Review: Simply Simon – Peanut Butter Balls

IMG_0668 2

When it comes to sweet vs savoury, I’m team sweet. For that reason I always ensure that there is something in my meal prep that will satisfy my sweet tooth. Recently, though I found that I kept eating the same things. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely enjoy what I eat, but variety is the spice of life and I want to make sure that I don’t get bored with my food. I spoke to my good friend Simon and he supplied me with these amazing peanut butter balls in the photo above. 

Initial reaction: I felt that they were quite small, but was happily surprised at how filling these little guys were. I had three of them a day and not only did they satisfy my sweet tooth but they also helped give me a cheeky afternoon energy boost.

Texture: The oats on the outside of the peanut balls provides a nice crunch to compliment their soft gooey interior (trying my best to sound like one of the judges on Masterchef here).

Taste: If you like peanut butter these taste phenomenal.

Macros Per Peanut Butter Ball:

Calories: 71

Fat 2.3g

Carbs 12.2g

Protein 2g]

Simon also provides meal prep as well as cooking classes. You can find him on instagram @simplysimonchef or check out his website http://simplysimonchef.com 

If you’re interested (you’d be crazy not to be) be sure to get in touch with him. 

I know you’ll enjoy these as much as I did.

Jay xx

Raspberry, Cinnamon & Nutmeg Protein Muffins

IMG_0453

You guys have asked and I have listened. Here is the recipe for my delicious raspberry, cinnamon and nutmeg protein muffins with dark and white chocolate chips.

Ingredients: 

  1. 1 Scoop vanilla protein powder
  2. 1 Tablespoon coconut flour
  3. 1 Teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1 Teaspoon cocoa powder
  5. 1/2 Teaspoon nutmeg
  6. 1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon
  7. 2 Tablespoons 0% fat greek yoghurt 
  8. 75 grams fresh raspberries
  9. 2 medium sized eggs
  10. 30ml almond milk
  11. 1 square dark chocolate and 1 square white chocolate

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 150 degrees
  • Blend together the protein powder, coconut flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, greek yoghurt, raspberries, eggs and almond milk until mixture is well mixed and a smoothie like consistency.
  • Place your mixture into a muffin tin/cupcake moulds
  • Chop the chocolate up into smaller squares and place them on the top of the mixture
  • Place in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes
  • Let cool for 5 minutes 
  • Enjoy 

Hope you guys enjoy these as much as I did

Jay xx

You Over-indulged! Now what?

IMG_2393 2

When I was just beginning my fitness journey I strived to be perfect. I didn’t want to miss a session or eat anything “bad” and if I did I thought the only solution was to restrict my calories and exercise more. I couldn’t have been more wrong. You should never punish yourself with exercise and by restricting food intake just because you ate something you enjoy.

In an ideal world we’ll always be able to strike the right balance and moderation, when eating the foods that we enjoy that aren’t nutrient dense. However, the reality is that we are human and sometimes we’ll have a bit more to drink than is ideal or help ourselves to a few too many slices of cake. 

So I decided to share a few tips with you guys on what to do when these situations happen:

  1. Get back on track with your next meal: just because you have overdone it on this occasion does not mean that all your hard work and discipline has gone to waste. Take the opportunity to get back on track with your next meal. Don’t just say “fuck it” and continue to binge. If you dropped your phone and the screen cracked, would you keep throwing it about to make it worse? So why do the same with your nutrition?
  1. Don’t use exercise as punishment: Just as you should go back to eating as normal without restricting food, you should continue to train as you usually would. Don’t do endless hours of cardio! Exercise is meant to be enjoyed, it should never be a form of punishment for eating things that we enjoy. 
  1. Address underlying issues: Sometimes food is used as a coping mechanism. Personally when I’m stressed or sleep deprived I tend to crave sugary things and find it harder to be disciplined. Addressing what is causing me stress and ensuring that I am getting enough sleep helps me to avoid binging and over-indulging

I hope you guys found these helpful.

Jay xx

Ice-cream for Breakfast: Protein Pancake Recipe

IMG_0721

Hey guys, quite a few of you have been asking for my protein pancake recipe so here you go:

For the Pancakes:

  • 1 scoop white chocolate protein powder
  • 1 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 squares dark chocolate
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 scoop water (I just use my protein scoop) 

For the toppings:

  • Salted Caramel Halo Top Ice cream 
  • 1 tsp salted caramel sauce 

Method

  1. Place protein powder, coconut flour, baking powder, chocolate, eggs and water in a blender and blend together until you get a smooth mixture,
  2. Place mixture in a hot pan according to the size you want your pancakes. Tip* I use my protein scoop, that way my pancakes are the same size.
  3. Flip the pancake once bubbles begin to form and then cook until lightly golden.
  4. Stack on a plate or in a bowl and top with a few spoons of the ice-cream
  5. Heat up the salted caramel sauce in a microwave for 15 secs and dribble it over the pancakes.
  6. Enjoy

Meal Prep 101: Busy Persons Guide to Meal Prep

IMG_9785

One of the main reasons people struggle to achieve their fitness goals is that they expect to find time to exercise and to eat well instead of realising that they have to make the time. Maybe you work full-time, study full-time or have other responsibilities (such as children, social engagements, a job that requires a lot of travel, working late night shifts, a lot of assignments, etc). I am by no means suggesting that these are bad excuses, on the contrary because I believe in their validity I want to provide a few tips which can help even the busiest person make time for meal prepping. 

Regardless of the approach you take to nutrition there are loads of benefits of prepping meals. Including ensuring that you stay on track of you nutrition by avoiding making convenient and less nutritious choices at lunch time. Having meals prepped and taking them into work with you will also save you money. 

I am by no means a meal prep expert and I am not suggesting that your approach to meal prep should be the same as mine. My intent in sharing it with you guys is that you may find it a helpful guide if you are struggling in this area. 

Jay’s Tips:

  • Plan your meals in advance: To help make life easier when you have some free time write-up a list of foods to eat during the week. If you track macros and can use an app such as my fitness pal or if you prefer taking an intuitive eating approach you can either type up a list or go old school and put pen to paper. 
  • Prep meals for two days: I find that when you prep meals for the whole week by the time you get to day 4 it tastes foul. I find that preparing meals for every two days ensures that food stays fresh and tasty. Prepping meals this way also means not spending hours in the kitchen. Another thing you can do as well is to double up on your dinner and take the second portion into work/uni with you as your lunch. 
  • Eat foods you like: I know that this point sounds obvious but you’d be surprised how many times people eat foods they don’t like because they are labeled “superfoods” or “fat-burning.” Long story short these labels are just that, labels. If you don’t like what you have packed to eat you are less likely to stick to your nutrition in the long-term. 
  • Keep things simple: We often try to over complicate things. Keep your meals simple, there is no need to try to be Gordan Ramsey and create dishes that take you hours (which means you’ll be unlikely to keep prepping in the long-term). 

Hope these tips help. 

Jay xx

Listening to Your Body:Rest & Recovery

 

20727898_1718194315142147_5573717834718224385_n

Rest and recovery are easily overlooked factors when it comes to the achievement of our fitness goals. It’s easy to get sucked into thinking that the more exercise you do the better off you’ll be, however, when it comes to exercise more is not necessarily better. Even the world’s top athletes will have rest days scheduled into their training programs.

Why are rest days Important?

  • Helps to prevent injury: exercising without taking time to rest means that your muscles run the risk of becoming overused which can lead to injuries
  • Allows your muscles time to repair: rest days give our muscles time to grow and repair which ultimately allows you to gain benefits of the training that you’re doing.
  • Helps to keep you from burning out both physically and mentally: exercising is a form of stress that we place on our bodies, when we place too much stress on our bodies we can burn ourselves out mentally (lacking motivation and enthusiasm to engage in activities that we typically enjoy) and physically (not seeing any progress in our training and even struggling to maintain the same intensity and consistency in our training).

I hear you though. “Jay, I already have rest days in my program” and that’s great, but do you listen to your body and give yourself additional rest days when you need it. It can sometimes be difficult to differentiate between when you need to push yourself a little bit and when you need to back off. I still struggle with this so I thought I would share with you guys a few signs your body gives you when it needs rest and recovery:

  • Intense and prolonged DOMS
  • Prolonged lack of motivation to train
  • Insomnia
  • Feeling more irritated than usual
  • Feeling drained after what usually feels like a good workout
  • Decreased sex drive

I know that for many people taking a day off of training, especially one that they didn’t plan on having can be quite hard, but you will reap the benefits of it. Taking a day off of the gym doesn’t mean that you have to be a couch potato. Go for a walk or a hike or do some other fun activity you keep telling yourself you’ll do but never manage to find the time for.

Just some food for thought

Jay xx

Eating Well On a Budget

IMG_9127

 

From a very young age my mum always drilled the fact into my head that there are certain things in life where you look to make a bargain and others where you need to invest and focus on quality. Our health is definitely in the group of things that we need to invest in, because no matter how much money you have you can’t buy health and wellbeing. That being said investing in your health doesn’t need to cost you and arm and a leg, so I’ve put together a list of 10 of my favourite foods that are nutrient dense and won’t break the bank.

  1. Vegetables (e.g. potatoes, leafy veg, broccoli, carrots, etc)
  2. Tinned beans and lentils
  3. Eggs
  4. Fruits and Frozen Berries
  5. Oats
  6. Chicken and lean meats (Butcher shops do chicken and lean meat packages so make sure you check out your local butchers alternatively there are several places online that do chicken and lean meat packages)
  7. Tinned fish (e.g. tuna)
  8. Yoghurt
  9. Grains
  10. Seeds and Nuts

Just some food for thought

Jay xx

Coconut Raspberry & Oat Muffins

 

BBF4380C-98C4-429A-80BF-F10C8440B3FA

Ingredients: 

  • 90g coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp oats
  • 2 eggs
  • A handful fresh raspberries
  • Filling of your choice I opted for either peanut butter and jam or hazelnut chocolate spread

Method:

  • Pre-heat oven to 150 degrees
  • Blend together all the ingredients (i used my nutri-bullet but you could alternatively use a whisk)  except for the ones for the ones you’ll be using for the filling
  • Place mixture into muffin moulds
  • Bake at 150 for 10-12 until golden
  • Once done give 10 minutes to cool
  • Cut muffins in half and put filling inside
  • Enjoy

Hope you guys enjoy these as much as I did

Jay xx

5 Tips to Help Create a Healthy Relationship with Food

 

68FD04DB-E2D2-488D-B456-A4C288779E0F.jpg

Having battled for so many years in a toxic relationship with food. I thought I would share with you guys a few tips that have helped me find balance when it comes to nutrition and build a healthier relationship with food.

  1. Don’t Restrict = When you restrict food you start focusing on all the things that you can’t have and this can lead to binge eating. When you’ve binged you feel crappy and when you feel crappy you binge more and thus a vicious cycle is created. Instead of restricting, focus on ensuring that the majority of your meals are made up of nutrient dense foods while still allowing yourself to enjoy all your favourite things (in moderation of course 😉 ). Approaching nutrition in this way allows you to fill your body with mostly nutrient dense foods without feeling deprived.
  1. Don’t Label Foods = When you stop labelling food as being either “good” or “bad” you give yourself the freedom to  just enjoy the foods that are good for your soul without feeling guilt.
  1. View it as a lifestyle change = The approach to nutrition you take (i.e. paleo, keto, vegan, vegetarian, etc) should be taken for the right reasons. You shouldn’t pick it solely to lose weight. Moreover, you should be able to see yourself doing it a year from now. Viewing things from this perspective will help you step away from the quick fix mentality and you will be more likely to make sustainable changes that will allow you to be consistent in the long-term.
  1. Address the underlying issues which trigger you to binge or avoid food = Addressing what triggers you and leads you to having a toxic relationship with food is crucial. Failing to address these issues will block you from making true progress and instead you’ll fall back into old unhealthy habits. For me there were a few issues which needed to be addressed most notable were the relationship I had with myself, building up my self-confidence and self-esteem and the second was to recognise when I was stressed and to find alternative ways of coping with it. Since addressing these issues I no longer go to food for comfort.
  1. Be patient = Changing old habits and creating new ones takes time. It is not going to be a smooth process, you will most likely make mistakes. Be patient and be kind to yourself and most importantly don’t give up. I’m not claiming to be perfect but these factors have helped me build a healthier relationship with food and I hope that they can do the same for you guys.

Hope you guys find these helpful

Love Jay xx

Quick Fixes: Waist Trainers & Detoxes

Juice-Detox

 

I don’t know about you guys but lately my social media feeds have been filled with these “miracle” products that promise an array of things from dramatic weight loss in only a few days to the complete removal of cellulite. To make matters worse some of these products are promoted by influencers such as IG models and celebrities which leave people convinced that these types of products actually work and see them wasting their money on them.

We live in a society where we are constantly taught to love and accept others but rarely reminded that this love and acceptance should be applied to ourselves. When we covet something we want to have it as soon as possible and in the easiest manner possible. So it comes as no surprise why products which are marketed to our insecurities promising quick and easy results become so popular.

The non-sexy and unmarketable truth about achieving fitness goals (or any goal for that matter) is that they take time (a lot of it), patience, hard work, discipline and dedication. You didn’t get to where you are overnight, so you’re not going to get to where you want to be overnight. If a product is offering you something that seems too good to be true, the likelihood is that it probably is.

Lets talk about some of these for a minute:

Waist Trainers: these are based on corsets which were worn in the 16th century. The logic behind them is that if you wear them for a certain period of time everyday you will see a reduction of size in your waist.

    • There is no scientific evidence to support the claim that the shape of your body can be altered through the use of spot reduction.
    • While the illusion of an hour-glass figure created by a waist trainer is temporary the damage caused by waist trainers can be permanent including damage to internal organs, the spine and ligaments.

Detoxes: The idea here is that after an indulgent period of eating (such as the holiday season) you can wash away toxins that have been accumulated by the body (from unhealthy foods and drinks to the polluted air that we breathe) by drinking juiced vegetables and fruits. One of the main benefits other than removing these toxins from the body is weight-loss.

    • Doctors and investigations conducted over some these detoxes have found that they aren’t backed by science
    • Edzard Ernst a Professor of Medicine at the University of Exeter has said that “the healthy body has kidney’s, a liver, lungs and skin” that detox the body
      • The best way to react after an indulgent period is just to eat well and to exercise
    • Moreover the weight that is lost during these detoxes is not fat it is water which will comeback as soon as you start eating food again.

The message to take home is do your research before you use or buy products. Don’t just use them because your favourite IG model or celebrity is using them.

Just some food for thought

Jay xx