Alternative Exercise: 14-Day Hoop Challenge with Phoenix Fitness

14-Day Hoop Challenge with Phoenix Fitness

Home workouts can be a complete and utter pain. One reason why many choose to pay for a gym membership is that they aren’t motivated enough to get exercise when they’re in the house. But what if there was something you could do that is fun and would want to do as often as you can? I have teamed up with Phoenix Fitness to show you that there is! I have given myself a simple 14-day hula hoop challenge to get myself moving without having to leave the house. What’s more, you can do it too!

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Alternative Exercise: VR Gaming with VR-Here Liverpool

I’m up for anything that isn’t your typical style of physical activity. I don’t have a gym membership, but I certainly get more than my 10,000 steps in by doing other activities that you wouldn’t normally consider. So, when Bryan from VR-Here in Liverpool invited me and my Larry to check out their complete VR gaming arcade, I simply couldn’t say no!

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Reasons to Love Zumba!

I dedicate this blog post to everyone who started off their fitness year strong before coming to a crashing halt. You hit the gym hard, drank every smoothie you found on Pinterest, “cleansed” your body from all the naughty snacks you devoured at Christmas and New Year… Then nothing.

Hey, you’re only human! In most cases, it’s not actually because you simple HATE exercise, it normally comes down to what you personally enjoy. You need something to get you pumped up, something that you’re more likely to do consistently because it’s just that fun. You need something that doesn’t make you feel rubbish when you find yourself struggling to keep up. Maybe try Zumba?

If you guys follow me on Twitter, you know how much I love Zumba. That wonderful, dance-tastic fitness craze that came into our world in the early noughties which blasts out tracks by Pitbull, Shakira and much more. Though I know many people who are mad about the latest Kim K butt blaster, I’m more about leaving the studio with legs like jelly and a smile on my face than wondering whether my body is looking amazing yet (not saying I never have those moments, as I said, we’re only human).

You can never do Zumba wrong

As a previous instructor of mine used to say, “if you can’t keep up, just shake it ’til you make it!” The moves aren’t too complicated, but you’re always going to have moments where you slip up and fall out of time with the steps, but you just laugh it off!

No one is judging you

One of my biggest issues with the gym is feeling like I shouldn’t be there. It’s never been enough to stop me, but I guarantee you won’t feel that way at Zumba. Join in on all the “Wooo’s” and “Hey! Hey! Hey’s!” You’ll realise that there is no room for being “too cool” and that going with the flow is what it’s all about.

Zumba doesn’t feel like a workout

I mean, physically it does. You’re obviously aware that your body is being pushed, but it’s so bouncy and exciting that you simply don’t care! You can burn between 400 and 700 calories in one class, but you honestly wouldn’t think so. It just feels like one big party!

The People are Amazing

The best thing about going to Zumba is that everyone is different. We all come in a wonderful rainbow of shapes, sizes, personalities, and we support each other with “woop’s” partner moves and catwalk poses.

There is a Zumba class for everyone

No Zumba classes are ever the same. Some I have loved, others not so much. If you find that you try one class and think it’s not for you, it could actually just come down to that particular class. For me, I need a bit of a challenge, so if a class is too easy then I need to find somewhere else. However, if I also need an instructor who is engaging. Try a few places out before you settle on one class.

It’s more than your average cardio

Yes, you’ll be out of breath and reaching for your water bottle between each song, but it’s much more than a basic cardio class. You will be toning your body as you squat, kick, booty-shake for an hour, loving every single minute of it.
Zumba is something I have been in love with since I was seventeen, and now I’m so excited to say that this Summer I will be doing my Zumba instructor training! I’m so over the moon about this new adventure and I will hopefully be instructing classes in a few places around Manchester, and hope some of you will join my classes!

LaceyFitspo xx

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Mexican Style Hotpot

Being frugal is easy when you enjoy one pot wonders. Larry and I are big fans of our slow cooker, and tend to make most dinners that way. Though we both tend to follow recipes, I’m also rather drawn towards making it up as I go along, and this recipe is one of them.

We love Mexican food, but sometimes we can get a little bit bored of chilli and fajitas (okay maybe not fajitas, they are the best). I created this recipe when I was about to write one down from a vegan cookbook, but the list of ingredients was insane, and I got bored. Instead I just followed the idea behind the recipe to come up with this.

I wanted to create something filling, full of flavour and ideal for the weather we have been facing recently (snow in March, really?). All ingredients were bought at Lidl, totalling £5.34, and the entire thing serves eight people. That makes each portion just under 67p!

I also put the recipe in on MyFitnessPal. Each serving is around 260kcal, has 45g of carbs, 1.4g fat and 7.2g protein. Is it too bold to say I think I accidentally created the healthiest comfort food ever?

Though I made the hotpot in a slow cooker, you could use a big pan on a high heat. It will take a couple of hours to cook, so remember to stir regularly.

Ingredients

  • 3 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 2 packets fajita seasoning mix
  • 2 tins kidney beans
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, chopped
  • 4 medium potatoes, chopped
  • 2 peppers, chopped (or torn with your hands like I do)
  • 1 tsp basil
  • A pinch of salt
  • 500ml water

Though it’s basically a “throw it in” method, I would always suggest chopping the potatoes an peppers after you have thrown in the other ingredients as it gives the seasonings time to sink into the tomatoes and water.

Did you give it a try? Let me know how it goes and tweet me/tag me in your photos!

LaceyFitspo xx

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Getting Financially Fit with GiffGaff Gameplan

There are three key points in my blog tagline; happy, healthy and kinda broke. It’s not just something I say to look quirky and interesting. This blog focuses on living a happy and healthier lifestyle without breaking the bank, so when GiffGaff invited me to to Leeds to take part in their MoneyFit Challenge, there was no way I was going to say no!

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The aim of the event was to encourage young adults to start using a healthy approach to their finances. GiffGaff are launching a new money service to help you get on the right track with your spending, keep an eye on your credit score and bills all in one place. Everything you need to monitor will be there on your phone, broken down and easy to understand. I have spent the past five years struggling to gain control over my financial situation. It wobbles up and down throughout the year, but after talking with some of the GiffGaff team, I felt like this is a great way to keep everything together so I don’t lose track of where I am with my payments and savings.

The Event

So, as the service is to help you get financially fit, it wouldn’t be right to have fitness related activities in celebration. Myself and many other northern bloggers met with the company at FireHouse Fitness where we took part in some fun, motivating, and body pushing activities!

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Fresh berries on ice.

My team were first up in the exercise round. The aim was to run on a treadmill for twenty minutes straight, while burning as many calories as we could. The more we burned, the more money we would earn (up to 200kcal). The highest amount of money we could take home was £40. I burned 168kcal, putting me in third behind two other bloggers, and giving me a total of £33.

Believe it or not, I was the only one who cooled down afterwards. The girls told me how much they regretted it the next day!

After that we moved onto smoothies! The team was split in half, pink or green. Well, you’d think I would be on the pink team, but everyone wanted that, so I offered myself to the green team and made a spinach based energy booster, with apples, cucumber, lemon and a little bit of carrot. It was surprisingly nice!

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Our smoothie gurus showing us what they’re made of

Finally we talked to the GiffGaff team about their new service. One of the girls on my team was actually already with GiffGaff, and gave us a personal perspective of the service. It’s now something I am looking into for my own financial situation, and I encourage you to do the same if you’re in the same money boat as me.

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The GiffGaff team were so friendly and informative!

Final Thoughts

Though money isn’t the most important thing in the world, it’s a good idea to do what you can to keep yourself stable and in control financially. with GiffGaff, you have everything in one place, reducing financial stress, and giving you more freedom to focus on other things in life that are important to you!

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Collecting my earnings at the end of the event!

I had an amazing day, met wonderful people and I would like to thank GiffGaff and Firehouse Fitness for such a wonderful opportunity.

LaceyFitspo xx

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Winter warmer… Guksu!

Guksu can be made in many different ways, but as I only work with basic ingredients, this is more of an inspiration than a proper guksu recipe. Non the less, it’s a perfect winter warmer and is super easy to make!

Serves 5

Ingredients

  • 2 packs vegan noodles
  • ½ small bowl mixed frozen veg
  • ½ small bowl chopped mushrooms (can buy frozen too)
  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 heaped tsp korean seasoning (can buy from Aldi or make own)
  • 2 sheets of nori
  • sriracha/chilli sauce (optional)

Method

Heat the noodles in a pan with hot water. Whilst doing so, slowly heat a large pan with water and add the Korean seasoning, and the noodle flavour packets. Then add the spring onions, frozen veg and mushrooms. Keep stirring every now and then to allow the flavours to mix.

When the noodles are ready, strain the water and add noodles to broth. For the rest of the nori, crush and serve a spoonful with each portion. Add sriracha/chilli sauce.

Serve and enjoy!

LaceyFitspo xx

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Easy vegan breakfast bars

I am too lazy for breakfast in the morning and I know I’m not the only one. it’s so easy to forget to eat, but it’s the most important meal of the day! So I decided to throw together this super easy breakfast bar recipe which is not only vegan and healthy, but it’s absolutely delicious!

I know you can find recipes like this anywhere. In fact, chances are you don’t need a recipe to come up with something like this, but I thought it would be fun to write up what I did to make sure I get a healthy start to the day. This is a no bake recipe, only takes around 10 minutes to make and you get enough portions to grab throughout the week.

I don’t know about you guys, but I only ever get the urge to cook in the afternoon or late evening, so this was a good opportunity to prep it while I could be bothered and I know I won’t have to think about making it again for at least another week. I did end up making twice the amount I needed, but that’s because I was halfway through the first batch when I figured out ways to improve it. So off I went to grab a couple more ingredients, and here’s the final outcome.

What I love about these is that they’re perfect for chocaholics, but the chocolate is so well mixed in that you get enough of the taste without consuming more than you should, and the dried cranberries surprise you with a mouth watering, fruity burst. I found that adding banana reduced the crunch factor, which, if you’re anything like me, you will find is perfect for a morning bite. So, let’s get on with the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 150g special flakes/bran flakes/corn flakes/whatever
  • 75g desiccated coconut
  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 100g dried cranberries
  • 1 ripe banana

Let’s do this!

The first thing you need is your breakfast flakes. I went for special flakes, but anything that’s healthy will do. Pour them into a bowl and use something to crush them into smaller pieces. If you have a pestle and mortar then use that. I don’t. I used a bottle of one kcal spray… A water bottle might work too actually.

Once you have crushed them to a small enough size, you can add the coconut and cranberries and mix together. Then mash the banana until it’s as smooth as can be and mix into the bowl.

Then it’s time to melt the chocolate. Break into small pieces (unless you have used chocolate chips) and throw it into a mixing bowl. The quickest way to melt them is to obviously microwave them. If you’re worried about the chocolate burning, make sure you leave a gap in the middle as that’s the hottest point. Microwave for about a minute, remove from the microwave and stir. Any lumps should melt as you stir it.

Once this is done you can mix the dry ingredients into the chocolate. Make sure you mix it to get an even coverage. Once you have your mix ready, it’s time to place into moulds. Though you can use cupcake cases, you will get smaller portions and will be wasting paper, so I suggest a silicone mould. Mine is heart shaped, but you can use a deep muffin tray or even a bar shaped mould if you can find one. Leave in the fridge to solidify.

And there you have it, chocolatey goodness at breakfast time with no guilt! Let me know how yours turn out… Maybe you switched yours up?

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