I’m not usually a smoothie fan, mainly due to the fact that I feel hungry around an hour later after consuming them as a meal. However I have now discovered that drinking these as a snack are perfect and satisfy my hunger between meals.
I decided to make one on Friday as a post-workout snack and it was delicious! I think I will start consuming these more as a post-workout snack.
This one consisted of:
1 frozen banana
200ml milk (use the milk you like but I don’t have an intolerance so cows milk does me fine)
1 heaped teaspoon of peanut butter
A handful of spinach
1/2 scoop My protein chocolate peanut butter whey (my absolute fav)
I blended the banana and the milk first to make a thick almost ice cream like texture, then added the other ingredients one at a time. I just drank it out of the Blend-active cup with a straw, although it does get quite thick at the bottom I’ll warn you.
If like me you love banana, peanut butter and chocolate this flavour combo is to die for. It also really satisfies those sweet cravings!
Yesterday I went to the gym after a long and tiring day of uni amongst other things. My energy levels were well down and although I’ve said this a few times recently it is affecting my performance at the gym.
My day involved eating a lot of insect brownies and mac and cheese for course mates honours projects. Studying dietetics is great when you hit fourth year, you get so much free food by participating in projects- haha. For this reason I decided to make my short workout mainly cardio to try and beat the full feeling in my stomach.
It turned into a bit of a mish mash workout because I ended up doing some weighted exercises too. I was crazy thinking I could go to the gym and not do any weight work at all. I love it too much. I will go back to the gym today where my energy levels will be improved and I’ll get a proper workout done.
Anyway here’s my mish mash routine:
Treadmill run for 12 minutes as pictured above
10 full press ups, 10 press ups on my knees
Overhead extensions 3 x 10 using a 7 kg medicine ball
This workout only lasted around 20 minutes in total but it still made me feel better after a long day!
I decided to mix up my regular breakfast porridge and add banana to the main bulk of the porridge instead of as a topping. It tasted good but so sweet! I think I would have it again as a dessert but not for breakfast.
It’s funny I used to have a real sweet too and always lived by the notion that dessert was the best course of a meal. However over the past few years I’ve moved towards having more of a savoury tooth. I’d much rather go for a starter or cheese board than any rich dessert. I think it must be a sign of getting old-haha. But has anyone else gone through this faze too?
I simply measured out 50g oats as normal then added chopped banana and mashing. I then added around 100ml milk as usual and microwaved for 1 minute. Once heated I added half a scoop of my favourite whey protein – My protein chocolate peanut butter and some chia seeds.
Try this if you have a sweet tooth!
Monday was my leg workout this week. I’m still aiming for more of a glute focus (except squats my one true love!). This workout felt really good. I had so much energy on Monday and I forced it all into my workout. I think I’m getting used to the intense workload at uni and still having high quality gym workouts now.
I did the same routine as last week minus the American dead lifts. I feel my technique has greatly improved for glute kick backs using the cable machine. I admit they can be a bit awkward to start with but once you get used tilting from the hip at the right angle and kicking the leg out at the right angle too, they feel so much better. They are actually my favourite exercise just now!
This weeks routine:
Squats at 10 reps per set – bar, 40 kg, 45 kg, 50 kg (for 5 and 7 reps)
Pull throughs at 3 x 12 – 12 kg, 13.75 kg and 13.75 kg
Glute kickbacks at 3 x 12 – 12 kg
Curtsy lunges – 2 x 20 holding 10 kg plate
Glute bridges at 2 x 15 – holding 10 kg plate at hips
Ab exercises and stretches to finish.
For a while I’ve wanted to try and make my own fajita spice mix. I just feel the packets you can buy in supermarkets are unnecessarily high in salt. Anyway this was my experiment yesterday, to see if I could lower the salt without compromising on taste.
I can tell you my recipe needs amending slightly, perhaps a touch of salt was needed because the shop bought ones taste better. But if any of you can make recommendations to adjust this recipe to make it taste a bit better please let me know!
My spice mix included:
3 teaspoons mild chilli powder
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 clove crushed garlic
I mixed the spices together and rubbed all over chopped chicken breast then fried in a small amount of sunflower oil. I then added the red onion and peppers, before serving into Mission deli Multigrain wraps with some salsa and guacamole.
The guacamole however came out a treat, so tasty. I braved chopping up chillis too for the recipe.
The ingredient for this was:
The juice of 1 lime
1/2 a red onion
1/2 a red chilli
One clove of garlic
Simply mash the avocado, squeeze the juice of one lime and mix in. Crush the garlic, chop and de-seed the chilli and chop the onion. Then mix all of this together.
You can alter this recipe by adding tomatoes and coriander for example.
This weeks upper body workout went a lot better than last week. Although I still have a lot on my plate at the moment regarding my uni workload, I think I used the gym as a way to de-stress and really get those endorphins going. My energy levels have still been pretty poor this week but I’m not letting it get in the way of my gym routine!
I had a poor attempt at a run again after upper body workout but my energy levels were probably to blame for this. I think I will just have to save a day for a workout that is majority cardio to get those fitness levels up.
This week I did the following:
Warm up 5 minute run at 5mph
Upright rows with 20 kg bar (3 x 10)
Overhead press with 15 kg bar (3 x 10)
Overhead tricep extension with 8kg medicine ball (3 x 15)
Face pulls at 15 kg (3 x 12)
Tricep pull downs at 12.5 kg (2 x 10)
Lat pull downs at 25 kg (3 x 10)
Press ups (8 full and 10 on my knees)
8 minute run at 5.5 mph
Stretches to cool down.
I was super happy with how I performed just need to get a little better at running – same old story haha.
I meant to post this a lot earlier but my uni workload has gotten a bit crazy busy!
Anyway on Thursday last week was my upper body workout of the week. I’ve changed this workout from my usual. I have added in more back work and dropped the curls. I feel my arms are worked enough in the other upper body exercises that don’t isolate the arms.
My busy workload is just deflating most of my energy just now. I didn’t manage to lift as heavy for as many reps as usual. My doms have also lasted longer than usual but everyone goes through these fazes. It’s perfectly normal to have lower energy levels on certain occasions and for this to affect your training. This is why breaks are so important. I haven’t trained since Thursday but will be back into the gym tomorrow for legs and I cannot wait!
Here’s what I did:
Lat pull downs 3×10 at 23.5 kg
Upright rows 3×10 at 20 kg
Overhead press 3×10 at 15 kg
Overhead tricep extensions 2 x 10 and 1 x 7 at 7 kg with medicine ball
Tricep pull downs 2 x 10 and 1 x 7 at 12.5 kg
Face pulls 3 x 10 at 15 kg
Press ups – full until failure (this was 4 reps and then I failed – oops) and 15 on my knees
Stretches to finish.
Okay so you’re all probably thinking “what on earth is shakshuka, and how do you even pronounce that?!”. I thought the same to begin with unti I found out what it actually is and I was won over just reading about it!
It’s basically a tomato based stew which is highly flavoured with yummy herbs and spices, with eggs cracked on top. It’s also so easy to make. You can choose how spicy you want it and if you like the flavour of some spices more than others then you can add more of those. It’s totally up to you. There are many recipe variations flying around the internet like adding chorizo or feta to the mix. My recipe is vegetarian (for those who do eat eggs). Personally I’m not a vegetarian but it’s sustainable and healthy to have some meat free days! I have to admit I rarely have meat free days, more meat free meals but hey ho I’m working on it.
Ingredients (serves 2):
400g tinned tomatoes
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1 white onion
1 tspn tomato puree
1 clove of garlic
1 tspn cumin
1 tspn paprika
1 tspn mild chilli powder
1/2 tspn cayenne pepper (this is spicy!)
1 tspn cooking oil of your choice
Simply fry the chopped onion, peppers and garlic in the cooking oil. Add in the chopped tomatoes and tomato puree. Add all the spices. Simmer unti all veg is soft and a lot of the liquid has evaporated off. Make four wells in the mixture and crack the eggs into each well. Cover the pan until the eggs are cooked. It took about 10 minutes for the eggs to cook for me.
I served this with some cous cous. Delicious!
Photo cred to my friend playing paparazzi on me at the gym!
I mentioned in a previous post that I was going to switch my leg workout a bit to see the result. I did that today in that I did a mainly glute focused workout. It can be very hard to find exercises that just isolate the glutes. Inevitably you will end up hitting other muscles – especially the quads in doing so. The first exercise was squats. Yes I know these work all the leg muscles especially the quadriceps and hamstrings but I just can’t give them up! I enjoyed my workout today and I could feel it in the glutes more than usual.
Here’s what I did:
Squats: Barbell, 40 kg, 45 kg, 50 kg, 40 kg (all for 10 reps)
Pull throughs 3 x 10 at 12 kg
Glute kickbacks using cable machine 3 x 10 at 12 kg
Curtsy lunges 2 x 15 holding a 10 kg plate
American dead lifts: 3 x 10 with 20 kg barbell
Glute bridges holding a 10 kg plate at the stomach
Stretches to cool down.
I’m not sure if this glute isolation workout will continue every week but I will try it again for the next two weeks and see if I am happier with the results.
I hope this has given you some ideas for glute isolation exercises!
I used to do cardio in the form of a 10 minute (or longer) run at the end of every weight workout at the gym. This is not being carried out as often as it should at the moment. I confess cardio is not my favouirure thing to do – oops. As I said in my last post the number of workouts I do cardio really needs to increase.
On Friday I did my longest post- workout run that I’ve done in months, and I actually enjoyed it. Deep down I do really love running I just have to find the motivation to carry it out.
It may not seem the most impressive run to some of you who run frequently, but I was impressed in myself that I managed to run for so long! I managed 10 minutes at 5.5mph then 1 minute walk as a cool down before stretching. This was after an upperbody workout. When I run on leg days it’s much more of a struggle to reach the 10 minutes.
From my experience if you are someone that finds it hard to enjoy running, start of slow for a shorter time and work your way up. Also try mixing between treadmill running at the gym and outdoor running to make things more interesting. Treadmill running can get quite boring so I tend to prefer running longer distances outside. When the weather gets better, outdoor running will definitely be on the cards!