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The power of running 

The power of running. 
There are always different reactions to running, some respond with talk of a past or upcoming marathon, some say I can’t run, some speak of Injury that means they can’t run. All reactions aside, running to me is a very unique exercise . It’s one that challenges the body in multiple ways , not just the legs. Running has a rhythm that must be constant. It’s a rhythm you must have full engagement with in order to not trip or fall. 

Walking is an exercise we will carry out almost everyday. It’s the most natural form of exercise where the body will not require much alertness. It’s a casual exercise that can be done sub consciously.  

Now think what happens to the brain when you begin to run. Unlike walking, there must be a reason you are running. Danger? Excitement? Fear? Basically when the body begins to run, the brain becomes alert and very aware of what it’s doing. It fires up the heart to pump more blood, it supports the lungs to inhale more oxygen, it makes sure the eyes and ears are aware of the atmosphere. Now you must begin to focus, engage with the bodies rhythm of commands. From breathing , to picking up and dropping the feet and holding posture. 

I believe the reason people find running so difficult is the amount it challenges as you multi task the body inside and out. 

I wrestle regularly and this to me is a challenging exercise. However it’s very different from running. In wrestling I’m solely focussed on my position and my opponent . I forget my breathing, I forget my energy levels. It’s all about beating the opponent. In Running you have no opponent , it’s all on you. It’s easy to give up when running as you are almost too concious of energy levels and cardio ability. Having a partner with you or a route to complete will help you continue and push beyond normal capability. 

I was Watching the movie girl on the train and the character with severe anxiety and depression said ‘the only time I feel myself is when I’m running.’ 

Whether this is a link to expressing her desperation to run away, running still disconnects the feeling of being trapped and weighed down. When you run you are free and in control. When my father passed away I ran. It was the most comforting thing to do as it too made me feel like I was in control and the strain on my body helped my mind relax.There’s a lot of therapeutic power in running that can solve a lot of problems like stress and depression. 

So next time you refuse the idea of running, think of the benefits you will do mentally as well as physically. 

Oils to avoid!

Oils can be found in many different products, such as dips ,peanut butters or snack bars. When picking the right products it’s good to know which oils are good and bad. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are your best choices, top of the list being the obvious coconut oil and others like flax oil and olive oil. However being more experience , this means cheaper oils are used in shelf items. Here’s the ones to avoid ! Soybean Oil

Corn Oil

Cottonseed Oil

Canola Oil

Rapeseed Oil

Sunflower Oil

Sesame Oil

Grapeseed Oil

Safflower Oil

Rice Bran Oil

These oils can increase the risk of heart disease and cancer. Check packaging before you buy anything , always read ingredients not calorie content!! 

Meal choices 

I had a request to make a brief outline of what to have for meals . For recipes and more meal plans email me at langsfordsofie@gmail.com 

Breakfast

-breakfast bowl

-banana pancake 

-vegetable omelette 

-pre workout breakfast shake 

Lunch

-chicken and quinoa 

-rainbow salad 

-power pasta 

-Brown rice salmon 

Dinner 

-paprika chicken 

-Chinese chicken stir fry zoodles

-courgetti bolognaise

-salmon and sweet potato fries

Deserts 

-orange/pineapple and cinnamon 

-coyo coconut yoghurt 

Immunity shake:

Handful spinach

Kiwi

Ginger chunk 

Cucumber 

Avocado 

Mint 

Lime

Coconut water

Innocent apple juice 

#trainingforlife

I often refer to goals and setting targets when it comes to training. It’s important to know why you are doing something otherwise it has no purpose and this leads to no motivation .sometimes in my gym I find myself trying to squeeze goals out of customers to get them on the path to success. Unfortunately paths are very rarely undistracted. Along the way you may bump into a family party, a leaving do, a new partner a twisted ankle etc. Basically , we naturally like to add some spice in our lives, but it doesn’t mix too well with the bland taste of gym on a Friday evening. So I’ve been thinking of a new edge. Something that will keep someone consistent rather than constant. It’s not training for an upcoming party or wedding, or even training just so you can post photos and videos on Instagram. It’s training for life. The idea that to train is part of your everyday tasks rather than an additional. You don’t miss a days sleep, or a days worth of meals so why miss a days work on your body. Your body is a machine that needs running everyday. How can you accept that you are a bit weak, or that you can’t even run for the bus without getting out of breath. It’s a bit pathetic that the one body you have to look after , is being neglected. You may think you are happier going home at 5pm just to eat a box meal and watch junk tv, but realistically all you will lead yourself to is unhappiness and even depression.There’s no better feeling than finishing everyday knowing you ate well , worked hard and feel happy. So join a good gym, or find a friend to chase you in the park. Whatever you do be it little or beastly, treat your body with respect and take it for a walk. #trainingforlife

Top five dinners 

Here’s an article that featured on the gymbox website 

Most of my training is done in the evening so dinner is an important meal. One thing I try to stick by is making my dinner as veggie filled as possible and low  carbohydrate. My eating philosophy is everything as natural as possible. With that in mind I devised several recipes that are home favourites, but with less refined rubbish. I’ve listed my top 5, all coincidentally beginning with ‘c’ except the fish cakes , but I made it work. Enjoy!
Chicken pesto

Chinese stir fry
Chickpea daal
Chicken curry
Cakes of fish 
CHICKEN PESTO

Ingredients:
Chicken, mushrooms, bell peppers, broccoli, courgette
Half a pot of Gluten and wheat free pesto
Pine nuts
1 tbsp coconut oil
Method:
Cook chicken in coconut oil. Once cooked add broccoli mushrooms and peppers and cook until soft.
Add pesto sauce and gently warm.
Add courgetti spaghetti and cook for another 5-10 mins
Add pine nuts and serve
Pasta optional
CHICKPEA DAAL

Chickpeas
Ingredients:
Spinach, onion, 1tbsp cumin, glug of olive oil
Brown rice (optional)
Method:
Boil brown rice. In a frying pan dry fry chickpeas and onion. Add a drizzle of olive oil and add spinach. Sprinkle in the cumin and cook until spinach is wilted and chickpeas are brown.
Serve on a cup of rice.
Chinese stir fry with zoodles
CHINESE STIR FRY (with chicken or beef strips)

Ingredients:

Bell peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, beansprouts, courgette spiralised (zoodles)
For sauce: 1 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp soy sauce (sugar free), 1 tsp Chinese five spice, 2 garlic cloves crushed, 1 tbsp sesame oil, 1 tsp peanut butter (meridian)
Method:

Cook the meat in sesame oil. Add broccoli peppers bean sprouts and mushrooms.
Once all cooked, add zoodles, cook for further 5 mins
Add the sauce, heat for 5 mins and serve.
CHICKEN CURRY

Ingredients:
Coconut milk, 2 tbsp tomato purée, 2 tbsp ground almonds, 2 tsp turmeric, 2 tsp masala, 2 tsp cumin
Chicken diced, onion, garlic, coconut oil
Brown rice (optional)
Method:

Mix coconut, milk, tomato purée, almonds, turmeric, masala, cumin
Add 1 tsp water. Add chicken and marinade.
Cook onions and garlic in coconut oil. Add the marinaded chicken and cook thoroughly. Add marinade and cook until hot. Serve on quinoa or brown rice.
FISH CAKES

Ingredients:
Salmon, sweet potato, ground almonds, dill, mixed leaves
Method:

Boil sweet potato until soft and mash. Bake salmon. Mix mash and salmon. Add ground almonds until mix starts to turn into a dough. Add dill and make into patties. Bake in oven until they turn solid.
Serve on bed of leaves
For more nutrition and training advice check out Sofie’s 

Refined sugar defined and unrefined is fine . 

 Confused? Here’s a simple breakdown of what sugar is good sugar.

So what is a refined sugar? Basically anything refined means it’s been processed or tampered with. Refined sugars are used to make things tastier at a low cost. They can be found in almost everything. You may be familiar with labels that say no added sugar, or sugar free, but most of the time when a product harks these phrases it just means it’s been replaced with a sweetener chemical substitute. You never see no added sugar on packets of fruit and vegetables as it’s common sense we should be eating those things, but things we are not so sure about need these labels to reassure you that you are not being unhealthy. That’s marketing and it’s evilness.So what’s an unrefined sugar? This is natural sugars that can be found in fruit. Unfortunately once you have lived in a sugar engrossed world , your taste buds have become accustomed to artificial sweetness. It’s as if fake sugars and chemicals put a shield over your taste buds so you can never fully appreciate how sweet an orange is for example. Having given up sugar I’ve been amazed at how different things taste without the fake sugar shield. I started to enjoy coconut water , and drinking my coffee with a spoon of honey instead of brown sugar. The beauty of eating less sugar, is the opposite of what you would expect. Society justifies sugar eating by suggesting it increases energy levels and boosts alertness. However it’s quite the opposite. Refined sugar causes blood sugar to spike temporarily ( this is when you feel alert and energetic) . After an hour or so this high will soon become a low and you will feel a sugar crash. You will feel tired and drained. That’s when you reach for another chocolate bar or sugary drink to give you another hit. It’s a vicious cycle. Once you become accustomed to natural sugars only , you are no longer dependent on sugar hits as your sugar levels are never dramatically raised or dropped. These dramatic sugar level changes are what alerts your body to store fat. Sugar doesn’t make you fat it’s the intensity at Which you consume it. That’s why some people reject the idea of fruit because of it’s high sugar levels but as long as you aren’t eating 5 bananas all at once, your sugar levels should be fine. This is why even though pressed fruit juices are good, their high levels of sugar can increase blood sugar levels too dramtically. 

 A good example of how this happens with refined carbohydrates is with white potato. Have you ever had a big jacket potato, or had roast potato with your Sunday dinner then not long after felt the over powering urge to have a nap? This is a sugar crash, and due to the high levels of sugars in refined carbs it spikes your sugar levels. Stick to slow release energy carbs like sweet potato. So when you get that low energy feeling, stick to black coffee and a banana not red bull and a snickers. 

Hard work leads to acceptance

I’ve been working out since probably the age of 15. I’ve done sports since I could walk ! So it’s fair to say I’ve never been unhealthily sized or hated my body . Looking at myself naked has never been upsetting and clothes shopping isn’t horrendous. But realistically I don’t have the perfect body. My legs could be slimmer, my stomach more toned , and I could not have kankles. I believe the reason I’m content with what I have is because I know deep down, I couldn’t put in much more than I already do to make my body what it is. 

The reason we get upset and angry with what we see in the mirror is because you know you don’t try hard enough to change it, and you are frustrated with yourself. 

I get a lot of people saying , I workout and I eat well but why have I not got results? The reality is , I know you had a sneaky chocolate once or twice. I know you skipped gym yesterday because you felt tired, and I know you had just a few drinks at the weekend. 

Unfortunately all this adds up and the results from previous hard work is lost. 1 spin class and a salad – 1 snickers = 0 . Simple . 

Obviously I’m only human. I did just eat a Creme egg because it’s Friday and I did hiit training this morning. But this week I ran, wrestled , boxed and weight lifted , and ate nothing refined. So with all that in mind, for myself I’ve worked hard enough to be satisfied with what my body is right now, + the Creme egg. 

You don’t need to look like Gigi hadid to be happy (although she has banging legs). At the end of the day, you aren’t her, and you never will be. But you are you, and you can do the best with what you have got! If you do your best, you can be satisfied. 

So put in the effort, train to your limit, eat clean and accept the results. You can only love your body if your body loves you. Feed it water it and work it. 💪🏼

Sweat before Brek

Obviously Brek is not a word or how you spell breakfast but it rolls off the tongue better. 

This article is about motivating yourself to burn body fat before the day has even begun. I’ve learnt from weight cutting and general trimming down that I’m more successful at weight loss when I train first thing in the morning. 

Many people argue there’s not enough time or they couldn’t do it all before work. But who can’t get out of bed 30 minutes earlier? It’s all it takes. 

When cutting for my last fight I would get up at 5am instead of my usual 5.45am and throw on a tracksuit and trainers and pound he streets for only 25 mins. I had a little circuit and even did a couple of body weight exercises inbetween. It made a lot of difference. I lost body fat quicker and also became more cardio fit. Just 45 mins less time in bed it was definitely worth it . 

Working out first thing does a number of things to benefit you. Firstly it boosts your metabolism so you burn for the rest of the day. Secondly it boosts your happy hormones so you are more positive in the morning. It will also encourage you to make more sensible decisions of food to eat as you know it wouldn’t be worth getting up early just to eat the progress away. 

To extend your morning burn try having a shot of ice cold lemon juice and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper to spike that metabolism even further. Not for the faint hearted but it brings back the lost electrolytes and the Icey coldness wakes up your digestive system. 

So push it that extra mile and sweat your Brek before you’ve eaten it  ✌️ 

Top fat burners for summer bodies 

Top fat burning workouts 
When losing weight for a fight it’s important to challenge your body so it loses body fat healthily and efficiently . All bodies are different, so you may need to experiment yourself to find what works best for you. 

In my experience I know there are three things that help me lose weight. These are running, spinning, and martial arts. 

Yesterday I got the opportunity to try a spin class at psycle in central London. It made me realise what a great activity spinning can be for weight loss. The music keeps you motivated, the instructor keeps you engaged and the class around you keeps you encouraged. When an activity makes you forget the time, it’s more likely to work for you. I currently teach spin at gymbox and have noticed a difference to how trim I am since taking it up. 

The Same goes for martial arts. In boxing or wrestling I have to focus on the moves and combinations , so less thought is spent thinking about how tired I’m getting. A great class for beginners in martial arts in fight klub. Being an instructor of this class shows me how my participants focus and deliver up to the very last punch, and then they collapse exhausted at the end. My encouragement , the music motivating and the classmates enthusiasm makes this class a great fat burner. 

Lastly it’s the running. It’s a great fat burner but it can be the least popular activity. What can get you through it? Well gyms may have running clubs that mean you can run with other people to keep you motivated. Gymbox has started running club where you can run together on the streets of London. Making a great playlist, setting running goals and picking a good location will help motivate you into running that extra mile. Apps like run keeper are also good for setting goals and keeping progress. 

With Summer on the way, the time is now to start burning the fat and feeling good. ☀️

Food prepping. Fail to prepare….

 I was inspired to write this article as every morning I see something that raises my eyebrow. Today it was a fully grown adult man, chomping away at a whole tube of Pringles at 6 in the morning. One of my biggest hates is first thing in the morning,the smell of someone sitting next to me with a boost energy drink. It blows my mind that intelligent humans treat their bodies in this way. I can only come to the conclusion that it must be because of laziness. All the items I see commuters consume that are negative are usually fast food. It’s become my new favourite tube entertainment, trying to spot the sneaky commuter tucking into their breakfast of dinner, or how many red bulls and boosts will I see this morning? Maybe they can justify it because they claim they are in too much of a rush to eat any better . I rarely get on an evening tube after training and don’t find myself opposite an overworked city boy/girl dipping into their brown bag of mcshite. Admittedly it does smell amazing , but shit can be covered with oust so I’m sure mcdonalds have fragranced their food tactically. So why do these tubers chose mcdonalds and Pringles instead of a healthier take away option? It’s expensive? The worry it won’t be filling enough? You don’t get a free toy with a quinoa salad from m&s? Whatever the reason , in a moment of hunger, we make bad choices. I’ve been there. There have been times I’ve been so hungry on the go I’ve grabbed a snickers from the corner shop. But this sort of behaviour was never acceptable during a weight cut. This is why I always prepared food for every occasion. On a friends birthday I even went to the night club with nakd bars in my clutch purse just so I didn’t make a poor choice. Food preparation is key to being successful with healthy weight loss and management. I usually leave my house everyday at 7am and get home from training around 9.30pm. So how is it I manage to prepare my breakfast , lunch and an immunity smoothie everyday? As soon as I get in from training I know what I need to do. The oven goes on, I throw in two chicken breasts , first seasoned with some garlic lemon honey and sea salt . I then throw some vegetables in a saucepan and begin to boil them . On a board I chop up cucumber avocado kiwi ginger mint and squeeze a lime , throw it all in a blender with spinach apple juice and coconut water. Blend. In a Tupperware throw spinach , pre made quinoa , tomato , beetroot and top with the cooked chicken. Another Tupperware has oats flaxseed chia seed dates banana almond butter blueberries and coconut milk. All that’s left to do is eat the vegetables and cooked chicken and wash down with a peppermint tea. It’s all about having a plan and following it and it doesn’t need to take all night. When I was a kid my mum taught me to make my own lunch for school. I actually remember my step dad was so lazy, he would pay me 50p to make his too. In life I think we have two main tasks, sleeping and eating . It’s crazy to think so many humans can’t be bothered to do one of these tasks properly. Don’t get me wrong , I haven’t written this article to have a go or be smart, I can genuinely empathise with how hard fast paced work in London can be. But with this article I’m hoping I can inspire you to push your efforts to be healthy with a few simple tips and tricks. So here are a few things I think may get you started. 

Freezing meat and fish in individual portions to be defrosted daily. When you buy a packet of chicken, you aren’t going to eat it all at once . Cling film each piece and freeze . 

Do your food shopping after a gym session, and have a list. I always feel inspired to eat better after I have trained. The hormones put you in the right mood to make positive choices. So when you see the beetroot in the fridge and think why did I buy this, you know you may aswell eat it, it’s there now. 

Pre make accompanying carbs. Of course it’s better to eat fresh but who has the time to boil quinoa every night? That’s why all these pre cooked packets of rice and lentils are making such a killing. Just make it on the Sunday and add it to your salads through the week. 

Lockable lunch boxes. Nothing puts you off pre packing a lunch more than when it leaks all over your bag. 

Double your dinner and have the rest for lunch. Can backfire when hungry boyfriends come round and steal it. 

Follow inspiring healthy profiles on Instagram. They pop up on your feed and encourage you to experiment with your courgette spiraliser. It also makes you take more pictures of your own healthy food giving you a motive to make something that looks impressively healthy. 

Eat what you like and drink what you are not so keen on. I find it hard to chomp down spinach leaves with my lunch so I blend most of it into my smoothie. I like eating peppers and beetroot so I put it in my salads. 

Lastly make sure you are making something you enjoy. If you don’t enjoy it then you are more likely to ditch it for the sandwich next door. When you are hungry you reach for high carb high sugar, but it’s not what you need and you just feel bloated and sick afterwards.