Detox

Country Comforts : Thyme Luxury Hotel

Last weekend I pulled up on acres of the Cotswold Countryside to Thyme Luxury Hotel, dressed head-to-toe by Primark in my favourite Cammo combo.

Primark Fitness OOTD

Good job as before I checked in, we were putting the fit kit to the test; skipping, squatting and burpee-ing our way through a one hour fat burning HIIT class. It was no wonder I was feeling Sheepish afterwards.

Sheep Sofa

Next it was time to check into my cottage which was cosy and lovely. With a welcome letter, a bag of gifts and a posh suite to myself, it was like I was on a honeymoon!  Just without the inconvenience of a husband.

Thyme Hotel Cottage
Luxury Hotel in The Cotswolds
Thyme Luxury Hotel

Lunch in the barn was next on the agenda and it was filled with all the goodness I needed. Kale, rice and fig salad with a squash and feta cheese tart was on the menu. Yum!

Healthy Kale, rice and fig salad
Squash and feta cheese tart

After scoffing lunch it was time to head to Thyme Hotel's Cookery School to bake a carrot cake that was free from refined sugars. The cake was delicious, though in a Great British Balls Up I messed up my sugar icing, so had to abort that part of the mission. The icing on the cake not so much.

Homemade Carrot Cake

After cake we had a 40 minute yoga flow class in Tithe Barn. I received motivation from the bright Primark yoga mat, though at times I felt it was somewhat repetitive.

Motivation Monday Primark Yoga Mat

Here’s me doing what the mat told me to.

Yoga Tree Pose

A three course dinner at Thyme Hotel's very own Country pub around the corner called The Swan was followed by a massage, nightcap and in my cosy cottage. I put my feet up by the fire and drifted off.

The Swan Pub in The Cotswolds

The next morning head gardener, Beverly gave us a tour of the grounds. As we walked I picked up some chicks:

Thyme Farm Chickens

Met a fat pig that resembled a cow;

Pig Cow Farm

Sniffed some fresh veg;

Gardener

and squealed with excitement when Beverley told us that Gary Barlow and Kate Moss live locally and often go to The Swan pub! So that's that then: Thyme Luxury Hotel really is a perfect place for a five star nature kick. 

Primark Puffa Jacket

If you ever fancy a quintessentially English getaway then this peaceful place is fit for a Princess... in wellies. After all, how many farms have Cow-Pigs? 

Thyme Hotel have a few rooms and packages to choose from (I had a cottage called The Dairy) and you can see all the options and get in contact here.

xoxo

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Hen Party Ideas

Yoga mat, water bottle, skipping rope & towel by Primark

What I'm wearing: Blue and red puffa jacket, leggings and all activewear by Primark

This blog post was brought to you in collaboration with Primark | #PrimarkSetGo

 

 

How To Stay Fit & Fresh | Perspirex

I've got a new BFF that is always there for me and never let's me down. It goes by the name of Perspirex, an anti perspirant that comes in the smallest of packages yet keeps me smelling fresher for longer.

Perspirex Original

Firstly, I've not been desperately seeking a new anti perspirant but I do like to change it every few months to ensure my pits don't become immune to my current one.

Arm pits

Secondly, Perspirex Original and Comfort costs £8.49. With that price tag tag, I thought that it must be pretty special and require special treatment. I wasn't wrong. 

It comes with precise application instructions and my initial reaction to this revelation was *yawn* but luckily it’s pretty straight forward. All you need to do is;

  • Apply it before bed to clean, dry and unbroken skin

  • wake up and shower as usual. No need to re-apply.

  • Smell fresh despite having not re-applied for up to 3-5 days

Obviously this sounds far too good to be true so I put it to the test in the sweatiest of workout sessions  (the Third Space Elevation Challenge) to see just how good this under armour is.

During my fitness challenge  I did  1 speedy kilometre on the rowing machine, followed by burning 50 calories as fast as I could on a bike, a 1km run and then finished it off with 10 burpees.

Rowing Machine

It was just under twenty minutes of sweat-inducing exercise yet my agreeable odour lasted. I then went to shower, didn’t re-apply and was still smelling AOK. Seriously! I even got my mate Chris to give me a sniff test and he approved of my “aroma” too.  

Perspirex Sensitive

Perspirex is a great way to protect yourself if ever you forget your anti perspirant and is small enough to pop in your hand luggage when travelling. It is even clinically proven to reduce skin irritation under your arms which in my opinion makes it a bonafide magic stick. Now that’s how to stay fit and fresh without even having to say “abracadabra”. Enjoy!

AJ Odudu Smelling Fresh

XOXO

This blog post has been brought to you in collaboration with Perspirex.

Waist Trainers | The Real Truth

Anyone remember those pics of Kim Kardashian wearing a waist trainer? Anyone remember the the trend watchers saying it was going to be the next big training fad? Well never one to jump on the band wagon late or anything, I thought it was finally time I gave it a go to see why Kim keeps taking selfies with one on.

I should point out, I'm not really one for exercise fads. I believe that to get in shape requires hard work, a balanced diet and regular exercise. I do however enjoy experimenting with different workouts and fitness techniques that can add to or enhance my workout regimes. I was also just damn curious! Does it even work??! Well, I teamed up with FemShaper to try theirs and to find out what the corset/waist training fuss is all about.

What is a waist trainer?

In case you don't know, a waist trainer or clincher is a band which you wear around your waist that makes you sweat bucket loads round your belly, the idea being that you shred and tone your waistline in the process. Think spanks but without the bottom half.

How did it look and feel?

Putting it on, as expected my waist appeared an inch or two narrower. You can adjust it, to cinch in your waist to your desired tightness. I kept it on the loosest notch, mainly because I wanted to be able to breath comfortably. If you've ever worn a pair of spanks before, it has a similar effect to that, only this time you get more of a curvaceous, hour glass look.

The lining is cotton so the material is soft on the skin and style-wise it looks really nice even on the outside of your clothes. It also sits discreetly underneath a t-shirt or vest so no one would know it was there. Top secret!

Can you exercise in one?

Well, I wanted to road test the waist trainer with a mixture of workouts so I wore mine in a spin class where I'm mainly sedentary on a bike and a body pump class where I'm bouncing about the place and using weights for added resistance. In the spin class I found I had to lean forward further than I normally would and found my breathing was inhibited slightly. I wouldn't describe it as uncomfortable, but I did feel quite restricted. It takes some getting used to.

As for the body pump, I had a few niggles. I found that when I wanted to engage my core during exercises such as lunges, squats and sit ups, those muscles around my core had switched off or disengaged because they were being squeezed meaning I wasn't able to properly work them out. As someone who is qualified in personal training, I would only advise really light exercise whilst wearing a waist clincher, specifically, brisk walking. 

What were the effects?

Well obviously I'd need to wear it for more than just two workouts to discover the long terms benefits. Apparently you should wear it for 3 hours a day for 4 weeks to get a figure like Kim Kardashian with testimonials claiming weight loss within just 7 days. One thing I would say is that you should certainly listen to your body. If you don't want to wear it longer than ten minutes. Don't. If you don't want to exercise in it. Don't! I've known people to sleep in these things. Just DON'T. 

Whilst a waist trainer is not something I'd choose to get sweaty in, I would wear mine occasionally because I like the discreet look, the flexible material and the fact that it instantly makes your waist appear smaller. It's pretty comfortable too and FemShaper deliver supper quick. It gives you an instant nip tuck, so if you were going out tonight and wanted a more svelte appearance with a waist that appears slimmer, you could slip this on and feel hot to trot.

Either way, whatever your stance is on waist trainers, you should try and feel comfortable and confident in your own skin and get used to the beautiful imperfections that make you special. So smile in the mirror because I promise it won't break :)

Keep an eye on my YouTube channel for a full demo on the FemShaper waist trainer.

Fitness Date with John Lewis and Women's Health

Women's Health AJ Odudu
John Lewis AJ Odudu
Yoga AJ Odudu
Yoga Crab AJ Odudu

Tweet Me: @AJOdudu | Instagram me: @ajodudu | Watch me on YouTube: AJOdudu

John Lewis and Women’s Health Magazine have collaborated to introduce their #JLLiveBetter campaign and I went to it’s launch at the John Lewis Live Better Loft, overlooking the Olympic Stadium in London.

The morning kicked off with a mini-session of awakening yoga led by Colby Hanks, which was swiftly followed by a healthy breakfast of bircher muesli, matcha porridge, cardamon buns and fresh organic smoothies made by nutrition’s woman of the moment, Natasha Corrett of Honestly Healthy. I’m a mere mortal human who loves to eat, so this was one of the highlights of my morning.

Elite Barry’s Bootcamp trainer, Anya Lahiri put us through our paces with a fitness training session before personal trainer Rich Tidmarsh shared the secrets on how to exercise better.  He had us doing crabs and all sorts which was a lot harder than it looks but loads of fun. I got to hang out with a number of amazing fitness and health bloggers and the icing on the alkaline, sugar-free cupcake was a money-can’t buy personalised front cover of Women’s Health Magazine. 

There was something particularly special about coming together with a bunch of women (most of whom I’d never met), to work out together, laugh together and learn together. Essentially, it felt really empowering. Mental stability is just as important as physical strength which is exactly the message this #JLLiveBetter campaign is trying to send. It was a Saturday morning well spent and a campaign well worthy of recognition.

For more information about #JLLiveBetter click here  and in the meantime, love yourself, eat well and feel fabulous!