Things you don’t know about your Zumba instructor

Published 03/10/2014 by yasmin0687

1. When she is teaching her brain is firing on all cylinders. She is moving while cueing the next move and thinking about the move following that. Her eyes are roaming the room, checking all her students can follow and are having a good time.

2. She has faceplanted the sofa in her living room while practicing a routine

3. When she goes to a fellow Zumba instructor’s class, she’s the one who goes left when everyone else goes right

4. When she learns somebody else’s choreography she too sometimes stands rooted to the spot, confused and unable to understand *how* she’s supposed to move like THAT

5. She has been known to eat an entire cheesecake or chocolate gateau. In one sitting. She is not ashamed..

6. She will listen to the class playlist on the train to help memorise routines, all the while making the same facial expressions she makes in class. Nobody will sit next to her. They think she’s escaped a certain kind of hospital.

7. She sings Zumba music in the bath. She doesn’t know any Spanish but she will belt out “Muviendo la caderas” anyway…

8.  When she sees you smiling, laughing, ‘whoop whooping’  and having a great time, you make her day.

9. When she is having a bad day she watches videos of baby pandas playing, to cheer her up (or she will eat a lot of cake. See point 5)

10. She has days of self doubt. She constantly seeks ways to become a better instructor. She attends courses, conventions and actively seeks new moves to make your class the best it can possibly be.

11. She wishes HE would come along to her class one day

12. She feels your pain – because she too has been in this position before


Eat Clean: Protein S’Mores Bars (Yas’mores!)

Published 27/08/2014 by yasmin0687




12 Rough oatcakes (I used Nairns) or digestives. Crushed to crumbs.
75g honey
80g dark chocolate chips
1 tbs butter (optional)
5 tbs coconut oil
2 scoops protein powder (chocolate flavour ideal)
2 tbs cocoa powder
1 tub full fat philadelphia
1-2 tbs vanilla extract

For the crust: Mix the oatcake crumbs and 50g of the honey together and press into a tray. Put in the freezer to chill.
For the filling: melt 70g of the chocolate chips in the microwave or over the hob, slowly add in the cocoa powder and the protein powder (stirring all along until smooth). Add some of the vanilla extract. Pour over crush and return to freezer. Leave this 10-15 mins to harden.
For the topping: Whisk the whole tub of philadelphia with remaining 15g honey and 1 Tbs Vanilla extract. Pour on top of hardened chocolate mixture. Top with remaining crushed oatcakes and drizzle molten chocolate (can be molten again with butter if preferred).

Makes 6. One bar contains:

43g fat (22g saturated)
32g carbs (18g sugar)
12.5g protein

Step it up and break it down

Published 08/08/2014 by yasmin0687

It’s been a while since my last post and most of the action has been happening on my facebook page (hit ‘like’ if you haven’t already – all news and updates relating to classes are happening there!). 


Below is an extensive feature on Zumba Step, a specialty Zumba Fitness class I will begin to teach end of September. This feature will tell you what it is, what to expect, what it looks like, what the benefits are and details on where/when you can try it out for yourself!

So without further ado…

What is Zumba Step?
Remember those days of Step Aerobics …I mean…look at this guy …well guess what – Zumba Step is nothing like that! In fact, it is much more like your ordinary Zumba class with an added step. The step is incorporated into the routines (i.e. moves on the step, on the side, behind, walking around, using the step as a drum, one leg on the step, anything you can imagine which is safe to perform in a group fitness environment in time with our usual Latin and international music!) for 30% of the class. More specifically (and this is a little boring) 30% Step 40% Dance and 30% Fitness. All these elements are blended together, giving you a fun class which tones your bum and pins simultaneously. 

So..what does it look like?
Check out this awesome instructor from France 

or how about the master Beto Perez (creator of Zumba) doing his thing… 

Benefits of participating in a Zumba Step class:
Like most cardiovascular fitness programme, participating in this class can contribute to heart health, help prevent diabetes, high blood pressure, colon and breast cancer (1). Regular exercise can reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease, and osteoporosis. Zumba Step was not just created to make Zumba more interesting but was actually developed alongside sports scientists at the American College of Sports Medicine. 

Can I take part?
If you suffer or have recently suffered from injury, have an underlying condition that could be affected by flexion at the knee, please consult your GP before participating in this programme.

Isn’t Step bad for your knees?
No. Poor form (not landing the full foot on the step for example) and poor instruction can result in individuals injuring themselves or overusing their joints.  In actual fact the studio step was originally created to aid knee rehabilitation!

I’m ready to step it up and break it down!
New Zumba Step class starts September 29th (Mondays) at the Munrow Sports Centre, University of Birmingham at 8.30pm. You can sign up in the same was as the Tuesday Zumba class by visiting 

Got a question? Contact me!

Eat Clean: Desserts Round Two!

Published 27/05/2014 by yasmin0687


Using the Sweet Potato Brownies I made last time with coconut flour instead of quinoa, I created some luscious clean tiramisu!10402596_10100703944199215_8137898255378945105_n

You will need:
Brownie broken into crumbs
Coconut milk/cream of coconut milk
1-2 tsp honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 leaf gelatin
Cocoa powder (optional)

Make it:
Crumble the brownie into the ramekins and add a splash of espresso. Use a spoon to press the mixture firmly into the ramekin.
Make gelatin as instructed on the packaging.
Open a can of coconut milk (or use ready creamed) and spoon out the set cream. Place in a bowl with the honey and vanilla extract. Whip on low and then medium speed. Slowly add the gelatin and continue to mix on low.
Spoon the creamy milky mixture into the ramekins and place in fridge. The gelatin will make them set pretty quickly so they should be ready within a few minutes – 1 hour. Dust cocoa powder on top. Voila!

Ferror Rocher / Hazelnut Bites

One of my own creations!

10414489_10100702386929995_4527458332576600841_nYou will need:
1 jar Meridian organic crunchy hazelnut butter
1 tbs honey
1 tbs coconut flour
2 tbs coconut oil
Ground almonds
Dark chocolate (74-85% will do)

Make it:
Mix the hazelnut butter in a bowl with the honey, coconut oil and coconut flour. Add a little more flour to make the mixture ‘stickier’ if you wish. Bear in mind coconut flour is quite dry and mealy so try to avoid using too much. You can also add additional coconut oil to hold the mixture together once cooled.
Roll the mixture into small balls and coat in ground almonds.
Melt chocolate and cover the balls. Place in fridge to cool. Yummy!



Salted Caramel Ice Cream

I saw this recipe on Instagram and adapted it to suit my taste.

You will need:10390004_10100702272135045_3874518502382798154_n
Approx 2.5 bananas, sliced and frozen overnight
1/2 can coconut milk
3 medjool dates
1 pinch sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
2 tsp maple syrup divided
2 tbs coconut oil
2 tsp cocoa powder

Make it:
Blend the banana and coconut milk together.
Add the medjool dates and blend again.
Add the salt, vanilla, and 1 tsp maple syrup and mix well.
This makes approx 3 small servings.

Make the chocolate sauce by melting the coconut oil and adding the remaining maple syrup and cocoa powder – mix well. Drizzle over the ice cream (it will harden, leaving a delicious chocolatey topping).


Eat Clean: Starbucks style iced coffee Frappuccino

Published 23/05/2014 by yasmin0687

Oh yes. It’s the month of May and suddenly the sun is out! I have been craving some serious ice cream and frappuccino type concoctions last week. So after some delberation, calculation and experimentation – I created my very own clean Coffee Coconut Frappuccino (seriously guys – this stuff tastes amazing!)

Coffee Coconut Frappuccino


You will need:10274309_10100700244752935_6406272964488354758_n
Ice cubes (or crushed ice ideally)
A tin of coconut milk
1 tbs honey
1 tbs Vanilla extract
Cocoa Powder (optional)

Open your coconut milk tin (you may wish to chill it in the fridge first and let the cream inside set) and scoop out the cream. If you don’t want your drink too be too calorie dense, take a couple spoons of the cream and mix it with water. Put the remaining cream in a bowl, add vanilla and honey and whip at low speed.

Make your espresso and combine with the water/coconut milk, a little more honey and vanilla, and ice and shake well. If you hve a blender you can blend it with the ice cubes to create a thick mixture!

Pour into a tall glass. Spoon 1-2 tbs of the thick coconut cream mixture on top of the drink and dust with cocoa powder.


Notes: Feel free to experiment. Try almond milk (make sure it is organic, and contains just almonds), other natural sweeteners and flavours as preferred.

Eat Clean: Desserts Edition

Published 15/05/2014 by yasmin0687

I have been experimenting with some baking and made some delicious cakes and treats all without white flour or added sugars! Below are my favourite recipes which I have adpated and simplified from recipes I found on the web.

Peanut Butter Cups


Melt approx. 150g extra dark chocolate (85% ). Separately mix together about 125grams organic peanut butter, 50gr organic honey and 40gr coconut oil. Add a pinch of salt.

Line a muffin/cupcake tin with some casings.
Pour in a tablespoon of melted chocolate and brush up the sides of the cases.
Drop in a dollop of peanut butter mixture and top with more dark chocolate.
Set in the fridge or freezer just until chocolate is hard and remove cases.
Store in freezer (I think they taste better that because organic peanut butter can be a bit runny and the insides should be fairly solid!).




Sweet Potato Brownies

2 medium to large sweet potatoes

1798669_465523563594062_2375801836839611926_n2/3 of a cup of ground almonds
1/2 a cup of buckwheat flour (I used quinoa. You can use coconut or almond flour as well)
14 medjool dates pitted
4 tablespoons of raw cacao powder
3 tablespoons of pure maple syrup
a pinch of salt

Pre-heat oven to 180-200degrees.
Peel the sweet potato and cut into chunks. Steam or boil  until they are very soft (should fall off a fork when you poke them!).
Whizz through the blender along with the dates until fairly smooth. Mix the dry ingredients and the maple syrup and then add the sweet potato mix.
Make sure all ingredients are fully combined in a thick sticky mixture. Press into a lined baking dish  and place in oven for approx 20-30 minutes.
Test with wooden skewer to see if it’s cooked. Remove from oven and LEAVE TO COOL before cutting or removing from tray as it will crumble prematurely otherwise.
Recipe adapted from the original here

Chocolate Fudge Cake

Approx. 130g 85% dark chocolate
4 medium eggs
100g butter
250g honey
1 tbs vanilla extract
2-3 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Bournville)

Preheat oven. Melt chocolate and butter together. Once melted sift cocoa powder into the chocolate/butter and add honey, eggs and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Pour into buttered baking tray and bake for 25-30 mins on around 200 degrees – check it is dry on the inside with a skewer/browning on top. I would say this is quite a rich cake already but if you wanted to add frosting you can make it as instructed below:

1 ripe avocado
2-3 tbs cocoa powder (Bournville)
½ cup maple syrup (pure and organic)

Whizz all ingredients througha blender and adjust taste accordingly (ie add more syrup or powder if required). Note if you add this frosting ensure cake is consumed within 2-3 days as avocado spoils quickly. I made mine and froze half the cake.



Non-dairy Strawberry Cheesecake10369218_10100694463458695_1580278321902582570_n

I saw this recipe on instagram and made up the amounts by eye so you may wish to adjust as per your own preference.
BEFORE YOU BEGIN: Soak approx 50g-100g cashews for a few hours or overnight. Freeze 1 whole sliced banana.

Base: 2 tbs cocoa powder, approx 35g almonds, 1 Tbs organic maple syrup. Combine ingredients in a bowl and press into 3 ramekins.

Fill: Sliced banana, 50-100g cashews (use more than less to make the filling thicker!) 50g coconut oil, 1 Tbs vanilla extract, 6 Tbs organic maple syrup, 20-35ml lemon juice.
Blend all ingredients and fill ontop of crusty base in ramekins. Set in fridge for a few hours.

Topping: Fresh strawberries. 1 tbs maple syrup. Pulse in blender and spoon on top of cakes.

Eat Clean: Thai Prawn Meal Soup

Published 14/05/2014 by yasmin0687

I love thai style food and had to put my thinking cap on to create a dish that included spice and flavour and is healthy at the same time. You can jazz this soup up with an array of spices and herbs as preferred. I have indicated examples below as it may well depend on what’s available at your supermarket!


Thai Prawn Meal Soup

150gr Jumbo King Prawns (fresh uncooked ideal)
1 red pepper cut into small pieces
Small bunch of spring onion
2-3 fresh celery stalks
Fresh ginger sliced (or lemon grass – bash with a rolling pin to crack and put in soup for flavouring – not for consumption)
1-2 fresh chillis sliced
100gr natural organic yoghurt
80gr pearl barley (you can use rice if preferred)
Fresh chopped coriander
Spices: tumeric, ground coriander, salt/pepper
1 litre water or as preferred

In a large pan fry the spring onion, celery and red pepper together. Add the chillis and ginger until a little softened.
Pour in the water and bring to boil. Add the barley and simmer until soft.
Add the yoghurt, coriander and spices. Finally add the prawns and simmer until they are orange. Stirring occasionally. Sprinkle some more coriander on top and serve.
Notes: remove ginger/lemongrass before serving. Soup tastes better a few hours later or the following day when all flavours have infused. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different spices.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 744 other followers

%d bloggers like this: