Griffen Fitness

  • Welcome to the Summer Holidays
  • Testimonial of the Month
  • Seasonal Easy Recipe: How to Store a Glut of Herbs
  • Article: Exercise and Mood
  • And Finally... Free Oatcakes!

Greetings healthy people,It’s summer holidays! Which means excellent weather to get out for some outdoor exercise. It’s been forecast for rain every day, but the showers have only been lasting around 20 minutes, so get out there in between the showers. Explore Edinburgh’s greenspaces and get fitter at the same time. Walk, cycle or run to somewhere you’ve never been before.  

foodies festival edinburghMy favourite food event, the annual Foodies Festival takes place 5th to 7th August at Inverleith Park. I have 3 double passes to give away, simply This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and a simple recipe that features it. Entries close midday this Friday 8 July. The three best entries will win tickets and the recipes published in the next newsletter.Credit and debit card payments now being taken in the studio. That’s right, Griffen Fitness has got with the times and has a card reader in the studio. We still accept BACS, cash and cheques.

Testimonial of the Month
“If you're stuck in a rut and would like to improve your fitness level but don't quite know how to go about it, go make an appointment with Tracy. I am so glad that I did. Tracy helped me to change my mindset to exercise by devising a fitness programme that I could manage and more importantly for me a programme that I now want to follow. Tracy introduced me to 30 min sessions of brisk walking using a cardio monitor, and I just can't believe how much I love it! Me loving exercise? Never thought I'd say that! Exercise is only part of the story, Tracy also encouraged me to think about my diet, using a food diary. Seeing what you eat in black and white sure makes you want to make a few tweaks! It's now 7 weeks since I started my sessions and yes I'm delighted that I have lost inches and weight, but much than that I feel so much more positive about my health. I am stronger, have better stamina and just happier in my own skin. I owe Tracy my thanks for sharing her knowledge in such a kind way.” - Carol Gentle, June 2016. Thanks Carol, keep up the good work :) 

Seasonal Recipe of the Month: What to do with a Glut of Herbs
Fresh herbs can take a dish from good to great. Not only do they taste amazing, but they may even have health benefits. At this time of year you can easily grow herbs in pots in a sunny window. If you’re lucky enough to have grown too much or have leftover from shop-bought herbs, easily preserve herbs in a number of ways – drying, freezing or storing in oil.

herb garden

Hang herbs upside down in an airy spot, they take varying times to dry. I find this is the best thing to do with mint (or freeze chopped mint into ice-cubes). Bay leaves, rosemary, oregano and sage are all well preserved by drying. Some herbs are OK to freeze flat on a sheet of kitchen towel in a zip lock bag, however they can lose their texture when defrosted.With many herbs, I find preserving in an oil base most flavoursome. Finely chop a handful of a variety of herbs -  rosemary, thyme, chives, parsley etc and mash through a block of softened (not melted) butter. Pop into a cling-film lined container and freeze until required.  Or simply pop sprigs of herbs into a jar of olive or rapeseed oil, lovely for flavouring pastas and salad dressings. Another example is to make a pesto with more fragile herbs (i.e. basil). Enjoy.

Article: Exercise and Mood
Exercise makes you smarter. I truly believe it and the research is now starting to surface. When I studied psychology at University twenty years ago, the brain and the body were still regarding as quite separate entities. The computer (brain) would dictate to the body. Since then, there have been many more scientific studies into exercise and cognition which illustrate that by simply moving the body, one can improve brain function. A whole bunch of ‘feel good’ neurotransmitters (including dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine
) are released with exercise.girl runningA few weeks ago I was invited on BBC Radio Scotlandto discuss recent research into exercise and memory.  According to this article, recall is improved if exercise is undertaken four hours after a cerebral task. In my mind (no pun intended) exercise combined with study / writing / brain work is a fab combination.In fact, much of my Healthy Living Yearbook was inspired whilst out cycling around our fair town. The kind of exercise that I find is most conducive to good mood and clear-headedness (including remembering stuff) is half an hour or more with your heart rate elevated so you feel puffed but not completely exhausted. This is the type of cardiovascular exercise I recommend all new clients undertake and it's amazing the level of feedback I get from individuals saying they feel less stressed and more energetic from exercise. So what are you waiting for? Get out there, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.if you'd like me to show you how.Big thanks to Alex Dunedin, the founder of Ragged University who supplied me with plentiful academic studies proving that exercise has a positive influence on cognition. If you enjoy thinking and learning, I highly recommend attending one of the fascinating (and free) educational Ragged University events in Edinburgh. Check out the event listings at www.meetup.com/raggeduniversity.

And finally... Free Oatcakes!
The lovely folk at Nairn’s have sent the studio a big box of rough oatcake samples.They’re complimentary to all PT clients booking in over summer, and to all event attendees – just help yourself to the bowl... 

Have a happy and healthy July,
Tracy :)