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Coconut Protein Balls

These Vanilla & Cocao protein balls are a great for a quick post workout fix, or as a healthy snack at any time of the day.

Makes 12 – 14 protein balls

Vanilla & Cocao Protein Balls

Ingredients

  • 2 scoops of vegan vanilla protein powder
  • 1 teaspoon cocao powder
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter (or hazelnut butter)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon chai seeds
  • 1 tablespoon flaked coconut

Method

In a bowl mix the protein powder, cocao powder and almond butter together.

protein ball mixMelt the coconut oil slightly in the microwave (about 10-20 seconds) and pour into the mix and stir. The mix should turn soft, if it’s still too dry add in more coconut oil until you get a smooth texture.

Pop the mix in the fridge for 5 minutes, and the coconut oil will solidify enough for you to roll into balls.

Sprinkle the chai seeds and coconut flakes out ready to coat the balls.

As you roll the mix into balls, the coconut oil will melt the balls slightly, but that’s ok, the balls will harden up again at room temperature.

Coat the balls with the flake mix, and pop them on parchment paper ready to cool and set in the fridge.

Store in an airtight container and 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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Coconut Oil Vanilla Latte – Coffee

Coconut Oil Coffee

Coconut Oil Coffee, a metabolism boosting drink! Add this coffee to your morning routine every day!

Coconut Oil Latte Coffee

Coconut Oil Latte Coffee

Ingredients

  • Cup of hot Coffee
  • 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • Dash of Almond Milk (or milk of your choice)

Make your coffee as normal in a mug (with whichever milk you prefer), add the Coconut Oil into your coffee, whiz this in your blender for a few seconds and wholah – a creamy healthy Coconut Oil Latte!

Poor into your favourite mug and enjoy!

Why drink Coconut Oil Coffee every day?

Coconut Oil contains Medium Chain Triglycerides, and the body uses this as as energy source more efficiently than carbohydrates.

Watch this little video for a quick guide to coconut oil and it’s benefits.

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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

 

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What is metabolism?

The metabolic rate can be described as the speed at which our bodies burn the fuel that we eat to produce the energy we need for everyday life. It is a measure of energy output over a period of time. Metabolism may differ by as much as 25% between one person and the next, though much of this may be within our control and is linked to lifestyle factors as much as it is genetics. Provided an individual has no metabolic disorders such as hypothyroidism, metabolism is set by the amount of lean tissue that is present in their body. Muscle is the most metabolically active tissue in our bodies, though the energy used by the digestive and nervous systems is significant.

Metabolic rate is controlled by many varied factors, and is a complex control process. Age, gender, weight, fitness levels, activity levels, food consumption and type, along with genetics all play their part in determining the rate at which our metabolism works. There are also other factors at work such as hormones & the central nervous system, including conditions such as stress and depression.

Can I raise my metabolism?

Yes you can, and it is well within our power to impact on our metabolic rate. Firstly we have to understand the metabolism of food and its conversion to energy, and how our bodies utilise energy that we have made from fuel – food.

How is our energy spent?

In terms of the energy that we burn there are three primary requirements that impact our overall metabolic rate. The proportions are split roughly as follows:

1. BMR – Basal Metabolic Rate

At rest the body requires energy for the heart to beat, circulation and respiration to continue, as well as for body heat, digestion and other bodily functions required for survival. This is your BMR and it accounts for around 60% of energy requirements.

2. Activity levels

A person with average activity will use up around 30% of energy in daily routines. This figure can increase to 60% for a very active person, and can be as low as 15% of total energy output for sedentary people.

3. Dietary Induced Thermogenesis (DIT), and Adaptive Thermic Response (ATR)

These are not considered significant in terms of energy balance and are responsible for less than 10% of daily expenditure. They relate to the energy that our bodies require to process the food that we eat (DIT), and our natural response to changing climatic conditions (ATR).

When we eat

Always start the day with a good breakfast because this will start the metabolism working. Also skipping breakfast usually leads to eating more calories throughout the day, and is one of the first signs of disordered eating that correlates with overweight and obesity. It is worth noting that eating large meals late at night is likely to disrupt sleep, which in turn may lead to fatigue and depleted energy levels thus perpetrating a downturn in physical activity, and possible weight gain.

Can I take a supplement to boost my metabolism?

No. There are many supplements on the market which claim to speed up metabolism, however, despite some claiming their product is backed by scientific evidence, their use can often be dangerous, and using them for long-term weight loss is not appropriate. Most work on the principle of increasing lean tissue mass, which can only be safely done by exercise and regular activity.

What about drugs?

You will not be surprised to hear that our advice is to avoid weight loss drugs like you would a double cheeseburger and chips with a large chocolate sundae fudge on top! The most prescribed weight loss drug in the UK is Orlistat. This intriguing drug binds with your pancreatic lipase (your fat digesting enzyme) so that much of the fat that you eat simply passes through your system. Sounds great doesn’t it? Well aside from the vitamin deficiency that may follow due to the low uptake of fat-soluble vitamins, there are other unpleasant side effects: frequent, urgent and oily bowel movements, foul smelling flatulence, and leakage of oily residue from the rectum. Orlistat is usually only available for a maximum of 12 months, and very few people using Orlistat go on to maintain their weight loss longterm when the drug is withdrawn.

Thanks doc but no thanks!