Warm Sweet Potato & Quinoa Salad

Integrated Wellbeing, Food Matters, Sweet Potato, Quinoa, Salad

Now that summer’s here, it’s time to mix up your salads and try something different.

This easy recipe for my warm sweet potato and quinoa salad is not only yummy but a nutritious veggie meal with carbs, protein and healthy fats thrown in!  And for those who like to support local growers and minimise food air miles, check out The British Quinoa Company in Shropshire.

The quantities below are for a salad that serves 2 people.

Salad Ingredients

  • quinoa (1 cup)
  • sweet potato (1 large)
  • courgette (1 large)
  • mixed salad leaves (4 handfuls)
  • cashew nuts (1 cup)
  • avocado (1 large)
  • cherry tomatoes (12)
  • fresh mint / coriander (1 small handful)
  • balsamic dressing

You can use a pre-made or shop-bought dressing but I prefer to make my own before each meal using the ingredients below. It really is easy and you can adjust it each time to your own taste.

Dressing Ingredients

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • Maldon sea salt
  • Dijon mustard
  • ground black pepper
  • tiny pinch of Stevia (or your own favourite plant-based sweetener)

Process

Start with the quinoa and the sweet spud. Once they’re prep’d and cooking, you can get on with the other stuff.

  • Rinse and cook the quinoa as normal then set to one side
  • Peel, dice and steam the sweet potato
  • Grate or spiralize the courgette
  • Dry toast the cashews on a gentle heat in a pan or skillet for no more than 5 minutes (either using them whole or roughly chopped, whichever you prefer)
  • Dice the avocado
  • Quarter the cherry tomatoes

Place all the ingredients (except the cashews) in a large salad bowl, then add the dressing and toss thoroughly.

Toss it well so that everything has a coating of that gorgeous dressing and quinoa.

Finally, sprinkle your toasted cashews on the top, and serve!

I’d love to hear your favourite summer salad recipes so we can try them at Integrated Wellbeing here in sunny Devon, so please post links or recipes below.

With love and wellbeing wishes,

Chrissie Tarbitt - Integrated Wellbeing

Mindfulness For Athletes

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Just “go with the flow” – seems like a ridiculous thing to suggest to fitness professionals or indeed to our clients! After all, we’re encouraged to have goals, to have plans, to beat a PB and, by definition, we’re pretty energetic individuals impatient for results.

This is the first in a series of articles I was invited to write for Personal Trainer Magazine and was originally published in April 2015.

For many years my life used to be ALL about deadlines and goals; I thought by making sure I had my running shoes in my suitcase, multivits, energy bars and my sachets of wheatgrass at the ready would be me sorted. I could still train for that half marathon, work long hours and be fit and healthy – wrong!

Enter stage – mindfulness practice

Ever wondered what the heck it is? Or, what’s that got to do with you or your clients? Mindfulness-based stress-reduction has been around for several decades as a therapeutic tool. By turning our attention to what is actually happening in the present, we’re able to see the situation for what it is, allowing us to have absolute control over how we react in any given moment. That’s mindfulness in a nutshell. We are invited to simply be aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different.

The benefits of introducing this practice into our daily lives as fitness professionals are huge: we learn to relax (allowing the body to heal), we learn not to dwell on the last bad training session or match, which can seriously affect our performance (it’s gone, it’s in the past!) and once we have a plan in place, we learn that the “how we get the results” doesn’t always come about in the way we expected.

How to get started?

The first stage is learning to relax. Try this the next time you’re feeling frazzled after a full day of coaching or weary from over-training. Take 10 minutes to sit or lie down undisturbed (we can all find 10 minutes) and connect with your breath. Inhale and exhale deeply, using all of the muscles involved in breathing: the abs, diaphragm, intercostal muscles, and up into the chest, noticing any areas of tension in the body and allowing yourself to simply relax. Just notice any thoughts that come into your mind, allow them to come and go (you can’t stop your mind having thoughts, but you can become an observer rather than a participant in them). With this technique, you’ll automatically switch on the parasympathetic part of your nervous system allowing you to relax naturally. You wait, 10 minutes will soon become 15 and so on.

Yes, it takes practice, but the rewards are instant and exponential. Every few minutes that we choose to direct our attention to the breath and relax into the body, is like having a 30-minute power nap, only much quicker and longer-lasting.

With love and wellbeing wishes,

Chrissie Tarbitt - Integrated Wellbeing

Yoga with Chrissie in 2016

Chrissie Tarbitt, Why Meditate?

This is just a quick reminder that my yoga classes at the lovely Ocean Physio studio in Woodbury begin again in January.

The first classes of the new term are on Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st January 2016.

Classes are kept intentionally small (with no more than 10 students) to ensure maximum benefit.  All times are the same as last term.

Spring Schedule

  • Wednesday mornings (60 minutes): 7.15 – 8.15 am
  • Thursday mornings (60 minutes): 9.30 – 10.30 am

Prices are unchanged too. Adult classes are £8 for a 60-minute class or £42 for a 6-week block.

I still have a few available slots for private yoga tuition for individuals or small groups, either at the Woodbury studio or in your own home (where appropriate).

You’ll find the Ocean Physio & Rehab studio at:
Woodbury Business Park, Woodbury, Devon, EX5 1AY.

For class reservations, please call Ocean on 01395 239455. For other yoga or class content queries, drop me a line at chrissie[at]integratedwellbeing.co.uk.

With love and wellbeing wishes,

Chrissie Tarbitt - Integrated Wellbeing

Cashew Nut Yoghurt

cashew nuts, cashew yoghurt, integrated wellbeing

This incredibly delicious, dairy alternative has become a firm favourite in our household – I can’t keep up with the orders!

This protein (and healthy fats) rich yoghurt is equally at home on your morning home-made Bircher’s Muesli (click here for my easy Bircher’s recipe video) as it is “au natural” with a few blueberries and a dusting of cinnamon or a sprinkling of chopped pecans and a drizzle of maple syrup – yummy!  And it’s an easy recipe too …

Ingredients

I use an American cup measure as so many recipes these days are U.S. ones and it’s easier than trying to convert!

  • 2 cups of unroasted cashews
  • 1 cup of filtered water (add a little more if you prefer your yoghurt a slightly thinner consistency than Greek yoghurt)
  • 3 Tablesoons of maple syrup (vary according to desired sweetness)
  • 1 Tablesoon of pure vanilla essence (or bean pod if you have it) – again adjust to your preferred taste
  • ¼ Teaspoon of probiotic powder (this is necessary to thicken the yoghurt and provides the wonderfully gut-friendly bacteria in the end product)

Method

Soak the cashews in filtered water for about two hours, then drain and rinse.

Add all the ingredients into a high-speed blender, such as a Vitamix or Nutribullet. It needs to be a pretty powerful machine in order to create the totally smooth consistency you need.

Blend for a couple of minutes until your yoghurt has a completely smooth and creamy texture.

It may well warm up during this process which is a good thing as it will speed up the fermenting process.

Add to a pre-warmed dish or storage tub with a firm lid (I use a click and lock type of tub) making sure there is an inch or so room left at the top to allow for some expansion.

Put the yoghurt into a warm place (airing cupboard is ideal if you have one or near a warm radiator). The probiotics will do their thing in 8-12 hours. I usually leave mine overnight (if we can wait that long!), then give it a stir and place in the fridge to cool.

Hey presto! An amazing, home-made fermented yoghurt that will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days (that’s if I don’t tell everyone that I’ve made a new batch!).

Incidentally, this yoghurt doesn’t taste of cashews which is the beauty of these fabulously versatile nuts. More on these little beauties in later posts.

Enjoy!

With love and wellbeing wishes,

Chrissie Tarbitt - Integrated Wellbeing

Rest & Restore Workshop

Chrissie Tarbitt, Integrated Wellbeing

I’m excited to share with you news of my forthcoming Rest & Restore Winter Workshop.  Join me in this lovely, peaceful, light and airy studio in Woodbury for a morning of “you” time.  

When?
Sunday 6th December: 10.00am – 12.30pm

Where?
Ocean Physio & Rehab Clinic, Woodbury Business Park, EX5 1LD

Timetable

  • 9:45  Arrival.
  • 10:00 – 10:45  Introduction to Mindfulness, Meditation and powerful Yogic breathing techniques which you can easily incorporate into your daily lives to bring about that all important sense of calm and peace just when you need it most!
  • 10:45 – 11:30  I shall then guide you through a gentle yin yoga session which will focus on allowing the body and mind to fully let go.
  • 11:30 – 12:00  Yoga Nidra – deep yogic relaxation.
  • 12:00 – 12:30  Finally, some time to share some home-made, cold-pressed juices and raw, vegan snacks before heading home.

Places are limited to 10 people per workshop so don’t miss out if you want to help banish winter blues or just need to rejuvenate before the busy festive period! 

The cost of the workshop is £25 per person with 50% of the proceeds being donated to Leukaemia Care as part of my various half-marathon sponsorship efforts. Book direct via the secure Eventbrite site here: Rest & Restore Workshop

No previous experience is necessary. I’ll provide mats, blocks and blankets. Please wear appropriate clothing.

I look forward to seeing you there!

With wellbeing wishes,

Chrissie Tarbitt - Integrated Wellbeing

Yoga & Relaxation in Gozo

Michelle Bartolo, Gozo Retreats, Hamlet 1

Those of you considering a yoga retreat or yoga holiday abroad should definitely add the week-long “Inside/Out” retreats with Michelle Bartolo to your short-list.

Set on the beautiful, unspoiled island of Gozo just off the north coast of Malta, the week-long retreats include morning and evening yoga and plenty of free time during the day to chill out and recharge your batteries.

An ideal week to escape the daily grind and relax your mind!

Guests arrive on Saturdays and gather for a vegetarian welcome dinner in the evening. Having flown from the UK to Malta, we took pre-arranged taxi transfers and a short ferry ride over to Gozo to reach the tastefully restored island farmhouse that would be our home for the week. After meeting the ever-smiling Michelle and the four other retreat guests, we were able to take a swim in the private pool before watching the sun go down across the valley from the farmhouse terrace.

Michelle Bartolo, Gozo Retreats, Hamlet 1Michelle Bartolo, Gozo Retreats, Hamlet 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each day began at 8am with an invigorating 90-minute yoga class, either on the private terrace or in the large sitting room (depending on the weather), followed by a nutritious breakfast and a healthy side-order of laughter as we chatted and shared experiences with each other.

With intentionally small groups and the relaxed, convivial atmosphere that Michelle encourages, breakfasts sometimes extended well past mid-morning!

Guests make their own arrangements for lunch and dinner. Sometimes we ate out, enjoying an evening stroll to nearby villages or going further afield on hired bikes that Michelle can arrange; other meals were taken at the farmhouse where there’s a fully equipped kitchen in which to prepare food purchased at the local store just a short walk away. Some guests hire a car, but taxis are a good alternative for heading into town.

Each evening at 5, Michelle taught a 60-minute restorative yoga class followed by 30 minutes of wonderful guided meditation.

With years of experience teaching across many countries, Michelle’s yoga is a blend of various styles with significant elements of vinyasa flow and kundalini. On our retreat, there were a couple of relative beginners and others who had been practicing yoga for some years. The teaching was intuitive and ensured that everyone enjoyed the class. A great deal of thought had obviously gone into planning the week’s sequences, as the level increased a little each day, allowing us to experience noticeable progress as our bodies responded to two daily classes and our minds quietened, away from the daily grind.

Michelle Bartolo, Gozo Retreats 2Michelle Bartolo, Gozo Retreats

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the daily free time, massages and other treatments were arranged for those who wanted them, and Michelle took some of us on a couple of guided walks round this delightful island. Towards the end of the week, she was even able to arrange a fabulous half-day aboard a local boat so that we could snorkel and feed the fish in the crystal-clear Mediterranean.

The Gozo Inside/Out retreats run monthly from April to November.

Check out details, pricing and availability at michellebartoloyoga.com

And you can watch Michelle teach a short yoga sequence at the fabulous cliff-top setting where she takes a sunset class in this video.

I, for one, can’t wait to go back!

 

With love and wellbeing wishes,

 

Chrissie Tarbitt - Integrated Wellbeing

Yoga with Chrissie

ocean physiotherapy, yoga studio

I’m looking forward to starting the new autumn yoga term on Wednesday 9th September. I’ll continue to teach two adult yoga classes each week in the custom-built, under-floor heated studio at the Ocean Physio and Rehab Clinic in Woodbury near Exeter, Devon with a brand new, additional class exclusively for teenagers on Thursday evenings.

All classes are suitable for beginners and those at intermediate level, combining the traditional Hatha style with elements of the more therapeutic Yin and restorative yoga.

Classes are kept intentionally small (with no more than 10 students) to ensure maximum benefit.

Autumn Schedule

  • Wednesday mornings (60 minutes): 7.15 – 8.15 am
  • Thursday mornings (60 minutes): 9.30 – 10.30 am
  • Thursday evenings (teenagers) (60 minutes): 5.45 – 6.45pm

Prices for adult classes are £8 for a 60-minute class or £42 for a 6-week block.  The cost of the 6-week course exclusively for teenagers is £42.

I still have a few available slots for private yoga tuition for individuals or small groups, either at the Woodbury studio or in your own home (where appropriate).

Yoga For Teenagers

My new Yoga for Teenagers course (exclusively for those aged 13 to 19) is a 6-week course starting on Thursday 10th September through to Thursday 15th October inclusive. These 1-hour classes will be held on a Thursday evening in the lovely studio at Ocean Physio from 5.45pm – 6.45pm. . There will be a maximum of 10 places and bookings will be taken on a first come first served basis. The cost of the 6-week course is £42.

Not only does yoga help to build strength and core stability, but it has been incredibly successful in helping students through stressful situations such as exam times.

The classes will include some great breathing and relaxation techniques which, over time, will provide an outlet to enable students to focus on one thing at a time – not something that necessarily comes naturally to many of us as we live in a culture that has raised us to love multitasking. Yoga also helps youngsters gain more awareness of their bodies (including postural habits) which is a particularly important skill for those involved in a competitive sport, but of course relevant to all.

Please email me directly with any questions or to reserve a place on this course.

You’ll find the Ocean Physio & Rehab studio at:
Woodbury Business Park, Woodbury, Devon, EX5 1AY

For class reservations, please call Ocean on 01395 239455. For other yoga or class content queries, drop me a line at info@integratedwellbeing.co.uk

With love and wellbeing wishes,

Chrissie Tarbitt - Integrated Wellbeing

Women Inspiring Women Awards

Chrissie Tarbitt, Integrated Wellbeing, Devon, Exeter, WIWA, Women Inspiring Women Awards 2015

Although I’m not one to go chasing accolades, I was thrilled to be crowned “Rising Star / Woman To Watch” in the national Women Inspiring Women Awards 2015 at their annual awards ceremony in Birmingham earlier this month.

I know that a number of you kindly voted to keep me on the short-list and I’m very grateful for that.

The Women Inspiring Women Awards, now in their 4th year and sponsored by a leading national network for female entrepreneurs, seek to find and celebrate great female role models – those who bring out the absolute best in others and make a difference in their respective communities.

I was on a short-list of 8 very strong candidates from across the UK and hadn’t even thought about preparing an acceptance speech. I’m absolutely delighted that the judges recognised the importance of spreading the wellbeing message to a wider audience.

With thanks, love and wellbeing wishes,

Chrissie Tarbitt - Integrated Wellbeing

Team WattCycle – June 2015

Team WattCycle

The racing season is in full swing and the Team WattCycle men and women are going great guns! As proud sponsors of such a dynamic team of cyclists, here are a few of our highlights of the last couple of months.

April

April saw Jenn Batey and Ellen McDermott make their National Series debut in the two-day Tour of the Reservoir in County Durham, competing against elite pro’s from many major teams, Chris Sleath finish a fantastic 4th in the Tour of Northumberland cat. 3 race, Paul Dixon and James Wilson on the podium in the CD NE Evening Series, Rob Wallace secure what would be the first of many podium finishes in an under-16 race, and the Team have 5 top 20 finishers in a large field for the 90k Phillip Russell Memorial Road Race in Middlesbrough. The month ended with Ellen McDermott’s sprint for 2nd in the Activcity Edinburgh Ingliston Crit to secure her cat. 2 rider status.

Team WattCycle

Ellen & Jenn – Tour of the Reservoir

Team WattCycle

Chris Sleath – Tour of Northumberland (pic: Iain Robertson)

 

Duathlon

Aside from road racing, Hazel Wright donned a GB age group tri suit for the first time to compete at the European Duathlon Championships (sprint distance), Nikki Parker-Bell put in a great performance at the Stockton Duathlon, and Anna Weaver won her Duathlon to qualify for the GB Age Group Team for the World Championships later this year in Australia.

May

May started with Women’s Team Manager Karen Poole and Anna Weaver racing in the Tour De Yorkshire amongst a large international field.

As the month progressed there were podium finishes for several WattCycle riders, including Chris Tidd, Robert Wallace, James Wilson and Paul Dixon.

Ellen McDermott rode alongside some top international riders in the televised Pearl Izumi Tour Series, the biggest circuit race series in the UK.

Angela Hibbs won her third race of the season in the NE Championship Series, with Karen Poole in 2nd place, and Nikki Metcalfe and Hazel Wright in the top 10.

Team WattCycle, Body Matters

Angela Hibbs & Karen Poole on the podium again!

Team WattCycle, Body Matters

Hannah Farran, winner, Northumberland Triathlon

Towards the end of May, Karen and Nikki secured top 10 positions in the National Masters Championships. Hannah Farran put in an amazing performance to take 2nd place at the Nottingham Triathlon. Karen put in another strong attacking performance at the Doncaster Crit, taking 5th. Pam Greer secured 1st place in a 25m TT, and Angela won a 10m TT with another PB for the season.

June started in similarly impressive style with Hanna winning the Northumberland Triathlon, Karen racing strongly in the Tour of Cambridgeshire to qualify for the World Masters Championships, and Ellen riding in Bradley Wiggins’s support races at the Olympic Velodrome when he secured the One Hour world record!!!

Keep up to date with the Team through the summer via their Facebook pages and Twitter feeds, and we’ll post another update here as the season progresses.

Chrissie Tarbitt - Integrated Wellbeing

A Great Relaxation Technique

chrissie tarbitt, integrated wellbeing, body matters

I love this simple breathing technique called Anuloma Viloma or alternate nostril breathing. It’s been used by yoga practitioners for millennia.

Simply by practising a few rounds of alternate nostril breathing for a few minutes each day, you can calm your nervous system, boost your thinking and improve sleep. It’s also great preparation for any meditation practice.

I’ve uploaded a short “how to” video to the Chrissie TV section of the site to help get you started.

Traditionally done in a comfortable cross-legged position, you can just as effectively sit on an upright chair (dining room or kitchen chair rather than a squidgy sofa) with feet firmly on the ground.

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It really is such a portable relaxation technique and, okay, you might feel a bit odd doing it at your desk at work but, you never know, others might be intrigued and want to join in!  If I’m in need of some time out, I take myself to my bedroom or hotel room (in the past when I’ve been away on business, my hotel room has provided a great sanctuary in between meetings, even if only for 5 minutes) and a few minutes of alternate nostril breathing gets me back on track.

Why?

Ancient yogis discovered that by isolating the breath this way on the left and right sides, we can reset the balance in our autonomic nervous system i.e. between our rest and digest and fight or flight sides of the brain.

Just try it – what have you got to lose?

I promise you, once you have the hang of it, you’ll want keep it handy in your stress-busting toolkit.  Use the video at Chrissie TV to guide you through the first few sessions.

Give it a go now and let me know how you get on!

With love and wellbeing wishes,

Chrissie Tarbitt - Integrated Wellbeing