Monday 14 December 2015

An Icy Experience 😍❄️

This weekend, we spent a night at this little gem of a hotel, only 2 hours from home! You all know at this stage I'm a sucker for interiors and sleeping by the water, I'm easy sold. 
I was bombarded with questions after posting a few photos of our room to snapchat so I decided to fill you all in here with more photos!

While looking up hotels to celebrate part of Ruairí's birthday, I knew we both didn't want anything in a city centre, we wanted to avoid the hustle and bustle and go for a quieter area, so that was Belfast and Dublin out of the equation. 
I played with the idea of Galway but nothing really stood out.
Then this beaut of a hotel in Ballina popped up randomly.

I've swooned over this place before but never had the chance to try it, so when I saw the last minute deal (booked 2 days before) I jumped straight on it! 

Also, the name of the hotel fitted right in with Ruairí's birthday present theme, The Ice House Hotel, it all matched up, it was meant to be! Yeah right, as if I needed another sign. 😂

We arrived at around 5:30pm Saturday evening and were led to our room. The rooms have names instead of numbers.
Our room was named Rose!
I ran straight for the gigantic window to have a peak outside. It was pitch black but I could hear the soothing sound of the water, that was enough to excite me about waking up to an amazing view the next morning!

Ruairí had been up since 6am working so he lay down for a nap, I made my way to the bar and spent ages eyeing up the drinks menu before finally deciding on the trusty old red wine that always seems to win me over, we had our drinks in the room and got ready for dinner.

Dinner. Well wait until I tell ya. It was bloody amazing!
I'm fussy when it comes to tables, I like privacy. I can't hack those restaurants where you're literally sitting on top of the table next to you, I like a little peace and space.
Anyways, the layout here was fab, and so chilled. 

We both love food and I like to think I'm good at eating a lot of food, as well as himself haha.

Let's put it into perspective, after going back vegetarian again for almost 4 weeks, I gave in to the meaty menu that night and not one regret was felt! 🙉

I had the Crostini to start, basically different breads with toppings and sauces, Ruairí had the chowder which looked amazing.

I had the pheasant with black pudding stuffing for dinner (I literally ordered this because I wanted the stuffing) Ruairí had the steak, which was seriously unreal! 

Finished with a beautiful chocolate dessert and a couple of Irish coffees.

Hats off to the chef, the food was so damn good and also hats off to the service staff too - the service was top notch. Such a nice relaxed vibe in the place!

Even though we didn't sleep until 4am, I still had my alarm set for 8:45. Every time we go away, I set my alarm for the sunrise, especially if we are by the water!
We had breakfast in the room and decided to cancel the 10am spa appointments, chilling out in bed watching the water and fight highlights felt ten times more appealing... Hmmmm nothing to do with the multiples cocktails and wine, I swear. 😉

Look at the pretty view! Ok so there was obviously no sunrise with the cloudy weather but it was amazing to see from bed nonetheless :) 

If you're staying here, you need to request a riverside room!
 It makes all the difference!

We made our way to the "Chill" spa around 2pm and decided to just chill around the thermal suite.

The treatment menu looked amazing but I was a feeling a little too sensitive for a massage or seaweed of any kind. 
Damn you, wine.
I soon sweated all the badness out of me!
It may be freezing outside but I swear you don't feel in when in an outdoor hot tub!

We moved between the thermal steam room, outdoor sauna and outdoor hottub 
Until I decided I was hungry and away we went again for more food!

Overall, an amazing relaxing experience and not too far from home.

The food in the hotel restaurant, breakfast lunch AND dinner is so amazing you won't need to leave to go elsewhere if you don't want to.

A classy wee spot and one I'll definitely go back to.
Check booking rates for after the new year, as a wee treat for yourself and
Your better half, you'll love it!


Friday 4 December 2015

Comforting Chickpea Stew

Nothing feels more comforting than a bowl of stew during the cold months.

At this time of year, I’m craving healthy but warming ingredients, I like to play around with foods and flavours –Beans, lentils, root vegetables and anything hot and spicy.

This winter stew is perfect for cold dark evenings, a spicy change from the heavily gravied stews we are used to in Ireland and calls for simple ingredients most of us keep on hand.


This is a vegan dish, but don't run away just yet if you're a meat lover, the chickpeas give it the protein punch needed in an easily filling  main meal dish. The mushrooms add that "meaty" texture. 

 I like to serve this with quinoa or sometimes a pitta pocket to dunk. 

Double the measures and freeze an extra batch, this tastes even better a day or two after cooking once the flavours have all mixed up together.


 400g can chickpeas (drained)

1 can organic chopped tomatoes 

2 tbsp tomato purée

1 green pepper 

 5-8 mushrooms 

25g golden raisins 

 1/2 an onion

2  cloves garlic

1 red chilli (can use 2 for a spicier kick)

Juice 1/2 lemon 

Pinch of salt&black pepper

1 tsp ground cumin 

1 tsp  ground coriander

Sprinkle Cinnamon Powder (trust me ;) )

1 tbsp of coconut/walnut/macadamia oil 

How to:

  1. Chop up mushrooms, onion, garlic, peppers and chillies.

  2. Lightly sauté all the veggies and chillies in the tablespoon of oil along with ground coriander and cumin, stir gently for 4-5 minutes until veggies are cooked.

  3. Add  chopped tomatoes and tomato purée before adding the can of chickpeas and squeeze of lemon. 

    4. Add salt and pepper along with cinnamon at the end and allow to simmer on a lower heat for about 25 minutes. 

    Serve with a sprinkle of chopped fresh parsley!

    TIP: Add a dollop of Greek yoghurt on top once served to cool the spicy kick! 


Enjoy! Don't forget to make extra and freeze for a later date. 
Tag me in your creations on Instagram with #lisadeefitness, I'd love to see your warm spicy dishes! 😍

Love Lisa xx

Wednesday 2 December 2015

Can I ‘spot reduce’ fat?

          Can I ‘spot reduce’ fat?


This is a question I hear ALL the time and it is time to set the story straight!  

The term ‘spot reduce’ refers to being able to lose fat from a particular part of your body.  Many girls say they want toned tummies or toned arms, and they really are only interested in doing exercises targeting those areas, in the hope  they will become smaller. Doing abs exercises for your belly a few times a week without any other exercise will NOT give you a flat tummy.

 It really is a dreamy fantasy, imagine if we were actually able to spot reduce those areas we don't like so much while keeping the bum and boobs in place! 
I hate to say it but it is NOT at all possible to spot reduce

In order to achieve a toned tummy or leaner thighs, you need to lose body fat and gain muscle throughout your whole body! Your body works as a whole,we can’t pick and choose where fat comes off, the same way we can't choose where it goes on!
Some girls may notice that certain areas of their body tend to lose weight quicker,  this all depends on the individual and genetic makeup, not what exercises that they complete.

Your abs are like the rest of the muscles in your body, you can work and work at them and yes you will build them up but unless you work hard to lose body fat too, you will not see an ounce of definition around your abs!

So stop wasting time trying to spot reduce one area of your body, work your whole body, eat the right foods and focus on shaping your body as a whole, instead of bit by bit.

Love Lisa xx

Tuesday 1 December 2015

Become A Morning Person!



Hit the snooze button at least 3 times when the alarm goes off? If you look at most successful people in life, entrepreneurs, fitness professionals or athletes, one thing they have in common is starting the day early with a good healthy routine. Waking up early can be hard at first, especially if your mornings are as dark as Irish mornings in the winter, however once you put a few simple steps into place, you'll find getting up earlier in the morning easier in no time!
Step 1 - Check your goals last thing at night
What you think about before you go to bed, could be what you think about when you wake up. That's why many who fall asleep with stresses, wake up feeling unrefreshed, thinking about the same stresses. We will use your fitness goals as an example; If you want to get up early to hit a workout, and get the day started with a fresh bang, then have a read of your fitness goals before you sleep or keep a photo reminder on your bedside table, or the ceiling about your pillow! As soon as that alarm goes off, you will know why it’s important to get out of bed and get the day started, you'll have the reminder fresh in your mind. By having that constant reminder of where you want to go, will make your morning routine a lot easier.
Step 2 – Leave your alarm clock across the other side of the room 
The best, and sometimes only, thing to stop you from hitting the snooze button a hundred times is to place your alarm clock across the room. When it goes off, you actually have to get out of bed to turn it off.  You don't want to wake the whole house by leaving it buzzing. Getting out of bed to turn it off is better than a sleepy kick from your partner snoozing beside you. As soon as you are up, there's little chance you'll jump back into bed as your body is more awake from moving from your comfy spot.
Step 3 – Hydrate!
When you wake up you are dehydrated which is half the reason you feel groggy! Most then make the mistake of reaching for caffeine in the form of a tea or a coffee straight away, which only dehydrates you more. As soon as you wake up, the first thing you need to do is drink a big glass of lemon water to wake up your digestive system and your whole body. Have a rule that you can only reach for the coffee mug once you have rehydrated yourself.
Step 4 – Set a sleeping routine
If you are guilty of going to bed super late due to social media, watching television, or  still working, then you need to stop and create some downtime before bed. I personally struggle with this a lot, I find myself working until close to midnight many weeknights, a habit I'm trying to fight.
To become a morning person you need make sure you have a regular sleeping routine, so your body clock knows when it’s time to sleep. I recommend  at least one hour of no technology or stress before you go to bed, which give you the chance to unwind after a busy day. Have a camomile tea an hour before you hope to sleep, it will help!
Step 5 - Prepare
 Make sure you lay out your clothes the night before, so it’s all ready as soon as you wake up. If you are heading to the gym, then make sure your workout gear AND breakfast is all prepared the night before. If you're running late after the gym, it's nice to know your tasty breakfast is already prepared to eat and go!

These changes may sound too simple or too good to be true but small changes like these to your daily lifestyle will make all the difference and in turn help you feel more productive and energised!

Love, Lisa xx

Simple Changes To Improve Your Body Composition

Ever heard the words "Skinny-Fat"?
At some point in our lives we've heard the words "You're so lucky you can eat anything and stay skinny!" 
This has either been said to us or said to someone we know. 
 If you are skinny, you might think you are lucky that you can "get away with" eating junk food and not exercising as long as you are not gaining weight. However, your daily lifestyle and choices does not only affect your looks, it affects your health and feeling of wellness too. We have to remember, a healthy body and mind is not defined by your body weight but your actual body composition. Essentially, lean muscle tissue vs fat.
Small changes to begin with will be easier to keep, focus on one change per week and keep working on it . Your health is worth it, no matter what size you are. Focus on health. Your body is after all the only place you have to live!

How do you know if you are "Skinny Fat"?
You can’t really tell just by taking a look at the numbers on the scale. You really need to have testing done if you want to know how fat you have on the inside. 
Lifestyle factors are normally a telling sign if you are at risk. If you don’t exercise and have a pretty unhealthy diet, or eat very little, you are at greater risk and probably could do with making a few small and simple changes right now!
You might think that because you look fine without rolls of excess fat on the outside that all is ok. This is not the case. Although excess fat carried on the outside is unwanted by many for sheer aesthetic purposes, it is the fat on the inside that is actually dangerous. You store your fat on the inside, around your organs. This type of fat is called visceral fat and it puts you at greater risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, insulin resistance and  insulin sensitivity, and a fatty poorly performing  liver and kidneys. 
The fat around your inner organs quite easily moves towards a healthier level by implementing small changes towards a healthy lifestyle.
1. Start an exercise regime
Regular physical activity is really good to help fight visceral fat. You must do a combination of weight training or resistance training as well as cardio (eg. walking/running) for the best effect. Even if you just start with walking, you'll find yourself feeling fitter and able for more in a short space of time. If you're unsure what to do, enlist the help of a coach in your local area or online to help you get started on your fitter journey.
2. Choose Real Food
The foods I recommend in my programs are made up of the basic wholesome foods which are easy to source – healthy carbs, lean proteins, healthy fats, starchy and non starchy vegetables, in season fruits, nuts, seeds and herbs. These foods will provide you with a boost of nutrients. Your body will soon realise it doesn't need to hold on to excess levels of visceral fat to protect your organs from toxic foods if you're feeling it with clean wholesome foods.
Processed foods are normally high in trans fats and saturated fats. Healthy Fats (unsaturated fats) are  far more beneficial for your health as well as your appearance, so try to include raw olive oil, nuts/seeds and oily fish in your diet.
4. Stop The Empty Calories
Sugary drinks will provide you with tonnes of calories that won’t give you any of the nutrients you need! We call this "empty calories". 
There is also a chance that soft drinks promote the storage of fat around your organs and in your liver due to the sugar rush causing a blood sugar spike and then promoting the fat storage hormone to get to work in your body.

Small simple changes like the above will get you very far along the way towards a healthier. Once you conquer these basics, it's time to work on other changes. Take it one day at a time.
For me, nothing compares to the feeling of confidence and empowerment I've gained from training and adopting a healthier lifestyle. 
Lisa xx

Add This One Change To Your Day 🍃

              I love blending my greens up to make delicious shakes!

You should aim to eat at least five servings of vegetables daily, as many leafy greens as possible! Leafy greens, like other nonstarchy vegetables, offer countless health benefits.

Full of vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting phytochemicals. Very rich in fiber, an important one for weight loss and maintenance as it keeps you feeling full,  helps control your hunger and also keeps your digestion running smoothly.  Greens  help to relax blood-sugar swings by slowing the absorption of carbohydrates into your bloodstream. As a side benefit it because of this it then lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes! 
Some greens, like kale, are rich in calcium, which helps keep your teeth and bones strong. You don't need cows milk to have strong bones! 

Vitamin C helps the body make collagen too, we all know collagen for keeping our skin and hair beautiful and youthful but collagen is also a major component of cartilage that helps joint flexibility. 

Leafy greens that contain beta-carotene, such as spinach, contribute to the growth and repair of the body's tissues, very important for those of us who exercise regularly! 

Leafy greens are an excellent source of folate, which can reduce your risk of  and memory loss. Folate also contributes to the production of serotonin, the happy hormone, in turn it may help ward off depression and improve general mood.

Ever notice those who eat a diet rich in greens have a healthy skin complexion? 
The vitamin E found in green leafy vegetables works with vitamin C to keep skin healthy as you age. Bye bye deep wrinkles! 😍 

Greens can can sometimes trigger IBS in those who are sensitive, if it's a new addition to an otherwise unhealthy body so start slow . Additionally, many of  vegetables are rich in vitamin K, which plays a key role in blood clotting., if you’re taking a blood thinner like warfarin, be sure to have your doctor monitor your blood as you increase your intake of dark leafy green vegetables. 

My favourites are Kale, spinach, broccoli and celery. I find them extremely versatile in all my meals and love the taste!

If you don't like the texture of some greens, try blending them into a shake, there are countless recipes out there 😉

Monday 30 November 2015

Is Breakfast A Struggle? Still Hungry?

Many online articles and posts about healthy living share one thing in common; "Never Skip Breakfast".
It seems to be the first step towards a healthier life, so it's the first thing you try. You decide to get up earlier and prepare a "healthier" breakfast before work or school but still feel ravenous an hour later, much to your disappointment! Why?! Whey?!
Here's why...
You Could Be Eating The Wrong Thing
Your breakfast should generally always be healthy balance of protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates. Especially if this is all new to you and you have yet to learn which foods make you feel more energised than others.
Some have insane energy after a few whole scrambled eggs and veggies whereas some need a warm bowl of oats along with those eggs.
If healthy eating is new to you, you want to have a balance of all the macronutrients (carbs, protein and fats)
The most common mistake I see with breakfast choices is choosing ‘breakfast’ packaged foods. Most quick breakfast options like  breakfast muffins, cereals, smoothies and granola bars are highly processed and full of sugar and tend to just be a carb source, missing out on the needed protein and healthy fats.
If you start your day with sugar, it won't be long until the body cries out for MORE sugar.

Are You Eating Enough?

A small bowl of fruit will not be enough to get you through to your mid-morning snack or lunch meal. You'll find a quick burst of energy before an equally as quick energy crash. Your body has been fasting, resting and recovering all night, breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day to fill up on nutrients for the day ahead, to keep the fire burning,  it is so important that you are filling up on the right foods. 
Processed breakfast cereals can cause a huge dip in blood sugar levels just a couple of hours after eating.You are more likely to crave more unhealthy high sugary foods throughout the day, which is your body calling for more cheap and quick energy. 

If you're not yet able for a bigger breakfast, it's ok to begin with a light but smart breakfast and then it's completely cool to have a snack before lunch! A snack with the right balance of protein and fats or carbs  will  keep you satisfied until your next meal and avoid the dreaded blood sugar drop which in turn leads to yucky cravings. 

If you're not yet able to stomach a bigger breakfast early in the morning, have a quick smoothie or if you really cannot get out of bed, prepare the fresh shake the night before and take it on the go! 
TIP: Re-blend with a few ice cubes the next morning to freshen it up as the oats will absorb the fluid overnight.
Here's a quick tasty favourite:
30g old fashioned oats, soaked overnight in ½ cup water, refrigerated
10 raw nuts, hazelnuts or walnuts are good here
20g chocolate or vanilla protein powder
1 small ripe banana

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk 
2 tbsp 0% fat plain Greek yoghurt

1 tbsp cacao powder (optional)

4 ice cubes (if preparing fresh in morning)

Combine ingredients in a blender and blend until creamy. 
Love, Lisa xx