Food and Drink

Any one for Ping Pong?!

Social Night At SMASH
- Tickets Now Available!

Tickets are now available for our night of Ping Pong, Pizza and prosecco!

Join the HA fitness team for what promises to be a really, really fun night out at the SMASH bar in Wimbledon.

We're looking forward to seeing all of our clients from Fit In The Park, Buggyfit and our personal training sessions there.

  • When: From 8pm on Thursday 8th February
  • Where: SMASH Wimbledon, 82 The Broadway
  • How much: £15 per person which includes a drink, pizza and ping pong!

Book your tickets now. We can't wait to see you all there!

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Posted by Heather Waghorn.

Our Top 5 Tips To Beat The Christmas Bulge!

Over the next few weeks, journalists will thoughtfully inform us about the amount of weight the average person should expect to put on in December.

Don't be one of those statistics! Scroll down for our top 5 tips on beating the Christmas bulge, sign-up for our Mince Pie Burn-Offs and get your name down on our January HIIT BootCamp!

1) Make Those Treats Worthwhile

You actually don’t have to drink a gingerbread latte topped with freshly whipped cream, gold stars and a gingerbread man, every time you pass a coffee shop.

But if you do fancy one of those festive coffees, then go for it. Pick a time when you can sit down and really enjoy every last one of those syrupy, creamy mouthfuls. It's a complete waste of indulgence if you just grab one and go though. Have it once for an indulgent treat, and make sure you allow time to truly appreciate it.

2) Pass-On The Indulgent Love (tactfully)

People always feel obliged to bring chocolates and treats whenever they visit friends and family at this time of year. However, when these treats land on your kitchen table, don't feel obliged to consume all of them. Discreetly re-gift, or feel virtuous by donating them to a food bank or soup kitchen. Basically, your goal is to remove them from your house before you get chance to rip open the cellophane wrapper.

3) Don't Give Up

Parties, broken routines, travel and stress means that most of us are less active and eat more during December. It's OK to accept that this might happen. But try to avoid going down the “I’ve blown my diet, I may as well keep going” route. Make some healthy choices, fit in some exercise and you'll feel much better for it.

4) The Shops Are Only Closed For One Day!

Avoid stockpiling crisps, nuts and snacks for that just-in-case-someone-pops-around moment. Especially if there's a good chance you might polish them off yourself because "it’ll be a shame to waste them". Buy the things you’ll need and remember that visitors rarely come empty-handed (see Top Tip Number 2).

5) Don’t Passively Load Up On Extra Calories

Here are a few simple festive swaps you can make:

- Buy or make open top mince tarts as these can have around 50 calories less than mince pies with lids on.
- Choose satsumas to graze on rather than nuts. If you can't resist the nuts, buy ones with shells on, you'll eat a lot less of them.
- Avoid drinking creamy cocktails, Baileys and sweetened mulled wine. Stick to the fizz or wine.

Good luck and don’t forget to sign-up to our Mince Pie Burn-Offs and January HIIT BootCamp!

Heather and the HA fitness team x
 

Posted by Heather Waghorn.

Little Black Dress Challenge!

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Following on from the success of our previous challenges, we've teamed up with local nutrition expert, Marcelle Dubruel, to bring you another great healthy eating & exercise plan, just in time for the Little Black Dress season!

How Does It Work?

Once you've signed up, you'll be invited to join our LBD Closed Facebook Group on the 27th October, where you'll meet your fellow participants. You'll then be able to download your healthy eating plan and get ready to start. Your LBD Challenge runs from the 1st to 30th November.

Over the weeks, within this private group, you'll share your journey, motivating and inspiring each other along the way.

What's Included?

  • A wide range of healthy, balanced, easy to prepare and no-hunger recipes
  • Weekly workouts from the HA fitness team
  • Nutrition and exercise support, answering any questions you may have
  • Membership of our closed Facebook group
  • Daily motivation, inspiration and guidance, helping you to make healthy eating fit around your lifestyle
  • Party survival tips, including what to eat and drink whilst also having fun
  • Bonus Treat Friday - there's cake!

How Much Does It Cost?

  • It's just £65 for the Challenge, and you get to keep all of the recipes.
     
  • Sign-up with a challenge buddy / introduce a friend, and enjoy a discount. If you sign-up together, it's just £110 for two (you each pay £55).

How Do I Sign-Up?

Head over to our Bootcamp page to book your place, or drop us a line for more info.

And it's not just for girls! Guys are welcome to join the challenge too (Black-Tie Challenge doesn't quite have the same ring to it).

Happy Training!

Heather & The HA Team

P.S. Don't be a plump pumpkin, purchase your class passes online today!

Posted by Heather Waghorn.

The Pelvic Floor (and a little prosecco)

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Wimbledon Buggyfit (that's us), APPI (amazing physios in the Village) and Cake & Kale (highly qualified Wimbledon dietitian) are collaborating with Wimbledon & District NCT to bring you this informative evening.

This is a night of fun, wisdom and education for women of every stage:

  • What is your pelvic floor and what happens during pregnancy
  • How to train your pelvic floor and what exercises work
  • How to restore your core and what abdominal exercises you can safely do
  • The importance of exercise during pregnancy, post-natal and beyond
  • Top tips on optimum post-natal nutrition

Date and Time: Monday 2nd October 8.15pm - 9.30pm

Place: Hill Place House, 55a High Street, Wimbledon, London, SW19 5BA

Cost: £10 (includes Prosecco and nibbles!)

Book your place today!

Posted by Heather Waghorn.

BodyBlitz 30 Day Summer Challenge!

Our New BodyBlitz 30 Day Summer Challenge Starts On Monday!

Hot on the heels of our successful BodyBlitz 6 week challenge, we bring you our NEW BodyBlitz 30 Day SUMMER Challenge.

Follow our healthy eating plan and fitness routines for just 30 days and see the difference in time for the summer.

Read what some of our original BodyBlitzers have to say:

“I have really enjoyed the support and sharing on the Facebook group…… without a doubt spurred me on - I never would have done my 10k run last week so definitely feeling fitter.”

“Have just done a big shop, and the trolley is looking quite different to the way it would have 6 weeks ago!”

“Weight loss has been slow but steady for me - I would say half a stone….. And definitely more Fitness in my life”

“Lots of lovely new recipe ideas to repeat too”

“Breakfast, lunch and dinner all ticked today and tasted like gourmet cuisine”

“Just done workout. Dripping in sweat. What a killer. Great workout”.

“Am loving the new found feeling of being organised where food is concerned.”

“Thanks to all for the support and tips and yummy food pics too!”

Tempted To Join Us?

Our BodyBlitz 30 Day SUMMER Challenge runs from Monday 12th June 2017 to Tuesday 11th July 2017.

Sign-up by Friday 9th June to join our private Facebook Group where you will have access to the Summer Challenge Plan. It costs just £65.

Sign-up now or drop us a line to find out more.

P.S. Follow us on Facebook (hafitnessLtd) for our latest news, offers, photos and top tips from the team!

Posted by Heather Waghorn.

New Mum? Weaning Or About To Start?

Long-term friend & client of HA fitness, Sara Patience, has been commissioned to write a book about weaning for parents. If you're at this stage, Sara would love to have a chat to you about how you're finding it.

Sara is uniquely qualified as a Paediatric Nutritionist (registered nutritionist) & Registered Health Visitor. She specialises in well child nutrition.

Get in touch with Sara to find out more.

Posted by Heather Waghorn.

Fad Diets

As people start thinking about summer holidays, we hear lots of talk about quirky diets purporting to be the answer to our beach body dreams. Just putting the word "diet" into Amazon brings up some crazy titles such as The Overnight Diet, the Greedy Girls Diet & The Belly Fat Diet. All are high on promises, but none inspire me with confidence.

There's nothing new about fad diets. The same ideas have been remodeled & repackaged for decades & have never really worked. Fad diets are easy to spot, they tend to have one or more of the following in common:

1. Promises rapid weight loss or a quick fix. Yes, most will lead to fast weight loss, but the focus is on the short term, so you will end up putting the weight back on again.

2.  Contains a ritual (drink grapefruit juice everyday) or sacrifice (cut out carbs). Many of these things are based on dodgy science or no research at all. Cutting out certain food groups could prevent you from getting the important nutrients & vitamins that your body needs to function properly.

3. Involves a magical food or food combination. These often make far-fetched claims with little or no evidence to back them up.

4. Rigid menus or monotonous food choices.  These are impracticable to follow in the long-term and may be nutritionally unbalanced. The minute you go back to your old lifestyle, the pounds will start returning.

Lose weight the HA fitness way!

Eat less & exercise more. We put on weight when the amount of calories we eat exceeds the amount we burn off. To lose weight, you need to eat less & burn more. Get in touch if you'd like to know more about how we can make this work for you!

Posted by Heather Waghorn.

Guinness is Good For You?

Sadly not. This advertising slogan was used back in the days when companies could attach any kind of health benefit they liked to their products without being investigated.

Most people associate Guinness with a high iron content, and although draft Guinness does contain some goodness from the barley, hops and yeast, it’s unfortunately nowhere near close to significantly contributing to the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of any of your essential vitamins and minerals.

A pint of the Black Stuff contains 0.3mg of iron. The RDA of iron for men is 8.7 mg a day and for women 14.8 mg. So men, you would need to drink 29 pints and women 49 pints before you reach your daily allowance - your iron levels would probably be the least of your worries at this point. Incidentally, red wine contains more iron per 100 ml than Guinness, although still not enough to safely drink your RDA in a night!

If you’re watching your weight, there’s 210 calories in a pint (it’ll take about a 2 mile jog to burn this off), which isn’t too bad, especially as you’ll burn off a few standing at the bar waiting the 119.5 seconds it takes to pour the perfect pint!

I hope you enjoy sharing these myth-busting pearls of wisdom in the pub tonight.

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

Heather


Posted by Heather Waghorn.

Celebrating Spring Onions!

Although available all year-round in supermarkets, spring onions are now just about coming into season and are at their peak in taste and flavour…well they didn’t get that name for nothing!

They’re basically a normal onion picked early, before the bulb has had a chance to swell up, and they belong to the same family as garlic, leeks, shallots and chives.

Spring Onions are Good for You Because…

They contain no fat, no cholesterol, and are low in calories and salt. They’re also packed full of good stuff including vitamins A and C, iron, calcium and fibre.

Research has shown that eating onions may help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and prevent the formation of blood clots. They’re also thought to protect against cancer and heart disease.

There’s More to Them Than Crispy Duck Pancakes!

Despite being small and immature, spring onions can still pack a punch! They’re ideal for quickly injecting a burst of flavour and a dash of colour into your food.

Raw spring onions are great for adding an earthy kick to salads, sandwich fillings and salsas. The greens are also a tasty alternative to chives, and can be tossed into scrabbled eggs, cottage cheese, omelets and dips.

When cooked, they can bring a subtle hint of onion flavour into a wide range of dishes, especially stir-fries and soups. They’re also delicious partnered up with ginger in Thai, Chinese and Japanese-style meals.

Handle Your Onions With Care!

Look for a bunch that’s got bright green and perky leaves. The bulbs should be hard, crisp and unblemished. Steer clear of any specimens that are slimy, wilting or limp!

Posted by Heather Waghorn.

What is the difference between Clementines and Satsumas?

Citrus Celebration - The Ultimate Guilt Free Snacks with Health Benefits

For me, the deliciously tangy aroma of a Clementine or Satsuma being peeled and eaten goes hand-in-hand with the festive season. At this time of year, there are so many pleasurably calorific foods and drinks around, and these sweet fruits, which come in their own convenient and natural packaging, are one of the few Christmassy things that can be enjoyed guilt-free.

Clementines and Satsumas are in season just when we need them. They’re loaded with vitamin C, so can help prevent colds and flu at a time when our bodies have to battle hard to ward off infections. They’re also a bright and sunny addition to the fruit bowl on dull, grey winter days (and you may find a few jumbled up with nuts and chocolate coins at the bottom of your Christmas stocking…but only if you’ve been good!)

But Is There Any Difference Between Them?

Lets first talk about mandarins and tangerines. Mandarin is the collective name for all small orangey-type fruit (but not the bigger oranges). Tangerines are a variety of Mandarin, and usually have seeds in them.

Clementines and Satsumas are similar to tangerines, but are cultivated to be seedless (although you’ll occasionally find seeds in them due to uninvited bees getting in on the breeding process) and are usually sweeter.

Clementines are traditionally from North Africa, whereas Satsumas originate from Japan. It’s not easy to tell the difference between the two, although the Clementines are meant to have a slightly tighter skin.

To make things even more confusing, different countries use different terms for defining the fruit. And shops have been known to mis-label the various varieties, so you may believe you’re eating a Satsuma, when actually it’s a Clementine!

The Weighty Ones are More Juicy!

As with most fruits, choose carefully and go for the ones that look shiny and healthy, without any bruising or discoloured skin. If you can, try and feel how heavy the fruit are. If they feel light, they’re likely to be disappointingly dry and juiceless.

Posted by Heather Waghorn.

Crunch Your Way Through Some Apples & Pears

Summer berries and salads may no longer be in season, but that’s no reason to cut back on your 5-a-day fruit and veg portions.

British apples and pears are delicious and definitely worth hunting down at the moment. Food that has been grown locally always tastes better, and you can feel virtuous for supporting British growers and reducing your food miles! Choose organic for the best taste-bud experience.

Both apples and pears have a stronger flavour if you eat them at room temperature, although storing them in the fridge will keep them fresh for longer.

Apples and pears are both low calorie and low GI, so make good weight-loss snacks. Nutritionally, they’re much better if you eat them raw with their skins on. 

Nice Pear!

One chin-dribbling, juicy pear will provide you with zinc, vitamins C and E, some B vitamins and lots of dietary fibre.

Pears are great on their own and are also really tasty in salads. Try combining the sweetness of pears with slightly bitter salad leaves such as radicchio, rocket and watercress.

For a special treat (that'll make your diet go a bit pear-shaped!) try poaching them in red wine, or drizzling baked pears with chocolate!

An Apple a Day…

Crunchy apples are full of lots of good stuff. They’re a great source of nutrients, such as potassium, calcium, vitamin C and dietary fibre.

Apples are a great snack when eaten raw, sliced up with yogurt or grated on muesli. They can also be made into a healthy sauce when pureed and served with meats such as pork.

Of course they can always be made into yummy, diet-demolishing crumbles, pies and strudels!

Did you know...

Conference pears are named after an international pear conference, where the variety won first prize in 1885.

All Bramley apples are descended from a tree that is still growing in Southwell, Nottinghamshire.

Posted by Heather Waghorn.

Fats: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly…

Most people are familiar with the terms trans, saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat. But how do they differ, and what do they do?

The first thing to understand is that fats are classified by their "saturation". This means the amount of hydrogen atoms attached to the fat molecules.

The Loveable Rogue: Saturated Fat

Saturated fats are completely "saturated". In other words, each fat molecule is completely covered in hydrogen atoms.

Saturated fats remain solid at room temperature. They’re found in meat and dairy products, cooking fats and hard margarines. They're typically to blame for the high calorific value of most cakes, biscuits, chocolates and puddings!

Unfortunately, these are also the fats that raise blood cholesterol levels, promote hardening of the arteries, and contribute to blood clots, heart attacks and strokes.

Your Oily Ally: Polyunsaturated Fat

These fats are typically liquid at room temperature and are not "saturated" with hydrogen atoms.

Polyunsaturated fat may help prevent heart disease by lowering blood cholesterol levels, and could reduce the symptoms of joint problems and certain skin diseases. They include the healthy heart and brainfood fat, omega-3, which is found in oily fish salmon, mackerel, sardines and fresh (not canned) tuna.

Your Mediterranean Mate: Monounsaturated Fat

Found in vegetable oils that remain liquid at room temperature, monounsaturated fats are also not "saturated" with hydrogen atoms.

Monounsaturated fats are found in olives, olive oil, groundnut oil, nuts, and avocados. The so-called "Mediterranean diet" is rich in monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturates, have been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels and therefore help in reducing the risk of heart disease.

The Frankenstein Fat: Trans Fat

Trans fats are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid. They're found in processed, fried (especially doughnuts) and baked goods (including partries and biscuits).

They've been popular in the past because they're cheap, easy to use and last a long time. However, recent research has shown that trans fats raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels, lower your good (HDL) cholesterol levels, and increase your risk of developing heart disease.

How Much is Too Much?

All fats are equally high in calories and should be eaten in moderation. A good place to start is to look at the labels on the back of foods.

  • High fat is considered anything more than 20g fat per 100g
  • Low fat is 3g fat or less per 100g.
  • High levels of saturated fat is more than 5g saturates per 100g
  • Low levels of saturated fat is 1.5g saturates or less per 100g

Trans fats don't need to be labelled separately under European law. However, hydrogenated vegetable oil must be listed, and this may contain trans fats.

Don’t be Fooled by “Low-Fat” Labels

Don't always assume that 'low fat' on a label means that it's a healthy choice.

All the 'low-fat" really means is that the food is 25% lower in fat than the standard equivalent. If the food is high in fat in the first place, then the low-fat version may still be high in fat!

Posted by Heather Waghorn.