Fitbit Fans

Two Christmas ago (2015) we both asked for Fitbits, previously we had been tracking our daily step count on the Health app which comes free with the IPhone 6. The health app wasn’t a great way of tracking as it meant you had to have your phone on your 24/7 and it wasn’t able to track any exercise. Before our Fitbits we were using the Nike Running App to track our runs which is another great app.

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We have office jobs so for 8 hours of the day we are mostly sat down, when we started to use the Health app we realised how little steps one would do if not completing any additional exercise during the day. It’s no wonder people start piling on the pounds as soon as they start an office job, we all know how busy our lives become and exercise can sometimes take a back seat.

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It is so true that motivation is what gets you started but habit is what keeps you going. Living a healthy and balanced life has become part of our everyday routine. We love going to the gym and working out and nourishing out body with wholesome foods. Although we also know that moderation is key, don’t deprive yourself of yummy treats every once in a while. We are avid bakers and we certainly like to enjoy the goodies we bake!

Fitbit offers a two year warranty which is brilliant, we have each spoken to different customer service reps for different reasons and they have all offered great customer service. You only have to look at Fitbit on twitter to see that everyone else agrees.

The Fitbit app is also really good, you can sync your Fitbit daily and it will update your activity. You can also sync the Fitbit to other apps such as my fitness pal. See below what we think about our fitbits and the qualities they have!

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HR Charge
The HR Charge is currently £70 on Amazon
Sizes: Small, large and extra large
Colours: there are a range of colours (Black, Blue, Purple)
The HR Charge tracks steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed, active minutes, heart rate, hourly activity and stationary time.

You can also monitor your sleep on the HR Chardge and the Alta (See below). We have only tracked our sleep a couple of times but it tells you the amount of times you woke up in the night and how many times you were restless. It’s a good feature if you don’t think you get much sleep at night.

Battery Life- the battery life is great on the HR charge it last ups to 5 days.

Alta
The Fitbit Alta is currently £80 on Amazon
Sizes: Small, large and extra large
Colours: there are a range of colours (blue, purple, black and there are a coupld of special editions) and you can even change the straps on the Fitbit Alta.
All day activity tracker, which you can tap to the screen to display.
Long battery life- lasts up to 5 days

Go and order a Fitbit, you won’t regret it! 🙂

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.

Are you lacking fitness motivation?

Scrolling through Instagram is sometimes enough to motivate us to get to the gym. Our Instagram feed is full of fitness fanatics who never seem to lack motivation. This isn’t true though, people only show what they want to show on Instagram so it is important to remember these people do run out of energy and can also lack motivation!

Everyone has those months were they are feeling less motivated. Most of the time motivation and consistency is never a problem for us, we look forward to going to the gym in the morning, but we do notice it takes us a little bit longer to get out of bed during those cold winter months.

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We love the lifestyle we lead and we never desire another routine or lifestyle. When we have a bad day at work working out really helps us regain a positive attitude. It’s our place where we can switch off from the rest of the world and just focus on our work out. 99% of the time we will leave and have a completely different view on the problems we were facing beforehand.
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Below are a few tips to help keep you dedicated and motivated to your fitness regime:

Don’t stress- It’s really important you don’t stress yourself out if you cannot fit a work out in, stress can cause de motivation. Sometimes other things get in the way that you have to prioritise and that’s just life. You aren’t going to throw away all your gains just because you missed a class. On the flip side of you do miss a class don’t let this demotivate you, get back up and go again tomorrow.

Make fitness part of your life but not your life- it’s so important you have the correct balance, that’s not to say that you should feel bad for turning down an event if you have your favourite fitness class that night. If you find yourself constantly doing this you could find yourself falling out of love with fitness.We like to work out in the morning so we can plan to see our friends and family during the evening.

Eat well- when we don’t eat a healthy balanced diet our body tells us off! We wake up feeling sluggish and lethargic with little or no energy. We know our bodies don’t agree with too much sugar and salt so it is important we personally eat this in moderation. Don’t restrict yourself though as you are likely to fall off the wagon, instead eat a balanced diet treating yourself every now and then.

Find a friend- working out with a friend can be so motivating! They are there to motivate you and maybe even get you there in the first place. If you have arranged to meet a friend in the morning you are less likely to stay in bed!

Pack your bag- we always pack our bag for the next day before going to bed! We also like to place our gym clothes by the bed so we just have to pull them on and go!

Set yourself a goal- we like to set ourselves regular goals so we have something to work towards. A few examples would be: run a certain distance, lift a certain weight, do a deadlift, do a pull up etc.

What are your top tips for keeping motivated, we would like to know!

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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.

BLOGMAS Day 17-Snowmen Hot Chocolate

There is something about hot chocolate and Christmas, we suddenly become addicted to them! There seems to be more competition than ever this year every coffee chain has really gone to town with their Christmas flavoured drinks introducing indulgent speciality drinks that will be enough to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth. Here are just a few flavours that are on offer; salted caramel, holiday spiced, Honeycomb, peppermint mocha, Lindt hot chocolate, caramel fudge, black forest, White Chocolate, Honey and almond, spiced orange and the list goes on. We are currently working our way through the menu and a firm favourite so far is the honeycomb hot chocolate. 

We love how all the coffee shops have got involved with the Christmas cups this year even McDonald’s have introduced a McCafe Christmas cup! We especially love the Costa cups they are for sure the winner in our eyes, but then again anything with a penguin on makes us excited. We love how Starbucks got their customers involved in the creation of their famous red cups, it shows they really do have the customer at the heart of all their decisions. We also couldn’t help but notice Starbucks was one of the last to reveal their 2016 Christmas cup which left us wondering if this was done on purpose to build suspense and get conversations flowing.

Hot chocolate is a great way to kick a chocolate craving! Whenever we are really craving some chocolate (usually every day at about 3pm) we always reach out for a healthy alternative hot chocolate. We are not sure if it is boredom and we suddenly are not hungry anymore because we have mistaken our hunger for thirst or if it really does work.

When we want to treat ourselves to a deliciously sugary hot chocolate we go ALL OUT! (You better be ready to see our delicious recipes below).

Choc Chick blissful blends cacao mandarin– This hot chocolate is one of our healthy alternatives. it is made from raw cacao powder which is then blended with natural mandarin. It is also free from dairy, sugar, gluten and guilt ;). 2 tsp should be mixed with hot water and add some milk if you fancy it!

Cadbury’s highlights Milk Chocolate- we absolutely love this hot chocolate and it is incredibly easy to make. The instructions suggest just adding hot water, but we have noticed the hot chocolate and hot water tend to separate and it can turn a bit lumpy. We add a small amount of milk to the hot chocolate powder and give this a stir until it forms a chocolate paste, then we simply add hot water and there you have it!  You can also get the Cadburys highlights in other flavours such as fudge which also tastes delicious!

Cadburys Drinking Chocolate- This hot chocolate has is supposed to be enjoyed with milk. You can purchase the chocolate in a tin or sachet for on the go. This hot chocolate is deliciously smooth and chocolaty!  We would suggest boiling some milk on a hob with the chocolate powder until it is piping hot and ready to drink.

Terrys chocolate orange hot chocolate- We are obsessed with terry chocolate orange so we couldn’t do a hot chocolate post and not include our own home made chocolate drink! If you are not a fan of chocolate orange then you can swap this for a chocolate bar of your choice!

Hot Chocolate Ingredients
1 Terry’s chocolate orange (they are usually on offer this time of year
2 mugs of milk  (milk of your choice)

Method
Fill both of your mugs with a milk of your choice and place in a sauce pan
Put the milk on a medium heat to ensure you don’t burn the milk at the bottom
When the milk is heated through you will need to add the chocolate orange segments
Stir the mixture until the chocolate has completely melted
Take the saucepan off the heat and pour into your mugs

Snowmen Ingredients
Marshmallows (you can purchase Marshmallows from Muscle food if you are trying to be slightly healthier)
Pretzel sticks
icing pens for the face

You will also need a cocktail stick to assemble the snowman.