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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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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Stretch and Flex with Pink Sorbet

This post features a gifted item.

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE a good stretch. I can sit in my living room for an hour, pulling my body about until I’m as loose as spaghetti! But as it’s cold out, I find it much harder to get a good flexi session as my body doesn’t want to move as much. How do I work around it? Layers of course! So when I was sent these beautiful work out jumpers from Pink Sorbet, I thought, why not write something about flexibility training, while talking about these adorable designs?

There are so many reasons to stretch on a regular basis, and you are likely to get better results when your body is kept warm, so these jumpers are perfect for keeping in the body heat, while looking awesome at the same time..

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I really love the simplicity of the designs. I don’t know about you, but I find that sometimes you don’t need too much to make something look good. This jumper basically has “me” written all over it!

Flexibility – The most obvious point. I used to stretch for ten minutes a day using this Blogilates video, and sometimes I still use it. I ended up getting my splits from just 10-15 minutes of stretching each morning.

It wakes you up AND sends you to sleep – Wait, how can it do both? When you wake up in the morning, your body is stiff from the positions you’ve been in all night, so by stretching you are breaking yourself out of that achy feeling you get when you don’t wish to get up. As for going to sleep? You are likely to drift off quicker if you are to stretch out first as your muscles become more relaxed, meaning you won’t be tossing and turning as much.

It encourages good posture – If you’re a blogger or you work in an office, you’ll definitely benefit from this. Stretching every day can lengthen tight muscles and by stretching the lower back, chest and shoulders can help keep the spine aligned the way it should be and reduce any aches you get from sitting at a desk all day.

It relieves fatigue – I can’t elaborate more on this really. The more you stretch, the less fatigue you have and the more energy you feel!

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Something worth noting is the inside of this jumper, it really does hug you! It’s super soft and makes you feel extra comfortable while stretching out.

A few other benefits?

  • Better blood circulation
  • reduces cholesterol
  • lower risk of injury
  • better athleticism

Thanks ever so much to Pink Sorbet for sending me these wonderful jumpers to keep me warm when working on my flexibility. Their designs are minimal yet cute and there’s a design for everyone. I’m loving the rose gold star, it’s sooooo me! And the lightning bolt? Anyone else getting Harry Potter vibes?

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Which design is your favourite? Check out more of their items

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Has Winter demotivated me?

If there’s anything I often reiterate on my blog, it’s that everything I write comes from my own personal journey. This means I want to be honest when I find that life isn’t going as planned.

It has gotten increasingly cold in the past month or so, and now I’m working two jobs, I find it increasingly harder to get out and about doing whatever I need. I noticed I’ve only been going to the gym for zumba, as there’s no classes I enjoy anymore, and it’s too busy to use free weights when I have the time to go, so I cancelled my membership. I’ll still be doing Zumba, but at a local community centre that’s only £1. I’m trying to pole twice a week, but that seems to have been a struggle over the past couple of weeks.

Though I know I’m working twice as much, and only have one day off a week, I can’t help but question whether it’s the cold season that’s having the biggest impact on my lack of efforts. As I’m writing this, it is 4pm, I’m still in my pyjamas and I’m wrapped in a duvet on the sofa. I just don’t want to move! So it’s time to make some changes.

As mentioned, I aim to do Zumba each week, and I’m trying my hardest to keep up with the pole as much as I can, but I need to also get a grip on my routine, my writing and even my diet.

I feel like my diet isn’t too bad, but I have been eating out after work a lot as the idea of cooking frozen food when I’m already frozen myself is something I try to avoid, and if I do eat at home, it’s usually snacks. I need to stop this! So I’m filling my cupboards with soups, microwave rice and any other healthier foods I can which don’t involve reaching into the freezer.

I will keep you guys updated, and hopefully my writing will motivate me to make more effort… Especially fitmas!!!

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Pamper Yourself with Anatomicals

This is a gifted item review

You all know I love my face masks, so when I received two, plus a face scrub, from Anatomicals, I was beyond excited. I have been under the weather all week, so the gym has been a no-go, so this gave me something to look forward to after work!

The first thing I should say about Anatomicals is that they are soooooo sassy! The play on words, alongside a funny description at the back, are more than enough to grab your attention. I also think that it makes for a funny stocking filler at Christmas. The brand are cruelty free, though you all know I wouldn’t be writing about them if they weren’t!

Let’s get onto the review!

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First off, we have the apricot scrub. Now I need to be honest here, I wasn’t completely sure about it the first time I tried it. Due to being ill, my skin has been super sensitive, so the “beads” felt really rough on my skin. The second time I used it, however, It felt so nice! I think if your skin is super sensitive, then I would avoid this product, but if it’s sensitive to normal, then you will be fine. My skin was left feeling super soft and clean after I rinsed it all off.

Secondly, we have the charcoal face mask. I actually thought that this would be black, but I realised I was confusing it with those super painful ones that have become a viral sensation this year. This was a regular mask in a light, greyish/blue colour. The mask is intended to clear your skin of breakouts (something I know I could do with). I actually had two really bad pimples before I applied it, and they’re both almost invisible now, so it seems to have helped! The mask was really easy to apply due to it being similar to a clay texture, and rinsing it off was just as simple.

Finally we have the mattifying face mask. I think out of the three, this was my favourite. Although I found it slightly harder to apply, due to it being of a thinner texture, it was so cooling on my skin! When I tested out this product, my nose had reached its reddest point of my cold. As soon as I applied it, my skin was hit with a wave of refreshement. I let it dry and as soon as I rinsed it off my skin felt amazing! I was in awe at how quickly the mask affected my skin. It’s been a full day since and my face is still super smooth. The colour was a lovely aquatic blue, matching the affect of the mask perfectly.

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The products from Anatomicals start from £1.50 up, and like I said, they would make perfect stocking fillers this year, and the bigger products would be great pamper gifts. You can buy their products from Superdrug, ASOS, Urban Outfitters, or you can find more directly from the website.

If you want to be the first to see my reviews, be sure to follow me on Instagram to watch me test them on my stories!

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