Peak Week:1

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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

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Smart Snacking

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Anyone who knows me knows I love a snack. I wish I could be one of these three meals a day gals but it just isn’t me. Besides, with my training at the moment it is very important to be fuelling and re-fuelling myself at the right times, with the right things.

I have about four small meals a day with snacks and shakes in between to keep my body going in order to workout and then recuperate and grow. I have dabbled in shop bought protein bars and balls and anything that basically says ‘HIGH PROTEIN’ but what we don’t really tend to realise is how much ‘added sugar’ and nasties that are in these. Never mind the fact that they are also generally covered in a generous serving of chocolate too. Just because they contain Spirulina or a new wonder berry it doesn’t mean ‘Go wild and eat loads, they’re healthy!’. I’ve found that making my own protein filled treats and pre-workout fuelling snacks work well and I then also know exactly what is going into my body.

For those days when I just fancy a dessert  or feel my sweet tooth making me reach for things like dark chocolate or craving custard (you get my drift) I’ll go and buy some Alpro Plain Soya Yoghurt. I know, BORING! Is what you’re thinking, but I’m not finished yet! So, I get home with my plain yoghurt and I’ll rustle up something that resembles some what of a fitness angel delight. I’ll then either top with nuts or fruit or a broken up homemade energy ball.  Further down you’ll find the recipe and nutritional breakdown. It is also a great way for me to get my extra protein in because I’m not a massive fan of drinking protein shakes but I’ll happily add protein to my oats, or yoghurt and eat it instead!

Not to blow my own trumpet, I have also gotten quite good at rustle up an Energy Ball or 40… The recipe I’ve written works more as a pre-workout snack to fuel the body rather than a super high protein snack for post-exercise. These Energy Balls would also work intra-workout too if you’re going HARD for a long time and find you need a pick me up somewhere part way through. This week I made a Ferrero Rocher inspired flavour and a Chocolate Peanut Butter one. I’ll only have two of these a day max and a little treat when i’m after something sweet. They actually go really well with the Fitness Angel Delight mentioned above, broken up on top!

Don’t just take my word for it:

11 out of 10 for the peanut butter chocolate energy balls- SO tasty!! thank you! saving the Ferrero Rocher ones until tomorrow eek!! yummmmmm xxx 

~ Laura Ruthnum

I’ll stop talking now and get down to the important bit; the recipes that tell you how you can make them too and their nutritional values.


Fitness Angel Delight

Ingredients:

  • 200ml Alpro Plain Yoghurt
  • 1 scoop Protein Powder ( I used The Protein Works Chocolate Soy Protein Isolate)
  • 1 tsp Sweet Freedom Choc Shot

 

Method:

  • Pour your yoghurt into a bowl
  • Mix in your protein (blend if you wish)
  • Swirl through your Choc Shot
  • Top as you wish!

 

Nutritional Content

(Without Toppings)

Calories: 222

Protein: 33g

Carbs: 7g

Fat: 5g

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Energy Balls

Ferrero Rocher

Ingredients: (Makes 22)

  • 500g Date paste
  • 60g Chocolate Soy Protein
  • 125ml Strong Black Coffee
  • 1 tsp Agave Syrup
  • 4 tsp Sweet Freedom Choc Shot
  • 1 heaped tsp cacao nibs
  • 30 hazelnuts

Method:

  • Heat date paste in the microwave for about 30 seconds to loosen
  • In a large bowl start to mix together date paste and protein
  • add the coffee, cacao nibs, Agave and Choc Shot and mix until combined
  • Finish combining the mixture with your hands (Get messy!)
  • Separate the mixture and roll between your palms to form 22 balls
  • Push one whole hazelnut into the centre of each ball and re-roll
  • Place the remaining nuts in a sandwich bag and smash to pieces!
  • Roll each ball in the broken hazelnuts to finish

 

Nutritional Content: (Per Ball)

Calories: 98

Carbs: 17.6g

Protein: 3.3g

Fat: 1.4g


Energy Balls

Chocolate Peanut Butter

Ingredients: (Makes 22)

  • 500g Date Paste
  • 60g Chocolate Peanut Protein Powder (Bulk Powders Vegan Blend)
  • 150ml Strong Black Coffee
  • 2 tbsp Powdered Peanut Butter(PB2)/Peanut Flour (OR normal peanut butter)
  • 1 tsp Agave Syrup
  • 4 tsp Sweet Freedom Choc Shot
  • 1 tbsp PB2 and 1tbsp Cacao powder to finish

 

Method:

  • Heat date paste in the microwave for about 30 seconds to loosen
  • In a large bowl start to mix together date paste and protein
  • add the coffee,  Peanut Butter, Agave and Choc Shot and mix until combined
  • Finish combining the mixture with your hands (Get messy!)
  • Separate the mixture and roll between your palms to form 22 balls
  • Mix together the Cacao and remaining PB2
  • Roll each ball in the Cacao PB2 mixture to finish

 

Nutritional Content: (Per Ball)

Calories: 91

Carbs: 18.5g

Protein: 2.3g

Fat: 0.4g


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Like I said, I will have a maximum of two of these a day- more than likely one of each. They are relatively high in carbohydrates due to the high date content which means these carbs are sugars… So even though they aren’t chocolate covered treat from a shop, eat too many and you won’t be seeing those results you’re hoping for in your fitness/body goals!

I love making my own recipes and you’ll see more and more coming to the blog. It’s great for me to know exactly what is fuelling this body so if I make something great, I’ll keep sharing the recipes!

 

Enjoy!

Be sure to let me know if you have any new flavours you want me to try!

Char x

Macro Friendly Fruit Crumble

Crumble for me is one of those real homely warming desserts that just makes me happy. Apple crumble and custard really is SO satisfying and you can’t just have a tiny bit because the rest is there is the kitchen calling your name…. Well that’s how it is for me anyway and I’ll always end up back in the kitchen for the rest!

Due to needing to be clever with my calories and how I use them to fuel my body, I decided to create a healthier, macro friendly crumble. Is there even such a thing? There is now! What’s great for you too is that I’ve got my recipe here for you and the nutritional content of a serving too! I’ll also be comparing it to an apple and cinnamon crumble I found on BBC Food.

 


Apple, Pear, Blueberry and Cinnamon crumble 


Serves 4


Ingredients: 

• Half cup of jumbo oats

• Half cup of Grape nuts cereal (can be found in most supermarket stores- definitely tesco and waitrose)

• 2 apples

• 2 pears

• 3 teaspoon Arctic Power Berries Blueberry (optional)

• 0.75 tbsp coconut oil

• 1-2 tsp cinnamon

• Cup of water

Method:

• Heat oven to approx 200 degrees C

• Toast oats and 1/2-1 tsp cinnamon for approx 15-20mins

• Chop your fruit to your desired size

• Add to a heated pan with a little water and stew until it softens adding more water where needed so it doesn’t get dry or burn

• Add in 1tsp of cinnamon and 3 tsp Arctic Power Berries Powder and continue to stew

• Melt Coconut Oil in the microwave

• Remove oats from the oven and add coconut oil and grape nuts and mix.

• Divide fruit into four bowls and top with Oat and grapenuts mixture equally.

• Top with a sprinkle of Berry Powder
You’re good go! A crunchy topped healthy alternative to a buttery, calorie rich crumble!

*optional: either place back in the oven for a few mins or microwave if you would prefer the oats mixture to soak up some moisture to become softer*

Now for the Nutritional Content:


Crumble per serving 

Cals : 209

Carbs: 43g

Protein: 3.25g

Fat: 4g

You’ll want to come back to those numbers in just a second! I headed over to the BBC Food site and had a look at an Apple and Cinnamon Crumble recipe (that can be found here) and worked out the nutritional content per serving also:

BBC Food crumble per serving:

Cals 745

Carbs 123g

Protein 8g

Fat 56.25

Besides being almost four times higher in calories, there is also more than TEN TIMES the amount of fat per serving! Call me crazy, but I think I’ll be sticking to my recipe for sure!

 
It’s super easy to make and doesn’t take your diet completely off track whilst still tasting super delicious! Next time I might add some almond butter between the fruit and oaty topping. Mmmmmm now I want more crumble!

Enjoy!

Char x

What I Eat in a Day

My kind of training is a very foreign yet fascinating concept to a lot of people.

  • ‘What do you eat?’
  • ‘How often do you train?’
  • ‘What’s a typical day for you?’
  • ‘Who makes all your food for you?’
  • ‘What type of training do you do?’
  • ‘What do you want to look like?’

These are all questions I get quite often and today I’m going to answer the first question for you, ‘What do you eat?’:

(not a daily occurrence- but if I do say so myself, how good do my protein pancakes look?!)

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This week is the final week of a six week cycle in terms of training and calories. We have been calorie cycling to keep my body guessing and allowing for lean gains. I haven’t been ‘bulking’ as such just focussing on staying fairly lean whilst building muscle. Since October my body fat % hasn’t reached anywhere above 18% percent. I’m currently at 14.75% and I’ve fluctuated between both figures depending on my diet BUT I haven’t had a ‘bulking season’. At week one I started on 2750 calories per day and I’ve been dropping 100 calories off my daily intake each week. Now that I’m at 2250 calories, 40% carbs, 35% and 25% protein here’s a look at a day’s food for me.

Meal 1: 621 cal

  • Protein Oats-
    • 45g Chunky Oats
    • 30g Soy Protein
    • 10g Raw Cacao Powder
    • 2 tsp Desiccated Coconut
    • 30g Pip and Nut Coconut Almond butter
    • 20g Morello Cherry Jam
    • Fresh raspberries
    • Boiling Water

Snack 1: 311 cal

  • Trek Peanut Power Protein Bar
  • Pure Nutrition Natural Vegan Protein Shake- Summer Berries

Meal 2: 279 cal

  • 50g Wholewheat Pasta
  • 1/2 Courgette
  • 50g Kale
  • 50g Broccoli
  • 80g Sweetcorn
  • tabasco, black pepper, garlic salt, soy sauce

Snack 2: 108 cal

  • Pure Nutrition Natural Vegan Protein Shake- Summer Berries

Meal 3: 279 cal

  • 50g Wholewheat Pasta
  • 1/2 Courgette
  • 50g Kale
  • 50g Broccoli
  • 80g Sweetcorn
  • tabasco, black pepper, garlic salt, soy sauce

Snack 3: 104 cal

  • Alpro Soy Chocolate Dessert pot

Meal 4: 228 cal

  • 600g Tomato, Chickpea and Spinach Soup

Snack 4: 136 cal

  • 150g Soybean salad

Throughout the day I also had: 168 cal

  • 1 Apple and Elderflower Green Tea
  • 1 Mint Blend tea
  • 3 scoops USN Amino-Gro BCAA in 1.8L water (to aid recovery and muscle growth)

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This for me was actually a higher protein/ lower fat day coming in at the following:

Calories: 2235

Carbs: 41% 212g

Fat: 26% 58g

Protein: 32% 166g

Training on this day:

  • Arms and Shoulders with Artur- 1 hr 20 mins
  • HIIT and Abs

 

So there we have it, an insight into what goes into my diet during all of this competition prep. Like I said this was the final week of the 6 week cycle, so next week I am upping my calories again. This time we’ll be starting at 2500 for two reasons, so that my body doesn’t hold onto all the extra calories as if I went back to 2750, and so that when I get down to the final week of this new cycle, I’ll be even lower at 2000 calories a day for that week. Artur sets my calories and macros and then I decide what I eat so long as it fits in those macros and is nutritionally sound.

It isn’t as easy as just eating lots and then eating nothing close to competition. It’s carefully tracked and calculated to benefit my body in the best possible way.

Hope that was interesting/ answered different people’s curiosities.

Char x

Vegan Protein Pancakes

With pancake day just around the corner (tomorrow!) I thought I would share with you my protein pancake recipe that’s really easy to make!

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Makes 3-4 pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup self raising flour
  • 1 scoop (35g) Protein powder
  • 1/2 jumbo oats
  • 1 cup milk alternative

Method:

  • Mix dry ingredients in a bowl
  • Add milk slowly to form a thick batter- you can add more milk or water if you need to loosen the batter slightly
  • Fry in a little oil of you choice. I use coconut oil as it still keeps a sweet flavour.
  • Top with glorious things until your heart is content!

Nutritionals per pancake (if 4 are made from the above)

Calories: 96.25

Protein: 8.25g

Fat: 1.25g

Carbs: 12g

 

Tomorrow mine will be topped with banana and Coconut Almond Butter. I already can’t wait!!

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Char x

A week in my shoes 

Quite often I get asked ‘What’s a typical day for you?’ unfortunately I don’t really have a ‘typical’ day from one to the next. Due to my training and work, every day is different so it is much easier to share with you a fairly typical week in my shoes at the moment.

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So, I am currently 10 weeks out before the big competition date and this is what was in store for me last week:

Last week’s Daily Calorie Intake: 2350- 40% Carbs, 35% Fat, 25% Protein.

Monday: 

Wake up, Protein Oats and Food prep for the day

9 am– LEG DAY! Glutes, Quads, Calves with Artur

12.30pm– HIIT- Sprints and Abs

2pm– Shopping for Fitness clothes for a photoshoot

4pm-9.30pm- Work- It was press night for the new show so a fair bit busier than usual

10.30pm– Get home, relax, eat Protein Oats (obviously!)

 

Tuesday:

Wake up, Protein Oats and Food prep for the day

11.30am– Measurements then Chest and Back with Artur. My measurements showed great progress across our 11 weeks training together so far, have a look in my previous post here!

1pm– Coffee and Blogging

3.30pm Work- delivery, carrying stock up and down three flights of stairs (another workout in itself!)

6pm-9.30pm Work

10.15-11.15pm Gym- HIIT- Interval sprints and Abs

 

Wednesday:

Wake up, Protein Oats and Food prep for the day

9am– Leg day No.2- Hamstrings with Artur

1pm-4.15pm Work

6pm-9.30pm Work

 

Thursday:

Wake up, Protein Oats and Food prep for the day

10am– Shoulders and Arms with Artur

12pm– Blogging

2pm– HIIT- Interval Sprints and Abs

3.30pm– Blogging

6pm- 9.30pm– Work

 

Friday

Wake up, Protein Oats and Food prep for the day

Morning– Cleaning the flat, Blogging and food prep for the day

2.15pm– Leg Day No.3 with Artur followed by Abs

6pm-9.30pm Work

 

Saturday

Wake up, Black coffee and food prep for the day

9am- Abs

10am– Fasted Spin (Artur’s class)

11.30am-4.15pm Work

6pm-9.30pm Work

After I’ve finished work I need to get the train to Jessica’s in Essex and then quickly rehearse for Sunday

 

Sunday

Wake up, Protein Oats and Food prep for the day

10.30am-3.30pm– Partner Acro Yoga photoshoot with Jessica for Festival Studio Photography

5pm- Travel back to London

7.30pm– Home for dinner and relax

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So as you can see this week was pretty busy and hectic for me. Lots of training around work and blogging. Due to my shoot on Sunday and working a few extra hours, I also didn’t have a full rest day this week.  Normally I like to keep Sundays (where possible) as rest days because it is really important to give your body a break and let it recover. Rest days are just as important as training days so that you don’t burn out. Next week I will be taking FULL advantage of my Sunday rest day as well as brunch at 26grains with Tyla!

There is a little insight into a week in my shoes. Coming soon will also be a post about what I eat in a day too as I know that fascinates quite a few of you too!

Char x

Protein Haus- Review

Hey Guys,

Anyone who follows my instagram will know that I’ve made a few trips to Protein Haus now and I thought I would let you know what all the fuss is about!

  

 Protein Haus is what is says on the tin! A fitness food hub in Canary Wharf. There is a really cool pop up just outside Canary Wharf tube station and then a newer site/cafe inside the shopping centre. ‘[…] the Protein Haus brand encompasses everything from a grab and go green shake to individually tailored fitness plans’ (Carli Wheatly, Founder of Protein Haus). Both sites offer an array of fitness meals to accommodate your goals, with the macros worked out for you and labelled. This is one of the brilliances of Protein Haus, I can enter my meal straight into My Fitness Pal and it’s all accurately included in my macros- Wonderful!

Now, a lot of people will now probably be questioning the fact that I am vegan. This is why I absolutely LOVE Protein Haus, they are VERY vegan friendly. They have numerous vegan snacks, a couple of vegan meals and strictly vegan shakes, or you can ask for one of their other shakes just with a vegan protein instead of whey. How great is that?!

On my first trip, they only had the pop store at the station but I was still like a child in a candy store. I stood at the counter for ages unable to choose what I wanted because I just wanted everything! In the end I went for:

M8- Vegan Muscle: Tofu, Brown Rice and Greens. £4.50

Benefits: Vegan, Protein, Good carbs, Good greens, Energy meal, High Fibre, Weightloss

P:10.3g C:47.2g F:3.9g kcal: 265

PH-9 #NaturallyStephanie Vegan Shake £4.50

Bananas, Spinach, Almond Milk, Vanilla Vegan Protein, Chia Seeds

P:13.6g C:36g F:3g kcal: 233

I also picked up a Pumpkin Spice Lenny and Larry’s Complete Cookie and some Savoury Protein Pancakes too. TO DIE FOR!

  

I found it so difficult to choose what I wanted but I was very happy with my selections. I have since been back to visit their new store in the shopping centre twice. One of these occasions, I was on a Fitness shoot and dragged the photographer and assistant there because I just couldn’t waste the opportunity since we were shooting in Canary Wharf! They loved it too! This time around I had the second vegan meal option called M11- Tofu Gym Bunny: Tofu Sweet Potato and Green Beans. Gorgeous and just what I needed mid-shoot! I also stocked up on more Lenny and Larry’s Complete Cookies in three flavours- Double Chocolate, Chocolate Chip and Snickerdoodle.

  

In some respects it is very fortunate that I live very North London and work in the West End and rarely near Canary Wharf, so my bank account is safe for now… It does mean that going there though is a treat- quite exciting when going out for fitness food and protein shakes is a treat!

I urge anyone with any interest in fitness food, fitness as a whole or looking for a very nutritious meal/snack/shake/juice to head to Protein Haus in Canary Wharf.

Take a look at their website here. They also offer fitness bootcamps, meal plans, juice detoxes, PT services and much more!

So, Protein Haus I love you and you’ll be seeing me back very soon!

Char x

Protein Energy Balls

If you’re anything like me and still stuck in a bubble of christmas, these are the perfect bake for you with the flavours we chose!

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A couple of months ago I decided to just wing it and make some protein energy balls using ‘a bit of this, a pinch of that’ and they turned out to be SO delicious! I shared some with my trainer, other trainers at the gym and friends and they went down a real treat! Then people were asking for the recipe so I simply had to make more in order to create the recipe (no one complained about that!)

My best friend and gym partner Tyla, and Jessica (my sister) were over in December and we got creating in the kitchen to put together a recipe for you. We decided to make two flavours…. Mini Christmas Pudding Balls and Mocha Bliss Balls. Since it was Christmas, we decorated the Mini Christmas Puddings with coconut milk icing and cranberries and covered the Mocha ones in edible glitter… Ofcourse!

They’re the perfect pre or post exercise treat with dates for energy and protein for recovery. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

Christmas Pudding Balls (makes 24)

500g Date Paste

60g Millionaires shortbread Soy Protein Powder (any protein would work, this was our powder of choice )

50g Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter melted (Normal is okay crunchy or smooth)

4 tbsp Agave Syrup

Cinnamon (to taste)

Ground Cloves (to taste)

To Decorate (optional):

White icing of choice. We used the thick cream on top of coconut milk mixed with icing sugar, whipped up to form a thick creamy icing. Topped with chopped fresh cranberry.

Mocha Bliss Balls (makes 24)

500g Date Paste

60g Millionaires shortbread Soy Protein Powder(any protein would work, this was our powder of choice )

65g Peanut Butter melted (crunchy or smooth)

3 tbsp Original Choc Shot

2 tbsp Instant coffee (dissolved in 2 tbsp water to form a paste/syrup)

Edible glitter to decorate

Method

  1. Warm the date paste in the microwave for 40seconds or until soft
  2. Add the melted peanut butter and mix until combined
  3. Mix in the protein powder
  4. Once combined add the Agave (Christmas Pudding) or the Choc Shot (Mocha Bliss)
  5. Now to season. For the Christmas Balls add about half a teaspoon of cinnamon and cloves. For the Mocha Bliss add the coffee
  6. Divide each mixture into 24 balls and roll in the palm of your hand to shape.
  7. Optional- Ice the Christmas pudding balls to look like christmas puddings. Roll the Mocha Bliss balls in glitter

 

I have also worked out the nutritionals per ball:

Christmas Pudding

Calories: 92

Fat: 0.96g

Protein: 2.7g

Mocha Bliss:

Calories: 95

Fat: 1.26g

Protein: 2.75g

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We really hope you enjoy making your protein energy balls as much as we did. (and as much as everyone else enjoyed eating them!)

If you have any flavour suggestions for new flavours, comment and we’ll get creating and trialling recipes!

Char x