Protein, protein, protein? Is UFIT the answer?

I’m training for a marathon, I have already completed a half marathon last year. Now, whilst I am far from an expert on matters of this nature. I will sit down, research and get to the bottom of something that I want to know.

Two crates are better than one

I had the privilege of being sent some protein drinks from UFIT, one batch of strawberry and one chocolate. I have tried more protein powders than you can shake a stick at. I used to have a cupboard full of protein powder shakers. But one thing I could never cure! A small amount of the powder used to sit at the bottom after the contents had been depleted. Aargh must have the full protein, must get it inside. Build, build, build, So when I had the chance to trial these drinks, my hand was first in the air.

 Where’s all my protein gone

I have come to realize (obviously) that you need protein to repair muscles. But I thought, you didn’t really need much replacement during cardiovascular training as well I was wrong! 

 

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SOURCE:

Fitness magazine.com

The flavors I was sent were strawberry and chocolate. I love strawberries and I love chocolate so I was in my element. However, for me at least, the chocolate seemed a bit thinner in consistency compared to the strawberry. It was still nice, really nice. But if you like your protein shakes fairly thicker, it’s strawberry.

The science…..

In each shake there is packed 22 grams of protein. According to a study by the USDA we eat on average 69 grams of protein a day. But if you exercise more than an hour five or more days a week, increase intake by 0.75 grams per pound. Now I am definitely not one of those that measures, calculates everything I put in my body. Even when I was weight lifting (a long time ago) and got fairly big, I didn’t obsess about it. SO, the UFIT shakes are a sure-fire way of at least making sure you may be getting the right amount of protein.

The amount is your choice

The first week I was drinking them I did everyday. I run 3 times a week: 13 mile on a Monday…….6mile on a Wednesday….5 mile on a Friday. But, I drank UFIT everyday, I have to be honest it was a bit much for me. However, I did actually feel a difference. I was less achy, my legs didn’t feel as tight and I did actually feel a slight pump (very slight).

The second week I opted for every other day, and for me that felt better. The effects I mentioned above were still there but it gave me a chance to rest my stomach. I drank them in the morning straight after a run, now I can’t eat after a run it does me in. So these shakes were ideal for replacing nutrients without feeling the sick heaviness of solids. And they do say eating protein in the AM tends to curb your appetite…..win win. I am one for testing out the psychological impacts of what might be a placebo. So I went 2 weeks without the shakes, and after having them for the short time of the previous two weeks. I have to say I did feel better for having them…..I really did, and I didn’t think I would!

How much

These are marketed as £2 a shake, but I have found them (remarkably) in ‘ICELAND FREEZER STORES’ for £1.50. All in all, I will be going back on these. As you may know I am on SLIMMING WORLD, and if you are too, these shakes are 8 syns per shake. Below is the nutritional info for both:



I say give them a go, as for the chocolate I know I said it was slightly thinner than the strawberry. But, it’s chocolate flavor……come on! I’ll still be drinking it.

Let me know if you get these, and let me know how you get on with them. Running a marathon? Let’s exchange some tips.

Luv ya xxxx

Tony Martin brainfood

Healthy eating…..We DO have time!

When you go to the supermarket, you walk through the Star Trek type doors and what is the first thing you see? Cakes, biscuits, and crisps on offer. More often than not they are cheap really cheap. Every authority in the land is telling us to eat healthier to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle.

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This is what I have noticed over the last week. Now in our house we are busy, I mean really busy like 80% of the time. We went down to London for a birthday party and stayed a couple of days. We went shopping, visited family, debs was working prior the road trip till 4 in the morning, I worked till about 3. So basically we didn’t have a chance to catch a breath. This weekend we have to do it all over again! I keep banging on about the fact that we go Slimming World and have lost 3 stone 7. Every now and again you sometimes go off plan, it happens! We have been eating far far better than we used to.

Since starting  Slimming World last year I have had heartburn, indigestion and bloating once! So as they say eating healthier is better for you obviously. So back to last weekend, we went off plan and we knew we would. And that’s when the trouble started! Also as it was my birthday on Tuesday we went out for a meal.

Man I feel rough, I mean really rough! I went for a run on Wednesday and I barely managed 4 miles. I had indigestion, heartburn and a general feeling that something is wrong…..I went home after 4 mile. This is what bad food can do for you, I have noticed it with these symptoms because my body isn’t used to it. I’m not fuelled by crap food, what I put in, my body uses. I felt lethargic and I didn’t want to get up, I’ll go as far to say my brain hurt too! 

So I go back to the beginning, why are shops promoting the very food that does this, as soon as you walk in the shop? Me and Deb was talking about this and I was concerned. Obesity is obviously a problem now in our society. Yes I know we have a choice to eat like it, but as I have said many times the subconscious is very powerful. The marketing, labels and the general draw of these foods can have the pulling effect.
I’m not going to lull you into my beliefs, or what I think might be going on. But, eating crap made me docile (in a sense) ‘animals’ that become docile are easy to control! So why is it that only food that is often bad for you quite often is cheap? Some of it has to do with farmers, they are getting ripped off left right and centre by some of the big chains. And that’s a shame, we all know about the big milk scandal so they have to make their money somehow. The more people that eat fresh the prices will come down, it will take years but eventually it will happen.

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This is what your plate should contain at every meal

We are given the false impression that life is just too busy and it’s easy to get takeaway or throw a ready meal in the microwave. We do have time to cook fresh we really do. We make all our own sauces and it takes minutes. To be honest it probebrly takes longer to open a jar pour it in a pan, slightly fill the jar with water making sure you get the last bit. And despite what you think, if you shop sensibly it doesn’t cost that much more to cook fresh.

We don’t own a microwave, haven’t done for a long time and we don’t intend on getting one. Freshly cooked and prepared foods fire you up. It makes you more alert, more energetic and it really does help you to think straight. You don’t feel so bloated and lethargic. Look at the panels on bad food and there are more E’s in there than an illegal rave. Your body is not designed  to function on chemicals.

We won’t be eating like that again, never, nada! Being able to cook fresh is not about it taking to long, you don’t have enough time to do it. I guarantee if you manage your tasks rather than thinking about the time you have to fit in, you will find the time.

Manage your tasks and not your time. Write out a to do list the previous night and write down cooking a meal from fresh. Dissect it, write down everything you have to do and how long you think it will take. Put veg in the pan 3mins, brown the mince 10 mins. That’s just an example…..but go for it….you won’t regret it.

Let me know how you get on. Let me know how it makes you feel.

Tony Martin brainfood

A little bit of what you fancy……CHOCOLATE!

Who loves chocolate? Oh yes, me too. Chocolate is often seen as an indulgence, and why not it’s good to indulge. I have been in a healthy eating plan for a while now. I’m training for a marathon and some things have had to fall by the way side. Chocolate is one of them, but I like chocolate so why can’t I have it?

This got me thinking, so I started to look round and this is what I found. Now, I have no doubt that some of you know this. But it is good to actually see it jotted down for something to sink in.

A 100 gram bar of dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa contains (1):
11 grams of fiber.

67% of the RDA for Iron.

58% of the RDA for Magnesium.

89% of the RDA for Copper.

98% of the RDA for Manganese.

It also has plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.

There are many different kinds of dark chocolate, some good and some bad. For me there is only one kind and that is Green and Blacks, I tend to go for the higher content of 85-95%.

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I can already see the eyes closing and the taste buds of many recoiling in bitterness. But you get used to it, you really do because for me after doing without chocolate for so long, I don’t like the way milk chocolate coats the roof of your mouth.

Bottom Line: Quality dark chocolate is rich in Fiber, Iron, Magnesium, Copper, Manganese and a few other minerals.

Eating a lot of any kind of chocolate isn’t that good for you. Dark chocolate still has sugar in it, but in moderation the antioxidants will take effect. Me? I have 1 maybe 2 squares of dark chocolate a day. Again on slimming world ( for those of you that are) 1 square of the type I have is 1 syn, for others I would suggest you refer to your book or the slimming world app.

My other advice would be to go with a good quality dark chocolate too. In my opinion don’t go for the own brand type, but opt for a more recognised dark chocolate. Yes it might cost you a few more pennies, but in the long run you will benefit from it.

I could go on about how good it is at lowering blood pressure, may lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, may improve brain function. But here is a link to the facts on one of the pages I have been looking at, take a peek and see what you think. With just one maybe two squares a day what’s the worst that can happen?

You may get some benefit from it, AND you get to have what might be your favourite treat EVERYDAY.

Let me know which one you choose, as there are many flavours out there as well. Ginger, chilli, you name it. Let me know how much you have too, we can all do with a few ideas.

happy indulging guys. Luv ya xxx

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THE KITCHEN MUST HAVE GADGET!

Oven’s, the outlet for culinary creativity! Well, until they go wrong that is, that’s what’s happened to ours. Imagine coming in late from work, thanking your other half for preparing you dinner for getting in late. You turn on the oven to warm it up…….

BOOM!!!!!

The electric box trips and you are left in complete darkness. We now don’t have an oven to cook in and need to get a new one……….We are at a stage now where we cant cook an elaborate dinner…….or so you would think!

The key to success

That’s where this bad boy comes in.

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I can not recommend these enough, turn the timer for the desired time then the temperature and you have instant heat. No warming period, no preheating. BOOM, direct heat straight away and you can cook anything in them and I mean anything. They are also easy to clean, fill the kettle pour all of the boiled water in the halogen. Squirt a generous portion of washing liquid and use the self clean function. After 10 mins pour it all out, give it a wipe and your ready to go again.

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I would strongly recommend getting one with what they call, an ‘extension ring’. No it’s not some kind of marital device that comes free, it allows you to create more space. You place it on top of the bowl, lift the cooking lid and close on top of the ring. This allows more space and the ability to ‘stack’ the foods you are cooking.

A practice far removed from Italy 

Don’t do what my step son did………

H. How do you do the time for this halogen? The pizza box says 15 mins but it’s blitzed it on 5

Me. I don’t know, it’s never done that before. If you get another one to do just keep an eye on it.

We later found out that he sacked 2 pizzas but didn’t put the extension ring on. The heating element was no more than a few inches away from the pizza. Effectively GRILLING the pizza! 🙄 Less said the better I think, apart from that they are something that I recommend in any kitchen. And doing a joint in there, well it comes out so succulent words actually fail me.

When you buy one you get a small round tray, a rack and a little lifting device. The rack can be placed in to either grill food (but not pizza) or upturn it to ‘oven’ cook the food. I cooked ‘slimming world’ roast potatoes in it, I have to say they were so so nice.

So……get yourself one, you won’t regret it. Having said that I still want my oven back.

However……now we have over used it due to not having a proper oven, our halogen has also now failed! This post ends here, head in my hands with a groan that would wake sleeping beauty.

What cooking gadgets have you got in your kitchen? Which one do you swear by?

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ALL YOU CAN EAT curried loaf!

So! We have been doing Slimming world for a while now, if you have read other posts you would know how hard it has been. Well with just over 3 stone lost we are still well on our way. If you are reading this with a weight loss on slimming world you may well have heard of this next recipe. If you haven’t you will love it. Now on slimming world for those who don’t know, there is a thing called FREE FOODS. These are regarded as an aid to losing weight, they are foods that technically you can eat as much as you like. And they are there for the purpose of filling you up. CURRIED LOAF is regarded as one of them foods.

CURRIED LOAF INGREDIANTS

1 Pack of Bachelors vegetable rice/curry flavor rice
3 medium eggs
1-2 table spoons of medium curry powder
1/2 table spoon of garam masala (if you want for that extra curry taste)
1 tin of chickpea Dahl

METHOD

Crack and beat the eggs in a large bowl
Crack and beat the eggs in a large bowl.  Add the pre-prepared rice as per packet instructions
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Add the chickpea Dahl and spices. now for the technical bit. For this to be a FREE FOOD the chickpea dahl HAS to come from either Asda or Morrisons simply becasue of it calorific value.

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Spices to add to curried Loaf
Mix the Dahl, spices and the rice and egg mixture together thoroughly  and pour into a lined loaf tin. Use grease proof paper, DO NOT use butter or margarine to grease the tin IT WILL STICK.

Place in a pre heated oven at 180/gas mark 4 for 45 to 55 mins. Use the 10 minute gap btween these times to check progress. You want a slightly springy top, if in doubt use a thick knife and insert into the loaf and it should come out clean.


Allow to cool completely before removing from the tin and taking off the paper. This is what it should look like. I got this method from SLIMMING WORLD so credit goes to EVERYONE, both members and staff.

Non members…….enjoy and remember, according to slimming world this is a FREE FOOD so eat as much as you like and fill your boots.

Let me know how you go with it and if you like the taste.

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A Full Tummy On Overnight Oats

We should all have breakfast in the morning, or at least that is what we are told anyway. Me? I do, i never leave home without it…..nope, not a visa card! But something in my tummy, it sets me up for the day. And this is one thing i have come to enjoy recently since losing weight and going for the healthier lifestyle.

OVERNIGHT OATS

35 grams of porridge oats
Muller light yogurt of any flavour you wish
Handful of either frozen fruit of chopped fresh fruit
1 airtight glass spring top jar

 

OVERNIGHT OATS BF

 

 

  1. Place the weighed porridge oats in the jar (I am on a plan that only allows 35g, you can add more if you wish)
  2. Place either the yogurt or the handful of fruit that you have on top of the oats (we use frozen as they tend to last longer than fruit left in a fruit bowl)
  3. Pour on the yogurt over the top and coat well (DO NOT MIX AND STIR AT THIS POINT)
  4. Place the lid on the jar and place in the fridge overnight.
Divide your fruit into handful portions
Divide your fruit into handful portions

 

Finished jar to be place in the fridge for the morning
Finished jar to be place in the fridge for the morning

 

 

These will fill you up and is a great breakfast to start on, porridge oats are a good source of slow release energy. I sometimes just have strawberries with them, whatever you do, do not use bananas it does not come out nice.
ENJOY XX
Tony Martin brainfood

 

 

 

 

STARBUCKS Vs COSTA: Who wins you decide.

What is there to say about STARBUCKS? What is there to say about Costa? Well, quite a lot I reckon and I like one of them SO much. Think now and decide which one YOU think I like, don’t cheat don’t scroll to the bottom. Read this post decide which one you like and see if we match. So…….here we go:
STARBUCKS (for me) is the pink little bunny sitting in the corner, doe eyed waiting for you to notice him. His holding a bouncy ball waiting for you to come and play. This is the coffee shop that is fun, it knows about adult stuff but it still likes sucking on chuppa chups. The coffee is good (really good) but again it is fun they are fun flavours, my favourite being the White chocolate mocha. This takes me back to when I was a kid, not that I touched coffee when I was a kid I would have been bouncing off the walls at that age. It reminds me of the cowboy with the glasses, the pure white innocence of THE MILKY BAR. Not so innocent if you look at the CALORIE COUNT, (just a little tip, ask it to be skinny and add sugar free syrup for a healthier option)  but all coffees from these kind of places are like that, it IS an indulgence it is a treat. Almost every STARBUCKS I have been in it’s hustle and bustle, and sometimes that isn’t a bad thing it wakes you up its vibrant, energetic and welcoming. Started in 1971 they have far exceeded themselves…. TAX, TAX, TAX, I can almost hear people shouting. MP’s expense scandal I shout back holding my placard with obscenities on it. Starbucks as I said is a fun place a place to take gran, you even have a lady grinning excitedly at you from every cup you look at.

And then you have COSTA! Costa is the big boy, wearing a pair of DM’s but with a suit to match. Costa wants to wake you up but he wants to wake you up with a shake, a shout in the ear and a word of motivation to get your ass out of bed. Costa wants to get things done he is the business man in a field full of clowns. The cups are almost regal in presentation no cheeky gimmicks……’your in Costa ya having a coffee and ere is one of our cups to prove it’. Their brand is what it says on the tin or in this case……what it says on the cup. The Costa joints that I have been in are reserved in comparison, no one talks loud it’s peaceful and you can get work done. I actually have a thermal cup from Costa and it goes everywhere with me. My favourite drink? Caramel latte and as the Barista told me the other day the milk has to be bang on 140 degrees, no more no less. My 2nd choice (as with Starbucks) is the CAFE MOCHA a slightly serious coffee, that stares across the table from under its brow mocking you with the sweetness of chocolate ‘ go on, go on I dare you to sprinkle!’
Say what you like about both these place….over priced, over rated just for a coffee. I don’t think so because you see, you’re not just paying for the coffee. Your paying for the ambience your paying for the welcome, the training that the person has put in to making you a ‘damn fine coffee’ (a scene reminiscent of ‘ Twin Peaks). In both places your paying for lounging about (if you can get one) on a big soft sofa whilst you take a break from the rushing around. Go ahead you deserve it and why not, afterwards you feel spoilt and don’t tell me you don’t.
Let’s not get into the whole tax evasion thing we could go on for days but, according to THE GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER :

Starbucks has made a small profit for the first time in the UK in 17 years with 791 outlets including franchised owned, the pre-tax profit was £1.05m.  Not a figure to be sniffed at and then we come to COSTA once again: Sales at Costa owned by Whitbread rose 17.2% in the first quarter of 2015 with profits estimated as early as April at £1.4bn.
These figures indicate who is the major player in the annihilation of a coffee bean placed in a grinder. Whichever way you look at it and despite the figures personally and almost privately we all have our favourite escape.
Yep you guessed it I FRICKING LOVE COSTA! Give me a Costa now…..give me a Costa at night, morning, now, now and then some more now………I could go on but you get the general idea.
Comment below with what is your favourite chain, and the 1st choice of drink. Give me some ideas and tastes to try. Happy caffine-ating people.

 

Tony Martin

Healthy lunch with SWEET POTATOES

We have been going slimming world now for about 31 weeks and what started out as a way to lose weight changed into a complete life change and brain reprogram. So far to date I and my partner have lost bang on the nose 3 stone in weight each. When i became a taxi driver I ballooned from 12 stone right up to 16 stone 10 (do the math). My partner is an education as she comes up with a lot of meal ideas, and because of the plan we never go hungry. And that’s exactly what slimming world is, it is not a diet but a healthy eating plan a re-education of how you view food, so here we go with the latest invention.

 

sweet pots

 

SWEET POTATOES WITH BACON, ONION AND PEPPERS.

  1. Bake the sweet potatoes in a fan oven  mark 200 until they are soft inside (make sure to prick with a fork first)
  2. Cook lean or medallions of bacon in a non stick pan with a few sprays of fry light cooking oil
  3. Chop one onion and 2 peppers (any colour) and toss into the bacon and cook together
  4. Once the potatoes are soft half and scoop out the inside and place into a separate bowl
  5. Once the bacon mix is cooked to taste, chop and place in the bowl with the mush from the potatoes.
  6. Mix well and combine together and place back into the skins of the sweet potatoes
  7. Add a sprinkling of grated cheese on top ( if you are on the slimming world plan either syn the cheese (weighed) or count it as your HEA
  8. Serve with a massive side salad
Sweet potatoes with bacon, peppers and onion
Sweet potatoes with bacon, peppers and onion

 

Those of you on the Slimming world plan will know all about the syns that you could add to this recipe, having said that we had the cheese as our HEA, so it is completely syn free. Those of you not on this plan SYN FREE and FREE FOODS basically means (believe it or not) you can eat as much of this as you want.

Enjoy  xxx

 

Tony Martin