My Favourite Granola

Hey guys!

So I always loved granola and I was extremely disappointed when I found out that the majority of commercially bought granolas are full of nasty ingredients – as the base is a pretty healthy one – oats, nuts and seeds – so I decided to start making my own – I generally use the same basic recipe and then just add something different depending what I have in the house! The following is the recipe I generally use:

1 cup wholemeal oats

1 tbsp coconut oil/any other oil hat hasn’t got a strong flavor – I have also found peanut oil works pretty well

1 tbsp cacao powder

2 tbsp almonds

2 tbsp mixed seeds (I get a mix which contains sunflower and pumpkin seeds with a few pine nuts)

1 tbsp raw honey (or agave nectar if you prefer this but I find honey gives that nice sticky texture)

Instructions

  1.  Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl (this is where you can add some dried fruits or different nuts of your choice – sometimes I like to add pecans or dates)
  2. Once all the dry ingredients are mixed in well together add the honey and coconut oil (melted) and mix everything to an even consistency once again.
  3. then place the mixture on a tray lined with baking paper and place in a preheated oven at 180Β°C for approximately 10 minutes until the mixture is a bit toasted but not burnt.
  4. Finally remove from the oven and leave to cool – once the mixture has cooled I usually place them in mason jars or containers, refrigerate and then use as required!

I love to add this to my greek yoghurt in the morning or just use it as a sweet snack when I am craving something sweet – Hope you like the recipe and let me know if you try it out and any nice additions you may come up with!


Amy

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Which shoes? πŸ‘ πŸ‘‘πŸ‘’πŸ‘žπŸ‘Ÿ

Hey guys!

So this post is inspired by a discussion/experiment we had in the gym a while back ☺️… as you all probably know there are a multitude of shoe options for workouts including lifting shoes, Crossfit shoes, Crossfit speed shoes, running shoes, barefoot shoes, etc. etc. and very often I get asked – but which shoes should I wear? And which are best?… and, as with most things, the answer to this isn’t straightforward 😐…
Let’s start with the difference between the shoes – so weight lifting shoes tend to have a rigid heeled sole so it’s as if you are on a slight wedge which is super hard; running shoes tend to have soft cushioned soles which are relatively thick (depends on brand and model) in order to reduce impact on striking the ground; now Crossfit shoes are in between they are flatter with less cushioning but not as hard as the weight lifting shoes – the speed versions tend to be lighter and a bit softer than the non speed variety; and finally barefoot shoes are meant to emulate the barefoot feel so they have little to no cushioning and are not rigid at all…. Now onto the real question – which ones are right for you? first you need to choose which athlete of the below you are:

I am an outdoor runner Β πŸƒπŸΌβ€β™€οΈπŸƒ– if this is you – especially if you do a lot of road running – you should definitely invest in a pair of good and well cushioned running shoes – the cushioning is of utmost importance to protect your knees and body from the impact of the floor… when it comes to choosing between which running shoes – I strongly suggest you have your feet checked out for pronation – this along with running style and usual distance should all be taken into consideration to determine the right type of running shoe for you (there are a multitude of articles which compare the brands and latest models out there – though very commonly mentioned are Saucony, Asics and Nike)

I do CrossFit/Functional training and focus more on long endurance style workouts or lower weights – if this is you I strongly recommend the speed TR version of the Reebok CrossFit shoes (I believe Nike do something very similar for indoor training) – these have a pretty flat and sturdy sole but are also lightweight and pretty flexible for a little bit of running or those burpees and box jumps.

I do CrossFit/Functional training and like to lift pretty heavyΒ πŸ‹πŸΌβ€β™€οΈπŸ‹πŸΌ- Β in this case you need the classic CrossFit shoes – so the nanos or the metcons – these have nice and sturdy flat soles as the speed version does but they are a little heavier – this extra weight comes with a lot of extra stability which is super helpful when you come to lift those heavier weights.

I do a lot of Weight Lifting … HEAVY! –Β  in this case I would strongly recommend you try out some lifting shoes – they can add some kilos onto your lifts pretty quickly – but beware of becoming reliant on these shoes – they are nice, sturdy and rock solid so they really help you keep your balance – but this doesn’t mean you should use them every time you lift heavy.

I do a mix of everything – so in this case I suggest the speed TRs as they are nice all rounders and light and easy – though if you often take long runs I do believe you should have a specific shoe for those runs as your knees will thank you later.

What about barefoot?Β Those of you that know me know that I love training barefoot – and with good reason – all that stability offered by flatter shoes – there is no better stability than having your bare feet in contact with the ground! So I like to mix it up especially with lifting – sometimes lifting shoes, sometimes nanos, sometimes barefoot, etc… It is also great for my confidence – that I can lift a weight no matter what the shoes I am wearing❣️

So I in fact have a pair of all types of shoe I mentioned (see picΒ  βœŒπŸ»πŸ˜πŸ™ˆ) but I collected them over time and now select according to what workout I plan to do πŸ’ͺ🏻☺️ – FYI my first pair were the speed TRs (these are the purple and orange ones in the pic) πŸ‘ŠπŸ»

I hope you found some useful info in this post and should you want to ask something just comment below and I can try to answer πŸ€·πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ

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πŸ’ Cherry & Oat Muffins πŸ’

Hey guys and girls πŸ‘‹πŸ»

So I reallly like my sweets (in case you haven’t realized πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚) so I’m constantly looking for new and healthier ways to make something that will satisfy my sweet tooth – and this is one of my favourites πŸ™ˆπŸ˜Š these cherry and oat muffins are easy to take with you for breakfast or have as a healthier dessert option – I often make them on sundays as part of my meal prep – also you can most definitely play around with the different fruits instead of cherries if you have any other preferences or cherries aren’t in season ☺️

The ingredients are:

1 cup oats (I use wholemeal Quaker Oats)

3 tbsp Greek yoghurt (I use the 2% fat but any will do ☺️)

2 scoops Protein powder of your choice (I used ON vanilla and chocolate)*

1/2 cup of chopped cherries πŸ’

200ml soya milk (or any other milk ☺️) 

1 tsp baking powder 

Coconut oil/butter/your choice of fat to line muffin tins

A sprinkle of cinnamon 

Dates for garnish

Method:

  1. Place the Greek yoghurt, oats, milk, protein & baking powder in a bowl and mix together (hand mixing is sufficient as you want to keep the chunkiness of the oats to add to the texture) 
  2. Then stir in the cherries πŸ’ and the cinnamon 
  3. Line the muffin tins with coconut oil (or your preferred fat) and preheat the oven to 200β€’C
  4. Distribute the mixture between muffin tins (you should get about 7-10 muffins depending on the size of your muffin tins) 
  5. Then top the muffins with a chopped date (or any other garnish you prefer) and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes
  6. When golden brown remove the muffins and leave to cool – and then eat away 😍

I hope you like the recipe and let me know what you think if you give it a try ❣️☺️

*I know some people are not so keen on protein powders (I use them to help me get in enough protein) but you can easily replace this with about ten dates soaked in hot water which you blend and add to the mixture and about 3 tbsp of raw cacao added in there too β˜ΊοΈβ˜ΊοΈπŸ‘ŠπŸ»πŸ‘ŠπŸ»

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Why Bar Complex?

Hey everyone πŸ‘‹πŸ» 
So those of you who know me know I ❀️ bar complexes – but I also ❀️ burpees – so I might be a bit crazy 😜.. but my love for bar complexes comes from what an amazing effect they have on your performance in general – in workouts and in lifting! 

Sooo – maybe I should start off this post with the definition of a bar complex – a bar complex is a group of interconnected movements (generally weight lifting movements – hence the ‘bar’) which are generally done in close succession with the same weight… A bar complex is very often given with a stipulation of either time or that you cannot let go of the bar during the complex πŸ‹πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ… I tend to find that you either love these complexes or simply hate them – but either way – the important question is why is this useful as part of our training?

Especially in CrossFit WODs where we have to cycle through movements and lifts quickly (think DT – 5 rounds of 12 Deadlifts, 9 Hang power cleans and 6 Jerks) or do multiple reps in succession (think DT or even Grace etc.) these complexes are fantastic for preparing your body and your mind (and your muscles) for these kind of workouts.. Why? -they help to train your grip strength, to learn how to catch short periods of rest with the barbell off of the floor and also train your mental strength to push through those last few reps…. I like to experiment with movements that naturally flow into one another and I generally program them into an EMOM so as to push you to learn how much rest you really require… I also find that these complexes are a great way to practice heavier than usual lifts and a bit more fun than your avearage 5 sets of 5 back squats for example… These are also a fantastic way to track your progress as the more bar complexes you do the stronger you will become and the heavier you can load your bar for the same complexes… So – I think a natural end to this post is to give you three complexes I really love to do and which I think are super for tracking progress:

1 – The Bear 🐻 Complex – this one is a classic that I surely will not take the credit for – this is basically 5 rounds of 7 sets of 1 clean, 1 front squat, 1 push press, 1 back squat, 1 push press – the only rule being that you have to do the 7 sets in succession without releasing the bar (i.e. touch and go) – then you may rest between rounds as required.

2 – EMOM 12′ 1 Squat Snatch + 2 Hang Snatch + 3 Overhead Squats – I loved doing this one as I really got the chance to practice my snatch (which is very shakey on a good day) but the more I do it the better it gets and this was a really fun way to practice it.

3 – 5 Rounds of 3 sets of 2 Squat Cleans, 2 Front Squats and 2 Push Jerks unbroken – This was another super fun one which is an absolute leg killer.. This is on similar lines to the bear complex in that the three sets must be unbroken but following that you may rest between rounds as needed.

So these are my top three bar complexes at the moment but I try to create a new one every week so I might have more updates at a later date!

Hope you enjoyed this post and found something useful and if you try out any of these complexes and have any comments just drop me a line below!

Amy

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What weight should I use?Β 

Hey Everyone πŸ‘‹πŸ»

If you have landed here it is probably because you ask yourself/your coach this question very often and just can’t seem to figure out how to answer it.. As a CrossFit Coach, I felt the need to write this post about what weight to choose during a workout (generally any kind of CrossFit or crosstraining or functional training workout will require you to perform some kind of weight bearing exercise).. I am asked this by more than one person in every class I coach – and I get it πŸ‘πŸ» – you don’t want to over exaggerate but at the same time you don’t want to finish the workout and regret not having taken more weight πŸ‹πŸΌ- I completely understand and I have completely been in both those scenarios and have been equally frustrated by both of them 😨… So – the big question- how can you choose your own weights correctly? – this isn’t a foolproof method and you are definitely going to have days where this goes wrong but my 5 top tips are:

1 – Determine your mood – this is especially for those of you who, like me, though training is the most fun part of your life, it is not the only part of your life.. you need to check in with your mood – are you tired today? Have you ate well and drank enough water? How did you sleep yesterday? Did you have a stressful day at work? Basically if you are angry/stressed/happy you can handle more weight; if you are feeling sluggish or lethargic – listen to your body and don’t push too much today – you can leave it for next time! βœŒπŸ»πŸ™ƒ

2 – Go with your instinct! No one knows you better than you do – yes sometimes you need that extra kick up the butt (cue good coach) but – in general you have a very good idea of what you can handle so you will instinctively be thinking of a number and as a rule of thumb you should stay within +/- 5kg of that.

3 – Invest in a good gym and a coach you trust (you don’t need a personal trainer for this – but you need a coach that you can trust and will take the time with you to help you determine the best weight for you) – if you do not trust your coach for whatever reason this is a problem which you should address – Is it because you lack confidence in yourself? – if this is the case you need to try push your boundaries; see if your coach is right! Or is it because your coach never takes notice of you (cue – time to look for a better coach)? Maybe there is a lack of communication? What is the reason for this? No need to overanalyse – but THIS is a key thing and – from a coach perspective – can be very hard to develop as it is very subjective but is crucial to progress πŸ’ͺ🏻πŸ’ͺ🏻

4 – Always look at volume of reps and intensities and the particular movement in question – so if you do something like CrossFit there is always a so called ‘Rx’ or ‘as prescribed’ weight – this is a super indicator of what weight would work for you – before you kill me – No I am not suggesting you go with that weight but from that weight you can determine if this was meant to be easily cyclable or if you should be struggling with every rep.. What do I mean? so for example let’s take Power Cleans in the workout ‘Grace’ – generally for a mid-volume, intense workout such as this one is – the as prescribed weight is 43kg – which for the pros is pretty easy to move around so find the weight that for you would be as easy to move around – this is your ‘comfortable weight’; from then on if the prescribed weight on cleans is 30kg you know that this is a workout where the reps are high or the intensity is high as now you need to be able to cycle the bar faster and quicker – therefore you are going to take a lower weight than usual – but if it is 50kg then reps are low or intensity is low and you can handle a bit more than usual… As you get stronger this ‘comfortable’ weight will get higher and higher and closer and closer to that as prescribed weight but this can be a good starting point… so Recap look at number of reps, time caps & expected intesities or unbroken reps (your coach should be able to answer these questions pretty easily) and this should help you make that decision a bit more easily.

*EDIT* 

4A – My gracious WOD partner reminded me that another awesome thing to do that a lot of us do is to keep a LogBook type thing to log what weights you used on which date for what workout – this is a great way to track your progress πŸ’ͺ🏻πŸ’ͺ🏻

******

5 – Finally, DO NOT OVERTHINK! – as a coach I see this on a regular basis where a member will stare at the weights and try to imagine and plan and hope for some divine inspiration in the meantime… Realistically this is one workout which is a maximum of one hour long – in the grand scheme of things it is only a small piece of the puzzle – warm up and practice the movement with increasing weights – when the weight feels right- GO WITH IT!! If you feel it was too easy (usually the case) you know this for next time – If it is too heavy you can always drop down the weight!

So these are my tips – but something I really wish to point out is – if your technique is not quite down yet you SHOULD NOT be lifting heavier weights even if you are strong enough to do so! First get the technique in he bag with that lower weight – once you have that technique you will surely be able to fly with the heavier weights – but lifting heavy with bad form is not only VERY DANGEROUS but it is also very hard to fix in the future… I hope this helps and if you have any questions or any additionaly advice feel free to comment below!


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Egg Fried Pasta 🍝 

This is another super easy favourite of mine for a quick meal when I don’t have time to plan and my cupboards are empty πŸ€·πŸΌβ€β™€οΈπŸ€·πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ it’s basically an alfreddo pasta dish which is really simple to put together and really tasty πŸ˜‹.. For a gluten free option you could choose gluten free pasta or rice – it would also taste great I just tend to choose wholemeal pasta since I prefer the texture and I find it’s easy on my tummy ☺️☺️ so the ingredients are:

30g boiled pasta or rice of your choice 🍚

2 eggs and 2 egg whites beaten together 🍳

Tuna (or any fish of your choice) 🐟

1/3 Ripe avocado πŸ₯‘

1 large tbsp Greek yoghurt (0% fat)

A splash of lemon juice πŸ‹

Salt, pepper and a pinch of paprika 🌢

Basically once you’ve cooked the pasta you just need to drain it and place it back in the pot and ‘stir-fry’ it with the egg mixture and spices (salt, pepper and paprika) on medium heat ☺️ – it is very important to continuously stir the mixture otherwise you will get a pasta omelette πŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆ – once the egg stops being goo-ey (usually around 10 mins) then remove the mixture from the pot and let it settle for 10 minutes..

In the meantime begin to blend the avocado with the Greek yoghurt and lemon juice and once you have a nice consistency take it out of the blender and stir in the tuna.. by now the pasta should have cooled a little so just mix it all together and voila… I tend to put snow peas or sugar snaps on the side too and have a couple of energy balls for dessert πŸ™ˆ (check out the pic below)… 🀀 Yummy!


Give it a try and let me know what you think in the comments below ☺️

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The Monster WOD

Hey everyone πŸ‘‹πŸ»

SoΒ  last Friday I had two special occasions in one day – a farewell WOD with a super member all the way from the USA!! and a very good friend’s wedding πŸ‘° where there was an abundance of food and goodies… so they kind of made sense together… basically burn as many calories as possible before we make up for it heavily in the evening πŸ˜‚πŸ˜… The WOD we did in honour of Jared joining us for 6 weeks – it’s a see you soon and not a goodbye – was a team workout called ‘1776’ together where we had to accumulate 1776 total reps between the following movements:

KB SwingsΒ  200

BurpeesΒ  200

Pull upsΒ  200

Push ups 200

Sit upsΒ Β  200

SquatsΒ  200

Cals RowΒ  200

Double UndersΒ  200

DB Push Press 100

Box Jumps 76

And here we are after the killer above:

Jared was an awesome member and an even better WOD partner (who happily took on nearly all the pull ups in exchange for burpees – my favourite – πŸ˜…πŸ˜… who could ask for more πŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆ)

This WOD is super fun and also really motivating since it’s done in teams – so definitely worth a try!

Give it a try πŸ’ͺ🏻
Amy

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πŸͺ Energy Balls πŸͺ

So the very first recipe I wanted to share with you guys are these super amazing energy balls – I usually make these when I’m craving something sweet as they keep me satiated and give me that sweet kick I need πŸ˜… – I absolutely love dates for these types of foods – they are so naturally sweet that they are all you need as a source of sugar πŸ™ƒ so the ingredients are as follows:

  • 1 cup mixed nuts (I used almonds and pecans with a few cashews)
  • 1 cup dates (standard pitted dates are fine – if you use medjool dates you need less)
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon powder
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder (unsweetened)

Super straight forward recipe.. all you need to do is put the nuts in a (nut friendly) blender and blend till they are finely chopped – in the meantime place the dates in some hot water to soften them… once this is done add all the powders to the nuts in the blender and finally the softened dates (they should be soft enough after about 7 mins) and blend away.. and you should get something that looks like the below:


Once you have this mixture you just take heaped teaspoons of the mixtures and roll them up into pretty little balls πŸͺ as you can see below and pop them into the fridge and take out and eat as required πŸ™ƒπŸ˜ƒ


Hope you ❀️ this recipe as much as I do!
Amy

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