Meal Prep For Beginners

I’m still a beginner at meal preparation.  A friend of mine is a professional at this and he has been trying to convince me to start incorporating meal prep into my life and it has taken forever and a day to get me to do it.  Thankfully I’ve started trying it out on the days the need strikes and I can confirm that there are benefits to it after all!

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Image from Pinterest

1.Time

Time works for and against you in my opinion.  You will need to actually set aside time to go shopping, get your ingredients together, prepare and store the meals.  You will also need time to clean up after yourself once you are done and writing all this has me tired already!  But fear not!  There are benefits that come with it after all; doing all this means you have more free time during the week as you will only need to reheat meals that are already prepared, serve and enjoy.  I choose to do my meal prep on random Sundays.  A good playlist, glass of wine, comfortable pair of shoes and I’m ready to get my cook on!

2. Money

Eating out is expensive especially in Harare.  A decent meal will cost you about $15 and we’re talking a juicy burger, chips and a drink.  Now just think of how much money you will save if you choose to prepare your very own home cooked meals. Let’s do the Maths shall we?

2kgs Chicken Pieces: $8, Potatoes, $1, Mazoe Orange Crush 2litres, $4, Mixed Greens $1.50

All these ingredients will cost you $14.50 and before you even start thinking you may as well eat out then.  The plus side of buying the ingredients I mentioned is that chicken and juice will probably last you a whole month especially if you stay on your own.(Saving 101).  You will also prepare the meal just the way you like it, why settle for an okay meal when you can make a fire meal?

3. Control

You know exactly what’s going into your meal from salt, oil, sugar or whatever additive you choose to use.  Chances of overeating are also at a minimum because if you are anything like me there’s something about cooking for myself that makes me lose my appetite, two spoonfuls in and I’m already full.

4. Goodbye Indecision

I’m guilty of never knowing what I want to eat.  Thanks to meal prepping most days of the week I’m set and it leaves out chances of me eating unhealthy food options.  *bonus tip* if you don’t want to end up eating junk food simply don’t keep junk food in your house it will change your entire life, trust me!

5. No Wasting Food

Meal prep comes with leftovers.  Just this past weekend I prepared sugar beans and today instead of cracking my head over what to have for breakfast I just grilled a sausage and had it with the remaining sugar beans and it tasted heavenly.  Who needs bread when you have sausage and beans?

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Image from Google

My two favourite easy to make meals or snacks are crunchy salads and and infused water.  I mainly like infused water because of the delicious looking colours more than anything if I’m honest and it makes drinking water a lot more exciting.

If you fail to plan your meals, you plan to fail at eating right. – Fitness Bae 2018

On that note you should also check out how you can plan your health and fitness journey from here.

What are your favourite easy to make meals that you make for your meal preps?

Fitness Bae®

 

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Old Mutual Harare Marathon

One of my new year goals is to run at least 3 half marathons this year.  I know, that’s pretty intense considering I only ran my first half marathon just last month.  The idea is to push my body to the limits and this will certainly do so.  I for one am disappointed with the start time because it’s very hot lately and by 6am my body doesn’t do very well with running, I’m more of a just before the sun comes out runner but I guess I’ll have to make a plan!

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All the details are on the poster.   You can enter for the Old Mutual Harare Marathon on Friday 9 February or Saturday 10 February at Old Georgians Club in Groombridge.  Payment options include cash, swipe and Ecocash.  Come prepared.

Mark your calendar and save the date, will see you on Sunday!

Update:

I’m beyond heartbroken.  I couldn’t go and register for the marathon on Saturday it was pouring all day long!  I have never felt so much pain.  Thankfully a friend managed to go and I’m really proud of her and she smashed 21K.  Well done Claire, you’re getting stronger by the day!

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Fitness Bae®

My First Half Marathon

On Sunday I ran my very first half marathon.  It was long overdue!  I had promised myself that sometime in 2017 I would make it happen and thankfully it happened just before the year ended otherwise it was going to be one goal that never materialised.  I trained for my half marathon for nearly 12 weeks then stopped at some point because I genuinely lost interest.  The thought of running a whole 21K scared me and I told myself I wasn’t built for it and that was perfectly okay.

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After running my first half marathon

However, because of the current December Challenge that team Fitness In The Park is hosting I was 5 days behind on the challenge and chose to up the amp by running a long distance; it’s a no brainer that I chose 21K to climb up the leader board.

The night before my run I dreamt that I had woken up at the time I had set my alarm and it was broad daylight.  I was annoyed and cancelled my run because I’m not the best runner when the sun is out.  I woke up to my alarm ringing and laughed out loud because this run was clearly taking over my entire life!

Soon as I got up I emptied my bladder nearly 5 times because I didn’t want to have to stop along the way for a pee break.  I also think it was the nerves kicking in because I knew that this run was going to be taxing on my entire body!

One thing happened to me during my run that I think every first half marathon runner should be wary of.  I FELT SO HUNGRY around 11K mark but I had to keep going, where was I going to get food from at 4:30am in the middle of nowhere?

Everyone has been asking me how I managed to run for 2 hours and 26 minutes none stop. I have no magic formula for this, the honest truth was that I told myself that I can slow down but I won’t stop and that ladies and gentleman is how I broke the mental barrier and smashed my first half marathon!  Oh, not forgetting the after run selfie and the NRC achievements!

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A few highlights of my run:

  • I started my run at 3:40am
  • I ran 10K #JustDoItSunday with the Nike Run Club community.
  • I ran non stop for 2 hours 26 minutes and 18 whole seconds!
  • I wasn’t listening to any music, it was just me and my thoughts that went from yay I’m so happy to be doing this to you know what, it’s really not too late to turn back and go home.
  • I used a sock to hold my phone.  Believe it or not but it’s way better than those phone arm bands that they sell.  You can make your own, YouTube is your friend!
  • My body felt like it didn’t belong to me after the run.  My legs felt like jelly and I was convinced I was going to collapse and die right there and then.  However, nothing felt as good as knowing that waking up at such an ungodly hour was worth it after all because…did I mention, I ran my first half marathon!
  • My toes were and still are painful but the rest of my body has completely healed, I even ran 10K yesterday and plan on running two more 10K runs this week.
  • Next stop Victoria Falls Marathon in 2018!!!

I’m currently suffering from fruit cravings and I’ve been having them in abundance.  Oh, and I’m hungry all the time!

How was your first half marathon?  What are some of your highlights and regrets?

For some first time half marathon runners here are a few tips: 21K Training Tips

Fitness Bae®

 

How To Plank

Standard Plank, rocking plank, knee plank, side plank, forearm plank and reverse plank.  There are more planks from where that list came from but I don’t want to exhaust you so early in the morning.  This month I have been paying extra attention to my arms because I’ve just about had enough of having to mask the flab through wearing clothes that cover them up.  I need to show them off on New Year’s eve and I’m really doing the work!

Below are my personal favourite planks.

  1. Forearm Plank
Forearm Plank

Image from Pinterest

2. Reverse Plank (with leg raises)

reverse plank

Image from Pinterest

3. Plank Row and kick back

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Image from Pinterest

One thing I absolutely love about planks is that they firm up my entire body.  Yes, my arms are feeling and looking more toned but the rest of my body is feeling the positive effects of planks as well.

Whatever you do, please make sure you do your planks in proper form and take your time to do them correctly.  There is no rush, the time you set aside for exercising is for you and you alone so rushing through it won’t give you any results.  Keep your exercise focused, intense and deliberate.

My challenge for you today is to try out at least one of the planks I mentioned above and once you find the one you enjoy, add it to your routine.

Don’t forget to smile, smiling burns calories too 🙂

Fitness Bae®

 

 

 

 

This Is Why You Are Gaining Weight

Ask anyone trying to lose weight and they will tell you how easily you can gain weight if you stop paying attention to your healthy habits.  It took me an entire year to lose 10kgs but if I’m reckless it takes me just one week to gain 1kg back!  The universe has some mad jokes I tell you.  It has been 3 years on this journey and I now know what makes my body tick or not.  Today I will share habits that easily contribute to my weight gain, I’m sure you will read some of them and notice that they probably have the same effect on you.

1. Poor Sleep

I’m a runner and this form of exercise requires that I get as much rest as I can to perform at my best.  However, on days I don’t sleep properly I don’t have the energy to get up and do one of the few things I love the most.  No energy means no runs means zero progress on that day.  Which translates to me feeling guilty all day long and probably missing a meal which by the way is a bad thing because starving yourself means your body goes into starvation mode which leads to weight gain, my word, the cycle!

2. Clothes

Fashion keeps doing the most.  One time our jeans are all the way up to our boobs next thing they are low cut and at some point they had elastic bands around the waist.  I remember the elastic band phase, I had a pair or two of those.  Now that’s the worst pair you want to invest in if you are trying to lose weight.  The elastic just keeps stretching and you don’t even realise you have gained weight until you wear something else.  Stay away from elastic band jeans, they give you false sense of security!

3. Alcohol

I love me some white wine, on a good weekend I will go through a whole 1litre of white wine and not even feel bad about it.  I run so that I can drink and drink so that I can run; that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!!!  I’m pretty good when it comes to watching what I eat and very consistent when it comes to exercise but I promise you, alcohol will be the death of me!  My six pack comes and goes and I know alcohol is the reason why it won’t let it thrive.  Alcohol contains a lot of calories so unfortunately for me, I drink my calories…Just so you know, it’s not just alcohol that contains calories, soft drinks and fruit juices are also an enemy of progress.

White wine has 83 calories in 100g glass

Coca-Cola has 210 calories in a 500ml bottle

Fruit juice has 54 calories in a 100g glass

My advice is drink water, it has zero calories.  If you can’t at least cut down because those clearly these drinks do more harm than good.

4. Stress

My stress comes from my Body Fat Scale.  I used to have a habit where I would weigh myself everyday.  That didn’t end very well and I since stopped the habit and I don’t encourage it either.  Now I weigh myself once a week, same place and same time.  According to researchers stress is connected to weight gain, because a high level of the stress hormone cortisol has been shown to up appetite, drive cravings for junk food, and make it oh so much easier to accumulate belly fat.

5. Pre-Menstrual Syndrome(PMS)

This is the worst time of the month for me.  I hate PMSng, it drives me up the wall with it’s cravings and mood swings.  I crave the strangest things.  Last month I had doughnuts, a whole litre of coke, chocolate, lots of greasy take out and biscuits.  Gosh!  All that bad food in a week.  I don’t know if it’s just me but my stomach has this small bulge of sort when I’m PMSng.  This is one of the worst times of the month for me because I know the moment I hop onto the scale I will be very disappointed!  I promise you the cravings leave me thinking I’m pregnant…but I know better.

*BONUS POINT*

You are all talk and no action.  I see you!

I believe you know what contributes to your weight gain.  You just have to pay extra attention to yourself.  At the same time weight gain is not entirely a bad thing, especially if it’s going to the right places.

My advice is make small deliberate changes in your life and the weight loss will happen.

Let’s talk, what’s adding the weight on your scale?

Fitness Bae®

Run 5K For The Fun Of It!

I love October!  Running is much more colourful thanks to the blooming jacaranda trees. The early morning runs are filled with beautiful fresh scents and that’s an additional reason to get up and run!  I’ve been training for my first half marathon and I’m currently on week 12 of 16.  I’ve stopped following the programme on My Nike Coach for this month because just looking at the set distances is making me sick to my stomach.  I don’t think I’m mentally prepared to wake up and run 18K on a random Wednesday morning.  I’m still going to run my half marathon though, but I’m going to do it my way!

I got this brilliant idea of documenting what you plan to do each week and then sharing both what you and don’t get done from one of my favourite fitness bloggers Piper.  You should check out her September and October goals from here.

What I Planned vs What I Did

Monday Run 5K * Ran 5K. It was one tough run considering I had gone out the previous night and left the event at 10pm, only to get to sleep at 11pm, absolute madness! 

Tuesday 50 crunches 50 push ups and 30 minutes Zumba 50 crunches 50 push ups the only problem here was the push ups.  Now that I know how to do them properly they are pretty intense.  I didn’t feel like doing Zumba afterwards so I let that slide.

Wednesday Run 5K Ran 5K It was mostly an uphill run but I smashed it and clocked in my best time and shaved off a whole 15 seconds from Monday’s run.

Thursday 50 crunches 50 push ups50 crunches.  My right shoulder is in pain.  I think I got overzealous on Tuesday morning.  I had to fix a hot water bottle and lie on it throughout the night to ease the pain on my shoulder.

Friday Run 5K * Ran 5K + 30 minutes of Zumba. It was a slow easy run.  I didn’t have any music today, I wanted to enjoy my surroundings.  My shoulder is still in pain but hopefully tomorrow I’ll be feeling much better.  Threw in some Zumba as well, the hunger I felt within an hour!  I gobbled down half an avocado before I left for work.

Saturday 50 crunches 50 push ups * 50 crunches 50 push ups.  I did these first thing in the morning before my body could make any excuses.

Sunday Run 5K * Ran 5K First #JustDoItSunday of the month, I loved it! 

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Image from Pinterest

My highlight for the week was definitely Zumba.  It takes me to a happy place.  I love how my body can do all these various moves and still get to exercise at the same time.  It gets me sweating, way more than I do when I go for a run!  Maybe next week I will do two Zumba sessions instead of one…will see how things go.

How was your exercise week?  What did you get up to and what have you changed on your fitness plan?

Lesson Learnt This Week: Go out for your run at 5:00am if you want to beat running in the sun!

Fitness Bae®

Fitness Bae Challenge

It’s going to be a fun-filled week ahead!  Get your running shoes out; we are going to get fit or die trying!  I’m sure you remember I announced that Fitness Bae was partnering with Golden Pilsener a few weeks back; you can read about it over here. It’s the final week of the challenge and I am the host.

I love a good challenge, actually I live for challenges and here are some of the reasons why:

  1. Running gets boring, you can do a speed run, a benchmark run, a long run you name it but at some point you need to spice things up and that’s round about the time I challenge myself to try out something new.  Hello Yoga!
  2. A good challenge pushes my limits.  Nothing beats the sense of achievement.  I enjoy people who look at me and think I can’t run, they have no idea what this body is capable of doing when it comes to smashing goals!
  3. To encourage people around me to live their best lives.  Nothing brings me as much satisfaction as watching people achieve their health and fitness goals.  I’m here to motivate and inspire every single day and I never tire of doing it!
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Fitness Bae

I’m challenging you this week to get up and do something!  You can walk, jog or run through this challenge what matters is that you get to the finish line.

This is this week’s challenge please set your reminders!
Wednesday – 20,000 steps
Thursday – 5km run
Friday – 1km and picture of work out gear

If the prizes below don’t motivate you, I have no idea what will!

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The challenge starts tomorrow!  Make sure you use the hash tag #GoldenPilsenerGo4Gold each time you participate.

It’s going to be a blast, better get your gold! Keep it golden.

Fitness Bae®

21K Marathon Training

I’m now on week 9 of my marathon training.  I have been running for the past 3 years and through it all the maximum distance I have run to date is 15K. This year I promised myself that I would run my first 21K marathon and got myself on a marathon training programme on Nike Run Club. It’s a 16 week programme and I’m enjoying each week so far.  The experiences that I have encountered through these weeks are quite interesting. At week 2 I was down with a cough and I couldn’t get to run but I got back on my feet and soldiered on. Below are some of the things I have experienced from this training programme:

  • I get super excited about Speed Runs! However, they really push my body to the limit and I am sweating salt by the time I’m done with my run.
  • I can’t find the words to describe how much a bench mark run will bring you this close to your death bed.  They are super intense and lately I have switched things up so that when I have to run fast I am on an uphill route.
  • Long runs are pretty taxing and should NOT be done during the working week. I felt like death the whole day two weeks ago after running 9K on a Thursday morning.
  • Rest Days are very important; you come back feel more energised and a running pace that even you can’t believe.
  • Music is your friend especially on long runs, my go to artist is Christopher Martin, I now know that Big Deal album like the back of my hand!
  • It’s important to include upper body and core workouts to your programme because it really helps with maintaining your running form. Last month on the #PumpItUpChallenge both upper and lower body workouts were on the programme.
  • Listen to your body.  If you pushed as far as you can go but you can’t complete the assigned distance don’t beat yourself up.  You can always run the remaining distance, power walk through it or complete it another time during the day.  Not all days are the same, some days will be tough.
  • The Nike Coach knows what he or she is talking about.  If it states that today’s run is a recovery run and your pace should be slow by all means do exactly that.  You don’t want to be over eager and then struggle on your next run.
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. You don’t want to feel thirsty during your runs!

I have 7 more weeks of marathon training to go and the running distances are getting tougher by the day. It was all fun and games when I had to run 2K but now I have to mentally prepare myself for a 17K run on a random day. It’s not easy but it’s totally worth it. After running my 21K marathon believe me I would have officially become a marathon runner and you won’t hear the end of it!

This is the workout I did this morning, you gotta love Hump Day!
6.5K long run (I’ll finish off the remaining 1.5K in the evening)
9 Burpees
10 minutes of stretching

Have you run a 21K Marathon before? If yes, do you have any tips and tricks to share?

Fitness Bae®

Steward Health Partner With Fitness Bae

STEWARD HEALTH PARTNER WITH FITNESS BAE

Steward Health has struck a major partnership with Fitness Bae.  Steward Health is an innovative and proactive provider of health care.  They not only seek to provide health care solutions in times of trouble but they share the same vision with Fitness Bae of promoting good health through a healthy lifestyle.  Participants of the September Challenge can look forward to receiving fitness related merchandise from Steward Health when they win prizes on different activities.

As an evolving movement Fitness In The Park will make way for a new and exciting idea, Harare Parkruns. This will see people learning to become runners and engaging in the fitness lifestyle. The Harare parkrun program will include exercise, motivation, diet and education to create healthy habits and healthy lifestyles. Our friends at Steward Health will join us on this journey and will once again play a major part in bringing parkruns to Harare.

In order to take part you have to like both @StewardHealthZim and @thefitnessbae Facebook Pages.  The hash tags to use each time you participate during the challenge are #StewardHealthZW and #RunWithFitnessBae

More details will be available in due course.  Keep watching this space as we bring you exciting times ahead with our new beloved partner Steward Health.

You can find out more information about Steward Health from their website: www.stewardhealth.co.zw

 

Fitness Bae®

ParkRun Harare

ParkRuns have been a major part of my health and fitness journey.  I remember the first time I set foot in the park with my neighbour for my first run.  The most unpleasant experience of my life!!  However, I kept going back for more because it was a place I felt safe because there were other runners as well.  Most were slow runners, others were on a mission to sprint away but generally the atmosphere was just right if you were serious about getting in shape.  Nearly 3 years later I still put in some parkruns when I need a place to bring back fond memories of the start of my journey.  I managed to lose weight from running in the park and I also got my fitness on while I was at it!

Over the long holiday I realised that there is actually no time like the present and I should start organising our very own parkruns in Harare!  This is how it’s going to work.

The goal is to meet up for parkruns once every week on Saturday morning.  

We will start off the first month of parkruns with running 2.5K each week and gradually increase the distance over the next few weeks until we get to the ideal 5K distance.  Everyone is invited to come along for the parkruns; young, old, kids, as long as you have a goal to have a healthy body and mind then you must make sure you come through.

ParkRun Perks:

  1. The park runs are free!
  2. I will teach you how to run and share fitness related information.
  3. You will be able to lose weight or maintain it.
  4. You will make friends with similar interests.
  5. If you can’t run walking is still an option so please don’t feel excluded.
  6. Exercise is a stress buster.
  7. You will challenge yourself to commit to a habit that your body and mind will thank you for in the not so distant future.

Fitness Bae works towards enhancing the lives of the community through support, encouragement, mental and physical health awareness activities. 

I find pleasure in helping those around me achieve their health and fitness goals.  For this reason I have decided to start hosting parkruns starting from the 2nd of September 2017 going forward. (save the date) 

Like my Facebook page @thefitnessbae to stay updated on the parkruns and to also get weekly updates on different health and fitness events and information happening in and around Harare.

Have you tried going for parkruns?  If yes, what has been your experience with running outdoors?

Stay logged onto my Health and Fitness Journey Series Episode 8 will be live on Tuesday at 9:00am.

®Fitness Bae