Whether you hit the studio a couple of times a month, or religiously do 3 classes a week, the 30 day challenge is going to be tough, no two ways about it, but it’s absolutely worth the commitment. You will be fitter, more focused, calmer, stronger, more flexible, and quite rightly mightily proud of yourself.
Making it through the 30 days with grace…
- – the 30 day challenge is an intensive course in your own body. Listen to it. You don’t need to go all out in every class, if that’s not what you can do today. Turn up, breathe and be in the studio.
- – master your ‘monkey mind’ , the voice that tells you it is too hard, that you can’t do it, that you should just give up. It’s not too hard, of course you can do it, so be the master of your mind and make it work for you, instead of letting it knock you down.
- – look after yourself outside the studio. Water, water, water, bananas, protein, sleep. You are an athlete for 30 days!
- And if you don’t believe us, here’s the skinny from a couple of members who have already done it.
Katie Smith wrote:
- Making and finding time is the main part of the challenge! I just looked at it from the perspective that I was finding 90 minutes in the day to focus on myself.
- Naively I thought I would suddenly see loads of improvement in my practice after a week, I mean I was going every day! But I realised that it was the tiny improvements that build up over time that made the biggest difference; like hooking my right foot behind my left calf in Eagle without falling over felt like a breakthrough moment.
- The third week was the hardest for me. I felt quite stiff and inflexible when I went into week 3 but I realised that I didn’t need to push myself hard every class, and I learnt to listen to what my body was telling me it would do today, and what it wouldn’t!
- Sometimes the classes I wanted to go to the least ended up being the ones I enjoyed the most. It sounds daft, but I often found the most benefits from my practice, or improvements, on the days when I felt like I would much rather just go home and have a large glass of wine after a particularly stressful day at work.
- As someone prone to anxiety, by far the biggest benefit for me committing to practicing yoga every day was how I felt mentally and emotionally. It gave me a sense of calm and positivity, as well as accomplishment, by allowing myself the time to focus solely on me, my practice and my meditation.
and Katie Brown wrote:
I really enjoyed the 30 day challenge but it was definitely challenging! At times I found it difficult to make sure I was getting enough liquids and rest in-between consecutive classes. Since finishing the challenge I have noticed a big improve in my yoga practice, particularly with my alignment, and my upper body strength has drastically improved!
You heard it. It’s worth it. See you on the mat!
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
-1/4 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!
In our busy 21st century schedules, devoting hours to maintaining a strong and healthy body is a serious hats-off pastime. It would be really great if we could install a high-fives giving machine as you walk out the FGB door. After a Fierce Grace class, your body is singing from the inside out (even if you feel like you could savasana forever). That’s why it is essential to give your body what it needs to repair. In the fitness world, not balancing your nutrition alongside your work-out is like hiring builders to tear down some walls in your house and asking them to rebuild them… without giving them any bricks. And we want strong houses!
Exercise is a physiological ‘stressor’: challenging the body to make it better. Side-effects such as sore muscles and the need for more sleep or food is the body’s way of telling us that we have depleted our fuel resources and that we need to replenish. This pattern of temporary depletion allows our bodies to adapt to the demands being placed upon it. For example, with increased cardio, the body becomes a more efficient respiratory mechanism (#cleanleanbreathingmachine) and with weight training, muscle fibres are broken down to create bigger and better ones. This process, known as ‘re-modelling’, (cue the cloning generation) works best when we are giving the body what it needs. Alongside complex carbs, good fats, minerals and vitamins, protein is a major power-player. All hail the protein!
During exercise, we break down carbohydrate stores and protein structures in the muscles. It is considered best to replenish as close to the end of the work-out as possible as the body is keenly awaiting the arrival of new recruits! Muscles need 10g-20g protein to maximise recovery post work-out.
Humans are protein beings. Protein accounts for about 15% of the average person’s body fabric and mass. It is an essential component of every cell. In fact nails and hair are mostly protein. The body needs protein to repair tissue, to make enzymes, hormones, and antibodies for the immune system; to carry messages within the body, follow instructions and perform basic to complex bodily functions. In a nutshell: protein is essential.
Protein is a ‘macronutrient’ meaning that along with fat and carbohydrate, we need it to stay healthy. Unlike fat and carb, however, the body does not store protein, meaning that we need a constant flow. Recommended daily intake is estimated to be in the region of 56g for men and 46g for women. 7g equates to a large egg, half a cup of lentils, 1 tbsp of peanut butter, 1 cup of milk.
Protein is made up of chains of amino acids which the body absorbs and breaks down to turn into different amino acids. Imagine amino acids made up of letters of the alphabet which the digestive system re-arranges to find the words it wants to spell out.
The fact that protein creates hormones which regulates metabolism makes protein the serious King of the Castle when it comes to health. High levels of sugar and simple carbs can spike our insulin levels. Therefore, it is worth setting yourself up each day with some high protein and fat-rich fuel to maintain optimum blood sugar levels. If you aren’t an egg enthusiast, a sucker for the smoked salmon or a peanut-butter proponent, there are other quick and easy solutions to increase your protein intake and maximise your workout!
This brings us on to one of our favourite recipes!
2 scoops vegan protein powder (available to purchase at FGB reception)
1 tbsp coconut oil (great also for skin and hair)
1 tbsp flax seeds (balances hormones, source of omega 3, reduces inflammation)
1 tbsp chia seeds (fibre, antioxidants, fatty acids)
Handful of leafy greens (kale / spinach)
Handful of berries (strawberries, blueberries)
If you are interested in learning more about how you can fuel your practice, come along to our Runners’ Workshop at 5:30pm on Saturday 2nd April. We will be having a pre and post talk where you can ask any questions to Katie Young, who will be delighted to help with your nutritional queries! We look forward to seeing you there. Book now at www.fiercegracebrixton.co.uk/schedule
This workshop is free to members and £5 to non-members
Chances are you often feel pretty hungry after a Fierce Grace class, especially after an early or late session. You have worked hard, worked up a sweat, woken up your digestive system and now you need fuel. Well we are big fans of protein shakes at Brixton – honestly they’re not just for bodybuilders!! Why?
1. Protein promotes muscle growth and repair
2. It fuels fat burning
3. It keeps you feeling fuller for longer
All proteins are comprised of amino acids. Essential little dudes, these are the building blocks of life! Hair, muscles cartilage, in fact every cell in our body, our hormones, even our enzymes contain protein.
The protein products we have in the studio are a quick and effortless way to get high quality nourishment on board, ideal post workout as your metabolism will be firing on all cylinders but your digestive system doesn’t have to work very hard to get the goodness.
Most protein powders are made from either whey protein or soy protein, but we have chosen a different vegan powder for the studio, and here’s why…
Soy based protein can be from GM sources. It also has oestrogenic effects, wreaking havoc with our fine balance of hormones and having a huge impact on our thyroid health. Not to mention that the vast expanses of land needed to grow the highly-demanded soy bean leads to deforestation and global warming and destruction of rare species and fragile ecosystems!
Whey protein is composed of processed bovine blood proteins, they don’t tell you that in the shops do they? Unfortunately, the cows used to produce this product are almost invariably reared in inhumane conditions. They are fed on unnatural foods like grains and pumped with antibiotics to prevent the spread of any bacteria that thrive in the types of poor conditions they live in, (if the cows are eating it so are you!) This has several unseen repercussions, including the originating and spreading of global superbugs that are resistant to antibiotics. No one wants that. I hope, upon reading this, when opting for any dairy or beef products you will choose those that have come from grass fed cows. (If you are interested in learning more about this subject, I recommend reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer.)
For these very reasons we use Arbonne essentials vegan Protein Powder which is a combination of pea, rice and cranberry protein, By combining these 3 plant based powerhouses you end up with a protein powder that is pretty impressive:
Cranberry protein is the only 100% plant protein that contains 25% complete protein, including all essential amino acids. It’s also a powerful detoxifier, diuretic, immune booster, reducer of cellulite, and can help improve skin conditions, circulatory health and cholesterol levels.
- Peas are a high fiber, low calorie, nutrient-dense superfood, satisfying all essential amino acid requirements. They’re great for restoring the body’s nitrogen balance after intense exercise, help increase muscle mass while reducing body fat, improves vasodilation, calcium absorption and the immune system.
- No cholesterol
- Low glycemic index
- No bloating, gas, indigestion or constipation/diarrhoea
- No estrogens, antibiotics, GMO and not loaded with artificial sweeteners and flavours
- Reduced lactic acid and ammonia build up
- Pre-digested, resulting in a 98-99% digestion efficiency, so you need less
- Increased nitric oxide production, decreasing blood pressure
Protein Power-Up Smoothie Recipe
You will need:
1 apple ~ 1 banana ~ 1 avocado
~ juice of 1 lime ~ 1 handful blueberries ~
1 handful soaked cashews
~ 1 handful raw spinach and/or kale ~
1 scoop Arbonne Vanilla Protein Powder*
~ cucumber (to taste) ~ ice (optional)
For that extra twist try chucking in either some fresh ginger or mint leaves!
You can try playing with your preferred consistency by adding water or almond milk.
Bung it all in a blender or food processor, wizz it up and enjoy! (Suitable for freezing. Serves 4)
*Available to buy here or at the Fierce Grace Brixton Studio