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Friday, 23 September 2016

shakes, proats and pancakes - trying to up my protein

Protein Porridge

If you read last week's post, you'll know I'm struggling a little bit with this whole 'fitness blogger' thing, while I want to be one of those girls with abs to die for, perfect shots of matcha latte's and acai bowls, and post 'leg day' doms, it's just not quite me.  I'm working on my abs, but they're a long way from enviable, I've never had a matcha latte and I have no idea what an acai bowl is, and I don't really know what 'doms' means, let alone suffered after 'leg day'.

I just play by my own rules, I workout regularly, but at classes rather than gym sessions, I eat a 'balanced' diet (check out my last post if you fancy knowing more about that) and I still don't understand macros.  

However, what I do know is, protein is vital to building muscle, and helps you lose weight.  So, with a little help from The Body Coach (I swear by his recipes) and a vat of protein powder to keep me going for a year, I'm trying to up my intake.

IdealFit sent me a load of goodies to help with my quest, and their products are specifically designed for women so ensure as well as packing a good protein punch they're also full of other nutrients that women need such as Vitamin D, Folic Acid and Calcium.  Now you can't complain about that.

IdealFit Products

One thing I've always been a bit nervous about when upping my protein intake is the increase in calories, before I ever started working out, I just assumed if I ate a lot of protein and didn't burn enough calories then I'd quickly put on weight.  Admittedly, that's not completely untrue, but to be honest I'm not a nutritionist (I know, it's hard to believe with my scientific explanation of these things!) and don't really know the ins and outs of it all, but I think I'm working out enough to not worry about it.  But, IdealFit know this is a concern for many women so have ensured they're protein is low calorie as well as all the other benefits, they've thought of it all.

Anyway, I was pretty excited about my new fancy flavours - strawberries n' cream and pina colada, my previous dips into the world of protein have got as exciting as chocolate mint and cookie dough, so I expanded my repertoire and got out my apron to start whipping up some protein-based concoctions.

I started simple with smoothies, both of which were really good, in fact better than my usual banana and nutella (ssh, don't tell anyone) combos.  The strawberries n' cream one tasted just like a frothy milkshake, and the pina colada one tasted almost like the real deal, just missing that hit of rum, but maybe I could try that for my Saturday night post workout shakes?

Pina Colada Protein Shake
Strawberries n Cream Protein Shake

I then moved onto porridge oats, topped with real strawberries and coconut, and have plans to try both flavours in an overnight oats recipe soon.

And finally, I gave the famous protein pancakes a go, now, they weren't instagram worthy (but I instagrammed them anyway), I hid how disastrous they looked with greek yoghurt, and half of one was left burnt to the bottom of the pan BUT they were delicious, and I'm going to give them another go soon.

Protein Pancakes

I'm thinking about trying a protein mug cake, and I've heard you can even make protein mashed potato, but maybe pina colada flavoured potatoes aren't the best idea, so any suggestions on what else I can try?

Idealfit also sell a range of other products, including pre-workouts, BCAAS (although I have no idea what these are!) and even a few accessories if you fancy going the whole hog, so if you're looking for a new protein with a few added benefits then I'd highly recommend you check them out.

Protein Powder

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

when I cheat, I really cheat...

coffee and cake

In keeping with a similar theme of last week's post when I confessed my reasons why I'll never be the fitness blogger I want to be, I thought today I'd reveal even more home truths, my 'cheat' days!

Now, I'm a bit of an Instagram junkie and tend to follow a lot of 'clean eating', 'healthy living' type accounts.  And I'll admit that I do try to keep a relatively 'clean' diet throughout the week, but the longer I try and stick to this health and fitness plan, the more I'm leaning towards a 'balanced diet' approach, than 'clean and mean' as I like to think of it.

In the run up to my wedding, obviously I had more motivation to really stay on track.  So Sunday to Friday I kept my diet super healthy, treats tended to be fruit or yoghurt (not exactly something to get excited about) and I tracked every calorie in myfitnesspal.  But come Saturday, and the flood gates would open, I would pretty much binge eat my way through the day.  And yes, it's probably not the healthiest way to live. and wasn't in line with my 6 days a week 'clean' living, but it's what kept me motivated and focused in the 6 months leading up to my wedding, and I was really pleased with how I looked on the day.

a corsican dessert

epic hot chocolate
Post wedding, I attempting to maintain that structure for a couple of months, but I quickly realised that it was just unrealistic.  I resented calorie counting, and I was still working out 5/6 days a week so decided to become a little less focused on what I was eating, plus, I always thought the best thing about exercising is that you get to what you want, right?

There are a lot of health and fitness bloggers I follow who are all about 'good days' and 'bad days'.  Macro counting and 'cheat days'.  And then there's a few who have a more idealistic attitude (Carly Rowena I'm mainly looking at you), who tend to eat healthy most of the time, but appreciate that life is for living, and so if you want to go out and have a burger and few drinks, then that is what you should do.  And it shouldn't be thought of as 'cheating', which I am completely down with, so my attitude now is 'treating'.

Prosecco

Ok, so if do follow me on Instagram (if you don't, you should, I'm a hoot over there!), then some of you are probably thinking every day is a 'treat' day for me when you see some of the images I post.  Well, you might be right.  But I'm much happier living a more relaxed approach.  I eat three very healthy meals, which usually consist of salad for lunch, and one of The Body Coach's Lean in 15 meals in the evening, and I still workout 5 or 6 times a week, so if I want to have a big bowl of Ben and Jerry's ice cream after dinner then I will, and I'm not going to get hung up on the Saturday I just had, which involve an 'all you can eat' brunch, copious amounts of alcohol, and then a chinese takeaway.  My hangover wasn't so pretty the next day, I didn't get out for the run I'd planned, but I had an awesome day, and that's whats important!

waffles, eggs and bacon

pancakes and maple syrup

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