week 20 : what have I been learning about this week? Plus the trials and tribulations of a Personal Trainer/Entrepreneur in training

Here goes… week 20 began with more group training sessions last Sunday followed by a lovely day out at Malton Food Festival with my sister. It was the second year which I have been and it is a great way to spend a few hours, especially seeing as though the weather was so brilliant still last weekend. We sampled quite a lot of different offerings, from cheese to chutney, from brownies to ciders. It is made up of lots of different local sellers, food trucks and a large drinks tent. There are also demonstrations and talks on over the course of the weekend.

Malton Food Lovers festival 2017

For lunch we had a mexican tortilla bowl with pulled pork and chicken, it was delicious. Then of course we had to make a visit to Groovy Moos for an ice cream! This is simply the best ice cream which you will taste, and i should know as somewhat of an ice cream connoisseur. I had to use the opportunity to try out a couple of new flavours, rhubarb and custard as well as coconut and white chocolate. Beautifully indulgent!

Groovy Moos ice cream Malton

Bank holiday Monday was just a usual day for me, full of clients at the gym, although it was an earlier finish which meant that Laura could come over for tea and to discuss holiday plans! We were hoping to be able  to get away this week for a last minute sunshine break, but unfortunately couldn’t find anything. It is only 8 weeks until August when we are hoping to get something booked for Croatia and Montenegro. Has anyone been? If so, any recommendations?

After a few cancellations last week, this week has been the complete  opposite! Not one person has text to rearrange or postpone, which has meant another crazy week for me! The past couple of weeks I have blocked out Wednesday evenings from the gym. I was finding that after Monday and Tuesday, i was snowballing into the weekend without any time to get on with client plans, and business in general. Just by taking this evening away from the gym, I am able to set up at the laptop and just get on a roll and get stuff done! It has certainly helped not only my organisation, planning and business, but also my mind by giving me that mental break.

Speaking of business, I was able to speak to somebody who is much cleverer and more experienced than me in regards to my Youtube channel. It is something which I have been working on for a while but growth has been slow, and if I have struggled to get to grips with some parts of it. It was so kind of this person to give up their time in order to help me on some things and I now feel much better about certain things and how to create better videos in the future which people will find more enjoyable and useful (fingers crossed anyways!) Speaking of which, I vlogged the whole weekend last weekend and would love you to head on over to my Youtube channel and check out the full video! Link here. Any comments, i would love to hear from you!

I was writing a Facebook post about reasons why I became a Personal Trainer, and it ended up turning into a full blog post which  I published. Check it out here. 

abi durrant fitness

I have had some really good training sessions this week, whether it is the realisation that it is only 8 weeks until I put on a bikini or whether I have found some internal motivation from somewhere else, I don’t know but I am not complaining! I also found a photo on my phone from July 2015, this is the look which I am going to try and reach once again this year….well we shall see! Diet wise, it has been a bit up and down, a mini binge episode on Tuesday evening followed by 4 pretty good days. I know what I need to do, just sometimes the ice cream and chocolate scream at me from behind their respective doors. If this is something which you suffer from, I have a video on my top tips for getting over a binge here. 

Right, what have been learning in week 20?

28th: Peas are actually a fruit as they grow from a seed and picked above ground.

29th: A captain can deliver a baby or marry people.

30th: A group of parrots is called a Pandemonium.

31st: By the end of this century, 70% of all known cold water corals in the entire ocean will be surrounded by sea water which is so acidic that it will be dissolving their coral structure.

June 1st: Budapest became a single city occupying both banks of the Danube river with the unification of Buda and Óbuda on the west bank, with Pest on the east bank in 1873.

2nd: Today was National Fish and Chip Day. There are around 10,500 fish and chips shops in the UK. Ninety years ago there were 35,000.

3rd: The Champions League was introduced in 1992 and replaced the European Champion Clubs’ Cup, or simply European Cup. The pre-1992 competition was initially a straight knockout tournament open only to the champion club of each country

I can’t believe we are up to week 20 already, I have just updated my photo a day for the year and that is now over 100! Crazy!

Love Abi xxxx

 

Week 19 : The trials and tribulations of  Personal Trainer/Entrepreneur ‘in training’

Week 19 began after a whistle stop 30hour trip to Stockholm in order to see Bruno Mars in concert at the Globe Arena. My friend Laura really wanted to go and see him, so as non of the UK dates were possible for us both, we investigated whether it would be possible to jump on a plane and see him elsewhere; hence why we ended up in Sweden’s capital for the night. He was incredible live. I wasn’t all that fussed about seeing him to be honest, but he surpassed my expectations and then some.

Stockholm is a beautiful city, and we were extremely lucky with the weather, sunshine and 24 degrees meant just walking around the city was so lovely and pleasant. We stayed on a boat. Yes you read that right. Our hostel was STF AF Chapman, an old ship which had been renovated and is now a hostel! Our ‘cabin’ was bunk beds. It was such a lovely setting on the water, spotlessly clean and certainly an experience. If you are looking for somewhere to stay in Stockholm, check them out for sure! People had told me it would be expensive, and all I will say is I am glad we were only staying one night! But the people, the food (see restaurant recommendations down below!) and the ambience were fabulous and I would highly recommend to anyone (just make sure you have some deep pockets!)

stf af chapman

The weather has been absolutely beautiful in England this week, unfortunately I think I have only managed about 40 minutes sat outside though due to work and clients. However just having the back door open and the sunshine streaming in has been so nice and my mood certainly alters with the weather. I walked to work and back for the first time this year and it is something which I need to start doing more. Just the simple act of popping on a podcast and 10 minutes in the fresh air does wonders for me.

I don’t know whether it was the sunshine or just one of those weeks but I had more than a few client cancellations this week. This is quite rare for me. It makes me question everything and probably gets to me a lot more than it should. There is usually a valid reason for the cancellations and they do all get rebooked in again, but it just reminds me not to get too complacent as this is my livelihood, if I don’t have clients then I don’t get paid. It has forced me to really think about my business model this week and what I could be doing better to ensure things like this don’t affect me as much.

Speaking of business, I have been working away at planning for my group sessions which took place again in week 19. More new faces amongst returning regulars has been brilliant. I put so much pressure on myself to make these sessions amazing, waking up in the middle of the night fretting and worrying that they won’t be good enough and people will leave disappointed. When planning I can sometimes just stare at a piece of paper for hours and not get anywhere, but then other times inspiration will take over and I will come up with something which I am proud of.

I really do enjoy putting these sessions on. The ability to be able to get in front of and help more people is one of my goals. Without giving too much away, there may be something on a larger scale in the pipeline sometime soon…..

Week 19 was rounded up by an extremely proud moment for myself. My sister was home this weekend and took part in her very first powerlifting competition; Lift for Cancer at Scarborough Spa. Hannah has been training for this for months and she did absolutely brilliantly. It was a Bench Press and Deadlift only competition. There were a couple of hiccups in the Bench Press, but she came away with a 42.5kg lift which is brilliant. In the afternoon, she hit a new PB of 125kg on the deadlift which was one of her goals so we were both incredibly happy and chuffed. I train Hannah online, she is probably one of the best clients I have in terms of adherence and following a plan! But seeing her succeed and being so happy got me all emotional.

I am so proud of her.”

lift for cancer

What have I been learning in week 19?

21st: There is a car accident every 18 seconds in Barcelona

22nd: In 1903, Australia became the second country in the world to grant the vote to women, New Zealand was the first, granting it in 1893.

23rd: One in every three people sitting in jail in Berlin are there because they didn’t pay their fare on transport system.

24th: 95% of black people who go to Ivy League Universities in America come from Africa for their further education.

25th: 60% of the US population have less than $1000 in savings. 60% of NBA professional basketball players go bankrupt once they have retired. 40% of divorces in America cite money problems as one of the main reasons.

26th: Nestle uses a different chocolate recipe in each one of its chocolate bars.

27th: The most expensive flower in the world is the Kadupul Flower which is only found in Sri Lanka. It is a white flower which blossoms at night and survives mere hours, meaning catching even a glimpse of it is next to impossible. This near-mythical species has never been up for sale, making it literally priceless.

Love Abi xxxx

This week has been tinged with huge sadness after the events of Monday night at Manchester arena. All acts of terrorism are completely barbaric, but this one certainly seemed to hit home and affect me a lot more. The number of concerts I have been to at that venue and used that exit to get out, I would have been in that exact spot had I been to see Ariana Grande that night. A concert is supposed to be a fun night, an evening enjoyed with friends and family, not something which we will forever be worried about going to. Frightful of what may or may not happen. My heart is heavy thinking about the number of lost lives and their affected families. May they rest in peace. 

Stockholm Restaurant recommendations:

Barrels, Burgers and Beers: We had one of the best burgers I think I have ever had at this little restaurant in the old town of Stockholm. It was hugely popular but luckily we got there early and were able to get a seat without much waiting! You can also get your burgers ‘naked’ i.e. without the bun and served up in a huge lettuce leaf.

week 19 update - greasy spoon stockholm

The Greasy Spoon: This little cafe is run by two english guys who saw a gap in the market for a proper breakfast in Stockholm, and it most definitely is not what you think of when you hear or see the words ‘greasy spoon’! We had read reviews online and knew that this was the place for us. Serving up classics like Eggs Benedict or your full english, but with a modern twist, this hugely popular spot was just great. There was a waiting list when we arrived so we knew it must be good. I had the Eggs Florentine and then we shared the Apple Pie pancakes special. Hunt this place down!

Pharmarium: Fancy a cocktail to remember in a backstreet swanky bar? Then this is your place. We found this little gem out after the concert for a late nightcap. The bar also serves food, but the cocktail menu will blow your mind. I don’t think I recognised over half of the ingredients on the list, but on recommendation from one of the waiters I opted for what would be ‘The Best Espresso Martini you will ever have!’ After the first sip, I agreed. Must visit for sure if you are in Stockholm!

Is it just me or has January seemed to have gone on forever?

I have had a jam packed month:

My days have been full of clients, new and old.
I have fulfilled my promise of blogging every day this month, which at times hasn’t been easy! But I am really proud of the amount of worthwhile content which I have produced.
I have kept up with all of my New Years resolutions so far.
I enjoyed a night away with my best friend for some time out.

It has been a good month.

I have also discovered a few new things which I want to share with you!

Joe and Sephs Salted Caramel Popcorn
This may have become my absolute favourite popcorn though which you all know I am a fan of for snacking. I had seen it on social media but none of the supermarkets sell it, until I saw it in Aldi of all places! At just over £2 per bag it isn’t the cheapest, but it is so good and worth it in my book! They have lots of other flavours on their website which I want to try asap! Smooth Caramel and Expresso sounds amazing, I will maybe have to put an order in to try some more…

Joe and Seph's salted caramel popcorn review

Muller Light Chocolate Fix Salted Caramel Desserts
Another salted caramel product, sorry! It was my client Annie who first told me about how good these were, and as I am a sucker for anything salted caramel flavour I had to go and find them to try. They are good. A smooth silky yoghurt texture which doesn’t taste low calorie at all. They are 93 calories per pot, so perfect as either a snack or after dinner when you are craving that something sweet. I got them from Sainsbury’s and think it was £2 for a pack of 4.

Muller Salted Caramel Chocolate Dessert Review

Almond and Coconut Milk Mochas
I usually buy one or the other type of milk but saw this combination of the two and thought I should try it. I like to use milk in my low calorie Mochas and use a milk frother which I got just before christmas from Amazon for a couple of quid to make them taste that extra bit special! If you don’t have one and you are a fan of milky coffees then I would highly recommend you invest! I am not dairy intolerant, I just prefer the taste of this milk.

Alpro Coconut Almond Milk Review

McVities Chocolate Digestive Thins
I saw the Oreo thins in Tescos and picked some up, but was so disappointed with them. The best part of an oreo is the filling, so by halving the amount you are ruining a perfectly good biscuit! Chocolate digestives on the other hand, the chocolate is the best part right?! I have no idea how they have made these so thin and have a good layer of chocolate on them! At 31 calories per biscuit, that is nearly 3 times less calories than a regular chocolate digestive. You can also get them in dark chocolate and cappuccino varieties but I am yet to pick those up yet. I would love them to bring out a Chocolate hobnob thin too!

McVities Chocolate Digestive Thins Review

Sherwood’s Vegetable Sides
I picked a couple of these up when they were on offer in Morrisons at the beginning of the month. There are 4 varieties in this new product range. It is just something a little bit different to have for your dinner instead of plain rice or potato.

Each packet contains two servings, and average calories per serving are between 100-120. So far we have tried the Chickpea Sabji which was really tasty, I sometimes worry with packet curry sauces that they just take synthetic and processed but this one was full of flavour and spices. Next up was the Saag Aloo, a mixture of spinach and potato, I really enjoyed this one but Hannah preferred the chickpea one. Of course you could cook and make your own, but if you just want something quick and easy to pop in the microwave then I would recommend picking a couple up to stock your cupboards with.

Sharwood's Vegetable Sides Review

Headspace Mindfulness App
It was one of my resolutions and goals to take more time out for myself this year and become a little bit more mindful and work on my anxiety. I am currently reading ‘Tools of Titans’ by Tim Ferriss, and the number of people who practise meditation and swear by it as part of their success and happiness is huge.

Headspace is an app which I had seen recommended a few times within the book and Lewis Howes (The School of Greatness podcast) talks about it in particular glowing terms as helping him improve his mindfulness; so I figured I would download the app and give the 10 day free trial a go.

Headspace mindfulness App

I am now on my 23rd day in a row. I completed the 10 day free trial and then signed up for monthly membership. It is weird. I cant really say how I think it is benefiting me in my daily life but for some reason I think it is. It is 10 minutes every day, where I sit and listen to ‘Andy’ talk about breathing and how you are feeling. You would think that 10 minutes sitting and breathing with your eyes closed would seem like forever, but it passes by in the blink of an eye!

Just taking these 10 minutes before I get my day started seems to be doing something, and I am enjoying the process so far.

Hope you found this one useful!

If you have any recommendations of products or things which I might like then send the my way!

Love Abi xxxx

I will be honest, I was really struggling to come up with an idea for a blog post for today, I was practically banging my head against my desk. But I took a time out, put a podcast on, and WHAM there it was, what are my favourite podcasts. All the ones I listen to are recommendations from people, so why not give you mine?! Hopefully you will subscribe to one of two of them which catch your eye and get something out of them like I do.

It is very rare nowadays that I will listen to the radio or music whilst I am in the car, but rather I have a subscription to audible.co.uk and have a book on the go, or I listen to podcasts.

I find that it is a much better use of my time than listening to the same songs on a loop over and over again.

If you don’t like listening to them in the car, then alternatively plug something in and go for a 30minute walk every day. Exercise your mind and your body at the same time.

#1 Ted Talks
This is a recent addition to my podcast playlist, and is really the main reason behind my goal of learning something new every day. It was when I was scrolling through the list of episodes that I realised how much ‘stuff’ I had absolutely no idea about.

The episodes are usually 15-20minutes long and are on important subject matters from a huge variety of speakers. They never fail to make me stop, question and think. Recently I have learnt about nuclear weapons, online trolls, and ‘unanswered questions in physics…..’

If you want an episode recommendation to start you off then I loved ‘What I learned from 100 days of rejection by Jia Jiang.’

Ted Talks Link

Ted Talks Podcast

#2 Shredded By Science Radio
This is the company who I am furthering my qualifications with. They are top of the game in terms of the fitness and nutrition sector. If you don’t follow them and you are a Personal Trainer, then get it sorted ASAP.

Lawrence is a brilliant host of the podcast, always engaging and questioning his guests, with plenty of humour thrown in.

Episodes range from interviews with scientists about the latest research and how it should be applied, talks with other personal trainers, and some of my favourite episodes are Q & A’s with questions submitted by listeners.

Always informative and entertaining. It isn’t just for Personal Trainers though, if you are interested in health and nutrition and reaching your goals then get downloading.

Shredded by Science Link

Shredded by Science Podcast

#3 The Food for Fitness Podcast
Scott Baptie has some great guests on this show. From former Olympic Athletes to Fitness Cover models, Scott asks the best questions to find out what you really want to know.

His no nonsense approach to health and fitness is one of the main reasons I started to follow his work and really like to content which he produces.

One of my favourite recent episodes was with Geoff Cooke which was titled ’71 year old Intensive Care patient to World Champion Cyclist in 9 weeks.’ This wasn’t just a clickbait title either, it was true and so inspiring.

Food For Fitness Link

Food for Fitness Podcast

#4 The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes
I wont lie, the amount of adverts on this podcast does my head in, but I realise that they are needed to help profit from such great work!

There are two episodes a week on this podcast, one which is a long interview with somebody extremely successful, and then a shorter one on a Friday which is less information to digest but just and if not more useful.

His guests are from a huge variety of backgrounds, from NBA stars to authors, from DJs to psychologists, but the content is always so entertaining. I always learn something new.

One of my favourite recent episodes was with the founder of crossfire Greg Glassman. I loved hearing from a business point of view the reasons why and how Crossfit has become so successful in recent years.

The School of Greatness Link

The school of greatness podcast

#5 The Body and The Beast
This is a relatively new podcast, there have only been 10 episodes so far. The hosts are Jamie Alderton and Dan Meredith, both extremely successful people in their industries.

Basically this podcast inspires me to ‘get sh*t done!’

The amount of passion they have for success and achieving what they set out to do, is infectious, you almost feel left behind after listening to an episode.

It isn’t for the faint hearted, DEFINITELY don’t play this one if you have kids in the car! However I just feel so motivated and inspired after listening to what they achieve every day. We all have the same number of hours in the day, it is how we use them that determines how successful we are.

These episodes are long. Upwards of an 90minutes so I do have to listen to them on separate occasions, but they are so worth it. If you need a kick up the backside, or to ignite some fire in your belly to go out and do whatever it is you want, then give this one a listen to!!

The Body and The Beast Link

the body and the beast podcast

Thanks of reading! I hope you will go ahead and subscribe to some of these and get learning!

Love Abi xxxx

January Blog a Day 28/31

 

There are 5 fundamental taste sensations of thai cooking, and all their dishes are made up of 3,4 or all 5 of them;

SOUR, SWEET, SALTY, BITTER AND SPICY.

It is my favourite type of cuisine so thought I would share with you my top 5 dishes which I think you must go out and try!

Pad Thai.

It may be cliché but this is probably my favourite – although I am hard to please. plenty of fresh lime and some dried chilli flakes are needed to ramp this dish up even more.

Pad Thai Chicken Patong

Som Tum.

This is Papaya Salad, it is a spicy salad which ingredients vary restaurant to restaurant, but mainly consists of shredded papaya, carrot, tomatoes and beans in a sour/sweet sauce.

Som Tum Patong

Tom Yam Gai.

Spicy broth with chicken. You can tell how spicy the soup is going to be from how intensely red it is when it arrives.

Tom Yum Gai, Patong

Pineapple fried rice.

Served up in half a pineapple, this dish looks as impressive as it tastes. I have no idea what they flavour the rice with but it sure is tasty. Usually stir fried with seafood, vegetables, raisins and cashew nuts. So many different flavours and textures in one.

Pineapple Fried Rice

Larb Gai.

This is another thai salad which consists of minced chicken, shallots, fresh herbs, red chilli and dressed in a lime juice. You can also get Pork and Beef versions.

Larb Gai, Thailand

These are just my top dishes which I think everybody should try, do you have a favourite Thai dish which you recommend to people?

Love Abi xxx