Present shopping for fitness lovers…

Happy October. I’m kinda proud of myself for doing this post already.. cos yeah, Christmas seems like a lifetime away, but with the way this year has sped by, it will soon be upon us. As a fitness fanatic myself, I know that fitness gifts will definitely please people like myself. However, if fitness isn’t your forte, then this post is here to help! So, read on to find out more!

  1. Sweaty Betty/ Lulu-lemon gift voucher; although this seems like quite a boring idea, there is so much to choose from on these websites that allowing the person you are giving the gift to to choose their present, takes a lot of pressure off of yourself and gives them the opportunity to decide!
  2. Adidas Ultra Boost trainers; I LOVE MINE and now feel that no other trainers will suffice and by that I mean NO OTHER TRAINERS. They look cooooool, they’re super bouncy to workout in (I mean, they got me box jumping) and they come in so many different colours! adidasMedia
  3. Workout bands; no gym, no problem. These bands are ultra portable and mean you can do a muscle burning workout wherever you are! They’re cheap too, so a great stocking filler! Unlike cumbersome weights, they won’t clutter up your home and there is much less danger of injury from dropping them. Another one of those fitness gifts that is incredibly adaptable to different situations, resistance bands can be used to focus on specific muscle groups, to mirror sporting manoeuvres and in conjunction with dumbbells.
  4. ‘Healthy’ cookbooks; there are SO many on the market and they all show great, versatile ways of using simple ingredients. They aid with meal prep to help reach fitness goals and can allow for people to strive to head in the right direction after the Christmas chaos. I love Clean Eating Alices books, the Body Coach’s books, Madeline Shaw includes some brilliant recipes in her recipe books anddddd so many more!
  5. Health food supplements; I’m talking protein powders, BCAA’s (try Women’s best), Pre-workouts. You name it, the fitness friend/ girlfriend will want it! A lovely brand is whey box for protein; a monthly subscription of multiple flavours of whey protein. If its vegan protein you’re looking for, MissFits Nutrition are great!
  6. Head Phones; I love Sudio Sweden or any that are noise cancelling. Head phones are great as they really help you get in the zone when you are in the gym!
  7. Heart rate monitor; I have a Garmin watch and LOVE it! It shows me exactly when I am pushing myself! Whatever the sport a heart rate monitor can give you a greater insight into you cardiac performance, allowing you to push yourself to the limit and even map your fitness as your heart gets used to strenuous exercise.
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    I love the Garmin ForeRunner 35! Great for tracking runs and workouts! 
  8. Kettlebells; home workouts are the best. You can get a sweat on whenever and wherever you fancy. Kettlebells make for a great total body workout and can reallt torch the calories.
  9. A yoga mat; The amount of people taking part in yoga sessions has dramatically increased in recent years, with classes seemingly popping up everywhere. The only equipment you need is a mat, either a cheap one from a supermarket or a rather more luxury one like the one pictured. While not usually an aerobic activity, yoga does improve flexibility, muscle strength and provides a moment of calm in the hustle and bustle of modern life. I personally LOVE my Lulu Lemon mat.
  10. A gym bag; this means you can travel to and fro the gym in style. I love Sweaty Betty and Lulu Lemon bags, however, Active in style have some great, slightly more affordable bags.
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The Sweaty Betty Lux Bag is my favourite! 

Cranberry Blondie Loaf Cake…

 

It’s getting close to Christmas and for me that means a certain few flavours become prominent in my diet; the combination of white chocolate and cranberries, being one of them! Having chocolate and orange in a healthy way is often thought to be unachievable, but with this delicious loaf cake recipe, I feel that I have overcome this!

sukrin-loaf

Serves 12
Preparation time 10 minutes

Cooking time 50 minutes

 Ingredients

Icing:

Method

  1. Line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper and pre heat your oven to 150C,
  2. Mix together all of the ingredients and leave to rest for 5 minutes.
  3. Using a tablespoon, spoon the mixture into the baking tin and then press down to the top to make a nice flat loaf!
  4. Now, pop the tin in to the oven for around 50 minutes or until golden!
  5. Once out of the oven, leave to cool in the tin.
  6. To make the icing; simply mix the icing sugar with the yogurt until well combined. Now spread this on top of the loaf before sprinkling over the dried fruit and seeds.
  7. Slice and ENJOY!

You may also like:

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Chocolate Orange Christmas Pudding

We all love Christmas (well, most people do) and food is one of the most important parts! To me, the sweet scent of oranges, and a cheeky chocolate, are two of the main foodie  features of my Christmas menu, so I just had to combine the two!

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Serves: 8

Preparation time: 15minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

 

Ingredients:

– 1 slice of gluten free sourdough loaf made in to breadcrumbs,

– 20g of natural sweetener ( I used Truvia),

– 100g of egg whites,

– 2 tablespoons of cocao powder,

– 1/2 a scoop of unflavoured casein protein (I used neat nutrition),

– 25g of unflavoured whey protein (I used The Organic Protein company),

– 50g of gluten free flour,

– 1/2 a teaspoon of baking powder,

– 100ml of orange juice,

– 100g of dried mixed fruit,

 

For the topping:

– 100g of chocolate

Method:

  1. Grease and line an oven proof bowl,
  2. Preheat the oven to 150c,
  3. This is really easy to make; simply, combine all of the dry ingredients and then add in the wet ingredients!
  4. Mix until well combined,
  5. Pour in to the prepared bowl and bake for 50minutes!
  6. Take out of the oven and leave to cool in the bowl!
  7. Take the cake out of the bowl, melt the chocolate and pour over the top!
  8. ENJOY!

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cranberry-and-orange     fudge6    fullsizerender-5

 

Cranberry and orange loaf

This recipe is a delicious low carb, high protein take on a Christmas favourite; a highly addictive recipe that you can eat for breakfast, a snack or as a tasty pudding!

cranberry-and-orange

Serves 12

Preparation time 10 minutes

Cooking time 30 minutes

Ingredients:

For the topping:

Method

  1.  Line and grease a loaf tin and preheat your oven to 160C,
  2. Mix together all of the cake ingredients; making sure to mix them well!
  3. Pour the mix in to the tin and pop in to the oven for 30 minutes,
  4. Take the cake out of the oven and out of the tin before placing on a cooling rack until it has cooled completely.
  5. Now to make the icing; simply mix all of the iing ingredients together and spread over the loaf! I’ve then sprinkled granola on top!
  6. ENJOY!

xxx

You may also like:

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Vegan Mince Pies (Guest post: @healthyjon)

It wouldn’t be Christmas without a mince pie or two. But as with so many festive treats, mince pies come with a nasty nutritional profile, not any more! These little Christmas desserts are not only delicious but nutritiously balanced. Made with mostly dried fruit and buckwheat flour. This is a recipe you wont want to miss this Christmas! Vegan Mince Pies.

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Serves 12
Preparation time 30 minutes

Cooking time 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS:
For the pastry cases:
  • 200g of buckwheat or spelt flour
  • 100g of coconut oil
  • 5tbsp. of honey
  • ½tsp. of cinnamon
  • ¼tsp. of ginger
  • Pinch of pink Himalayan rock salt.
  • For the filling:
  • 120g of raisins or mixed dried berries
  • 3 medjool dates
  • ½ an orange, juice & zest
  • 1tsp. of coconut oil
  • 1tsp. of cinnamon
  • ½tsp. of ginger
  • A few grates of nutmeg
  • Enough water to cover contents of saucepan
  • 1tsp. of lucuma, maca or baobab powder (optional)

hj3

INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Start by making the cases. Add the Flour, spices, honey, salt & melted coconut oil to your food processor and blitz until the mixture starts to come together.
  2. Remove from the food processor scraping all the contents into a freezer/sandwich bag.
  3. Pop this into the freezer for 30 minutes.
  4. Now lets make the lovely winter spiced fruit filling.
  5. Add your dried fruit, coconut oil, spices and superfood powder (if using) to a small saucepan. Chop your dates into small chunks and add to the pan.
  6. Grate and juice your orange then add to the saucepan, along with enough water to just cover the contents of the pan.
  7. Turn the hob on to a medium heat and cover. Leave to simmer until all the water has been absorbed and evaporated (usually 15-20 minutes depending on how much water was added). When the mince meat is done remove from the hob.
  8. Remove your pastry from the freezer and pop back into the food processor. The freezing process will make our mince pie pastry wonderfully light and crumbly.
  9. Blitz for just a few seconds then remove and using your hands, roll the pastry into a ball.
  10. Lightly cover your work surface and rolling pin in flour and roll out your pastry until it is roughly 4mm thick or half the width of your index finger.
  11. Using a pastry cutter, cut the pastry into disks and add to a greased cupcake baking tray.
  12. Collect the unused pastry and roll out to make your heart shaped toppings.
  13. Fill the cases with your mince meat, cover with your pastry topping and pop into the oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes or until golden.

To serve, I suggest dusting with a sprinkle of cinnamon from a height. You guys can feel free to top with cream or ice cream if you wish but I will reframe from such indulgences. If you would like a healthier alternative add 1/2 a can of coconut cream to a bowl with a touch of vanilla essence and beat using an electric whisk. The result is a wonderfully light cream perfect to top your freshly baked mince pies.

Happy eating and I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas. Jon

Visit Jons blog or instagram account for more delicious recipes.

 

 

Boostballs; a review and recipe.

Hi everyone,

Today, I want to tell you about a product that I have recently received, and why you should most definitely head out to buy them too! Well, hands up if you like to snack? If you don’t, I most definitely snack for you! But, if you are like me, then you will LOVE these delicious Boostballs. The perfect on the go snack, that you can keep in your handbag or desk draw, these balls are ideal for busy, working people.

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Nutritional information:

  • With each ball averaging at around 26% protein, they are the perfect, filling on the go snack.
  • Each ball contains only SEVEN ingredients; free from gluten, wheat, soy and refined sugar.
  • With dates and whey protein making up the highest percentage of ingredients, in each ball, you know that you going to remain full until lunch time!

Taste:

  • There are four flavours (and, yes, I’ve tried all four): Raw Chocolate Brownie, Coconut Fudge Cake, Peanut Butter Cookie Dough and Chocolate Orange Mud Cake.
  • All of the balls taste exactly as you imagine them to from their descriptions; they’re not too dense, just nice and chewy with no horrible aftertaste!
  • They have a REAAAAAALLLLLY nice gooey texture when you pop them on top of warm oats and leave them to melt slightly; I did this with the Chocolate Orange ball in a bowl of Chocolate Orange flavoured oats and was almost left crying when I was done!

In my personal opinion, these balls are some of the best on the go snacks that you will find; do go check out their instagram @boostballs to find out more!

And, the recipe!

Coconut, Cranberry and Orange Overnight oats

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Ingredients:

  • 30g of oats,
  • 50ml of orange flavoured water (I used Rejuvenation),
  • 50ml of Coconut water (I used Drink Coco Pro),
  • 15g of unflavoured protein powder (I used The Organic Whey Company),
  • 50g of plain yogurt (I used The Collective Straight up),
  • 80g of cranberries,
  • 15g of chia seeds,
  • 1 tsp of Maca Powder (optional),
  • Chocolate Orange Mudcake Boost Balls

Method:

  1. Combine Half of the cranberries with all of the ingredients except for the Boostballs and leave to soak over night,
  2. In the morning, give your oats a little mix,
  3. In a microwavable bowl, mix together your remaining cranberries with a little water and microwave until they have become soft.
  4. Pour the cranberry sauce on top of your oats and pop a boost ball in the middle!

Enjoy!

 

xxx

 

 

Wholesome Gingerbread Stars (Guest-post: @guilt_free_gabs)

Wholesome Gingerbread Stars

By Gabriella Evans (Instagram: guilt_free_gabs)

It is never too early to start baking Christmas treats! These gingerbread cookies are guilt-free and full of goodness. They are so fun to make and you don’t need heaps of different ingredients. The result… deliciously crisp cookies and it will have your whole house smelling of Christmas!

I decorated mine with melted white chocolate (my weakness- I just love it) and I made my own powdered sugar. Its so simple I can’t believe I haven’t done it before!

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tsp all-spice
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 150g wholegrain flour
  •  200g wholegrain pastry flour
  • 120g coconut oil
  • 30g coconut syrup
  • 100g coconut sugar
  • 1 egg

METHOD:

1.     In a mixing bowl, mix together the pastry flour, wholegrain flour and the three different spices.

2.     In a different bowl, whisk together the coconut oil and coconut syrup (use the microwave if the coconut oil is set, we want it nice and runny) then add the coconut sugar and whisk until completely combined. If you’re struggling to get the three to mix together don’t panic! Just ad the egg and whisk some more and it should all blend together perfectly. Make sure there are no lumps of sugar.

3.     Add the wet mixture to the dry and mix until the dough is smooth and you can form a big ball with it. Then divide the ball into two and leave to set in the fridge for an hour wrapped in Clingfilm.

4.     Pre-heat the oven at 170c and line two baking trays with baking paper (you can also use foil just make sure to spray it with a little oil to prevent the cookies from sticking)

5.     Once your two dough balls are set, remove them from the fridge. Sprinkle your work surface with flour and start rolling! I don’t have a roller at university so I improved the only way I knew how, with a bottle of wine! I can confirm it works perfectly fine- as long as the lid is screwed on properly!!

6.     Moving on… role your dough out until it is approximately 1 cm thick. Use any cookie cutters you like, I recently bought these star ones from Tesco. Keep using the left-over scraps of dough to make more cookies, and repeat until there’s non left.

7.     Place the cookies in the oven for 11 minutes, then take them out and let them cool down completely until you decorate them.

8.     Melt 50g of white chocolate with a tsp coconut oil in the microwave until its nice and runny (approx. 40 second- stir half way). Fill a sandwich bag with the chocolate and cut a TINY hole in the corner so you can decorate your cookies with precision (a proper icing bag would be better, but this technique works fine also)

 

9.     HOME MADE ICING SUGAR!!

–       1 tablespoon coconut sugar

–       1 tsp cinnamon

Place the sugar and cinnamon in a Nutribullet or blender of choice and just whiz it up until it is light and powdery then sprinkle it all over your cookies!

 

Massive thank you to Hannah for letting me feature on her blog and Instagram!!

I hope you guys give this recipe a go and let me know if it worked out well for you. For more guilt-free recipes (also some not so guilt-free) check out my Instagram @guilt_free_gabs!

 

xxx