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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BLOGMAS Day 16-How to keep active at Christmas

The festive period has started and we couldn’t be happier! Christmas is a time to celebrate with the people you love and whilst doing so you are probably going to be eating a few more calories than normal. If you are going to stuff your face with all the Turkey, Mince Pies, Chocolate and anything else you can get your hands on (we know we will be) then it might be a good idea to get up and get moving. The majority of people tend to gain a few additional pounds at Christmas due to excessive eating but this doesn’t have to be the case.

We would never suggest you sacrifice treats at Christmas but you should ask yourself before you open your mouth for another mince pie, do I really want it, or am I just eating it because it’s there?

Staying active during the festive period is so simple, you don’t have to go running every day or even step foot in the gym if you don’t want to, but doing small amount of exercise will help you maintain your weight.

Christmas shopping is a great way to keep active (unless you do it all online). You walk a lot further than you think when shopping and its fun as well so that is just an added bonus.

If you have a spare 15/20 minutes during the day (not Christmas day) why don’t you do a The Body Coach workout? These workouts are all available on Youtube and they really do make you sweat.

Christmas usually involves a lot of dancing which is also a great way to stay active. If you have several Christmas parties booked in then just be mindful of the drinks you are drinking, we like to have Vodka, soda and fresh lime.

Why don’t you suggest going for a walk with your family or friends, we don’t think you can beat a nice wintery walk. It’s the perfect time to wear your new bobble hat or coat you got for Christmas. Every year our families go on a walk on Christmas morning (even if it does end in the pub) and we absolutely love it!

Don’t stress yourself out too much though, after all Christmas is a time to relax and de stress.

BLOGMAS Day 7- Fitness Wishlist

We couldn’t do Blogmas and not have a Christmas fitness wish list feature on our blog!  There are so many amazing fitness gifts out there that any fitness fanatic would love. You can never have too much active wear and if someone tries to tell you otherwise they are wrong.

Tote Bag- everyone needs a gym slogan tote bag in their life and we love this Kelly Connor design from Etsy. The slogan reads ‘When I work out at the gin I like to rum’, the bag costs £14.75 and is a great size for all your gym kit.

Running socks Marks and Spencer’s sell some of the best running socks we can find. They are thick so stop any blisters appearing when running. The socks we have chosen are £6.00 for a pack of two in the colour Aqua Mix which you can find here.

Women’s Health Subscription every girl loves reading a magazine and we especially enjoy reading women’s health. You can get 11 issues for just £26.99 which we think is an absolute bargain. Women’s health magazine gives you tips and advice to help keep you motivated every month. Who wouldn’t want a monthly fitness fix delivered straight to your door?

Water Bottle- We love anything personalised so when we saw these water bottles we were immediately in love! The water bottle is monochrome and can be purchased from not on the high street for £17.50.

Fitbit- We absolutely love our Fitbits and if you haven’t already got one it needs to be on your fitness wish list. They are amazing and have a great customer service team if you ever have a problem with your fitbit. We have the Fitbit HR Charge and the FitBit Alta.

Popband Hair ties- It’s time to say goodbye to dented kinky! A Popband hair band would be the perfect hair band to use when working out. We like to run on during our lunch break so having a hair band that doesn’t leave a crease would be perfect. There is a large variety of colours and designs suitable for all occasions.

Pink Soda Leggings- This brand has so many amazing products on offer it was hard to choose just one pair of leggings! Pink Soda sell a collection of fitness and lifestyle essentials designed to make you look and feel good when working out. We love these Pink Soda Sport Grindle Panel Tights, they cost £28 pounds and are available in sizes 6-14.

Forever 21 Sports Bra’s- Forever 21 always has an amazing range and this season their sports bras are all beautiful. Forever 21 active wear is so affordable (£13) that we have picked a couple to go on our wish list. First up is this low impact bra there is a choice of two colours and we especially liked the back detail of this bra. Our second pick is a medium impact bra which has gorgeous black mesh detail on the back and front. The final sports bra we picked out of the collection was a high impact bra which will be perfect for running or HIIT training. We love the colour plum so we were immediately attracted to this bra we also liked the striped elasticised band.

Nike Running Jacket- would it really be a fitness wishlist without at least one Nike product in site? We know Nike is a little on the pricey side but it is Christmas so you should treat yourself after all! We have chosen this Nike Shield running jacket in the colour red. The jacket is light weight and water resistance which will be perfect in the wet cold months.

Some other ideas would include; running gloves, foam roller, yoga matt, Backpack, sweat towel, running gloves, protein powder, protein shaker, weight training gloves, hoodies & sweatshirts, long sleeved running tops, resistance band and maybe even some weights for when you train at home. 

What are your fitness must haves? We would love to hear about them!

November Favourites

The months seem to be going quicker and quicker and once again we cannot believe we are already writing our November favourites. This month has been especially busy as we have been planning and writing so many BLOGMAS posts.

See below some of our November favourites that we thought deserved a special mention!

Protein Pancakes- we have been making protein pancakes nearly every weekend this month and it has been great! They are a great refuel after the gym and are incredibly filling as well. We have been using My Protein powder in our pancakes which we absolutely love! We have really enjoyed experimenting with the flavours and so far we have had desiccated coconut (see recipe here), vanilla & Cinnamon (see recipe here). We have a really exciting recipe coming up next month so stay tuned you won’t want to miss it!

Twitter & Twitter Chats- We have always dedicated so much of our time to Instagram and the blog that Twitter took a back seat. It is only recently that we have started using Twitter a lot more and we love it. It’s a lot easier to engage with people on twitter we have joined in on so many twitter chats almost every night of the week. We have learnt so much about the blogging world that we didn’t know about previously! Some great chats to join are; #chattybees #GRLPOWR #prettylittlechat #thegirlgang #lbloggers Chats usually happen in the evening, there’s always chats happening on a Sunday night (GMT) which we love to join as it’s a nice way to end the weekend! There are also chats during the week, we usually join on a Wednesday night. Can you suggest any other chats?

Pinafore dresses- We love that that pinafore dresses are in fashion this season! Once again Primark have a great selection including leather, suede and cord. We have picked up a couple of the leather and cord dresses and have literally lived in them this month. H&M have some lovely denim pinafores that we have put on our Christmas list! We also spied some cute pinafore dresses in Forever 21, including a fab denim one! They would look perfect with a pair of converse during the day or Chelsea boots.

Bobble Hats- Now the winter is getting a lot colder how could we not mention bobble hats? We literally live in hats as soon as the weather starts to get colder! We absolutely love the bobble hats in Primark they always have a great selection and they usually only cost £2- bargain. Marks and Spencer’s also sell bobble hats that are incredibly warm which will be perfect when it gets freezing cold.

Sports Direct- We have been loving sports direct this month, we have purchased lots of new workout clothes to make sure we are ready for our winter runs! We really needed some illumines clothes for when we run in the dark and we were impressed with the selection sports direct had on offer and they were a bargain as well! It’s cheaper to buy online, for example in store they will do 2 for £15 (at £8 each) but online the same items will be £7.50 each, so you don’t need to buy 2!! Although you have to pay for postage (£4.99) if you collect in store you get a £5 voucher to spend in so, so delivery is basically free.

Rimmel 107 Matte Lipstick- We feel it is essential to have a good red lipstick in your make up collection during the winter months and especially December. We were browsing the make up in Superdrug and remembered the Rimmel 107 Kate Moss lipstick we had a few seasons back, it’s a gorgeous deep red colour! The lipstick is matte so it can leave you with dry lips so we wouldn’t advise using if you prefer a moisturising lipstick.

Borough Market – we don’t live in central London, but close enough to visit when we want to! Funnily enough this month we have visited Borough Market twice! Borough Markets is located next to London Bridge and is open daily (except Sundays). From Monday to Wednesday is operates a ‘half’ market so if a bit smaller. This basically means that the food stalls/street food is open for all the office workers. On Thursday to Saturday it’s a full market with lots of stalls to visit. There are so many stalls from fruit and veg, cheese and meat. You can also treat yourself to mulled wine or prosecco or even a hog roast. There’s also a bakery school called Bread Ahead on the edge of the market and they have a stall too with some incredible bread to buy. We reccomend you visit if you have the chance!

What have you been loving this November?