Sack the soy and Ninja Warrior!

‘Gluten Free’… people seem drawn in by this label. If you are Gluten free – YES you will be healthier and feel a damn sight better too. Supermarkets are cashing in on this, and now stock hundreds of products in the ‘Gluten Free’ section…some supermarkets indulge in a whole aisle of ‘Gluten Free’ products. DO NOT BE FOOLED!! Gluten Free on a label does NOT always mean that it is healthy!!

Many of these products are filled with tons of sugar, industrial seeds (i.e Rapeseed and Sunflower oil), soy and cereal grains. These little minions…are often found on the ‘Healthy Living’ aisle…

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Many of these products are promoting low-fat, highly processed diets made up of toxic foods. ‘Gluten Free Skinny Muffins’??? It’s almost comedy value to find such a thing on the ‘Healthy Living’ section. Thats not to say there aren’t healthier recipes available, should you wish to make a paleo, Gluten and dairy free ‘Muffin’ at home. If you’re really craving something like that – make them, at home and chose a recipe with no ingredients that will cause you inflammation or any physiological changes.

For example…let’s chat about Soy …for a long time ‘hippies’ around the globe have been hailing this as a ‘healthy option’ – I have a real ‘beef’ with Soy – Soy can sometimes screw up your hormones, and it is high in phyates, which means it could rob you of valuable minerals like calcium, magnesium, zinc, and iron. Thats just a few soy-related problems for you. So before you head to the ‘Healthy Living’ section in the supermarket and give yourself a ‘Chuffty Badge’…BE AWARE.

I’ll bore you once more with the line I live by, and make all nutritional decisions by:

“IF IT RAN, SWAM OR GREW FROM THE EARTH – EAT IT. ANYTHING ELSE COULD HAVE BEEN FIDDLED WITH!!!”

If you want a ‘treat’, make it. Don’t have the time? MAKE time. You only have one body. I could give you ten options off the top of my head for a ‘treat’ that takes under ten minutes to prep. The options are there. Fail to prepare…prepare to fail. ALWAYS READ THE LABEL guys, it takes 60 seconds of your time.

Tom and I took Alfie for a little trip to Wrea Green and Lytham this week. I love Lytham- lovely stretch of beach to run about on with the dogs, fab shopping and darling little tea rooms dotted around like they never went out of fashion! unnamed3

Alfie saw ducks for the first time (which he found very confusing! He’s just about got his head around dogs) And he bravely attempted the ball pool- which he tired of quite quickly! But we had some quality family time- which are always my favourite kinda time :-)

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Training with @Mattwarnerpt from @upfitness is going REALLY well, and after one week my results in terms of measurements and strength are already fab!! Roll on next session!!

We’ve been very busy making more telly magic for you lot on the cobbles too. My schedule is starting to ramp up prior to the live now- so I had a cheeky little night shoot with the wonderful Paula Lane this week. So nice to see Eva and Kylie reunited!! And of course Paula and I get to chat all things babies in between scenes ?

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I also attended a VERY special filming of ITV’s ‘Ninja Warrior Uk’ this week. Its an extra special episode! I LOVE that show! All will be revealed!

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This weeks recipe is one of my faves! A gorgeous Paleo Lasagne, that really quick and easy to make!

Lush, Lean Lasagne

Ingredients

For beef and tomato sauce

• 2 tablespoons virgin olive oil

• 1 onion, diced

• 1 teaspoon Himalayan Pink salt

• 1 teaspoon coconut oil

• 500g grass-fed beef mince (1.1 lb.)

• ⅔ cup dry red wine

• 3 garlic cloves, finely diced chopped

• ⅔ teaspoon black pepper

• ⅔ teaspoon sweet paprika

• 3 cups tomato passata

For the lasagna layers

• 1 Large Parsnip, thinly sliced

• 1 large Aubergine, sliced into 1 cm-thick disks

• 1 teaspoon sea salt

• 2 tablespoon virgin olive oil

• ½ cup torn fresh basil leaves

• 5–6 button mushrooms, sliced

• 2 cups baby spinach leaves

• 3 medium courgettes sliced vertically into thin ribbons

• 2–3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

• Cherry tomatoes to garnish

1. Heat oven to 180°C (355°F). Place a layer of parsnip slices with a coconut oil in a deep lasagna tray and pre-bake in the oven for 15 minutes, this will help to soften them slightly before we build the rest of the layers. Set aside

2. To make the sauce, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil and sauté onion with a pinch of salt for 5 minutes, until slightly caramelised. Add 1 tsp of coconut oil and bring the heat up to high. Break the beef mince and add to the frying pan. Stir and break the mince apart into small pieces. Cook for about 5–6 minutes, until browned.

3. Add red wine, garlic, pepper, paprika and salt to cooking meat and fry for a further 3-4 minutes. Add tomato passata, bring to boil and turn the heat down to simmering temperature. Cook for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, sprinkle aubergine slices with sea salt and set aside for 10 minutes to draw out some of the juices. Rinse and pat dry. Heat the oven back to 180°C (355°F).

4. In another frying pan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil. Fry the aubergine in batches for 2-3 minutes on each side, until light golden brown. Set aside.

1. Take the baking tray out of the oven and start layering the lasagna in the following order: pre-cooked parsnips, ⅓ of tomato meat sauce, aubergine slices, fresh basil leaves, mushrooms, the rest of the meat sauce pressed down evenly, baby spinach, courgette, drizzle of olive oil and some cracked black pepper. Cook in the oven, at 180°C (355°F), for 35–40 minutes. If using grated Parmesan cheese, add on top of the lasagna at the 20 minutes cooking-time mark. Increase the heat to 200°C (390°F) for the last 10–15 minutes. Garnish with fresh basil and a few cherry tomatoes. Serve with mixed salad. Job done. This freezes really well too! Enkoy and don’t forget to tweet me your pictures if you give it a go!

Stay Happy, Stay Healthy & Dream BIG

Auntie Cath xxx

Virtually Famous and gut health!!

This week I’ve been filming Virtually Famous for E4. If you haven’t seen it before, it’s a guest panel show, with the fabulous Kevin McHale (of Glee fame) as the hilarious host. Guests comment and play various silly games, centred or based around the latest popular social media hits. Be it on YouTube, Twitter or Facebook.

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I was joined by Chris Stark and Russell Kane…WHAT a night we had! When a medic approached me to check on my health status, I knew the producers had something special in store for me. Let’s just say it involved me playing barmaid… in very unusual… ‘electrifying’ circumstances. I’ll keep you posted on the transmission date. It really is a very funny show.

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We all have a ‘weak spot’ when it comes to health. When busy lifestyles take their toll, physically – we often see the impact. Some people may struggle with migraines (as mentioned in last week’s blog) for example, bad skin, IBS, anxiety, depression… one of the biggest complaints doctors receive is problems with digestive health.

Much of the time, simple changes to your lifestyle can eradicate some – if not all – of these symptoms. It all starts with eating properly – working from the inside out!! Taking pills and potions from the doctor often will simply ‘mask’ symptoms. If you get constant indigestion – WHY are you getting constant indigestion? If you have IBS flare-ups – WHY? Constipation? WHY??

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So many people rely on quick fix solutions from a local pharmacy – not really looking into what is causing the problem. Having a healthy gut isn’t rocket science. There are really simple steps you can take to improve gut health.

I spoke to my trainer Matt Warner this week in regards to this subject, as my digestive system is the first thing to malfunction if I’m stressed or I’m not eating in a ‘clean’ way.

So I’ve asked Matt to share his top tips for Gut Health. Give it a try – you’ll probably see a HUGE difference, I know I did! (Always go to your doctor with persistent symptoms)

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@MattWarnerPT: 5 Tips for Optimal gut health.

Clean up your diet: This is always the best first step for anyone looking to improve gut health. Processed foods and drinks, as we know, contain an abundance of sugar, artificial sweeteners, trans fats and chemicals. These are major causes of inflammation within the gut leading to the symptoms often associate with IBS and other gut discomfort.

Anti-inflammatory foods: So often we neglect the health benefits of food. Eating the right foods at the right times can have a dramatic impact on improving health. Include foods such as cruciferous vegetables, Sauerkraut, green tea, garlic, cinnamon and onions as part of your daily nutrition plan.

Supplement with omega 3s and Vitamin D3: Falling short of calling these two ‘super supplements’, both Omega 3s and Vitamin D3 should be a staple supplement in your daily routine. They provide hundreds of benefits to your health from improving body composition by turning on the fat burning genes to natural anti inflammatory properties thus improving gut health.

Food rotation: We all tend to stick to the same food sources our whole lives. Sometimes these foods can irritate us causing many of the common symptoms of gut discomfort. Bloating, excess gas, mood swings and poor skin health to name a few. Rotating food sources can help to minimise intolerance and help improve your body composition.

Add good bacteria: Once you have followed steps 1 to 4 for a few weeks, try adding a good quality probiotic into your regime. The good bacteria will thrive in the new, improved environment within the gut and help to optimise your health further.

Well done to everyone who got their exam results this week! I remember those days (albeit many moons ago! It’s bloody tough!)

Extra special well done to my cousin Lucy who grafted her socks off and did brilliantly in her GCSEs. Go Lucy!!!

Birthday’s, baby sensory and salt baths!

 

Hello! I hope you are all happy and healthy! We had a wonderful weekend last week, with big celebrations for Antony Cotton’s 40th Birthday (aka Coronation Street’s Sean Tully)! It was a fantastic party held at Antony’s beautiful home.

cath-bday3So many people turned out to wish Antony happy birthday, amazing food, plenty of drinks and great company – perfect! I’ve known Antony for many years now, as his partner Peter is my best friend.

cath-bday1cath-bday2cath-bday Peter and I grew up together. So I used to spend much of my time gate crashing their house before I met Tom. I think they’re relieved I’ve settled down to be honest. It was a bit like that film ‘You, Me and Dupree’?

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Also this week – I took Alfie to a local ‘Baby Sensory’ class. I highly recommend these classes!! Not only will your cherub be able to spend time around other babies, but the classes will give you some great ideas for play, massage, tummy time, movement, visual development, hand-eye coordination and music – in simple practical ways that can easily be repeated at home. Alfie loves music and lights – baby sensory classes are the ideal environment for him to play safely and learn from older babies.

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There are plenty of classes available if you check with your local community centre/Sure Start Centre (it also helps to tire them out….meaning you’ll get a decent nap out of them afterwards!) I have played music and sang to Alfie from the moment I found out I was pregnant. We use the same song to sing him to sleep each day. So he knows that when mummy sings this song – its time to nap/go to bed. Researchers believe that musical training creates new pathways in the brain. Classical works by composers such as Bach, Beethoven, or Mozart–is different from music such as say ‘pop’ or ‘rock’… it has a more complex musical structure.

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Babies as young as 3 months can pick out that structure, would you believe!! They can even recognize classical music selections they have heard before.

Researchers think the complexity of classical music is what primes the brain to solve spatial problems more quickly. So listening to classical music may have different effects on the brain than listening to other types of music (however, this won’t stop me bombarding Alfie with Disney songs…its for his benefit …honest…ahem…)

I believe that listening to any kind of music helps build music-related pathways in the brain. And music has been proven to have a positive effects on our moods that may make learning easier. When we sing we release endorphins, which is probably why I’m slightly addicted to singing where ever I am…non stop. I think it may ‘grate’ on Tom occasionally! Give it a go!! Get musical with your baby! It can’t do any harm eh?

Great news! I’m back in my pre-pregnancy jeans (okay… They’re tight… But they’re on!!) so pleased!! Big Thank you to my wonderful Tom for helping me, and to my new personal trainer @mattwarnerpt who is now helping me to achieve my fitness goals (I think Tom’s glad of the hand over to be honest… Nagging him about home improvements mid- workout didn’t go down to well!)

I’ll be posting some fab workout tips over the next few weeks. Matts knowledge is amazing- I’ve learnt so much from him already and can’t wait to share with you guys!

I’ve spoken previously about the importance of ‘rest days’. I used to train 6 days a week… Sometimes 7! Allowing my body very little time to recover and repair. At least two rest days are important. I still remain active on rest days e.g I walk with Alfie or go for a little swim, but I don’t lift weights. I also make the effort to take a Magnesium Salt bath after training – which helps you repair quicker. I recommend bathing in a pint of Magnesium Salts for at least 25 minuets. I also use a product new to the market- magnesium body butter! The idea being the same- aiding muscle recovery transdermally.

Give it a go- salt baths are cheap and highly effective!

Stay Happy, Stay Healthy and Dream BIG

Love

Auntie Cath

Xxx

My new personal trainer and a monkfish BBQ recipe!

This week I had my first meeting with my new trainer @MattWarnerpt! I’m about to undertake the most advanced training and nutrition plan to date – I’m VERY lucky! Terrified…but lucky! I’ll be keeping you guys posted on my progress!

Also been loving my time on the cobbles… I’ve been a nice level of busy – meaning I’m spending lots of time with Alfie too. Weatherfield is easing me back in nicely…

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We had a gorgeous BBQ this week at Corrie too which has inspired this week’s recipe! Although most of the cast were more concerned with the HUGE chocolate truffles on offer!!

Something I’ve been meaning to chat about for a while – migraines – the absolute bain of many peoples lives. Including some members of the Corrie cast past and present.

I myself used to struggle with these horrible headaches as a teenager on a daily basis. I used to take medication every day to try and improve the situation.

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Through keeping a dairy of my diet (which granted, back then, was terrible) and menstrual cycle I learnt that mine were heavily affected by hormones, diet and stress. Now thanks to changes in my nutrition and wising up to ‘warning signs’ I’m able to keep my migraines at bay.

I have maybe one or two a year now which is more than manageable. However, due to the drastic changes in hormones during pregnancy, I struggled with migraines whist carrying my son Alfie.

I had maybe one every couple of weeks. To people who have never had to endure a migraine, you may be thinking ‘man up! Its a headache!’ WRONG. A migraine is the mother of all headaches!! I lose some of my vision, which no matter how many times I experience this, always leaves me feeling panicked.

I continued to have migraines for several weeks after the birth whilst breastfeeding. Again – in my case most definitely hormone related.

Some people also have other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting and increased sensitivity to light or sound.

Migraines are extremely common, affecting approx one in every five women and around one in every 15 men.

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There are several types of migraine, including:

migraine with aura – where there are warning signs before the migraine begins, such as seeing flashing lights
migraine without aura – where the migraine occurs without warning signs.
migraine aura without headache, also known as a silent migraine – where an aura or other migraine symptoms are experienced, but a headache does not develop.
Some people have migraines frequently, up to several times a week. Other people only have a migraine occasionally. It is possible for years to pass between migraine attacks.

There are many different treatments for migraines. For me personally it seems to help keeping my hormones at bay. I also found reflexology extremely helpful. In times of stress, meditation also acts as a preventative. As well as several supplements being proven to help including:

Magnesium

Vitamin B12

Co-enzyme Q-10

Ginger

There is also new research showing a direct link between artificial sweeteners and headaches (I’ve said it a million times – you consume artificial sweeteners, you are ASKING for a whole bunch of side affects. This rubbish is NOT supposed to enter our bodies).

http://www.migraine.org.uk

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Now… on to fish! I adore monkfish! I’ve found a great recipe this week, with a bit of luck we’ll get some good weather and you can bob these monkfish skewers on the BBQ! Mmmmm… monkfish skewers!

500g monkfish tail, diced into chunks
2 large sweet potatoes, cut into wedges
2 large red onions, cut into wedges
5cm fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled
Juice 1 lemon
1 tsp turmeric
handful fresh coriander
3 tbsp full fat Greek yoghurt
6 – 8 bamboo skewers

Preheat the oven to 180C /350F . Arrange the sweet potato wedges in a roasting dish, drizzle with a little olive oil and season. Place in the oven for around 30 minutes, or until cooked. Leave to cool.

In a food processor, combine the ginger, garlic, lemon, turmeric, coriander and yoghurt to make a marinade.
Place the Monkfish and onion wedges into the roasting dish with the sweet potatoes. Pour over the marinade and coat well.

Arrange the skewers by alternating between the fish, sweet potatoes and onions. Aim to fit around 2 / 3 of each item on to each skewer.

When ready to cook, either place on the bbq and keep turning until cooked through, or grill for 2 – 3 minutes either side.

Give them a go my little Health Bunnies!!
Stay Happy.

Stay healthy and dream big.

Love Auntie Cath x

Petticoats, Porridge and Parents!

This week I visited a fab new American Diner in Manchester. I adore the 1950’s, the style, the clothes, the class! The dresses back then were so classy and feminine – a lady looked like a real lady! (Yes I probably sound like your Nan, but I don’t care!) We had such a great night dressing up in retro dresses, there was a Buddy Holly tribute act, all the waitresses were in full costume and I got to swan around like A character from ‘Grease’…what’s not to love!?

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I also met up with ‘my girls!’ The girls I went to school with…in fact we’ve all been together since Nursery! How cute are we? We all went for a beautiful slap up meal with our other halves to celebrate my pal’s restaurant being open for 22 years. Its so lovely to catch up with the girls. Were all so busy these days, but when we get together its like nothing has ever changed – we revert back to a bunch of giddy school girls – I love it :-)

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A HUGE Congratulations to Steve & Diana – my in-laws to be, they celebrated 40 years on marriage this week with their Ruby Wedding Anniversary. My parents also have their Ruby Wedding Anniversary approaching, our parents are very similar and both families have very strong family values. Tom and I are so lucky to have such an amazing support network – truly inspiring marriage graft!! No pressure Tom!

The time has come! Weaning Alfie has started!! I’ve been so excited for him trying new foods. We plan to make everything ourselves. In one of the books that I’m reading it advises new mum’s to start with a simple baby porridge…Be warned! Even baby porridge can contain some ‘nasty’s’, why would you add sugar and palm oil to baby porridge for example? Well some brands do!! ALWAYS read the label!! We’ve chosen to just give Alfie normal oats, milled very finely. No added sugar. No saturated fats. Just goodness! I’ve been so shocked at some of the ingredients in certain items…If I wouldn’t put it in my body – why on earth would I put it into my baby’s precious little body?? As Alfie progresses and explores new foods I’ll be sharing some fab, easy recipes further down the line.

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My training is going really well, Tom has been training me whilst I wait for my pals new gym to open. We don’t usually train together, but he’s been amazing (not to mention patient!) since I’ve had Alfie. He’s been so encouraging and motivational, and supports me every step of the way. I’m feeling stronger each day :-) Here’s one of the exercises thats helping ‘Momma get her Booty back!’ ha ha…

BARBELL HIP THRUST WITH BENCH

Muscle group

• Glutes

• Hamstrings

• Core

How

• Lie with your upper back supported on a bench and your feet planted on the floor in front of you. Hold a barbell across your hips.

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• Lower your hips down so your glutes almost come in contact with the floor.

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• Pressing through your heels and squeezing your glutes, return the barbell to the start position.

 

See You Next Week Campers!!

Stay Happy, Stay Healthy & Dream BIG!

Love Auntie Cath

Wedding bell’s and bonkers body shaming!!

First up!!! Congratulations Mr & Mrs Battersby!!! Nope not the Corrie Battersby’s! Our lovely pals Andrew and Rebecca tied the knot at weekend – what a beautiful wedding and what a stunning bride!! As soon as Rebecca walked into the church I burst into tears!! Andrew is Tom’s best friend (although after Tom’s ‘Best Man Speech’ I’m not sure Andy sees it that way anymore!! Ha ha.)

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Tom’s best man speech was the best I’ve ever heard! He hadn’t rehearsed in front of me so I was nervous for him…turns out he’s a natural!!

Everyone agreed it was one of the best speeches they’d heard. Andrew spent the whole time with his head in his hands, turning a dark shade of crimson… Well done Tom! Alfie attended the wedding too and looked absolutely adorable in his little tuxedo :-)

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Body shaming???? What the??? This appears to be some new craze – in which all participants are clearly very sad, bitter, twisted people with waaaaay too much time on their hands. These pathetic little critters sit at home on their laptops (because they have no friends I’m guessing) slating people’s bodies.

Recent targets include Serena Williams and Selena Gomez… I just don’t get it??? Firstly what right does anyone have to be judgemental or negative about anyone else’s body?? Secondly the irony of it all?? Both girls are SO beautiful!

We are all different, we ALL have body hang ups, in a world filled with stick-thin, air brushed models pushed in our faces every day – when we do see someone with a normal healthy figure we now appear to be repelled??

We are ALL beautiful!! What you may see as ‘imperfect ‘ someone else may wish for. Each time I moan about the size of my thighs or backside I remind myself that some people don’t have legs or can’t walk – so what if I’ve got junk in my trunk?! And let’s be honest – all that really matters is that you can love and BE loved. And that includes loving yourself!

I’m no hypocrite- I’m not quite there yet, but the older I get the more I appreciate all my blessings. Which includes my strong and healthy body- the greatest gift we can ask for right? Do not let ‘haters’ tell you what is beautiful and what isn’t.

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Pity these people , in fact – say a little prayer for them! That they may one day learn the value of good health and real beauty. That they will one day be happy enough with themselves and their own mental state to not bring other people down. Bless them- what empty lives they must lead.

On a more positive note! My first week back at Corrie has been wonderful. I’ve missed that place so much! So lovely to see my Corrie family!

Ironically Eva has been hitting the gym too! She’s pretty lame though! She tends to jog for two minutes then necks a can of an energy drink!

Here’s me as Eva with one of my favourite directors – Mr Lee Salisbury!

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I’ve been chatting all things ‘Superfoods’ with specialists @kaizenliving this week, with so many people classing different foods as ‘Superfoods’, I asked these guys for their true top 5 and why. I’ve covered some of these wonderful foods before – they really are SUPER!! :

@KAIZENLIVING:

‘Superfoods’ is very much a buzzword at the moment & in my opinion it’s one that is perhaps used a little too frequently to describe certain foods. To me a ‘superfood’ is a food that is bursting in goodness – whether that be vitamins, minerals, nutrients, protein, anti-oxidants – I think it should be abnormally high to truly earn that ‘superfood’ title! I’m going to very quickly tell you about 5 of my favourite superfoods and what indeed makes them super!

1) Acai – This is an incredible berry indigenous to the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil. The Acai berry has become incredibly popular in places such as California where many of Hollywood’s finest along with the likes of David Beckham are regularly spotted eating their morning Acai Smoothie Bowls! Well it’s with good reason! The Acai berry contains more antioxidants than any other fruit on the planet, around 20 times more than blueberries in fact. It’s a fantastic energy booster & is incredibly good at helping to promote healthy hair, skin & nails! Not only that but it is high in calcium so great for aiding healthy teeth & bones! Acai is perfect mixed in smoothies and breakfast bowls!

2) Cacao – We often get told that dark chocolate is good for us & the reason for that is down to one thing only – it is higher in raw cacao than milk chocolate & raw cacao is a true superfood! It has the highest antioxidant content of any food on the planet! Even more than the aforementioned acai berry! So it is truly amazing at taking toxins out of our bodies. It also helps to regulate our blood sugar & is high in fibre, magnesium, iron, potassium and copper! Raw cacao can be used to create healthy chocolate flavoured smoothies, healthy hot chocolate drinks & can be used to replace regular cocoa powder in baking!

3) Chia Seeds – “Chia” is actually the Mayan word for ‘strength’ and it’s easy to see why as these little fellas pack an almighty punch! They are packed full of goodness. In fact they contain approximately 15 x more magnesium than broccoli, approximately 5 x more calcium than cow’s milk and around 3 x more iron than spinach! Not only that but they also increase the feeling of fullness so they’re great for anyone looking to lose a few pounds. They have also been shown to help lower cholesterol levels & are a fantastic source of sustainable energy. Chia Seeds can be used in smoothies, baking, sprinkled on yoghurts or get creative & soak them overnight to create your own chia breakfast pot! You can even just add them to a bottle of water to drink throughout the day!

4) Spirulina – In my opinion spirulina is the true king of superfoods. Containing over 60% pure protein and around 80 vitamins, minerals & nutrients spirulina has been described as the most complete food on the planet… in fact NASA even use it as a food for their astronauts in space! There is no food on the planet that has a higher protein content than spirulina & not only that but it is an extremely absorbable source for the body, around 4 x more absorbable than from beef.

Spirulina contains 18 amino acids, including all the essentials making it great for people leading an active lifestyle and a wonderful source of protein & amino acids for vegans. It is packed full of chlorophyll meaning it is great at ridding the body of toxins & perfect for anyone looking to increase their alkalinity levels. It is also high in iron, vitamins B6 & B12, calcium and magnesium! Being an algae, spirulina is a bit of an acquired taste, however it can easily be mixed in with smoothies & vegetable juices. It is also widely available in tablet format but watch the ingredients on these, many use bulking/caking agents in their tablets, try to purchase ones where the ingredients are simply 100% pure spirulina.

5) Wheatgrass – Another superfood that is absolutely brilliant at ridding the body of toxins. So many people swear by their “wheatgrass shots” the morning after the night before & their is science behind this too. Wheatgrass is great at cleansing the liver of toxins and assisting that recovery process. It is also a great natural energy booster so makes for a perfect way to start the day right! It contains 19 amino acids, and has a calcium content that is around 11 x higher than cow’s milk! It is high in iron, copper & zinc as well as vitamin E! Not only that but it is also a great alkaliser & immunity booster! Start the day right by taking wheatgrass as either a morning shot with just water or a small amount of fresh juice or mix in to your smoothies & juices!

As with many other foods, all superfoods are at their best when they are organic & 100% pure!

Also had the opportunity last week, to wear another stunning dress!

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Designed by my gorgeous friend Nadine Merabi- the dress will be auctioned off with all proceeds going to the wonderful charity ‘Mind’ . You too can help by donating here:

http://www.mind.org.uk

Until Next Week Campers!
Stay Happy, Stay Healthy and Dream BIG

Love

Auntie Cath
Xxx

Eva The Diva, First Aid and Stepping it Up!!

Twas my first week back at work on Monday I have missed Weatherfield SO much – more than I realised!
I was so nervous about going back to work after being a full- time mummy for a while. It’s so hard having to leave Alfie, but I’m VERY lucky as my mum, Alfie’s lovely grandma is his full time nanny as well. Which is incredibly reassuring. She’s the BEST mum in the world!

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So I can’t think of anyone better for the job! Not to mention the fact she adores him and spoils him rotten. I only live 10 minutes from ITV, so I get to go home at lunch time and sometimes for several hours in between scenes. Which again – is very lucky, especially whilst my ‘Little Pickle’ is so young.

Eva has some fab scenes coming up – I can’t wait for you guys to see them!! It’s been so lovely to see my Corrie co-stars too, especially my lovely ‘Sis’ Jane Danson, I always feel extremely lucky to work closely with Jane – she’s such a wonderful and giving actress.

– First Aid Rapped Up!
I’m delighted to announce my support for the British Red Cross ‘First Aid Rapped Up’ campaign, which launches this week with a brilliant TV ad, and video of babies and toddlers rapping first aid advice to parents.

When I first became pregnant with Alfie, doing a first aid course was on the top of my to-do list. If becoming a parent doesn’t give you the incentive to do a first aid course I don’t know what will! Toddlers and children are always getting in to scrapes; whether they’re falling off their scooters or mistaking liqui-tabs for colourful sweets, and I wanted to be prepared.

So me and my mum, Janet, jumped at the chance to do the Red Cross baby and child first aid course. My mum looks after Alfie a lot, so we both went along armed with loads of questions.

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If any of you have thought about doing a first aid course but have felt intimidated by the thought of it – don’t be! We had an absolutely lovely trainer called Tracey, who was just brilliant. She made us feel totally at ease from the beginning, allowing us to choose particular areas of concern and guiding us through them step-by-step.

There is nothing difficult about learning first aid. Most of the time it is just common sense but one of the best things about the course is it gives you the confidence to do something, if you need to.

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It’s practical too; designed to help you make use of everyday items around the home. So, if you’re child suffers a bad cut, you can grab a t-shirt or towel and apply pressure to the wound. And who knew that cling-film was useful for more than just wrapping your sarnies? If your child suffers a scold or burn you can also use it to keep the burn clean, after running it under cold water for ten mins of course!

The course also dispelled a few old-wives tales. My mum was under the impression that a slab of butter was good for a burn but Tracey was quick to set her straight!

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According to the Red Cross, 65 per cent of parents wish they had done a first aid course before they became a parent. If you’re one of those 65 per cent or you’re expecting your first child, I would thoroughly recommend the Red Cross first aid course. Alternatively, download the baby and child first aid app for an interactive guide on how to tackle life’s emergencies. It’s quick, it’s easy to use and it could save your child’s life.”

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This week I’ve asked Glenn Parker to explain how to perform a ‘step Up’ correctly. Weighted or unweighted – they’re a big part of my workout great for those pins and booty!!
@GPTransformer:
The Step Up

There is a few variations of the movement you can do. But today I’m going to show you a basic step-up. It’s actually a compound movement performed unilaterally. The major muscles involved are Quads, Hamstrings and Glutes and because it is performed on one leg it will require stabilisation and so that’s how you will get the minor muscle groups involved as well such as the adductors and abductors. So what ever level you start from. For an exercise with fat loss benefits and leg strength. It’s an excellent exercise to use.
1. Stand with one leg roughly 90 degrees on the platform, depending on your ability (you can start lower)
2. The other leg has its foot flat with toes risen. With an upright posture.
3. Then slightly lean forward on the step and drive down with the elevated foot
4. As you drive the leg down onto the platform the foot on the floor will rise bringing your feet parallel with each other.
5. Stand with an upright posture
6. Keeping the working leg on the platform.
7. Slowly under control lower the foot back to the floor.
8. Stand with an upright posture.
9. Repeat the process.
10. Tip. Like shown is to slam the working foot into the platform. Which sets up an initiation for the exercise.
11. Tip. Toes are risen on the floor as it stops any additional push from the non working leg.

See You Next Week Campers!

Stay happy, stay healthy and dream big!

Personal trainers and work trip to Cyprus

Cyprus

I have been filming in Cyprus this week with ITV’s This Morning. It was a wonderful experience and what a beautiful country! I’ll definitely go back! My trip has inspired this week’s recipe as the food was just wonderful! Lots of grilled meats and tonnes of seafood! Paleo heaven!!

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PTs

I’m a huge advocate of looking to experts in terms of your health and fitness. When I say ‘expert ‘ I don’t mean the local ‘juice head’ . Just because someone is ‘pumped up’ or in good shape, doesn’t mean they know what they’re talking about. I’ve come across plenty of personal trainers who don’t. ALWAYS check your PT’s qualifications.

There are a LOT of ‘blaggers’ out there unfortunately. I had a PT approach me once and tell me that I should follow a fruit juice diet and do aerobics three times a week… Apparently the weight would ‘drop off’…

It’s quite worrying that gyms employ these people. Braun doesn’t always mean brains!

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Check their fitness qualifications and check what nutrition training they have had. Most importantly, the more you educate yourself, the more you’ll see through any bull! You wouldn’t ask someone with an interest in medicine to perform an operation right?!

Same principle. You only get one body! Also, chose a PT who motivates you, helps you set and most importantly achieve goals on a regular basis. Goals should be reassessed every so often and a great PT won’t just be there for you at the gym – they’ll be there at the end of the phone when you need that extra support or advice. There really are some awesome trainers out there, that achieve amazing results – it’s worth investing. Just check the label before you buy.

I will be training with the brilliant Nick Mitchell soon, who has a proven track record with getting his clients amazing results.

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Skin and the sun 

Before my trip to Cyprus I consulted skin care and make-up expert Armand Beasley. I always wear factor 50 on my face and 30 on my body when on holiday but there are lots of other things you can do to protect yourself in the sun!

It’s important to know your facts when it comes to protecting you and your family from the sun whilst still being able to enjoy it, so here are a few Safety In The Sun tips:

– Did you know that sunlight is made up of 95 per cent UVA (ageing) rays whilst only 5 per cent are UVB (burning) rays?

– Apply a generous amount of sunscreen and don’t forget to reapply every 1 to 2 hours, no matter how high the factor… and don’t forget areas like the bridge of the nose, ears and feet.

– Avoid prolonged sun exposure when the sun is at its strongest (usually between 12 and 4pm). This can vary though depending on your destination, so check with your holiday rep as to when the sun is at its most intense.

– Start with a higher SPF for the first couple of days of your holiday so that your skin can get used to the sun.

– Know what level of protection you are getting! For example, an SPF 30 will protect you from 97% of the UVB rays whilst a SPF 15 will protect you from around 93 per cent. There is only 1 per cent difference in protection between factor 50 and factor 30!

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– Be aware that the level of protection from UVA rays is now indicated in the UK by either the ‘star rating system’ with some brands or it says Broad Spectrum. Do not go for less than a 4 star as it’s important to have high protection against UVA as these can cause premature ageing and skin damage.

– If you’re fair skinned then be aware that even in the shade, 40 per cent of UV radiation can still reach you.

– Make sure that your sunglasses have a broad spectrum sun filter too! The eye area is 40% finer than the rest of the skin so make sure you look after it.

– Chaps… if you’re a little thin on ‘top’ then invest in a good high factor, broad spectrum sunscreen and reapply frequently.

Here’s my Cypriot Potato salad – its GORGEOUS! Don’t forget to tweet me your pics if you make it!!

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Cath’s Cypriot Spud Salad (paleo)

4 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed and diced

1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, sliced

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

400g tin chopped tomatoes

Sea salt and black pepper

1 bunch fresh oregano or flat leaf parsley

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

250g baby spinach

100g feta cheese

Place the potatoes in a pan and cover with salted water then bring to the boil and simmer for 4 minutes until tender then drain and cool. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan and fry the potatoes until golden. Remove from the pan and set aside. Fry the onions, garlic and spices until lightly golden. Place the potatoes back in the pan with the onions and add the tomatoes. Cook on a high heat to reduce the tomatoes slightly for about 3 minutes then add the spinach. Remove from the heat straight away and gently toss the spinach so that it just wilts then add the vinegar and some of the chopped oregano or parsley. Pour into a serving dish then crumble the feta cheese on top, sprinkle some olive oil, black pepper and more fresh herbs Perfect with a BBQ!!

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See ya next week!

Stay happy, stay healthy and dream BIG!

Auntie Cath

xxx

Spinning and Mr & Mrs!

In a Spin!

Weight training and HIT training are my main forms of exercise, as most of you know (I bang on about them enough) but I do like to mix things up! I don’t really do much ‘steady state cardio’ as it isn’t optimal for fat loss.

Thats not to say it won’t improve your fitness – it will! I just reap better benefits from weight training and high intensity workouts.

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Pretty simple equation in my eyes – the more lean muscle mass you have = the more fat you burn. I have been dubious about ‘Spinning Classes’ in the past, as I’ve been to some before – yes I burnt calories, but that was it – simple cardio.

But I headed over to the ‘Spin Factory’ in Manchester this week, where, I have to say – I was certainly put through my paces! I did a high intensity class for 30 mins, great for fat burning!

Lots of spin-classes are starting to introduce weights and resistance bands now too – to give more of a full body workout.

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Mentally I felt the benefit after just one class, as the dance music leaves you feeling pretty pumped and euphoric – nothing better than a natural high!

As I always say, fitness isn’t just physical either- its a wonderful for mental health, it releases happy hormones – if you enjoy it – DO IT.

Knowledge is power

Also this week I have started studying again for my nutrition course, its been on hold since Alfie was born, but as I’ve said in the past – The more I learn – the more I can share with you guys!!

I think there are far too many people giving out advice that have zero qualifications to do so! I’m amazed at some of the ‘advice’ I read in magazines/on DVD’s. I work with a great team of experts, so if I don’t know something – I find out.

One needs to be so careful these days – with countless books and DVDs being endorsed by various familiar faces, its hard to know who actually knows what they’re talking about – if you’re unsure with regards to training or nutrition – speak to an expert!! You only get one body – invest! As always with your tweets – if I don’t know the answer – I’ll always endeavour to find out!

You can tweet me with your questions @cath_tyldesley

Mr & Mrs

Tom and I recorded ‘Mr & Mrs’ this week – I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much!! I can’t wait for you guys to see the show. Phillip Schofield was on top form as always – this fab new series has some great guests and we were lucky enough to be in great company with Matt Dawson and Tinchy Stryder and their lovely partners.

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We all had a scream – I’ll be sure to let you all know the transmission date when I find out!!

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Here’s one of Tom’s Fave recipes! Always the way to his heart when I fancy a new pair of shoes ;-)

Teriyaki Steak

Ingredients

• 1 lb flank or round steak, cut in thin strips

• 2-3 heads of fresh broccoli

• 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced

• Beef Marinade Ingredients

• 2 tbs coconut aminos

• 1/2 tsp sesame oil

• 1 tsp fresh grated ginger

• Salt & pepper

• Teriyaki Sauce Ingredients

• 1/2 cup coconut aminos

• 1/2 cup raw honey

• 1/4 cup juice from fresh oranges

• 2 tbs rice vinegar

• 1 tsp arrowroot flour

• 1 tbs fresh grated ginger

• 1-2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced

• 1 tbs sesame oil

• Pinch of red pepper flakes

• In a small bowl, whisk together coconut aminos, sesame oil and ginger. Season beef strips with salt and pepper. Place seasoned beef in plastic bag, pour in marinade, seal and refrigerate while making the teriyaki sauce below

Teriyaki Sauce

Combine all above teriyaki ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, When mixture begins to boil, stir for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat. Blanche broccoli 2-3 minutes. Slice the bell pepper. In a large frying pan over medium high heat, cook marinated beef 3-5 minutes stirring frequently until meat is no longer pink. Add teriyaki sauce, broccoli, and bell pepper to the saucepan – cook for another 2-3 minutes. Serve hot and enjoy

I have an exciting week ahead – can’t wait to share with you next week!

Dream big

love Cath xxx

Alfie’s First Holiday and Zesty Green Tea!

What a glorious week I’ve had! Not one to gloat… but go on then, I will. I’ve been sunning myself in Portugal for a week :-)

A much needed holiday for this new ‘Parental Unit’!

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It was little Alfie’s first time on a plane/abroad and what a trooper he was. He grinned and giggled his way through the flights and loved being in Portugal.

On our first day there it was very windy – windy, he did NOT like! He couldn’t catch his breath so couldn’t understand what was happening, It was rather cute. I prayed the wind would calm down so we didn’t have to stay indoors/glue wind-breakers to the buggie! And it did. From then on, weather was glorious!

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I’m pleased to say Alfie is such a water baby :-) He loves the pool.

It was such a different holiday now that we have Alfie. We used to simply sunbathe for eight hours then I’d spend a while ‘dolling’ myself up and Tom would take me for dinner…

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Now we’re in the shade, singing nursery rhymes and I just about remembered to shave my legs before going to dinner!

My suitcase – prior to Alfie – was a Mecca to make-up, sun shimmer and heels… Now it’s full of nappies and comfy shoes. How times have changed and we love every second :-)

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Of course I still went to the gym! #standard.

I’ve lost a stone of baby weight thus far, with a stone still to lose. I’d like to say it’s ‘dropping off’… It’s not… It’s bloody hard work! Your hormones alter massively after having a baby, which can make weight loss quite slow initially.

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But I love keeping fit and feeling strong – it gives me so much more energy and focus.

And if Alfie is anything like mummy and daddy – I’m gonna need that energy to keep up with the little tyke!

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Whilst on holiday I did a combination of swimming and weight training with a couple of beach runs – what a beautiful setting to train in :-)

(Plus I felt less guilty about the cheeky sangrias!)

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I find maintaining my paleo lifestyle really easy on holiday – as the fish and salads are always delicious, I live on fish and greens most of the week with a couple of cheat meals – like I always say , it’s all about balance.

Being on holiday isn’t an excuse to fill your body with toxic rubbish – its never worth it!

When we returned from holiday, we celebrated Fathers Day – Tom’s first one! I bumped into the lovely Ryan Thomas and Scarlett along the way, alongside Adam Thonas and Bruno Langley with their children!

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It was lovely to join them in a bevy to celebrate dads! My Popsicle is awesome – Alfie and I paid him a visit that evening, best dad in the land :-)

Whilst the sun is here (for all of 5 minutes no doubt!), check out this lush summer drink from my pals @nakeddeli – we made it this week- uber refreshing!

Zesty Green Ice Tea:

Stew two organic green tea bags in approx 500ml hot water, add one teaspoon of coconut sugar & leave for at least 15 mins ( longer if you’d prefer). Take a large glass and rub the rim with lemon, & dip in coconut sugar. Fill glass with ice, lemon & lime, and pour over the green tea. Garnish with fresh mint!

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Dream Big

lots of love

Cath xxx

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