When you’re about to step into the gym for a big leg day, or out on the road to a long run you need to make sure you stay fuelled up this recipe is the ultimate fuel up.
No more buying overpriced bars, it’s time to make your own! I love the combination of the simple sugars for that instant energy hit along with the complex carbohydrates or the oats and the fats from the butter for longer lasting energy. All in a package that won’t weigh you down and have you feeling too heavy. People often neglect the importance of having the energy to get through your training, while I’m not suggesting you go pig out in McDonald’s, you do want to make sure you have the energy to maintain your intensity throughout your workout.
75g Soft Brown Sugar
3tbsp Golden Syrup
Optional – chocolate or dried fruit
Place sugar, syrup and butter into a pan on low heat, stir gently.
Add oats and stir the mixture until it comes together
Place it in a pan and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until it’s golden brown
Let it cool for 10 minutes
Slice and serve
Don’t let the simplicity of the recipe put you off, they’ve been described as surprisingly addictive and are the perfect pre-gym snack.
Protein, Creatine, Pre-workout there are tons of supplements out there. Supplements to help you gain muscle, lose fat, train harder whatever you want to achieve, there’s a supplement for that.
With so much out there it’s hard to know what’s useful and what’s useless! In this series of blogs, I’m going to address some of the big dogs of the supplement world, their benefits, their drawbacks and whether you should be investing in them.
Perhaps the first supplement most people reach for on their fitness journey, because to get big you need to be hitting that protein powder after every workout right?
What is protein? Protein is one of the 3 key macronutrients your body needs to survive, its made up of building blocks called amino acids, 20 in total 12 of which can be produced by the body, 8 must be sourced from the diet. Proteins provide structure to the cells of the human body and importantly they are essential in the building and repair of muscle tissue. For most people, meat will be a key source of protein, produce such as beef and eggs are rich in essential amino acids, however, protein can also be sourced from plant-based products such as soy.
So how much protein do you need? The RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) for protein is between 0.8g – 1.2/kg b.w. This means for most people reading this it is unlikely you will be deficient in protein. However, if you are in the gym trying to make some gains, you might want to have a little extra, more protein = more gains? Well to a certain point yes, Phillps (2013) recommends 1.4 – 1.6g/kg b.w. for those engaging in resistance training with the goal of building muscle. So for an 80kg person, this would amount to 112 to 128g of protein per day. For some context, this is roughly 2 chicken breasts, 4 eggs and a piece of salmon, so easily attainable baring in mind you will also get some protein in smaller quantities from other foods such as rice and bread.
No Whey Bro! Even though they’re many types of protein supplements on offer today we are going to talk to talk about the most commonly used one. Whey protein is a milk-based protein, you’ll usually find it in powdered form. Whey is a popular choice because it’s high in essential amino acids which is important for any good protein, it digests quickly and it’s relativelycheap.
It’s Quick – Every nutritionist worth they’re salt will preach to you it’s a food first approach. Supplements are just that, a supplement, something to be added, they are not a replacement. However there are times when you don’t have time to get a meal, you might be at work or on the go. A protein shake is a quick, easy way to get some dietary protein in.
It’s Filling – if fat loss is your goal, protein is your friend for two main reasons, it’s going to help you preserve lean mass, there is some research to show it may be beneficial to consume up to 2g/kg b.w. of protein when in a caloric deficit. It will also help fill you up making you less likely to go raid the cookie jar. Which is obviously very helpful when you’re trying to get lean.
It’s Versatile – Whey protein can be consumed as a drink but it can also be used as an ingredient in tons of recipes from pancakes to cookies, there are tons of great blogs, cookbooks and websites that will give you great recipes you can make with your whey protein. If that’s something you want to see more of let me know in the comments and I will whip up some stuff in the kitchen and share that with you all.
Varying quality – Depending on the brand of protein you go for there are huge variances in the quality of the protein you will get. Accurate labelling has been a problem in the supplement industry since there has been a supplement industry and protein is not exempt from this so it’s difficult to ensure that 25g or protein they claim on the bottle is true.
Safety – I’m not trying to scare anyone and for the most part whey protein is a very safe supplement. However, there have been multiple reported cases of athletes getting busted for doping in relation to supplements they are taking and for banned substances appearing in supplements. There is a risk with every supplement, as mentioned above labelling is not always accurate and not every company is as diligent in there testing. So when you are looking for supplements to take it’s important to choose a reputable brand with rigorous testing procedures. If you are a drug tested athlete you should be taking supplements from tested batches in order to make sure you don’t get caught out and for your health in general.
Cost – Depending on your brand of choice 1kg of whey protein can cost you anything from £20 – £45 for which you’d get roughly 40 servings which may last you just over a month with daily use. Depending on your budget this could be a significant cost to you. Especially considering the amount of actual food you can buy for a similar cost.
Is it worth the investment? It depends – I am not going to be the one to say it’s useless, I think it’s a great supplement. If you are often on the go or you just can’t stomach that extra meal, whey protein is a great way to get that extra little bit of protein into your body. However, you still need to eat and there is never going to be a replacement for eating well (nothing legal anyway) that’s going to get you the same results. If you’re just starting out on your fitness journey, way before you start ordering tons of powder you need to get your meals in order, get some training under your belt and then you can start really considering whether whey protein is the right investment for you.
What do you think? Are you heading straight to the shops to get your protein fix or is it just one big scam? Let me know in the comments!
Happy blogmas everyone. I wanted to gift you all with some extra Flava over the festive period. Let’s be honest once you get to a certain age, there’s only so many Lynx gift sets you need in your life, and Christmas becomes about two things food and family. This is fitness n flava so I’m here to talk about the food.I don’t eat turkey at Christmas! I said it, you heard! People are always fascinated when I say that, but my Christmas spread is too good to fill myself up with turkey. With that being the case, this December I’m going to share some of the amazing things I do eat and how to cook them, probably with the help of a few friends. Disclaimer… Although this blog is a fitness food blog, it’s blogmas/thicccmas/time to eat good. So that’s what we’re going to do! First recipe up is breakfast and we’re going to cook Ackee and Saltfish with fried dumplings.
Quick Food History
Ackee is Jamaica’s national fruit and this is Jamaica’s national dish so naturally, this is one steeped in a deep and rich history. As with so much of Jamaica’s food and culture it has, it’s roots in colonialism. The ackee tree is native to West Africa and is believed to have been brought to Jamaica in the 17th century. Records suggest that it was brought upon a slave ship to provide a nutritional source for Jamaica’s enslaved population. While slightly less is know about how it came to be combined with saltfish, we do know cheaper or discarded cuts of fish would have provided a good source of protein for the enslaved peoples. During my research, I found a great piece on this history so go check it out if you’d like to learn a little more.
Ackee & Saltfish
1 Can of Ackee
1 Red Sweet Pepper
1 Scotch Bonnet
1 Red Onion
1 Medium Tomato
2 Spring Onions
2 Cloves Garlic
15ml Oil or Butter
Place your saltfish into a small pan and cover it in water leave it to soak for around an hour.
Pour the water off, add fresh water and bring it to the boil until it’s tender (about 20 minutes).
Once this is done break it up into large flakes and set it to the side until later.
Thinly slice your onion, spring onion, scotch bonnet and sweet pepper.
Crush and dice your garlic and cut your tomato into small chunks
Heat your oil on a medium heat
Add your tomato, onion, spring onion garlic and sweet pepper then allow them all to cook until caramelised, 8-10 minutes, stirring regularly.
Add your saltfish, ackee and thyme then cook for a further 3 minutes.
Finish with some black pepper
150g Self-raising Flour
1/2 tsp of Salt
Add your flour and salt to a large bowl
Add your water and slowly mix it with the flour
Once it begins to turn into a dough, its time to get stuck in
Knead the dough with your hands till it comes together in a large ball, it shouldn’t be too sticky if it is, add a little more flour, if it doesn’t come together add some more water.
Separate it into smaller balls (golf ball sized)
Heat your oil to a medium heat
Once its hot add your little dumplings and fry until they are golden brown it colour
You can deep fry them or shallow fry them and rotate them so they’re cooked on all sides.
There you have it a delicious Jamaican breakfast for your Christmas morning. Go try it out. You can pick up the ingredients it big supermarkets if you take a walk down the ‘Foods of the world’ isle or even better go find a little local Caribbean, African or Asian food store and I’m sure they’ll sort you out.
Like and share the post if you want me to make Part 2, which will be Curry Goat! (AKA the Christmas dinner of Champions). Subscribe to the blog to stay in touch, Comment below and let me know what you eat at Christmas!
Everybody loves Jerk, its the meal people ask me to cook for them most often. And the recipe everyone wants to see. Even though Jamie Oliver is out here selling Jerk rice *Laughs out loud*, in order to make Jerk you need a Jerk pan and meat! In my opinion, Jerk has three key elements Scotch Bonnet, Pimento (All-spice) and the method of cooking. All of this is to say the recipe I’m about to give you is not Jerk Chicken but it takes inspiration and borrows some of those flavours to make something delicious and easy to make.
We already spoke a little bit about the history of Jerk, check out that blog here. But this dish has a different history. One that dates back to around 2009 in my kitchen. I was 12, and fell in love with all the Jerk flavours I discovered in Jamaica. I didn’t have a Jerk pan and England was far too cold to be outside on the BBQ (this was pre-global warming madness). However, I did have an imagination and I knew what Jerk tasted like to me, so I went to work. The product was so good, I was cooking for every church, family and community gathering. I never wrote the recipe down, I refused to share it with anyone but today I’m going to share it with all of you!
Also, as it’s nearly I though I’d give you all a little gift, a bonus recipe… the best coleslaw you ever tasted. Enjoy!
5 Cloves of Garlic
1/2 Scotch Bonnet
Pimento or allspice
50ml BBQ sauce
2 tbsp Honey
Squeeze your lemon over the chicken and rub it down in the juice this will help get rid of any raw flavours.
Cover the chicken in a generous dash of all-purpose seasoning.
Put this chicken in the oven and let it cook until it’s golden brown in colour (30 – 35 minutes)
Finely chop your tomato, onion, scotch bonnet and garlic
Heat a frying pan to a medium heat and add your tomato, onion and garlic
Cook them for 4-6 minutes until the onions have caramelised.
Add your BBQ sauce, honey and water
Add your pimento, thyme and scotch bonnet then cover your pan and leave it to simmer for 15 minutes
Once your chicken is brown you’re going to add your sauce to the chicken, pour it, brush it, throw it whatever your style is.
Pro Tip – save a little sauce to add to the chicken once you’ve served up
Let it cook for another 20 minutes.
BOOM! There you have it, NOT Jerk Chicken!
1/2 Green Cabbage
1 Red Sweet Pepper
1/2 Red Onion
3 Chilli Peppers
1 tsp Honey
100g 0% Greek Yoghurt
20g Extra Light Mayonnaise
Salt and Black Pepper (to taste)
Thinly slice your cabbage, pepper, onion and chillies and then add them into a large mixing bowl
Grate your carrots and add them to the bowl as well
Cut your mango into small chunks
Then add the honey, yoghurt and mayonnaise
It’s time to get your hands dirty, get in there and mix it around
Add salt and pepper to taste and maybe even some hot sauce (if you’re brave enough)
Let me know in the comments if you want to see the macros and I will update the post and add that in for you all.
This one is for all of you that struggle in the kitchen and everyone who wants something that’s nice and easy to make. So get cooking and let me know how you get on. Also, comment your ideas for what I should call this I feel like this dish needs a name so let me know.
I’m in the process of improving the blog, so expect more regular content… more recipes, more fitness advice, more Flava! Make sure you’re following the blog on Instagram, Facebook and by email so you can stay up to date!
As the blog grows and develops I want to tell more stories and share recipes and ‘Flava’ from cultures all around the globe. This week I’m going to start with something that might just be the most popular dish in the fitness community and in the country in general. Peri-Peri Chicken! This one has taken the country by storm and I’ve been a fan since way back when my Under-18’s basketball team were sponsored by Nando’s *Living the dream*.
Quick Food History #StayWoke
Food tells great stories, that was one of my main motivations for writing this blog. We pass our culture through our food, so it’s important to strive to know a little bit more about the food that you eat, its history, and its origins.
Just like Jerk, Peri-Peri is a dish with rich cultural history, variations of that famous sauce date back as far as the 15th century. Although it has come to be known as Peri Peri the Portuguese refer to it as Piri-Piri Swahili for pepper-pepper, which hails back to the dish’s African roots. While it’s exact origins are still debated we know that the dish likely originated with Portuguese settlers (Colonizers) in Angola and Mozambique, who discovered the African Bird’s Eye Chilli and combined this with some other seasonings to create the dish we know and love today.
2 Red Peppers
1 Red Onion
1 Bulb of Garlic
6 African Birds Eye Chillies
2 tsp Smoked Paprika
2 tsp Crushed Chilli Flakes
3 Fresh Lemons
3 tbsp Oil
2 tbsp White Wine Vinegar
1 tbsp Honey
Heat a skillet or griddle pan on a medium heat
Slice your onions and pepper and crush your garlic
Add these to the pan and cook them for 5-10 minutes
Slice your chilli peppers
Juice your lemons
Add the cooked garlic, onions & pepper to a blender along with your chillies, lemon juice and vinegar
Blend until it’s smoother than a Marvin Gaye album
Add chilli flakes, paprika and a dash of salt and pepper (blend it some more for good measure)
Bring it to the boil in a small saucepan
Slowly add your oil and honey then stir it up.
Add your thyme and let it simmer for 20-30 minutes
Let it cool and there you have it your very own Peri-Peri Chicken Marinade*
So now to make the chicken all you need to do it smother it in your marinade, let it sit in the fridge overnight and soak it the flava then the next day cook it in the oven for those delicious peri flavours
For extra flava cook the chicken for 5 minutes on each side in a skillet or griddle pan before finishing in the oven.
*Pro tip: I’ve found that this sauce improves with time so let it sit in your fridge for a few days the flava just keeps getting better.
Get cooking, I hope you enjoy it. Like, share and subscribe to the blog if you want to see me explore some other dishes from around the world.