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What you will need for these delicious Cupcakes:-
 
Cupcake ingredients
40g Oats
40g Almond flour
40g Wholewheat flour
1 x Medium whole egg
1 x Egg white
100g Chocolate whey protein
100g Fat Free Greek Yogurt
50ml Almond milk
1 tsp x Cinnamon
1 tsp x Nutmeg
1 tsp x Baking  powder
 
Icing & toppings ingredients
100g Fat free Greek  Yogurt
100g Low Fat Quark
1 scoop Vanilla whey Protein
1 tsp Stevia
Pink food colouring (Not required but I used some to keep in with the theme of Valentines)
Raspberries, Strawberries or any fruit of your choice
Dark chocolate chips, white chocolate chips
Pink millions
 
Nutritional Facts for the WHOLE recipe inc Macros
Carbs = 83g (27g Sugars)
Fat = 31g (8g Saturated)
Protein = 178g
Fiber = 17g
Total Calories = 1338
 
Nutritional Facts for 6 HUGE Cupcakes inc Macros
Carbs = 13.8g (4.5g Sugars)
Fat = 5.2g (1.3g Saturated)
Protein = 29.6g
Fiber = 2.8g
Total Calories = 223
 
 Instructions
First pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees, then  you add all the "Cupcake ingredients" listed above into a large mixing bowl.   I added the flour based ingredients in first, followed by the eggs and powders.  I then added the Greek Yogurt and Almond milk in last.   Mix well until all ingredients are worked together.
TOP TIP - You don't need to use different types of "flours", if you wanted you could use all 120g as wholewheat flour or if you wanted higher protein, use more Almond flour.  As long as the total weight of flour is 120g you will be fine.  To make this gluten free make sure you use gluten free flours.
Likewise if you don't require as much protein, just reduce to 75g or 50g of whey protein.
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Once all the ingredients are added and mixed together well, add the mixture into the cupcake holders and place onto a tray.  I used a cupcake tray also, which helps maintain the shape of the cupcakes as they bake.   This mixture was enough to make 6 large cupcakes.  Place into the oven for about 15 minutes.   Whilst they are baking away, we will make the toppings and the "icing".
TOP TIP - Make sure you keep an eye on them, they can easily overcook and become hard and dry.  So make sure you check them almost every few minutes.  Use a cocktail stick and stab them in the middle, if the stick comes out clean, they are most likely done.
 
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Mix all your icing ingredients into a bowl.  First the yogurt and quark, then the whey protein and food colouring (Optional).  Once mixed it should be a thick creamy consistancy but because it isn't actually icing, remember it won't harden like icing does.   Once the cupcakes are cooked, let them cool for a few minutes.  Then place the icing onto each cupcake, using the raspberries and strawberries or the fruits of your choice, carefully place a few chopped pieces onto the cakes.  Decorate more with some chocolate chips and pink millions.   Serve away and watch your partner goto heaven eating these bad boys!! ;)
TOP TIP - Using Greek yogurt the icing can be a little tangy, if this isn't to your tastes, you could always use a tiny bit almond milk (20-30ml) instead of the Greek yogurt mixed with the whey protein.  This will make a thin layer of icing for your cupcakes but will be a lot sweeter. 
 
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Had a nice short trip to Algarve in Portugal, met up with my amazing friends who are also PT's. We all met when we were studying at EIF, training up to be PT's, so this was a nice reunion. Only a short 3 night trip, a bit of sight seeing, catch up, nice foods, wine and most important of all a break from it all. We all need breaks, off days, chill out days,rest days whatever you want to call them...now feeling re-charged and ready to get back into working my clients butt's off! :P Here are some beach photo's we took. Modelled by Natasha (StartFit PT) and Ricardo (Push Me Up PT). Definitely want to go back soon! 

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popcorn-pic2A client recently asked me if popcorn is a good choice of snack?  It certainly is, especially comparing to heavy weights foods you would normally snack on such as chocolate digestive biscuits or a pack of minstrels.  It is a great way to beat your cravings, whilst keeping your carbs in check.  Stick to popcorn without added sugar's or toppings such as toffee or heavily salted versions or this healthy treat can become evil!

Popcorn is also handy when you have friends and family around.  I know alot of my clients feel the need to offer treats at social events or need to pick at a snack when chatting themselves.  Popcorn is a great choice, being a wholegrain its jam packed full of fibre and due to its low calories per gram, a lot goes a long way for its size!

I love the crunch of popcorn as well! Those who have crisps cravings this is the perfect alternative for you to satisfy that crunch feeling and your savoury taste buds.

Give it a go! :)

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GI pic smallThe term GI or Glycemic Index is in the news, your mates in work talk about it, you read about it in magazines, but what is it?

Glycemic Index (GI) is the measure of how long it takes for carbohydrates to be broken down and absorbed into the bloodsteam.  The scale of GI rates from Low GI (<55), Medium GI (56-69) and High GI (70>)

Low GI foods are slowly absorbed and converted into glucose or energy.  They encourage steady release of insulin and promote more consistent blood sugar and energy levels.  This is potentially useful if you are looking to lose weight and extremely helpful if you are diabetic and want to reduce spikes in your blood sugar levels.  Low GI foods also help you reduce binges due to the steadier blood sugar levels, this will help prevent urges to snack and eat between meals.  They also promote hormone balances and keep energy levels and moods consistent over time.

High GI foods are rapidly converted into glucose or energy.  They tend to cause peaks in blood sugar levels and are more suitable for energy recovery after high intensity exercises.  High GI foods cause fluctuating blood sugar levels which will cause peaks and troughs in our energy levels and even our moods.  When you are trying to improve your nutrition and diet and looking to lose weight, you want to try reduce high GI foods throughout the day as much as possible and only eat high GI foods after workouts and try to minimize how much. i.e Don't drink a full bottle of lucozade, but instead try having a banana.  

Unfortunately trying to base your entire diet on the GI of each food is not that simple but it's a fantastic starting point to review your current nutrition and make very simple changes.  There are foods which change GI levels, as banana's ripen their GI changes and become higher GI.  Also when you mix alot of ingredients together and make meals the influence of all the different carbs and GI levels will impact our insulin levels.  So this needs to be taken into consideration when choosing your meal choices.

Just to add to the glycemic department - there is also the Glycemic Load (GL) this factors in the actual amount of carbs in the serving itself.  The best example of this would be watermelon.  Which is high GI, but due to the little amount of carbs it has and high water content the GL is low.  As far as dieting and healthy eating goes watermelon is high GI but perfectly fine to eat if trying to sustain a balance healthy diet.

To summarise, try switching your high GI carbs for low GI carbs.  You will feel better instantly, feel more full and feel more energised.  Try stick to medium to high GI carbs after an intense workout to replenish energy levels quickly.  If you need to snack, again try snack on low GI foods which will keep hunger at bay and eliminate the cravings.  With these simple changes you will be on your way to losing weight and becoming fitter and healthier.

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ID-10034199It is extremely important especially when dieting and exercise that you get enough sleep every night.  Ideally you are looking at 7-8 hours sleep.  I know this may be difficult at certain times especially if you have a newborn baby, or work long shifts, or need to get up to take the kids to school etc, but before you disregard the importance of sleeping please read a few benefits and a few signs of lack of sleep and the effects and I hope this may encourage you to try find the time for those extra hours of sleep.

 

Benefits

  • Reduces stress
  • Better weight control
  • You can concentrate better
  • Better memory
  • Reduce risk of depression/mood swings
  • Helps the body make repairs
  • Less likely to get ill

 

 

Signs of lack of sleep

  • Need an alarm clock in order to wake up on time
  • Rely on the snooze button
  • Have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning
  • Feel sluggish in the afternoon
  • Get sleepy in meetings, lectures, or warm rooms
  • Get drowsy after heavy meals or when driving
  • Need to nap to get through the day
  • Fall asleep while watching TV or relaxing in the evening
  • Feel the need to sleep in on weekends
  • Fall asleep within five minutes of going to bed

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Effects due to lack of sleep

  • Fatigue, lethargy, and lack of motivation
  • Moodiness and irritability
  • Reduced creativity and problem-solving skills
  • Inability to cope with stress
  • Reduced immunity; frequent colds and infections
  • Concentration and memory problems
  • Weight gain
  • Impaired motor skills and increased risk of accidents
  • Difficulty making decisions

 

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