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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BLOGMAS Day 5- London Ice Skating Guide

Ice skating has definitely become a Christmas tradition for us in the recent years. There are so many ice rinks to choose from in London we thought we would share some of the ice rinks we have tried and tested!

Most of the ice rinks have 1 hour slots, but make sure you book your spot online quickly as they sell out pretty fast. We love ice skating in the evening when it is dark outside as most of the ice rinks usually have pretty lights that make the rinks much more picturesque.

Don’t forget to wrap up warm and we would suggest wearing some extra thick socks (ski socks) so your toes don’t get cold!

After you have ice skated we would recommend warming up with a nice mulled wine of hot chocolate.

Somerset House- This is the first ice rinks we ever went to at Christmas time in London so of course it is top of our list. The location is stunning and the ice rink is built in the middle of the 18th century courtyard.  There is something about this ice rink that is very magical and always makes you feel super festive. After you have ice skated remember to take a photo in front of the amazing Christmas tree they have every year.

Natural History Museum- This Ice Rink is truly stunning! The trees around the ice rink are draped in fairy lights making it the most enchanting ice rink in London.  There is a large ice rink and also a smaller ice rink suitable for children. Watch out though as this ice rink can occasionally close for private functions.

Hampton Court Palace- Henry VIII’s sixteenth century house makes a pleasant setting for this outdoor ice risk. We would recommend visiting the ice risk in the evening when it really comes alive.

Winter wonder land – The entry to winter wonderland is free but if you want to go ice skating you will need to purchase a ticket online. When we visited winter wonderland previously we thought the ice rink was quite over crowded, even though it is the biggest outdoor rink in the London.

Park Run

On Saturday 5th November we decided to take part in Park Run. If you don’t already know what park run is it is a run that takes places every Saturday morning at 9am in parks all across the UK. Park run is 5KM long it doesn’t matter how fast or slow you run everyone is invited to join in.

Make sure you register beforehand and print out your barcode so you can take part in the run. The bar code will measure your time but that’s not really what the run is all about. The run is only 5KM long as it gives everyone the chance to get involved even if you are walking at the end.

When we turned up on Saturday morning we didn’t really know what to expect. It was a bitter cold morning, but there was no rain in site. 332 people turned up to do the run which is amazing, it’s good to see everyone getting involved first thing on a Saturday.

The route was pretty flat which was great, the only downside was the fact you had to repeat the route twice. We usually prefer to run where you don’t repeat your route as it can become boring, but it was fine for only three miles.

All of the events are run by dedicated groups of volunteers who are amazing at getting everyone organised. They are also great at cheering everyone along and there is even a photographer taking photos on your way round.

It was great to see a variety of ages getting involved in the run! There were adults, kids and even babies being pushed along in there pushchairs (they were having a great time). We even noticed some tourists were taking part in the run and had travelled all the way from Iceland-amazing.

We had a great time and loved every minute of it, we will definitely be going back for more!

After the run we popped to Joe and the juice for a morning coffee. If you have never been  to Joe and the juice before you need to go! Not only do they serve amazing coffee (we had iced coffees) the service is always amazing. The staff always look like they are having a great time and they always have great music playing.

Let us know if you have taken part in the park run before or plan to in the future 🙂

Coconut & Vanilla Protein Pancakes

Saturday morning we were up early and headed to the gym to work out our arms and chest. Commuting into London daily means we don’t have time to prepare and cook pancakes in the week so making pancakes at the weekend is a lovely treat.

These pancakes are so fluffy and delicious we cannot wait to make them again!

Serves 10 Pancakes
Ingredients for Pancakes
150g Oats or Oat flour (we just blended oats)
2 tsp Baking Powder
3 tbsp Desiccated Coconut
2 scoops of Vanilla Whey Protein
2 egg whites
50ml Almond milk (add gradually)

Toppings
Stewed frozen berries (we got ours from Tesco)
Peanut butter

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.
In a separate pan you will need to stew your frozen berries until they are piping hot.
Stack the pancakes and add the topping.

Running in your lunch break


We find running outside far more enjoyable than running on a treadmill. We have been running in the evenings for about a year now and really enjoy it.  A few months ago we decided to go for a run on our lunch break, this is something we had discussed for a while but had never actually got round to going. It’s a great way to fit in some cardio in if you don’t have time to go to the gym that day.

We put some time in our diaries at the beginning of the day, once your run is scheduled in you know you have dedicated that time to run. We get a one hour lunch break so decided to give ourselves 5 minutes to get changed, 30 minutes to run and 25 minutes to cool down, shower and eat lunch.

You could even invite your co-workers along with you so it becomes a social activity which could even lead to a work running club. Running with friends makes time go so much quicker and you will have completed the 3 miles before you know it.

It is so important to get some fresh air at lunch time and you will more than likely return back to your desk in a better mood, less stressed and ready to focus.

We have found it is important to work out a running route before you start the run to ensure you don’t waste time figuring out which way to go. We used map my run, which is really great and easy to use. If the route doesn’t work well for you after trying it out then think of a different route for next time it can be trial and error to begin with. For example running near Waterloo and Westminster (Particularly Southbank and Westminster Bridge) can be tricky at lunch time as it can become very overcrowded.

If you are trying to improve your speed then we would suggest running the same route so you can track how quickly you are running. Of course running the same route may quickly become boring so you could try mapping out a few runs and keeping track of your fastest times on each of these run. This way you will be able to keep track on whether you are maintaining your pace, speeding up or slowing down If you aren’t trying to improve your speed then why not try lots of different routes and get to know the local area a bit better, running is a great way of getting to know your surroundings as you can get to places a lot quicker than walking.

Another tip would be to prepare your lunch for work that day. You don’t want to waste time queuing up for lunch after your run, so make it the night before or buy it on your way into work. If you know you are running at lunch time then make sure you have prepared or purchased food that is going to refuel your body.

Happy Running.