Why You SHOULDN’T Be On A Diet [VIDEO] – Ben Coomber

There are a lot of reasons why you shouldn’t be on a diet, and Ben Coomber sums them up in this two-minute video.

This may just be the realisation you need to stop you chasing the next FAD diet and focussing on the lifestyle changes needed to provide you with the physique, health and happiness you REALLY want!

Why You SHOULDN’T Be On A Diet – Ben Coomber’s Tips [VIDEO]

Ben Coomber at SFN EXPO 2016 – Seminars

Ben Coomber is one of our headliners, as he has been for the past 2 years also! He’ll be speaking BOTH days on different topics, so weekend tickets are advised.

25 Reasons Why You’re NOT Losing Weight

This is the topic that Ben will be covering on Sunday on the Main Stage and has EVERYONE talking!

In just ONE hour, you’ll have 25 take home points that you can action to help you drop body fat and lose weight.

Get your SFN EXPO 2016 Tickets Now before you miss out!

5 Healthy Snacks To Fuel Your Fitness

Locker room and gym talk gives you many different views and opinions on what pre-workout and post-workout meals and snacks should and shouldn’t be. Getting healthy snacks to fuel your fitness right isn’t easy, as there’s so much conflicting information out there.

  • Is it safe to eat before I workout?
  • Should you use pre workout?
  • Will a sports drink help me before a long run?
  • Do I need protein or carbohydrates before my spin class?

We are told breakfast is the most important meal of the day, however pre-workout and post-workout foods can be just as important and beneficial. As we are all different and requirements are different depending on our goals and activities, these snacks can offer the right balance of carbohydrates, fats, and protein to satisfy hunger, fuel workouts, and help recovery.

Fuelling correctly means not pigging out on junk, this is just counterproductive, and can leave you feeling rubbish, slow and worse after your workout.

Maximize your energy and gains with the correct food!

There are no magic food or tricks to fuelling your workout, this is a simple list of what I personally consider a good, sustainable and convenient list of snacks to get the most effective workout possible.

Apple Slices and Peanut/Almond Butter Healthy Snacks

Apple and Almond Butter Pre-Workout Snack copy

This is quick, easy and can be eaten regardless of what time you workout, the apple will give you simple carbs for quick burning fuel and the Nut Butter will give you protein and fibre.

Pistachios and Blueberries Pre-Workout Healthy Snack

Healthy Snacks Pistachios & Blueberries

A hand full of pistachios and blueberries will give you a power packed protein and carb combo you needs, Blueberries are also full of antioxidant properties to help with recovery and muscle damage.

A Simple Banana Pre-Workout Healthy Snack

Banana Pre-Workout Healthy Snack

A banana gives you high quality complex carbs which are the best sources of energy prior to your workout, rich in potassium to prevent cramp and low in salt. Something you may not know, The correct name for a bunch of bananas is a hand, a single banana is a finger.

Simply Oats Pre-Workout Snack

Pre-Workout Snack Oats

A scoop of oats and whey protein mixed in water to make an easy all-in-one pre-workout shake or snack. Oats will give you a steady release of energy and the whey will provide protein and muscle protecting amino acids. A hand full of blueberries or a sliced banana added to this makes a tasty efficient snack too.

Plain low fat or no fat Greek yogurt topped with granola Pre-Workout Snack

Healthy Snack Pre-Workout Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt and granola is one of my favorite pre workout snacks specifically pre a heavy lifting workout,  The whey and casein combination in Greek yogurt means you’re getting a mix of fast and slow digesting proteins, which provide muscle building amino acids during your workout so you’re ready for anything. Aim for 20 grams of protein in your yogurt.

Things To Avoid In Healthy Pre-Workout Snacks

Few things to consider. Certainly avoid fatty foods before working out, fat leaves the stomach very slowly, leaving you feeling full and sluggish and could lead to cramp.

Although carbohydrates are good, you should not get them from raw sugar or sweets.  Either of those could cause a sugar rush and probably a crash while you’re mid-workout.

Also, avoid overeating before you workout. These are all snack suggestions, not meals. Eating too much can cause indigestion, sluggishness, nausea and vomiting.

In summery: Healthy Snacks To Fuel Your Fitness

A pre-workout snack should consist of carbs, lean protein, and a little bit of healthy fat. Low GI Carbs will supply your body the steady stream of energy as opposed to that crash and burn you get from high-glycemic carbs such as sugar, cereal, and white bread.

By eating low GI carbs—examples been bananas, oats and pistachios, you’ll have more energy so you can work out longer and harder and faster, subsequently, which can help you burn more fat. Protein helps build muscle and slows down digestion, which is why you add some protein to your meal or snack.

This is just a short snap shot of my healthy snacks to fuel your fitness, this works for me and hope this may be of benefit to you guys.

Instagram of Author: Imran Tai

Imran Tai is not a medical doctor and the information contained herein should not be taken as medical advice. These are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any health problem. Recommendations by Imran Tai are not intended to replace the advice of a physician or health professional. Please consult your physician or a health professional before beginning any diet or exercise program.

10 Most Mouth Watering Protein Pow Recipes EVER

We love Protein Pow. Last year, at SFN EXPO 2015, founder Anna Sward took Protein Pow Workshops to Scotland and we SOLD OUT rapidly!

This year Anna is back with the same amount of spaces available (only 6 x 24 spaces!) – we have to keep them small because that’s what makes them so amazing!

The private booking link will be sent exclusively to SFN EXPO 2016 ticket holders, so get your SFN EXPO 2016 ticket to receive the email for private access.

IF you’re an early bird and want to book on the 9:30am classes, you’ll need a VIP ticket for the 9am early entry!

Best Protein Pow Recipes EVER #1: Melting Heart Protein Brownies

Best Protein Pow Recipes Chocolate BrowniesI kid you not – these are actually good for you. Macros per brownie (out of the 8 you get from the Protein Pow recipe): 202kcals, 12g protein, 15g carbs (out of which 10g is fiber!), 8g fat.

Indulge in the Melting Heart Protein Brownies now!

 

Best Protein Pow Recipes EVER #2: Pumpkin Protein Pancakes & Vanilla Ice Cream

Best Protein Pow Recipes EVER PUMPKIN PROTEIN PANCAKES copyWe literally stopped writing this blog and made these. WOW! And guess what, they fit your macros ‘BRO’.

Macros per 1/2 stack of pancakes with 1/4 of whey hey and 10g of dark chocolate: 300kcals, 31g protein, 26g carbs, 5g fat!

Indulge in Pumpkin Protein Pancakes and Vanilla Ice Cream now!

 

Best Protein Pow Recipes EVER #3: Spicy Chicken Protein Pizza

Best Protein Pow Recipes Ever Protein Pizza RecipePizza, pizza, pizza, all up in my belly, yum, yum, yum! It’s the bread that’s the bad part though, right? DOUBT IT!

Macros for the crust (without the toppings as these are up to you):  252kcals, 28g protein, 17g carbs (out of which 6g is fiber!) and 5g fat.

Indulge in Spicy Chicken Protein Pizza Recipe now!

 

Best Protein Pow Recipes EVER #4: Dark Chocolate Protein Truffles

Best Pritein Pow Recipes Ever Dark Chocolate Protein TrufflesThese were made in the SFN EXPO 2015 Protein Pow classes and we took a bucket load back to SFN HQ to celebrate the show! Have you ever tasted heaven? You might want to try these babies!

Macros per truffle (minues the cocoa as that’s optional but either way rather insignificant, macro-wise) are the same as they are for the Powtella, i.e. 123kcals, 6g carbs, 6g protein, 8g fat.

Indulge in Dark Chocolate Protein Truffle Recipe now!

 

Best Protein Pow Recipes EVER #5: Almond & Dark Chocolate Protein Chocolates

Best Protein Pow Recipes Ever Protein Chocolates

Like a few chocolates with your cup of tea/coffee? These are absolute wee gems. Can’t get enough of them!

Per 1 out of 24, using Sukrin Gold: 67kcals, 3.5g carbs, 4.9.g fat and 2.3g protein (2.3g protein per chocolate!!)

Treat yo’ self to some Almond and Dark Chocolate Protein Chocolates now!

 

Best Protein Pow Recipes EVER #6: Double Dark Chocolate & Nut Protein Bars

PROTEIN-BARS-HOMEMADE-AMAZING

These are so incredible super delicious, I can’t believe their macros add up!

Macros per bar (out of the five you get from the mix above, using protein almond butter): 204.5kcals, 17.8g carbs (out of which 3.5g is fiber!), 10.7g protein, 11.5g fat (mostly from les nut buttah!)

Treat yourself to some double dark chocolate & nut protein bars now!

 

Best Protein Pow Recipes EVER #7: Double Chocolate Layered Protein Cake

Best Protein Pow Recipes Ever Double Chocolate Layered Protein CakeThis protein cake recipe is bloody delicious. Like, mind-blowing good!

Macros per 1/2 cake with frosting, out of 4 cakes: 231kcals, 13.5g protein, 17.5g carbs, 15g fat.

Indulge in Double Chocolate Layered Protein Cake now!

 

Best Protein Pow Recipes EVER #8: Sweet Potato Protein Pancakes

WHEY-PROTEIN-PANCAKES-PROTEIN-POW-MIX

Partly because we love pancakes. Partly because they’re so blooming simple!

Treat yourself to Sweet Potato Protein Pancakes now!

 

Best Protein Pow Recipes EVER #9: Five Ingredient Protein Pow Raw Protein Brownies

Most Mouth Watering Protein Pow Recipes Ever

5 ingredients and 1 incredible end products for all you RAW lovers out there!

Macros per square (out of the 8 small ones you get from the mix above): 92kcals, 9.6g carbs (out of which 1.5g is fiber!), 4.1g protein and 4.4g fat.

Treat yourself to Five Ingredient Protein Pow Raw Protein Brownies now!

 

Best Protein Pow Recipes EVER #10: Shortbread Protein Cookies

Best Protein Bakery Recipes Ever

Crumbly amazingness has just gone to the next level! These babies are glorious!

Macros per cookie (out of the six you get from the mix above): 142kcals, 10.2g carbs (out of which 1.2g is fiber), 4.3g protein, and 10g fat!

Treat yourself to Shortbread Protein Cookies now!

 

Protein Pow Classes at SFN EXPO 2016 – How To Book

Best Protein Bakery Recipes Ever Protein Pow SFN EXPO

We have 3 x 2 hour classes per day, with only 24 spaces per class! These are SUPER popular and SOLD OUT rapidly last time with a lot of sad faces because they didn’t book straight away!

Booking opens in less than two weeks and the private link will be sent to anyone who has bought a ticket for the show already, with 24 hour private access to the booking link before public! How to book:

  1. Secure your SFN EXPO ticket now (any ticket type)
  2. You’ll receive an email (the email address you used to buy your ticket) in the next few days with exclusive 24 access before the public to book your class!
  3. Early bird? The 9:30 classes are for VIP’s only and come at a discounted rate, because you’re a V.I.P!

Spaces are strictly limited to 6 classes of only 24 people, so out of the 10,000+ expected attendance, you better be QUICK! Tickets here now!

Lucy Goes Vegan – Week 4

Week Four was, how can I put it, HARD.

So hard in fact it took 2 weeks just to write this blog and even as I type I am rather unsure what to write.

There is absolutely no denying that I found going vegan hard and I knew this would be the case even before I started.  Enjoying a selection of vegan meals is one thing, committing to a full vegan lifestyle is another entirely and its one that by week three I began to resent.

I love having choice and it felt like that diminished rapidly as did my energy levels and mood. But hey, at least the scales would prove a positive, or not…

Lucy Doyle Goes Vegan

Now I am pretty sure just the few days in Disney did not achieve the above figures by themselves, but had my peanut butter and banana and rice cakes addiction got out of control??

I just want it to be over if I am honest and I feel bad that I have not adorned this blog post with images of beautifully presented vegan creations, however honesty is what I started with and honesty is what I will finish with.  At least that is one thing I can take away from this experience!

Don’t get me wrong, if I had a chef that prepared all my meals, who ensured I met all my micro nutrients, then I would happily consider a plant based diet – but reality check, that is not going to happen any time soon.

A plant based diet for ethical reasons? Absolutely

A plant based diet for health reasons ? Hmmm I am undecided and would say that I would want to look further into that.

A plant based diet for weight loss ? Absolutely not.

Dont forget, if you haven’t already joined our Facebook group www.facebook.com/groups/sfnsisterhood 

Lucy Goes Vegan – Week 3

D is for Disneyland.. but also for Disaster !

That just about sums up my week.

Being half term and my daughters 10th birthday, we took her (and my oldest daughter, I’m not that cruel ha ha) on a surprise trip to Disneyland.  We were under the impression we couldn’t take in our own food, this is not the case for anyone keen to go and so I had the worry of finding vegan food.

I gave up after around 90 minutes.

Honestly? I haven’t got the internal desire to fulfil a plant only diet and all I could think about was having a good time with my family. So I well and truly fell off the wagon.  Instead of beating myself up, it really made me realise how bloody hard I am finding this and truthfully I have had enough (insert childish whine).

Compounding my lack of enthusiasm, looking in the mirror this week, I feel crap.  I thought being vegan almost guaranteed weight loss? Oh well not for a smarty pants like me, who has lived off of peanut butter, park chocolate, avocados and rice and pasta!

My stats don’t disagree..

Lucy Doyle Goes Vegan Diet SFN EXPO SFN Sisterhood

It is not me missing meat and dairy so much thats the issue, its the checking of every.. single.. label. If you aren’t having to check labels you are preparing everything from fresh and unless your whole family are doing the same – what a chore!

Don’t even get me started on My Fitness Pal! Logging every random concoction I come up with has become arduous and so of course i gave that up.  This means I am not tracking calories… I WANT MY LIFE BACK.

Yep. Random outbursts like that above have occurred, a lot. So if my husband is reading this I am sorry .  There I said and possibly my hand slipped on the font size, but its the intention that counts?

I am ready physically to return to the gym after surgery, but telling you all on the hush hush. Its not happening until my diet returns to some level of Lucy normality.

Originally, I set out to do these challenges because I wanted to see what each approach was like, myself, but I also wondered what an honest account would really read like. I am not invested in any approach and so thought I could give a fair and realistic review, with a dash of reality.

What I am, is in total support of those who choose a plant based diet, ok if I m honest I am pretty in awe of those who dedicate themselves.  Dedication is what is required and time, oh and did I mention a strong belief system.

I have no doubt that this challenge will shape my future and how I eat, vegan meals will 100% be incorporated into my life.  However using it as a method of weight loss or to improve my health (did I mention that my skin conditions have deteriorated and I have had a horrible virus) it is not the answer for me.

Its important to remember through all of this that each person is different, each experience unique and what “works” for one, may not “work” for another.

I am going to be honest and admit that i am already winding down week 4, because I have simply hit my threshold.  I will still continue to prepare and explore vegan meals but cannot promise I will continue a 100% vegan diet.

PS… Disneyland was AWESOME, yep I am a big kid!

Don’t forget, if you haven’t already joined our Facebook group www.facebook.com/groups/sfnsisterhood 

Lucy Goes Vegan – Week 2

It was never going to be plain sailing for this foodie..

One topic I have failed to cover in my previous blogs in this series, is exercise. I had major surgery in the latter part of last year that ruled out exercise for 8-10 weeks and so exercise for me has just been walking, walking and more walking!

Naturally it has been hard staying away from the gym and whilst I couldn’t test fully, the effects of a vegetarian diet whilst exercising. I am happy that I have pretty much maintained my weight without fully tracking my calorie intake.

Lucy Doyle SFN Sisterhood Vegan

NOTE: Week 5 and Week 6 are Week 1 and Week 2 of the Vegan Diet. The 4 weeks of vegetarian diet can be found here: Lucy Goes Vegetarian

I am due to start can exercising in a weeks time and I am really apprehensive training on a vegan diet. I am not keen on the vegan protein powders I have tried so far and I cant say I feel overly energised! Thank goodness I will only have a week to go.

Fast forward to week 2 of the vegan challenge and whilst physically I feel okay (and I really could not say better than okay) mentally I am struggling.

It has not taken even two weeks to come the conclusion that you have to be utterly devoted to the core reasons that cause you to chose a fully plant based diet.

Oh by the way, “plant based” seems to be the popular term for a diet free of any animal produce.

I am learning so much doing this challenge and it has given me so much food for thought, (sure I’ve milked this pun previously and there I go again!) especially about how I want to approach my nutrition long term.  What I know right now is, a full time plant based diet is not for me. I will continue the challenge because I committed to it, but I would be lying if I said I could get to the end of the four weeks being a dedicated vegan.

Time.

Time is the first obstacle and I have a complete lack of it.  I feel like unless I research every single ingredient in depth, then I have to rule out any packaged foods. Unless you live in a hip urban area or in a busy city, you haven’t got access to shops like Wholefoods. Supermarkets where I live have such a limited range and then foods that are suitable for vegans are not labelled to say so.

Of the meals I have had most have been enjoyable and I have not felt unfulfilled, but thats probably due to the amount of bread, rice and pasta I have been eating! My surprise comes in me missing the eggs that I didn’t miss when I was vegetarian.

Quinoa has featured heavily and I have continued to enjoy nut milks. Breakfast remains based around oats, oat bran, fresh fruit, seeds and the occasional dollop of Alpo soya yoghurt, coconut yoghurt is too high in fat for me to eat regularly.

Stirfries have been great as I can include rice noodles, but I do wonder how much I am accidentally   eating, that I shouldn’t. For instance valentines we had a bottle of Cava and if I am honest it didn’t even cross my mind that it wasn’t vegan friendly. Then I research and find that “fining agents” are used to filter the grapes and these are often animal derived i.e. bone marrow and blood.

So yep, I messed up there. However it does make me question, is that really necessary?

Whilst I am in no way a devout plant based eater in two weeks, I do want to eat more consciously and with a planet that is struggling with the burden we place on it, there are more than suitable non animal alternatives.

As I move into week three the only thing keeping me sane is an invite to an Urban Kitchen Vegan Workshop, being held by the talented Toral Shah!

Dont forget, if you haven’t already joined our Facebook group www.facebook.com/groups/sfnsisterhood 

Lucy Goes Vegan – Week 1 (What No One Tells You about Going Vegan)

You’d be forgiven for thinking that I cowardly deserted the start of vegan month, or maybe just went into denial that I had accepted this challenge, in the first place.

Fear not! I just got the flu.

Then daughter 1 got the flu and then daughter 2 got a tummy bug, then… Are you getting the picture here?

I joke not with my longstanding tagline “An ordinary girl on an extraordinary (and often bumpy) journey”.

So I am here, albeit a few days late and I have heaps I want to share with you.

Vegan week one began and I quite honestly didn’t know what to expect.

Could I honestly enjoy a plant based diet? Let alone survive healthily?

Lucy Doyle SFN Sisterhood Vegan

It was something I was quite nervous and worried about, mainly because vegetarian month had exposed my disorganised flaws, my dislike for prepping food and my distorted beliefs that “tomorrow I will start being on the ball”. I never found the ball, let alone roll the damn thing!

So entering the week in trepidation, I was immediately struck by how hideous it is, looking for cupboard staples which were vegan friendly. Sure, I could find plenty of vegetarian approved foods, but when I read the ingredients they appeared to be vegan friendly, but didn’t actually state it.

Jeez this was stressful.  Did this mean there was something in there, I had not realised did not constitute suitable for vegans?  Or is it just not common place to stamp it as an “ok product”.

I have been watching Sex & the City for the first time ever with a girlfriend of mine. We have a marathon night every Monday and I had to miss this weeks because I was poorly, totally gutted as even though I consider myself a tomboy – I am hooked.

I love the way Carrie talks about her articles and for several days I dreamed I was The Sisterhood version of her.  Minus the pretty dresses and the meals and the men and.. Well anyway, a girl can daydream?

 

Lucy Doyle SFN Sisterhood Vegan

Back To The Topic: My Vegan Diet

The first day I browsed supermarkets, buying anything and everything that was vegan friendly and that my sisters, was not much.

It rapidly dawned on me that if you want to be a great veganista – you have got to be ready to go whole and by that I mean preparing everything from scratch with whole ingredients.

If you don’t, you’ll find your entire free time consumed, with market research and waving good bye to your life savings that will be spent on niche sauces and dare I say it coconut yoghurt that costs £2 for a small tub and contains a staggering 25 grams of fat! That is over a third of my fat intake for a single day, in 3 mouthfuls of dairy free yoghurt. The next option is soya yoghurt and there lay my next issue.

The purpose of this blog is to give an insight into everyday life and so I don’t want to start delving into the science here, which can happen somewhere else. Last week I had a comment in the Facebook group on a picture of my scrambled tofu and baked beans brekkie, served with sough dough toast. I for one was pretty impressed by my creation, but the comment was that, the tofu was bad for me and what ensued, was quite a debate.

Tofu in moderation is not bad for you and is a great source of protein for vegans and vegetarians alike and so it was a non-issue. However I did say moderation and it feels like after one week of being vegan, soya is everywhere.

I mean absolutely everywhere.

Soya spread, soya cheese, soya yogurt, soya milk, soya sauces – At the end of this week, I am all soya’d out!

This most definitely bothers me that so many vegan products are soya based and if they aren’t soya based then they are coconut based and load with fat that just doesn’t fit my macros or comfort level (my gallbladder will start screaming at me).

Next up is the varying palatability of these products.  I tried one cream cheese spread and I started chuckling to myself, it was awesome and I really mean that. Even if I return to being non vegan I would by it.  You can check it out here and guess what soya free – http://www.violife.gr/#!violife-creamy/cpxp

I quickly snatched up everything else I could find from this company and they products, whilst not as wow as the cream cheese, did not disappoint.

Unfortunately for cocky old me, I was then brought crashing down to earth with a few other brands that left me gargling salt water, trying to get the hideous taste and residue out of my mouth.

Am I going to spend the next 4 weeks eating Violife Cream Cheese??

I found some pasta that I thought I could eat and got excited, only to read up about fatty acids that could potentially come from animals.  Ok this is tricky business, read here –http://www.veggieglobal.com/nutrition/non-vegetarian-food-additives-no-e.htm

I then continued to info dump myself with what vitamins I needed to worry about and even though I had already begun a course of good quality multivitamins, I still wanted to make sure I was getting the best out of my food.  Getting enough iron was one important thing.  Getting enough vitamin C, at the same time to ensure iron absorption, was an added worry and I began to realise how little I know –http://www.veggieglobal.com/nutrition/notalot.htm

The panic quickly passed as I found that many normal dried types of pasta were fine and I settled into a routine. I even created some dishes that would become a family favourite even for a non-vegan lifestyle.

Oat bran remains my staple brekkie and I just switched to almond milk, added chia seeds and fresh fruits, flaxseeds and when I wanted a protein boost, added Sun Warrior Protein powder.

I did seek comfort on more than one occasion, in this little beauty of a recipe I made up –

Vegan Peanut Butter & Chocolate Pudding Recipe

50g Oat bran

25g Dark chocolate (smashed into pieces)

1 tbsp. Peanut Butter

200ml Almond Milk

Place oat bran and milk in a microwavable dish and heat for 2 minutes remove and stir then add the nut butter. Heat for another minute and then remove and add the chocolate. Only stir a few times and then leave to stand for 5 minutes.  This will keep some of the chocolate in melted pockets.

Check back for week two of my Veganista attempts!

In the meantime join me in our Facebook community www.facebook.com/groups/sfnsisterhood

Pre-Workout Espresso & Almond Chocolate Protein Cups Recipe

These Protein Chocolate Cups are absolute madness! So so so tasty – a perfect (polygamous?) marriage between almonds, coffee…. and dark chocolate. If you like almond butter cups, you’re in for a treat! Literally. A perfect pre-workout bite of POW.

I’m calling them ‘mini’ because I made them inside truffle cases instead of muffin cases. So they’re tiny. Properly bite-sized. They’re delicious and perfect before the gym, alongside an espresso – for that kick of karakaPOW! They take about two minutes to assemble, 30 in the fridge, and use only five ingredients. One of the ingredients is our brand new Whey Protein Pow Mix.

Before the Recipe – Have You Seen The Protein Pow Mixes?

I’ve been screaming about my mixes all over social media these last few days and what I’ve noticed is that a lot of people still don’t know what the mixes are – or what exactly they are for. Let me tell you why that is:

Protein Pow Cooking Mixes

It’s because there is NOTHING like them out there.

This is seriously the height of innovation in the world of protein foods! Trust me on this, there is no one with more protein cooking experience out there. The mixes are completely in a league of their own. They are 100% all-purpose and designed to make cooking with protein quick, convenient, and EASY. I created them not to launch another protein product in the market, no. I created them because I just couldn’t sit back any longer, write books, create original content, write for magazines, consult with big businesses, and not get involved in bringing into the world the ONE product that I have ALWAYS dreamt of finding on store shelves. And in my kitchen.

So I did it. I created these mixes after years and years of cooking with protein and hearing what your primary issues and concerns: e.g. dry foods, hard-to-find ingredients, too many proteins to choose from, etc. My goal from the beginning was simple: to create the absolute BEST product to make protein foods with. It took me a long time to find the right ingredients! But eventually I did, to make easy for you guys to follow all my recipes and get them right EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. No matter what your cooking experience, background, or location (because I’ll ship you our mixes globally – see Note below if you’re outside Europe).

You know what I mean? It HAD to be done.

What the mixes do is take away the need for you guys to buy protein powders to cook with and scout out special ingredients. They make creating your own protein bars, truffles, pancakes, and baked goods CHILD’S PLAY. Effortless. Simple. Easy Peasy! And I cannot WAIT until you get your hands on them because you’ll see what I mean the second you use them to create your own recipes and follow the ones I post here at Pow. Recipes like the ones I wrote for the back of our packaging. Or like the ones I’ll be regularly posting here. Recipes like this one, for Espresso & Almond Mini Chocolate Protein Cups! Check it out:

Protein Pow recipes Protein Cups

Pre-Workout Espresso & Almond Chocolate Protein Cups Recipe

Ingredients
1/4 cup (28g) Whey Protein Pow mix
2 tbsp (32g) almond butter
1 tbsp (10g) of your sweetener of choice (I used Sukrin’s granulated erythitol but coconut sugar or granulated stevia would work really well too)
Freshly-brewed espresso to bind (I used 20ml)

Coating
3 squares (30g) 70-90% dark chocolate (I used 85%)

Directions

1. Melt your chocolate in a bain marie (i.e. a glass bowl on top of a pot of boiling wohrah).

2. As the chocolate melts, make the filling of your cups by mixing the rest of the ingredients together, adding a tiny bit of coffee at a time, until you get a thick batter. Taste the batter for nomms. But try not to eat it all! You’ll be tempted, trust me. But mobilize some restraint, OK? Because the cups, I promise you, they’re worth it.

3. When the chocolate has melted, pour half of it between 6 truffle paper cups. Then, add a dollop of the filling on top and cover them with the rest of the melted chocolate.

4. Put them in the fridge for 40 minutes and then just ‘unmold’ them (check out the video I uploaded a few months ago to see how it’s done). You can use paper or silicone mini cups. This time I used paper truffle cup. Please bear in mid that, if you want to make them bigger, all you need is to use regular-sized muffin cups.

5. After unmolding… they’re all yours, baby! Enjoy 🙂

Macros per cup (out of the six you get from the mix above): 78kcals, 4g carbs (out of which 0.8g is fiber so net carbs = 3.2g), 3.5g protein, 5.7g fat (mostly from the nut butter!)Protein bakery recipes Protein Cups

Note: To be one of the first to get our mixes, you can pre-order them mixes here today. They will ship out on the 14th of October so, in two days! If you live outside Europe – in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or beyond – this week we will unveil brand new and much improved shipping rates at shop.proteinpow.com so please wait until you receive our International Protein Pow Newsletter (sign up here) before you place your order!

Lucy Goes Veggie – Week 4

My 4 weeks of vegetarian eating has reached the end, but am I relieved? 

If you asked me at the beginning, how I thought I would feel at the end of four weeks of eating no meat or fish? I am pretty sure I would have said terrified.  Now that the end is here, if it wasn’t for the fact I am about to embark on four weeks on vegan eating, then I would have almost felt disappointed returning to meat.

Being honest I didn’t have much belief in myself, that I could do the challenge. Whilst I have slipped up a few times, on the whole I feel quite chuffed at how well I adapted. It has given me a lot to think about for the future as to how I rely on meat for my protein sources.

This final week I asked a few friends what they would like to know about my meat free month; here is a selection of some of the questions;

Have you lost weight?

Ha! As women we are obsessed with a diet that promotes weight loss and I’m sorry to say that pretty much, no, I haven’t lost any weight and nor did I expect to. As much as I enjoyed the meat free time, I never once had it in my mind that removing meat would equal weight loss.  Why would it? I simply replaced the lost calories with other foods, rather than ate less. Weight loss occurs from less calories going in and/or more calories going out.

Did being vegetarian affect your sleep?

At first yes there was some disruption.  There were quite a few days that I went to bed with this hungry feeling, although I had technically eaten enough. However after around 10 days it settled down and my sleeping returned to my “normal”.

Did it cost you more or less money?

It was quite hard to work out, since I shop for a whole family (who are not vegetarian) but I would say that it cost less overall.  This was one aspect I was very happy about.

Did you find it difficult to eat out?  

Surprisingly, not at all. Even at restaurants that specialised in meat, they had good vegetarian options.

Over the four weeks, what is the best nugget of advice that you would pass forward?

I would say that even if you do not plan to eliminate meat from your diet, trying a few weeks meat free not only shows you how much meat you perhaps eat, but it could encourage you to increase your fruit and vegetable intake.

My final week’s stats

Lucy Doyle Goes Veggie Vegetarian Diet

Next week sees me venture into plant based eating. I am slightly anxious because the idea of giving up milk and butter terrifies me! However I am also curious enough to still be approaching it enthusiastically. Look out for my blog next week to find out if I survived the first week.

Lucy Goes Veggie – Week 3

I wanted to do this challenge and follow on blog because I wanted to write something totally unedited. I wanted to write in the way I would have liked to read, warts and all. Bearing this in mind I sat down today with no choice but to stick with this, which meant not telling fibs and not hiding behind a perfect story.

I am not sure where this week went wrong. I can straight up say that I have not missed meat once (truth!) but nevertheless I confess to eating meat twice. I am even surprised myself as I write this, not surprised that I tripped (I had half expected that as a lifelong meat eater) but I am surprised because I thought it would be because the craving for meat would get so bad that I would give in.

Far from it, both occasions were due to circumstances and I decided that it would just be easier to go with the flow. So yes, oddly I have some sense of pride that I didn’t fall foul because I gave in to my desires, but just because it was easier in those moments.

Here is what I did find – meat is filling.

Late one night last week, I received a call from Lee Fitzpatrick from MuscleCake (check them out on Facebook as they are a company you’ll want to know) who deliver high protein brownies, direct to your door – yes I know epic right?

Anyway, the call wasn’t one I was expecting, neither was I expecting to be on a plane to Edinburgh just 12 hours later, to attend a black tie “Evening with Arnie” with the Muscle Cake and EFN team. I will avoid gloating about how awesome Arnold Schwarzenegger was (does that actually count towards gloating ha ha) but basically the site down meal was awesome and contained chicken.  I ate it with a pang of guilt, but I’m too long in the tooth to put myself on a guilt trip.

But here’s the thing. I don’t know if it was my excitement at Arnie being a few metres away, or I was genuinely unable to eat more than half the chicken breast, on my plate. It was unbelievably filling. Once upon a time I could eat a whole chicken in Nandos, true!

Those of you following me on My Fitness Pal will notice I haven’t written in my diary this week, blame my IPhone 6, that decided to self-combust (not literally, but it did overheat and die)

Whilst I cannot divulge my every move this last week, I can share the end result and also say that my meals are becoming more regular and I am enjoy eggs far more than I did before. Then only food I miss right now is tuna, but this serves to show how much I rely on tuna in my diet as a lean protein source.

I have also noticed that I am drinking more water. Related to my new eating habits or pure coincidence? Who knows?

Here are my stats;

Lucy Goes Veggie Lucy Doyle

For detailed daily breakdowns, don’t forget to follow me on My Fitness Pal www.myfitnesspal.com/TheSisterhood

This week I interviewed Toral Shah from The Urban Kitchen; she is resident foodie in the SFN Sisterhood and quite honestly is the queen of everything veggie!

Can you tell us how you started Urban Kitchen?

I began experimenting in the kitchen at university when I left medical school and found that I suddenly had more free time with fewer lectures in my BSc Cell Biology course. I specialised in studying cancer during the day and cooking for my friends and family in my spare time. Food became a huge passion so I studied at Le Cordon Bleu during the evenings and holiday. I probably was one of the best fed students at UCL!

When I was working in the City, I really got into training and noticed that there was v little healthy food to eat at the time. I had to cook my own food each day. Luckily, my office had a small kitchen so I sometimes threw salads together there. I had this idea for a healthy meal company 10 years ago when I worked in the City and was working, training, travelling and partying hard. I knew I needed to learn more about nutrition so left my job and went back to university, studying for an MSc in Nutritional Medicine.

Whilst I was studying, people kept asking me to teach them to cook or cater for events – that was the birth of Urban Kitchen. It’s evolved over the years but always been about a healthy gourmet lifestyle. Now, it’s more about nutrition, the science behind it and healthy recipes. I specialise in cancer nutrition as that has always been my passion. My MSc thesis focussed on the importance of diet and nutrition, in the prevention of breast cancer recurrence. I am now working on my first book explaining the science behind cancer preventing foods and sharing some of my delicious recipes.

2. Do you follow a vegetarian diet?

No, but I try to have a couple of vegetarian or vegan days a week.

3. What are your top 3 vegetarian recipe books?

A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones, The Modern Vegetarian by Maria Elia and Vegetarian by Alice Hart. Three incredibly innovative books.

4. What number one tip do you have for women thinking about giving a vegetarian diet a go?

The supermarkets are so much better for ingredients so rather than using meat substitutes, try actual plant based meals and mix the types of ingredients to ensure that you have a complete protein mix. Most vegetarian foods don’t have all the essential amino acids except quinoa and amaranth.

5. How do you keep protein high when not eating meat or fish?

As above, you have to ensure that you get enough protein from different sources. The government only recommends that you need 0.45g per kg body weight. I suggest a min of 1g per bodyweight but I actually eat between 1.5g and 2g per kg body weight a day. Most grains have quite a lot of protein, as do pulses, eggs, quinoa, soy products and dairy.

6. Do you have any events coming up? 

Yes, we also have a range of healthy eating classes. We have high protein for vegan class on Tues 23rd Feb.

http://www.theurbankitchen.co.uk/collections/classes/products/healthy-cooking-test