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.

Very berry protein waffles

We got a waffle maker for Christmas this year which we are absolutely loving so we thought it was only right we started creating so yummy recipes and posting them on the blog. First up is berry protein waffles  as berries are always something we reach out to when we want a fruity breakfast.
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Makes 8 waffles 
To make the waffles you will need:
100g oats blended
2 egg whites
1tsp baking powder
1tsp cinnamon
1tsp ground ginger
1 scoops of protein powder we opted for vanilla this time
100ml milk of your choice we used oat milk
Toppings 
150g Frozen berries
3tbsp Chia seeds
Yoghurt we used fags 0%
Flaked almonds
Smooth Peanut butter we used meridian
Maple syrup- optional
Method 
Stew the frozen berries with water on a medium heat
While the fruit is stewing blend the oats and pour into the mixing bowl
Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until combined
Add the egg whites and stir well
Slowly add the milk and mix
Remove the frozen berries from the heat, pour in the chia seeds and leave on the side to set
Turn your waffle maker on and once hot lightly grease with coconut oil or butter
Pour mixture onto the waffle mounds and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes (waffle makers can differ so make sure you read the instructions supplied).
Once cooked plate up and add all the topping on!
We put any leftover berry jam in a jar and will enjoy on porridge or on toast later on in the week. Remember to keep it refrigerated in an air tight container.
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Our running goals

We have been running regularly for over a year, we have got to the point where we can happily run 7.5 miles but have not pushed ourselves to run either further. This year we have decided to challenge and push ourselves to go even further and we have decided to double the distance to 15 miles. If we managed to get to 7.5 miles in one year then what is to say we cannot get to 15 miles this year.

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We absolutely love running. It’s a great time to reflect or to just completely switch off from the world. We love running together; we make so many decisions when running about our blog, jobs, weekend plans and our future aspirations.

We have decided to set ourselves this challenge because we think it’s important to have goals that we can work towards together in 2017. We loving setting ourselves fitness goals to ensure we challenge and push ourselves so we can see continuous progress in our fitness levels.

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We will be running together once a week and as the evenings get lighter we will be making our runs longer. During the winter months we run 5 miles during the week on the road. In the summer however, we like to run in the woods deep into the Hertfordshire countryside watching the sun set. We will also be running on our own maybe at the weekend trying to push ourselves to run further each time we run.

We will also be running shorter runs of 5K as we know it is important to vary your running lengths in order to see progress and to give your body a break.  We both like to run in our lunch breaks as it is the perfect amount of time for a quick 5K.

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We hope to also enter a couple of runs this year to keep us motivated and to have something to work towards. We wanted to take part in the 10 mile London parks run last year so maybe that will be on the cards this year.

We will be documenting our running progress over the next year so watch out for more running posts!

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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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Oaty Breakfast Muffins

Having suffered from digestive problems for over 2 years the last suggestion from the doctors was to follow the low FODMAP diet. This has been a bit of a shock to the system and my first worry was that I wouldn’t be able to eat anything!! However doing some more research, reading lots of blogs and chatting to others on twitter it’s not as bad as it seems. Okay I need to now buy gluten free products and follow a lactose free diet too and cut out certain fruits. However I can eat Greek yoghurt, which is a firm favourite of mine!

I came across a recipe for breakfast muffins and adapted it to suit my new diet. I omitted the flour, and blended oats instead to make a sort of oat flour. This recipe uses honey instead of sugar and also the blueberries add some sweetness to the muffins too!

 Hope you enjoy these, they are the perfect breakfast treat!

2 large eggs
150ml pot Greek yoghurt
50ml sunflower oil
1 banana, mashed
100g blueberry
4 tsp runny honey
1tsp vanilla extract
200g oats, blended (gluten free if necessary)
1 ½ tsp baking powder (gluten free if necessary) 
1 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
Handful oats for the topping

1)      Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with large muffin cases.

2)      In a jug mix the eggs, yoghurt, banana, honey and vanilla. If its lumpy then blitz  using the hand blender

3)      In a large bowl mix together, the blended oats, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and blueberries, then pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

4)      Mix together, but do not over mix and then divide the mixture between the 12 cases.

5)      Sprinkle on the oats and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, ensuring when a skewer is inserted is comes out clean

6)      Leave to cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

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You could also make these with raspberries or any other type of berries. You could also add a scoop of unflavoured or vanilla protein powder to the muffins for the ideal post workout snack!

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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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.

banana-baked-porridge

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!