What supplements I use and why


I am a strong believer that if you’re eating a healthy balanced diet and training sensibly then you will get everything you need from your diet.

In VERY short terms:

Carbohydrates are not the devil and are actually vital to fuelling your body to train. These should be consumed in the form of complex carbs like brown rice and sweet potato. NOT white bread sarnies and chips, or everyone’s favourite crisp sandwich.

Protein is needed to repair and build your muscles and can be found in things like eggs and lean meats like turkey and chicken. Funny how those are the things I mention yet I’m vegan…. Most Vegan protein sources are also high in carbs e.g chickpeas so if I’m on a low carb week in competition prep, getting a high enough protein intake with minimal carbs is difficult.

Fats. Oh no not the F word! Healthy fats are essential for energy especially when working aerobically- e.g going on a long run. So fried mars bars- NO, Avocado YES!

Amino acids– in short these are the building blocks of protein. So these in your diet are going to help you recover quicker and build that muscle. Different Amino Acids come from different foods for example arginine can be found in chickpeas, but glutamine can be found in meat, dairy, eggs, spinach, cabbage, nuts and beans. This is another reason why a varied diet is key! There are 20 amino acids used by the human body with only 9 of them being essential for humans. These essential amino acids cannot be formed by us so need to be supplied externally via our diet.

Creatine phosphate is stored in our muscles and used to produce something in our bodies called ATP. This our main energy currency within the body. When we are doing short, explosive movements/exercises it is the creatine phosphate in our muscles that replenishes the energy that has just been used in that movement. To a lot of people I’m sure this sounds like a load of jargon, and for most people you will get ample amounts of Creatine through your diet so needn’t worry yourself. It can be found in meat and fish so for regular training there is not need for creatine supplementation. However, if you’re a veggie or vegan like me and want to be able to train hard and heavy and your muscles replenish your energy stores enough in rest periods, creatine supplementation may be wise. Unfortunately creatine isn’t something that is found in a veggie/vegan diet so for someone like me who is actively trying to build lots of muscle, aiming to up weights very regularly in the gym, creatine supplementation is key to help.

So what supplements do I use?

Soy protein:

At the moment I’m mainly using The Protein Works Soy Protein Isolate.


A lot of dietary vegan protein sources are also high in carbohydrates like chickpeas, pulses, beans etc so if I am aiming to up my protein intake to help my muscles build and recover, I’ll use soy protein. There are many other vegan protein supplements like brown rice protein or pea protein but Soy is my personal preference.


I use Precision Engineered BCAA powder to get those all important amino acids in.


With the level of training I do causing small tears in my muscle fibres, it is important to be consuming amino acids to help build new muscle fibres and recover faster in order to train again sooner. With Amino Acids being the building blocks of protein, it also ups my protein intake.


I am currently using The Protein Works Creatine Gluconate


Like I said earlier, creatine isn’t found in vegan diets so it is important for me to supplement in order to help my energy system out and get the most from my training. Why gluconate? The gluconate factor helps transport the creatine to the muscle cells where it is needed rather than most of it staying in your stomach not utilised like creatine monohydate for example. Why would I buy something that I can’t utilise properly?


I use The Protein Works Glutamine Powder


Glutamine is another of those amino acids I mentioned earlier. It prevents muscle break down. ‘Glutamine also increases your ability to secrete Human Growth Hormone, which helps metabolize body fat and support new muscle growth.’ (Bodybuilding.com)

Glutamine has also been shown to support your immune system, so when training unbelievable amounts on top of working and studying it’s vital to keep my immune system in tip top condition to make me less susceptible to illness.

So there we go. Supplementation is the key word here. I don’t replace anything in my diet with these products, you would NEVER find me having a ‘meal replacement shake’ I love eating too much. Also like it says in the name, these products should SUPPLEMENT a healthy balanced diet, NOT replace things.


If I wasn’t training how I am, for what I’m training for, I wouldn’t supplement so heavy if at all. Don’t get caught up in ‘I go to the gym so I HAVE to use supplements’ most of the time if you take the time to look at your diet, you can get what you need from just that. Abs are made in the kitchen right?! So don’t throw your money at a protein shake and expect all the results in the world instantly if you haven’t taken the time to look at and make any necessary changes to how your fuelling and replenishing your body with your food.

Now, I could have gone into all of this MUCH deeper because I love to geek out on this stuff but that’s just me!

Char x

p.s nope, I don’t take steroids.


It won’t be easy | It’ll be worth it!


Change is something that we all deal with on a day to day basis. Whether that be a change in your route to work, a change in your mood, a change in your shape, a change in your food diary, a change in how you’re asked to dress one day; we’ve just learned over time how to deal with these changes.

The biggest change of all that is generally some what neglected is the change within ourselves. We’re too busy juggling all of the external variables that can change our day/week/month/life that we often forget to check back in with ourselves and see where we’re at.

In order to grow and continue to grow as person you need to accept these changes within and realise it’s okay that you’re not the same person you were 10 years ago. I mean I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t grown from the person I was when I was 15.

It’s only now that I’m 25 and so happy with where I am as a person and professionally that I realise just how much I’ve grown as a person. I’m no longer an insecure 15 year old striving for jutting out collarbones and the all important ‘thigh gap’; I’m a healthy, happy competitive sponsored athlete and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else! It’s important to note that at the time those things obviously meant so much so they aren’t insignificant at all, but in growing as a person my values and goals are so very different now.


The most important project you can invest in is yourself. You only have one body, you need to look after it. Mind, body and soul working as one. While the balance between these may shift and compensate in tough and challenging times, your health should always come first.

While you’re sat at home wishing you had someone else’s legs or bum or abs, there’ll be someone else sat at home wishing they had your hair or your clear skin or your goofy smile. Embrace your quirks and changes as you grow as a person. If at any point your down or struggling with motivation, only look back to see how far you’ve come. Progress isn’t only physical, but mental too. Progress > Perfection.

I am far stronger mentally as well as being obviously stronger physically than the 15year old girl I once was. The process wasn’t easy at all and there were plenty of bumps along the way from heart operations to relationships ending, to university and awful jobs. As they say nothing worth having comes easy, so I’m not saying it’ll be easy… What I’m saying is it’ll be worth it!

The truth is no one is you and that is your super power.

Char x

Insecurities Laid Bare

We all have them! I obviously choose to put myself out there in being so active in my online presence, whether that be on social media or my blog. That does not mean that I don’t have insecurities. Sometimes it means that I’m more aware of them because I’m putting myself out there.

I am about to tell you all about one of my insecurities that troubles me daily but I choose daily to not let it hold me back.

If you read my peak week series in the lead up to my comp, you’ll have read about my horrendous experience with hair removal. Well, this is another one of those stories…

Ever since I was little I have always had a lot of arm hair. I was bullied a lot for it at school being called names like ‘gorilla’ etc. Even when I changed school at the age of 15, I was still bullied for it. Kids can be cruel. As I grew up, I noticed that other people didn’t comment anymore and even when I mentioned it they’d say ‘oh they aren’t that bad’ or ‘I hadn’t even noticed’ So even though I was super conscious about my arm hair and felt like it was part of my identity, as an adult it did not affect those around me at all. Due to how much I was bullied for it as a child I always told myself I would never get rid of it as it was part of who I was. I wasn’t about to let the bullies win and be ashamed of what was part of me. This stopped being an insecurity of mine and just part of who I was.

That was until enter a bodybuilding competition this year. I was advised to remove my arm hair as it would help with my tan and my muscular definition. So in February I decided to get ahead of the game and remove my arm hair then. Rather than waxing or shaving I chose to use a hair removal cream. I figured it was easy to use in the comfort of my home and the results would last for a few weeks. I used the Nair sensitive skin removal cream. I opted for the sensitive option to ‘play it safe’…

I performed a skin test as advertised on some skin on the inside of my arm. No problemo. Then I went on to try and rid myself of all of my arm hair. I followed the instructions to the letter. I didn’t leave the product on too long, only for the amount of time it told me to. When I started to remove the cream, my skin felt like it was being ripped off with it. I was in excruciating pain. The cream had burned all of the skin on my arms. I had actual burns from this product and it hadn’t even removed all of the hair. So I had patchy hair on my arms and burns.

I had to go to work that evening and it hurt so much just moving my arms. In the few days that followed, my skin was so dry and sore that I was having to constantly apply sudocrem and take pain killers just to get through the day.

That was February and my skin has never been the same. I have scars from the burns up my arms. My arms are ALWAYS dry and I’ve never had dry skin problems and I’m drinking so much more water than normal now with all of my training. Also, as the hair grows it brings through spots and blemishes which then end up scarring. The hairs grow through ingrown, leaving me with scars.

So now my arms are still my insecurity, just for a different reason. I love the shape of my arms now through my training it’s just a shame that I feel so insecure about how they look due to the spots and scarring as a result of using the Nair cream.

This is the first time I’m sharing this with most of you as I tend to shoot in a way to hide these scars and blemishes. My scars are worse on my right arm, so I tend to shoot so that that arm isn’t the focus or in focus in the frame. It isn’t that I’ve been hiding it, I just chose not to focus on it.

There we have it. We all have insecurities but I’m consciously choosing to not let mine stop me doing what I want to do. To many, this may not seem like a big deal but to me it’s huge and its like that for most people I’m sure.

Don’t let anything stop you from going after what you want!

(Just never use Nair sensitive hair removal cream haha!)

Char x

P.s. Why do all of my dramas seem to revolve around hair removal?!


One down, six to go.

So I’m currently one week into my intensive full time Level 2 and Level 3 Personal Trainer course with Focus Fitness UK. We work Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

This week has mainly focused around learning the Level 2 Anatomy and Physiology parts of the course. This is the part of the course that worried me before I started. I wasn’t very good at the sciences at school so feared I would also struggle here.

I completed the main parts of my high school education at King Edward VII School in Kings Lynn. I loved both GCSE and A Level PE there and was taught by some really great teachers, I just didn’t do very well when it came to exams. In class I would know what I was talking about but give me an exam paper and I would struggle SO hard! So it was difficult when everyone including your teachers expect you to do so well in your exams and you come out having done quite bad. I did average in my GCSEs and badly in my A levels BUT somehow nailed my degree and found a passion for learning again. Even though I didn’t do well in those exams at school, I’ve managed to retain the knowledge taught by my PE teachers and am now applying it in my course (thanks guys!). It shows that sure, exams papers weren’t my thing but I did and do know the information. GSCEs and A Levels are more about your ability to pass the test rather than knowing the information and being able to apply it.

It’s all about finding your groove and figuring out what works for you. Sure, it may have taken me to the age of 25 to find that, but now that I’m here and on my way, there’ll be no stopping me. That knowledge was there and now I’m able to access it and apply it to what I’m passionate about.

In short, I’ve found my groove, I’m loving my course and can’t wait to get back on Monday. In week two we’ll spend more time planning sessions and being in the gym itself where I can also apply some of what I learned through my bodybuilding training!

Char  x

The body fat trap


Hands up how many of you either own a set of scales that has a body fat measuring setting or have used one of the ‘pay me £1 and I’ll measure everything’ scales in your gym changing rooms…

It’s okay, me too!

So for anyone that doesn’t know, I just started my Level 2 and 3 Personal trainer course. On day one we got onto talking about body fat measuring and our tutor asked if anyone was brave enough to get theirs measured. So I popped my hand up and figured I had nothing to lose since I’ve recently competed. We weren’t told how it was being measured yet. Out came the scales with a handle that pulls out for you to hold onto that sends signals through your body and when those signals feed back, you get your body fat percentage. On I got, gripping the handles feeling pretty confident for what was going to come back.

For my competition I sat at under 13% body fat. I knew I had to work to put some on after my competition so my reading wouldn’t have come back at that same level of lean….. There I am hands on the handles, what is the reading? … 26%

Now, I knew this wasn’t right because I know my body. So why did it come back incorrect? Here are a few reasons of why it could be incorrect:

• I’d drank coffee recently so there was caffeine in my system. The readings base around how hydrated you are and caffeine dehydrates your muscles, affecting the reading.
• I had eaten recently. Undigested food counts as weight and goes into the readings, I don’t think I want my undigested porridge going into my calculations….
• I needed the loo. A full bladder will also affect the readings.
• The scale was on a carpet floor. For a more accurate reading, the scale should be place on an even hard surface.

There are many more reasons that I could go into as to why the reading wasn’t correct. I’m just fortunate now to know that this wasn’t my actual body fat reading. If I was a newbie to the gym at the start of my journey, I’d have probably believed that over 1/4 of my body was fat because that’s what the machine was telling me.

So why do we need to know our body fat percentage?

We don’t!

Plain and simple. Unless you’re an elite athlete where those kinds of measurements NEED to be taken and tracked, you don’t NEED to know this. Much like measuring your weight and stepping on the scales, it is one of those things that it is easy to fall into obsessing over. We get caught up in the numbers and seeing them decrease causing all kinds of anxiety and pressures placed on ourselves by ourselves.

The most important thing is how you FEEL. No matter your fitness, health, weight loss goals it is a much nicer journey when you judge by how you feel in your own skin. If you look in the mirror and go ‘yes girl you are looking great today! The hard work is paying off’ then amazing!; stepping on the scale after that to check if you’re right to feel that way can easily diminish all of those great feelings if you aren’t happy with the reading.

So come on ladies (and gents) join me and step away from those addictive and (probably) incorrect fat scanners. If you feel great, own it! Celebrate that great feeling and you’ll look much more radiant because it’s coming from within. No one else can see the numbers so it’s only going to mess with you.

Here’s to feeling good and letting it shine from the inside out!

Char x

Train fitness guest blog

Last month I was contacted by TRAINFITNESS and was asked if I would put together an article about competing as a vegan. I chose to wait until after my competition so that I could give a rounded account of the whole experience and how I did it.

If you head over to their page here, you can have a read for yourself.

Char x


20 things competition prep has taught me

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

Why I love social media…

Recently social media has been having a bit of a hard time in people loving to hate it. There has been A LOT of talk about how apps like Instagram fuel unrealistic ‘life goals’ ‘relationship goals’ ‘body goals’ ‘fitness goals’. Sure, some people may have the dream car you will only ever get the chance to dream of but that doesn’t mean they haven’t worked their butt off to be able to get it. On fitness pages, some may be guilty of using photos from their lean weeks year round making it seem like a rocking bod of 12% body fat, mega quads and abs is attainable year long- when we know that’s not maintainable in a healthy person. BUT with all that said, it also comes down to how YOU choose to use social media.

I, like any girl, sometimes get carried away lusting over these pages on Instagram thinking- ‘wish I had her abs’ ‘but she has the best gym kit, wish I had that’ but that is all on me and I know that. I actually love social media it’s my chance to share with you my ups and downs during my roller coaster ride of competition prep. Anyone who’s been following my page for a while will have read about my crazy highs where I feel like superwoman, but also about my crazy lows where I just sob my way through my workouts and erratically text my trainer afterwards apologising. I stay authentic to who I am. I may be asked to review a product and if that product isn’t up my street or to my liking I won’t lie to you guys and tell you how bloody amazing it is and how you should all go out and buy it right away. Why would I do that?! You’re after honest reviews and I’m not about to advocate something I do not believe in.

The main reason I am writing this post is because I have never felt so supported in something by people I have never met before. I am in a position where no other girls in my gym compete, are in competition prep or have gone through this experience so it can feel quite lonely. I also don’t know anyone personally outside of my gym who quite gets this either. It’s one thing just pouring out how I’m feeling etc to my friends, sister and my family but it’s a completely different feeling being able to discuss it with someone who completely gets it! Don’t get me wrong I am so lucky to have friends and family that will listen to my drivel, I am not over looking that for a second! It’s people like Lisa Miller, Charlotte Shuter and the whole Pure Elite family that I have never met before but know I can message and I’ll either get words of encouragement or be told ‘I feel like that too! Glad I’m not crazy!’

Coming from a dance upbringing where competitions would be the bitchiest place, no one speaks to each other and the amount of sass in the room is immeasurable, I kind of thought that’s how this competition process would be. Where everyone gets on with their prep by themselves, keeps themselves to themselves and there would be all the sass because we’re competing against eachother. I would like to eat all of those words, every single one of them. I am part of a closed group on Facebook for Pure Elite competitors and I have never come across such a community of supportive people! You post your slightly self conscious progress pics on there knowing you’re still weeks out, and everyone tells you just how great you’re doing and to keep up the good work. People post in messages to motivate each other and keep each other on track. People even message in to say they’ve fallen off track and the amount of people that will comment to help them back on the band wagon is truly astounding. I am so happy that I have chosen Pure Elite as my first competition to enter. Thank you Stewart and Janine for putting together such a great competition with a huge community feel!

Also without Social Media I wouldn’t have met some of the truly incredible people I have, to name a few:


group cocopro


So today I am saying thank you and declaring my love for Social Media for helping me along the way in my competition prep and health and fitness journey/blogging.

Char x

The Urban Tri

Last Sunday I was invited to head down and take part in the Urban Tri with Boom Cycle. The Urban Tri has been names London’s Hottest Fitness Challenge of 2016 and deemed to be the modern triathlon. You start with 45 mins Yoga at Lululemon in Chelsea, jump into your trainers for around an 10k run to Holborn, slip on a pair of cleated shoes and take on 45mins spinning at Boomcycle. Then it’s food and goody bags galore!

I love a challenge so said I’d do it but I have to admit that I was quite nervous! Anyone who’s known me for quite some time would know I used to run quite a lot, a 10k would be nothing, something I would do for fun but I haven’t ran 10k in about three years now. If i’m doing cardio it’ll be interval sprints on the treadmill now, so the thought of having to run constantly for around an hour from Chelsea to Holborn was quite daunting…

I arrived at Lululemon on The King’s Road in Chelsea at 9.15 on Sunday morning and the only thing I knew for certain was that I’d be joined by Naomi White- Queen of Health and Fitness PR and Emily and Hannah from Twice the Health so I was looking forward to seeing them. We indulged in 45minutes of yoga focusing mainly on opening up our hips and preparing our legs ready for the run that followed. It felt really good to be led through sequences, for the most part my yoga practice is self taught and I just fit it in where I can rather than going to class, so this felt good to be instructed on how to move. Unfortunately it was over in a flash and the daunting run crept up very quickly…


I jumped into my trainers and it was time to decide which group I was going to run with. There were three pace makers a fast, intermediate and a slower one. I chose the intermediate group with Emily from Twice the Health. I figured I used to run a 50minute 10k and this group were aiming for around a 55min time so worst case scenario I dropped back and could still see them, or the slower group would catch up with me and all would still be fine. So i’m running along, inhaler in one hand, phone in the other just incase i get lost… lucky for me, I didn’t need either of them! Hurray for Charlotte! The run felt good! I finished in around 54mins, turns out it was more like 11k than 10k and I ran alongside Emily just about the whole time and were chatting, so the pace was comfortable.


Arriving at Boom Cycle I felt fantastic, really proud of myself for making it through the run in a good time, I ran down the stairs jumped into some cleated shoes and hopped on my bike (with a little help, I just cant get the hang of attaching myself to the bike?!) I had to turn on my display and stay on the bike for 45mins and then my Tri was done! I knew I was going to get through this last leg smoothly because Boom Cycle is a Party on a bike and while my legs felt the heaviest they perhaps ever had, the time went so quick because I was just having the best time!


I came out third- hooray for Charlotte! I was greeted by Naomi, goody bags and foods from Bol Foods, Propercorn and Vitacoco coconut water. No better way to finish if you ask me.


I honestly felt so good afterwards, the week leading up I’d been a bit down and sassy in training and I’d been texting Artur after every session apologising because I just hadn’t been very inspiring to train at all. This was EXACTLY what I needed.

Thank you Naomi for inviting me down and Thank you Emily and Hannah for being totally fabulous and for running alongside me Emily.

The Urban Tri happens once a month and I urge anyone who is into fitness to get themselves down to one and give it a go! I won’t be able to do the April one because of my competition prep but I’ll be back in May for sure!

Head over to the Boom Cycle website and have a look what its all about for yourselves http://www.boomcycle.co.uk/urban-tri

Bring on May!

Char x

Dating a non-ethical Vegan…


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…


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


*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*