Are You Ready To Get Your Hands Dirty?

Competitions are a scary thing no matter what sport you are involved in! People fear the unknown or worry that they might bomb, it happens to us all. My advice for anyone who feels like this? Get involved in a team comp! How does a team comp differ to an individual? You can work to your strengths and have a constant support group but remember competitions are not supposed to be easy, it’s about getting out of your comfort zone and pushing yourself past your expectations.

I’ve watched the Filthy grow over the last few years and my god, has it grown! I competed in 2014 in Crossfit Swords with my legends from Ronin Crossfit. Team training is amazing as you rely on each other so much and the same goes for when you’re on the floor and they’re shouting your name, it sends your adrenaline through the roof. You’ll never want to let your teammates down either so will push yourself more than you ever have before.

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Last year we were registered to go again but one of our teammates got injured and we were out of the game! I still wanted to be part of the action so I volunteered and was on the scoring team! My first thoughts walking up to the new venue was “Holy S*** it was gigantic”, my second feeling was “How I wish I was competing”. You could feel the adrenaline as soon as you walked inside with competitors eyeing up the competition. I could go on and give my best David Attenborough impression now but I think you get the picture!

It still amazes me how much Crossfit has evolved in the last 6 years from small in-house competitions to a jam packed stadium, people came from all over the country to see what this “crossfit thing” was all about and I’m sure they were running (for time of course) back to their local box to sign up after the weekend because it was that exciting!

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My two experiences of the Filthy were very different but equally as exhausting. Groups of people put themselves forward as volunteers to be part of the action and help in anyway possible. Hats off to the judges especially; the concentration, the confrontations, the screaming- these guys give 110% every time, so remember to give them as much kudos as they give you!

It’s not long until 2016’s event and I cannot wait! My training has been very different this year as I’ve focused more on weightlifting and bodybuilding with Wods thrown in every now and again for good measure! I’m loving it and I know these team competitions mean I can work to my strengths. I reckon I’ll only compete in this category for the time being as I find the experience much more enjoyable than an individual competition.

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If you haven’t competed before then a team competition is a great way to start, it’s better when you can share the nerves and as the clock is counting down and your buddies hand is on your shoulder there really is no better feeling!

For now it’s time to dig deep and get your hands dirty, train hard and I’ll see you all in September.

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The Perfect Jeans For “Girls That Lift”

You know the deal, you’ve discovered weightlifting and the barbell is now your best friend. The PR’s are flying in and you’re loving life UNTIL you find yourself in Topshop of a Saturday and none of the jeans seem to go past your quads! We’ve all been there and the term “the struggle is real” never felt so apt as your twist and turn in the changing room, praying you don’t come crashing through the door!

To help all you lady beasts out there, I drafted some super strong women to find out what jeans they happily get over their quads and bootay! We all come in different shapes and sizes so it was interesting to see what brands they wear! Strong is sexy, so don’t forget that and don’t be stressed, there’s always jeggings!

Me! Lover of Barbell’s and Blogger

River Island- €50

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I’ve always struggled with jeans! I’m pretty short and mother nature granted me with Beyonce-esque thighs! Most jeans cut off the blood supply to my legs and if I jump up a size, let’s just say it’s more bob the builder than Beyonce!

You have to search until you find the perfect fit for you and while I love the Baxter/Jamie design from Topshop, I find they are always too long for my short legs! River Island is where it’s at for me. I discovered the black Amelie skinny jeans and now I can run in and grab my size without even trying them on! They are cut perfectly with subtle stretchy material and never lose the shape.

I particularly love River Island jeans because they cater for the short arses of Ireland like myself! I just hope they never change the design because I believe they’re the perfect jeans for the girls that lift!

 

Sarah Doyle, Founder of The Better Life Project and Powerlifter

Zara- €50 (€25 on sale)

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I got these jeans from Zara during the Christmas sales. They were reduced from about €50 to €25 so I was pretty happy. I actually laughed when Aimee asked me to take part in this feature, as I’ve always struggled with jeans! James says I have squatters genetics aka “a big arse” but I think it’s my legs that are the part I struggle with the most. If I can get a pair of jeans over my thighs I am winning.

But I never usually can and if I do they are hanging off my waist so when stretchy jeans were invented I was one happy girl. My fave jeans are probably River Island and Dr. Denim. This pair from Zara was a great deal. 

Claire McGrath, Miss Fitness Ireland and All Round Fitness Fanatic

Tommy- €120 (€80 on sale)

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I got these jeans in Tommy in Dundrum, they were €120 but got them on sale for €80. They are just the perfect fit, I love them because they are super stretchy, they fit me when I’m leaner for the on season and even for off-season gains lol!

Lisa Regan, PR Queen and All Round Fitness Fanatic

Topshop-€60

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My top pick for jeans is Topshop Jamie brand– soft and large pockets on the bum. This is key for your bum to look good- the bigger the pocket the nicer the bum! I have these 6 months and they wash and fit great. A little stretch in them and they sit well on the waist and move with your body as opposed to it.

Jeans are my staple but are so hard to come by! A good pair is worth it’s weight in gold! I love an ankle grazer as it elongates the leg giving the illusion of a slimmer leg and also the ankle is a nice area to have exposed as it helps to break up your look of you are doing just one colour. These jeans are perfect for work, day wear or night time.

Michelle Massey, Weightlifting/Crossfit athlete and Blogger at Kettlebelle

Pull and Bear- €29.99

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I get all my jeans from Pull and Bear! They have an amazing selection and they stock these ‘stretch fit’. Basically, that means I can still buy my standard size but they stretch to fit perfectly around my quads and ass which are slightly bigger than what would be classed as a “standard” size 8. I find buying jeans that sit on my hips rather than waist works well too!!!

Kelly Donegan, Author and Health & Fitness Influencer

H&M-€38

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I’ll be honest and say I hate jeans to death…I still haven’t found a brand, style or shape that fits my tree trunk quads. Lately I’m wearing these faux leather pants from H&M because they are super stretchy and comfy!

Jeans are a no go unless they are a huge size then I tend to need a belt because the waist is too big! First world problems I think..

Ursula Macken, PT, Weightlifting Athlete and Blogger

Bershka €29.99

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These are my favorite pair. They’re the first pair I’ve found that fit me perfectly. Tight in the right places but have enough stretch too, basically the next best thing to gym pants (LOL)!

I usually find with skinny trousers that either the ends are too baggy if they fit around the waist, or the legs will be perfect but the waist too high! It’s funny, I live in them but I’ve no decent pictures wearing them!


Freddy Jeans

I haven’t worn them myself but I’ve read multiple reviews from women who can’t wear any other brand! They have a very unique cut that really accentuate your “gains” but all the reviews say they are super comfy and I’m all about that! Do any of you guys have a pair and would you recommend them? If you recommend a brand that’s not mentioned, be are to comment below!

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-All views in this article are the individuals own, none are linked to brands mentioned.

Elverys Sports #CommitToFit Campaign

I was super excited when Elverys invited me to take part in the #CommitToFit campaign! Basically I was allowed to go and pick up some bits for training (Fist-Pump). The collection is packed with amazing pieces but I’m a Nike girl through and through, so that is what I went for! I chose a gorgeous vintage style blue hoody, a navy blue loose fitting top and a funky pair of Nike Pro bottoms.

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The staff at the Arnotts store were so helpful, big shoutout to Audrey-she knew all the details about every single item I picked up. As the bulk of my training revolves around weightlifting, it didn’t make sense for me to look in the “running” section and Audrey was able to help me pick what suited my exact training regime.

What I love about the Nike Pro bottoms was how light they feel, they are like a second skin and perfect for squatting. They’re designed as a base layer for competition so they are lighter than normal bottoms. I’d still wear them as outerwear but just to note that they might be a bit see-through. (I always wear Nike Pro shorts under my bottoms when I train so this doesn’t bother me!) They’re more midi than high waisted so that might not suit everyone but they don’t fall down and passed the squat test.

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The Nike Elastika Tank has sweatwicking Dri-FIT fabric and a racerback design for mobility. It’s really comfortable and has a loose fit, which is perfect for Crossfit and lifting. I love the low back but that might not suit everyone as you are quite exposed.

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The vintage style Nike hoody caught my eye and the super soft cotton material is gorgeous. I was advised that it didn’t really carry any technical features and it’s not dryfit like the other items, but it’s perfect for my style of training as sometimes I need a light layer to stay warm and mobile. The over sized hood is just perfect when you want to stick in your earphones and get in the zone!

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Notes from the brand:

Elverys’ unique selling point has always been creating collections for athletes and collaborating with the biggest names in sport and this latest campaign is asking the Elverys customer to “commit to fit” and work out harder than ever before with their latest on-trend offering.

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The retailer collaborated with leading stylist and creative director Courtney Smith for the campaign and featured top Irish international model Jude Rea as the face of the new collections which are now available in all Elverys Intersport stores and online at www.elverys.ie.

Review: Mash Direct Foods

Some days there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day! Working, training, cooking, cleaning and some of you have kids to add to the mix aswell! If we cut corners every so often, it can give us some time to relax and thanks to brands like Mash Direct, lunch and dinner time can be prepped super quick, with minimal cleaning too!

I was delighted to receive a package of their veggie delights to review in January. It was perfect timing after the madness of Christmas and definitely helped kickstart my healthy habits again!

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What I tested:  Carrot and parsnip, carrot, parsnip and turnip, red cabbage and beetroot, and the new gluten free veggie burgers.

I absolutely loved the carrot and parsnip option, made with only butter and seasoning, there’s no hidden nasties. It’s so creamy and delicious, I served it with slow cooked brisket and it was a perfect match. But there’s nothing it won’t go with; chicken, steak etc you can’t go wrong with it!

The carrot, parsnip and turnip has more of an earthy flavour. I’m not a huge fan of turnip usually but it was more palatable mixed with the carrot and parsnip. It’s a great way to get more veggies in and just like the other option it’s only blended with butter and seasoning, making is super clean and tasty!

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It was great to try something different like the beetroot and red cabbage, a side dish packed full of antioxidants! It made a yummy addition to the Sunday dinner and if I’m honest I wasn’t sure at first but then I couldn’t stop eating it, it definitely doesn’t lack flavour! I will definitely pick this up again!

As most of you know I was a veggie for 10 years so I’ve eaten my fair share of veggie burgers! The mash direct version are made with freshly steam cooked potato, broccoli, carrot, cauliflower, spring cabbage & parsnip coated in a golden gluten free coating. They were absolutely delicious, so full of natural flavours and one burger was really filling. I cooked them for lunch and it made a nice change to what I usually have!

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When I used to eat a paleo diet, I would always try to only make EVERYTHING myself! This would lead to stressful moments of staying up late just to make food for the following day, or finding myself stuck in situations where I need to fuel up before I head to training! Most of the time I over consumed food like nuts or nut butters as that was all I had available!

I don’t eat a paleo diet anymore but thanks to companies like Mash Direct who make clean food with no crap added. It’s a convenient food that you can grab on the way home from the gym/work etc and be comfortable knowing you are getting clean whole foods into the diet!

All the products are available in most supermarkets, so pick some up on your next shopping trip and save yourself time in the kitchen!

Review: OSIUS Bone Broth

As an Brand Ambassador for Love Life Supplements I got to review the delicious Osius Bone Both recently. I was so excited about this as I love bone broth but also because I was the only person in Ireland to try it. This is because it’s usually delivered frozen in the UK. The product defrosted on its way to me but it just meant I had to use it within 5 days, not a problem at all for this Piggy!

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What’s The Deal With Bone Broth?

Bone Bone is known as a superfood as it carries medicinal purposes as well as tons of nutrients. Bone broth has been proven to aid digestive issues and heal the gut to promote healthy digestion. It’s made up of pure collagen so may help strengthens bones, joints, tendons and ligaments. 

Bone broth may help with the following:

  • Keep your skin, nails and hair healthy
  • Boost your immune system
  • Protect your joints
  • Help aid autoimmune disorders such as coeliac disease, leaky gut and other digestive issues
  • Help joints to grow and repair (great for injuries)
  • Aid nutrient absorption
  • Encourage better sleep (that would be the magnesium)

If that’s not enough reason to include it in your diet then I don’t know what is!

About Osius Bone Broth

Made on a small farm in the rural county of Herefordshire. The broth is 100% organic and pasture fed. The marrow & knuckle bones simmer for 24-36 hours to extract all the nutrients. The organic vegetables & herbs are added for the last 4 hours of cooking bring it all together and then seaweed used as the seasoning agent.
The broth is grain free, dairy free, salt free, additive and preservative free.

My Thoughts:

I reviewed both flavours: Chicken with Herbs/ Beef with seaweed.

Chicken: I had the chicken in the morning in place of my regular coffee, it was warming and also perked me up a bit. I loved how clean the broth tasted, nothing bad added just pure nutrients. It has a very delicate flavour meaning it wouldn’t over power any stew or recipes you wanted to add it to. I added it to lots of recipes like stir fries, roasted sweet potatoes etc and it really boosted the flavours.

Beef: The beef was delicious, I love the addition of seaweed it gave it a slight miso flavour. The beef has a little more depth than the chicken which would be expected as it’s a bigger animal with bigger bones! Again I drank this as it was and also added it in many of my recipes. You all must try veggies stir-fried with bone broth as it’s a game changer!

Some Recipe Ideas

Chicken stir-fry

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Natural with added coriander

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Sweet potato roasted with spices and bone broth

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Be sure to check these guys out:

http://www.lovelifesupplements.co.uk (Use the code: PrimalpiggyLLS10 for 10% discount)

http://www.osiusbonebroth.co.uk

Zesty Coconut Turkey Fillets

An old recipe of mine which I designed in 2013 for Boxrox.com, I’d like to think my photography skills have improved since then LOL!

Turkey is not just for Christmas you know!! A favourite of fitness fanatics for decades, there is a solid reason for this!

  • There is about 32g of protein in a 4-oz. serving of turkey, making it a very good source of these essential amino acids. Just one serving of turkey provides 65 percent of your recommended daily intake of protein.
  • Considered a good source of vitamins B3 and B6, rated because of the density of these vitamins in the meat. A serving of turkey meat has 36 percent of the daily allowance of B3 and 27 percent of your recommended intake.
  • Turkey is believed to have mood enhancing properties. It contains tryptothan, which produces serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps improve your mood.
  • Light, skinless roasted turkey is low on saturated fat and total fat. It also contains less cholesterol than chicken, pork or beef.

Honey & Lime/Coconut Turkey Fillets

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Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 2 turkey steaks
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup of coconut flour
  • 2-4 pieces streaky bacon (optional)
  • 1 packet long stem broccoli
  • 1 pok choi
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce/coconut aminos
  • olive oil
  • paprika/salt/pepper

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180

2. In a bowl mix the egg and lime juice until combined. On a chopping board spread out the coconut ingredients & season with paprika, salt & pepper.

3. Take the Turkey Steak and dip in the egg mix and then coat it in the coconut. Do this to both steaks until evenly coated. Place the Steaks in a glass baking dish and bake for about 15 mins (turn in between) and cook until golden.

4. While the Turkey is cooking, add some olive oil to a hot pan and quickly fry the pak choi & broccoli with garlic and soy sauce/coconut aminos (cook the bacon now if you include it)

5. When the turkey is ready you are ready to plate up, I added some avocado for extra health benefits.

Namaste!

 

Time To Inspire: Donna Larkin

My first interaction with Donna was through Facebook – we got talking about competitions and as they say, the rest is history! Donna is one of those people who when you talk to her you feel like you have known her for years, she is such a warm and loving person – you know you could tell her anything and she won’t judge you! Donna has an impressive athletic background ranging from kickboxing champion to CrossFit to races, and is also a CrossFit coach so she really is a massive inspiration to all! She’s there for me when I’m having a bad day or need that extra push in training, and I’ve never heard her say a bad word about anyone! I wanted to celebrate what Donna has achieved, so it was natural to include her in the “Time To Inspire” series!

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What has been your proudest “Fitness Moment” to date?

Winning an Irish title in Kickboxing back in 2009. I started kickboxing when I was 17 and after having several successful fights, I was in contention for an Irish title. Unfortunately, it took many years to actually win that title, as I was unsuccessful in my first few attempts. When it finally came, the win itself was far from easy. The fight was an all out war, the result was a split decision and it really could have gone either way. Thankfully for me I edged the win! It was definitely a very proud moment for me, as I had worked so hard for it and battled through a few losses along the way.

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How has fitness changed your life?

I feel I have changed massively since I started out on the fitness path. I would have always been pretty socially awkward, I struggled with confidence, and would be uncomfortable speaking in front of groups of people. So to see myself now, as a coach, it’s kind of bizarre to see how far I’ve come! My love of fitness has grown so much that it has changed my career path. Going from office worker to a full time coach after 14 years! I’m still a little bit awkward socially but It’s definitely made easier by the amount of amazing friends you make through fitness. You share the same interests and they support you in everything you do. I especially found this in the CrossFit community. I look forward to going to various events and competitions, catching up with them and cheering them on.

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Now that’s what I call Motivation Monday!!