GymBug

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Archive for the tag “snack”

Snack time!

Hi there!

Sorry I’ve been absent, the weather is gorgeous and I’ve been spending a lot of time outside getting my daily dose of Vitamin D!

Getafe

Can’t help but be outside.

However, yesterday I discovered a new delicious, quick and healthy snack! It’s pretty basic but tastes like apple pie!

Ingredients;

  • 1 apple, chopped (go for any type you want)
  • 1/4 cup of oats
  • 1/4 cup cornflakes/bran flakes/crunchy cereal
    Watch what you choose, remember some are high in sugar and calories
  • Honey
  • Cinnamon

Method;

  1. Add the oats, apple and cornflakes/bran flakes/crunchy cereal to a bowl.
  2. Add as much honey and cinnamon as you like.
  3. Enjoy!
  4. Optional; if you’re looking for a punchier snack, add some greek yoghurt to it (proteeeeeein).
Om nom nom

Om nom nom

I know it doesn’t look like much but I swear it’s delicious!

Happy snacking!

Gym Bug

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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

Adoring Avocados

Hi there!

It’s almost Christmas (as I’ve said, I know, but I’m so excited). Which means delicious food circling and lots of opportunities to show off some (healthy) cooking! These recipes are not just exclusively for Christmas though so keep a note of them for future opportunities to use them! They’re great for dinner parties, appetisers or just a healthy dinner!

A big health food in my house is avocado. We love them! They’re in season May through to August (but you can still get some now) and are brilliant sources of good fats (poly- and monounsaturated fats) which when eaten instead of saturated fats can help lower cholesterol. Some avoid avocado because they are high in fat and therefor calories, but again, good fats. They are very easy to chop up and throw in a salad, put on some ryvita or crispbread or whip up some guacamole! Here are some recipes below my family enjoy.

Guacamole

1 avocado
1/3 red chili, deseeded and chopped
1/2 red onion
1 clove of garlic
3 cherry tomatoes
Salt and pepper

  1. Blitz all the ingredients together in a food processor until to the desired consistency.
  2. Add salt, pepper, more chili to taste.
  3. Store in an airtight container, keeps for roughly 3 days (ensure to leave the avocado pip in with the guacamole to prevent browning)

Avocado Salad Dressing

1 avocado
1/2 tablespoon honey
2- 3 drops of Tabasco
Handful of coriander
2-3 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoon of cider or sherry vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion
Juice from 1 lime
3/4 cup of water
Salt and pepper

  1. Blitz all the ingredients in a food processor until you get a smooth, creamy texture.
  2. Season as required to your own personal taste, add more Tabasco if you like the kick.
  3. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for around an hour before serving to allow the flavors to blend.
  4. This will keep for around 3-5 days in the fridge, stored in an airtight container.

Caeser Salad Dressing-this is a great, healthier alternative to a mayonnaise based dressing, you can also use fat-free natural or greek yoghurt (about 5 tablespoons)

1 avocado
2 tablespoon of finely grated Parmesan
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper

  1. Blend the avocado in a food processor until smooth.
  2. Stir in the remaining ingredients except the olive oil.
  3. Add the olive oil last and stir briefly.
  4. Season if desired.
  5. This will store in an airtight container for about 3 days in the fridge.
You can play around with the quantities of all of these recipes to get the desired flavors and consistencies. Honestly, when I make them I just go with it until I get the flavor I’m looking for. Beware with the Avocado Salad Dressing, the honey can be very distinctive and make the dressing sweet, best go for less at first then add if desired.
Parmaham, Avocado and Balsamic Salad
1 pack parmaham
1 avocado
50g pine nuts
150ml balasmic dressing
200ml extra virgin olive oil
As much rocket as you like
Salt and pepper
  1. Wash the rocket thoroughly and pat dry, lay out on a large, flat plate.
  2. Toast your pine nuts by laying them on a frying pan (no oil) on a medium-high heat until they start to brown (some may have black patches, that’s fine) remove from the heat and allow to cool in a dish.
  3. Mix the balsamic and olive oil together, we place it in a  glass bottle with an unpeeled clove of garlic, salt and pepper and shake thoroughly (you can store it in this bottle in the fridge for salads too).
  4. Peel and slice the avocado, best to cut the avocado in half, remove the pip then slice length ways to keep the curved shape in each slice.
  5. Scatter the avocado across the rocket, tear the parmaham and scatter it too then sprinkle over the pine nuts.
  6. Drizzle some of the dressing (not all of it) over the plate and allow others to add more dressing if desired (remember that dressing can be used for all salads).
  7. Best eaten then and there, but will keep in the fridge for a day or 2, make sure to keep the avocado pip and pop it on the plate/in the container when you store it.
Creamy Avocado Pasta (for one)- this is a super simple, cheap pasta dish that’s very quick and healthy!
1 avocado (the riper, the better)
70g wholewheat pasta
1 garlic clove
1 red onion
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
50g peas
Chicken or prawns (optional)
Salt and pepper
  1. Start cooking your wholewheat pasta, it takes slightly longer than normal pasta, best give it around 12 minutes, at around minute 9 or 10 throw in the peas to the water.
  2. If you’re having chicken cook it now any way you wish and slice it into manageable chunks, if your prawns are raw cook them now.
  3. Chop the garlic and onion and put in a food processor with the avocado, chili powder, olive oil,salt and pepper and blitz until you get a smooth, creamy sauce.
  4. Once your pasta and chicken/prawns are ready, drain the pasta and throw in the chicken/prawns and stir in the avocado sauce (I do this in the pot the pasta was cooked in to heat the sauce up a bit)
  5. For vegetarians you could try adding tofu or quorn (never tested this myself).

Guaranteed the Parmaham, Avocado and Balsamic salad will make an appearance in my household over the festive period (or at least a variation of it). Give them go and always be willing to tweak them as you see fit (and healthy).

It’s the weekend! Have a great weekend everybody!
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

Stoats; Fuelling you with Scottish greatness

Hi there!

Now, I’m a huge fan of porridge. I think it’s a super kick start to your day; excellent source of energy, filling, warm and low GI. For me, porridge ticks all the boxes and it’s NOT BORING. You can add fruit, sauces, chocolate, peanut butter; the list is endless with a good old bowl of oats! I eat a variety of brands of porridge but my all-time favourite has to be good old Stoats. It was my dad that picked up a box a while ago because it was on special in the supermarket. He came home with Apricot and Sultana, and the box didn’t last the week (my dad and I especially partial to this flavour).
The oats are Scottish (waving the flag here, you go Stoats) and they use all natural ingredients like fruits and seeds (always a huge bonus).
Here’s a run-down of what they’ve got;

  • Apricot & Sultana Porridge;
    Stoats get their proportion of fruit to oats spot on here. Juicy sultanas and dried apricots bring the occasional bite of sweetness without it being too much. You don’t even need to add anything; it’s delicious on its own.
  • Sunflower & Poppy Seed Porridge;
    My twin loves this one. I definitely prefer the apricot one but this always made a nice break. The subtle crunch of the seeds gave a nice, subtle flavour. I’ll admit, my sister adds peanut butter, but it’s a very good porridge with or without it (given my obsession with peanut butter, it’s very good with it).
  • Apple & Cinnamon;
    A tummy hug. Best way to describe it. I am not a huge fan of cinnamon, but they’ve again got the balance spot on. The apples compliment the cinnamon perfectly so rather than being overwhelmed and feeling like you’ve done the Cinnamon Challenge you’re left with a warm, fuzzy feeling in your tummy. This is excellent on a cold morning.
  • Original Oats;
    We usually have a box in the house as back-up in case we run out of the others. I chop through banana, blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, apple, raisins etc (maybe some peanut butter) to give it a bit more flavour. But these oats are very filling and perfect to get you up and going.
  • Quick Pots;
    These are one portioned sized boxes of porridge for on the go dining. As a snack or as a breakfast these are great for chucking in your bag and going. Like most oats, you can make it with hot water, so you don’t even need to worry about heating up milk. They come in 3 flavours; Apple & Cinnamon, Original and Cranberry & Blueberry. They DON’T offer the Cranberry & Blueberry in large boxes only in porridge pot form, but I recommend giving it a try, nice tangy berries always make a great start to the morning.
  • Porridge Bars;
    Energy packed bars for snacking or a quick breakfast. They come in 6 flavours; Apple & Cinnamon, Apricot & Sultana, Blueberry & Honey, Fig & Date, Raspberry & Honey and White Choc & Hazelnut. I’m a fan of Apple & Cinnamon as well as their Raspberry & Honey. But I can tell you, they’re all delicious and filling.
  • Oatcakes;
    I didn’t actually know they produced these. I learned this by checking out their website. I’m a fan of oatcakes (and cheese, anybody?), so I’m sure their amazing.
Taken from their Pinterest page

Taken from their Pinterest page, look at that range!

What’s also great is how much they care about customer feedback. My dad e-mailed them to let them know we’re huge fans and to ask a question about production. They responded with a really kind e-mail and then SENT US STOATS GOODIES. Now, I’m a sucker for freebies so that sends them from 0 to hero in my book. It shows a different level of customer commitment.  They were also incredibly helpful in making sure I got all my information correct for you readers out there!
I would like to point out the box of goodies event occurred months ago and Stoats is not sponsoring this post, the onset of winter and the finishing of my only box of Stoats here in Madrid prompted this post.

Something that’s also great is that they’re not necessarily for breakfast. My dad enjoys a bowl of Stoats to fuel him for his long-distance runs.

You can purchase their products on their online store or keep an eye for their oats, bars and pots in Asda, Tesco’s, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and lots of independent deli’s, cafes and farm shops! They’re also on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest (some great recipes).

Stoats of Scotland, woot woot! If you’re looking for a great meal (breakfast is the most important meals of the day) then go for Stoats. You won’t regret it.

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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