OH MY GOSH
One of my biggest achievements in a long time was going to London on my own..... AND I CANT BELIEVE I FRICKEN DID IT😆😛😄😲😜😳😝
If you read my first blog post you will know that I've suffered with anxiety since Year 9 and although in the last few years I've managed to find coping strategies that really work for me to help carry on as the best 'free anxiety' me as possible. I still get a little burst of 'oh my god not today' moments that are hard to deal with. BUT THIS IS NOT THAT TIME!!!!
I have been to London many times before, with my mom, dad, brother and friends. But whenever I have gone I have always relied on someone else to do the thinking for me. I mean, letsbereal, London is like being in another country. The public transport is another language, there is a constant barrier of people to scramble through (and for a tiny 5ft 3 person I am always being stepped on, ugh!) yep, this lil foodie managed it!
For me, this was my holiday. My time to disconnect from my everyday life and really re-fuel my passion of training, and break the chain of training at my local gym and coming home and honestly not doing much after that. Therefore this holiday was brilliant because the only person I had to please was me. Just me. So I planned a holiday that fit me. As selfish as that sounds but if I wanted to have a fitness holiday, that's what I damn well wanted to do. I could choose where I wanted to eat I could rest when I wanted too. It was perfect😌
Yes- I smile before 6am (I'm one of 'those' people🙆)
When I arrived I was so so so excited, just being in London excites me, the vibe, the energy it just gives me such a great feeling. I woke up bright and early at 5:30 to get ready for a fitness class that started at 7:30 (anyone else like me and wants to be super early for everything they do?😂 #earlybird
I quickly ran to the bus stop and caught the 74 bus with a green tea in one hand and my oyster card in the other and I was set for the big wide world (slight exaggeration, maybe!) I had arrived in Oxford Street, which at 7 am was pretty much dead- THANK GOD! I don't think I could have managed rush hour on day one just yet! (little baby steps🙈)
I went to the GAP shop because it was a pop up studio inside (which took me 15 minutes of endlessly running around the perimeter of the shop to discover this😅 not the smartest of moments for myself #marthamoment) My first stop.......
My first fitness class was with the most lovely of influences in the fitness industry (that I have met) Twice The Health! (it was like meeting celebrities!) I was so fan girling, it was a lil bit embarrassing for me! Yet because I was so ridiculously early (even with my hunt for the studio) It meant I got to meet both of the girls (Emily and Hannah) for a chat before anyone had arrived. I WAS SO STARSTRUCK!!! pull yourself together Martha *eyeroll*😜
This class consistent of HIIT with body weight movements and was a full body workout.
Me with Twice The Health (Emily and Hannah)
I'm really happy that the class was quite small (about 8/9 of us) because considering this was my fitness class on my own I wanted to just ease into the experience with something small first (although I was sweating like a pig after! I ate like one too!!🐷)
8:30- I WAS STARVING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This was a fasted workout (meaning I had an empty stomach) therefore was so hungry- however trusty ol' me had planned this so knew my hot spot brunch place was a 1 minute walk away from GAP (major smug planning face here😏). My next stop........
Deliciously Ella's Mae Deli
This was a beautifully made up cafe/deli! My hands are clapping for the interior designer of this place- it was stunning (future house decor sorted😍). Again, I was kind of fan girling about this place because one of my first cooking books (since I have got into healthy living) I received was a Deliciously Ella book, so to be in the same cafe as hers (mini screaming moment!!!!!!!!). Although I literally wanted everything off the menu (it all looked so good😋) I choose the nutty granola with coconut yogurt and fruit compote (see picture). A classic choice for me- I have such a sweet tooth🍧
I think in this moment- me staring out onto a busy street with Londoners briskly walking with their headphones in, hanging on to their coffee, endlessly racing each other to get ahead for work. The moment had dawned that I was in control. I decided what I did today. If I wanted to stay here all day I could. If I needed to get back to the hotel, It would have been down to me. HOLY SH*T!! I was left in London on my own. This was scary.
2012 Martha would have then bursted into tears, having a massive panic attack and having awkward strangers giving me looks of confusion and judgement as they wouldn't know whether to help or look away. Thank god I am not her anymore😌 (little epiphany flash for me- just bare with!!)
I was a lil bit obsessed with this place #noshame
After my breakfast (did I mention it was sooooooooooo goooood!!) I get a little over excited about food, especially breakfast! My favourite meal of the day by far💛🍎🍉🍓🍌🍍☕ My next stop was.....
When I was 13, I visited London with my dad and we walked through Hyde park and one of my little fantasies I had was living in London, running through Hyde Park with my music in, a little dog and a beautiful sunny day. Ever since that day, I have just been obsessed with this place. There is something about having a really spacious quite, natural surrounding in a big, hustlybusterly city like London.
All credit to the runners that passed me that day, it was 30 degrees and I was sweating just from walking!
I won't really ramble on about Hyde Park because I guess if you've been to London you probably know what it is... Grass and pigeons😂 My next stop....
So I was aware of the fact I had a lot of time to kill before my next class, and I didn't want to be at the back slaking or feeling tired so I knew I had to fuel up to enjoy the next workout (after all I had payed a lot of money, I don't want to waste it just because I didn't eat enough) so I went to explore the area of Victoria. It's so beautifully made up- little parks and cute houses. I wanted to find a boutique coffee shop to rest and re-fuel. Unfortunately I couldn't find a one-off place, so stepped into Gail's Bakery (a chain cafe in London) just off Churton Street.
When it comes to eating out in unprepared or unplanned places I like to take my time when reading the menu. Really study every possible dish choice. I want to make sure I'm making the right decision (please tell me someone else can relate?)
I felt a little rushed in my choice, actually a little overwhelmed to be honest. I still struggle when it comes to eating out, especially somewhere I hadn't already 'Martha pre-approved' with. However sometimes a rush choice is the best choice (or what I keep thinking in Primark near the checkouts with all the socks and extra crap that I really do 'need'😩 Mom still doesn't believe me?😒)
My pre-workout snackaroo
Vegetable Cakes with rocket, smashed avo (oh god this thing was the 💣) and some couscous with beans and extra greens.
And of course I had a coffee to accompany it with- I needed all the energy boosting goodness.
It really was quite perfect for my planned afternoon of shopping and getting sweaty (although I don't generally plan that- I'm just that disgusting!)
My advice when eating out is be careful when it comes to added dressing or hidden sugar. For example although my meal looks healthy it came with a olive oil dressing, which is fine. However if I added the oil to my dish it would have added a crazy amount of extra calories and fat that I simply didn't need, and personally feel that olive oil doesn't really add flavour or any necessary macros for me (I got my healthy fat from the avo- therefore didn't need the oil). Quite a lot of cafes that do takeaway meals (i.e. Pret, Starbucks, EAT etc) have both the contents of their meals with and without the dressing they provide, totally fine if you do have the dressing (I mean it can make a dish taste better so definitely don't rule it out) just out of curiosity, check it out and compare! It still shocks me how much a little extra of something can truly add up in calories (I'd much rater eat my calories then have 'extras' of nothing like a dressing, who's with me?🙋)
Another little bit of advice (promise I'll stop soon!! sorry🙈) is coffee. I'm a sucker for coffee, I really love brewing my own at home but buying coffee out can ne equally as great (the pretty coffee artwork is my white girl image bursting out AMIRIGHT!?!?!?) Shall I give you the most heartbreaking truth... hidden sugar in coffee is honestly threw the roof😭😭😭 when I'm out and about I am a little more mindful of what they can put in that I can't see. Sugar is one of those frustrations. The amount of sugar that is in a regular coffee at Costa hurts my eyes💔 I'd recommend a americano or requesting soya or almond milk (I love me some almond milk though) its just a little way to drop the amount of hidden sugar they can put in through full fat milk or semi. Then again, I don't buy coffee a lot so as a little treat it's totally cool and okay to buy a double vanilla shot latte with cream and marshmallows because hey life is sweet why not make it sweeter!☕🍫 But on the reg, keep it light with your choices #TFFRANTOVER
Martha was on the move to....
12:30- Full body workout at FRAME Victoria. The studio was so bright and colourful. I already felt so motivated and ready to work my butt off! This place had such a great vibe- It had a little cute cafe serving some great smoothies and pre/post workout meals (totally regret not getting the Choc Norris smoothie now😜)
the workout consisted of 45 minutes of sweat. The instructor (I wanna say his name was James, but I can't remember) was so motivating and made me work to my absolute hardest! We used 2 wheel weights, 2 dumbbells, sliders (I was excited to use theses- man they made my abs and arms hurt) and a mat. 👉👉👉
sorry girls- I needed an action shot
Next stop on the Martha train.....
Kings Road, Chelsea. I won't bore you with the details of my shopping trip, however would recommend you visit the shop Brandy Melville, an American shop with the cutest clothes! They only have a 'one size' for everything so would recommend if you're a size 6-12 figure. Shopping makes even the fittest of people tired therefore another very good excuse to get some more food👅😍 Re-fuel at..
The Good Life Eatery
I had heard quite good things about this place within the health community. Although I had a nice little snack to keep me going (I was going out for dinner with my dad so didn't want to spoil my appetite for that) I felt this place was a little overpriced and skimped out on the food quantity. I really struggle at most places I eat out to actually get that 'full' feeling. I always seem to leave wanting more- guess that's why I never miss dessert out🍰🍮🍩🍪
My snack was
Sweet potato falafels with chopped chicken and avocado sauce
My next adventure would be......
Boys 'n' Berry
I was quite excited to get to this place, again I had heard lots of great things about it! After a 2 mile walk (very pretty walking around London at 6pm on a cool sunny evening) I was so ready for food....
My outfit attire for the evening- still look like a big toddler
however the bathroom was my dream! (Marble everywhere👏😻)
Chicken Fillet (was very aware I hadn't had a lot of protein that day- so needed some asap!)
with wilted spinach and broccoli with spicy tomato sauce- YUMMY!!
Another early start for me (6:15 am I left the hotel room) Today I was heading up to St. Mary Axe for my 7:15 morning workout! Oooh it felt so fancy taking the tube while it was relatively quite and not having to worry about being late (because I was 30 minutes early😂) My next location was....
7:15 Re-shape full body workout, wow! This place was so fancy AF! I couldn't tell whether I was in a gym or a fashion/underground hairdressers. They had the most fancy mirrors with every essential you need after a workout; straighteners, hairdryers,dry shampoo, makeup remover, bobby pins, towels and that's just what I can remember!
I would say this place was a mixture of a underground club and a gym, it was insane!😝
The workout was different to what I thought- but in a great way! You partnered up with someone and you would switch between a bench and a treadmill, so this definitely made it more pressure to impress your teammate (and because I am super competitive💪😅)
it was made up of a combination of treadmill sprints (I was dead- literally.... DEAD💀) and weighted exercises like dumbbell squats, press up, step ups etc.
Hard to get a good quality picture-
it resembled more like a night club!
Kim, our instructor, was incredible (really recommend her if you do a class there) picking the best tunes to sweat out to, and had incredible sound system and headset so you could both hear her but also the music (a lil Beyonce slipped into the mix- I appre
ciated this Kim😉)
After this workout, some much needed food was needed (oh god yes, I was feeling exhausted) yet trusty ol' me had already planned my next brunching-venture!....
I knew that after a tiring workout, I didn't want to be traipsing round to find a place so a quick 30 second walk down the street and I had arrived- #perfectplanning
I didn't take a picture of my breakfast (sad face) but I did have scrambled egg with smoked salmon on top, also I had granola with yoghurt and fruit (because I couldn't help myself #foodie)
Although this place was nice, I wouldn't really recommend the food- I'd had preferred to have gotten a smoothie or shake as they look spectacular compared to their food choice (or lack of it).
Again, I had a lot of free time before my next class which was at 12:45 but wanted to go to the Lululemon store on Oxford Street and visit the neat nutrition cafe that is joined to the shop. So decided to walk the 3 MILES TAKING OVER AN HOUR IN 30 DEGREE HEAT AND TO MAKE IT WORST I WAS WEARING A JUMPER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! what was I thinking? I think I had heat exhaustion twice on that walk. Did I forget to mention I was carrying 3 heavy bags with all my stuff from the hotel, urghh never again Martha!
When I had finally made it to the Lululemon store in Regent street (just off Oxford street) I was awkwardly early for that too, so had to wait for it to open (I bet they though I was very egar😛) I'd really advocate you go here if you want to invest in new yoga, running or gymming leggings! They are pure 🔥) Also they have a lil photo booth for free (quick picture needed to be done me feels)
Did I mention they have a cute little cafe upstairs? I didn't have time to stay and have a protein shake or smoothie (and I was still the only one there and how weird would that be?!)
Because yesterday had really worked well for my body and fuel I wanted to have another pre-workout snack/meal so I felt refreshed (especially after a 3 mile walk) And was craving pancakes like MAAD!! So after trying to go to a few places (don't bother going to the Breakfast Club unless you booked- ain't no one got time to be waiting' in line- people got things to do!!) So had given in and I went to.....
Bill's isn't really the type of place I would choose to go (especially since I live for small, petite cafes with a chilled vibe and relaxed atmosphere) but my pancake crave was calling and so I picked up the phone and didn't hang up! BOY- were these pancakes goooooooooooood! I honestly have never enjoyed a stack more (apart from mine in NYC, but theses were a close second)
I'll just let this picture do the talking...
My stake was
Banana, Strawberry and Blueberry with Bill's syrup (this was seriously delicious😍😻😍) getting a little teary eyed over thinking about this!
Also I would like to add that having something like this- a sugary serge is perfectly fine and great, in moderation! I haven't had a stake of pancakes like this since my NYC trip in November, also I had done a lot of exercise therefore my body really did need some love- there you go baby! So I am a total believer in TREAT YO SELF💁 and damn hell, that's what I did (after all, this is my holiday too!) After this plate of heaven, let's go and sweat it all off with my next workout....
12:45- Hot Yoga, dammmnnnn I mean I'm so British. Considering I knew this was going to be hot, I entered the studio and my first thoughts were 'jeezz it's hot in here' (*face palm in face*) yes martha- it would be!
Again, this gym was my new home (I say that about a lot of places I know) but seriously, it was all white and creams, with marble shelving and interiors, it was also beautifully clean.
I was a little nervous about this class and the most excited too. I have been getting more into my Yoga and wouldn't say I am very good at it yet, but do really enjoy the practice. However this Yogi was about to experience more sweat come out of me then I really have ever sweat before (I am NOT exaggerating either!!💦🙅💦)
Felt like I was in Cell Block Tango from Chicago
(I betcha you would have done the same #reference)
Our Yogi instructor was called Marc, and I have to say he really was a great teacher. He made the class very welcoming, calm and even though I am very much a beginner he made me feel included on the session, without 'picking' on me. He helped me with my technique- which I enjoyed and really liked. (His voice was like liquid chocolate too, like verbal velvet😻) When wrapping my own legs around my own, they kept slipping off because I was that sweaty! Sorry- I feel I only talk about sweat (but when you know you know)
I really did enjoy the Yoga session. I love the feeling of being so relaxed and spaced out from the world- even if it is just for 45 minutes, sometimes that's all you need. Being able to breathe (AHHHHH) I feel so calm and at peace with myself (it really is a lovely feeling of pure zen)
My holiday was nearly at an end, but not before I hit my last two food spots, I'm not calling myself The Fit Foodie for nothing😂....
This cafe is made up of a small chain of cafes throughout London, but I was closest to Daisy Green. This place might as well been made for me, It was super adorable with the prettiest interior and damn the food choices were on point! Unfortunately I couldn't eat here as they had just stopped serving food by the time I got there😭😢
However if they were serving food I had already eyed up the Award Winning Banana Bread!
I feel I should have planned this part of the trip a little better- better luck next time Martha!
My last stop...
Deliciously Ella's Mae Deli (Seymour Street)
Why not end where I started (kinda)
I knew I had liked this place, so why not visit it's twin🙆
Because I only had about 30 minutes before I needed to catch my train home (😪) I just wanted one last snackaroo, and yeah I picked well👌
Seasoned Falafels with creamy hummus
(This was seriously the nicest food! And staff, the girls in the deli were so sweet💛)
She even made this 'Instagrammable'- My new best friend!
Well we finally made it to the end (that's if you made it this far, congrats if you did!👏🎉🎈) A long blog post, but felt I couldn't miss anything out! I really did lovely my little holiday, a perfect balance of food and fitness (my two 💗s in life). For most people, they wouldn't really describe this as a holiday, but for me a holiday is doing what you like- do what makes you happy, and for me that was this last two days.
Until next time...
(Unless I killed you off from this blog post of boredom and tiredness😂😉)
Addresses of my travel
Deliciously Ella's Mae Deli (Weighhouse) 18 Weighhouse St, Mayfair, London W1K 5LU
Hyde Park (I don't think this needs an address)
Gail's Bakery (a chain cafe in London) 26 Churton St, Pimlico, London SW1V 2LP
Frame Victoria 4 Bridge Pl, Pimlico, London SW1V 1JZ
The Good Life Eatery 59 Sloane Ave, Chelsea, London SW3 3DH
Boys 'n' Berry 839 Fulham Rd, Fulham, London SW6 5HQ
1Rebel 63 St Mary Axe, London EC3A 8LE
CRUSSH Lockton House, 7BA, 6 Bevis Marks, London EC3A
Lululemon Shop 187-191 Regent St, Mayfair, London W1B 4JP
Bill's 36-44 Brewer St, Soho, London W1F 9TB
Another Space 4-10 Tower St, London WC2H 9NP
Daisy Green 20 Seymour St, Marylebone, London W1H 7HX
Deliciously Ella's Me Deli 21 Seymour Pl, Marylebone, London W1H 5BH