Tag Archives: healthy

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.


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.


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.

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.


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!


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.


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).


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.


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.

Healthy habits

a) Do you remember driving to the supermarket?

b) Did you brush your teeth today?

The answer to A is likely no and B is likely yes.

You probably remember learning to drive took all the concentration you had, having to do something with your legs and arms whilst trying not to run over any old ladies or children!

But now we just do it without thinking because our brains and bodies know what to do, the subconscious part of our brain works to make it happen, similar as breathing and pumping the blood around our body. We don’t have to consciously think of these things to make them happen.

That is what happens with something new becomes a habit.

We weren’t born reaching for a glass of wine or chocolate after a stressful day, they became habits.


Many habits serve us well, like brushing our teeth each morning but many don’t and we can change them.

The key is understanding how they work.

Imagine you go for a walk in the countryside and you see a field with what looks like a pathway through it where people have walked before. You are likely to take that path, as are most people. What happens is the pathway eventually gets more pronounced until the grass disappears and it is well worn in so no one misses it.

One day the farmer decides he wants to grow the grass back and lead people along a different route so he fences off the original path so people have to use the new one. Eventually the grass grows back and a new pathway is created.

This is pretty much how the neural pathways in our brain work which shows how you can break a habit and create a new one, it just takes time and effort for at least 21 days. Each time you go back to the old habit (or pathway) you actually have to start again, a pain I know but it’s just the way it is!

Sometimes the key is to find something that releases the same brain chemicals as the thing you normally have. Having an apple instead of huge piece of chocolate cake might not do it for you!

Also just changing one habit at a time can often work better than doing a whole bunch of new things and giving up as you just can’t do them all.

That’s why one of the first things I ask people to do is to add more water into their diet before they start taking things away.

One of my bad habits is sometimes being late – I always think I have time to do just one more thing before I have to go somewhere but often I don’t so end up running late. In order to correct this I have to think about 10 minutes before I normally would to head to stop what I am doing and get going. I really have to think about it as it doesn’t come naturally at the moment, but if I can do it consistently every day for at least 3 weeks it should start to be a subconscious action so that it becomes a habit and before I know it I am never late!

But if I am late one day because I don’t think about stopping 5 – 10 minutes before I normally would, I will need to start again and treat it like day 1.

Energy goes where focus goes so if I’ve not achieved it then I have not been focusing on it, which truth is I haven’t as much as I’d like to. Infact writing this makes me realise that I should put up some sticky notes to remind me (as I am a visual person), or a reminder on my phone.

So – what will you do to break a bad habit and start a healthier one?

Got to fly now and get ready for the 9.30 bootcamp crew, the early morning crew worked hard today – most of them have been coming for many months or years so turning up at 6.30am every Mon, Wed and Fri is a habit and when we don’t run classes for 2 weeks Dec and Aug they really miss it …. that only happens when a habit has become subconscious.

A big part of my online Shape up Plan is about creating healthy habits and if you’d like read a very honest review of how one of our participants has been getting over during her first 3 weeks you can click here 

have a great weekend everyone – I’m hoping to use some of my birthday present …. restaurant vouchers. Clearly my family know I love to eat!!

Zita “food & fitness” Alves

ps It made me smile when we were warming up at bootcamp and nearly everyone noticed I had some new trainers – even at 6.30am Zest Bootcampers are on the ball! If you are Instagram and want to see my trainers go to https://www.instagram.com/fitnesszita/


Eat, drink & be merry

It’s not long until Christmas day which means the parties are into full swing and the drinks are flowing.

Time to let your hair down and relax so enjoy it now but make sure you have a plan in place for the morning after.

Screen Shot 2015-12-20 at 07.02.33My top tips of how to feel good this season, and still indulge, include the following.

  1. Keep drinking plenty of water – don’t forget just because you are drinking more “fun” drinks. Minimum 2 litres a day – get a big bottle and make sure most of it has gone by mid afternoon. Starting the day with some fresh lemon in your water will also help your liver and give you an extra spring in your step.
  2. Start the day with a protein rich breakfast such as an omelette and add in some greens such as spinach. This will help curb your desire for more sweet things during the rest of the day.
  3. Be sure to have something green every day e.g. a green breakfast smoothie, some salad at lunch, broccoli cruditĂ©s. Our liver needs some alkalising greenery more than ever and a quick way to boost your intake is to use a good quality greens powder such as Lean Greens. (It’s great for hangovers too, have a scoop before you hit bed after a night out)
  4. Move your body – even if it is just going for a walk, but just get moving. You could try my 15 minute bodyweight workout that you can get by clicking here. It’s free and has a video as well as PDF so you will know exactly what you are doing.
  5. Have a plan for after the fun – you know that after the holidays your clothes might be a bit tighter and your energy levels are likely to be a bit low so what will you do to start the year the right way?. If you are in Bath then join us for a trial week at Zest Bootcamp of if you can’t make class I have a new plan that you can do from anywhere.

So enjoy the next few weeks knowing that come January you will be ready to get back your vavavoom (if it’s gone).

Merry Christmas!

Zita x

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