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21 November
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TV Awards, listening to my Changing Body and Super-Smoothies!!

What a fab start to the week, we had a lovely time at The Royal Television Awards North West. Quite a few of us Corrie lot attend including Alison King, Debbie Rush, Ian Puleston- Davies, Katie McGlynn, Tisha Merry , Sean Ward, Oliver Farnworth and Les Dennis.
We were chuffed to bits when we won Best Continuing Drama Storyline (Hayley’s cancer battle)

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And a huge congratulations to my beautiful and talented friend Ali King who won Best Performance in a Continuing Drama! Were all so proud of the show, award ceremonies are such a lovely chance for us all to be together and celebrate. (Although I was of course just toasting our success with water :-)

Big thank you to designer Nadine Merabi for my beautiful maternity dress!!

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Bump and I loved it!!

It was also lovely to see my old pal James Sutton there too- currently playing the wonderful John Paul Mqueen in ‘Hollyoaks’.

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Big congrats to Red Productions Company who picked up the judges award for making a significant contribution to the region at the RTS North West Awards. I’m a huge fan of Red- their Productions are fantastic.

If it’s a Red Production – I always tune in as I know Ill be hooked. So I’m doubly excited to see our ‘Keegs’ (Michelle Keegan) in one of their latest projects ‘Ordinary Lies’.

This week has been busy… something has had to give… Much to my dismay it has had to be my sessions with Paul :-( . Last week I did one session with Paul and swam twice for 45 mins… Alongside work I felt exhausted. Honestly? I remember observing some of my friends during their pregnancies and thinking – why aren’t you exercising? What’s with all the carbs? You’re not active enough… Now I’m pregnant – I stand by my views …BUT – I can totally see how their minds were working. It’s only due to my knowledge surrounding health and fitness that I haven’t fallen into the same trap. I’m six months pregnant and thus far I have sustained weight training, swimming, yoga and 12-14 hour work days, 5 days a week. Yet I am STILL beating myself up that I am not doing enough. Tom has to constantly say to me ‘you’re pregnant Cath!! Your bound to feel exhausted’ More than ever before I have to listen to my body- and I DO!! Before pregnancy, if I felt tired or unable to train – I’d simply have a large strong coffee and ‘crack on’ . I can’t do that now – I’m learning fast and quick that being selfish has zero space in Motherhood. However I still maintain that health (mental and physical) permitting – it IS important to keep fit during pregnancy. It’s so much better for you and baby. I suspect Ill swim a lot more once I’m on maternity leave before the little chap arrives. I adore the feeling of weightlesness. It chills me out- and is an awesome form of exercise. It also helps get baby into optimal position in your last trimester. I’m a little quieter after next week so I’ll be training with @paul_boys then and posting some further fab exercises for you guys to try..

The talented Mr Jack P Shepherd (aka David Platt) and I have been out and about on location this week filming scenes connected to ‘Kylie’s’ storylines – Jack and I are working together a lot at the moment. Which is great – he’s a brilliant actor technically and emotionally, and off screen he has me crying with laughter. We’ve been back and forth to some not-so- glamours locations including pubs that look like they should be on the set of ‘Shameless’, boarded up disused housing estates and local supermarkets (much to the other shoppers dismay! Don’t think they were too impressed when they couldn’t do their ‘big shop’ because of David Platt and Eva Price!)

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This week I’ve been making lots of energy boosting snacks and foods to help me sustain my energy at work – This smoothie recipe is fab when you need a kick!

Cath’s Kickin Kale Smoothie

Ingredients:
1 1/2 c Almond Milk (unsweetened)
1 1/2 heaping tbs. Almond or cashew Butter, raw
1 Banana, frozen
1 Cup of frozen blueberries
2 cups of Kale
1 tbs Hemp Seeds
1 tbs Rice Bran
1tsp Manuka Honey

Instructions:
Blend up in a high speed blender until completely smooth (no chunks or bumps).
Sprinkle with Hemp Seeds

It’s lush! If you add some ice and bob it in a shaker you can take it to work, just shake it up and enjoy when you feel you need it!! Fab for us mum’s to be that our watching our caffeine intake too!!

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I’ve also found cold showers first thing in the morning really beneficial (no I haven’t lost my mind) . Of course it wakes you up – but it also it increases your metabolism, recovers your body quickly after exercise, strengthens immunity and circulation, and refines ones hair and skin!!! I sooooo wish Id started this sooner. I’m not going to lie- it’s horrid at first! I HATE being cold, but since ‘The Great Swim’ , I’ve gotten used to it! Now I know what the benefits are I will keep up with it. Try it first just for 5 seconds, then the next day aim for ten. Then fifteen… Etc. Built on it each day until you can withstand a good minute or two- you’ll feel fabulous I promise!!

Stay happy, stay healthy and dream big!!

Love
Auntie Cath & Bump

Xx

15 November
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Chihuahua ‘Date Night’, Special Friends and Massage for Bump!

I’ve spoken before about the benefits of massage- this week my masseuse Ashleigh Guthrie launched her spa ‘City Spa Escapes’, It was a fabulous night. Lots of fantastic treatments AND cocktail making! I made a Virgin cocktail for bump and I – I did the ‘Rovers Return’ proud! Dexter the Chihuahua was of course in attendance as my ‘date’ in his little tux – beyond cute!

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Congratulations Ashleigh!! Ash is the best in her field . Before pregnancy I had regular sports massage (painful but very necessary!)
Or sometimes I’d enjoy a relaxation massage in times of stress – this for me is the best way to unwind. I often meditate during massage. Now that I’m pregnant sports massage or anything that induces lymphatic drainage is a no go. However I’ve been thoroughly enjoying pre-natal massages.

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Prenatal massage shares lots of the goals of regular massage ­– to relax muscles, ease sore spots, improve circulation and mobility…and… Well …just make you feel fab! Please ensure your therapist is specifically trained in pre-natal massage as their techniques may differ from what you are used to. Your body is enduring massive changes- a good therapist will be aware of all these changes- physical and mental. I have found massage whist pregnant an absolute God send! It’s definitly helping with my lower back pain and headaches but more than anything it relaxes my entire body and mind- something SO important during this time. I’m still working full time and rushing around as per, as well as the usual anxieties and physical/mental changes of pregnancy- mummy’s to be we MUST relax!!! It’s so important. The more relaxed you are the easier your pregnancy and birth will be. So get your mates/other half to treat you to a fab massage!! I’m very lucky that Tom will massage my feet and shoulders while at home too (come on ladies- it’s the least they can do right?!)

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We had some of my old school friends round on Sunday – I grew up with these girls from nursery onwards and I’m proud to say we are still all close.  Tom really gets on with their other halves so they caught up on footie while us girls talked about the important stuff – nipple pads, baby sick and the wonder of dry shampoo ( to think a couple of years ago we were talking about Ibiza, cocktails and Jimmy Choo’s) .So Tom made a big pot of chilli and we all had a great time. My friend Kate brought her baby George round – he really took to Tom – they looked to be having a great time too! He’s so wonderful with children.

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Plenty of swimming was also had this week – I love it more than ever! Guess what – bump and I managed to beat our ‘Great Swim’ time this week! Pretty chuffed with that! Weight training is getting harder and harder now I’m getting heavier, so much of the time we are using body weight/ small weights. As much as I miss dead-lifting like ‘Arnie’ – its SO important to know your limits and have a PT to help you during pregnancy. As always @paul_boys has been fantastic in altering my program to suit my changing body and energy levels.

This week I interviewed my friend Sally. One of the most inspiring people I know. Please take a moment to read her story- she has been selling some very special calendars for next year. They’re beautiful. We’ve all bought ours here in Weatherfield … Here’s why…

My story is as follows:

“Hello. My name is Sally Blood. I am 43 years old and I’m currently battling ovarian cancer for the second time.  Unfortunately it is incurable, however I do not intend leaving this planet any time soon.

I have been a patient of Dr. Welsh at The Christie Hospital for the last 3 years.  The Christie is an amazing Hospital that specialise in all kinds of cancer and is a leading research centre too.

I have received numerous chemotherapy cycles, which I cannot deny are not pleasant, however the treatment I have received, together with a new trial drug I will be taking for life, is giving me hope.  Hope that new medicine is continually being found, and the hope that more and more lives can be saved.

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So, to keep me busy and occupy my day, I want to raise as much funds as possible for the research into ovarian cancer.  Can you believe that 20 years ago, only 20% of patients diagnosed with ovarian cancer survived? Unfortunately those statistics still stand today.

My latest project to raise vital funds for The Christie, and raise awareness, is a charity baby/toddler calendar.  The calendars are priced at 10 each 12 including P&P), and I have already sold 350 calendars so far!  All babies photographed in this calendar are either family or friends’ children, meaning this is very personal to me.

All proceeds from the sale of this calendar are going via my charity’s fund-raising page, which is ‘Sally’s Army’ to The Christie Hospital, in particular the research into ovarian cancer.

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If you would like a copy, click on the donation page below, add your full name and state how many calendars you require. Please then in box me your address, should you require postage.

Thank you for listening to my story.  Together we can all help beat cancer.

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/sallysarmy13

Many thanks.

Sally”

If you can afford to buy a calendar please do – The Christie is an amazing hospital. They have helped my family and friends so much throughout the years. The treatment and research facilities there are second to none :

http://www.christie.nhs.uk/

Until next week my little Health Bunnies!

Stay Happy, Stay Healthy, DREAM BIG and THANKYOU for reading!

Love

Auntie Cath xx

07 November
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Baby Kicks, Boobs and Winter Warming!

This week we’ve been filming NYE!! We must have sang Auld Lang Syne a million times. This poor baby will probably have a phobia of New Years Eve’s for the rest of his life! I’ve also been lucky enough to do a little presenting this week – will keep you posted on that. It’s something I really enjoy.

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This ‘little’ bump is quite a big bump now. And his favourite thing to do is kick! There’s no better feeling :-) feeling my baby kick is so magical. We stopped by the art dept at Corrie to see my best friend Peter, where baby put on a full performance of the ‘Can-Can’ for ‘Uncle Pete’. Bump is a bit of a show off – I don’t know where he gets it from!

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Saturday was exciting as we met up with events planner Liz Taylor to discuss potential venues and ideas for our wedding :-) I’m keeping hush, hush on those plans but let’s just say it’s going to be pretty special. Weddings and babies eh? Oh my God! I think I might actually be a ‘grown-up’ now! (Well…just ;-))

With this weeks schedule being as busy as ever we’ve been utilising our brand new home-gym! It’s almost finished now, we just need some gym mirrors putting up! Having some weights and a bench at home is a great idea when we’re both short on time. We decided a while ago to convert our smelly old garage (which if I’m honest was nothing short of a dumping ground!) into a little gym. Looks a damn sight better right?!

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As my pregnancy progresses inevitably I have lost strength and there are certain exercises I can no longer perform. But low weights and high reps are great during pregnancy. So I’m not lifting much but I am maintaining as much muscle mass as possible, so that I can resume normal training quicker when our little bundle arrives. The Dumbbell bench press is a great exercises- especially during pregnancy if you want to keep those ever-growing boobs pointing in the right direction ladies!

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Below my lovely fiancé @TP_PPtfitness explains how to perform the press correctly:

Dumbbell Bench press

1.Lie on the bench with a dumbbell in each hand and your feet flat on the floor.

2.Push the dumbbells up so that your arms are directly over your shoulders and your palms are up.

3.Pull your abdominals in, and tilt your chin toward your chest.

4.Lower the dumbbells down and a little to the side until your elbows are slightly below your shoulders.

5.Roll your shoulder blades back and down, like you’re pinching them together and accentuating your chest.

6.Push the weights back up, taking care not to lock your elbows or allow your shoulder blades to rise off the bench.

Muscles used

Primary – Pectorals

Secondary – Triceps

Whist were on the subject of ‘pectorals’ one of the best pieces of advice my good pal Kate Kelly gave me – is spend money on good bra’s during pregnancy! Your busoms go through quite a bit during and after – especially if you’re breast-feeding. Its vital to be fitted properly and be correctly supported throughout. This can get quite pricey – if like me, there appears to be no sign of a ‘plateau’ but I promise you ladies, its worth every penny. Being fitted correctly every 6-8 weeks during pregnancy is vital, and a damn sight cheaper than a new pair of boobs! So I contacted my good friend, stylist to the stars – Martine Alexander (@yourstylist) Below she gives her top tips for keeping ‘a breast’ of things:

“Make sure you wear the right size bra when you’re pregnant. Don’t just guess your size, get measured. There are great department stores, pregnancy stores and lingerie boutiques that offer free measuring services. Not only will this stop your breasts feeling sore with a wire digging in, it’ll also stop you ‘overspilling’ and looking like you have ‘4-boobs’.

Wire free bras are the way forward when you’re pregnant, although you can continue to wear wired bras as long as they’re comfortable. Non-wired bras, as well as being more comfortable, have more give in them whilst your breasts change which is a bonus! Plus, they will help your breasts retain their shape once you have your baby. They also can prevent breast tissue damage and blocked milk ducts.

Be prepared to change your bras as your breasts change sizes throughout your pregnancy. It may be a costly exercise but it’ll be worth it for all the comfort you get. A great tip is to buy a bra that feels perfect when on the tightest hook at the back. As your bump grows and the bra feels tighter, adjust your bra and use the looser hook. That way you get more longevity from your purchases!

So, how do you know if your bra fits you well? This advice is the same for everyone, not just pregnant ladies:

1. The fabric around your body should fit you snugly. None of us want the dreaded ‘back fat’ BUT its crucial your bra fits you well and the back shouldn’t ride up – if it does, it means the cup size on your bra is too small and your back size is too big

2. If you’re wearing a wired bra, the wire should sit fully under your breast with the wire sitting flush against your ribcage at the front (in your cleavage area) and not poke out. You shouldn’t be able to get a finger between your ribcage and bra

3. The fabric in the actual bra cup should encase your breast, without any spilling out at the front or side. If there is, go up a cup size”

Thanks Martine! Really fab advice there!

Now – its been bloody cold right? You fancy some comfort food…right? Well you’re in for a treat! This week I made a beautiful stew, I’ve tweaked a few things to make this recipe paleo ( you can thank me when you’re belly is full) So it’s guilt free, packed with nutrients and makes you feel all warm and cosy inside :-) Win-Win!

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Auntie Caths Winter Stew

•2 1/2 lbs of lean lamb cubed into 1 1/2 inch cubes, rubbed with salt and pepper

•2 medium onions coarsely chopped

•4 tbsp coconut oil

•4 cloves of garlic crushed

•1 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin

•1 teaspoon of cinnamon

•1 teaspoon of ground ginger/easy ginger

•1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander

•1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

•1 cup of chicken or vegetable stock

•14.5 oz can of drained diced tomatoes

•1 cup of chopped dried Turkish apricots

•2 bay leaves

•1/4 cup of toasted cashew nuts

Brown your lamb pieces in 2 tbsp of coconut oil for 2 – 3 minutes on a medium high heat and then transfer to your slow cooker. Reduce the heat to medium, add another 2 tbsp of oil to the pan, the onions and a 1/4 tsp of salt and cook for approximately 5 minutes till onions are translucent. Stir regularly.

Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, Add the spices and stir evenly so the onions is evenly coated. Cook for about 2 minutes until the spices have become fragrant, DONT let them burn guys!

Add the stock while stirring through properly. Transfer to the slow cooker, add the remaining ingredients and stir everything together. Set the slow cooker for 6 hours – soooooo worth it I promise!!

Remove the bay leaves before serving. Top with toasted cashew nuts. We serve ours with sweet potato mash – GORGEOUS!! Enjoy!

Until next week – Stay Happy, stay healthy and DREAM BIG!

Love

Auntie Cath & Bump

xx

31 October
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Being proud of my pregnancy body and trying out hypnobirthing and yoga

I’ve had quite a few tweets and letters asking my advice on pregnancy fitness.

Something that I have noticed from reading your letters is how negatively some women are viewing these changes to their amazing bodies. I strongly believe the media is responsible.

New mums and mums to be, confused as to ‘ Why don’t we look like the celebs in the magazines’ , ‘how do celebs stay skinny while pregnant?’ (not something that should cross a pregnant ladies mind) Skinny+pregnant = not healthy (excusing certain medical conditions obviously) strong+ pregnant = best for you and baby! No brainer! It has always amazed me that some people view a ladies pregnant body in a negative way. To comment on something so wonderful in a hurtful way. We are bombarded of pictures of ‘celebrities’ posting photographs of themselves 5 minutes after giving birth looking … Well…tiny. Ridiculously tiny. Not an ounce of cellulite, a perfectly flat tummy and perky boobs to boot! I train hard and eat well, but inevitably I am of course gaining weight during pregnancy.

Each mother is different. You could be the healthiest eater in the word and train for the whole 9 months but if your hormones dictate that you are to store fat in a less than desirable area. Then there’s not much one can do. I’m a firm believer in keeping fit during pregnancy and I certainly don’t believe junk food is at all necessary. It won’t do you any favours- and it won’t do baby any favours! There are some magazines out there commenting on the weight/shape of new mums. GIVE US a break!! It’s actually really refreshing to see pictures of celebrity looking ‘normal’ like the hundreds of other new mums out there. Instead of a mum that has jumped straight back into a pair of size 6 jeans and is swearing by ‘juicing’ (both unrealistic).

It became very clear to me from the start that all that matters for these special nine months of my life is that baby is healthy and I am healthy. That is as much as I can do. I fully intend to enjoy each day that my son is safe in my tummy and enjoy each day of my maternity leave without feeling like I’m a failure for not looking a million dollars.

What my body is doing is bloody amazing! Mums are AMAZING!! Hold your heads high yummy mummies!! Be happy, be healthy and deflect negativity from your life- you’re awesome.

I was lucky enough to enjoy a session with Cheryl MacDonald this week (author of ‘Birth Rocks’) Cheryl specialises in Hypnobirthing and yoga. One of the most important things for me as an expectant mother is lowering stress levels.

My job can keep me busy – if I do have a spare hour or two it’s SO important to use that time wisely. I’ve spoken in the past about how important meditation is. It certainly works for me- which is what has attracted me to researching Hypno birthing. Hypno Birthing is much more than simply self hypnosis or hypnotherapy for childbirth. With Hypno Birthing, you discover that severe pain does not have to be an accompaniment of labour. Hypno birthing practitioners like Cheryl help mum’s to-be learn how to release the fears and anxieties we may currently have about giving birth. It focusses on the joy and magic of birth – rather than the horrific ordeal everyone else seems hell-bent on telling you about! Most importantly for me (as a a self confessed control freak )- you learn how to put yourself back in control of your birth. Its gotta be worth a shot right? I’ll keep you guys updated as my sessions progress! It really does make so much sense though.

I’ve been struggling with backache this week, so I have been swimming rather than weight training. To ease the pressure on my back. I came up with a fab invention – a hot water bottle strapped to my back during filming. Simon Gregson took this picture. I’m thinking it may stand a chance on ‘Dragons Den’ what you reckon? No? Okay…

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It was my best friends birthday this week (Peter Eccleston). So we had a lovely ‘chippy tea’ as a treat. Jennie McAlpine came too, along with our friend Laura, who is also pregnant – there was a lot of oestrogen in that room! We had a gorgeous time. HAPPY BIRTHDAY PETE!!

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I had lunch with my good friend Armand Beasley (@ArmandBeasley) this week – make-up artist and Skin care expert. I’ve been moaning about my skin during the winter months for years – but since following Armands tips I have noticed a vast improvement! Here’s his top five tips to better skin!

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1. Hydration.
We all know that we should drink at least 2 litres of water a day but in the winter that can be tricky as we tend to crave warmth rather than a cold glass of water. There are a couple of ways around this: don’t store your water in the fridge, drink it at room temperature or have a pint of warm water (from the kettle) with some lemon first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. The latter is not only hydrating,it’s great for digestion.

2. Cleanse.
The most important part of a skincare regime, in my opinion, is cleansing.
It’s so important to ensure efficient removal, not only of make-up, but the dirt and debris of the day. Splashing your face with water alone is not enough to ensure that your skin is primed and ready for moisturiser. Invest in a cleansing cream if you have dry skin or a rinse off cleansing gel if you’re more oily. Face wipes should only be used in absolute emergencies! They should NOT replace a good quality cleanser…

3. Lip service.
Lips get a real battering in the winter months so invest a petroleum free lip product. Ingredients like jojoba oil, Shea butter and vitamin E are soothing and smoothing. Before applying, gently slough off any dry skin on the lips with a baby tooth brush. Once you have applied your lip balm you can start your make-up routine, so by the time you get to applying lipstick, your lip treatment should have absorbed in.

4. Handy tip.
Dry and wind chapped hands need a pamper too. A lot of the time we forget or loose our gloves so the hands are exposed to the elements. Also with the increase of using water free hand sanitisers, skin on the hands needs more hydration than ever. Lots of supermarkets and chemists sell travel size hand creams now so it’s easy to apply on the go. Choose one that contains Shea butter and a mineral ( zinc or titanium dioxide) SPF.

5. Eye opener!
I get quite a lot of emails from women, especially at this time of year, complaining about waking up with puffy eyes. Reasons for this can include alcohol consumption, poor sleep, flat pillows or something as simple as using your face cream too close to the eye. The skin around your eye area is about 40% thinner than the rest of the skin on your face, so always use a specific eye treatment and apply gently by patting the product ( size of a grain of rice) around the orbital bone with your ring finger ( this finger ensures the lightest touch). You face cream should never be used around the eye. If you’re prone to darkness then look out for eye gels which have ingredients like caffeine, arnica and green tea. Try and use a pillow which allows a slight elevation to your so that fluid can drain and not collect around the eyes ( always make sure that your neck is supported of course). armandinternationalltd.com

Until Next Week!

Stay Happy, Stay Healthy and DREAM BIG!

Love Auntie Cath

xx

24 October
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Christmas in the Rovers, baby showers and homeopathy

I’m still covered in glitter and blimin tinsel. Feels like I live in Lapland at the moment. Been filming Christmas day this week. Such a special atmosphere on set when we film Christmas. Especially in the Rovers. We’ve also been out on some pretty rough locations in the depths of Salford (oh the glamour!) A great week though, shot some great scenes with Simon Gregson and Antony Cotton.

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Also this week we gave Jennie Mcalpine a baby shower at her lovely restaurant ‘Annie’s’, with only a few weeks to go I think you’ll all agree Jen looks absolutely fabulous. She really is glowing and cant wait to meet her little one. It was a lovely baby shower, nice to see so many friends all turn out to celebrate the impending arrival of her little one. Paula and I attended too and we all shared bump stories around some ginger ale and cake – perfect! Good luck Jen! You’re going to be such a wonderful mummy :-)

I have been so touched by the response and support I have had from other mum’s to be and yummy mummy’s that have also suffered with IBS like myself during pregnancy.. I just wanted to share with you some tips that I’m finding helpful at the moment. During pregnancy you’re very limited as to what medications are safe to take. So last week I saw a homoeopathic doctor. Her remedies seem to have helped. Homoeopathy has been practised for centuries and often cure people the way nature intended. Which in my opinion is always a good shout! I shall keep you updated on my treatment. Other things that can really help are Turmeric and aloe vera juice! Turmeric has been known to treat our body’s gastrointestinal system. Turmeric helps our stomach to withstand digestive acids, which can otherwise harm it. It calms the upper digestive system by getting rid of gas. Turmeric is also known to help increase absorption in intestine and promote intestinal flora. You can take capsules or drink it in hot water with lemon, as well as using it in cooking. Aloe vera juice is soothing and is well known to help IBS and acid reflux. Drinking aloe vera replenishes your body naturally with a huge range of nutrients. It contains approximately 200 active components including – vitamins A, B1,B2,B6, B12, C, E, folic acid and Niacin. I’ve found it really helps with bloating and indigestion. So rather than pumping ones body full of tablets full of all kinds – maybe it really is best to see what mother nature has provided for us first? Let me know how you get on guys!

My other half Tom cooked up a storm this week with his version of Paleo Carbonara

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Here’s the recipe – MUCH better for you than a regular carbonara dish and equally as yummy!!

Tom’s Paleo Carbonara

•1/2 pound pancetta, chopped

•2 medium courgettes, cut into strips or use a ‘spiralizer’

•3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

•1 clove garlic, minced

•1 teaspoon sea salt

•1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

•3 large egg yolks

•1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon of creme fraiche

•1 cup parmesan cheese, divided

•1/2 cup frozen peas

Prepare your courgette and let sit in a colander for 30 minutes. Heat a large pan over medium high heat. Add one tablespoon of olive oil then add in panchetta. Saute for 5 minutes or until they begin to crisp. Take off heat and bob to one side. Set a pan over medium high heat and add olive oil. Once hot add in courgette pasta and sauté for 5 minutes. Add in garlic, salt and pepper. Lower temperature. In a small bowl whisk egg yolks, add crème fraiche and add 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and mix with a fork. Increase heat to medium high and add in egg yolk mixture and peas. Bring to a boil then remove from heat and add in the panchetta and stir around. We like to add a blob of pesto sometimes too :-). Give it a go guys! Stunning! You can use the same principal for ‘Spag Bol’ too – kids love it as opposed to pumping them full of gluten/processed carbs.

17 October
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Getting festive on the cobbles and boosting immunity!

Brrrrrr!!! Winter has hit for sure right? Heating on, fire on, onesie on! We’re shooting Christmas at work now, all our sets have Christmas decorations up, so it feels really wintry for us here at Corrie. Around October time you really need to start thinking about boosting your immunity.

We all know that autumn/winter is prime time for coughs, colds, flu and other lurgy! I always try to eat for immune health and swear by a good quality pro-biotic, but here are some foods that you should really strive to include in your diet, especially over the winter:

Kale
Sprouts
Spinach
Rocket
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Leeks
Carrots
Mushrooms
Tomatoes
Onions
Garlic

All the above can be quick and easy to cook with, or when you’re really in a rush – why not make a big batch of soup the night before? Or smoothies in the morning? These ‘Super foods’ really can help safe guard you against a lot of the winter ailments. For a lot of people, their diet is so full of bad fats, sugar and refined carbohydrates with very little fruit and veg that it really does leave your immunity levels very low, leaving you vulnerable to infections, viruses and diseases. One of my favourite recipes to help fight colds and flu is Dale Pinnocks ‘Flu Fighting Soup’

This onepot wonder of a soup is an absolute powerhouse when it comes to dealing with colds and flu. Don’t be put off by the goji berries – these sweet treats were once hard to find, and cost the earth, but thankfully they can now be found cheaply in any supermarket.

THE FAMOUS FLU FIGHTER
Serves 4

1 red onion, finely chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
5cm piece fresh root ginger, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium sweet potatoes, diced, skins left on
1 punnet shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 handfuls goji berries
Vegetable stock, to cover
Salt and black pepper

Put the onion, chilli, garlic and ginger in a large saucepan with the olive oil. Cook over a medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, until the onion softens.

Add the sweet potatoes and mushrooms to the pan along with the goji berries. Stir well, then add enough vegetable stock to cover all the ingredients. Simmer well for 10–15 minutes, until the potato is soft.

Season with salt and pepper. Carefully add the soup to a jug blender in batches, and blend into a smooth, vivid orange, spicy soup.

This week Paul explains the wide grip pull down. I’m terrible at this exercise, and certainly wont be doing this while pregnant! But I trained alongside Paul this week and he thought it would be a good one to share – boys, this is especially good for you if you’re trying to achieve that ‘V-Shape’!
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“The wide grip pull-up is a great exercise for Giving you the ‘V’ shape back. Considered by many to be the king of back exercises this isn’t an exercise for the beginner. If you’re first starting out and can’t do more than 2-4 reps. Then a really quick way to gain strength at this exercise is to jump up Into the chin up to the bar position and then as slow as possible, under control lower yourself until your feet reach either a step or the floor. Then repeat as many times as you can until failure, for 3-5 sets. When you’ve become more advanced, then try pulling up unassisted. With a grip just more than shoulder width apart, pull yourself up as high as you can while maintaining your hips and legs in a fixed position, no swing or assistance from the hips or legs, while creating an arch in your back by looking up over the top of the bar. Technique is imperative with this exercise for quick results.”

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As I said its all been very festive at work. We’re managing to hide bump behind the bar (little show stealer), God bless Jack P Shepherd who is working a lot with Paula and I at present. The poor man is surrounded by oestrogen, bumps, cravings and emotions. Corrie have such a fab Christmas lined up for you guys!! Lots of drama as always – and Jason and Eva being cuter than cute -bless. You’re gonna be hooked as ever! Eeeeek!

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10 October
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Meeting amazing people at the Hale Country Club and my first taste of reflexology

I had the opportunity to meet a rather special group of children and adults at Hale Country Club. This group consisted of several children of various ages – each with their own story, be it terminal illness, disability or a bereavement – these kids had seriously been through the mill. There was also a rather special lady battling against her body and ovarian cancer. The group were enjoying a day out at the club – a posh lunch, a good swim, pamper treatments and a damn good giggle!

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A truly humbling experience… some of the children didn’t have long left…When asked if I’d like to meet the group, I selfishly wondered if I’d be able to face them without breaking down at hearing their stories.

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But I wanted to be a part of their day and hopefully make them giggle. There wasn’t a tinge of sadness throughout the time I spent with them. There was nothing but joy, laughter and positivity.

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Their parents and carers an inspiration in themselves – keeping everyone’s smiles afloat. These people had so many problems but intended to enjoy every single, special moment of life – it was a day I wont forget and I’d like to thank them all for sharing their strength and their stories. Thank you!

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGpGZl-KDeA

Bump and I have had a fairly quiet week work wise- which has given me the opportunity to pamper, nest and sleeeeep! I had my first taste of reflexology this week- I’m hoping it will help aid my digestive problems and IBS during pregnancy. When pregnant you’re very limited as to what you can take medication wise. If I’m honest I always prefer to try a homoeopathic approach first anyway. So my doctor suggest I give reflexology a go. I’ve only had one session so far – but I’ll keep you posted. Beverly my lovely reflexologist certainly picked up on a few things during the treatment. It was incredibly relaxing and so interesting! Each part of your body is mapped out in the feet, tensions and ailments can be detected through the foot and eased, sometimes even erased completely.

 

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Now! I promised you at treat! This week I managed to get an exclusive interview with the big man himself! Mr Nick Mitchell (@HeyNickMitchell) owner of UP Fitness gyms and all round health and fitness Guru. Like I’ve said before- Nick is top of his game. His knowledge is wonderful , his ethos and training techniques of the highest most qualified standard. A man that inspires thousands- including myself. So I’ve been picking his brains on behalf of you lot! Enjoy!!

So… Nick…

1.)What made you become a PT?

I have had a very varied career which I think ultimately was of massive benefit when I became a PT as I benefited from a much better understanding and empathy of people and circumstances than I would otherwise have had.

One day I woke up and realised that I hated my life working in the City of London. I needed to do something with my life that I felt passionate about. I’d spent pretty much all my spare time of the previous twenty years living in hard training, unflinchingly hardcore gyms and I thought it was time to take that ethos and environment into personal training to give “real people” the opportunity to finally take control of their bodies and move away from the BS that was most mainstream fitness advice at the time.

Things have massively improved for the general public since then. It would have been unheard of a few years ago to have had a TV star like yourself espouse weight training and eating red meat. Instead you’d have been full of granola and dull repetitive aerobic exercise that would do very little for either your body shape or your health. In fact with your tummy issues it would have made things worse!

2.)Tell us a little about UP (Ultimate Performance)

I like to think that we are the most consistently credible and high performing Personal Training business anywhere in the world. Certainly if we ever find someone doing something better than us it drives me mad and we change things up at UP so that we can keep on improving!

We currently have our own gyms in London (Mayfair and the City), Marbella, Hong Kong and Singapore. UP Glasgow is due to open in January 2015, we’ve been scouting Manchester as you know, and international expansion plans continue afoot.

3.)What do you consider to be the most important factors when wanting to lose fat and gain lean muscle mass?

As much as selling you a magic formula might be handy for my bank balance the truth is that it is all about consistently following the basics.

Regular, intelligent and hard training (you can’t just do the exercises you want to do, you must the ones you are supposed to do), eating “from the land” and avoiding processed junk / going too hungry and then binging, and sleep.

And let’s not forget a bit of patience!

4.)I have to ask Nick- top tips for pregnancy training/nutrition?

So long as you get the go ahead from a medical professional most women can, and should, keep up a regular exercise regime. I’d avoid pushing it to some crazy limit but there’s no need to wrap yourself in cotton wool whilst pregnant. The bottom line here is that the healthier you are and for example the better your insulin management to avoid the all too common issues of gestational diabetes, then the easier your pregnancy will be, the better the environment for foetal development, and the faster you will recover from the birth.

And what improves insulin management? A healthy, lower sugar diet, not being afraid to eat some fat (!), resistance training, and supplements such as fish oil.

On the subject of supplements, I would have all pregnant / breast feeding women take a high concentrate DHA fish oil, D3, carnitine and probiotics.

5.)You’re somewhat of a legend – every PT I’ve encountered looks up to you and aspires to be at your level. Where do you go from here?

Legend in my own living room sounds more accurate!

I want to help create real and tangible careers for the brilliant people who can often get lost in the Personal Training industry. There are some truly rubbish trainers out there who fleece clients money all just to be babysitters and rent a friends and count reps in a bored and desultory fashion. Anyone who has been inside a commercial gym will have seen them and shared my despair and wondered why on earth anyone would waste their hard earned money on that rubbish!

But on the flip side we also have a decent number of trainers who are truly brilliant people. They care about improving themselves and their clients and they do not get the credit that they deserve. I’d like to continue to grow UP so that we can keep on evolving interesting and rewarding career paths for these guys and girls who can often get lost in the world of gym floor rentals, over egged BS promises, and soul destroying “colleagues” who are only interested in clients’ pound notes and not their health and wellness.

6.)If someone is just starting out on a health and fitness journey what would be your advice to them?

Use common sense and try as hard as possible to not second guess yourself or read too many conflicting articles on the internet.

I’ve a lot of sympathy for people starting out these days as the confusion and noise has reached ridiculous levels. You can read advice from someone like me and then pick up a Tracy Anderson article and end up twisting yourself into knots of paralysis by analysis.

As a rule just try to cut through all the BS, my own included, and think if something makes sense then give it a try and if a bit of thought on the subject leaves you cold try a different approach. For example, the aforementioned Miss Anderson advises ladies to lift weights of under a couple of kg otherwise they “bulk up”.

This is utter cods wallop!! And if you stop and think about it for half a second you should realise why. How many women have handbags bigger than that and do they all of a sudden sprout muscles on the side of their body that carries this bulky and “manly” weight?! And lets not even think about those brave ladies who turn into Conan because they carry a heavy baby in their arms…

7.) finally – motto for life?

I believe that living a fulfilled life is the secret to contentment. That’s not the same as pursuing the line of least resistance and going for the easy and fun filled life. It means taking difficult decisions and for me at least doing everything that I can to live up to whatever potential I have been blessed with.

Bump LOVES to swim!!

I’ve been swimming quite a lot this week . As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs – swimming is a low impact sport, swimming offers us mum’s to be a great, safe way of exercising as the water partially supports weight, decreasing burden on spine and limbs.

Being pregnant can cause different weight-related problems, particularly when it comes to your joints and bones. The more pregnant you become, the more relaxin (a hormone secreted by the placenta and the lining of the uterus) your body releases. While this is of great benefit during child birth (she gulps), when you want your pelvis to move more freely, it can cause a variety of aches and pains during pregnancy (nobody tells you this!!!)

I find the water allows you to move around freely, feeling lighter and more limber while in water. In between maintaining my usual weight training with Paul – swimming is WONDERFUL during pregnancy. Its wonderful at any point!I’ll be introducing my little one to the water as soon as possible.

Right! That’s all for this week my little health cherubs!!

Stay Happy, Stay healthy and Dream BIG

Love

Auntie Cath

Xx

03 October
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A Very Special Road Trip and a Posh ‘Chippy Tea’

My Granddad was my hero. The ‘Don’ of our family. As a child I used to call him ‘God’ or ‘The Giant’. The decision maker. The go-to guy . I lost my beautiful Grandfather last year to cancer. He beat cancer three times during his life time. He was incredible, Jim swam 60 lengths a day well into his 70′s ( I definetly get my water wings from him!). A wonderful singer, with tones of Nat King Cole and Billy Eckstine. He travelled the world, danced like no one was watching and was always last to leave a good party. Music made him tick. He’d sit at home listening to his favourite records- he had wonderful taste. And I loved looking through is records and sheet music. All the greats were in there! Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan, Billy Eckstine, Ella Fitzgerald…

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Grandad – James Thornhill supported me through drama school , whenever I doubted my ability he’d tell me I was a star and that I would forfil my dreams.

He bought me my first PA system to enable me to sing and make money for myself In-between acting jobs. Which led to me singing at Old Trafford for Manchester United. Travelling to Rome with the first team and singing at the ground many times. This made Granddad so proud- his team!! He was even on the B team at United himself in his younger years! When Granddads cancer returned for the last time, he started chemo again determined to win against this stubborn disease once more.

He’d overcome so much in the past we thought he’d beat this vile disease again… A combination of things led to a quick deterioration in Granddad. Ever the charmer the nurses at Salford Royal fell in love with him- he was still a silver fox!

That Hollywood smile could get him anywhere. As a young man my granddad could easily have been mistaken for some film star or a model- so very handsome.

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James had a ‘bucket list’- on this list was too visit the legendary Jazz club “Ronnie Scott’s”. He never made it. He became too weak and we lost him. My ‘giant’ , the indestructible Jim Thornhill had fought his last fight. The last days I had with him will be held in my heart forever. When he whispered to me ‘I love you’ I knew he meant it with every single bone in his body. I am so grateful for those moments. A huge Salford Reds fan – I took him the match ball a few days before he died , signed by the players. He winked at me and said “that’s bloody brilliant, thanks Cath”.
I knew after he passed we needed to forfill his wish. We needed to visit ‘Ronnie Scott’s’ because I had no doubt what so ever that if we did- he’d be right there with us- tapping his foot and singing along.

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So that’s what we did! I arranged for Tom and I and my lovely family to stay at The Royal Horse Guards Hotel as a very special treat. Booked a table at ‘Ronnie’s’ for 6.30 – we were all set!! The hotel is stunning. Grandma was most impressed. Food was divine and every luxury met- this would have been right up our Jim’s Street! We took in the sights for a few hours before heading to Ronnie’s.
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I have been to ‘Ronnie Scott’s’ before- so I knew it wouldn’t disappoint- I was right. The London City Big Band were fantastic and the vocalists amazing. It was such a fitting evening to pay tribute to our ‘giant’. I hope he was there with us in some way. We love you Granddad!!

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One of my granddads favourite dishes was fish and chips, a Salford lad, born and raised – and a very healthy eater most of the time. One of his treats was a chippy tea! So this weeks recipe is a healthy version of one of the UK’s favourite comfort foods! Fish and Chips!!

Cod is pretty damn awesome and should be a regular feature in your diet. Not only is it a GREAT source of protein, but is also great to top up your omega 3, vitamin B6 and B12 (to name a few). It can also help prevent: heart disease, heart attack, stroke, high cholesterol and cancer!! Chow down! (just not on a chippy cod too often!)

Auntie Caths Posh Fish n Chips

• The Fish!

• *1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

• *1 1/2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

• *1 large garlic clove, peeled and minced

• *2 teaspoons minced shallots

• *1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

• *1 tablespoon almond flour

• *2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

• *Salt, to taste

• *Freshly ground pepper, to taste

• *2 tablespoons garlic olive oil

• *4 (7-ounce) skinless cod fillets

• *Garnish: lemon wedges

1. Stir together first 9 ingredients in a small bowl. Heat oil in oven proof skillet over medium-high heat. Season the cod with salt and pepper, and cook around 4 minutes. Turn fillets over; cook 1 minute. Spoon 1 tablespoon butter mixture over the top of each fillet then bob the skillet in the oven, and bake at 200 for 2 minutes or until fish is just cooked through. Serve with the wedges!

The Chips!

1. *Sweet potatoes (at least one per person) – chopped into chips

2. *Coconut oil. A couple of tablespoons or so. Enough to lightly and evenly coat the fries.

3. *Salt and pepper

4. * 3 Garlic gloves finely chopped

Mix all ingredients together, place on an oven tray, bake at 200 for 25-30 mins until chips are cooked, golden and gorgeous :-)

Serve with balsamic glaze and garlic mayo – LUSH!!

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Also this week, we said goodbye to Peter BarlowAka Chris Gascoigne :-( . So sad to say goodbye to such a great actor. you’re gonna LOVE what’s coming!! Goodbye Chris! Cant wait to see what you do next, we’ll miss you in Weatherfield!

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We also said goodbye to one of our favourite make-up girls Gilly-Bean. Good luck Gill – you’ve made us all look human on the very worst of days! God bless you and your kit!

Will be posting some more exercises for you next week! Along with another yummy recipe if you’re lucky!

Stay Happy, Stay Healthy and Dream BIG

Love Auntie Cath and Bump

xx

26 September
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Brilliant berries and happy hair

A lovely week at work!

We have such fab storylines over autumn/winter (as always!) Thankyou for all your kind words about Kylie and Eva scenes and current storylines guys.

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I love working with Paula Lane – she’s fab! Plus – bump-bonding is always nice!

I had my first taste of Teppanyaki this week for my sister in-law to be’s birthday – Sarah. Who , by the way , is also pregnant with her first child (come on!! There must be something in the water??? Baby-boom or what?!).

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The food was fab – lots of fish, meat and veg available while we moaned about our back ache and foot-ache! The joys of being with-child eh?

I’ve been pretty tired this week due to lack of sleep. I’ve found a pregnancy pillow very helpful to rest on!

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I’m eating lots of asparagus- this helps battle water retention and also a small cup of water with a teaspoon of Himalayan pink salt in the evening seems to have helped too.

Non the less I’ve been listening to my body and getting plenty of rest! It can be frustrating when you’re a fidget like myself- but it’s so important to know when you need some comfy house-pants, a good book and a foot massage! (Thanks Tom!)

I’m trying to grow my hair at the moment – apparently when you’re pregnant your hair and nails get stronger and condition improves. With constant styling at work and swimmimg several times a week – my hair takes a beating – I spoke to my good friend and hair wizard @calumtierney this week about things I can do to help.

Here’s Calum’s top tips for healthy hair!

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1.Always use conditioner even if you have fine or thin hair: Conditioner makes your hair easier to comb through, so if you skip it because you think it weighs down your hair, you may ultimately be doing a bigger disservice to yourself. Combing through tangled hair, particularly if it’s dry because you don’t use conditioner, will damage hair even further. Just use a little on the ends and you shouldn’t have a problem with limpness Rec conditioner Caviar repair anti ageing conditioner and tangle teezer for combing !

2. Heat protection Spray Heat protectants are essential when using heated tools like hair dryers,flat irons and curling wands. Heat styling opens up the hair shaft leaving strands susceptible to damage and even color loss. Heat protectants coat the follicle, keeping strands sealed and shielded and even contain Uv protection rec product

3.Beautiful, healthy hair does not always come naturally for many people. Moroccan oil, often known as Argan oil, is a popular cosmetic treatment for Chemical damage, environmental influences, diet, and health are a few of the things that can affect hair quality and condition. No matter how long one’s hair is, its color, or its texture, the use of Moroccan oil controls frizz adds moisture & protein and flexibility for blowdrying !

There’ll be more tips soon! Stay tuned!

VERY Berry Good!

Most of us know that berries are PACKED with antioxidants, especially blueberries – I eat blueberries everyday – they truly are a miracle food! If you’re going to eat fruit – berries are your best option – why not whizz these little beauties up into a smoothie with an avocado and some coconut water? Great snack anytime of the day!

Beltin’Blueberries!
Studies suggest that blueberries may reduce memory decline, may reduce heart attack risk, and may provide other anti-aging benefits. They are also an excellent source of vitamins C and K, manganese and a good source of dietary fiber.

Smashin Strawberries
Helps burn stored fat, Boost short term memory High in Fiber, Ease Inflammation, Good for weight loss and Promote eye health!


Brilliant Blackberries

Help to prevent cancer, aid digestion, help relieve PMS (get munching these ladies!), great for hair and skin.

This week my lovely other half took one of Paul’s sessions for me while Paul was at an appointment. Here’s one the exercises we did at the start of the session!

@TP_PTFitness

Squat to Row

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Step 1: Hook a rope or V- handle up to the cable machine and place the handle at a notch about waist height.
Step 2: Grab the handle with both hands and pull it out so that the cable is taught.
Step 3: With your arms extended bend at the knees and squat down till your knees make a 90 degree angles.
Step 4: As you stand back up pull the v-bar handle to your chest and pinch your shoulder blades together.
Step 5: Squat back down and extend your arms back out as you do. This completes one repetition.

Muscles activated.

• Glutes
• Quadriceps
• Upper Back
• Shoulders

This exercise is fine during pregnancy- just increase rest time and know your limits! “

19 September
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Step-Up to The Energy Bombs!

31 This week?! How did this happen?! I cant believe the difference a year makes! Having a fab time at work at the moment – we’ll be filming Christmas soon!! How scary is that?! Brook Vincent and I share a dressing room – and have been helping each other with lines in between little naps :-) (Bump LOVES  a nap!)

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To celebrate my birthday Tom and I went to one of our favourite restaurants ‘Australasia’ with our best friends Peter and Antony (Aka Sean Tully). Compared to last year HUGE 30th Birthday Bash this was very low key – perfect for me and bump. I had Blackened cod, satay spinach, Miso aubergine  and chicken skewers – Gorgeous!

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My little cousin Isabelle had her birthday this week too and the family got together for a little garden party. We sang songs from ‘Frozen’ and ate cake – great day all round. The girls insisted on singing ‘Frozen’ and other Disney tunes directly to my bump – if this baby isn’t born a Disney Addict, I’ll be so surprised!

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Tom has been away in Marbella – he’s not been partying though – he’s been studying! At UP Fitness, under the amazing Charles Poliquin. He’s now a fully qualified BioPrint Practicioner. Well done Tom! Meanwhile I have been ‘nesting’ getting the nursery ready for our arrival! Work on our home gym starts on Monday too! Cant wait! Its all systems go before our little one arrives!

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@Paul_Boys and I have a had a great week training – we’ve managed to get three sessions in this week. I never get bored of sessions with Paul as our program is constantly changing – sign of a good personal trainer! Your body tends to adapt to a training program after a few weeks – so its best to change it every 6 weeks. To constantly develop and challenge your body. Here’s one of Paul’s faves – which is also safe during pregnancy!

 

Step Ups

 

The single leg step up is a great exercise to get your heart rate up. It’s simple, to perform and not so technical so you can really focus on just working hard and setting your ass and legs on fire and feeling the burn! Simply make sure the step is sturdy, about knee high and then place one foot on the bench, fully. Not just the toes, then stand with all your weight going through the foot on the bench and stand tall raising the knee, lower yourself under control and repeat for as many repetitions as possible until you feel like your leg may fall off. Then switch legs and repeat, that’s one set complete. Aim for more than 15 reps every time. 3-5 sets should finish you off nicely.

 

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When you’re as active as I am with a busy lifestyle, sometimes we need a little kick- you shouldn’t over do coffee when pregnant – your intake becomes limited. And energy drinks are FULL of rubbish!! AVOID! Pregnant or not.  So medicinal chef @Dale_Pinnock has given me a lovely little recipe for when I’m flagging a little!

 

Dale’s Energy Bombs!

 

250g Pitted dates

250g raw walnuts

3 teaspoons spirulina powder

desiccated coconut

 

Put the dates, walnuts and spirulina into a food processor, and process at full speed until a stiff paste forms.

 

Sprinkle the desiccated coconut on a plate and have another clean plate handy. Processing the ingredients at a high speed will have squeezed the oil from the walnuts, so the paste will be very oily. Break off thumb sized pieces of the paste, roll them into balls, then roll in the desiccated coconut. Place the coated balls on a clean plate.

 

Once all the paste has been rolled into balls, place in the fridge for several hours, which will make them firmer and give them a great chewy texture. Great when you’re on the go and need a boost!

 

Until Next Time my Little Health Bunnies!

 

Stay Happy, Stay Healthy and Dream BIG

 

Love Auntie Cath

xx

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