Snact bars; my thoughts…

Who else finds that, when shopping, the sugar laden, processed snacks are always the ones that supermarkets promote? It drives me crazy as there are so many other natural and healthier options available.

Lucky for me, I recently received a great box of snacks from Snact; they aim to help combat food waste by using fruit that was due to be thrown away and using it to make delicious snack bars and fruit jerky.

I was looking forward to trying these out as I think the idea behind them is brilliant. I hate food waste and it is shocking how much ‘good food’ is simply thrown out each day that is still perfectly edible and, on the plus side, all sugars in them, are completely natural too.

Snact have been making deliciously sustainable snacks to tackle food waste since 2013. Every day in the UK we throw out tonnes of perfectly good fruit. Snact saves surplus fruit and turns it in to tasty snacks. All snacks are packaged in fully home compostable wrappers to ensure that their packaging matched their ethos of creating less waste.

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I received three different bars to try:

  1. Apple & Cinnamon Kick Banana Bar,
  2. Beetroot & Cacao Blast Banana Bar,
  3. Carrot & Spice Boost Banana Bar.
  • ✔ Each bar saves one banana from going to waste
  • ✔ Vegan
  • ✔ Gluten free
  • ✔ Part of your 5 a day
  • ✔ No added sugar
  • ✔ No additives or preservatives
  • ✔ In home compostable packaging
  • ✔ Definitely has no dates!

Apple & Cinnamon Kick Banana Bar

You can taste each of the flavours in this bar;  the combination of cinnamon and apple is my favourite too!

The ingredients are all easy to read and completely natural; Dried banana, gluten free wholegrain oat flakes, pumpkin seeds, dried apple powder, pecan nuts, apple fibre and ground cinnamon.

Beetroot & Cacao Blast Banana Bar

This bar tastes GREAT. Who’d of thought that beetroot and cacao would go so well together? It kind of tasted like my favourite raw brownies!

Carrot & Spice Boost Banana Bar

I loved the spices in this bar- it genuinely had the taste of carrot cake.

All of the bars were a great mid morning snack- they kept me from getting hangry before lunch and, as they’re only around 120 calories per bar, weren’t a too calorific mid morning snack.

 

As a teacher, I would also recommend them to the parents as suitable for snacks, or lunch products for children to bring in to school!

I thoroughly enjoyed trying these bars.  Snact bars can be purchased directly from the Snact website. Find out more about them on Twitter and Facebook.

 

Thank you Snact!

 

 

Trogym Active wear… 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 Trogym leggings and bra came through the door, I was more than excited!

So, who are/what is Trogym?

trogym® is a brand of ethical activewear, blending modern exotic styles and smart materials with a commitment to treating workforces and the environment kindly.

With an aim to empower and inspire you during workouts, their clothing is bright, attractive and unique looking!

My initial thoughts:

  1. The leggings and bras look of great quality; the material is smooth and shiny.
  2. The colours on the leggings and bra are bright and fun! They don’t have too many colours in them though, so aren’t too intense!
  3. The bra is ‘different’ to other sports bras- with more of a v-plunge- so looks attractve to wear!

The wear test:

  1. Can you squat in them? YES! The bottoms don’t go see through!
  2. Can you do a HIIT session in them? Yessss; they don’t feel restrictive and don’t slip down!
  3. They are also great for running as they are not too thick so your calves don’t get sweaty (my biggest hate)!
  4. The bras is supportive too; everything stayed in place as I worked out!

Design Detail:

The leggings and bra both have a lovely, simple design; the stripes match!

The seams are just on the inside of the leggings so, they’re not itchy and you can barely feel them!

The leggings are high waisted so I didn’t mind training in them without a top!

 

Value for money:

The leggings are priced at £48 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 bra will cost you £26; it is supportive, so again, I think it is definitely worth spending the money on!

Verdict:

BUY THEM!!!

Hannah x

 

Finding a healthy balance as a mum.. (Guest post from @yummum81)

Do you sometimes find it hard being a mum and forget who you actually are? Do you think about how simple and easy life was before kids? Being a mum can be hard work and demanding. We all have our low days, experience feelings of guilt and strive to be that ‘perfect’ mum. At times you may feel like you have no support and it can feel a lonely place. You want to please everyone, so how do you get the right balance?

Following on from having my 2 children, it took a while to find that happy balance. I have learnt over the years that I will never be a super-mum, but know balance is key to leading a healthy lifestyle. Whether you work or not it can seem almost impossible to make time for yourself – let alone exercise! When life gets busy, fitness tends to be the last thing on your mind. Even though these times are when your body needs it the most.

Fitness is my ‘me-time’ a break from the outside world, a place I can reflect on my life with no interruptions. No matter how tired I feel, once I have worked out it puts me in such a good mood. I workout 4-5 times a week because I enjoy it and want to. It makes me feel happy and confident which is important to me being a mum. I like to mix it up with running, circuit classes and weight training; a lot of it depends on how I feel on the day. I do encourage my children to be active too and often go on bike rides with my youngest. Some days finding time to work out just doesn’t happen. I have learnt not to beat myself up if I don’t work out. Find something you will enjoy and stick too, whether it be running, yoga, swimming, Zumba or even just going for walks can be very beneficial. You don’t need a fancy gym membership either, working out from home is still as effective. Even if it’s a 10 mins workout on say a you-tube channel, it is better than nothing.


Nutrition is key, and as the saying goes ‘you can’t out train a bad diet’. My diet consists of clean eating, basically unprocessed whole foods. (See my blog on my must have food staples). In fact it’s not even a diet, it is my lifestyle. I keep it simple and it doesn’t cost the earth. Diets aren’t sustainable and are restrictive, there are no quick fixes. I take pleasure in cooking from scratch and knowing what goes into each meal. By embracing whole foods and eating good amounts of healthy proteins and fats. However you should never deprive yourself of the foods you enjoy, but like anything, eat in moderation! I go with the 80/20 rule so still indulge around 20% of the time. Decide what makes you feel good and works for you. I still enjoy my take aways and sweet treats and have these as a treat. I find this more enjoyable without feeling guilty. Though if I fancy a slice of cake, some chocolate or ice cream; I will. Life is for living!

If you can make time for yourself to be fit and well, the return benefits will be worthwhile. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle it keeps me focused in life, gives me the energy to look after my family and be a positive example to them. It’s not selfish to make yourself a priority, yet it does need to come from self love which does not make you a bad person. I love the fact that my children know fitness plays a big part of my life. Don’t feel guilty for looking after your body, it’s the only place you have to live in. Give yourself the time to be a mum and a woman; you will feel so much better about yourself.

@yummum81 x

The Importance of choosing the correct running shoe for YOU! 

In the run up to Christmas, if you’re like me, your wish list is looking a little bit like the stock list of a fitness shop! At the top of my list is new running trainers as there is nothing better than that first, bouncy run in your flashy, shines shoes!


However, adding a pair to the list that you’ve chosen based on colour and style may not mean that you are wearing the correct shoes to really get the best from your running and stop you from getting an injury! So, this week @runswindon have come to the rescue and have created a recommendation list for you…

When choosing a shoe we would recommend several relevant factors.

Gait Analysis.

Finding a shoe relevant to your gait is so important to help reduce injury and make your running journey a fantastic experience.

Pop to your specialist running store so they can carry out a gait analysis.
Ideally you should be assessed for hip stability, Pronation levels, form, technique and obviously fit when choosing a shoe.



Is it comfortable? 

Ideally we are looking for a Cinderella fit.

However this is not always immediately possible so a shoe that you feel after several runs or so feels natural to you.

Is it fit for the purpose? 

i.e. Are you looking for a road shoe or a shoe more suitable to the trail.

A shoe for short racing or intervals or a shoe you can do many miles of training in.

This is advise a specialist running store can give you.

So when buying a running shoe always gain expert advise from a specialist running store, try the shoes, run in the shoes and be analysed in the shoes.

Kindest Liam @runswindon
Owner RUN Swindon #happyfeet

A HIIT workout for runners…

So, as a runner, I am always keen to improve my pace, beat my last race time and improve my overall cardio fitness BUT just running on its own will not aid this! Therefore, this is where HIIT (High-intensity interval training) comes in to action.

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What is HIIT?

HIIT is a training idea in which low to moderate intensity intervals are alternated with high intensity intervals.

HIIT is considered more effective than steady paced cardio because the intensity is higher and you are able to increase both your aerobic and anaerobic endurance while burning more fat than ever before.

This type of training will have you alternating between periods of maximum effort and short recovery; in the workout below, you complete a whole circuit before taking a rest. For beginners, this may be too much and a simple 20 seconds on 20 seconds off will still you sweating.

After reading all the above this is where my friend, fellow blogger and personal trainer @_harrielouc exclusive HIIT workout can help you; I did it this morning and I can tell you, I felt the burn! If you give it a try, tag Harrie and I (@_hannaheats) and let us know how sweaty it got you!

Runner’s HIIT workout: 

Equipment: swiss ball, skipping rope, dumbells

 Jumping lunges

Fly on swiss ball

Tricep kickbacks

Plank

Cobras

Shoulder press

Burpees

Jacknives on swiss ball

Skipping

Mountain climbers

30 secs per exercise

1min rest after circuit is complete

3x through!

Good luck!

xxx

 

 

Why running is one of the best ways to keep fit…

I’ve been a runner for nearly 6 years now, and not once have I looked back. Although it hasn’t been an easy journey, life as a competitive runner never is. However, it has made me realise how much I just love to run – running at any speed, even for a short 5 minutes, is enjoyable.

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I get asked on a very regular basis “I’d love to get fit and healthy again, where do you recommend I start?” and nearly always, my answer is “Grab a sturdy pair of trainers and some shorts and head out the front door’’. I’m not suggesting that running a marathon tomorrow with no prior training is a good idea because what makes you ‘fit and healthy’ is your lifestyle – in other words what you do on a day-to-day basis.

Running is such a great way to keep fit, and possibly one of the easiest ways there is!

Here’s a few reasons why:

1. Running is cheap. No monthly gym membership required. No up-front joining fee needed. All that you need is a good-fitting pair of running trainers, some kit, and a road, field or park.

2. It is a relatively quick way of getting your heart rate up (depending on how long you run for). Running is one of the biggest calorie torchers there is – a 30 minute run can easily burn over 300 calories, whereas if you were cycling it would take you 3 times as long to have the same effect. This also makes it perfect if you have a busy home life, a short run from home is a lot easier than driving to and from a gym to work out.

3. You can explore somewhere new every time you run. Unlike a gym where you’re likely to stay in the same room every time you go, you can mix up your runs and make sure you go somewhere different every time! Go to a park today, run the roads tomorrow, find a trail next week – one of my favourite quotes is ‘The world is your treadmill, run all over it.’

4. Running is fun!!! Go running with a friend and catch up with them as you go – it’s harder than it looks but it’ll work you harder and keep you more motivated too! If you’ve chosen a park, the views can be stunning, especially this time of year with the Autumn leaves.

There are just a few reasons why running isn’t as bad as it sounds, you never know it might just become your favourite way to get out of the house and get some fresh air!

To keep up with my running adventures and foodie finds, follow me on Instagram @bethheddle_runs or head over to my website: http://www.mudsweattares.weebly.com