My Adventure #GoBox

As soon as I heard about the Go Box idea from the guys at Alpkit, I loved it and knew I needed one. I got a box from Ikea and spent a contented few hours sorting all my gear and making my own adventuring Go Box!

Basically the idea of a Go Box is having all of your stuff in one place so that you are ready to go at a moment’s notice or whenever the need to escape arises! I decided that my Go Box was going to have everything in it that I needed to go on a day trip adventure, either on my own or with the kids, at the drop of a hat. Basically all I need is this box and the outdoors!

List of stuff currently in my Go Box, in no particular order….

  • First aid kit
  • Jetboil – for making hot drinks or food
  • Coffee – obvious reasons
  • Pacmat (And if you want 20% off enter Revitalize20 at checkout).
  • Drybag – This one from Alpkit has a strap so I use it as a day bag to carry around the essentials from the Go Box when we are out on the adventure!
  • Micro fibre towel
  • Lip balm
  • Hip flask – for adult adventuring
  • Moisturiser
  • Wet wipes
  • Swiss army knife
  • Pasta
  • Tuna
  • Pasta sauce
  • Sun cream
  • Head torch
  • Hat
  • Spare socks
  • Kids aqua shoes and waterproof trousers
  • Cutlery
  • Maps
  • Solar powered charger

The box now lives in my car and it means everything is in one place so I don’t need to spend time faffing about getting everything together. I feel much more organised and it will hopefully mean I get to go on some epic spontaneous adventures with my friends and family!

Follow me on Instagram to see me and my #gobox on some adventures!

What would be in your Go Box? Am I missing anything?

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Camping with Kids

Camping holds a special place in my heart. For as long as I can remember I have been camping. One of my earliest memories is of my dad stuffing the tent in the back of the car after a wash out weekend camping trip!! I now go on at least one camping trip a year, sometimes with the kids, sometimes alone with my friends as a social.

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It is now easier than ever to get started with camping. You don’t have to spend thousands of pounds on all the gear. What I would say is that it is worth spending money on a decent tent.  On more than one occasion I have seen people leave a campsite in the middle of the night because of a leaking tent! The rest of the gear can be borrowed or used from home until you want to spend more money.  My favourite tents have been Vango and have a sewn in groundsheet and have a separate bedroom and living space. This gives you somewhere to sit if the weather is awful as well as space to sort the kids in the morning and for bedtime.

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Absolute Camping essentials

  • Tent
  • Airbeds
  • Sleeping bags or pillows and duvets
  • Marshmallows

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For your first trip you could find a campsite that has a place to eat on site or close by. This would mean you wouldn’t have to take as much food, cooking stuff or washing up bits.

You could always ease yourself in gently by trying out a camping pod before you take the plunge and buy a tent. These pods are a bit easier than camping as the “tent” is already there when you arrive on the site. You will still need to take all your own sleeping and cooking things though.

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As you go away for longer you will need a bbq or cooking stoves to cook on but taking plenty of snacks  and breakfast options with you is always a good idea!

If you have time before you go away, cook a meal and freeze it, chilli works well for this. By the time you get away and get tent up your evening meal will be defrosted and ready to heat up.

Even if you go away in the summer it can still get chilly on a night, so pack plenty of layers, snuggly blankets, hats and buffs.

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How to survive

Don’t expect to stick to the same bedtime routine as you do when you are at home, the kids will probably stay up a lot later than usual.

Get the kids involved in deciding the activities, ask them what they want to do and get them to come up with a bucket list of things they want to do outside while you are away.  However one of the massive benefits of camping is that if you want to you can just hang out by the tent and let everyone have some time to themselves, especially if you have older kids who want some time to do their own thing.

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Get the kids their own little camping bag with their own head torch, writing pad and toys to keep them entertained.  Camping is a massive adventure for you but especially for the little ones. Get them involved in putting the tent up and helping with the campfire.

Wine and gin also help…..!

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Happy Camping x

How To Be Healthy In Sheffield

Whether you already live in Sheffield or you are just visiting, there are lots of ways to stay fit, healthy and active in Sheffield. In no particular order, these are my top ten websites to check out to help you stay fit and strong in Sheffield!

1 Nourish – This place is the go to place for lush healthy food in the city centre. All of their meals are made fresh daily and they can even deliver it to you!

http://www.nourishrestaurants.co.uk/

2 The Outdoor City – Sheffield is The Outdoor City, with lots of opportunities for you to spend time in the great outdoors and learn new skills such as climbing or mountain biking. Search for the #theoutdoorcity on social media.

http://theoutdoorcity.co.uk

3 Park Run – Sheffield parks are wicked. Not only because they are cool places to hang out but also because we have 4 different Park Runs to choose from. These free timed 5km runs start in the parks at 9am every Saturday.

Concord Park
Endcliffe Park
Graves Park
Hillsborough Park

http://www.parkrun.org.uk

4 Hallam Barbell – If you want to get strong but not sure where to start, Dave and his team at Hallam Barbell run regular courses and workshops, including ladies only. Like them on Facebook to keep up to date with upcoming sessions.

http://https//www.facebook.com/HallamBarbell

5 South Yorkshire Sport – If you want to get involved with sport in South Yorkshire, then the SYsport website has all the info. There are volunteering opportunities listed on the website as well as an activity finder and a jobs section.

http://www.sysport.co.uk

6 Pedal Ready – Sheffield is a busy and hilly city , especially if you are on your bike. If you need a bit more confidence have a free 1:1 session with a pedal ready instructor. You tell them where you want to go to and from and they will plan the safest route and then ride with you to help boost your confidence.

http://www.pedalready.co.uk

7 Beanies Health Food Store – Selling wholefood and organic produce in walkey as well as gluten free foods.

http://beanieswholefoods.co.uk

8 Breeze ladies only bike rides – Ladies only group bike rides. If you want to find new routes in and around Sheffield get booked onto a Breeze ride. I’ve heard they have regular cake stops on the way too!

https://m.facebook.com/BreezeNetworkSouthYorkshire/

9 Decathlon – I love this place! They sell everything you need to be active plus they have decent coffee in the foyer!

http://www.decathlon.co.uk/en/store?store_id=PS_UK_340

10 The Climbing Works – A really friendly, chilled out climbing and bouldering wall. They run courses too if you are looking to learn or just to practise your technique before heading into the Peaks!

https://www.climbingworks.com

Let me know how you get on in my ladies only lifestyle support group on Facebook. Click here to join. PS the group is for ladies anywhere not just Sheffield!!

What Is Your Biggest Fitness Challenge?

So last week in my wonderful Facebook group I asked my ladies a question.

What is your biggest fitness struggle at the moment?

And the biggest response was the option, the motivation to keep going. Which got me thinking. Why do we feel the need to brand ourselves An Exerciser?

If you are genuinely struggling with motivation to work out I want you to re frame your thoughts about exercise.

  • You do not have to go to a gym
  • You do not have to rack up miles of running
  • You do not have to stick to the same schedule every week

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Being physically active should not be something you dread, it should be part of your lifestyle. You do not have to attend structured exercise sessions to be fit and healthy. Even 20 squats in the living room makes a difference. Forget exercise and focus on being more active everyday. Live a life full of movement and adventure with sitting less around.

Running is great, but you don’t have to do it if you don’t like it! You don’t have to do any form of exercise or activity if you don’t enjoy it! Walking is so beneficial to your health, both physically and mentally. Having a walking buddy will make a massive difference to your motivation and energy levels too. Share this post now and write what days/times/ distances you want to do each week and find a local friend to go walking with you.

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Sticking to the same fitness classes each week is a good way to build up your confidence as a beginner, however once you start to get stronger your body will respond better and continue to make changes if you mix up the sessions. Keep the brain engaged and don’t let any session switch you into autopilot mode.

It is true that your body reduces its fitness and strength at a quicker rate than it takes to build it up. This should not put you off resting and recovering. Your body needs rest and time to recover. If you have a few weeks of reduced activity THAT IS FINE! Just listen to your body and when you feel like being more active go for it. Don’t feel guilty for having some time off.

Walking, climbing, playing, swimming, dancing are all things that benefit your health and can be done anywhere. If you enjoy it, do it!

So if you ever find yourself thinking “I cant be arsed” ask yourself what needs to change. And then do 20 squats!

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Crobar Protein Bar Review

I am always on the look out for snacks that I can throw in my bag and have between sessions or hiding in the kitchen so I don’t have to share them with the kids. This can be tricky sometimes (finding tasty snacks, not hiding in the kitchen, I have that down!) being gluten and dairy intolerant. I do have a fairly laid back approach to my diet and I do eat small amounts of gluten and dairy but I just have to be careful how much.

So imagine my intrigue when I came across a snack bar that was

a) suitable to be thrown in to my bag and last the day without turning into a crumbly mess
b) gluten and dairy free
c) made with CRICKET FLOUR!!!

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Before I go any further i just wanted to say that The Crobar is less I’m a celebrity get me out of here and more hell yeah I want more of this! It really was delicious and because the bars are packed with protein it kept me feeling full for a surprisingly long time (for such a small bar). This high quality protein makes it an ideal post exercise snack to help feed and repair the muscles, bonus!

Full list of free from: Dairy, Gluten, Wheat, Egg, Soy, Corn, Yeast with only naturally occurring sugars

Full list of ingredients: Peanuts (37.7%), Sultanas (31.4%), Dates (12.6%), Sunflower Seeds (10.5%), Cricket Flour (6%)

So cricket flour! This information is from the Crobar website. You can read more here.

Cricket Flour contains

High quality protein
Animal sourced dietary protein is superior to that derived from plants. Unlike plants, animal protein contains all 9 essential amino acids

Iron
Crickets contain more than twice as much iron as spinach

Vitamin B12
10 g crickets contain your daily dose of Vitamin B12

Fat
Crickets contain half the amount of fat than beef

Omega 3 & 6 ratio
Crickets have an omega 3 & 6 ratio of 1:2.2, which is better than that of hemp, soy and whey

And it tastes delicious!!! The bars are very similar to Nakd bars and I will definitely buy them again. You can buy them direct from the manufacturer here

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Aimee x

Running To Work

I am a runner. I am also a mother. Therefore I can’t just casually announce that I am off for a leisurely trot around the park whenever the urge strikes. My exercise time is scheduled, bartered, planned and precious!

This post is to get you thinking about whether you could fit active travel into your schedule and some tips on how to do it.

I have to be clever about fitting my runs in. I don’t want to run at the expense of family time and I certainly don’t want to be waking up at 4am to fit my runs in. So I run to and from work. I walk the kids to school/nursery, leave them there and then continue my commute to work with a run. I then run home again once I’ve finished work.

What if I don’t have a shower at my work place?
I am lucky, I work in a sports centre. I have changing rooms and showers once I arrive at work. If you don’t have a shower at your place of work (or final destination) there are other options.

🔸Wet Wipe Wash
🔸There are some waterless shower gels coming onto the market that are aimed at active commuters (and festival goers!)
🔸Seal a wet flannel in a plastic zip lock bag
🔸A shit load of Impulse!!!

How do I carry my stuff?
When I first started running to work I bought a cheap running bag from Sports Direct. Once I had built up my confidence and I knew this run commute was something that I would be committing to doing weekly (if not more) I invested in a more expensive running bag from OMM. I luff it! 💗

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I have a toiletry bag that I leave at work with shampoo, shower gel, deodorant in so I don’t need to cart all this around with me. I also leave a spare pair of trainers at work so I don’t have to wear a pair of wet muddy trainers all day.

This is normally what I end up carrying in my bag to work. I’ll have space for some dinner too. The microfibre towel I got from Decathalon and its great, folds up really small and dries quick. Flashing lights and reflectors are always in my bag so I know I have them when needed. Be safe, be seen kids!

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If you are thinking about giving it a go plot a route to work using Google maps. It doesn’t have to be all the way. Get off the bus/train a few stops earlier and run the rest of the way in.

Also have a test run. Try the route on a weekend or day off when you don’t have any time pressures. See how long it takes you so you can be confident of the time you need to set off and run in without being late.

I highly recommend that you try running to work. There is no better feeling than being sat at a desk all day with those endorphins pumping and warm loving waves of smugness washing over you! Save all those bus fares and treat yourself to a new running bag or pair of trainers for your efforts!

Have I convinced you? Its really not as scary as you think. Let me know how you get on and send me some pictures! If you get stuck I’m always happy to help. Comment below or find me on Facebook!

Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes

Since being gluten and diary free (in an attempt to try and rid my body of an intolerance) I have been experimenting with some new snacky, goody, foody treat type stuff! This is my latest that I wanted to share as it is stupidly quick and easy but tasted AMAZING (if I do say so myself!).

This is a recipe that I found on Pinterest and it took me less than ten minutes to make.

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So basically all the ingredients in the top picture I mixed together and then dolloped into a warm frying pan with the melted coconut oil. Flipped em and then ate them with a drizzle of honey!!!!

Now the reason that there is no picture of the finished product is because they looked a bit (a lot) messy! I need to get better at flippin em!!! Any tips much appreciated. Leave me a comment below!!!!!

Aimee x

Slimming Solutions Teatox – My Review

I have been intrigued by herbal detoxing/slimming teas ever since I joined Instagram and every other picture was a slim, tanned, twenty something with washboard abs claiming they were the secret to her success.

I would never have bought them to try as I put them down as the latest faddy fitness trend (Cynical?? Me?!). So when I was contacted by Slimming Solutions asking me to review their Teatox I jumped at the chance. And I must admit I was surprised with the results!

I already regularly drink herbal teas but for some reason I was nervous about trying this Teatox as I was unsure what it would taste like. I had conjured up in my mind a mix of old school cod liver oil, medicinal tasting tea! You get a daytime blend to drink when you wake up and an evening blend to have before bed.

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Both were very easy to drink,  pleasant and relevant (and not a hint of cod liver oil, fewf!!!!) By that I mean the morning drink was fresh and energising and perked me up ready for the day. The evening blend was soothing and relaxing. I enjoyed both but I preferred the bedtime blend. Maybe this is because I mainly drank it in bed relaxing when my morning cup was often thrown down my neck while trying to get everyone fed, dressed and out the door!

The teas come with a clean eating plan to follow which was handy to have as a reminder. I eat a fairly balanced diet anyway so I didn’t cut out anything while drinking the teas other than caffeine. 

I did find the whole process of a morning and an evening blend useful to get me into the routine of drinking the teas. I also think having the course last only fourteen days is appealing as I wasn’t daunted by a massive new regime I would have to incorporate into my life.

Interestingly I did find it helped with bloating after my evening meal and I did feel a lot more energetic. I have since had a dairy and gluten intolerance identified so I would be interested to see if the teas make even more difference once I have that under control as well.

So overall a pleasant surprise. And a hand slap to me for poo pooing them and not giving them more consideration before!! If you are skeptical I say give them a try, even if you don’t notice any improvements its a good excuse to curl up in bed with your evening blend and enjoy some “me” time!!

In conclusion, I enjoyed the Teatox but you won’t be seeing any pictures of me with my washboard abs (they are in there somewhere!!!!) hanging out all over Instagram any time soon!!! I would use them again in the future.

My Year In Fitness – Day 170 #MYIF2014

I’ve had a rest day today (from exercise not running round after the kids!) But I have had an epsom salt bath to remineralise and help my muscles.

I feel like I’ve had a increase in strength recently so all my sessions have been slightly harder. Not sure what this is down to but I’m enjoying it. My muscles are feeling the benefits too with a little bit of stiffness but hopefully today will have helped.

You can read more about Epsom Salt baths here.