Food time with Gemma – Carrot Cake Porridge

Honestly, you could make anything Carrot Cake flavoured and I would eat it. But this is one of my favourites!! Perfect breakfast.


  • 30g oats
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled
  • Dried cinnamon
  • Dried ginger
  • Dried nutmeg
  • Small handful of raisins.
  • 3 chopped walnuts.
  • 50ml milk (I use almond, but which ever you prefer)
  • Honey/Maple Syrup (Optional)


  1. Grate the carrot.
  2. In a sauce pan combine the oats, carrot raisins, a sprinkle of cinnamon, ginger and a pinch of nutmeg, milk and enough water to cover the oats.
  3. Simmer on a low heat until it reaches your desired consistency.
  4. Serve topped with the chopped walnuts and a drizzle of honey/maple syrup if you like your porridge sweeter.

Feel free to add up with more toppings if you like!!

The porridge in the picture also has grated courgette in! You can’t taste it at all and it’s a great way to help you get your 5 a day!


Food time with Gemma – Spring Pea Soup with Roasted Radishes

After a hectic few weeks and lots of indulgent food, I decided I needed something light and green for my dinner to make up for it and get me back on the straight and narrow! Also, once you’ve roasted radishes, you will never go back!!


  • 200g radishes, quartered
  • 1 ltr vegetable stock
  • 1 bunch spring onions, chopped
  • 600g frozen peas
  • 150g spinach
  • Swirl of creme fraiche (optional)


  1. Put the radishes in an oven tray and roast for 15 mins at 180c, turning half way through.
  2. In a large saucepan, sauté the spring onion for 5-10 mins, reserving a small handful for garnishing.
  3. Add the stock to the saucepan and bring to the boil.
  4. Add the peas, spinach and season generously.
  5. Simmer for 5 mins.
  6. Remove from the heat and blend with a stick blender.
  7. Serve with a swirl of creme fraiche on top and come crusty bread.

Serves 4


Food time with Gemma….Carrot Cake Flapjacks!

These are a treat, but they do have carrot in so they’re practically one of our 5-a-day!


  • 145g unsalted butter (I used Vitalite to make these vegan friendly)
  • 1 heaped tbsp golden syrup
  • 85g light muscovado sugar
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • 1 large carrot – washed and grated
  • 50g walnuts – chopped
  • 50g raisins
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius
  2. Melt the butter in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water.
  3. Add the golden syrup and sugar to the melted butter and combine.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients.
  5. Press into a lined tin.
  6. Bake for 15 mins or until set and golden.
  7. Allow to cool and cut into 12 slices.

Food time with Gemma…..Shakshuka

Eat this meal straight from the pan, with crusty bread for dipping!! I like grilling some asparagus spears for dipping too!!!

For this recipe you will need a deep frying pan that can go under the grill.

If your frying pan has a plastic or rubber handle, wrap it in tin foil and just make sure it’s sticking out of the grill, not underneath it. (Make sure you use an oven glove when removing the pan from the grill!)

Serves 2-3


  • 1 Red Onion, diced
  • 1 Garlic Clove, crushed
  • 1 Red Pepper, chopped
  • 5 Mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 x 400g Tins of Chopped Tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 1/2 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1tsp Paprika
  • 5-6 Eggs
  • 120g feta
  • Parsley to garnish (not essential)


  1. Heat a small amount of oil/Frylight in a deep frying pan and sauté the onion and garlic for about 5 mins.
  2. Add the pepper and the mushrooms and cook until softened.
  3. Add the spices and cook for 30 seconds.
  4. Stir in the tomato puree and cook for another 30 seconds.
  5. Add the tinned tomatoes, season and simmer for 10 mins until the sauce starts to thicken up.
  6. Create 5-6 wells in the mixture (dependant on how many eggs you are using) and crack an egg into each one.
  7. Crumble over the feta.
  8. Cook for a few minutes on the hob and then transfer to the grill to cook the eggs to your liking.
  9. Garnish with parsley and serve!!

Food with Gemma……Pizza time!!!

Cheats Pizza!

This is a really easy meal which you can customise any way you want!! Sometimes the simplest meals are the best!  

These really need to be eaten with a knife and fork rather than be picked up in slices, especially if you pile on as many toppings as I do!


Serves 2

For the pizza sauce:

  • 1 x Tin Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 x Red Onion, diced
  • 1 x Garlic Clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • Splash of Red Wine Vinegar
  • Splash of Worcester Sauce
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

2 x tortilla wraps

  • 60g of your favourite cheese
  • Fresh Basil

Toppings – You can use anything and EVERYTHING you like!

Always pre-roast or sautée your toppings as the completed pizza doesn’t spend much time in the oven as not to burn the tortilla wrap.


  • Shredded Chicken
  • Mushrooms
  • Sweetcorn
  • Peppers
  • Lean Ham
  • Lean Bacon
  • Red Onion
  • Chorizo Slices
  • Onion Chutney
  • Olives
  • Pineapple (Because it DOES belong on pizza!) 


  1. In a saucepan, soften the red onion and the garlic.
  2. Add the dried oregano, salt and pepper, tomato puree and cook for 1 min.
  3. Add the tinned tomatoes, red wine vinegar and the Worcester sauce.
  4. Let this simmer for at least 10-15 minutes until reduced to a thick pizza sauce. You don’t want it too watery!
  5. Meanwhile, prepare your toppings! I like sautéed peppers, mushrooms with sweetcorn, onion chutney and black olives but it’s completely up to you what you add.
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and then put your tortilla wraps on their own trays and bake in the over for about 7 mins. You want them to start to crisp up but not get too brown.
  7. Remove the wraps from the oven, then divide the pizza sauce across the two bases, spreading to the edges, leaving about 2cm round the sides.
  8. Add your desired toppings and half of the cheese on each pizza.
  9. Bake for another 10-15 mins, making sure that the edges don’t burn.
  10. Top with fresh basil and serve!

Food with Gemma….Sun’s out, Salad’s out!

This week Gemma has knocked up some simple, quick and yummy food thats great for when the sun is shining.

Sun’s out ☀️☀️☀️….guns out…actually it’s salad time!

Roasted butternut squash, kale and feta cheese salad 😋


Serves 1 


  • 150g butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 1 large handful of kale, stems removed and torn
  • 7-10 small (plum) tomatoes, cut in half
  • 40g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 50g pomegranate seeds
  • Salt and pepper


  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • 1tbsp cider vingar
  • 1 garlic clove, freshly crushed
  • Salt and pepper


1. Roast the butternut squash cubes in a little oil, salt and pepper at 180 degrees celsius for 20-30 minute, turning half way through.
2. In a pan heat a little oil, add the red onion, kale and tomatoes. Cook for about 5 minutes.
3. Combine all of the dressing ingredients and set aside.
4. Once everything is cooked, put the sautéed veg on a plate and add the roasted butternut squash.
5. Crumble over the feta and sprinkle over the pomegranate seeds.
6. Drizzle over the dressing and enjoy!!


what gets tracked gets done!

I use a training dairy to record all the training sessions I complete….

the strength sessions

the sports massages

the conditioning sessions

the runs

and all the other stuff (training related)



When I track my training, I know what I’ve achieve in each sessions, each week, each month, each block of training.

I am able to progress every session, and plan when to push and when to ease off the throttle.

This allows me to keep my training progression without wiping myself out physically or mentally…

running CF is a full on job, and with fun things like GDPR to sort out and the pleasures of other things, I don’t want to totally smoke myself every session.

BALANCE, ENJOYMENT and PROGRESS are what I look for….

There was a time when I was fed up of fitness….

the pressure I put myself under was huge, and i lost what it was about this professions that i loved.

My training diary is a tool that I find really helps me to monitor my training session by session and block by block.

Im a able to reflect on past sessions and see progress, and ive talked about the importance of looking back and seeing what you have achieved…how far you have come.

So 2018….using my diary I know I have:

  • dropped just under 10kg (22lbs)
  • increase my back squat by 30kg
  • increase my yoke carry by 40kg
  • increased my axil bar C&P by 45kg


  • i can now run 10k pain free

so progress towards my longer term goals is being made.

these key principles of balance, enjoyment and progress are core pillars in my training and I in-still them in all my clients training too. 

No one will train long term if they hate it, and whilst there are smaller/shorter term goals to hit along the way, fitness, health and perfromance (relative to you) show be part of your life, just just for when you have a holiday in 2 weeks time.

Longer term investment will always pay off dividends to the short term gimmicks, and at raining diary is a excellent tool to use.

So much so that we have these 12 week diaries for our clients…. 😀

If you are looking to achieve results, enjoy the process, and make your long term health a priority then maybe the CF 30-day trial is a great starting point for you…..


Mango Salsa

Mango Salsa

This is super simple salsa recipe which can be used to top a salad, in a wrap, to top a chicken burger, as an accompaniment to a curry or as a dip. I use it in tacos with curried chickpeas. Yum!


  • 200g Cherry or Baby Plum Tomatoes
  • 1/2 Mango
  • 1/2 Red Onion
  • 1 Avocado 50g
  • Sweetcorn
  • 1 Red Chilli – (you can use dried chilli flakes if you don’t have fresh)
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • Small Bunch of Coriander (Optional, as I know it’s not for everyone!)


1. Quarter the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.

2. Finely dice the onion and red chilli.

3. Cube the mango and avocado.

4. Add all of the above to a bowl and mix in the sweetcorn, lime juice and coriander if using.


Friend OR Enemy???


scales & body weight

I saw a post the other day and it discussed scales and how the individual had thrown them away so that they couldn’t become obsessed with them anymore – that negative relationship that can develop when everything is about weight, and is common in todays society. A Number of people then chipped in about it – saying how good it was etc.

I think its THE most common thing that Ive heard over the past 20years of working in this industry – and not just from females, but both genders.


Are the scales as bad as they are made out???

are they to blame?

OR is it a classic lack of understanding, peoples individual issues or other factors??

Many of the lower entry point weight management programs use scales as their means of feedback….

Its cheap, easy to repeat, and doesn’t take a lot of skill by the person. Plus it’s been beaten into our heads that how you look and feel are directly linked to what you weight.

And this is where the problem lies……

Weighing yourself is NOT a bad thing…..

Your weight is a reflection of your lifestyle decisions/choices…..

It can hold you accountable – its not a person thing – your weight is your weight…

yes the excuses can come out to WHY you weigh what you weight, but the fact remains thats what it is.

I use to be someone who stated ‘it doesn’t matter what you weigh, its all about body composition’…..

WHAT A DICK I was then!

the reality is Weight can be a positive or negative means of feedback

IT all depends on YOU, YOUR GOAL, and YOUR CURRENT STATE…..

so EXAMPLE time…..

Roll back to the beginning of this year…..Jan 2018

I know that I was tipping in at about 110+kg on the scales…..

whilst what I weighed has never really bothered me – this year my misses and I had set a goal.

Part of that goal was to run the spartan beast OCR (half marathon-ish distance Obstacle Course Race)

and whilst Ive never been someone bothered with aesthetics

carrying that much weight around on a OCR is hard work ….

the distance,

the obstacles themselves

SO I decided to sort my shit out and train for the events…

and I’ve used 3 things to monitor my progress….

  1. my weight
  2. relative strength levels in the gym
  3. running performance (distance/speed)

If we just focus on weight for today –

I use it as its a quick and simple means of feedback

I can repeat it with as much consistency as i can

as and when I up my training I may start to calorie count, and using my weight I can calculate total calories and macro ratios more accurately.

PLUS it helps me stay focused – its hold be accountable.  ITs no ones fault but my own if the scales don’t move…or go in teh wrong direction!

Its simple – regardless of my weight i’ve got to get around this OCR, and the lighter I am (to a certain extent) the easier it will be…and ive tried running at 110kg…its not fun!

So weighing myself IS an excellent and appropriate means of feedback…..

And the other benefit to being lighter – i’m stronger, leaner and my CV fitness is increasing too!!!

I fit into my clothes – which is handy

i don’t feel as much of a oaf – cant say i loved be a porker

shit load more energy and focus

and I’m loving the numbers going up on the lifts

SO whilst the scales have been DEMONISED and ABUSED by mass weight loss programs and society, the FACT is that there IS a place for weighing yourself, tracking progress, being held accountable with factual data and taking emotion out of the equation.

The key with all thing is the means of TRACKING progress has to be relevant to the outcome GOAL.

If you want to be ripped, then weight may NOT be the best means of tracking performance, BUT it then could also be a excellent means of tracking  The specifics are individual to each person, and relying solely on one means of feedback may not benefit the individual.


If you want some help working out what it is you want and how to get there…..

Hit the TRAIL button… RH corner



Kettlebell Swing

The kettlebell swing is an explosive lower body exercise. It involves a hip hinge similar to the deadlift. The kettlebell swing builds a strong lower back, glutes and hamstrings and develops your grip. When performed for high reps it is a killer conditioning exercise that will leave your breathless. If done for lower reps, it is a fantastic movement to build explosive power.  It’s also has an awesome corrective/posture benefit through extending and loosening up the hips as well as strengthening the lower back and gluts.

Exercise Steps

1.  Assume a shoulder width stance with a kettlebell several feet in front of your body.s

2.  Drive your butt back while keeping your shins close to vertical and reaching forward for the kettlebell with your arms.

3.  Pull the kettlebell back towards your pelvis whilst keep your chest up and spine long.

4.  Stand up explosively and exhale. Think of driving through with hips, squeezing your bum and driving through your heels. Don’t worry about the height of the KB to start with.  

5.  Hike the kettlebell back towards your pelvis and allow gravity to help you ‘swing’ the kettlebell back between the legs. 

6. Stand up again explosively/drive hips through for as many repetitions as desired. 



To begin with, focus on building your technique and then consistency.  Look to more sets with lower reps to start, and then build you volume/load. 

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