GymBug

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Archive for the tag “christmas countdown”

Winter Running; Don’t Get Caught Out In The Cold

Hi there!

So, today marks the 3 week countdown until I’m finally home. This also means 3 weeks until I’m back running in less than warm temperatures. Here are some useful tips if you’re like me and will be keeping the Santa weight off by outdoor, winter running!

  • Get decent shoes. You don’t want slush from snow or horrible rain making it’s way into your shoes and making your feet ice blocks. This will make it hard to warm-up and can be incredibly uncomfortable! Shoes with very little mesh are better. Also, socks designed to get rid of moisture but keep your feet warm may be a good investment, for example, SealSkinz.
  • Dress to impress. You don’t want to go out looking like Eskimo, because sweating heavy will cause you to get a chill. Best to do is to dress as if it’s warmer outsider than it actually is, you should be a little bit cool to begin with, that’s alright. You will heat up on your run, just make sure you’re not going out there in shorts and a vest top, because you could catch a chill before  getting the opportunity to warm up. Clothes that vent when you heat up are perfect for this. Also, wear a hat and gloves if it’s particularly chilly.
  • Get bright. Visibility and daylight are more limited in the winter. Invest in a hi-vis vest or a headtorch or any reflective material to help vehicles and other people see you.
  • Prerun Warmup. Best do this inside your house without ending up dripping in sweat. Do some jumping jacks, run up and down the stairs, anything to get the heartrate going with minimal sweating. You want your body to be prepared for a run.
  • Quick post-run change. Change out of damp clothes as soon as possible. A warm shower will be great as well if you can. Try get a hot drink too. Just try get warm again as soon as possible because you start to cool down the second you stop running. If you’re running in a place where you need to drive home, take a flask of tea/hot chocolate/coffee/hot water to have when you get back in.
  • It can be too cold to run. It’s best to gauge this yourself, but a rule of thumb for me is if I can’t go outside and walk without fear of slipping, I’m not going to manage a run. Also, if the cold makes breathing harder/painful, it’s not going to happen. I’d rather do a H.I.I.T session inside instead!
  • Running with a cold. If you just have a case of the sniffles, “I have a cold” isn’t a super solid excuse not to go. However, if you have a fever or these symptoms spread to below the neck (chesty coughs, bad throats etc) it’s probably best to take a rest day!

That’s it! A few tips I’ll be using when I return home and endure the wonderful weather Scotland has to offer! Hope this is helpful to a few people out there who will be running through the cold too!

Have a great day!

Gym Bug

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The Raw Chocolate Company

Hi there!

This is a post that may help those searching for Christmas gifts/treats/stocking fillers! There’s less than 6 weeks left until Christmas, so here’s a gift to buy for your loved ones!

Okay, so living off of super healthy food and plenty of exercise can be fun and delicious, but sometimes it’s also great to have a treat from time to time. It’s also even better if that treat doesn’t make you feel awful, right? With Christmas just around the corner, some people may be thinking how they’re going to resist all the tempting chocolate, Christmas cake, mince pies and other delicious treats. I get some of these treats as presents too, and whilst they’re amazing and I enjoy them, I would also love to have some treats that are healthy and you may know someone who feels the same. I have discovered the perfect gift for them then!

They’re called The Raw Chocolate Company. They produce natural, raw chocolate bars. Raw? Yes, raw. They’ve produced chocolate using sun dried cocoa and have used minimal processing to create delicious, natural products. This minimal production method also makes their chocolate vegan. They take extreme care selecting and processing (minimally) all their ingredients and producing the chocolate. They take 3 times longer than normal chocolate producers to grind their ingredients. It really makes a massive difference to the texture.

Now, for some, reading “minimally processed” might mean “super, dark and bitter chocolate”. I can tell you now, after being kindly sent some bars from the Raw Chocolate Company, this puts dark chocolate on a whole new level.

 

Ta-dah!

Ta-dah!

Being the RAW Chocolate Company, they’re chocolate uses raw cacao. Raw foods provide amazing health benefits such as containing friendly bacteria, higher nutrient levels (than cooked food) and have enzymes that help aid digestion (some of these get destroyed when you cook them).
Cacao also provides plenty of health benefits and recently, dark chocolate has been recommended to have as part of a balanced diet. This is because dark chocolate helps lower blood pressure, can help manage certain diabetic symptoms, great source of energy and can make you feel happier! It truly is a good treat in more ways than one!

So, back to The Raw Chocolate Company. They kindly sent me one of each of their chocolate bars, and below I have reviewed them. I would like to note I have thoroughly enjoyed the process of reviewing these bars. They’re all great gifts and they’re all great for leading a healthy lifestyle.

Perfect Christmas gift!

Perfect Christmas gift!

  • Vanoffe;
    If you can’t bear dark chocolate, then go for this one. It’s their “white chocolate” bar. It’s vanilla-toffee flavoured. I’m a huge fan of dark chocolate so I find this a little bit sweet, but for those of who prefer milk or white chocolate, this bar is definitely for you. It’s also smooth and creamy, yet completely vegan! It has that distinct chocolate flavour, yet you’ll be reminded more of white chocolate than dark. It’s very unique (in a good way).
  • Vanoffe Dark;
    Yummy! It’s based on the Vanoffe bar above, but they’ve packed in extra cacao to make it a darker chocolate bar at 55% cacao. This one is closer to a milk chocolate (could easily replace the high fat, high calorie, highly processed stuff). This could be my new favourite milk chocolate.
  • Pitch Dark;
    72% cacao. It is the perfect “post-Christmas meal binge” sweet treat. Gloriously dark and smooth. A couple of squares is the maximum, which makes it even better, you’re not going to over-indulge, but you’ll be very satisfied with your little treat.
  • Goji & Orange;
    This is award-winning and I can see why. This is by far my favourite. I actually purchased this once and it’s what got me interested in the company. 69% cacao it’s great for anyone who enjoys dark chocolate but can’t face 72% cacao. The goji and orange are perfectly balanced to create a luxurious, sweet and sour experience that’s completely unique. It’s not an overpowering citrus flavour and the goji berries make for an interesting texture.
  • Mint with Xylitol;
    After-eight fans out there? You’ll love this, because it’s even better than After-eights in more ways than one. This is a 70% cacao bar with Xylitol, to give it a zingy mint flavour. The best part? This bar is sugar free and Xylitol is great for teeth. This could be another post-dinner treat to break out after Christmas eating. Or to break out on boxing day as a healthy treat. The mint isn’t overbearing, rather it’s more a subtle offering of mint, rather than blasting your taste buds.
  • Orange with Xylitol;
    Another sugar free bar at 70% cacao. This one is the perfect gift for anyone who loves a bit of tang. It’s perfectly subtle but leaves a refreshing taste. Again, the citrus doesn’t overpower the chocolate. It’s definitly a chocolate bar, with a nice tone of orange to finish it off. It’s a great way to get into dark chocolate as the zing at the end helps take the edge off the bitter side of dark chocolate.

These can all be enjoyed as part of a healthy, balanced diet. They also provide natural health benefits! The Raw Chocolate Company is an excellent example of how to make healthy eating delicious.  All of these bars are available in their online store. They are also all available in Vegan options.

The company also produce and sell raw chocolate covered goji berries, mulberries and raisins, as well as vanoffe mulberries. Perfect on-the-go snacks that is convenient and healthy. Honestly, it’s the perfect package.
These raw chocolate covered snack options are also available without chocolate with some other supreme foods too. They sell goji berries, mulberries, hemp protein powder, acai powder, hemp seeds, chia seeds, lucuma fruit powder, cacao butter, coconut palm sugar and of course cacao powder! These are what they use when producing their products, so like their chocolate bars and berries, it’s all Fairtrade! We love Fairtrade!

They’re an award-winning, Fairtrade, charitable company who are dedicated to delivering healthy, delicious chocolate to the world. Go and grab a bar, for yourself, as a Christmas gift, anything! It’s a Do-Good, Feel-Good, Eat-Good type of purchase.

They are perfect stocking fillers for health conscious chocolate lovers (trust me).

You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. They’ve got some amazing recipes for their products as well as some great, useful information.

Christmas is a time for sharing, so share some healthy treats!

Gym Bug

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