Favourites

Monthly Health and Fitness Favourites. I will show you what I have been loving that month, ranging from food to clothing to podcasts. It could be anything!

April Favourites 2017 : What I have been loving this month

This month I roped in my sister to help with what things to include in the April favourites 2017 blog post. It is a bit of a mixed bunch but hopefully you will find some value in this post and maybe try a couple of the things which we mention!

I have also filmed a chatty youtube video featuring what I am going to mention and would love you to also head on over there and check it out! Whilst you’re there why not have a look at some of my other videos too! I aim to upload 2 videos a week, a mixture of vlogging, tips, healthy meal idea, workouts and just generally things which i think you will enjoy! If you could comment, like or share the with any of your friends who you think may be interested then I will give you a big virtual squeeze!

I had a look back to see what I was loving in April 2016, and pretty much everything I mentioned I still use on a daily basis! Wonder if I will look back on my April favourites 2017  the same next year!

Ritter Coconut Chocolate
I tried this for the first time on camera as my sister rough me back a bar. Coconut is a flavour which I was never a fan of but over the past couple of years it has probably become one of my favourites! I was sceptical about this bar though as thought that surely the coconut cream would overwhelm the chocolate taste, I like the Lindt coconut chocolate but that only has small pieces in it…I was wrong. It is delicious. It is not overpowering at all and the chocolate is really smooth. If you like coconut, definitely pick it up!

Aldi Roasted Red Pepper Dip
I only spotted this last week as it must be a new product for summer. I expected a salsa type dip so was surprised to open it and find almost like a hummus type texture. I probably should have looked on the back of the packet and seen that cannellini beans were the second ingredient listed! It has a smoky taste and I have been enjoying with carrot and cucumber sticks on a lunchtime. The macros and calories are also brilliant, at about 60 calories for 50g.

Aldi roasted red pepper dip - april favourites 2017

Maybelline Lash sensational mascara:
This was one of my sisters favourites, but I know from past experience that I love Maybelline mascara so will be picking up one of these to try for sure!

Maybelline mascara - april favourites 2017

Asparagus
I love asparagus. It is definitely one of my favourite vegetables and I am so glad that it is now back in season and not so expensive to pick up from the supermarkets! My favourite way to cook is probably steamed and then roasted with some black pepper and lemon juice! So good. Pick some up next time you see it!

Lorna Jane Activewear:

lorna jane uk - april favourites 2017

https://www.lornajane.co.uk/
http://www.debenhams.com/women/lorna-jane
Another one of Hannah’s favourites. I don’t own any Lorna Jane clothing myself, but Hannah is a big fan. It is an Australian brand which is now becoming more readily available over here. The quality and style is at the more luxurious end of fitness wear, similar to Lululemon and Sweaty Betty in my opinion, so some of the items can be a bit more expensive. However if you are wanting to invest in some good quality gym wear which will make you feel amazing and last a long time, then I recommend you take a look and see if anything catches your eye!

A long way home (Lion) by Saroo Brierley : https://goo.gl/g8UFxV
This book is simply incredible. One of the best I have ever read. It is a story of an indian orphan who gets lost and finds himself in Kalkuta, 1000s of miles from home. He eventually gets adopted by an Australian family, and this book is the story of how he searched for his family back in India and their reunion. I shed a tear on a couple of occasions. Such a wonderful story and I think i need to now watch the film!

Lion - april favourites 2017

Sarah’s Day Youtube Channel: https://goo.gl/4eoy75

sarah's day youtube channel - april favourites 2017
I don’t know how I have not come across her channel before now! But basically I have been binge watching all of her videos this past month. Sarah is a fitness and lifestyle vlogger from Sydney, her videos show what she eats, how she trains and basically what she gets up to! She is such a happy person and that is infectious. All her videos make me so jealous and want to move to Australia! The lifestyle over there just looks like it would suit me so much, the food, the coffee shops, the gyms, the beaches, the weather…do i need to go on?! But yes check out her videos if you are after some motivation, food idea or workout tips, or if you just want to be put in a good mood!

Thanks so much for reading my april favourites 2017 and for all your continued support. I am forever grateful to each and every one of you for taking the time to read or comment, even you silent ones 😉

If there is anything which you think I need to try this coming month, let me know! I would love to hear from you!

Love Abi xxxx

March favourites coming at you, a few days late but hope you don’t mind!

Morrisons Moroccan Style Cauliflower Cous Cous
Carrot spaghetti, butternut squaffles, courgette sheets, there is no shortage of new low carb vegetable alternatives in the supermarkets at the moment. I am a big fan of them, they are great for bulking out meals and getting your daily vegetable intake up! Morrisons have just come out with a new Moroccan style cauliflower cous cous which I have been loving this month. I find normal cauliflower rice can be a bit beige and boring without any seasonings or additions, so was pleased when I saw that Morrisons had taken this hassle away for us! It contains Pepper, Onion, Sweet Potato, Spring Greens, Chickpeas and Dried Apricot, as well as Moroccan seasonings. For 100g it is only 43 calories. I have been enjoying warmed up with salads or as a side dish with chicken tagine!

Morrisons moroccan style cauliflower cous cous review

Morrisons Eat Smart Pesto

A little bit of pesto can transform any meal as the flavour is so strong! However some of the standard jars can be very high in calories due to the nuts and oil which they contain. This jar from Morrisons is great at only 20 calories for 10g, and 10g is all you need per portion. I have been enjoying stirred through courgetti with sundried tomatoes and chicken for a quick and tasty meal after work.

Morrisons Eat smart pesto

Aldi Hike Protein Bars
You do not need protein bars, however they do come in handy from time to time when you are on the go and just need a little something to keep you going. Unfortunately, they can still be quite expensive to purchase as opposed to a regular chocolate bar, and some of them actually contain a lot more calories. I spotted these ones in Aldi at the beginning of the month and decided to give them a try as they were only about 60p per bar. No they are not as nice tasting as my usual favourites Grenade or Oh Yeh Bars!, however they are convenient and cheaper. They remind me a bit of the naked bars in texture but about twice the size. There is a chocolate, banana and berry flavour in the range and they are about 170 calories per bar.

Aldi Hike Protein Bar Review

Kiwis
This is my random item of the month! But I have been loving Kiwis recently. They contains five times more vitamin C than an Orange! I have been loving having them just chopped up in my yoghurt bowl at the end of the night in addition to berries.

kiwis

Chimp Paradox – Prof Steve Peters
On my quest to read 30 books this year, one of my good friends Chris surprised me with this book in the post. ‘This book will change your life if you let it,’ were the words on an attached note. I would highly recommend this book to anybody, whether you struggle with anxiety or damaging thoughts or not. This book has enabled me to try and be clear with my thoughts and realise when ‘my chimp is taking over.’ When problems have arisen I have been trying to think of the solution (using my human brain) rather than focusing on the feelings it has given me (my chimp). With all self help and development books, you do not change over night however I do believe that I have started to implement some of the teachings within this one. It is now full of highlighted passages which I will go back and read over to really solidify what I have read. The mind is a curious, crazy and interesting thing and I don’t think we will ever completely understand how it works. Get it here.

The Chimp Paradox - march favourites

Morrisons Apple and Elderflower sparkling water
This has been my fizzy drink of choice in the fridge to kill any sweet cravings which I might have been having from time to time. I love elderflower flavoured things and this one is lovely and summery.

Apple and elderflower sparkling water - morrisons

Favourite Exercise – bottoms up KB Press
I saw this exercise on a recent Youtube video by Amanda Bucci where she was having a training session with coach PJ Nestler. He explained how you don’t need a heavy weight and it will set your core on fire. I tried it out first and then have had a couple of clients do the same with great results!

So those are my March Favourites for 2017, hope you enjoyed reading them and maybe picked up on a few ideas to try! As always if there is anything which you have been loving and think that I need to try let me know!

Love Abi xxxx

February Favourites

For some reason even though this month is only 2 days shorter than others we all seem to think it goes by so much quicker?! Baffling.

I don’t seem to have many February favourites , I had so many in January that I think I have just carried on with more of the same! There are still a few though which I would like to share with you.

I think that I am also going to use this monthly blog post to update you all on my #30B430 quest and how I am getting on with it. If it doesn’t work then I will write up separate blog posts instead!

Digestive Thins Cappuccino Flavour

Okay, so I know these biscuits were in my last favourites, but I hadn’t discovered the cappuccino flavour until this month and it is hands down the best one! The coffee flavour definitely comes through with the milk chocolate topping. Like I said before, the ultimate chocolate to biscuit ratio! You can get them from Tesco!

Digestive Thins Cappuccino Flavour review february favourites

Lidl Crusti Choc Chocolate

This doesn’t have the most appealing name I admit, but the taste more than makes up for it! I have to have some form of chocolate every night, it is what keeps me sane! Even now that I have started my summer diet, I will be making sure to factor some in. We found this one when Lidl opened in Scarborough a couple of weeks ago, it is milk chocolate with like rice crispie puffs in it! The macros and calories are pretty standard for chocolate, 25g is 130 calories but I probably have about half that which tends to satisfy me the majority of the time! It is also in weird blocks rather than the usual squares!

Lidl Crusti Choc Review february favourites

Cauliflower, Quinoa & Harissa Spiced Chickpea Salad from Marks and Spencer

If you have seen any of my youtube videos this month then you will have seen that I have been loving having this for my dinner on an evening. Marks and Spencer have a great range of salads, and they are all now coming back into stock as we are coming into Spring! This one is a new one I think which they didn’t have last year, I wasn’t expecting much but the dressing and flavour combination is absolutely amazing!! They are 2 for £3 which I think is really good value if you are needing something quick and on the go. The calories on some of them are brilliant too, this one is only 120 for the full pack.

february favourites

Beanies Amaretto Almond Coffee

I love my daily coffee. Usually I have the cinder toffee flavoured one from Beanies, however a client encouraged me to try this almond amaretto flavour the next time I saw it on sale! So I picked some up in Sainsbury’s to have and it is really good! Just strong enough for you  to taste the amaretto without it being overwhelming. I usually just have mine black with sweetener but you don’t even need that! They have just brought out some new flavours which I have seen online with added Vitamin D so can’t wait to get my hands on those!

Beanies Amaretto Coffee review february favourites

Box Jumps

I had a huge fear of box jumps, in fact I probably still do. We got some new padded boxes at the gym of varying heights which has enabled me to have a go! Box Jumps are great for increasing your power output which will transfer over to your other lifts as well in the gym. I have been using them as a bit of a cardio finisher as well with myself and some of my clients! I am only using the 18” box at the moment which is nothing compared to some people, but I am building myself up gradually!

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Here is an article on by Bret Contreras on the benefits of power training alongside strength.

Natacha Oceane Youtube Channel

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I recently discovered Natacha’s channel after seeing she had posted a 10,000 calorie challenge, she can definitely eat! But she is much more than that, I find her content really original and entertaining. She gives out really great training advice and ideas. I would recommend that you check her out for sure.

Jo Malone – Sea Salt and Wood Sage Fragrance
I picked up my first Jo Malone fragrance in duty free at Christmas in the pear and freesia smell, but my sister bought me this one for my birthday as a surprise. It is so beautiful, the smell is just divine and I always get compliments on it when I put it on! They are expensive but I think they will now be my go to fragrance! I want a candle as well for when I am working to create a ‘hygge’ environment (can you tell that is one of the books I read this month?!) but I will need to save up for that one!!

Jo Malone  wood sage and sea salt fragrance review february favourites

Jo Malone Sea Salt and Wood Sage 

So that is all my February favourites; I will do my best to try and find better quality favourites for March!! If you have any suggestions then please send them my way and I will endeavour to seek them out and try!

Love Abi xxxx

Is it just me or has January seemed to have gone on forever?

I have had a jam packed month:

My days have been full of clients, new and old.
I have fulfilled my promise of blogging every day this month, which at times hasn’t been easy! But I am really proud of the amount of worthwhile content which I have produced.
I have kept up with all of my New Years resolutions so far.
I enjoyed a night away with my best friend for some time out.

It has been a good month.

I have also discovered a few new things which I want to share with you!

Joe and Sephs Salted Caramel Popcorn
This may have become my absolute favourite popcorn though which you all know I am a fan of for snacking. I had seen it on social media but none of the supermarkets sell it, until I saw it in Aldi of all places! At just over £2 per bag it isn’t the cheapest, but it is so good and worth it in my book! They have lots of other flavours on their website which I want to try asap! Smooth Caramel and Expresso sounds amazing, I will maybe have to put an order in to try some more…

Joe and Seph's salted caramel popcorn review

Muller Light Chocolate Fix Salted Caramel Desserts
Another salted caramel product, sorry! It was my client Annie who first told me about how good these were, and as I am a sucker for anything salted caramel flavour I had to go and find them to try. They are good. A smooth silky yoghurt texture which doesn’t taste low calorie at all. They are 93 calories per pot, so perfect as either a snack or after dinner when you are craving that something sweet. I got them from Sainsbury’s and think it was £2 for a pack of 4.

Muller Salted Caramel Chocolate Dessert Review

Almond and Coconut Milk Mochas
I usually buy one or the other type of milk but saw this combination of the two and thought I should try it. I like to use milk in my low calorie Mochas and use a milk frother which I got just before christmas from Amazon for a couple of quid to make them taste that extra bit special! If you don’t have one and you are a fan of milky coffees then I would highly recommend you invest! I am not dairy intolerant, I just prefer the taste of this milk.

Alpro Coconut Almond Milk Review

McVities Chocolate Digestive Thins
I saw the Oreo thins in Tescos and picked some up, but was so disappointed with them. The best part of an oreo is the filling, so by halving the amount you are ruining a perfectly good biscuit! Chocolate digestives on the other hand, the chocolate is the best part right?! I have no idea how they have made these so thin and have a good layer of chocolate on them! At 31 calories per biscuit, that is nearly 3 times less calories than a regular chocolate digestive. You can also get them in dark chocolate and cappuccino varieties but I am yet to pick those up yet. I would love them to bring out a Chocolate hobnob thin too!

McVities Chocolate Digestive Thins Review

Sherwood’s Vegetable Sides
I picked a couple of these up when they were on offer in Morrisons at the beginning of the month. There are 4 varieties in this new product range. It is just something a little bit different to have for your dinner instead of plain rice or potato.

Each packet contains two servings, and average calories per serving are between 100-120. So far we have tried the Chickpea Sabji which was really tasty, I sometimes worry with packet curry sauces that they just take synthetic and processed but this one was full of flavour and spices. Next up was the Saag Aloo, a mixture of spinach and potato, I really enjoyed this one but Hannah preferred the chickpea one. Of course you could cook and make your own, but if you just want something quick and easy to pop in the microwave then I would recommend picking a couple up to stock your cupboards with.

Sharwood's Vegetable Sides Review

Headspace Mindfulness App
It was one of my resolutions and goals to take more time out for myself this year and become a little bit more mindful and work on my anxiety. I am currently reading ‘Tools of Titans’ by Tim Ferriss, and the number of people who practise meditation and swear by it as part of their success and happiness is huge.

Headspace is an app which I had seen recommended a few times within the book and Lewis Howes (The School of Greatness podcast) talks about it in particular glowing terms as helping him improve his mindfulness; so I figured I would download the app and give the 10 day free trial a go.

Headspace mindfulness App

I am now on my 23rd day in a row. I completed the 10 day free trial and then signed up for monthly membership. It is weird. I cant really say how I think it is benefiting me in my daily life but for some reason I think it is. It is 10 minutes every day, where I sit and listen to ‘Andy’ talk about breathing and how you are feeling. You would think that 10 minutes sitting and breathing with your eyes closed would seem like forever, but it passes by in the blink of an eye!

Just taking these 10 minutes before I get my day started seems to be doing something, and I am enjoying the process so far.

Hope you found this one useful!

If you have any recommendations of products or things which I might like then send the my way!

Love Abi xxxx

I will be honest, I was really struggling to come up with an idea for a blog post for today, I was practically banging my head against my desk. But I took a time out, put a podcast on, and WHAM there it was, what are my favourite podcasts. All the ones I listen to are recommendations from people, so why not give you mine?! Hopefully you will subscribe to one of two of them which catch your eye and get something out of them like I do.

It is very rare nowadays that I will listen to the radio or music whilst I am in the car, but rather I have a subscription to audible.co.uk and have a book on the go, or I listen to podcasts.

I find that it is a much better use of my time than listening to the same songs on a loop over and over again.

If you don’t like listening to them in the car, then alternatively plug something in and go for a 30minute walk every day. Exercise your mind and your body at the same time.

#1 Ted Talks
This is a recent addition to my podcast playlist, and is really the main reason behind my goal of learning something new every day. It was when I was scrolling through the list of episodes that I realised how much ‘stuff’ I had absolutely no idea about.

The episodes are usually 15-20minutes long and are on important subject matters from a huge variety of speakers. They never fail to make me stop, question and think. Recently I have learnt about nuclear weapons, online trolls, and ‘unanswered questions in physics…..’

If you want an episode recommendation to start you off then I loved ‘What I learned from 100 days of rejection by Jia Jiang.’

Ted Talks Link

Ted Talks Podcast

#2 Shredded By Science Radio
This is the company who I am furthering my qualifications with. They are top of the game in terms of the fitness and nutrition sector. If you don’t follow them and you are a Personal Trainer, then get it sorted ASAP.

Lawrence is a brilliant host of the podcast, always engaging and questioning his guests, with plenty of humour thrown in.

Episodes range from interviews with scientists about the latest research and how it should be applied, talks with other personal trainers, and some of my favourite episodes are Q & A’s with questions submitted by listeners.

Always informative and entertaining. It isn’t just for Personal Trainers though, if you are interested in health and nutrition and reaching your goals then get downloading.

Shredded by Science Link

Shredded by Science Podcast

#3 The Food for Fitness Podcast
Scott Baptie has some great guests on this show. From former Olympic Athletes to Fitness Cover models, Scott asks the best questions to find out what you really want to know.

His no nonsense approach to health and fitness is one of the main reasons I started to follow his work and really like to content which he produces.

One of my favourite recent episodes was with Geoff Cooke which was titled ’71 year old Intensive Care patient to World Champion Cyclist in 9 weeks.’ This wasn’t just a clickbait title either, it was true and so inspiring.

Food For Fitness Link

Food for Fitness Podcast

#4 The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes
I wont lie, the amount of adverts on this podcast does my head in, but I realise that they are needed to help profit from such great work!

There are two episodes a week on this podcast, one which is a long interview with somebody extremely successful, and then a shorter one on a Friday which is less information to digest but just and if not more useful.

His guests are from a huge variety of backgrounds, from NBA stars to authors, from DJs to psychologists, but the content is always so entertaining. I always learn something new.

One of my favourite recent episodes was with the founder of crossfire Greg Glassman. I loved hearing from a business point of view the reasons why and how Crossfit has become so successful in recent years.

The School of Greatness Link

The school of greatness podcast

#5 The Body and The Beast
This is a relatively new podcast, there have only been 10 episodes so far. The hosts are Jamie Alderton and Dan Meredith, both extremely successful people in their industries.

Basically this podcast inspires me to ‘get sh*t done!’

The amount of passion they have for success and achieving what they set out to do, is infectious, you almost feel left behind after listening to an episode.

It isn’t for the faint hearted, DEFINITELY don’t play this one if you have kids in the car! However I just feel so motivated and inspired after listening to what they achieve every day. We all have the same number of hours in the day, it is how we use them that determines how successful we are.

These episodes are long. Upwards of an 90minutes so I do have to listen to them on separate occasions, but they are so worth it. If you need a kick up the backside, or to ignite some fire in your belly to go out and do whatever it is you want, then give this one a listen to!!

The Body and The Beast Link

the body and the beast podcast

Thanks of reading! I hope you will go ahead and subscribe to some of these and get learning!

Love Abi xxxx

January Blog a Day 28/31