The warmer weather we’ve all been waiting for is finally here.  We can slowly start bringing out our cocktail recipes, sun dresses, shorts and do all the al fresco dining possible while trying to desperately gather every family member and friend round at the weekend for the barbecue you’ve been prepping for throughout the winter… and the entire year really!!

But to me the warmer weather means more travel and that all important summer holiday.  Bikini’s out and perhaps some topless tanning in ibiza or a beautiful relaxed holiday in Corfu.  It’s also a signal for me to get into shape as I do love my micro bikinis and tangas, so it’s only right that I turn up my fitness regime and be a little more consistent with it.  I’ve decided to do a 30 day challenge to push myself more than I have in the past couple of months and decided to share it with you guys.  I hope to inspire even just one person to start their fitness journey or perhaps encourage someone to make better food choices.  I’ll make it as simple as possible, so here are a few basics for you to follow.
NUTRITION
 
This is by far the most important part of this entire process, without it, there’s almost no point in starting as your food is your fuel to keep you going and get those all important muscle gains and the results you want.  So to get you started, I’ve put together a shopping list of foods you can purchase almost anywhere and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.  Your local markets, butchers and Halal shops are great places to get most of these products at a great price. Get acquainted with your LIDL and ALDI stores too as they always have amazing offers too.
A good breakfast is important to help you start the day right and not have you binge eat at lunch time.  I have plenty of breakfast, lunch and dinner ideas on my Instagram page (@thelivingcherub) so do have a browse and we can follow each other to track progress and swap exercise/meal ideas.  It’s also a visual diary food/exercise wise and it will keep you accountable for what you are or aren’t doing.
Also try and cut out fizzy drinks and alcohol. These are not necessary in your diet at all so you won’t be losing anything by removing them all together and replacing them with water.  If you do have any of these, write them down in your food diary so you can see what the pattern is that makes you want to consume these and maybe you can change some of your habits.  Perhaps cut down your alcohol intake to once a week and only have 1-2 glasses that day.  Increase your water intake and instead of having a glass of wine or a Gin and Tonic as a night cap, try having a fruit tea instead.
SHOPPING LIST:
 
FRUIT & VEG:
Avocado
Spinach
Broccoli
Carrots
Sweet potato
Potato
Red and white onions
Sweet peppers
Red kidney beans
Grapes
Strawberries
Bananas
Salad mix
Cauliflower

Asparagus

PROTEIN SOURCES (MEAT, FISH etc)
Quick fry beef steaks
Venison sausages
Venison steaks
Chicken breasts and thighs
Vegetarian sausages, veg meat balls (LINDA MCCARTNEY RANGE)
Fish; Salmon and sea bass
Turkey steaks and mince
Eggs

FATS:
Feta cheese
Cheddar cheese
Streaky bacon

Greek yogurt
Olive oil
Coconut oil
CARBOHYDRATES:
Wholewheat pasta (please check my Instagram for alternative pasta ranges)
Wholemeal bread, pita bread, fajitas
Brown rice
Thai Jasmine rice
Basmati rice

HYDRATION:
Water
Fruit tea selection

Oat milk
Rice milk
SUGARS:
Honey
EXERCISE ROUTINE
 
I’ve been working out for a while now and have had a lot of trial and error moments through this process.  I’ve found that I enjoy weight lifting and have recently taken up yoga which is amazing and extremely strengthening both mentally and physically (checkout srfunctionalfitness on Facebook).  I’m lucky I have a friend that is a personal trainer (Instagram @sophie_hemmens) and enjoys weights too so we usually get a training session in when she’s not busy torturing her clients every day of the week or putting us through our paces in a class, ha!!  But I’ve decided to stick to body weight exercises for this challenge as I don’t know everyone’s fitness level.
So I’ve put together a workout routine for week one which you must do first thing in the morning and either before dinner or bed:
WEEK 1 (STARTING 1st MAY)
20 PUSH-UPS
3O SQUATS
20 LUNGES
10 JUMPSQUATS
10 BURPEES
20 SIT-UPS
 
REPEAT X3
 
MOTIVATION
It’s important that you’re doing this for no one else but you.  This isn’t about looking like your favourite celeb or Instagram model and thinking that’s what your body will look like, you’ll only disappoint yourself if that’s the mentality you take on.  It’s all about accepting everything about your body and improving it.  You have an able and beautiful body, why not see what its potential is. I found that taking a progress picture is always a good idea as you can physically see the changes your body is going through. 6-8 weeks and you should start seeing results if you are consistent.
Stay focused, workout as often as you can, rest when you need to, eat right and enjoy the process.
Good luck and I can’t wait to see or hear about everyone’s progress xx
Any questions, ideas or if you just need someone to talk to then email thelivingcherub@gmail.com