What’s In Our Gym Bag 

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We really enjoy watching ‘What’s in my bag’ YouTube videos so decided to write a ‘what’s in my gym bag’ blog post. Whether you are popping to the gym or heading to work we always like to carry some essentials with us as you never know when you might need them! Some of the items below we wouldn’t carry to the gym if we didn’t have any plans pre or post workout, instead we would go home and get ready for the day.

At the moment the gym bag Annie is currently using is a black Adidas rucksack and Rachel has a limited edition Cath Kidston Mickey Mouse bag. These rucksacks literally come everywhere with us, they are the perfect size and comfortable to wear.

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Sweat Towel- One of the Boutique gyms we go to actually provides sweat towels which is great as you don’t have to pack your own, if your gym doesn’t provide sweat towels we would suggest bringing your own! There is something worse than using the blue paper towels some gyms provide.

Headphones- When working out alone whether this is running or the gym headphones are essential! Whether you use them to catch up on Youtube when on the treadmill or listen to music when lifting weights. When we work out together we don’t wear headphones as we have each other to talk to.

Water Bottle- It is so important to stay hydrated at the gym. Your ability to perform well will decline if you are dehydrated. Drinking water is essential if you want to get most out of your workout and feel good while you’re doing it. If you don’t drink enough water when working out you may experience dizziness, tiredness and muscle cramps.

Drying Towel- We tend to go to the gym before work and during our lunch break so it’s important we remember to pack a drying towel.

Spare Clothes- Spare clothes are essential if you go to the gym before work or if you have plans post workout.

Wash bag & Make up- Remember to pack make up remover and face wash so you can wash your face pre workout, there is nothing worse than sweating off your make up you have been wearing all day. Other items we like to pack in our wash bag are: Deodorant, Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Shampoo, Conditioner, Shower gel, Moisturiser and our makeup bag.

Protein Shaker- We like to carry a protein shaker in our bag so we can refuel. This isn’t something we carry in our bag all the time. We would have a protein shake after the gym if we have a while to wait for our next meal e.g. on the way to work pre breakfast.

Refined sugar free banana bread

We really wanted to bake some banana bread one Sunday afternoon when we were browsing the fruit and vegetable isles in the supermarket. Most supermarkets bag up banana that are about to go out of date and sell them for about 20p bargain!

Banana bread is great because you can eat it at any time of the day! Well you can with this banana bread because it is sugar free and still tastes so delicious! The bananas are sweet enough and become even sweeter once cooked so you wont even notice the lack of sugar.

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Ingredients
3 ripe bananas
200G oat flour (we just blend oats that we already have in the cupboard)
30g chopped walnuts
1 tsp baking powder
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
100ml milk of your choice
1tbsp coconut sugar (optional)
5g Oats

Method
Pre heat your oven to 180oc
Line your loaf tin and grease with some melted coconut oil
Blend the oats until they are fine and resemble flour
Mush 2 of the bananas in a mixing bowl
Slice the remaning banana
In a separate bowl mix your oat flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and walnuts
Once combined add the mashed banana and half of the slices banana and stir
Pour in the milk and stir
Pour the mixture into the loaf tin
Place the remaining sliced on top of the mixutre
Sprinkle the handful (5g) oats and coconut sugar on top
Bake the banana loaf for 30 minutes until cooked throughout
When cooked let cool and enjoy

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Banana bread baked porridge

We absolutely love experimenting with oats, especially when we are making our porridge (also known as oatmeal in the USA). Porridge is the perfect winter warmer on a cold February morning helping us to refuel after a morning workout.

We love banana bread so we decided to make our very own banana bread baked porridge. This recipe is absolutely delicious and we would recommend making it as soon as you can. We do put nuts in this recipe but if you have an allergy then it still tastes delicious without.

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Ingredients
50g Oats
1 ripe banana
50ml milk of your choice
30ml water
3 walnuts chopped

Method
Pre heat the oven to 180oc
Mash your banana in mixing bowl
Add in the oats and walnuts and then stir until combined
Pour in the water and milk and continue to mix
Place in the oven for 25/30 minutes until the oats are cooked and the colour is golden brown.

Let us know if you decide to make the porridge and please send us photos as we love to see them!

Chickpea Cookie Dough Balls

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Who doesn’t love cookie dough? Sometimes when we make cookies we make extra just so we can eat the mixture but shh don’t tell anyone. We decided we wanted to make slightly healthier cookie dough balls and thought chick peas would be the perfect ingredient.

These delicious cookie dough balls taste delicious hot out the oven, they are all gooey with melted chocolate oozing out its hard to stop after eating just one. They also taste just as good once cooled. We would suggest serving them with some homemade ‘nice cream’ or even treat yourself to some proper ice cream after all these cookie dough balls are healthy!

Ingredients
2 Cans of chickpeas
200g Peanut butter
5tbsp Honey or maple syrup
1tsp Baking powder
2 tsp Vanilla essence
150g 85% Dark chocolate

Method
Pre heat the oven 180oc and line a baking tray with grease proof paper
Drain and rinse the chick peas
Dry the chickpeas well
Blend all ingredients minus the dark chocolate in a food processor (we would suggest taste testing before adding the chocolate to ensue the mixture is sweet enough if not add some more honey/maple syrup)
Break the chocolate into small chunks and stir into the mixture
Take small handfuls of mixture and roll into a ball
Place on the lined baking tray
Cook in the oven for 11 minutes

5 Healthy lunch ideas to take to work 

We have got into the habit of taking a pack lunch to work on a daily basis. This way we know the food we are putting in our bodies whilst also saving a LOT of money.

We tend to make our lunch the night before or even bulk make it at the weekend. We all know the saying after all; Fail to prepare, prepare to fail!

Below are five ideas that make the perfect lunch! Let us know if you have any other ideas as we would love to know!

Homemade soup- There is nothing better than tucking into some homemade soup in the winter at work. Soup is ridiculously easy to make and you will find tonnes of recipes online, BBC food always has simple recipes to follow. Some great soups to make our: Carrot and Coriander, Leek and Potato, Tomato, Butternut Squash, Pea and mint and so many more!

Homemade Hummus with veggies and wholemeal pitta- Why not try making your own hummus? The only ingredients you will need are chickpeas, tahini, lemon Juice, olive oil & a sprinkle of paprika. Once again have a look on the BBC food website for a recipe to follow. If you wanted to be extra adventurous you could even experiment by making beetroot, sundried tomato or roasted pepper hummus all of which taste delicious. If you don’t have time to make hummus then you can also purchase three mini hummus pots from Tesco. There is a selection of flavour: Sweet Chilli, Lemon and Coriander, Caramelised red onion, Roasted Red pepper, Sun blushed Tomato etc.

Salad- Salad is a great lunch as it is so versatile! We have lettuce, tomato, cucumber, celery, radish and sugar snap peas as a base and then add on whatever we fancy for a topping. Some great toppings are: smoked salmon, tuna, falafel, parma ham, feta cheese, olives, chickpeas etc. Try not to flavour your salad with shop bought dressings as they can be full of sugar. Instead if we are at work we tend to use balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Roasted Veg- Roasted root vegetables are a perfect lunch now the weather is getting a little bit colder. We tend to just cook more vegetables the night before with dinner which will save you time when it comes to making your lunch. The roasted vegetables we are loving at the moment are: sweet potato, butternut squash, beetroot, peppers, courgette, carrot and red onion. Wack it in the microwave for a couple of minutes to make sure they are heated through.

Roasted Chicken breast/Salmon Fillet with Brown Rice- This lunch is perfect after a post run lunch (read our previous blog about lunch time running here). You can roast the Chicken or salmon the night before but we would advise purchasing the 2 minute microwave rice bags as rice carries lots of bacteria so shouldn’t be re heated. You can purchase the rice bags at all super markets.

Peanut Butter & Jam Oatbars- Proper Nutty

If you have been reading our blog for a while now you might be able to tell we are oat and peanut butter mad! We love experimenting with oats and peanut butter and when you put them together they taste delicious!

when we received  Proper Nutty Peanut Butter in the post we couldn’t wait to start baking some delicious goods. We decided the first recipe we would create would be on the healthier side.

Proper Nutty is a peanut butter company based in Yorkshire. The company is run by a husband and wife named Stuart and Kathryn Franklin, they work so hard making sure their peanut butter looks and tastes just right! They currently sell two types of Peanut butter the first is ‘Nowt but Nuts’ which contains 100% peanuts how amazing is that! the second is ‘Slightly Salted’ which contains 99.5% peanuts and 0.5% Salt.

“Yorkshire born & bred peanut butter wi’ nowt teken out, and loads of care put in – oh aye!”- Proper Nutty.

Mixed Berry Chia Seed Jam Ingredients
375g frozen berries (you could use a strawberries or plums instead)
3tbsp Water
3 1/2 tbsp Chia Seeds
2 tbsp Lemon juice
2 tbps Maple Syrup

Oat Bar Ingredients
2 ripe bananas
225g Peanut butter (we used the nowt but nuts)
135ml Milk or Almond Milk
325g rolled oats

Method

  1. Line a medium baking tray with grease proof paper and pre heat the oven to 180oc.
    Put the fruit and water in a medium sized saucepan
  2. set over a high heat and bring to boil
  3. Turn the heat to a medium heat and let the fruit simmer for 5-10 minutes
  4. Whilst the fruit is simmering mash the bananas in a large mixing bowl
    add the peanut butter and milk to the bananas and stir
  5. once combined add the oats and mix ingredients together.
  6. Pour half of the mixture into the baking tray and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Remove the jam from the heat and add the Chia Seeds, Lemon juice and Maple syrup
    stir the ingredients together and let sit for 15-20 minute
  8. Take the mixture out of the oven and spread the Chia jam on top.
  9. Place the remaining oat mix on top and place back in the oven for 20 minutes until golden brown.
  10. enjoy with a cup of tea as an afternoon snack!

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We hope you enjoy this yummy recipe and we will be posting different recipes for Chia  seed jams soon!

B-Fresh Cold Pressed Juice

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Its January, the month were everyone is trying to be good and healthy! December has been and gone and everyone is trying to work off the extra weight they have gained. Its great to see so many people back in the gym! No matter how many times you fall down, stay strong and have the courage to get back up again!

This January why not try these amazing B-Fresh cold pressed juices.  We definitely prefer juices to smoothies, so when we received these B Fresh Juices in the post we couldn’t wait to try them.  We received three flavours; Strawberry fields, Green Warier and Golden Glow.

Strawberry Fields- This juice was by far our favourite it was sweet, but not sickly sweet. It was so refreshing and perfect to have in the afternoon when you need a little pick me up.

Green Warrior- This juice was really nice but if you don’t like the taste of spinach we wouldn’t recommend it is the juice for you. We had this juice first thing on Monday morning giving us the energy boost we needed.  There was a subtle hint of Ginger but the main flavour in this juice was spinach.

Golden Glow- this was the juice we were most sceptical to try, there is something about carrot and turmeric that is a little daunting. We were pleasantly surprised and downed the bottle instantly. The main flavours coming through are orange and carrot but at the end you get a subtle kick of heat from the turmeric. This would be an ideal drink to wake you up on a sleepy morning when you are dreading the daily grind.

Head on over to Bfresh and place an order you won’t regret it! Or you can find them on Instagram where they regularly post and run competitions.