• Secondary, glutes and hamstrings

Keep squatting ladies!!! Your tummy might take a while to regain definition after the baby arrives but your rear can be an absolute peach throughout!

Mery Xmas everyone and DREAM BIG!

Love Aunty Cath xxx

Posh cars, posh jam and Cuddles with Auntie Brooke

I have been lucky enough to be involved in a Coronation Street online mini-series! Its called What Would Kirk Do? 

What Would Kirk Do? is Coronation Street‘s first interactive online mini-series.Fan favourite Kirk our lovely Andy Whyment (@Andywhyment81) is finally getting married, but before he does there are certain issues he has to overcome and he needs your help! For the first time ever, Coronation Street fans can take control of Kirk’s destiny and choose from one of three endings to each comedy situation.

 

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Guest starring some of Corrie’s most fabulous faces, including Maria, Craig, Chesney, Sinead, Beth, my good self (and a well hidden bump) and the man himself Kirk of course! Its been so much fun to work on – it Launches 12th Dec so log onto ITV.COM for more info – we hope you enjoy it :-)

My Tom had a mahoooosive treat this week! My good friend’s David Castle and Paul Cavanagh at St. James’s Place have been working with Aston Martin. So Tom managed to get his paws on a couple of nice cars for a while :-) Needless to say – he now thinks he’s James Bond! He’d better get his finger out because I’ve fallen in love with these cars! I’m really low maintenance…honest ;-)

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Meanwhile I have been chatting to health and fitness expert Glenn Parker. Glenn was fortunate enough to work with UP Fitness to do a huge body transformation! He’s now constantly inspiring other people determined to change their lifestyles and get fit.

The challenge was set to Glenn in 2010 – it was a groundbbreaking project working with the big man himself -Nick Mitchell founder and owner of UPfitness Ltd. The media went crazy and Glenn ended up being in Men’s Fitness In the UK, Germany and as far as Australia.

He was 25.4 % Body-fat while weighing 98.4kg and was not confident. He was however uber determined!! He had 15 weeks to get from fat to lean and end up on the front cover of a major fitness magazine! Talk about pressure!

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The diet was a complete change. Where pizzas and burgers were mainstream he now had to go carb free. Eating just lean meats, fish and plenty of green vegetables!

Glenn said: “Training was rigorous. I had to train body-parts every morning and every afternoon. Using different rep ranges to obtain a different training stimulus. While the addition of abs was every other training session. At the end of this event I finished at 5.4% BF weighing in at 86.4kg I had lost 12kg and 21% BF.

“This is not an everyday occurrence. I had worked hard and have that personality that will succeed in a challenge. But it just shows what amazing feats can be achieved. To whatever level. Anybody can achieve their own final fitness goals.”

Sooo guess what?? I’ve picked Glenn’s hench brains and he’s given you lot his top five fitness tips! I think stories like Glenn’s are SO inspiring. If he can do it- so can you!

Glenn’s top 5 Health and Fitness for a Body Transformation:

1. Set yourself some goals and have a plan. I needed a plan and a goal to succeed. So do you! This will enable you to give your best and stay consistent. Make your goals realistic. If they are to high this can be very un-motivational and you’ll struggle to perform. Get the help of a professional Personal Trainer if needs be.

2. Find a source of Motivation. Keeping in shape requires discipline. So find ways to keep you on track. These are various motivational ways you can use to keep you towards achieving your goal.

-take photos of yourself through your journey

-get a training partner or a group class for encouragement/competition

-measure the circumference of your body-parts with a tape measure

-measure your results. Are you losing weight? Are you losing BF%?

-imagine you’re success at the end of the road. Always keep that vision in mind.

3. The Correct Nutrition Quality and Portion Sizes. Eat the correct nutritional quality of foods and portion size. Overeating with bad food choices will cause laziness and stop progression. Under eating is just as negative – you will just grab anything and compromise the quality of food. Make sure you get a healthy balanced macro nutrient choice rather than eating fast and processed foods.

4. Sleep and Recovery. This is an important part of your fitness journey . It’s not just Diet and Exercise that helps create the body you want. It’s also sleep and resting which will allow your body to recover.

5. Water. Hydration is key to your body functioning well. It also essential for your exercise and recovery when training. Drinking water will also give you that full feeling. It helps you keep control when your hungry.

These are small tips I personally used when I performed my own transformation.

Glenn Parker, Senior Trainer – UP Fitness, @GPtransformer

So I only have two weeks left before I go on maternity leave!!! Eeek! I’m going to miss everyone so much!! I think bump will too. Especially my ‘roomie’ Brooke Vincent – Brooke and Bump love a cuddle in the green room. He’s been kicking her lots this week!

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My pal Katie Healey sent me lovely gift for baby this week – a Harmony ball. It’s a silver jewel worn as a pendant on the belly of the pregnant woman. The magic little sound of the chime ball will rock and calm your baby throughout and after your pregnancy. How cool is that?? Thank you Katie :-) I’m not sure its working on my boy yet – but it sent Brooke to sleep!

I’m going to leave you with another gorgeous festive recipe from @nakeddeli. It’s gorgeous on toasted rye bread or sourdough.

Spiced Prune & Smoked bacon Jam

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Ingredients:

1 Red onion, sliced
6 Rashers organic smoked bacon finely chopped
300gram Prunes, roughly chopped
3 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
4 tbsp maple syrup
4 tbsp all spice
1 tsp fresh nutmeg
1 tbsp tomato puree

Method:

Sautee onions with bacon until golden (in a wide heavy bodied pan)
Add the prunes and puree cook on medium heat for 5 mins, add maple, balsamic & all spice and reduce until about half left.
Now add enough water to cover and simmer stirring often, when water is nearly evaporated top up again and repeat 4-5 times until thickened
Season to taste and finish with nutmeg……….. Stick in a jar and put to one side

You can thank me later ;-)

Stay happy, stay healthy, stay festive and Dream BIG!

Love

Auntie Cath!

A romantic retreat for two and a delicious clean Christmas recipe – just for you!

Haven’t I been the lucky bunny this week?!

I haven’t had a day off work in weeks so when we saw a couple of free days in my busy schedule , my lovely Tom decided we should take advantage. Tom took me to Oulton Hall just outside Leeds (http://www.qhotels.co.uk/our-locations/oulton-hall/)cath2-a

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A huge driveway lead us into a rather grand entrance – a beautiful 18th century former family mansion. Incredible gardens, a huge golf course (totally Tom’s bag!), and a state of the art spa (utterly my bag :) )

This little break was about locking ourselves up in a little bubble of luxurious bliss. There was a fab private room within the spa with our very own hot tub and herbal steam room, along with two treatment beds where our therapists spoiled us rotten with massage and facials. We ate a lovely paleo lunch in the room too, completely closed off to the rest of the world. My idea of heaven!

 

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On our first night there we dined at the Calverley Grill – the food was to die for. On our second day, after a sneaky gym session (obvs) and our treatments, we were that zoned out – room service was the only way forward. We realised that we’d never actually had a day like this – you know – when you stay in one spot all day? Be pampered and indulge in christmas films and lovely food? Let me tell you – we’ll be making time to do it again – SOON!

 

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Lads turn away now! I’d like to talk about your pelvic floor please ladies!!

Your pelvic floor is a broad sling of muscles, ligaments and sheet-like tissues that stretch from your pubic bone at the front of your body, to the base of your spine at the back.
But if it bears weight for a long time (as it does during pregnancy) the muscles or tissues can become overstretched and weak. Having a weak pelvic floor can lead to incontinence as it supports your muscles surrounding your bladder and bowel. If you do your pelvic floor exercises however, it can help to protect you from leaking wee while you’re pregnant and after your baby is born (nobody wants that now, do they!?), and it will also help to prevent a prolapse.

Due to my training, much of the time I have been engaging my pelvic floor muscles without even realising it. But here is a great exercise to help strengthen those muscles (also helps to tone bum and hamstrings too – winner!)

 

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Pelvic Floor Thrust:

Lie flat on back with knees bent, feet flat on floor about hip-width apart, and both arms extended by side. Lift pelvis off the floor and press hips as high as possible, squeezing buttocks. Hold for 5 counts, then slowly release hips back down to the floor. Do 8-12 reps. You can do this several times a day – the stronger the better! Guess what – it’ll enhance your sex life too :-)

 

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My lovely Tom played a charity football match this week - Corrie and Emmerdale v. Hale Country Club PT’s! Normally Id be cheering for team Corrie – but my loyalty lay with my man! Guess what? Tom’s team won! 2-1! Well done to everyone who took part. All proceeds go to Children in Need.

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Now then- here’s a treat! My lovely pals at The Naked Deli (@nakeddeli) have sent me the most luscious festive recipes to try :-) All their food is clean, Paleo and organic (if only there were more places like this!!!) Here’s two of my favorites that we cooked up this week! Delicious! Enjoy!

Naked-Nog (also vegan!)
Ingredients:

40ml Almond Milk
2 x tablespoon coconut milk
2 x tablespoon raw maple syrup
1 x teaspoon vanilla extract
1 x teaspoon cinnamon
1 x teaspoon nutmeg
small pinch of all spice
half a ripe avocado

Method:

Add all ingredients to blender, blend for 30secs …… soooo easy and deliciously creamy enjoy hot or cold

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Naked Christmas balls
For the balls:

2 x cups currants
2 x cups raisins
2 x sultanas
2 x cups almonds
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp all spice

For topping:

1 block coconut cream
250ml hot water
zest of 1 orange
1 tsp vanilla

Method:

Blend all of the ball ingredients for approx 60 seconds then simply roll into golf ball sized balls put to one side. For the topping, mix the coconut block in hot water, add zest and vanilla and mix together (may need to place in freezer to thicken for ten mins), then simply dip the ball in the topping and decorate with a goji berry and a little zest.

Now, I’ve spoken before about the benefits of boxing – I’m a huge fan. I plan on including boxing in my post-baby workouts. Such a great way of keeping fit. Thus I’m uber excited about a certain HUGE charity event taking part January 31st.

Bump, Tom and I will be in full attendance (Rocky Balboa who?!)

The website for info is http://mcrsportsandentertainment.com/ Twitter – @Manchester_SEL

The fundraising night takes place at Manchester’s Event City, for three Manchester based charities: Once Upon A Smile , Children’s Adventure Farm Trust and and Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity. It’s going to be a star studded night of sport and entertainment, normally found only in Las Vegas! (Excited Much!!??)

 

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Lots of pro and ex pro boxers are going like Paulie Malignaggi, Scott Quigg, Anthony Crolla, Tommy Coyle, Josh Warrington and Johnny Nelson and trainer Joe Gallagher.

After the boxing, the venue apparently will turn into a gaming palace and Viva Las Vegas-esque super club, with Internationally renowned DJ Brandon Brock spinning the tunes till the early hours. Woohoo!

Next week, I’ll be chatting all things health and fitness with non other than Glenn Parker (@GPTransformer ). STAY TUNED!!!

Stay Happy, Stay Healthy and Dream Big!

Lazy Sundays, puppy cuddles and Christmas markets!

Starting my week with an uber chilled weekend was bloody lovely! And very much needed! We ventured over to my friends pub in Chorlton – ‘The Parlour’, their Sunday roast is to die for!! So we enjoyed our Sunday dinner there and had a mooch around the local shops and deli’s. Perfect lazy Sunday (might as well get em in before baby arrives right mummy’s?!)

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We’ve had Dexter most of the week too – so I’ve had lots of puppy cuddles to come home to, which has been lovely!

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I’ve felt slightly needy this week :-( back ache is well and truly kicking in along with all kinds of weird aches and pains – apparently all normal as my body grows and prepares for baby . Exciting-yes! But also pretty draining! I can’t believe how fast my pregnancy is going. It seems to be flying by, each day that passes I know I’m one day closer to meeting my son. I can’t wait!!! Something that I’ve found uber useful is a ‘Pregnancy Girdle’. My good friend, interior designer Alexandra Thompson recommended I take a look at these, and I have to say – now that bump is so big- it really does seem to help. The bottom of my back seems to ache less when I wear it, and although I’m conscious of my posture anyway- this definitely helps when I’m tired. They’re not the most attractive item you’ve ever seen- but worth investing as you grow for sure! Girdle up girls!

I’ve managed to get a couple of home gym sessions in this week! Oh how I’ve missed those Kettle-bells! As well as some swimming :-) From around 20 weeks your body produces a hormone called ‘Relaxin’ … It kinda does what it says on the tin to be honest.

The placenta produces this hormone and it basically helps your whole body physically become a bit looser.

During pregnancy, your uterus grows from about the size of a tennis ball to the size of a beach ball (she gulps) Relaxin relaxes the intrauterine ligaments, allowing the uterus and pelvis to expand (all those weird aches and pulling pains?? That’ll be the Relaxin!) Your musclucer skeletal system also loosens up, giving you more flexible joints and more curvature in the back – simply your body’s amazing way of preparing you to carry your baby and deliver your baby- pretty awesome eh?! HOWEVER! When hitting the gym it is VITAL – I repeat VITAL that you warm up correctly! You’re now a string of over cooked spaghetti – waaaaay too many pregnant ladies cause themselves injury by not taking this hormone into account. Due to my resistance training background – I’ve created a great base for my body to work with – the stronger you are , the more able you are to adapt and listen to your body’s bed continue training. If you didn’t exercise before pregnancy (why the hell not?!) then I’d say walking and swimming is about your limit. If your body isn’t used to a certain activity- pregnancy is NOT the time to take it up!! Be careful yummy mummy!

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Tom and I enjoyed a trip to the German Markets this week :-) They come to Manchester each year and I never get bored of them. Although I wasn’t necking ‘Mulled Wine’ and Hot cider this year- we had a ball! There may have been a sneaky Hot Chocolate involved… Ahem! Don’t you just love Christmas?! Well our little trip has inspired me to bob our Christmas tree up! I say ‘me’… Actually I’m uber lucky because one of my best pals is interior designer Rebecca Green- so she has done the most wonderful job turning our home into a cosy Christmas fest!! Thank you Becky!! Yes, yes, I know it’s early… But I’m way too giddy and festive now. Tom had to restrain me from putting the decorations up straight after bonfire night! I should probably grow up a bit eh? Naaaahhhh!!!ru

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I’m going to be sharing some gorgeous festive recipes with you lot- starting next week . I’d love to hear what your favorite recipes are too. You can tweet me @cath_tyldesley – the best recipes will go in my blog. All this cooking Tom and I do for you lot! What a hardship eh? ;-)

People always ask me for breakfast ideas- well here’s a great one for all the family! To be fair – it’s Great any time of the day. Makes a fab breakfast, lunch or dinner! Enjoy!

Auntie Caths Fantastic Frittata!!

• 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into small pieces

• 8 large eggs

• 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard, divided

• 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

• 1 Tsp coconut oil

• 1 small red onion, diced (1 cup)

• Large handful of kale roughly chopped into small pieces

• ½ cup crumbled goat cheese (2 oz.)

1. Preheat oven to 200, Place sweet potato pieces in medium microwave-safe bowl. Add 1/2 cup water, cover, and microwave on high power 5 minutes, or until tender. Drain.

2. Meanwhile, whisk together eggs, mustard, and vinegar; season with salt and pepper.

3. Coat large oven proof non stick skillet with coconut oil. Add oil, and place over medium-high heat. Add onion, and sauté 3 minutes, or until onion begins to soften. Add kale, and cook 2 minutes- until kale is wilted but still bright green. Add sweet potato, and toss to blend, arranging vegetables over bottom of skillet.

4. Carefully pour eggs over top without displacing vegetables. Cook 3 minutes, or just until bottom of frittata is set.

5. Transfer skillet to oven. Bake 10 minutes, or until frittata is set in centre.

6. Using spatula, loosen frittata from skillet, and slide out onto a serving plate. Sprinkle with cheese; let stand 1 to 2 minutes to soften cheese. Cut frittata into 4 wedges, and serve. With crisp baby spinach , smoked salmon or bacon!! Yum!!

Until Next week!

Stay Happy, stay healthy, Dream BIG and get festive!!

Love

Auntie Cath and Bump

Xxx

TV Awards, listening to my Changing Body and Super-Smoothies!!

What a fab start to the week, we had a lovely time at The Royal Television Awards North West. Quite a few of us Corrie lot attend including Alison King, Debbie Rush, Ian Puleston- Davies, Katie McGlynn, Tisha Merry , Sean Ward, Oliver Farnworth and Les Dennis.
We were chuffed to bits when we won Best Continuing Drama Storyline (Hayley’s cancer battle)

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And a huge congratulations to my beautiful and talented friend Ali King who won Best Performance in a Continuing Drama! Were all so proud of the show, award ceremonies are such a lovely chance for us all to be together and celebrate. (Although I was of course just toasting our success with water :-)

Big thank you to designer Nadine Merabi for my beautiful maternity dress!!

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Bump and I loved it!!

It was also lovely to see my old pal James Sutton there too- currently playing the wonderful John Paul Mqueen in ‘Hollyoaks’.

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Big congrats to Red Productions Company who picked up the judges award for making a significant contribution to the region at the RTS North West Awards. I’m a huge fan of Red- their Productions are fantastic.

If it’s a Red Production – I always tune in as I know Ill be hooked. So I’m doubly excited to see our ‘Keegs’ (Michelle Keegan) in one of their latest projects ‘Ordinary Lies’.

This week has been busy… something has had to give… Much to my dismay it has had to be my sessions with Paul :-( . Last week I did one session with Paul and swam twice for 45 mins… Alongside work I felt exhausted. Honestly? I remember observing some of my friends during their pregnancies and thinking – why aren’t you exercising? What’s with all the carbs? You’re not active enough… Now I’m pregnant – I stand by my views …BUT – I can totally see how their minds were working. It’s only due to my knowledge surrounding health and fitness that I haven’t fallen into the same trap. I’m six months pregnant and thus far I have sustained weight training, swimming, yoga and 12-14 hour work days, 5 days a week. Yet I am STILL beating myself up that I am not doing enough. Tom has to constantly say to me ‘you’re pregnant Cath!! Your bound to feel exhausted’ More than ever before I have to listen to my body- and I DO!! Before pregnancy, if I felt tired or unable to train – I’d simply have a large strong coffee and ‘crack on’ . I can’t do that now – I’m learning fast and quick that being selfish has zero space in Motherhood. However I still maintain that health (mental and physical) permitting – it IS important to keep fit during pregnancy. It’s so much better for you and baby. I suspect Ill swim a lot more once I’m on maternity leave before the little chap arrives. I adore the feeling of weightlesness. It chills me out- and is an awesome form of exercise. It also helps get baby into optimal position in your last trimester. I’m a little quieter after next week so I’ll be training with @paul_boys then and posting some further fab exercises for you guys to try..

The talented Mr Jack P Shepherd (aka David Platt) and I have been out and about on location this week filming scenes connected to ‘Kylie’s’ storylines – Jack and I are working together a lot at the moment. Which is great – he’s a brilliant actor technically and emotionally, and off screen he has me crying with laughter. We’ve been back and forth to some not-so- glamours locations including pubs that look like they should be on the set of ‘Shameless’, boarded up disused housing estates and local supermarkets (much to the other shoppers dismay! Don’t think they were too impressed when they couldn’t do their ‘big shop’ because of David Platt and Eva Price!)

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This week I’ve been making lots of energy boosting snacks and foods to help me sustain my energy at work – This smoothie recipe is fab when you need a kick!

Cath’s Kickin Kale Smoothie

Ingredients:
1 1/2 c Almond Milk (unsweetened)
1 1/2 heaping tbs. Almond or cashew Butter, raw
1 Banana, frozen
1 Cup of frozen blueberries
2 cups of Kale
1 tbs Hemp Seeds
1 tbs Rice Bran
1tsp Manuka Honey

Instructions:
Blend up in a high speed blender until completely smooth (no chunks or bumps).
Sprinkle with Hemp Seeds

It’s lush! If you add some ice and bob it in a shaker you can take it to work, just shake it up and enjoy when you feel you need it!! Fab for us mum’s to be that our watching our caffeine intake too!!

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I’ve also found cold showers first thing in the morning really beneficial (no I haven’t lost my mind) . Of course it wakes you up – but it also it increases your metabolism, recovers your body quickly after exercise, strengthens immunity and circulation, and refines ones hair and skin!!! I sooooo wish Id started this sooner. I’m not going to lie- it’s horrid at first! I HATE being cold, but since ‘The Great Swim’ , I’ve gotten used to it! Now I know what the benefits are I will keep up with it. Try it first just for 5 seconds, then the next day aim for ten. Then fifteen… Etc. Built on it each day until you can withstand a good minute or two- you’ll feel fabulous I promise!!

Stay happy, stay healthy and dream big!!

Love
Auntie Cath & Bump

Xx

Chihuahua ‘Date Night’, Special Friends and Massage for Bump!

I’ve spoken before about the benefits of massage- this week my masseuse Ashleigh Guthrie launched her spa ‘City Spa Escapes’, It was a fabulous night. Lots of fantastic treatments AND cocktail making! I made a Virgin cocktail for bump and I – I did the ‘Rovers Return’ proud! Dexter the Chihuahua was of course in attendance as my ‘date’ in his little tux – beyond cute!

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Congratulations Ashleigh!! Ash is the best in her field . Before pregnancy I had regular sports massage (painful but very necessary!)
Or sometimes I’d enjoy a relaxation massage in times of stress – this for me is the best way to unwind. I often meditate during massage. Now that I’m pregnant sports massage or anything that induces lymphatic drainage is a no go. However I’ve been thoroughly enjoying pre-natal massages.

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Prenatal massage shares lots of the goals of regular massage ­– to relax muscles, ease sore spots, improve circulation and mobility…and… Well …just make you feel fab! Please ensure your therapist is specifically trained in pre-natal massage as their techniques may differ from what you are used to. Your body is enduring massive changes- a good therapist will be aware of all these changes- physical and mental. I have found massage whist pregnant an absolute God send! It’s definitly helping with my lower back pain and headaches but more than anything it relaxes my entire body and mind- something SO important during this time. I’m still working full time and rushing around as per, as well as the usual anxieties and physical/mental changes of pregnancy- mummy’s to be we MUST relax!!! It’s so important. The more relaxed you are the easier your pregnancy and birth will be. So get your mates/other half to treat you to a fab massage!! I’m very lucky that Tom will massage my feet and shoulders while at home too (come on ladies- it’s the least they can do right?!)

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We had some of my old school friends round on Sunday – I grew up with these girls from nursery onwards and I’m proud to say we are still all close.  Tom really gets on with their other halves so they caught up on footie while us girls talked about the important stuff – nipple pads, baby sick and the wonder of dry shampoo ( to think a couple of years ago we were talking about Ibiza, cocktails and Jimmy Choo’s) .So Tom made a big pot of chilli and we all had a great time. My friend Kate brought her baby George round – he really took to Tom – they looked to be having a great time too! He’s so wonderful with children.

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Plenty of swimming was also had this week – I love it more than ever! Guess what – bump and I managed to beat our ‘Great Swim’ time this week! Pretty chuffed with that! Weight training is getting harder and harder now I’m getting heavier, so much of the time we are using body weight/ small weights. As much as I miss dead-lifting like ‘Arnie’ – its SO important to know your limits and have a PT to help you during pregnancy. As always @paul_boys has been fantastic in altering my program to suit my changing body and energy levels.

This week I interviewed my friend Sally. One of the most inspiring people I know. Please take a moment to read her story- she has been selling some very special calendars for next year. They’re beautiful. We’ve all bought ours here in Weatherfield … Here’s why…

My story is as follows:

“Hello. My name is Sally Blood. I am 43 years old and I’m currently battling ovarian cancer for the second time.  Unfortunately it is incurable, however I do not intend leaving this planet any time soon.

I have been a patient of Dr. Welsh at The Christie Hospital for the last 3 years.  The Christie is an amazing Hospital that specialise in all kinds of cancer and is a leading research centre too.

I have received numerous chemotherapy cycles, which I cannot deny are not pleasant, however the treatment I have received, together with a new trial drug I will be taking for life, is giving me hope.  Hope that new medicine is continually being found, and the hope that more and more lives can be saved.

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So, to keep me busy and occupy my day, I want to raise as much funds as possible for the research into ovarian cancer.  Can you believe that 20 years ago, only 20% of patients diagnosed with ovarian cancer survived? Unfortunately those statistics still stand today.

My latest project to raise vital funds for The Christie, and raise awareness, is a charity baby/toddler calendar.  The calendars are priced at 10 each 12 including P&P), and I have already sold 350 calendars so far!  All babies photographed in this calendar are either family or friends’ children, meaning this is very personal to me.

All proceeds from the sale of this calendar are going via my charity’s fund-raising page, which is ‘Sally’s Army’ to The Christie Hospital, in particular the research into ovarian cancer.

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If you would like a copy, click on the donation page below, add your full name and state how many calendars you require. Please then in box me your address, should you require postage.

Thank you for listening to my story.  Together we can all help beat cancer.

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/sallysarmy13

Many thanks.

Sally”

If you can afford to buy a calendar please do – The Christie is an amazing hospital. They have helped my family and friends so much throughout the years. The treatment and research facilities there are second to none :

http://www.christie.nhs.uk/

Until next week my little Health Bunnies!

Stay Happy, Stay Healthy, DREAM BIG and THANKYOU for reading!

Love

Auntie Cath xx

Baby Kicks, Boobs and Winter Warming!

This week we’ve been filming NYE!! We must have sang Auld Lang Syne a million times. This poor baby will probably have a phobia of New Years Eve’s for the rest of his life! I’ve also been lucky enough to do a little presenting this week – will keep you posted on that. It’s something I really enjoy.

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This ‘little’ bump is quite a big bump now. And his favourite thing to do is kick! There’s no better feeling :-) feeling my baby kick is so magical. We stopped by the art dept at Corrie to see my best friend Peter, where baby put on a full performance of the ‘Can-Can’ for ‘Uncle Pete’. Bump is a bit of a show off – I don’t know where he gets it from!

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Saturday was exciting as we met up with events planner Liz Taylor to discuss potential venues and ideas for our wedding :-) I’m keeping hush, hush on those plans but let’s just say it’s going to be pretty special. Weddings and babies eh? Oh my God! I think I might actually be a ‘grown-up’ now! (Well…just ;-))

With this weeks schedule being as busy as ever we’ve been utilising our brand new home-gym! It’s almost finished now, we just need some gym mirrors putting up! Having some weights and a bench at home is a great idea when we’re both short on time. We decided a while ago to convert our smelly old garage (which if I’m honest was nothing short of a dumping ground!) into a little gym. Looks a damn sight better right?!

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As my pregnancy progresses inevitably I have lost strength and there are certain exercises I can no longer perform. But low weights and high reps are great during pregnancy. So I’m not lifting much but I am maintaining as much muscle mass as possible, so that I can resume normal training quicker when our little bundle arrives. The Dumbbell bench press is a great exercises- especially during pregnancy if you want to keep those ever-growing boobs pointing in the right direction ladies!

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Below my lovely fiancé @TP_PPtfitness explains how to perform the press correctly:

Dumbbell Bench press

1.Lie on the bench with a dumbbell in each hand and your feet flat on the floor.

2.Push the dumbbells up so that your arms are directly over your shoulders and your palms are up.

3.Pull your abdominals in, and tilt your chin toward your chest.

4.Lower the dumbbells down and a little to the side until your elbows are slightly below your shoulders.

5.Roll your shoulder blades back and down, like you’re pinching them together and accentuating your chest.

6.Push the weights back up, taking care not to lock your elbows or allow your shoulder blades to rise off the bench.

Muscles used

Primary – Pectorals

Secondary – Triceps

Whist were on the subject of ‘pectorals’ one of the best pieces of advice my good pal Kate Kelly gave me – is spend money on good bra’s during pregnancy! Your busoms go through quite a bit during and after – especially if you’re breast-feeding. Its vital to be fitted properly and be correctly supported throughout. This can get quite pricey – if like me, there appears to be no sign of a ‘plateau’ but I promise you ladies, its worth every penny. Being fitted correctly every 6-8 weeks during pregnancy is vital, and a damn sight cheaper than a new pair of boobs! So I contacted my good friend, stylist to the stars – Martine Alexander (@yourstylist) Below she gives her top tips for keeping ‘a breast’ of things:

“Make sure you wear the right size bra when you’re pregnant. Don’t just guess your size, get measured. There are great department stores, pregnancy stores and lingerie boutiques that offer free measuring services. Not only will this stop your breasts feeling sore with a wire digging in, it’ll also stop you ‘overspilling’ and looking like you have ‘4-boobs’.

Wire free bras are the way forward when you’re pregnant, although you can continue to wear wired bras as long as they’re comfortable. Non-wired bras, as well as being more comfortable, have more give in them whilst your breasts change which is a bonus! Plus, they will help your breasts retain their shape once you have your baby. They also can prevent breast tissue damage and blocked milk ducts.

Be prepared to change your bras as your breasts change sizes throughout your pregnancy. It may be a costly exercise but it’ll be worth it for all the comfort you get. A great tip is to buy a bra that feels perfect when on the tightest hook at the back. As your bump grows and the bra feels tighter, adjust your bra and use the looser hook. That way you get more longevity from your purchases!

So, how do you know if your bra fits you well? This advice is the same for everyone, not just pregnant ladies:

1. The fabric around your body should fit you snugly. None of us want the dreaded ‘back fat’ BUT its crucial your bra fits you well and the back shouldn’t ride up – if it does, it means the cup size on your bra is too small and your back size is too big

2. If you’re wearing a wired bra, the wire should sit fully under your breast with the wire sitting flush against your ribcage at the front (in your cleavage area) and not poke out. You shouldn’t be able to get a finger between your ribcage and bra

3. The fabric in the actual bra cup should encase your breast, without any spilling out at the front or side. If there is, go up a cup size”

Thanks Martine! Really fab advice there!

Now – its been bloody cold right? You fancy some comfort food…right? Well you’re in for a treat! This week I made a beautiful stew, I’ve tweaked a few things to make this recipe paleo ( you can thank me when you’re belly is full) So it’s guilt free, packed with nutrients and makes you feel all warm and cosy inside :-) Win-Win!

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Auntie Caths Winter Stew

•2 1/2 lbs of lean lamb cubed into 1 1/2 inch cubes, rubbed with salt and pepper

•2 medium onions coarsely chopped

•4 tbsp coconut oil

•4 cloves of garlic crushed

•1 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin

•1 teaspoon of cinnamon

•1 teaspoon of ground ginger/easy ginger

•1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander

•1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

•1 cup of chicken or vegetable stock

•14.5 oz can of drained diced tomatoes

•1 cup of chopped dried Turkish apricots

•2 bay leaves

•1/4 cup of toasted cashew nuts

Brown your lamb pieces in 2 tbsp of coconut oil for 2 – 3 minutes on a medium high heat and then transfer to your slow cooker. Reduce the heat to medium, add another 2 tbsp of oil to the pan, the onions and a 1/4 tsp of salt and cook for approximately 5 minutes till onions are translucent. Stir regularly.

Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, Add the spices and stir evenly so the onions is evenly coated. Cook for about 2 minutes until the spices have become fragrant, DONT let them burn guys!

Add the stock while stirring through properly. Transfer to the slow cooker, add the remaining ingredients and stir everything together. Set the slow cooker for 6 hours – soooooo worth it I promise!!

Remove the bay leaves before serving. Top with toasted cashew nuts. We serve ours with sweet potato mash – GORGEOUS!! Enjoy!

Until next week – Stay Happy, stay healthy and DREAM BIG!

Love

Auntie Cath & Bump

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Being proud of my pregnancy body and trying out hypnobirthing and yoga

I’ve had quite a few tweets and letters asking my advice on pregnancy fitness.

Something that I have noticed from reading your letters is how negatively some women are viewing these changes to their amazing bodies. I strongly believe the media is responsible.

New mums and mums to be, confused as to ‘ Why don’t we look like the celebs in the magazines’ , ‘how do celebs stay skinny while pregnant?’ (not something that should cross a pregnant ladies mind) Skinny+pregnant = not healthy (excusing certain medical conditions obviously) strong+ pregnant = best for you and baby! No brainer! It has always amazed me that some people view a ladies pregnant body in a negative way. To comment on something so wonderful in a hurtful way. We are bombarded of pictures of ‘celebrities’ posting photographs of themselves 5 minutes after giving birth looking … Well…tiny. Ridiculously tiny. Not an ounce of cellulite, a perfectly flat tummy and perky boobs to boot! I train hard and eat well, but inevitably I am of course gaining weight during pregnancy.

Each mother is different. You could be the healthiest eater in the word and train for the whole 9 months but if your hormones dictate that you are to store fat in a less than desirable area. Then there’s not much one can do. I’m a firm believer in keeping fit during pregnancy and I certainly don’t believe junk food is at all necessary. It won’t do you any favours- and it won’t do baby any favours! There are some magazines out there commenting on the weight/shape of new mums. GIVE US a break!! It’s actually really refreshing to see pictures of celebrity looking ‘normal’ like the hundreds of other new mums out there. Instead of a mum that has jumped straight back into a pair of size 6 jeans and is swearing by ‘juicing’ (both unrealistic).

It became very clear to me from the start that all that matters for these special nine months of my life is that baby is healthy and I am healthy. That is as much as I can do. I fully intend to enjoy each day that my son is safe in my tummy and enjoy each day of my maternity leave without feeling like I’m a failure for not looking a million dollars.

What my body is doing is bloody amazing! Mums are AMAZING!! Hold your heads high yummy mummies!! Be happy, be healthy and deflect negativity from your life- you’re awesome.

I was lucky enough to enjoy a session with Cheryl MacDonald this week (author of ‘Birth Rocks’) Cheryl specialises in Hypnobirthing and yoga. One of the most important things for me as an expectant mother is lowering stress levels.

My job can keep me busy – if I do have a spare hour or two it’s SO important to use that time wisely. I’ve spoken in the past about how important meditation is. It certainly works for me- which is what has attracted me to researching Hypno birthing. Hypno Birthing is much more than simply self hypnosis or hypnotherapy for childbirth. With Hypno Birthing, you discover that severe pain does not have to be an accompaniment of labour. Hypno birthing practitioners like Cheryl help mum’s to-be learn how to release the fears and anxieties we may currently have about giving birth. It focusses on the joy and magic of birth – rather than the horrific ordeal everyone else seems hell-bent on telling you about! Most importantly for me (as a a self confessed control freak )- you learn how to put yourself back in control of your birth. Its gotta be worth a shot right? I’ll keep you guys updated as my sessions progress! It really does make so much sense though.

I’ve been struggling with backache this week, so I have been swimming rather than weight training. To ease the pressure on my back. I came up with a fab invention – a hot water bottle strapped to my back during filming. Simon Gregson took this picture. I’m thinking it may stand a chance on ‘Dragons Den’ what you reckon? No? Okay…

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It was my best friends birthday this week (Peter Eccleston). So we had a lovely ‘chippy tea’ as a treat. Jennie McAlpine came too, along with our friend Laura, who is also pregnant – there was a lot of oestrogen in that room! We had a gorgeous time. HAPPY BIRTHDAY PETE!!

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I had lunch with my good friend Armand Beasley (@ArmandBeasley) this week – make-up artist and Skin care expert. I’ve been moaning about my skin during the winter months for years – but since following Armands tips I have noticed a vast improvement! Here’s his top five tips to better skin!

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1. Hydration.
We all know that we should drink at least 2 litres of water a day but in the winter that can be tricky as we tend to crave warmth rather than a cold glass of water. There are a couple of ways around this: don’t store your water in the fridge, drink it at room temperature or have a pint of warm water (from the kettle) with some lemon first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. The latter is not only hydrating,it’s great for digestion.

2. Cleanse.
The most important part of a skincare regime, in my opinion, is cleansing.
It’s so important to ensure efficient removal, not only of make-up, but the dirt and debris of the day. Splashing your face with water alone is not enough to ensure that your skin is primed and ready for moisturiser. Invest in a cleansing cream if you have dry skin or a rinse off cleansing gel if you’re more oily. Face wipes should only be used in absolute emergencies! They should NOT replace a good quality cleanser…

3. Lip service.
Lips get a real battering in the winter months so invest a petroleum free lip product. Ingredients like jojoba oil, Shea butter and vitamin E are soothing and smoothing. Before applying, gently slough off any dry skin on the lips with a baby tooth brush. Once you have applied your lip balm you can start your make-up routine, so by the time you get to applying lipstick, your lip treatment should have absorbed in.

4. Handy tip.
Dry and wind chapped hands need a pamper too. A lot of the time we forget or loose our gloves so the hands are exposed to the elements. Also with the increase of using water free hand sanitisers, skin on the hands needs more hydration than ever. Lots of supermarkets and chemists sell travel size hand creams now so it’s easy to apply on the go. Choose one that contains Shea butter and a mineral ( zinc or titanium dioxide) SPF.

5. Eye opener!
I get quite a lot of emails from women, especially at this time of year, complaining about waking up with puffy eyes. Reasons for this can include alcohol consumption, poor sleep, flat pillows or something as simple as using your face cream too close to the eye. The skin around your eye area is about 40% thinner than the rest of the skin on your face, so always use a specific eye treatment and apply gently by patting the product ( size of a grain of rice) around the orbital bone with your ring finger ( this finger ensures the lightest touch). You face cream should never be used around the eye. If you’re prone to darkness then look out for eye gels which have ingredients like caffeine, arnica and green tea. Try and use a pillow which allows a slight elevation to your so that fluid can drain and not collect around the eyes ( always make sure that your neck is supported of course). armandinternationalltd.com

Until Next Week!

Stay Happy, Stay Healthy and DREAM BIG!

Love Auntie Cath

xx

Christmas in the Rovers, baby showers and homeopathy

I’m still covered in glitter and blimin tinsel. Feels like I live in Lapland at the moment. Been filming Christmas day this week. Such a special atmosphere on set when we film Christmas. Especially in the Rovers. We’ve also been out on some pretty rough locations in the depths of Salford (oh the glamour!) A great week though, shot some great scenes with Simon Gregson and Antony Cotton.

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Also this week we gave Jennie Mcalpine a baby shower at her lovely restaurant ‘Annie’s’, with only a few weeks to go I think you’ll all agree Jen looks absolutely fabulous. She really is glowing and cant wait to meet her little one. It was a lovely baby shower, nice to see so many friends all turn out to celebrate the impending arrival of her little one. Paula and I attended too and we all shared bump stories around some ginger ale and cake – perfect! Good luck Jen! You’re going to be such a wonderful mummy :-)

I have been so touched by the response and support I have had from other mum’s to be and yummy mummy’s that have also suffered with IBS like myself during pregnancy.. I just wanted to share with you some tips that I’m finding helpful at the moment. During pregnancy you’re very limited as to what medications are safe to take. So last week I saw a homoeopathic doctor. Her remedies seem to have helped. Homoeopathy has been practised for centuries and often cure people the way nature intended. Which in my opinion is always a good shout! I shall keep you updated on my treatment. Other things that can really help are Turmeric and aloe vera juice! Turmeric has been known to treat our body’s gastrointestinal system. Turmeric helps our stomach to withstand digestive acids, which can otherwise harm it. It calms the upper digestive system by getting rid of gas. Turmeric is also known to help increase absorption in intestine and promote intestinal flora. You can take capsules or drink it in hot water with lemon, as well as using it in cooking. Aloe vera juice is soothing and is well known to help IBS and acid reflux. Drinking aloe vera replenishes your body naturally with a huge range of nutrients. It contains approximately 200 active components including – vitamins A, B1,B2,B6, B12, C, E, folic acid and Niacin. I’ve found it really helps with bloating and indigestion. So rather than pumping ones body full of tablets full of all kinds – maybe it really is best to see what mother nature has provided for us first? Let me know how you get on guys!

My other half Tom cooked up a storm this week with his version of Paleo Carbonara

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Here’s the recipe – MUCH better for you than a regular carbonara dish and equally as yummy!!

Tom’s Paleo Carbonara

•1/2 pound pancetta, chopped

•2 medium courgettes, cut into strips or use a ‘spiralizer’

•3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

•1 clove garlic, minced

•1 teaspoon sea salt

•1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

•3 large egg yolks

•1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon of creme fraiche

•1 cup parmesan cheese, divided

•1/2 cup frozen peas

Prepare your courgette and let sit in a colander for 30 minutes. Heat a large pan over medium high heat. Add one tablespoon of olive oil then add in panchetta. Saute for 5 minutes or until they begin to crisp. Take off heat and bob to one side. Set a pan over medium high heat and add olive oil. Once hot add in courgette pasta and sauté for 5 minutes. Add in garlic, salt and pepper. Lower temperature. In a small bowl whisk egg yolks, add crème fraiche and add 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and mix with a fork. Increase heat to medium high and add in egg yolk mixture and peas. Bring to a boil then remove from heat and add in the panchetta and stir around. We like to add a blob of pesto sometimes too :-). Give it a go guys! Stunning! You can use the same principal for ‘Spag Bol’ too – kids love it as opposed to pumping them full of gluten/processed carbs.

Getting festive on the cobbles and boosting immunity!

Brrrrrr!!! Winter has hit for sure right? Heating on, fire on, onesie on! We’re shooting Christmas at work now, all our sets have Christmas decorations up, so it feels really wintry for us here at Corrie. Around October time you really need to start thinking about boosting your immunity.

We all know that autumn/winter is prime time for coughs, colds, flu and other lurgy! I always try to eat for immune health and swear by a good quality pro-biotic, but here are some foods that you should really strive to include in your diet, especially over the winter:

Kale
Sprouts
Spinach
Rocket
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Leeks
Carrots
Mushrooms
Tomatoes
Onions
Garlic

All the above can be quick and easy to cook with, or when you’re really in a rush – why not make a big batch of soup the night before? Or smoothies in the morning? These ‘Super foods’ really can help safe guard you against a lot of the winter ailments. For a lot of people, their diet is so full of bad fats, sugar and refined carbohydrates with very little fruit and veg that it really does leave your immunity levels very low, leaving you vulnerable to infections, viruses and diseases. One of my favourite recipes to help fight colds and flu is Dale Pinnocks ‘Flu Fighting Soup’

This onepot wonder of a soup is an absolute powerhouse when it comes to dealing with colds and flu. Don’t be put off by the goji berries – these sweet treats were once hard to find, and cost the earth, but thankfully they can now be found cheaply in any supermarket.

THE FAMOUS FLU FIGHTER
Serves 4

1 red onion, finely chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
5cm piece fresh root ginger, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium sweet potatoes, diced, skins left on
1 punnet shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 handfuls goji berries
Vegetable stock, to cover
Salt and black pepper

Put the onion, chilli, garlic and ginger in a large saucepan with the olive oil. Cook over a medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, until the onion softens.

Add the sweet potatoes and mushrooms to the pan along with the goji berries. Stir well, then add enough vegetable stock to cover all the ingredients. Simmer well for 10–15 minutes, until the potato is soft.

Season with salt and pepper. Carefully add the soup to a jug blender in batches, and blend into a smooth, vivid orange, spicy soup.

This week Paul explains the wide grip pull down. I’m terrible at this exercise, and certainly wont be doing this while pregnant! But I trained alongside Paul this week and he thought it would be a good one to share – boys, this is especially good for you if you’re trying to achieve that ‘V-Shape’!
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“The wide grip pull-up is a great exercise for Giving you the ‘V’ shape back. Considered by many to be the king of back exercises this isn’t an exercise for the beginner. If you’re first starting out and can’t do more than 2-4 reps. Then a really quick way to gain strength at this exercise is to jump up Into the chin up to the bar position and then as slow as possible, under control lower yourself until your feet reach either a step or the floor. Then repeat as many times as you can until failure, for 3-5 sets. When you’ve become more advanced, then try pulling up unassisted. With a grip just more than shoulder width apart, pull yourself up as high as you can while maintaining your hips and legs in a fixed position, no swing or assistance from the hips or legs, while creating an arch in your back by looking up over the top of the bar. Technique is imperative with this exercise for quick results.”

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As I said its all been very festive at work. We’re managing to hide bump behind the bar (little show stealer), God bless Jack P Shepherd who is working a lot with Paula and I at present. The poor man is surrounded by oestrogen, bumps, cravings and emotions. Corrie have such a fab Christmas lined up for you guys!! Lots of drama as always – and Jason and Eva being cuter than cute -bless. You’re gonna be hooked as ever! Eeeeek!

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