Thought for the day

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty”-Winston Churchill.

Day 65 Eating essentials

Seems to me that we have been ignoring eating essentials lately, and that some of you have come off the rails a bit, and that you need to get in your head why you felt so good in those initial few weeks!

When I start with anyone, I always stress the importance of eating well, to do this effectively though, you have to get the right shopping in, and that means keeping your cupboards and fridge stocked well.

 To me, the idea of eating lots of weight-loss clubs branded foods is sickening, full of chemical enhanced foods designed to take even more of your hard earned money out of your pockets, then allow you lose weight, but long term you are destined to put back on (97% OF PEOPLE IT HAPPENS TO according to latest studies). Then, they want your money all over again, what a scam so are you going to fall for it again!

Here’s a list of things to stock to make sure you are never without good, nutritious food. Some of these are used more sparingly than others.


Low sugar and low salt baked beans, tinned sweetcorn, tomatoes, tinned fruit (no sugar in their own juice), chick peas, kidney beans, cannelloni beans, tinned tuna, mackerel, salmon, sardines.

For your freezer

Chicken portions and fillets, lower fat beef, pork, lamb, frozen herbs, stir fry vegetables,  frozen blueberries, strawberries, summer fruits, frozen sweetcorn, carrots, mixed veg, broccoli, frozen peas, green beans, real fish fingers, salmon, tuna, cod, tofu

For your fridge

Milk, eggs, cottage cheese, low fat cheese, yoghurt, orange juice, apple juice, hummus, Cooked chicken, turkey pieces, lean beef


Vinegar, olive oil, tomato puree, long-life milk, low sugar jam


Cous cous, pesto, balsamic vinegar,  soy sauce, Worcester sauce, curry paste, garlic puree, stock cubes.

Dried items

Wholemeal bread, wholemeal wraps, wholemeal pitta bread. Pasta, wholemeal flour, brown rice, porridge, dried fruit, dried pulses.

Okay, that is out of the way so you can see how important it is to shop properly in the first place.

To get organised for the actual cooking, let’s try the following ways to get your healthy eating actually happening in practice!

Number one

It’s been in the news over the last few months that we throw away an horrendous amount of food every week, which adds up to around £700 a year, so try these ideas to sort that out!

Keep fruit and vegetables in the fridge or freezer so they last longer for example.

Number two

Crush the myth that it’s too expensive to eat healthy. Recent studies show that that a weekly shop of healthy food compared to a weekly shop of processed, fatty and sugary foods varies by JUST 40 PENCE!!

Number three

If you start cooking from scratch, you will save money and make meals you can be sure that will be healthy. You can make simple meals out of only 4 ingredients, in fact there’s many books on the subject.

Number four

We do it in my house now we have two kids, planning your meals for the week is highly important and let’s you plan for what you shop for better.

For example, you can cook a whole chicken instead of using the ready cooked parts already split up for you, much cheaper this way.

With the chicken, you can easily do the following.

This is pasta bake recipe, you can use with chicken, meat, fish, whatever you like tins of any beans of you want for vegetarians (haricot, cannelloni etc) !

Fill two mugs of dried pasta, place it in water and boil pasta as per instructions on pack, whilst the pasta is boiling, place olive oil in a frying pan, chop an onion and one garlic clove into the pan , once that softens, add a tin of chopped tomatoes, and teaspoon of dried mixed herbs, simmer for 5-10 mins and when the pasta is ready, drain the pasta and tip it into the sauce. You can add cooked chicken, tin of tuna, tin of any beans, just mix it up and add black pepper.

You can serve just like this, or place in a baking dish, grate a little cheddar on the top or thin slices of mozzarella and place in an oven for 20 mins at 180 degrees, until cheese is bubbling and golden.

Number 5

If you eat the supermarket brands, they have been shown to have not suffered the price increases that bigger brands have. I’m not bigging up their own brands, but it can save a lot on your weekly shop.

Number 6

Eat seasonal foods. Once you eat foods in season, they are always cheaper and usually have less chemicals added to them, you win all round plus they actually taste nicer!!

Number 7

If you shop later in the day, there are always more bargains on the shelves, the big supermarkets often have scandalous deals on even the most nutritious, and valuable food for your week.

Number 8

Since I started using my freezer, I have saved an awful of money on my shop. Studies have shown that vegetables frozen lose little of their nutritional value, plus you won’t be throwing all that food away all the time!

Number 9

Check your consume by dates. If you buy something today and you have to eat it tomorrow, you’re less likely to actually eat it, which is really a waste of money. Supermarkets are very clever pushing foods to the front of the shelf.

Number 10

Online shopping may not sound like cost-cutting, but it can make sense all round. You are not tempted to eat the rubbish that sometimes confronts you in supermarkets, online offers you the best value that particular day, your shopping remains consistent and you always get the basics/essentials you actually need! I use it all the time now and find it very handy indeed!

Give all of this a go and see how you get on!


Day 64

Okay where do i start? First of all its day 64 and if you have been following this, its just 20 days left, and you can see by now how hard these 12 weeks are to do, and if you have stuck by the 64 days, you should have come a long way down the track.

Let’s sort some of the issues out too, Jean has come a long way but has had a bad week for various reasons but seems to be back on course now. She has achieved big things before like many of you because she has had a big work ethic, achieved consistency with her eating and training, and generally got some momentum going. Isn’t this the best situation to be in, and isn’t very valuable to stay in this perfect phase of your training?

Jean lost her training partner, and that was unfortunate. The realities of training partners can be fantastic, they are great company and usually push you a little bit further than you think you can go. They will call for you even when you don’t want them to sometimes, so all of these positives are fantastic in my view.

Now her training partner is injured, the running side will be suffering. The answer to that would be that i usually found myself that training partners don’t usually last long, or they start turning up late or they start cancelling. I have been through many training partners over the years, and to be honest now i just rely on myself to get the job done, even if its harder to motivate yourself sometimes! My golden retrievers can also be a big help on my sunday runs!

The reality of having a circle of friends is very relevant as she says. I have friends  who drink and smoke too much, here’s the way i work my week, i will eat very well 90% of the week, a bit of what i fancy at the weekend, nothing wrong with a few drinks on a saturday either, but i always make sure i hit the road first thing sunday morning. I made it my golden rule to go the run the morning after.

All my friends will be in bed, but its important to me to get out and do something. Took a while to get into it, and it would be easier to stay in bed, but I DO feel better afterwards, and thats all that matters to me. Plus i don’t seem to put weight on that i would have if i didn’t go for that run.

So, it doesn’t mean i lose all my friends, i hang around with people i feel comfortable with too!

I have never been into all this rubbish of being friends with everyone i think i “should be friends with”! That’s just not me. I’m not into dinner parties and i don’t like formal occasions. Some people love those things and all that sucking up to people, i’ve never done it and don’t intend to start now! I believe it’s called “networking”, i’ve never needed it for my business and i believe your work should speak for itself, some people love all of that but definitely not my scene!

So the answer to jean and everyone else is to always stick to what you really believe in. Most of you wouldn’t be on here unless you weanted the very best for yourself. Sometimes, we all get distracted and i am here to help, like others who post too and their thoughts are always very valuable. The bottom line is that you can all reach your goals, there is always a bumpy road but that’s life. Keeping going towards your big outcome is the key thing, the worst thing is quitting before you even got there.

If you’re always going forward, you WILL get there! Every time i read that jean or anyone else is doing well, that usually means they are happy. When they make more negative posts, it means that they are unhappy and not  eating well or training well, i’m here tonight to tell them that they can get back on track, and it takes getting back to basics, and believing in their abilities. I know its harder than it sounds, but thats why i preach every day about doing the basics right, that way you will soon do them without even thinking about them, kind of like cleaning your teeth!!

A rocky start to the week, let’s make sure it improves tenfold by the end of it!! I would change my principles but i am here to listen!

Day 63

Your good habits that you are developing right now have probably helped you to a body that is far more energetic, lower in body fat, stronger in both joint and bone strength, healthier all round, and generally i think everything is just “going a lot better” for you. Your body doesn’t really like spluttering around on poor fuel, it doesn’t like having to work very hard just to function, it likes being looked after, feeling good and the realities are that we take better care of our cars, dogs, and house better than we take care of our bodies, a lot of us anyway but not all of course!

The saying “if it aint broke, don’t fix it” is adopted by many of us. This means to some that we can drink and eat as much as we like, and as long as we can still do “normal” things, then where’s the problem!

The difference between doing these normal things in life and actually performing well can be quite staggering though.

Normal things may be going down the pub, cleaning your teeth, shaving, having a shower and going to work, that’s it no more!

Performing can be going to work and really excelling in your chosen environoment, it can mean actually working out and actually excelling at it too, it can mean having higher aspirations than “normal” people and actually achieving all or at least most of what you set out to do.

The difference between “normal” and performing can be quite amazing as you can see. Normal is simply surviving and hoping that no bad news comes around the corner, and performing is usually getting up and doing something, achieving it and once you do that, setting new goals and achieving the next standard.

When you are performing, the next rung up the ladder seems a natural process, and leaving the grass grow around your feet is simply not an option. The people who simply “function” in life are usually the complainers, the could have people, the should have people, the would have people, if things had just fallen into their lap, they would be “successful” too!

It’s a great sunday out there, had my run at 6.30am this morning, i feel so much better now and sunday from my view is looking pretty good! Sunday is always the day i try and relax but that still includes a run, anything that makes me feel better i try and do. It’s no hardship at all seriously, it’s actually a form a therapy for me and i’m sure many of you feel exactly the same.

When you get to this stage, exercise is an essential part of your life and you need it to feel good! This is a good thing trust me!! It’s just like cleaning your teeth, but about 10 times as enjoyable, especially as the spring is here officially i believe!!!

A great day to start your exercise ambitions, ot day 63 for a lot of you in your 84 days challenge to get into great shape!!

Day 62

Day 62 and it’s a saturday, maybe a day off for you like me, or it may be a valuable chance for you to get a great workout in!

The next question maybe is am i nuts?!! Its raining so heavy outside, and its windy and cold, i will never get a workout in today, and i won’t tomorrow unless it dries up!

This is a statement you know i don’t agree with and here’s why!

The facts are that in this country, it rains around 9 months of the year and thats if we are lucky! It’s cold most of the time too, and sometimes even in the summer so you had better get used to it! If you don’t like it or hate it that much, maybe another country is your solution but that can bring its own problems too, if you moved to spain or florida in particular, it would be too humid to train most of the time outside!

So you can see there are problems to train anywhere at times, unless you stop making excuses to yourself, get over yourself being a baby and realise that workouts in the great outdoors can actually be your best ones!!!

It can be exhillerating getting out  there in the wind and rain and indeed, i have had some of my best workouts out there in the most foul of days!

Face the fact that you will need to shower after a workout anyway, unless you like being a smelly pig, and whatever the weather out there, it really doesn’t matter and after the first 5 minutes, it can feel pretty good knowing deep inside that you are one of the few doing a great workout in such weather, and you will soon warm up if you show some purpose in your workout and really show yourself how good you have become!!

It’s easy to be on the coastal path in bright sunshine, you see lots of people out on such days! The funny thing is, when it starts getting cloudy and cold, those people disappear for some reason. This is why their workout programmes are not as successful as they should be!

You always have the chance to workout indoors too, and see my home workouts posts for that. These can be highly rewarding too, whether you just want to get through a good workout and even set a new personal best, its within you right now to make such a choice and your body will reach levels that your ambitions allow!

Ambition is a huge thing when deciding how far you go. Dylan Thomas the poet used to say that ambition was everything! We tend to get shot down in this country when showing such ambition, but you can’t follow the crowd all the time if you want ultimate success, hopefully you are started to realise that, and make your own line in the sand on where your standards are now in your life. Hopefully, they have been raised by this programme, and the doubts you may have had over your abilities are disappearing every day, you know im here supporting you every day on that!

Pictures and videos will be coming to this blog, but as it stands, it is just that, a blog trying to help many people. Its not an advertising feature for me as i really don’t need more work. I am here to help you as much as i can though, so ask away anything you are unsure of or plain don’t know!!

Enjoy your saturday whatever you decide to do!