I have a new obsession to share: Banana bread breakfast cookies.
Normally I would say protein/ regular cookies, but since these taste like banana bread AND my favourite breakfast oat bowl, I’m really quite in love. And when flavour additions are thrown in the mix? OMG!
Plus they only take 15 minutes to make and clock in at around 60 calories per cookie. YES!
This really isn’t even a recipe. It’s me telling you to mix two things together for sweet satisfaction that you don’t have to feel guilty about.
The possibilities are endless with these cookies BUT I’ve added in Soreen Malt loaf and it was a great decision. Thanks to Muscle Food UK, I’ve taken part in the #MFsoreen challenge and this was my easy peasy recipe of choice!
2 Place oats in blender or food processor and blend until oats become the consistency of flour; it’s okay if it’s not perfectly ground.
3 In large bowl combined mashed banana with oats until smooth. Add in Soreen.
4 Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray. Drop dough by large tablespoons onto cookie sheet; flatten a bit with a rubber spatula. Bake for 9-12 minutes or until cookies are set. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. Cookies will keep in a covered container for a few days, or they can be frozen and reheated. Makes about 16 cookies.
Skillets are one of my favourite breakfasts; you can easily mix it all together and then pop it in the oven. Simple! I love this one as it is seasoned with cinnamon and filled with mixed dried fruits; a healthy take on an Easter favourite!
1 crumpet (shredded),
20g of coconut flour,
50g of egg whites,
100ml of milk,
30g of dried fruit,
1 serving of protein powder,
½ a teaspoon of cinnamon.
You will also need one skillet or baking dish!
Pre heat the oven to 160C,
Combine all of the ingredients together until well combined,
Pour the mix in to your skillet,
Pop the skillet in to the oven for 25minutes or until golden on top!
I am a big supporter of meal prep. You don’t have to be a body builder, or even a gym goer, to partake, and it saves so much time in the week when you’re busy and making meals for the next day is the last thing you want to do! I know it seems like a gargantuan task, but it’s importance in achieving your goals (however big or small) really can’t be underestimated. Knowing what to eat, how much to eat, when to eat and then preparing your meals is one of important aspects of achieving a healthy, balanced diet.
The key to getting it right is finding a few staples that are quick and easy to prepare yet packed full of healthy fats, protein and carbohydrates. I have a few staple foods (chicken, vegetables, oats and protein powder) that can be used in many, more adventurous ways that don’t allow me to get bored of my midday meals!
Why meal prep?
Save money; buy going on just one food shop, with a list, per week you are not going to be tempted by things that are on offer that you don’t reallllly want!
Save time; cook all your meals in one fowl swoop and that’s it, you’re done!
Keep your meals clean and nutritious so that you stay on track with ease.
Save mid-week stress; you can just come home and relax!
How do I meal prep?
For this, you simply have to make meals in bulk!
The simplest way, for lunch, is to double up your meal from the night before.
Roast a tray of your favourite veg and then separate in to individual tupperware.
Make a meal and freeze it in portions; curry is a great option for this!
Roast multiple chicken breasts and refrigerate until you need them!
Meal prep ideas:
Overnight oats; there are so many options to find online! I like a simple mix of cinnamon, oats, vanilla protein, milk, berries and a sprinkle of granola!
Pancakes/Waffles; a nice treat in the week! You make these in bulk and refrigerate or freeze and then just get out when you want them! Find my staple pancake recipe here! Instead of the lavish toppings, I serve with yogurt and fruit!
Breakfast cookies and loaves; again, I make these on a Sunday to have on both Monday and Tuesday! So quick and simple to make! Head to the loaf cake section on my blog!
Bro food; roasted chicken breast with steamed veg and spinach. Sometimes I add in a hard boiled egg for extra protein.
Fritattas/egg muffins; mix together any eggs and veg that you fancy, tip in to a muffin tin or baking tray, pour over whisked egg and oven cook until firm to touch!
Chicken, quinoa and veg.
For a vegan option; buddha bowls are great. A mix of roasted veg, lentils and hummus.
Hard boil eggs,
Make energy balls; I love these! Find my favourite recipes here.
Carrot and cucumber sticks dipped in nut butter,
Melon and nuts,
Chirps are great; they are packed full of protein and keep me full for a long time,
Paleo bakes; blondies, brownies, cookies etc.
Mug cakes; a mix of egg whites, protein powder, coconut flour, mashed banana and baking powder. Pop in the microwave for 1 and half minutes and then you’re sorted!
How do I know what to buy/prep?
Make a plan! I get out all my favourite cook books, decide what I want to eat that week, make a list and shop away!
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!
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!
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.
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!
The Wear Test:
Both items are SO SOFT when they are on; almost to the point that you don’t want to take them off!
The capri’s feel really smooth when they are on and this stops you from feeling all sweaty and horrible.
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!
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)!
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? 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
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)
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.
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 !
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.
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 blog, instagram, twitter and facebook.
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.
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!
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!
When it comes to protein powders, I am REALLY fussy. You won’t find me in the bargain basement section searching out the cheapest protein as I am all about quality and knowing that I am feeding my body with whole, nutritious and safe sources of food is key to me.
Although it is better to get as much of the protein in your diet from foods naturally high in protein, take eggs and piece of steak for example, sometimes it is easier to reach for a high protein source that comes in a packet, especially to aid my running.
As stated by Puriton on their blog ‘Eating enough protein is essential to maintain a healthy body; it provides us with energy, helps the body fight off illness and disease and keeps the immune system functioning properly. It assists us in maintaining healthy muscles and helps build skin, hair, nails and cartilage.’ And, if you exercise a lot, you need more than average. But, not only does Puriton protein powder provide to you a protein source, it also contains fibre and healthy fats.
The fibre and fats come in the form of nuts and seeds that are mixed within the 100% natural whey protein.
And, the flavours are delicious! You can have:
Macadamia and Vanilla,
So, if that’s not enough, here is a recipe that I have made (Based on a very similar one by @Spamellab) using the Coconut Whey protein.
My lovely friend Josi, otherwise known as @thegoodfoodgallery on Instagram (go check her beautiful page out if you haven’t already) has provided this weeks delicious recipe.
These muffins look naughty but are in fact full of healthy, nutritious, whole foods and are perfect as a snack at any time of the day, or even breakfast (you all know that I love a breakfast on the go).
But, before you read Josi’s recipe, here are some questions I asked her to share with you, to reveal a few things you probably don’t know about the face behind @thegoodfoodgallery..
What inspired you to start @thegoodfoodgallery?
I started @thegoodfoodgallery as I went to a few health and fitness events like the Good Food show and realised how much of a community there was online for people who loved healthy recipes so thought I was start sharing my own as motivation for myself and others
Who is your biggest inspiration?
My biggest inspiration is Zanna Van Dijk as she’s made such a successful career out of her passion and always works so hard but without forgetting about loyal followers she’s had since the start – I also love that she advocates balance as I think it can be easy to assume that you must eat healthily 100% of the time but she is just so down to earth and reminds you that everything is ok in moderation!
What advice would you give people who are beginning their journey to a healthy lifestyle?
My advice would be to find food or exercise that you enjoy – don’t force yourself to go to the gym If you don’t like it, don’t follow a gluten free diet just because someone told you to – educate yourself on health but fit the advice to work for you and your lifestyle, if it doesn’t feel like hard work it’s much more likely to be effective
What are your favourite foods?
I have lots of favourites – one of my favourite sweet treats would have to be Livia’s Kitchen Orange Avocado Chocolate brownies and I love the savoury dishes in the Clean Eating Alice book too – especially the Mexican bowl!
What three foods couldn’t you live without?
Eggs, always. I can’t live without! Then I would have to say sweet potato as it’s so versatile.. Followed by chocolate, because I LOVE chocolate
Peanut Butter Muffins
- 160g honey
– 100g coconut oil melted
- 6 eggs
- ½ cup coconut flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 heaped tbsp. peanut butter
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees
Whisk together eggs, coconut oil and honey until well combined and a light texture
Add in coconut flour, baking powder and peanut butter and mix well again
Leave for about 5 minutes for the coconut flour to absorb any liquids then give it another mix
Spoon into muffin cases and bake for 20 minutes until they are golden brown and the tops are springy