Consistency is the Key…🥰

Every month I’m so proud of what my workout family achieves 💪🏻🙌💥🥵🥰

This month many have completed or about to complete the January Programme, and although I’m super proud of the achievements made and the stories I hear of the physical and mental changes this has had on people….. I’m super proud of the consistency of effort as I don’t just set a programme for January…

I set a programme every month of the year as I appreciate we all work at different times and at different rates so I just don’t like the pressure of the ‘New Year new you’ mentality.🙄

We all have our ‘down days’ and our difficult days when frankly even getting to the end of the day in one piece is an achievement so getting the bombardment and guilt of not achieving an exercise class/programme is the least of our worries!🥹

So to those that have completed January.. Well done and to those that have exercised at a slower pace this month, well done!

I will always have your back ( a-nice toned one at that) as there are still 2 new classes released every week and 11 months of carefully choreographed programmes to come!

Hence why I have called February’s Body sculpting programme that starts Monday ‘Forgiving February’ 🥰. because ….

“You Yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
-Buddha

Do you want to join the Workout Family and workout with me? Find out more about the Club here.

Jo ❤️

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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If you’re anything like me you’ll be finding this month slightly tough and so I really wanted to pick out a book that would bring you some joy and banish those January blues so allow me to recommend Becoming Ted by Matt Cain (Out 19 Jan). Let me tell you a little bit about it.

Ted Ainsworth has always worked at his family’s ice-cream business in the quiet Lancashire town of St Luke’s on-Sea.

But the truth is, he’s never wanted to work for the family firm p- he doesn’t even like ice-cream, though he’s never told his parents that. When Ted’s husband suddenly leaves him, the bottom falls out of his world.

But what if this could be an opportunity to put what he wants first? This could be the chance to finally follow his secret dream: something Ted has never told anyone.

I read this back in September around the time that the Queen died and I was feeling really sad, but every time I picked this book up I felt calm and happy and I found it actually quite healing.

Ted’s story is about following your dreams, finding yourself and learning to love again and is an absolute joy to read. I have loved all of Matt’s books and I always keep an eye out for what is coming next as I think he just has such an incredible talent for creating characters you’ll love and stories that will warm your heart.

I really hope that you’ll love Ted as much as I did, I’m going to leave you with one of my favourite quotes, it just makes me feel happy when I think of this…

“For now – even if it’s only for an hour – I am a goddess! And I’m going to enjoy every minute of it!”

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

 

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 Self-Forgiveness – Live” –  meditation

In this deeply relaxing, highly restorative Yoga Nidra-style meditation, we contemplate true self-forgiveness. Includes deep abdominal breathing and a body scan. This session was originally live-streamed in November 2022.

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. This month, it’s all about my awards.

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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The end of the year is fast approaching and what a brilliant year it has been for books.  Over the last month, I’ve been running my book awards on Instagram and so for my final post of the year with you, I’m sharing all the winners from my Best Book Forward 2022 Awards.  It’s a great stack of books, I think there is something for everyone and also if you’re struggling with present ideas maybe give the gift of a great read.

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

Buy it here on Amazon

When I read this back in March I knew it would be one of my top reads of the year and that it would come up in the Awards.  Bonnie Garmus has taken the book world by storm with her award winning debut; Waterstones selected her as Author of the Year and it’s being made into a TV series.  Over at Best Book Forward it was crowned Best Fiction, Best Debut and Best Cover.  There is so much love for this book, if you haven’t read it you really are in for a treat.

The Whalebone Theatre by Joanna Quinn

Buy it here on Amazon

Another of my top reads of the year that I was delighted to see making it on to the Shortlists for Best Fiction, Best Historical Fiction, Best Debut and Best Cover.  The Best Book Forward readers voted it as the winner for Best Historical Fiction.  It is a wonderful read and it’s even has a very royal fan, as The Queen Consort also picked it as her Reading Room!

A Lady’s Guide to Fortune Hunting by Sophie Irwin

Buy it here on Amazon

Sophie picked up this year’s Best Romance and which made me so happy. Her book, a fun Regency romance, just filled me with joy.  It is fabulous debut and I cannot wait to read her second book which comes out in May.  If there’s a Bridgerton shape hole in your life then this is for you.

Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllistair

Buy it here on Amazon

And finally, our Best Thriller of 2022.  This book had me glued to its pages. It is a really fast paced, twisty and clever read that is actually quite thought-provoking. This is the first of Gillian’s books that I’ve read and as soon as I finished it and went and added all of her others to my list.  It is that good.

I hope that you’ll find something here that you will love.  I’ll be back in January with another recommendation for you, but in the meantime I wish you a happy and healthy Christmas.

 

I found this cookbook through a friend and I have enjoyed cooking sooooo many recipes from it – they are really yummy and I wanted to share it with the world!

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Anna’s Family Kitchen is a fun family-friendly cookbook, which shares nutritious but minimal faff recipes with families across the country. Including more than 70 recipes, this book explores the variety of dishes you can bring to the table for any occasion. From lights bites to fakeaways and working smarter not harder in the kitchen, you can achieve fun and easy mealtimes every day.

BBQ Salmon Cowboy Salad

Anna’s Family Kitchen was inspired by the author’s love of food and desire to feed her family healthy, home-cooked, wholesome meals that are beautifully presented but don’t require hours of prep in the kitchen. Her cookbook showcases the reality of family life, and how to achieve fun and easy mealtimes that aren’t all-consuming.

Anna describes the book as the go-to cookbook for busy families, intending to transform cooking from an everyday chore to an enjoyable process. It includes over 70 recipes, created for families of all shapes and sizes, inspiring people to take a new approach to cooking.

The recipes are divided into five chapters, covering all aspects of everyday challenges faced in the kitchen. These include Light Bites & Snacks, Quick & Easy Weekdays, Weekends & Gatherings, Fakeaways, and Cook Clever, which is full of useful hints and tips to save money, batch cook ahead of time and utilise your freezer to make sure you aren’t wasting food!

Anna’s Family Kitchen also includes tailored tips and tricks to assist families in cooking nutritional but tasty dishes. Perfect for any home cook, it contains a diverse range of recipes that are easy to follow and cover all occasions. Almost every recipe can be adapted with easy swaps to cater to individual needs within the demanding task of feeding a family. Dishes include Beef Massaman Curry, Summer Roast Chicken, Harissa Hake & Couscous Traybake, Chana Masala and Foolproof Bread.

An excerpt from the book – Hoisin Chicken

BATCH COOKING/MAKE AHEAD/FREEZABLE

This crowd pleaser is a much easier, quicker and cheaper alternative to hoisin duck pancakes, plus you get more meat! Chicken thighs are roasted in homemade hoisin sauce then shredded, ready for loading into Asian pancakes or wraps with cucumber, spring onion and more hoisin sauce.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 50 minutes

Serves: 4-6

INGREDIENTS

8-10 chicken thighs, skin on and bone in

Mini wraps or Chinese pancakes

1 cucumber, cut into batons

Spring onions, shredded

For the hoisin sauce

4 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp peanut butter

2 tbsp rice wine

1 tbsp honey

1 tbsp dark brown sugar

1 clove of garlic, crushed

½ tsp Chinese five spice

¼ tsp chilli flakes (optional)

15ml water

METHOD

Blitz all the hoisin sauce ingredients together in a blender. Set half aside and pour the rest over the chicken thighs in a roasting tray. Cook the chicken in the oven at 180-200°c fan for 25 minutes.

Turn the chicken thighs over, making sure they are completely coated in the sauce, then arrange them skin side up and return to the oven for 25 more minutes.

Pull the chicken apart using two forks and serve with the wraps or pancakes, cucumber batons, shredded spring onion and the remaining hoisin sauce.

Tip! The sauce can be made ahead in a large batch, then refrigerated or frozen.

About the Author
Anna Stanford, is a self-taught cook and mother of three, started Anna’s Family Kitchen 4 years ago as a passionate hobby, creating recipes for her family and friends on Instagram and Facebook, and has now achieved a loyal following on social media. You can find more information about her and her recipes on her social media pages @annasfamilykitchen or on her website annasfamilykitchen.com

Anna’s Family Kitchen is a 192-page hardback and at the time of writing, retails at £18. It is available from Amazon here.

xx

I’ve recently posted this series of foot strength exercises on Instagram and I got such an amazing response, I thought it would benefit more people here …

Foot strength exercises part 1

You can do these whilst watching TV …
Try these 2 favourite exercises of mine for your foot/body health as..
Toe spreading/ spacing improves balance, strength and flexibility and creates optimal toe alignment 🦶

👣Toe Spacing
👣Toe Spreading

 

Good foot stability and mobility is of the upmost importance in alignment of the whole body. As I always say,

“a tree always needs good roots to grow so, we need good foot alignment (from the ground up in order to ensure correct movement patterns in our bodies”

The fundamentals of the feet have massive implications further up the kinetic chain of the body.👣🦶

Try to do the toe spacing for 10 mins a night and start to see a change, creating strong mobile feet.

Foot strength exercises part 2

Try these 3 exercises as Toe spreading/ spacing improves balance, strength and flexibility of the foot and creates optimal toe alignment

1️⃣ Toe spacing and ankle rotations
2️⃣ The Toe wave
3️⃣ Big Toe isolations

In my classes online I always comment that for the majority of the day we shove our feet in shoes and boots, having no awareness of the implications of this on our overall body’s alignment. Footwear over time has weakened our feet causing all sorts of problems 👣🥹

The fundamentals of the feet have massive implications further up the kinetic chain of the body.👣🦶

Foot strength exercises part 3

IMPROVE MOBILITY IN DOING DAILY TASKS 👣

It was so wonderful to be mentioned in the The Times newspaper last week, talking feet 👣

Here are my final 7 exercises in my series of 3 for the feet.

As keeping the feet flexible and strong is so important to reduce not only foot and ankle pain but also improving daily tasks as the feet are the foundation of the body. So, good flexibility and strength of the feet and ankles helps in injury prevention.

🦶Toe elevated heel raises
🦶Heel raises ball between the ankles
🦶Toes elevation walk forward and back
🦶Ankle point and flex
🦶Ankle rotations both ways
🦶Calf stretch (gastrocnemius)
🦶Calf stretch (soleus)

Try these exercises for 1 minute each.

I really hope you find these helpful and if you’d like more of my tips for exercise and health, you can follow me for plenty more tips like this on Instagram …

https://www.instagram.com/jotuffreypilates/

Alternatively, if you’d like to put your toe in the water (see what I did there?) why not take a look at some of my free online pilates classes.

Enjoy ❤️

x

Jennifer Aniston and I have a lot in common!! ❤️

I have never really opened up before about my journey through IVF and how I felt going through it, so when I was approached by the @thetimes I was nervous.

But when asked so sensitively about this topic and with the subsequent passing of time, it made me think it was ok to say out loud … “Not being able to have children!” and to discuss what I went through – both funny and sad! and if can help just one person, then I was going to do it.

And I have. You can read the article in The Times here.

After 2 failed IVF attempts it was on the last attempt that we were told in no uncertain terms that I would not be able to have children as I was in the menopause.

To be told I wasn’t going to have children was a shock but to hear that I was menopausal was another … a double whammy – I was only 32!

I was told to go away and grieve for the children I would never have AND at the same time try to navigate my way through menopause! This was very much alone, as there wasn’t the exposure it has now.

At that point, my world fell apart!  As I said to lovely Anna the journalist from the Times

“It’s just Shit!”

I was mourning the mother I would never become but also trying to accept the changes in my body (and mind). I felt far too young and alone in this situation.  I wasn’t in the ‘baby club’ and deemed too young to be in the ‘menopausal club’.

I have so much more to say and I will over time but for now …

The reason I wanted to post this additional text to the article published today is for anyone having gone through it, or is currently going through it, I empathise and I understand.

You WILL laugh again, and you WILL find happiness and strengths you never knew you had!

In my life I always try to make people smile, as I think when you have been through ‘stuff’ you have a new found empathy and can certainly look at life differently and live it!

My husband, family, friends, clients and obviously my Online Workout Family are now those I nurture.

Life throws you curveballs and the path you envisioned might not have come to fruition, but that doesn’t mean it will be less happy – it’s just different.

Grief walks alongside me every day, thankfully now silent. Sometimes it will get in my way and trip me up – but I always get back up and carry on!

So, it’s ALWAYS important to remember, NEVER EVER judge anyone, as you never know their story behind the smiles!

Jennifer Anniston I hear you ❤️

Please save and share this article if you think it may help someone.

Jo ❤️

I always love to champion small businesses and so this month it’s all about Rey House

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Rey House was born out of a love of well made, well fitting clothes that feel good, look good and last. The kind of clothes you come back to time and time again because you know you never have to tug at a hemline or adjust a shoulder seam – and you’re guaranteed a compliment.

“When worrying about what to wear for various occasions, I realised that I always turned to the same, older items from my wardrobe. Items that I trusted, fitted me well and were made beautifully. The styles were mostly ageless in design and ageless in terms of who could wear them. It became apparent that friends and colleagues from the world of fashion felt exactly the same way. Talking more about what women of our generation wanted and needed from fashion and how if it couldn’t be found then perhaps we should make it happen ourselves. Rey-House was born right there.”

As you transition out of your 30s, one thing becomes abundantly clear – life is way too short to wear clothes that don’t fit properly.
That’s why we’ve torn up the so-called rule book and gone back to what’s important: quality fabrics, flattering designs, and timeless tailoring techniques.

DESIGNED FOR EVERY BODY

Forget apples and pears. Women are diamonds, cut to a shape that best reflects the many beautiful facets of who we are.

WHO SAYS WE HAVE TO GROW OLD GRACEFULLY?

Our collection is being created in consultation with real women. Women from their 40s to their 60s. Our friends and our family. Women just like you. Because it’s not enough to create clothes that look great – we want them to feel great too.

IT’S ALL IN THE FIT

We are all unique, in every aspect. When it comes to what we
We’ve all experienced it. The frustration of ‘our size’ being different in every shop. Seams in the wrong places. It shouldn’t have to be that way. That’s why we’re developing a unique sizing system that represents real women rather than dressmakers’ dummies.

DESIGNED TO LAST

Looking good isn’t enough. We want to feel good too. And that means using only the best materials available, from Italian yarns, luxury silks to organic cottons. The bonus is these materials last longer, giving you a more sustainable wardrobe that stands against fast fashion.

Sign up on our website https://rey-house.com/pages/community and join our community. Tell us what kind of Diamond you are and feedback on what frustrates you when buying clothes. Join our community and receive special discounts.

An exclusive offer for Jo’s Workout Club members!

Logged in members can see an exclusive discount below. If you’re not a member or logged in – you’ll see a different message.

Oops - it seems this content isn't available to you.

If you're using Jo's App - try logging out and in again.

If you're on the website - do check your subscription is current.

If you're not a member - visit Jo's homepage - we'd love to have you as a member!

Worried you’re missing out on great offers and great workouts? Take a look at the Club here.

xx

I always love to champion businesses that I love and I love fashion!

In the past within this wellness/ lifestyle section I have highlighted brands/people who I always go to for my fashion buys This month is no exception as I highlight the brand that is …. Cape Cove.

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Founded on a combined love of the water and a connected purpose for doing better, Cape Cove, a feel good brand offers relaxed, throw-on-style clothing that is focused on sustainable methods.

The brand’s purpose is underpinned by ethical practices and three commitments that aspire to drive real positive change; caring for the earth, supporting community and raising awareness of mental health.

Created by three fashion and beauty industry experts who began their buying careers in the noughties. Clare Surplice, Suzannah Hatch and Jo Bennett have a combined 30 years of experience; their lives and families intertwining as their careers progressed.

Through a shared joy of the water, love for art and an aspiration to make a true difference in the world; Cape Cove was born.

What makes Cape Cove unique is its use of print, colour and textiles.

All embroideries are hand drawn and prints sourced by Clare, who alongside her buying experience has a background in art and textiles, she finds her inspiration from the natural world and a connection to people.

Further designs, colour ways, prints, and waterproof fabrics will be added throughout the year in line with the customer demand, all part of the thoughtful and seasonless design ethos that Cape Cove embodies.

We adore Jos commitment to community and her passion for movement and great energy.  Having known Jo for more than a decade her passion& dedication for balance in life is amazing – particularly her love of water & wine 😂

Cape Cove is available direct to consumers via www.cape-cove.com and John Lewis.

An exclusive offer for Jo’s Workout Club members!

Logged in members can see an exclusive discount below. If you’re not a member or logged in – you’ll see a different message.

Oops - it seems this content isn't available to you.

If you're using Jo's App - try logging out and in again.

If you're on the website - do check your subscription is current.

If you're not a member - visit Jo's homepage - we'd love to have you as a member!

Worried you’re missing out on great offers and great workouts? Take a look at the Club here.

xx

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 colourful, hearty soup is packed with flavour. It’s also made in a slow cooker – so it’s really easy and faff-free.

Lentils and plenty of veg make this a nutritious, balanced bowl of goodness – perfect as a warming lunch or meal, and an excellent option during the menopause. I like to use rapeseed oil as it is rich in omega-3 fats – but use olive oil if you prefer.

You can also make this soup with either chicken or vegetable stock; and I like to serve the soup with a grating of Parmesan on top too, just to add a little calcium as this is so very important during menopause.  If you’re vegetarian, use a suitable hard Italian-style cheese instead and keep the stock veggie.

Don’t have a slow cooker?
Simply sauté the garlic and vegetables together until softened, then add the herbs, tomatoes, and rinsed lentils, followed by the stock.  Bring to the boil, before simmering very gently until completely tender. Add the spinach right at the end.

Fab for the freezer:
Leave the soup to cool completely before transferring to freezer proof containers, then covering and freezing for up to 3 months. Defrost before reheating gently on the hob until piping hot throughout (never reheat things in a slow cooker).

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Photo credit: Steve Baxter

Overview

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cook: 3-4 hours (in a slow cooker)

Ingredients

75g brown or green lentils

Rapeseed oil, enough to cover the base of the slow cooker 1-2mm

1 clove garlic

1 red onion, finely diced

1 celery stick, finely diced

400g can chopped tomatoes

2 sprigs thyme, leaves only

1 bay leaf, broken

2 litres chicken or vegetable stock

125g baby spinach leaves

Rapeseed oil or basil oil, to serve

 

Let’s get cooking …

  1. Rinse the lentils under plenty of cold water and drain thoroughly. Pour enough olive oil into the slow cooker to cover the base with a depth of about 1-2mm.
  2. Peel the garlic, then using your thumb, press the garlic firmly to bruise it. Add it to the dish with the oil.
  3. Add the lentils and mix to coat in the oil. Stir in the onion, celery, tomatoes, and herbs. Don’t season the soup at this stage, as salt could toughen the lentils.
  4. Pour in the stock. Cover with the slow cooker lid and cook on high for 3-4 hours or until the lentils are tender.
  5. Using a slotted spoon remove the garlic and herbs. Mix the spinach into the soup and stir until the leaves are just wilted. Season to taste.
  6. Ladle into warmed bowls and drizzle with a touch of extra virgin olive or basil oil before serving with crusty bread or toast.

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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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