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! 

Rhythm 108… my thoughts!

When I was asked if I could review the new Rhythm 108 ooh-la-la tea biscuits, I was more than excited. I have tried their good for you dessert bars and they are amazing so I had high expectations for these AND I wasn’t disappointed!

Who are Rhythm 108?

They make Real Food from The Yogi’s ancient secrets in a small cave in the Swiss Alps, bustling with Yogi-Patissiers!  They always use pure ingredients and make nutritious recipes that are simple, delicious and made with a lot of heart and soul – just like at home.

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There are four flavours:

  • Coconut Cookie,
  • Double Choco Hazelnut,
  • Almond Biscotti,
  • Lemon Ginger Chia,

The ingredients:

These are ALL natural; no preservatives, or any nasties at all. All the bars are gluten and dairy free, have no refined sugar, organic and are a great source of fibre.

All of the biscuits contain gluten free oat flour and coconut oil, each flavour then has additional, natural ingredients.

The taste test:

  • Coconut Cookie; as silly as this may sound, this wasn’t too coconutty. It had a lovely crunchy texture and was great for dipping in a cup of tea!
  • Double Choco Hazelnut; this was by far my favourite bar. It tasted just like Nutella BUT didn’t have the guilt factor. I was sad when my biscuit finished!
  • Almond Biscotti; this had lovely little chunks of almond in it, which created a great texture. They also taste just like marzipan; so feel really naughty! Again, a great biscuit to dip in your cuppa!
  • Lemon Ginger Chia; I love the lemon and ginger combination. The fact that the lemon zest is natural and organic is great too!

Overall, I am very happy I got to try these biscuits and I liked them all – if they were to be available in a store around oxford, I would definitely splurge on them once in a while. I say splurge – I think the price tag is a little drawback. BUT, if the price lowers I would buy more.

As the ingredient list is all natural, you could probably make them at home!

Besides that, I love that the ingredient list of these biscuits as they are so simple and fresh. No added scary stuff, all things we know and you can spell them all!

The consistency is perfect for my taste,, they don’t fall apart and my favourite part is the packaging which I think is super pretty and cute!

Head to their website to check them out!

Hannah x

 

 

 

 

My favourite dairy free milks…

Lactose intolerance (or dairy intolerance) is seeming to become a more common digestive problem, alongside this, many people are choosing to opt for a dairy free diet ot out of choice. I, personally, haven’t eliminated dairy products from my diet BUT, I do love to use dairy free milk alternatives in my baking, my breakfasts and in a matche latte!

There are so many Dairy-Free Milk alternatives available these days that it can be daunting to know which one to go for. Those experienced dairy-freers will already have a firm favourite, having tried a few and decided on the one they love. However, if you’re new to the dairy free lifestyle then you may not know where to begin.

Pip and Nut Almond drink:

This is my new, firm favourite.  It is unsweetened, contains no nasties and is, quit frankly, DELICIOUS!!!

I’ve used it in both sweet and savoury baking, and especially love it in porridge! Try mixing it with oats and protein powder for a porridge bowl and then top with your favourite fruits.

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Rude Health Almond drink:

This has a very obvious nutty flavour; which I love. It is great in overnight oats as it has a lovely creamy taste. It is also a great dairy free alternative in baking; especially cakes and pancakes. Try blending it with ice, a banana, cacao powder, chocolate protein powder and almond butter to make a delicious smoothie.

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Koko:

This has quite a sweet coconut taste and goes really well with cereal, fruit and in a coffee/ latte. It is low calorie too; 27 calories per 100ml. It is fortified with other vitamins and minerals, which I prefer not to have added to mine. However, it tastes great and, when I can’t find other options, I will happily use this!

Rebel Kitchen:

This company make great flavoured coconut drinks, especially great for children. They keep it simple – no additives or preservatives. They have a bold taste, fewer ingredients, nothing added as well as always being organic, responsibly sourced and responsibly produced.  The flavours include:

  • Banana,
  • Chocolate,
  • Coffee,
  • Chocolate orange,
  • Vanilla

Try mixing the chocolate orange with oats and cacao powder overnight before adding toppings in the morning. It is amazing!

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Oatly Oat milk:

This has a very obvious oat taste but then you can expect that when it is made purely of oats!!! It is great in porridge, with overnight oats and in baking! I love to use it in Banana breads instead of coconut milk/ yogurt.

 

I hope you found this helpful!

 

Hannah x

 

 

Ollybars.. My thoughts.

I recently discovered Olly Bars, a London based producer of handmade, healthy snack bars intended to keep you fuller for longer. Olly started the business with the aim of creating the ‘best tasting energy bars’ packed with plenty of healthy fruit and nuts. Many ‘healthy’ breakfast bars are actually anything but that, so I was pretty chuffed to be sent these bars! These bars are SO addictive but guilt free as they don’t contain all the additives.

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There are three different flavours: banana brunch, peanut choc chip and all day breakfast.

‘All day Breakfast’

Made with oats, dates, nuts and cocoa butter this snack bar will keep you full all morning. This bar is a good source of protein, with each bar containing 9g. It is also high in protein, additive-free and suitable for vegans. The bar has a chewy consistency and with every bite, you bite in to something different. It is a sizeable bar, probably double the size of those you would normally buy, so is great, satisfying breakfast option.

‘Peanut Choc Chip’

This bar is brilliant as a sweet but guilt-free dessert (and will satisfy a peanut-lover no end). It has to be my favourite. It is sweet but not too sweet and has an amazing texture. Basically, I love it!!!

‘Banana Brunch’

The superfood snack contains chia, sunflower and flax seeds – and has lowered the amount of natural fruit sugars by 40%, replacing them with protein by using vegan-friendly pea crunchies. Coming in at around 250 calories, it is a great pre/ post workout snack.. it didn’t quite suffice for breakfast.

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Overall, I give the bars an average of 7/10 BUTthe peanut choc chip bar gets 10/10 from me!

 

Hannah x

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

 

UFit drinks… my thoughts.

The sports nutrition industry has become littered with new brands that claim to be the best and provide you with the nutrition to produce ultimate performance. So, when it comes to know what to buy, how good it is and if you can actually trust the brands claims, it can all become a bit mind boggling. So, when I received a lovely looking parcel of protein shakes from UFit drinks, I wanted to see if their ‘on-the-go high protein health & wellness drinks for active men & women’, were as good as they look on the bottle.

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The taste test:

  • When trying the drinks, I based their taste on what I feel the flavour ‘normally’tastes like and, coming up trumps, for me was the banana flavour. It tasted SO good; like I was drinking an actual banana shake.

The texture:

  • The chocolate was thick and creamy, just as I like a shake to be
  • None of the shakes were runny, so as a meal replacement, they are ideal because you feel as if you have actually consumed something of substance.

The nutritional content:

  • In the ‘normal’ size bottle, the drinks contain a whopping 22g of protein, 11g of carbs and around 3g of fat; ideal to help you recover post work out.
  • In the UFit 50 drinks, there is 50g of protein for only 336 calories! FIT PRO50 is naturally rich in essential amino acids, the building blocks of your body. Essential amino acids cannot be produced by your body, meaning they must be obtained from foods and drink.  They also contain vitmains and minerals and are low in fat, again, ideal post workout!

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Baking, making and creating with UFIT:

  • The drinks are SO versatile to make things with; you can sub any liquid in a mixture for the drink and can make the ultimate protein pancakes.
  • To make the pancakes, simply blend a banana, one UFIT drink and some flour together and then cook in a frying pan!

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The price and where to find them:

 

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