How to Cook the Perfect Steak

Cooking steak whether it’s so pink it’s still mooing or it’s so cooked you could use it as a belt cooking steak can be quite difficult for a lot of us but I have a few Simple tips and techniques to get a perfect result any way you want it.

  1. Allow the steak to come to room temperature before cooking
  2. Use a griddle pan, preferably non stick
  3. Lightly oil the steak, NOT THE PAN
  4. Season the steak before cooking
  5. Always a low rest time.

Perfect SteakNow for cooking techniques, this method will always give you your perfect steak. Place the stake into the hot pan and cook for 1-2 minutes then flip, now to tell if your steak is cooked correctly or to how you like it put your hand in front of you and gently touch your thumb and index finger together (don’t use any pressure just bring them together so they are just touching) now press the fatty tissue of your hand below the thumb, you will notice it is very squidgy and soft, if you press the steak after 2-3 minutes of cooking you will feel that it is the same as your fatty tissue below your thumb when the index finger and thumb meet.

If you move onto the next finger you will feel that the skin gets tougher below your thumb this continues to the pinkie. As you continue cooking the steak it will also resemble the same feel, so from the index finger to the pinkie is the how long you should cook your steak for the perfect result.

  • Index finger to thumb = medium rare
  • Middle finger to thumb = medium
  • Ring finger to thumb = medium well
  • Pinkie to thumb = well done

Matthew Rankmore
Head Chef FitFarms

Fennel Coleslaw Salad Topper

Salad topperSalad topper I’m all for eating salads for a quick and easy lunch for even on the go or at work. But there is not much worse than a bowl of leaves and chicken, I have a great recipe to excite any salad! Fennel coleslaw!

  • Take 1 head of fennel, 1/2 a red cabbage, 1 onion, a handful of coriander and finely shred them all.
  • Add to a bowl with 2 tbsp of yogurt, 1 lemon squeezed, seasoning and a tap of honey.
  • Mix well and allow to sit in the fridge for 2 hours.

You will be resulted with a fresh, light delicious coleslaw to accompany any salad.


Matthew Rankmore
Head Chef FitFarms

The FitFarms Fitness Holiday Experience in Matlock Derbyshire

Fitfarms holistic weight loss retreat is focused on the belief that…FitFarms holistic weight loss retreat is focused on the belief that your success begins with managing stress, not removing it but dealing with it respecting it if you like. So all our locations have been picked with this in mind, peaceful, restful and tranquil countryside with comfortable and well equipped accommodation, Matlock Derbyshire is no exception.

Set in Darley Dales just above Matlock Darwin lakes is only 10 minutes drive away from the tourist and shops area of Matlock and Matlock bath but when your there it feels like you are as far in the wilderness as could be, the cottages are fully furnished and recently refurbished, set around a beautiful man made lake that runs off directly into the Derwent river, we have our own area sometimes used for weddings and conferences throughout the year but for our use exclusively during the course.

It makes the perfect area for workshops and exercise classes with the average sized group and allows for the majority of the course to be held on site which really helps to remove people from the thoughts and worries of day to day life. The local walks can range from a mile up the road to 10 miles across the Dales to Chatsworth house and ground. Fantastic!

Believe it or not in some particular cases the need to de-stress and re-balance is such that we recommend more down time and less exercise which makes our locations perfect for either situation.

On a whole the scenic walks, the accommodation and the local area all add to the success of the course!

Balance, and How Sometimes Life Just Gets in the Way

CLAIRE PHOTO_3We have just completed a very successful week at Fitfarms weight loss camp and fitness retreat in the heart of the beautiful Derbyshire countryside. This week was ladies only and we put our lovely clients through their paces in the onsite studio and opened their minds with a series of helpful workshops. One topic that seemed to arise frequently throughout the duration of this course was how to maintain a positive mindset and in some cases it was evident the pressure these beautiful and determined ladies were putting on themselves. I think it’s important to realise the journey to a healthier and happier you is to find and embrace the things you enjoy in life. For example, if you don’t enjoy the gym, you shouldn’t be in there. Enjoyment leads to sustainability and there are plenty of other ways to obtain a healthy lifestyle and become fitter outside of using a gym.

Unfortunately we live in a society where social media creates a huge platform for comparison. It’s shoved in front of our faces every single day and everyone is harping on about a balanced lifestyle… but what even is balance? Quite often in these situations there is a lack of honesty so we never actually see the real balance. This makes it difficult for people to contextualise their want for certain things, (especially those naughty treats each and every one of us craves) and understand how their levels of ‘balance’ will have an effect on their long term goals. The fact is, the less healthy scale of the balance is never broadcasted by already established people with seemingly perfect lifestyles and this creates a sense of intimidation, resulting in the rest of us placing this unnecessary pressure on ourselves. Different lifestyles will result in different levels of balance, for instance one person may have a fantastic fitness regime and rather than deprive themselves completely, they sneak in the odd treat when they feel like it. For you it may be a case of one week you may have your nutrition and exercise on point and feel great for it, the next week you may be travelling for work, on the road, eating for convenience and not even getting enough sleep to provide you with the energy for a workout. The thing you have to realise is that this is okay! We are all human and the importance lies in looking at the bigger picture. If you can look at the reasons why you had to make those choices and accept them then you can rationalise your balance in a healthy way. Feeling guilty for having an off week, putting unnecessary pressure on yourself and self sabotage all lead to destructive habits and are these are often the start of a negative downward spiral, even if your journey was going great before hand. Some obstacles in life are simply unavoidable, but if you can accept the reasons for these obstacles and conquer them with certainty and mental strength then you’re already half way there!

The Benefits of Training at Home

fitfarms jodie

Editorial by Jodie – FitFarms Personal Trainer

Here at FitFarms weight loss camp and holiday retreat we strive to get you the best possible results. Many of our clients face different barriers, both mentally and physically but a common barrier we see time and time again is idea of using a gym.

So you’ve taken the first step and made the decision to embark on an exciting journey to a healthier and happier you, however when it comes to making lifestyle changes trying to do too much too soon can be daunting. On top of that, the idea of stepping out of your comfort zone and into the gym can be enough of an excuse to never even get started.

Training in a gym is great and under most circumstances would probably be the better choice for most people, after all it houses a far wider variety of equipment than any of us could dream of having in our homes. But, what if getting to the gym is simply impossible? This could be down to a variety of reasons such as confidence, location or family and work commitments simply not allowing you the time to squeeze a gym visit into your already busy schedule. This can be very demotivating, however the alternate is to train at home and this should never be overlooked or underestimated! You don’t have to feel restricted when training at home and there are many ways of training with body weight alone, however resistance bands, Swiss balls and a kettlebell can be great tools to use and are relatively inexpensive. So what are the benefits?

It’s cheap….. Gym memberships are becoming increasingly expensive with many luring you into year long contracts at the appeal of a marginally cheaper rate. Training at home is completely free so is a great option is you face financial pressures. However, if you do have a small amount of money spare, initially investing in some proper guidance can really help to give you the direction you may need and allow you to make the most out of your home workouts.

It saves time….. You instantly eliminate your travel time, changing room time, and chatting time. By the time these are factored around your workout your total gym time can easily end up eating up a substantial chunk of your day. By training at home you are being far more time efficient, reducing your overall workout time and reducing guilt for prioritising in some selfish time to work on yourself.

You are alone….. Confidence is one of the single biggest barriers many people experience when using the gym. Although it is very important to remember every person is using the facility for self improvement. You are all there for the same reason and the majority of gym goers you will find helpful friendly and even supportive. However, training at home allows you to find your feet, focus without interruptions, practice your movements and build your confidence in an environment where you will not feel judged and are free to make mistakes without feeling embarrassed or uncomfortable. Plus it completely eradicates the time wasted on waiting for equipment.

Home workouts are incredibly effective….. Even simple body weight exercises allow you to train every muscle in your body in a way that can be gradually progressed over time as you get stronger. It can be more interesting, and arguably more effective. For example completing a varied bodyweight cardiovascular circuit at home can be both more physically and mentally stimulating than hopping on a cross trainer for half an hour. Home workouts can be customised to challenge you at a level that is achievable, from really intense with a huge calorie burn to moderate and manageable if you are a beginner. You can be as creative as you like with the stuff you have around you. If you don’t have resistance bands or weights you can use water bottles, tin cans, chairs for step ups, the list goes on. Experiment and use your imagination and research different moves for different body parts, remember, there’s nobody there to judge you!

Here at Fitfarms the team are dedicated to making sure you have all the knowledge and experience you need to structure your own home workouts before you leave, in order to continue on your exciting journey into a healthier and fitter lifestyle. We are always on hand, both during and after the course to help guide you through them!

FitFarms Personal Trainer

Morning Mobiliser at FitFarms Matlock, Derbyshire

big25Start in lying down position
In a relaxed position begin by rolling your wrists and ankles clockwise and anti-clockwise for 30-60 seconds breathing in for 4 seconds and out for 7 seconds (try to maintain this breathing method for the most part of this routine).

Next make a fist and clench, squeeze tightly for 3 seconds and relax repeat this 10 times.
Then do the same with curling and stretching toes.
Single leg hamstring and glute stretch..
With one leg stretched straight out in a relaxed position on the floor bring the opposite leg up and in to the chest in a straight enough position to feel a comfortable stretch down into the hamstring but not straight (regardless of how flexible you are).

Hold in the deepest position for 2-3 seconds then without relaxing the stretch completely lie the leg across to the opposite side of the body and lower it towards the floor until you feel the stretch in the lower back and outer thigh (you may wish to change the hand position from behind the thigh or calf to the opposite hand on the outside of the lower leg or thigh) hold this position for 2-3 seconds then return to start, alternate sides and repeat 5 times on each leg.

Lower back hamstrings and glute stretch Bring both legs up into chest as above (except using both legs instead of
one at a time) lift your head as you pull your knees into your chest and squeeze for 2-3 seconds, then grabbing hold of the right foot or ankle lower the left leg back down to the floor in a straight position pull the ankle/foot of the right leg in towards your torso whilst letting the knee fall out to the side and hold for 2-3 seconds return to the start and begin again with both legs coming in towards the chest and holding for 2-3 seconds and then this time repeat the second part only stretching the left leg instead of the right repeat the 2 part movement 10 times in total with 5
individual mobilisers per side..

Thoracic mobiliser
Lying in the position but with the arms extended out in front of you take your topside arm over to your open side as far as possible towards the floor opening the torso towards the ceiling keeping the arms level with the
shoulder joint throughout the movement try and get your topside shoulder to touch the floor without allowing your legs to come into the movement once your arm and shoulder have gone as far over towards the floor (touching) as possible return to the fetal position by taking your arm in a circular motion over your head trying to maintain contact with the floor as long as possible… repeat slowly 10 times each side.

Cobra stretch into angry cat!
(Don’t ask me where these names come from? 😉)
Lying on your front body flat on the floor forehead resting on the floor palms poised down on the floor as if ready to push up off the floor, peel your body off the floor chest and shoulders first until as fully extended as is comfortable for your lower back hold this position and breath in for 4 seconds then slowly lift your hips off the floor and push your body backwards until your hips are over your heels and then continue so that your knees lift off the floor slightly, your weight will be mainly through the balls of your feet and supported by your outstretched hands as you then try to round your back off and push your chest towards the floor take 7 seconds to exhale whilst completing this second part of the movement at this point begin again to inhale for 4 seconds as you return to your starting position and hold there for 7 seconds as you exhale before beginning the movement again repeat 10 times..

This completes our morning mobiliser. Hope this helps you start your day the FitFarms way!

Video – FitFarms Challenge – Lunge Demonstration

Below are a few little challenges for you to try from the team at our fitness and weight loss retreat in Matlock, Derbyshire. Look for the videos on our YouTube channel.

In the videos for each exercise on YouTube we will go through adaptions and alternatives so there is a level for all to attempt in this blog we are going to go through the challenge involving each particular exercise who knows maybe you could even do them all??..

Challenge 1

The Exercises

  • The stork squat
  • Kb Snatch into windmill
  • Body weight get up
  • Rb stepping wood chop into step and punch.

The Challenge

100 reps of each exercise in as quicker time as possible, take as many rests as necessary but remember get the time down to as little as possible for
each individual exercise.. but NEVER SACRIFICE TECHNIQUE watch the vids closely and practice the technique before trying the challenge.

More exercises and fun to come keep an eye out on our blogs and YouTube channel.

Best of luck from all at Fitfarms! The holistic realistic approach to exercise and health.

FitFarms Spain Fitness Camp March 2017 Review – 7

Stop wishing start doingWell, the Fitness Course at Dorset has just finished and guess what?????? I’m only flying straight to Spain to start my second week at the FitFarms Spain Course!!! Exciting or what, mainly because its one place I’ve never been……

I can honestly say, the journey to Bristol Airports was a funny one. Andy was leading, I was in the middle followed by Stephen in a Jeep that had a mind of its own when it wants to move or not!! Lost Stephen a few times but I thought he’s was just driving slow. That’s not saying we was driving fast but…… we did need to make our flight lol.

We got parked up on the airport car park as we checked in and handed our keys over before I made our was to departures. Exciting times ahead, I could feel it in my bones, or that may have been the cold as it was FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFREEZIN!!!!

Anyway, we made our way around as Stephen got the coffees in as a was gagging for one to be honest with how rushed we were to get from Dorset to Bristol Airport.

We were waiting for Georgia to meet us there as she was coming as part of the Fitness Team which by the way was Me, Andy, Georgia and Stephen to make sure the Spain Fitness Course ran smoothly.

All checked in ok and made our way to the Air Craft. Talk about a cattle market! Its was sooooooo busy but hey hoo I didn’t care as I was going to…… SPAIN!

Flight went well, was taking loads of pics out off the window and took quite a few pics of the Alps which but the way looked gorgeous as Stephen was messing about on his BlackBerry on my right and Andy making beautiful music NOT to my left. Yes, I was squashed in the middle he he.

One the other side of the plane there was lovely Georgia sat with some very strange men. But, she was only listening to her music with her eyes closed so she says, yeah, whatever she’s was a kip but, I’ve never seen someone hold on to their Laptop as tight as she did. True talent. Well done cocka

I was warned my Andy that the landing is sometimes hard and he’s wasn’t joking! My backside came through my mouth, talk about a hard landing….

Anyhow, we got to Spain in one peace and started to head out to collect our rental cars. But first, we needed food!!!! Stephen pottered always to sort the cars out and we had a little mooch around.

Cars sorted so that mean one thing, lets get to the FitFarms Spain Villa YEAHHHHHHH…..

I’m not going in to this but……. Stephens driving in a different country is truly a eye opener that’s all I will say but, it did get A BIT better… Not much, But a bit he he he.

We needed dinner so we stopped off at the harbour and walked to a lovely Cafe where we had out food outside. I had a beautiful bit of Lamb in a way I’ve never had before and a coffee that hit the spot just where I needed it…..

We had been given the news that we couldn’t get in to the villa until Saturday morning so Stephen booked us in to a really nice hotel. The view from my window was fantastic as I was right on the sea front. The sound of the sea coming on the beach was beautiful and as made even better at night, stunning.

That night, we all had a walk around and had a few Fitness Team Drinks (me coffee and fruit juice as I don’t drink) and lots of laughs and that’s when I really started to see myself as a part of the FitFarms Fitness Team and it was a great feeling. Loved it.

Me and Georgia went back to the hotel as we were soooooo tired as the to lads had a few more drinks before they headed back to the hotel.

Next morning I looked out of the window and saw Georgia sat reading her book in the sun and the sea front. The Lads where meant to meat outside at a certain time I,e 9am but guess what……. no sign of them so, I said I’m just gonna pop up and see how they are. There were both dead on their beds, Andy still fully clothed and Stephen well, all I could see was his bald head sticking out from the covers. A lovely sight I must say he he…..

It was time to get the show on the road and get to the Spain Course venue for the Fitness Camp Week.

I was feeling so excited about the week and seeing what guests we have arriving later that day.

Lets see what the day holds…..


Image credit:

FitFarms Dorset Weight Loss Retreat March 2017 Review – 1

jason photoWell, its my first week working for the FitFarms weight loss retreat in Dorset and I can honestly say, I’m a little nervous and I’m really not sure what to expect. Yes, I’ve done this type of work for years, but, its something new and all……

Its the first time I’ve come to Dorset, I’ve travelled throughout the country but, never here and it BEAUTIFUL!

Well, I got there and I hadn’t got a clue where to go so I wont lie, the butterflies in the tummy were a little busy hehehe.

I saw the fitness camp team park up next to me and straight away, my nerves had gone, work mode kicked. The fitness team were great and I instantly felt right at home, or shall I say on a holiday camp or even a holiday…..

I soon got stuck in moving chairs from the fitness studio which was on the other side of the holiday complex to where we were setting up. After all that, I got my stuff together and moved to all the my room which I was surprised as the room was lovely, plus I had a double bed all to myself.

After sorting my stuff out, I helped one of the fitness team out putting all the fitness folders together for when the guests arrived later on in the afternoon.

Guests all started to arrive which meant one thing, work time and begun and I was really excited because I knew I was going to bring something new to the fitness course.

All the guests were really nice and I thought to myself why was i worrying as all this second natural to me.

The week went really well, I brought a breath of fresh air to the fitness camp through my personality and all my classes. Shown them all how fun aerobics can be fun and to be enjoyed which all the Weight Loss camp did so I was sooooo pleased and proud of everyone as its something different and a lot of people there hadn’t done anything like this before, I mean a mad head instructor like me he he.

I also did all the massage treatments on the fitness course for the guests which went down a storm. Most if not everyone wanted my hands more than once and I spotted and sorted most of the problems the guests had either from before the fitness course or during as the exercise was new for some so, a lot of sore muscles to soothe. As well as sorting their bodies out, I also educated them on what was happening to their bodies and giving them the knowledge of how to keep them injury from stretching etc.

It was a hard week but it was all worth it as I loved every minute of the fitness course from teaching, the guests, the fitness team and also doing my massage work. I had such a great time and as soon as this course is finished here in beautiful Dorset, I’m flying straight the next fitness boot camp course in Spain.

Hopefully, FitFarms will want me to do more, more and more work for them as I can see that I have lots to off the fitness course.


Family Bonding through Yoga

Family YogaThese days people are so preoccupied with juggling daily activities that we don’t even get to spend enough time with our families. Add that to the fact that it can be hard to squeeze in a proper fitness regimen into our packed schedules. As we all know, family time and getting exercise are both important for one’s well-being, so why not combine the two?

Why not try a yoga session with the entire family? There are quite a few benefits to starting a fitness and meditation routine with people you love dearly such as the following:

First off, the yoga poses or asanas are a great way to become more balanced. There’s a lot of stretching and bending in yoga, making it great for physical fitness – even the older members can participate because they can use yoga props so they don’t have to strain themselves so much to practice. Also, because of the meditation involved, it’s also a good mental and emotional exercise.

Speaking of meditation, yoga is an excellent stress-reliever. Breathing and focusing techniques taught in yoga can help members calm themselves and find respite from whatever’s pressuring them.

Because this ancient art helps balance the body, mind, and spirit, doing the centuries-old exercises as a family can help strengthen bonds. When the mind and body are relaxed, everyone’s moods will improve so that the family members can get fit while learning more about being more sensitive to each other. It’s a great way to be more open to each other and to encourage everyone to get some exercise.

Plus, compared to doing it alone where one can easily make excuses to put it off, doing yoga with family means everyone can stay on the path to health and fitness – and members can also help each other through the more difficult asanas so that it’s safer for everyone.

Now to get the entire family more excited about the prospect of doing yoga together, here are a few tips:

  1. After a few sessions getting the basics down, it might be a good idea to let each member be the “instructor” so that they can come up with a sequence they want to do. Let family members get creative!
  2. If it’s too hard to invite family members initially, one way to get them to join you is to practice where they can see you. Once they see how much you enjoy it or how relaxed you’re becoming thanks to the practice, they may consider pulling up a mat beside you.
  3. Getting creative with games, costumes, and stories is a great strategy for families with younger children. Integrating music and dance-like elements may pique the interest of toddlers and preschool-aged kids and can serve as an introduction to yoga.
  4. As mentioned earlier, there are props and equipment like yoga sticks and bricks that can help older and less-flexible family members perform the poses that they otherwise couldn’t. It doesn’t have to be scary as long as everyone is encouraging and helpful to one another.
  5. Plan a yoga holiday. There are many family-friendly vacation sites all over the world that are perfect for the yoga-practicing family. These fitness resorts range from luxury farm settings, mountainside retreats, and beach resorts and teach everything from yoga to pilates to proper nutrition, and one can definitely find an option perfect for any budget.

So take the opportunity to get fit and healthy and spend time with your family by doing yoga (or even other exercises like Zumba, aerobics, and outdoor activities like hiking or football). It may be one of the best things you do for your loved ones.

A Health and Fitness article by
Check out FitFarms for Families, a fitness camp designed for parents and children.
Image Credit: Orlando Family Magazine