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Cinnamon Oat Blueberry Protein Muffins

These Cinnamon Oat Blueberry Muffins are great at anytime of the day for a healthy snack, or after an intense workout. After a workout, your body will instantly try to rebuild it’s glycogen stores which have been depleted during intense exercise. Oats are a good carbohydrate source and are easily digested to promote faster nutrient absorption, this again makes them a great choice for a post workout snack!

These also taste amazing – win, win!

Cinnamon Oat Blueberry Protein Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 Bananas
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 cup of Oats (if the mixture is too runny, add more)
  • 1 scoop of Vegan Protein Powder (optional)
  • 2 tsp of Cinnamon
  • Blueberry’s
  • Chai Seeds (optional)

Method

Prep: 10 mins > Cook: 20 mins > Ready in: 30 mins

Grease a cake baking tin with grass fed butter.

In a bowl mash the bananas until soft, then crack in 2 eggs in and mix well.

Next add the Oats, Protein Powder, Cinnamon, Baking Powder and mix everything together. Finally, add in the Blueberries and gently fold them into the mix.
Put the mix into the muffin tin, making sure the mix is level with the top as the muffins will raise slightly. I sprinkled a few with Chai Seeds for that extra protein fix.

Cook in the oven at 180 degrees for 20 mins then enjoy!

 

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Crunchy Granola

Homemade Crunchy Granola

Start your day with this energy packed, good-for-you granola

crunchy homemade granola recipeIngredients

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300g rolled oats
  • 50g sunflower seeds
  • 50g almonds
  • 50g walnuts
  • 50g brazil nuts
  • 50g almonds

 

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 125C/255F
  2. Mix all nuts together and chop into smaller pieces
  3. Add the oats to the nut mix
  4. Melt coconut oil in a pan
  5. Add the melted coconut oil and honey to the dry ingredients and mix to coat evenly
  6. Line 2 trays with baking parchment and cover with the mix
  7. Bake for 30-40 mins turning once

Remove from oven and store in an airtight container.

Serve with berries & coconut yogurt.

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Are abs made in the kitchen?

How to reveal those abs!

No matter how hard you train, you will not see those abs if you continue to eat badly. Is there truth in “you can’t out exercise a bad diet”..?

There are four main components to revealing abdominal definition. Genetics, muscular, body fat percentage and diet. Please note that everyone is different and the below is just a guide.

When it comes to abs, everyone has them at some level, but at the end of the day, it does come down to the kitchen. You need to always be working with the the 70/30 rule. 70% Food / 30% Gym. The foods you eat will be the deciding factor when it comes to showing off a flat, defined stomach. We all have abs hiding under belly fat and unfortunately, we can’t just lose fat off one place of our body (this point being our stomach) it has to be an all over body effort!

There are 2 main points to remember:

1) Abs are built in the gym

2) The kitchen will show them off

Body Fat %

For your abs to be visible you will have be on the lower end of the body fat percentage. The bad news is that if your body fat is too high your abs will stay hidden under a layer of fat. For a 6 pack to be visible on men your body fat needs to be less than 20% and a woman 25%.

So, you can be doing crunches for days, but if you aren’t eating properly you’ll never see those abs. You will need to cut out the processed foods and concentrate on the right mixture of macronutrients in your diet.

What are Macronutrients?

Macronutrients is a term used to describe the three key food groups, carbohydrates, fats and proteins. We need carbohydrates for fuel to give us energy, fats will help us feel fuller for longer as well as other positive health effects, and proteins to build and repair muscle. Get the right balance of these and not only will you lose weight, you’ll be more effective at burning fat and building lean muscle. You’ll become a lean, fat burning machine!!

Keep track of your Macronutrients

There are 2 key things to figuring out your macronutrients, your weight (which in turn effects your BMR) and how active you are. Use this online calculator to work out your Macronutrients intake. It takes a bit of trial and error to find your ideal macro ratio, but it’s worth it. Focus on counting your macros rather than painfully counting calories, and once you have found the formula for you, there’ll be no going back!

Abdominal Exercise Example

It’s very important to focus on the muscles surrounding the abdominal muscles and work on all movement patterns and planes of motion; spinal flexion, spinal rotation and lateral flexion.

One example exercise routine of this would be:

  1. Swiss Ball Jackknife
  2. Medicine ball Russian Twist
  3. Side Plank (left and right)

Do 30 seconds of each exercise with no rest between reps. Complete one round then have 60 seconds rest and repeat the circuit another 3 times.

Stick to the above and you’ll be well on your way to a flat, lean, defined stomach!

 

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Sports Nutrition Supplements – ingredient advice

Sports Nutrition Supplements

Although I generally recommend it is important you have a good balanced food intake, sometimes you don’t always have time to cook a high protein meal post workout, or there may be a few hours until you can get to eat a proper meal. It is important you use protein powder in addition to your diet not as a food replacement. It is also important that we stay hydrated drinking at least 2 litres of water a day, but again after a vigorous workout, sometimes this isn’t enough.

Struggling to sit down on the toilet after a leg day?

Ever trained so hard 24-48 hours later you are struggling to sit on the toilet or walk up & down stairs after a run? Even lifting your arms trying to put a jumper on may be tricky after a shoulder day? After any sports activity or fitness regime,, failure to replenish glycogen stores and repair muscles with protein quickly as possible after training will have an effect on recovery and you may suffer DOMS.

So, what is DOMS? (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)

DOMs.. the easiest way to describe it, is your muscles asking for protein and nutrition. The soreness and ache is your muscles repairing the damage which has been done in any gym, fitness class or sports activity. It is also important to stay hydrated but sometimes after a vigorous days exercise, sometimes water is not enough. There are a few supplements I highly recommend you incorporate in your training programme to help both of the above problems. The supplements I mention below will include a few little key ingredients: Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), L-carnitine, D ribose and magnesium.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), L-carnitine, D ribose and magnesium

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), L-carnitine, D ribose and magnesium, in other words  ‘the awesome foursome’ . Each one of these nutrients is needed by the microscopic structures inside our cells called mitochondria to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the fuel your body requires at the cellular level. Without enough of it, your cells can’t function at optimum levels. This is why health nutrients such as Coenzyme Q10, L-carnitine, magnesium, and D-ribose is so important.”

The Awesome Foursome’ explained:

CoQ10

CoQ10 is an antioxidant that protects and energises cells. It’s a natural occurring compound which is used to produce energy for cell growth and maintenance, CoQ10 is present in almost every cell in the body so is vital to the functioning of your body.

D-Ribose

This is the body’s form of natural sugar, this will allow you to train harder, and recover up to 400% quicker! D-Ribose is found naturally in every living cell of your body and is synthesised from glucose, but this is slow process and requires energy. D-Ribose will bypass this process, enter your muscles quicker, in return will help you train longer and recover quicker rebuilding cellular ATP and returning muscle energy to normal.

L-Carnitine

L-Carnitine is an amino acid involved in lipid (fat) metabolism. L-Carnitine has the ability to move fatty acids into the mitochondria. It will encourage your body to use your fat stores before burning out your glycogen stores – again this will help you train harder and longer!

Magnesium

You can easily find this is a whole range of foods including bananas, spinach, avocado and dark chocolate!!

muscleform_driboseSo how do you get all these supplements? If you would like to buy the “awesome foursome” supplements separately you can purchase them through Amazon or Muscleform and follow the dosage instructions on the packet for each supplement. The best is powder form rather than tablet, then you can add it to your drinks while you workout.

There is another option if you would like these supplements altogether in the form of a sports drink. A company called Arbonne do a range of sports products, and we are going to take a look at the product called Prepare and Endure part of their PhytoSport range.

Arbonne PhytosportArbonne Prepare and Endure is packed full of vitamins to help you get the energy you need alongside the first 2 carbohydrates which we need; D-ribose and L-carnitine.

To get the remaining 2 ingredients of ‘The Awesome Foursome’; Magnesium, and Coenzyme CoQ10, Arbonne do another product, the Arbonne Protein Powder. This Arbonne powder is a full protein delivering a 100% amino acid score, and It also includes the last 2 of the “awesome foursome“.. Coenzyme Q10 and Magnesium, complementing the Arbonne PhytoSport Prepare & EndureArbonne Prepare and Endure.

I would take Prepare and Endure a couple of days leading up to a vigorous Sports Event where you will need your energy most. You would also gain benefits from taking it daily if you are an active person and do a lot of sports or training.

Vegan Protein Powder

Vegan Protein Powder

The Vegan Protein Powder

It comes in Vanilla or Chocolate flavour, I personally like the vanilla flavour as I can add flavour to it, and it makes great vanilla pancakes!

Each serving gives you 20 grams of pea protein – much easier and quicker to digest than whey, plus it’s packed with masses of nutrients and supplements – 20 essential vitamins and minerals.

So in a nutshell… D ribose keeps your body topped up with his own natural sugar. CoQ10 and L-carnitine helps convert this natural sugar to energy, and magnesium is the glue that holds it all together. 

For me, since taking these supplements, I am able to train harder and suffer less fatigue, plus I am finding that I am recovering a lot quicker… So all in all, I would recommend these supplements to complement a training programme or any sports training.

Happy Training 🙂 x