It’s time to bring you our regular meditation, courtesy of Amanda Penalver.

Amanda is a meditation expert and founder of True Rest®. Her work is devoted to challenging, inspiring & motivating her clients to live a more growth-full, rich & deeply fulfilling life.

Amanda offers True Rest classes & guided meditations to uplift, restore, replenish & re-energise you to live on purpose, fully awake, fully embodied & deeply connected.

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“True Transformation” –  meditation

Take a deep dive into the medicine of inner peace within yourself.

Experience the true transformation that the simple practice of Yoga Nidra offers.

Transform a tired, exhausted body into one that is rested, renewed, and restored.

Transform a busy, wired mind into one that is calm, soothed, and at ease.

Transform a state of disconnection and anxiety to one of deep connection, groundedness & peace.

This is a recording of a live class on 28/4/22.

Find out more about Amanda’s brilliant work at mandypenalver.com

 

 

Hi! I’m Helen Gambarota and I am delighted to be back with Jo’s Weekly Workout Family to share my love of books with you.

I am a total book nerd and an avid reader and a compulsive book buyer, although I do need to slow down on the book buying as there are piles of books all around the house. I started reviewing books on Instagram as @BestBookFoward almost 4 years ago and I love chatting about books and sharing my passion for reading.

Each month I bring you my recommendation of a must-read book. I read a variety of genres so it could be anything from fiction, non-fiction, romance, historical fiction or a thriller and I really hope that you’ll enjoy each of them as much as I do.

If you’d like more book inspiration you can find my reviews on my Instagram account which is @BestBookForward, on Facebook or on my website bestbookforward.org

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Allow me to introduce you to a character and a book that I am certain you are going to fall absolutely in love with. It is my favourite read of the year so far and once I finished it I had to make a little space on my favourites shelf for it straight away. Yes it is that good!

The character is Elizabeth Zott and the book is Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus which is out now in hardback.

Set in the early 1960s, Elizabeth, who is a brilliant Chemist, finds herself surrounded by men whose attitudes towards equality are very much of the time. Apart from Calvin Evans, a lonely, brilliant Nobel Prize nominated scientist who falls in love with Elizabeth and… well let’s just say there’s a real chemistry between them.

A few years later, after a series of events Elizabeth finds herself a single mother and the reluctant star of America’s most loved cooking show; Supper at Six. Elizabeth being Elizabeth takes on this role but does it in her way and she starts to teach women not only how to cook but that they can be the ones to change the status quo!

Honestly you are in for such a treat. The cast of characters are all amazing – just wait until you meet Six Thirty – one of my favourite characters ever. Elizabeth is amazing, if you asked me to liken her to another character I’d have to say you can’t, she is one of a kind.

Since finishing this book I frequently find myself asking myself “what would Elizabeth do?” She really is so inspirational.

I was lucky enough to meet the author Bonnie Garmus, who is incredible and if you get the chance to go to an even that she is speaking at jump at the chance because the story behind this book is equally brilliant.

There are is so much in this book and Bonnie tackles some really big topics. (There are some trigger warnings for this which you can always find on the brilliant app Storygraph). I cried and I laughed, there are some really moving parts but it left me feeling hopeful and happy and I think about it all the time.

Lessons in Chemistry is an incredible debut and its about to get bigger as it is being made into a series and filming starts in a few months, with an incredible cast, so please make sure you read it before you watch it.

Before I sign off for the month I want to leave you one of my favourite pieces of advice from Elizabeth (she has lots, it is such a quotable book), but I just love this one.

“When you wake up tomorrow, make this pledge. No more holding yourself back.” – Elizabeth Zott

You can buy your copy from Amazon here, or from all good bookshops.

 

This morning I posted this picture on my Instagram account (you are welcome to follow me there!)

I was still wearing my pyjama bottoms and looking tired, because it took all of my willpower to drag myself out of bed to do one of my classes online … believe me, I procrastinated for a VERY long time.🤔

I’ve pasted it below for you too – so that you can feel my pain!

So many of you got in touch re this picture and so it got me thinking 🤔

It’s SO normal to have those inner battles of should I, or shouldn’t I, when it comes to doing exercise – I do all the time!

Somedays the thought of doing exercise will infinitely be harder than others. Sometimes the last thing we want to do is work out but, as I always say if you just press ‘play’, or put your shoes on, walk out the door to go and do your exercise … that’s the hardest part done.

“The sense of accomplishment, both physically and mentally after having done a little bit of exercise far outways the indecision of maybe not doing it!🥰”

I soooooooooo didn’t want to work out this morning (even to one of my own workouts!) but I’m so glad I did, as my inner voice for the rest of the day has been proud, rather than my inner voice berating me for the rest of the day for not having done it!!

BUT – even on the days when we don’t do the exercise we set ourselves, accept that’s ok too – as tomorrow is another day!

So, all I want to say is that it’s normal to have that inner devil voice telling you not to do it!!!

We all do….Don’t beat yourself up!!!

Jo ❤️

It’s time to bring you our regular meditation, courtesy of Amanda Penalver.

Amanda is a meditation expert and founder of True Rest®. Her work is devoted to challenging, inspiring & motivating her clients to live a more growth-full, rich & deeply fulfilling life.

Amanda offers True Rest classes & guided meditations to uplift, restore, replenish & re-energise you to live on purpose, fully awake, fully embodied & deeply connected.

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“Peaceful pause” –  meditation

Take a deep dive into the medicine of inner peace within yourself.

This yoga nidra style meditation starts with a quote by Thich Nhat Hahn and finishes with his peace chant ‘The End of Suffering’.

This is a live class from March 10th, 2022.

Good for sleep, anxiety & stress.

Find out more about Amanda’s brilliant work at mandypenalver.com

 

 

On 4th April, ‘Authentic April’ my BRAND NEW monthly fitness challenge was released onto the website.

This 4 week fitness challenge will really focuses on making you feel wonderfully sculpted and toned. Using more of the small equipment this month.

This programme includes:

💥4 varied classes a week targeting different parts of the body.

💥 A motivational pack with wall chart planner to chart your progress.

💥 2 brand new 30 min workouts each week in addition to the other 2 workouts each week, hand picked by me from our back catalogue, to complement the 2 new weekly classes .

💥Every class within this programme is completely different with inventive choreography ..

This is my 15th 😳 monthly fitness and Pilates challenge that I have released onto my website (the others are all still available) and from the thousands of comments and emails I receive I know you will enjoy them. So I’m just so thrilled to give you another one to make you look and feel the best yet about yourself……..and once again

💥 This programme will be included as part of the Weekly Workout Club at no additional cost, along with my Menopause Metamorphosis programme.

💥 Click here if you are interested in joining the club and becoming part of the Weekly Workout Family… Let’s do this together! 🥰

My guiding quote for ‘Authentic April’

 

Above is my guiding quote for this month’s Pilates Body Conditioning Programme.

It really resonated with me as I think in these days of fast living we forget about being authentic, both to ourselves and to others.

Both physically and mentally there is always a pressure to look or perform in certain ways, masking both our true personalities and persona. We often lose ourselves trying to maybe look a certain way or behave in a certain way. This can mean that we lose the true sight of our own beauty, both externally and internally.

As I get older, I am realising the importance of staying true to oneself and not getting caught up in the “bullshit.”

Sometimes this takes courage … as in this quote by Brené Brown …

“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make everyday.
It’s about the choice to show up and be real.
The choice to be honest.
The choice to let our true selves be seen.”

So have the courage to be just you … If thats as simple as just embracing the lines on our faces that we all have laughed and cried so hard to get … or learning to love move the moment we are in, remember …

“Be Authentic. Be Genuine. Be Real. Be You.’

x

Hi! I’m Helen Gambarota and I am delighted to be back with Jo’s Weekly Workout Family to share my love of books with you.

I am a total book nerd and an avid reader and a compulsive book buyer, although I do need to slow down on the book buying as there are piles of books all around the house. I started reviewing books on Instagram as @BestBookFoward almost 4 years ago and I love chatting about books and sharing my passion for reading.

Each month I bring you my recommendation of a must-read book. I read a variety of genres so it could be anything from fiction, non-fiction, romance, historical fiction or a thriller and I really hope that you’ll enjoy each of them as much as I do.

If you’d like more book inspiration you can find my reviews on my Instagram account which is @BestBookForward, on Facebook or on my website bestbookforward.org

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As we find ourselves in uncertain and stressful times again I’ve really been struggling to find a book to recommend for you this month and so I thought I’d go for something completely different.  I hope you’ll love it.

The book is The Joy in Small Things by Hannah Jane Parkinson.

I often have books that I can dip in and out of by my bed and if I’m feeling really anxious or stressed I find them really soothing.  I loved this one as the chapters are very short and there are so many that I could really relate to.
When I finished reading this one I sat and wrote a list of the small things that give me joy and just making that list made me feel really happy.  As we’re coming into my favourite season here are a few of things that bring me joy:
  • Feeling the sun on my face; even when its a bit chilly out its just a wonderful feeling.
  • My nine year old twins still wanting to hold my hand.
  • Blossom on the trees
  • Hanging my washing outside
  • Naps – oh I love a nap
  • The feeling you get after doing one of Jo’s workouts ❤️
I wonder what might be on your list?  I hope you enjoy reading it

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You can buy your copy from Amazon here, or from all good bookshops.

 

I have holidayed many a time on the Jurassic Coast and it was during a holiday in Swanage that I first saw Sasha’s Art in a gallery there.

I immediately fell in love with her paintings and have since bought prints and my Christmas cards from her. Her art just makes me smile!

I also purchased her book ‘A Brush with the Coast’ that she mentions below and have since bought it for many a friend, as it’s wonderful and the perfect coffee table book … and something I would love to do in the future.

So it was wonderful that Sasha agreed to feature here in my Wellness and Lifestyle magazine.  I hope you enjoy reading about her as much as I did.

 xx

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I have lived and worked as an artist in Cornwall for 25 years. I grew up in the coastal town of Swanage in Dorset and spent an idilic childhood with long summer holidays centered around our little wooden beach hut over looking the sheltered bay.

My love of the coast runs through almost everything I paint and is my main inspiration along with a hefty dose of nostalgia.

The best way to explore the coast, I have always found, is with a dog or two!

When I left college my main priority was to look for a rescue dog to join me on my long rambles exploring Cornwall’s many coves and harbours. All the inspiration I needed for my paintings, as I embarked on a career as an artist, was gleaned on those walks with my newly acquired sidekick Poppy.

Later on in my career I embarked on an epic 630 mile trek with Jess my two year old Rodesian Ridgeback. Before making the momentous decision I’d agreed with a prestigious gallery to a large one man show but had then run out of inspiration and the desire to paint.

Searching for a remedy to my apathy I remembered a book I had read about a man and his dog who walked the entire South West Coast Path (SWCP) in one go. It was a light bulb moment and I realised if I did the same it could be just the thing to rekindle my inspiration.

Jess and I set off a few months later on what became one of the most extraordinary experiences of my life. But not before enduring a bit of pain; Although I was an enthusiastic dog walker I had never gone more than five or six miles at a time, needless to say the SWCP came as a complete shock.

The combined ascents and descents of the trail add up to the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest four times! In the early days the relentless climbs took their toil on my knees and hips and I got used to popping paracetamol with my breakfast every morning. However, soon walking for seven hours a day became the new normal.

“As my fitness slowly improved, I began to notice changes in my state of mind.”

With none of the usual worries of day to day tasks my only goal was to keep putting one foot in front of the other. The simplicity of my existence meant I could loose myself totally in the moment. I revelled in the harsh cry of the gulls on the cliffs or the shrill song of the Meadow Pipits when we were making our way through sand dunes, the heady smell of Gorse when the sun shone on the flowers or the crunch of shingle under my boots on a long stretch of beach …

For someone who has never been adventurous, taking on the SWCP was a huge leap into the unknown, but I am so glad I did. Not only did I find buckets of inspiration for my exhibition, I pushed myself physically and mentally further than I ever thought I could. And I got to experience it all in the company of my beloved dog Jess.

You can find out more about Sasha’s work here: sashaharding.co.uk

Or, follow here on Instagram here: @sashahardingartist.

You can order her book directly from her website here

Katie Bishop is back with another recipe to make your mouth water.

I’m so grateful to her for doing this – I really hope you enjoy it!

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This really easy ‘pizza bianca’ recipe feels indulgent but can be made both economically and healthily. 

The cream cheese (the white/bianca bit) makes a delicious change to tomato sauce on the base – use full-fat if reducing calories isn’t your priority, but I don’t think you’ll feel like you’re missing out when you taste this using the reduced fat version. 

You can use any cooked sausage you have for the top – I like using chorizo, nduja, or even a bog-standard banger that I might have leftover. 

Tenderstem broccoli is delicious on top, but just use whatever you have available – finely sliced standard broccoli; cauliflower; courgette or pepper strips; or whole spring onions; all work well too. 

Use a ready-made pizza base for ease (all major supermarkets sell them fresh, frozen and in free-from versions – so there’s something for everyone.  You could even make this recipe vegan with the appropriate base and swaps for the cheese and sausage), or if you have more time, why not make your own?

Enjoy!

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Overview

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Makes: 1 pizza

Ingredients

1 ready-made pizza base

¼ unwaxed lemon (save the rest to dress some salad leaves to serve alongside)

125g reduced fat cream cheese

60-75g Tenderstem broccoli

About 100g cooked sausage

½ small red onion, thinly sliced

1 tsp capers in brine, drained

½ tsp fennel seeds

Olive oil, for drizzling

Salad leaves, to serve

Let’s get cooking …

  1. Preheat the oven to 220C, gas mark 7. Put the pizza base on a large baking tray and bake for 3 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, stir the lemon zest into about two-thirds of the soft cheese. Season. Spread over the pizza base, leaving a 2cm border around the edge.
  3. Scatter over the broccoli, halving any thick stems. Tear the cooked sausage into pieces and scatter over too. Dot with the remaining cream cheese, then scatter over the red onion, capers, and fennel seeds. Season and drizzle with a little olive oil.
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the base is golden, and everything is piping hot.  Serve immediately with salad leaves seasoned and dressed with a little lemon juice and olive oil.

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Katie will be back next month with something else delicious to try.

In the meantime, you can find out more about her at https://katiebishop.co.uk or follow her on Instagram at @ktbishopcooks

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Each month, we feature one of our amazing Weekly Workout Club members here in our wellness and lifestyle area.

If you’re a member, you’ll know that its really important to Jo that we are all in this together and supporting one another on our fitness journeys.  This is the reason why Jo always refers to the club as the ‘Weekly Workout Family’

We thought it was time for members to get to know each other a little more and to share some stories and experiences.

Our March spotlight features the wonderful Mel Lewis. Over to you Mel…

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Mel’s story


Hi, my name is Mel, I am 55 years old and I live in Winchester. I have been married to Steve for nearly 33 years and we have 2 sons, Harry who is 26 and Edward who is 23.

I volunteer with Cruse Bereavement Support, plus Simons Says, a local Child Bereavement Charity, and I am also in the middle of a degree in Humanistic Counselling, so I am quite busy but I also have 2 dogs so I enjoy a lot of walking around the Hampshire countryside.

What do you enjoy about the Workout Club?

I discovered Jo and her weekly workouts at the beginning of the pandemic and haven’t looked back since!

I love the fact that I can do the classes as and when I have the time (and also wearing whatever I like – even PJs sometimes!!) and I love the humour Jo brings to the classes.

“I always find myself laughing at the screen which often takes away the awareness that I am doing numerous repeaters and my legs have gone to jelly!!”

Nearly 2 years down the line I am still engaged with the classes, I find them really enjoyable, varied and educational and would highly recommend them to anyone (and I often do!)

Your three favourite online classes?

Well this is a difficult one as there are so many. I think it has to be:-

[You need to be a member and logged in to view those workout pages!]

Favourite food and drink?!

Natural yoghurt – I simply love this and it would be the one food item I would have to take on my desert island, along with rooibos green tea – I can’t function without either of these!

And what about books, films or TV?

I love a good murder mystery – so anything along those lines and I’m happy!

Film wise, About Time as it is our family film, Bridges of Madison County if I fancy a weep, and Love Actually because I love howall the stories intertwine.

Thank you so much to Mel for her wonderful spotlight article. We’ll feature another member next month and if you’d like to be featured – drop us a line!

It’s time to bring you our regular meditation, courtesy of Amanda Penalver.

Amanda is a meditation expert and founder of True Rest®. Her work is devoted to challenging, inspiring & motivating her clients to live a more growth-full, rich & deeply fulfilling life.

Amanda offers True Rest classes & guided meditations to uplift, restore, replenish & re-energise you to live on purpose, fully awake, fully embodied & deeply connected.

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“Peaceful pause” –  meditation

Feeling stressed? Anxious? Put a pause in your day & give yourself a break. You will come back feeling refreshed, relaxed, rejuvenated, recharged and ready to return to your day.

It’s relatively short – just 12 minutes – so create some space in your busy life and indulge yourself …

Find out more about Amanda’s brilliant work at mandypenalver.com