Quickie Workout #60

Sunday, June 30, 2013

For today's workout, you will need either tins of soup, bottles of water or light weights.  Remember to go for QUALITY over quantity. If you are unclear what the exercise is I am describing, please look for a video or arrange for an in-person tutorial with me.

Please consult your doctor before engaging on any fitness regime.


Don't forget to breathe! Please email me if you want tips on how to make the quickies easier or more challenging (mollie@ptmollie.com)

Warm  up- 1 min mountain climbers, 1 min burpees (modify with incline press up on a bench if necessary), 1 min star jumps
1 min- Hip raises with right leg in air          
1 min- Hip raises with left leg in air
1 min- Toe touches                               
1 min- Forearm plank (make more challenging by stepping feet out, out, then in, in)               
1 min- Press ups (down for 3 beats, up for 1)      
1 min- Reverse lunge (in standing position, step one foot behind you for a lunge. Return foot to start. Repeat on other leg)                                    
1 min- Star jumps or burpees                                       
1 min- Reverse lunge (in standing position, step one foot behind you for a lunge. Return foot to start. Repeat on other leg)                   
1 min-  Prisoner squats (Place hands on ears. Squat down and then jump up)                               
30 sec- Small arm circles forward (Hold bottle of water in each hand to make more difficult)  
30 sec- Small arm circles backward (Hold bottle of water in each hand to make more difficult)         1 min- Bicycle abdominal exercise (Keep elbows wide and twist slowly to feel on your sides)          1 min- Windshield wipers (Lay on back with feet up in air. Drop one leg to the side as low as you can while you keep hips on the ground. Lift foot back up to start.  Repeat on other leg)

Weekend Challenge

Friday, June 28, 2013

This might seem a little strange but I challenge you to watch professional sports this weekend.  Here in my home, we can Wimbledon and Tour de France on, as well as British & Irish Lions rugby games.  Take one hour to tune in and see how these athletes compete, how they move, how they treat their opponents and teammates.  If you play the same sport, look at the form of those you idolize.  If you don't play the same sport, maybe this will inspire you to try something new.

Let me know how this one goes.  What did you tune in to watch? What did you learn?

If you are inspired by Wimbledon, check out my 3 tennis shops on Top Floor.

Product Review: Bonk Breakers

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Energy bars and other snacks you eat on the go (gels, beans, drinks) affect people differently.  That is why the rule 'nothing new on race day' is so important.  As you are training, you should be trying out different products to figure out which flavor and form works for you.




The good folks at Bonk Breakers sent me a sweet pack of their bars to try.  As the official energy bar of the Ironman Triathlon Series, I knew this stuff must work for the elite athletes (and therefore hopefully me!). The flavors they sent were fig, peanut butter & jelly, apple pie, peanut butter chocolate chip, almond butter & honey, and peanut butter & jelly high protein.  The bars are about the size of a deck of cards and can easily fit into a bum bag, pocket, or cycling jersey.

I shared these with a friend who does long distance cycling as I used them for mid-day snacks and post-workout fuel.  We all agreed that all the flavors were good.  I was nervous about the peanut butter bars as sometime it can be too dense and overwhelming.  Bonk Breakers has the perfect blend in their bars.  The apple pie was another flavor I was apprehensive about as sometimes sweet energy bars as too sugary.  But again, Bonk Breakers proved me wrong with a satisfying snack.  I even liked fig!

As reported by my friend, Fraser, the bars were easy to eat on the bike and gave him energy for a 3-4 hour bike ride.  He also gave thumbs up on all the flavors.

I found them very satisfying as a snack, as well as a good source of recovery protein after teaching a class or going for a run.

Bonk Breakers now come in 'bites' too to make snacking on the go even easier.  I haven't seen them very much in the UK but start asking your local sports shop for them and hopefully we can bring them across the pond.  If you are in the US, Canada, or Australia bring a suitcase and stock up.  I think I will when I go home in August to get me through my fall races.  :)

Bonk Breakers did not pay me for this review. All opinions are honest and my own (as well as Fraser's). If you have a product you would like me to review, please contact me mollie@ptmollie.com.

Periodization with yoga and cycling

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

My training schedule has been kicked up a notch.  With one client off and married (congrats Alex!) I have a little more free time.  My husband would say I should sleep in, but I took the opportunity to give L!fe Shoreditch a try with a 20 day pass.  Three morning a week, I took part in different yoga and Pilates classes. (I highly recommend Flow Tuesday mornings at 7.15am. The instructor is amazing) This has been a nice change from running and the random strength training session.  I feel it is very complimentary as I am stretching and toning without too much jarring on my old joints.  You should try to add some periodization into your training schedule so your body has a rest and faces new challenges.

With a 60 miles cycling sportive on Sunday (AGH!), I am also trying to get back in the saddle. We finally put my clips on my road bike, which has resulted in a few adrenaline rushes when I fall off my bike at red lights.  I also fell off and hit a curb on a hill climb when my derailleur snapped off  (and hence my chain, then me).  So the training has up its ups and downs literally.

I have also taken my new dedication to cycling as a way to inspire other women to ride their bikes too.  The Breeze Network is a lottery-funded movement to close the gap on the ratio of men vs women on the road.  The are listed events on the site so find a ride near you today!

The extra free time has also meant I have been cooking a little more (read: veggie lentil soup).  Last night I finally made it into the pool for a 30 min lap session only to realize my new goggles don't fit my face at all.  Good thing Decathlon is right around the corner.

Here is my upcoming race schedule (remember this is all in support of Rod's Racing)

30 June Financial Time Sportive (60 mile bike)
21 July National Lottery Run (5 mile run ending in Olympic Stadium)
27 July London Sprint Triathlon (800m open water swim, 20K bike, 5K run)
4 August Prudential Ride London (100 mile bike run, equivalent to a marathon)
8 September Run to the Beat (1/2 marathon)
15 September London Duathlon (10K run, 40K bike, 5k run)

How do you cross train?  Are you trying any new disciplines this summer? Wanna join me on a bike ride? :)

Quickie Workout #59

Sunday, June 23, 2013

For today's workout, you will need either tins of soup, bottles of water or light weights.  Remember to go for QUALITY over quantity. If you are unclear what the exercise is I am describing, please look for a video or arrange for an in-person tutorial with me.

Please consult your doctor before engaging on any fitness regime.

Don't forget to breathe! Please email me if you want tips on how to make the quickies easier or more challenging (mollie@ptmollie.com)

Warm  up- 1 min walk up and down stairs, 1 min star jumps, 1 min walk up and down stairs
1 min- Pilates trunk rotations- Keep gaze and hips facing forward. Extend arms in front of chest. Keep arms straight and move them from right to left, while thinking of the ribs sliding back and forth.                    
1 min- Teapot left side- Place right hand on right hip. In left hand hold a bottle of weight or light weights.  Gently lower left arm towards knee while keeping body in a straight plane (do not lean back or forward).  Return to standing position.  
1 min- Teapot right side                                  
1 min- Wrist curls- Sit Indian-style/cross legged. Rest forearms on knees.  Have a light weight or tin of soup in each hand.  With palms facing up, let hands hang down.  Then bend wrists up.                          
1 min- Reverse wrist curls- Sit Indian-style/cross legged. Rest forearms on knees.  Have a light weight or tin of soup in each hand.  With palms facing down, let hands hang down.  Bend wrists up.                      
1 min- Supermans                                           
1 min- Leg lifts                                            
1 min- Mountain climber with knee to opposite elbow-  Place hands and feet on ground with hips raised in the air (very similar to Downward Dog).  Bring opposite knee to opposite elbow as you move forward so shoulders are over hands.  Return to starting position.                      
1 min- Press ups                                     
1 min- Deadlift-  Hold tins or weights in your hands.  Bend over and let arms hang.  Stand up simply by bringing hips forward.  You should squeeze bum on the way up.  Your pivot point is your hips.                                
1 min- Squat                        
1 min- Lunges                      

Quickie Workout #58

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Remember to go for QUALITY over quantity. If you are unclear what the exercise is I am describing, please look for a video or arrange for an in-person tutorial with me.

Please consult your doctor before engaging on any fitness regime.


Don't forget to breathe! Please email me if you want tips on how to make the quickies easier or more challenging (mollie@ptmollie.com)



Warm up- ~3 min jog/run until you start to sweat a little
1 min each leg- 1 legged squat (sit back as if you have twisted your ankle and are sitting into a seat)                     
1 min- Push/press ups against wall or sturdy counter top         
1 min- Stand in door frame and push hands out to side trying to make a letter T
1 min- Prisoner squats- stand with fingertips on ears. Squat down and jump up as high as you can, keeping hands on ears.             
1 min-  Triceps dips on sturdy (non-rolling!) chair or bench. To make more challenging, extend one leg for each dip.  Alternate legs.  Only use arms to push yourself up and down.                
1 min- Pretend to hit speed bag just above your head while hopping back and forth on both feet.  Get that heart rate up!
1 min each leg- Golf ball swings - Stand on 2 feet.  Try to touch floor or pick up a ball by standing on one foot and bringing other leg up behind you. (Imagine you are picking a golf ball out of a hole)     
1 min- Lateral raise- bring arms up to shoulder height then return to sides.  To make more challenging, hold a tin of soup or a bottle of water in each hand.

Weekend Challenge

Friday, June 14, 2013

Tomorrow I am taking part in the Breeze Network's movement to get more women rides bikes for fun.  They are holding a 1 day training in conjunction with British Cycling to become a Breeze
Champion.  Part of this commitment means I need to lead 12 bike rides a year for women in my local community.  Keep checking back here and on my Twitter feed (@PTMollie) for a schedule of when and where the rides will be.

But don't wait for me!  No matter if you are a man or woman, I challenge you to get out on your bike this weekend! Hopefully it will be sunny (or at least dry) in London.  'Boris Bikes' are a great option if you don't have a bike of your own.  Or many bike shops have rental programs.  Invite your neighbors for a ride to the park and have a little picnic too.  Be sure to wear a helmet and have lights for riding at dusk and during the night.

If you want to learn how to ride a bike (it is never too late!) click here for a list of courses in the UK.

My race schedule is now more focused on cycling.  I have a 60 mile Sportive in 2 weeks and then the 100 mile ride 4 August.  Finally, I am signed up for the London Duathlon in autumn (Classic distance).  If you would like to support me and the orphans with Down Syndrome I am fundraising for, please visit my page on the Rod's Racing website.

Alara Gluten Free Muesli

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

With the bags full of goodies I collected at the Allergy and Free From Show (next one is in October in Liverpool!), my office mate (Laura) kindly offered to help out.  Here is her review of one of Alara's Gluten Free Muesli products.  Thank you Laura!


Alara are a company that make organic cereals that are gluten free and also free from any added sugar or salt. The cereal that I tried was the 'into the garden organic goji berry and cranberry muesli'. I decided to try it with some natural yogurt as i personal prefer this to milk.

On first taste I did find the cereal a little bland but then I remembered that it has no added salt or sugar in it so compared to the cereals I'm used to this didn't surprise me! I really like the fact that there is no added salt or sugar because it means I can be more in control of how much sugar I am consuming.

I added a small amount of honey to my muesli and found it very delicious! Reading the ingredients list this cereal is packed full of super healthy ingredients, such as raw buckwheat and quinoa and was also very filling. I couple of my friends have been on the look out for some tasty gluten free cereals so I will definitely be recommending this too them. I will definitely look out for this cereal in the future!

Ingredients as listed on website
Soya Flakes (21%), Sultanas (19%), Rice Flakes (13%), Buckwheat Raw (11%), Linseeds (11%), Sunflower Seeds (11%), Quinoa Puffed (6%), Goji berries (4%), Pumpkin Seeds (2.5%), Cranberries (1.5%)
100% organically grown ingredients
Our goji berries were recently certified as organic!


Alara did not pay Laura or I for this review. All opinions are honest and her own. If you have a product you would like me to review, please contact me mollie@ptmollie.com.

Quickie Workout #57

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Remember to go for QUALITY over quantity. If you are unclear what the exercise is I am describing, please look for a video or arrange for an in-person tutorial with me.

Please consult your doctor before engaging on any fitness regime.


Don't forget to breathe! Please email me if you want tips on how to make the quickies easier or more challenging (mollie@ptmollie.com)



Warm up- 1 min squats, 1 min jog, 1 min squats
1 min- Mountain climbers                
1 min- Plank on elbows or palms            
1 min- Push/press ups           
1 min- Reverse curls- lift hips off ground
1 min- Scissor kicks- flutter legs 90 degrees while keeping arms in the air
1 min- Back hyperextensions on the ground             
1 min- Plank                  
1 min- Mountain climbers   
1 min- Crap tricep dips          
1 min- Boat pose
   

Allergy & Free From Show 2013- Food Highlights

Saturday, June 8, 2013

For the second year in a row, I have visited the Allergy and Free From Show at Olympia in London.  This is the best place to learn about new products that those with skin allergies (like me), environmental allergies, and/or food allergies and intolerances.  It has grown in size from last year, with the added Veggie Good Food show in the same space which added a veggie flair.  I was lucky enough to chat with a few Exhibitors and have product reviews lined up.  For a complete list of exhibitors click here.  I will divide the posts into food and lifestyle (skin care, health products).

If you'd like to go to the Allergy and Free From Show this weekend, click here for free tickets.

Ms. Cupcake I met when I first arrived in London at teh Greenwich Market.  She has moved on to bigger and better things in Brixton with a lovely shop.  Her cakes are vegan and delicious!  She even has a book out for you to give it a go at home.

I was so excited to see Amy's Kitchen come over the USA at the show. Their 'No Chicken Noodle Soup' is one of my favorite tinned soups back home.  Unfortunately, they don't stock that flavor  in the UK yet.  I sampled the Hearty French Country Vegetable Soup which was yummy and perfect for a autumnal day.  They have many other products besides soup which are equally delicious.

If you suffer from IBS, there are 2 products I discovered that might help your symptoms.  The first is Symprove. It is a pro-biotic that has been tested in a clinical trial and reduced the symptoms in nearly 30% of the study participants.  A full course is 3 months long.

The other product is D'Mix by Conscious Food. This is a blend of 8 herbs and spices which you eat after each meal.  One teaspoon chewed 40 times helps balance and smooth the digestive system.  I picked up a pack of this for one of my clients who has IBS.  Hopefully will find it useful.

Sim Smith founded Knead Bakery because she has multiple allergies and intolerances, including gluten, wheat, yeast and sugar.  (Imagine trying to eat out with those limitations!)  Their Fresh Seeded Bread tastes more like an artisian bread with high fiber and lower fat (seriously it was yummy).  I also split a Double Indulgence Brownie with my husband.  It was pretty dense and very close to a 'normal' brownie with a strong chocolate flavor.  Sim suggests warming the brownie and serving with soy ice cream, which I will be doing next time!

It was so exciting to find the Alara stand.  I have been meaning to purchase some superfoods to add to smoothies and they had maca, goji berries, and raw cacao powder.  I also picked up gluten free muesli to enjoy at breakfast time.  They are London-based which is great too!

Food Heaven carry dairy free frozen dessert.  I tried the lemon cheesecake and so good! I think I will be buying these for my next dinner party as I am trying to cut milk out of my diet.

Frank! Snack Bars contacted me to review their bars.  It was wonderful to meet Richard and his team in person.  These snacks are 100% natural, gluten, nut & dairy free as well as high in protein.  I had already tried the Oat & Chocolate bar and Orange & Chocolate.  They had all the flavors so I took a small piece of Blueberry & Chocolate and Double Chocolate.  I would really recommend all the flavors for a post-workout treat.

Clive's Pies were at the show last year and are a wonderful alternative for a take away vegetarian snack.  Their brand has expanded to include pot curries and cakes now.  Stock up for emergencies when you don't have time to cook but want something healthy.

This is not a full list of the brands offered, but some I chatted with this year and last.  If you can't make it to the show, look for stockists on the brand websites.  Keep in mind gluten-free doesn't necessarily mean healthy.  Read the product labels and look at fat and sugar content.

Weekend Challege: Explore Dr. Duke's Database

Friday, June 7, 2013

Image courtesy of
http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20306775,00.html
For the last 11 weeks, I have been studying at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.  One of the things I love about this program is the variety of guest lecturers.  Every week we have 5-10 recordings (either audio or video) to review.  One lecture that has really stuck with me was by David Wolfe.  He did an entire lecture about superfoods, which I will go into greater detail in a later post (as I just bought a few of the ingredients today!).  He mentioned a botanical database that shares a vast amount of knowledge about the healing powers of different plants (among other info).

This weekend, I encourage you to explore Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Database.    You can search by plant or by a specific chemical.  For example, if you are a woman and want to take more iron during your menstrual cycle, you can search for plants that contain iron and then supplement your diet naturally.

Or if you are a vegetarian or vegan, check out this list of plants with protein.  Keep clicking through as each chemical then links to 'biological activities' which tells you what the chemical does (anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, sedative, sunscreen, fungicide).

Unfortunately, the database isn't full of pretty photographs so it can be a little intimidating.  Set yourself a goal of exploring for at least 15 minutes.  Let me know if you find anything interesting or surprising.  Here is a list of suggested plants to search for:

Spirulina
Aloe
Mallow
Chia
Cacao
Kale
Parsley

Quickie Workout #56 In c/o Thinking Slimmer

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Thinking Slimmer is a company I have been working with since the Advent Calendar in December.  Sandra approached me a few weeks ago about guest posting on their blog.  It is a fabulous opportunity to help people kick-start their journey to a healthier life with movement, as Thinking Slimmer modifies their outlook on eating.  Here is the original text.


Did you know that ‘strong is the new skinny’?  You are well on your way to looking great because of the Thinking Slimmer podcasts and hopefully feel inspired to do more.  Running may seem like the easiest way to get fit, but actually strength training will help whip your body into shape much faster.  The government recommends that people are physically active for 30 minutes each day.  Here is a way to get at least half of that achieved at home.

You don’t need a gym membership or fancy equipment.   Many exercises can be performed using your own body weight and things lying around the house (you won’t look at tins of soup or bottles of squash the same again).  Like all workouts, it is important to warm the body up at the start with some light cardiovascular exercise (not stretches without any other movement first).  This helps prevent injury to your muscles and joints.  A good warm up will leave you with a nice glow, indicating you are ready to get to work.

Here is a quickie workout you can do at home.  It should take about 15 minutes.  If you finish the list and feel  ready for more, start back at the beginning.  My website offers a new quickie workout every Sunday, which can be used to mix-and-match for longer sessions.   If you haven’t been active in a while, start with the basics such as the movements described below.  Soon you will be ready for new challenges!

Note how the routine alternates muscle groups but keeps you active.  Do the best you can for each minute.  If you aren’t sure what the exercise is, there are hyperlinks to explanations with photos. Please remember to check with your doctor before engaging on any fitness scheme.

Warm up- 1 minute walking in place; 20 star jumps; 2 minutes of step ups 
(http://www.ptmollie.com/2013/05/stepups.html) (you can change your lead foot if you want half way through)
1 minute of modified press ups (http://www.ptmollie.com/2013/05/howtopressup.html)
1 min right foot forward lunge (http://www.ptmollie.com/2013/05/howtolunge.html)
1 min lunge foot forward lunge with frontal raise (http://www.ptmollie.com/2013/05/howtofrontalraise.html)
2 minutes of step ups