In the last two years, ever since I re-started my fitness journey as a new mum, I learnt a lot of things that eventually helped me. In this post, I am going to share a few of those things, in the hope that some other mums out there would find it useful. I have already shared my meal preparation tricks and tips earlier. This post will focus on workouts more specifically home workouts.

One thing which still overwhelms is how to balance between cardio, weight-training and yoga whilst also handling everything else in life—home, family, work and blog.  I must admit I do fail a lot of times but planning ahead works.

Over the course of these two years, few programmes have immensely helped and these are:

Hiit workout

HIIT Workouts:

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval training. It is all about putting your body to maximum effort in minimum time. You can do it in the gym using treadmill and other cardio machines. Or you could do it with weights and you could also do it at home using no other equipment other than your body.

My favourite HIIT workouts are ones by Beachbody like Insanity Max by Shaun T and 21 day fix and 21 Day Fix EXTREME Essential Package by Autumn Calabrese (which I am following at the moment). Fitness Blender and Jillian Michaels are another favourites which will torch up those calories in no time.

Post baby exercises

Image credit: Pinterest

Cardio:

What really worked for me was combining different things. A good mix of cardio, strength and HIIT ensures that my body is always guessing what would come next and will always be on “work” mode. To be honest, cardio is my least favourite hence the challenge was to make it super fun. Enter Zumba (dancing). I thoroughly enjoy Fitness Marshall’s videos, Get Fit Janani and Vijay Tupurani (which you can watch on YouTube)for some Bollywood fun. I also love LesMills Body attack and body combat workouts. They are far cry from your usual cardio machines and oh so challenging.

postoartum core exercises

Image credit: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/standing-abs-workout

Strength Training:  

Weight or strength training is my favourite. However, I admit it was (and still gets) really overwhelming. Enter Bodybuilding website  another platform which I highly recommend. It has a plethora of programmes some by elite athletes and bodybuilders with succinct instruction videos and dietary guides. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate and advanced “athlete” you would find a wealth of information, programmes and plans suiting your needs and goals.

Thank you for reading. Hope you enjoyed this post. Have a lovely week🙂 Don’t forget to follow me. You can also follow me on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

With Good Basics, You Will Have Endless Options

I will start this style post with a confession, I started using specs when I was in school as a teenager. Back then I hated it with a vengeance and would conveniently not wear them because I wanted to look cool. Never mind the fact that I could barely read the black board or anything from afar. I quickly transitioned to lenses and now as an adult I have to admit, I love eyeglasses. How people change! Of late, I feel the humble spectacles can be your wardrobe hero and a very underrated accessory if purchased correctly. It is no wonder hence that since 2015, eyeglasses have seen the rounds of the runway.

Glasses Shop Eyeglass fashion

Glassesshop Eyeglass Fashion

From geek chic leading the runway to hipsters donning retro glasses to everyone from Lupita Nyong’O to Merly Streep giving it Hollywood cool status, it is no doubt that eye glasses as a fashion accessory is worth eyeing about. Good thing is both high street and online have a plethora of options that will make you look the queen of cool. Whilst selecting glasses online, it is important to try out the virtual try-on feature. Glasses Shop has this nifty feature which I loved, you could upload your photo and try on the frames you love. You also need to measure Pupilary Distance (PD). PD as the name suggests is the distance between your pupils, they have a detailed section on how you can do this at home.

Glassesshop eyeglass fashion

Glassesshop eyeglass fashion

If like me you wear prescription sunglasses, then you have got plenty of options too at Glasses Shop.com. My current favourite shape are cat eyes. I have always loved feline creatures and hence it is no surprise that I go for this style most of the time.

Glassesshop eyeglass fashion

Glassesshop eyeglass fashion

Remember, to get the most out of your online shopping for eye glasses, virtually try on as many as you want and see what suits you. Now, for the best part, use this code GSHOT50 to make a purchase from Glassesshop.com to get 50% off on eyeglasses and sunglasses with free lenses (sale frames excluded).  

This post is sponsored by Glasses shop but opinions are my own. Thank you Glasses Shop for sponsoring this post. 

A double thank you to my friend Annuka of Annuka’s Photography for these wonderful photos. 

Hello everyone,

New week means new post. This time I am extremely excited because this post is about the Blogger Recognition Award. First of all, I would like to say a HUGE thank you to Grace Bevan for nominating me for the Blogger recognition award! I am honoured to have been chosen by you and super excited 😀

Blogger Recognition Award

 

The Rules:

  • Thank the Blogger who nominated you and leave a link to their blog.
  • Write a post to show your award.
  • Give a brief story on how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  • Select 15 other bloggers you want to nominate for this award.
  • Comment on each blog to let them know they have been nominated.
  • Provide them with the link to the post you created.

How my blog started 

I have loved writing right from school days. My high school ambition was to become a journalist/writer. And I was fortunate enough to fulfill this dream. I worked in India as a journalist before moving to UK. Moving to UK, was a bit of a shock, not culturally mind you but because wherever I went with my job application, I was mostly judged for my colour. I am not implying every industry in UK is like that, it is not. But Media is a tough place and at least I found that it is impossible to continue here without a God father or God mother. Now, I do not have any.

All I had (and have) is my grit, determination and the loving support of my family. I started and following various blogs like Girl with curves and decided to start one of my own.  I started this blog few years ago mainly to keep my love for writing alive. This is the reason, why you won’t find me only discussing a certain niche but a plethora of subjects. Whether it is a long term success solution or not, I do not know. What I know is this: find your passion and give it your sweat, blood and life. Style with Substance, has gone through several changes and like me it is ever evolving.

Blogging has also helped me in my career. I got lot of writing gigs through this platform, an opportunity to work for some of the finest magazines in UK like Time Out, London. I also eventually became an assistant editor with a start up magazine and after my maternity break blogging helped me to delve into the world of digital marketing. So, if you are one of those who want to know what blogging entails, just grab your laptop and delve in.

Advice to new bloggers: 

To all new bloggers out there I would say stick at it and not give up. Even today, I have days when I just want to give up. When I feel who will ever read this? But I try to shake those negative feeling and keep prodding along. Don’t give up; the best things come to those who don’t give up.

Be consistent, when I had more time in hand I used to post 3-4 times a week. Now, I have way less time in hand but I still make it a point to post at least once a week. I know it is not always possible but I try and fit this in no matter what.

My third nugget of advice would be to be friendly, speak to other bloggers, get to know them, follow them on social media and learn from them. Blogging has given me some really good like minded friends and acquaintances. Now, for the best part.

My nominations: 

Here are the wonderful people I have nominated for the recognition award! Check them out!

  1. Styleovercoffee
  2. Styleofterry
  3. Admirablylegal
  4. Beachwalkmuse
  5. Chicpudding
  6. Kavsarena
  7. Sustainabledaisy
  8. Helloscarlettblog
  9. Abbiosbiston
  10. Maisonbentleystyle
  11. Dayindreams
  12. Sonya Kassam
  13. Bluechickenninja
  14. Indahs
  15. Lifenstyle

I am also adding a bonus blog Quaint Murmurs, a new kid on the block, a blog about medicine, philosophy, literature and life.

Thank you so much Grace for the award and please continue to spread the love everyone 🙂

Thank you for reading. Hope you enjoyed this post. Have a lovely week🙂 Don’t forget to follow me. You can also follow me on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee ~ Muhammad Ali

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am celebrating fitness and strength in my blog this month. When I re-started my fitness journey, post my baby, I had a really tough time sartorially speaking. As I have mentioned in this blog many times, the changes your body go through post pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding is more shocking than most of us realise (at least for most of the women, out there). Not only did any of my previous stuff fitted me but also I had lost all my confidence in myself. Internally, I had become so weak, that even walking with my 2.95 kg baby (birth weight) had become an herculean task for me. That’s when I decided to get my act together and really get fit. My goal since then remains the same: to be fit and strong (not skinny).

Of course, when you are trying to become physically, mentally and spiritually stronger at gym/outside, you need to do it in style. During my fitness journey, I have re-discovered fitness fashion and how to look cool whilst killing them with your strength.

 

Get the right material:

First thing first, do not underestimate the kind of material/fabric you use at gym. Whilst cotton is great outside personally I feel it is a no-no at gym (speaking from experience). Cotton absorbs sweat faster making you uncomfortable, sweaty and prone to chafing and irritation. Synthetic materials on the other hand repeal sweat faster, dry quickly and does not cling.

Choose the right sports bra: 

No prizes for guessing, investing in a good sports bra is a must. It has to support you and offer you flexibility.

Top: Red Herring (Debenhams) also like this one, Leggings: TK Maxx, Shoes: Adidas

Form fitting not baggy but not too tight:

When I re-started my fitness journey post baby, I would wear my husband’s baggy old T-shirts. I wanted to completely hide myself, needless to say it did little for my confidence and my form (whilst working out) while I stay away from to tight and clingy clothes, I also do not dress myself in baggy clothes. Form fitting clothes serve an important purpose: it helps you to see your muscles and curves as you exercise. Also, it helps you to feel good which in turn will help you to keep on exercising.

Layers:

Your workout wardrobe should be versatile, carrying you through from the hottest months to the coldest months. Build your gym wardrobe by choosing the right base layer—a moisture wicking dry layer such a vest or a t-shirt, add a warmer layer such as fleece pullover and finish with a protective outer layers such as a windbreaker. A handy tip: shop during off season for best deals.

Right clothes for right activity:

Keep in mind the activity you do the most. Baggy pants aren’t great for biking or strength training whilst for yoga you need roomy pants. Harem pants are my favourite. Generally speaking fitted ankle length leggings and a well fitted top would serve you well no matter what. Another handy tip—try out few signature workout moves in the dressing room to be absolutely sure.

Footwear:

Again no prizes for guessing, a good pair of footwear will serve you really, really well and keep you injury free that means no no to old worn out shoes. My rule of thumb is to wear shoes that support my feet and ankle well and I can walk as comfortably in them as possible.

Thank you for reading. Hope you enjoyed this post. Have a lovely week🙂 Don’t forget to follow me. You can also follow me on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

If you have been following me on Instagram, you would know that I have dedicated this month to fitness and all the aspects related to it. After having my daughter, fitness has become even more important to me. Mind you, it is not about fitting into a certain size or thinking (wrongly) that it is all about starving oneself and being thin. For me, fitness means physical, mental and emotional strength. It makes you an overall better person. You can check the below pictures on how far I have come in a span of two years.

And if anyone tells you that you can become a small size overnight or drop 5,10, 15 kilos in a matter of days or weeks, they are clearly lying. There are also no shortcuts, it is determination, hard work and knowing what works for you.

black on black

Four months postpartum (2014)

The Athleisure trend

Present

When we are talking about fitness, how can we forget a very crucial aspect–food. I must also confess that I am a foodie through and through, so if anyone even mentions the word: dieting, I run  in the opposite direction. When I was younger, I rarely thought of things like meal preparation and organising. Today, this is an integral part of my days. My friends always ask me how I manage it all (at least seemingly)–home, toddler, work, blogging, fitness etc. Like many of ordinary women, I also DO NOT have an army of help in terms of nannies, cleaners, nutritionists, regular personal trainers etc. So, how do I do it? Two words: Meal preparation. Plus, I also have the wonderful hubby, the man of the house who goes from board room to kitchen to gym with ease.

Meal preparation tips

When anyone says meal-preparation, sad images of rice and bland chicken comes in mind. But it could not be far from truth. So, without further ado my handy tips are:

  1. Make a plan: I generally list out things/recipes for the whole week on a Friday and note it down. Noting it down is important because otherwise we tend to forget things and from get go things can go haywire. List out things you want to eat in the coming week. List out breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
  2. Grocery shopping: List out the ingredients you want to buy from your meal list. Stick to this whilst grocery shopping. Also, try and go grocery shopping with full stomach, most of the time when I shop in empty stomach, I end up having the snack aisle in the kitchen.
  3. Think Macros: Your macros are carbs, protein and fat. Everything essential. Whilst planning out your recipes, try and get a good mix of these macros. Add condiments and spices to make it delicious.
  4. Snack Simple:When you’re cooking everything for the week at once, it’s important to keep things simple. Save time by choosing snacks that don’t require a lot of time. Think fresh fruit, hard-boiled eggs, and pre-cut veggies with prepared hummus, nut butter with fruits, greek yogurt and smoothies.
  5. Take short cuts: Cut and keep veggies, marinate your protein and use the fridge/ freezer to store these ideas.
  6. Mix things up: No one likes routine, mixing things up is important to keep the momentum on and for your sanity.Plan on making two or three different dishes that you can alternate or mix-and-match throughout the week by adding different marinades/sauces, spices, different combinations/variations of the same thing you have prepared.
  7. Make ahead meals: Certain things can be made ahead and stored for a week. My favourite make ahead breakfast options are: overnight oats, bircher museli, egg muffins whilst favourite snack options are: fruits with greek yogurt/cottage cheese, homemade nut butter with bananas, protein bars and shakes.
  8. Relax: Do not think of meal preparation as a chore. If you feel that way take a break from the cycle, and get back to it when you are ready. It is important to understand that in fitness (and in life) you might fail but important thing is to get back at it without letting failure get onto you.

I hope these handy tips will help you get a better grip on fitness and allow you some time to yourself. Hey, it is not selfish. Often as women, we have been told that if we put ourself, our time and our wishes as a priority then we are being selfish. Let me tell you this: it is not. Heck, it is even important because happiness should be everyone’s right.

Thank you for reading. Hope you enjoyed this post. Have a lovely week🙂 Don’t forget to follow me. You can also follow me on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.