Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Lean with LEON

Working in the city, there is a requirement for fast service, I'm yet to come across a patient Londoner (myself included). It can be a struggle trying to fit in a workout (which beats the 3pm slump-yay) and a healthy nutritious lunch into a one hour lunch break! Now, I'm a big champion of preparing your meals the night before and staying organised, however wouldn't it be nice to have a freshly prepared, hot, nutritious lunch and power smoothie in the middle of your busy day? The answer - erm YES! Listen up busy bees.. I have a time saving lean tip for you.....

Now this is where I introduce to you a fast food restaurant that has become my haven - yes I'm not joking fast food. The twist? It's healthy fast food! Again.. I'm not joking. LEON restaurants are magical wonderlands where you can order your nutritious (lean approved) food, receive it and be met with a smiley service, all in about 50 seconds! Their aim is to give good food to the most people. For busy city workers this is a dream come true. I can now fit my lunchtime resistance training and post-workout nutrients into one lunch break- win! I was so thrilled with my experience at Leon that I decided to e-mail the lovely people behind the magic and find out more!

I met with Justin, the Operations Manager at Leon, for a club salad and good chat, at the Cannon Street restaurant. I described to Justin my amazement at how the staff at Leon are so happy and outgoing each time I visit, from working in the hospitality service in past years, I know it's a tough gig and it can be hard to stay chirpy. Justin explained that the people they hire have fun at work, they love what they do and they work as team. Impressively Justin could name all of the staff who were working and knew exactly what was going on in their social lives, if they were studying, their travelling hopes and dreams...  I've never known an organisation who cares so much. Justin also showed me Leon's values.. one of which was magic!

Chicken and Chorizo Club Salad

Onto the food..The great thing about Leon is that they work with nutritionists to create seasonal, healthy menus, packed full of the right ingredients and super-foods.( Finally, somewhere that serves brown rice!!!) I cannot express enough my joy, to find a place that doesn't try to pass off a white pasta salad (smothered in mayonnaise) as a healthy dish...
Leon is revolutionary with a range of hotboxes and salads to bunless burgers on the menu, there is a huge range of choice and everything is fresh and locally sourced the very day you walk in. Being the good guys they are at Leon, your food comes in recyclable containers.. and if taking away, your food is packed into a brown paper bag for you - cute! Pictured above is my very favourite Leon meal, the chicken and chorizo club salad, packed with superfoods like broccoli and boasting a good doze of protein, this is my perfect post-workout meal.

What I find really amazing about the Leon experience is that in some ways it makes me feel like I'm a local in a small village, it's almost like we've all been friends for years! The staff at Leon have a great bit of banter and will greet you with a genuine smile (something not always possible in London), a visit to Leon is a definite mood booster. Nothing is ever too much trouble at Leon,  as I found out when I spilt my morning coffee all over the place (clumsy) and Jòrgé ran to my rescue.

In conclusion Leon is an all rounder - it's got the culture, food and service, I really do urge all you girls/guys on the go to give Leon a try, it wont take a minute - literally. Let me know what you try and how you found it! I'm sure you will feel amazing after getting some super-foods into your system. Eat your way to lean, team! I was also given the very lush Leon first cookbook (there is a big collection), which I am very excited about, so look out for some posts on the recipes that I will be cooking up!

The Lean Elite

P.s If your flying away soon to catch some sun - they've just opened a new restaurant at Heathrow!

Friday, 30 May 2014

Bikini Season - Everyday for ABikiniADay

Bikini season is almost here boys & girls. Eeee! Summer is most definitely my favourite time of year & frolicking in the sun has got to be my favourite past time - Not something we get to do all that often in dreary old England. However if you're jetting off in search of sunshine this summer, I am sure you are already obsessing over getting your abs and ass trim for the beach.

With holidays looming close for many of us I've notice the swimwear section in all my favourite shops packed full of girls trying to find the most cute and flattering designs. All the glossy mags, along with my bible Women's Health are doing features on which bikini shape flatters which body shape, to help you girls out.

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 11.12.27 PM

My favourite Bikini on A Bikini A Day - a triangle beauty from Body Glove

 (image taken from A Bikini A Day)

So recently (being a bikini addict myself) I've been looking to the girls over at  ABikiniADay for inspiration! As it says on the tin, they feature a new bikini every day and they also have weekly giveaways (not to be missed!). Natasha and Devin, the founders, are both from white sandy beach towns (not jealous in the slightest) and have lived in bikinis all their lives. They began a website when travelling together about the different bikinis they wore! And  ABikiniADay was born! It truly is an amazing site and they now have a shop too as well as a unique blog.

What better way to reward yourself for all that hard work in the gym, then a pretty new bikini to show your work off! Also be sure to check out their booty shaping workout - incorporate it into your programme now to get beach ready!

The Lean Elite X

p.s we are now on bloglovin <a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Stand up straight, they said

Now with all this bad weather, I have noticed all city dwellers (including myself) running awkwardly in the miserable rain, huddled over worse than the hunchback of Notre dame, all clutching at their coats, eyes to the ground. Firstly, why do we do that? Hunching over doesn’t keep us any drier, I still get rained on the same amount if I straighten my back ... but don’t get the back ache. So this is all reminded me of something I was told by one of my trainers at dance school. Do not ever ever slouch! Always hold your core and back strong, otherwise your body won’t know what to do, you tell it to be strong most of the day and then let it relax into a curved position after. I’m sure we were all told to ‘sit-up don’t slouch’ as children, and that was drilled into me every day at dance school…  This in mind, my trainer told me that posture can affect your mood, a straighter back can lift your spirits.

I promise I’m not making this up, there is a technical term call ‘chi energy flow’. The idea is that energy flows through your body, and when you have a bad posture (all you couch slouchers) , it takes longer for the energy to flow through your body, as the route it takes is longer. If you really think about it, it does make sense, when your back is straight, energy will flow more efficiently through your body, therefore you should feel more energised and enthused. When hunched over your energy flow is cut and this affects your mood – so for all of us emotional eaters out there… Bad posture = Bad mood = We normally won’t make the best food decisions.

Now – I completely understand this sounds a bit out there and ‘spiritually far-fetched’. But honestly it works! Try to make a conscious effort to stand a little taller and straighter, if you don’t feel the increase in ‘energy flow’ I guarantee you will feel and look more confident. And if you hold your core strong whilst doing this (which is impossible to do when slouching) – then you’re giving your abs a good workout at the same time.  So my busy bees, you can sneak in an ab workout when walking around the shops, buying new beachwear (like I have been doing every lunch hour) - It really is win win!

(Image is not my own - I Googled)

The Lean Elite x

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Putting thoughts to paper.. or screen

Hello world,

Finally I've done it! I've created a fitness/well-being blog. This is much to the joy of my friends who are hoping this results in no longer having to endure my rants on food/gym faux pas!

Having had a dramatic change of lifestyles from training as a dancer 12 hours a day to working 9-5 in the city, I'm hoping to give a unique helping hand to all girls on the go! But also to anyone else from gym fanatics to those who think the gym is some sort of terrifying torture device. Lots of yummy recipes and interesting discussions to be had for all.

More soon!