January Favourites

So I didn’t get round to writing up a favourites blog post for last month with being away in Thailand, so this month is a bit of a combined one of all the things that I have been loving recently! some fitness and nutrition related, some not. Enjoy!

Favourite Foods – Pip and Nut Honey Cinnamon Cashew Butter

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I can’t have peanut butter as I am allergic, and have always been super jealous of all the different flavour combinations that companies bring out (hmm hello salted caramel flavour). It seemed that other nut butter varieties just didn’t have the same enticing options to try. I have tried the meridian foods almond butter in the past in an effort to try and increase my fat intake which I sometimes struggle with, and didn’t really like the gritty texture which it had at all. But cashews are my favourite type of nut so I got a tad over excited when I saw this product on offer in Sainsbury’s a few weeks ago and had to pick some up to try! It is amazing. Super smooth and creamy, and I am still loving cinnamon flavour everrrrything but it isn’t overpowering at all, just nice and subtle. I have been using it as a topping to my protein porridge on a night (side note, protein porridge is also my current obsession and Im pretty sure I have had it every night since coming home!), spread on a toasted bagel thin, or shamelessly just eating it with a spoon right out of the jar!
I got mine for £2.50 when it was on offer at Sainsbury’s (£3.50 usually) or you can get it online along with the other flavours (coconut almond butter anyone?!) from http://www.proteinpickandmix.co.uk/snacks/nuts-nut-butters/pip-nut-honey-cinnamon-cashew-butter/

Walden Farms – Chipotle Ranch Dressing

I have some variation of a salad everyday. As you may have guessed, I love to eat, and with salad you get to eat a lot. My mum is always amazed at the size oIMG_6198f my overflowing bowl and how I eat it all! But I do like to have some type of dressing on it. Sometimes this may just be some lemon or some crushed raspberries, franks hot sauce or you can get some good low fat dressings from some of the supermarkets. Walden Farms is an American range of calorie free sauces and dressings. You can get pancake syrup, chocolate sauce, coffee creamers and different salad dressings just to name a few. A few of you may gasp and wonder how on earth they can make all these products ‘calorie free’,and be disgusted at the fact that they are just a combination of different chemicals, i.e. not whole healthy foods. No, i don’t recommend that you have them in c
opious amounts, but a little bit every now and then is not going to do you any harm. I have the pancake syrup which i use on pancakes (shocker), to top yoghurt or porridge. But this is the first salad dressing which I have tried from the range and it is really good. It isn’t too spicy, and has a nice creamy texture; although from looking at some of the reviews on amazon it could be a bit of an acquired taste. I would certainly recommend it as a good way addition to any salad, especially if you are trying to lose fat. I got mine for £2.99 from Musclefood.co.uk.

Galaxy Golden Eggs

Untitled design-32I have always preferred Cadbury mini eggs to creme eggs, and could happily eat an entire packet in about 2minutes flat, they are so moreish/addicting. And although this offering from Galaxy may not quite overtake my love for mini eggs, they come pretty close. They are the usual creamy galaxy chocolate with added bits of caramel crunch inside, and the gold dusting just makes them look pretty. Pretty sure I will be going through a few more bags of these before they’re discontinued at Easter!

 

 

Favourite Drink – Chocolate and Banana Protein ShakeUntitled design-33

It is unusual for me to actual drink protein shakes on a day to day basis, I much prefer to eat my food. However whilst on holiday it was a little bit harder to make sure I was getting ample amount, which is why I always take a small bag away with me as back up. I don’t know if you have been to Thailand before, but they make the most incredible fruit smoothies on these tiny carts at the side of the road. You just pick which fruit you want and they whizz it up with ice…and a massive glugful of condensed milk and sugar; hence why they taste so good! So instead we would just ask for a banana shake, no sugar and provide the chocolate protein for them to add in. So tasty. The ice makes them super thick, a bit reminiscent of a McDonalds milkshake, in fact if you add enough ice and let it blend long enough it comes out that thick you can eat it with a spoon, protein ice cream if you like! A simple and easy post workout meal.

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Favourite Clothing Item – Lululemon Turn Around Tight

Yes my addiction to Lululemon is ongoing and gathering pace. To be fair I have only bought stuff when it has been in the sale though including these leggings which I
got over Christmas. I honestly don’t think I will buy a pair of
leggings from anybody else now. The fit and feel of each pair that I have is incredible. They just hug you in all the right places but are functional and allow you to move and perform in the gym. This pair i got in grey, (#mostflatteringcolour) and according to the description on the website are ‘buttery-soft, sweat-wicking Rulu fabric is cozy and comfortable’, who doesn’t want leggings which are buttery soft. I cant speak more high of them. I think I paid about £40 in the sale which is equivalent to what you would pay at Nike. They are continuously updating their sale seju
ction so keep a look out for some bargains!


Favourite Exercise – Hip Circle

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not the best photo examples but will get better snaps for upcoming post

 

Okay so this isn’t really an exercise, more like a collection of exercises using this piece of equipment. The hip circle is basically t a big resistance band which is used for hip activation and glute exercises which I am a huge fan of incorporating into the majority of my workouts; either as as part of a warm up before bigger lifts, or circuit style at the end to really target them and encourage hypertrophy. Normal resistance bands are good, but this is another level. The burn and feeling you get from it fantastic, and I have found that it has really helped me with mobility for my squat programming this month. I am going to do a blog post on a few of my favourite exercises incorporating the band and some more of its benefits soon, but absolute favourite exercises which spring to mind are simply walking forwards and backwards with it around your knees, and an additional stimulus whilst hip thrusting. If you are serious about lifting and making ’gains’; male or female; get one. You wont regret it. I got this from improveyourbench.co.uk for £21.99.

Favourite Books – The One Thing by Gary Keller and #Girlboss by Sophie Amoruso

It was an aim of mine back in October to start to read more, and I have really tried to stick to it. With being on holiday and spending time around the pool and on the beach I was really able to immerse myself in some good books. I usually had two on the go at once; a fiction fun easy read and then one which I could learn something from.

I had been recommended ‘The One Thing’, it is a personal development book based on the premise that behind every successful person is their one thing, and by concentrating on only that, you are able to overcome distractions and achieve your goals in life. ’What’s the ONE thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will become easier or necessary?’

I really enjoyed this book and I highlighted so many quotes and ideas from it which I actually need to go back over and put into practise. It forced me to think about what I want from life and what I need to do to get there. One of the main points which I took away was that your willpower is like a battery, it gets drained throughout the day. So focus on doing the most important thing you have to do first thing in a morning, before your willpower starts to lull and you get distracted by everything else going on. I have had the materials to study for my Sports Nutrition course for months, and have dipped in and out of studying for it but never purposefully set aside time to do so. The past couple of weeks when my alarm has gone off, I have gone downstairs and sat and worked at it for a couple of hours before breakfast (and before the sun has risen) and I am now well on the way to completing it in the next few weeks.

This could be applied to a variety of things, for example getting in your workout at the gym; get up, go, and get it out of the way so you don’t have to have the internal battle with yourself about going after work, i.e. your willpower battery is running on empty.

You might think personal development books aren’t necessary or a bit ‘wishy-washy’ but I recommend you give this one a try, even if you only take a small amount of information away from it.

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I am not actually sure how I came across #Girlboss, I think it must just have come up in my recommended reading list on amazon; but the title and cover were catchy so I downloaded it. The story is how Sophie created a multi-million dollar business from scratch. The many obstacles which she overcame in order to become who she is today. Sophie is funny, extremely honest and inspirational. As I embark on a new chapter in my life and begin to build my own Personal Training business, it doesn’t offer you any concrete tips on how to succeed but it has shown me how you should try and play to your strengths and learn from your mistakes; it also showed that anything is possible if you put your mind to it and work your butt off!

 

So there are just some of the things I have been loving these past couple of months. Let me know if you try any out or if you have any recommendations of things I might like!

Love Abi xxxx

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