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Wednesday, 25 May 2016

TRIED AND TESTED: NANDO'S SUMMER MENU

Take a moment to imagine my face when one of my fellow Hull Bloggers asked me if I wanted to go and try out the new Summer menu at Nandos last week.. Then imagine my face when this was brought over to our table.. 


The night started off by being introduced to the new Summer spritzers which are a similar idea to Sangria but much lighter. There's a choice of white, red and rose and are all under £10, finished off with tonnes of fresh fruit. With only 250ml of wine per jug, you're still safe to drive afterwards as well, winner winner! This was swiftly followed by the new sharing platters that are served on Nando's own handmade ceramic plates which where gorgeous! Myself and one of the other girls shared this platter to ourselves. Perfectly cooked chicken as always, sweet potato wedges, mixed grilled vegetables, and a lighter take on their original coleslaw, finished off with a side of multi grains. I didn't think for a moment I would have enjoyed the multi grains but they where to die for! A perfect mix of wheat berry, freekah, red quinoa, edamame beans, cannelloni beans, the list goes on. If you try one thing this season you have to try these. They come in regular, large and Nandino portions.

If that wasn't enough, we then indulged on the salted caramel and peri-peri brownies. They're the perfect size and come with vanilla gelado for an extra £1.50, making the perfect combination. Good food, and great company - what else can I ask for?

A huge thank you to Callum from Nando's for organising the event for us - it's safe to say we will all be back soon. Keep an eye out on my YouTube channel for some footage of the evening!



*This post was in collaboration with Nandos for their Summer menu launch paid for via meal expenses, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Wednesday, 18 May 2016

MY FAVE WORKOUTS FOR: GLUTES

After my first favourite workout post went down so well, it's only right to follow it up with everyone's love/hate leg day exercises to get those defined legs and toned booty. Now the days I train glutes are usually on leg day, but I'm going to keep those posts separate or I'll be here forever. So, unless you were born with the body of Megan Fox, we all know that without working out one part of your body you can't neglect the area next to it. For example, there's no point in working on your arms unless you're going to train shoulders too.. Get me?

Let me stop rambling and get to the main reason your here, the actual workouts.. Well for a start you're going to need some pretty sturdy trainers, and yes you're going to have to do some actual weights - those peachy bum cheeks won't tone themselves. I usually hit the gym and start with 20 minutes of cardio on the treadmill just to get the blood flowing and to shed some calories, this is followed by one of my top exercised and that's the leg press. Find yourself a comfortable weight and vary between a wide and narrow stance, for 12 reps upping the weight after each set - the heavier you go the more of a burn you'll feel but it's so worth it!

This is normally followed by some sort of squat, be it on the Smith machine or just with free weights - push yourself and go for 4 reps of 12. You'll be quivering afterwards but it doesn't stop just yet.. Now this is by far the most effective move that I've found to really target the upper glutes, you know - the one that means you struggle to sit down the next day? HIP THRUSTS. Rest your back and shoulders on a bench, with your feet and bum on the floor, grab a weighted plate (I usually go for 10kg) and lift yourself using only your glutes and squeeze at the top for the ultimate burn. These start off relatively easy but are the most difficult of all when you get round to the last set.


Aaannd finally, the one that will get the weirdos staring and your hamstrings and booty burning - cable pull throughs. This is so much easier to explain if you just search for it on YouTube but it basically requires you to straddle the cable pull on a multi weights machine and pull it through your legs at a super heavy weight. Then repeat the whole circuit all over again!

I'd love to hear your thoughts on these moves, especially if you try them and how you get on! Be sure to check out my YouTube channel subscribe if you're feeling nice - go on.. It's free!


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Thursday, 5 May 2016

MY TOP 3 ACTIVE WEAR BRANDS

After running a poll on Twitter, all the thirsty followers voted that this should be the first of three posts to go live.. If you're not following me on Twitter you're clearly missing out on life changing decisions..

Since I've been on my fitness journey since January of this year, it's safe to say that I've tried and tested sooo many fitness brands in order to find the best kind of clothing for my workouts. It all started with the post I did with Matalan and their Souluxe range back in February (see the full post hereand if I'm honest that's what started with a fully fledged obsession. I find it easier to put together awesome outfits for the gym than I do for every day life! (I wish I was joking...)



Now I'll start by saying that you can really spend as much or as little as you want when it comes to active wear. For instance, the grey trainers in the first image are from Aldi and they cost less than £12 and are incredible - yet on the other hand, comes one of my first top brands as one of my favourite pair of leggings are from Fityque with a RRP of £42.99. Now thanks to the fantastic team at Fityque, they sent me a pair to try out and I'm not even joking when I say that they're worth every penny if you're looking to invest in some high quality leggings.

Next up is sports bras. Lets be brutally honest here girls, if you're doing any form of exercise, be it cardio or weights; you need to keep those bad boys in place. I'm not at all busty nor will I ever be, but I made the mistake many years ago of not wearing a sports bra to the gym and I felt like my boobs were about to fall off my chest. I love Primark for their sports bras, they're super cute and affordable and have recently released a tonne of new designs which I can't wait to get my hands on!

Finally comes these killer leggings from My Protein. The holy grail of all active wear, protein, supplements - you name it, they got it. Now in terms of price it probably comes in the middle between Primark and Fityque - but they have some incredible designs and the quality is unbelievable. Each time pay day rolls around I have to refrain from making another order before my sports wardrobe takes over my everyday wardrobe. Check out what they have to offer here and let me know if you've tried any of their pieces so far!

I'd love to hear from you guys in the comments what your favourite active wear brands are, because lets be fair - I enjoy any excuse to buy new gym clothes. Be sure to check out my YouTube channel as well and subscribe if you're new!







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Sunday, 10 April 2016

MY FAVE WORKOUTS FOR: ABS

So I asked you guys on Twitter if there was anything in particular you wanted to see in terms of fitness related posts and one of you suggested my favourite/best workouts for abs! Now by no means am I a professional in this kind of thing but since my last fitness progression post went down so well, I'm going to let you in on a few of my current faves! Most of these exercises can be completed at home, but I've popped a little asterix next to the ones that you'll need equipment for - and I've added a few videos along the way due to my not so great describing skills.


Now you're going to want to grab yourself a well fitting pair of leggings. I usually go for my Fityque Black leggings to ensure everything stays in one place, especially if my top rides up - however for the first exercises you shouldn't have to worry too much. Abs to be - meet Leg Raises.. This workout is perfect for at home and a lot harder than they look! Be sure to keep your abs tight and your heels together, as you raise both legs from the a 90 degree angle to around 6 inches above the floor. For an extra challenge, raise the legs to a 45 degree angle and back down to the 6 inches to feel that deep burn!

Next up is one of my absolute favourites and that's Russian Twists. This was one of the first abs exercises I started doing when I re-joined the gym and it's the one I usually burnout with at the end of a workout. You will need a kettle bell of your choice - I usually go for a 6-8kg kettle bell and a mat to rest your booty on. Simply rock back onto the top of your bum, cross your ankles in the air and twist from side to side using the kettle bell. I aim for 4 reps of 12 or with a lighter weight until failure.

Obliques Side Raises.. Prepare to feel the burn!! These by far give me the biggest burn the next day and no joke I have these to thanks for melting away my muffin top and giving my more defined obliques recently. I grab a 15kg weighted plate and slide my arm down the side of my thigh (stood up of course) and pull myself back up slowly, using only the strength of my abs. 4 reps of 12 and I'm usually dead and making embarrassing noises!

And finally, the last workout I'm going to share with you is Weighted Incline Sit Ups, with a twist. Now regular sit ups have never been a thing for me. I find them super boring to do, and never saw any results from them so that idea went in the bin - that was until I saw someone doing Weighted Incline Sit ups and it basically is what it says on the tin. Grab yourself an incline bench, a weighted plate (I usually go for 10-15kg) and, slowly but with a super tight core - bring yourself up the bench like a regular sit up, and when you reach the top be sure to turn from left to right once on each side and lower yourself back down. Repeat until failure.. Or tears, whichever comes first. Now trust me, I did these on Friday morning and it's not Sunday evening and I'm still sore. Come on abs I can feel you under there!

Let me know what your favourite exercises are, and I'd love to hear which favourite workout post is that you'd like to see next! Be sure to check out my YouTube channel and Instagram, as I'm on holiday next week so will be posting like crazy.



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Tuesday, 29 March 2016

MY FITNESS JOURNEY SO FAR.. PART 1

So last week, marked 12 weeks into my fitness journey. Most people say that after 12 weeks is when your body is used to the changes you have made and you will notice the most fair results, rather than dropping a few pounds in the first weeks after changing your diet. Now, I didn't think I'd ever be the kind of person that fell in love with the gym, working out and eating healthy but it happened! Once you start seeing the results you aimed for, I found its became a hobby rather than a chore - so I'm sharing with you my journey in the 12 weeks so far and a few things I've done to achieve my results. By no means am I fitness professional or a dietitian so please don't take anything I'm saying too seriously, and of course if you want better results please see a personal trainer or your doctor!


So, week one was a lot easier than I expected - the motivation was there and everything felt fresh and new and I was determined to work my ass off to get to where I wanted to be. After years of hating my body and not doing anything about it, the drive to change is what really started. I was at the gym maybe twice a week, doing a bit of cardio and a few leg presses - nothing substantial but it helped! I said goodbye to bread and crisps and continued eating as I had been doing.

The next couple of weeks didn't see much change so after reading that weight loss was 80% diet and 20% exercise - I cut out the chocolate... And Lord help me this was the hardest thing ever. The cravings hit so bad and I felt lethargic and had zero energy at the gym or at work. I learned the hard way that going cold turkey on sugars was not the right idea. Trial and error is the best way to learn what your body does and doesn't need so I let myself have a bit of chocolate here and there and it no longer does me any harm.

After a couple of months I really noticed I had plateaued - my figure wasn't changing and that's because neither was I. My workouts remained the same and so did my diet - time to switch things up again!... I hit the weights harder with lower reps, made sure I was getting in 10-15 minutes of cardio each time I went to the gym and I upped my protein game. I picked myself up a tonne (not literally) of whey protein, some protein bars to snack on and kill my chocolate cravings and the only thing I've been drinking is water and soya milk. Goodbyyyeee muffin top! My main problem areas started melting away, I had more energy and I felt fantastic still being able to treat myself every now and then to a burger or fries. My regular diet has been totally stripped down, limiting myself to chicken, steak, veggies and rice.. It sounds boring but throw in some spices or homemade sauces and it's really not that boring!

I'm now at around week 13 and I'm training 4-5 times a week, I take pre-workout from Monster Supplements whenever I'm hitting up leg day just to give me that extra boost and I'm also doing Blogilates Extreme Abs workout whenever I fancy a bit more of a challenge at home.

I've added my 12 week before and after pictures and hopefully in another 12 weeks I will be feeling leaner and healthier and I'll update you guys again!



Let me know in the comments if you'd like to see a part 2 of my fitness journey including workouts, the best brands to buy from and more tips! 



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