My Favourite Ways To Use Blend Brothers High Protein Savoury Blend

Blend Brothers High Protein Savoury Blends are the world’s first high protein herb and spice mix. Each delicious flavour is made with quality herbs and spices, combined with 20 grams of natural pea protein to boost the protein content of your meal, whilst adding incredible flavour. You can read my full review of Blend Brothers Sauces here.

You may have already seen some of my recipes using these fantastic products, but if you missed them then here’s just a few….

Mexican Pibil Pulled Chicken
High Protein Chunky Vegetable Soup
Healthy Mexican Chilli Nachos
Easy Thai Spiced Potato Cakes
Thai Spiced Baked Chicken
High Protein Mexican Fried Rice

But I also wanted to show you how quick and easy these products are to use in your day to day cooking. Here’s just a few of my favourite ways to use them.

Sprinkled over chicken as it cooks…

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Mixed into plain Greek yoghurt for a tasty low calorie, high protein dip….

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Or even stired in after cooking to add flavour and extra protein!

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They are so incredibly versatile I always have a tin on my kitchen worktop ready to throw into everything!

If you’ve got some innovative ways that you use Blend Brothers Sauces then make sure you share them with me and the Blend Brothers on social media!

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When it comes to fuelling your body for a rugby game, the prominent focus should be carbs. Why? Because carbohydrates are our bodies primary fuel source for energy, of which you’ll need a lot of during an intense 80 minute rugby match.

Ideally you need to ensure you are consuming adequate amounts of carbs the day before a match, but for the purposes of this article I am going to make some recommendations on what you can eat on match day to ensure you are fuelled up, then what you can eat/drink post match for optimal recovery.

But how do I know? Well my background is in sports nutrition, and I was also chief cook (and head cheerleader) to my ex rugby player boyfriend. I spent 4 years preparing various pre and post match meals, so I’ve sussed out some of the best meals and snacks.

carrot-cake-overnight-oats
10am -Begin the day with a bowl of porridge oats with a scoop of protein powder. Or try my Carrot Cake Overnight Oats. This will provide you with plenty of slow burning carbs and protein to prevent muscle breakdown. You want to eat your largest meal around 4 hours before the game, with snacks just before hand to ensure you don’t have vast amounts of food sitting on your stomach – that’s never going to end well.
protein-flapjack-image
1pm – You are likely to be on your way to or already at the ground, so snacks that are portable are necessary. I would recommend a flapjack and piece of fruit like a banana. You want to continue to fill up your glycogen (carb) stores with the oats, and the banana will provide you with some faster acting energy from the natural sugars – perfect for getting out for those warm up sprints. You could try making my Easy Banana Nut Flapjacks which provide everything you need and are delicious.
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3pm – Match (you may want to use an isotonic drink at half time and fruit if you can stomach it).

5pm – Immediately post match you want to get in some fast acting protein such as a whey protein based shake.

Chipotle-chicken-chilli
7pm – Within around 1 hour of being off the pitch you want to try and get a decent meal down. Ideally something with adequate carbs to refuel the empty tank and food based protein. I would recommend something like my Smoky Chipotle Chicken served with rice.

Now whilst I do know a lot about fuelling the body for exercise and I make a mean protein cheesecake, I know very little about the rules of a rugby match. So I’m off to read Maxinutrition’s Ultimate Bluffers Guide to Rugby so at least I can pretend to understand when the ref’s whistle goes…

Sarah Hipps is the Founder and Editor of Fullaro.com. A previous D1 athlete and Sr. Editor for Spotmegirl.com.

I have belly laughed at many of her articles, which is why I am honored to have her as my very first guest article author. And here it is – enjoy!

Why Lifters Are Constantly Single…

First, there are many fit couples out there and we love you for the inspiration you give us fit singles with your beautiful ab filled pics, but for a lot of fitties, singledom is a real thing. It can be hard to believe given that fitness junkies tend to be of an exclusive level of hotness, but still. So how on Earth can a lifter be single? Let me explain…

We’re Difficult to Eat Around

We may not always say something, but sometimes we can’t help but throw side eyes at your choice of pizza in the morning or the extra dessert you order after our dinner date. Also, no one wants to share a plate of chicken and broccoli at a restaurant. We’re sort of on our own with that.

arrested-dev-side-eye

The Gym is Our Baby

As in, we may reject you if you try to make us change our gym schedule repeatedly. Or if you make it sound like we choose the gym over you. FYI, the gym was there before you, and if you keep giving us crap for “needing to go to the gym”, it will surely be there after you.

zone-out

People Think We’re Narcissistic

Sorry, seriously, but its just when you put this much work in, you feel a weird need to check it a lot. Whether its just a quick shirt lift to check the abs or a hamstring check while we’re window shopping. You call it narcissistic; we call it loving our hard work.

flexing

We Have High Standards

As every person really should, but ours can be slightly different. We don’t need someone with rock hard abs, but we do need someone who takes care of himself or herself and who has a sufficient amount of motivation and level of commitment. It may not be to lifting, but it has to be to something. We can’t carry the full load of motivation here.

starndards

Sometimes, Too High…

We may be picky when we say, “but he/she doesn’t even lift” but when you spend a lot of time perfecting your health/physique, that could be a really big factor down the line. We’re just cutting it out before it becomes a whole thing later.

abs

We’re Intimidating?

This isn’t really true, I don’t think I’m intimidating or many of my lifter friends are, but to others, we can be. Whether it’s our size, our dedication, or how good we actually look, there are people who find those things intimidating. Maybe you assume we’re already taken because we’re attractive. Maybe you think we wouldn’t want you if you’re not into lifting the way we are. Maybe you’re worried we’ll break you with our hugs. Who knows really, but there are many a fitchick who stand alone at the bar because of this.

intimidating

Hope You Like Casual!

For those that are at the gym a lot, sometimes getting dressed up for a dinner feels overrated. Sometimes washing our hair seems like a lot of work since we’re just going to sweat in like 10 hours again anyways. Chucks may be our favorite shoes. If we’re chicks, we have heels, but we aren’t at happy hours as much as we’re having bar time. Also, walking up stairs in heels after leg day is…its not easy. We appreciate your fine dining attempt, but the burger joint around the corner and Netflix works well too.

sweatpants

Protein Protein Protein

If you’re a vegan or a pescetarian, you may hate us. While there are fitness people out there that love their vegan diets, the majority thrives on all things protein – chicken, lamb, pig, cow – which could make us a nightmare to many hardcore animal activists. Not that we don’t care about animals, we just also care how good they taste as well. And if you’re a guy who likes a chick who orders salad every time, HA! We’ll deal with being single then.

meat-eater

It’s Our Thing

While you always want someone you’re dating to be involved in things that are important to you, there are passions in your life that have aspects of being personal. People don’t have to share everything, and for some people, such a big passion that has components of “me, me, me” can be difficult for people to accept. Maybe you lift with us, but you don’t fully grasp that what we are doing with our bodies doesn’t take into consideration what you want our bodies to look like. A fitness junkie would either need someone on the same level and understands, or someone who thinks our personality is so great, they don’t care what we do.

never-will

After reading this, you may be thinking that we cause ourselves to be single. Maybe that’s true, but here’s the thing – for all the things to consider with dating a person in love with fitness, the benefits strongly outweigh the cons. Don’t worry, we’ll lift that weight too.

So where do I start? How did I come to even set about trying to change my physique?

I’ll give you a little background….I was training 7 days a week, eating (what I thought) was a VERY healthy diet. I never drank alcohol, I never indulged in sweets, chocolate, chips or anything I deemed unhealthy, yet my body seemed to be staying the same. In fact if anything I was getting thinner but losing my shape. I know my stuff when it comes to nutrition (or so I thought) and I’ve been into weight lifting for a good few years since I was introduced to it by my partner. I learnt the many benefits of the weights room from my time working at Maximuscle (as it was at the time) and I wasn’t shy of lifting heavy. I ALWAYS made sure I ate enough protein – besides, this is what builds the muscle and shape I longed for – right? But I enjoyed being small and slim so I began to cut back on carbs. I still had them, but a small bowl of porridge with protein powder and a few rye crackers was about as far as it went. My attitude was I don’t need carbs, they won’t get me the abs I dreamed of….

This went on for at least a year or so until I thought ok, something isn’t working. I’ve now introduced more cardio (probably around 30 minutes a day as well as weights) and I’m upping my protein and lowering my carbs little by little (note fat didn’t come into the equation – lean meats and some peanut butter was as far as it went) and nothing is happening. What am I doing so wrong? In January 2015 I thought I would track my intake on My Fitness Pal to see where I was going wrong. Plenty of protein, not too many carbs and a smidge of fat – looks alright to me I thought? I ran it by my fitness family (The Chimps!) and it came to light that I was barely eating any fat and my carbs were extremely low – news to me! This is when Dan Francis (fellow Skinny Chimp ambassador, friend and neighbour) offered to help me. He asked me what my goal was and this I was clear of. I wanted to be small, but I wanted muscle development and shape. The idea of improving my health and tackling some deep rooted eating issues hadn’t even crossed my mind. This was until the moment I came to think about how I felt. Dan asked me about my skin (very dry!) my hair (dry!) how I slept (sleep? What’s that?) and my mood – this is the one that got to me the most. When I thought about how different I had become, how obsessive I had become about cooking my own food, not knowing what was in food and never enjoying a meal for what it was and worrying about when I could hit the gym to work it off, it began to dawn on me I was a different person. I had also become very snappy and short tempered, mostly with my partner. I was no longer the happy-go-lucky person he met that drank gin & tonics on a school night, or shared a packet of sweets whilst watching X Factor – alcohol stops fat burning and don’t even TALK to me about the GI of sweets. I decided this needed to change, all of it. I wanted to get my health back, my selflessness back and to gain some muscle in the process.

The Plan

So I set a goal of my summer holiday which was 6 months away and we (myself and Dan) decided that a carb cycling approach would be best for me. It would allow me to gain muscle without too much fat, and it would also allow me to focus on one day at a time as each would be different. So Dan sent over my macros and I was good to go! Now I won’t lie to you, when Dan said the word’s ‘bulking’ I wanted to cry. I was terrified. I had visions of gaining vast amounts of weight, losing my small frame and being that chubby little school kid again. But with his reassurance and the support of my partner and friend Liza (I’ll come onto these fabulous people) I was ready to go.

 

You might be wondering about training? As I’ve mentioned I have been training for some time so I knew what I needed to do when it came to lifting. Dan just insisted on NO cardio and heavy lifting so that meant low reps and lots of rest periods.
So week 1 – what happened? Did I turn into an enormous fat blob? Ermm – no. Was I still scared? Absolutely! What about my weight? Well – I actually lost weight believe it not. I’m not sure how, but I did! Dan attributed this to some scientific waffle about long term under eating but I was shocked non the less.

Weeks 2 and 3 I began to find my feet, I was determined to hit my macros – especially my carbs and I began to reap the benefits. I began sleeping better and I was starting to enjoy the energy the extra food gave me during training. No longer did I need to peel myself out of bed, I was motivated (probably by the amount of food I had consumed!) to push harder.

By week 4 I was hitting my macros daily and I had started to notice changes to my body. Ok, so I hadn’t grown a bubble butt and the delts of my dreams but I could see shape – hurrah!

It wasn’t all plain sailing and dreamy bowls of oats. I had good days and bad days. I had fat days (I’m still just your average girl) I had days when my IBS would play up which puts me off food altogether. I had days where I wanted to throw in the towel and go back to my safe way of eating that I knew would keep me small and slim. But I’m a stubborn person and when I set myself a goal, god help you if you get in my way. So I always picked myself up after a chat with my partner, Dan, Liza, one of the Chimps or with myself and carried on.

As as my confidence with food grew and I noticed changes in my mood, energy, sleep and body I started to experiment even more with food choices. This might sound strange given I run a recipe blog, but I usually would not eat foods I deemed ‘unhealthy’ and I wanted to rectify this. What did I opt for? CEREAL! Call me crazy but I love cereal so started by planning these into my day. Then chocolate – dark chocolate which is my favourite. As well as bread, wraps and white potatoes (shock horror it’s not a sweet potato!) and by week 6 I was including foods every day I wouldn’t have touched before.

I was on a roll! My body was changing, my hair wasn’t falling out everywhere when I washed it, my skin was noticeably less dry and I was so much happier. What bothered me most was my irritability which had improved massively. I have the most incredible partner who doesn’t deserve a moany, irritable girlfriend, finally I WAS BACK! Oh and did I mention I had a wee booty on the way?….

What about my weight? Well it was increasing slowly (I gained a total of 3.9kg or 8.5lbs from day 1 to the end of my bulk) as per the plan. But so were my shoulders, quads and butt. Finally all the effort I had put into my training was paying off.

By the time I had hit the 3 month half way mark I was like a new person, both inside and out. I was looking at food in a different way. Nothing was ‘unhealthy’ and my attitude towards gaining weight had improved vastly. My need for hand holding had decreased, (which I’m sure Dan, Liza and Terry were all pleased about) and I wasn’t the size of whale despite hitting 400g of carbs on high carb days by the end of this phase – happy days.

 

So now it was time to cut. It was time to see exactly how much muscle I had managed to gain – the bit I was most excited about. But it also meant that the scales were now banned. From this moment on the numbers no longer mattered, it was all about slow steady fat loss whilst preserving any new precious muscle and how I felt. Besides, I would be wearing a bikini on the beach, not a sign round my neck with my weight on it.

There was no drastic cut in macros, just a small decrease to begin with and the additional of 2 x 20 minute HIIT sessions per week. This was sprints in the park or on the treadmill – just for the record I hate running, but I wanted to improve so opted for this. It’s no better/worse than any other form, just my preference.

What about my diet? Well there was no drastic drop in carbs to my surprise. I still always had my bowl of oats or mug cake after training, and always had a bowl of oats (usually drowned in peanut butter) before bed. This suited me as the carbs before bed helped me sleep, and I train first thing in the morning before eating so it was acting as my ‘pre workout’ fuel. Again this doesn’t have anything to do with fat burning, I just prefer to train on an empty stomach and this approach suited me.

Slowly the fat came off, and I could see some real shape to my legs I’d not had before. My shoulders had really improved and I was filling out my bikini bottoms (you know I tried those on weekly!) I wasn’t starving; I wasn’t spending hours and hours on cardio machines or trying to squeeze in two sessions a day. I was still enjoying all the food I had during my ‘bulk’ – albeit in slightly smaller portions, but I was still eating FAR more than I had originally and I could feel myself getting leaner – trust me, nobody was more surprised than me given I still managed to fit my weekly Friday night kebab into my macros!

12 weeks of this, with only a few small tweaks to my macros, cardio increased to 30 minutes HIIT and for the last few weeks an extra 2 x 30 minutes LISS per week and I was ready to hit the beach! I wasn’t exhausted, I wasn’t desperate to fill my face with anything that wasn’t nailed down and I was certainly happier. I even had an ab on the way – a freaking ab!

 

I jetted off to Greece on 1st July with my brand new body, but most importantly with a much healthier attitude towards food and training. I had happier hormones and was ready to enjoy a relaxing holiday without any worries of gaining weight if I indulged. Besides, we only get one life and what if I’d looked back and all I could remember from going away was the fear of weight gain.

before-and-after

 

I had the most incredible time, I ate what I wanted, drank what I wanted and to my surprise I only gained 1.7kg when I returned home. Was it worth it? Yep! Every hummus filled mouthful! I certainly wouldn’t’ have had this outlook in January, so there are a few people I want to thank (apologies in advance for being gushy, honestly it’s really not like me).

Dan – my buddy, neighbour, coach and mentor. You didn’t just tell me what to put in my mouth, you were so incredibly patient with me right from day 1 and continue to be to this day. I couldn’t have done it without you. Can’t wait to start phase two! Oh and you are going to make the most incredible PT dude.

Liza – whenever I was having a ‘I’m going to be a whale and I can’t do it’ moment you were always there to give me a slap via whattsapp. I knew you were a true friend when you let me eat your sweet potato mash in Nandos just so I could ‘hit my carb macros’ – you are a wonderful lady with a wonderful heart. Thank you.

The Chimps – My second family, you guys are freaking awesome! Always so encouraging, positive and supportive, and you ALWAYS have my back when some idiot decides to have a pop. You are all wonderful people are truly inspiring.

Tel – my best friend, my training partner and my boyfriend. You had to endure every single day, you wiped my tears (yep there were lots of those) bulked with me so I didn’t feel self conscience when I gained weight, and weighed out my food for me when I was tired just to name few things. You are my daily inspiration and I love you (I did warn you it would be gushy!)

And finally, thank you to everyone who reads my blog or follows me on social media. Many of you reading this followed my journey thus far and were so supportive. It really kept me going and means SO much – you guys genuinely rock.

The purpose of this post, sharing my progress pictures and my journey so far across my social media channels and this blog post is not to fish for your compliments, it’s to hopefully help and inspire those who may have the same concerns I had. I want to show everyone that if I can do it, you can. My aim is to put out a positive message that you CAN overcome disordered eating and that SO many more people suffer than you think, even people who should know better – like me!

Thank you for taking the time to read this post, for supporting my journey so far and I hope you can share it with someone you think it might help, I’m sure we can all think of at least one.

Now let’s see what I can do in the next 6 months!

Heather xx

For those who are interested this is what Dan, Tel & Liza had to say about my journey.

Dan (my coach) –

I remember the very first time Heather came on the Skinny Chimp whatsapp chat group and was asking a bunch of questions about macros and myfitnesspal and how myfitnesspal levels seem all over the place and how she couldn’t get around it. In a matter of minutes I could just sense the fear and panic in Heather and I remember exactly what that felt like the first time I decided to start tracking my macros, I could sense instantly there was underlying issues and not just with macros, this is something I can massively relate to and knew I had the self life experience to help her come out of her dark place. After a chat with Heather and me offering a lot of advice she asked if I’d help her, when she first told me the amounts of food she was eating I was shocked, like totally shocked, the fact she as a woman was eating those levels that low I was surprised she could still train the way she did and also function fully!! I set her macros and put her straight, her replies to my messages and I could sense the fear and panic again and knew this was going to be a long road, so we set goals – small goals, the first week was to increase what she ate and get near to the much higher carb allowance, lower protein and higher fats, week 1 and we nearly got there week 2 and she was so determined to hit them even if it was a struggle. Which I’ll add she did, everything was all or nothing, an incredible determination I admire.

As the weeks past, the way she was changing was incredible, her physique was changing and growing, she was saying she’s sleeping better, her hairs glowing, skins betters and as a woman functioning better, BUT the biggest thing that touched me the most was her mentality, her determination to grow more muscle, become stronger and eat more!! At the start of my help she was terrified to eat more and now she’s getting mad at me as I was reducing foods to diet her down!! This was amazing!!!

Everything I asked of Heather she smashed 110% she wanted more and told me to push her harder, she ate what she wanted as you can see from her social feeds, but listened and followed my guidance on food levels and some nutrient timing, the turn around in Heather not only physically but mentally is incredible, her mindset has totally changed, you can take your 6 week transformation plans and stick em. THIS is a real life transformation, 6 months of me being hard on her, supporting her, replying to her 1000000 whatapps a day to calm her down. I wouldn’t change anything, I couldn’t be prouder of Heather. I genuinely couldn’t!! I feel very overwhelmed knowing I’ve helped turn her whole life around!!

Tel (my boyfriend) –

“I’ve watched Heather transform from an insecure and emotional dieter, to a happy and confident person. Although most will see the progress from an aesthetic perspective, the biggest progress has been the psychological transformation. Like many determined and passionate people, Heather was very specific about what she would allow herself to eat which would on many occasions dictate our day to day activities, many foods were restricted and many social situations were avoided. Through a bit of education and a mindset shift, Heather has learned that the only way to sustain a healthy shape is through having a balanced approach. Nothing is off the menu, and she now has a choice by following a macro based plan which has positively impacted her health, happiness and overall attitude towards life and food. I’m very proud of what Heather has achieved and she is extremely brave for sharing her journey with others. This is real life proof that you don’t have to starve yourself to be healthy and in shape and hopefully it will inspire others to reassess their options.”

Liza (my friend) –

“I have been lucky enough to share Heather’s journey to change her physique, and witness how, by addressing one area of her life, it has extended into all other areas. I’m so pleased that she is sharing her journey with you guys. It shows that our quest to be great can steer us to somewhere we didn’t expect to be, however knowledgeable we are, however strong a person we are, and in being that strong, how sometimes it can work to our disadvantage.
Heather is a great character and one of my favourite friends. She is strong willed, incredibly talented and has a determination that allows her to succeed. This has made for some great achievements in her life, notably in her work as the Protein Chef which is probably what you know her best for.
Being a strong female, her dedication to clean eating and exercise was commendable – it had brought her to a point where she was a long way from where she had been as a youngster, and was determined not to go backwards. She was in such control of everything, educated as a nutritionist and well practiced in the gym. But as with most of us perfectionists when we do something for so long it just becomes the standard we work at, and we’ll keep pushing to improve even further. For Heather this meant when hitting a plateaux, she was able to continue to tighten up her diet, eating cleaner and cleaner, reducing energy intake, and maximising energy output to the point where something just had to change.
Her awareness of her situation made her hatch a new plan of attack. There is only so much of a deficit we can be in before you may aswell give up food altogether, and swap your bed for a crosstrainer. With her steely determination, she found the right programme for her and flourished.
We Whatsapped every single day. Infact all day every day and night in the beginning. I have more half naked photos of Heather than you would believe. In the early days, I knew everything she was eating, when she was eating it, I was there whilst she ate the rice cakes. The oats. The nut butters (ok so that didn’t need as much encouragement there!). We googled things together, laughed at the scales turning off mid-weighing food, and the craziness of it all brought us a bond we’ll never lose. I’m currently macro tracking and now feel her pain!
Hearing from Heather on her holiday with Tel, and seeing her photos has made me the proudest friend I could be. I saw a woman who was beautiful, happy, and relaxing into hearty meals guilt free, knowing that life is for enjoying, for sharing, and now understanding that her body is adaptable enough to allow that flexibility in. Her 100% commitment has allowed her to reach her goal, but most importantly relax around food choices, get her physical and emotional health balanced and just be that lovely person to be around.

For those of you searching for a point where you are happy with everything, happiness is a journey and not a destination. Always have your dreams, but enjoy how you go about getting there. Share meaningfully, be flexible, be kind to yourself, and the destination will be an even more of beautiful place if you’ve smelt those roses along the way. I’m grateful and inspired by Heather every day as I see how proud she is of herself, how happy she is with her partner, and the biggest change of all… her relationship with her body. We all know she’s gorgeous, and perhaps now she’s starting to believe it too…”

before-and-after

Since I posted my progress picture I have had numerous requests for what I eat, when and how I train so rather than getting back to everyone separately I thought I would blog it!

So here goes….

Whilst I do have various nutrition qualifications and nearly 7 years experience in the Sports Nutrition industry I am not claiming to have the answer to eternal fat loss I am merely sharing what works for me. Please do not be tempted to make a carbon copy of this plan and expect to see the same results in the same timescale. We are all very different, our lifestyles and activity levels vary as well as our current metabolic state even if you are a similar weight and height to me!

That said I would like to say something reasonably controversial. I eat carbs everyday… at almost every meal and I am still seeing fat loss – there I said it! The reason for mentioning this is that I am hands down what I like to call a ‘carb whore’. To give you an idea of how much I need carbs in my diet I would probably rather lose a limb than be told I can’t have my normal oats for breakfast (be that in protein porridge or protein pancake form) So it was very important to me when I set out on my quest to reveal my abs that I did it in a way that meant I could still have carbs every day. It was that or lose all my friends, my boyfriend and have my family never want to see me as I basically turn into something from Night of the living Dead without them. I also wanted to reveal them in a way that meant I could keep some sort of definition all year round. Granted they may be slightly more visible during the summer months and a little more buried during the winter but I still wanted them there – with no trick of the light! This meant something sustainable and long term! When it came to coming up with ‘The Plan’ I dug out my nutrition books, got some copies of Muscle & Fitness magazine and began to read. After at least a few hours of reading, some head scratching and lots of post it notes I basically came to the conclusion that fat loss is a flipping mine field and I was going to have to approach things different. So, I went back to basics… to create fat loss you need to consume less calories than your body uses (yes I am aware there is more to it than that but I needed to start somewhere) easy enough. Now I also wanted to keep hold of the precious muscle I had worked so hard to acquire since I started lifting weights a few years ago. This is where things got a little more difficult! From my experience I know that a steady supply of protein can help prevent muscle breakdown (I’ll keep it simple) so I needed to ensure my diet plan included good quality protein throughout the day. Protein also keeps you fuller for longer (thanks Marks & Spencer) which is always a bonus – nobody wants to be hungry all the time!

So now I had the basics I needed to consider how much I was going to eat, when and on what days! I’ll give you a brief overview of my ‘normal’ week

My stats:

5 foot 2 ½ inches ( ½ an inch is extremely important when your short!)

Current weight – 49kg

Age – 26

Monday –

6am – Fish oils, zinc, vitamin a,c,e & selenium, 1 Maxiraw turbotherm.

6.15am – On my way to the gym I drink a black coffee with 1 teaspoon coconut oil stirred in.

6.45am – 1 hour shoulder session including overhead press, Arnold press, upright row etc. I tend to work with 8-10 rep range and complete 3 sets of each exercise. This can be said for each body part I do each day. I drink 10g bcaas during my workout in 1 litre of water.

9am – 50g porridge oats (I do weigh these as I adore protein porridge and just cant be trusted to ‘guesstimate’, 30g whey protein, 1 tablespoon flaxseeds, 2 cla caps. 1 mug (the size of my head) of green tea.

10.30am – another huge mug of green tea

12noon – handful of lentils (I don’t weigh them) lots of veggies including peppers, onions, mushrooms but it does differ. 1 chicken breast. 1 apple, 2 cla caps.

3pm – veggie sticks & green tea.

4pm – 2 rye crackers with 2 teaspoons nut butter or a whey protein shake

7pm – Fish Monday! My favourite meal of the week! 2 salmon fillets topped with chia seeds and soy dressing with tonnes of salad (I mean tonnes! Includes lettuce, peppers, cucumber, onion, beetroot) 2 cla caps.

7.30pm – options hot chocolate

9pm – either 1 sliver of protein cheesecake with 100g 0% fat greek yoghurt or 170g greek yoghurt topped with agave syrup and cinnamon.

Tuesday –

6.45am Bi’s and Tri’s & weighted abs – 1 hr

Diet is identical to above as I meal prep on a Sunday afternoon and eat the same thing all week during the day (personally I don’t mind this but it’s not for everyone)

7pm – What we like to call in my house ‘surprise Tuesday’ which basically means look in the fridge/freezer and see what concoction of stuff I can come up with. This will be anything from some white fish, chicken or some sort of lean meat – horse meatballs went down a treat the other week, thanks Muscle Food! I serve this with as many veggies as I can fit on my plate.

7.30pm – same as Monday

9pm – same as Monday

Wednesday –

6.45am Hams & Glutes – 1 hr I don’t really have set exercises but I do things like stiff leg deadlifts, single leg leg-press, step ups, lunges etc.

Diet is identical to above as I meal prep on a Sunday afternoon and eat the same thing all week during the day (personally I don’t mind this but it’s not for everyone)

7pm – Sausage Wednesday (go on you smirked didn’t you. Grow up…) chicken sausages with half a large can of low salt/sugar spaghetti with loads of green beans. Probably serve it with some low salt/sugar ketchup because if you’re going to eat like a 5 year old why the hell not!

9pm – same as Monday

Thursday –

6.45am – 30min Spin class (if you follow me on Twitter @protein_chef you will know how much I look forward to this! ie – not at all!) 15min core class followed by 30min weighted abs.

Diet is identical to above as I meal prep on a Sunday afternoon and eat the same thing all week during the day (personally I don’t mind this but it’s not for everyone)

7pm – Prawn Thursday (ok ok I’m a creature of habit) This consists of prawns (not sure how much but half a large bag) onions, peppers, garlic, mushrooms (anything thats in my fridge draw that looks like it’s not going to last the week!) served with my legendary cauliflower rice which you can find the recipe for here.

7.30pm – same as Monday

9pm – same as Monday

Friday

6.45am – Back including pull ups (assisted at the moment but I’m getting there) rows (various) 1hr

Diet is identical to above as I meal prep on a Sunday afternoon and eat the same thing all week during the day (personally I don’t mind this but it’s not for everyone)

7pm – Takeaway night! I have a large chicken shish kebab from our local takeaway which comes with 1 large white pitta bread (they don’t do wholemeal and yes I did ask) with loads of salad and I put my own extra low fat mayo and hot sauce on it. I wash it all down with a diet coke and enjoy every mouthful.

7.30pm – same as Monday

9pm – same as Monday

Saturday

Rest Day! So I’m not going to lie I hate rest day. Whilst I’m usually sore from the week and could really do with it the mental battle of not doing anything active or picking up some weights gets to me every week but this is the day I tend to spend with my long suffering boyfriend who I also make have his rest day on a Saturday (he’s not going to the gym if I can’t) so we suffer it together and treat ourselves with a lunch out whilst shopping.

8am – protein pancakes (you can find the recipe here) I use 50g oats though.

12ish – lunch out! I will normally choose something that consists of grilled meat with salad in some form depending on where we go!

4ish – Quest bar and a green tea – normally in a cafe somewhere.

7ish – Saturday night dinner tends to be the same – grilled meat, home made hummus (recipe here) or tatziki (recipe here) with loads of salad

9ish – Protein cheesecake! I’ve normally made a new flavour so it’s normally a nice big slice (got to make sure it tastes good!)

Sunday

Whilst I normally eat post training, for legs I like to be fuelled up so it’s always a Sunday. I make protein pancakes (recipe here) with 50g oats. I will also be mindful of my carb level on this day so I ensure I have more than usual but I don’t count the amount.

Leg session – squats, leg press, leg extension, lunges, glute bridges, step ups followed by the biggest challenge of leg day, the walk from the gym floor down a flight of stairs back to the changing rooms!

Post WO shake of whey and an apple.

12ish – As with Saturday it’s never the same but it differs from rye toast with eggs and smoked salmon or my home made wraps (recipe here) filled with avocado and chicken.

4pm – depending on where I am it could be Wheyhey ice cream (love that stuff!) a Quest bar, a RTD protein drink, a whey protein shake or a sample of whatever it was I am baking that weekend (like these!)

7ish – Same as Saturday

9ish – Same as Saturday

So there you have it. It feels strange to document it as I don’t really consider myself to be on any sort of ‘plan’ I just train as heavy and hard as I can, I eat things that firstly nourish my body but secondly taste good. Some would say this is strict as I do not include a ‘cheat meal’ but personally I am quite happy to have the odd ‘naughty’ thing like canned spaghetti, white pitta bread, hot chocolate or a good chunk of my protein cheesecake or protein cake rather than stuff myself with fish and chips once per week. Neither is wrong or right it’s just the way I chose to live. I have seen steady progress since I began 1 year ago and I have had my body fat measured as I go. A steady fall in my body fat and increase or maintenance of my muscle mass encouraged me to keep going and gave me the confidence that what I was doing was working. As I said, this isn’t a claim to know the secret to fat loss but I wanted to share with you my journey so far. I am fully aware I could have probably achieved my progress much quicker but as explained above this journey was not about how quickly I could get there is was how I went about it that mattered the most. I think the key to my progress has been my consistency. And we all know that consistency is key to achieve whatever physique goal you may have.

Hope you enjoyed reading about my journey so far.

Heather (AKA Protein Chef)

Here is my progress picture… please be kind
Me-progress-shot

Protein Chef!

Protein packed cooking by a training junkie & lover of great food. Sharing recipes that will change the way you look at your favourite food forever!

To learn more about who Protein Chef is visit ‘About Protein Chef’

Get Buzzing are a family run business who make 100% natural and nut free flapjacks. Owner & Founder Kate Wallace says that Get Buzzing was created ‘To offer people snacks that are genuinely healthy and actually taste good.’

The range includes 5 different naturally flavoured flapjacks including:

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  • Nut Free Banana Flapjack Bars
  • Nut Free WowButter Flapjack Bars
  • Nut Free Cherry Protein Flapjack Bars
  • Nut Free Berry Flapjack Bars
  • Original Nut Free Date and Seed Flapjack Bars

Obviously my eye was drawn to the Cherry Protein Flapjack Bar which contains 14.7g of protein per bar. This comes from whey protein and soya protein crispies. The cherry flavour isn’t overly strong, but the crispies add a really nice texture to the bar. Naturally I couldn’t leave it alone and just enjoy it as a bar, I had to create something even more tasty and protein packed! So I give you The Cherry Bakewell Protein Cheesecake!

cherry-bakewell-Protein-Cheesecake-image-2protein-1

I also really enjoyed the Nut Free Berry flavour which has real freeze dried strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. Which I also turned into a warming Healthy Apple & Blackberry Crumble. I used the bar as the topping so it’s super simple to make if you’re craving a healthy pudding.

berry-1Healthy-Apple-Blackberry-Crumble-with-Protein-Custard-image

And I had to create a recipe for my Skinny Chimp family which took the form of these Banoffee Millionaire Protein Flapjacks made using the Nut Free Banana Flapjack bars which are also delicious and moist just as they are thanks to the sun dried banana and juicy apricot.

Banoffee-millionaire-protein-flapjack%E2%80%8Fbanana-1

If you’d like to try Get Buzzing Bars they are available directly from their website, Ocado, Holland & Barrett and Boots.

Blend Bros are a family based business, who in their own words ‘help everyday athletes bridge the gap between fitness and the kitchen.’ How? ‘By developing a Savoury Blend high-protein herb and spices mixes as a simple & convenient way to increase the protein in everyone’s diet.’

The range consists of 3 (soon to be 5!) High Protein Savoury Blends including:

  • Mexican Pibil Stew
  • Thai Jungle Curry
  • Spanish Tomato & Chorizo
  • Sicilian Lemon & Origano (coming soon)
  • Indian Kerala Curry (coming soon)

All of the Savoury Blend’s are made with natural pea protein which means each serving contains an impressive 20g of protein! But not only are they high in protein, each of the blends is flavoured with authentic herbs and spices, adding incredible flavour to your meals in a simple, easy and healthy way.

And when I say its easy to use, I mean it! To make a sauce which can be poured over absolutely anything, all you need to do is add a scoop or two to any dish whilst cooking, or alternatively mix with water and use – that’s it! But these blends are really versatile and can be used in so many ways. Check out some of the recipes I have created already with these delicious blends – and there are many more to come!

If you’d like to try Blend Bros High Protein Sauces then they are available at Muscle Food, Amazon and very soon in Holland & Barrett!