Visiting a hospice, Leah Bracknell’s diagnosis and Tom’s boxing tips
Some days, some events or some people that you meet help you to put things into perspective. This week I had the honour of meeting some very special people at the end of their journey. Some of my co-stars and I paid a visit to Bolton Hospice. I won’t beat around the bush – I was worried about visiting these people. Selfishly I felt I would easily become overwhelmed and possibly cry in front of them.
One envisions a hospice to be a place of deep sadness, and I’m quite sure this is the case when loved ones take their last breaths. But on this particular day, as the sun shone through the windows, you heard nothing but laughter. It’s takes 3 MILLION pounds a year to keep this amazing place up and running. The mentality of each patient that we met was the same – “let’s not waste a day”. Staff endeavoured to make every day more special than the last. I think my heart doubled in size visiting this special place!
There was a particular patient that stuck in my mind – his words rang so true- “well I’ve not long left so there’s no point in moping about. I’m gonna have a bloody good laugh while I still can”.
If you’d like to donate to Bolton Hospice, you can do so here:
How on earth have I never been to Cirque Du Soleil before?!
This show came to Manchester last week with their latest show Amaluna. I was left completely speechless. Surely these people aren’t human?? Super human? Mutants? What talent! These guys had muscles in places I never knew existed.
The sheer volume of expression, talent and magic in that tent was completely euphoric. We took Alfie along with us and he didn’t move a muscle throughout. That says a lot! If they can capture the imagination and attention of a 19 month old child for two hours (he honestly didn’t move an eyelid – completely mesmerized) then they’re doing something right. The audience was a cacophony of gasps, cheers and yelps as we sat on the edge of our seats, willing these fearless performers to stay safe as the flew around ceilings, jumped on each other’s shoulders and did general ‘super human’ tricks.
If you get chance – you MUST see this show!
I was also treated to a performance of Be My Baby this week- starring Coronation Street star Brooke Vincent. It’s a fab play and our girl Brooke did it complete justice – we’re all so proud of you Brooke – well done!!
We heard the sad news this week that ex-Emmerdale start Leah Bracknell had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. However, there IS hope.
Leah and her family are trying to raise funds to send her to Germany for cutting edge treatment. NEVER give up Leah!! Everyone is sending you so much love and positivity. Please give what you can to help Leah – a wonderful wife, mother, actress and yoga teacher with so much to live for, you can donate here:
I’ve had a few people ask me about my boxing training and its benefits. So this week I’ve interviewed @TP_PTFitness all about his journey into the ring!
Babe will you do a little something for my blog this week please? Can I do a little interview with you about your boxing training?
1.) Tom you started training for your boxing match in Feb this year. How did this differ from your usual training regime?
Yeah. I was a complete novice when it came to boxing. I wanted to learn the art of boxing and make sure I was ready for the fight.
Boxing training was completely different to my normal weights training. I soon learnt how ridged I was… I had two left feet. Years of weight training didn’t serve me well when it came to being quick, sharp and skillful in boxing training.
2.) Has it changed your body? If so, in what way?
My body has changed, I decided to ditch the weights completely to give me the best chance of becoming lighter on my feet. I began to put all my time into boxing related fitness, whether it be high intensity cardio sessions or shadow boxing. Over the months I dropped body fat and muscle mass. I also felt the fittest and healthiest I’ve ever felt.
3.) For you, what are the benefits of boxing?
For me, a complete beginner I feel the benefits are endless, there’s always something to learn. There’s ‘easy’ sessions in boxing, it’s about pushing yourself to the limit (whilst dodging a fist in the face!) . The health benefits of using boxing to keep fit are endless.
4.) What are your top boxing tips?
My top boxing tips are:
1. Listen to every word your coach tells you.
2. If you do decide to fight in a boxing match don’t be afraid to take a few punches along the way! It’s GOING to happen!
3. Enjoy yourself.
4. Train hard, fight easy.
Here’s one of Tom’s top post-workout meals.
I made him this after boxing training, many a time. Paleo Fish Pie (these Wigan folk do love a pie!) Full of protein, good fats and complex carbs – the stuff champs are made of!
Paleo Fish Pie!
1.5 kg sweet potato, scrubbed and baked til soft
800g-1kg fish – mix of cod, salmon and haddock, and prawns
800ml coconut milk
2 bay leaves
6 eggs, hard-boiled
1 head of cauliflower
2 leek, sliced
2 ribs of celery, sliced
1 onion, diced
2-3 cloves of garlic – crushed
Two handfuls of Kale, roughly chopped
1 egg, for brushing the top
Salt and pepper to taste
Start by baking the potato and hard boiling the eggs.
Put the fish into a pan with the coconut milk and the bay leaves. Poach the fish over a medium heat until just cooked through. Discard the bay leaf, move the fish into your oven dish, and leave the milk in the pan.
Cut up your head of cauliflower and add to the coconut milk in the pan. Cover and cook over medium heat until the cauliflower is soft.
While the cauliflower is cooking, put the onion and garlic in a separate pan with a little coconut oil. Cook, stirring, until softening and then add the leek and celery. Cook for a further 3-4 mins until all is soft. Spread over the fish in your oven dish.
Slice the eggs, and arrange them over top of the leek mixture.
By now your cauliflower will be cooked. Using a stick blender, blend the cauliflower into the coconut milk that it was just cooked in, to make a thick creamy sauce. Stir through the chopped kale and spread over the eggs in the oven dish.
Once the sweet potatoes have cooled cut them in half and scoop out the flesh. Mash with some butter, salt and pepper and a splash of almond or coconut milk.
Spread your mash over the top.
The final step is to brush a whisked egg over the top of it all, and put into the oven at 180C for 20-25 mins.
We love this with broccoli! Serve up!
Stay Happy, Stay Healthy and Dream BIG.
Love Auntie Cath