March favourites…

I find it slightly crazy, and very scary, that we have come to the end of yet another month. March has been a super busy one, full of exciting ventures and some slightly scary, big decisions! However, it has also been filed with many delicious food and recipes and  fun fitness events, so I just had to share them with you!

Pip and Nut and Propercorn popcorn; these two make for the dreamiestttttttt combination.  Pip and Nut is 100% my favourite nut butter (in allll the flavours); it is so creamy and tastes as natural as it is, yet is delicious!  Propercorn is the ideal combination with this; especially the almond butter flavour! It makes a great, low GI and low calorie snack (or flex bowl topper), and tastes really naughty!

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Muscle Mousse protein pancake and muffin mixes; okay, no word of a lie, these are DELICIOUS. As in, I was happily eating the mix without adding anything to it, or even cooking! They are so simple to use; you simply add water and you’re done! They’re also really macro friendly; low carb, low fat and high protein; ideal for rest day treats!

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Laid bare skincare; I loved the results I saw in my skin after just a few weeks of using this skin care and making it a part of my daily routine! The mask is exfoliating but gentle at the same time so is perfect for my sensitive skin! I use the DIY cleanser and toner in the evening to remove make up and the 9-5 moisturiser every morning and evening to moisturise my face!  The other thing I love is that it is really good value; some skincare is so expensive which I really don’t think is necessary.

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My Skillet; I LOVE my skillet; for both sweet and savoury dishes! But, I mainly use it to make my weekend breakfasts seem so much more luxurious! I love a skillet cookie, brownie, pancake, crumble, cobbler; you name it, you can make it in a skillet! Head to my blog now to find more recipe ideas!

Hannah xxx

The HollyBush, Witney… my thoughts.

Last week, I felt very lucky when heading to The HollyBush to try their food (and drinks). After talking to my friends who live in the area, I was promised great things, and the meal didn’t disappoint.

Firstly, when we arrived at the pub, it was really easy to park on the road outside, we had a 2 minute walk to the door (if that) and Witney has many places available in which you can park for free! We strolled in, were greeted with lovely smiling faces and seated at a lovely table near a fireplace!

The atmosphere in the pub was brilliant; background music that wasn’t overpowering and many other customers happily chatting (and drinking) away!

The drinks menu was the first thing I looked at and the cocktail options, as well as beers, wines and soft drinks, were amazing! So much so, that I didn’t know which cocktail to go for. In the end, I chose Passionella (because it contained Limencello, my favourite) and it was delicious! A great way to start the evening!

The Menus (the normal one and specials) had so many tasty options; I was stuck for choice! Normally, I am really fussy and don’t like many things on the menu, so being stuck for choice, says a lot (in a positive way)! In the end, we chose smoked salmon with sourdough bread and scallops with a cauliflower puree for starters, follwed by a chicken and stuffing wellington and a prawn Vietnamese noodle soup for mains!

When our starters arrived, they looked amazing and they tasted just that! They were really nicely laid out on the plate, of a great temperature to eat immediately and both tasted great! The scallops tasted SO GOOD; I would definitely order them again!

The mains were of the same level of taste and appearance as the starters; I’d never had the soup before, so was excited to give it a try! I loved it and it is definitely something I will have a try at making myself!

Overall, I feel that the price, taste and atmosphere was all brilliant and, due to this, I would definitely return!

Hannah x

 

Ness Fit Official.. my thoughts!

As I have said before, for me, wearing pretty, quality gym gear is essential and in my view, you can never EVER have enough gym wear; actually, the more, the better!! So, when these beautiful NessFit outfits came through the door, I was more than excited!

So, who are/what is NessFit?

Ness Fit are a new fitness apparel website based in breat Britain; they offer exciting, matching outfits that make you feel and look good!

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My initial thoughts:

  1. The leggings and bras look of great quality; the material is smooth and shiny.
  2. The colours on the chaos leggings and bra are bright but not too bright so look great! And, I LOVE the monochrome leggings.
  3. The packaging was lovely too; they were nicely wrapped in a bag each. A great initial thought that makes you think the product is of great quality.

The wear test:

  1. Can you squat in them? YES! The bottom doesn’t go see through! Big yay!
  2. Can you do a HIIT session in them? yessss; they don’t feel restrictive orrrr sweaty so they are ideal!
  3. They are also great for running on a treadmill as they are not too thick so your calves don’t sweaty (my biggest hate)!
  4. The bras are both supportive too; they kept everything in place as I worked out!

Design Detail:

The leggings and bra both have a lovely, simple design around the waist/chest that says workout on; this helps the outfit coordinate even more!

The seams are just on the inside of the leggings so, they’re not itchy!

The patterns are both really effective; bright and attractive but not in your face!

Value for money:

The leggings are priced at £30 and I think this is incredible value for money; they are so versatile, not just for a workout, so you will 100% get your money’s worth!

The bras will cost you £25; slightly more pricey, but they are supportive, so again, I think they’re worth spending the money on!

Verdict:

BUY THEM!!!

Hannah x

 

The Skinny Bakery; my thoughts.

Recently, the lovely people at The Skinny Bakery sent me their new Cherry Bakewell (and other delicious products) to try and, as I loved them so much, I just had to tell you about them.

Who are The Skinny Bakery?

‘The Skinny Bakery was founded in 2013 by passionate home baker Mariella Forte. Inspired by Skinny Latte’s and with a keen interest in the science behind baking, Mariella experimented endlessly to discover delicious baked recipes which contain a fraction of the calories. She began selling her wares around London offices and salons. Feedback on her cakes was so positive that she decided to get her own kitchen and The Skinny Bakery was born. Now available from various outlets across the UK, The Skinny Bakery is going from strength to strength.’

What do I like about The Skinny Bakery?

  1. The flavours of their foods taste as good as they sound.  For instance, the Double Chocolate meringue cookie sounds too good to be true, right? Well, no, it’s not. At only 141 calories for the WHOLE tub and with a gooey, chewy delicious texture these cookies really do taste as they sound like they should.
  2. By taking traditional flavours and putting a healthy twist on them, you really can have your cake and eat it.
  3. The ingredients that are used to make the products healthy don’t have crazily long, foreign sounding names!

Appearance:

  1. The packaging is really handy; it says exactly what you need/want to know… The brand, the flavour and the calories; ideal when quickly choosing a snack on the go.
  2. For the bakewells, they came in a bag. This was great as it fit in my lunchbox with ease.  The flapjacks and meringues came in a tub and this was super to store them (they need storing in the fridge) and travel with them!
  3. The actual bakewells themselves looked really pretty! They have a heart shape made out of pastry on the top!

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The taste test (Cherry Bakewells):

  1. They aren’t too sweet, so I find this ideal.
  2. The filling is delicious; not too overpowering with cherry as I think they can be bitter.
  3. The pastry isn’t chewy, as you expect a ‘healthy’ pastry to be, and Mary Berry would be happy as they don’t have a soggy bottom!

Value for money:

I personally think they are great value for money; for a whole tub/bag you are looking at spending around £2.99 but you can also buy bundles and this saves you a lot of money plus gets you allll the snacks!

Where can I buy them?

You can buy them on The Skinny Bakery website and on their, you can find a list of stockists.

Also, don’t forget to check out The Skinny Bakery on instagram!

 

Hannah x

 

Jilla Active.. my thoughts. 

For me, wearing pretty, quality gym gear is essential and in my view, you can never EVER have enough gym wear; actually, the more, the better!! However, I don’t know about you, but I am a creature of habit and stick to wearing the same brands all the time. So when my Jilla Active seamless active wear arrived, I was more than excited!

So, who are/what is Jilla Active?

‘Jilla is London based seamless activewear brand characterised by back to basic approach, it has been created from a passion for movement and simplicity, founded on the premise of excellent design and high functionality.’ The activewear is designed with the new trend of gym to brunch and then on to lunch in mind; providing activewear that can see you through it all without constant clothes changes!

My initial thoughts:

  1. The leggings look of great quality; they are a deep black with a contrasting bright waistband.
  2. The lack of seams make them feel really smooth.
  3. The packaging was lovely too; they were nicely wrapped in tissue paper. A great initial thought that makes you think the product is of great quality.

The wear test:

  1. The material (92% Polyamide) is thick enough that you can squat without your bottom going see through but not too thick that they feel sweaty!
  2. They were great for work too; as a teacher, practical PE gym wear is essential and these fit the role perfectly.
  3. No seams was AMAZING; the back of my knees felt free and it stopped them rising up whilst wearing them.
  4. I’ve worn them for spin, running and weight training; they were brilliant for all. For running my legs could still breathe which is essential for me as I CANNOT run with hot legs.


Design Details:

  1. As the leggings were seamless, this really did make them so much more comfortable.
  2. The mesh behind the knees isn’t itchy, instead it allows for your legs to move freely without sweating.
  3. The wide elastic waistband kept my leggings up and in place; in all three of the types of exercise, not once did I have to pull them up!
  4. The moisture wicking material is just that; not once did I end up feeling like I was wearing my sweat in an uncomfortable way (sweat is good though; it means you’re working hard)!

Value for money:

The leggings were priced originally at £40 and I would happily pay more than that; they were of the same quality as both my Sweaty Betty and Lulu Lemon leggings. I would certainly buy more!

Verdict?

Well worth the money and definitely worth checking out!

Hannah x

 

 

 

 

Bellum Active and Runderwear; my thoughts.

Wearing the right gear, not just for aesthetics but also for comfort and ultimate performance, is important to me. Essentially, I want my clothes to look and feel great and both my Bellum Active and Runderwear active wear, do just that!

Bellum Active:

When my Bellum clothing arrived, I was SO excited! After trying the leggings on, and slowly walking away empty handed at BeFit London, I knew I needed to purchase some in the future! Why? Well, I’m about to let you know!

Appearance: 

Venus Capri: To look at, the material of the capri’s is as shiny as they are soft; they are just beautiful! The mesh at the back of the calf looks really tasteful when on and stops you from feeling uncomfortably sweaty when you’re working out! The pattern is lovely; not too in your face but enough to feel that you’re looking good in the gym!

Endurance and odour control run top: I LOVE THIS TOP. It looks and feels so soft and is just as snug yet breathable when it is on! I have worn it both in the gym and on a run, and in both cases, it was just as good at the job it states it does.

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Practicality:

For both running and the gym these garments are both ideal.  I love that, unlike most run tops, this one has a zip on the back; ideal for your keys! The capri’s have a pocket on the back too! The top has lovely thumb holes; ideal for colder runs and great to stop the sleeves riding up!

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The hand zip on the back of the run top! 
The Wear Test:

  1. Both items are SO SOFT when they are on; almost to the point that you don’t want to take them off!
  2. The capri’s feel really smooth when they are on and this stops you from feeling all sweaty and horrible.
  3. The top is great to run in outdoors and for warming up in the gym (you could wear it the whole time but I get too sweaty in long sleeves!!!).  Outdoors, it added a great, extra layer in the cold and kept my hands, that easily go blue, warm!

Price: Both of these items were on the slightly pricier side BUT I feel that you pay for what you get, so they are great value for money and I wouldn’t hesitate in buying more Bellum items. The Capri’s are priced at £50 and the top £55!

Runderwear:

According to the website, Runderwear is ‘seamless, moisture wicking, breathable and chafe free’, and I can concur  that this is absolutely true.

What I like about Runderwear is how they effortlessly blend practicality with a modern, tasteful appearance. The products come in multiple colours (I naturally went for the bright pink look) and styles; you really can choose what you like best so that you run in ultimate comfort.

Appearance: When you think running underwear, you think granny like and ugly, but I was very pleasantly surprised when my delivery arrived. The bra is REALLY soft, eye catching, practical yet looks good too.  The knickers are the same; they don’s show a knicker line either (always difficult when you’re wearing Lycra)!

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The wear test: Once on, you almost feel as if you are wearing no underwear! The elastane within the clothing keeps your underwear in place as you run; no chaffing or movement of clothing once you’re moving! This is ideal as I am often having to hoick up my underwear in a very un-lady like manner when I  run! Once working out, and nice and sweaty, neither pieces rubbed.. ideal!

Price:  At £16 for the briefs and £25 for the bra, I feel that both items are great value for money. Essentially, you pay for what you get and by paying more, you really are running in better comfort.

If you are an outdoor runner, treadmill pacer or HIIT lover, Runderwear will be ideal for you! They work in both a practical and aesthetic manner; 10/10 from me!

 

 

Bodybuilding.. What is it? (Guest post: @leishamulveyfit)

Bodybuilding? A bro sport exclusively for the biggest guy in the gym or a diverse sport for dedicated men and women?
I obviously agree with the latter as a female bodybuilder competing in the bike fitness category. In this blog I’m going to outline what Bodybuilding is, what competing involves and how a bodybuilder approaches nutrition.
What is Bodybuilding?
Bodybuilding is the use of resistance training to develop and grow your muscles. There are varying levels of muscle required for different categories, the three female categories are
  1. Bikini Fitness
  2. Body Fitness
  3. Physique
They are each marked according to different criteria regarding muscle size, muscle shape, definition, leanness, symmetry and stage presence. On stage you are required to perform a posing routine to show off your physique in the best possible way (This is by far the hardest part I think… Posing hurts)
Nutrition
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PRE COMP
Everyones ‘prep’ is different some people diet for 20 weeks, some people just 8. It all depends on how much weight/fat mass you need to loose. Generally during the diet people will often eat fairly frequently 5-6 meals ensuring a protein feed in each meal so they are continually fuelling their muscles. Food is based on complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, vegetables and healthy fats (Just as any healthy diet should be) Some people carb cycle, some people have ‘high’ and ‘low’ days but essentially you have to be in a calorie deficit. Refeed meals can be implemented to spike certain hormone levels and also to maintain adherence to the diet. But I believe that in those dieting weeks the occasional treat can still be incorporated, the closer you get and the lower your calories the less this can happen though.
PEAK WEEK
You’ve probably heard of al sorts of crazy things about this week in particular. The 7 days before your competition are important for getting your muscles full so they appear better on stage and also ensure you look ‘shredded’ and the abs are popping as they say. This week tends to be more bland food with Chicken, White Fish, green beans and rice firmly on the menu. Show day gets as exciting as rice cakes and peanut butter though and we all love peanut butter !
POST COMP/OFFSEASON
In the offseason a certain amount of fat mass needs to be restored to put your body into a healthier state. Some people incase their calories slowly and some people quickly go back to their maintenance and gradually into a surplus. In the offseason the aim is to be in a calorie surplus where you can build muscle. I follow the 80/20 rule where 80% of my food comes from whole food ingredients and 20% comes from more processed slightly more delicious foods. I bake my own versions of classic desserts like doughnuts, brownies and cakes and this helps keep my sweet tooth satisfied.
Overall in the run up to a competition yes your diet does need to be on point, it requires dedication ,time and planning. The offseason allows you to live a more balanced healthy lifestyle that is balanced and more sustainable, Bodybuilding is not 12 months of Chicken and broccoli being hungry and depriving yourself.
Bodybuilding is not for everyone and i understand that, we all have our own interests, our own sports and our own ways of being active. I hope this has given you an insight into the bodybuilding world to see what it is and what goes on off stage.
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Leisha is a health and fitness blogger who creates lots of healthy recipes. Leisha is studying sport science at university and shares her knowledge to dispel nutrition myths. Having recently competed in bikini fitness, and also studying to be a PT Leisha has lots of different aspects to her fitness journey. To see more from Leisha, visit her bloginstagramtwitter and facebook.