Bath Carnival

So on a wet Tuesday evening there I was surrounded by dancing girls with huge headdresses, glitter facepainting and lots of lovely people interested in supporting the 2017 Bath Carnival which is happening on 15 July.

Hunter and Sons in Milsom Street offered their place for us all to meet and find out more about we could help as local business people and also individuals. House of Bendy did the fab Facepainting and the team from Super Pirates are working very closely to support the carnival as well as many other Bath based businesses as the event is a huge undertaking.

The carnival is a non-profit organisation and can only happen with the help of local people by volunteers, venues and especially just spreading the word.

Local businesses can sponsor the event so if you know anyone who might be interested let them know.

Zest Bootcamp is going to help by doing a special charity bootcamp class that is open to anyone over the age of 18 and all proceeds will go to the Bath Carnival.

They also need “in kind” support as well people to marshall the procession and loads more.

If you’d like to find out more or register for our special charity bootcamp in  Bath on 10 June please click here.

And to find out more about the Bath Carnival click here 

Diabetes and Easter

I recently heard a radio feature talking about renaming Type 2 diabetes and the “fatal build up of cake & biscuits” was an option offered by the presenter.

Whilst it is humorous, having the condition really isn’t so I’m hoping no-one reading this already has it because you are obviously interested in your health otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this blog post right?
One of the best ways to reduce your risk of developing Type 2, aka Adult onset diabetes, is to avoid eating too much sugar so given we have just had Easter I’m not sure if you are feeling like me and a bit sugared out!
Or maybe you gave up sweets and chocolate for Lent so actually you had a sugar fast – well done you if that was the case and I imagine that after the first few “withdrawal” days you would have felt much better after those 40 sugar free days?
It was the delicious Lindt Easter bunnies that got me – so kind of my parents to treat their daughter (and son in law… hence plural bunnies) but I’m glad to get back off the sugar after a few days of alcohol and other treats over the Easter break.
Nowadays I’m pretty in touch with my body and what it wants and on bank holiday Monday I felt it really needed something green, packed with enzymes, so I made a big bowl of sprouted seed salad – you can see a photo below – it was packed with alfalfa, broccoli, radish, mung bean and other sprouted seeds that are bursting with good nutrition. I added some chopped watercress and fresh parsley for added health bonus and taste. I then mixed some hummus with lime juice for the dressing – what a taste sensation that was perfect to alkalise the acidic foods of Easter such as bread, wine, chocolate, cheese and I guess the big roast lamb dinner – all of which was lovely but it made my digestion and body feel heavy and sluggish.
A diet that mostly consists of “dead beige” food not only doesn’t give the body all the vitamins, minerals and enzymes that it needs to carry out all the millions of chemical reactions and processes that happen every day, but going back to the subject of this blog post, it a sure fire way to head towards Type 2 diabetes. Please note that Type 1 diabetes which people are born with and will need insulin injections or treatment for is different to the type that we are seeing more and more people with, including younger people in our society now and that’s what I’m talking about in this blog post.
Here are a few facts about Diabetes that you may or may not know…
Risks of developing Type 2 diabetes are increased :
  • If you are over the age of 40
  • If you have a family member who has it
  • If you have (or have ever had) high blood pressure
  • If you are overweight and if your belly button measures over 31 inches for women, 37 inches for men
  • If you have ever had a stroke or heart attack
  • If you chizophrenia, bipolar illness or depression
  • If you are a woman who’s had polycystic ovaries, gestational diabetes, or a baby weighing over 10 pounds.
Wow it’s worrying isn’t it and clear why so many more people are diagnosed with this more “lifestyle” than genetic condition every year.
BUT
The great news is that there is so much we can do to help ourselves avoid it – in summary move more and eat more healthily as both those actions can affect everything on that list apart from being over 40! Yes even mental illness can be improved by moving more, especially getting outdoors in nature and greenery, it’s a proven fact.
Genetics and ethnic background can affect the chances of getting Type 2 diabetes but that’s not a reason to get it if you live a healthy lifestyle. Pastries, pizza, cakes, biscuits, deep fried food, crackers, bread and many other foods – are all beige in colour and hardly contain any fibre, let alone any important nutrients such as Iron and vitamin C. One great way to ensure you are getting more greens in your diet is to add Lean Greens to a smoothie or just mix with water and have a serving each day. It’s packed with antioxidants which are effectively our best way to fight disease – free radicals are the threats and antioxidants are our little fighters. Click here to find out more or order a tub of the “little fighters”.
If you love cooking and haven’t seen any of my cookbooks including my latest 90 recipe vegetarian cookbook which is gluten free click here to find out more.
 You can follow me on Instagram by clicking here if you’d like to see more photos (and some videos)  including some of what we get up to at Zest Bootcamp. We had great fun on Easter Monday with a few fitness games – our next camp starts Monday 24th April so if you’d like to join us for a trial week then now is the time to register, otherwise you will have to wait another 4 weeks. It will soon be summer holiday time and NOW is when your summer body is made so don’t leave it until the last minute.
Click here to find out how we have helped hundreds of men and women just like you since 2009.
Please feel free to share this blog post if you think it will help anyone you know who isn’t looking after their health as I’m sure no-one wants to worry about the effects of getting Type 2 diabetes as untreated it can affect major organs and limbs in a very serious way.
Stay healthy!
Zita x

Protein pancakes

Today I have 2 super easy ways to enjoy pancakes and get your protein which once you have tried I’m sure you will make them regularly.. they are both gluten free too 🙂

The first is SO easy – just grab 2 eggs and mix up with a mashed rip banana, add some cinnamon and fry in a little coconut oil or butter and BOOM –  a delicious breakfast or snack that will fill you up nicely

Alternatively you can make these easy protein pancakes:

1 Banana
1 Egg
A pinch of cinnamon
1. Whizz it all in a blender…
2. melt 1/2 tsp of coconut oil in a frying pan…
3. put the mixture in pan…
4. cover pan and leave alone for 3-4 mins…
5. After that turn over to cook the other side…
Great served with a lovely dollop of greek yoghurt and  some frozen berries – YUMMYlicous
Happy Pancake Day
Zita x
ps If you’d like to grab a copy of my90 recipe FAT LOSS COOKBOOK click here to find out more – there are 30 tasty breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes that are all gluten-free , easy to make plus the whole family will love them.

 

Fit to ski… or just fit for life

If you have been following my weekly column in the Bath Weekend Magazine, that comes with the Bath Chronicle, you will have seen a variety of bodyweight exercises in January that make up a short workout you can do anywhere. There are  7- 8 exercises that you can put together into a short routine with the help of the video below. This routine would be a great way to prepare for skiing or if you are not off to hit the slopes it is a great way to get fitter, stronger and burn some calories – there is a warm up video at the bottom of this blog post so be sure to use it 🙂

There are a few options with this “ski fit” workout – you can either work on a time based format or repetitions. I’m going to suggest the workout below for you to start with which involves doing 30 seconds of an exercise and then resting for 15 seconds before you do the next exercise.

  1. 2 feet glute lifts x 30 secs *
  2. Squat front kicks x 30 secs
  3. Reverse lunges – either alternating x 30 secs or 30 secs one leg then switch
  4. Ice skaters
  5. Wide squat hold
  6. Jump Jump Squat
  7. 1 1/4 squats

rest 45 – 60 seconds then repeat 3 – 5 sets in total so it should take you somewhere between 15 – 30 minutes to do the whole workout.

  • If you don’t find this too challenging I suggest you do the single leg version of glute lifts and do 30 seconds each leg which is much tougher.

Be sure to do your lower body stretches afterwards holding each for at least 30 seconds and really thinking about what you are stretching to get the full benefit.

If you have a medical condition please consult a doctor before performing any of these exercises 

If you’d like to know more about technique then please read the section below and remember anyone can do these exercises even if you are not off to ski, infact that is why these kind of exercises feature at our group outdoor exercise classes at Zest Bootcamp in Bath.

GLUTE BRIDGE

Lie on your back, feet hip distance apart, legs bent, knees in line with feet and hands by your side palms facing up (so you don’t push into the ground). Gently squeeze your bottom and lift your hips off the floor inline with knees whilst relaxing neck and shoulders. Push into the heels rather than the toes to engage the glute muscles (imagine you are lifting you toes slightly). Keep your deep abdominals gently pulled in. You can also place your arms across your chest to make it more challenging as you can’t push into your arms.

SINGLE LEG GLUTE BRIDGE

Once you have mastered the above you can do a single leg version which can help address any inbalances with a stronger or weaker side. Often we are stronger on our dominant side, e.g. right side if you are right handed because you probably use that side more. Bend your left knee and take your leg off the floor whilst pushing into your right heel (to work the right side). There is also an option to straighten your leg to do these single leg glute lifts if your hamstring flexibility allows.

SQUAT FRONT KICKS
Start with feet shoulder distance apart and squat down, then as you come up you lift up your right knee inline with your hip then kick out the foot infront of you. Return the foot down to the floor, squat then repeat with the left leg so you alternate the leg kicking between each squat. Be sure to keep your chest lifted, your back straight and look forward as you squat down, keeping the weight into heels.

This video shows you how to do squat front kicks:

Don’t forget to do a little warm up before you exercise – there is a video at the bottom of this blog post.

ICE SKATERS

Stand on your right leg with other leg off ground and slightly behind you then jump to left and land on your left leg (without putting the other leg down) and jump back onto right leg etc. Be sure to land with a bent knee as that works the stabilising muscles of the hips and use your arms to burn more calories. Imagine you are a speed skater dressed in lycra from head to toe!

REVERSE LUNGES

Start with feet hip distance apart, hands either on hips or behind head, chest and head up with shoulder blades squeezed together step your right leg behind you and bend your knee until it almost touches the ground, keeping head and chest up (think good posture). Focus on keeping knee aligned with your shoe laces rather than letting it travel inwards as this puts strain on the knee. Push from the front heel and squeeze your bottom to return to start position and repeat the same leg for required number of repetitions then do same with other leg.

WIDE SQUAT HOLD

Feet wider than shoulder distance apart, toes turned out 45 degrees, hands either on hips or in prayer position infant of body, keeping your core braced bend your knees so your hips drop down inline with your knees, whilst you keep your chest lifted, shoulders pulled back. Ensure the knee cap tracks out in the direction of your shoe laces and don’t cave inwards. You should feel your inner thighs more in this  exercise than in normal squats.

Sometimes the static hold exercises known, as isometric, feel more challenging than the ones with movement and they are great way to get stronger.

Top Tip … If you have trouble squatting low try folding up a mat and placing under your heels as this will help you if you have tight ankle joint (which many people do have).

1 AND 1/4 SQUATS

Feet shoulder distance apart, arms infront of you for balance or in prayer position, keeping your core braced bend your knees so your hips drop down inline with your knees, whilst you keep your chest lifted, shoulders pulled back. Ensure the knee cap tracks out in the direction of your shoe laces and don’t cave inwards. Many people have tight calves and ankles which means they struggle to get low down on a squat so one way to help this is to fold up a towel or a mat and rest the heels on the edge to allow a greater range of motion. Really squeeze your bottom at the top to engage the powerful glute muscles for strength and a nice shaped booty 🙂

For this version of a squat you will squat down to your maximum depth then come up only halfway then go back down to bottom of squat then come all the way up – that would be one repetition. This version keeps the muscles in your thighs working for longer so a nice challenge.

JUMP JUMP SQUAT

Start with feet together and do 2 small jumps then jump feet out into a squat then back into the middles for 2 jumps so the rhythm is… in, in, out or jump, jump squat. As you jump back in from the squat to the jumps with feet together really squeeze your glute muscles (cheeks together ladies!) Be sure to keep an eye on you knee caps and make sure they track inline with your shoes and don’t cave inwards as you squat – always think of knees outwards.

Here is a 2 minute WARM UP VIDEO you can do anywhere and especially important to do if you are exercising early in the morning.

So there you go – enjoy….. and for anyone in Bath who isn’t very motivated to exercise on their own and would prefer to be in a group of like-minded women, with a coach to help with technique and to get the most of out each individual, then come to our next trial week at Zest Bootcamp on February 27th. We work with all ages & abilities and are poles apart from any kind of military style shouty bootcamp that you may have seen around – we are more like group personal training. To book a space on the next trial just fill your name and email in the box here on the home page and we will get you booked on…. if not now when?

Zita x

ps for anyone who hasn’t yet downloaded my free 10 minute CORE WORKOUT – click here to get your copy.

8 year anniversary

Time flies when you are having fun!

This is very true when it comes to Zest Bootcamp – this month is our 8th year anniversary  – whoop whoop… did someone say cake!

Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 15.45.04

In my previous career I was actually nicknamed the cake monster  – no wonder I was several clothes sizes bigger!

When I set up Bath Bootcamp (as it was originally called) back in 2009 I had no idea if it would be a success as I had only ever done 1-1 training and I wasn’t that familiar with outdoor exercise but what  has fuelled me over the last 8 years is my PASSION to help more people to feel great.

13339596_1208575519160926_4977557671716379092_n

It hasn’t always been an easy ride and we have gone through a variety of changes which included expanding to other areas including Marshfield and Peasedown St John, but I decided that I wanted to focus just on Bath so that’s what we’ve been doing for the last few years. Ironically I rebranded to Zest before I decided to just focus on Bath but I think the word suits us – full of energy and vitality!

Even the bootcamp van has gone through a few changes, from Bath Bootcamp, then Zest Bootcamp and then the logos came off as I was going to sell it but I didn’t in the end so all the logos are back on!

Zest Bootcamp van

Getting up in the early hours, especially in the dark, cold winter can be a challenge but it is because I absolutely LOVE what I do that it is never a problem (think it’s worse for my “night owl” husband).

What really makes me happy are the fantastic members we have at Zest Bootcamp, many of who have been coming for several years, one lady has been with us for 6 years and she previously did no exercise at all.

Friendships, fresh-air, fitness and fun is exactly how I’d sum up what we offer.

15727186_1413055632046246_1178179122975837301_n

I often get asked why I don’t change the name to something less “scary” sounding as the word bootcamp generally conjures up an image of a drill sergeant shouting at you do do more press ups in the mud.

What we offer is more like group personal training but the reason I have kept the word bootcamp is to demonstrate that we mean business – you come 3 times a week for a month and work hard for 45 minutes.

Everyone is so busy these days that I want people to get the most of their sessions so I have ways of making sure the fitter members are working to their maximum alongside newer members who often need more help and also a less intense workout to start with.

down-dog-charity

What is evident as much now as in the past is the friendly, supportive atmosphere created by all the members and it is often as much about the atmosphere they create as much as the energy and vitality I ensure I bring to classes. We have social events together and I know that many people have made good friends through coming to bootcamp and also several business connections which is a great by product. We have done charity workouts, pumpkin workouts and loads more fun whilst always focusing on the fitness. You can see photos of some of what we get up to on my Instagram page here.

Lebanese cooking event

It’s great to witness the support that the “old timers” give the new people as they all remember being there themselves – the achey legs that mean you have to think twice about whether you really need to go upstairs to get something (as you ache a lot!) we’ve all been there. I also love to see how after just a few weeks the new members already notice an improvement in their ability and once they pick up the boxing technique they are on fire!

For anyone who has only just heard about us here are some of the awards I’ve received since starting Zest Bootcamp …

In 2011 Zest Bootcamp was highly commended at the prestigious Bath Life Awards.

In 2015 Zita won the Independent Business Award for best fitness business in Bath and also the Women’s Business Club “Healthy Business of the year” at the Maximise awards.

Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 08.55.17

2016 saw Zita as a finalist in the Muddy Stiletto awards for best Fitness Instructor in Somerset and in the same year she won “Product of the year” at Maximise event for the Total Body Shape Up Plan.

Maximise

So as we head into our 9th year I’m excited to help more people, I’m expanding my fitness repertoire by taking a fitness yoga qualification to add a different dimension to some of the classes and certainly with my 1-1 classes.

In summary I’d like to share my gratitude for the opportunity I have had to create a family of healthy, fit, happy men and women and spread my passion.

THANK YOU to those of you who have contributed in any way at all, and here’s to many more years of the same.

Zita x

ps Although since we started many other bootcamps have come (and many have gone) I am proud to say that we will always be Bath’s original outdoor bootcamp and hopefully the best 🙂 If you have never been and are curious to find out whether you’d like to be part of the fitness fun then come for a trial week – it’s only £10 for 3 sessions. Our next trial week starts January 30th and then after that it will be February 27th – all you need to do is complete your name and email on the home page HERE to start the ball rolling to the best version of you… if not now, when?

15780749_1416268325058310_145739502567529_n