Tag Archives: quick

The fast route to fabulosity

27 May

When it comes to exercise, I hold the same view as with cooking. I want the maximum return from the minimum of effort.

My reluctant and erratic gym attendance came to an abrupt halt once I was pregnant, with no hope of a resurrection once I was a working mum. All well and good, but I had gone more than a little ‘soft around the edges’ and needed something to tone me up fast.

That was when I discovered Power Plates. They are, in my opinion nothing short of a miracle cure for every time pressed gym phobic.

It was quite by chance that I stumbled upon the Good Vibes Power Plates studio in Covent Garden. It is a world away from your average gym. It’s the anti-gym!  A friendly and relaxed studio set in a converted warehouse, slap bang in the middle of Covent Garden. The staff couldn’t be more friendly. After a few visits, they remembered me by name, even Nahid, the owner* whom I had only spoken to a couple of times. *(Nahid is otherwise referred to as ‘Mistress of the Good Vibes Universe. Don’t you just love it?!)

A concise explanation of a Power Plate is a large vibrating platform that you exercise on. Sounds weird, and if I am honest feels a bit weird too, but you get used to it. Each class has no more than 5 participants, and lasts a mere 25 minutes. The instructors ensure that you are performing the exercises properly. It’s not easy, but none of the exercises last more than 1 minute. (If you want the longer explanation from the people who make them, then click here)

I was a very sceptical when I started. My scepticism soon turned to elation when after 6 sessions (over 3 weeks) I had dropped a whole dress size. To have achieved the same result at the gym would have taken months (and a lot more committment than I had to offer!)  If you are reading in disbelief, then I would point you in the direction of the testimonials on the Good Vibes Website. Everyone I have recommended this to has loved it, and reaped the benefits.

They have to my mind, a wealth of benefits over traditional gym membership

  • Speed. The classes are only 25 minutes so you can easily pop out for a class at lunch or first thing before a day out in the West End.
  • No membership fees. If you don’t go you don’t pay
  • No Sweat. It’s not so intense that you are puce faced and dripping at the end of a session.
  • Fast Results. 6 sessions over 3 weeks and I had dropped a dress size.
Once I had got back into shape, I only went once a week for maintenance, and it still kept me toned. So if you are looking for a quick fix to looking and feeling fabulous this summer, look no further. Power Plates are the answer.
At the moment, Good Vibes are offering a free session if you have not tried them before. Click here for link.

DISCLAIMER

Can I just say that I do feel slightly hypocritical writing this at the moment. It is a case of do as I say and not as I do. Since I stopped work last summer, I can no longer pop out for a quick session at lunch. We now live in deep suburbia which means the chances of childcare for a journey into town and back are few and far between. Couple that with a bad back and my inability to ‘step away from the cake tin’ I have slipped back into my pre power plates ‘soft around the edges’ state. But I know that if someone was to give me the childcare, and few sessions on these and I would be slipping back into my ‘just married’ jeans within the month.

I have not been paid or given any incentive to write this article. I just wish I had discovered them in my 20s instead of wasting all that time in the gym.

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Chocolate Chunk Cookies – Now!

26 May

Chocolate Chunk cookies, fresh from the oven

My attempts to clear out the cupboards did not stop with the end of the spendthrifts challenge. I am still trying to clear the cupboards of all the weird and wonderful ingredients that are lingering on in a number of our kitchen cupboards.

I tend to prefer using dark chocolate in my baking, which means that for some time I have been wondering what to do with the bars of milk chocolate for cooking that I seemed to have stockpiled (no doubt when they were on offer)

The answer came courtesy of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. His fab choc chunk cookie recipe was recommended on a couple of foodie sites, so yesterday, my two year old and I made these, as a gift for a friend that we were visiting for a playdate and tea (with a few left over for us to test, for quality control purposes of course!)

Chocolate Chunk Cookie anyone?

The joy of these is their simplicity. The ingredients list are all store-cupboard staples, you need no fancy equipment to make them, and they take less than 10 minutes to make, and only 10 minutes to bake.

INGREDIENTS LIST

  • 125g unsalted butter (I used salted. No complaints were received)
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 75g soft light brown sugar (I only had 20g brown left so topped up with caster sugar)
  • 1 medium egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 150g plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 100g dark or milk chocolate, chopped into smallish chunks

METHOD

As this is Hugh’s recipe, I have attached a link to the instructions  here.

TIP

The mixture spreads when it bakes so leave a large gap in between each cookie. I cooked 6 on each baking tray.

DISCLAIMER

I ate 2 of these, but as I was full of a summer cold, I could not taste them (not sure why I ate 2?!!) All reports came back positive, and they didn’t see out the day, so I am relying on anecdotal evidence that they taste as good as they look. I may have to make some more when my taste buds get back to work!

Gift wrapped and ready to go