Autumn Recipes – With Pumpkin Spice

As the days shorten, the leaves fall, the temperature drops – and Autumn has arrived. It is at this time of year that Starbucks has their annual tradition of the Pumpkin Spice Latte. To mark Autumn, here are two recipes inspired by the humble Pumpkin Spice Latte.

As well as being delicious, these recipes will help towards your fitness goals, whether you are craving a dessert or are seeking an Autumn-inspired breakfast. Both of these pumpkin spice protein recipes are the healthy way to give in to those Autumn food cravings, courtesy of our friends at Proteinpow.com.

Pumpkin Spice Protein Mousse

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup Best Protein in Vanilla Swirl
  • 3/8 cup Mascarpone cheese (substitute with ricotta or cream cheese, if desired)
  • 1 Tbsp. agave syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice or mixed spice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (for decoration)

Instructions:

  1. Using a blender, blend and then whisk the first six ingredients together. If you want your mousse thicker and more cheesecake-like, add a bit more of the mascarpone (or cream cheese) to the mix.
  2. Stick your mix in a sandwich bag and attach a piping nozzle. If you don’t have a piping nozzle, just stick your mix in a sandwich bag and cut a small corner off.
  3. Pipe (or squeeze) the mix into a cup.

 

Pumpkin Spice Protein Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • ¾ cup Best Protein in Vanilla Swirl
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup liquid egg whites
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 3 Tbsp. coconut flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Blend all your ingredients together until you get a relatively smooth batter.
  2. Heat a high-quality, nonstick pan with some coconut oil or low-calorie cooking spray.
  3. Once your pan is sizzling hot, spoon circles of batter onto it and turn your heat down a notch. For example, if you have your pan set at 6, turn it down to 5.
  4. Protein pancakes are thicker and extra moist, so you have to give them time to cook before you flip them. Start by making small pancakes and try adding some coconut oil to your pan as they cook to help the sides cook faster.
  5. Flip your pancakes once small bubbles have formed on the surface. Flipping them too soon will result in mush, so be patient!
  6. Once your first batch is done, repeat steps 3-5 until you’ve finished the batter.
  7. Top your pancakes with syrup, nut butter or fruit.

Nine Tips To Get Rid Of Stubborn Fat (2): From Rest To Stress

Fat loss is a common theme for many at the gym.

Fat loss has derived a multi million pound series of businesses dedicated to helping people lose fat, and lose weight.

In the first part, Nine Tips To Get Rid Of Stubborn Fat: From Protein To Weights, four of nine often used recommendations for losing fat were set out. Those ranged from increased eating of protein, to reduced drinking of alcohol. Picking up from that list, here is Part 2, with the remaining five suggestions.

Before carrying on, it must be stressed that there are a great many ways and means to lose fat, and to effectively control your body fats (after all, not all fats are bad; your body does need some stored fat). This is simply a list of the most common suggestions used by many personal trainers, coaches and nutritionists.

 

  1. Add Metabolic Circuits or Finishers to your Workouts

A metabolic circuit is often explained as interval training mixed with resistance training. What this gives overall is the fat burning and heart derived benefits of intensive cardio exercise together with the muscle building benefits of a hefty weight workout. Adding such an element to your workout will not only improve your cardio – but will greatly help to reduce and curb body fat. For best effect, choose a variety of exercises, such a regular weight training exercises or body weight routines, then mix them together. In this way, you will also alternate the various groups of muscles worked on.  Not only does the sheer intensity and variety of  muscle development aid in reducing fat – but he intensity of the average metabolic circuit will end up burning up a great deal of energy – and fat.

  1. Drink Plenty of Water

Being properly hydrated is a vital part of any lifestyle, and is often overlooked in the busy 21st century world. Aside from bringing great health benefits, being properly hydrated will enable your body to fully function to process fats, and will overall contribute to fat reduction. Advice ranges from drinking 2 – 3 litres of water a day, to a full 8 litres.

  1. Sleep

Similar to (6), sleep is also greatly overlooked in the bustling 21st century. Many doctors and sleep scientists recommend a full 8 or so hours of sleep a night, with most of that full, deep REM sleep. Not only does a full nights sleep enable your body to fully repair itself, and to adapt and adjust to the exertions of that day – but muscles grow and recuperate following exercise whilst asleep. A well rested body is also better able to process and remove fats.

  1. Eat More Fibre

Fibre, for many reasons, should be a part of any healthy, balanced diet. Aside from that, fibre can help in lowering fat levels. The common suggestion is to consume 25g (women) or 38g (men) of fibre daily. Outside of grains, many fruits and vegetables are often high in fibre.

  1. Reduce Stress Levels

High stress levels often have people reaching for comfort foods – often high in sugar, fats or carbohydrates. Less stress means that many psychologically will be less inclined to do so. Aside from that, high stress can trigger cortisol and similar metabolic changes in your body. Stress can also trigger ‘flight or fight’ responses, which include eating more (having greater cravings), an increased amount of fats stored in your body, and high levels of sugar in our blood. Both of those are designed to give your body extra energy if needed but are not overly helpful in the usually sedentary lifestyle of the 21st century.

 

Overall, fat loss is usually caused by a shift in energy balance. This will come from watching your calorie intake, and in getting enough protein. Here, protein shakes such as BPI Sports ISO HD (specifically designed for fat loss) are recommended. Lifting weights and exercising properly, in addition to considering your rest and relaxation habits, will all contribute to helping you lose fat.

As with exercise in general – patience is also very important. It will take time to see significant fat loss, but if tackled the right way, over time the result will be astounding.

 

Nine Tips To Get Rid Of Stubborn Fat: From Protein To Weights

Many personal trainers and coaches get asked one question a lot. Many of those who go to the gym, or who take part in recreational competitive sports, often have a similar goal. When devising a gym routine, or considering exercise sets and reps, for many there is one thing they are seeking to do. Or many, their motivation and rationale for going to the gym, or adapting to a healthy lifestyle, can be summed up in this one thing. Indeed, there is a multi-million pound industry, comprising exercises, diets, organised events and foods, all centred on this one thing.

Worked out what it is yet? Of course you have!

Fat. Or rather, fat loss, particularly stubborn fat.

Fat loss is a major theme often asked of many a fitness or nutrition expert. There is much that has already been said and to fully cover that would take several posts. However, nine suggestions and advice often given by the experts is below.

 

  1. Be in a Calorie Deficit (burn more calories than you eat)

Essentially, this means burning more calories in exercise and physical exertion than you eat. This in turn means watching carefully what you eat, and considering your food in line with your level of physical activity.

  1. Eat enough Protein

As a general rule, this usually means eating around 1.2 grams of protein for each pound of body weight. Protein helps to build and strengthen muscle, and will not add to the body’s stores of fats. Indeed, protein significantly helps in muscle growth – which in turn helps your body lose fat based weight. It’s not easy consuming that amount of protein consistently thought diet alone, so supplementing with a whey protein shake can help.

  1. Reduce your Alcohol Intake

This one may be hard, as everyone enjoys the odd drink – especially in social settings. The point here is to drink moderately, and not to drink to excess, or to binge drink. The basis of many alcoholic drinks are actually often high in fat or carbohydrate content; this is especially so of beer. Many spirits are often grain based (vodka being a good example), and therefore add to your body’s fat stores. Fat loss; another reason to drink in moderation!

  1. Lift Weights

Lifting weights, around 3 – 4 times a week, can, surprisingly, give significant results in your efforts to lose fat. Lifting weights helps to create muscle tissue to ensure efficient weight loss. Also, for some, fat around the arms and shoulders can be something they are seeking to reduce; lifting weights targets those muscles in most cases, making it the perfect exercise for that purpose.

 

It must be stressed that there are a great many ways to effectively lose fat. Those methods also do not necessarily involve exercises. Every personal trainer, coach and nutritionist has their own suggested and recommended methods, with this list just setting out nine of the most common recommended methods for fat loss.

It is a subject that much can be – and has been – written about and discussed. For the remainder of this list of nine suggested fat loss tips, see Nine Tips To Get Rid Of Stubborn Fat (2): From Rest To Stress

 

Courtney King’s Recipe For Protein Energy Balls

Many of us have simple, on the go snacks to support our busy lifestyles.

Often, however, those may not be best for those seeking the high protein, high energy snacks needed for those taking their fitness and gym workouts seriously. There are some health shops that have specialist snacks, or pricy bars and protein based snacks – but sometimes finding a snack whilst seriously considering long term health and fitness goals can be awkward.

Here is a simple recipe for a chewy, crunchy, and full of flavour healthy snack – courtesy of American fitness guru and blogger, and renowned IFBB Pro competitor Courtney King, who recently posted this delicious recipe for pumpkin protein energy balls.

While the ingredients are below, according to Courtney King there is no “right or wrong” way to actually make these protein energy balls. She herself does not use a set recipe every time. For protein energy balls, Courtney usually just throws the ingredients she has around in stock together until she arrives at the consistency and taste that she wants. For best effect, and a personal touch, you can add different items and ingredients based on your own tastes, the seasons, the occasion, and similar.

This particular recipe is quick, simple and produces a healthy, nutritious snack you can easily just grab and go. Again, it is easy to adjust the amount of every ingredient to suit your own personal preferences.

Ingredients:

  • Almond butter
  • Manuka honey
  • Goji berries
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Gluten-free oats
  • 1 scoop BPI Sports Whey HD (Courtney King’s preference is in Vanilla Caramel)
  • Cacao nibs

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Line a cookie tray with parchment paper.
  3. Roll the mixture into small balls.
  4. Place each ball onto the lined cookie tray.
  5. Freeze for 15-25 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!

Banana protein pancakes

Pancakes. Surely we can’t eat them when losing weight or getting fit right? Not really.

Here we will show you a great of pancakes that fit perfectly into a healthy diet!

Ingredients:

Pancakes:

  • 1 scoop of BPI SPORTS U.K. Banana dream best protein
  • 1/2 a banana ? (save the other half for toppings)
  • tsp of baking powder
  • 20g of oats
  • 150ml of egg whites
  • Splash of water
  • Fry Light 1 cal spray

Toppings:

  • raspberries
  • the other half of the banana chopped
  • 15g natural peanut butter
  • 5g sweet freedom choc shot

Instructions:

  1. All you need to do with this simple recipe is to add all your ingredients into a blender until you get a nice pancake mixture.
  2. Once you have the right consistency, just add a little more water.
  3. Once you have done this, spray some Fry Light into your pan and the individual pancakes
  4. Fry for a few minutes each side then serve with your favourite toppings! Enjoy!

Nutritional facts:

Calories: 343

Carbs: 35g

Protein: 43g

Fats: 4g

Macros for the toppings not included.

 

Carb Cycling 101

One very popular current diet method for Fat Loss (and one I have used quite often) is Carb Cycling!

Carbohydrates are used as energy by the body; they fuel our workouts, as well as providing ample fuel to be used throughout the day. Ingesting carbs also replenishes our glucose and glycogen stores to prevent fatigue.

Essentially carb cycling is a program where you switch up between higher and lower carbohydrate days in the effort to lose weight or fat without suffering some of the negative consequences of a simple low carbohydrate diet plan.

Some of these adverse side effects of a constant lowering in carbohydrate consumption include a drop in exercise performance, increased hunger levels, lowered metabolic rate, and difficulty focusing and concentrating due to lack of glucose in the bloodstream.

By having those higher carbohydrate days back in there, you offset some of these factors, so generally most people find this approach much more enjoyable to use.

You should be putting your higher days on the days you perform your hardest workout sessions.

For most people, this will mean legs or a latter body part. Having them ready before you carry out the workout will help fuel you in the gym so you can work harder and push more weight, and then having the influx of carbohydrates after the workout session will contribute to saturating the muscles with carbohydrate storage (muscle glycogen) and aid with recovery.

This is also why higher carb days are recommended on if you wish to try and improve or grow while still in a calorie deficit.

When it comes to food selection while performing this style of diet, you want to think glucose. Either simple glucose sources (preferably around the workout period when they are absorbed quickest) or complex that will break down into glucose.

Another important thing to remember is that you should also be decreasing your fat intake on days you go high carb. It is normal for most people to increase their overall daily calories on the high carb day but by lowering the fat intake, you allow more room for those carbohydrates without going really crazy with your calorie level.

Also, your body will not need the higher density energy levels provided in your fat sources in that day as your glucose levels will be higher.

As well as having slightly higher calories on high carb days, your lower carb days will be slightly lower. But it’s all about balance – make sure your weekly intake is where it needs to be and distribute the calories from there based on your set-up preferences.

This is also one of our preferred diet methods as it allows you variety in your diet from your lower and higher carbohydrate and fat intake days, keeping you more satisfied!

Any further questions or nutrition guidance:
bbrennanfitness@hotmail.com

Vanilla chocolate iced smoothie

Enjoy this iced protein smoothie anytime of the day, whether it’s a snack or your post workout shake, you won’t regret it! Give it a go!

Ingredients:

  • 1 scoop of BPI Sports ISO HD Vanilla Cookie protein powder
  • 2 tbsp of raw cacao powder
  • tbsp of flaked almonds
  • 250ml of unsweetened almond milk
  • 15g of natural almond butter
  • handful of ice

Instructions:

Pretty simple too, and will literally take 5 minutes. First, add your ice and all your other ingredients to a blender and blitz well. Depending on the consistency, you may need to add a little more almond milk to suit your taste. That’s it – Enjoy ?

Nutritional facts:

Calories: 346

Carbs: 13g

Protein: 32g

Fats: 20g

10 Reasons your Diet is holding you back!

No matter how well-intentioned we are when we decide to diet in order to lose weight, we often fail! We tell ourselves that we’re doing everything according to the plan but when we reflect, we realise that’s not exactly true. Below, are the most common reasons for why ‘diets’ tend to fail:

1. You think your training will do all the work for you

If your aim is to lose weight or lean down, the amount you actually burn depends on calories in vs calories out. If your calorific intake is too high, compared to your activity levels throughout the day, you will not be in an a calorie deficit, and will not reach your goals. Even if you are trying to build lean muscle, if your calorie surplus is too high, the amount of weight you gain will be predominantly fat gain.

 

2. You’re scared of carbs

Carbohydrates are essential in your diet for glycogen replenishment, energy and muscle repair. Carbs are also good for the metabolism and thyroid gland, both essential for fat loss. A low carb diet, over a period of time, will down regulate Thyroid function leaving you at risk of lowering your metabolic rate, not good for fat loss. A low carb diet, over a period of time, will down regulate Thyroid function leaving you at risk of lowering your metabolic rate, not good for fat loss.

 

3. You’re scared of fats

Fats (or lipids) are also a good source of energy and are used within the body to regulate hormones. Omega 3 and Omega 6 (found in unsaturated fats) are on the list of essential because they aid in balancing key hormones such as cortisol and insulin that exert tremendous control over your weight.

 

4. You’re scared of protein

Protein is used in your body to build new cells, maintain tissues, and synthesize new proteins that make it possible for you to perform basic bodily functions. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. Lastly, protein is essential for muscle recovery and growth, without the sufficient protein in your diet, your efforts in the gym may be wasted without correct repair afterwards.

 

5. You don’t cook enough

As fun and tasty as eating out can be, you are never truly sure what you are eating. Even ready-made meals have added salts and unnecessary sugars. Make your own meals, therefore you can make healthy choices with your ingredients and even personalize it to appeal to you and what you love.

 

6. You’re failing to prepare

“fail to prepare, prepare to fail”

Meal prep is something used very frequently in the fitness industry, for a good reason. We all know plans can change from day to day, you never know exactly what may happen each day. If you are busy, out, at work etc. it can be much easier to “grab something simple” when on the go. Again, this means you do not know exactly what you are consuming and you are more likely to grab something unhealthy. Pre-cook your meals and take it with you using tuppawear, take control of your nutrition.

 

7. You don’t know what you’re eating

Many people do not track their calories and macronutrients, not even roughly. This is fine, but if you are wanting to start your fitness journey and do not know your starting point, this can be difficult. Before setting your goals, try to calculate a few days just to see where you are now, this will help with finding where you need to be.

 

8. You’re eating too little

A lot of people do not progress with their health goals because they believe less is best. The key is; do not eat less eat better. As you can see from the previous points, all 3 macronutrients are essential for bodily functions and weight loss. A lack of these nutrients can actually cause the body to go into “starvation mode” where your body actually panics from lack of nutrients. It believes that it is being starved, and anything that is consumed is stored, usually as fat. Levels of cortisol will also be raised as the body will be under stress, which can also cause water retention and fat gain.

 

9. Your timing

Macronutrient timing can be essential to achieving your goals. Utilizing macronutrients such as carbohydrates and protein around times when energy is needed either for fuel or replenishment can ensure that glycogen levels are high when needed. It is also beneficial to have larger meals/ higher calorie meals around times of activity. For example, a lot of people eat their largest meal on a night when they stop all activity and glycogen levels are not being used. When this calorific input is not needed in the body, this is when it is more likely to be stored. This is not to say avoid carbs later in the day, just do not overeat or splurge on unnecessary amounts.

 

10. Your snacking choices

Again, preparing healthy snacks throughout the day can be essential. Many of us can get ‘peckish’ between meals. If you do not have anything prepared with you, this is when you will have to again look for alternatives, which are more likely to be unhealthy or ‘quick and easy’. Also, try to differentiate between hunger and boredom. I recommend BPI BEST BAR for on the go delicious snack choices!

Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies

I mean we all love cookies right? Here we have the perfect recipe for you to enjoy chocolate chip cookies guilt free!

Ingredients:

Instructions:

First, before you start, you will need to pre-heat your oven to 250 degrees. Whilst that is heating up, combine all your ingredients into a bowl and mix well – you should be left with a cookie dough type mixture. Then, form your mixture into 6 balls, and flatten them into cookie shapes onto a greased baking tray. We use coconut oil for that! Finally, place your cookies in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. Once finished, allow them to cool down for 5 minutes before serving. Hope you enjoy!

Nutritional facts:

All 6 cookies 918 calories

1 cookie 153 calories

Carbs: 95g for 6/ 15g for 1 cookie

Protein: 68g for 6/ 11g for 1 cookie

Fats: 28g for 6/ 5g for 1 cookie ?