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!

Instagram is the social media platform of the moment! We all like flicking through the pretty photos, being nosey and seeing what everyone is up to! But there is a lot of value and learning which can be taken away from certain accounts!

 I follow a LOT of fitness instagram accounts so it was hard just choosing these top 5. But I think you would all gain something from following them all!

Alex Gildea Personal trainer

@gildeafitness
Alex was my first trainer when I joined the gym for the very first time when i was 17 and trying to get fit for a hockey tour to Australia. He has since moved away and now works in London. He uploads workout videos on the daily. They are always entertaining to watch and are brilliant for helping with workout ideas and exercises to try (some are certainly more achievable than others!) He tends to forget his shirt quite a bit too….

Clean Eating Alice. Instagram to follow

@clean_eating_alice
Alice currently has 481,000 followers on Instagram, so if you are interested in fitness then the chances are you are already following her! But if you are not then you should be! Her page is full of yummy recipe and meal ideas, as well as some workout videos. She is extremely likeable and relatable too. Downside is, whenever she posts food it always makes me super hungry!!

Hazel Wallace. The fOOD mEDIC instagram to follow

@thefoodmedic
Hazel is a full time Junior Doctor as well as fitness blogger and youtuber. How she fits everything I genuinely do not know! Her posts are also a mixture of foodie ideas and workout snaps. If I am ever in need of some motivation then I usually head to her social media as it shows me what is possible with my time and to just get on with it! If you have a crazy work schedule too and struggle to fit in work and prep food, then I suggest you go check her out as she is always giving tips on maximising workout time as well as what is in her lunchbox!

Amanda Bucci Fitness Instagram to follow

@amandabuccifit
Amanda is an American youtuber based in Los Angeles. She is a bikini competitor and is about to enter her first power lifting competition as well. I really enjoy the content of her videos and instagram, as she is always trying to give you information on a certain topic. She doesn’t just go down the line of posting the standard ‘booty shot’ every time she enters the gym. Her captions are usually pretty long and worth taking the extra few moments to read!

Bret Contreras Best Fitness instgram to follow

@bretcontreras1
The Glute Guy. I am not sure he needs any more of an introduction! He is my go to for choosing the best glute exercises as he is scientific based so everything he talks and writes about is research and evidence backed. If you see me performing a weird and wonderful exercise in the gym, then 9 times out of 10 I have got the idea from him! He tends to write up a lot of his own workouts as well as those which he does in ‘the Glute Lab’ and it is always really interesting to see what he is currently doing but also why!

PS. If you are not following me on there yet, then i would love you to do so! I share a lot more of my daily happenings over there! Click this link to see!

Who are your favourite instagrammers and why?!

Love Abi xxxx

January Blog a Day 13/31

 

Recently I was kindly sent a few samples of the Aussie Bodies Protein Bars to try. I had seen a few posts on social media about them and so was looking forward to giving them a try! There are quite a few flavours to choose from but they sent me three different flavours to try; Salted Caramel, Choc Fudge and Peanut Butter Caramel. Salted Caramel is my jam so obviously had to try that one first. I have a mild allergy to peanuts so had to rope in my sister to try that one and review!

Aussie Bodies Protein Bar review

They are about half the size of your regular protein bar, and therefore come in at under 100 calories and macro wise come in at 8-9g of Protein; 10g of Carbs and 3g Fat on average across the range. They are high in fibre and low in sugar too.

Salted Caramel
There is a caramel layer on top of a nougat like centre and covered in milk chocolate. In terms of flavour you can definitely say taste the salted caramel. It is quite chewy and almost reminiscent of a quest bar in terms of texture.

Peanut Butter Caramel
My sister was unfortunately pretty brutal with this one. ‘I would have had no idea it was meant to be peanut flavour if you hadn’t have told me.’ She said the flavour was lost and it was just too chewy to enjoy. A thumbs down from her I think!

Choco Fudge
Again this one had a nougat type centre covered in milk chocolate. The initial chocolatey taste was nice but then there was a bit of a strange after taste which I couldn’t pin point and wasn’t a fan of.

Aussie Bodies Protein Bar review

Overall these bars are not the best I have ever tasted and certainly not the worst. I believe they are available from Boots at 99p, so if I was out and about and in need of a protein snack then I probably would pick the Salted Caramel one up again.

Unfortunately they wont be replacing my favourite Grenade bars or Oh Yeah! bars on my favourites list!

I was very grateful to receive this sample of bars from Aussie Bodies, but all views and opinions are truthfully my own.

Love Abi xxx

January Blog a Day 8/31

Rather than do a favourites post for December, I have decided to do a recap over my top 10 favourite things from 2016.

Looking back over each monthly blog which I have done this year, there are some items which I have become essentials, others which have come and gone and some which upon reading reminded me why I loved them so much. There are also a couple on this list which for some reason or other never made it onto a specific blog post!

So here it is, my top 10 2016 favourites. Hope you enjoy.

Rolo mousse – July Favourites

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The number of people who have come up to me and said that this has now become there go to dessert after I posted about them back in July is crazy! I have had some in the freezer ever since, and not a week goes by without me having one. Such a good low calorie treat if you are craving something sweet.

PEScience Snickerdoodle Protein Powder – May Favourites

PEScience Snickerdoodle Select Protein
This protein powder is my ultimate favourite flavour. It is from a US company and not widely available over here just yet, however I am informed that 2017 will be a big year for the company! I also use some of their other products, and their quality is so good. Everything tastes amazing. I love this flavour as a simple protein shake or mixed up into a 1carb waffle!

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Ruben – July Favourites

The Happiness Project Gretchen Ruben
I also posted about this book in July. Quite simply I believe that this changed my life. I have it as an audio book and have re-listened to parts over and over again. Everybody should go read this book, anybody who I have recommended it to already also loves it. There are so many take-away points which I have implemented into my daily life and although I wasn’t unhappy before, this has definitely opened my eyes.

Salted caramel Ice Cream – Morrisons The Best Range – November Favourites

Morrison's The Best Salted Caramel Ice cream
Okay, okay, not the best item to have on a fitness bloggers favourite items of the year; however you know me, I had to have some ice cream on here! This ice cream is so creamy and delicious, it is actually dangerous for me to have some in the freezer so keep it as just a treat. I actually think it might rival Ben and Jerrys or Haagen Daaz!

Lululemon

Lululemon Align Pants
The lululemon obsession ramped up this year, with a few new purchases to add to the wardrobe. I just love everything which they do. If I could buy all my clothes from there then I think I would! The leggings are just the absolute best quality and so worth paying that extra bit more for. The align pants and All the right places pants are personal favourites. I also purchased a snuggly hoody from there in Santa Monica, which is a staple in my winter wardrobe!

Coffee

Beanies Coffee
I admit that 2016 was the year I became a caffeine addict. Black with a couple of toffee flavdrops from my protein in is my favourite way to have it in a morning. However I am partial to a ‘cheats mocha’ and ‘a non fat unsweetened iced non sugar caramel latte with coconut milk.’ See my review of one of my favourite brands ‘Beanies’ here. 

Butternut squash noodles
These were a life saver for so many meals this year and I recommend them to all my clients. We all know pasta and spaghetti contain a lot of calories, so when fancy something filling yet low in calories these are my go to source. Love that you can now get them in most supermarkets too.

Adidas Tubular – May Favourites

Adidas Tubular cream Trainers
I actually couldn’t believe when I was writing this post and realised that I only bought two pairs of trainers this year!! (and one pair was for work so technically I don’t think that counts!) I got these in May ready for Bodypower and absolutely love them. They have gone into hibernation for winter though as there is no way I am risking them getting wet and dirty in the cold weather! They are super comfortable and I just think they look ace.

Myprotein Flav Drops – April Favourites

Myprotein Flav drops
I have the toffee, white chocolate and vanilla flavours in my cupboard at all times now. They are a great way of adding flavour to things without the calories. I love them in coffee, yoghurt or even mixed into my waffle mix.

MyProtein link: http://bit.do/ABID
MyProtein Discount Code: ABIPT

Grenade Carb Killa bars – March Favourites

These are reigning champion of all protein bars on the market, and I have tried a lot this year but always come back to these. Caramel chaos and White Chocolate cookie are my favourite flavours but I would happily devour a box of any of them. They feel like you are eating an actual chocolate bar rather than a protein bar. So always have one stashed in my gimbal or my handbag for times in need when I am out and about and hangry!

Hope you enjoyed my rundown of favourite things for 2016. I wonder what next year will bring?

I would like to wish you all a prosperous, healthy and happy 2017.

Thank you for all your ongoing support, I appreciate it more than you know.

Love Abi xxx

I hate to be repetitive, but I genuinely cant believe that it is December already. Crazy. So another month has gone by and I have discovered a few new things this month as usual. Not sure if it is just me, but I do enjoy trawling the supermarkets every now and then in the search of new items, especially with Christmas around the corner there is so many new products out there to try! In fact this post is way longer than usual as I didn’t want to leave anything out!!

There is a little bit of a flavour theme this month which is completely unintentional, and a couple of products which I think will just be seasonal so you best get out there and snap them up quickly!

As usual, if there is anything out there which you think I need to try, comment down below or pop me a message!

Tilda Genuine Goodness Pulses and Rice Range

Tilda Pulses and Rice range - macro friendly
This is a new range of single serving pulses and rice. Each one of them contains 1 of your 5 a day, is gluten free and cooks in 1 minute in the microwave. Each of the different flavours are inspired by a different country, I have tried a couple of them but think that there are about 5 in the range in total. The fact that they are single serving size is perfect for me (#singleproblems) and I love that there are different and unusual flavours available. My favourite of the ones I have tried so far is the Edamame, Spring Onion and Wasabi which is Japanese inspired and I just had it with some grilled chicken and vegetables. Complete meal in about 5 minutes total.
Calories and Macros vary across the range but are genuinely pretty good.
Macros for Edamame, Spring Onion and Wasabi = 152kcal; 6.9g Protein; 19.6g Carbs; 4.2g Fat

Gingerbread Latte Popcorn – Aldi

Popcorn is one of my favourite snacks so I am always on the look out for new flavours, but it was actually my Mum that picked this bag up in Aldi for us to try. It still has a lot of toffee covering, but you can certainly taste the ginger coming through which is delicious! To be honest the flavour of coffee is completely lost, but it doesn’t need it. I will definitely be popping in to buy some more before I go away!
Macros per 30g serving = 119kcal; 0.7g Protein; 24g Carbs; 1.9g Fat

Sprouts

roasted sprouts
I blumin love sprouts and have been having them at least 2/3 times per week I would say this last month. But rather than just boiling them, or over steaming them until they are mushy and a rotten green colour, I prefer to cook them in a couple of alternative ways which you MUST try before rubbishing my claims that they are delicious! First up, simply halving them with some salt and pepper and roasting for about 15-20minutes. Or slice them up in a pan, saute with a splash of Worcestershire sauce and some chopped bacon. Your Christmas dinner compatriots will certainly thank you for it come the big day. Last year I wrote a blog post which you should check out!

Salted Butterscotch Milk Chocolate – Morrisons

Morrisons Slted Butterscotch Milk Chocolate
This stuff is amazing. I genuinely do eat some form of chocolate every day and this has been top pick recently. This is when flexible dieting is so useful as you can incorporate foods like this into your daily calorie intake. I have a square right before I go to bed. It is creamy good quality milk chocolate with little flecks of butterscotch throughout, it is salty without overdoing it. Morrison’s also brought out a Cappuccino flavour chocolate in this range, but after buying it once I haven’t seen it again! It is also really good so would highly recommend picking some up if you are lucky enough to spot it in your local store.
Macros per 2 squares = 112kcal; 1.2g Protein; 10.6g Carbs; 7.1g Fat

Yeo Valley Salted Caramel Greek Style Yoghurt – Sainsbury’s

Yeo Valley Greek Style Salted Caramel yoghurt
I got this tub from Sainsbury’s but am yet to see it anywhere else so not sure if it is exclusive to there. I am used to have fat free greek yoghurt or fromage frais so this feels super thick and creamy in comparison and the higher fat content reflects this. But don’t let it put you off, just be a bit more careful with your portion sizes and factor it into your day.
Macros per 100g = 153kcal; 3.9g Protein; 13.9g Carbs; 9.1g Fat

Twinings Cherry Bakewell Green Tea

Twinings Cherry Bakewell Green Tea
I had to have a search back through previous months favourites as I was sure I must have put this into one of them a while ago, but seems not! This is my favourite flavour of green tea by far!! You can smell the almond flavour as soon as you pour hot water onto the bag! I know some people just cannot get on with green tea, but I really enjoy them! I especially seem to drink a lot when it is cold outside and I need warming up! This flavour and also the Salted Caramel one (shock, horror) are always in my cupboard. They have been on offer at £2 per box at a lot of retailers too.

Gingerbread Ice Cream – Aldi

Why is gingerbread flavoured food only around at Christmas time?! Again this is another seasonal product from Aldi, along with a Mince Pie flavoured ice cream. It is a gingerbread ice cream, with swirls of toffee sauce and then pieces of gingerbread and fudge. You wouldn’t be able to tell that it was a cheap ice cream as it does taste super luxurious. I have had to ration this out and only have a couple of spoonfuls a night, but I am on to my second tub.
Macros per 32g serving size = 83kcal; 1.2gProtein; 11g Carbs; 3.8g Fat

Carte D’or Light Vanilla Ice Cream

I put up an instagram photo of the ‘dessert; which I am pretty sure I have had 99% of nights the past two months. It is vanilla protein powder mixed with some fromage frais, mixed berries and then a serving of this ice cream. For an ice cream the calories per serving size are so good. It also tastes like actual vanilla ice cream rather than frozen flavoured water which a lot of lower calorie frozen foods can. If you are an ice cream freak like me but worried about the calories then pop some of this into your basket.
Macros per 50g serving size = 70kcal; 1g Protein; 11g Carbs ; 2g Fat

Leg Warmers

Abi Durrant Personal Trainer
I couldn’t do this months favourites video without mentioned my current obsession with leg warmers! I got mine for about £3 from eBay and they have been a godsend at work at the gym, especially on a morning. Don’t care that I look ridiculous as long as I am warm!!

The Weeknd – Starboy Album

The Weeknd Starboy Album
This has been my soundtrack in the gym this month. If you need to freshen up your gym playlist then I suggest you get downloading this album for sure. www.amazon.co.uk

Exercise = Overhead Press
This is one of my favourite shoulder exercises but I have particularly been loving it this month as I have seen my strength shoot up on it. I prioritise this compound movement once a week in my upper body programming, the other day focusing on chin ups. Start by introducing this movement with low weight and then gradually add weight or reps each week as you get stronger. I have been doing 5 sets of 5.

Love Abi xxx

Ps On a side note I have also fallen back in love with football again which might have something to do with the might Blades being on such an amazing unbeaten run!

October was the month when I found my mojo again! After a bit of a miserable month in and out of hospital and not feeling very well in September, this month I finally feel like I am getting back to my best!

The beginning of the month saw me visit Los Angeles with my sister for a week, (sorry for all the photo spam on various social media!). It was amazing and I am so glad I went in the end as I was close to cancelling. It gave me a chance to focus on me and just get myself better in general. We did so much; lots of new gym classes, walking, eating healthy food, gym time, eating not so healthy food, plus much more! I came home rejuvenated and buzzing with lots of ideas on how to grow my business.

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I discovered lots of new favourites whilst away; cinnamon and caramel popcorn; almond brittle ice cream, Barry’s Bootcamp gym class; blue Monster energy drink; food trucks…. BUT I want to be able to share things on here which you can try for yourselves, and luckily there has been plenty since returning to fill you in on!

OPPO Salted Caramel Ice-cream
I had seen this brand of ‘healthy’ ice cream all over social media in the past year, everybody seemed to be trying it and loving it and I have been desperate to get some as you all know how much I love my ice cream. Thinly place I could find it around Scarborough was Holland and Barrett, and although my passion for ice cream is big, I am not going to fork out £5.99 for a tub! So when I heard that Heron Foods were selling it for £2 I got myself down there pronto and stocked up.

You may be wondering why I wanted to try it so much, what is special about it. Well the whole 500ml tub comes out at only 386 calories!! In comparison, a tub of Haagen Daaz Salted Caramel (which is incredible) is 1220! It is made from ‘cold pressed coconut oil, stevia leaf and fresh milk,’ the flavour of caramel comes from a Peruvian fruit known as lucuma.

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It is lovely, I won’t lie and say it is as creamy as your Haagen Diaz or Ben and Jerry’s but it will certainly pass for ice cream in my book. It tastes of salted caramel and with such low calories it is a great alternative if you have a super sweet tooth like myself!

You can get a voucher for £1 discount if you download a voucher from their website, oppoicecream.co.uk which also lists all the stockists. I need to get my hands on the Mint and Vanilla flavours now!!

Walkers Sunbites Wholegrain Popcorn; Sweet and Salty Flavour
Popcorn is a great snack, it is low calorie for a generous portion, and who doesn’t want to feel like they are eating more?! This pack comes in at just 59 calories and is a generous serving size. Usually on offer for £1 for a pack of 6 as well, I always try and get individual serving sizes as you are less likely to overeat as opposed to opening a big family sized bag.

The flavour of this is great, and there aren’t many unpeopled kernels which is so annoying with some brands!!

Available at Tesco.

Muller Light – Apple Crumble and Custard Flavour Yoghurt
There seem to be a few new flavours of yoghurt being released at the moment; some good and some not so good (pumpkin spiced Muller corner I am looking at you in particular :-/!) I had seen this one on a clients instagram and finally found it in Morrisons last week. It is part of a new limited edition Crumble inspired range so there is also a rhubarb one to discover somewhere.

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I wondered how they would get the flavour across in a yoghurt, but you really can taste both elements! There are little chunks of sweet apple, and the yoghurt is rich and custard like, with a tiny hint of cinnamon. One thing i like about this yoghurt is the amount of protein it contains, as usually yoghurts are pumped full of sugar and thus carbohydrates. Surprisingly this one is only 86 calories and it feels like a treat at the end of a meal!

IMG_2193.jpgThis range of yoghurts are currently 6 for £3 at Morrisons and Tescos, or 12 for £3 if you are lucky enough to live near an Asda!  My other favourites from the range are the Vanilla and Dark Chocolate or the Smooth Toffee.

Popchips Ridges
For anybody who’s weakness is savoury foods such as crisps, these are a great alternative. They are new, and I found them in Sainsbury’s. As they are popped and not fried, they don’t contain anywhere near as much fat as regular crisps (50%less according to the packet) I have now tried the smoky bacon and salt and vinegar flavours and can recommend them both.

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The ridged ones also come in ‘Crazy Hot’ and ‘Mature Chedder and Onion’ flavours. The regular popchips are another option and come in a variety of flavours too (BBQ is my favourite!)

A serving size is 23g and comes to under 100 calories. One to remember for those Christmas nibbles I think!

Currently available at Sainsburys for £1.80/pack.

Cheat’s Mocha
In LA I became one of those people with a ridiculous coffee order, simply down to all the available options! At home I am a simple black americano girl! I also discovered my love for iced coffee, but we are defo not entering the best time of year to be consuming those! So instead I have been making up my own version of a mocha!

I have been using the Vanilla flavoured coffee from Beanies (which I featured in a blog post a few months ago) and a serving of the Options hot chocolate, and some coconut or unsweetened almond milk. So creamy and delicious, it has become my mid morning go to drink if i am at home. At only 59 calories as opposed to a similar version in Costa which is listed on their website as being 227!

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You could use any coffee or any flavour of the Hot Chocolate to make a personal favourite!

Spotify Music for Concentration
I read a lot about the benefits of meditation for your mindset and setting you up for a productive and positive day, and I have tried it on a few occasions but really struggled to switch my mind off. I wondered if I could just use the backing music to help me relax and concentrate whilst working on the laptop throughout the day.

I found this playlist on spotify, and it has honestly really helped. It could be the placebo effect but i do feel like I am calmer, more focused and thus more productive when I have it on it the background.

I wrote about the benefits of music whilst working out in the gym, but I have seen benefits from implementing music  into my other work as well. I especially feel the benefits if I am a bit stressed and my mind is whizzing all over the place, it just calms me down, I can get all my thoughts together and get on with a specific task rather than trying to do a million things at once and not accomplishing anything!

I would highly recommend giving it ago if you struggle to concentrate either at work or if you are studying for anything in general.

Plenty of favourites for you to have a try for yourselves! I hope you enjoy these posts as much as I do writing and researching them! Once again, anything you think I need to try let me know!

Love Abi xxx