Vegging Out

Veggie Time

A few weeks back it was National Vegetarian Week and it was the perfect opportunity to reduce the amount of meat in my diet. My mum is veggie and has been for a long time, and I work with a girlie who has a plant based diet, and the more I think about meat the more it makes me feel a little uncomfortable – But I guess not so uncomfortable to give up meat forever. 

For just over two weeks there was no meat in my diet, I did eat dairy and I think I might have slipped up on a few things, like sweets and desserts but overall there was no real meat.

I have to admit I really enjoyed it, it was really nice to find some new recipes and try out different meals without having to have meat in. I did find my intake of bread and halloumi went up a lot! 

Although there has been a few meals with meat in since National Vegetarian Week I would say that maybe 1 in 5 meals at home have had meat in. I have created a board on Pinterest to make sure I am trying new things and got getting stuck eating the same things each week. 

I think my favourite veggie meal so far has got to be the courgette lasagne! It takes a while to make as you need to slice the courgettes really thin – I did manage to slice my finger whilst making it!! I would suggest a clever slicer thing if you can get hold of one! Check out my Veggie Board here

What is your favourite vegetarian meal?

Making it H”App”en

Staying fit and healthy would be so much hard without a little bit of help – I don’t pay for a trainer or a nutritional advisor but I do use a lot of Apps to keep me motivated and on track. 

So I thought I would write a little post about the main ones I really couldn’t without:

TomTom My Sport

I have a fitness tracker watch, which I wear all day everyday, except when I need to charge it! and this has an app on my phone which allows me to see everything from the watch. It tracks my daily steps, my heart rate, how many calories I have burnt and things like that. When I go for a run, bike ride or a swim the watch will also track that and log distance, pace, elevations and a map of the route. 

The watch connects straight to my phone so I can see exactly how things are progressing. 

Calm/Headspace

I am pretty new to the meditation world, but I am really starting to enjoy it. I started using the Calm app which I would simple breath with. It encouraged you to take a big breath in and hold it for a second and then let it out. It is so simple but it really does make you feel so much better if you are having a moment. 

The Calm app also has a few other features which include stories to help you sleep, sounds to help you relax and a meditation course where you are talked through different sessions. The free version allows you access to quite a few sessions, but you can pay to gain access to all of them. I only have the free version and think it is really good and more than adequate. 

I have also just started to use the Headspace app, this app is helping me learn to mediate. So far I am on session 7 of the take 10 series. This is a series which encourages you to take a little time each day to stop, breathe and allow your mind to accept thoughts, sounds and distractions but to bring your focus back to the breath, This is an app that you have to pay for but if you have a premium Spotify account, you get one year free.  

YouTube

I know this isn’t just an app, but I love YouTube and I really do use it all the time for workouts and watching my favourite foodie and fitness vloggers. 

Clue

This is a bit of a weird one, typically people use a cycle app when they are trying to get pregnant – and that is certainly not what I use it for!! I really like being able to see how I am feeling on in the run up to my period. 

What apps do you use to keep you motivated and on target? 

 

How to Make Your Running Time More Productive

One of the most exciting parts about running is watching yourself improve over time. However, this isn’t always so easy. When you first start, you get better quickly, but after a while, improving can seem like a tall task. I remember when I hit what felt like a brick wall where I just couldn’t reduce my time. I tried loads of different things, and when they didn’t work, I was worried I was “peaking.”

But deep down I knew this couldn’t be, so I said “enough is enough” and set out to find some ways to make my running time more productive. I wanted to share two of these techniques with you today so that you can avoid that feeling of hitting the wall.

Ration Your Energy Effectively

As with most newcomer and amateur runners, I used to exert far too much energy. I used too many strides and would start out way too fast instead of preserving my energy to help me do better overall. This led me to tire out later on, and my time for the session would suffer.

Rationing your energy is one of those “easier said than done” tasks, though. One helpful thing you can do is find your stride rate. Go for a run and when you’re in a comfortable, stable rhythm, time yourself for one minute and count your strides. The amount of strides you use per minute is your stride rate. Olympic athletes run at 180 strides per minute, so this is a nice target to aim for. However, it’s more important to shoot for consistency so that you can have a benchmark to measure improvements and set goals. Finding your stride rate will also help you determine your ideal pace to help you use your energy as efficiently as possible.

Learn Your Metrics

Using fitness devices and apps to learn your metrics is a very effective way to understand your current running abilities and to determine where you can improve. For example, I use the FitBit as well as the app that comes with it to track my running time, distance, calorie burn and other useful metrics.

Having this information makes my runs more dynamic. I can measure my performance on gradients or my average pace to develop strategies to get better. For example, when I first started doing this I realized I would slow down before a big uphill on my route because I had been going too fast at the beginning of my run.  Once I learned this, I started pacing myself better to attack the hill with more energy. This change helped me shave lots of time of my run, boosting my confidence and desire to keep working.

Besides the FitBit, there are lots of running apps to help you track metrics. They are all helpful, but no matter which one you use, they require personal information to work effectively. I always run my activity through a secure connection to make sure everything is protected.

Making your running time more productive is a matter of looking at things differently. Whether it’s your pace, energy use or heart rate, there is always some overlooked area for improvement. Today’s technology makes getting this new perspective much easier so that better results are never too far away.

Author Bio: Cassie is a health and tech blogger with a keen passion for running. She likes to spread awareness for combining technology with running so that people can effectively develop their skills and performance.

Honour Your Own Pace

I have started to listen to a load of different podcasts on my way to work, I will write a post about these soon! And one of them is by Kimberly Snider, in one of the first episodes they said something that really stuck with me and I really liked. 

They said; “Honour Your Own Pace” they followed this with something along the line of a seed takes its time to grow into a plant or a flower or a fruit, and it will not be rushed and neither should you. I loved this, and think it is so true.

We all need to understand that the changes we want our bodies, minds and lifestyles to go through will not always happen over night and we need to allow things to happen in their nature time frames and to enjoy the process and not give up. I know lots of people and will admit that I am one also, who has found something difficult and not seen the results we wanted as soon as we would have like so gave up. 

So I just wanted to share this with you all and let you know that you can do whatever you set your mind to, you just need things to go at their own pace and enjoy the changes and challenges!

Smart Scales

I do love a bit of technology when it comes to fitness, I think if it is used correctly it can be really helpful. It allows you to push yourself and your training into another level which you wouldn’t be able to do on your own. I think making tracking your activity and progress really easy enables you to stick to your goal and really understand what is working for you and what isn’t.

The iHealth smart scales track 9 different aspects of your body composition, including weight, body fat percentage, BMI, water weight, lean mass, bone density, visceral fat rating, daily calorie intake and the temperature and humidity of the day.

The scales connect to your Wi-Fi and then automatically upload any new results on to your phone via the iHealth app. You can have multiple people using the scales and check them separately, which is pretty cool, as then your whole house hold can get in on the action.

The app allows you to set a target with your weight, your BMI and your body fat and then you weigh yourself regularly, while the app keeps track overtime on a graph. The graph allows you to really see exactly how you’re going with your goals and makes it really visual. 

The scales are white with four silver circles on, the overall size of the scales are quite large, but they are not too bulky and they can easily be packed away. The app is a little bit old school and a little bit clunky but it really does what it says on the tin. Once you’ve connected your scales to your Wi-Fi and downloaded the app there isn’t really much more you need to do other than to set your goals, and weigh yourself as often as you would like to.

I’m not a big believer in weighing yourself every day get hung up on your weight, however with the scales it shows the different elements as well so your BMI and your body fat. I have no idea how to calculate your body fat from standing on a scale but it seems pretty accurate.

Since I received the scales I have managed to put on weight, but my body fat has stayed the same, so I am taking that as a positive! 🙂 The scales can be ordered online from iHealthlabs.com and cost $129.99. 

Do you use any smart scales or bits of technology to help you keep on track? 

** These products were gifted to me by iHealth but the opinions and pictures are my own.