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.

 

Working at FitFarms by Rebecca

Rebecca FitFarmsHi my name is Rebecca and I am the newest member of the FitFarms staff team. In this post I’m going to be writing a bit about myself and my first impressions of working at FitFarms.

My background is in soft-tissue therapy so I am fascinated by the human body and the way that it moves. I am excited to work with FitFarms so I can use my skills to help people improve their mobility and enjoy a more active lifestyle, whether that is high intensity exercise or just the activities of daily life. When I am not learning about the human body I enjoy using my own body to rock climb, hike and cycle.

The first thing that struck me when I arrived at Fit Farms Derbyshire is the scenery. The cottages are surrounded by woods and set beside a lovely little lake. The surrounding area is covered in rolling, green hills; perfect for getting off-site for longer walks. The hills provide wonderful views across the Derbyshire Dales (once you’ve got to the top, of course!)

One of the things that attracted me to the role at FitFarms is the holistic approach of the program, which is apparent from the off-set. For many people, making the change to a healthier lifestyle doesn’t just require change in one aspect of their life; it often requires change in exercise, nutrition and mindset all at the same time. The FitFarms program addresses all of these aspects, bringing in a variety different types of exercise, nutrition education, cooking skills, mindfulness and habit changing.

Each team member brings something different to the program. Andy and Sean have a wealth of knowledge about exercise and improving overall heath and fitness; Mathew brings a bit of flare to the kitchen as a Rosette chef with a Michelin Award ; Claire’s life coaching workshop has useful strategies for making lasting lifestyle change; and Lesley’s calm and patient explanations in the nutrition workshops cut through a lot of the confusion surrounding the issue of nutrition.

Having this kind of variety ensures that everyone can find part of the course that they really identify with, and are excited to take home to help them reach their goals.

One thing that I wasn’t expecting as part of the role was what great company I have found the clients to be. So far I have met a wide range of people from the UK and abroad, all with fascinating life experiences. On the longer walks I have had the pleasure of some great conversations on topics including making wildlife documentaries, parenting and gender equality.

Every time I start a new job there is always a bit of uncertainty about where the role will take me, but at least I know that here at FitFarms I will never be bored!


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

Here at FitFarms we don’t just believe in exercise, we believe in MOVEMENT

Here at FitFarms we don’t just believe in exercise, we believe in MOVEMENT

When people talk about a healthy lifestyle the emphasis is often placed on exercise. And it makes sense in a lot of ways.

Exercise has many benefits, for example:

  • It builds strength and endurance
  • It can lift your mood, increase confidence and relieve stress
  • It is fun and social

For these reasons we do a lot of exercise during every FitFarms course. During the week we will introduce you to lots of different exercises such as yoga, resistance training, HIIT training, aerobics, kettle bells and boxercise. The aim is to give you a wide variety so you can start to get an idea of what types of exercise you enjoy and which ones you will want to carry on when you get home. All the classes are fun, relaxed and our trainers make everything accessible, so no matter what your fitness level you can give it a go.

That said we also take a very holistic approach to health, which recognises that being healthy is much more than being able to do lots of push ups and squats. It doesn’t matter if you exercise every day or only a few times a week – if your body doesn’t feel good during your everyday activities (walking up and down the stairs, getting out of the car, carrying your kids) then that isn’t true health.

We want to give you the tools to achieve better whole-body health, and not just improve your fitness (but don’t worry, your fitness will definitely improve too!) thats why we emphasise MOVEMENT and not just exercise.

What is the difference between movement and exercise, and why does it matter?

Movement is anything that your body can do. And by anything, I mean anything. Digging in the garden, walking to the shops, getting up and down from the floor, playing with your kids. These are all movements. And they all count towards improving your whole-body health.

Exercise is a sub-category of movement, and it’s great for all the reasons mentioned above, but its not enough. Our bodies evolved over thousands of years to expect lots of and lots of low-intensity movement spread continuously through the day. If you exercise for an hour a day thats great for your fitness but it only makes up around 5% of your day. Five percent! That’s hardly anything!

Frequent, varied movement over the course of the day will improve the health of your muscles, the mobility of your joints and the density of your bones. Even if you have a desk-based job this kind of movement profile is possible with a little effort and lateral thinking. During the week at Fit Farms we show you how to improve your mobility and flexibility and you will get lots of ideas for movement breaks to take during your day at the office. We even run a Dynamic Workstation workshop to help you set up your workspace to better facilitate movement.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s get moving!


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

The Future of FitFarms

The Future of FitFarms

So here’s the plan… FitFarms wants to be more! More than just a 7 day retreat, more than just a chance to lose weight or learn about nutrition, I can honestly say there are lots of camps and trainers out there that probably achieve much greater results than we do, that can boast bigger fat, weight loss and inch loss. Which ever camp, gym, class or trainer you look at their clients sing about what a great experience it was or how much they enjoyed their training and sessions. In my mind whilst this may not be the only factor, it seems like a consistent one. So FitFarms wants to focus on the continued improvement and success of their clients! With this in mind we are looking into updating and improving our post course support and providing one to one follow up for our members. Our members area will have both generic routines and exercise library’s as well as a constantly updated list of useful information, recipes and articles that we feel fall in line with the approach we want to take. We will do our upmost to deliver an on going service to our members to make sure they feel the benefit of working with us.

This year we hope to make some significant changes in this respect, starting with the current members area and course follow up. Updating the members area with an extensive exercise library, some generic routines and programs and all the current recipes as well as useful links and contact details for all the on-site and support staff involved in our program. The course follow up is currently available contact 24/7 with any of the on site staff from your course, this is to be improved by scheduling follow up phone calls and target setting reviews. Obviously these will be available to all but the option will be given at the end of your course and follow up calls etc will not be mandatory or made without prior agreement.

As I said FitFarms wants to be more, this year we will be busy making these changes happen and we are always happy to hear suggestions or feedback so if you have any ideas please feel free to get in touch.

Andy Baker


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

100% Mindset

100% Mindset

We have probably all heard the suggested lifestyle approach of 70% nutrition 30% exercise, (The fitness industry does like its stats to try and sell its newest direction or fad) or that you can’t out train a bad diet? Well what about the people who aren’t ready for this particular philosophy yet? Those of us who have tried and tried then failed and failed.. I would wager that the number of us who have yo yo dieted, bought memberships to gyms they have never used, forked out for equipment that gathers dust or props up the washing pile, far out weigh those that need to think about how diet and exercise should be honed to achieve better results. We get a total spectrum of clients on these courses mostly looking for “that one thing” that will make it all fall in to place, some are already enjoying exercise and healthy eating some haven’t even started. All of my adult life I have been a pt, and I have always worked with “the average client” not clubs or teams or athletes. if there is one thing I can say is a constant is that people think they need help with motivation…. They don’t!

The time and effort our typical client has put into trying diets or exercise plans, or both! before they come to see us just goes to show they have the motivation just not the right direction. As a course this is what we focus on, no matter what a clients goals we can help make sense of both the changes they need to make and the changes they are able to make and how to put both kinds into a plan for moving forward. It’s true that a good diet is important to our health and our ability to exercise efficiently, it is also true for exercise but we cannot ignore the need to get the mind on board, if we get some sense of achievement from what we do, some form of enjoyment then it will become much more manageable a task!

Andy Baker


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