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Lockdown Newsletter – Week 6

Happy Sunday everyone! We hope you’re all keeping safe and well.

Whether your been climbing mountains at home, coming along to Zoom wods, working your way to complete Netflix or muddling through we want you to know we love you, we miss you and we are here for you. There is no right or wrong way get through this, be kind to yourselves and try and find ways to move your body, whether that be CrossFit, a little walk, a yoga sesh or putting the hoover round. We promise you’ll feel better for it,

We’ve had another busy week, lots of Nutrition challenges, a pub quiz, weightlifting, bro-sesh, a home mountain climb, super Sunday and more! If there’s anything else you’d like to see us host please do let us know.. we’re open to all ideas!

As always, if you’d like to contribute to the Newsletter..whether it be an article, something you’ve found useful or just want to let us know what you’ve been up to please do get in touch!

10 tips from Leo during lockdown...


Woof Woof… I miss all you’re cuddles, ball throws and giving you all a good sniff so I thought I’d let you know how I’m coping with lockdown!

1. Never pretend to be something you are not.

2. Reach out to your friends.

3. Love unconditionally.

4. Go for walks everyday.

5. Overcome fear with love.

6. Growl when you want some space.

7. Get enough sleep.

8. Rock your own style.

9. Establish your boundaries.

10. Don’t bury your head in the sand.

I miss all of you and cannot wait to bark at you soon! I’m sending lots of Leo love.
We can all learn something from our pets…eternal optimists, silly, playful, forgiving and endlessly loyal.
Enjoy the small things, stay safe xxx

Nutrition with Viki- Understanding Inflammation part 1


Inflammation is a natural part of the immune response; essential to managing immune threats, pathogen invasion and damaged tissue and sore muscles. It’s also not something I think we talk about enough, especially in the fitness world or where nutrition is concerned.

Inflammation should be a temporary state: after a hard WOD or strength session you might feel sore or get the DOMS aka delayed onset muscle soreness. But a couple of days later, if your body is working well, you should feel back to your chipper self.

…sometimes this response persists.

This is known as chronic inflammation. It can be the cause or contributor to a wide range of conditions such as allergies, depression, aches and pains, digestive conditions (IBS/IBD) and inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis. Further down the line studies have shown it to be a contributing factor to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimers, metabolic disease, obesity, heart disease, autoimmunity, osteoarthritis and Cancer.

…the take-away from this is that inflammation is not to be sniffed at (excuse the pun).

Amongst the factors that contribute to chronic inflammation is poor diet and eating behaviour. Our western lifestyle and typical diet lend itself to this. Over-eating, high carbohydrate, high sugar, high fat especially trans fats and poor omega balance and even late-night eating all lends themselves to activating inflammatory pathways: our body signalling to the brain that it is managing threat.

More specifically the types of foods that we eat can turn on these pathways. Pre-processed food such as your go to Pot Noodle (apologies to the fans out there) and less likely culprits such as ready sliced vegetables (e.g. diced onion) or packaged foods that easily spoil (e.g. beansprouts).

…ok so there is more to this that meets the eye.

With the above considered we can find that our body becomes pretty sensitive especially where food is concerned. Gluten is often the victim of this, considered a threat and a good opportunity to spend more money on specific ‘gluten-free’ products. The problem is we often overlook the bigger question: Why? Are there other undermining factors that we haven’t addressed which is causing our body to become sensitive? In my first article I spoke about the GUT and how integral it is to our immunity. An unhappy GUT may become inflamed through food components such as gluten and other cross-reactive foods but also from other substances such as anti-inflammatories (Ibuprofen etc) or even lectins (protein found on plant and animal-based foods).

And then there is our general living environment. Air pollution, pesticides and chemicals in our cleaning products, upholstery and food packaging; cigarette smoke, alcohol and medication all add to oxidative stress that can put pressure on our bodies especially if we aren’t giving our bodies the correct fuel to detoxify them. Add to this a stressful lifestyle, insufficient sleep and a heavy training regime and there is no wonder why our bodies’ start to complain.

I can’t tell you how to live your life and I’m certainly not planning on becoming the fun police…but what I can do is pass on what I have learnt to empower you to be the healthiest, best version of you that you can be.

…but for that folks, you will have to wait until next week.

Lockdown Bingo- The Results


First and foremost well done to everyone who took part in our lockdown bingo challenge and even if you didn’t find the time right now please feel free to use it anytime you fancy a challenge or need some motivation.

Joel Alexander  was our amazing winner and a well deserved and worthy winner at that! Joel really committed to this challenge, from new recipes and positive Instagram posts he really hit the mark and if you haven’t seen the video of his t-shirt challenge its well worth a watch on the members FB page. More for a giggle than technique (sorry Joel!!).

What is going down whilst on Lockdown...


It has been a few weeks since my last contribution to the newsletter.

I’ve been quite busy. I have managed to knock the ‘Easter egg and 4 cans a day’ habit on the head. I have now been ‘clean’ for almost two weeks.

I’m not mentioning any names, but I may have walked past a Valesco member whilst on my way back from an ‘emergency’ shop for beer and chocolate. But it happens. We are all human and none of us are professional athletes……yet.

In other news, as I am unable to run at the moment, I have been jumping on my bike for 45 min each morning before I start work. It is a bit fresh in the mornings, but I love cycling around Bristol, before everyone gets up. It really is a beautiful place. Cycling is good exercise and low impact, so if you have access to a bike, get out there. You don’t have to go far or even fast. Top Tip – cycling regularly (to work for instance) is a great way to get fitter. I’d go so far as to say that some of the fitter crossfitters among us will be doing some sort of cycling regularly.

I’ve also got back into my training, doing some ‘stupid’ workouts in the sun. Aching the next day and both loving it and being grumpy in equal measure. That is crossfit though, right? I’ve also been doing the Support your Box workouts, scaled. No pressure, just a bit of fun.

I also had an appointment with our very own Lucie Peters. She has given me a rehab plan (Not Easter Egg related) and I’m already feeling better. So, If you have a niggling injury that you have been ignoring for a while. Be proactive, do something about it. Lucie is magic, but even just discussing it may help.

I’m not sure about anyone else, but I am getting into this working from home business. My commute is about 3 metres, the traffic is non-existent and on some days I am pretty productive.

Hope everyone is well. See you on Zoom soon.

Stew x

Some uplifting words...

purple mountain

Barb has sent us this beautiful Maori poem from a writer in New Zealand. It’s truly stunning and best enjoyed with a brew and a little peace and quiet (if possible!)

A poem for Papatūānuku – Mother Earth, by Nadine Anne Hura (Maori writer in NewZealand)

Rest now, e Papatūānuku
Breathe easy and settle
Right here where you are
We’ll not move upon you
For awhile
We’ll stop, we’ll cease
We’ll slow down and stay home
Draw each other close and be kind
Kinder than we’ve ever been.
I wish we could say we were doing it for you
as much as ourselves
But hei aha
We’re doing it anyway
It’s right. It’s time.
Time to return
Time to remember
Time to listen and forgive
Time to withhold judgment
Time to cry
Time to think
About others
Remove our shoes
Press hands to soil
Sift grains between fingers
Gentle palms
Time to plant
Time to wait
Time to notice
To whom we belong
For now it’s just you
And the wind
And the forests and the oceans and the sky full of rain
Finally, it’s raining!
Ka turuturu te wai kamo o Rangi ki runga i a koe
Embrace it
This sacrifice of solitude we have carved out for you
He iti noaiho – a small offering
People always said it wasn’t possible
To ground flights and stay home and stop our habits of consumption
But it was
It always was.
We were just afraid of how much it was going to hurt
– and it IS hurting and it will hurt and continue to hurt
But not as much as you have been hurt.
So be still now
Wrap your hills around our absence
Loosen the concrete belt cinched tight at your waist
Heal –
And we will do the same.
Ka turuturu te wai kamo o Rangi ki runga i a koe – means something like, “tears from the eyes of Ranginui drip down on you” (Ranginui is the sky father, it is common to refer to rain as the tears of Rangi for his beloved, from whom he was separated at the beginning of time in order that there could be light in the world).

Valesco goes Online!


We aren’t taking Covid-19 lying down and where there is challenge there is opportunity! An opportunity to help people who are without a community like Valesco to support them through this time; An opportunity to invest in the bigger, brighter future of Valesco! So, we’re taking Valesco Online to a wider community.  The Online membership is available now and includes:

– 20 love coached Zoom classes each week

– 3 Yoga classes each week

– Nutrition support, guidance and information

–  Access to 1-2-1’s with coaches

– Social events & Challenges

– HomeWOD with demo videos

The added benefits coming soon are:

– Accountability coaching

– A ‘Members only’ area on the website (currently in development)

AND when all this is over all the benefits of ‘Valesco Online’ will still be available to our members as part of the existing membership!! Cant get to the gym one day…? No worries, jump into a Zoom class.  Going on holiday but still want to train…?  Do the daily HomeWOD!  We are delighted to be providing our members an online training platform whilst we are closed and are excited about growing the Valesco community through our Online programme. The future of what this might lead to for Valesco, and all its members, is really exciting for everyone!



Ready, Steady, Coooook- Coach C’s Broad bean, pea and Asparagus Risotto, with homemade garlic bread. 

First off, fry one finely diced onion and one crushed clove of garlic in olive oil until it starts to take colour.
Prepare the asparagus by chopping off the chewy, stringy bottom bits and discarding.
Slice the remaining part into 3 keeping the spear intact.
Blanch in rapidly boiling water with a pinch of salt for 60 seconds cool down quickly and set aside.
Now add the risotto rice to the pan (a small cup per person) and the broad beans if raw (if cooked add with the asparagus at the end) and stir, now add about half a glass of good white wine and a little chopped fresh thyme if you have it.
Now you can little by little start to add your vegetable or chicken stock, keep adding and mixing on a gentle heat until the rice is cooked and plump but still has an Al dente texture. This is personal preference. Some like it softer. The Risotto should be loose and moist but no excess liquid that’s not within the mixture, before you serve.
Add the asparagus stems, peas and a generous amount of Parmesan cheese.
Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
Serve in a large bowl and garnish with the asparagus tips (warmed up on a hot grill or pan with olive oil) and some Parmesan shavings, black pepper and a little quality olive oil.
I’m serving mine with some homemade garlic bread. Yum.
Enjoy, Coach C xx

Bacon & Egg porridge! Yep... you read that right!

savoury porridge

Hear us out on this one!

We talked about this on the first nutrition programme call so i thought I’d make so A) you can see it & B) you can try it. For vegans and vegetarians you can sub the bacon for fa-con and vegans, i would add something like smoked tofu or mixed smoked beans or something else to boost your protein

It’s basically a risotto made with oats. It’s quicker, easier and less faff! Plus it’s pretty hard to get wrong!

* 15 minutes from start to finish

* For every 20g oats use 150ml water to make your stock.

* Method:
Cook off your onions in a little oil until lightly brown. Add your oats and stock (shove it all in at once) and cook until desired consistency is reached – we like our porridge super thick, almost chewable (don’t judge me) so ours took about 10 mins. While oats cook boil 2 eggs (5-6 minutes once water is boiling and then ‘shock’ in cold water to make them easy to peel) and grill bacon.

* Shove in a bowl and devour! We could eat this every day!!

GIVE IT A GO BEFORE YOU SAY NO! And let us know what you think!

If you wanted to reduce fat you could use bacon medallions, scramble your eggs and use only 1 yolk and dry fry your onions.

As a side note…If you’re roasting chicken for lunches you’re making stock from the bones,right?! Whole roast chickens are the gift that keeps giving! If you’re not making your own stock…TRY IT! Lots of health benefits, super easy and really tasty. (I added a knorr stock pot to shoe stock & to ensure you add it to your macros as stock has some fat in it).


Until Next Time, Big Love Team Valesco xxx

Save The Date

Save The Date

Save the date- Isolation Style

We’ve got lots more up our sleeves to keep you guys connected and beat the boredom. Some of the things we have coming up are:

  • Book Club
  • Paint your pet
  • Lockdown bake-off
  • Step count challenge
  • The ‘school science’ project challenge
  • Specialist classes – DU workshop, Weightlifting technique class, Mobility classes and a Banded Bro sesh
  • Bi- weekly Quiz
  • Weekly ‘Ready Steady cook’ with Charlie
If there’s anything else you’d like to see us host, please do get in touch!

Who Wore It Best


This week we have a throwback to our second Birthday WOD, when Charlie, George and Lauren cheered (*groans*) us all on.. don’t forget to send us any Zoom WOD twinnings!


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Valesco goes ONLINE!

Now, more than ever, is the time to move! So we are taking Valesco online to enable our current community and anyone wanting to join us to do just that. In a fun and inclusive environment, we bring you the very best of our training methodologies and community...ONLINE!