Mince Pie Toasties

Recipes


It may not even be November yet but I can’t be the only one craving Christmassy foods already. If you LOVE mince pies like I do, this is the recipe for you! This winter breakfast is indulgent and probably best saved for a nice Sunday morning or a cheat day/meal rather than a daily feat. These are delicious, far cheaper than mince pies and can be enjoyed pretty much as soon as you fancy something festive.

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Ingredients:

Two slices of bread

1 heaped tsp Vegetarian mincemeat

Vegan butter/ butter

3 squares dark chocolate (optional)

Icing sugar to dust

 

Method:

1. Turn on toastie maker/george foreman to heat

2. Butter one side of each slice of bread

3. Spoon mincemeat onto the non buttered side of one slice

4. Top with dark a chocolate squares

5. Top with the second slice of bread, butter on the outside

6. Place in the toastie maker and cook!

7. Dust with icing sugar and devour!

(Leave to cool for a minute or so, the filling will be piping hot!)


Don’t fancy them for breakfast? Maybe make them to have with an episode of Corrie in the evening accompanied by a Baileys hot chocolate. Now we’re talking!

Enjoy!

Love Char xxx

Method in pictures:


All images are my own and not to be used without permission

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Trick or Treat with Total Sweet

Recipes
This recipe has been created in collaboration with Total Sweet Xylitol

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The season is here for things sweet and spiced and everything nice. So I teamed up with Total Sweet Xylitol to bring you these Orange Spiced chocolate chunk sandwich cookies.

Total sweet is a natural sugar alternative. Unlike other alternatives Total Sweet has the same texture and bakes/cooks in the same way as sugar just with fewer calories and carbs. Erm hello?! Is this not the dream?! I thought it was too good to be true too so I gave it go in these gorgeous Halloween inspired cookies.

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They aren’t my usual healthy protein creation but we all deserve an actually slightly naughty treat here and there. Now you can enjoy them too by following this recipe:

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Makes 40 cookies/ 20 cookie sandwiches

Ingredients

Cookies:
500g gluten free self raising flour
500g dairy free butter
500g Total Sweet xylitol
Egg substitute- Equivalent of 2 large eggs
1 bar green and blacks dark ginger chocolate
1 heaped tsp cinnamon
2-3 tsp orange flavouring
1 tsp vanilla extra

Filling:
125ml Alpro soya cream
1 large bar bourneville chocolate

Topping:
1 large bar dark chocolate
Icing sugar
Water
Orange colouring
Orange flavouring

Method:

Cookies:
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C
2. Grease large baking trays
3. In a mixing bowl cream together butter and Total Sweet Xylitol
4. Make up your egg substitute and add to the mixture
5. Add orange and vanilla extracts
6. Mix in the flour and cinnamon
7. Break up Green and Blacks into small pieces
8. Spoon mixture onto baking tray and press chocolate chunks into each cookie
9. Bake for approx 15 mins or until golden

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Filling:
1. Finely chop one bar of bourneville and place in a bowl
2. Heat cream- but do not boil
3. Pour cream over chocolate, leave it and let it melt
4. Stir the mixture to combine the chocolate and cream
5. Leave to stand and then chill in the fridge

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To finish:
1. Spoon filling between two cookies to sandwich together
2. Place in fridge to set together for approx 20-30mins
3. Melt the rest of your dark chocolate
4. Dip cookie sandwiches into the melted chocolate at one end.
5. Make up a thick orange icing using the icing sugar, water, orange flavouring and orange colouring
6. Drizzle icing across the top of the cookies and leave to set
7. Arrange beautifully and take photographs (optional)

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The recipe can be used just to make the cookies if you are after a slightly smaller treat or have less time. They are very delicious ! (even if I do say so myself)

The Total Sweet worked just like sugar and I can’t believe how happy I am with the final product. I will definitely be continuing to use it throughout my baking. You can find it in large supermarkets.

Why not head over and check out their website here.

Let me know if you make these and what Halloween inspired baking you are getting up to!

Love Char xxx

Dr Zak’s Vegan Peanut Butter Cups

All Things Fitness, Recipes

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Before I started following a plant based diet I was partial to a Reese’s in any form- Cups, Pieces, Nutrageous bars. What I’m trying to say I guess is that I have a long standing love affair with Chocolate and Peanut Butter. In my opinion they’re a match made in heaven so when Dr Zak’s sent me some of their powdered peanut butters I knew exactly what I was making.

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I chose to use powdered peanut butter because it’s lower in fat than your run of the mill jar of nut butter. It’s also really convent as you just mix it with water and ta-dah peanut butter. Have a look at the comparison below mine is the chocolate powdered peanut butter so it is higher in carbs but just look at the difference in fats per 100g.

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If you’re following a low carb, high fats diet then this probably wouldn’t be substitution for you, just stick to your fave nut butter but for the rest of us the substitution is great. They’re super yummy so here’s the recipe:

Serving size- 1 cup

Ingredients:

2 heaped tablespoons Dr Zaks Chocolate Powdered Peanut Butter
Dash of water
1 bar Sainsburys Basics Dark Chocolate (easy peasy and cheap!)
You will also need 4 cupcake cases

Method

1. Melt your dark chocolate
2. Make up your peanut butter to a thick consistency
3. Spoon some dark chocolate into each cupcake case and draw the chocolate up the sides also
4. Spoon in your Peanut butter on top of the chocolate dividing the mixture equally
5. Using the rest of the chocolate, spoon into each case so that all nut butter is covered
6. Place either in the fridge over night or in the freezer for a couple of hours to set

Voila! Easy peasy, lower in fat and far cheaper than shop bought peanut butter cups!

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In comparison to a Giant Reese’s Peanut Butter cup

Macros: (each)

Mine:

Kcal- 153
Carbs- 13.4g
Fat- 8.5g
Protein- 4g

Reese’s:

Kcal- 190
Carbs- 22g
Fat- 11g
Protein- 4g

Enjoy!

Love Char xxx

Farfetch X Barrecore Event 

All Things Fitness

A couple of weeks ago Farfetch invited myself and a selection of other blogger down for a Barre and Breakfast event. We were celebrating the launch of new activewear lines to their site. It was instantly a yes from me. Activewear, Barrecore and breakfast yes please!

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We headed to Mayfair to start our morning with a class at Barrecore. At this point I was 11weeks into my prep- so 2 weeks out from my competition. I walked in feeling pretty confident that as a dancer and in comparison to my other weights sessions, the class would be a breeze. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The class brought about a new stimulus for my muscles and a lot of isolation work for legs and glutes. Having trained legs the day before it is safe to say I found it rather difficult and experienced that really great burning sensation through most of the exercises. I would definitely recommend Barrecore to anyone, whether you’re a serial class pass user or just fancy trying something different, you’re in for a great workout!

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After Barrecore we made our way to NAC for a beautiful breakfast! Luckily for me it was a high carb day and due to being on prep I had to pick something from the menu that was close to what I would usually have in my plan. I opted for an apple Bircher topped with poached quince and a cinnamon and star anise drizzle. It was BEAUTIFUL! Definitely something I’m interested in trying to make myself for sure, I washed it down with a strong black Americano- of course!

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It was so lovely around the table talking blogging, fashion, photography and lifestyles with all of the other amazing girls and the Farfetch team. A very inspiring morning full of new experiences and celebrations. I can’t wait to give my new Varley crop top and Nike trainers a test drive.

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If you’ve never tried Barrecore before and it interests you head over to their site here and get yourself booked in! Also make your way over to the Farfetch website and get filling your basket with all of the gorgeous activewear they have up now!

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Thank you Farfetch for an amazing morning! If only every Wednesday started like this!

Love Char x

Images in this post are a combination of images taken by myself and by the official event photographer- not to be used without permission

Death by pancakes

All Things Fitness, Recipes

Now we’ve all seen protein pancakes all over Instagram, and most of us have had a pop at them. Let’s face it they aren’t difficult to make and are actually very tasty and filling.

After being on prep for 13 weeks I decided to act on one of my foodie fantasies and make STUFFED PROTEIN PANCAKES. Yep that’s right! You cut into them and the filling just oozes out! Since I’m such a lovely person, I thought you might like to make them too, so here’s the recipe!

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Ingredients:

•1 scoop chocolate protein powder
•1 scoop oats
•1.5 scoops self raising flour
•0.5 tsp baking powder
•Approx 250ml chocolate milk- I used chocolate oat milk
•Dark chocolate chips
•1 heaped tsp peanut butter
•1 heaped tsp chocolate spread
•1 Oreo

Method:

• mix all together in a bowl (except nut butter, chocolate spread and Oreo) consistency should be similar to American style pancakes, so thicker than crepes

•Spoon mixture into a small frying pan, place Oreo in the centre of the mixture, cover with more mixture – cook on a medium temperature so it cooks through without burning the outside.

• Once you see the mixture has cooked around the edges, flip and cook on the other side

• Repeat these steps with a spoon of PB and Chocolate spread (or desired fillings)

•I also topped mine with melted dark chocolate…

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Then devour and slip slowly into a food coma!

ENJOYYYYYYY

Love Char xxx

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

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

Making Prep Creative 

All Things Fitness, Recipes

Gooooood afternoon you wonderful lot!

Now, if you aren’t IIFYM and you have a repetitive diet on competition prep, it can be very easy to get bored. This is especially the case for me when the sun comes out and all I want is a tub of Almond Dream or Booja Booja ice cream.

So I decided to find a couple of ways to make my prep a little more exciting when I get those pesky cravings.

My third meal of the day includes a shake, so rather than having it as a shake I decided to blend it up and then freeze it in a bowl and make protein Ice cream!

Protein Ice cream

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  • 1 scoop protein powder (Chocolate Sun Warrior Classic)
  • 1 scoop Phil Richards Performance Greens- Coco choc (optional)
  • 10 g chia seeds
  • Approx 150ml water or milk

Method:

  1. Blend together the protein, greens and water
  2. Stir in the chia seeds
  3. Freeze
  4. Depending on how long you have frozen it for you may need to leave out for 5mins or so before serving and/or blend again
  5. Top with your desired toppings. I chose blueberries

It’s so easy to make. Just like ice cream!

BCAA Slushies

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Another great way to cool down on these (occasional) summer days.

  • 2 scoops BCAA – I chose MyProtein BCAA 4:1:1 Berry Blast
  • Water
  • Ice

Method 1

  1. Mix together your BCAA and a little water and blend with ice
  2. Enjoy!

Method 2

  1. Blend your BCAA and water then freeze
  2. Once frozen leave to stand for 5-10 mins
  3. Blend and enjoy!

 

These are so perfect, refreshing and keep you on track towards your goals! You could even make up two flavours and layer them pretending it’s one of those Fanta ones at the cinema…. You all know the ones!

BCAA Ice Lollies


Like the slushies, these are another way to use bcaas to stay on track and cool down without reaching for a fab!

  • BCAA- I used MyProtein BCAA 4:1:1 in Tropical Storm
  • Water
  • Ice lolly moulds

Method:

  1. Make up your BCAAs and pour into your ice lolly moulds
  2. Freeze
  3. Enjoyyyyyyy!

 

These are just a few ways I’m keeping my set prep food exciting. I’d love to hear what you do to keep it interesting too!

Love Char x

The Importance of a Good Support Network

All Things Fitness, Competition Prep

I have to be honest and say that I am so lucky to have SUCH a great support network. But why is it so important?

Competition prep is hard at the best of times never mind if you haven’t got people to turn to for support. We have (for the most part) set food and set training so if you’re not careful it can be very easy to alienate anyone around you who isn’t part of either of those factors. What we should really be doing is making sure that exactly that doesn’t happen. Sure, not everyone understands when you’re saying about how hard it is because this is a lifestyle or a single comp choice you have actively made BUT having people around you to talk to and/or distract you and pick you up is so important

Bikini competitions from the outside look (in my opinion) very glam. You get super tanned, put on the most sparkly, embellished bikini you will ever wear, you do your hair and make up all sexy, pop on your heels and strut around on stage in what could be the best condition of your entire life.

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What people don’t see (unless they’re really close to you) is the hours, days, weeks and months of preparation it takes to get there. They don’t see the mind games that your prep brain plays on you when you’re 12% body fat but don’t feel Lean enough. Even I had meat cravings last week and I haven’t eaten meat for over two years! Madness!

Most people only share their good moments and progresses on their social media- so you see the ‘YESSSS look at these gains!’ Photos or the ‘check out my cheat meal I love my prep’ photos and statuses. People are less willing to let you in on when they’re having bad prep days, when calories are low but training is high and they’re struggling mentally. I mean that’s totally fine that they don’t want to share that! But what I’m saying is, it’s those days where you really need that support network, someone you can just text and be like ‘hey, really struggling today’ and they’ll chat with you and either distract you or talk it out.

I’ve been away at summer camp for one week of my prep and I managed to prep most of my food for 5 days so that I could stay on track rather than the surprises that awaited in the dining room. The structure to my day was different to how it would be in London so I had to work out how I would be spacing my meals. The first day was very tough but my body soon acclimatised and Unworked through it. It was on the final day where it’s tradition for the coaches/staff to have dominoes pizza delivered in and have a drink to celebrate the end of a great summer together, that I found the hardest. I saved my final meal to eat with everyone so I didn’t alienate myself and just remove myself from the celebrations. I also told myself as a treat I could have a Diet Coke from our tuck shop while everyone was tucking into pizza, wine, beer and cider. We had no Diet Coke….. You know when you’ve thought about something all day and you’ve told yourself you can have it so you’re looking forward to it… And then you can’t, it’s out of your control you can’t have it. I DON’T EVEN LIKE FIZZY DRINKS! I went and boiled the kettle and sat down with a Twinings Nutty Chocolate Assam tea. Whilst yes it was delicious, it just didn’t have the same satisfaction as that treat of a Diet Coke was going to be. After a little while, sat there quite hungry, everyone having a great time all of a sudden I felt oh so overwhelmed, I removed myself from the room and had a little cry. Now, this isn’t a pity party and now on reflection it does sound silly but at the time I found that whole scenario very hard. Luckily my friends at camp are some of the best people I have ever met. Abi followed me out of the room, gave me a hug and was like ‘Charlotte, you’re incredible and I completely admire what you’re doing. I don’t know how you’ve done it here but you’re doing so well’ I needed that. A few of my other friends shared kind words in support too and even though it seems like a silly thing to be getting upset over, they were so understanding and supportive of was wonderful!

It’s those kinds of people you need in your life. No matter how small the problem- because it will feel huge at the time- we need people we can turn to to talk to. Without that support network, it all brews inside your head and makes everything so much worse.

Now, I LOVE competition prep and have very little to complain about. I was actually very excited to get back on prep and everyone laughed at me and was like ‘you must be the only one!’ I don’t just love the body I get at the end of it, I actually do love the whole process, watching my body transform and the intricacies of all the training and food planning. It’s amazing. I have chosen this lifestyle and it isn’t for everyone that’s for sure but I completely love it. I’m just saying, at some point you’re going to need those people around you for support so even though they may not completely understand your training, diet, Lifestyle… Just don’t push them away.

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To Mum, Dad, Jessica and my wonderful friends, thank you so much for your support I couldn’t do it without you

Love Char xxx