GymBug

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

Archive for the tag “healthy choices”

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

Foodie Challenge #8

Hi there!

I have a sort of dinner club with 2 friends here and we each take turns cooking the main every Wednesday. It was my turn this time round and I opted to make my own variation of sweet potato and white bean burgers! I wanted to try something healthy, fast and cheap.

Ingredients ( 2 large patties);

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 250g white beans
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg (optional)
  • Olive oil

Method;

  1. Peel and cube the sweet potato and boil them until soft enough to mash.
  2. Dry the sweet potatoes and allow them to cool.
  3. Once cooled, mash the white beans and seasoning in together.
  4. Optional; add the egg. I didn’t use one, because I found they bound very well together without it, however, they didn’t crisp up excellently.
  5. Create either 2 large patties or more mini patties.
  6. Heat olive oil in a frying pan.
  7. Cook the patties until they are a nice, crisp, brown colour.
  8. Serve with side salad, vegetables, whatever you fancy!

I apologise for the photo, my phone died before I could get a finished product photo, but here’s a mini patty cooking!

Sweet Potato and White Bean Burger

You can also bulk them out a bit with breadcrumbs or have a burger bun with them!

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

Alternative sources of protein

Hi there!

I drink protein shakes after any weight lifting sessions to help muscle repair and recovery. However, not everyone wants to do this or can (they aren’t great for people with sensitive stomachs, my stomach doesn’t always agree). So I thought to look for different sources of protein! I got these from Health online, which has recipes for each of these vegan/vegetarian alternatives.

  • Green peas; 7.9 grams of protein per cup.
  • Quinoa; 8 grams of protein per cup.
  • Nuts and nut butters; watch here, 1 ounce of almonds, cashews and pistachios (examples) have 160 calories BUT do contain 5-6 grams of protein.
  • Beans; these pack a fair protein punch, for example, there’s about 13 grams of protein per cup of kidney beans.
  • Chickpeas; 14.6 grams of protein per cup.
  • Tofu; 40 grams of protein per cup (you don’t need that much, go for half a cup).
  • Edamame; 16.8 grams of protein per cup.
  • Leafy greens; spinach, brocoli etc. 1 cup brocoli has 8.1 grams of protein per cup.
  • Chia seeds; these pack 4.7 gram of protein per ounce (about 2 tablespoons).
  • Sesame, sunflower and poppy seeds; sunflower seeds have 29.2 grams of protein per cup, sesame and poppy seeds have 21.6 grams of protein per cup.
  • Non-dairy milk; soy milk has most at 8 grams of protein per cup, almond, rice and hemp milk have around 1 gram of protein per cup.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder; 1 gram of protein per tablespoon.

And there we have it! Some great alternatives to protein shakes for those who don’t like them, want them or can take them! A typical 25g scoop of protein with water yields about 100 calories and 25g of protein (some have more, I use MyProtein, GoNutrition or TheProteinWorks).

Do you have any great alternatives?

Gym Bug

Why is child obesity so high?

Hi there!

I’m exhausted today since I was exploring a new city yesterday! Salamanca is gorgeous by the way if anyone is looking for somewhere to visit. Maybe not yet, it’s freezing. I think I’ve had a better workout shivering than an hour at the gym! But today I read a disturbing news article. It was from the Daily Mail so I looked around for better, more reliable sources to confirm the claims. Unfortunately, I didn’t struggle. Child obesity now affects 1 in 3 of Britain’s children. Whilst these levels appear to be ‘leveling off’ un under 10’s according to the BBC , it is still a shockingly high number. Obesity brings all sort of health risks including diabetes, heart disease, increased risks of cancer, high blood and more.

It’s not just children either, UK obesity rates in the UK have almost trebled (see the ‘more’ link above). This is shocking, especially with such focus now on leading healthier lifestyles! What can we do? Unfortunately, we can’t change a nation. But you can make small changes to yours and your families life to start leading a healthier lifestyle and (if required) lose weight! It requires hard work and focus but once you’ve made these little changes and turned them into habits, you’ll notice a huge difference. There’s so many little things you can do!

  • Walk to work if you’re close enough.
  • Get off/on at an earlier bus stop if you can.
  • Walk if these trip is 20 minutes or less.
  • Don’t bring temptation into the house (buy one chocolate bar if you’re craving it, not a multipack, for example).
  • Never grocery shop hungry.
  • Fit in at least 20 minutes of physical activity every day (a walk, for example).
  • Have a salad or soup at lunch.
  • Swap the crisps for an apple.
  • Eat porridge for breakfast to fuel you up until lunch.

Little steps like this can make a huge difference. Obesity does not need to be such a problem. We can change and we can help others change too. If you’ve got a group of friends who always complain about feeling overweight or uncomfortable then start a group and challenge yourselves! Doing things with a friend typically helps motivation because you feel a sense of commitment and don’t want to give up before the other (a little friendly competition never hurt anyone). Make some healthier choices to change your life!

What are your thoughts on obesity?

Gym Bug

Calorie Requirement Calculators

Hi there!

I decided to take a look at online calorie calculators that are supposed to give an indication of how many calories you need to consume to lose weight. I’ve done this to show you that these can be widely different but can give you a very rough guide to the number of calories you should consume (not including exercise unless stated)

My Calorie Counter; 1942 calories

Calorie King; 1100 to 1300 calories

Fitness Magazine; (with exercise level included) 2395 calories

WebMd; (with exercise level included) 2000

Anita Bean’s Calculation; (with exercise level included) 2788 calories

These are 5 of many different ways of calculatng your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and required calorie intake. However, these are clearly vastly different from each other. It seems I should be aiming for around 2000, which is the guideline daily amount for adult females. You can also get it professionally checked by having a test conducted to measure your BMR using heart rate, CO2 production and working you to exhausting which is significantly more accurate.

I just wanted to let you see that these calculators cannot be taken as the law for losing weight! Eat well and exercise regularly and you can do this!

Gym Bug

Foodie Challenge #4

Hi there!

Trying lots of recipes recently! Classes are about to start so it will likely become less frequent but I will try maintain my one new recipe a month! Last nights dinner was a delicious Sweet Potato and White Bean stew, I got the inspiration to this from this recipe but made many edits. What’s great about this is it uses any leftovers from last Foodie Challenge #3!

Ingredients (for one);

  • 1 medium sweet potato, chopped into chunks.
  • 1 carrot, chopped.
  • 1/2 large white onion, finely chopped.
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped.
  • 1 cup spinach.
  • 1/2 cup aubergine, cubed.
  • 2-3 mushrooms, sliced.
  • 1/2 cup brocoli.
  • 100g white beans.
  • 200g tinned tomatoes.
  • 1 teaspoon cumin.
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes.
  • 100ml red wine.
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed.
  • Crushed black pepper.
  • Olive oil

Method;

  1. Heat some olive oil in a pan and soften the garlic and onions (use a lid to do this).
  2. Add the cumin, black pepper and chili flakes and stir to coat over the onions.
  3. Add all the vegetables, sweet potato and tinned tomatoes and mix well.
  4. Add the beans and the red wine and stir it well.
  5. Cover with a lid and cook gently on a simmer for 40-50 minutes until the vegetables are tender, the sweet potato is soft and the stew has thickened.
  6. Taste and season further as required.

This takes longer to cook than my other recipes but it’s delicious, filling and healthy!

It looks very similar to yesterdays post but it's sweet potato not prawns in it!

It looks very similar to yesterdays post but it’s sweet potato not prawns in it!

Not going to lie, I’m really enjoying this challenge!

Gym Bug

Fit Not Thin

Hi there!

In the midst of my revision I stumbled upon this article (it’s in Spanish) which talks about the editor of de Revistas de El Mercurio (Mercury Magazines). She has decided that they will no longer photoshop any photographs featured in their publications, only use models who are 18 or older and not use any model with a BMI below 18.5. BRILLIANT.

I understand there’s this constant pressure for people to be thin or incredibly muscular, I’ve felt it and it’s horrible. What this magazine is doing is perfect and something that needs to be done by all of them. People have been saying for ages it’s time to change the way the media represents what’s socially accepted as ‘beautiful’.

If you’re looking to be slim, this blog is not for you. Healthy? Then I’d like to think some of my experiences, posts and insights can help you. It’s so easy to make small changes to start you on your path to becoming FIT AND HEALTHY;

  • Reduce saturated fat intake; swap semi-skimmed/whole milk for skimmed milk, for example.
  • Reduce refined sugar intake; as simple as having an apple instead of a chocolate bar as a snack.
  • Fit in exercise; it can be a 7-minute HIIT session or a 30-minute walk. Check out my post on HIITLIIT  (lower intensity interval training) or have a look at strength workouts (one example linked for a bodyweight workout) for more information.
  • Make smart swaps; wholewheat pasta/rice/bread instead of white, refined bread/pasta/rice, for example.
  • Do a bit of trial and error; there’s not a ‘one size fits all’ plan for leading a fit and healthy lifestyle, try things out, do some research.
  • Do it with friends/family; it’s added motivation, you don’t want to stop until they do and chances are they feel the same so you won’t stop until you’re done.
  • Don’t give up; you will slip up, you’re allowed, just make sure it doen’t completel demotivate you and stop you from reaching your end goal.
  • Set a goal; fit into that pair of jeans, get to a healthier weight, tone up a bit. Whatever it is, set it and tell people what it is, that way you’ll find more motivation to stick with it and avoid being a ‘quitter’. Setting challenges such as a marathon, 10k, Tough Mudder, Spartan Race etc are also great motivators (you don’t really want to be photographed as a pile on the floor, you want to be photographed holding that medal or tackling that obstacle).
It doesn’t have to be a huge mountain, small steps can make big changes.
Gym Bug

Pickled In Scotland

Pickled In Scotland

Hi there!

Today is a post about another excellent Scottish company called ‘Pickled In Scotland’ who are based in Edinburgh. They produce vegan friendly preserves, free from artificial preservatives, colours or flavour enhancers. They also never use concentrates.

They have a great selection of cordials, fruit drinks and fruit cheeses to try. What’s fruit cheese I hear you ask? It’s a way of preserving ripe fruit with sugar and forming a ‘cheese’ round that’s then left to mature. It was used in the past when there was no fresh fruit around. Typically, they were eaten with dairy products like cheese, but I reckon they’d be brilliant on oatcakes or some toast too!

Pickled In Scotland use Scottish fruits, so you’ll find delicious rhubarb, gooseberries, quince, raspberries, strawberries and more! A delicious way to get your fruit.

I’m not going to lie I don’t have a lot of experience with their range, I sampled some of their fruit cheeses once however, and they are amazing. They were so fruity and natural; there was nothing artificial or fake about them. They’d be a great new way to get more fruit into your diet. Their cordials are also really fresh and refreshing.

I recommend checking out their website and trying a few of their products. I’d love to be able to sample more of what they’ve got so I’ll be poking around their website too and hopefully I’ll spot them at a local place one day too!

Fruit cheese could be a great addition to any Christmas cheese platter or an interesting addition to Christmas breakfast? Cordials are great in cheeky cocktails too. Or even buy them as presents!

This is a great shot taken from the homepage of their website. I do not own this image.

Just beware not to get your recommended dose of fruit and veg purely from fruit, it does contain sugar!

Gym Bug

2-Ingredient Pancakes

Hi there!

Last night was pancake night! A friend and I had decided to make some pancakes to give ourselves a break from studying. However, we used a recipe neither of us had tried before. I was slightly sceptical, there is literally 2 ingredients in these pancakes but they were actually really, really good.

Ingredients; (for one person, about 3-5 pancakes)

1 large, ripe banana
2 eggs
Cinnamon (optional, we actually forgot)

Method;

  • Mash the eggs, bananas and cinnamon (if using) all together to form a smooth batter.
    You could use a blender here if you have one.
  • Heat a little oil in a pan (on a medium heat).
  • Fry the pancakes until browned on each side, about 2 tablespoons per pancake works well.
  • Serve with your favourite toppings!

We had jam or honey or a bit of dark chocolate on ours, but try with yoghurt, fruit, dark chocolate drops, maple syrup, whatever you love on pancakes! They are sweet because of the banana, so watch out for that!

A couple of cooking notes;

  • The ‘batter’ will be quite thin if you leave your bananas slightly chunkier (like we did), it still works really well, plus you get delicious hits of warm banana through the pancake.
  • They are paler than normal pancakes, to ensure the egg is cooked leave about 2-3 on each side.
  • If you’ve left banana chunks in there; you will find wetter parts through the pancake as you are eating it, the pancake is cooked (if you’ve left it long enough) it’s just the banana making it a bit more moist.
  • Next time I think I’ll add some raisins or dark chocolate drops to add to these a bit.
  • If you’re looking to bulk them up a bit add some peanut butter in there or any nut butter (or you could use these as toppings).
  • Chocolate craving? Cocao powder in there.
  • These average out at about 25 calories per pancake (untopped), that’s about a 20 calorie saving per pancake compared to generic pancakes!

These were such a great mix up to my usual boring dinners! Love them! There are some photos below (on my iPhone, apologies about the quality) of them cooking and one finished pancake!

Pancake Cooking

Pancake cooking

One completed pancake

One completed pancake

The set-up

The set-up

It’s a Monday! Did you get your Monday off to a great start with a workout!? I did not, the gym is closed so I went yesterday instead! But if you can go on a Monday I recommend it! It sets you up for the week!
Here’s to a great week.

Gym Bug

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