time flies when you're being a mum

05 Feb, 2015

On Saturday, by some crazy turn of events, my side-kick, photographer and best friend, Alex and I found ourselves in a room full of beautiful women, all sipping spirulina smoothies, looking unphased in a strange Yoga position and kitted out to the max in awesome workout gear. I’m not going to lie, I felt a little out of place. These beautiful women were the best health and fitness bloggers on the block, and we had been gathered together by John Lewis for the start of their #JLLiveBetter campaign.

John Lewis and the #JLLiveBetter Campaign http://www.mumsdays.com/john-lewis-jllivebetter/

It was raining, I wasn’t just trying to be cool

John Lewis had teamed together with my all time favourite magazine, Women’s Health (seriously, I’ve been buying this magazine for about 5 years, so even before there was a UK edition!), to bring us bloggers a taste of what #JLLiveBetter is all about.

Decked out in the best “sports / lounge wear” we could find (now there’s a scary dress code!!), Alex and I were ready to get inspired!

John Lewis and the #JLLiveBetter Campaign with Women's Health Magazine http://www.mumsdays.com/john-lewis-jllivebetter/

The day started with Green Teas before we were escorted up to the #JLLiveBetter Loft, which has an awesome view over the Olympic Park. The room had an area with about 20 yoga mats all set up, and once we put our stuff down, we got straight to it – Rise and Shine Awakening Yoga with the absolutely stunning Colby Hanks.

John Lewis and the #JLLiveBetter Campaign with Women's Health Magazine http://www.mumsdays.com/john-lewis-jllivebetter/

Despite the fact I don’t know my shakra from my downward dog, I loved this experience. Surrounded by these incredible bloggers, who are doing amazing things (with their bodies and their blogs!), looking out over the Olympic Park. It was really cool…up until the point Colby decided to use me as her partner for demonstrations. Gah!! At least we were colour co-ordinated.

John Lewis and the #JLLiveBetter Campaign with Women's Health Magazine http://www.mumsdays.com/john-lewis-jllivebetter/

John Lewis and the #JLLiveBetter Campaign with Women's Health Magazine http://www.mumsdays.com/john-lewis-jllivebetter/

John Lewis and the #JLLiveBetter Campaign with Women's Health Magazine http://www.mumsdays.com/john-lewis-jllivebetter/

Following on from that we were quickly ushered (dawdling was not an option!) onto the next demonstration by Honestly Healthy business owner and author, Natasha Corrett.

John Lewis and the #JLLiveBetter Campaign with Natasha Corrett, Honestly Healthy http://www.mumsdays.com/john-lewis-jllivebetter/

Firstly we tried some Bircha Porridge, which was delicious!

John Lewis and the #JLLiveBetter Campaign with Natasha Corrett, Honestly Healthy http://www.mumsdays.com/john-lewis-jllivebetter/

Then Natasha showed us how to make a spirulina smoothie. I’ve been a juicing fan for ages (as many of you may know and if you don’t, have a read here about juicing and my weight loss after pregnancy) buuuut I’ve sort of fallen off the wagon. Partly because I like food and wine, and partly because, I’ll be honest, I find juicing a bit of a ballache. I know that cleaning the machine doesn’t take that long, but when I’m in a rush it tends to be the last thing I want to do…

However, the Spirulina Smoothie was so easy, just blend the following ingredients together:

  • 25g spinach
  • 55g iceburg lettuce
  • 1tsp spirulina
  • 1 large ripe peach (we used some pear and a banana instead as peach is out of season)
  • 360ml filtered water or coconut water

It was delicious, and I even got to have a go making one in the NutriBullet – I really want one now! It’s so much easier than a juicer.

John Lewis and the #JLLiveBetter Campaign with Natasha Corrett, Honestly Healthy http://www.mumsdays.com/john-lewis-jllivebetter/

John Lewis and the #JLLiveBetter Campaign with Natasha Corrett, Honestly Healthy http://www.mumsdays.com/john-lewis-jllivebetter/

The best tip she gave was to make everything up the night before (put the lid on but don’t do the mixing bit) and store it in the fridge. Then when you get up and you’re rushing around (any parent will relate!), all you have to do is mix for 30 secs and you’re good to go. I could definitely get on board with that!

John Lewis and the #JLLiveBetter Campaign with Natasha Corrett, Honestly Healthy http://www.mumsdays.com/john-lewis-jllivebetter/

Alex and I then took the opportunity to get our pictures on the front cover of Women’s Health – HAAAA!! So much fun, but one day I hope to legitimately be on that cover…!

John Lewis and the #JLLiveBetter Campaign with Women's Health Magazine http://www.mumsdays.com/john-lewis-jllivebetter/

Apparently that was enough lounging around for us lot and it was on to a Body Weight workout with HIIT intervals. I kid you not! This was with the lovely Anya Lahiri and little did I know it but she was soon to make me a) sweat and b) hurt for the next few days. Then following on from that body onslaught, we had Millie Mackintosh’s PT, Rich Tidmarsh, put us through our paces!! And boy did he.

John Lewis and the #JLLiveBetter Campaign with Rich Tidmarsh, Millie Mackintosh's Personal Trainer http://www.mumsdays.com/john-lewis-jllivebetter/

John Lewis and the #JLLiveBetter Campaign with Rich Tidmarsh, Millie Mackintosh's Personal Trainer http://www.mumsdays.com/john-lewis-jllivebetter/

I may have joked about not wanting to work out, but in all honesty, what an amazing experience it was. For years I’ve been reading Women’s Health and then here I was, with its creators. It was one of those moments when I was really thankful for the opportunities this blog has brought about. I’ve certainly taken a moment or two this week (in amongst all the moving madness) to be grateful for such a “money can’t buy” experience!

John Lewis and the #JLLiveBetter Campaign with Women's Health Magazine http://www.mumsdays.com/john-lewis-jllivebetter/

Bath time courtesy of #JLLiveBetter!

The other thing I’ve been doing is thinking I HAVE GOT TO GET MY WEIGHT UNDER CONTROL!! I was working out next to Carley Rowina for goodness sake (she has 121,000 subscribers on YouTube and for good reason – go and check out her six pack!!), thankfully she was lovely and didn’t mind my red faced sweating!

I think when I first had Reuben, I was really motivated to lose weight, and did so relatively quickly thanks to added pressure of working with a personal trainer (you can see the mummy tummy workout we did here) and an impending News Article. But what happens after that? Motivation to keep fit and eat well has to come from within because I find it hard to sustain beyond the ‘wedding dress’ or ‘bikini’ reasons.

John Lewis and the #JLLiveBetter Campaign with Women's Health Magazine http://www.mumsdays.com/john-lewis-jllivebetter/

My beautiful new fitness journal!

I think this event has certainly lit the fire under my proverbial, and I’m raring to Live Better (and lose some weight)! And thanks to a whole bunch of great resources and a collection of ‘before’ shots of myself next to beautiful people, I feel like now it’s time to just do it for me. For my health, my family, my wellbeing (and maybe my bikini too!). Thank you John Lewis!

John Lewis and the #JLLiveBetter Campaign with Women's Health Magazine http://www.mumsdays.com/john-lewis-jllivebetter/

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com


17 Jun, 2013

“And now….. the end is hereeeeee…. And so I face…. the final curtain” Yep, my weight loss after pregnancy experiment with Sound Mind and Body has come to an end! Do I look like Jodie Marsh? No. How’s the mummy tummy? In my humble opinion, much better!



20 May, 2013

I’ve lost the weight loss after pregnancy plot. Plateu central. Mojo has left the building. And I was doing so well! I don’t understand why it happens. Well, I do – One day you’re fine, the next you make a little compromise, nothing serious, the next day another, and then before you know it you’re eating a battered sausage and chips.

Last week Dan from Sound Mind and Body challenged me to stop drinking for 30 days. Firstly, Dan is doing a 30 day ‘extreme’ diet because he’s about to turn 40 so I guess this is some sort of mid-lifey?? (Just kidding Dan!) He’s written a great post about how to get in the zone for weight loss that I highly recommend you read – Dan takes will power to a whole new level and he’s shared the inner workings of his mind!! The plan of attack is especially good and is partly the inspiration for this post…

Anyway, drinking is the root of nearly all my bad decisions so I was well up for the challenge – I managed 6 days. We had the week from hell, literally. From someone whirling into our house, turning upside down and then leaving without so much as a thank you (we weren’t burgled, don’t worry….just emotionally burgled by an ungrateful teenager!), to Reuben waking 2 and 3 times a night, and ending with my parents’ house flooding during the torrential down poor on Saturday (it is virtually uninhabitable now – totally heart-breaking).

*Warning the rest of this post reads like my very own self-help manual!*

BUT, do you know what I’ve learnt from this? Bad things happen all the time and if I let them stop me achieving what I want to do, I’ll never achieve anything. So every morning when I get up at the ungodly hour Reuben decides is appropriate I have 2 options:

1. I let my tireness dictate what I eat and do (which means drink 2 gallons of coffee and eat things that I don’t actually want and won’t make me feel better and I’ll wake up feeling worse tomorrow, continue cycle)


2. I wake grateful for what I have. I take control. I stop wallowing. I JUICE!

Note: Choose 2! Choose 2!

Weight loss after pregnancy – Why I juice

So now I shall let you in on a secret. Juicing is my thing. It gives me a spark. I feel healthy, full of energy, and I wake up with my head singing “Oh! What a beautiful mooooorrrrning”. It’s incredibly annoying for the people around me as not only am I not really doing ‘fun’ things (read drinking booze/coffee or eating chips/cupcakes/chocolate) with them but I’m also full of the joys of spring. My friends and family don’t get it. They think I’m weird, a fad-dieter. They think I’m starving myself. I’m not and here’s WHY I JUICE:

  1. I love the taste – in the morning, when you’ve just woken up this is the most thirst quenching thing ever, and what’s more it’s so full of goodness, you can literally feel all your cells sighing.
  2. I need less sleep – I go to bed later and get up earlier. I feel fine.
  3. I feel alive – I can imagine this sounds ridiculous. This morning I woke feeling tired, emotional, bloated, minging. When I juice basically I wake up feeling good, full of energy, bursting with ideas, mega productive, dare I say it, sexy too. Isn’t that what feeling alive should be like?
  4. My skin, hair and nails improve massively. No more flaky nails and zitty face. Juicing is SOOOOO good for you, I don’t have space to write about all the benefits but you’ve got to look after the inside to get the outside to glow and there’s your evidence!
  5. Oh, and I lose weight – yep, it falls off.
  6.  This isn’t a fad diet – I’ve been juicing since January 2007. I always come back to juice time and again because I know how good it feels when I’m in the zone. I am a better person to be around, I’m motivated, I love more, I do more, I work harder (and I’m thinner).

weight loss after pregnancy

weight loss after pregnancy

Day 4 of Hardcore Juicing (see below) – Out running on Good Friday at 7am feeling a million dollars (that’s my heart rate monitor to prove I was working hard and not just enjoying a stroll along the beach!)

OK, so what is juicing?

When I say I’m juicing I have 3 versions:

  1. Hardcore – I have 5 juices a day and that’s it. No food. That’s a bit hardcore and you don’t want to and shouldn’t do it for too long. If I’m doing a hardcore juice I aim to do 5 days of solid juicing and that’s when the magic happens and I start to feel amazing.
  2. Semi-hardcore – I have 2 or 3 juices a day and something for tea. I feel so much better in the morning if I just have a juice for tea and eat at lunch time instead but I find that much more challenging, especially when I’m making Mike’s dinner! The day is in danger of becoming a not hardcore day.
  3. Not hardcore – I have a juice for breakfast and eat lunch and dinner. Still getting lots of good nutrients but the more opportunities for eating, the more my brain talks me into eating naughty things!

Also, we’re not talking a glass of ‘from concentrate’ OJ, this is freshly picked (preferably organic) and home made! My favourite, go to juice recipe is…


  • 3-4 apples,
  • a handful of spinach,
  • inch slice of ginger,
  • inch slice of lemon,
  • half a pineapple,
  • half a cucumber,
  • 2 sticks of celery

Blend with half an avocado and some ice.

That makes enough for breakfast and lunch! You think you’re going to go hungry on that? Think again, the avocado makes it creamy and rich and delicious.

You can replace things like the spinach with another leafy green in the fridge, like watercress. And if we have broccoli, I also put the stalk in (you know, the bit you’d normally throw away) – lots of goodness and you can’t taste the difference.

If you want some more details and some juice suggestions, drop me an email on mumsdays@gmail.com. I’d be happy to help.

How to juice

Despite how amazing I feel when I’m juicing I still fall off the wagon and get seduced by yummy things (that make me fat and miserable) so this is how I get back in the juicy zone and stay there…

  1. Have a goal – How long are you going to do it for and at what level? Until you reach a target weight? For the next 5 days? What treats can you have and when? etc. Be specific, use dates so your head knows the rules. Your head is the only thing that will hold you back! I actually find the stricter my diet is, the easier it is for me to stick to it
  2. Plan ahead – Get all the ingredients you need for the next 5 days, no excuses brain
  3. Prepare as much as you can the night before – Particularly if you’re not a morning person!…don’t give yourself the opportunity to talk yourself out of it when you’re bleary eyed at 5/6/7am or whatever time you’re little angel decides it’s playtime
  4. Don’t let yourself get hungry – I tend to make 3 or 4 juices in the morning and keep them in flasks so I can have them when I need them. I also drink lots of water, the odd green tea and peppermint or camomile tea to tide me over between juices. The difficult bit is making Mike and Reuben’s tea – stay strong, it’s not forever – oh, and do it while you’re drinking a juice. It’s a lot easier if you aren’t hungry
  5. Avoid alcohol and coffee – these two fellas are my triggers to failure. I do really well, cut them out, feel great. Then one day I fancy a coffee. What’s the harm? Well, one coffee knocks your bits and pieces out of line, making you hungry and tired, so you reach for either another coffee or worse. A biscuit. Same goes for booze except it’s a LOT quicker for me. 1 glass = 4 glasses… followed by snacks. Not to mention the next day your head is going to be doing its darndest to talk you out of anything except a bacon sandwich and a can of pop
  6. Be grateful – Every time your head has even the slightest tantrum (I can’t be arsed. Sod it, I’m having some coco pops), remind yourself of how lucky you are to be able to feel good, and slimmer, and happier and more productive, and, and, and…!

Listen up brain. I was talking to you too and we’re back on the wagon tomorrow. No excuses!

weight loss after pregnancy - how to juice

May the juice be with you…I want to drink that NOW!!

What do you recon? Fancy a go, or do you still not get it? If you do want more details, send me an email to mumsdays@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you!

This post is dedicated to Dan, it’s his Birthday today. Happy Birthday! Dan remains the only person I’ve ever managed to win over to the juice side, despite my best efforts. Jon (as in Kerry who sometimes comments on posts and put me in touch with Grow up Green the real nappy company), who Dan and I used to live with, coined the term ‘juice cult’ because Dan and I really were that evangelical! Go on, have a juice.


07 Apr, 2013

On 26th February I started training with Dan from Sound Mind and Body, a personal training gym in Benton, Newcastle. I set myself 2 weight loss after pregnancy goals. The first was a beach holiday in Gran Canaria (bikini alert). The second was 3 months after we started (I want to be buff!).

Well, we’re at the deadline for goal 1 as I’m off to Gran Canaria tomorrow!! So how have I done??

Weight loss after pregnancy

Here are my stats…

Weight = I have lost 4.4kg (9.7lbs)
Body fat = from 24.2% to 21.4%
Measurements = I have lost 19 cm 


Weirdly, or maybe not, I have lost cms and fat from everywhere except my thighs. They are EXACTLY the same as when we started! Dan says it’s likely that they are the area I put weight on first (all true), therefore they will be the place I lose it last. What a cruel world.

Weight loss after pregnancy

Weight loss after pregnancy – 6 months

weight loss after pregnancy - 8 months

weight loss after pregnancy – 8 months (5 weeks after starting at Sound Mind and Body)*

How has it been so far? HARD!! I used to be able to go on a diet and be able to tell the difference within a week. Now, it has taken 5 weeks, and despite my best efforts most of the weight loss happened in the last 2 weeks when I stopped drinking (booze) and I started juicing (I also stopped breastfeeding Reuben then too but I think it’s maybe a coincidence?). The 2 main things I’ve learnt so far from the experience with Sound Mind and Body is:

1. Working with someone else motivates me – Dan was more excited than me when we got the stats back. It gives me a focus as I hate to let people down. Dan’s working hard with me so when each week I step on the scales and they have barely moved I feel really bad and, therefore, motivated to lose the weight. Something I don’t think I would have achieved on my own, or at least not this quickly.

2. A strict diet works for me – now by strict, I don’t mean in the sense that juicing is like an endurance exercise, far from it. I love it! What I mean is that all I have for 2 meals a day is juice, therefore, I don’t have to think. I’m at my best when I don’t have to think. If I think, I then start to talk myself into having a slice of toast with loads of butter. Or a coffee and a cake when I’m out. You just have a couple of juices (and no I don’t feel hungry) and then fish/chicken/lean meat with a salad for tea. Easy. And it works.

Right, bon voyage for me! We’re off at 5:30am so I have to go get my beauty sleep… too excited to sleep!

What have you been doing to achieve your weight loss after pregnancy goals? I’d love to hear what your goals are and any of your tips! Also, what motivates you? I’ve been keeping motivational pictures on my pinterest board, thinspiration – Let me know your pinterest accounts and I’ll follow you.

*Apologies for the lack of nautical pants. There were in the wash!


03 Apr, 2013

A few weeks ago I posted How to lose your mummy tummy – part 1, which was a 15 minute introductory workout, designed by Dan at Sound Mind and Body to target the mummy tummy. Now the moment you’ve all been waiting for (?!), without any further a do, I bring you…

Mummy Tummy Part 2!

As before, Dan has designed a 15 minute workout that will really get your middle fired up. There is a circuit of 4 exercises to do. You should repeat the circuit 4 – 6 times back to back with little rest in between. And, to make it that little bit easier to follow, here are 4 high quality videos!

1. Extended Heel Taps – 10 – 12 per leg

Very similar to the original heel taps, only this extension challenges your core more, so it’s a nice step up. Remember to focus on keeping your back pressed into the floor.

2. Plank with Rotation – 10 per side

3. Side Lunge Slide – 15 – 20 per side

You’ll need some very high tech equipment for this one…a muslin square.

4. Jumping Squats – 20

Dan says…

For a longer workout (45-60 minutes) start with a 5 minute warm up and then you can combine workout 1 with this workout. The circuits should be done 4 times around with little rest in between and a short break at the end. This keeps the heart rate high. You could also increase the number of times you do the circuits. 4, 5 or 6 times around is good as you improve. 
Following that if you have time left, do 10 minutes of hiit training at the end. It’s all about keeping the heart rate elevated to burn the calories whilst Toning and getting fitter. 


So there you have it! Be gone Mummy Tummy.

Thank you Dan. (I think!) I did this workout yesterday and I can confirm it’s a toughy! Let me know how you get on.


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