Cherry and Cinnamon Baked Oats

All Things Fitness, Recipes

Hi I’m Charlotte and I’m an oats addict!

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Sundays are my rest days and my high carb/refeed days so I always take my time over my precious oats. This Sunday I decided to try making baked oats. I’ve seen baked oats all over instagram but have never tried making them before so I thought why not today! I didn’t follow a recipe, I just tried it my own way and my god they were good! Now you can make them too!

 

Ingredients:

  • Cherries- fresh or frozen
  • 50g oats
  • 20g chia seeds
  • 400-500ml Unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 medium courgette grated
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (or more depending on preference)
  • Optional- 1 tablespoon coconut flour

Method:

  1. To be completed the night before:
    1. Mix together the oats, milk, chia seeds, courgette and cinnamon
    2. chill in the fridge overnight
  2. Preheat oven to 180-200 degrees C
  3. Mix in protein powder, baking powder and optional coconut flour to the overnight oats- consistency should be thick
  4. Line your oven safe dish with cherries
  5. Pour oats mixture on top
  6. Press more cherries into the oats
  7. Top with a sprinkle of loose oats to toast on top
  8. Bake for approx 30mins (the longer you bake, the thicker and more ‘cake’ they will be)

 

Oh my goodness, these oats were incredible! Actually incredible! img_8304img_8308img_8327

Let me know how you get on making them!

Love Char xxx

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Why I shouldn’t be your #bodygoals

All Things Fitness

As a health and fitness blogger I try and keep to a rounded selection of content from food, to supplements, to training, to recipes, to my body…. At the moment it has been VERY competition prep based. Why? Well that’s my life right now I am 5 weeks out from my next competition, surrounded by others on prep and if I don’t make it my life and throw everything into it, there’s no real point in doing it. I’m very all or nothing and if I get relaxed about my prep, well it’s self explanatory, the results won’t come!

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So why shouldn’t you want your body to look like mine?

My body is sitting at around 10% body fat and I’m 55kg- that means that of my entire body only about 5.5kg of that is fat. It is recommended that women shouldn’t have a body fat percentage lower than 10% as that is the lowest necessary level for normal body function. But let’s take a moment to remember that I am in prep for a purely aesthetics based competition and to be a serious contender I need those lower levels of body fat. A normal healthy woman shouldn’t really be striving for this level of body fat.

It can happen at different levels of body fat for different girls BUT I have now stopped having my period. This is just one example of how my body is dealing with what is being thrown at it. At first when it happened for a couple of months I started taking pregnancy tests because of the paranoid person that I am even though I knew it was impossible for that to be the answer, given where my romantic status is right now… (You catch my drift- oh hey immaculate conception…)

After this competition I am looking to take a year until I compete again for a couple of reasons:

• my body needs a break and to work its way back to a healthy state of internal homeostasis

• I want to build more muscle and if I’m constantly cutting and in a calorie deficit then that cannot happen

So while I LOVE competing and competition prep, if I want to keep doing it for quite some time I need to be sensible and strategic about it.

I post progress pictures and flexed six pack pictures because I’m proud of myself. I am proud of what I am achieving, the progress I’m making and how I’m getting on in my competition prep. Whilst I am super proud of myself this doesn’t mean you should want my abs, or my new found back muscles and pecs.

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So if I don’t want to inspire you with my body, how do I want to be inspiring you?

I would love you to be inspired by my positive outlook on life, my attitude towards goal setting and smashing those goals, my ideals of uplifting people and supporting each other even if they are your competition and if I can have this attitude in life, you can too!

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After my competition I will be progressively gaining some more body fat to a healthy and maintainable level and maybe once I’m there, my body could inspire you to get that butt in the gym. But for now I shouldn’t be your body inspiration.

If I can inspire you to make healthy changes and life choices, encourage some more body confidence and self love then I will be one happy bunny.

Please just remember I am prepping for a bodybuilding bikini competition that is purely aesthetics based and only maintainable for a short period of time.

Big love Char xxx

Chocolate Orange Mocha Zoats with Little’s

Competition Prep, Recipes

This has to be one of my favourite oaty recipes to date!

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Currently on my competition prep, I get porridge/oats twice a week so I like to make the most of them and spend time over them.

Let’s cut to the chase, here is the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 50g oats- I used 30g Jordan’s Chunky Jumbo Oats and 20g Quaker rolled oats
  • 1 scoop Chocolate Protein- I used Sun Warrior
  • 1 medium Courgette grated  (optional)
  • 10g chia seeds
  • Alpro Unsweetened Almond Milk – I use around 300ml
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder- Game changer!!
  • 1 tsp Little’s Chocolate Orange Coffee
  • Optional Squeeze of a fresh orange
  • Topped with 40g Vanilla Coyo- optional

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Method:

  1. Pour oats, baking powder and milk into a saucepan
  2. Cook on medium until soft and fluffy
  3. Optional- add courgette
  4. Continue to cook and stir
  5. Add in protein powder, coffee and chia seeds
  6. May need to add more milk- I like might less thick
  7. Add orange juice and stir – if using
  8. Take off of the heat and leave to settle for two minutes
  9. Pour into your favourite bowl
  10. Top with yoghurt or anything your heart may desire!

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These are SO tasty!

Why courgette and baking powder?

They both work to make the bowl bigger…. I am ALL about volume. Like I said, I only get oats twice a week so I will do anything I can to make them last as long as possible!

What are your favourite go-to Sunday breakfasts?

 

Love Char x

Peak Week:1

Competition Prep

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Day 1 of Peak week

Today was the start of peak week for me. That is the final 7 days leading up to the competition day. Food wise we started by upping my carbs and dropping my protein so that we can manipulate them as the week goes on. Hooray for oats again!

I started my day with a big bowl of zoats and a black coffee before heading to the gym before work. I did Artur’s spin class followed by some abs. Spin was hard today! Harder than I remember but it’s all about how you push yourself in spin and the resistance you add etc.

Then I headed to work to deliver stock across three floors- pretty much another workout in itself! Saturday’s are double show days so we had a show at 2.30 to serve for before a massive break until the 7.30 show.

In my break I was invited to an event with Protein Haus to talk about Vegan weight training as part of a talk with Courtney Pruce- The Clean Eatin Guide and Carli- the Founder of Protein Haus. There were about 20-25 people there who had all done a HIIT session with Courtney as well before the talk. It was super fun sharing how I eat and what not as a vegan who trains so much. I’m looking forward to doing more with Protein Haus.

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On my way back to work I met my sister who was lending me her black sweatpants for my tan next week and a silk gown to go over my bikini next week too. It’s alllllll coming together!

Then after another stint at work I headed home to chill out for an evening which was very much welcomed.

So how did day 1 of peak week have me feeling?

After having three weeks of low carbs I actually found it quite hard to work out so many carbs into my food plan for the day! It’s mad because it’s no more carbs than I was on four weeks ago! I found that going from 15% carbs to about 35% left me feeling quite fluffy and filled out so I’m looking forward to how my body will look and feel as my carbs come down through the week. My body is going to be changing daily now and that really excites me! I had lots of energy today from the food change and it really helped with such a long day.

Here’s to day 2!

Char x

20 things competition prep has taught me

Competition Prep

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A quick fire round of 20 things I’ve realised/learnt during the last 5 months of competition prep:

1. When my muscles burn I cry <–such a girl!

2. I’m naturally quite lean

3. I can maintain body fat at 2750 calories a day (wahoooooo) I can put away A LOT of food!

4. Carbs are my friends…. My best friends actually

5. I can and will eat around the clock

6. Eating low carb and high protein as a vegan is quite difficult but I love a challenge

7. It can be SO expensive so you need to get savvy

8. Keep a close support network- you’ll need it!

9. I can’t count. Always doing too many or too few reps

10. People think I want to be Arnie…. I don’t

11. 1700 calories can go a long way!

12. Abs are not maintainable!

13. I love leg day

14. I can push myself harder than I think

15. I am a walking corpse if I don’t have oats for breakfast

16. I don’t know what it is to eat off a plate anymore. Tupperware is life! But I always lose it…

17. An end goal gives me SO much motivation

18. When in the final weeks my body is craving all sorts of food I don’t even normally eat- chip shop chips!

19. It is SUCH a mental game

20. There are some incredibly bad vegan protein powders…. I have a stash of bad ones I now won’t use

10 days to go eeeeeek!

Char x

Recipe: Chilli, Garlic and Ginger Baked Tofu

Recipes

With my carbs low and my protein high at the moment I’ve been getting creative with my ways of cooking tofu. Here is the recipe for my Asian inspired Chilli, Garlic and Ginger Baked Tofu:

 
Ingredients:

  • 1 block Cauldron Tofu (400g)
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1.5tsp KTC Garlic and Ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 50g asparagus tips

Method:

  • Preheat oven at 180 degrees C
  • Mix chopped chilli, garlic and ginger paste and oil in a bowl
  • Chop the tofu
  • Add the tofu to the mixture
  • Place the tofu mixture into an oven proof dish
  • Add the asparagus and bake for about 40mins
  • Remove and serve. I like mine on a bed of courgetti

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Enjoy! Simple and delicious!

Char x

This Girl…

Competition Prep

 
You’re on the tube. You see a girl, slim, probably about a UK size 8. You over hear her talking to her friend about calories and what foods she is and isn’t eating. How she tracks everything she eats on My Fitness Pal. How she’s been to the gym once already today but she’s on her way back there now.

You make an assumption about her life. I don’t need to say it explicitly, we all know the assumption that’s been made.

I can hazard a guess that what comes next is NOT the assumption that was made…

This girl is an athlete. She is working hard towards a very specific goal. She trains specifically for this goal. Her food is mapped out meticulously to support this training. She is not denying her body of anything she is giving it what it needs. She is not punishing her body. She is fuelling her body as it needs and eats pretty much around the clock.

This girl is an athlete. She fascinates people with her lifestyle. She lives out of Tupperware boxes because she knows how important it is to eat at certain times around her training. She works evenings so she can train in the day. She still gets up early to get to the gym. She does this six days a week. She doesn’t drink alcohol. She doesn’t eat meat. How does she do what she’s doing without meat? Again, her food is planned out to support her training. SHE HAS ENOUGH PROTEIN.

This girl is an athlete. She is plant powered. No, her training is not extreme. No, her diet is not extreme. They work hand in hand together and her body is a product of that. She is proud of herself. She is proud of her progress. Is she doing this because she hates her body? Absolutely not. She is doing this because she loves her body. She is working towards something she never thought she’d be able to and to not do it properly would be damaging. SHE LOVES HER BODY.

It is easy to make assumptions about something we don’t understand ourselves. Just because this girl is not a famous athlete does not make her any lesser of one or her goals any smaller. Just because this girl counts calories does not mean she hates her body. She actually looks forward to the days when she can eat nearly 3000calories.

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This girl is an athlete. This girl is me. I’ll reach my goals, just watch. There is no stopping me! In three and a half weeks watch me take to the stage at the Pure Elite competition knowing I couldn’t have worked any harder or done anything more to get there.

Char x

Dating a non-ethical Vegan…

All Things Fitness

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This post is some-what different to what I normally post but still relevant and fairly amusing in my opinion.

I’ve been single for some time now and that’s not a problem for me whatsoever. I have so much going on that going out of my way to find someone to try and connect with like that just isn’t up there at the top of my to do list right now. (But if something was to naturally and organically  happen, that wouldn’t be a bad thing…)

HOWEVER in some experience of going on dates and/or being asked on dates since being vegan it has become very apparent how the word VEGAN can change everything….

Here’s how one story went while I was working at the pub (entirely paraphrased but you get the idea)-

Guy: here’s my number we should go out some time, text me

Me: *blushed* *giggled* thanks

Lost said phone number, didn’t text guy


Guy comes back to the pub another day…

Guy: you didn’t text

Me: erm lost your number and figured if it wasn’t just a drunk thing, you’d be back…

Guy: fair, well let me take yours and we’ll grab some food soon

We make plans that end up falling through because we both have work… We don’t rearrange, conversation fizzles. That’s the end of that then. 

Turns out we have a mutual friend who brought me up in conversation one day and asked what happened. His response- but she’s vegan and I like steak. My friend laughed at him (rightly so) and was like- you can still have steak just because she won’t doesn’t mean you can’t …

So that’s how that went…

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A little about me and my reasons for being vegan. I’m a non ethical vegan-I do it for health reasons, sure it’s wonderful that it helps the animals but you don’t need to worry about me marching outside your house with a protest board. My body is good at being vegan and works better being vegan and especially with all my training, it’s great. I also eat a lot! So even though I’m a vegan for health reasons, I don’t only eat salad and kale. This girl is not afraid to eat!

What does it mean for you if you date me?…

  • You can’t eat meat
  • You can’t wear leather
  • You can’t drink alcohol (filtration process isn’t vegan)
  • You can’t have eggs
  • You can’t have dairy
  • You can only have salad and Kale

 

I’m totally kidding!

 

What it actually means for you:…

  • Eat whatever you like
  • I will cook for you, including meat, I’ll just make myself an alternative so we can eat together
  • Wear whatever you like
  • Drink whatever you like
  • Just be you
  • Respect that I don’t eat those things and you won’t change my mind just like I won’t try and make you vegan
  • Be open minded- I make wonderful bakes and treats and just because an ingredient might seem odd, if I hadn’t told you it was in there you wouldn’t have known and said it was delicious! (Avocado choc mousse, sweet potato brownies…)

So there we have it. The word vegan is not scary, not limiting to anyone else doesn’t change me as a person!

 

Char x

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*disclaimer: I have no problems with ethical vegans and their beliefs, ways of life and mean no offence when I say I’m not one, but I’m not an ethical vegan and have no problems with making non vegan food for others*