Why you should take progress pictures

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Its easy to forget the progress you have made when you see your body day in day out. Taking photos of your body is so important and we would say a necessary aspect of your fitness journey.

Step away from the scales and instead take progress pictures to track your progress. The Scales are not always your friend and they can make you feel extremely disheartened if you don’t see the number on the scales drop especially if you have been working hard. We cannot remember the last time we weighed ourselves we don’t think its an important part of our fitness journey and your weight can change by the minute depending on the food you have eaten and the liquids you have consumed. If you do still want to weigh yourself then maybe just do this every other week or once a month instead of stepping on the scale day in day out.

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Taking progress photos will help keep you on track and you can look back and see how far you have come. Transformation can take time and its important to remember it wont happen overnight. Take a photo once a week, pick a day and time and take your photo at the same time each week. This could be first thing in the morning or last thing at night it is completely up to you. We would suggest taking it first thing in the morning when you first wake up before eating or drinking any food.

Even if you don’t want to look at the photos straight away because you don’t like what you see in a couple of months when you look back you should be able to see a big difference in your body if you are living a healthy balanced lifestyle and keeping on track with your diet and fitness regime.

Don’t beat yourself up if progress is slow, you will make progress no matter how slow or quickly it takes!

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Sweet Potato Brownies

Chocolate brownies are one of our go to bakes, we love them and so do our family and friends. We have created the most delicious chocolate brownie recipe but unfortunately like most indulgent treats they are incredibly unhealthy.
We wanted to create a recipe we could enjoy on the regular without getting a sugar carb hangover the next day. We did quite a bit of research on ingredients that would work best and eventually decided on sweet potato.
We got family members to try the baked goods to see if they could guess what they were made of and not one got it right. They were all shocked when we said it was sweet potato and you literally cannot taste it at all.
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Makes 12 large brownies or more if you cute them smaller! 
Ingredients 
3 medium sweet potatoes (roughly 700g)
15 pitted dates
4 tbsp raw cacao
120g ground almonds (we just blended ours)
100g oat flour or you could use a flour of your choice
30ml milk of your choice we used oat milk
5 tbsp maple syrup
Method 
Preheat the oven to 180oc
Line a baking dish
Peal the sweet potato and cut them into chunks
Place sweet potato into a steamer and cook until they are soft this took about 15 minutes
Once the sweet potato is really soft add them to the food processed along with the dates and blend until combined
Combine the ground almonds, raw cacao and oat flour before adding the sweet potato mixture, maple syrup and milk
Place mixture into the lined baking dish and cook in the oven for 18-20 minutes
Remove from the oven and let the brownies cool before cutting them
Let us know if you have experimented with any other ingredients as we would love to know!

Banana & Peanut mini loafs

Banana bread and peanut butter are two of our favourite things in life (well peanut butter is one of Annie’s, Rachel cant stand it but she does love banana bread). We have already created a banana bread recipe which is so delicious and simple to make.

We recently received some ‘Peanut Hottie’ in the post and new straight away we had to create a recipe using the product. we love banana and peanut butter porridge so we thought it would be perfect to add the peanut hottie to our banana bread recipe and instead of making a big loaf we would make mini loafs!

You can purchase Peanut Hottie in all the leading supermarkets here in the UK including Waitrose, Tesco and Sainsburys. We cant wait to try the peanut hottie with chocolate drink as well!

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Ingredients
3 ripe bananas
200G oat flour (we just blend oats that we already have in the cupboard)
1 tsp baking powder
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
3tbsp peanut hottie powder
100ml milk of your choice
Peanut butter to drizzle

Method
Pre heat your oven to 180oc
Grease the mini loaf tin with some melted coconut oil
Blend the oats until they are fine and resemble flour
Mush 3 of the bananas in a mixing bowl
In a separate bowl mix your oat flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda & Peanut hottie
Once combined add the mashed banana and stir
Pour in the milk and stir
Pour the mixture into the loaf tins
Bake the banana loaf for 15-20 minutes until cooked throughout
Once cooled drizzle the mini loafs with peanut butter we used pip and nut!

Enjoy and as always send us your creations you can find us on Instagram and Twitter!

Healthy eating on a budget

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Healthy eating doesn’t have to be expensive. You don’t have to shop in Whole Foods and you certainly don’t have to spend more money. So many people think convenient fast foods are cheaper than fresh wholesome foods.  We want to put this myth to bed and help people maintain a healthy diet whilst eating on a budget.

If you have any other tips and tricks then please share them with us!

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Buy in Bulk- We would suggest purchasing your food in bulk for example buying bigger bags of rice, oats and pasta will be cheaper and these are as good go to staples to have in the cupboard.  You should also think about purchasing your meat in bulk there are several established websites that sell meat such as Muscle Foods.  Compare pre packed fruit and veg to loose fruit and veg. Check the price per kg some brands will make loose more expensive where as others will bump the prices up on pre packed goods as its more convenient.

Cook in bulk and from fresh- If you don’t enjoy cooking and it feels like a chore this is probably the last thing you are going to want to spend your evening doing. It will definitely be worth it and your bank balance will thank you for it. If you cook in bulk then you can freeze meals or eat them the next day for lunch or dinner, that way it will limit your cooking time in the long run.

Limit eating out/ ordering take away – Eating out can be expensive, why not eat out when you are celebrating something or as a treat when you want to catch up with family or friends. Don’t just eat out because you cannot be bothered to cook or wash up the dinner plates. Eating out is not only expensive it is likely you will end up eating a less nutritional meal.

Buy frozen fruit- We love purchasing frozen fruit and Tesco have recently introduced single fruit bags e.g. kiwi or mango. These are so much cheaper than fresh fruit and have a longer sell by date. We like having frozen fruit in our porridge for breakfast or enjoyed in the evening as a snack with some yoghurt.

Shop online/write a list- Ever been to the super market and ended up purchasing items you really don’t need? Yes we have all been there! When ordering food online it is unlikely you will purchase foods you do not need especially if you are following a shopping list.

A few other tips- purchase all nuts in the world food sections of the supermarket they are always half the price, Purchase produce when they are in season and don’t throw away leftovers eat them the next day or freeze them.

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Mix up your workout

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Going to the gym and doing the same workout time and time again is going to become so boring, your body will become used to the exercises meaning you probably wont make the progress you want to make. Don’t be afraid to mix up your workout stepping well and truly out of your comfort zone.

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Don’t be afraid to ask for help at the gym if you don’t know how to use a machine just ask someone whether this is a member of staff at the gym or someone else who looks like they know what they are doing. We have asked so many different people in the past and it now means we can use the equipment and machines correctly.

Lift some weights… If you prefer to do cardio in the gym or attend gym classes why not try lifting a few weights? The weights room can be intimidating but once you have been once or twice it is honestly fine! Lifting weights is not going to make you big and bulky! Don’t rush your sets when lifting weights we all know those people in the gym who hang around the machine for a while before asking you how many sets you have left. Whatever you do no matter how intimidated you are don’t lie and say you only have one left when in fact you have only just got the machine yourself.

Watch YouTube videos to get some new ideas and learn the correct technique. We spend a lot of time on YouTube and especially enjoy work out videos. We will be doing a blog post soon on all our favourite Fitness YouTubers so make sure you look out for that. We have also recently started vlogging/Youtubing oursevles and we will be regularly posting our own workout videos.

Attend a new class they will challenge you and could work different groups of muscles, plus they can be really fun. There are so many great classes you could attend for example; boxercise, body pump, Metafit, Spinning, TRX, Legs bums & Tums, Pilates, Yoga and the list goes on.

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We hope these top tips help you to mix up your workouts in the future! We love doing new workouts it keeps us motivated and we look forward to going to the gym day in day out. If your gym sessions start to feel like a chore then its probably time for a change.

 

 

 

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! 🙂

Vanilla protein pancakes with raspberry yoghurt and peanut butter

If you haven’t guessed already we basically had a pancake party on the Saturday morning before Pancake Day, except we were the only ones attending the party. It was great for us as it meant we got to eat all the pancakes until we were completely pancaked out (if that is even possible).

These vanilla protein pancakes with Peanut butter and raspberry taste absolutely incredible! They are the perfect breakfast choice and we thoroughly enjoyed them post the 8 mile run we did on Saturday morning.

Our protein of choice was the Whey Ahead vanilla sachet but you could in fact use any of their flavours using the recipe below. They have so many flavours e.g. toffee, cookie dough, banana, strawberry, chocolate orange and that is just naming a few.  We cannot wait to experiment and don’t worry they will be recipes to follow!

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Makes 10 Pancakes
Ingredients
100g oat flour or oats blended
1.5tsp baking powder
1.5tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 scoop/sachet or vanilla whey powder
3 egg whites
50ml Milk we used oat milk

Toppings
Peanut butter
Fage yoghurt
Chia seed jam or any other kind of jam
Flaked almonds

Method
Blend your oats until they form a flour
Add the rest of the dry ingredients and blend.
Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until it forms a batter.
Heat your pan (medium/high heat) and melt some coconut oil.
Add a table spoon of mixture to your pan and flip once bubbles appear on the surface.
Mix the greek yoghurt in a bowl with the raspberry jam
Sandwich the pancakes together alternating the fillings each time (one raspberry yoghurt and the other peanut butter)
sprinkle falkes almonds over the top

Enjoy!