Super Tasty Overnight Oats

Breakfast is hands down my favourite meal of the day. I get SO excited about creating new recipes and amazing combos- especially when it comes to oats! This is one of my favourites at the moment as it’s light, quick to make and very summery.

Ingredients:

  • 40g Rolled Oats
  • Half a Tablespoon of Cacao Powder
  • 1 Ripe Banana
  • 4 Strawberries
  • A Handful of Blueberries
  • 100ml of Almond Milk
  • 2 squares of Galaxy Cookie Crumble (optional… but would recommend!)

Recipe:

  1. Measure out 40g of rolled oats and pour them into a bowl.
  2. Put the banana, strawberries, blueberries, cacao powder and almond milk into a blender.
  3. Pour the mixture onto the oats, cover with cling film and leave in the fridge overnight.
  4. Add ALLLLLLLLL the toppings

What I Eat In A Day And Why

For many people the hardest aspect of losing weight, or toning up, is diet. Once you’ve established a routine, exercise quickly becomes addictive, but there is absolutely nothing addictive about choosing a riveta cracker over a chocolate fudge cake.

At

All.

Both the problem, and the benefit, of fitness social media accounts, is that the pictures of victoria secret model lookalikes posing on a Caribbean beach is enough to make you consider whether you can in fact live off a grape a day. But, if you dedicate some serious scrolling time, you’ll learn that the majority of these girls are actually consuming 2000+ calories a day, alongside exercise, they just know exactly what to eat.

So what should you be eating? I have changed, adapted & tweaked my diet frequently over the last four years depending on my goals and shape. Right now, I’m consuming 2000-2500 calories on days which I train Legs, Glutes & Arms and 2000 calories on a day where I train Abs. I separate my calories into 4 or 5 separate meals, as I find eating little and often gives me the best results, and I ALWAYS ensure I’m eating 5+ fruit and veggies a day (being a newly converted pescatraian helps).

This is a typical meal plan for a weight intensive day at the gym for me. It consists of whole foods, fruit, veggies, protein, carbs & healthy fats which all assist in achieving goals on the outside of your body, and making you feel good on the inside too.

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Pre Workout & Breakfast

  • 6 Strawberries
  • 10 Blueberries
  • 1 Banana
  • 4 tablespoons of ‘Oatly’ Oat Drink
  • 2 tablespoons of Coyo Coconut Yoghurt
  • Grenade Caramel Chaos Protein Bar

Using a blender, blend the strawberries, blueberries, banana, oat drink and yoghurt together. Pour into a bowl and then add the chopped up Grenade bar and any excess fruit. Smoothie bowls are a great way to consume a large majority of your 5 a day, and coupling it with a protein bar before your workout gives you the extra energy you need to smash your workout.

 

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Taken with breakfast

Every morning  I take one Zinc tablet and two Peppermint tablets with breakfast. Zinc helps build immunity as well as maintaining hormonal balance and the growth of your skin, hair and nails. Peppermint tablets assist in relaxing your stomach muscles and encourage sufficient digestion.

http://www.hollandandbarrett.com/shop/product/holland-barrett-extra-strength-oil-of-peppermint-capsules-200mg-60005010

http://www.hollandandbarrett.com/shop/product/holland-barrett-high-strength-zinc-tablets-15mg-60005711

 

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Taken after Breakfast (and each meal)

If you suffer with bloating after certain foods, or a big meal, then taking two capsules after eating helps to improve that uncomfortable feeling. Or, if you simply want to aid digestion then these work rapidly in assisting this. I take two after every big meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and then one after my snack.

https://www.philrichardsperformance.co.uk/index.php/super-digestive-enzymes.html

 

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Post Workout & Lunch

  • Tila Coconut Basmati Rice
  • Smoked Salmon
  • Asparagus

This meal takes under 5 minutes to prepare yet it’s filled with complex carbs, healthy fats and a source of veggies. I try to include asparagus with at least two meals a day as it’s a natural diuretic, meaning it’s great at cleansing your digestive system. Substituting salmon for a lean chicken is also a great combination.

 

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Afternoon Snack

  • Narins Oat Crackers
  • 1 Banana
  • 4 scoops of Muscle Food Prutella Hazelnut Spread

This is the perfect snack to have mid-afternoon if you need an extra boost (or to satisfy some sugar cravings). Another one of your five a day ticked off and a great source of protein from the Prutella spread which will continue to assist your muscles throughout the day.

http://www.musclefood.com/prutella-chocolate-hazelnut-spread.html/

 

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Dinner

  • 1/2 cup of Pasta
  • 4 Broccoli Stems
  • 6 Green Beans
  • 2 Stems of Asparague
  • 1/2 cup of Sweetcorn
  • Handle of Mixed Peppers
  • Cod Loin

With my dinner I like to pile on as many veggies as I can, alongside a sufficient carbs and protein hit. This is usually my last source of food during the day, unless I’m particularly hungry and fancy another snack, so I like it to be as filling as possible. Again, substituting the cod with another lean meat is equally as tasty.

This is just an example of one of my week day meal plans. I like to try and mix it up everyday to ensure I still get excited about making and planning food. However, even though I may change the rice to a wholewheat bagel, or substitute pasta for potatoes, I’m still ensuring that I’m consuming good, whole foods, which I enjoy eating and give me the results I want.

What to eat on Ab Day

There is absolutely nothing better than the euphoric post ab workout feeling where you feel like you can in fact officially take on the whole world. However, as many people discover, as SOON as you start eating that lovely, proud ache starts to slowly fade away (as does the immense satisfaction of having a flat stomach). So, to help prolong your now prominent abdominal muscles it’s important to eat incredibly clean throughout the day. If you’re thinking this means endless portions of rabbit food rations then THANK GOD, you’re wrong. Ab Day food is all about healthy fats, low carbs and a LOT of water.

When’s best to eat?

I always find that my abs improve a lot more when my workout coincides with fasted cardio. To ensure I don’t embarrassingly pass out on the treadmill I always have a rather heavy snack at 8/9pm the night before such as cereal, apple and peanut butter or a protein shake. I then complete my cardio of interval sprints around 9am and then move on to abs until 10/10:30am. I then have a light breakfast, healthy lunch, an afternoon snack and a meat orientated evening meal.

Breakfast 

When you finish you’re workout you’re going to be absolutely grade A ready to cry starving so you need something which is going to fill you up, but still not too heavy. My favourite post ab breakfast is an oaty smoothie bowl, which suddenly becomes even more appealing when it’s prepared the night before. So all you have to do when you come crawling through the door is lift it out of the fridge. Amazing.

How to make it:

  • Blend together an apple, banana, raspberries, blueberries, 1 tsp of greek yoghurt, 1 tsp of honey, 1 scoop of protein powder and 75ml of almond milk.
  • Pour over a thin layer of oats in an air tight container and leave to set in the fridge overnight.
  • When serving either enjoy it as it comes or add some fresh fruit on top.

 

Lunch

Think lean. This is the meal where you want to come away feeling as light as you did before eating, whilst still addressing those hunger pains. You want to get your healthy fats in, as well as keeping it INSANELY low carb. The best way to incorporate all this is a simple salmon dish.

How to make it:

  • Grill a fresh salmon fillet, 6 mins on the skin side and 4 mins on the other side.
  • Fry some pumpkin seeds until they turn brown and start popping.
  • Mash together an avocado, sliced red onion, lettuce, lime and coriander.
  • Place mix into a bowl, add the pumpkin seeds, the salmon and slice some feta cheese on top.

*adaption from one of The Body Coaches Lean in 15 meals

 

Snack

My favourite snack during ab day is a simple, light protein pancake with fresh fruit. It’s not too filling and it will help repair and rebuild your muscles from your workout.

How to make it:

  • 2 scoops of protein pancake mix –  I use MyProtein chocolate flavour (best tasting and lowest sugar count) mixed with 3 tsp of milk in a bowl.
  • Place one scoop of coconut oil in a frying pan and push it round evenly
  • Pour the mixture into the frying pan, leave for 1 minute and then flip
  • Add raspberries and blueberries and then finish of with Zero Sugar Syrup (again, MyProtein)

 

Tea 

It’s highly likely that you’re going to be training legs, bum or arms the following day so it’s vital you provide enough calories to ensure you smash the workout. So, whilst still keeping it clean, try and aim for something meat based for your evening meal. One of my favourites is a simple chicken, rice and sweet chilli dish.

How to make it:

  • Boil a packet of golden vegetable rice for 5 minutes
  • Slice a good sized portion of cooked chicken onto a plate
  • Either use a sweet chilli marinade on the chicken or simply drizzle over a sauce
  • Mix the three ingredients together

The 5 minute protein breakfast

For me, breakfast is really tricky. I love having a healthy start to the day, but this unfortunately mean’s that it’s not just a 2 minute cereal and milk job. My brain physically cannot handle complicated recipes and vast ingredients before 8am, so I am glad I have found another quick and healthy alternative to add to my weekly food plan.

13153345_655020767972550_1761629694_n.jpgI am extremely wary of pre-made mixtures of any kind and usually stay far away from trying them, but having heard such good reviews from MyProtein’s chocolate pancake mixture I thought I’d give it a try. The dietary table is impressively clean with just 1g of sugar per 1 and a half scoops alongside only 3g of fat and 32g of protein, so admittedly I was reluctant towards it’s taste, but the results really were amazing.

Here is my 5 minute recipe:

  1. Add 2 scoops of mixture a bowl and add 150ml of semi-skimmed or almond milk
  2. Add any extras to the mix (honey, natural yoghurt, small pieces of fruit)
  3. Fry for 1 minute, flip over and continue for another minute
  4. Add your toppings

13150046_655016941306266_480301379_n.jpgFor toppings I chose to add some berries and a banana alongside MyProtein’s no sugar syrup. This is another product to which I was hesitant about the taste but surprisingly, this tastes exactly like a syrup packed full of sugar. I’ve tested it on a variety of people, none of which could tell the difference. It’s available in both Chocolate and Golden Syrup flavours, as is the pancake mix.

protein powders: what they do and which one is best for you

If taken correctly, protein powders can be extremely beneficial both before and after your workout.  There are many different types of protein powder with specific ingredients to aid the likes of weight loss, the building of muscle and the painful ache after an intensive workout. Here are the best proteins for all three.

13140778_652249054916388_1285792646_n.jpgWeight Loss
If you are looking to lose weight then the best thing you can do with protein powder is to use it as a replacement meal. Whey protein is ideal for dropping body fat due to its high Leucine count and ability to help maintain a high metabolism throughout the day. This helps to successfully burn a steady amount of calories, as well as filling you up until your next meal. Whey Protein is sold in most stores with a health and fitness supplement section, as well as online retailers such as Protein World and MyProtein.

There are a lot of variations to Whey powder, but for weight loss you are best using a lean muscle powder rather than something aimed towards building mass. If you have a sugar related illness or you suffer from acne then it’s important to check the sugar content. Unless stated with ‘low sugar’ some powders can have up to 40g per serving in order to produce the flavour.

13101029_652249034916390_1961588200_n.jpg Building Muscle
If you’re looking to build muscle then you need to be eating a lot of protein based meals such as chicken and beef, as well as having protein shakes. There’s a lot of debate as to whether you should be having protein before or after your workout, but to me it’s personal to how you feel once you’ve tried both. I tend to feel too full if I have a protein shake before my workout, therefore I always stick to making one after a session.

The best protein for building muscle is also Whey protein, but one which is aimed towards mass. Being a milk-based protein it has a high level of amino acids as well as peptides, which increase the blood flow in your muscles. The recommended intake for the successful building of muscle is 40g of powder after a workout, which is the equivalent of 3-4 large scoops and 2 scoops if you’re taking it before a workout.

13162147_652249018249725_1912432186_n.jpg Supporting The Ache-
If you’re just looking for a powder which will soothe the ache after an intensive workout then Casein is the best protein to have. Unlike other protein powders, Casein is a slow releasing protein with has a steady flow of amino acids, which last hours after consuming it. Casein alone isn’t known for building a lot of muscle, which is why it works so well in simply comforting the ache. However, if you combine Casein and Whey protein together then you will start to see an increase in muscle mass. So, when you’re buying the powder make sure that it doesn’t contain any other type of protein.

As Casein is a dairy based protein, with no traces of meat or soy, this also benefits your colon health. Exercise is also a key factor in maintaining a healthy colon, therefore coupling these together is extremely beneficial.

13115905_652249028249724_671657891_n.jpgHow To Make It Taste Nice
It’s no myth that some protein powders mixed with just water or milk have a very unappealing taste, especially if you use over 20g of powder. Luckily, there are lots of ways to improve them. My favourite is to make a protein smoothie. I add strawberries, banana, raspberries, blueberries and half a low-fat natural yoghurt to 4 scoops of protein powder. Not only are you getting your daily intake of fruit but also around 40g of protein in one drink.

Another way to consume the powder is to mix it into natural yoghurt followed by some oats or granola. This can also be made into a filling breakfast by adding some honey and some berries. Protein pancakes are also a great way to injest a large amount of powder. Simply add your protein to a pancake mix of ¼ cup of oats, ¼ cup of cottage cheese and ½ cup of egg whites, blend all the ingredients and then fry. Adding peanut butter or various fruits help to make your pancakes taste even better.