About Flex food & fitness

I'm Claire, CrossFitter, runner, health & fitness enthusiast, and budding philanthropist.  I share my knowledge and experience on health and fitness.  

 

I'm also a single mum of two, so I know how difficult it can be to juggle priorities.

Although I've always been in to health and fitness I've learned over the last year or so to make better choices with my nutrition and to train harder and smarter, rather than longer. No fad diets (yuk!), No need to spend hours in the gym, just smarter food and fitness choices.

Being fit and healthy need not equate to misery and a life of restrictions. Flex Food and Fitness is about understanding your goals, the lifestyle you want and employing flexible tactics to achieve your goals and live the fit and healthy life you design.

 

 

This is a family favourite of ours. The kids love it and my Son asks for it time and time again. They like to help make it too so it's great for the kids.

Home made breaded fish fillets

 

One of my principles is to aim to eat 80% clean 85% of the time.

 

But what does 'eat clean' actually mean?  It means unprocessed. Foods that are in their natural form.  If something is in a tin or a packet then the likelihood is that it has been processed to some degree to provide a shelf life more than a few days.  By rule of thumb clean and natural foods will decay over a few days, so if it lasts longer than a week then it's not natural and has some additives and preservatives (extra chemicals added to the food).

In this article are examples of clean v processed foods and my top 12 food hacks.

 

Ever since I began training at my local CrossFit - CrossFit Northern Soul, I've been asked the question 'what is it you do? cross trainer?..'. Or, it's completely misunderstood as an exercise in itself. Or even thought of as a cult!! lol I wanted to write a blog post to help break down the mystery and to give you a little insight into what goes on in my awesome CrossFit box and others' around the country, and indeed around the world. 

More gritty than pretty, you won't find anyone doing the token totter on the treadmill... there are no treadmills!  In fact, there are very few machines at CrossFit... we ARE the machines!  You come to work and have fun with like minded folk :-D  So, if you want to know your 'snatch' from your 'box' and your 'push press' from your 'clean and jerk', then read on... ;-)  

It's the age old question that everyone asks... 'how can I lose weight here', 'How can I make my bum smaller'... and don't get me started on 'I don't want to gain muscle, I just want to lose weight' ... that's a whole other article lol.  

People, including me in years gone by, always have areas that they don't like and want to focus their efforts on.  Losing belly fat, toning up thighs or arms to get rid of the dreaded under arm flab or 'bingo wings' as I like to call them.  People want to know how to focus on one area or another and whether there are any exercises that will tone one area specifically more than another.  

The answer is none - zero exercise which on it's own will focus on losing the weight and target toning one specific area of the body. Read on to find out why and what you need to do if you are targeting one area. 

Most of the food that I eat is fairly simple... I LOVE food, in fact there isn't much I really don't like. I hate to be hungry... I think the term "Hangry" may have been invented with me in mind lol.  I am REALLY busy with a full time job, in which sometimes I travel, 2 young children, a boyfriend and now a blog (eeek!) so, I honestly don't have an awful lot of time for elaborate recipes and dishes... I love to experiment but unfortunately that's saved for the odd occasion at the weekend when I have time or evenings that aren't a mad rush. 

So I want to share with you some of the tips and tricks I use to make simple clean food taste good, and to show you how I put them together quickly and easily.  

 

 

For me, stretching was always the token ten seconds on each leg and then arms to the sky before my monotonous half hour of cardio and the obligatory circuit of low-load resistance machines...and that was fine because it got me where I wanted to be at the time - drop the weight and keep my body safe while exercising. However, and here’s the point of this article, the regime I had before didn't EVER give me the definition or tone I now have in my body! It never made me feel strong and I was never that 'fit'.  As much as I enjoyed it and, yes, it helped to keep my mind and body healthy - it was just routine. My stretching was routine was the same four or five basic stretches and it was only when I began training in earnest last year I came to realise how important mobility work is (especially as you get older and you start to feel those niggles…I'm 42 this year! Eeeeeek!). Enter ROMWOD!

 

 

I had a conversation with a friend this weekend about eating cleaner and budgeting for it.  It was a great conversation and she made some great and very valid points (thanks Kelly!), especially at this time of year when just after Christmas we've all eaten and drank more than the norm! We may have spent much more than usual and we're a bit skint but want to eat well and get to the gym - all extra costs.  I'm going to try to address the points made around food costs here. 

High cost does not always equal high value!!!

Eating healthily need not cost the earth! I promise!

Q. Which training methods do I follow?  

A. Lots!!!!

 

If the body isn't challenged it has no reason to adapt so I like to vary what I do constantly... my activity, I change between high reps with lighter weight and lower reps with heavy weight, HIIT, CrossFit sessions, running, rowing, cycling and spin, I'm trying to swim more.  

 So here it is, my first Flex Food and Fitness blog. :-) I thought I should introduce myself properly, so here goes...

I'm a single mum of two beautiful, bright, smart, and funny kids... and boy (and girl!) do they keep me on my toes!  So I know how difficult it can be to juggle priorities.   Recently single and initially panic stricken at the thought of being the main responsible parent (gulp!) I was determined to do anything within my power to make sure I was in a position to nurture my kids right through to adulthood. My mortality suddenly hitting me right between the eyes. Coming up to 40?! wta.... ?! Isn't that middle age? Is it all down hill from here? Bits falling off and stopping working and stuff?! OMG!!! Okay, panic over. Get your shit together Doyle.

Acknowledgement: I'm not as fit and healthy as I could be
Plan: Get healthier, get fitter, be a healthier and fitter role model for the kids.
Let's do this!

 

 

So, how has my lifestyle changed and what does my lifestyle look like now?