Blog

How to Stay Motivated

I think we have all experienced a time where motivation levels reach an all-time low. A lack of motivation can make you feel so far from your goals, but this is most certainly not the case and a simple change in your outlook can help almost immediately. Hopefully,  this post will help you to get out of a motivation rut, and back to feeling unstoppable.

1) Acknowledgment

It is okay to feel unmotivated. I think when people feel unmotivated they fixate on this rather than the solution, or cause, but change how you choose to view your lack of motivation can easily overcome this feeling. Try and think if there is anything that might be directly affecting your level of motivation e.g, work stress, life changes, tiredness, no matter how big or small, any reason is valid. However, it may also be the case that you can’t think of anything that is negatively affecting your motivational drive, and again this is fine – motivation is not constant, and thank goodness not too, as we’d all be exhausted! It may be the last thing you want to do to try and rebuild your motivation, but to have a break from the gym, and thinking about fitness/goals can be the best thing. This time out will allow for you to feel refreshed, and ready to smash some fitness goals!

2) Change your workout routine 

Often, when we get settled into a fitness routine, it is very easy to become complacent. Ironically, comfort zones can be dangerous places! If you’re doing the same workouts day, in day out, it is inevitable that your motivation will decrease. Not only will this cause mental complacency, but your body will stop responding the way it used to, as it also becomes used to the same routine. You will notice the benefits of mixing up your workouts as the body responds best when it is challenged. There are so many ways to change the way you workout such as training with a friend, trying a new workout, even changing the time you normally train can make a difference.

3) Setting realistic goals

Having a goal to work towards increases my motivation so much! Make the goal specific to you, and really focus on achieving this. The goal can be anything from a new personal best, to simply going to the gym a certain amount of times in a week. It is also important that the goals you set are achievable whilst still have an element of challenge to them. Fitness journals are a great way to record your progress, goals, and achievements, as it can be so easy to forget how far we’ve come!

4) Reward yourself

Closely related to setting goals is rewarding yourself when you achieve them! All work and no play is most definitely not fun, so when you reach a goal, give yourself a reward. My reward always seems to be new gym leggings, you can never have enough :’)

4) Take it back to the beginning

What made you start your fitness journey? How motivated did you feel when you first started getting into fitness? It’s about rekindling that initial drive that got you started and reminding yourself exactly why you do what you do. For me, I always try and be the best version of myself that I can, when I workout it’s a celebration of what my body can do!

Thank you for reading, and I hope this post has helped you in some way,

Jazzy B ❤

 

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Blog

Cooking with Quorn

If you couldn’t tell already from my Instagram page, I am OBSESSED with Quorn. I think they offer such as a large variety of meat-free substitutes, that it makes it so much easier to stop/reduce your meat consumption.Whenever I talk to people about cooking with Quorn, they’re always a bit skeptical. So this blog post is for those of you who are unsure as to how to incorporate this fabulous food into your diet.

There are so many advantages to cooking with Quorn, a few include:

  • Cheaper than meat
  • lower in saturated fat than meat
  • very versatile – can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner
  • high fibre content
  • guilt free

Cooking with Quorn is so simple. I love the innovations that the company is always coming out with, they now even do a whole vegan range. Also, they have bacon, chicken slices for sandwiches and snacks such as scotch eggs and cocktail sausages (which taste amazing!) It makes committing to these dietary choices so much easier, knowing that you can still have something that will provide you with protein, and far less saturated fat per serving.

Cooked BreakfastIMG_6755

Who doesn’t love a nice cooked brekkie?! For me, veggie sausages make a cooked breakfast SO much better, you also don’t feel bad for eating them as they a great in terms of macros. Plus, they make the best sausage sandwiches.

 

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Roast Dinner

A nice Sunday roast with all the trimmings, please. Yep, still possible with Quorn. On my roast, I will have a Quorn chicken fillet with everything else that usually goes on a roast! Also, it makes cooking a roast far easier if you only have to put a Quorn chicken fillet in the oven.

Spaghetti Bolognese24321736_1727072897366962_2087718851_o

This is a classic midweek winner, that you don’t have to miss out on if you’re vegetarian.  According to the Quorn website, when this dish is made with Quorn mince, it contains 90% less saturated fat than regular mince! When I make this dish for friends or family…I always tell them it’s made with real mince,  and half the time they don’t even notice 😉

24818822_1730014770406108_37254609_oChicken Curry

Curry is another classic that I couldn’t live without.  Quorn chicken pieces are great in curries, and reduce the cooking time by a lot…a win-win ;). The recipe for this red lentil and chicken curry dish can be found here, I highly recommend this as a mid-week dish as it is so easy and cheap.

 

As you become used to cooking with Quorn, you’ll realise that the possibilities are endless, you don’t have to stick to vegetarian recipes either, as Quorn work perfectly when subbed into recipes that would normally contain meat. Thank you for reading, and I hope I’ve inspired you to give Quorn products a go, even if it is only for one meal per week,

Jazzy B ❤

 

Blog, Dinner

Buddha Bowl

Although very appetizing, Buddha bowls can be super expensive. So I’ve created this budget-friendly bowl so you can Buddha until your heart’s content 😉

IMG_3026
Turmeric Bulgar wheat with raw tomatoes and cucumber, stir-fried peppers, broccoli, courgette, onions, Quorn chicken, and a side of spinach, topped with avocado, feta, and chili flakes.

Buddha bowls are all about the combination of lots of wholesome ingredients, giving you a dish with texture, colour, and flavour – and that’s what I love most about them. The main ingredients that constitute a buddha bowl include some form of protein, grains, and vegetables, but my advice is to tailor it to what you like, as you’ll enjoy it far more! It’s actually impossible to get bored of a Buddha bowl with the limitless number of flavour combos. Below are a few of my favourite bowls.

When I make these bowls, it’s always a question of how much I can actually pack in the bowl! They are a fab way to get in most of your 5-a-day and much-needed micronutrients…in fact, the whole bowl literally represents the ‘Eatwell plate’…#winning 😉

IngredientsBuddha

Grains:

  • Soya mince, brown rice, bulgur wheat, quinoa, couscous, buckwheat or barley.
  • You could also make cauliflower/broccoli rice if you wanted a lower carb option.

Protein:

  • Lentils, egg, Quorn chicken, beans (kidney beans, black beans, butter beans etc), tofu, or seafood.

Vegetables:

  • Sweet potato, cucumber, tomatoes, spinach, courgette, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, red onion, mushrooms, beetroot, aubergine, and sprouts…if you’re feeling festive ;).
  • Usually, some of the vegetables will be left raw such as tomatoes, cucumber, and carrots, to add to the texture.
  • Also, you could make your own veg slaw.
  • To add some sweetness to your bowl, things such as blueberries, mango, apples, and strawberries are a great choice.

Extras:IMG_3902

  • Toppings: sesame seeds, cashew nuts, feta, pumpkin seeds, croutons, parmesan flakes, olives, avocado slices, chia seeds, chives, spring onions.
  • Spices/ herbs: chili flakes, black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic, parsley.
  • Sauces: houmous, BBQ sauce, tahini, light mayonnaise, light salad cream, light soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, sweet chili, sriracha – and there are so much more. But it also tasted just as good without the addition of these, as you can taste the flavors more.

I hope that the Buddha bowl becomes one of your weekly faves,

Jazzy B ❤

Blog

Foodie Finds – October 2017

Firstly, where did October go?! And secondly, how are there only 8 weeks until Christmas…madness! Mind you, that’s not a bad thing as I love the countdown to Christmas 🙂

This months finds contain lots of random goodies such as chocolate orange coffee, white chocolate spread…and a very strange fruit 😉

1) ALDI Red Thai Curry Pea SnacksIMG_8788[1]

These taste just as interesting as they sound, whenever I’m eating them I always get someone asking me about them! I love the fact that they’re made from marrowfat peas, which ups the protein intake, but also it makes them a healthier alternative to crisps. Whats more, they’re baked so they’re no way near as greasy as regular crisps making them the perfect snack. I’ve never tasted flavours like this in any crisp, so worth a try.

IMG_8763[1]2) Beanies Chocolate Orange Coffee

Personally, I’m more of tea kinda girl, but this chocolate orange Beanies has me questioning. Admittedly, the taste is rather subtle but I think this suits something as strong as coffee, although you do still get that chocci orange aftertaste. I love the sound of a few others in their range of strange flavours such as pumpkin spice and cinder toffee which I shall be giving a go.

3) Graze Protein BitesIMG_8661

I was curious after seeing these in my local Tesco, and of course had to buy them especially as graze are renowned for their quirky snacks. The banana flavour actually tastes natural, unlike that artificial banana flavour. You most certainly can’t go wrong with the oat and banana combo, and these certainly do it justice. Also, the packaging is pretty cool with its whole organic theme (such a sucker for nice packaging!).

IMG_90144) Persimmon

Am I the only one who has never heard of this fruit?! When I googled it, it’s also called Sharon fruit…which I have heard of :’) The only way to describe this fruit is that it’s like a sweet pear/kiwi. I added slices to my porridge and pancakes, but for me, the fruit is way too sweet…and that is saying something!

 

5) Soreen Halloween malt loaf IMG_8895

These loaves came in toffee apple or blood orange and chocolate flavours. I love the cake-like texture of Soreen, and when combined with their autumn-inspired flavours, it takes it to the next level of cakey-goodness 😉 Both flavours taste amazing, but I preferred the toffee apple.

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6) Grenade White Choc Protein Spread

This stuff is actually amazing (and so addictive)! I’ve been adding it to pancakes, porridge, toast and smoothie bowls…just about anything I can. It is quite pricey at £6.00 a jar, but it tastes just as good, if not better than their grenade protein bars.

 

Thank you for reading my October foodie finds…now let the Christmas countdown begin,

Jazzy B ❤

Blog, breakfast, Recipies

Pumpkin Pie Pancakes

Autumn is well and truly here, and thank goodness too! I’ve grown to love this time of year mainly for how cosy I feel when I’m all snuggled up with a nice hot choc, and my candles are lit (the only thing that ever gets ‘lit’ in my life ;)).

Not only this, but Autumn means the return of the mighty pumpkin (and all those extra carvings that you could probably display in the Tate). It’s all about the Pumpkin; pumpkin energy balls, pumpkin pie, pumpkin waffles…It’s everywhere! There is so much you can do with pumpkins, so I thought I’d Autumn-ify my Protein Pancake recipe and bring you something inspired from the States.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp of tinned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 a tsp of baking powder
  • 45g of oats
  • 1.5 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tbsp of honey
  • Ginger
  • Cinnamon
  • Mixed spice
  • One egg
  • 1 and a 1/2 tsp Greek yoghurt
  • 50-60ml of your choice of milk
  • Coconut oil (for greasing the pan)

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Method:

  1. Preheat your frying pan (on a low heat)
  2. Place the oats in a blender until you get a flour-like texture
  3. Add in the egg, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, honey, spices, baking powder, and yoghurt and blend until combined
  4. Next, add in your choice of milk bit by bit until you get a pourable batter
  5. Put some coconut oil in the pan (now turned up to a medium-high heat) and pour your pancake batter in
  6. Flip each pancake once the edges turn a golden colour
  7. Keep topping the pan up with coconut oil after each couple of pancakes
  8. Serve and enjoy! (I would highly recommend serving them with something chocolatey!)

Nutritional Info:

(Makes 7 small pancakes)

  • 402 calories
  • 57.7g carbs
  • 14.3g protein
  • 12.9g fat

I hope you enjoy these autumn style pumpkin pancakes, and stay safe as storm Brian might get you 😉 (the names they call these storms are absolutely hilarious!)

Jazzy B ❤

 

Blog

Pretty Little Picnic

There is something so lovely about having a picnic: The sun shining down, all the food, spending time with friends. I think we could all do with giving ourselves more time to escape to the country for an hour or two, and what better reason than to have a picnic?

IMG_7205In my eyes picnics are so underrated, although admittedly dependent on the weather, they’re so simple to organise that you could easily arrange one of an afternoon. As a student, I’m always thinking of things to do which are affordable, and this most definitely is! Everyone can provide some food, and before you know it you’ve got a tasty feast.

When organising a picnic, I prefer to have it somewhere quieter that also allows you to go for a leisurely stroll afterward, so a nice location is key. But I also have invited friends round to have one in my garden, they can be as simple as you make them.IMG_7165

A friend and I set up our picnic blanket in the afternoon sunshine in a quiet field (would recommend not having it on someones private land, which we unknowingly did…oops!) and had a lovely catch up and giggle, whilst of course munching on all the lovely food.

As you can see, our picnic for two was virtually effortless and was done only using foods that we had available. We had fruit kebabs, my homemade caramel brownie protein balls , Go Ahead chocolate crunchy dippers (which tasted amazing), and some refreshing summer fruits squash.

Once we had eaten as much as we could, we then went for a walk along the Wey & Arun canal in West Sussex, which was absolutely beautiful.

I felt so peaceful after doing so, and I hope I’ve inspired you to get outside and see the beauty that is all around us,

Jazzy B ❤

 

 

Blog, Snacks

Strange Snacks

I am such a snacker. Snacks are what keep me going throughout the day, as I prefer to eat smaller meals, and then have a couple of healthy snacks in between. Often, I’ll just stick to my Staple Snacks, but as with everything you’ve got to mix things up to keep them interesting. So here are a few of what I like to call ‘strange’ snacks, as they aren’t you’re typical piece of fruit 😉

Seaweed Thins

These make the perfect snack for when you’re a little bit peckish, they’re very light and I just find the concept of eating seaweed so novel. Also, in my opinion, they look so much better than your bog-standard crisp…they’re Green! Normally, they come flavoured with sea salt, but I have tried some green tea infused thins before which were just as lovely.

IMG_7255Go Ahead Crunchy Dippers

Something a little sweet! When I saw these I just had to give them a go, especially as most snacks with breadsticks are savoury, and as I have a massive sweet tooth…they had me at hello ;). They are so worth the 148 calories, the perfect pick-me-up. Don’t fear if chocolate isn’t your thing, as they also have salted caramel and coconut and vanilla dippers…yum!

Protein Bars

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Yes…that is a Mars protein bar you see, and it is the bomb!

My new obsession. If I have had a really good gym session or I fancy some chocolate (always ;)), then I will reward myself with one of these bars of heaven. My favourite brands are Grenade, Quest, Mars, and Fulfil, as I find these all have the lowest sugar content and the highest protein. They can be quite expensive at £2.50 a bar, but it’s SO worth it. Also, if you haven’t tried heating one up the microwave you definitely should, it turn into a gooey chocolate pudding.

 

IMG_7287Walkers Poppadoms

These really are sensational, the flavour combinations work wonderfully together. Also, they’re only 63 calories and I’ve never seen a packet of crisps that low. If anything I would try them for the flavours, they’re unlike anything I’ve tasted.

 

So that concludes my strange snack round-up, I hope you’ve found something to spice up your snack cupboard (yes…I have a whole cupboard dedicated to snacks aha), until next time,

Jazzy B ❤

Blog

How to Stay Healthy on Holiday

For me going on holiday involves relaxing, exploring and enjoying all things food. I Have not long returned from a lovely holiday to Gran Canaria, where I most certainly did all of the above! However, often the hardest thing is about finding the balance between staying healthy/maintaining your progress whilst also enjoying and indulging in all things food and culture.

For me, the key to finding this balance is in fact quite simple: take things back to their basics! This applies to many things such as exercise, food, treats, sleep, and relaxation. If this balance is achieved you’ll have one feel-good holiday. For example, I ensured I ate good food, went for lots of strolls (even if that was only to the shop to get some chocci ;)) had a good nights sleep, and importantly allowed some time to chill. I will be sharing with you my tips on how to have a great holiday and feel on top of your game at the same time.

  • Healthy airport snacks

    IMG_6651
    Hippeas chickpea puffs, a Fulfil cookies and cream protein bar, some nuts, and Fruit-tella sugar-free fruit foams.

I love the buzz of the airport. For me, the holiday starts as soon as I’m in the airport. This is the time that I’ll buy my snacks for the plane because who doesn’t love snacking on the plane?! Typically I’ll buy a protein bar, a packet of nuts and a small sweet something, this way you’re less tempted to fall for the sugar-filled plane snacks. To the right are a few of the snacks I purchased.

  • Be as active as possible

By this, I don’t mean spending hours in the hotel gym  (because let’s face hotel gyms can be seriously hit or miss 😂) or even going for a 5 mile jog. I’m talking about making smaller changes such as taking the stairs instead of the lift, walking to the nearest beach or having a stroll around the local area. It just so happens that there was a massive hill (called Lomo de Tabaibales) near my hotel which of course I had to walk up, and I’m so glad I did as the views were stunning…even if it was in unpractical pretty sandals. I love going for a morning or evening walk as I find it really relaxing, and it encourages mindfulness – something we could all focus on more.

  • Plenty of good foods

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Wholewheat spaghetti with tuna in tomato sauce, olive and strips of Edam.
Firstly I’ll visit the local supermarket to buy my essentials and to see what foods are available. Then I’ll do a rough plan of dinners that are full of micronutrients, protein, carbs etc. I don’t plan lunches or breakfast as I like to eat what I fancy on holiday, but I find planning dinner helps me to reach my macros. For example, some meals that I cooked this holiday include tuna and wholemeal spaghetti with olives, noodles with sardines, tomatoes and chickpeas, and a chickpea and egg Buddha bowl.

 

IMG_7651[1]
An example of some of the foods I purchased once I had completed my meal plan.

For an all-inclusive holiday, the temptation can be a lot harder when it comes to meal times what with the never-ending buffet full of yummy desserts…so tempting! For breakfast I’ll go for foods high in good fats and protein, and also carbs e.g scrambled eggs on toast with an avocado or oats with some fruit. For lunch and dinner I will always put my side salad on my plate first, then find a healthy protein source and some carbs, and of course, if there is a dessert I like, I’ll have it (in moderation!)

 

Below are some of the dinners I had whilst on my holiday:

  • Pack a few things from home

As I know my protein intake tends to be lower on holiday, I pack some of my favourite protein bars from Grenade and Fulfill, which you can also buy from the airport. Also, instant oat pots such as those from ‘Oomf’ are great for a protein boost. Another thing I’ll pack are mini bags of salt, pepper, and other spices/ herbs to really add flavour to any food that I cook.

  • Enjoy yourself!IMG_7845[1]

Eat healthily, try to be active, and make time for you to unwind. Ultimately you’re on holiday, so of course, you have to indulge in a few drinks and nice food, but the key is to balance this out by making healthier choices elsewhere. Your progress and hard work will not be ruined over the duration of your holiday, in fact, you’ll probably return feeling full of energy and ready to smash some more personal bests!

I hope this blog post has proved that you can have your cake and eat it…quite literally 😉

Jazz B ❤

Blog, Recipies, Snacks

Staple Snacks

I. Love. Snacks. I’m most certainly not one of those three-meals-and-done kinds of people…I need my snacks! On a typical day, I’ll have between 2-3 healthy snacks, which is perfect to keep me going between meals.

What with supermarkets selling hundreds of snacks that are marketed to be ‘healthy’, but in actual fact are just as good as snacking on chocolate and crisps, it can be confusing to know what is actually healthy to snack on. Although the healthy snack market is really taking off, with the likes of energy balls, baked crisps and cereal bars proving quite popular they often contain a lot of sugar, along with other nasties. My advice would be to snack on whole foods/ home made snacks wherever possible. If I know I’m going to be out for the day, I will always pack some nutritious snacks to stop the temptation of impulse buying whatever takes my fancy.

Having tried a lot of snacks out, I’ve finally managed to nail down my absolute go-to’s. In my opinion, there is something for everyone whether you’re fancying something sweet, savoury, filling or a lighter bite, it’s all here.

1. Wholemeal Toast & Cottage CheeseIMG_6993

This tastes amazing with some salt and cracked black pepper, it’s also great in terms of fibre and protein. The bread I use is Tesco’s high protein loaf which only costs £0.80, and at 5g of protein per slice, you can’t go wrong! I know cottage cheese isn’t for everyone, so instead, you could always use cream cheese. Also, if you’re wanting a lower carb option, brown rice cakes and Ryvita crackers work just as well.

2. Greek Yoghurt & BerriesIMG_7218[1]

This is such an easy snack to prepare, just add a few dollops of Greek/natural yoghurt, top with your favourite berries and you’re good to go! Of course, you can top your yoghurt with just about anything such as honey, a sprinkling of your favourite cereal, or some grated chocolate, it’s all about finding the combos that you love.

3. FruitIMG_6999

Often if the sweet cravings are calling, I’ll go for nature’s candy 😉 It’s sweet, delicious and loaded with vitamins and minerals. I eat a LOT of fruit, but in particular, I tend to snack on apples, clementines, bananas and berries.

 

 

4. NutsIMG_7221[1]

If I’m a bit peckish I’ll have a small handful of nuts, as they’re full of good fats and protein they’ll keep you feeling fuller than you’d expect. My favourites include cashews, almonds and pistachios. Also, I’ll often buy a bag of mixed nuts which will be available from many supermarkets.

 

5. Apple Slices & Nut butterIMG_7148[1]

The classic Instagram snack! I know it sounds like a strange combination to start with but once you give it a go, there’s no turning back. I slice up a Gala or a Jazz apple (of course 😉 ) and dip it into some peanut of cashew nut butter. There is so many peanut butters out there it’s just a case of finding the few that you love. I would highly recommend Pip & Nut and Meridian for their nut butters.

6. Carrot Sticks & HoumousIMG_7002[1]

Basically the savoury version of apples and nut butter, for all of you savoury lovers out there! I love trying all the different houmous’ that are available, my favourites include sweet chilli, caramelised onion, and Morrocan style houmous (hummus/houmous…who knows lol?!)

 

7. Mini Oat BowlIMG_7102

Definitely the most filling of all the snacks, but great post-workout or if you want something that will actually satisfy you. To make this snack even more macro friendly, I’ll sometimes add a scoop of protein powder and top it with a few berries or some dark chocolate. I used 30g of oats, and just enough almond milk to cover the oats in the pan.

I hope you’ve found a snack that tickles your tastebuds, and that I’ve helped there to be one less hangry person in the world 😉

Jazzy B ❤

 

breakfast, Recipies

Vegan Lemon & Chia Seed Pancakes

I love having pancakes for breakfast so much, that I’ve created a vegan version of my Protein Pancakes. I’ve not yet met a person that doesn’t love pancakes for brekkie, so thought I’d share the pancake love with you all, vegan style.

 

 

Although not a vegan myself, I have nothing but admiration for those who are! Having tried a lot of vegan pancakes recipes they tend to use fancy and expensive ingredients, which is great if you’re planning to have pancakes some other day and are willing to buy the ingredients, but if you’re like me…I want them when I crave them ;). Therefore, this recipe uses very basic ingredients which you’ll probably have lying around in your kitchen anyway.

These lemon pancakes, are exactly like the classic pancake day combo of lemon and sugar, except a lot healthier and you can eat them for breakfast.

Ingredients

Serves 1, making 6 – 8 small pancakes.

  • 45g of oats (blitzed into a powder)
  • 1/2 a ripe banana, chopped
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice, plus extra for flavouring
  • Agave nectar syrup
  • 75-80ml Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 2 tbsp of Alpro Go On yoghurt
  • 1tbsp of chia/poppy seeds

img_7372.jpg

Method

  1. Blitz the oats into a powder
  2. Add all the other ingredients into the blender (adding the milk bit by bit)
  3. Pour the batter into a preheated pan with some coconut oil, as these take longer to cook than my other pancakes
  4. Stack them up, top with more Alpro yogurt, lemon juice, and drizzle agave nectar all over.

TIPS:

  • It really helps to have a good non-stick pan when making pancakes.
  • Always preheat your pan on a low heat whilst blending all the ingredients.
  • Add some coconut oil to the pan after each mini batch of pancakes.
  • Only flip the pancakes when lots of bubbles appear on the surface, and you should get perfect vegan pancakes…can you tell I’ve made these a lot?!

Nutritional Info

  • 359 calories
  • 40.7g carbs
  • 14.5g protein
  • 13.1g fat

Jazzy B ❤