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!

Fear. Why does it cripple us so much?

Bare with me. This is a bit of a personal post…..

“Detach yourself from your inner thoughts and demons and letting go of what might happen. Embrace the now.”

I am currently listening to the audiobook ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle, which was recommended to me by a friend, but it is a book which has been on my radar for a while.

Eckhart Tolle The power of now

I am not going to lie and say that it is an easy and enjoyable listen because it isn’t. It takes some degree of concentration to comprehend and there are parts of it which I have absolutely no idea what he is trying to say. It is also for this reason that I am not even going to attempt to try and tell you what it is about until I get a greater understanding of it myself.

However, there was one part of it which really resonated with me this morning. ‘FEAR.’ What is it, and why do we fear things? When you think about it, everything we fear is something which hasn’t happened. Something which is in the future. And something which we have absolutely no control over. So why do we fear so much? If we concern ourselves more with the present and what is happening right now, are we able to dispel these fears? It is a really interesting concept and something which I would like to explore further.

Runyon Canyon LA

I knew I had a lot of fears, but it wasn’t until I really started thinking about it that I realised just how many. I have spoken on numerous occasions how the fear of being ridiculed and not knowing everything actually stopped me from becoming a Personal Trainer for so long. I didn’t tell anybody about this blog for nearly 6 months for fear of people laughing at what I had to say. These are just a couple of recent ones which I have had to overcome.

I want to overcome even more. So I am going to share with you some of my biggest fears. I don’t know what sharing them will do, I am not after a reaction and I certainly don’t want people to say ‘Dont be silly you have no reason to worry about that.’ But some part of me thinks it is a good thing to do, so here goes. They are not in any sort of order. Just written down randomly as they came to me:

I fear growing old.

I fear losing my parents.

I fear not finding a boyfriend/husband and being lonely.

I fear my clients all leaving me.

I fear my clients feeling like they have wasted their money and time.

I fear not earning enough money.

I fear losing my friends through not seeing or communicating with them enough.

I fear that I was meant to move away and not stay in Scarborough.

I fear having regrets when I am too old to do anything about them.

I fear people laughing at and making fun of me.

I fear getting fat.

I fear that I don’t have enough knowledge to be in this line of work.

I fear that people don’t think I look like a Personal Trainer.

I know in my heart of hearts that I have no control over these so why do I fear them so much?

So now my focus has got to shift from fear to action. If I fear not earning enough money then I have to find ways of making sure it doesn’t happen. If I fear having regrets, then I have to take chances. If I fear clients leaving me, then I have to make sure I give them the best damn service I can provide so I know if it happens then I will have tried my hardest.

Abbot Kinney sunrise

Who knows what is around the corner? So why do we worry about it so much?

Fear is a strange one. It is something which I want to work towards conquering. I know it wont be easy, and I know it wont be an overnight job. I feel that by acknowledging it though is potentially the first step, and it is now up to me to put more plans in place to combat each and every one of them.

What are you afraid of? What can you do to overcome this fear?

Sorry if this seems a bit of a strange blog post today, but it was something which was on my mind and needed saying. I will report back on how I am getting on, as well as a proper review of the book soon!

Love Abi xxxx

January Blog a Day  10/31

The weather has turned absolutely miserable, which means all I want to do is curl up with my big chunky cardigan and socks on, with a steaming bowl of homemade soup!

Abi Durrant, Personal Trainer

Inspiration for my recipes comes from everywhere; social media, celebrity chefs, restaurants I have visited, cooking programmes etc. But the idea for this soup came from one of my clients who said they had had some parsnips this past week. My brain started whirring and kicked into gear, I made a trip to Morrisons and just bought ingredients which I thought would work and set about making it once I got home. From idea to bowl within the space of about an hour!

Food market in Ubud, Bali

I used a curry powder blend which I bought in Bali, but any shop bought blend would work fine. Or why not make your own with some ground cumin, ground coriander, and tumeric? The aromatic taste and spiciness to this soup makes it a bit different from your usual vegetable soup. Yummy!

Healthy curried carrot and parsnip soup

Low in calories, high in nutritional value but also low in protein so make sure you make up for it with the rest of your meals throughout the day! This soup will keep on the hob or in the fridge for about 3 days, or you could freeze it and save it for a rainy day!

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Ingredients: (makes about 4 portions)
1 leek
1 stick of celery
3 parsnips (about 350-400g)
2 carrots (about 250g)
1 tsp ready chopped garlic
1 tsp ready chopped ginger
1 litre of stock
2 tsp curry powder
Salt and Pepper

How to?
Dice the celery, leek and carrot and add to a saucepan with some salt and pepper. Cook for about 3-5 minutes whilst you dice up the parsnip. Add your parsnip, curry powder, garlic and ginger and give it a good stir. Allow to sauté for about 5 minutes.

Healthy curried carrot and parsnip soup
Add your stock and bring to the boil, before returning to a simmer for about 25-30minutes (or until the vegetables are soft).

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Using a stick blender, blend to desired consistency. Have a taste and season with salt and black pepper!

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Nutritional Information per serving:
98 Calories
3g Protein; 20g Carbs; 1g Fat

What are your favourite soups? Give me some inspiration for my next recipe!

Love Abi xxxx

Sprouts are probably one of my favourite vegetables. They definitely get an deserved bad reputation in this country; most people associate them with just a soggy necessity scraped to the side of Christmas Dinner. But if cooked correctly, they are so tasty! Whilst in America I was genuinely shocked at how often I saw them on a restaurant menu, it was actually more of a surprise if they weren’t included in one of the dishes or as a side order!

Brussel Sprouts, sunny side up eggs, brunch, breakfast , warburton's bagel thin

One of the most memorable breakfasts that we had was at Ollo’s restaurant in Malibu. We had just finished a 2 hour hike through the Santa Monica hills and were absolutely starving. We had looked this place up online beforehand so were expecting good things, and boy were they good. We decided on this ‘Brussels Sprout and Pancetta’ dish as it sounded unusual and not your standard breakfast egg offering. It was delicious.

Oslo Restaurant Menu Malibu. Los Angeles brunch, sprouts, pancetta

So many different flavours and textures on one dish; the roasted chickpeas were something which I had never tasted before; the tomatillo salsa was spicy yet refreshing; the sprouts were sliced thinly and seasoned just right and the egg was perfect runny-ness. I knew instantly that I was going to have to try and recreate this at home.

OLLO's Malibu Brunch, Los Angeles, Brussel Sprouts and Pancetta, Roasted Chickpeas

This one takes a little bit more time, so something to save for a weekend brunch or even a midweek dinner if you can. Quinoa is one of my favourite grains, and by adding it to this dish you are also upping the protein content. I included some ham but just skip this bit if you want to make it vegetarian. Making your own salsa is definitely worth the effort, it tastes so much fresher and flavourful than a shop bought version. You can make a batch of the roasted chickpeas,pop them in a tupperware container and use to top salads or even soups instead of croutons.

img_2361

Ingredients
60g Sliced Brussel Sprouts
20g uncooked Quinoa
1 slice ham
10g chopped sundried tomatoes
1 sliced spring onion
Salt and Pepper
20g Chickpeas
1 egg
Low calorie spray

For salsa:
1 tomato
1 spring onion
red chilli
fresh coriander
salt and pepper

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How To?
Roasted Chickpeas
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees. Drain and wash your can of chickpeas and pat dry. Remove any of the shells. Make sure they are pretty dry before putting on a baking tray with some low cal spray and seasoning with salt and pepper. You want to roast them for about 20-30minutes. Every 10 minutes just give them a shake and check that they are okay. Once roasted, remove from tray and toss with any spices which you might like, I used some smoked paprika this time.

Roasted Chickpeas

Salsa
Dice the tomato, slice the spring onion and cut up chilli and coriander to taste. Add to a small pan and heat until everything starts to breakdown, you might need to add a little bit of hot water to ensure doesn’t dry out or burn.

Homemade Tomatillo Salsa

Cook the Quinoa according to packed instructions. Once cooked, add the sliced sprouts and stir. You might need to add a little bit of extra water at this point. Season with lots of black pepper and a little bit of salt. Then add the ham, spring onion and sundried tomato pieces. This should only take 3-5 minutes to come together as you don’t want to overcook the sprouts!

sprouts and quinoa

Fry your egg, I like to flip mine but be careful not to break the yolk if you do! Or you could poach if you prefer.

Serve up the sprouts mixture, scatter on the roasted chickpeas, drizzle your salsa over the plate and then top with your egg. Add a slice of thick sourdough bread or I toasted a bagel thin to go with mine. Absolutely delicious!

Brussel Sprouts Brunch

Be open minded and try something different for brunch!

Love Abi xx

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Nutritional Information (without bread)
Calories: 276
15g Protein; 30g Carbohydrates; 6g Fat