Tag Archives: belly fat

Boost your protein with Cake!

FG owner, Katie explains all about her unique Cakes & Shakes event and the benefits of protein high snacks…
Did you know you can bake amazing cakes with protein powder?
Its hard to believe how versatile whole food protein in powder form can be; along with your coconut oil or cocoa nibs, they’ve swiftly become staples of the new-clean eating kitchen cupboard in many families!
The protein powder we choose here at FGB is a vegan, super food made from yellow split pea, cranberry and brown rice protein. It’s clean, it’s pure, it’s gluten free, dairy free, whey free and nut free and there are no artificial sweeteners, colourings and preservatives in there either. We have our fridge stocked with our ready mixed “to go” version – for your ease straight after a class, and there’s also individual 20 grams servings sachets to blend yourself at home.
Whats more, it’s packed with 20 essential vitamins and minerals, it has a full amino acid count – which is rare to find in any plant based or vegan food, making it a delicious nutritious power-packed meal. When made as a smoothie or a cake snack it will carry you through breaks and dips in energy when you need a neat homemade superfood treat.
Why do we need protein? 
In all meals you should aim to balance 20 grams of protein; whether your a vegan, pescetarian or meat eater, along with leafy greens, some of your five a day fruit and vegetables and little whole food carbohydrate –  preferably slow releasing (i.e. brown rice rather than white, sweet potato rather than white potato etc).  In fact, you’ll need this combination even more so after a yoga class or workout, as it’s been proven that 20 grams of easily digestible protein within 1 hour of exercise restores muscle repair and growth, prevents tears and can even illuminate those pesky achy muscles!
What is this power-packed Recipe?
All you need is a couple of eggs, almond or rice milk and some protein powder, plus a sprinkle of your favourite extra, I use cranberries. What I’s like to add is that mostly people use their protein powder for shakes or smoothies, which is a great way to combine with your super greens, berries, flax and nuts (not your husband’s!) to make a great meal after yoga, but sometimes you want something you can bite into, and this is where the protein powder is genius for baking.

Using a large fork mix all of the following ingredients in a medium bowl:

-4 scoops Arbonne Meal Replacement Shake mix (vanilla)
-1 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 egg
-1/4 cup egg whites
-1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Spray muffin tin with cooking oil spray and pour batter, filling each tin about 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes until golden on top. Yum!

 

On Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th, we join Katie, FG owner and resident protein lover in the studio, sharing recipes, cakes and free samples for you to try and buy all at 20% off this weekend ONLY.

A clean eating role model for us all,  Katie has spent over half her life living gluten and dairy free, discovering many great and varied ways to eat well and this in turn saved her from the diagnosis of a crippling disease, Endometriosis. She is happy to answer questions on a wide range of health spectrum and also including ways to Live Life with Fierce Grace.
RSVP to reserve your cake!

10 Tips for Sticking to your New Years’ Resolution!

It’s that time  of year again when we vow to become all-round super-humans – our healthier, slimmer, stronger, more adventurous, more travelled, more successful self is right around the corner! But how do we make that New Year Resolution stick, sadly just like those few extra Christmas pounds?

Fear not! We have collected all the top tips on how to stay focused on the path to greatness.

1. Motivation comes best from within. Decide what you want to change, not what you think you should change. 

2. One thing at a time… We only have so much willpower; don’t spread yours thin! You are more likely to succeed with just one resolution rather than many.

3. Set behavioural targets. Rather than “exercise more”, define the parameters – “I will go to yoga 4 times a week and go for a run.” That way you can measure resolution progress, tick things off and high five yourself!

4. Stay happy! Self-control and motivation thrives on a good mood. Be kind to yourself, stay your No. 1 Fan! Write things down you’re proud of where you use willpower, even down to “I got up early to go to yoga!”

5. Willpower, like a muscle, gets stronger the more we exercise it. Run even if it’s raining! Get up for class even if it’s cold… it’s hot in the studio!

6. Don’t stress out! Stress can make us hungry and tired so STEP. AWAY. from temptation, back awaaay from the muffins…give yourself a break until you’ve relaxed (probably by coming to class…) and you’re back in the game!

7. …But do treat yourself – it’s in our nature! And here’s the science to prove it: our pleasure-seeking function is located in the primitive part of the human brain; it’s hard-wired and powerful! In fact it is a lot stronger than self-restraint, a rational desire, relatively new to the human brain! We get a delicious dump of dopamine from giving into survival instincts such as eating, even when the evolved part thinks we should resist.

8. Be patient… It takes 21 days for a new habit to form and about 6 months for it to really set in. Just like your yoga postures, if you fall out, get back in! Still struggling? Tackle it in 24 hour windows.

9. All the gear’s the right idea! Incentivise yourself from the off. Buy some sassy yoga-pants to make you want to show them off every day of the week, or assemble a list of great reads if you want to read more (or come along to our Free Book Day at the studio Saturday 9th January!)

10. Map your successMany of us are visual, goal-orientated creatures. Clock in days throughout the year to assess your resolution progress. You can always go a step further and get geeky with it by marking % achieved against % time completion… rulers and felt tips at the ready!

Why not make our 30 Day Challenge your 2016 Resolution? Come to class every day for 30 days and see enormous advancements in your practice as well as getting your name in shining lights (or board marker) on our new 30 Day Challenge board by the studio entrance!

Barre Concept: ballet, pilates & yoga fusion

The Barre Concept is one of the latest fitness concepts taking the UK by storm. Founded in ballet and Pilates techniques, with a focus on strength and conditioning, the Barre Concept is a high powered, fast paced and fun way to sculpt your body.

The low impact, total body workout lifts the butt, tones the thighs, flattens the abs and sculpts the arms, whilst protecting the joints. Small isometric contractions are performed and integrated with an interval training approach that burns fat and develops cardiovascular fitness. Posture, alignment, flexibility, stamina and core strength improve. The result is a body that is realigned, rebalanced and works harmoniously and efficiently.

This is an intense yet accessible work out offering a wide range of variations and modifications, making it suitable for all abilities and experiences; no previous ballet experience required. Barre Concept is the perfect complement to your yoga practice, helping you to feel grounded and strong on the mat, from head to toe.

When can I try it out? Fierce Grace Brixton will be hosting two Barre Concept sessions in the up coming weeks.

13:30-14:45 Saturday 26th September

13:30-14:45 Saturday 24th October

The sessions will be led by our very own Grace Farmer. Grace is a fully qualified Barre Concept teacher and has been teaching across the country for the last two years. Previous to teaching Barre, Grace has 20 years of dance and performance experience and is of course, a dedicated yogi at Fierce Grace Brixton.

“My sessions are always set to fun, upbeat music to help motivate you as we work through some tough exercises that are guaranteed to make you ‘feel the burn’. Expect to get sweaty, feel energized and push yourself. I promise you’ll enjoy it!”

breathe fierce grace brixton

Why you need to breathe correctly

Inhale. Exhale. Breathe.

As part of your Fierce Grace practice, your teachers tell you when to breathe, or how to breathe as you move.  Part of this is because, let’s face it, it’s easy to forget when you are concentrating.  It’s nice to be reminded.  But there are some very practical reasons why pranayama, to give it the yoga name, is a as important as the poses themselves.

The O2 / CO2 exchange:  When you breathe in, you are filling your lungs with O2, aka oxygen.  The lungs take it to the chamber of the heart that releases it into the bloodstream, and this act also increases the blood flow, in order to take all the life giving O2 round the body.   On the exhale, your body is getting rid of CO2, carbon dioxide, which is a byproduct created by the mitochondria (energy production cells) as they burn sugars, fats and proteins.  CO2 is biochemical waste and it makes the blood more acidic – which can impair the function of the body’s cells.     By changing the length of the breath in and the breath out, you can help your body do its job more efficiently.

The nervous system:  this is a simple one.  Fast breathing dials up the stress hormones, heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension and anxiety, while slowing the breath down dials down all of the above AND turns up relaxation, mental clarity and calm.

Maximising the benefits of your practice:  each pose, or asana, has been carefully chosen for whichever Fierce Grace sequence you are doing, because of its benefits to the body.  Using the breath properly not only enhances the physical benefit to the body but helps you get deeper into the pose, and power boosting the benefits.

So don’t just look at what your fellow yogis are doing, listen to your teacher and try and follow their directions on breathing for a healthier, calmer, deeper practice. Breathe.

Goodbye Belly Fat, Hello Hot Yoga!!

We could bang on forever about the benefits of hot yoga, but today’s lesson from the health pulpit is about cortisol, A.K.A. the belly fat hormone, and how yoga kicks its big fat butt.   Most of us would like a slimmer, flatter waist, or the sculpted abs flaunted by those annoying healthy selfie types, but if your body’s cortisol levels are out of whack then you are going to be fighting a losing battle.

Cortisol is the stress hormone released by the adrenal glands in order to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and the immune system.  It’s really handy if you are running from a herd of predators (muggers, in modern times) but chronic stress is the scourge of our time. Sources that can contribute to chronic stress include:

Lack of sleep

– Negative thoughts and worry

– Sugar and carb-heavy processed foods

– Caffeine abuse (more than 2 coffees per day)

– Loads of other things.   Getting on the tube every morning.   Sexism.  Driving in London during rush hour.  Night buses. Automated answering systems.

So anyway, chronic stress can create a nasty cascade of side effects – try these on for size:

– Excess belly fat

– Serious drop in testosterone (important for men AND women)

Hypertension

– Bone and muscle loss

– Low libido

High blood sugar and insulin resistance

Bad, yeah? Reducing stress from your life, your diet and cutting out sugar and processed foods will help, but this will only get you so far.  Guess what? It seems the most effective thing you can possibly do to normalize your cortisol levels…is yoga.

Why?  It’s an amazing combination of deep breathing, mindfulness, and cardio vascular activity that seems to work together like the 3 witches in Charmed to burn off the excess cortisol, i.e. the ‘flight’ element of the ‘fight or flight’ equation, whilst at the same time helping the body take its metaphorical foot off the adrenalin button.

A regular practice will help regulate your cortisol levels, and the Fierce Grace system will help you redefine your body shape. Easy!