Homemade muesli/granola bars

Today I was so hungry during the day, I didn’t pack enough to take out with me, and so I’m wanting to make some homemade muesli bars.

Ive been looking for some good recipes, that are clean, not too sweet, will keep well, and not too complicated to make. If you have any on your blog, or that you like making, please post a link or recipe below!

Meanwhile, I’m thinking of making Coach Nicole’s Chewy Oat and Nut Granola bars The recipe and nutritional profile seems good, although I may modify them a little. I’ll have to wait until I go shopping though as I don’t have almond milk at home.

In the meantime I think I’ll put together some protein bars to tide me over. Again, if you have a good TASTY protein bar recipe I’d love it if you can share! Some protein bars I’ve had have been, uh, like eating chewy, well I don’t know what, but BAD! The recipe I’ll use is based on Jamie Eason’s ‘Oh Baby’ carrot cake protein bars, but I change it a little depending on what I have or don’t have. Works well and tastes good.

Ingredients

Coconut or Olive oil (i don’t ever use no fat non-stick sprays)

1 cup oat flour (blend whole oats in food processor)

2 scoops vanilla whey protein

2 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp allspice

4 egg whites

¾ cup Splenda (I’ve used honey or raw sugar instead too)

2 4 oz. jars or packs of baby carrots, instead of shredded carrots, (I have had to blend up a tin of baby carrots when that’s all I had)

1/2 cup ricotta (again, the original recipe calls for fat free ricotta, which I don’t do, or you can use greek yoghurt as I’ve done before)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 x 8 pyrex dish with non-stick butter spray, or coconut oil, Olive Oil etc.
In a large bowl, combine flour, protein, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and allspice.
In a medium bowl, mix egg whites, sweetner, water and baby food until well combined. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and mix well. Finally, fold in the quick cooking oats (optional) and stir until just combined.
Pour batter into the pyrex dish and spread evenly. Bake 28 – 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool and cut into 16 pieces – 4 x 4.

Number of Servings: 16

The original nutritional profile is (but I modify the recipe): 94 calories  (132 cal with oats folded in)
1.25 g fat  (2 g fat with oats folded in)
10 g carbs (17 g carbs with oats folded in)
10 g protein (11 g protein with oats folded in)

(not my picture – mine aren’t as pretty!)

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Loving my life!

start my new full time studies this week, and am beyond excited to be going back to it. I know from previous University study that in about 4-6 weeks this excitment will have waned somewhat and I’ll be feeling the usual stresses of balancing work, study, fitness, housework, my relationship and having some sort of down time to myself, but I feel like my coping tools have improved a lot since the last time I studied.Being organised is the key, and for me procrastinating is a huge problem which I have to overcome. I now now that I have to just force myself tyo start things, rather then putting them off with a whole load of good resons to do so! Even if i can’t be bothered cleaning on a Saturday morning, or don’t have all my research to start an assignment, or am feeling tired to go work out, i have to ‘Just F***kin Do It’! There are so many  reasons not to start something, but once you’re into it, it is so much better then you thought and just keep going! Then there is none of the stress that comes with putting things off, that niggling anxiety in your chest.

I have timetabled my weeks, putting study, work and fitness in as my main priorities, and the primary things that I need to timetable, everything else can be timetabled around these top priorities. Makes a huge change from last time I studied where fitness wouldn’t have made it anywhere near the top of my list, rather socialising etc.

Fitness wise I am almost onto the second part of Insanity, so excited to start the next phase. I think my results are good, especially noticing a change in my legs, which for me is the main part I wanted to focus on. Body weight exercises are undervalued I think. This week is the core balance or whatever (can’t be bothered getting up to check it), so it’ll be nice to take it easier. I’m really looking forward to the next fit test, I didn’t record the results the first time, which I really regret, but at least I have the second one to compare to.

I’ll do a review of a few different protein powders I’ve been using soon, just getting through them still. Love my post-workout protein smooties, one of the highs of my day, haha! What do you put in a protein smoothie? Lately I’ve been loving keeping it simple, choc banana! Yummmm! I freeze my bananas, add my choc protein, greek yoghurt, full cream milk, water, ice and blend!

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M.I.A blogger…again

I haven’t been a very good blogger lately. There are a few reasons, the most boring of which is that I need to get a new laptop, the most exciting being I have a new job, and have returned to study!

I have still been doing the Insanity program, am almost done with the first part of it. I have to say, I am definitely seeing results, great program for toning the legs I think. I already run and walk most days, but all the jumping involved has given me results, and my legs are what I most want to work on. I have recommended this program to a number of friends, warning them that jumping is murder – but after you’re done you’ll feel great. At the beginning I was taking more rest breaks, and water breaks, but I can tell that my cardio fitness has improved, and I think it’s also had a positive impact on my running, with me getting faster and stronger. When I say running, I really mean jogging, with bursts of running in it, but nowadays people all seem to say running, even if they just jog. Can’t wait to start on the second part of Insanity, I’ve read some blog posts on it, and a lot of people don’t seem to to it all, but the results I’ve seen from those who do stick to it are wild. Very motivating to see.

Another thing I’ll be scouring blogs for is good healthy lunch ideas, to take with me. The facilities are not great, fridge and microwave, but thousands of students there so not sure how that’ll work, so I need ideas that I can take with. I bought little containers where you freeze the lids and they’re meant to stay frozen and keep your food cold, which If it works will be great for little salads (very little, they’re small little pots), yoghurts, fruits, oats etc, but looking for some more lunch inspiration. If anyone can direct me to some good ideas it’s be much appreciated.

 

I also was having a look at tribesports recently, being one of the bloggers, and there was a workout with a friend challenge, but apart from running at night with the bf, I workout solo so it wasn’t the challenge for me. I find I have to get movement in where and when I can, so it’s not really condusive to having a workout buddy, and motivation is not a problem for me. It was in the early days of my fitness journey, but now it’s something I just do, a must do, not a should do. Anyways, I signed up to the 100 crunches for two weeks challenge which you can find by clicking the link. This website and the challenges they do are terrific for those who do struggle with motivation. By publicising something like this challenge it encourages you to complete it, and two weeks is such a  manageable and achievable goal to set, it’s a great one to kick off with. I love how encouraging it is, and it fit well with my current workouts, as well as boosted results as I was concentrating on this one area. Do it!

First day of Insanity

I did the first day of the Insanity program today… Initial thoughts? Nothing worth having comes easily. It was the fit test, and I thought I was reasonably fit, I mean I run almost daily but so not used to all this jumping!!! Ouch! I can’t wait to get better. Now that it’s on here I will have to update and it’s more motivation to stick with it. I tend to lose interest in these things, in the past. But, I’ve seen other people’s results and can’t wait to see my own. Bring it!!!

Meanwhile, I think I should get this as a reward, maybe I’ll wait until halfway and treat myself.

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Another good day

Again, I have started the day with exercise, getting into a rhythem on holiday.

I got up and did a fast pace walk this morning, and had a coffee and a peach Chobani for brekkie. Um, all I can say is YUM! It was the first time I tried Chobani, and it’s really nice, I kept seeing it mentioned on all your blogs and when I saw it at the shop I thought why not. I am converted.

Going to a surf club for lunch and drinks soon, but I have been really controlled when drinking, max of three drinks, and spaced with water every time, and will get a healthy option there, maybe some fish and salad.

Might even treat myself to another Froyo…. Mmmmm, peanut butter Froyo. Love ❤

PEACH YOGHURT LOVE ❤

Keeping fit while on holidays….

I AM SOOO EXCITED, I’M GOING ON HOLIDAY TOMORROW!!!! Cannot wait. I somehow have resisted the urge to pack early, and am doing it today, but I have started a couple of piles of stuff to take away on our beach holiday. Weeks of lazing, tanning and eating, so I have come up with a rough outline of what I’ll do while away to stay in shape. Having other guests that I haven’t seen in a while come to stay after we get back is extra incentive not to lose it all either.

 

I’ve been doing a 10K trainer app, which I’ve been enjoying. It’s meant to start for someone who does no running, but since I was already I am using it to increase my speed. I usually can jog, but it’s quite slow. I can go for a long time, so with this I’ve been actually running at a challenging pace. I started about a week and a half  ago (but didn’t do the rest days because I didn’t realise until all of a sudden it was up to week two after like 3 or 4 days), so I thought I’d get into the habit of going first thing when I wake up, easier to start a habit at home and continue while away, rather then trying to make myself start while away. Usually, previously the only thing I’d be considering before breakfast was whether it was ok to have a cocktail by the pool! I used to struggle with fasted cardio, but I think I’ve got used to it, and find my motivation to do it much higher if I go first thing, not negotiable. So, I thought I’d continue that, with the added bonus of doing it on the beach. Sand running is meant to burn 1.6 more kilojoules and use more muscles then traditional running on the road. Your legs work harder to keep balance on the sand, as it’s an uneven surface. It also is meant to strengthen foot arches and lower legs, and be less impact on your joints.

Swimming in the sea is also great for staying fit while away, burning through any extra kilojoules I consume. You also walk a lot more, and maybe some holiday dancing too. I’ve got a resistance band set I’ll take, and use my phone a lot. My beloved pocket yoga, as well as the nike app are great, and I’m going to aim to do either of those every second day.

 

I will be blogging less, but still aim to do it at least every few days. The whole point was to keep me accountable, and so while I’m away I’ll probably need to keep myself accountable even more so. Temptations everywhere, as well as the influence of others… I’ll need this to keep my willpower strong. Don’t want to fuck everything up in just a few weeks! Now, I’m going to pack… please keep checking in to read, I’ll need the support!

 

Chłodnik – Cold Beetroot soup recipe

Chłodnik

Is a great Summer soup from Poland. It’s also a really pretty looking dish to serve for guests, and is really good for your, with plenty of herbs, beetroot, and natural yoghurt.

I highly recommend it

Ingredients

bunch of young beets with stems
2 finely garlic cloves
1 litre boiling water
Vegetable stock, or cube (Vegeta)
Spring onion
Parsley
Dill
500g natural yogurt, buttermilk or kefir
salt & pepper, to taste
¼ lemon juice

4 hard boiled eggs
1kg baby potatoes

Method

Wash and chop the beets and stems.Cut them quite small, you can even coarsely grate the beetroot.
Place in a large pot with boiling water, garlic, stock cube or Vegeta, and lemon juice. Cook covered until beets are al dente – just soft enough.
Remove from heat, then add half of your dill, half your parsley (reserve the rest for garnish), your spring onions and leave aside to cool down a little bit more. Add yogurt (buttermilk or kefir), season to taste with salt, pepper. Taste it, it may need a little sugar to balance the flavour. If the soup is too dense you can thin it with more hot water. Chill in fridge for an hour.

Hard boil your eggs

Chop and cook your baby potatoes, then put a little butter (optional) and sprinkle the rest of the dill on them.

To Serve, half your eggs, and put on top of soup which you sprinkle the rest of the parsley on, and serve the potatoes on the side, so they can be added by your guests themselves to the soup before eating.

 

Make 6 servings.

Healthy Travel snack ideas for upcoming holiday period

With my holiday rapidly approaching, I am thinking about travel snacks and healthy options. I’ve expressed some anxiety about my diet and routine suffering, and there are definitely some VERY unhealthy options in terms of travel food – whether it be airports, or on the road. It’s easy to not even try being health, but with the holiday season approaching I thought I would write about some healthy options.

 

Obviously – fruit. You can pre-cut it if that’s easier, but what better packaged option then a piece of fruit?

Yoghurt – A small portion sized container filled with some full fat greek yoghurt portioned out has an added bonus of probiotics which can help if you get uneasy in your stomach while travelling. I would get the small serves from a supermarket, but trying to find one that ISN’T REDUCED fat, and naturally flavoured is practically impossible. Plus, some of the sizes are more then 1 serve, so I bought these little stay fit containers, you freeze the lids to keep it cool, and you’re set.

 

Nuts – a small serve of nuts or trail mix is so handy to have, again you need to be aware of portion sizing, but they’ll help keep hunger and cravings at bay until you can get a proper meal.

Homemade muesli bars – I am making some with oranges and a little chocolate drizzled, yummm. There are some good natural bars you can get if you don’t feel like making them, I just don’t want something with too many additives.

I did consider some beetroot chips, organic and blah blah, but the sodium was ridics in them.

 

Because I am road tripping, I’ll also pack some crackers, like Vita-weats, or Ryvitas, with some avocado, or tuna that I can put together on the go for a bit more of a meal-y snack.

 

 

 

Procrastination Busters

Some tips for when you struggle with motivation that helped me…

Change your environment

If you’re in the gym day after day, change it up and get outside! It can make all the differnce. Go to the beach, go for a run outside, go hiking or biking.

Get a gym buddy

Meeting up with a mate locks you down to that session, and makes you less likely to cancel. And, it’ll make your workout fly by if you’re catching up with a friend you haven’t seen in a whgile.

Buy some cute new gym clothes

Call me shallow, but a cute new outfit has given me that extra boost. Use it as a reward to motivate you to achieve a goal.

Buy some new gym gear

Similar to the above, buy yourself some new trainers, a heart rate monitor, resistance bands, a protein powder or bars etc, something to re-invigorate your passion for exercise, and again, you can use it as a reward for achieveing a goal.

Set Goals

Whether it’s a particular muscle group, running for ‘x’ amount of times or km’s, going to workout ‘x’ times a week, or a weightloss goal, it helps to be working toward something.

Change up your playlist

Get a whole new playlist to get you moving, New tunes, and a great tip I love to do is to put a song I love halfway, and at the end of a workout.

Try some classes

This helps you stay motivated and working hard on days when you’re not feeling it. Also, helps change it up, try yoga classes, crossfit, pump at the gym, martial arts, whatever is new and challenging!

Invest in a personal trainer

Yeah, it may be expensive, but if you’re in struggle town and it helps it’s worth it. It’s like an amped up version of the gym buddy too. No cancel, commitment, and someone to push you to that next level.

There are loads of other things you can do, walk or ride to work, join a team sport, download a new app, and follow a program.

Hope these tips help you as much as they’ve helped me!

Cute little calories burned chart 🙂