,I'm not one for drinking protein shakes very often, but sometimes after an early morning training session I will whizz one up for a protein hit post workout, especially if I am craving chocolate!
I have tried making them in so many ways, but this is definitely the best and my absolute favourite! It's so thick and creamy and comparable to a McDonalds Milkshake for those reasons so here it is, my favourite Chocolate Milkshake recipe:
1 Scoop of Whey Protein - I use the Extreme Milk Chocolate from Optimum Nutrition
1 Frozen Banana
200ml Unsweetened Almond Milk or Skimmed Cows Milk
15g Meridian Almond Butter (if using Almond Milk I don't add it)
5 Ice Cubes
Put it all in a food processor and blend until thick, creamy and ready to drink...or eat with a spoon!
Easy peasy and a really quick, delicious way of getting a bit more protein into your diet!
A lot of people consider nuts to be a great snack, and a healthy alternative to their usual processed high fat foods, and they do have many benefits as outlined below. However, you have to be aware of their high calorie and high fat content.
A portion of nuts is probably a lot smaller than you think. Have a look at the picture above, would you guess 100 calories to be only 3 Brazil nuts? I'm guessing not. It's always good to be aware of portion recommendations as it's very easy to eat a large quantity of nuts in one sitting. However, this could be where those extra calories are sneaking in, and could explain why you're not losing weight.
If you consider your diet to be very good, you're exercising regularly but not losing weight, but you are snacking on nuts, check how many you're eating. Don't necessarily cut them out, just stick to a smaller portion.
Here are some of the benefits of eating nuts:
1. Walnuts contain the most antioxidants of all the nuts and are great at protecting the body from the cellular damage that contributes to some serious diseases, cancer and ageing. They also have the highest Omega 3 content which fight inflammation. Not only that, but if you're struggling with PMS symptoms, the Manganese in Walnuts may help reduce this!
2. Cashews are most rich in Zinc and Iron. Iron can help prevent Anemia and Zinc is essential for healthy vision and a good immune system. On top of that they're also high in Magnesium which may improve memory!
3. Almonds contain the most fiber and are the richest in Vitamin E, and are a good choice of snack in moderation if trying to lose weight. They are less calorie dense which means you can enjoy more of them!
4. Pecans have been found to considerably lower LDL cholersterol levels and reduce plaque formation in the arteries therefore improving heart health! The Vitamin E found in Pecans may delay progression of degenerative neurological diseases.
5. A single Brazil nut contains more than 100% of our daily Selenium, a mineral which may help prevent some cancers. However, keep in mind consuming high levels of Selenium may be harmful, so stick to one portion.
6. Macadamia nuts are the most calorie dense. They contain the highest level of monounsaturated fat and this type of fat is known to reduce LDL cholesterol and blood pressure.
7. Pistachios are the least calorie dense with only 4 calories per nut. They are a great source of Potassium a mineral essential for a healthy nervous system, as well as Vitamin B6 which lifts your mood. Not only that but they slow your eating pace as you have to remove each nut from the shell.
8. Hazelnuts are an all around nut. Just like some of the others, they contain high levels of monounsaturated fats and Vitamin E.
I get told time and time again that 'I don't have time to exercise' or 'I don't have time to cook healthy meals', but how can this be possible?
It's so common to find women who hate other women nowadays, and it's such a shame. Some women, or girls, perceive other females to be competition, and as a result they aren't always very kind.
"A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle"
In other words, by giving kindness, praise and help to another woman, you will not lose anything yourself. It will not make your successes any less, you will not lose out by supporting others. The only change is the positive effect it will have on them.
Girl Power is all about creating a community of women supporting and uplifting each other. Let's create an environment that celebrates every one of us in every way by joining together and praising our achievements and successes.
It's so important to create a nurturing environment where we can learn and grow and in turn reach our goals and beyond.
Other women shouldn't be a threat to you, and you shouldn't feel as though you have to compete. One small act of kindness can go a long way, and while it's better to say nothing at all rather than something nasty, it would be better still if we could all say something nice.
Pay someone a compliment, give them a smile as you pass them in the street or show kindness in some other way. It doesn't need to be big, but it does need to happen.
One person at a time, we can make a change, and create the Girl Power community celebrating each and every one of us together.
When it comes to successfully losing weight or improving your fitness levels and health long term it can be the small changes that make a difference, so here are my top swaps to help you successfully change your lifestyle for the better:
We are always being told how good water is for us and how we should drink more of it. I happen to love drinking water and have no problems in drinking plenty throughout the day but I know a lot of people find that really hard.
So how much water should we be drinking?
National guidelines suggest 6 - 8 glasses a day, but this can be confusing. How big are the glasses? How full are they? Various organisations will have different answers. For example, the NHS recommend 1.2L a day, whereas some studies have proven 2L is correct and some say 3L! It depends totally on your body, and what it needs as we are all different. It's always wise to remember that we take in a lot of fluid from eating food, however that isn't adequate alone.
There are lots of products out there to help you drink more water and one of my favourites are the HydrateM8 bottles below.
They're motivational, pretty and really clear to understand. As long as you make sure you drink when you're supposed to according to the lines and times on the back, you should have no problem tracking your water intake and therefore ensuring you are staying hydrated!
Another great way to encourage water intake is by adding healthy flavours. For example, I love lemon slices in my water. It tastes delicious and I totally forget it's water! You can even buy 'Fruit Infusing' water bottles so it couldn't be any easier.
Let me know how you like to drink your water and any other products you use to drink more. There's many useful tools out there to help, so no more excuses, start drinking now!
Girl Power are Women's Personal Training Specialists in Burgess Hill offering Personal Training in a Private Studio.
Everyday women come up to me saying they would like to tone up, get fit and try lifting weights, but the men in the gym and free weight area intimidate them, and it puts them off.
A lot of women find it embarrassing trying new things that put them out of their comfort zone, especially in front of men in the gym and that's why Girl Power was formed.
I am passionate about teaching women how to lift weights, get fit and try the exercises they want to try without any pressure or embarrassment.
Our Personal Training Studio is completely private, taking away any insecurities and embarrassment, and is a nurturing place to learn new things.
During One to One sessions we will be the only two people in the studio, so you'll feel safe and secure and more relaxed when exercising.
If you're a woman wanting to be trained by a women in a private environment that's just for you and other like minded women, click on the contact page and get in touch.