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Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Ass Ass Ass Ass Ass

Hey ladies

So I've been a little quiet on the blogging front since January, sorry for that. Life has, as usual, taken over but I cant complain - things are great.

Since we last spoke in January I have joined the Protein World team. Moved to a sick a new gym (BOXR Mill Hill). Launched a new twice a week sculpt class there. Been on too many holidays for my purse to handle...and created an exciting new workout plan to help with global glute takeover for us ladies.

Which leads me on to this post. Booty booty booty.




I train so many girls and 99% of them all are aiming for the same thing. A big old butt. Unfortunately I can only train so many girls, and they all have to be local to north london, so I decided it was time to put pen to paper and come up with a plan that everyone can use, no matter where they are in the world.

I have carefully gone round and round in circles over the last few months trying to narrow down the best possible workouts for you girls to target your legs and glutes... And after putting my poor clients through hours of bum and leg exercises I really think I've finally got it spot on.

My workout plan is 12 weeks and 3 stages. Stage one month 1. Stage 2 month 2. Stage 3 month 3. Simples. Three days a week (in addition to your weekly exercise regime) ...and every month, you have to review the weights and up the reps.

I have included illustrations to make sure the exercises aren't confusing to you all, and a weight guide at the end (although this will differ from girl to girl).

Number one tip - the plan needs to be undertaken in sync with a high protein diet (20g of protein within 20 minutes of your workout). Drop me an email if you're at a loss with this one as I also provide bulk and shred diet plans.

In general I find most girls who come to me want a round bum and a flat stomach, so I decided one day of the workouts should be explosive HIIT training, whilst the other days are free weights and resistance machines.

I recommend to coincide with this plan you do one days cardio (sprints on the treadmill preferably) and lots of ab exercises. One key thing to remember when trying to sculpt your body and gain a juicy bum, is perception. Perception is key.

My body shape naturally was completely straight. As a teenager I was a long distance, cross country runner with pancake tits. I'm also relatively tall so the word 'beanpole' springs to mind. However, over time I have lost weight on my stomach and gained weight on my bottom half (the pancake tits are still there) - those little buggers aside, by building on the bottom and losing on the top, I created the illusion (I guess you could say) of a more curvacious look.... Basically work on your body as a whole and your bottom half will appear even bigger than it is. Lose weight of your stomach, work on your shoulders and legs and butt, and VOILA - an hourglass shape will appear over time.

My 12 week training plan is available from this site (training plan page at the top) for £30 and if you have any questions, feel free to drop me an email to ciaralondonfitness@gmail.com

I will touch base next week as I'm going away again and will have time to sit down on the laptop - but in the meantime, best of luck to you all.

Lots of love

Ciara
xxx


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Thursday, 5 January 2017

Why Cardio Is Key

Good Morning and Happy New Year Everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year, and are feeling more rested than wrecked now you're heading back to reality! I've literally just arrived back from Miami, the holiday of the year so for me it really is back to reality with a big old bump!







If, like many, your new years resolution is something to do with fitness, going to the gym, losing weight, changing your body shape or improving your fitness I just wanted to give you a little piece of advice - CARDIO! This advice was verified by an Olympian, and if 2017 is going to be your best year yet, why not take the advice of an Olympic medallist?

Cardio often has a bad reputation among most of us. It's that annoying thing that we, more often than not, don't enjoy and try to avoid wherever possible. The number one line I always hear from clients is 'i'll do anything.... except cardio'.
I disagree, for me embracing cardio is key. Sprints really were the one thing that gave me the most defined stomach of my life, as well as the fact that I can now hit speed 20 on the treadmill without breaking too much of a sweat. It really looks and feels nice to be fit. There's no use in making your body look fab from the outside... but you can't even run for a bus without breaking down and wheezing like you're about to have a heart attack. Fitness is important, you really only have one body, one heart, one pair of lungs. Look after them, make sure you look great on the inside and the outside in 2017.

This realisation for me was confirmed after I did a really interesting project with Yakult and Loughborough University back in December, Yakult and Loughborough University joined up with Olympic swimmer Jazz Carlin and gave a select few of us a chance to 'Swim With Jazz' (key word with, not against, thank god).

During this project I was taxi'd over to the Chelsea Harbour Hotel (my fave in London by the way - go visit), I put on my best Speedo, was wired up with a heart monitor, and set certain swimming strokes and challenges to achieve. After these strokes the heart monitor would determine how long it took for my heart rate to go back to my resting heart rate, eventually to determine my 'Swimming Age'.

Speedo ready before my challenge


I do cardio about 4 times a week, usually just 30 mins sprints on the treadmill, but I frequently go for long walks too. This I believe, really helped me during this task. The team were surprised by how quickly my heart rate returned back to normal after each stroke, and my set of challenges were over and done with in record timing. However, had I done this challenge two years ago, when I wasn't so fond of cardio, I really do believe the results (shown below) would be very different.




 As you can see with the results, It took me up until the 4th task, which included holding my breath under water, for the swimming to have a real impact on my heart rate. My average heart rate started at around 72-84 BPM, but spiked at 131 BPM on the most difficult challenge. With increasing distance, and holding my breath, I suppose the spike in heart rate was to be expected. However, overall, as a 27 year old, my swimming age came out in the 19-23 year old bracket, as a 21 year swimming age. I put this 6 year health saving down to my cardio routine if i'm honest, and only reinforces my love for keeping fit!

If I were to do this again, I would love to get that age down even further... so for the time being, you'll find me on the treadmill, training like the fake Olympian I aim to be :)

Ciara

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Monday, 26 December 2016

Christmas Day Gadgets for Boxing Day Workouts

Hello everyone, happy Christmas, happy Hanukkah, happy St Stephens Day, Happy Boxing Day, happy Monday... whatever you want to call it I hope the past few days have been filled with love and happiness for you.

I've been in wet and rainy Ireland, but i'm loving it believe it or not. It's so refreshing to be around people who are genuinely friendly, cheery, and pleased to see you. London sucks me into the misery of city life sometimes. Over here in Galway, people walk in the pissing rain with no umbrella, no hat and a big old smile on their face.

In fact if you saw my Instagram you would see these same cheery Irish lunatics, all jumped into the cold Irish sea yesterday, smack bang in the middle of Hurricane Barbara (no lie I was soaked just watching)... but they all found it hilarious. There's a spirit over here that just can't be found over in London and it's given me a little time to reflect on my own attitude. After all, if I say the glass is half full, it's half full right? I have my health, my family, my friends, money in my pocket a roof over my head and food in my stomach. I really have 0 to be ungrateful for (plus i'm going Miami in 3 days so basically it's happy times).


So anyways, Christmas has been... Miami is pending... I needed to get my arse in the gym and get working off the gazillion calories I have consumed over the last few days. Thankfully I have a new gadget, new to me probably not to all you techy types, my treasured Fitbit which has made me go 1000000 times harder in the gym since wearing it.

Last week the lovely Ebay did their pre-christmas research and found out that this year tech sales will surpass the £104 billion mark at Christmas, if that sounds mad - imagine it as 116 million techy presents being unwrapped on Christmas day.

For every tech present unwrapped, one person of the household (usually a 40 year old Dad) is designated to spend up to 2 hours of their Christmas day setting up these gadgets.

So Ebay set me the challenge, of being my own Technoel. Being what they consider an independent wo-maann I had to set it up all by myself (something I was quite worried about haha).

I was sent my Fitbit, and as a bit of a tech loser, was pretty proud of myself as I got it all set up within 15 minutes haha.
So today I took myself, my watch and my headphones to my new most favourite gym in the world, Planet Health and Fitness in Galway, aand blasted out a big boy Christmas workout right here on the west coast of Ireland.

Pre-workout I had somehow already burned 300 calories just wandering about from my bed to the breakfast buffet and into the shower. So my post-workout recording of 1543 calories means I burned 1243 calories in this session alone.
I figure some of you might need a little kick up the Christmas arse so heres a full breakdown of my workout.

Boxing Day Workout

Treadmill (to start)- 30 mins - 370 calories
10 mins - Walking on Incline level 15 speed 5kmh (120 calories)
20 mins Sprints - resting pace 5kmh - sprint speed from 10kmh up to 20kmh (250 calories)

Circuit - 300 calories
Squat Jumps 20 x 3
Kettlebell Thrust (24kg kettlebell) 20 x 3
Box Jumps 20 x 3
Sumo Squats w/ 24kg kettlebell 20 x 3
Step Ups w/ Dumbell (10kg) 20 x 3
Step Up to Back Lunge w/ Dumbell 20 x 3

Squat Rack - 50kg Barbell - 350 calories
Narrow Squats 10 x 2
Deep Squats 10 x 2
Sumo Squats 10 x 2
Hip Thrusts 10 x 2
Raised Knee Squats 10 x 2
Pulsing Lunges 10 x 2 each leg
Side to side squat step 10 x 2

TRX - 180 calories
Squat Jumps 20 x 2
In to Out Jumps 20 x 2
Single Leg Pistol Squats 10 x 2 each leg
Arm Extensions 20 x 2
TRX Press Ups 10 x 2

Battle Ropes - 43 calories
30 secs x 2

If I had my way I would have stayed longer and aimed for 1500 calories as a goal, however...a turkey curry buffet and lots of chocolates were waiting at home for me so the workout got cut short.

I hope you all have had a wonderful Christmas full of the people you love, give this workout a go when  you feel ready to burn off the Christmas fluff... it really is a killer x




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Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Why Excuses Are The Enemy Of Progress

Hi Everyone

I haven't blogged in forever, since ummm July, aka five months, two photoshoots, approximately 150 workouts, more clients than I can remember, three trips to Barcelona, one trip to Cancun and a birthday ago (heres a few pics to summarise).













Basically loads has happened. Since going self employed and leaving my work in PR, I am never ever in front of a computer. My blogging has gone down the toilet. I'm constantly in my studio, in my car in my gym, or on holiday... and none of these give me a chance to sit down and type.

Actually. That's a lie. Really i'm just making excuses. Instead of spending hours scrolling on instagram or wasting my time on crap, I should have been here, writing, being productive.

So last week I had enough of my own excuses and decided to pro-actively go out and buy a desk. And a chair. And a little desk lamp. And I set myself up a workstation (I figure if I have a workstation then I really have to do work admin type work). So here I am a couple of days later, writing a blog again, hopefully I can start as I mean to go on.

Today I want to talk about making excuses. As you saw above I made excuses about why I hadn't blogged. I made an excuse basically because I didn't want to look lazy...(see how even now i'm making an excuse about making an excuse - it's really that easy).

'He that is good for making excuses, is seldom good for anything else' - Benjamin Franklin

Unfortunately, we are humans and this is human nature. We all make excuses. We make excuses for things we do. We make excuses for things we don't do. We make excuses for other people. We make excuses for bad behaviour, lazy behaviour, pretty much everything in between.

For example, I'm late. I'm a late person. I was late to primary school (blame my health freak mum who made us walk the mile to school even though we had a car). I was then late to secondary school (and had detention every single day because of it). I was late to college and put on warnings the whole two years I was there. I was late to university. I was late to work, then my next work, then my work after that.
I'm often 5 minutes kate to my clients (I'm sorry you know I love you all). My friends know I will be late, my family know I will be late, my ex knew I would be late, my colleagues knew I would be late. Yet I still, despite 27 years of lateness, try and make excuses for my lateness. Sometimes my excuses are true, often they are exaggerated. There was traffic, there was bad weather, missed my train. Bla bla bla. It's all crap. The truth is if I organised my life and left earlier I would be on time and that's as simple as it is.

My punctuality is a flaw in my personality. I know this and I need to work on it instead of making excuses. Most people who know me in life generally (I like to think), consider me quite a 'real' person. I say things as I see them, I always try my best to be honest, often to the point where I might hurt your feelings (sorry). So why do I think it's ok to bullshit about my punctuality, or other flaws in my personality? I guess partly for other people, so they aren't too annoyed at me. Partly for myself, to make me not look like such a 'bad' person. I also guess just because that's what we do, we are humans and it is a common habit to make excuses when we know we're slacking, and in turn it makes us feel better about ourselves.

We pick up bad habits, then make excuses for the bad habits rather than actually facing the truth and changing the situation. I used to smoke cigarettes and I made the excuse that I was just a social smoker, even though by this point I had started to smoke every day. I used to make excuses for someone close to me's behaviour. It's because of this, it's because of that, it's because of me... when really, the more excuses I made the worse the behaviour got.
Excuses become a way to get away with something that we know is wrong, but still feel ok with ourselves when we go to sleep at night.

So... why does this relate to health and fitness? Because as a personal trainer I see people make excuses all the time. My clients. My family. My friends. Randoms. I swear, since becoming a personal trainer I hear it 24/7. If I bump into anyone these days they have the urge to give me a full and complete breakdown of their fitness regime, diet issues and excuses as to why they're not where they want to be with their fitness goal.

'It's my routine you see...
I can't go gym in the morning I'm too tired.
I can't go gym in the evening, i'm too tired.
I can't go gym in the day, I'm at work.
I can't go gym at lunch, there's not enough time.
I can't go on the weekend - it's the weekend!
It's money....
I cancelled my gym membership, I just didn't go enough.
I can't get a PT, I can't afford it!
It's the time of the month....
I can't come to tonight's session, I'm coming on my period.
I can't come to tonight's session, I'm coming off my period.
It's everything in between.....
I can't squat my legs hurt.
I can't box, my arms hurt.
I can't do weights, they make me look manly.
I can't do cardio it makes me feel sick.
I ate crap because I'm in a happy relationship.
I ate crap because my boyfriend dumped me.'
I don't know why I'm putting on weight, I'm sticking to my diet!'
In short, it's a crock of shit.

We all make too many excuses. And excuses get boring. People get bored of hearing our excuses. Excuses won't make me be on time, or you lose weight.

Excuses are the enemy of progress.

Re-read that and digest it.

Excuses stop us all progressing. So long as we keep making excuses for ourselves, instead of dealing with the issues at hand, we will not grow. We will not improve. We will not evolve.

I have certain clients who get more results than others. I have some clients with the goal of losing weight and every single session their weight is dropping without fail. I have others who have exactly the same goal, but their weight yoyo's because they make excuses for how little exercise they are doing between our sessions, or what they've eaten on the weekend.

*NEWSFLASH* Excuses do not equal results. You can have a career and go to the gym. You can also hold down a relationship and have a career.
In summary, you can have a relationship and career... and get to the gym and work on your mind and body! You can have everything if you stop making excuses.

From March 2015- March 2016 I worked full time in PR, personal trained my clients in the evenings and on the weekends, ran a monthly bootcamp, had a boyfriend... And still got to the gym 5 times a week to train myself... (I was just late, to all of them lol).

These days I am in a fitness environment 24/7 which, believe it or not, makes it harder to get my workout in, The gym becomes less motivating the more and more time you spend in it.
I'm also on the go more, so it's also easier to eat worse because I tend to be rushing from A to B, rather than have a stable schedule and routine. My nights are late and mornings can be early. It would be easy to make excuses and slack, but I can't afford to.I've worked too hard to let everything go to waste. I refuse to diet, I refuse to stop going on holidays or having a social life, so it doesn't matter how busy my life gets, I will train and I will train hard.

So, lets all take a good look in the mirror. Lets try and achieve our goals, without lying to ourselves and having to make excuses. Remember excuses won't get us anywhere as much as we love them.

What is stopping you progressing in your life? Are you in a crap job? Do your working hours leave you tired? Are you in a shitty relationship and it's affecting your self esteem? Is your diet bad? Are you short of money and find fitness an unnecessary expense?

Now sit and think about how you can change your story.
Get rid of the shit boyfriend or girlfriend. Apply to new jobs. Really look at your diet, go through your fridge, chuck out all the crap, go to tesco and start again. If you are short of money, look on a few fitness pages on instagram, search #homeworkout and create an exercise plan you can do in your bedroom. Go for a run. Go for a walk even. Think of a hustle and get your money up so you can afford to pay for a gym membership! Whatever you need to do, do it and stop letting excuses get in the way.

Set a weekly workout goal, a target, something you will not necessarily achieve but if you come short of it, will still be a successful week of exercise. Aka aim for three workouts a week, that way you should achieve at least two. Or aim for four, and you may even achieve three!
Understand that the more you workout, the more you can afford to eat! This for me is a massive drive, I love to eat, I love pizza, I love cake. I don't want to give up pizza or cake. Therefore, gym is non negotiable.
Set a goal to apply to 10 new jobs if your career isn't heading in the direction you want it to be headed in.
Surround yourself with people who want the best for you, questionable friends and crappy partners need to be dropped like a sack of hot shit! You can not progress the way you should when you are surrounded by negative energy.

Every day is a new day and a chance to write a new story for yourself. Cut the crap. Stop the excuses and take control of your life. No one will be as real with you, as the little voice inside your head. Listen to that voice, and start working on self improvement. I'll be over here working on mine too :)

Ciara x




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Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Abs Abs Abs

Good Evening All,

I had a spare slot between clients this morning so I decided to sit down in front of the computer and write something that has become a reoccurring question in my life - 'how do you get abs?'











After finishing a weekend of Bootcamp with the 'Ab Queen' herself Lilly Sabri, we found the girls constantly asking about stomach. It seems as a female species we are all obsessed with a flat tummy, and a large portion of us want to take it that step further to get a really sculpted stomach.

So what makes some succeed in their quest for abs, while others wave their white flag and settle for a jelly belly?

In my opinion, those who settle, just simply didn't put in enough work. I know that may sound a little harsh but after a couple of years of training clients there is a definite key ingredient to reaching your body goals, and that ingredient is EFFORT. You have to go the extra mile. If you want to remain the same - train as you have been, maintenance is easy, improvement is where the hard work starts.

Day in and day out I see girls who want change. Who aren't happy with their bodies. They go to the gym, they do a session here and there... but they don't do enough.

If you want abs from what I have learnt there are three key components - diet, ab exercises and cardio. You need a relative understanding and effort put into all three of these components in order to achieve the stomach you want.

For example I previously did no dieting, no cardio and just ab exercises. That got me to stage 1 out of 3 on the invisible ab scale in my head.


Over the past couple of months I reintroduced cardio to my exercise regime. I now tend to do sprints on the treadmill 3/4 times a week up to level 20 on speed. This, combined with intense ab exercises 5/6 times a week has brought me to stage 2 on my ab scale.




Now if only I can conquer the issue of a good diet i'll be set for life! Dieting has always been my nemesis. If  I say to myself I cant have something, I instantly want it (and considering my will power sits at around 0 on a scale of 1000 - I usually do end up having it).

Saying this, my general diet isn't too poor. I try and eat clean and make smart decisions as much as possible, however if I can step it up a notch and say no to that pizza on a Friday night - I think I may just get those abs of steel very quickly.

Lilly on the other hand is a very good example of eating clean and having year round washboard abs. Unlike me she just doesn't seem to massively desire refined sugar and saturated fat, therefore when it comes to exercise she doesn't have to go as hard to maintain them. Her abs are absolutely a reflection of her diet, and an example that eating clean works wonders. Without eating clean (and we all know what clean is don't make me spell it our for you) we make life about 70% harder for ourselves when trying to get rid of that extra layer of fluff.





Fortunately for me I have always had a relatively fast metabolism, my weight rarely fluctuates and I don't have a particularly sensitive body when it comes to foods. Therefore, I don't massively suffer with bloating or a swelling of the stomach like some ladies do.

This brings me to another very important factor when it comes to working on your stomach. Find out if you have any intolerance's. Several of my clients had no idea why they had constant bloating or swelling on their stomach, until they sent off for an intolerance test. Results varied from wheat to gluten, to dairy and nuts. If this rings a bell with you, may well be worth paying £50 to get yourself tested too, by simply cutting out an ingredient it can change your life!

The fact that I train very hard (and actually enjoy training) massively compensates for the fact that my diet can be a little on the naughty side. As I say to my clients, everyone is different, do as I say not as I do. Just because I can be flexible on my dieting and maintain abs, does not mean everyone is as fortunate. Our bodies are completely different, we all break foods down differently, react to exercise differently and our bodies take their own sweet time in showing changes.

However what I can say, is although I always give credit where credit is due. We as humans do often need to give ourselves a reality check - stop telling ourselves we are doing enough, when really, we are just scraping by and doing the minimal. I know I need to work on my diet. And until I do, you won't hear me complain about my stomach being at the exact level I am aiming for. Look at your habits and be completely honest with yourself. Are you really working out enough? Is your diet really clean enough? Do you really want it bad enough?

Don't go to the gym for an hour twice a week then go home and eat crap. It's just not enough. A 10 minute run is just not enough. Go for 20, go for 30, turn up the speed, turn up the incline. Incorporate some HIIT. Follow a new training plan. Sign up to a new fitness class. Instead of doing 4 minutes of ab exercises, do 6 minutes, then 8 minutes, then 10 minutes. Play around with your diet, minimize the amount of carbs you're eating (unless you're headed to the gym after) and completely cut out saturated fat and refined sugar. Switch to good fats and natural sugars. Lay off the junk. Try it. See what happens. Don't be that person who complains but doesn't make changes.

'Einsteins definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results'.

Stop doing the same thing. Switch it up.

Below is an example of 12 of my favorite ab exercises. 1 minute for each of them and i promise your abs will be on fire. Do this 5 times a week. That's 1 hour a week in total. If you can waste an hour watching Love Island you can spare an hour for your stomach :)




Best of luck to you (and me) - lets get the abs we all deserve

Ciara x





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Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Time Out in Turkey


Evening lads and ladies 

I haven’t blogged since LA and it’s made me realize that as much as this blog is fitness based, because of my bloody crazy schedule back in the UK, my blog has become as much travel as it is fitness these days! The only time I really get to sit down, chill out and have some time with my thoughts is when I’m away – so I started this blog in Turkey and have just had the time to sit down and finish it off for you :) 




Since I was in Turkey I thought I’d write a little piece about my time over there, and why I want to encourage you all to consider it as a destination for your travels this year and next (and take less notice of the propaganda spouted by the Daily Mail and other similar media channels full of crap in the UK).

This holiday always is my most relaxing holiday throughout the year. I spend time with my family, chill out and enjoy the peace. Kalkan is probably one of my favorite destinations in the whole wide world and I want you all to experience it too. 

When I told my clients and friends I was going to Turkey with my family there was a commonplace reaction amongst everyone. It generally tended to go a little bit like ‘oooh, are you sure?’ or ‘oh no you are bonkers'. I don't blame them for thinking this way, we are all fed the same negative ideas about the region in the media.

Baring in mind all of the people who gave this reaction lived in London, one of the top cities in the world on ‘red alert’ of a terror attack. 2016 is the third year in a row me and my family have stayed in Kalkan, on the South West Coast of Turkey, so when we arrived this year, it was noticeable how quiet the streets, restaurants and shops were compared to previous years.Lets put a little bit of perspective in here - Kalkan to the Syrian border in Eastern Turkey is roughly the same distance from London to Berlin. That's nearly a 30 hour drive to the ‘danger zone’. Never mind the fact that Kalkan is not a beach resort and is in fact a cove so the chances of a beach style attack is near impossible. Or the fact that Kalkan is a tiny town, with only 3000 residents and the chances of a small town like this being affected by an attack is slim to none. It still meant regular visitors and tourists, have stayed away this year in their droves. Businesses suffer. The town suffers. The people suffer. The town has limited sources of income through the winter. They rely on tourism to feed and support them all year round. And Kalkan aren’t alone. The whole of Turkey suffers because of this stigma. I can’t even imagine what the ghost towns of Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt look like, or Tunisia (god forbid).
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not telling you to hop on a plane to ‘high threat’ locations. I’m just telling you to use a little bit of savvy when listening to media stories and try not to tar the whole region with the same brush.

So what is it that's so great about this location? Example a, the view from my balcony in the picture below...




The scenery in Kalkan is a 360 panoramic view of the ocean wherever you are in the town. You can't lose. It's tranquil, relaxing and beautiful. The perfect place to go away, get your mind together and recharge for the UK. 



The residents of Kalkan are probably some of the most welcoming people I’ve come across in the entire world (tied with Irish and Barbadians). Not only are they welcoming but they don’t pressure you. They don’t pressure you to buy their goods, they don’t pressure you to come into their restaurants. They will say good morning in the morning, good evening in the evening, give you a smile without hassling you for a thing in return. 
When I have been to Ibiza, or Paris, I quite frequently feel unwelcome by restaurateurs or shop owners. I try and talk to them in French, they reply in English, in a way that makes me feel like I am being deliberately patronized. As much as many countries welcome the money British tourism brings, I can’t help but feeling like they despise us Brits. In Ibiza – I find them just plain rude. The people of Turkey on the other hand make me feel extremely welcomed and appreciated.

While being away me my sister and my cousin worked out every morning. We usually did a HIIT and abs circuit using body weight exercises. Despite it being a relaxing holiday with no gym, we all brought out skipping ropes and our bodies and that was all we needed! 

Me... posing on a bed








Me again... posing on a roof haha

The food out there is second to none. Not only is 90% of Kalkan’s restaurants located on rooftops overlooking the ocean (with the other 10% being located in a stunning harbor). But 99% of restaurants are 10 out of 10 food. Fresh sea bass, prawns, calamari, for you meat eaters, steaks, lamb dishes, chicken fajitas, mixed grills and kebabs, houmous, halloumi, mixed mezes. Top restaurants I can recommend if visiting – Mussakka, Sade and Samphire for rooftop views. Kosk for a town view and Aubergine by the harbor. (not forgetting Mini Bar and Trio for after dinner drinks).


A typical Kalkan restaurant roof terrace - this was 'Samphire'


During my trip I would stick to a clean diet day to day. Every morning I would have my porridge before my work out. Every lunch time I would have a mix of fish. eggs and salad, but dinner time - was treat time. 



Porridge every morning without fail - routine is key

Fresh Morning Juice from 'The Brothers'
Typical clean and easy holiday lunch 



Dinner at Sade 

King prawn and champagne Rissotto - from 'Moussaka' 

Sea Salt and Caramel Cheese Cake from 'Moussaka'


Fresh mint lemonade from 'Moussakka'
If the food hasn't done it for you - just have a look at the colour of the ocean. You get a Caribbean style crystal clear water, but only a 3 hour flight away....


View from 'Fenur Cafe' - best place for a morning coffee
The town is lively but classy. There's tons of boutiques, fresh greengrocers, and cafes around the town.There's also plenty of outdoor bars where you can sit and have a cocktail or a macaroon and turkish tea.


M,y family at our favorite evening cocktail spot 'Mini Bar' 
I also can't write a blog on Turkey without mentining the reliably sunny weather. Every year I've been I have had 7-9 solid days of sunshine. No overcast, no rain, no storms, just sunshine and 30 degree weather (and this is in May). 




Another thing you'll notice is how well kept the town is. There are the most stunning flowers everywhere you go. I've never seen anything like the flowers all over the town. It's like floral heaven. Bright vibrant flowers light up the place like nowhere else I've been. 









Another endearing factor is the way they look after their animals. If you go to Kalkan you will no doubt notice the packs of stray dogs that roam the streets. As a dog lover, this breaks my heart. However these dogs are well tempered and looking for love. They understand the need for tourists, it's hilarious to see them play up for visitors. I had a stray cat I looked after for the week I was there, most tourists also tend to 'adopt' an animal for the week and feed it to do their bit. The restaurants and business around the town feed all the stray dogs and cats in the morning and evening, there is a charity within the town that vaccinates all the strays, and the animals happily roam the town as if they were residents. Kalkan gives them love and food, and the dogs give their good nature in return. 

Every year me and my family spend the day on a boat which brings you around Kalkan bay, anchoring 4 times throughout the day so you can jump in. The boat even stops off at a beach where you can do a natural mud mask out of the clay under the sand. The food is home cooked fresh Turkish food (delicious) and the day is one you'll remember, and all for £20. 


Fresh home cooked food by - 'Yazidi Tours' Boat Trip

If this all isn't selling it to you as an ideal destination, the beautiful (and reasonable) places to stay might. Every year we rent a villa out here, and brand spanking new villas with 3 floors, 4 bathrooms, 3 double bedrooms (and a sofa bed in the living room), never mind the infinity pools and view of the beach, usually range from between £700 and £1000 a week. Get 6/7 friends together and do the math. Cheap as chips! 


Our villa for the holiday
I'm always on here encouraging you all to book a flight, and every time I go away it just reinforces this idea to me even harder. I'm back with a smile (and a tan), I feel more relaxed than ever, but ready to work as hard as possible until my next trip away. Life is for living - go live it people, don't let the media scaremonger you into hiding away in your bedroom. 

Ciara x 
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