Healthy fish and bake for heroes

Now, we’ve all heard the ‘old wives tale remedies’ for babies past their due-date…”Due date” – theres a dubious phrase! In this country we class a ‘full-term’ pregnancy as 40 weeks, but in other countries its 39, 42 and 43 weeks!


My lovely friend Lucy Jo Hudson gave me some fabulous advice a couple of months ago – keep busy on your due date!! Only 5% of babies arrive on this ‘guesstimate’. If you sit around the house waiting for baby to arrive on your ‘due date’, chances are you’ll be disappointed! Especially if it’s your first baby. So, off I went – on my due date, to have a day packed with pampering and socialising!


Speaking of cooking! I have a gorgeous recipe this week – inspired by a trip to one one my favourite Restaurants – ‘Australasia’ in Manchester . Tom took me there this week for a lovely lunch.


My favourite dish there (I say ‘favorite’ I’m borderline obsessed) is the ‘Black Cod’ – it’s utterly DEVINE. I order it every time I go – without fail. I keep promising myself I’ll learn how to make it. And this week – I did! #clevercath . It’s easy to cook, relatively inexpensive and is PACKED protein! Not to mention my favourite little things – Omega 3 fatty acids! We all know fish is wonderful for our health. Cod contains a wide variety of great vitamins and minerals. Including:

• Vitamin B6

• Vitamin B3

• Vitamin B12

• Vitamin D

• Omega 3

• Phosphorus

• Potassium

• Tryptophan

• Selenium

A four ounce portion of cod contains over 50 percent of the daily recommended value for protein guys! BOOOM!

I eat loads of fish especially cod, tuna and my beloved salmon. The health benefits are huge so give this little treat a try – let me know what you think!

Cath’s Clever Cod

1/4 cup sake

4 tablespoons white miso paste

2 Tablespoons of Organic/Manuka Honey

1/4 cup mirin

4 black cod fillets

(I made the Miso Marinade a day before cooking and marinated the fish): Bring the sake and mirin to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Turn the heat down to low then add the miso paste, and whisk. When the miso has dissolved , turn the heat up to high again and add the honey, keep whisking – and don’t burn the bottom of the pan! Remove from the heat and Cool to room temperature.

Pat the black cod fillets dry with kitchen towel. Slather the fish with the marinade and place bowl and cover tightly . Leave to marinate in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.

cooking the fish: Preheat oven to 200. Heat an oven-proof skillet over high heat. Put a little oil in the pan (I like coconut oil), then place the fish skin-side-up on the pan and cook until the bottom of the fish browns and blackens a little (3 mins-ish) . Flip and continue cooking until the other side is brown then transfer to the oven and bake for 5 to 10 minutes, until fish is opaque and flakes easily. We served with stir-fry greens – simples!

This week I’ve been supporting ‘Help For Heroes’ by taking part in ‘Bake For Heroes’. Raising money for charity AND baking cakes?? Whats not to love? It a great idea and its so easy to get involved. Click the link below to see how you can help and join in. Its a great thing to do as a family – the kids will love it! :


Bake For Heroes:

Till next week my health bunnies!!

Stay Happy, Stay Healthy and Dream BIG!


Auntie Cath


No Smoke without Fire and Sweet Treats!!

Something that never ceases to amaze me is seeing a pregnant woman smoke.

Its something I saw only recently…wait for it…outside a hospital!! I had to try so hard not to march over there and knock it out of this ungrateful mother-to-be’s hand.

I am fully aware of how powerful addiction can be and I do empathise – really I do. But when you are carrying something so precious – what right do you have to impose those harmful chemicals on another human being? From the moment I found out I was pregnant I questioned EVERYTHING I put into my body.


I think if expectant mum’s who are struggling to quit smoking just had one look at how harmful it can be to their child – that would be enough to stop. Every cigarette you smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, so smoking when you are pregnant HARMS your unborn baby. Cigarettes can restrict the oxygen supply to your baby- THUS their heart has to beat harder every time you smoke. In case thats not enough for you (if not …why the hell not?)

Here are some of the other gains to be made from giving up cigarettes during pregnancy:

• you will have less morning sickness and fewer complications in pregnancy

• you are more likely to have a healthier pregnancy and a healthier baby

• you will reduce the risk of stillbirth

• you will cope better with the birth

• your baby is less likely to be born too early and have to face the additional breathing, feeding and health problems that often go with being premature

• your baby is less likely to be born underweight: babies of women who smoke are on average about 8oz lighter than other babies, which can cause problems during and after labour. For example they are more likely to have a problem keeping warm and are more prone to infection

• you will reduce the risk of cot death, also called Sudden Infant Death (find out about reducing the risk of cot death.)

Something else to be aware of is second-hand smoke. On the odd occasion that some rude person has ‘sparked up’ near me whilst I’m pregnant – I remove myself from the area immediately .

Second-hand smoke can reduce birthweight and also increase the risk of cot death. Babies whose parents smoke are more likely to be admitted to hospital for bronchitis and pnemonia during the first year of life.

More than 17,000 children under the age of five are admitted to hospital every year because of the effects of second-hand smoke.

Now if all those facts and figures aren’t enough for you to put that poisonous little cancer stick down…then…well…may Karma forgive you!

To find out more about quitting and to get support, call the NHS Smoking Helpline on 0800 0224 332.


I’m still with child. I feel as though I have been with child since 1942.

As always (and against other mums advice) I have been keeping myself busy!! I have a couple of really exciting projects in the pipeline that I simply can’t wait to share with you!!

I’ve been doing lots of studying and writing – all will become clear soon!! I’m very excited for the year ahead! Thank you for all your kind words in regard to Eva Prices ‘exit scenes’ in Coronation Street last week. I’m so pleased you enjoyed them. I adore working with Ryan Thomas who plays Jason and we both really appreciate your support!


Speaking of my ‘telly fella’ , Ry came to see Tom and I this week with his beautiful daughter Scarlett, and gave bump one last cuddle before … Well… before bump is a BABY!!

In the past few weeks I’ve struggled with pregnancy water retention. My hands and trotters look like big fat sausages and my cheek bones have all but disappeared:-( .  However there are things we can do to help this!


Here are a few tips, if like me you struggle with water retention at any point:

• Step up protein intake! More protein encourages your body to shed excess fluid

• Acupuncture

• Cut back on dehydrating drinks such as coffee, tea and alcohol (Obviously if you’re pregnant alcohol should be removed from your diet anyway and caffeine intake should be reduced according to trimester and current health)

• Drink more water!! Water retention comes from a lack of water because you’re body doesn’t know when it will get more water so it retains the water that it doesn’t get- so help kidneys to flush out excess fluid

• Girls – check your menstrual cycle – I always retain water for a period of time during my monthly cycle

• Write a food diary – you might see connections between certain foods and periods of swelling

• Cut high sodium foods out of your diet – salt absorbs water and causes water retention

• Eat a healthy, balanced diet that contains a lot of vegetables and other high-fiber foods

Thank you to my uber talented pal @calumtierney @terencepaul who cheered me up no-end this week by making me feel like a ‘yummy mummy’ by giving my hair another make-over.


What a difference a visit to the hairdressers makes when you’re feeling fed up eh? Well, I don’t want to have roots and split ends the first time I meet my son now do I? ;-)

Plus – how relaxing is an Indian Head massage while having your hair washed? I must have fell asleep for a good 30 mins at the hair bowl! God bless them for not waking me up! Ha ha ha – thank you Calum!

This lovely day was followed by an uber indulgent cheat meal with my fiancee Tom. Possibly the last cheat meal of my pregnancy so it would have been incredibly rude not to have had that huge brownie with ice-cream…right?? We shared it…honest.


Speaking of brownies – here’s a fab recipe I came up with for my little cousins who – like most kids adore chocolate and adore cake. I wanted to make them a healthier version of ‘Brownies’. They’re easy to make and a lot better for you than the regular supermarket brands that are filled with sweeteners and E-numbers. Give them a go! Lovely little treat!

Auntie Cath’s Paleo Choc-Choc Brownies


• 2 cups of Cashew butter or Organic Peanut butter (

• 3 eggs

• 1 cup of Manuka Honey or raw organic honey

• 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

• 1/2 cup of raw cocoa powder

• 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

• 1 teaspoon baking soda

• 1/2 cup organic dark chocolate melted

• 1 very ripe banana


1. Preheat oven to 180

2. In a large mixing bowl, blend your almond butter and eggs to make a smooth batter

3. Add in the honey and the vanilla and mix well

4. Add the salt, baking soda, and then SLOWLY add in the Cacao powder (or else you will take a chocolate powder bath like I did the first time)

5. Now fold in the melted chocolate and banana, and mix well

6. Grease a baking dish with coconut oil bake for 30-35 minutes – then witness the fitness!!! YUM!

Stay Happy, stay Healthy and Dream Big!


Auntie Cath


Nesting, Butt-Crunches and Guilt Free Pizza!


It’s been a busy week of nesting! A few finishing touches to the house before baby arrives. Gym mirrors are up…reflection has changed somewhat but we’ll get that back

;-) and my lovely, talented friend from ’60 Minute Make-Over’ Rachel Robinson (@rayssewingroom) surprised me with the most beautiful new curtains for the nursery!

I shed a tear when I walked in – it was the finishing touch we needed! Thanks Rach! I’ve also been putting prams together, sussing out car seats and practising nappy changes with any baby I can lay my hands on! So we’re all ready to welcome this little bundle.


HUGE congrats to my Brother and Sister in law to be -Ian and Sarah. They have just welcomed their beautiful baby girl – Penny!! Tom and I dropped into one of our favourite little tea shops ‘The Secret Garden’ (Such a cute little place – check it out : @secretgardentearoom) and we raised a cup of peppermint tea along with a cheeky flap-jack to little Penny :-)


We’re off for a cuddle tomorrow – I can’t wait to meet her. Hurry up bump! Penny wants her little pal to arrive!!

I also had some last minute pampering before the little one arrives , with my lovely pal Natalie Whitfield. Nails , facial and massage ahoy!


I have been drinking lots of Raspberry leaf tea these past few weeks. After reading up on this tea, I figured it was worth a shot. Not only does it taste bloody good, there are benefits of drinking it during pregnancy. Now obviously everyone is different, and you shouldn’t start drinking Raspberry Leaf tea without consulting your midwife or a doctor. Some people really believe this tea has a positive effect for the following reasons:

It is naturally high in magnesium, potassium, iron and b-vitamins which make it helpful for nausea, leg cramps, and improving sleep during pregnancy. The specific combination of nutrients in the tea makes it extremely beneficial for the female reproductive system. It strengthens the uterus and pelvic muscles which some midwives say leads to shorter and easier labours. The evidence for the effects of raspberry leaf tea on labour is mixed: One small study found that women who drank the tea regularly towards the end of pregnancy had a shorter ‘pushing stage of labour. They were also less likely to have a birth assisted with forceps. Some users have also claimed it has really helped to reduce morning sickness.
As I have already mentioned you MUST consult a doctor or midwife before taking any herbal supplements whilst pregnant. Got to be worth a shot right ladies?!

Here’s an über gentle exercise for us heavily pregnant ladies!


You can do this daily to help maintain some kind of structure to that expanding backside! With days to go till my due date, exercise has been very gentle. Remember – exercising during pregnancy should NEVER be about weight loss- that isn’t our goal. Its about keeping that muscle memory active and keeping healthy and fit for birth and your little treasure :-)

Simple Glute Crunch

Assume start position as shown by kneeling down and supporting your upper body on your forearms.

Keeping your right knee bent, slowly lift that leg behind you so your foot raises up toward the ceiling.

Return to start position and repeat with left leg.

Pre-pregnancy I’m a HUGE fan of HIIT training. It really is fantastic for weight-loss. Confused at to what it is?? Tom Pitfield explains (TP_PTFitness):
HIIT training VS Steady state cardio

HIIT Training – High Intensity Interval Training. Why? Fast effective way to burn fat.

Steady State Cardio – Why? Build up fitness and general well being.

“Up there with being asked “why can’t I eat bread” this is one of the most frequently asked questions I get asked every week by clients. HITT training is all you read about in all the magazines these days and it’s confusing people somewhat. As always it all depends on your main goal. Do you want to lose body fat?

Yes HITT training is by far better for you in terms of burning fat than steady state cardio. BUT if are training for a specific sporting event and want to improve your cardio vascular fitness, steady state cardio has a place for you.

Both have pros and cons. HIIT training is time efficient and can be done in less than 20 minutes. But in my opinion you do have to have a decent level of fitness first to take full advantage of HIIT training.

Steady state cardio can be done by all levels of fitness, whether it’s a light swim or walk. However it isn’t always the right choice for people wanting to lose weight and this can often be misleading.

Just to throw a spanner in the works, there’s a third point you should take note of. If you enjoy running or road biking for example, and find it enjoyable and de stressing… Then I wouldn’t discourage you from doing that. You can benefit from exercise in all areas, not just the physical. Improving your mental state of mind is just as important as your physical goal.”

Antony Cotton has been cooking up a storm this week with one of my favourite Paleo recipes – Cauliflower based pizza!! I made a similar version of this during the summer and you guys seemed to LOVE that recipe – so I
thought I’d throw this one at you!


We all went for dinner earlier this week and swapped some fabulous paleo recipe ideas- So I owe this one to Ant (although I have tweaked slightly!) – who we all know  is a fabulous cook! We’re making this at the weekend – its delicious!! Tweet me your pizza pics guys! @cath_tyldesley


Auntie Cath’s ‘Sorry- Not Sorry Pizza’

• 340g raw cauliflower, fresh or frozen

• 1 large free-range egg

• 75g low-fat mozzarella cheese, grate 50g and slice the remaining 25g for the topping

• 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese

• 1/4 teaspoon dried basil

• 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

• 1/4 teaspoon garlic

• sea salt to taste

• freshly ground black pepper to taste

• 2 fresh tomatoes, thinly sliced (40 calories)

• 1/2 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced (20 calories)

• 2 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and minced (8 calories)

• 1/4 teaspoon red chilli flakes (4 calories)

• fresh oregano or basil, to garnish

Line a pizza stone or tray with greaseproof paper.
Pre-heat the oven to 200.

Grate the cauliflower, or process it in a food processor – it should be like fine crumbs. If using frozen cauliflower, squeeze excess water out of it and crumble with your hands .

Microwave the cauliflower crumbs for 5 to 6 minutes, or until soft. You can also steam or boil the cauliflower, but you will need to squeeze the excess water out of it afterwards if cooked with water.

Place the cauliflower crumbs in to an large mixing bowl and add the egg, grated mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, herbs, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix well, you should have a fairly stiff but malleable dough, as seen in my photos.

Place the cauliflower “dough” onto the prepared tray and pat out into a large circle, about 12.5cms (10″) in diameter and about 1.5cms (1/2″) thick. Spray the top with a little low-fat cooking spray and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown and firm.

Place the sliced tomatoes on top, sprinkle the chilli flakes over, scatter over the minced garlic and onion rings, season to taste with salt and pepper, and then arrange the sliced mozzarella cheese over the top.

Bake for 10 minutes or until the topping is bubbling and the cheese has melted. Scatter fresh oregano or basil leaves over and serve cut into wedges with salad leaves.

Stay Happy, Stay Healthy and DREAM BIG!!

Love Auntie Cath

Skydives and Waddling Through Lunges!

My father in-law to be the lovely Steve turned 60 this week! Soon to be granddad celebrated with his nearest and dearest in style at ‘Mr Coopers’ in Manchester – we had such a lovely Sunday afternoon. I managed to waddle myself over and spend a few hours with everyone. When I say ‘waddle’…I mean waddle! Its pretty comical now – I swear this baby is laughing at me! Tom and I bought Steve a skydive for his birthday :-) Aren’t we lovely?? Moo ha ha ha – and one for my mother in-law to be (Dianna) too! We can’t have Steve plummeting from a plane on his own now can we?! You only turn 60 once right? Best make it memorable!




I’ve had a few tweets asking for more info on Reiki during pregnancy. It’s something that I am fairly new to, but I have found most helpful in terms of relaxation and easing any anxiety. As promised, expert Tania Louise ( @EFTandHealing) explains more below! Hope you find this helpful guys! Give it a go!

Tania said:

“During pregnancy it’s common to experience anxiety about your health and the health of your baby, and also about the impending birth. With not only TV programmes showing all the things that can go wrong in pregnancy and birth but also friends sharing their experiences and online pregnancy forums, it can be easy to allow fearful thoughts to creep in.

Taking good care of your well-being during pregnancy means not only eating nourishing foods to support your body and baby, but also looking after your emotional well-being. If we allow anxious thoughts to take hold our stress levels can rise which can negatively impact our health and also affect our baby. So with this in mind treating yourself to regular healing sessions can help to bring about a sense of peace and well-being. When I work with pregnant women I tend to do a blend of Vortex Healing and Reiki as these gentle healing techniques help to release tension, soothe the body, mind and spirit, and release negative emotions.

In addition I find that EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) is a fantastically effective therapy for addressing negative emotions. EFT is based on the ancient principles of acupuncture without the discomfort of needles and is one of the most effective energy psychology techniques, with the medical profession even starting to take notice of its effectiveness.

During an EFT session we create a space where any negative thought patterns are discussed and worked through, and usually afterwards the person feels much lighter and clearer. While being positive is very helpful in pregnancy it is also important to have an outlet where anger, fear or worry are allowed to be expressed, as in letting out these emotions we can then process and release them.

For more information please visit email


Well even though I’m waddling – I still trying to keep that muscle memory going! Been going on some lovely country walks (with several pit-stops to rest!! Quite a change from our usual caffeine fuelled hill-sprints!!) Still lunging and squatting about (when I have the energy).

I’ve found my resistance band really useful these past few weeks. Resistance bands are pretty cheap to buy (starting at around £10) .Resistance Bands are strong, long bands designed for heavy duty training (basically a mahoosive elastic band) .

I’ve used mine in the past to add extra resistance when dead lifting (we’ll talk more about that when I’m back to regular training). However, they can also be adapted to help with pull-ups and other body weight exercises. This next exercise, I usually do at the start of a workout to ‘fire up my glutes’, but if you do several sets of these you can really feel the burn – plus its gentle while pregnant – using body weight and resistance only.

Walking Squats with Resistance Band

Tie a resistance band in a loop and step inside it so it’s around your ankles. Walk slowly for 20 steps, insuring you are keeping tension in the band and your upper body as still as possible. Chest up! Then get into a squat position and walk again for 20 steps. Call that one rep- I aim to do 4-5 sets depending how comfortable I am and where baby decides to set himself in my ever growing tummy!

As you know I’m a big fan of all things organic! I wanted to attend a seminar in London at weekend on Organic and natural beauty with Armand Beasley – his knowledge is amazing! I’m way too close to my due date to be heading to the ‘Bigus Smokus’ but if you have time – GO. It really is VERY interesting!! Armand will be giving a seminar on the rise of organic and natural beauty this Sunday 22nd Feb at 12.30on the Warpaint Magazine. (@warpaint_mag) stage at Professional Beauty Show at Excel in London. A show that also incorporates for the second year running, Organic & Natural Beauty Show. Good luck Face Angel!…@ArmandBeasley

Here’s one of my favourite recipes. Uber quick, paleo and tasty as hell!!

Auntie Cath’s Courgette Spaghetti and Sunny Turkey Meatballs!



*You’ll need a ‘Spiralizer’ to make the courgettes into spaghetti-like strands. These can be bought as cheaply as £8 and are a god send! We use it for all kinds of vegetables!

3 Courgettes (Spiralized)

Garlic infused olive oil

1 Egg

2 small leeks

3-4 Rashers of smokey bacon, Crisp and finely chopped

4 Sundried tomatoes (finely chopped)

1 small red onion (Finely chopped)

tsp Dried oregano

Handful of fresh basil roughly chopped

1 Packet of lean turkey Mince



Put the turkey, oregano, onion and Tomatoes into a mixing bowl. Add the egg and fold all ingredients together, season with salt and pepper. Grease a baking tray with a small amount of olive oil. Mould the turkey mixture into several small meatballs and place on baking tray. Bake at 200 in the oven for 15-18 mins – till golden brown and cooked through. In the meantime…

Put a little olive oil into a large frying pan and add the leeks, cook for 2-3 mins then add the courgette spaghetti, bacon and fresh basil. cook for a further 2 mins, stirring very carefully. Serve the meatballs onto of the spaghetti! #SIMPLES Pretty yummy cold too if you have some left over for the next day!

Until Next time!

Stay Happy, Stay Healthy and DREAM BIG


Auntie Cath

Still waiting!

We are still waiting!

Anyone that says pregnancy makes you feel amazing and glowy??

Lies, certainly for the last month or two anyway

I’ll lay it right down there on the line. It IS amazing but do I feel amazing? Not right now babes!

I’m far too eager to meet this little gentleman now!

Something I have been really struggling with is sleep. Ive had complete insomnia for the past two weeks. Functioning on on 2-3 hours sleep an night. Its floored me! Talking to other expectant mums on twitter – it appears we are all in the same baby boat. Pregnancy insomnia is very common.

Whether you’re feeling anxious, fearful, worried or excited. Alongside with the glorious physical elements such as tender breasts, back ache, restless legs or a squirming little ‘night owl’ baby’ – it can make you feel pretty miserable!

I’ve been using SoulMate foods these past few weeks. They do a specific paleo plan, which while being so tired has been great – I expect it’ll be an absolute God send once baby is here!

Refreshing to find fresh, ready made meals that stick to a true paleo structure for when you’re busy.

With not getting much shut-eye, I have really gone out on a limb this week to try lots of different techniques to help me relax besides keeping up with a healthy eaitng plan.

We are very restricted with what we are able to take when pregnant – medicinally. You’re literally looking at a handful of options e.g.. Camomile tea, extra magnesium (either transdermally or capsules) both of which I do anyway. Normally I’d simply up my Magnesium intake upto 1000mg but to be safe the guidelines are no more than 500mg during pregnancy.


So! This week I have had alternative treatments before going to bed.

Earlier today I had another session of reflexology with Beverley Hingham . Beverley is a an aromatherapist. One of the best in her field.

She has over 30 years experience in the beauty and holistic therapy industry, . Beverley has created products for many prestigious customers and became famous for her work in women’s health during the 1990′s. I’m uber lucky to count her as a friend! Her knowledge is amazing and this week she came over to do an ‘Oils For Birthing’ workshop with me. Its was soooo interesting!! We made three bespoke little potions to take me through each stage of labour – ALL the ingredients have been PROVEN to help in various ways. The benefits have truly blown me away – So I have asked Beverley to chat to you lucky lot about it in this weeks blog. Here’s what she had to say – I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!:


Beverley Hingham:

“There are many benefits that can be found with Aromatherapy during pregnancy. It is important to be cautious if you have not previously used essential oils before you became pregnant. The general advice is to avoid the use of essential oils in the first trimester and avoid certain strong oils due to their chemical make up. Essential oils which are rich in phenols and useful for fighting infection will be too strong for the sensitive and delicate skin of the pregnant woman .These stimulating oils should be avoided throughout the whole of the pregnancy. It is also important to avoid essential oils which may be photosensitive as during pregnancy women have raised melanin stimulating hormone levels.


If you have used essential oils before and have no history of miscarriage then with professional guidance both massage and aromatherapy can be very beneficial throughout your pregnancy and especially during the early stages of labour. When using essential oils it is important to remember that there are now two people who will benefit. Mother and growing child. If Mother is relaxed and healthy then so will the baby be relaxed and healthy. I always recommend a lower dosage of essential oils in a blend during pregnancy but we must remember that the Mothers body can still metabolise as normal and has an extra layer of fat surrounding the baby who again is safely supported in its own protective bubble.

Fruit and flower oils are favoured for their gentle stress relieving properties and uplifting qualities. Always use high grade essential oils from a reputable supplier and preferably organic or wild crafted, only the best will do at this time. Therapeutic essential oils of a high quality can present very little little hazard in comparison to low grade or synthetic oils.

The small amount of essential oil that actually accesses the Mothers skin is a minuscule amount and there have been no recorded instances where harm has been caused using aromatherapy massage during pregnancy.

Often pregnancy carries a stigma of a no go zone for Therapists. But this is the time when Holistic Therapies can provide tremendous support up to and during labour and beyond.

The main thing to remember is that being pregnant is not an illness. I taught Aromatherapy all through my pregnancy and my daughter continued to receive Aromatherapy from conception until the day of her babies birth.

The following oils are the ones I find beneficial. Always seek professional advice before having an Aromatherapy treatment and ensure you use the services of a highly trained Therapist.

Lavender (high altitude) is stress relieving and relaxing both physically and emotionally and this oil is said to be safe during pregnancy. Much research has been done to verify that high altitude Lavendula angusitifolia is a safe oil in pregnancy. It is useful for anxiety, tension, aches and pains or insomnia.

Chamomile (chamamelium mobile) roman chamomile is a gentle flowering herbaceous plant with comforting, soothing qualities . It eases discomfort and relaxes the body and mind. It is a mild pain reliever and therefore can ease aches and pains.

Mandarin (citrus reticulatta) is uplifting and refreshing. A mood lifting fragrance. This can be used when energy is low. It is also a good oil to use along with lavender in a carrier oil to keep the skin soft and supple and prevent stretch marks.

Bergamot (citrus bergamia) is also a good oil for its stress relieving properties during pregnancy. Avoid using it on exposed skin when out in the sun as it is photosensitive, yet this oil is very emotionally supportive and helpful for minor urinary tract disorders which can occur during pregnancy. Vaporising the oil in the atmosphere is a safe and pleasant way of using Bergamot.

Spearmint (mentha spicata) is a pleasant essential oil to sniff if nausea is a problem. It is gentler than peppermint but equally refreshing and calminative.

Frankincense (Boswellia carterri) is an oil that calms and regulates the breathing. It is good for reducing anxiety especially when used with Ylang Ylang (cananga oderata). Frankincense is also supportive to the skin and can be used with the lavender and mandarin in a body oil. Ylang Ylang as mentioned is good for stress and anxiety and nervous tension , it is however hypotensive reducing blood pressure so bare this in mind if you already have low blood pressure.

Always use very low doses of essential oils as a little is often better than a lot. 2 drops to a, dessert spoon 10 ml of vegetable oil for massage and 5 drops if using in an average sized bath, diluted in milk first. To inhale from a tissue 2 drops will be adequate and never take essential oils internally.

A gentle Aromatherapy massage or aromatic bath will be soothing and beneficial throughout pregnancy. As you get closer to the due date for the birth your therapist can create blends for you to take into the labour ward with you. Most hospitals now also have essential oils for expectant Mothers to use during the early stages of labour. A warm bath with lavender and rose will relax the body and ease pain and anxiety. Once labour is established a blend of lavender and chamomile will ease pain. Once the cervix is fully dilated Clary- sage can be added to the lavender and chamomile blend to aid and support contractions. Clary- sage (salvia sclerea) should only be used in the very late stage of labour under the advice of your midwife and Aromatherapist.


Having a familiar aroma present at the babies birth will be reassuring for the newborn for experts say that their sense of smell begins in the womb. Keeping everyone calm at this special time is key and aromatherapy has the potential to do this.

Under the advice of her Aromatherapist, Mum can continue to use essential oils at home by vaporising them to soothe emotions or adding a few drops of a recommended essential oil to her bath to eases stress and encourage healing. Good old Lavender is always top of the list but a variety of essential oils can be used. It’s important to stick to the gentle safe oils at this time especially if breast feeding.


Lavender – stress relieving , calming and relaxing
Chamomile – soothing and pain relieving
Geranium- balancing the mood and emotions.
Rose – healing and toning
Neroli- anti-depressant
Orange- uplifting and energising
Bergamot- refreshing and normalising
Ylang Ylang – reduces anxiety
Aromatherapy is a general restorative treatment. Always choose an Aromatherapist with specialised training in Pregnancy and antenatal care there are many wonderful Therapists out there.”

You can follow Beverley and seek more tips @potionshopUK

I’ve also had further Reiki sessions with Tania (@EFTandhealing) which has been hugely beneficial in lowering anxiety and relaxation.

I’ve been in the kitchen again! Tom loves America, he’s spent a lot of time state-side and one of his favourite American dishes is ‘Sloppy Joe’s’, but if you don’t want to wait for a ‘cheat night’ to enjoy them, we’ve come up with a Paleo version using lettuce wraps! Enjoy!

Floppy Moe’s (my Paleo take on ‘Sloppy Joe’s!)

• 2 tablespoon coconut oil

• 1 medium red onion chopped

• 1 medium bell pepper , green chopped

• 2 medium garlic clove minced

• 1 pound beef, ground

• 1 can tomato sauce (15 oz)

• 1 tablespoon chili powder

• 1/2 teaspoon cumin

• Handful of fresh coriander

• Crumbled Feta cheese (optional)

1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil when hot.

2. Add onion, green pepper, and garlic, and saute until tender (about 10 minutes).

3. Add ground beef, and continue to cook until beef starts to brown, stirring occasionally (about 8- 10 minutes).

4. Finally, stir in tomato sauce, chili powder and ground cumin.

5. Remove from heat and serve when beef is cooked through and tomato sauce is hot. Perfect poured into a lettuce wrap with cheese on top- Messy but bloody gorgeous! God Im good to you lot!

Speaking of good food – big congrats to our lovely pal @dale_pinnock who has released another four books this week! Part of his ‘Eat Your Way To Better Health’ collection. They look fab – can’t wait to read them all! I’ve made a start on ‘Anxiety and Depression’ – part of this fab foursome. Dale explains how you can decrease the symptoms of Anxiety and depression simply through the food you eat!! A diet that can affect your hormones in the right way to alter your mood! Fascinating stuff!

The next three books are ‘Diabetes’, ‘Digestion’ and ‘Heart Disease’ – all of which contain amazing recipes. I’ve said it a million times before – this guy is a genius! Give him a follow! His work has helped me a lot in my studies. Yup – more studies! No rest for the wicked! I’m studying while on maternity leave (I must be nuts!) all for the greater good so I can keep bringing you guys sound advice on nutrition! I figured I may as well make my knowledge ‘official’ as its something Im so very passionate about.

Until Next week Campers!

Stay Happy, Stay Healthy and Dream Big!!

Cath and Mahooooosive Bump!

Fisticuffs and Sweet Little Lies

Last weekend Tom and I attended the ‘Vegas Fight Night’ at the Hilton in Manchester in aid of three great charities: Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Once Upon a Smile and The Childrens Adventure Farm. We had a brilliant night!

Loved my makeup – Thank you @emmyclarkson1 !

My publicist Laura and I had a really good catch up ringside, and Tom had a good natter with Alan Halsall about all things fatherhood.


I caught up with the gorgeous Lucy Jo Hudson (who has been giving me lots of tips during pregnancy) and it was great to see the lovely Carolynne Good, and my old pal from ‘Shameless’ Ciaran Griffiths.



I love boxing as a form of keeping fit, once baby is here I’ll definately be doing some more of it! Dad raised me on the ‘Rocky’ films, so the sound track is on my birthing playlist to keep me going!! Nothing quite like ‘Eye of The Tiger’ or ‘No Easy Way Out’ when your giving birth eh? Ha ha.


We had a lovely ride upto Hebden Bridge this week en route to see my gorgeous friend and new mummy Paula Lane. Hebden Bridge is such a cute little town. We fed the ducks, took a long walk and enjoyed some pub grub! But the highlight of our day was meeting Paula’s new little gentleman ‘Artie’.


WHAT a cutie pie he is!! Paula looks amazing and has been giving me lots of tips as I near the end of my pregnancy. Missed her loads after working together so closely at Corrie and we can’t wait for our little chaps to meet when this little wriggle-bum arrives.


Now, my pal asked me about sweetener this week. Concerned about giving her son products that contain this ‘devil dust’ as I like to refer to it! It’s something I’ve been meaning to blog about for sometime.

Permit me to rant if you will- it’ll be worth your time. Promise.

Sweetener – AKA THE DEVIL…

When I see a friend pour ‘sweetener’ into a cup of coffee, I want to save them and through it down the sink. I get a lot of people telling me ‘Oh I’m sugar free, I use sweetener instead’ – this fills me with dread and I immediately have to sit them down and educate them. Giving them copious links and reading material. Explaining the self harm that they unwillingly expose themselves to. It utterly mortifies me that some ‘slimming clubs’ condone the use of sweetener and use it in recipes. if you’re part of a slimming club that pushes sweetener – LEAVE.

LEAVE NOW and don’t look back!! Now – before I really dig my heels in and tell you exactly why sweetener is so horrific – let me first clarify a couple of things. There are some ‘natural sweeteners that are completely safe. They may not aid weight loss and still spike your insulin levels – but they are safe for human consumption and are a better alternative to refined sugar. I’m talking about natural things such as agave nectar and honey.

Also Stevia is also something worth looking at IF you really need that occasional sweetness. Its been used in Japan for yonks, millions of people around the world actually use it to aid digestion and for its antibacterial qualities, as well as curbing that need for sweets!

Most importantly it is natural, herbal and some forms of stevia won’t alter blood sugar levels!

The EVIL sweeteners I am warning you about contain Aspartame. This is found in many foods – mainly junk food but also many ‘diet’/ low fat foods pushed by big companies that don’t actually have a clue( to be honest if a product has the words ‘low fat’ or diet’ written on it – its usually full of crap). Aspartame was initially denied approval by the FDA EIGHT times.

Yes EIGHT times. I won’t get into the money making politics of how/why it actually got through, as Im likely to blow a gasket . Many scientists rallied together to tell people how unsafe this product was. Did they listen – NO, far too much money to be made out of unsuspecting over-weight people. The affects of Aspartame and another little devil called Saccharin have been so bad over the years – there are actually now ‘Sweetener Support Groups’ I believe. Side effects of these snowy mountains of utter rubbish include:

Mental confusion


Reproductive Disorders

Memory Loss

Nerve Cell Damage





Hair Loss

Nervous System disorders


Swelling of the liver and Kidneys

Decrease in foetal body weight…

….I mean…Need I go on?? They also make the body highly ‘acidic’. When we are acidic we are more susceptible to illness and cancer. So please take that 40 seconds it takes to READ THE PACKAGING of anything you/your kids are about to consume. If the kids want a ‘sweet treat’, you’re not doing them any favours if it contains artificial sweeteners. We know sugar comes with its own problems too, so its best to always keep sugar levels low- but we’ll chat more about that next week.


Here is a fab recipe you can eat anytime of the day – I even pre make these for breakfast sometimes. Paleo all the way -these high protein treasures are also packed with good fats and flavour!

Auntie Caths Tuna Fishcakes!


• 2 cans (5-6 oz cans) of tuna
• 1 Tablespoon of fresh coriander , finely chopped
• 1 small fresh chili, finely diced
• 2 eggs, whisked
• 2 Tablespoons coconut flour
• 2 Tablespoons coconut flakes
• 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
• ½ Tablespoon salt
• 1 Tablespoon coconut oil to cook in


1. Flake the tuna.
2. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.
3. Shape the mixture into 4 patties.
4. In a skillet on medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Cook the 4 patties until they turn golden. Turn them over and cook the other side until golden. Gorgeous with homemade salsa! Also nice cold so perfect for the kiddies packed lunches!

Until Next Time Health Warriors!

Stay Happy, Stay Healthy and DREAM BIG!!


Auntie Cath

Wonderful Wheatgrass, ‘Date Nights’ and Birthing Balls!

I’m a strong advocate of ‘greens drinks’. Especially if you struggle to consume enough green veg in your diet. Cramming several servings into a large ‘greens drink’ is a great way of making sure you get often more than your RDA. I make mine first thing in the morning, put it in a large flask with some ice and then drink it mid morning, as a second breakfast/mid morning snack. There are no rules as to what you put in a ‘greens’ drink, (obviously stick to green veg and alkalising foods!) but I’m a big fan of the following in mine:



Half an avocado


One green apple

Wheatgrass shot

Ground Flaxseed

I add either water or coconut water to this and blend – gorgeous! There are also powdered greens drinks available on the market. Some of which are really good – especially if you’re in a rush, but I aim to make mine fresh whenever possible. I use a NutriBullet so nothing is wasted – its not a ‘juice’ its more of a super smoothie. I always make a large one and cram as much veg in as possible. A few of my readers have been twittering me with questions about Wheatgrass – something I use regularly.

Two ounces of wheatgrass juice has the nutritional equivalent of five pounds of the best raw organic vegetables! For example, wheatgrass has twice the amount of Vitamin A as carrots and is higher in Vitamin C than oranges! It contains the full spectrum of B vitamins, as well as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium and potassium in a balanced ratio. Wheatgrass is a complete source of protein, supplying all of the essential amino acids, and more. It has about 20% of total calories coming from protein. Because of the chlorophyll in wheatgrass it helps to neutralise toxins in the body and purify the liver. It also helps improves blood sugar problems. Whats more – Wheatgrass juice is great for constipation and keeping the bowels open because it is high in magnesium. I could go on! ( Its also gluten free because its cut before the grain forms. So if like me you struggle with IBS – this shouldn’t cause you any bother.) Give it a blast!


I’ve been back in our home gym this week – Yey!! Granted – I can’t do much these days, but its important I keep active (even though my bump now looks like a beach ball and weighs a tonne!) I’ve found wearing a maternity belt really helpful when training, otherwise the weight of bump can cause stretching pains. Ive managed a few little cardio sessions on the cross trainer (not something I normally do but one has to alter as pregnancy progresses), putting the cross trainer on a tougher setting and really pressing into your heels helps work those glutes ladies! Ive also been keeping up with simple squats and lunges, using body weight only (thats enough these days!) and of course keeping up with pelvic floor exercises! Its been hard for me to accept slowing down my routine this much, I get out of breath much more quickly now – so you just listen to your body and increase your ‘rest periods’. As always – swimming is fantastic – its ideal during pregnancy as I’ve mentioned several times. As long as you’re staying as active as your body allows and eating well – thats all you can do yummy mummy’s! DONT put too much pressure on yourself – the main thing is correct nutrition!! You are the soil for your baby to grow – you wouldn’t pour chemicals over lovely fresh soil would you??

I’m having issues with sofas and chairs at present – now I’m heavily pregnant I find exercise/birthing balls an absolute God send!! There are many perks to sitting on a birthing ball at this stage:

• Increases blood flow to the uterus, placenta and the baby.

• Can relief spinal pressure.

• Will provide comfortable support for your knees and ankles.

• Will give counter-pressure to the perineum and thighs.

• The upright posture works with gravity which will encourage the descent of the baby.

• You can make different moves and still rest by leaning forward, pelvic rocking, swaying, doing hip circles and figure eights and of course gently bouncing to help move the baby down.

• Can increase the pelvic outlet as much as 30%, which also encourages baby’s descent.

• One of the most important benefits of using birth ball during your pregnancy is positioning baby in the right position right before the birth. Birth ball is very useful for that.

You can pick up a birthing ball quite cheaply – just make sure it inflated properly to support you and always make sure hips are above knees!


I met up with Hypnotherapist Gemma Gibbons this week. Gemma’s success rate for treating people using Hypnosis is fantastic. I’ve known Gemma for many years and she suggested I have a few sessions leading unto the birth – as I’ve enjoyed ‘Hypnobirthing’ so much I knew this would be a great idea! Gemma also helped me to understand exactly how Hypnosis and self hypnosis works on our brains. For me at present this is a great tool for relaxing and reducing anxiety. I have friends who have managed to avoid medication thanks to hypnotherapy for things like IBS and even depression. It can be used for so many things – its basically re-training your brain to operate in a certain way, it can also be used to help people lose weight, stop smoking and conquer fears! Here Gemma explains in more detail for you! You can follow Gem on twitter too: @_trainyourbrain

How can hypnotherapy help?

Hypnosis itself reduces anxiety, and this is done very simply through relaxation and visualisation, allowing the client to focus on the positive aspects of their life that encouraging a shift in perspective.Through working with the client, Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can help with confidence and self-esteem problems. Help with stress and focus on relaxation. Weight management (obesity and eating disorders) It can also help (if necessary in conjunction with medication) in the treatment of low moods and anxiety, including panic attacks, agoraphobia (fear of open spaces) and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Phobias such as spiders, water, flying, and public speaking can also be minimised, along with painful memories and traumatic experiences.

What does a session consist of?

A session will be split into 3 parts, firstly focusing on where you the client wants to be. Secondly learning in-depth about the latest thoughts in neuroscience about the way our brain actually works and how we can control our own brain ourselves. Thirdly I use hypnosis to treat a variety of medical and psychological problems. Hypnosis (deep relaxed state) is a different state of consciousness which you can naturally enter so that access to the unconscious mind can be made. Then I can help reset memories and change your mindset to the person you want to be.


As the final count down commences I’ve been waddling about as much as possible catching up with friends and enjoying as many ‘date nights’ as possible with my lovely Tom. I caught up with the gorgeous Jennie McAlpine earlier in the week and met her beautiful little boy Albert! He’s devine! We had a gorgeous lunch at her restaurant ‘Annies’ – was so lovely to catch up and talk about our boys! Cant wait for them to meet! Tom and I also had a lovely date night on Saturday followed by a slap up roast dinner with Antony Cotton and some of my boys on Sunday!! I could get used to this!!! All this socialising is exhausting.

I’ve been pottering around with some recipes as per! Fancied something a little different and came up with this… it takes under 5 minuets to make and tastes awesome! Hows this for a fab breakfast idea?


Samphire Egg stack with Smoked Salmon

Small knob of butter

One spring onion Finely chopped

One whole egg and two egg whites whisked together

Small cup of Samphire

Cayenne Pepper

Himalayan Pink Salt

Portion of High Quality Smoked Salmon

Lightly fry the spring onion and samphire in the butter. Cook for a few minuets until Samphire softens, add the egg mixture and scramble. Add the salt and pepper to taste and serve alongside some yummy smoked salmon.

A high protein start to the day packed with Omega 3 and good fats to keep you fuller for longer. Its a great post workout meal too!

Give it a go Health Bunnies.


Stay Happy! Stay Healthy! Dream BIG


Auntie Cath and Ever Growing Bump


Skin Food and a Cheeky Chilli!

It’s been an incredibly sad few days. Not just for the cast and crew of Corrie, not just for ITV…but as a nation. We lost our beloved Anne Kirkbride – a national treasure and true legend. This lady made everyone she came in contact with smile. Anne spent no less than 44 years of her life playing the infamous Deirdre Barlow, and no less than 44 years of her life making all who watched her – laugh wholeheartedly and cry along side her. Rest in peace Anne. We will all miss you terribly.

At the start of this week we paid a visit to my soon to be brother and sister in-law, Ian and Sarah. Sarah is due to have her baby girl two weeks before Me! So Tom’s parents are going to be very busy grandparents! A boy and a girl within weeks of each other! How lovely is that? I’m sure our ‘little pickle’ will look after their little princess. I smell lots of joint birthday parties ahead! (And cute matching outfits … Obvs!) Sarah looks amazing and it’s so nice to be going through our pregnancies together. As we chatted about breast feeding, backache and sore nipples the boys got all manly and hung out in their little girls nursery… Talking all things football and rugby I’m sure! It’s such a special time for our family- with weeks to go, and Sarah already experiencing frequent Braxton Hicks- everything is getting VERY real!!


I’ve been spending time with my best friend Peter ahead of becoming a mummy. We’re trying to get as many lunches in as possible! So Peter has been wining and dining me and bump which has been lovely.


Tom and I went to see ‘The Theory of Everything’ this week too- if you haven’t seen it- GO!!!! It’s a truly a remarkable film, and Stephen Hawking is truly a remarkable man. It made me feel so grateful for my health and my body- never take anything for granted we must be inspired by this man – seize every day!! You can’t help but be affected by this film, brilliantly cast and wonderfully directed. Eddie Redmayne is outstanding as Stephen Hawking – completely convincing with his physicality. If you don’t weep – you have a heart like a swinging brick!

Talking of great performances – how awesome was the Corrie coach crash!? I was utterly on the edge of my seat. Well done to all cast and crew involved – superb! You can see how things were done behind the scenes here:

There’s lots coming up for ‘Eva the Diva’ over the next few weeks too. I was given such a fab storyline prior to my maternity leave. I can’t wait for you guys to see it!!


My skin has been a little dry during pregnancy and because its so cold outside – your skin needs extra TLC – ladies AND gents!! I saw my good friend and make-up artist @ArmandBeasley this week. He’s given me some great tips for skincare that are simple and easy to look out for and try at home – without spending a fortune on jazzy labels!

Armand said:

Hyaluronic acid. This wonder ingredient has multiple functions like improving skin hydration, stimulating collagen production, helps maintain skin elasticity as well as a powerful cushion for joints and nerve tissues, along with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Of course to target the latter you need to take the HA orally, so look out for these supplements.

Hyaluronic Acid in a moisturiser can of course only target the upper layers of the skin however as HA is also a powerful humectant ( so attracts moisture) ,so you only need to apply a small amount.

Another great ingredient for the skin is Rosehip seed oil. It helps accelerate cell growth and keeps the skin young looking, it can help boost levels of collagen and can naturally aid cell regeneration. It is also great for helping repair the skin after sun damage and for easing the signs of premature ageing. Plus it’s a great natural treatment for scars.



Vitamin E has loads of benefits including boosting your immune system as well as working wonders for your hair, skin and nails when taken orally. But in a moisturiser or face oil it’s still a good antioxidant, but can be heavy, so again a little goes along way. It’s has great anti inflammatory benefits as well as soothing, calming and hydrating sensitive skin.

If you have a dry skin type look out for cold cream style consistencies as you might find them more comforting whilst an oily skin type needs a lighter oil free lotion.

Whilst on maternity leave I’m trying to practice ‘Hypnobirthing as much as possible, below I chat to expert @CherylYogaBelle in more depth about this unique and wonderfully positive attitude towards childbirth:

I’ve loved learning more about Hypnobirthing from you. In regards to childbirth what would be your top five tips for a mummy to-be like myself?

1. Prepare for childbirth but in the right way. I always say you wouldn’t turn up for a marathon without any training and yet every day women ignore their pregnancy, carry on as normal, try to block it out completely and are then surprised when birth goes down the medical path. Nobody can control what happens during birth, but we can aim to be physically strong to cope with the rigorous demands of childbirth. We also need to be mentally prepared which leads me to…

2. Be realistic but positive. Childbirth is frankly, the most amazing experience you will ever have. Yes it’s hard work, but when was something amazing ever easy? :) I think its important to choose your birth preparation method carefully. I’ve come across methods which promise pain free and even ‘orgasmic’ births and while this can sometimes be the case, this is not for the majority of women. I think this leads to unfair and false expectations for mum and if things don’t go to plan, blame mum for not having ‘the perfect birth.’ Birth ROCKS hypnobirthing, respects each mother and child as individual and doesn’t say that hypnosis will work for everyone. We use techniques to determine what will give you personally comfort during birth, not just a one size fits all approach. Childbirth is amazing, the rush of hormones directly after birth also makes you feel completely ecstatic and the love you feel for your baby is unlike anything you will ever experience. But expect hard work :)

3. Stay away from the people with the horrible stories. Everyone has a scary birth story to tell you, not enough mums have positive experiences are sharing! You need to remember that one persons birth experience is not yours so don’t take that baggage on. If someone tries to tell you a horrible story, stop them and say, if you don’t mind I’d rather not know. Women who have had these experiences find it difficult to believe that there is another way and may even mock you for aiming for a natural or peaceful birth, so best just not to discuss it.

4. Look after yourself and your baby. Stay fit and healthy, if you haven’t been fit before not is not the time to reach peak fitness. Try out a pregnancy yoga class, a qualified teacher will be able to work with your current fitness level. Eat well, don’t pig out on junk ‘because your fat anyway. Everything you eat is feeding your baby so try your best to eat and drink healthily.

5. Be prepared to surrender to pregnancy and birth. People often think of ‘surrendering’ as giving in or being weak, but during pregnancy and birth its the most powerful thing you can do. It takes great strength to be able to trust our body and our baby, and trust that they know what to do. Our bodies were created to grow our babies and to birth them, it makes no sense that birth should be the torturous time portrayed in the media. There is another way and looking towards pregnancy yoga, making use of the breath and birth hypnosis are the best way to prepare for surrender.

I promised you some comfort food this week didn’t I? Its still bloody freezing outside, so get this down your chops! Its healthy, its hearty and packed with good protein, good carbs and fibre! (also freezes really well!)

Auntie Cath’s Cheeky Chilli!


• 2 medium red onions

• 2 cloves garlic

• 2 red peppers

• olive oil

• 1 heaped teaspoon chilli powder

• 1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin

• sea salt

• freshly ground black pepper

• 400 g tinned red kidney beans

• 2 x 400 g tinned chopped tomatoes

• 500 g quality minced beef

• 1 small bunch fresh coriander

Peel and finely chop the onions and garlic. Halve the red peppers, seeds and roughly chop. Place a large pan on a medium high heat. Add some olive oil and add the onions, garlic and peppers. Add the chilli powder and cumin with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Stir until softened.

Add the drained kidney beans and the tinned tomatoes followed by the minced beef. Fill one of the empty tomato tins with water and pour this into the pan. Season with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and turn the heat down to a simmer with a lid slightly askew for about an hour, stirring every now and again to stop it catching. Add the chopped, fresh coriander last minuet then serve with sweet potato wedges! I like to cook my wedges in a little bit of coconut oil with some fresh garlic cloves and sun dried tomatoes. They take approx 30 mins! Enjoy!

Stay Happy, Stay Healthy and Dream Big

Love Auntie Cath and Big Bump!!

One Hell of a Year , kale chips and Embracing my ‘downward dog’

What a romantic start to my week :-) Tom and I celebrated a year since our very first date :-) We went to Rosso Rrestaurant, which is where we’d had our first date a year ago.


We certainly didn’t think that a year later we’d be getting ready to welcome our first child! What an incredible year it has been. I love you so much Tom – thank you for the most wonderful year of my life!

Happy Anniversary! Celebrations continued over the weekend with a rock n roll shopping trip for baby things :-) How daunting is that by the way??? There’s soon much stuff on offer, it’s really difficult to know what you do/don’t need.


I think its quite easy to become paranoid and buy all the gadgets available. Crib CCTV! My parents couldn’t believe it when we told them! I’ve been texting friends with  children for tips and lists of essentials. I can’t believe some of the gear on offer these days – prams that look like space ships and cost well over a grand!??


I’ve been chatting with friend and yoga/Hypnobirthing expert Cheryl MacDonald this week. Her advice during my pregnancy has been so invaluable to me. I wanted to share this wonderful lady with you lovely people! Yoga is something I know little about …but know I should do more of it!! We practiced some yoga at drama school and I loved it – so its something that I’d like to do more of this year. Its WONDERFUL during pregnancy – Cheryl explains why….

Why is Yoga beneficial during pregnancy?

As much as mum may have wanted to become pregnant, it can still create a number of conflicting emotions when those two little lines appear on the pregnancy test :) Practising yoga during pregnancy can help mum work through these emotions, stay flexible, strong and healthy and become more positive about birth and parenting.

Yogic breathing (pranayama) encourages you to deeply relax and to take control of your body and emotions during pregnancy and also during the birth. The fact is that yoga actually makes you happier. The ‘love hormone’ Oxytocin helps you to relax and reduces blood pressure and cortisol levels. Yoga is now well recognised as one of the ways to encourage the body to release this amazing hormone and built in anti-stress mechanism.

When yoga is practised, oxytocin is released.  Deep breathing warms the body, and warmth is one of the key elements that allow us to release Oxytocin. By taking the body through the practice of yoga asana (postures) we warm the muscles and joints, make the physical body more comfortable and relaxed. By then continuing the practice with savasana (deep relaxation) and meditation, we encourage the production of oxytocin even further.

Some of oxytocin’s main functions are preparing the female body for childbirth, stimulating milk production and ‘let down’ so that baby can nurse, and encouraging the bond between mum and her newborn baby.

Another important aspect of joining a YogaBellies for Pregnancy class, is the social aspect. Our classes are not simply, come in, pull shape yoga shapes safe for pregnancy and leave: Our classes focus very much on building a community of women supporting women during this extra special time. You get to meet other women going through the same things at the same time and that support is invaluable. It’s lovely when we see mums coming back postnatally with their new babies with their friends they met in prenatal class. Building a support network and new ‘mummy friends’ can one of the most important deterrents against post natal depression also.


Is it OK to start Yoga during pregnancy if one hasn’t tried it before?

Absolutely! 86% of the women who attend YogaBellies classes have never set foot in a yoga class ever before! The great thing about pregnancy yoga is that it is, by it’s very nature gentle and adaptable to different stage of pregnancy and mum’s physical ability.

I tend not to teach per trimester, as I believe that there is no set ‘cooking time’ for any baby or pregnancy: every mother and baby are unique and every mum will feel different at each stage of the pregnancy. If mum can take the posture and breath a little further then we encourage her to do so, but the main rule in our classes is to listen to your body and your baby and be guided by how you personally feel.

I recommend that pregnant women always work with a specially qualified perinatal yoga teacher, as standard yoga teaching barely skims the surface of what you need to know when working with pregnant women. There are so many pregnancy related conditions and contraindications and modifications that you need to sure that you are your baby are working with a pregnancy expert and are safe.

For complete newbies, I think 12-14 weeks gestation is a good time to start a prenatal yoga class. We say this as there is a higher risk of miscarriage in the first trimester, but also, its important that mums spend that trimester relaxing, tuning into what’s happening in their body, meditating, deep breathing and just allowing baby to grow within them. Many women feel very sick at this point in the pregnancy and my advice would be to surrender to what your body needs: rest, comfort, a hot water bottle and a good book :)

I have treated myself to a ‘new do’ this week! My lovely friend @calumtierney @terencepaul worked his hair magic to make me feel like a ‘yummy mummy’. I think its so easy during pregnancy to feel a bit ‘fed up’ sometimes.

You can get very tired, you don’t have the energy to pamper yourself as much (and that’s coming from a girl who pre-pregnancy was practically a ‘drag queen’) You start to miss your old energetic self. As baby gets heavier so do you and that can leave you feeling frumpy. Thus I declare it UBER important for all mums-to be to be treated like princesses!! I certainly felt a million dollars with my new hair :-) I’ve gone darker – more like my natural colour. I’ll go blonde again for ‘Eva The Diva’ before I head back to Weatherfield, but its nice to have a change.


I also had a session with my friend Tania @EFTandhealing . I’ve found reiki and EFT really useful and its PROVEN to work!! It absolutely relaxes you – its safe, its mindful and its such a warming experience – perfect during pregnancy. If you haven’t tried it please do! I felt as though I was floating after my reiki session, and its easy to practice your Hypnobirthing breathing during too!


By now you’re probably fully aware that I am indeed slightly obsessed with Kale. The benefits of this leafy green are boundless – I try to have at least one large portion a day. I love this recipe by Dale Pinnock – perfect for throwing in some Tupperware and carrying around as ‘food on the go!’

Asian Spiced Kale Chips

200g Raw Curly Kale

olive oil for drizzling

1 Clove of Garlic finely chopped

1 Small red chilli finely chopped

1 teaspoon of runny honey

2 teaspoons of soy sauce

1 table spoon of natural crunchy peanut butter

1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder

Sea Salt

Preheat the oven to 180/350/Gas mark 4. Remove the kale stalks and put the leaves in a bowl. Drizzle over with a little olive oil and season with salt. Massage the leaves so they soften and wilt. 

Mix the rest of the ingredients with 2 teaspoons of water to make a rich sauce. Coat the Kale leaves with the sauce.

Place on a baking tray and bake for 15-20 mins until crispy and crunchy. Remove and let cool. Store in an airtight container!


I intend to slowly get back to the gym this weekend – doing very light exercise after being a little run down over the festive period. I’m feeling much better so I’ll be starting with simple back squats, squats and lunges – using mainly body weight. As much as I’m chopping at the bit to ‘smash’ the gym – Its SO important to be careful – especially as my due date nears. I need to be fighting fit – as it sounds to me like labour is the ultimate workout! I have my play list ready – yes – ‘Eye Of The Tiger’ from ‘Rocky’ is on there!! 

I loved my twitter chat with @HELLOMAG this week – thank you for your questions guys. If you missed it, you can read some of my answers here:


Be happy, be healthy and DREAM BIG!!


Auntie Cath and Bumpus Maximus 


The new year ‘fads’, healthy eating and giant sets!

Starting the new year with The RIGHT mindset is great. Around this time of year I start to see lots of people tweeting and Facebooking things like “just joined XXX slimming club. New year- new me”

“Just going to juice till summer #beachbody”

“Doing this new diet- can’t wait to see results”

“Starting the ‘Fasting Diet’ Next week!”

Let me stop you right there!! for example, some ‘slimming clubs’ operate on a ‘counting calories’ basis. Now I’m not saying calorie intake shouldn’t be taken into consideration when trying to manage weight loss- HOWEVER it is NOT the most important factor! For example a large avocado can contain over 300 cals but it is a fantastic source of GOOD fats!

Having a food like avocados in your diet could help you naturally eat fewer calories and have an easier time sticking to a healthy diet because you’ll feel fuller for longer .

Avocados are also high in fibre, and very low in carbs, two attributes that should also help promote weight loss, at least in the context of a healthy, real food based diet.

Here’s my point- some ‘Diets’ are fads.

Some can be about a quick fix and are NOT sustainable!! Yes you may loose a few pounds by juicing for weeks- Of course you will – guess what – You’ll could lose muscle mass due to lack of protein- the more muscle mass you have the easier you burn fat so surely that’s just senseless? Correct. Not to mention depletion in energy! You’ll feel weak, areas of muscle will ironically start to look ‘flabby’ , you won’t recover as quickly (from training, injury or illness) in short – your body goes into conservation mode. You may even lose hair !

If you’re serious about looking awesome and feeling awesome- then it has to be a lifestyle change.

It’s simply about a rounded healthy diet and exercise. You cut out processed food and eat clean foods from the land in a balanced manner, with a high protein intake and plenty of green vegetables – you WILL lose weight. You will lose weight healthily and you will keep it off.

This week my papa-bear – Graham made an AWESOME batch of soup. Its comforting, packed with nutrients to help fight colds and flu and its SO easy to make. Possibly my favourite soup now. I’ve just made an extra batch to freeze for when baby arrives (I have a feeling I’ll be unto my eyes in nappies with no time to cook!)


Graham’s Winter Red Soup!

• 5 large red peppers, de-seeded and chopped

• olive oil

• 3 to 4 red onions, chopped

• 5-6 cloves garlic, chopped (this sounds like a lot, but will give your immune system a real boost. Just don’t go on a date straight afterwards!)

• 3 to 4 red chillies, de-seeded and chopped

• 8 to 10 medium carrots, diced

• (1 1/2 pt) vegetable stock

• salt and black pepper, to taste

• Toss peppers with some olive oil and place on a baking tray. Roast peppers in the oven at 200 C for 20-25 minutes, or until soft and browning. Meanwhile, warm a little olive oil in a large saucepan over a low heat. Add onions and garlic and soften for a few minutes. Add chillies and carrots and continue to cook for a few more minutes. Remove the soft red peppers from the oven and add to the saucepan- stir well. Season with salt and pepper, then add vegetable stock. Bring mixture to the boil and then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until veg is soft. Blend mixture with a hand blender until smooth. SIMPLES :-)

Much needed this week as I have been under the weather. I have a strong immune system and purposefully eat foods that help to strengthen that so it just goes to show how susceptible you are when pregnant. You’re immune system is so much weaker that a common cold can quickly turn into flu, a chesty cough can quickly turn nasty So it really is SO important to fill up on theses much needed nutrients!! Pregnant or not – if any of the following apply to you then you could be weakening your immune system:

*Not getting enough sleep

*Not exercising

*Poor diet

*High stress levels

*Feeling isolated/not laughing enough! (laughter helps lower stress levels – when you’re around people that make you happy, stress levels drop and endorphins are raised!)

• So keep an eye on things – especially during winter! Its important to keep on top of your D3 Levels too – I’ll be chatting more about that next week!

I’ve indulged in some more reflexology this week with my therapist Beverley @potionshopUK Its so wonderfully good for you and is perfectly safe during pregnancy. not only is it healing, but its incredibly relaxing. I practise meditation during sessions – give it a go!



Now – As much as it’s killing me – Ive had ANOTHER week off training! Thats TWO WEEKS now! Soooo frustrating!! But needs must – its SO important I make a full recovery before returning to exercise, however my better half Tom has been training and working with clients to get rid of that Christmas weight so many people gain (we had a great time doing it though right? ;-). Incredibly envious, he’s been chatting to me about the benefits of ‘Giant Sets’…

The Beauty of Giant Sets!
With health and fitness expert @TP_PTFitness


Giant sets – pretty awesome if you are looking to gain lean mass and lose body fat . Incorporating giant sets to your workout will achieve this for you,along with cardiovascular benefits. Giant sets work by picking four exercises for a specific muscle group. Completing all four exercises back to back with around 60/90 second recovery period. For example:


Flat Bench X 10

Incline flys X 10

Incline press X 10

Press ups X10

Rest & repeat 3/4 times


Stiff leg deadlift (straight legs) X10

Hamstring curl X 10

Romanian deadlift X 10

Back extension X 10

Rest & repeat 3/4 times

Giant sets can work for anyone in the gym, whether your looking to bulk or strip body fat. The routine will just need adjusting in accordance to your end goal.

Tweak your work out and begin to strip that stubborn body fat and get the results you want.

God I can’t wait till I can do all this again!!! Chomping at the bit! Give it a try guys. Remember to set yourself fitness goals on a regular basis!!

Hopefully I’ll be back at the gym next week… I’ll also be doing a twitter chat with @hellomag on Thursday at 12 so please tweet me all your health and fitness questions, and i will be chatting with Yoga expert Chery MacDonald @CherylYogabelle about yoga benefits during pregnancy! Stay tuned health bunnies!

Stay Happy, Stay Healthy and Dream BIG!

Love Auntie Cath xxx

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