Posts Tagged: Coronation Street

23 January
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Skin Food and a Cheeky Chilli!

It’s been an incredibly sad few days. Not just for the cast and crew of Corrie, not just for ITV…but as a nation. We lost our beloved Anne Kirkbride – a national treasure and true legend. This lady made everyone she came in contact with smile. Anne spent no less than 44 years of her life playing the infamous Deirdre Barlow, and no less than 44 years of her life making all who watched her – laugh wholeheartedly and cry along side her. Rest in peace Anne. We will all miss you terribly. http://www.itv.com/coronationstreet/news/anne-kirkbride

At the start of this week we paid a visit to my soon to be brother and sister in-law, Ian and Sarah. Sarah is due to have her baby girl two weeks before Me! So Tom’s parents are going to be very busy grandparents! A boy and a girl within weeks of each other! How lovely is that? I’m sure our ‘little pickle’ will look after their little princess. I smell lots of joint birthday parties ahead! (And cute matching outfits … Obvs!) Sarah looks amazing and it’s so nice to be going through our pregnancies together. As we chatted about breast feeding, backache and sore nipples the boys got all manly and hung out in their little girls nursery… Talking all things football and rugby I’m sure! It’s such a special time for our family- with weeks to go, and Sarah already experiencing frequent Braxton Hicks- everything is getting VERY real!!

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I’ve been spending time with my best friend Peter ahead of becoming a mummy. We’re trying to get as many lunches in as possible! So Peter has been wining and dining me and bump which has been lovely.

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Tom and I went to see ‘The Theory of Everything’ this week too- if you haven’t seen it- GO!!!! It’s a truly a remarkable film, and Stephen Hawking is truly a remarkable man. It made me feel so grateful for my health and my body- never take anything for granted we must be inspired by this man – seize every day!! You can’t help but be affected by this film, brilliantly cast and wonderfully directed. Eddie Redmayne is outstanding as Stephen Hawking – completely convincing with his physicality. If you don’t weep – you have a heart like a swinging brick!

Talking of great performances – how awesome was the Corrie coach crash!? I was utterly on the edge of my seat. Well done to all cast and crew involved – superb! You can see how things were done behind the scenes here:

http://www.itv.com/coronationstreet/extras/behind-the-scenes-minibus-crash-part-two-the-aftermath

There’s lots coming up for ‘Eva the Diva’ over the next few weeks too. I was given such a fab storyline prior to my maternity leave. I can’t wait for you guys to see it!!

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My skin has been a little dry during pregnancy and because its so cold outside – your skin needs extra TLC – ladies AND gents!! I saw my good friend and make-up artist @ArmandBeasley this week. He’s given me some great tips for skincare that are simple and easy to look out for and try at home – without spending a fortune on jazzy labels!

Armand said:

Hyaluronic acid. This wonder ingredient has multiple functions like improving skin hydration, stimulating collagen production, helps maintain skin elasticity as well as a powerful cushion for joints and nerve tissues, along with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Of course to target the latter you need to take the HA orally, so look out for these supplements.

Hyaluronic Acid in a moisturiser can of course only target the upper layers of the skin however as HA is also a powerful humectant ( so attracts moisture) ,so you only need to apply a small amount.

Another great ingredient for the skin is Rosehip seed oil. It helps accelerate cell growth and keeps the skin young looking, it can help boost levels of collagen and can naturally aid cell regeneration. It is also great for helping repair the skin after sun damage and for easing the signs of premature ageing. Plus it’s a great natural treatment for scars.

 

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Vitamin E has loads of benefits including boosting your immune system as well as working wonders for your hair, skin and nails when taken orally. But in a moisturiser or face oil it’s still a good antioxidant, but can be heavy, so again a little goes along way. It’s has great anti inflammatory benefits as well as soothing, calming and hydrating sensitive skin.

If you have a dry skin type look out for cold cream style consistencies as you might find them more comforting whilst an oily skin type needs a lighter oil free lotion.

Whilst on maternity leave I’m trying to practice ‘Hypnobirthing as much as possible, below I chat to expert @CherylYogaBelle in more depth about this unique and wonderfully positive attitude towards childbirth:

I’ve loved learning more about Hypnobirthing from you. In regards to childbirth what would be your top five tips for a mummy to-be like myself?

1. Prepare for childbirth but in the right way. I always say you wouldn’t turn up for a marathon without any training and yet every day women ignore their pregnancy, carry on as normal, try to block it out completely and are then surprised when birth goes down the medical path. Nobody can control what happens during birth, but we can aim to be physically strong to cope with the rigorous demands of childbirth. We also need to be mentally prepared which leads me to…

2. Be realistic but positive. Childbirth is frankly, the most amazing experience you will ever have. Yes it’s hard work, but when was something amazing ever easy? :) I think its important to choose your birth preparation method carefully. I’ve come across methods which promise pain free and even ‘orgasmic’ births and while this can sometimes be the case, this is not for the majority of women. I think this leads to unfair and false expectations for mum and if things don’t go to plan, blame mum for not having ‘the perfect birth.’ Birth ROCKS hypnobirthing, respects each mother and child as individual and doesn’t say that hypnosis will work for everyone. We use techniques to determine what will give you personally comfort during birth, not just a one size fits all approach. Childbirth is amazing, the rush of hormones directly after birth also makes you feel completely ecstatic and the love you feel for your baby is unlike anything you will ever experience. But expect hard work :)

3. Stay away from the people with the horrible stories. Everyone has a scary birth story to tell you, not enough mums have positive experiences are sharing! You need to remember that one persons birth experience is not yours so don’t take that baggage on. If someone tries to tell you a horrible story, stop them and say, if you don’t mind I’d rather not know. Women who have had these experiences find it difficult to believe that there is another way and may even mock you for aiming for a natural or peaceful birth, so best just not to discuss it.

4. Look after yourself and your baby. Stay fit and healthy, if you haven’t been fit before not is not the time to reach peak fitness. Try out a pregnancy yoga class, a qualified teacher will be able to work with your current fitness level. Eat well, don’t pig out on junk ‘because your fat anyway. Everything you eat is feeding your baby so try your best to eat and drink healthily.

5. Be prepared to surrender to pregnancy and birth. People often think of ‘surrendering’ as giving in or being weak, but during pregnancy and birth its the most powerful thing you can do. It takes great strength to be able to trust our body and our baby, and trust that they know what to do. Our bodies were created to grow our babies and to birth them, it makes no sense that birth should be the torturous time portrayed in the media. There is another way and looking towards pregnancy yoga, making use of the breath and birth hypnosis are the best way to prepare for surrender.

I promised you some comfort food this week didn’t I? Its still bloody freezing outside, so get this down your chops! Its healthy, its hearty and packed with good protein, good carbs and fibre! (also freezes really well!)

Auntie Cath’s Cheeky Chilli!

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• 2 medium red onions

• 2 cloves garlic

• 2 red peppers

• olive oil

• 1 heaped teaspoon chilli powder

• 1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin

• sea salt

• freshly ground black pepper

• 400 g tinned red kidney beans

• 2 x 400 g tinned chopped tomatoes

• 500 g quality minced beef

• 1 small bunch fresh coriander

Peel and finely chop the onions and garlic. Halve the red peppers, seeds and roughly chop. Place a large pan on a medium high heat. Add some olive oil and add the onions, garlic and peppers. Add the chilli powder and cumin with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Stir until softened.

Add the drained kidney beans and the tinned tomatoes followed by the minced beef. Fill one of the empty tomato tins with water and pour this into the pan. Season with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and turn the heat down to a simmer with a lid slightly askew for about an hour, stirring every now and again to stop it catching. Add the chopped, fresh coriander last minuet then serve with sweet potato wedges! I like to cook my wedges in a little bit of coconut oil with some fresh garlic cloves and sun dried tomatoes. They take approx 30 mins! Enjoy!

Stay Happy, Stay Healthy and Dream Big

Love Auntie Cath and Big Bump!!

19 December
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My last week in Weatherfield and keeping a ‘Peachy Bum’

Well! My last week in Weatherfield before I become a momma!!! Eeeeek!! It’s gone so fast. It’s been quite emotional filming my last scenes here for a while. I am going to miss Eva over these next few months, and I am going to miss my Corrie family massively.

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Big thank-you to all my fellow cast mates for looking after me. Especially my Telly Fella Ryan Thomas (aka Jason Grimshaw) who for the past few months has been on-tap with daddy-tips, back rubs, pickles and bear hugs. Love you Ry – Thank you for putting up with me!! I adore working on Coronation Street as you know, and I’m a workaholic so I never thought I’d say these words- but – I CAN NOT WAIT for a break!! I’ve never been so busy!

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Baby has been so very patient, waiting for me to rest – and let me tell you – I fully intend to do so!! The next few weeks before this little dude arrives will consist of nice walks, swimming, reading and PLENTY of pampering!!!

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Also got a few box sets to watch- the lovely Sue Cleaver has recommended ‘American Horror Story’ anyone seen that?

Big congrats to the uber talented Katherine Kelly (you’ll all remember her as the infamous Becky Granger right?) well Kate hasn’t stopped since she departed Weatherfield. From Lady Mae in Mr Selfridge to Claire Reid in Red Productions ‘The Guilty’ Kate has impressed non stop since graduating from RADA.

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Kate is currently starring in Cy Colemans ‘City of Angels’ at the Donmar theatre. Unsurprisingly the reviews have been fantastic and I’m really hoping I get chance to go and see the show in January.

Well done to all cast and crew and break legs for the continuation of the run!!

The first instalment of ‘What Would Kirk Do? ‘ was released last week. It’s been a great success. You can catch my instalment this week – log onto ITV.com to watch and participate!!

We also have a snazzy new Bistro after Nick decides on a refurb! Check it out! Posh or what!?

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This week I spoke to top Celebrity chef Andrew Nutter @nutsfood , owner of one of my favorite restaurants ‘Nutters’ http://www.nuttersrestaurant.co.uk/

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As Christmas Day approaches- we all want our Christmas lunch to kick ass right? Well here’s some top tips from Andrew (obvs number 5 is my fave ;-)

1 – Pre preparation is the key – get as much as you can done the night before.

2 – Get the family involved – there’s never a more prouder moment than saying – ” I did that ” or “I helped with that”cath6

3 – Don’t over cook your sprouts – simmer gently until al dente / drain / then toss in hot garlic butter with a shower of frazzled bacon.

4 – Less is more with Xmas pudding or why not try something different and do a sticky toffee pudding – but in the sauce try adding a generous spoonful of mince meat – all the flavours of Christmas without the sometimes heaviness of the traditional pud.

5 – Dessert served – feet up / Xmas day Corrie on and get someone ekes to do the washing up !!!!

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Here’s one of my favourite exercises. We did a lot of reps at the start of the week and I’m STILL aching (I secretly love that ache though :-) It’s my body’s way of saying ‘Thank you’ !! Below Tom ( TP_PTfitness) explains the Romanian Single Leg Squat- I usually do this with weights but as my pregnancy has entered the third trimester – body weight is MORE than enough!! It’s all about adapting as you grow! But this is a great exercise during pregnancy – giving you great shape around your quads and keeping that ass peachy!!

ROMANIAN SINGLE LEG SQUAT

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• Placing one foot on a bench behind you deactivates your back leg and transfers the emphasis to the front leg, giving you a unilateral workout.

• Stand looking forward with torso upright, core braced and hips square to your body, resting your back foot on bench. Your leading leg should be half a metre or so in front of bench.

• Lower until your front thigh is almost horizontal, keeping your knee in line with your foot. Don’t let your front knee travel beyond your toes.

• Return to starting position, standing tall engaging core and then repeat.

MUSCLES USED

• Primary muscle used is Quadriceps

• Secondary, glutes and hamstrings

Keep squatting ladies!!! Your tummy might take a while to regain definition after the baby arrives but your rear can be an absolute peach throughout!

Mery Xmas everyone and DREAM BIG!

Love Aunty Cath xxx

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

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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.

01 August
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Kool kale and my Corrie co-star’s business launch

I think cereals are the devil. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. They are not a great way to start the day! The more sugar that’s in these unbelievably processed boxes of lies the worse they are.

What we chose to start the day with dictates our hormonal response for the rest of the day. You start the day with protein and you’ll stay fuller for longer and start burning fat. You start the day with processed, sugary carbohydrates and you are spiking your insulin – which leads to fat storage and cravings for similar rubbish for the rest of the day.

I’m not talking about Organic porridge – that sort of thing isn’t processed and is sometimes needed in our diet. I’m talking about cereals.

That includes cereal bars. Have you taken the time to read the back of them?

I think jaws will drop when you do. Can you even pronounce some of the rubbish that’s in there? Our bodies were not designed for this processed junk. I know, I know – I can hear you all shouting “its quick!” … “I don’t have time”. So you don’t have time to boil an egg for three minutes? You don’t have time to throw a turkey steak under the grill while you finish your make-up? MAKE TIME.

Its basically about keeping your body in a state of ‘Ketosis’. Let me explain what that is! Ketosis is a state at which the body has an extremely high fat-burning rate. Even the brain runs on bm fat (via ketone bodies). These are energy molecules in the blood (like blood sugar) which become fuel for our brains after being converted from fat by the liver.

To encourage ‘ketone production’, the amount of insulin in your bloodstream must be low. The lower your insulin, the higher your ketone production.

And when you have a well-controlled, sufficiently large amount of ketones in your blood, it’s basically proof that your insulin is very low – and therefore, that you’re enjoying the maximum effect of your low-carbohydrate diet. That’s what’s called optimal ketosis. (If you’re diabetic ALWAYS consult a doctor before tweaking your diet).

I DON’T believe in cutting out carbs from your diet. I believe in eating good carbs and losing processed food such as cereals. This isn’t just for maintaining a healthy weight. It’s optimal for your health. It’s the same with bread. I haven’t eaten bread in around 8 years. If I choose to enjoy toast I’ll have a slice of rye bread instead. It’s all about thinking ahead. A boiled egg with rye bread soldiers or even asparagus soldiers for example is a great breakfast for the kids.

Here’s some better breakfast ideas below:

*Turkey steak with pan fried spinach and tomatoes
*Omelette with smoked salmon and goat’s cheese
*Scrambled eggs and bacon
*Poached eggs on toasted rye bread with guacamole
*Kippers and wilted spinach
*Sardines on toasted Rye bread
*Turkey and red pepper omelette

I could go on – you get the idea, and getting up 5 minutes earlier isn’t a hardship when it comes to your health is it? Give it a try for 2 weeks – stick to it!

Don’t eat processed carbs and see how much better you feel – Get your nutrition from meat, fish, veg (plenty of greens and swap white potatoes for sweet potatoes), good fats like avocado, nuts and seeds lots of water – basically GO BACK TO NARURE! If it ran, swam or grew from the earth – EAT IT. Anything else has been tampered with! Rant over…

Lovely break with the boyfriend

Lovely break with the boyfriend

In other news this week, him indoors and I took a gorgeous Paleo picnic to Formby beach- it’s gorgeous there! We played a bit of volleyball and then chilled out and watched the sunset with some lovely homemade goodies. If you live up north – it’s certainly worth a visit!

Visiting London

Visiting London

I also bobbed down to ‘that there London’ to pay a visit to the lovely Kate Garraway on ITV’s Lorraine show. We had a good natter about The Great Swim, Corrie and nutrition.

I hung out with Kate Garraway

I hung out with Kate Garraway

 

From there I headed straight back up north for the launch of my lovely pal’s condiment and biscuit range at her beautiful restaurant ‘Annies’ – I’m of course talking about yummy-mummy to be Jennie McAlpine, who plays our wonderful Fiz-Bomb!

Jen has a gorgeous new selection of homemade jams, chutney’s, biscuits, mustards and sweets! We were all spoilt rotten! Well done Jen and Chris!

Well done to my Corrie co-star

Well done to my Corrie co-star

If you follow me on twitter you’ll know how much I love kale! I have it with a lot of my meals and in my greens drinks. It’s amazing! The health benefits are ridiculous – it is great for aiding in digestion with its great fibre content.

It’s also filled with so many nutrients, vitamins, folate and magnesium. Kale has more iron than beef. Iron is essential for good health, such as the formation of haemoglobin and enzymes, transporting oxygen to various parts of the body, cell growth, proper liver function and more. It’s also high in Vitamin K – Eating a diet high in Vitamin K can help protect against various cancers. It is also necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions including normal bone health and blood clotting. Increased levels of vitamin K can help people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

Antioxidants, such as carotenoids and flavonoids help protect against various cancers. One cup of kale is filled with 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids, which help, fight against arthritis, asthma and autoimmune disorders. Eating more kale can help lower cholesterol levels.

It’s high in Vitamin C -This is very helpful for your immune system, your metabolism and your hydration (better than eating oranges which are packed with sugar!). Per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk, which aids in preventing bone loss, preventing osteoporosis and maintaining a healthy metabolism. As well as everything I mentioned – Kale is filled with fibre and sulphur, both great for detoxifying your body and keeping your liver healthy.

 

One of my favourite recipes for Kale is below:

Crackin’ Kale Salad!

• 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 4 ounces sliced pancetta, diced
• 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
• 1/4 cup Manuka honey
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 red pepper
• 1 yellow pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• Large bag of kale, stems discarded, leaves shredded
• 2 tart yet sweet apples, sliced into thick matchsticks
• 3/4 cup pecans
1. Combine the olive oil and pancetta in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until pancetta is golden and crispy. Strain the pan drippings into a small bowl and leave the crispy pancetta off to the side to cool. Add the cider vinegar, Manuka honey, salt and pepper and whisk well. Combine the peppers, kale, apples and pecans in a large bowl. Toss while adding the dressing, little by little, until salad is well dressed. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Garnish with crispy pancetta. Give it a try!

Until Next time!
Stay Happy, Stay Healthy and Dream BIG
Love
Auntie Cath
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27 June
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My Big Fat Greek Holiday

What a delightful start to the week I had! A few days away in Greece! Corrie storylines are about to get heavier at work (yey!!) So we grabbed the chance of a cheeky get away while we could. I pretty much spent the entire time sat on my backside… Utter bliss!

I went to Greece

I went to Greece

I’m a bit behind on this but -I finally got around to reading my friends book ‘The Confusion of Karen Carpenter’ by Jonathan Harvey. Jonathan and I met in 2006 when he wrote an episode of ‘Lilies’- a fantastic BBC period drama I starred in, set in Liverpool. Jonathan is one of our fabulous Corrie script writers too.

I’ve always loved his work, this book didn’t disappoint (but I knew that anyway).

My good read

My good read

Pretty sure the pool staff at our hotel thought I’d lost the plot as I laughed hysterically several times each time I picked this little treasure up. I became so engrossed with the lead character – Karen (I’d like to be friends with her) other times I had to pretend the chlorine in the pool had gotten in my eyes, rather than the fact I was indeed balling my eyeballs out – Greek stylee.

(Tom just thought I was hormonal and ate his own body weight in Feta). Such a fantastic book- strongly recommend it if you’re off on your jollys. You won’t put it down, I promise.

Gorgeous Greece

Gorgeous Greece

I spoke last week about exercising outside and finding alternatives when you don’t have access to a gym – I mainly sat on my backside during my holiday – as it was totally about recharging for me. However we did venture out on some lovely walks in the Greek countryside – where we did some hill sprints – which is an incredibly efficient way of burning fat and upping your cardio-game at the same time.

Obviously it makes life easier when you’re overlooking mountains and beautiful coastlines. Hey – it made eating all that glorious Greek food a lot easier too :-) Now then… I’d like to talk about poo please. There I said it! Oh don’t pull that face! We all do it! Fact is 70% of the nation suffer with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) at some point in their lives. This can be incredibly debilitating for some people. It’s something that most of us will suffer with to varying degrees. It is a common condition of the digestive system.

It can cause bouts of stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation. Symptoms vary between individuals and affect some people more severely than others. The symptoms of IBS tend to come and go in bouts, often during times of stress or after eating certain foods.

The exact cause of IBS is unknown, but most experts agree it’s related to an increased sensitivity of the entire gut, which can occasionally be linked to a prior food-related illness.

This may be caused by a change in your body’s ability to move food through your digestive system, or may be due to you becoming more sensitive to pain from your gut. Psychological factors such as stress may also play a part in IBS. If you think you may be suffering with IBS go and see your doctor!

There are things you can do to help yourself, foods to be avoided include: wheat, dairy, spicy foods and caffeine. Taking Magnesium and probiotics is helpful and eases cramps. Meditation often helps too in times of stress, I’ll be chatting to my good friend Tania next week about some ways in which you can help ease the symptoms and stress of IBS through meditation and EFT (http://www.prismhealing.co.uk/) The IBS Network also offers support- check out their website: http://www.theibsnetwork.org

I indulged in a facial

I indulged in a facial

When on holiday I always wear factor 50 sun-screen on my face (no one wants to look like a raisin at 40 right!). Nonetheless, it’s important to feed the skin after over exposure to the sun. The skin can become extremely dehydrated. So I indulged in a rose-oil based facial this week too.

It really rehydrates the skin, as well as having anti-aging properties it is an antidepressant: rose oil boosts self-esteem, confidence, and mental strength while efficiently fighting depression. So get smelling the roses!

Eva is getting stuck in behind the bar

Eva is getting stuck in behind the bar

 

I’m back on the cobbles now, as always were extremely busy and Eva is getting stuck in behind that bar.

So wonderful working with Bev and Simon (Liz and Steve). They both have me in fits of giggles most if the time – true Rovers legends! And I’m pretty sure Eva will be borrowing Liz’s bling at some point! Ha ha. Till next week kids! Stay happy, stay healthy and Dreambig!

06 June
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Becoming a football fan and heating up the BBQ

I had a revelation this week! A very surprising one at that. I LOVE football. This isn’t a joke, I promise! Some of my Corrie girls and I played five-a-side this week for charity – (http://www.whizz-kidz.org.uk/). For days beforehand, I was dreading getting on that pitch, having never played football in my life.

Football time

Football time

I’m used to singing on a pitch, not running around one. I was only supposed to play in maybe 4 out of 8 matches, but as the morning went on we had two injuries to our team members- so I had to play all 8 matches! Us Corrie lot, were equally spread out into opposing teams, I played against Samia several times – that girl can shift!

The team

The team

 

Also on board was Katie McGlynn and Tisha Merry, and I have to say girls – you all smashed it! I even scored a goal! (At this point I was borderline hysterical, feeling like Ronaldo with boobs and a weave). I lead warm-up in the changing rooms, supplied Kale chips at half time, and water and Bullet proof coffee on tap – @paul_boys I did you proud!

Corrie's Samia

Corrie’s Samia

 

I finally got my hands on our BBQ this week! Yep – Manchester had SUNSHINE!! I have a fab BBQ chicken sauce recipe for you to try:

BBQ

BBQ

Auntie Cath’s Chuck-Chuck Sauce

16 oz tomato sauce
– 1 cup water
– 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
– 4 Tbsp. Manuka honey
– 1/2 Tbsp. ground black pepper
– 1 Onion – very finely chopped
– 2 Garlic Cloves
– 1/2 Tbsp. ground mustard
– 1 tsp. paprika
– 1 mild chilli finely chopped (optional)
– 1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Directions:
Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium high heat and stir to combine. Taste and adjust any seasonings if you wish. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 1 hour. Whack it on your chicken and enjoy! Can also be used as an overnight marinade – Winner, winner chicken dinner!

I’m really starting to look at food and herbs in a different way these days. In a medicinal way and as a preventative to many different ailments. This week I’ve been reading up on ginger. I love ginger and use it in a lot of my cooking, especially in stir-fries. The benefits of ginger are fantastic, having had IBS and digestive problems in the past, I was already aware that historically, ginger has a long tradition of being very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress. In herbal medicine, ginger is regarded as an excellent carminative (a substance which promotes the elimination of intestinal gas) and intestinal spasmolytic (a substance which relaxes and soothes the intestinal tract). Modern scientific research has revealed that ginger possesses numerous therapeutic properties including antioxidant effects, an ability to inhibit the formation of inflammatory compounds, and direct anti-inflammatory effects. But how else does it benefit us?

*Anti-Inflammatory Effects
*Safe and effective relief of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy
*Ginger induces cell death in ovarian cancer cells

* Wonderful immune boosting action

I feel ginger is the way forth is it not? Especially for us ladies! It’s so easy to prepare too! To remove the skin from fresh mature ginger, peel with a paring knife. The ginger can then be sliced, minced or julienned. The taste that ginger brings to a dish depends upon when it is added during the cooking process. Added at the beginning, it will lend a subtler flavour and when added near the end, it will deliver a more pungent taste. Or if you’re lazy like me – you can pre-prepare ginger!

Single leg squat

Single leg squat

This week @Paul_Boys shares with you a truly life-changing…no, scratch that…a truly ass changing exercise! It’s tough, but if it wasn’t tough, what’s the point eh? Ladies and gentlemen, the master of glutes gives you ‘The Single Leg Squat’ (Cath shudders with fear).

The single leg squat is a great exercise to target your bum and legs, giving you a backside you can bounce coins off!

A special morning

A special morning

Have one foot planted on a platform as high as your knee, take a big stride forward with the other foot. When performing the squat, lower yourself under control as deep as you can go without leaning too far forward and making sure all the weight is over the planted foot.

Keep the chest held high, chin up and then when you push try making sure the foot remains flat, pushing from the heel of the foot. Repeat. (Cath does 20 reps each side, with weights then repeats, start with no weights on 8 reps then build) Then change legs. Try your best throughout to not shift the weight back onto the raised leg.

Hero Ride

Hero Ride

This morning was a very special morning for me as I started the ‘Hero Ride’ – a mammoth bike ride in aid of a charity very dear to my heart – ‘Help For Heroes”. I had the opportunity to meet some of the cyclists and start the race for them. Many of them ex-military, with astounding stories to tell. Each person taking part a true inspiration. I felt very honoured they had asked me to attend. Well done to ALL involved! Find out how you can help here: http://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/

Help For Heroes

Help For Heroes

Next week I’ll be giving you some more fab recipes for the BBQ, and we’ll chat more with @dale_pinnock about foods to help improve your skin, so you’re ready, set and glowing for that beach!

Till then my little Health Bunnies!
Dream BIG
Auntie Cath

30 May
0

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Soaps and food for your face!

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

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

British Soap Awards

British Soap Awards

 

 

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

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

 

Coral Pearl Suite

Coral Pearl Suite

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Tough workout

Tough workout

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

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

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

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

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

Working out

Working out

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

Sesame Soy Tuna Steaks with Sweet Potato Wedges

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

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tsp honey

1 fresh tuna steak

1 large sweet potato

1 clove of garlic

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

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

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

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

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

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

Serve with a side salad.

 

Benefits

Tuna

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

Sweet potatoes

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

Great Swim

Great Swim

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

cath-new

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

Love

Auntie Cath

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

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

 

09 May
3

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Dogs, Boobs and Funerals…

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

I love petting dogs!

I love petting dogs!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vitamin sprays

Vitamin sprays

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Here Olly shares his top tips:

Fix your gut

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

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

L- Glutamine

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

Probiotics

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

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

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

Filming Tina's funeral

Filming Tina’s funeral

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

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

Keeping my energy up

Keeping my energy up

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

Keeping my energy up

Keeping my energy up

01 May
2

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Breathing and Brownies!

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

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

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

 

Don't get stressed, meditate!

Don’t get stressed, meditate!

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Tina's funeral

Tina’s funeral

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

My treadmill pushes

My treadmill pushes

 

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

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

 

Cath's brownies

Cath’s brownies

 

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

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

Auntie Cath’s Good Girl Brownie’

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

Until next week

Dream Big!

Auntie Cath xx

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