Dreams, Goals & Ambitions // Stand Up Paddle boarding…..

jersey, stand up paddle board, jersey beaches, cool bananas, cool bananas blogFor as long as I can remember, I’ve always been active & keen on sports: As a child, like the cliché little sister, this was whatever my older brother Boy* was into- I totally idolised him & his sporting prowess (he would ace any sport he’d turn to). The diversity of activities he was into would change almost as often as he changed his pants- I could hardly keep up with him! At one point it’d be basketball- complete in a psychedelic 90’s neon get up, & a pair of Jordan’s (or air max) to match, the next he was practicing his happy Gilmore golf swing. His choice saw no bounds, tennis was a regular feature too & snakboarding down the streets (anyone else remember the snakeboard?).

*We grew up in South East Asia, where the locals would simply refer to children by their gender- henceforth I’ve always referred to him as boy, & likewise him to me as ‘girl’, we do have legit name too, obvs. View Post

Wellness in Motion {# the series}

Wellness in Motion

Wellness. Noun: Physical & Mental health

Welcome to my series dedicated to all things health. The best way for me to induct you into this snapshot of well-being, would be share with you a little bit about myself. So here goes:

wellness, health, wellness in motion,  cool bananas, cool bananas blog

I’m heading towards my thirties (I said heading. I’m not there yet-It just so happens I’m closer to 30 than 25!). I currently have 1 child to whom I am a ‘Stay at home mum’, ‘full time mummy’, ‘carer’: which ever way you want to word this, I’m a busy mummy, running around after a very lively toddler, playing at being a ‘wife’ & working at expanding & developing my blog. I occasionally get the chance to breathe. Occasionally.

I’ve always been an active person, I love being outside whenever possibly (not as often as I’d like in the UK) & I’ve always been really keen on sports. Back in my hay day I played tennis, at a reasonable standard & I was ‘honored’ with the nickname ‘Katrina Kournikova’ by peers at my tennis club (pertaining to the blonde hair, I think!). & Just like my namesake, I never won any major titles!

tennis, health, fitness, exercise, kournikova, cool bananas, cool bananas blog, wellness in motion

Me, at the tender age of 16, tennis dreams

I’ve also been known to enjoy Muai Thai Boxing training. & In my past life (before children) I trained & competed in a ‘hilly’ 10K race, with a time result to be proud of. However, I have dodgy knees (as is the technical term) & according to my consultant: I should not run, at all. I’ll explain dodgy: I’ve dislocated my Right patella 3 times & believe you me, I would rather experience my 50 hour labor again over a knee dislocation any day (& just so y’know, my labor was atrocious). I generally adhere to these instructions & avoid running, even though I do miss a good sprint: I love the freedom of a run.

My workout routine is a mixture of gym sessions: active Pilates, weight & strength training, a few classes & the good old buggy walk! I admit: secretly the one place I do still run is when bear is in his buggy. I’ve discovered a couple of really good DVD’s (i will share these in due course) & I’ve transitioned certain parts of these into my workouts.

gym, fitness, wellness, well being, cool bananas, cool bananas blog,

From a nutritional stand point, I’m a slightly complex individual: I have coeliac disease, & suffer with a fructose Malabsorpiton (read more about these here). I’ve always enjoyed eating fresh & healthy foods, but having these problems forces the issue even more. I don’t dwell on these medical hoo hars, but instead try & use them as a positive tool- to be the healthiest I can be & help anyone else in a similar situation. & I’ve recently been diagnosed with PCOS.

I’m not perfect, & I still indulge in a naughty treat here & there: everything is fine, in moderation. I’m a dress size UK 10, & I still have the normal ‘hang ups’ with my body like most of us do: I think there are always some kind of improvements I could be making (even just the little things, like having some more ‘me’ time or getting extra fresh air).

I wanted to try & help or encourage others who find themselves in similar circumstances & really just inject a bit of Fun & style into the whole ‘health’ topic. So I aim to include light hearted & helpful hints & tips. If any of you have something specific you’d like me to cover, just give me a shout! I’d love to have you’re input. I’ve got a team of experts for my ‘go-to’ advice; so don’t be afraid to ask.

Right, without further ado, to ease us into my series, this week is simply:

  • Whats in your Gym bag?

A cheeky take on the articles I’ve seen that asks:  ‘what’s in your handbag/ nappy bag’

  • The Bag

gym, gym bag, sports, fitness, towel, workout, havianas, cath kidston

Add some fashion jazz with a Cath Kidston Large fold away travel/ weekend bag. These are great at squishing into that tight gym locker space-any kind of ‘structured’ bag is a nightmare. If you haven’t got one of these bags, just go awn & get one, they’re so useful for everything! (weekend trips, day trips, nappy bag, the list is endless!).

  • Must haves:

gym, gym bag, sports, fitness, towel, workout

A padlock & gym pass: iPhone/ iTunes & headphones, hand towel. I’d really like to try those big chunky old skool headphone you see all the kool kids with, my purse dictates otherwise.  & those Travel sized toiletry thingy-mabobs.

  • Toiletries.

gym, gym bag, sports, fitness, towel, workout, havianas, cath kidston

Ok, its confession time. I quite often only have the time for a 1 hour work out, so this means I rarely have the luxury of a shower dans le gym but I carry these avec moi for when that opportunity does arise! My current faves (admittedly it’s usually what ever was the latest birthday/ Christmas present): Clarins, & Soap & Glory. Nice fluffy towels. Gotta have ‘em. I’m not paying extra to the gym for the privilege of their threadbare towels! (They already get enough of my pennies in membership!) Havaianas. The thought of entering any wet areas ( The showers, steam room, sauna) without these is just yuck. It’s not gonna happen. I refuse to pick up other peoples foot germs (kind as they are to share them). Spare nappies, & entertainment for the sprogglett. Because I wouldn’t want to be caught out now, would i?

  • The clothes.

workout, workout clothes, gym, gym bag, fitness, sports, health, nike, new balance, karrimor

For the body, I’m obsessed with Nike. It’s the one brand of clothing I’ve found that simply lasts forever (tip: don’t use clothes softener-it can degrade/ disintegrate the threads quicker). Feet: this is a draw between Asics & new balance. I’ve been a dedicated Asics follower but since downgrading my running I’m head over heels in love with my new balance beauties.

new balance, asics, trainers, sports, gym, fitness, wellness, wellness in motion, cool bananas, cool bananas blog,

Sports bra: Without a doubt, shock absorber for me. Fantastic fit, all sizes (from teeny back to large & all cup sizes under the sun)

shock absorber, sports bra, sports, bra, fitness, workout, health


How to ‘style’ you gym look in transit to & from your workout session & anywhere in between. You know what I mean *winks*, when you pop to the shop in your sports gear, just watch everyone giving you those admirable looks of  ‘gosh, isn’t she/he good? Off for a workout’. That’s enough to give you a confidence boost!

Jumper, jumper dress, scarf, body warmer, baukjen, gym, sports, fitness, wellness in motion, cool bananas, cool bananas blog

Jumper dress, with scarf, and for cooler days with a body warmer.

gym, gym bag, sports, fitness, towel, workout, nike, new balance, baukjen

For this particular day, my weapon of choice on the gym floor: The power plate. Combining my active Pilates & weight training, after all, I only had 1 hour to ‘feel the burn’.

power plate, gym, fitness, health, sport

Now that we’ve got the introductions over with, I look forward to sharing my next Wellness post with you: with less of the humbrum writing, & more of the fun stuff! In the mean time, what’ve you got up to this week? Any walks, any new buys, most importantly: any you time?

  • Disclaimer: All thoughts, opinions & cringe worthy poses are entirely my own. I’d strongly recommend you consult your GP before commencing any exercise program. Or just apply some good old fashioned common sense…
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Gym Style.

Workin’ it, whilst working’ out with Gym Style.

Hi *hand waves*, My name is Katrina & I’m a bit of a gym bunny.

Gym bunny, gym, exercise, workout, nike, new balance, fitness, health

Not many of my friends share my love of exercise & quite often when my movements see me heading towards the fitness arena, I’ll get a barrage of comments along the lines of ‘You’re crazy!’ Well as it so happens, I think I am a little bit crazy, but then again I believe we all are! Going for a work out is my escapism. In all honesty, the activity I enjoy the most is: walking. Simple. Only it isn’t so simple in the UK, is it? What with all the precipitation our isle receives, oh & the COLD! If you’re Scandinavian & reading this, I’m sure you’ll beg to differ as you guys have famously coined the phrase ‘there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing’. Ok, point taken. But I like warmth & to remain dry.

Back to the gym: So I like style & I likes the gym, hmmm not a combo that particularly go hand in hand with each other right? Well, I’ve found that exercise clothing has come a long way lately. There are some top-notch ‘luxe’ ranges out there-for those of you with pockets lined with gold. But many of the high street names are functional, perform well & look great. My current obsession: these little lovelies from New Balance. Hawwt colour!

new balance, trainers, sports, gym, gym workout, workout, fitness, health, cool bananas

As for clothing, my ultimate love is Nike: Lasts forever & they make some utterly gorgeous coloured running/ workout tights take a peak here¬†. I tend to stick to black clothing (1) It’s the most forgiving colour (2) Sweat marks, umm, you can’t see them in black, enough said? I tend to add colour with my accessories in the gym.

The other must haves: Music & a watch. I love purple, can you tell?

gym, casio, music, gym, workout, fitness, health

If we take a look at Hollywood celebs, they’re being papped all the time in their work out gear, which has now added an element of ‘cool’ to being out & about in this kind of attire. #win for gym bunnies like me.

I think one of the reasons so many people bulk at the thought of exercise & working out is simply not feeling comfortable in the specialized clothes.  If we can solve this & instill some confidence within these folks, then in theory it may help get a few more ‘bums off seats’ so it’s got to be a good place to start?

A great sports bra is a necessity! These shock absorber ones are the best i’ve found-oh & here is some purple again!

shock absorber, sports bra, sports, bra, fitness, workout, health

Keep your eyes peeled on the blog, over the coming months I’ll be working on a series of work out & health inspired posts, to hopefully include guest contributions. I’ll be covering all aspects & if there is anything you want to see in there be sure to get in touch & let me know.



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