Worcester Fitness Camp Review September 2016

FitFarms Glamping RealI have to say I’m typically not a fan of camping! And so I never expect to enjoy my weeks at camp Worcester. The nights are too cold, the days are either too hot, too windy, too wet or all of the above.

However, these 2 weeks have been a different experience! They have been hard and challenging as always but thanks largely to the groups and the weather we are now coming to the end of our second fitness camp and I’ve really enjoyed it! It’s been tough and challenging for all of us and for different reasons but I find on these weeks there is a stronger comradery between the clients I think the more challenging environment and the the nature of the course work well to bring the group together. Our non boot camp approach allows for our clients to establish or re-establish an enjoyment for exercise or activity and in the beautiful setting of Leigh near Malvern it really helps people to unwind from the stressful life back home.

We now have another 2 weeks to do up in Matlock and I only hope they are as successful as our 2 here at the Worcestershire fitness camp.

FitFarms Spain Fitness Camp in September

September in Spain.. It’s here again!

fitness camp spain I’m very excited at the idea of flying out to camp Spain in a few weeks for our second time this year, the last one was such a massive success with the clients having thoroughly enjoying themselves and the energy throughout the week being amazing, we had evening walks by some beautiful coastline, we had extraordinary food from our local chef, We had the most amazing weather!… We had a great time! So I cannot wait to go back and do it all again.

Above all else what made this week great was the way the group took to the idea we are trying to promote, the concept that anyone can and indeed should enjoy exercise and activity and do it only to the extent they enjoy and in the way they enjoy it. It’s the main reason we consider ourselves a fitness camp and not a boot camp. Not because there is anything wrong with boot camps, they work and they work very well but not everyone is in the right place for that approach but everyone could be if they wished.

As a fitness camp we look at not pushing everyone to their physical limits (just those that ask for it! ;-)..) but helping everyone see this lifestyle change in a more multipurpose full way for some it’s achieving the summer body for others it’s improving mobility for many in between it’s finding something manageable and achievable. In a lot of ways this works so much better in Spain because, well; it’s a holiday! The whole attitude, mood and environment is different from home and people respond really well to it. So if your reading this before flying out to meet us in Alicante I hope your looking forward to your stay with FitFarms at fitness camp Spain, be prepared for hard work, good food and lots of questions.

FitFarms Exmoor Disabled Weight Loss Boot Camp Schedule

The next FitFarms project is the FitFarms disabled weight loss boot camp which is going to be run on Exmoor down in the pretty county of Somerset.

The programme will consist of exercise, nutrition and workshops and will be challenging but also fun. The facilities have been well chosen ‎which will allow a wide range of guests with physical impairments.

The FitFarms team are working with a disabled charity which have been running for just under 10 years and are well known in the industry for providing safe and effective courses.

FitFarms will add ‎dates to the website in the month of October 2016. We are planning on running four in the first year and then we have scheduled 10 for 2018. The health and safety is going to be very different than what FitFarms is use to on the weight loss camps that we have been running since 2006.

We have a new team member from Hereford called Dave who runs wheelchair based aerobics who will be heading up the weight loss boot camp team.

Dave has been working with guests that have disabilities for over ten years and has quite a following in his local area of Hereford and the Rye valley. ‎Currently Dave runs three wheelchair aerobic classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings from 7pm to 8pm. There is also wheelchair resistance that has proven to be very popular on Tuesday nights and Dave is already trying to find a new venune for another class that starts on Thursday evenings at 7.30pm. He is also heavily envolved in wheelchair basketball at Worcester University which play at national level.

‎Dave has said that he’s really looking forward to the challenge of running a course that is not just the hour but for the whole week and is very keen to see the results that can be achieved in this time period.

FitFarms will be looking at dropping guests body fat but more importantly changing lifestyles.

Easy FitFarms Humus Recipe

Easy FitFarms Humus Recipe

FitFarms Humus recipe is really easy to make. Humus is delicious whether you are dipping or spreading on pitta bread.

Ingredients

  • 2 x 400g cans of chickpeas
  • 4 tsp Tahini
  • 2 Garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp crushed Sea Salt
  • 6 tbsp quality extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3½ tbsp Lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp Paprika
  • Coriander

Method

  • Rinse the chickpeas in cold water and then add to a food processor with the rest of the ingredients
  • Add oil slowly until Humus is light and fluffy

Special blog post from one of our FitFarms Health and Fitness instructors. More healthy meals and recipes at FitFarms Nutrition section. 

Image Credit: Quotesgram.com/famous-quotes-about-healthy-eating/

FitFarms Mackerel Toast Recipe

FitFarms Mackerel Toast Recipe

Top your toast with this healthy and easy to prepare Mackerel meal with Avocado and Chives.

Ingredients

  • 2 Fillets Mackerel (boned and skinned)
  • ¼ Avocado (diced)
  • 25g Red Onion (diced)
  • 10g Chives (finely chopped)
  • 1tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 25ml Lemon juice
  • 25g Cottage Cheese
  • 1 Slice Rye Bread

Method

  1. Oven cook the Mackerel in 10g Coconut Oil for 8 minutes, 180C
  2. When cool flake into a bowl and add all the other ingredients
  3. Toast Bread, spread the Mackerel over the top and serve

Special blog post editorial from one of our FitFarms Health and Fitness instructors. More healthy meals and recipes at FitFarms Nutrition section. 

Image Credit: au.pinterest.com/ouijelaime/drôle/

FitFarms Banoffee Pie Recipe

FitFarms Banoffee Pie Recipe

This recipe for banoffee pie ticks all the boxes.

It’s quick and easy; it has a good balance of carbs, proteins and fats; and it tastes really good!

We made it last week at FitFarms Dorset and it went down a treat.

Ingredients:

  • 1 handful of mixed nuts and seeds
  • 4-5 raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon of nut butter
  • 1 tablespoon of full-fat greek yogurt
  • 3 slices of banana

Instructions:

  1. Blitz the nuts, seeds, raisins, coconut oil and nut butter in a food processor until the mixture sticks together well.
  2. Shape the mixture into a ball, then press it into a flat disc to form the base of the pie. (Optional: Place it on a plate in the fridge to set).
  3. Spoon the yogurt onto the base and arrange the sliced bananas on top.

Enjoy!


Special blog post editorial from Rebecca, one of our FitFarms Health and Fitness instructors.

Image Credit: PictureQuotes.com

Taking the Weight Off Your Mind

Taking the Weight Off Your Mind

While many of our clients come to FitFarms with the goal of losing weight, weight is not ultimately where we place our emphasis and this is why…

The number on the scales doesn’t tell you very much about your overall health.

Weight doesn’t tell you how much of your body is muscle vs fat, or what is a healthy weight for someone of your height. This is why we also use a body fat reading and BMI measurement (a number calculated using both your weight and your height). But even these numbers are very limited. They don’t tell you anything about visceral fat, for example, which is fat found between the organs and which can be a predictor of health issues down the line. Nor does it tell you about other important factors like blood pressure and cholesterol that aren’t directly related to your weight.

If you want a really accurate picture of your health you can get some of those numbers tested by your doctor, but here at Fit Farms we prefer to keep it simple. We eat real food that tastes good and get lots of movement in. More than reaching a particular weight, a consistently healthy diet and the ability to move without pain are much better indicators of whole-body health, which brings me to my next point…

When it comes to pain and injuries it isn’t how much you weigh but how you carry it.

For people with musculoskeletal issues like knee or back pain it is an over simplification that all you need to do is loose weight and you would be able to move better. Weight might be contributing to an issue like back pain, but then why is it that there are people much heavier who do not experience such pain as well as plenty of people much lighter who do?

We emphasise improving mobility, flexibility and strength, rather than just losing weight.

Injuries are usually caused by multiple factors working together; the way your parts are aligned, which muscles are strong, which muscles are weak, and whether or not all your joints can articulate in a normal range. All of these have a much bigger impact on your musculoskeletal system than the number on the scales. By improving mobility, flexibility and strength, movement will be easier and less painful, making it more enjoyable to lead an active life.

Your weight loss goal might not be about weight loss at all.

Often clients come to us with a specific goal for weight loss. As an example, lets say the goal is to loose 10 lbs by Christmas. If you loose 10 lbs by December 25th then that is great. You’d probably feel really good about your self (and you should, too!) But what if you only loose 9 1/2 lbs? You might feel good at getting 95% of the way to your goal but there is probably still a part of you that feels like you fell short.

That’s why we ask our clients to be even more specific when it comes to their goals.

Why do you want to loose that 10lbs by Christmas? This when the real goals come out – ‘I want to fit better in my clothes.’ ‘I’m going on a ski holiday in January and I want to keep up with the kids.’ It’s not that these goals are somehow easier to achieve than a weight-based goal, but they are much more motivating. They are goals that genuinely mean something to you. When you start to feel good in your clothes or notice yourself racing down the ski slopes with your family it will spur you on to keep making changes towards a healthier lifestyle, regardless of what the scales tell you.


Special blog post editorial from Rebecca, one of our FitFarms Health and Fitness instructors.

Image Credit: Quoteslike.com

Free your feet this summer at FitFarms

Free your feet this summer at FitFarms

We are into our second week of our summer camping courses at FitFarms. So far we have enjoyed clear blue skies, warmth and sunshine, which has allowed us to hold a lot of our exercise classes outside on the grass.

For a lot of our more gentle classes like pilates, mobility, and stretching the warm weather and soft grass provide the perfect opportunity to kick off your shoes and enjoy some barefoot time. Not only does this feel great but it can increase the strength and mobility of your feet, improve balance and reduce the risk of injury. Yup, thats right, all from just taking off your shoes!

The foot is a pretty amazing structure. Each foot has 33 joints meaning that the feet have the potential for incredible dexterity and strength – almost as much as the hands. However, in our daily lives most of us confine our feet to structured, stiff-soled shoes and walk only on smooth, man-made surfaces which limit the foot’s natural abilities. Overtime the muscles of the foot become weaker.

This can have a significant effect on our whole-body health. Lets take knee pain as an example. One of the common causes of knee pain is over-pronation of the foot. This means that the arch of the foot collapses with each step and the ankle roles inwards. This creates a rotation in the leg that travels up to the knee, putting unnatural loads on the joint resulting in inflammation and pain. Ouch!

So how to prevent the arch from collapsing? The arch of the foot isn’t a rigid structure that somehow gets worn down over time like a bridge whose stones crumble – it is an active structure created by contraction of the muscles of the foot. Because it is made of muscles it can become weaker with disuse and stronger with use. This means that using the foot in the right way can maintain healthy arches and even help to “rebuild” a collapsed arch.

There are lots of strengthening and mobilising exercises for the foot, many of which we do here at Fit Farms (in a session that Becca, one of the trainers, likes to call “Toe Yoga”). But perhaps the simplest way to improve foot function is to walk (or do gentle exercise), without shoes, on slightly uneven surfaces such as sand or… a grassy field (something that we have an abundance of here at our Worcester camping site!)

Taking off your shoes might not seem like CrossFit, P90X or Zumba but you might be surprised by how tired your feet will feel when you ask them to do all that extra work. And whether you choose to take your shoes off or keep them on, a week here will leave you feeling fitter and healthier from head to toe!

(NB: If you want to try this at home and never or rarely walk barefoot, it is important to build up the strength in your feet slowly to give your feet time to adapt without injury. Start with walking around the house with no shoes, then progress to short periods outside on varying surfaces, taking care in case of sharp objects).

Rebecca


Special blog post editorial from one of our FitFarms Health and Fitness instructors.

Image Credit: Quotesgram.com/Motivational-Fitness-Quotes

Herb Crusted Cod, Roast Vegetables & Napoli Sauce Recipe

Herb Crusted Cod, Roast Vegetables & Napoli Sauce Recipe

A healthy Herb Crusted Cod, Roast Vegetables & Napoli Sauce recipe meal at the FitFarms Weight Loss Camp

Ingredients

For the Crumb –

  • 1, 8oz Fillet skinned and boned Cod
  • 1 Ryvita Rye Biscuit
  • 3 grams chopped Garlic
  • 3 grams chopped Basil
  • 3 grams chopped Rosemary
  • 2 grams Chilli powder

Method

  • Crush Ryvita, add Herbs and Spices, rest while preparing Vegetables.
  • Lightly base Cod with Oil and add the crumb on top

Image Credit: PictureQuotes

The Full-Fat Paradox – why we use whole milk at FitFarms

The Full-Fat Paradox – why we use whole milk at FitFarms

Often one of the first surprises for our clients is when they discover that we use full-fat milk at all of our retreats.

Matt, our chef, does all of his cooking in our open-plan kitchen and dining rooms. This way you get to see how he prepares food and have the chance to pick his brains throughout the week (trust me, you’ll want to once you’ve tasted his mint, pea and spinach sauce!). When clients first see him take blue-topped milk out of the fridge on the first day the reaction is usually one of surprise.

This is understandable; many people go for skimmed or semi-skimmed milk when they are trying to manage their weight because green- and red-topped milk contain less fat and calories.

But that isn’t the whole story. Here are some of the reasons that we go for full-fat whenever possible.

Full-fat fills you up faster

Feeling full isn’t just about the quantity of food that is in your stomach. The type of food plays a major role in making you feeling satisfied. Consuming full-fat products fills you up faster because the higher fat content sends signals to your brain telling you when you have had enough.

Full-fat helps you absorb more micro-nutrients

Many of the micronutrients that our bodies need are fat soluble. This means that we need to eat them along with fat in order to access them. The extra fat in whole milk and other full-fat dairy allows you to do this.

Full-fat keeps you fuller for longer

Fat takes a while to digest compared to carbohydrates so you will stay feeling full for longer, which you will appreciate during the busy program of exercise and activities on the Fit Farms courses. Full-fat dairy also produces less of a spike in blood sugar levels, and so avoids the inevitable crash in energy that comes after a meal that is high in carbs.

A calorie is not a calorie

The issue of full-fat milk gets to the heart of the matter that not all calories are made equal – the source of the calorie matters enormously as to it’s effect on your body i.e. what it does to your blood sugar and insulin levels and whether it is burned as energy or stored as fat.

This might sound complicated but it really isn’t – rather than painstakingly counting calories, here at Fit Farms our focus is on eating real foods as close as possible to the way they are found in nature – it couldn’t be more simple!

Full-fat tastes better!

Not only is it simple and better for you, full-fat milk is also delicious. There is a reason that most low-fat dairy products contain so much sugar – they have to replace all the flavour that is lost when the fat is removed! By using full-fat dairy we don’t need to use sugar to make our food taste good, making it easier to meet your goals for a healthier weight.

This doesn’t just go for dairy

If you are vegan, lactose intolerant or just don’t like milk, then all of this information still applies. Eating fats as they are found in nature (e.g. in nuts and seeds, oily fish, avocado and cold pressed oils like olive oil) have the same effect on the body and still taste great too!

Rebecca


Special blog post editorial from one of our FitFarms Health and Fitness instructors.