May, 2014

30 May
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Soaps and food for your face!

This week has been all about the Soap Awards! Didn’t we do well?? 8 awards in total, especially thrilled for Julie, David and of course Helen. So deserved! We arrived into London at lunch time on Saturday, from there on out, it was all about bobbin my face on and sorting my barnet! I’d love to pretend I’m very low maintenance when it comes to events like these.

One of those girls that could just bob a frock on and look good…but no…there were tans, nails, hair treatments, facials – the lot!

British Soap Awards

British Soap Awards

 

 

My favourite thing about these awards is that so many members of our ‘Corrie Family’ are all together, and we get to appreciate and praise the hard work of everyone involved. It was such a lovely evening. Although I won’t mince my words – we SHOULD have won ‘Best Soap’. Thrilled for our pals at ‘Hollyoaks’, but how we didn’t win after the ‘Goodbye Hayley’ storyline is a complete mystery!

It being bank holiday and all, me and him indoors decided to make the most of things! We paid a visit to world famous Jazz club Ronnie Scott’s to watch ‘Soul Family’ perform and caught up with my lovely pal (John Michie). As a singer – I’ve utterly fallen in love with this venue – I’m hooked! So much history there, some of my favourite singers have performed there, including Sarah Vaughn, Miles Davis and Alexander Stewart. I was in my element.

 

Coral Pearl Suite

Coral Pearl Suite

 

This was followed by a surprise, rather swanky stay in ‘The Cora Pearl Suite’ at the Grosvenor. I’m a bit of a ‘History Geek’ you see (I love going to see National Trust places!) this room, aside from it being utterly spectacular, has a story (I’m an actress…I LOVE a story)!

A bit of a frisky one at that!  The Parisian-inspired suite has been wonderfully created in homage to one of the grand railway hotel’s most infamous visitors – the scandalous courtesan, Miss Cora Pearl. Having done a few period dramas pre-Corrie days, it was much like stepping onto a set! Cora was notorious with entertaining only the highest members of social standing, including royalty, Cora Pearl was one of the most feted courtesans of her time.

 

In the 1870s, Cora made a rare visit to London and after arriving at Victoria Station – the gateway into London at that time – booked a suite at The Grosvenor Hotel, only to be immediately refused entry when stories of her illicit and hedonistic lifestyle surfaced. It was very cool, so much of the hotels features are original, it was nice to play tourist for the day.

Cora Pearl was one of the most feted courtesans of her time

Cora Pearl was one of the most feted courtesans of her time

Also this week, I paid a visit to the lovely Sylvain Longchambon. Now not many of you will know this but Sylvain is actually a very well qualified personal trainer (@_SLPT ).

I’ve been trying to get in for a session with him for a while now. Stupidly, I thought “well he’s my mate’s other half, he might go easy on me”…I was wrong. Very wrong. Sylvain had prepared a full body work out for me, combining high rep weight baring exercises with interval training. I’m going to be doing a few sessions with him over the next few weeks, so I’ll keep you posted on what we get up to (soon as I stop aching that is!) and I’ll be posting some of the exercises that we do, so you can try them out yourselves. But here’s Sylvain’s TOP 5 TIPS, small changes that will make a huge difference:

 

 

Tough workout

Tough workout

1. STRETCH! Stretching exercises help prevent injury and prepare your body for exercise. Use stretching for both warming up and cooling down.

2. For effective FAT LOSS combine interval cardio with weight training.

3.  Change your workout. Make sure you change your workout routine every 4-6 weeks. It’s important that your body never gets too adapted to what’s coming next. Stops you from getting bored too!

4. Eat clean! Eat lean meats, remove any processed foods or those high in sugar, increase vegetable intake.

5.) Water – it’s a no brainer! It helps you with weight loss, keeps a healthy heart, gives you more energy, promotes healthier skin, helps prevent digestive problems and helps you to cleanse, by flushing toxins from the body.

Working out

Working out

Been chatting to @dale_pinnock about nutrient dense foods to help you glow from the inside out! With Summer nearly here, I thought I’d try some recipes to help my skin and hair look healthy, Dale gave me a fab recipe,  – give it a try guys!

Sesame Soy Tuna Steaks with Sweet Potato Wedges

This is a great recipe for those days when you feel like you could eat a horse and chase the jockey, but don’t want to spend half your life in the kitchen! It is seriously filling, but won’t overload with calories, and contains so much skin-friendly nutrition, that I swear you can notice the difference the next morning!

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tsp honey

1 fresh tuna steak

1 large sweet potato

1 clove of garlic

The first stage of this dish is to create the marinade, and marinate the tuna steak. Create the marinade by combining the soy sauce, sesame oil, and honey together in a small bowl. Ensure that all three ingredients are well mixed into a glossy emulsion.

Add the tuna steak to the bowl, and roll it over and over in order to coat thoroughly in the marinade.

Marinate the steak for one hour, 30 minutes on each side.

Once the steak has been marinating for an hour, it’s time to start cooking. Cut the sweet potato into wedges (leaving the skins on), and place in a roasting tin. Drizzle a little olive oil over the wedges, stir well, then place in a hot oven and roast for 20–25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When the wedges have been roasting for about 15 minutes, heat a little olive oil in a shallow frying pan, and add the tuna steak. Fry for about 10 minutes, 5 minutes on each side.

Just before serving, finely chop the clove of garlic, and stir through the wedges. Return the wedges to the oven for another minute, then its’ ready to serve.

Serve with a side salad.

 

Benefits

Tuna

Fresh tuna is another incredibly rich source of that ever wonderful nutrient, omega 3. I know I never stop talking about omega 3, but it is SO vital for all aspects of health, the skin is no exception. It helps reduce inflammation and redness (think spots or eczema here), helps the skin retain moisture, and keeps it dewy and fresh looking.  Tuna is also incredibly rich in the minerals zinc and selenium. Zinc is vitally important for the regulation of sebaceous gland activity. If the skin is too oily, zinc can tone things down a little. Conversely, if the skin is too dry, zinc can stimulate the sebaceous glands to release extra sebum, improving skin composition. Selenium is the precursor to the body’s formation of its own naturally occurring enzyme, called glutathione peroxidase. This powerful enzyme can help to minimize free radical levels in all tissues.

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are packed up to the eyeballs with the potent fat-soluble antioxidant, beta carotene. It is what is responsible for that luscious deep orange flesh. If you recall from the antioxidants chapter, we need to maximize our intake of the fat-soluble varieties so that they can deliver their activity within our skin.

Great Swim

Great Swim

On Wednesday I paid a visit to the stunning Loch Lomond in Scotland, to help promote ‘The Great Swim’. What a place! Truly stunning, I wanted to dive in and have a dip then and there (but I didn’t on account of it being FREEZING). There’s still time to sponsor me for my Great Swim guys.

cath-new

I’m swimming in aid of Manchester Children’s hospital, every single donation is so much appreciated, so please give what you can. Right! I’m off to play some football! Yes, you heard me correctly (I’ll explain next week!) In the meantime, stay happy, stay healthy and DREAM BIG!

Love

Auntie Cath

I'm swimming in aid of Manchester Children's hospital

I’m swimming in aid of Manchester Children’s hospital

 

23 May
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An elegant wedding and the benefits of an ‘ice bath’

What a lovely week its been! One of my dearest friends, the uber talented and beautiful Paula Lane got married to her lovely fella Mark. Congratulations Mr & Mrs Shaw!

Paula looked absolutely stunning – so classy and elegant. There’s a timeless beauty about her, we all agreed she looked like a film star – very Audrey Hepburn. The sun shone, the service was gorgeous, and merriment was had by all! Thanks for having us Paula!

Gorgeous wedding

Gorgeous wedding

Now, here’s a bit of weirdness for you -remember my pregnant pal Kate? I spoke about her in last week’s blog? Well she was due to give birth on July 19th. However psychic Cath here had several dreams that she had gone into early labour. On Saturday morning I was convinced she’d give birth that day – guess what?

She did!!! Little George has arrived! How weird is that? Enjoy every second Kate and Ben! Big love to you and the little fella xxx

Wedding guests

Wedding guests

On Sunday I did my first open water swim in preparation for The Great Swim 2014. I’ll admit, when I signed up to do the swim I was pretty cocky about it. “I used to swim for Salford,” I announced!

I count myself as a strong, competent swimmer…Oh Cath, you silly lass. Open water swimming is COMPLETELY different. COMPLETELY.

We swam in a lake near Knutsford, which looked gorgeous. It took me a good 15 minutes to squeeze myself into my wet suit (which is like wearing full-body spanks guys), when I got outside I seemed to be getting a few giggles and funny looks.

Yep, I had put my wetsuit on back to front. I thought one wore it like a cat-suit? No? Because it had taken me so long to get into, I refused to take it off. Much to my boyfriends embarrassment.

We headed over to the lake side, I dipped a toe in and immediately turned back up the hill. Resigned to the fact I couldn’t possibly get into what can only be described as an ‘Ice-Bath’. After some encouragement from other swimmers, I decided to take the plunge.

You know in the film ‘Titanic’ when Jack tells Rose, that falling into the sea was like a thousand knives stabbing you all over? Well, I’m not one to be dramatic (honest) but by heck it was absolutely freezing!

Not to mention the fact that as my wet suit was on back to front, half the lake ended up in my cleavage) It completely takes your breath away. This was ‘Fight or Flight’ time! (Cue Rocky soundtrack ‘Eye of The Tiger’) I could feel my heart racing and my breathing was all over the place as I broke into front crawl.

I had to mentally talk myself down – “just get to the first buoy” I told myself “focus, imagine you’re in a pool” (a really cold, muddy pool…) Anyway – it worked!

By the second lap of the lake, I had found my confidence, my breathing was fine and the wet suit, really helps to keep one buoyent (which is always nice). I felt such a sense of achievement afterwards. It is so different to swimming in a pool, I think its important to practice in open water as much as possible guys.

If nothing else – to at least get your body used to the temperature. And ok, I wont deny it is scary, but it will get easier – aside from the fact it gives you a great physique, speeds up metabolism and ‘burns calories’ lets just take a look at some of the other perks…

Cold water has its benefits

Cold water has its benefits

*Scientists immersed witting subjects in cold water for one hour, three times a week and monitored their physiology. They found significant increases in white blood cell counts and several other factors relating to the immune system. This was attributed to the cold water being a mild stresser which activates the immune system and gives it some practice.

*The cold will also stimulate your parasympathetic system, which is responsible for rest and repair, and this can trigger the release of dopamine and serotonin. These neurotransmitters are a vital part of keeping us happy and low levels of them are linked with depression. In short – it makes you grin :-)

*Being hot brings blood to surface. Being cold sends it to your organs. Both extremes work your heart like a pump. It helps flush your circulation , pushing blood through all your capillaries, veins and arteries. It will exfoliate your skin and flush impurities from it, thus helping your complexion (firm-bodied women of all ages around pool sides say it stops cellulite- dip me again!). Evidence also demonstrates that your body adapts to the cold with repeated exposure and this may improve your circulation – no bad thing in the winter. So when my trainer told me months ago to start having cold showers in the morning…he was right! (Again)



* Researchers also found increased production of testosterone and oestrogen in men and women respectively.

Enhancing libido in both sexes, these hormones also play an important role in fertility.

Soooo finally the sun is en route!! We keep having little bursts don’t we?! I’ll be showing you some fabulous BBQ recipes over the next few weeks. So stay tuned! For now here’s a gorgeous summer salad to get you warmed up!

Barbecue time

Barbecue time

 

Auntie Cath’s Popeye Salad

6 cups baby spinach

1 red onion shredded
1 apple, cut into small cubes
1 cup cashew nuts
2 tablespoons garlic infused olive oilWeb Bug from http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=elanaspantryc-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B0006Z7NPO
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
In a large bowl, place spinach, apple and onion. In a cast iron skillet, toast the cashews until browned, about 10 minutes. Add warm nuts to salad, Drizzle oil and vinegar over the salad. Toss and serve.

Untill next week
Dream Big !
Auntie Cath xx

15 May
0

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Ovaries, Omega 3 and Boob Lifts!

As always it has been a busy week! It kicked off with a very wet visit to Ipswich, which was quite apt really, as I was there to talk about ‘The Great East Swim’! I met some truly inspirational people whilst there, people of all ages and abilities gearing up to take part in the swim.

Everyone had their own reasons, their own story and their own goals. Hearing what some of the competitors had to say was inspiring, heart-warming and sometimes tear jerking.

cath-2

It gave me a real sense of ‘we’re all in this together’. I’m really looking forward to my first swim now (I’m still secretly terrified of the open water mind), nonetheless, I think it’ll be pretty special to swim alongside such inspirational people.

Great Swim

Great Swim


At the weekend I met up with my old school friends. There’s a small group of us, that would you believe have been friends since we were four years old!! Through play school, primary school, high school, college and university, we’ve remained close friends. How they’ve put up with me this long is a complete mystery!

It’s a big time in our lives at the moment as the first of our little clan is about to become a mummy! My good friend Katie is due on the 19th July, so we gathered round and threw her a fabulous baby shower.

Kate has decided to keep the sex of her baby a surprise (which is driving me nuts! I’d SO have to find out!!). It’s Katie that has inspired this week’s blog. Watching the little girl I went to nursery with bloom into a beautiful yummy mummy is so wonderful and lovely to see, however I’m sure many of you mums out there will agree, it’s not all smooth driving through pregnancy.

I’m yet to experience the ‘joys’ myself but as Katie fills me in on the glories of morning sickness, weird cravings, back ache, acid reflux and raging hormones, I begin to wonder if a goldfish might be a better option for myself!

Look after your ovaries

Look after your ovaries

I’ll be chatting a bit more about exercise during pregnancy over the next few weeks – what’s helpful and what’s not, what’s safe and what’s just plain stupid. As more of my friends prepare to start families I contacted medicinal chef @Dale_pinniock to talk all things ovaries and Omega 3 (he must dread my phone calls these days)!

“It’s a real no brainer that if you are planning to get pregnant and when you are pregnant, you need to be in as good a nutritional shape as possible. But, there are certainly a few key nutrients that are vital, one of which never gets discussed.

Ok, so we have all probably by now heard about the importance of folic acid before and during pregnancy, but how often have you heard people talking about DHA? Exactly! Well, DHA is an omega 3 fatty acid that is absolutely vital for child development.

It is a structural nutrient, meaning that it is a building block for the structure of a body tissue. In this case, it is the brain and nervous system. The brain and nervous system are composed mainly of a special type of fat.

My pregnant friend

My pregnant friend

This fat is vital and allows the whole nervous system to work. We need to take in a constant supply of key fatty acids to build and maintain this, and their intake at key life stages can affect things as important as learning and cognition, plus mood and behaviour.

It is of FUNDAMENTAL importance that if you are even thinking about becoming pregnant, you start getting in more of omega 3 fatty acids, with particular focus on DHA straight away, as it is vital pre, during, and post pregnancy (when breast feeding).

You know me, I’m all about food first, but this is one area where supplementation is a necessity I’d say. Look for the highest level omega 3 you can find and start straight away. Also, oily fish is going to become your friend here. Salmon, mackerel, herrings are all very rich sources, so find ways to get them in to your diet. – Dale Pinnock

Paul boys has been teaching boob lifts and chest presses

@Paul_Boys (my trainer) is back from his holiday in NYC…the trip hasn’t mellowed him at all – he’s still really mean! He’s like the Simon Cowell of the gym! He’s been kicking my asciender BIG time this week ahead of the Soap Awards, one of my favourite upper body exercises is the ‘Chest Press’ – or the ‘Boob Lifter’ as I call it! Give it a go guys, Paul explains the perky-pros below :-)

The Chest Press- aka bingo wing buster and boob lifter…
This is just one variation, there are many. Lie flat on the bench, with feet placed flat and firm to the ground, a little arch in the back is fine as long as shoulders and between the shoulders blades are firmly fixed against the bench.

From the position of arms extended out in front of you, bend your arms down into flexion at the elbows allowing the elbows to drop down under control of 2-3 seconds down past approx 90 degrees, then reverse the motion fully extending the arms for 1 second. Then repeat for 12-15 reps 2-5 sets with the weight to work within the rep range. Weight and set range should match gym experience at resistance training.

 

Paul boys has been teaching boob lifts and chest presses

In other news I’ve been busy in the kitchen again! Loving your tweet pictures by the way guys, quite a few of you seemed to enjoy ‘Auntie Cath’s Paleo Fish Cakes’. Soooo this week I made…

‘Turkey got Squashed’ 

Butternut Squash, halved and cleaned out
1lb of lean minced turkey
1 red pepper chopped
8 Cherry tomatoes
1 fresh chilli
2 Garlic cloves
1 red onion finely chopped
2 tbsp of Organic coconut oil
Fresh basil chopped
Fresh oregano chopped

Cut the squash in half and clean out the seeds. Rub the coconut oil all over the squash and bake for 30 mins on 200. While the squash is baking, lightly fry the turkey and remaining ingredients until golden brown. Divide into the squash segments and bake for another 20-30 mins until cooked. Serve with fresh spinach salad and balsamic vinegar.

Until next week campers! Stay happy. Stay healthy. Dream BIG!
Love
Auntie Cath x

09 May
3

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Dogs, Boobs and Funerals…

I’ve had such a lovely week with my little pal Dexter (my pal’s Chihuahua). We’ve been going on lots of lovely walks and what not?! Totally get my ‘dog-fix’ by dog-sitting other peoples pooches. I don’t have time to have one myself – so it’s so lovely when I do have the time to have Dexter :-) I’m the ‘crazy dog lady’ that cuddles other people’s pets without permission in the park – ha.

I love petting dogs!

I love petting dogs!

We remembered my lovely Granddad this week too, the one-year anniversary of his death. My grandfather inspired me to the very end, he beat cancer several times, and swam 60 lengths a day through his seventies – I’m hoping I’ve inherited his ‘water-wings’ for The Great Swim! Which is slowly creeping up on me! I’m swimming for Manchester Children’s Hospital, you can sponsor me here:

http://m.virginmoneygiving.com/mt/uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=CathTyldesley&un_jtt_redirect

Even the smallest amount can help guys. Thank you for those of you that have already taken the time to support :-)

I was chatting to good friend and stylist (http://martinealexander.co.uk/ @yourstylist) the other day about my Great North Swim and she mentioned the best swimwear she recommends to all her private clients (the ones that need support in the upper area!!)… She was saying how hard it is for women with boobs to find functional swimwear … Finally, a bra company aimed at women with bigger boobs have taken the decision to produce swimwear and sports bras (thank the lord) with support! Thank you Freya! The swimwear has been great for indoor training and Betty and Bertha don’t move!

http://www.freyalingerie.com/active/swim/moulded-crop-tankini/moulded-crop-tankini.aspx?colour=purple%20rain

http://www.freyalingerie.com/active/swim/moulded-swimsuit/moulded-swimsuit.aspx?colour=purple%20rain

Vitamin sprays

Vitamin sprays

I’m going to share a VERY exciting discovery with you this week – vitamin sprays!! I have discovered a range by a wonderful company called BetterYou (www.betteryou.com). I have always believed in putting food first, but sometimes we need to fill in those gaps.

Their products utilise the fastest and most reliable delivery mechanisms available, including transdermal magnesium therapy (having a bath in magnesium rich salts to you and me!) and sub-lingual vitamin delivery (spraying vitamin dosage under ones tongue). Not only is this a great way of meeting optimal health results for adults but it’s a great way for children to up their intake too. In fact the Vitamin D spray is now recommended by the department of health.

They do a fantastic range including a multi-vitamin spray, a Vitamin D spray (we get this from the sun, so I’d put money on a high percentage of us here in the UK being deficient in it!), Vitamin B12 (much needed by us Corrie lot for energy levels) and a pregnancy care spray.

A couple of weeks ago I spoke about the power and importance of magnesium. It is VITAL for optimal muscle contraction, skeletal strength, energy production and assists in sustaining the high oxygen consumption necessary for athletic performance. Sports injuries are far more likely to occur when magnesium levels are low. It helps you to sleep and aids recovery dramatically. Transdermal magnesium delivers this essential mineral directly to the skin tissue, entering every cell.

It is the ULTIMATE way to replenish magnesium levels. I have been trying it most nights before bed. I haven’t slept this well in years! I’ve also been trialling the Vitamin B12 oral spray. Vitamin B12 is essential for the formation of red blood cells, brain health and the resistance of tiredness and fatigue.

The spray is combined with chromium which is great for giving us gym bunnies a boost, fantastic for the elderly, during pregnancy, vegans and vegetarians and like us here at Weatherfield – anyone with a busy lifestyle! I’ll keep you updated on their other products, as I think this company have it nailed! But for now – bob yourself in the bath guys!

Also this week I’ve been chatting to health and fitness expert Olly Foster (http://ollyfoster.com/@Olly_Foster ) about gut health. Something we all struggle with at some point in our lives. Some people struggle on a daily basis with the likes of acid reflux and IBS, there are things you can do to help you absorb the nutrients you need from your food and make yourself more comfortable.

 

Here Olly shares his top tips:

Fix your gut

You train hard and eat right, you manage to control all the external influences that can affect you such as stress and poor sleep. But what’s the point if your gut health is poor and you are struggling to digest and absorb the nutrients you are providing to assist you in your fitness quest?

The digestive system is so important when it comes to health, it is involved in so many processes that when functioning optimally makes us perform to a greater level and thus rewards us in return. A simple and effective protocol can be the addition of L-Glutamine & Probiotic’s.

L- Glutamine

L-Glutamine has shown to be an amazing aid in healing, sealing and repairing a “leaky gut” by playing a role in the health of the pancreas, liver, mouth and oesophagus. The function of all of these parts impact digestion and thus the health of your gut. By taking Glutamine it will ensure the entire digestive process runs much more smoothly, preventing future damage but more importantly healing any damage already done and allowing for better absorption from the quality nutrients of your food. My recommendation for males is to take 20 grams in the morning and 20 grams at night before bed, females should reduce this to10g.

Probiotics

Now these bad boys main purpose is to put good flora back into your gut lining so you have more good bacteria than bad. There are many things that disrupt our good gut flora, including our toxic environment, highly processed and high-sugar diets, inflammatory foods and even medications. It’s due to these reasons that this supplement is an absolute must in my eyes. If you are exposed to any one of those things, and are not putting beneficial bacteria back in your body, you are potentially jeopardising your gut function and immune system. They will also improve digestion so that the nutrients you consume get absorbed and used by the body in an effective manner supporting your metabolism and helping you feel better.

My recommended dosage is to take one first thing in the morning, generally if it’s a good probiotic this is all you will need.

Those with more serious issues can also add a digestive enzyme to each meal. Hope this helps. Olly x

Filming Tina's funeral

Filming Tina’s funeral

Reet kids! That’s me over and out for another week – but before I forget – we’ve had some long days out on location this week filming Tina’s funeral – cast and crew have all been munching on Nākd bars. If you haven’t tried them yet – DO!!

Nākd bars and snacks are a great way to eat nutritious, healthy food without compromising on taste! (Refreshing in itself!). Made from natural ingredients such as fruits and nuts which are blended together into a handy bar. Wheat and dairy free, with no added sugars or hidden extras. Great for snacking! Were sold in Weatherfield…wonder if Dev will stock ‘em? http://www.naturalbalancefoods.co.uk/nakd/

Keeping my energy up

Keeping my energy up

They’ll be some more yummy recipes next week guys. Stay happy. Stay Healthy. And Dream BIG!
Love
Auntie Cath x

Keeping my energy up

Keeping my energy up

01 May
2

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Breathing and Brownies!

Meditation. My trainer @paul_boys told me to start mediating months ago, my response was “I don’t have time”. “Make time” he said, I’m not one for arguing with Paul, on account that his arms are the size of my torso and he spent 11 years in the army.

With an extremely busy lifestyle, we all know its important to take the time out to relax- yes? But do we actually REALLY relax? I used to think sitting down and watching the TV or reading a book was relaxing, that was my ‘unwinding’ time when I got home. What we should be doing for optimal relaxation of body, mind and spirit is meditation.

Turning your phone on to aeroplane mode, switching the telly off and clearing your mind completely. Easier said than done in my case!

 

Don't get stressed, meditate!

Don’t get stressed, meditate!

 

I’m a complete ‘newbie’ to meditation, but research suggests the benefits are endless: Regular mediation promotes dramatic reduction in stress and anxiety, a greater sense of inner-peace and tranquillity,improved mental,emotional and physical well-being, increased confidence and self-esteem, better, more restful and refreshing sleep (I definitely need that!) , optimal focus, concentration and memory. Sounds pretty good right?

Meditation isn’t just ‘going for a nap’, you have to concentrate on what you’re doing. Its focussing 100% of you’re attention in one area. Don’t get me wrong setting aside specific time (preferably two times a day) to be still is hard work with my schedule – but I’m really trying to stick to it at the moment to see what happens.

Breathing deep slows the heart rate, relaxes the muscles, focuses the mind and is an ideal way to begin practice. Also stretching first loosens the muscles and tendons allowing you to sit (or lie) more comfortably (especially important for all us gym-bunnies!) I’ve found that meditation is an ACTIVE process.

Focusing your attention to a single point is hard work (especially if you’ve a lot on your mind), and you have to be purposefully engaged! I’ll keep you posted on some new techniques that I’ll be trying over the next few weeks. Its so easy to think purely about our bodies and neglect the mind and spirit – I’m hoping I’ll start to see a real difference.

I know a few people who mediate. All of which have a calm, inner strength about them. Hommmmmm….

 

Tina's funeral

Tina’s funeral

 

We’ve been filming ‘Tina’s’ funeral/wake on the cobbles this week too…I think meditation was in order for all of us! Heavy stuff!

Now, I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. I HATE running. Thus I HATE treadmills. However…in my session at the gym, we often do ‘Treadmill Pushes’, For those of you that don’t have scooby do what I’m talking about, its very straight forward. I put the treadmill on a heavy incline but DONT press start.

 

The treadmill remains static until YOU make it move, keeping your head down use your legs to make the treadmill move manually. This is equivilent of doing whats known as ‘trawlers’ in more functional gyms (I’ll cover that another time). Doing treadmill pushes as fast as you can for 30 second intervals 5-8 times, with 60 second rest in between at the end of a session is much more effective at burning fat.

Much better than boring one’s self senseless for 30 mins running non stop (which also raises cortisol levels and is worse for your joints by the way!)

 

My treadmill pushes

My treadmill pushes

 

So excited about the news that my Glamour Guru and pal, Armand Beasley, is collaborating with Selfridges on their Beauty Project. Armand has glamorised some of the most beautiful women in the world from international royalty to Hollywood royalty so I was so excited when he told me that he’s going to offer a unique service which is exclusive to Selfridges Exchange Square in Manchester.

As the Bespoke Beauty & Grooming Expert, Armand is not affiliated to any one brand so you will really get unbiased advice as to what skincare & makeup you should use! It’s £75 booking fee which is redeemable against whatever you choose. So if you fancy a whole new look or perhaps a different skincare routine or maybe you want to treat someone then email: beauty.expert@selfridges.co.uk.

 

Cath's brownies

Cath’s brownies

 

Now then, here’s a little ‘not too naughty’ but VERY nice treat for the bank holiday weekend! If you’re gonna treat the kids, treat them to these little goodies instead of the Brownie’s you’ll buy at the supermarket.

They’re much better for you, they ACTUALLY have nutritional value (trust mean, the brownies you buy in the supermarket will be full of all kinds of weird things and additives, sweeteners etc), and they’ll LOVE making them. They’re quick and easy, GLUTEN FREE and LACTOSE FREE and much more a ‘Paleo’ choice if you will!

Auntie Cath’s Good Girl Brownie’

4oz Dark baking Chocolate
1 tbsp organic coconut oil
2 Large Avocado’s
1/2 cup Manuka Honey
1/4 cup Organic cocoa powder
1 tbsp of Vanilla
1 tbsp of Coconut flour
3 eggs
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

In a microwave safe bowl stir together the coconut oil and chocolate over a pan of boiling water – melting together. Puree the avocados in a food processor, making sure they are smooth. Fold the chocolate into the avocados in a large mixing bowl. With an electric mixer, beat the remaining ingredients until the mixture is smooth. Then distribute the mixture into muffin tins. Bake at 190 for 15-20 mins, checking until risen and cooked. ENJOY!

 

I have now got my sponsor page up and running for the Big Swim 2014

I have now got my sponsor page up and running for the Big Swim 2014

 

Also this week and most importantly – I have now got my sponsor page up and running for the Big Swim 2014! I have decided to raise money for the Royal Manchester Childrens Hospital and the link to sponsor me is : http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/CathTyldesley

Please give whatever you can, as they really need support !

Until next week

Dream Big!

Auntie Cath xx

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