Thursday, 10 September 2015

Protein Supplements

Protein powders and supplements are a great way to ensure you reach your daily macronutrient goals, and enhance your performance and muscle regrowth in line with exercise. There are many ways you can utilise these powders from simply adding a few scoops to milk or water for a quick post workout shake, to a filling breakfast in the form of protein pancakes or a fruit based smoothie. Two of our favourite blends come from Protein World and Reflex Nutrition. 

Protein World - The Slender Blend 

This supplement comes in a variety of flavours including Chocolate, Strawberry, Banana and our personal favourite Vanilla. This Non-GMO powder is marketed at assisting weight loss due to its low calorie content, however with 31g of Protein per 40g serving, this enables quality performance and noticeably increased stamina during exercise which makes it a daily go-to for us. Our favourite way to use this is in a smoothie with Mango, Raspberries and Almond Milk which is a refreshing and nutritious way to start any day! 

 Reflex Nutrition - Instant Whey Pro

Reflex instant whey protein is an advanced formula of protein that comes in a massive range of flavours that means protein can easily be incorporated into your diet in an easy and tasty way. This supplement consists of whey protein isolates which is 90% protein, and is extracted from fresh skimmed milk. In just one two-scoop serving 20g of protein is provided. This formulation of whey contains significantly more bio-available cysteine, which helps with fat burning as well as improving the immune system. Our favourite flavour is strawberries and cream as it works well in smoothies and porridge but other flavours include vanilla ice-cream, cinnamon whirl, banoffee pie, choc-mint perfection and raspberry delight. Reflex instant whey is the perfect supplement to help you reach your fitness goals whist providing maximum nutritional benefits.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Perfect porridge

Porridge is a perfect breakfast choice as oats are a complex carb which get digested at a slow pace, unlike simple carbs. Porridge therefore makes the ideal pre-workout breakfast, as a bowl of their slow-releasing, wholegrain goodness beforehand will ensure that blood sugar levels remain steady throughout a workout and keep energy levels high. Oats are also packed with essential vitamins and minerals that other sugary cereals do not provide. 

There are endless ways to enjoy porridge, with some of these delicious ideas you will never want to skip breakfast again! 

Baked oats
Mash one ripe banana and microwave for 1 minute or until mushy. Now combine with 30g of oats and 1/3 cup of almond milk. Bake in the oven at 180 degrees for 10 minutes, add a handful of your favourite fruit and bake for a further 5 minutes to allow the fruit to soften slightly. This recipe truly makes it feel like you’re having cake for breakfast!

Apple, sultanas and blueberry oats
Remove the core of an apple and chop into cubes. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon and microwave for 2 minutes. The apple should be soft, so using a fork mash it all together to make a sauce like texture. Add to 30g of oats and 1/3 of a cup of almond milk, along with a handful of raisins.  Microwave the mixture for 2 minutes and top with a sprinkle of blueberries and additional apple cubes.

Porridge and dried fruit 
Combine 30g of oats with 1/3 of a cup of almond milk and microwave for 2 minutes. If you want a more filling, creamier breakfast add in one mashed banana to the mixture too, then simply top with mixed dried fruit and nuts. 

Overnight oats
Mix Greek yogurt with oats and a splash of almond milk and layer with frozen fruit such as mixed berries in a mason jar and leave in the fridge overnight. The frozen berries melt to create a sweet berry sauce, which combines perfectly with the creamy oats, making for a delicious breakfast that is ideal to grab on the go as it is prepared the night before. 

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Workout Playlist

When it comes to exercise, we find that music is such a good source of motviation! This means that we regularly update our cardio playlists in order to keep us focussed whilst at the gym. We both like to run to loud, upbeat music during our workouts and have compiled a list of our top 10 songs at the moment.

1. I Know - Shift K3Y
2. Shut Up and Dance - Walk The Moon
3. Make Me Feel Better - Alex Adair
4. Levels - Avicii
5. Doing It - Charlie XCX
6. Runaway - Galantis
7. Don't Look Down - Martin Garrix
8. House Every Weekend - David Zowie
9. Stole the Show - Kygo
10. The Mother We Share - CHVRCHES


Sunday, 28 June 2015

Superfood salad

Salad; not often something that comes to mind when you think of your most loved foods. Most people think of salads as boring, but with the discovery of a new recipe, I would disagree completely and even go as far as putting it up there with my favourite foods. With the right ingredients, it is easy to create a salad that is not only healthy and nutritious, but is also extremely delicious.

1 large avocado
1 broccoli
1 packet of quinoa
1 whole pomegranate/1 pack pomegranate seeds
20g feta/Greek cheese
500g fresh spinach
Fresh coriander
Balsamic vinegar
2 sweet potatoes
Dried chili flakes
Freshly ground black pepper

We teamed our salad with seasoned sweet potato wedges; they have amazing flavour that accompanied the salad perfectly. So firstly begin by preheating the oven, wash and chop the sweet potatoes into wedge sized chunks and spread out on a roasting tray. Sprinkle with a little pepper, chilli flakes and paprika, spray with a little fry light before placing in the oven for about 20 minutes.

While the sweet potatoes are cooking you can prepare the rest of the salad; cook the quinoa according to the packet instructions in a pan of boiling water. Meanwhile, chop up the broccoli into small chunks and add to another pan of boiling water and allow to boil until tender. Once both are cooked, drain and allow to cool while you prepare the spinach in a large salad bowl. Then add the cooled broccoli and quinoa, and roughly chop the coriander before adding it to the salad along with the sweet potato and avocado. Toss well to ensure the salad is fully mixed, and finally add a crumbling of feta cheese and a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds. Finish with a light drizzle of balsamic vinegar and enjoy!

This salad has become a definite new favourite and I have no doubt that it will be making regular appearances at meal times.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Summer fitness regime

So now the summer months are over and we are both home from university we have more time to spend mixing up our meals and trying new recipes to share with you, as well as altering out fitness regimes! 

Coming back home for the summer means signing back up to my other gym, which I have been really enjoyed getting into now I have more time on my hands. I try and do at least 3 one hour sessions a week with this including 45 minutes of cardio alongside weights and toning. I also may start doing some monthly challenges such as the 30 day squat challenge to set myself some goals and try and further my progress.

One of the other things I love about summer is that it encourages salad weather! I love having a lighter lunch when the weather is nice and have been trying out some new recipes of which I will be sharing soon! My current favourite has to be a simple salad with smoked salmon, avocado, lettuce and balsamic which fills me up and is perfect with this lovely weather! 

Look out for lots of summery exercises and recipes to come in the upcoming weeks!


Sunday, 31 May 2015

Perfect Poached Eggs and Accompaniments

So like many of you, mastering the art of poaching eggs took a while, but after trying a variety of different methods, I've finally found one that seems to work!

I do this by taking a small bowl or rammacan and placing a large square of cling film over the top, before pushing the centre of the film into the bowl to create a well. I then lightly spray/coat the bowl with some oil and crack in an egg. After this, simply gather all of the edges of the cling film and bring them to the middle, before tieing a knot just above where the egg is in order to secure the wrapping. Once this is done, take a saucepan of boiling water and poach your eggs for around 3-4 minutes or until you can see the egg is cooked through, however I like my eggs quite soft in the middle so you may want to cook them for an additional few minutes. Once your egg is cooked simply remove it from the water, cut off the cling film and serve it alongside a delicious side dish!

There are many ingredients that go perfectly with poached eggs, and I love trying new things whether I'm cooking for myself or out for breakfast. I thought I would give you some of my favourite accompaniments to poached eggs!

Smashed Avocado on Rye/Crispbread:

Simply take a half an avocado and mash it into a soft consistency, before adding optional flavourings (I often opt for salt, pepper, lemon juice and occasionally some chilli flakes.) Take a slice of your bread of choice and add the avocado on top, before placing the poached egg on the plate and seasoning.

Smoked Salmon:

I personally think that eggs and salmon are such a good combination. There are a couple of different serving ideas you could use with these ingredients. I love Bills' version of 'Eggs Royale' which consists of poached eggs and smoked salmon on sour dough toast, with hollandaise sauce and pumpkin seeds on top - this really is so tasty! If I am creating a more simply meal at home, I love adding spinach to my poached eggs and smoked salmon, which I often flavour with chilli flakes for an extra kick. All of these are winning combinations in our eyes!


Sunday, 24 May 2015

Healthy Snacking

There’s absolutely no reason why snacking should be unhealthy. With so many diverse ways to make a variety of sweet and savoury snacks, there’s no need to fell guilty about having a little munch on something in-between meals.

Banana ‘Nice-Cream’ and Banana Pudding

As summer is fast approaching, ice cream cravings are probably going to start to kick in. But this healthy alternative is absolutely delicious yet so easy. Simply chop up bananas and put them in the freezer, once they are frozen add them to a food processor or a blender and blend for a few minutes until the bananas become creamy. You can serve it as it is, or you can add different fruit, like strawberries, for various flavours. Alternatively,  you can add different toppings such as dried fruit or honey. Another favourite of mine is a take on ' banana pudding.' Simply whisk a mashed banana and two egg whites until the mixture is really fluffy, then microwave on a low heat for a few minutes. It tastes amazing on its own but you could also add some fresh fruit or a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Protein Balls

We found during revision we wanted something healthy to pick at, so we came up with this recipe. Add ground almonds, finely chopped dates and a splash of almond milk to a food processor and blend until the mixture is smooth. Then take a small amount of the mixture, roll out into a ball shape and keep in the fridge. They taste like little fudge bites and you can use whatever nuts you want as an alternative option.

Kale Crisps

Using a bag of fresh kale, spread out the contents of the bag onto a baking tray with some fry light and a pitch of salt. Put into the oven for about 15 minutes on 180 degrees or until you can see the kale start to crisp up. You will love this if you are a fan of salty crisps as the kale becomes a quite salty, but you obviously won’t have to feel bad about over indulging as it is literally just vegetables.

Frozen Yogurt and Dried Fruit

Another yummy summery snack, spread out an even level of Greek yogurt onto a baking tray lined with baking parchment, then sprinkle your favourite dried fruit and pop in the freezer overnight. Once it is set you can cut it into squares for bite sized pieces and keep in the freezer.

Apple Crisps

Slice up an apple and spread the slices out onto a baking tray.  Paint the apple slices with lemon juice and bake in the oven at 180 degrees for 15 minutes, before turning them over to paint the other side with lemon juice and pop back in the over for another 15 minutes. They should then be nice and crispy, pop them in some Tupperware for a perfect snack for on the go.

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