All posts by Sofie Langsford

No cheating. Being sugar free 

1)No cheating 
Too many times when someone starts a diet (even with myself) you start with all the best intentions. You do a super healthy food shop, drink gallons of water and you feel great about yourself. Unfortunately the world is so full of temptations with the help of pretty advertisement. Im still dying to try the new magnums because their advertising was so strong. But we all know as soon as you slip off the band wagon, it’s a slippery slope from there.There are ways around this. Because high sugar junk is cheap to make and easy to sell , companies have more money to promote them. But if you invest some time into ways of eating tasty treats that are guilt free you may be pleasantly surprised! I’ve made things from pancakes, ice cream and cheesecakes all cheat free! All you need to do is find recipes that don’t contain a whole lump of butter and a mountain of refined sugar. Pancakes can be made with just a banana and an egg. Freeze chopped bananas and then blend with peanut butter and honey and you have ice cream! Cheesecakes can be made simply by blending nuts with fruit and a base made from dates and ground almonds. All becoming exciting now? There are endless recipes and possibilities , I spend far too long on Instagram and Pinterest drawling at delicious natural deserts. Of course these treats come with a little effort. So what if you are desperate for a quick fix and a snickers is calling your name? Never fear there are natural treats that can be found in most supermarkets. Nakd bars are amazing, and they are getting better. At around 50-75p a bar they can be an expensive hobby but it makes treat time limited,but more special. They are upping their game with new flavours such as Bakewell tart and choc mint (which tastes like an aero) . They also have started making nibbles which honestly are delicious! Strawberries and cream is my favourite. It feels like you are eating sweets. If you are a yoghurt lover like me , there are many new coconut milk based yogs and ice creams. Coyo do a variety of plain, vanilla and chocolate. All disgustingly good. If you are looking for an energy pick up try having nut butters on fruit. Meridian do three types , almond, cashew and peanut. Just chop up an apple or dip a banana in. It’s a Great pre work out snack as the fats in nuts are a good energy source. (You don’t always need carbs for energy). Last year my girlfriends went to Morocco and brought back a great treat idea. Chopped fruit and just a dusting of cinnamon . It’s weirdly addictive, after Muay Thai training every Saturday me and my boyfriend would be on the fruit and cinnamon. The best are oranges and pineapple. Once you cut out sugar , you will soon notice that things that may not have been so sweet suddenly become sweeter. I was eating 99% chocolate during my weight cut. It’s not for the faint hearted but once I was sugar free, I enjoyed it more than regular chocolate. It tastes so rich and creamy, I’d treat myself to 2 squares mid day for a pick up , and it’s actually an anti oxidant so it’s a treat with health benefits! 

There are many ways to cheat without cheating. And there’s nothing more satisfying than having a cheeky treat that actually isn’t bad for you. Time to redefine the word treat. 

Challenge training 

Challenge training
A reason why many people don’t go to the gym is because there is a lack of motivation. If every gym visit I paid consisted of me deciding which piece of cardio equipment I was going to drag out 30 minutes on I too wouldn’t feel too inspired to go. My gym sessions vary. Some days I’ll be boxing, others wrestling, weights or cardio. But whatever I’m doing I feel a purpose in doing so. I’m not just ticking a box to say I’ve done my gym of the day, I don’t go to update my status and check myself in …Sofie Langsford is -at the gym #gettingfit. Some people do do that but I guarantee you they won’t last, there’s only so many times you can check into the gym before you even get bored of it, and your friends list number slowly detieriates. 

So now you need to find motivation. This can happen inside and outside the gym. I’m going to start with outside. 

So you are going for a run. How far are you aiming to go? Is there a hill you need to tackle? Is there a straight road you can sprint? All these challenges are motivation to pushing yourself that bit further. For instance , I live by a long steep hill. It’s an effort to get up it but I make sure I never stop or fail the climb. Many times I’ve got half way and wanted to stop, but the trigger in my head sets getting to the top as a challenge and I push to achieve it. If I didn’t set the challenge I would have lost interest and stopped. 

Another thing you could do to try and increase entertainment along the run is stop at objects or obstacles you could use like gym equipment. Box jumps at a gym is no different to box jumps on a tree stump or step ups on a park bench. I found a park that has a variety of circuit stations. I call it my circuits park. The first is a tree stump I use for jumps, next is a bench for step ups , in the centre is a big set of steps I do 3 sets of lunges and 3 sets of squat jumps up. Last is a bike rack I do tricep dips pull ups and raised press ups on. After I do all that I’m knackered, it’s awesome. 

When I go back to my home town park I do section sprints at the end as there’s a long road with evenly spaced lamp posts. I sprint one set then light jog the next. So all you have to do is look around, get creative and set yourself weird challenges. You get a sense of achievement for being so creative and doing a good work out. 

Inside the gym its a bit easier. I personally enjoy taking on challenges that look impressive. I first took to the bosu board when doing these challenges as I’d seen some cool workouts on pin interest. I began with just jumping on the board and balancing. Hard at first but eventually I mastered it, what next? I then added a kettle bell swing, mastered, then squat, mastered then stepping on the board one footed, then raising my back leg, then high knee to single leg squat, adding a kettle bell, you get the jist, now . A lot of my Instagram feed is fitness food and training. When I watch the videos of someone doing challenges, beating personal bests and trying new equipment it makes me want to do the same. So be inspired, set yourself a challenge and push your limits. 

Motivation and mind power

Motivation and mind power 
Being a fitness instructor aswell as an athlete I know the power of motivation . Whether you are being motivated or you are self motivated , it’s an essential ingredient to progression. If we are not motivated, we cannot push ourselves to a higher level. As an instructor or coach it’s my job to ignite the part of the brain that basically fires you up. I like to think of mine as a Duracell bunny. I store those bunnies for that extra push that makes me go beyond my comfort zone. It’s important to make yourself uncomfortable in order to be better. Doing my conditioning classes , I can look at the clock and see I have 10 minutes left. I feel exhausted, my muscles are giving up and my brain is beginning to refuse the work. That’s when I use the stored bunny energy. All of a sudden it’s like I’ve had an energy blast, a second wind they call it. You put your all in and at the end you are beyond exhausted, but you feel great. This is the power of the mind. 

When you are at the front of a class instructing you see everyone. You see the pushers and you see the quitters. Some people just haven’t found their Duracell bunny. They cannot self motivate. This is where words of encouragement must come in and you see the participant suddenly ignite. It shows they had it in them to push beyond but they just cannot self motivate. If you know you are one of those people here are some exercises to help you become a self motivated person. 

1) plan your workouts with set reps, targets and goals. This helps you carry out the desired work out, and not completing it leads to a feeling of failure. 

2) start recording personal bests (pb’s) so you push yourself to achieve beyond them. 

3) give yourself treats and rewards based on the success of planned targets 

4) post your success on social media so you can feel proud of achievement and strive for more.

When you feel the power of pushing beyond what you thought you could do, you will expect no less from your body in training. 🐰

Fitness and sickness

When faced with the winter months, it’s our prime time for spreading endless coughs colds and headaches to each other. There are a few things you can do to avoid it. Drink lots of water, eating your vegetables , washing hands after being on the tube , don’t be on the tube. 
Sometimes it’s just inevitable. 

So how do you deal with fitness when you are sick? 

This is when you really need to know your body. Now some people will take sickness of any sort as a red light to training . But these people need to really ask themselves, is the headache because of dehydration? Staring at a computer too long? In moments like these where I too feel no motivation to train, almost certainly the best thing you can do is train. It gives you an energy boost, gives you a good hormone blast and encourages you to sweat out toxins and drink more water. So if it’s a so so feeling, get to the gym.

Then there’s the feeling of body exhaustion. You feel weak , your stressed. You have lost your appetite and just can think of nothing worse than being out in the public world for a second longer. This could be either just tiredness or your immune system is low. It’s probably best to stay away from the gym incase u come in contact with another sick person and end up getting really sick yourself. Try instead to have a light jog in fresh air then having a nutrient dense meal and an early night. And of course lots of water. And then there is the full on sickness . You haven’t drunk the night before but you feel hungover, like you could puke any second, like ur head has been in a vice all night, and you are on fire. This is the point where you give your body a rest. It’s obviously fighting something and using up energy to train your body at the same time won’t speed up the process. Drink water , stay warm and sleep. 

Extra vitamin c is advised during these times. Red peppers,Kiwi, oranges, lemon and supplement tablets .

Eat healthy without eating into savings 

It’s not a lie that having a healthy living in 2016 doesn’t come cheap. With so many different super foods and supplements recommended for optimum health , sometimes your budget just won’t allow the maca as well as the baobab. 

These last few years there has been a huge increase in people wanting to be the cleanest, healthiest and 100% natural and organic. 

I recently read an article about a woman who became victim to the health trend. It inspired me to write this article about how we can have the clean living but without going into serious debt because of a fad.

I started super clean eating in 2013 when cutting for my first fight. At this time a shop assistant would think I was speaking a foreign language when asking for flaxseed or chia seeds. Now they have whole aisles dedicated to superfoods. 

Back then there was much less option for where to buy these things, so unfortunately I did end up in whole foods £30 down with only 3 items. 

I had to educate myself with what it was in these foods I was looking to benefit from and finding either alternatives , or finding stores that won’t double the price of the item because Kate Hudson uses the same one. 

For example, coconut oil in health food shops can be around £10-£15. In supermarkets £5-£8. In African hair shops, it’s £2.50. It’s exactly the same stuff, it just isn’t in a fancy container with all the hype and fuss on the label.

Sometimes chia seeds are hard to find, like a chia seed in a hay stack. Waitrose have started a new selection of health foods at a reasonable price. £4 for 300g, rather than £12 for 400g in Holland and barratt.

Speaking of Holland and barratt, always be aware of when they are doing a half price sale or penny sale. There’s nothing worse than buying something full price and the next day they half it. It hurts. In addition, getting their loyalty card is an absolute must. I’ve had vouchers for £6 off and I don’t even shop there religiously! They are definitely worth having, and getting their emails too.

Lastly, my biggest trick is beginning of the day fresh shopping. If you are in London this is the trick. Find a waitrose where it’s not likely people would do their full shop. For example Westfield shopping centre or Holborn high street. Get in there first thing and so much good fruit and veg is reduced. And it’s all so good it’s probably still fresher than asda produce at normal price. 

So eating healthy doesn’t need to break the bank. Be sensible with what you buy, shop around , and make your own smoothies and juices rather than paying someone £8 to blend up 50p worth of fruit . 

– sign up for personal training with me and I can give you nutrition advice 24/7 as part of being my client.