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03 July
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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

24 June
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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

17 June
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Mindfulness & Summer Yumminess!

It will be Toms first Fathers Day this weekend :) I love Fathers Day and Mothers Day –  a chance to honour our parents for all they’ve done – Lord knows mine deserve it! As does Tom.

So ahead of Sunday – Happy Fathers Day to all you daddy’s out there! But especially to my Tom – you’ve made me the happiest girl in the land and you are the most wonderful father to our beautiful son Alfie.

We are both truly blessed to have you!

We’ll be spoiling Tom rotten on Sunday, as well as both our dads!

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STRESS – one of the biggest killers around. Too much stress can lead to all kinds of ailments. We all know that life seems to be passing us by at 100mph, yes? Well there are ways we can slow things down.

“I don’t have time to slow down”, I hear you say. Well – make time! You are not superman/woman. Stress will eventually take its toll on your body in some way. Me for example? When I am stressed, I can’t sleep and my IBS usually flares up. I sometimes get migraines too.

Stress will find sneaky ways of manifesting – whether you’re aware of it or not. I have recently started to look into something called Mindfulness. I have been avoiding Mindfulness for sometime, dismissing this new ‘cool craze’ as the latest ‘hippy fad’.  Oh how wrong it seems I was!

Mindfulness is starting to be a real eye opener. Since my son Alfie came along, it’s like someone pressed fast forward on my life. Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present.

When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience. In short – it’s taking the time to smell those bloody roses!!

Look around you! Observe your surroundings – how beautiful do the flowers look? How green is that grass? How delightful is the look of wonder on a child’s face when they discover something new? It’s about appreciation and gratitude. Slowing down a little – to savour moments and paint that memory firmly on your mind’s canvas.

It sounds so simple and obvious but you’d be amazed how many of us just don’t do it. Too busy running about or pratting around with our mobile phones when we could be having a wonderful conversation or looking out of the window instead of down at your phone!

Try it this week. Enjoy the little things! I promise you it makes a difference AND helps to lower stress levels!

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In other news, I had a meeting with our lovely producer at Corrie this week, to find out what will be happening for ‘Eva The Diva’ when I go back.

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Hold onto your hats guys! She’s back with a bang!

I’m going to be pretty busy by the sounds of it- I can’t wait! Really missed those cobbles and my Corrie family :-)

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Check out this awesome recipe from my pals @nakeddeli – we made this last week. Boy are you in for a treat!!!

Absolutely stunning, nutritious and Paleo friendly! #winner

Seared Asian Tuna with fresh Kohlrabi & Apple Salad: serves 2

Ingredients for the salad:

1 large kohlrabi cut into match sticks

2 apples cut into match sticks

1 green pepper finely sliced

2 green chillis diced

2cm ginger cut into match sticks

1 cucumber peeled into ribbons 1

/2 white onion finely sliced.

 

Ingredients for the dressing:

50ml GF tamarind

100ml white wine vinegar

2 limes juice & zest

2 tablespoon coconut sugar

200ml organic extra virgin olive oil

2 good quality tuna steaks

2 tablespoon Chinese

5 spice

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon salt&pepper

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Directions:

1. combine all dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk.

2. combine all salad ingredients pour dressing over mixing well and leave in fridge for 30 minutes.

3. coat tuna steaks in cayenne pepper, 5 spice & salt & pepper.

4. add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to a very hot pan & sear tuna for about 1 minute on each side, tuna should have a nice crust but still be rare in the middle.

5. allow the tuna to rest for five to ten mins before slicing into thin strips.

6. plate salad from the fridge, dress with sliced tuna & garnish with fresh coriander & pea shoots- enjoy!

This refreshing fresh salad is perfect for a hot summers evening!

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See you next week! Stay happy , stay healthy and Dream BIG!!

12 June
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Burgers, Babies and Feeling ‘The Burn’!

My gorgeous pal Becky came round for a BBQ the other day. She has two beautiful twin girls – Ellie and Lily, age 5.

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Becky and I have been coming up with fun recipes for girls over the past few weeks. They LOVE to cook with mummy and its so important to encourage healthy, fun meals from an early age. Lily and Ellie love fruit and veg, which is a good start!

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So this week Tom and I made so gorgeous Greek Lamb burgers with the girls. Its a fave recipe of ours, and the kids love to help make them. With plenty of bright colours in the salad and heart shaped burgers – we made their plates more appealing!

Greeky Lamb Burgers!

1kg Lean Minced lamb

3 Garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 egg

1 red onion

1 cup of feta cheese, cut into small cubes

Handful of fresh coriander

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together with your hands. Shape into burger (or use shapers for kids e.g heart shaped burgers), and throw on the BBQ until cooked through – its THAT simple!! We love ours with an olive salad and a big fat dollop of hummus!

Baby Bit

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been looking more at ‘Baby Sensory’. We are taking Alfie to Baby Sensory classes soon, but its also important that there is plenty of stimulus at home. This doesn’t have to cost a fortune either! There are plenty of fantastic baby-bouncers/play mats etc – second hand, in really good condition, that you can buy for a fraction of the price. Its all about textures, colours and noises at the moment – Alfie for example is fascinated with the sound of my hair-dryer and adores anything with bright lights. He now makes a grab for my phone if I’m faffing with it in front of him. We also sing lots of nursery rhymes everyday …okay , okay – I probably enjoy that more than he does! But it all helps to aid his development… There are plenty of free/really cheap classes available for babies that offer a range of stimulus in most areas- worth a Google!

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Happy Three Month Birthday Alfie!!!! 12 weeks! Where the hell has that time gone?? Alfie isn’t quite sleeping through yet. But he’s slowly getting there. He sleeps in 3-4 hour blocks so we can’t complain! On occasion he sleeps 5-6 hours!! I’ll be bringing you some great baby-sleeping tips very soon – as I’m picking the brains of sleep specialist Abigail Thompson (Aka – ‘The Baby Whisperer!”) on what we can do to help the little cherub give us the shut-eye we crave!!

Now then…Acupuncture! Scary word hey? I had my first session this week! Yup- I took the plunge!! I carry lots of tension in my shoulders and neck and at the moment my legs too! The strain of all the extra weight during my pregnancy and recently upping my game at the gym has given me quite a few muscle knots to put it mildly.. Although I stretch after training and aim to have regular sports massage – I’ve still been in pain.

Acupuncture can benefit in so many ways, and apparently for lots of different ailments. Research suggests it can help with problems such as – back ache, muscular injuries and strains, insomnia, migraine, arthritis and IBS to name just a few.

I also discovered that Acupuncture can help expectant mums throughout their pregnancies,with issues such as morning sickness! (Wish I’d known that 9 months ago!) It can even be used during labour…although I’m not sure I’d have appreciated all those needles at such a time! Its something I’m going to research more, and continue with – so I’ll keep you posted! (If the next time you see me on the telly, I’m full of holes you know why! ;-) Acupuncture was followed by a gorge facial and catch up with spa puppy Dexter! (my foster dog!)! I’ve missed Dexter loads and can’t wait for him to meet Alfie.

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I’ve done a few sessions with my other half this week – fitness expert @TP_PTFITNESS. I’d like to say he went easy on me – but he’s was pretty brutal!! Talk about feeling the burn! Here’s one of his killer exercises! You’ll ache like hell – but its ace for the hamstrings!

Tom Pitfield:

“Exercise

Back Extension / hyper extension

Muscle Group

Hamstrings / Lower back

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How

• Using either a flat or 45-degree hyper extension bench, hook your ankles firmly under the supports and arch your back slightly.

• Cross your arms on your chest and lean forward until you are in danger of rounding your back, then straighten back up.

• Never bounce out of the bottom and do not allow your hips to come up off of the pad

• For extra resistance you can hold a weight plate on your chest or behind your head.

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Why

Great for strengthening hamstrings, I would use this exercise along side Romanian dead lifts and a lying leg curl. Rep range depending on what you are wanting to achieve.”

Stay Happy, stay healthy and dream BIG!

Love,

Auntie Cath

04 June
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Wedding Bliss, A Smashing Gig and Jerkin’ Around with Chicken!

We had a fab start to the week when we attended the amazing showcase for Carolynne Poole (@CarolynnePoole)

cath-1Myself with Tom, gorgeous Natalie from Emmerdale and her hubbie!

 

I’ve been a huge fan of Carolynne’s since she hit our screens as an X Factor contestant a few years back. She has such a unique sound and I love the idea of merging pop with country – there’s such a gap in the market for this sort of music. The gig was fabulous, well organised and Carolynne was on top form – as always.

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Great vocal ability, great band, great turn out and great songs? What’s not to love?! Great to see another Northern lass doing so well and doing what she loves :-)

 

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HUGE congratulations to Michelle Keegan and Mark Wright, who tied the knot last weekend. We were unable to attend the spectacular wedding due to other commitments, Michelle totally understood but I was gutted not to see my lovely friend get wed. I do miss our lovely ‘Keegs’.

How amazing did she look? (No surprise there!)

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Let’s be honest – that girl would look good in a bin bag… after being dragged through a hedge… twice… at 3 in the morning. And Mark looked fab too! Can you imagine their children?!

They’ll look like a ‘catalogue family’! After reading their big wedding interview I was utterly thrilled for them – it seems they had an absolute fairytale of a day! Well done you gorgeous pair!

As the sun puts his hat on (FINALLY!) Alfie and I have been enjoying some gorgeous ‘power walks’. Regular walking, like most aerobic activities, is great in terms of cardio-vascular exercise. It strengthens the heart and lungs, and increases fitness. Not to mention the two biggest perks – spending time with Alfie in the countryside!

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We walked for about 45 minutes then had ourselves a little picnic :-) Milk for the boy and jerk chicken salad for mummy – perfect! We lay in the sun for a while, plenty of giggles and dribble, then walked the 45 mins back to the car – which was all uphill! Great for those glutes, guys!

Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore and you don’t have to lose time with your baby – you really can enjoy it together. And all that fresh country air is great for baby! Although Alfie appeared totally confused by the cows!

I LOVE food with a ‘kick’ and lots of flavour so I’ve given you guys my recipe for jerk Chicken below:

Preheat the oven to 200.

In a small bowl, mix together the spices.

Cut the chicken breasts into strips.

Add the spice mix along with 1tbsp of the oil to the chicken.

Mix well and put to one side for 10 minutes.

Heat the remaining oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over very high heat.

When the oil is very hot, add the chicken.

Stir-fry quickly until the pieces are lightly browned then place chicken pieces into a baking dish, and cover loosely with tin foil and bake for 8 – 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked.

Gorgeous with salad! We enjoy it cold too when we have leftovers!

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SUPER SNACK ALERT!

One of the main reason’s people fail when trying to eat healthy is the wrong type of snacks! Snacking is important to keep our energy and metabolism at a good level – but it’s important to eat the right snack!

As a new mum, I’ve noticed the importance of this more than ever. One of my favourite snacks is walnuts! High in protein and with good fats as well as boosting your energy and being full of antioxidants!

And get this, walnuts contain a compound called melatonin which helps us sleep too – a big YES for new parents!!

Until next week campers!

Stay happy, stay healthy and DREAM BIG!

29 May
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Alfie takes a dip and top tummy tips

This week, Tom, my mum Janet and I, enjoyed a ‘baby massage’ workshop with the lovely Beverley Hingham.

It was Alfie’s first taste of massage – he LOVED it!

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I have to say, I found it uber relaxing too. At this early stage, Beverley recommends either sunflower oil, olive oil, coconut oil or calendula oil. Various essential oils should only be introduced when your child is older.

Massage is such a gorgeous way for you to spend time and bond with your baby. Massage can soothe your baby and help baby to sleep (and that SO has to be worth a shot!!) Baby massage has many benefits including improving weight gain, helping digestion, improving circulation, and easing teething pain.

One study found that massage in the early days could help newborns to recover from jaundice more quickly. Don’t massage straight after a feed or just before, that way their little bellies won’t be too full or too empty. We learnt that it’s important to maintain eye-contact and work from the feet upwards, so not to startle younger babies and give them reassurance.

Gradually build on massage time, 15minutes is a good starting time. There are certain points on babies feet that are very sensitive (reflexology-wise), so massaging feet in a clockwise motion can help if baby is consitpated for example. Be careful not to over-stimulate younger babies though.

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Tom really enjoyed it too – I think this is a lovely way for dads to bond with baby. Some dads feel a little ‘left out’ if they’re at work all day, especially if mum is breastfeeding exclusively – this could be dad’s ‘special bond’ with baby. We’re going to keep it up, it was a relaxing time for all of us. Give it a go! Light some candles, download some relaxation music and chill as a family whilst baby enjoys a lovely massage :-)

Alfie had his first swim this week – cuteness overload!

He was a little unsure for all of five minutes- then he loved it!

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It was so lovely watching him take it all in.

Tom and I love the water so it’s important to get Alfie started young.

I think feeling comfortable in the water from a young age makes such a difference once your child starts swimming lessons. Confidence is key!

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Big happy birthday to my beautiful mum Janet!

We had a fab time celebrating.

Alfie was fuming he wasn’t old enough for chocolate cake!

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I’ve been in touch with UP Fitness trainer Glenn Parker (GPTransformer) this week. I’ve had a lot of tweets from new mums asking that age old question “how do I get my tummy back?”

Firstly – STOP beating yourselves up! Your tummy has just done a VERY important job! It’s entitled to a break! When you feel ready to start building that strength back up, it’s important to do it properly.

Fitness expert Glenn offers us his guidance below:

“Many female gym goers want to get back into the gym ASAP after the birth of their child. They will want to have that pre-baby body back and still look better. But during pregnancy and after nine months of complete change around the mid-section. After the birth it’s important to start to strengthen muscles around that area.

“The internal abdominals will need time to return to that pre-pregnancy state. So doing those 100 sit ups will not help and could in the end cause more damage. So a corrective exercise programme will need to be put together to start to strengthen what we call those ‘core’ muscles which will build stability, strength and muscle endurance.

“But before you undertake any sort of exercise programme please receive consent from your doctor or health care professional to undertake any exercise. Do this as a circuit working as Shown and 20-40 sec rest before moving on 2-3 times through.”

1. Mini crunch.

This is not your typical ab crunch. Lie onto your back, then try and lift your shoulder blades off the ground. Keeping your head tucked. Your hands should now be sliding along the ground to your feet. This is a tiny movement. The aim is to produce a contraction in the abs. Hold for 3 sec before lower down and repeat

Repeat x 15 counts of 3 x 2-3 sets

2. Novice plank

Three parts to this exercise.

-lie face down on the floor

-prop up on knees and elbows

-position elbows directly underneath the shoulder and maintain a straight posture from heel through to shoulder

-hold for duration of interval and concentrate on squeezing your core musculature

-if more advanced raise knees off floor and stay in a straight line with elbows on floor

Hold for 40 sec-60 sec x 2-3 sets

3. Heels down, one at a time then together

-lie on your back with your knees hip width apart and legs lifted up to 90 degrees (knees are over chest)

-draw belly button in so lower back is flat to the floor at all times

-hands on temples

-lift your head and shoulders off the floor, with a gap between your chin and chest

-slowly lower 1 leg and keep it bent at 90 degrees so that your heel just touches the ground and return to starting position

-ready to pull your lower abs in as you lower your heels to the floor and pull legs back up

When alternate legs x 10-15(each side) if you can then do both do 10-15 again x 2-3 sets

4. Superman

-lie on your stomach and make sure your lower back and hips ate in a stable position

-reach your arms forward and stretch legs out

-from this position. Lift your arms and legs up 2-3 inches off the ground

– hold 3-5 sec then release back to ground.

10-15 lifts x 2/3 sets

5. Glute bridge

-Lie on your back with your feet resting on a bench or a stable chair at around 90 degrees

– relax your arms by your sides and keep your palms face down on the floor

-slowly lift your hips off the floor until your body and thighs form a straight line, squeezing your bottom towards the ceiling. Hold for a couple of seconds

– slowly return to the starting position

-if you want to get more advanced. Hold your body in the straight position and then do alternate leg lifts

10-15 reps x 2/3 sets

6. Squat

-stand shoulder width apart

-initiate the movement by bringing your hips back and down until they reach knee level

-imagine your sitting on a chair

– weight on heels and your lower back flat

-return to start by pushing through heels and stand up

-keep abs squeezed

10-15 reps x 2/3 sets

Thank you Glenn!

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Until next time, my little Health Bunnies!

Stay Happy, Stay Healthy and Dream BIG

Auntie Cath

Xx

22 May
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Soap awards and super Chia!

What lovely start to my week attending the British Soap Awards with Tom and my gorgeous Corrie Family!

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image1Massive congratulations to Sally! Sally won ‘Best Comedy Performance’ and of course the very special award for our beloved Anne Kirkbride.

Such a joy to celebrate her wonderful life in this way – what an absolute legend – God bless you Anne!

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It was also lovely to get my glad rags on and have my hair and make-up done. Thank you so much to Mark Melia for my beautiful lemon yellow bespoke dress and to Carly and Collette for my gorgeous hair and makeup :-)

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I have grown accustomed in the last few weeks to PJ bottoms and Tom’s hoodies…God bless dry shampoo – every new mum’s God send!

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So it felt lovely to feel like a such a glam girl for the night. I had a fab time catching up with my beautiful pals Hayley Tammadon and my room-mate Brooke Vincent and Tom was beside himself that he’d met one of his all time heroes – Martin Offiah!

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imageAnd as always Phil Schofield looked after us, kept the all the audience in line, and did a fab job of hosting!

Going to these awards always makes me beam with pride to be part of something so special. The medium of ‘Soap’ or ‘a continuing drama’ as I prefer, reaches out to so many people on so may levels.

Actors in ‘soaps’ work incredibly hard, the hours often very long and we handle some really sensitive storylines, that can raise awareness and can sometimes help so many people. So a huge well done to all the cast of these programmes and all the actors nominated – you all do a fab job!

I’ve been filming something else this week that I know you guys will love! Tis, however #top-secret at present! I can’t wait to share with you! I had such a great time! Will keep you posted..

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This week I’d like to talk about Chia seeds. Something that I’ve only just discovered really! They’re so easy to use and have lots of health benefits! Chia seeds have recently become one of the most popular ‘Super Foods’ . Chia seeds are nutrient dense and are great for boosting energy. They have even been linked to healing diabetes. Originally grown in Mexico, the seeds were used for their medicinal properties and nutritional value.

They were even used as currency! “Chia” is the ancient Mayan word for “strength.” Aztec warriors ate chia seeds to give them high energy and endurance. Apparently just 1 spoonful of chia could sustain them for 24 hours. (Thus I concur – if they’re good enough for Aztec Warriors then us mum’s need a sack load!)

These smashing little seeds are packed with Antioxidants – Antioxidants speed up the skin’s repair systems, and prevent further damage. So eating chia seeds can prevent premature skin aging due to inflammation free radical damage. Chia is also super-high in fibre. One serving can provide the recommended fibre intake for the day. Also great for blood sugar regulation these wonderful little seeds, have loads more benefits and are fab as part of a greens drink or smoothie! Chia down!! I’ve found a good recipe for a little Chia seed treat!

Perfect Paleo Chia Seeds Muffins!

INGREDIENTS

• ½ cup coconut flour

• 2 tablespoons chia seeds

• ¼ teaspoon baking soda

• zest from 2 lemons

• pinch of salt

• ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

• 2 tablespoons lemon juice

• 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

• ½ cup almond milk mixed with ½ teaspoon liquid stevia or ½ manuka honey 4 eggs

• ¼ cup coconut oil melted

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a medium bowl add coconut flour, chia seeds, baking soda and pinch of salt and mix together thoroughly so the chi seeds and baking soda are combined in the coconut flour well.

3. In another medium bowl crack eggs and add, vanilla extract, almond milk mixed with stevia or honey, melted coconut oil, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar.

4. Add lemon zest to the dry ingredients you just mixed and pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix very well.

5. Pour into paper muffin cup lined regular muffin tins or greased muffin tins ¾ way to the top.

6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or when pierced with a toothpick and it comes out clean.

7. Pull out of the oven and twist out of muffin tin and place on a cooling rack and let cool for 10 minutes.

Enjoy!!

Stay happy, stay healthy and Dream BIG

Love

Auntie Cath

Xxx

14 May
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A visit from my telly mum and snuggles with Alfie

We’ve had a busy week this week.  Which included a surprise visit from my gorgeous ‘telly-mum’ the lovely Michelle Collins.

It was so lovely to catch up and of course she enjoyed some snuggle-time with Alfie.

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Tom went away on a stag do last weekend – I think he actually got more sleep on the stag do than he’s presently getting at home!

So when he returned we made sure we had lots of family time with some lovely trips out – Alfie had a ball. He’s really starting to make us giggle now with his little chuckles and smiles – too cute! 

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At eight weeks post pregnancy now is the time that Alfie and I have a check up (and little man has his jabs). A lot of mums choose not to go to their 6-8 week post pregnancy ‘check’ because they ‘feel fine’.

I think it’s really important to go. Your body has been through quite an ordeal. You’ve carried another human for nine months and then you’ve gone through childbirth!! Some people take a long time to recover from this.

I’m not just talking in a physical sense. I’m talking ‘mentally’ too. I’ve been on cloud nine since Alfie was born but I’m in no way denying that giving birth and being a mum can be a challenge.

If you’re feeling a little lost or overwhelmed then you need to get those feelings out.

If not to a doctor then at least to your other half or a good friend. Post natal depression can be hard to diagnose, especially when you’re feeling so tired from those night feeds, you may just blame your feelings on lack of sleep.

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A happy mum = a happy home and a happy baby. If you feel that you’re struggling with post natal anxiety or depression there’s lots of great help and advice available: 

This website is fab and very much there to listen and help:

http://www.pandasfoundation.org.uk

Moodswings Charity can also help – a wonderful charity that I continue to support – they offer help to anyone enduring any type of emotional distress:

http://www.moodswings.org.uk

Tom has been training me in our home gym at weekends and I’ve been loving it!!

Getting stronger and stronger is such a buzz – and lord knows I need my upper body strength back these days. How heavy are these car seat/prams/babies?

I’ll be hench in a few months! Training with lack of sleep is so hard – sometimes you’ll benefit much more from a nap. Failing that a black coffee with coconut oil and one of these bad boys will sort you right out!

Auntie Caths ‘Mum-Bombs’

Ingredients

3/4 cup  oats
5 Tbsp ground flaxseed
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1 Tbsp unsweetened raw cacao
1 Tbsp black or white chia seeds
4 Tbsp Manuka honey,
2 Tbsp cashew butter or organic peanut butter

Directions

1. In a medium bowl mix all dry ingredients.
2. In a large bowl then mix all wet ingredients. Then add dry mix.
3. Chill for 20-30 minutes in the fridge then scoop into rounded tablespoons and roll into those little balls of goodness and Energy. Store in tupperware  in the fridge – great when you need a boost!

Big Thank you to all of you that are voting all things #Corrie for this years ‘Soap Awards’ – we really do appreciate it. There’s still time to vote here!! 

http://www.britishsoapawards.tv

Thank you for reading – As Always!! I’ll be bringing you all the gossip from the weekends ‘Soap Awards’ next week!! Cant wait to catch up with everyone :-)

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Stay Happy, Stay Healthy and Dream Big!

Auntie Cath xxx

09 May
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Coeliac Awareness, results from training and a trip to the theatre

We have a princess!!! No, not myself or Antony Cotton – Princess Charlotte!! And what a little beauty she is… Congratulations Kate and William! (One is quite sure that the ‘royals’ read one’s blog). Can we just take a moment of appreciation for Kate’s appearance upon leaving hospital?? A mere 12 hours after giving birth, Kate looked as though she was off to dinner! Full face of make-up, gorgeous blow dry, beautiful dress…. more to the point, she was walking normally?

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I reckon as soon as she got home, the make-up came off and the trackies went on!! I can’t begin to imagine having to do a press call after childbirth, the poor woman! I couldn’t have done that for all the tea in China. When I left hospital I couldn’t walk!

 

In short I looked as though I had flown to Australia and back… 5 times… in economy. Hats off to you Kate – that must have taken some doing!!

This week I went for a fitting for my Soap Awards dress. This cheered me up no end! Not just because the dress is beautiful but because Mark Melia only took my measurements two weeks ago and he had to take the dress in a good couple of inches! Finally starting to get my waistline back :-) My yummy-mummy gym sessions haven’t been in vain! Really excited about the Soap Awards as its a chance for all the cast to get together and I’ve missed everyone so much!! It will also be mine and Tom’s first night out since giving birth to our gorgeous son Alfie 7 weeks ago, I guarantee we’ll be looking at photos of him 10 minutes into the night…

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This week is Coeliac Awareness week. My father in-law to be is a coeliac Meaning he can’t consume gluten i.e –   wheat and related grains, including barley and rye. Some people might think – ‘So what? A celiac can’t eat bread’… its a lot more than that. Not only can the symptoms of undiagnosed celiac disease be incredibly uncomfortable and make you very poorly, they can also lead to much more serious complications further down the line. I am not a celiac, but I am wheat intolerant and I also struggle with IBS – so to an extent, I can absolutely sympathise with sufferers. This has only ever been a positive thing for me – as it means that I eliminated processed foods such as cereals, pasta and bread a long time ago. Thousands of people are undiagnosed, when really its as easy as keeping a food diary to help diagnose the disease. Symptoms of coeliac disease include:

 

  • diarrhoea,
  • bloating,
  • gas
  • swollen ankles
  • anaemia,
  • fatigue,
  • vitamin K deficiency, and.
  • excessive bruising and bleeding.

If you have any of these symptoms, especially after eating food containing Gluten – then its worth a visit to the doctors! You can also find more information and guidance here:

https://www.coeliac.org.uk/get-involved/awareness-week-2015/

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I enjoyed a trip to the Octagon Theatre in Bolton this week with my pal Karen. One of my favourite playwrights -Jim Cartwright, is debuting his new play there- ‘The Ancient Secret of Youth and The Five Tibetans’ . What a wonderful play. I knew it would be – Jim never fails to grip an audience with his incredible imagery. A wonderful cast including Denise Welch – who really shone for me with her energetic, heartfelt performance. The style of this play was quite different to Jim’s previous work but his usual awesome monologues that wind you slightly and wrap your heart strings around a bobbin whilst making you question how you’ve been living your life – were there in all their glory. It’s one of those plays that as an actress, you’re dying to get up and bathe in his use of words – how much you crave to be given such glorious monologues. Thought provoking, funny and incredibly moving – if you get chance to watch it- go.

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Here’s an awesome recipe for you- high protein, packed with omega 3 and easy as hell- perfect for the BBQ… If we ever get the bloody weather!! Another fab recipe from my dad Graham!

 

G-Unit’s Tandoori Salmon

 

 

  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 300ml/10fl oz natural yogurt
  • 4 salmon fillets

Place all the spices in a bowl and mix with the oil and yoghurt. Smear the paste all over the fish and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least an hour. Once marinated – cook for 3-4 mins on each side – job done! Serve with a green salad! Yum! Really nice cold too, if you need snacks the next day.

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In a bit campers!

Stay Happy, stay healthy and Dream BIG!

Love Auntie Cath

xx

30 April
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Alfie Goes to Weatherfield!!

The ‘little Pickle’ – our boy Alfie had his first trip to Weatherfield this week. It was so weird going back to the cobbles after so many weeks. It was wonderful to see everyone, and little Alfie was spoilt rotten with some gorgeous gifts from my ‘telly-sis’ Jane Danson.

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Ryan (aka Jason) was utterly besotted with our little chap…I didn’t think I was going to get him back! They might have to write this little dude in! Ha.

cath30-2Everyone always remarks on how alert Alfie is. He has been just so from the moment he was born. The midwife remarked how advanced he seems to be – I truly believe its down to the copious amounts of Omega 3 I consumed while pregnant!

cath30-3This aids brain development – and without blowing our own trumpets too hard – this is one alert child! I couldn’t help but beam with pride as I showed him off to my lovely ITV family. I fear I am quickly turning into one of those mothers that bores people to tears with pictures of their baby… But I don’t care :-) I’m loving it.

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Post pregnancy bodies. Let’s chat. Let’s lay it all on the changing table and throw any negativity in the bloody trash alongside the nappies -where it belongs!!! Every time I pick up a magazine, someone, somewhere (normally someone who doesn’t have children) has something negative to say about a ‘celebrity’ post pregnancy body. “Celebs struggling to lose baby weight” … “Celeb under pressure to drop baby pounds”… “Celeb fears she’ll never get her body back”.

Yes I have gained weight, yes I have gained the odd stretch mark, but you know what- I have just gained a son. Which totally over-rides everything!! And that is coming from a self confessed gym/health and fitness freak. I ate well, I exercised sensibly- that is as much as one can do while pregnant. I think it high time that we celebrate new mums bodies!!

Those little stretch marks are not something to be frowned up on- they are marks of a great achievement – they should be celebrated! After going through pregnancy I have a whole new respect for mums. I feel like running upto women on the beach that have that gorgeous little post-pregnancy mum-Tum and telling them how amazing they are!! We can change media perception together. Instead of pressure, eating disorders and unachievable , uneducated diets – let’s share healthy tips and recipes and concentrate on being a mum, being happy and being healthy- the RIGHT way!!! If you’re a new mum- do not let anything cloud over this special time you have – you won’t get it back. Eat a healthy balanced diet and keep active- be healthy for you and your baby. Do NOT starve yourself on some faddy diet created by a random celeb with no nutritional education behind them. It won’t last, it’s not worth it, and you’re new job is far too important.

You need your energy from the right foods, not synthetic supplements and dangerous energy drinks. I’m going to be sharing this new chapter of my fitness journey with you each step of the way. Let’s do it together!!

Gradually easing myself back into training alongside world renown expert Nick Mitchell, I’ll be sharing the highs, the lows, the protein, the carbs, the laughter and no doubt the tears!! I won’t be playing ‘guessing games’ and experimenting with fad-diets. I’ll keep bringing you facts, positivity and some damn yummy recipes! Sounds better than a crazy juicing diet right?? Tell you what- the results will last too!! So mummy’s! Enjoy your little one!!! That is priority- we can get fitter together the right way, in the right time!! Auntie Cath has spoken!!

Now then – I’ve been picking Glenn Parker’s brains again (GPTransformer), now that I have started training properly again, its a good time to review the basics and make sure I’m performing exercises properly! Here Glenn explains the ‘Reverse Pull-Down’… awesome if like me, you want to look fab in those summer, backless dresses ladies!!

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Reverse Pulldown

Experience: Beginner
Primary Muscle Group: Lattisimus Dorsi
Secondary Muscle Groups: Mid Back, Shoulders and Biceps
Mechanics: Compound
Force type: Pull

1. Set up the reverse grip Pulldown by placing a wide grip bar to the machine. Select your starting weight and adjust your thigh and foot position.

2 While in a standing position grasp the bar with an underhand grip (palms facing towards you) and slighter wider than your shoulders.

3. With grip on the bar and arms extended. Sit yourself down onto the machine which should slightly bring the weight off the stack.

4. Back straight and chest high and your eyes facing forward. Under control and without leaning back bring the bar to your chest.

5. Brief pause then extend your arms back to the starting position. Do not let the weights touch the stack.

Movement tips:

6. Initiate the movement from the Lattisimus Dorsi and not the biceps.
7. Squeeze your Lattisimus Dorsi (back) at the bottom of the movement and pause 1-2 sec.

Until next time! Thank you for reading!

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Stay Happy, Stay healthy and Dream BIG!!!

Love Auntie Cath

xxxx

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