Author: karen

Butternut Squash Soup

by karen
Butternut Squash Soup
A warming and hearty soup on a cold autumnal evening

1 butternut squash (peeled & chopped)

1 tsp coconut oil or olive oil

1 clove Garlic (crushed)

1 medium onion (finely chopped)

500ml veg stock

2 tsp ground cumin

  • Heat the oil in a large lidded pan
  • Add garlic, fry for 30 sec.
  • Add onion, fry for 2 mins
  • Add chopped squash, cook for 5 mins
  • Add hot veg stock, enough to easily cover the vegetables.
  • Add the ground cumin and stir
  • Bring to the boil
  • Season and simmer for 20 mins
  • Allow to cool slightly then blend
  • Serve.


Clicky Hips?

by karen


ANATOMY NERDS - Why does my Hip Click?
If you missed this in the Pilates class or Whatsapp group, here is an excellent video explanation for you. CLICK HERE or sign into our facebook group.
Clicky Hips? This often arises in class and is usually caused by a tendon flicking across a bone and is nothing to worry about unless you experience pain, although the sound can be quite unnerving.  The Psoas muscle is probably the culprit.
Your Psoas muscle (hip flexor as it is sometimes referred to),is located from your lower lumbar region of the spine and extends through the pelvis to the lessor trecantor (the inner bony part of your femur). As the diagram below shows. The part that attaches to your lessor trecantor is a tendon, a flexible but inelastic cord of strong fibrous collagen tissue attaching a muscle to a bone.  Now, sometimes when you move the femur bone, it is usually this tendon that  flicks across a bone in your hip or pelvis. As long as there is no pain, there is not a problem. The sound and feeling can be quite unnerving though.

HRT Myth Busting

by karen


HRT - Hormone Replacement Therapy

It's important to remember that menopause is a natural phase in every woman's life and is not the end, in fact, it's just the beginning for some. How best can you manage your symptoms? Do your symptoms have a negative effect on your life, family, marriage? There are now excellent guidelines available for you to educate yourself and help you to help yourself. (Links below)

I am not suggesting you must or must not take HRT, It is purely a personal choice. Many women sail through Menopause without any symptoms at all. However, being armed with as much information as possible makes it easier to make an informed decision. Here is a very informative link for you EASY HRT PRESCRIBING GUIDE. YOU alongside your doctor or women's health specialist must decide if it is for you or not.  You may be advised against taking HRT if there is a history of breast cancer in the family or you are at a higher risk of breast cancer, at risk of strokes, diabetes. (Please see the NICE Guidelines link below for more information).   However, HRT evidence based research now shows that it DOES NOT actually CAUSE breast cancer.  Take a read of this ARTICLE.

Due to the lack of oestrogen women are at a much higher risk of heart disease than breast cancer. HRT protects against heart disease by approximately 30-50% and has many other protective qualities including osteoporosis.

HRT has been developed and refined and there is now a wide range of options:  oestrogens, with or without progesterons, even Testosterone (Testosterone's are not available on the NHS yet) They can also be taken in different forms such as tablets, skin patches, creams or gels, even vaginally and are bespoke for your symptoms. This can make it a bit confusing which is why you must consult with your doctor.

According to Dr Louise Newson (a menopause specialist and GP), who wrote a recent report for the Royal College of General Practitioners, it’s increasingly clear that many of the ‘scares’ were largely unfounded. As she points out, ‘Much of the negative publicity surrounding HRT stems from the misinterpretation of the findings in the Women’s Health Initiative study, published more than a decade ago. Many women and healthcare professionals are still unnecessarily concerned about the perceived risks of HRT, resulting in a significant proportion of patients being refused it and inappropriately offered antidepressants.’

HRT is very much a personal choice as I have already mentioned and is dependant on your symptoms. As some symptoms can be life debilitating, HRT can be life changing and many women swear by it.

Research suggests that women on HRT live approximately 7 years longer than women not on HRT due its protective benefits to the heart bones and brain.

Each decision made should be considered, pros and cons noted, and further monitoring after prescribed to see whether suited must be carried out. Do not just take blindly, note any changes for the good or bad and go back to your Doctor because your dosage can be changed.










Get Fit for Spring 40+ Challenge Faze 2 Exercises

by karen



 Faze 1 - Repeat for 2 weeks
Faze 2 - Repeat for 2 weeks
Faze 3 Repeat for 2 weeks
Please note: you must play all 3 Fazes and be active in our closed facebook page to be in with the chance of winning
a personal training session with us.

Facebook Page - CLICK HERE

Facebook CLOSED group - CLICK HERE

Please fill in our Health form Waiver - CLICK HERE

Rules -

Always  check with your GP before taking part in any fitness regime.

Get Fit for Spring 40+ Challenge Faze 1 Exercises

by karen



 Faze 1 BEGINS Monday 4th March - 17th March
Faze 2 BEGINS Monday 18th March - 31st March
Faze 3 BEGINS Monday 1st April - 12 April
Please note: you must play all 3 Fazes and be active in our closed facebook page to be in with the chance of winning
a personal training session with us.

Facebook Page - CLICK HERE

Facebook CLOSED group - CLICK HERE

Please fill in our Health form Waiver - CLICK HERE

Always  check with your GP before taking part in any fitness regime.

Rosemary Figs

by karen



Fresh whole Figs (however many you wish)

Goats Cheese (1 tsp per fig)

Fresh Rosemary  (3 leaves per fig)

Balsamic Vinegar

  • Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4
  • Make a two cuts in the figs making a cross (not all the way through)
  • Add 1 tsp Goats cheese into each Fig
  • Top with a rosemary
  • To keep the shape, place onto tinfoil and turn up end and place into a shallow oven proof dish
  • Cook for approx 15 mins (keeping an eye on them)
  • Remove from the oven and place onto a serving plate
  • Drizzle with balsamic vinegar
  • Serve

Tip: You could place the figs into a yorkshire  pudding or fairy cake tray to maintain their shape.

This dish is also delicious as a side to a meal

NUTRITION: Figs are the most sugar dense fruit so do not over indulge in this fruit. However, They are high in fiber, they are a good source of calcium and help constipation. They are rich in vital vitamins and minerals: They are rich in Vitamins A, B1 and B2, magnesium, copper, iron, manganese, potassium and phosphorus.



Oaty, Fig & Prune bars

by karen

1 Tray



150g Prunes (pitted & chopped)

100g Fig (pitted & Chopped)

150ml Water

3 tbs Peanut Butter

2 tbs Sunflower Seeds

2 tbs Pumpkin Seeds

2 tbs walnuts (Chopped)

Oats (varies dependant on your desired consistency)

  • Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4
  • Add Figs, Prunes and water into a saucepan
  • Simmer, stirring continuously whilst the fruit disintegrates
  • Add peanut butter, stir
  • Add seeds and nuts, stir
  • Slowly whilst stirring add oats. This will thicken the mixture so keep adding until you get a sticky mixture.
  • Add all the ingredients to a shallow oven proof dish, spread out and press down.
  • Bake for approx 20 minutes or until the top is golden in colour
  • Allow to cool
  • Cut into bars and place into an airtight container.

Tip: Save these for when you need an energy boost or snack between meals.



Sugar v Fat

by karen

Now this is probably the most interesting facts.

Horizon aired this show Horizon: Sugar v Fat which I recommend you watch

The show experimented with twins Chris and Xand trialling different eating habits and the results were that it was not that fat or sugar were bad for us but the combination of the two which is typical in most processed foods were the most harmful.  The bodies natural processes were unable to deal with the foods when taken together. They found that the combination turned off the natural brain responses as to how full they were and therefore would over eat.

The body needs both fats and sugars. If you are going in for an athletic event sugars eaten prior and during worked best as an energy source and where as fat eaten prior was not sustainable enough therefore the body used muscle as the energy source which is not a good outcome.

We do not advocate cutting out any food groups but  you should try to go for the natural sugars and healthier fats and a diet rich in fibre.




One Tray Chicken & Mustard

by karen

Serves 4



4 Chicken Breasts (sliced/strips)

2 red onions (roughly chopped)

Tender Stem Broccoli

5 Sundried Tomatoes (roughly chopped)


1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp Dried tarragon

Salt & Pepper

1 tsp Dijon Mustard

1 tsp Wholegrain Mustard

Olive Oil

  • Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4
  • Add all the Marinade ingredients into a bowl
  • Add the chicken strips and leave to marinade
  • Place half the onions, broccoli into a shallow oven proof dish
  • Place on top the marinaded chicken strips
  • Place on top the rest of the onion and broccoli
  • Drizzle over the olive oil
  • Cover with tin foil and bake for approximately 30 mins
  • Remove the tin foil and check the chicken is cooked through, if not, replace for another 10 mins without the tin foil
  • Serve