Skip to content

Lockdown Newsletter – Week 9

Hello!  Welcome to issue number 9 of the lockdown special.

We’ve had another busy week in the virtual world of Valesco, with the pub quiz, a full program of classes, Ready Steady Cook, Yoga and nutrition chats. We also held our blind auction, thanks so much to those of you who got involved and we can’t wait to get coaching and cooking with you soon!  We also need to mention THAT video…  if you haven’t seen our coaches showing us some of their best moves and ruining sports bras then click here!

We’re heading into Mental Health Awareness week. If you’ve not taken a peek, we’ve sent you an email that details a packed program of workshops and seminars and we’d love to see as many of you involved as possible.

This week, we’ve got tooth care, nutrition & over training and some advice on mental health and 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!

Nutrition with Viki- Finding Balance

finding balance

Last week we talked about finding the correct balance of essential fatty acids to support health, training and to fight off inflammation.

This week we are going to talk about a different kind of balance….

Let’s talk Overtraining.

A taboo subject you might say.

A subject that is personal and very individual.

The truth is that if we do too much exercise it can reduce the gains (or “Gainz”), we made in the first place. Overtraining Syndrome (OTS) is the clinical term associated with: ‘prolonged maladaptation to exercise which occurs when the volume and intensity of exercise exceeds recovery capacity’ aka Overdoing It.

The key takeaway from this is to go slow and steady when increasing your training.

A bit like the hare and the tortoise. For most of us, we can’t become elite athletes overnight.

How can I tell if I’m doing too much?

  • Decreased performance…not hitting those PB’s
  • Lowered immunity e.g. getting regular colds with prolonged recovery
  • Constantly tired
  • Poor sleep
  • Slow recovery from exercise (those DOMs last for longer)
  • Increased injury
  • Muscle wastage
  • Reduced reproductive function…periods become irregular or stop, lowered sex drive etc.

From a nutritional perspective OTS is linked to poor diet and negative energy balance; a challenge athletes face time and time again. Not getting enough food to meet their energy needs and not getting enough nutrients to support their body’s needs.What can I do?

  • Make sure you are getting enough energy (food) to meet your needs
  • Eat a nutrient dense diet rich in wholefoods, good quality protein, fat and carbohydrate
  • Processed foods should be treats…not a way of life!
  • Do not use exercise as an excuse to eat a processed treat
  • Get enough sleep…your body is hard at work when you are getting shut eye so don’t take it for granted
  • Know when to rest and recover…listen to your body’s signs
  • If you are coming down with something, it’s time to rest…
  • Have easier training days…you can’t train at 110% 365 days a year
  • If you are ill, it is time to rest
  • If you are really stressed, controversially, it is not always time to blow off steam; long periods of stress are going to have the same effect as overtraining

In theory this all sounds simple however when you have PB’s to hit and are working to a programme within a great community of like-minded individuals, it can be hard to say no to a training session.What else can I do???

This again should be simple but many of us are faced with the opportunity to rest and simply feel lost so here are some ideas that might help:

  • Put your feet up…as simple as that…although easier said than done
  • Do planned stretching: ROMwod and yoga are great ways of taking a day off
  • Have a massage
  • Batch cook – use the time when you are not training to make sure your diet is on point
  • Have a nap, scientific studies have shown that micro-napping can increase longevity
  • Get outside, walk in nature, soak up some rays (20 minutes of sun exposure with bare forearms is enough to get your recommended vitamin D per day)
  • Meditate – apps like Headspace are great tools if you don’t know where to start.

And finally…Are there specific foods/nutrients to support rest and recovery?

  • Omega 3 fatty acids!!! These decrease inflammation for overtraining and help to reduce muscle wastage. See last week’s article for more details
  • Flavonoids aka plant chemicals found in fruit and vegetable reduce oxidative stress and aid muscle recovery so don’t forget to eat the rainbow!
  • Vitamin C supports muscle repair and can reduces circulating cortisol and adrenaline (fight or flight hormones)
  • B vitamins are involved in energy production and can improve fatigue. Eggs, oats and wholegrains are great sources
  • Magnesium, found in dark leafy greens (to name but one food) can reduce muscle cramps, aid sleep, promote protein synthesis and protect against oxidative stress
  • Zinc, supports muscle repair, strength, immunity and hormone production. Lentils, oats and chicken thigh are all great sources
  • Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) decrease during exercise so a good quality protein powder or BCAA powder will help to stimulate protein synthesis
Feel free to get in touch with any questions about the above or any of my articles. Questions can also be asked in person at the weekly Lockdown Nutrition Programme meeting.

tooth tips

cartoon teeth holding toothbrush and smile happily
Our resident Dentist and member Heather, has kindly put together some really great tips on how to keep our teeth as healthy as our bodies.

You fine looking lot all have lovely smiles and I would love for it to stay that way. Unfortunately, current data shows the average adult has 25 teeth, most people are born with 32.

There are two main diseases that lead to tooth loss: caries (tooth decay) and periodontal disease (gum disease). Both are completely preventable (in the majority of the population). I am going to focus on caries as if you do all the below it should also lead to healthy gums too. Caries needs 4 things to occur, a tooth surface, bacteria, sugar and time. If you remove any one of these things you will not get caries.

There are so many factors contributing to oral disease but the simple ones we can control are oral hygiene regimes and diet, so I am going to focus on those.


1. This may sound obvious but make sure you brush 2 x daily, only 75% of people do this. Also use a systematic approach (i.e. brush the same way every time) to ensure you don’t miss anywhere. Divide the mouth into quarters (top right, top left, bottom left, bottom right) and then brush the outside of the teeth, the biting surfaces and then the palate or tongue side; by the time you do it properly it should take 2 minutes. Ensure you brush the gum and the teeth. Angle the toothbrush towards the gum at a 45 degree angle if using a manual toothbrush and if using a powered toothbrush just hold against the gum and let it do the work for you. The amount of pressure should be just enough to make a fingernail blanch, if you are pressing harder than this you could literally brush your teeth away!

2. Clean between your teeth prior to brushing once a day. Toothbrushing can only reach 60% of your tooth surface! It is best to do this at night because we don’t produce as much saliva (our natural protection) when sleeping so it is good to make your teeth extra clean before hitting the sack. You can use little interproximal brushes or floss (not wooden sticks, they do nothing). I would be happy to show you how to use these things if this would be useful.
3. Use a fluoride toothpaste. “Natural” toothpastes are becoming increasing popular as people are becoming more health conscious. DO NOT USE A TOOTHPASTE WITHOUT FLUORIDE IN IT. Any brand is fine but make sure it is at least 1450ppm NaF too (this will be written on the back). Some people believe fluoride is bad and yes, too much Fluoride is bad, but that is rare in the UK unless you are taking supplements. It strengthens your teeth by physically changing the structure of the mineral in your teeth from something called hydroxyapatite to flurorohydroxyapatite. Let me explain. When we eat the acidity (the pH) in our mouth drops, usually the unhealthier the food the more it drops. The pH that causes the process of caries to begin (the critical pH) is 5.5. However, if there is flurorohydroxyapatite in your teeth and not just hydroxyapatite, than that critical pH is now 4.8 and therefore your mouth needs to be more acidic for caries to start and therefore it is more resistant. I have had several patients who had never had a filling in their life and then switched to a “natural” toothpaste and then at their next check up had multiple large holes needing work. Don’t let this be you. If you spit the excess toothpaste out and don’t rinse it away too you will get prolonged benefit making your teeth even stronger.


1. Frequency is the most important thing here in my opinion. It comes back to the critical pH. This graph will hopefully help me explain. Every time we eat our pH drops because bacteria turn carbohydrates into acid. It takes approximately 30 – 40 mins to get back above 5.5 level. So if you eat 4 x daily your teeth will be exposed to the bad acidic environment for, 4 x 30 mins = 2 hours. Whereas, if you were to eat 8 x in a day your teeth would be in the bad acidic environment for, 8 x 30 mins = 4 hours. Evidence says our teeth can handle 4-5 times a day of eating, more than that you are most likely going to get tooth decay. I aim for no more than 4 as if I creep up to 5 on the odd day I know it is fine.

2. Sugar as mentioned above is one of the must haves for tooth decay to occur. This is because the bacteria turn carbohydrates into acid. The amount of the drop depends on the sugar content of the food consumed, the more sugar the more acid produced. The more acid produced, the longer you will be below the crucial 5.5 level.
3. Saliva. Saliva is our natural protection which buffers the mouth back to above the critical pH of 5.5. It is important to stay hydrated; this will ensure you produce enough saliva. If you are going to snack and cannot brush your teeth, you could chew gum for 10-15 mins. This will increase your saliva flow and therefore increase your pH quicker. Be careful not to chew gum all the time because then it is bad on your jaw joints, everything in moderation you know.

4. The sugar free but acidic foods are worthy of a shout too I think. Lots of people ask me about diet fizzy drinks as some people think they can drink them safely because they are sugar free. All sugar free energy drinks come into this category and are causing big trouble. This is because they are acidic and as you can hopefully see by now teeth do not like acid. They will not cause caries as it is not bacteria driven but they will cause erosion. If you drink an acidic drink you will still demineralise the tooth because the oral pH will fall below the critical pH but it will just wash the tooth surface away and not form a hole because it is not bacteria driven. Basically, you can end up with very small flat teeth. These cases are becoming more common as our diets are becoming more acidic. Even healthy things like lemon in hot water (sorry Ellie I know this was a top tip) can cause it as citrus fruits are acidic. I have also seen many patients come in with very small (eroded) teeth due to lemon in hot water so by all means have it but don’t constantly drink the stuff.

I hope this has been useful for at least one of you. I feel like people view dentists like I view mechanics; I have no idea what they are going on about, so I just have to trust them. Knowledge is key in preventing oral disease.  Hopefully, this has not been too patronising, and you have learnt something that will result in you having healthy teeth forever. Keep up the amazing work with the nutrition programme everyone and keep smiling!

It's OK not to be OK... Stew shares his story

stew 2
According to MHFA England, 1 in 4 people experience mental health problems in the UK every year. That’s a quarter of the population! This is both astonishing and concerning.
Thankfully, awareness of the issue is increasing and there is much less of a stigma attached to it.
When I was growing up, it wasn’t something that was talked about. I didn’t even really think it was a real illness. That is, until it affected me….

In my younger years, we moved around a lot for my Dad’s job. I also used to be painfully shy and self conscious.The two didn’t mix well.

I spent a fair amount of my teenage years in a mentally bad way. It was never discussed and I didn’t think anything of it – I just assumed it was something everyone went through and was normal.

It was during university when things really got bad. I ended up leaving due to mental health problems – twice. I never ended up graduating. After that, things got worse and the next few years were very difficult for both myself, and anyone close to me.
However, this article isn’t all doom and gloom! My experiences have shaped who I have become and I’m proud of the person I am now. The only thing that I would change is that I wish I’d have spoken to someone sooner about what I was going through.
An important thing I learned is that it’s okay to not be okay. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. If you have a bad day, that’s fine. If you have a few bad days, that is also fine. If your bad days out number your good days, speak to someone. Just know you are not on your own.
Nowadays, there is so much help available and so many people to turn to; friends, healthcare professionals, help lines. There is no need to be ashamed. Mental illness is an illness, not a choice. Make sure you keep healthy, that includes your mind and not just your body.

Bath in Lockdown

Bath in lockdown

Alex shared this amazing video shot by her friend in Bath, it comes with a tear warning but it’s so, so beautiful.  Click here to enjoy.



We aren’t 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, Cook!

Charlie was back on our screens this week after a well deserved birthday off! He cooked a scrummy salmon en croute and for those of you who missed it, the recipe is below.

Coach C’s easy Salmon en croûte with stuffed courgettes and salsa verde.
I used frozen puff pastry.
First take your skinless Salmon fillets and seal both sides in a pan then put to one side, now fry half a finely diced onion and 4 finely diced mushrooms in butter or fry light until cooked then add 2 table spoons of cream cheese and mix, add salt and pepper.
Roll out the puff pastry nice and thin using flour, then make parcels with the salmon and the mushroom mixture on top. Use beaten egg yolk as a glue to seal your parcels. Be inventive.
Place the parcels into the fridge for 20 mins then take out, make a pattern on top and brush with the remaining egg yolk.
Bake in the oven on grease proof paper or just grease the tray, for 35 mins at 180/170 fan. Pastry should be golden and crisp but cooked at the bottom.
Whilst The Salmon en croûte is in the oven, cut your courgettes into 3 inch pieces so they stand up. Hollow out a little of the inside on one end gently with a t-spoon.
Chop what you take out finely and add to half a finely diced onion and 1 finely diced clove of garlic and some herbs of your choice. Fry in fry light until golden and add 4 table spoons of passata.
Reduce down on a gentle heat until thick.
Place the courgettes onto a baking tray and fill with the Ratatouille mixture then top with Parmesan cheese. They need 20 mins in the oven at 170.
For your Salsa Verde put what ever herbs you have into a blender, I used 2 hand fulls of rocket and some mint.
Add 2 t-spoons of capers, juice of half a lemon a clove or garlic if you want to, and a good couple of glugs of virgin olive oil and a little black pepper. Blitz up….done.
Serve with pride and artistic flair.

lemon and poppy seed muffins

lemon and poppy seed

If you fancy a sweet treat without the ‘naughty’ give these a go.  No refined sugar, no refined flours and no dairy….but ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! Soft, spongy, sweet and we challenge you to stop at just one!

We didn’t have any lavender and they are great even without it!

Lavender Lemon Poppyseed Muffins



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 – Tuesdays @ 5.30pm
  • Paint your pet COMPETITION coming soon!
  • Lockdown bake-off – Weekly challenges from around the world for the Nutrition programme members
  • NEAT UP challenge – W/C 04/05/2020
  • The ‘school science’ project challenge
  • Specialist classes – Weightlifting technique @ 5.30pm on Wednesdays,  Banded Bro sesh @ 12pm on Fridays, HSPU 4 week workshop at 8am Tuesday starting 12/05/2020
  • Bi- weekly Quiz with Johno – next one 13/05/2020
  • Weekly ‘Ready Steady cook’ with Charlie @ 6.30pm on Thursdays

Who Wore It Best


So we know they aren’t quite matching but it’s lockdown and twinning is at an all time low, but check out Harley and Finn in their adorable outfits! These pups sure are stylish!


Your Privacy is Our Policy.

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

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!