GymBug

I've caught it. Fortunately, it's not treatable.

Archive for the tag “banana”

Fuel your day!

Hi there!

I’m going to try and get more regular posts out now! I’ll be a bit more room bound now that exams are racing round so will have a bit of time to sit down and write! Today, I’d like to post about breakfast. My favourite meal ever and I love trying out new things to give me a great, healthy kick start to the day! I thought I’d share a couple of my favourite recipes! Unfortunately, there are no photos, except ones of breakfasts I’ve already posted! Unless otherwise stated, all recipes are for 1 person.

1) My Rock n Roll 10k breakfast; I made this just this weekend to prepare me for my first 10km race. I ate it about 1 hour 30 minutes before I started and it kept me powering through! It needs to be left in the fridge overnight.

Ingredients;

  • 1 portion of natural/greek yoghurt (your preference here)
  • 1 protein scoop of oats (this is about 25g worth of oats)
  • 6 frozen strawberries
  • Optional; 1 teaspoon cinammon/agave syrup/golden syrup

Method;

  1. In a resealable tub, mix the oats with the cinammon (if using).
  2. Chop 3 of the frozen strawberries into chunks and pile on top of the oats.
  3. Add the yoghurt.
  4. Cut the remianing strawberries and place them on top of the yoghurt.
  5. Drizzle the agave syrup/golden syrup on top (if using) or sprinkle more cinammon (if using).
  6. Leave this covered in the fridge overnight.

2) Power Up Pancakesfollow the link for the recipe!

Protein Pancakes

3) Avocado & Egg Toast; oats aren’t everybodies cup of tea, so here’s a more savoury option for those dreary mornings!

Ingredients;

  • 2 slices wholegrain bread
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 2 medium eggs
  • To season; ground black pepper, smoked paprika, salt, tabasco, you’re condiment of choice

Method;

  1. Slice the avocado into strips.
  2. Scramble the eggs (try use olive oil rather than butter here).
    If you want, feel free to boil/poach/omlette your eggs!
  3. Toast the bread whilst the eggs are cooking.
  4. Put the avocado on top of the toast first.
  5. Add the eggs on top.
  6. Season.
  7. Devour.

4) Super fruit bowlfor a fresher, lighter start to the day!

Ingredients;

  • 1 small banana
  • 1 small apple
  • Handful of berries (you choose)
  • 1 portion of natural/greek yoghurt
  • Optional; cinammon, golden syrup, agave syrup, cocoa powder

Method;

  1. Chop all the fruit and pile into a bowl.
  2. Mix the yoghurt and any optional toppings you fancy.
  3. Simples!

These are 4 super easy and healthy recipes you can whip up for breakfast to keep the day starting right! I always find if I start the day on a good, healthy note, then maintaining my healthy eating throughout the day is so much easier. I also feel more energetic and have more energy right through to snack time.

Have a great week guys! Anyone else counting down the days until summer!?

Gym Bug

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My first 10k race

Hi there!

I did it! This morning at 8:30am in Madrid I began my first ever 10km race at the Madrid Rock n Roll event. It was really different from my usual 10k runs (obviously) mainly because I set myself a target of 50 minutes. I’m so glad and proud to say not only did I not surpass this target, I was under! According to my Tom Tom Cardio GPS Watch I completed the 10k in 00:48:13, my official time (shown below) registered me at 00:49:48 with my “net time” being 00:48:21. This placed me 558/5408 overall, 48/2468 women and 4/128 category A!

Madrid Rock n Roll (4)

I’m not entirely clear on their timing method because some people with the same ‘official time’ but longer ‘net time’ were placed ahead of me in the official rankings! But it doesn’t matter! I ran a personal best for outdoor 10k (I ran 10k in just over 47 minutes on the treadmill) and I completed my first race, so I’m very pleased.

Madrid Rock n Roll (3)Madrid Rock n Roll

The atmosphere was brilliant. There was so many people cheering, great volunteers handing out water, medals, bananas, High5 taster packs and so on! Brilliant event that was well attended and everyone was in fantastic spirits despite the rain!

Madrid Rock n Roll (2) Madrid Rock n Roll (1)

I can’t recommend organised races enough! My next one is May 30th for the Edinburgh Marathon Festival 10k event!

Huge congratulations to all the racers today. And especially those who ran the marathon or half marathon, true inspiration!

Gym Bug

Pancake Day!

Hi there!

Today is Pancake Day (Shrov Tuesday) which is celebrated as the day precensing Ash Wednesday, which is the first day of Lent. Shrove Tuesday is a day observed by many Christians and for those who do not identify as Christian it is an excuse to eat pancakes! However, instead of having a heavy stack of unhealthy pancakes filled with preservatives, sugar and other potential nasties why not try making your own!?

Here ar some links to previous posts I did about pancakes;

1) 2-Ingredient Pancakes

One completed pancake

2) Protein Power Pancakes

Protein Pancakes

Both these posts have some topping inspiration too! However, there are literally loads of great recipes out there! Check out

Found this interesting post about pancakes around the world! Not the healthiest inspiration but sometimes a treat is good.

Have you got any special recipes to share?

Gym Bug

Healthy snacks for on the go!

Hi there!

I’m one of those people who needs snacks handy for work, university, being out and about because I hate buying things out (I’m always tempted by unhealthy choices) and I always find them to be sort of dissappointing. So I thought I’d list some of my favourite on the go that you can prepare at home and grab and go! This particular post is for those snack that require no cooking! Once I start exprimenting when I’m home (and have access to an oven) I’ll do some snacks that you can cook.

  • Hummus and vegetable sticks (celery, carrots, cucumber, courgette etc).
  • DIY Trail mix (mix bran flakes, raisins, nuts. other dried fruit for a great, protein packed snack).
  • Ham slices wrapped around cucumber or carrots sticks (can bring some hummus long too).
  • One yoghurt pot mixed with 2 tablespoon of oats (best allow the oats to soak in the yoghurt for an hour or more).
  • One yoghurt pot with grapes, banana, apples etc.
  • Handful of pretzels (watch the salt content of the pretzels you buy).
  • Soreen.

These are a few of my personal favourite snacks. I really love makng a big tuperware full of trail mix and putting some in a little tub! Also, Soreen is something I wish I could eat all day!

Gym Bug

Oats!

Hi there!

Warning: I will use oats and porridge interchangeably.

I’ve already done a post on Stoats, which is a great porridge company based in Scotland. I love their oats and recommend trying their flavours to mix breakfast up! However, if you prefer making your own delicious oats, I’ve made a list of easy toppings that you can cook into the porridge (just cook the toppings with th oats) or throw on after cooking. I usually cook my oats in the microwave also a make it slightly drier.

  • Banana; very simple. If you microwave your oats the banana disappears and creates a delicious and creamy mix.
  • Banana and honey; bit sweeter.
  • Pineapple; this becomes insanely hot in the microwave, but it’s a great sweet and sour flavour. Add some dried/fresh coconut to make a tropical breakfast.
  • Dried fruit; cranberries, raisins, sultanas, apricots, dried coconut, the list goes on! Bananas and raisins are also delicious.
  • Cinnamon; powdered cinnamon is brilliant, throw it in with bananas, apples, raisins for even more flavour.
  • Apples; cook them with the porridge too for delicious, hot breakfast.
  • Berries; strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries. Again, add these on top or cook into the porridge. Cooking them creates a lovely compote.
  • Peanut butter; on its own, with cinnamon, bananas or apples.
  • Jam; a bit more fruit (and a bit more sugar).
  • Peanut Butter and Jam; watch the portions here, but it’s a delicious treat.
  • Dark chocolate; a couple of squares, great if you’re craving some chocolate.
  • Cocoa powder; not as tasty as dark chocolate but better if you’re watching your calories.
  • Yoghurt; I really enjoy cooking up a nice, hot bowl of porridge and adding a tablespoon of low-fat natural or fruit flavoured yoghurt.
  • Granola; top your bowl with a modest amount of granola for a lovely crunch.
  • Almonds; adds a nice crunch and delicious flavour. Best add these in and cook for the final 20 seconds or crush them into your porridge.
  • Protein Powder; I recommend mixing up the protein and milk in your shaker then adding that to the oats before cooking to make sure the protein dissolves well.

You can also make porridge savoury, but I’ve never tried this (yet) but here’s a list of recipes from Shape to try if sweet porridge is not your thing!

If hot porridge is not your thing then try mixing your oats (typical 40g portion) with yoghurt in an airtight container (I use Weight Watchers individual pots, one per breakfast, great flavours), throw in some toppings listed above  and leave it overnight. Next morning you’ll have delicious cold oats, they must be left overnight however to ensure the oats soften. I’ve already mentioned overnight oats before with a recipe for Bircher’s Muesli that my mum makes.

IMPORTANT; porridge doesn’t need to be just for breakfast. Porridge can be a brilliant recovery food. Over the Christmas holidays I enjoyed cold, overnight oats post-run. You can get a great balance of carbohydrates and proteins and some sugars to help your body recover.

I’m a huge fan of porridge in case no one noticed.

Gym Bug

Brace yourselves; Summer is coming

Hi there!

So Christmas and New Years have been enjoyed and now it’s time to focus on one thing; summer. People are now turning their heads to the sunny months of skimpier clothes and more skin on show.

This means a lot of people are sitting there thinking “right, restrict my calories for x number of weeks/days so I look great in my bikini/swim shorts/summer clothes”. It’s all good and well in theory, but the issue with this “summer starve” is that you’re very likely to put the weight (if not more) back on after you’ve been on holiday or achieved what you wanted to achieve. This means you’ll have to repeat it next time you want to get into a bikini/swim shorts and that’s just not a healthy way to live. It’s also not particularly fun.

So this short post is to tell you not to do it. It’s not easy, but by developing healthy,life-long habits you’re setting yourself up for long lasting results. You won’t have to cut back your calories dramatically for a week or so, instead you’ve made a change that you can continue and that will benefit you for the rest of your life.

It’s simple steps. Start by looking at what you’re eating and make small changes. Have brown rice instead of white. Go for a banana instead of the chocolate. Go for a 30 minute walk everyday. Get active. Slowly but surely you will start to notice a difference and you will start to develop these changes into habits. Then as you become more informed about healthy lifestyles, healthy changes, exercise etc. you’ll soon be able to start making bigger changes, which will see you improve dramatically.

Don’t do the summer starve. Use this summer to start a new, healthier lifestyle and forever have that beach body you want AND the incredible healthy benefits of a long term, healthy lifestyle.

It’s small steps, you can do it.

Gym Bug

Breakfast; The Most Important Meal of the Day

Hi there!

Today I shall be discussing the most important meal of the day; BREAKFAST. Studies have repeatedly shown breakfast is vital if you’re looking to lose weight or maintain a healthy lifestyle. Literally, Google the importance of breakfast and see what happens!

The whole idea behind ‘breakfast is the important meal of the day’ relates to the fact that you haven’t eaten for a considerable amount of time whilst you’ve been sleeping. It’s roughly an average of 5-7 hours. That’s a long time for your body not to receive fuel. Yes, your metabolism is not running at such a high rate when you’re sleeping but you are still burning calories to breath and function, right? Eating breakfast gives you the energy to perform better, concentrate, exercise and generally tackle the day better. It may also reduce hunger throughout the day, leading to weight loss or management. Overall, breakfast is a must-have if you’re looking to make healthier lifestyle choices. Plus, it’s absolutely delicious and it can be quick if you need it to be!

Here are some excellent breakfast options;

  • Porridge
    A huge favourite of mine. I usually have this for breakfast every day and I never get sick of it. The best part about porridge is that you can change it up all the time. Try it with sliced banana, apple, berries, pineapples and more fruit! I love cooking the fruit in with the porridge to soften the fruit and get the juices mixed with the oats. You can also add honey, agave syrup, seeds, cacoa powder, dark chocolate drops, nut butter and cinnamon! Also if you’ve made it rather thick, a good spoonful of yoghurt is delicious too. Porridge is a low glycaemic index food which means it’s slow releasing, keeping you fuelled and focused until lunch (or maybe snack time).
  • Pancakes
    I’ve done two different pancakes posts; Protein Power Pancakes and 2-Ingredient Pancakes. There are literally hundreds of recipes out there though and you can make variations on both these recipes. The best and most versatile thing about pancakes though is the toppings. Go for fruit, syrup (watch the quantities), nut butters, yoghurt, some cinnamon to make them sweet. If you’re wanting something a bit more savoury pancakes are great with eggs (maybe not the two recipes listed above, but a more neutral pancake mix), bacon, sausage (not the healthiest options), even have them with some ham and tomato or avocado.
  • Overnight oats
    I have had Bircher’s Muesli that my mum made once and it’s phenomenal, I’ll post the recipe below for you to try but overnight oats are becoming insanely popular. These are great if you need a grab’n’go breakfast.
  • Eggs
    Have them scrambled, boiled, poached, in an omelette, however you like them! These are a great source of protein which will keep you going until lunch. Have a veggie omelette, veggie scramble, boiled eggs with whole wheat toast, scrambled eggs and avocado, again the possibilities are endless!
  • Muffins
    You’re probably thinking I’m crazy, it sounds strange but you can create some delicious and healthy breakfast muffins for another grab’n’go breakfast. It’s all about preparing the night before and making sure you’re not buying your breakfast muffin! Here’s a recipe below I found for delicious Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins.
  • Smoothies
    Another grab’n’go one here. Through in your favourite fruit, some low-fat yoghurt, oats and blitz it! You can also make vegetable juices or through in some spinach, kale etc to make different combinations of smoothies. Freeze the fruit for an ice-cold serving of breakfast. Also, if you’re taking protein feel free to through in a scoop of your powder to really get a packed breakfast.

These are but a few options. Here’s a link to my Breakfast board on Pinterest for more inspiration  I’m constantly updating it with new finds and I’ll post on here when I use new recipes and let you know the verdict!

Now for the Bircher’s Muesli (for 6, overnight recipe)

Ingredients;
1 cup rolled oats
1 ¾ cups water or milk
1 green apple
1-2 tablespoons honey
1 ½ cups plain yoghurt/non-fat greek yoghurt/ low-fat fruit yoghurt
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Method;
1. Combine the water or milk and oats, cover and leave overnight.
2. The next morning make sure your oats are nice and soft.
3. Core and grate the apple into the oats.
4. Add the honey, yoghurt and (if using) the cinnamon to the oats and apple.
5. Stir until all is well combined.
6. Serve as it is or with your favourite breakfast toppings.

Some favourite toppings; banana, dark chocolate drops, berries, raisins, nuts.

This is a delicious breakfast and one I’m sneakily hoping will be prepared at some stage when I’m home, I may even make it myself!

With all these amazing recipes why would you want to skip breakfast!?

Gym Bug

Recovery Foods

Hi there!

Hard, intense workouts of the cardio or strength training variety should leave you feeling pretty drained and eventually hungry. If you’re like me, you’re not hungry immediately after a workout, but give it 20-30minutes and the hunger kicks in and it’s intense! It’s necessary to fuel your body up 1-2 hours after working out in order to help muscles repair and your body to maintain function. It’s best to get a good mix of protein, carbs and healthy fats.

After most of my workouts I’ll eat a bowl of porridge (I prefer exercising first thing in the morning) and on occassion I’ll have a salad packed with rommaine lettuce, white beans/lentils, cucumber and olives. I also have MyProtein Chocolate Smooth Whey Protein after strength training days. However, this isn’t foreveryone, so below I’ve listed some great recovery foods to have after the gym.

  • Chocolate milk (especially handy for people on the go) with a banana
  • Cottage cheese on rye bread (cottage cheese is good for protein)
  • Scrambled eggs (protein, protein, protein) pair it with some wholemeal bread or rye bread!
  • Peanut butter on wholemeal toast or rye bread
  • Coconut water and a banana (great for restoring electrolytes)
  • Avocado stuffed with cottage cheese and tomato
  • Avocado on wholemeal toast/rye bread
  • Spinach salad with chicken
  • Sliced apple with peanut butter and raisins
  • Tuna salad or sandwich
  • Smoothie with oats and greek yoghurt
  • Greek yoghurt, chopped banana, topped with some nuts

These are just a couple of great ideas that combine carbs, fats and proteins to help your body recover and make sure you’re ready to tackle the next workout! Remember to try keep carbs as wholegrains and DRINK PLENTY OF WATER. Rehydrating is vital and consistently drinking water through the day is an excellent habit to develop. Always try keep a water bottle to hand.

Hope you had a great weekend!

Gym Bug

Power Up Pancakes

Hi there,

Another transfer from my old blog, but these pancakes are incredible so they must be shared. Best part? They’re good for you. Excellent post or pre-workout fuel and they’re very easy and quick to make

Ingredients:
50g oats (Stoats Original work perfectly)
100g cottage cheese
2 eggs
Your favorite pancake toppings

Method:
1) Blend all the ingredients together (easiest to do with a food processor).
2) Split the batter into two equal portions and spread into a pan.
3) Cook until golden brown on each side.
4) Top with your favorite toppings!

I topped mine with fresh raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, banana, a little golden syrup and some raspberry fat free yoghurt. It was amazing.  The photo below shows an example of what you can do with the pancakes in terms of toppings. This particular photo was taken on Friday when my two sisters made them.

Some suggestions for healthy* toppings;

  • Banana and greek yoghurt
  • Berries (fresh or frozen, you could even whip up a quick fruit compote)
  • Peanut butter (just watch the quantities)
  • Fat free yoghurt (keep an eye out on the sugar content)
  • Golden syrup (again all about moderation)
  • Tinned fruit (aim to buy tinned fruit in it’s own juice not syrup)
* you might consider some of these unhealthy, but things in moderation are okay, and let’s face it, these pancakes deserve decent toppings!

Start the day with a protein punch! Or have them as a post-workout snack!
Check out my Pinterest page for othe healthy recipes I’ve found (and some little treats), when I tried them out I’ll post about them!
Gym Bug

Soreen; Fitness Fuel

Hi there!

So this post will be about one of my all time favourite snacks; Soreen! If you haven’t heard of it, it’s an excellently squidgy malt loaf filled with fruit. It comes in a whole range of flavours and is a healthy source of energy! It’s only available in the UK (unless you order it online from somewhere) so for those in the UK, get your hands on some of this if you’re looking for an excellent, energy packed healthy snack!

The best part is that they come in a whole range of different flavours! I’ll run through them and comment on the ones I’ve tasted!

1) Original Malt Loaf
This one is the original malt loaf, packed with juicy raisins, this one is delicious. This can be topped with probably just about anything and still taste absolutely amazing! I love this one toasted with some peanut butter.

2) Banana Loaf

This one is my all time favourites (and my family’s). It’s delicious, banana squidginess is perfect. The banana tastes really authentic, not like processed, fake banana flavouring. Again, love this one with peanut butter.

3) Fruity Five Loaf

Again, delicious. I prefer the banana one but I love bananas. This one has raisins, sultanas, cherries, lemon and orange this gets your tastebuds really going! If you’re not a huge fan of fruit cakes (e.g Christmas Cake) then this one might not be for you though.

4) Apple & Raisin

Packed with apples and raisins, this one is nice and apple-y. There is a hint of cinnamon in this one, which is good, since cinnamon is great for balancing sugar levels but it’s not for everyone so be warned. I think it’s delicious because the cinnamon is not overpowering, it’s subtle and provides almost like a small warmth.

5) Chocolate Loaf

I know what you’re thinking, chocolate is not healthy! In moderation, everything is okay, but in this loaf it really isn’t that bad. They use small chocolate chips and cocoa powder to get a great chocolate flavour without it being too rich. Again I top this with peanut butter (PB is a huge favourite of mine).

6) Festive Loaf

A Christmas special from Soreen! Raisins, currents, cherries, citrus and heart-warming winter spices, this is a must try at Christmas! I loved it when I was rowing and I’d come back from the cold and have a warmed slice of this. It is incredible and made even better by the fact it’s only available around Christmas. Gets me right into the festive mood!

Now I’ll go onto the ones I haven’t tried (yet)

7) Cinnamon & Raisin

My sister loves it (she says it ties with Banana loaf). She says the sweetness of the raisins help cut through the cinnamon and make it taste a little festive! Apparently a must try toasted with a little bt of butter!

8) Orange Loaf

This one intrigues me. Being in Spain I am unable to get my hands on it and I’ve heard it’s limited edition (hopefully not), because I think it sounds interesting. I would imagine it is quite tangy and zingy. A refreshing loaf I would imagine. Fingers crossed I get to try it!

9) Toffee Apple Loaf

I love Toffee Apples and the idea of them being in a SOREEN LOAF sounds great. Again I’ve heard this might be a Halloween thing, again I’m praying not! It may have the potential to be quite sweet but that’s acceptable sometimes! Who doesn’t love a dash of toffee though some squidgy goodness!?

Soreen comes in different formats too! All the ones above (except Toffee Apple) come in loaf form, and then some come in lunchbox loaf sizes (Original, Banana, Chocolate and Toffee Apple). The Original Loaf comes in a pre-sliced package, pre-buttered package and a single mini loaf size too. Soreen are great for snacks on the go! The lunchbox loaves in particular are great if you’re like me and can’t always resist temptation and take a massive slice, it’s just too good.

Nutritionally, they’re calorie dense, but as an on- the- go snack they’re perfect for energy slumps or sweet cravings without piling on the nasties like sugar or saturated fat! For detailed nutritional details on each loaf head here where they keep you fully informed on their squidgy nutrition.

Soreen also do events, look out in the UK for the excellent Soreen T-Shirts (if anyone knows how to get their hands on one, let me know). They also run many, many competitions, here is their current one for a YEAR’S SUPPLY OF SOREEN (what!?) http://www.soreen.com/halloween-comp/ Good luck everyone! Their Facebook page also has some great competitions too, check that out here.

So, overall, I’m sure it’s clear I’m a massive Soreen supporter. They’ve just released a great new advert too featuring the adorable Loveable Loaf, check it out here.

I would like to note Soreen have not promoted this in any way. I’m just a little blogger making sure the awesome potential this food has for those who lead active lifestyles is known.

Gym Bug

 

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