Sunday, 30 September 2007

Sunday is farm shop day

Well, I seem to have found a cure for my illness and it involves passing the virus to someone else! I knew I was feeling better when my husband informed me that his throat felt like glass, then within 24 hours he was laying on the sofa clutching two pillows looking very sorry for himself! I, however, feel great! And it is only 4 days till my holiday in the Algarve, click here for details of where I am staying (smug or what?).

The key to fighting a cold or to general well being is eating good stuff. Sid and I like to go to farm shops and buy fresh local produce and we ventured out today with nowhere particular in mind, We saw a sign for a dog show so we thought it might be fun to drop in and see what was going on, we pulled into a non-descript field and saw 6 dogs being heavily criticised by a short man in wellies with a gruff voice. A small girl of about 10 years old won best in her show for her poodle and everyone seemed happy, It all seemed a bit surreal. We could see a sign for a farm shop but the place did not look open, however, we decided to have a look anyway, as we entered the corrugated iron and plastic shed we were greeted by a vast array of fresh home grown vegetables, milk and eggs. We had found Vincent's Farm shop and Vincent was there, he was happy to chat about his shop and apologise for its modesty but he needn't apologise as it was amazing. We spent £9 and came back with bags full of produce.

Vincent pointed out that his son, Richard, normally runs the shop but Vincent had just been on holiday and had flown for the first time in his life. His farm shop is well worth a visit. When you are buying locally it is easy to be conned. It is only a few weeks since Sid & I went to the new 'farm shop' adjacent to Endsleigh Garden Centre and we were really disappointed. It is easy for companies to cash in on the drive to do your bit for the environment.

Anyway, the farm shop at Collard Lane was great, the dinner I am cooking will hopefully be equally great, Next time you are shopping bare Vincents in mind and if you have time don't forget to ask about Vincents 'educational time' in Gran Canaria! There are loads of little farms out there that just need finding.

One more point for discussion - Last night I rediscovered St Peter's Brewery in Suffolk via a beautiful glass of Honey Porter, now if you are going to drink then you might as well drink something made from pure spring water and the finest organic hops. Even the Queen has recognised how fantastic this little company is and gave them an award to coincide with her 80th Birthday celebrations. As usual I have to remind you to drink sensibly and if you are going to drink then please drink lots of water the day after! Oh and thanks to moor and more beer for helping me rediscover St Peters!

Stay Healthy

Sam x

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

14 year old fighter!

Well, I still feel rather like poo - I lack energy and motivation and have now faced up to the fact that i do not have tonsillitis but a nasty head cold, the evil little virus has spread from my throat to my ears, nose, sinuses and eyes and is now reeking havoc with my head. However on a good note my routine eye test went well today and I still do not need glasses. I received a DVD featuring my performance at the Pole Divas finals in Manchester and was deeply disappointed with my dance - must try harder!

Some more good news is that I have sponsored a talented young 14 year old to help her pursue her Thai boxing career. Christi Campbell (pictured above left) has been fighting for several years now and after beating most of the juniors in her weight division she is now fighting adults. She is a great role model for kids her age as she points out 'Most of my friends spend their evenings and weekends at the park smoking and getting into trouble. I spend my time training and hope to one day become world champion'. My sponsorship will help Christi to train in Thailand ready to undergo her bid for a world title. Click here to download her recent fight with Natasha Gold.

Apologies again for such a short blog, Will try to write something inspiring tomorrow. I do have some advice I have been meaning to share for a while on healthy eating so will endeavour to find time tomorrow. For the moment you can stay healthy by avoiding me! (sorry students - you have to put up with me regardless!)

Stay Healthy

Sam x

Monday, 24 September 2007


Yours truly - the health and fitness advisor is not healthy and not fit - I have a throat infection (seems like tonsillitis) and am feeling sorry for myself, I am blaming the university students for bringing a large selection of germs into Plymouth and into my studio! I feel like I have been swallowing glass and am sat in the office staring at the computer trying to motivate myself to get some more work done!
I exhibited in Exeter yesterday for Face of Exeter and felt that my performance was not up to normal standards, by midnight I was feeling rough. I will post a video of mine and Rosanna's performance in the next week for your perusal. I think it is fair to say that everyone loved the show, The hair and make up artists from HQ hair and Beauty were excellent and hopefully the show raised a good amount of money for Force - the cancer charity. Congratulations to the winners - Chris and Abi (see picture above).

So how can I write about health when I feel so groggy. I will be resting my aching body today and tending to my war wounds from the weekend. All sympathy greatly received, I will not be blogging tomorrow as it is Ashley's funeral which probably wont help me to feel much better.
Advice for today is aimed directly at those who may be feeling poorly like me - here is some advice on the treatment of tonsillitis - click here for more info. For those of you who are not ill you have no excuse for not getting off your backsides and doing some exercise.
Stay Healthy (unlike me!)
Sam x

Saturday, 22 September 2007


Well after a successful Westcountry pole jam at my studio today I seem to be missing several bits of skin, one bit is missing from my shin and the other two bits are missing from my left foot (my climbing foot), This is not good new for my exhibition in Exeter tomorrow. I have vaslelined the skin to try to create a temporary cover but will lose yet more skin tomorrow no doubt. A big thanks to everyone who managed to turn up today.

Aside from my days pole jamming, one of the fighters from our gym - Saints - is fighting in Birmingham today. Omar has been a student at the gym for several years and despite showing signs of being a great fighter he always seems to draw when in the ring - fingers crossed that today will provide him with a much deserved win -I will keep you posted.

As some of you may have read - Jo has been updating her gymnastic skills at the Swallows gym in Plymouth, it all sounded very painful and as Jo's stepson put it "I think I have broken Jo!"

This week sees the launch of this years Sports personality of the year for local people - the event looks set to be a good one.

Here are a few bits of feedback from previous blogs - firstly the milk experiment, Can milk hydrate you better than water? The answer is that it seems to work, well at least with milk you spend less time on the Loo. I am unsure whether I would recommend drinking too much milk but a half pint after training seems to help my general fitness and well being. I still drink lots of water too. The dandelion tea seems to be helping me sweat less but it has been cooler in the gym and some of the effects may be psychosomatic so I can't say for sure.

Anyway -it is Saturday night and I am accompanied by a delightful bottle of Leffe brun, a fine Belgian beer, not generally recommended for a health and fitness regime but very nice nonetheless.

Well it is good bye from me and goodbye from the Leffe,

Stay healthy,

Sam x

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

New training tips and general whinging

Firstly a video that was sent me today from Bret Stalcup, it is a heavy training regime for serious body building, be warned that Bret is lifting 150 pounds, not a suitable weight for everyone to be lifting! Click here for the vid and Thanks to Bret for sending it - Bret's new video.

I managed to get to a yoga session with my favourite yoga teacher Lesley Bishop, she teaches on a Tuesday night at Clearbrook Village Hall on Dartmoor. The yoga really helps my fitness particularly my flexibility. Lesley had a few moves up her sleeve to really work my shoulders. It was a good session.

If any of you heard Radio Devon yesterday evening you would have heard myself and Jo putting Paul Moxham through his paces on the pole. Paul is a radio presenter with real talent, he put us all at ease and the interview went really well. I have a copy of it so will find out if I am allowed to add it to my blog. Watch out Gordon- you have competition!!!

I mentioned in a previous blog that a fat gene should not be blamed for obesity but I would like to mention that our body shape is dictated by our genetic shape, there are three basic shapes: Endomorph, Ectomorph and Mesomorph. The body shape is not an excuse for being out of shape but does dictate how you should train to achieve your desired body shape. If you are an endomorph then you need to control your diet more seriously as you are less likely to burn fat, if you are a mesomorph then you have the body that others dream of, you appear to be able to eat more but that is cause you burn it faster, Anyway enough boring fact. If you want more info click onto this men's fitness report.

Lastly, Happy Birthday to my Nan who celebrated her 85th Birthday today. My Nan is one of the best Nan's and has been a great influence on my life (and sometimes a bad influence to in a cheeky way!). Only last\week my Nan feel whilst shopping in town, a kind lady offered to help but my Nan said she was ok and could get up on her own. Then a young gentleman of 19 walked past and my Nan decided she could do with a hand - Nice one Nan!

Off to put my feet up on the sofa!

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Monday, 17 September 2007

Healthy Eating

Firstly I must apologise to those of you who attended our student night out on Saturday at Annabel's cabaret and discotheque. It was a great night but I was not intending on performing topless, I just picked a bad choice of bikini top! Thanks to all of you who did turn up, it was a really lovely evening and I thoroughly enjoyed showcasing (apart from the temporary nudity!).

My performance on Saturday has given me the boost I needed to get in serious training for the nationals and to keep fit I need to eat well so a good shop was called for. Yesterday my husband and I visited the little farm shop at Roborough Village Recreation Hall and purchased some goodies including organic veg for a Sunday roast and nice things for the week including Gravadlax from
Mikes Smokehouse - yummy! I also have prepared some balanced meals for the week including smoked mackerel Kedgeree, Mushroom Risotto and Seafood linguine.

I found a nice little website that featured lots of local farms where you can buy food direct from them,
click here for more info.

To boost my diet yet further I have some
probiotic organic yoghurt drinks from Rachel's Farm and a plentiful supply of mineral water (Thanks to my husband!). Now if I am going to get extra fit then I want the rest of you to make an effort too!

Now to a slightly different vein - healthy living and fashion. for those of you who are not aware of the term EDW you only need to visit
glamour puss's blog to understand it! EDW or elegantly dressed Wednesday is all about style so I thought I would add a slant to it and think about EEDW - Ethically and Elegantly dressed Wednesday - think high fashion but without your fashion coming from an Indian sweat shop. (What, you may be wondering, does this have to do with health and fitness - well apart from the fact that looking good can make you feel happier I like to think about benefiting the health and fitness of others and if I buy ethically then I know I am contributing to the health and fitness of another individual somewhere in the world)

So what exactly is Ethical fashion? Ethical fashion is about trying to buy fair trade items, organic fabrics and about buying from sustainable sources. Many high street stores including M & S and New look have introduced fairtrade, organic ranges and hopefully many more stores will follow suit. So we can look better without feeling guilty! Here is a nice article on
Ethical fashion.

Well it must be time for me to return to work, my desk is full of stuff that needs attention and my search for a new premises continues. I will leave you with a clickable link for
George bush's new workout regime! Enjoy.

Stay Healthy

Sam x

Friday, 14 September 2007

Back on my soap box!

Well it must be time to put the world to rights, I am feeling particularly motivated today and am looking forward to new challenges. I watched a fantastic documentary on the Community Channel regarding out door adventure in particular Parkour and Rock climbing. The aim of the project was to go local schools and get children using their bodies to keep fit and to challenge their minds by overcoming fear. It was a great programe and a great idea, it is so good to see active kids and these sorts of activities are brilliant forms of education.
Whilst I am feeling quite so inspired here are a few inspiring quotes to help inspire you:
"I learned that courage was not the abscence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear." Nelson Mandela (pictured above for the large percentage of children interviewd who didn't know who he was!)
"The first thing is to love your sport. Never do it to please someone else. It has to be yours. "Peggy Fleming
"The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we hit it." Michelangelo
So now we are all feeling inspired lets get out and do something about it. This blog may be brief but that is because I am too busy being inspired!! Off to teach for two hours now so watch out students - I am feeling energetic!! Bring on the national competitions.

Stay Healthy
Sam x

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Remembering Ashley

Today I have cried quite a lot, I think Ashley's death has finally hit home. However Ashley would have wanted me to be strong so I have been working hard today and have planned a hard training session with Jo at 5pm. It is easy to wallow in self pity but it doesn't actually help anyone therefore I need to keep motivated. As I have mentioned in previous blogs health and fitness is as much about mental state of mind as physical state of mind and I can see how easy it is to say 'I can't be bothered to exercise'

I have had an interesting few days with exercise being pushed a little to the back of my priorities although I did do 4 hours teaching yesterday but the weekend was spent working for BMW (data capture) accompanied by several meals out with family and a visit to Bodmin Jail (very spooky). Not the most strenuous weekend (Several pints of Sharps Doom bar seemed to accompany each meal) but very enjoyable. I do find it difficult to eat well when visiting certain eating establishments as the menus can be so limited. However I have made up for it today with a visit to the Plymouth Arts Centre, I ma now armed with a box full of edible goodies: Carrot and Cashew nut loaf, Green Salad, a ploughman's salad and some garlic and mushroom tagliatelle which should keep me going for a day or so. Not only is the food lovely but it is cheap - double bonus!
After eating well and getting some fresh air my head feels a little clearer, I am sure I will feel tearful again later but that is a normal part of the grieving process. I know that in time I will feel better but I will never forget Ashley. Lastly I would like to say that my thoughts go out to all of Ashley's family and friends and also to other victims of bereavement, if any of you need help or support dealing with a loss then click here for advice

Stay Healthy and Happy,
Sam x

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Numb & Angry.

Apologies for the lack of blogging over the last few days but I have been spending time with my mother in law and her partner as well as working and time seems to have slipped by. We have been doing lots of nice things and I have been really looking forward to writing about them, that was until the phone rang yesterday and I learnt that a friend was found dead on Sunday night.

To all those who knew Ashley - lets remember all the good times and lets think of his kids & family at this difficult time. I will write tomorrow about all the nice ideas I had in my head for health and fitness stuff but today I need to submerge myself in work and beast that pole.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

I got Silver!

I have just come second in the International body weight culturist of the month award, narrowly beaten by Bret Stalcup (pictured left) who after spending time in a supermax prison in the US has turned his life around. The guy has done good, he has become a fitness god and has a body that is toned to perfection. For any of you (particularly the ladies) who might be interested in his fitness advice (or would just like to ogle his six pack) click here. Anyway I prefer silver to gold so am very happy with second place.

Now we all know that good diet is essential for good health so why most of todays children eat so badly. I am aware that some schools are trying to improve theri menus but are cafes and restaurants doing the same or are kids only able to access fish fingers and chips or chicken nuggets and chips. Unfortunately this limited diet is extending to us adults. I was perusing a pub menu only yesterday and despite the promise of rel home cooked food I was offered a serving of sauted potatoes (dry, crispy and obviously from a frozen packet)and limp boring salad, the only saving grace was the customer service which was brilliant.
Roll on the beer and cheese tasting session next month at Moor and more Beer in conjunction with Bistro one - two local companies who know about good food and drink , and of course I am advising that you only have cheese or beer in moderation!
Well enough rantings for today - time to go and top up my bruises.
Stay healthy,

Sam x

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Burlesque brilliance.

Well for any of you who were at Annabel's last night I do not need to tell you how amazing Georgina Gale was. For those of you who weren't lucky enough to make it I can assure you that Georgina gave us two classic performances the first to Feeling Good by Muse - a raunchy number starting with Sue clad in leather from head to toe, it was a sizzling performance with amazing facial expression and just the right amount of suggestion without any real nudity. The second performance was Georgina's Classic - Black velvet, Georgina entered the stage in a full length black dress, long black gloves and Boa, the performance involved a gorgeous set involving a white chair which contrasted beautifully against the black outfit and bright red of Georgina's hair. Amazing!

So what has this got to do with health and fitness you may be asking, Burlesque is about pose, posture and presence and this involves great body awareness. Georginas balance was perfect and she showed her physical health as well as stimulating the mind. The performance also evoked confidence, an essential part of good physical and mental well being.

The bit if this blog that really does not relate to health and fitness is my hangover, which i blame on the poor cleaning fluids used to clean the pipes at a local hotel, had I stuck to a few glasses of bottle conditioned ale I think I would be ok! I am also not used to such a late night and am not a very nice person to deal with if I haven't had enough sleep.

I will write more tomorrow and try to give some expert health and fitness advice when I am actually feeling a bit more human. Oh and my practice yesterday went well in the fact that I lasted for 45 mins on the pole but less well in the fact that I was trying a spinning shoulder climb which involves bouncing around on your collar bone and it seems that my body is now protesting against such a move - Ouch. No pain, no gain!

Fish and broccoli for tea and lots of peppermint and green tea throughout the day to aid the detox process.

Also Thanks to all our students who turned up to support Georgina last night - it was much appreciated.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Lack of motivation.

I have been a little un-motivated this week, I have felt tired, hormonal and have done very little pole practice. I have taught quite a bit but need to push myself a little harder to keep my own personal pole skills up to scratch. So today instead of taking the day off as planned i have come into the studio for an hour of intensive training. My lack of motivation seems to have been caused by some over exertion (Jo's fault for abandoning me!) and partly due to drinking a little too much alcohol and not eating quite as healthily as I do normally. I even drank coffee three times this week and I know that coffee does not agree with my digestive system. I deserve no sympathy and hopefully the pole will show me no sympathy either.

The aforementioned coffee was particularly enjoyable as I knew that I shouldn't really be drinking it. The last of the three coffee sins occurred only yesterday when I bumped into a friend at the Coffee Shack on the Hoe and enjoyed a naughty Latte overlooking the beautiful natural amphitheatre that is Plymouth Sound. Bliss!

On Thursday I was persuaded to take on a extra piece of work - I have to help one of my instructor's find 2 men with six packs to dance at the T2 Halloween party, it is a terrible chore as I have had to study all the men entering the gym to see if they have a six pack (click here to find out how to get one!) There are some aspects of my job that are definitely more desirable than others.

Now I am rambling again - probably in an attempt to avoid my planned hour of training hell. But I must do it, I cannot write a health and fitness blog without trying to be fit and healthy myself. Wish me luck - will report back later when the bruises start to show.

Oh and if any of you are passing Annabel's this evening then be sure to stop by and watch the art of dance' Burlesque Beauty Georgina Gale strut her stuff. Entry costs £5 and the show starts at 10pm. Definitely one to watch.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x