Maca Protein Balls

I’ve recently discovered some new products in my endless searches for natural supplements; as some of you might know I never start a day without my Green Smoothie, which is usually laced with wheatgrass, spirulina and possibly even some vegan protein. Because of this, I am forever searching for new super green powders to try, and new ways of using them. A lovely new brand called Organic Burst came to my attention via twitter recently, and have since been making rather a large splash in the media; unsurprisingly so, since they are such a fantastic brand!! Along with their incredible Spirulina, Wheatgrass and Acai, they have a wonderful Maca powder and Baobab too – if you want to know more about each of these products and their amazing  benefits, just check them out: http://www.organicburst.com/

I’ve never used Maca in food before and I have been doing a lot of research into the benefits of this amazing plant for the treatment of hormonal imbalances – mostly because my hormones are all over the place! Also, this amazing stuff does wonders for improving energy levels so I thought that it would be a good addition to some high energy protein balls. These little treats are the perfect pre-workout snack (eat at least 45 minutes before working out), as a post-workout treat, or even as a high energy snack during long endurance training – I am looking to all my fellow triathletes and runners here! Or when you just want something sweet, of course.

Maca Balls

Maca Protein Date Balls

8 pitted medjool dates

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup ground almond

1/2 cup mixed nuts and seeds of your choice

1/4 cup dessicated coconut (plus extra for dusting)

3 tbsp chia seeds

3 tsp Organic Burst Maca Power

1 large scoop of Pure Whey isolate (you can use a vanilla or chocolate protein powder but results may vary)

2 tbsp coconut oil (I use Lucy Bee as I think it’s the best!!)

1 tbsp Nut Butter (any one you like, I use hazelnut)

You can add a tablespoon or 2 of pure honey if you like but the dates are pretty good on their own and if you are using a flavoured protein then you definitely don’t need extra sweetener.

Easy as pie, chop the dates as finely as you possibly can – this can be tricky as they are extremely sticky things, but it does work. put the coconut oil and nut butter in a cup and heat in a microwave for 30 seconds, mix everything together in a large bowl. Add some dessicated coconut to a small bowl and put aside. Using a tablespoon, scoop out individual servings of the mixture, roll into balls, cover in coconut and place on a tray or in a tuppaware and then place in the freezer until ready to eat.

When it comes to eating them you will need to remove from the freezer and leave them out to thaw for a few minutes first. If patience is not your strong point, move to the fridge once they’ve set and they will be easier to eat on the go.

For AMAZING MACA and all the other Organic Burst Products see www.organicburst.com or email info@organicburst.com

 

Almost-Paleo Goodness Granola

This has probably taken me far too long to write but I am finally getting to it. This is, by far, the best granola recipe I have ever made; purely by accident. The best thing about though, is that it’s almost-paleo; if you’re a strict paleo eater I would avoid the quinoa flakes but it you don’t mind them then they really do add quite a lot to the mix.

Lots of recipes going down at the moment, or at least whenever I find time to do them – hope you all like ’em! I will be starting a new quest soon… to review the top Paleo-Friendly and Healthiest restaurants in London and surrounding areas. Hoping to do more exploring further afield too, but it will have to wait until I have more time. In the meantime however, please enjoy the paleo explorations brought to you from the confines of my somewhat over used kitchen!

Paleo Granola

  • 1/4 cup Quinoa flakes
  • 1/4 cup Hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup Macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup flaked almonds
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 1/4 cup ground almond
  • 1/4 cup mixed seeds
  • 4 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/4 cup dessicated coconut
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup currants
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (preferably virgin, cold pressed, organic – LucyBee is the best)

Right Peeps, this one is simples. Heat oven to 180 and line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Mix all dry ingredients in a big bowl add 1/4 cup of oats or an extra 1/4 cup of quinoa flakes if you want something a with higher carb content, or leave them out completely if you’re a strict Paleo eater! You can also add 1 scoop of your favourite protein powder if you wish.

Mix the almond butter, honey and coconut oil in a small milk pan and warm on a gentle heat until its all nice and liquid. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix well. Tip the whole lot onto the baking tray and spread evenly. Don’t squish it down or it will stick together. Bake in the oven for 12 – 15 minutes. turn oven off but leave the tray in for a further 10 minutes to dry out. Remove from the oven, break it up a bit if it’s all stuck together, leave it to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

There you have it. Simples right? For Lucy Bee Coconut Oil check out their website http://www.lucybee.co/

EIGHT LIFE – The Dream

It’s been a long road but somehow I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, the last few weeks have been incredibly busy and I am finally beginning to look like I may need a holiday. In fact, scratch that, if I DON’T get a holiday some time in the very near future I may just crumble. Recently – as you may have noticed by the lack of posts – I have been otherwise engaged. I’ve been quietly working away at a project I feel very strongly about indeed; it’s the culmination of my passions into a unique company (my own business) which serves to provide the highest level of Nutritional, Fitness and Health solutions to it’s clientèle, act as an outlet for more of my weird and wonderful ramblings (a more fitness related blog) but which will also serve a higher purpose by providing a community space where people can come together, share ideas and information, create new and inspiring projects and work together to find ways of achieving their goals and help others.

EIGHT

Along my journey over the past 8 months I have met some incredible and inspiring people; people who are not only immensely knowledgeable and talented at what they do, but who genuinely want to help others through their work. In an industry filled with ‘pretenders’ and narcissists, I find it comforting to know that there are so many people who are real and who want to make a difference. It’s restored my faith in the human race and in the health and fitness industry; I want to do my bit to further this by bringing these people together and finding ways in which we can use our combined knowledge and strength to make positive changes. Not only to tackle issues in sports, health and fitness; but also to find ways to tackle bigger global issues which we feel passionately about. There is strength in numbers, have no doubt. There are isolated communities within the sporting world who are immensely strong – now imagine if they could come together, how strong would they be then?

‘I have a dream!’ – This is all going to sound so very cliche; yes, but it’s true. I have a dream, that one day bridges will be built to secure the future of the human race and to improve the outlook for the future of our planet; not for our sakes, but for the sake of our children. There are such a vast number of issues facing us every day, human issues and environmental issues, social, economic issues and global issues that are detrimental to the human race; to our health and well being and to the future of our planet. It amazes me how much time we spend worrying about ourselves when we could be helping others or helping make a change to our surroundings that will enable future generations to live better lives than we do. We forget that what we have is incredibly precious and that it is fragile; we see the world as a robust giant that will weather any storm, and we view our bodies the same way – as indestructible forces which can sustain all the abuse we inflict upon them. We take for granted the natural gifts we have been given; our bodies, our food, our lives and the natural beauty of the world around us. Perhaps we ought to do a little more to preserve these things so that we can enjoy them as they were made to be, and so that there is a chance of a future for our race and our planet?

Below you will see my ‘intention-wall’ or ‘manifesto’ which explains what we’re all about! Oh, and the website will be live soooon! eight life

manifesto

Whole 30 Recap

I know I stopped documenting the progress of my Whole 30 half way through – I’ve been madly busy getting the new blog ready to launch in May and my training has taken a steep curve. Thankfully it’s all going well. In the mean time I figured I best do a quick recap and let you all know how it went. I am happy with the result but feel that with better planning and consistency I could achieve a lot more. I plan to do my second Whole 30 in May this year, hopefully with even better results!

My Whole 30 journey has been a long and tough road, I slipped up badly, I started again; had highs and lows, and for every bad day there was an equally awesome day. I finished, just. Firstly, I need to thank Dallas and Melissa Hartwig for their awesome book “it starts with food”, which was there to remind me of all the reasons I was doing this every time I felt like giving up. I had people along the way who doubted me, who thought I was insane, and almost every person in my life tried to get my to veer off course at every opportunity they had. I may have easily fallen down on any one of the bad days I had, but I didn’t; I’ve noticed as I get older that my resilience, determination and willpower have grown in leaps and bounds – I still have a way to go, but a former me would have given up in the first week of the Whole 30.

WHOLE30 finished

The benefits of the Whole 30 were numerous; my sugar cravings are completely gone; I no longer find baked goods (even Paleo ones) nearly as attractive as I once did and am therefore feeling lighter as a result of not eating them. I have found an altogether healthier love of food and am thoroughly enjoying the super clean diet, long may this continue! My energy levels, although up and down at first, stabilised to a consistent level I have never felt before, keeping me balanced and ready for anything. As a result, my training has improved markedly and I feel stronger and fitter than I have in quite some time.

I think everyone should try the whole 30 at least once. I honestly believe it will benefit your life no matter who you are. It takes a bit of courage and a lot of willpower, but the end result goes beyond simple ‘nutrition’ or ‘diet’ – it changes who you are and your relationship with food for the long run. This is not a quick fix, and it is not a ‘one size fits all’ solution. It’s personal, it’s exactly what YOU need as an individual and it is likely to benefit your health for the rest of your life. Please don’t take my word for it, go out and try it yourself – but read the book first, because if I haven’t managed to convince you, then this definitely will.

 

Making a Change – My Top 5 Motivational Strategies

Motivation is the key; its the deciding factor in whether or not you’re going to make it out the door at 6 in the morning when it’s still dark and bitterly cold outside, whether you make it to the gym in the evening after a long day at work or find the strength to keep going when you hit the proverbial ‘wall’; its the only thing that’s going to help you face the music, get up, put your feet on the ground and keep moving when everything in you wants to give up.

Motivation. Lets talk about motivation for a moment.  What does it mean to you? Are you motivated? How can you improve your motivation?

I’ve come up with a few ideas about how to help keep myself motivated recently, some have worked, others haven’t, but I’m hoping that one, if not more of these, might apply to you. Or if not, at least it will give you something to think about and hopefully spur you on to find your own motivation. One piece of advice I can give you – Don’t Give Up, no matter how hard that road you’re on seems, don’t give up, because the pain you’re going through now and the battle you’re fighting in your mind will all be worth it in the end.

The race is long, and in the end it’s only with yourself.

Motivational Strategy #1 – Set Goals and then Break Them Down

One thing I’ve noticed a lot of us get wrong is not that we don’t set goals, but that we set unrealistic goals or unrealistic time frames. Not only that, but we set such enormous goals that we forget to focus on the immediate future and then become impatient and are disappointed with the length of time it takes to see improvement.

Take the time to break your goals down into smaller segments which are achievable in the short term; each time you reach one of these smaller goals you will feel a sense of achievement and it will encourage you to keep going. Reward yourself every time you reach one of these smaller goals!

Don’t be too hard on yourself – nobody is perfect, the only thing you can do is turn up and do your best; because at the end of the day if you turn up, you’re already half way there!

Motivational Strategy #2 – Have Fun

Don’t take yourself too seriously! Whatever you love doing, whatever you enjoy most in life be it music or friends or setting yourself challenges, use it to your advantage by integrating it into a part of your training. Train with someone you can have a laugh with (and learn to laugh at yourself). Listen to music if it helps you or train in the park if you prefer to be outdoors.

Maybe even take on some extra activities, try something new that you think looks like fun like a team sport or ice skating, horse riding, tennis or swimming – it will help break up your usual training and make it feel less monotonous, and you will still be getting active and doing something good for yourself.

Motivation

Motivational Strategy #3 – Go It Alone

Sometimes training can give you some much needed alone time if work and home life is a bit hectic and you just need some breathing space. It’s the one thing I love about running, there’s just me and the road, I don’t have anyone to answer to and I don’t have to worry about what anyone else is doing.

Take a time-out from the stresses of life, turn your phone off, leave it at home and just get out there and do something that gets the blood pumping. It doesn’t matter if you’re the kind of person that wants to go take your frustrations out on a punching bag, or chill out in a gentle yoga session. Find something to restore the calm in your life and give yourself time alone.

Motivational Strategy #4 – Get Social

If you get enough alone time already, find a gym buddy or join a club; when you have other people counting on you to be somewhere at a certain time, you’re less likely to skip it. There are more and more amazing fitness groups, running clubs, healthy social clubs and activities opening up all over the place these days that you would be hard pressed NOT to be able to find one near you!

Motivational Strategy #5 – Change the Way You Think

Easier said than done, I know. Think of it this way; if you change your attitude towards fitness, you will change your actions! This is about making a lifestyle change, and that takes time; exercise should never be a chore – yes, it’s going to be damn hard some days, but if you keep reminding yourself of all the reasons why you started this in the first place and of all the goals you have yet to reach, slowly you will begin to change the way you see things.

Whatever mental triggers work for you, use them. If you need to have post-it notes and pictures on every wall in your house with motivational cues then do that! If you need reminders set on your phone, then set them. Go out and learn, take in as much information as you can about the things that interest you and then use the information to your advantage. Surround yourself with positive people and positive thoughts and remember, you’ve already started, you took the first step; hell, you may have taken several steps, hundreds even. So why stop now? Don’t ever give up; remember, it will be worth it in the end.

 

Whole 30 – Day 1&2 (AGAIN)

Following my failure to comply, or even try; I must now begin anew. Day 10… or as it is now called, day 1 – take 2. I was up at sparrow fart (roughly 3am) writing nonsense, responding to a backlog of emails and feeling rather pleased with myself and all that I had accomplished by sunrise at 6am. I ran a 10.9km run and arrived back feeling hangover free and full of energy; having had only 4 hours sleep, this surprised even me. Nevertheless, Sunday went smoothly. My Sunday brunch of Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Spinach, Avocado and Tomato was enough to make me realise that I should start appreciating the things I CAN have, and stop worrying about the list of foods I cannot have during the Whole 30. This realisation was compounded by the following meal that day of Roast Chicken accompanied by a Roast Vegetable spread of carrot, sweet potato, parsnip and broccoli. A toast then, to the finer foods in life; particularly that old classic, the simple Sunday roast.

#Whole1

Day 2: I have never been a big fan of Mondays, and I don’t think I’m alone in saying that. Best cure for a Monday morning is a GREEN SMOOTHIE 🙂 and then some healthy eats; Ham, Egg, Mushroom and Avocado which I made very short work of. Lunch was a bit of a random prawn and veg salad, nothing too exciting but enough to lift the spirits and keep me going.

Monday night was pretty spectacular as far as Mondays go, I set off early from work to Kings Cross for a Guardian Masterclass with the one and only Jay Rayner – food critic extraordinaire and sometimes TV personality who ponces about on Masterchef occasionally. Funny guy, but more than that, the man is eloquent and engaging; he has a superior command of the English language which can only come from so many years of writing. His writing, as we know, is brilliant; I just never thought of him as a speaker. I felt the need to share this simply because I was somewhat taken aback by just how wonderful he is to listen to. The man is an excellent teacher and has the ability to make you feel smarter simply by being in the same room; the mark of a truly intelligent person. I will say this; perhaps I am not destined to be a journalist or reporter, but I did learn a lot and for that I am truly grateful. I take heed of the wise words and will be using the lessons learnt to my advantage in future writing endeavours.

I treated myself to braised beef cheeks and roasted root vegetables at Corrigans of Mayfair for dinner and then promptly went home to sleep. No, I didnt take any pictures of my dinner, and no, I’m not going to bore you with the details. It was fabulous, it always is at Corrigans.

PUREARTH Juice Cleanse – Day 7

Bananas, today I thought of nothing besides bananas. I thought about bananas because I was cold, tired, and thought that perhaps if I ate only a banana that I would a) feel a lot better, and b) that it wouldn’t really be cheating because it’s only one banana and bananas are fruit. No, I didn’t eat a banana; instead I beat that banana craving right out of my head. I have been true to my word and stuck it out, even though today is my Birthday and I want nothing more than to devour an entire slab of rich and sticky chocolate cake; which is unusual since I’m not the biggest fan of chocolate cake. This is neither here nor there however; the point is, today was tough. This was, I’m fairly certain, due to the fact that I had in the back of mind, the niggling thought that I could begin reintroducing food to my life tomorrow, and since I’m impatient by nature, I naturally wanted tomorrow to be today. The wait is almost over; almost, but not quite.

It’s been a very cleansing week, and one I am proud to say I have completed with flying colours; no cheating and no issues of any kind, or at least none that I can think of. Although I’m told my moods have not always been as consistent as I thought. I’ve really enjoyed the experience and although it seemed daunting and almost impossible to begin with, it does get easier, it isn’t the Everest I though it would be and I’ve come through the other side with an entirely new perspective on cleansing. I’d like to try a longer cleanse at some point, but I might wait a while as I think it would be a really great thing to do at the end of winter when my body really needs it again. It’s made me appreciate food in an entirely new way, it’s given me a chance to relax and take some time out for myself without hard exercise, and it’s helped to restore a little balance to my life. I began with no expectations and a lot of self-doubt, I have found out more about myself through this than I have during some of my hardest runs, and I have left with a sense of pride.

Not only has this been extremely beneficial physically – I have a glowing complexion, have lost a few pounds of excess water and fat, have stronger and healthier hair and nails and feel light as air – but the mental benefits have been equally profound and I really couldn’t ask for more. So, to sum this experience up in as few words as possible; it’s been emotional, it’s been fun, it’s been tough and it’s  definitely worth a try. No regrets. I have to thank the amazing Angelina, co-owner of PurEarth alongside the beautiful Tenna, who has made my journey that much more enjoyable with her constant support and her unstoppable enthusiasm; you are a diamond and I couldn’t have done it without you! If you’re thinking about doing a cleanse, this is definitely the one to try; the personal attention and exceptional service make it a much smoother ride, and the juices taste pretty fantastic.

PUREARTH | http://www.purearth.co.uk | cleanse@purearth.co.uk | Tenna +44 7769 251 782 | Angelina +44 7875 263 101