GymBug

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

Archive for the tag “natural”

Getting oot’n’aboot

Hi there!

For non Scottish readers “oo’n’aboot” translates to ” out and about”. It’s highly stereotypical and I love the phrase, I have no idea why. Anyway, now that I’m home I do not have access to a gym, which is really, really, really nice. I get to spend my cardio days outside in the gorgeous (haha) Scottish weather.

I love getting out and going for a good run outdoors. My first run since returning was great and it didn’t feel like a workout. I ran at an average pace of 5.33 minutes per km, which was faster than I usually run and I really enjoyed being outdoors rather than looking at my reflection in the gym window on the treadmill. Not getting sweat in my eyes was also an added bonus.

Running outdoors is not only more aesthetically pleasing, it also has additional heath benefits that you can’t get from a gym. Outdoor running means you’re exposed to a variety of different terrains. This adds to the development of muscles in your legs and gets them nice and strong!
Anyone who has run outdoors will also have probably, at least once, faced wind. Running against the wind requires more energy which requires more calories! You won’t get that kind of natural resistance in a gym.
You get fresh air! The gym can become a hot box and the air becomes thick and warm, but outdoors your lungs, body and mind can rejuvenate and benefit from getting decent fresh air.
I also find that running outdoors leaves me feeling more refreshed. I can come in from a run outside feeling more energised. I attribute this mainly to the fact that I’m not drowning in my own sweat and I smell of outside.

If you can’t run, I still recommend trying to get outside as much as possible. There’s so much to do! Go for a walk, a hike, a cycle, even sit outside and enjoy the fresh air. A well-balanced, healthy lifestyle is not achieved by powering it out in a gym. You need nature to help keep your lungs and mind fresh!

If you do decide to go outside for a run and don’t want a monotonous run, try mix it up a bit. You can sprint for 1-minute and jog for 1-minute (or any length of time). I like finding a hill and doing hill runs too. There’s a long hill next to my house and I find a good, challenging run is to run one full length at a moderate pace, walk down, sprint half the hill, walk to the bottom and repeat for a maximum of 5 times. I don’t plan on going beyond 5 repetitions of this because it will most likely end in injury. Instead I focus on improving my speed and recovery.

So get out there and enjoy the fresh air!

Gym Bug

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/treadmill-vs-running-outside.html

http://healthontrack.info/outdoor-running-benefits/

Bounce Balls; Energy from Nature

Hi there!

When my sister picked up my first Bounce Ball, she raised her arm to launch it at the ground, not quite realising what she was holding. A Bounce Ball is not a bouncey ball that you played with as a kid and probably got hit by (small, round bruises, anyone?), although give me a bouncey ball now and I’ll be quite content for a while. Anyway, back on point, Bounce Balls are food. A great kind of food. They’re energy balls. The idea behind them is to get an excellent boost of energy from small, delicious, nutrient-dense foods.
I’ve only tried one flavour (still making my way around them) but here’s a run-down of their excellent, energy balls.

There are 8 amazing flavours to choose from, made from the highest quality ingredients (messing with quality is not an option here). Each different flavour provides something different whether it’s only flavour, or the function or the nutritional value is provides. Bounce Balls have made sure you will find exactly what you need.
HP= High Protein
V= Suitable for vegetarians
GF= Gluten Free
HF= High Fibre

  • Cacao Mint Protein Bomb; this is their newest flavour. Sunflower seeds, cacao nibs, quality proteins and rice bran. Get your protein pick me up from this incredible new ball! (HP)
  • Apple & Cinnamon Protein Punch; cashews, whey, pea proteins, excellent carbs and heart healthy fats. An excellent high protein which will curb even the meanest of hunger pangs to help you maintain your fast-paced day. (V & GF)
  • Peanut Protein Blast; they’re all on my bucket list, but this is next. I’m a huge peanut fan. Titled “The Golden Nugget” on their website, this ball is packed full of delicious peanut. High protein, energy packed ball of incredible. (HP)
  • Coconut & Macadamia Protein Bliss; an antioxidant packed ball with excellently healthy macadamias, coconut and cashews. This is definitely one for the lovers of coconut and summer flavours (HP & HF).
  • Spirulina & Ginseng Energy Balls; I hear a lot about Spirulina and I wasn’t sure what it was, so I did some research. It’s a superfood which is high in protein, essential amino acids and iron. Excellent sources of iron and great boost for the immune system. This particular energy ball is packed with superfood Spirulina and superfood Ginseng. This seems like a body’s cup of gold. Packed with delicious almonds, oat, sesame seeds, spirulina and ginseng. This is literally a health boost in a packet, it’s got fibre, unsaturated fats, vitamins E and B12 (HF)
  • Almond Protein Hit; I’ve tried this one ad I really enjoyed it, it’s got a bit of marzipan flavour to it, and it did give me a fantastic energy boost (I enjoyed it whilst on an energy slump on holiday, instant pick me up). Another ball packed with heart healthy fats, protein and complex carbohydrates. (HP & HF)
  • Cashew & Pecan Vitality Lift; another heart healthy packed ball packed with delicious nuts and seeds. This one also contains an excellent antioxidant called manganese. Get your mono and unsaturated fat hit from this one! (HF)
  • Fudgie Walnut Health Storm; walnuts, peanuts, carob and sesame seeds. This is an excellent ‘free-from’ option for all gluten free readers. Again it’s packed with manganese, heart healthy fats and fibre. (HF & GF)

All their products are great on-the-go snacks that are packed with healthy but filling ingredients. Once I’ve got some more monies in the bank (curse the student budget) I have every intention to getting my hands on these balls of power to fuel my long days. They’re too convenient not to try!

These are available in a wide variety of stores; find them in Holland & Barrett, Waitrose, Boots.com and other health food shops. You can also purchase them online on their own website. A pack of 12 costs £19.45 or a pack of 40 for £63.95. It sounds like a lot but consider how nutritionally dense they are, I think if you’re really serious about healthy energy, these are worth it.

Gym Bug

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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