Tag Archives: review

Mint Choc Chip Shake feat. Pulsin

Smoothies are back for me in a big way. I went through the whole winter really avoiding them along with salads, which makes a lot of sense really, our bodies should be craving warming, comforting foods during winter and light refreshing ones during summertime. The recent heatwave in London has been pretty brutal, early 20’s are fine, but 30+ and it just feels miserable in and outside, and I just want to eat really cooling, hydrating foods/drinks.

I’ve been trying to cool off post run with a refreshing breakfast smoothie and one of my favourites right now is this mint chocolate chip shake. Best enjoyed in the sunshine of course!

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Mint Choc Chip Shake | (Serves 1)
1-2 frozen Bananas (You can replace 1 of the bananas with 1/2 avocado to make this thicker and creamier- I highly recommend doing this)
Handful of Fresh Mint
Handful of Spinach
2 Tbsp of Pulsin Pea Protein
1 Tbsp Cacao/Cocoa Powder
1-2 Cups of Almond Milk or alternative
1 Tbsp Cacao Nibs/Chocolate Chips

Blend Ingredients together, if you are drinking this I would recommend blending the cacao nibs in. If like me you like to eat your smoothies in a bowl, then use the cacao nibs as a crunchy topping.

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As I’ve mentioned before I don’t really feel that protein powders are all that necessary, but they can be useful at times, if you are in a rush, or don’t really fancy eating a big meal after a workout. The pea protein boosted up the protein content of this smoothie, for muscle recovery post workout, higher satiation, and less chance of blood sugar spikes causing energy crashes afterwards. It’s 80% protein, so higher than some of the other plant based proteins out there, and has a really neutral flavour so works well in sweet or savoury dishes. There are a huge range of protein powders available on the market, I would really recommend looking at the ingredients list and trying to get one that has as little ingredients as possible, many are packed with artificial flavourings and sweeteners which I wouldn’t want to be consuming too regularly.

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Pulsin make a range of whey protein and Vegan proteins, and it’s best to really try them out to see what you like. I like rice, pea and hemp proteins, and find they work well with different flavours. I like the Pulsin range because they don’t have loads of flavourings or any other weird stuff, just 100% pea or rice or whey protein in the bag.

I’ve been a fan of Pulsin for a while, and am really pleased to see them doing so well, and their range expanding too. The brand recently had a bit of a makeover for it’s 10th anniversary, and they have some ace looking new packaging so look out for that in stores. As well as protein powders, they also make a range of snack bars– useful if you are on the go, and they taste great too. The protein bars have a decent whack of protein and unlike many out there they aren’t super high in sugar either, they also avoid artificial sweeteners, flavourings, preservatives and colourings, which make them a win in my eyes- I love the mint choc chip one. They also make a range of delicious raw choc brownies, which are great for a treat-the newest one the peanut choc chip which I recently tried, is delicious.

We are spoilt for choice these days in terms of protein powders and snack bars, but I would really recommend checking Pulsin out if you haven’t come across them before. You can order directly from them online, they also do mixed cases of bars, and subscription boxes too if you can’t decide what flavour to try. They also have heaps of amazing recipes on their website, if you are struggling for ideas to use your protein powder.

 

Disclaimer: I was sent the Pulsin products for review, all opinions are my own.

 

Vegan Pancake Day

A while back I was sent Purition’s Vegan box, and I knew exactly what I wanted to make with the powders: pancakes. It only seemed fitting with it being pancake “week”, that I should get in the kitchen and rustle up some panqueques.

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I have featured Purition products on my blog previously so if you want to know further about them, then you can read more here. As I have posted recently, I don’t feel like there is a real need to include protein powder in my diet, though I do still use it for it’s convenience. Purition shakes are a little different, as they are more of an all encompassing shake, packed full of good stuff like healthy fats, fiber and micro-nutrients as well as plant protein. They are a good way to take your smoothie, porridge, or pancakes next level.

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Vegan Chocolate Purition Pancakes (Serves 1)

1/2 ripe Banana
1/2 Cup Non-Dairy Milk
1/2 Cup of Flour (I used Rude Health’s Sprouted Spelt)
1/2 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp Cinnamon
Half a Sachet/Scoop of Purition Vegan Chocolate Shake
1 tsp Cacao Powder
Pinch of salt
Toppings of Choice

Add the banana and milk to a food processor and blend together. I recommend using a ripe spotty banana as it will make the pancakes nice and sweet, unfortunately I didn’t have one on hand. You can always add a tsp of any kind of sugar to the mix to sweeten it up.

Add the rest of ingredients to the food processor and blend together. You might need a little more milk if it’s too thick, I added a drizzle more to get the right consistency.

Heat a pan to medium-high heat, and add a little oil to grease. Dollop out scoops of the mixture, cook for a couple of minutes on each side and serve.

I got about 6 smallish pancakes out of this mix, I prefer them that way for stacking. You can always double the recipe for more pancakes. I topped mine with some cherries, cacao nibs and a chocolate peanut butter drizzle made from peanut butter powder and a tiny bit of cacao powder mixed with water.

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The Purition powder was an easy way to add some extra protein, fiber and healthy fats to the pancakes. You can add your own protein powder of choice or just replace it with a ground seed mix (chia/flax). I wouldn’t recommend leaving the mix to stand before cooking as it will thicken due to the nuts/seeds in the blend.

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I love pancakes, and I really don’t make an effort to make them enough, so I am going to remedy that this week and make/eat all of the pancakes.

Have an amazing pancake day, and let me know what pancakes/toppings you are going for!

 

 

Disclaimer: I received the shakes from Purition for review purposes, all opinions are my own.

 

elete Holistic Hydrate

When I first started running, I didn’t really understand the importance of hydration, or the fact that we not only need to replace water lost when exercising, but those all important electrolytes too. When I did my first marathon, I relied on coconut water to hydrate during and after the race, and after the race I had the most severe headache I have ever had in my life- I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t move my head. Little did I realise I had got my hydration strategy very wrong, and although rich in potassium, coconut water is not a very good source of sodium which is mainly what we are losing in sweat. Since that incident, I have been using electrolytes and have never had the same issue, no matter the conditions, or race distance.

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elete Holistic Hydrate contacted me a couple of weeks ago and asked if I would like to try out their electrolyte solution, I am always keen to try out the highest quality, and most natural products, so was keen to hear more about elete and utilize it in my training.

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Firstly let’s talk electrolytes. Basically every time muscles move, or your heart beats it is electrical impulses that make this happen, each nerve impulse is dependent on an electrical charge, and a number of minerals in electrolyte form are vital for these functions to take place, these include Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium and Chloride. The charge these electrolytes carry is key for regulating fluid balance and pH balance, and when electrolyte levels are low or out of balance, it can cause muscle cramping and spasms- quite a common issue in endurance sports, particularly as there is an increased need for electrolytes. Unless these minerals are ionically charged, they are not electrolytes, and will not have the beneficial properties such as hydration and cramp prevention.

Key electrolytes:
Magnesium: Essential for all energy conversion, muscle function, nerve conduction, and more than 300 different enzymatic reactions, and it is depleted from the body under times of physical and emotional stress.

Potassium: Should be the most abundant electrolyte inside the cells, and is vital for muscle function, nerve conduction and water balance.

Sodium: Commonly found in modern diets. It’s also key for heat tolerance, muscle contraction and nerve conduction.

Chloride: Most abundant negatively charged electrolyte, essential for oxygen exchange, digestion, water and pH balance.

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elete make 100% natural ionically charged electrolyte products, organically derived from solar evaporation of the great salt lake in Utah. It contains all four key electrolytes mentioned above, in an ionically charged form together with other beneficial naturally occurring trace elements, vital for maintaining hydration, sustaining energy and enhancing mental focus, both during training and events.

Unlike most sports drinks on the markets, elete contains no sugar, no sweeteners, preservatives, flavourings or colourings. It comes in a concentrated form, which is really handy as it can be tailored to your individual needs. Most common sports drinks contain only one or two electrolytes in an non-ionic form which are not well assimilated by the body.

elete can be added to water, juices, smoothies and soups. I have been using the 25ml bottles, which make up to 10litres of electrolyte solution, so would be ideal for multi stage races, or traveling, as they are extremely light and handy to pack. elete also sell refill bottles. It’s ideal for adding to your hydration pack for long training runs or races, as it doesn’t leave any residues and is simple to clean after.

I’m not doing any endurance stuff at the minute, but I’ve been using elete daily just for general well-being. Most people tend to be low in magnesium, so it can be taken for general health anyway. I’ve been taking it alongside my lemon water first thing in the morning, to replenish after waking up, and do feel better hydrated throughout the day. I will be keen to see it’s benefits when I start doing more endurance training again.

You can purchase elete products from their website. They have also kindly given me a 10% discount code to offer to you guys, just type BLOGGER DISCOUNT into the coupon box at the checkout.

Mio Natural Skincare Review

I’ve been using natural skincare products for a few years now, I have my favourite products and brands, it took a while but I’ve finally made all my skincare, and cleaning products natural. I’m very concious of anything I put on my skin, after all our skin is our largest organ, and we absorb around 60-70% of anything we put on it, so technically if you wouldn’t eat it- you shouldn’t be putting it on your skin!

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I’m always interested in new skincare brands, so was keen to try out the Mio skincare products when they got in touch with me. It was not a brand I have come across before, they only launched in 2014 so are still a relatively new brand on the market. They originally launched as a brand Mama Mio 10 years ago where they produced skincare products for expecting mums. As they couldn’t find any skincare products specifically tailored to healthy active lifestyles, they decided to create Mio.

The high intensity body care slots easily into your daily skin care routine, there is a range of products from rich nourishing body butters and firming serums, giving you healthy skin that can cope with life’s challenges. I often find with natural skincare it’s more important to find out what isn’t in it, than what is, so there is no parabens, petrolatum, mineral oil, synthetic fragrances, artificial colourants, sodium laureth or lauryl sulphate, xenoestrogens, phthalates, PEGs or glycols. They are also not tested on animals. I really like the ethics and ethos behind the company, and I am in love with the products.

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Liquid Yoga

This stuff is dreamy! I even took it on holiday with me to Tenerife. Liquid Yoga’s aim is to relax the muscles and calm the mind, it’s a milky-moisturising blend of epsom salts, essential oils like lavender, spearmint and cypress and therapeutic herbs like arnica. It’s the perfect treat for unwinding after a long day, and great for tired, sore muscles. The smell of this stuff is absolutely lush, the perfect de-stressing blend. It’s got arnica and horse chestnut to ease those stiff sore muscles, as well as being rich in antioxidants and other moisturising ingredients. It’s a total treat.

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Workout Wonder

This is a little instant pick-me-up. Ideal for using pre/post workout or even after a long day. It’s cooling, and restorative for the muscles, releasing tension and perfect for recovery or prepping them for action. It contains things like arnica, horse chestnut, magnesium and spearmint to get your muscles going. It smells absolutely amazing, and I love the instant cooling action. I like to use a few pumps before an early workout, or late at night after a long day, and it’s seemed to be working wonders for my recovery so far!

Double Buff

I like using a scrub once or twice a week, for some gentle exfoliation, and this ticks all the boxes. It aims to rapidly transform rough, dull looking skin into skin that looks superbly soft, smooth and radiant. It’s very restorative, and very gentle, it’s not harsh or stripping the skin. It’s very quick and easy to use, you simply massage it into dry skin, and then shower it off. The gentle exfoliating action is provided by spheres of pumice, lava and bamboo blended with papaya and pineapple whose enzymes help to dissolve away any roughness. It’s also rich in antioxidants and nourishing oils and butters to keep skin looking strong and healthy. I’ve been using this twice a week, and I love the instant restorative feeling it has, and it leaves my skin lovely and soft and smooth.

Overall, I’m seriously impressed with the quality of these products, and will definitely be restocking when I run out of them. They would make the perfect stocking filler or Christmas gift so get them on your list to Santa!

 

 

Disclaimer: I was sent the Mio Products for review, all opinions are my own.

 

 

Shine bright like a…Runner!

Having just got back from Tenerife, I seem to have completely forgotten that it is A. Winter, and B. Dark at ridiculous o’clock. The nights drew in much later over there, so I was quite shocked/horrified when I got back to discover the darkness creeping in at barely 4 o’clock. If you are regularly active, or like me are about to commence a winter training program, then you can’t really avoid running in the dark- unless you fancy 20 odd miles on a dreadmill- no thank you!

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I change up my running routine at this time of year, as the nights are darker, I will always tell my other half where I am going and how long I will be- should do this anyway really! I will also stay away from more isolated areas and poorly lit places, and will run more populated routes during this time of year. I also don’t run commute the whole way home as I don’t feel safe in certain areas after dark. I also make sure that I am seen on my run, as I tend to wear a lot of darker clothing, it’s vital that I in any way possible light up like a Christmas tree to make myself visible to other pedestrians, cars and cyclist’s.

Last year I was sent a box of Nathan goodies to see me through the winter months, and I have to say I wear the light bender and heel spur religiously on late night run commutes. Nathan Sports have kindly sent me a bumper box of new hi-vis products to make sure I am seen when hitting the pavements this winter. They also kindly sent me some locklaces- handy as I was moaning about my Nike flyknit laces constantly coming undone only the week before, and some Feetures socks to keep my toes warm too, I have a few pairs of these socks now, and find them absolutely brilliant, nice and supportive and no blisters either.

Gear

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Zephyr Fire 100: This is a rechargeable flashlight with handheld strap. I usually don’t run with anything in my hands, so this was a new experience for me. I really liked using this on darker sections of path along my usual route, where it only takes one upraised paving slab and you are on your arse. This is a really useful product to help you see the path ahead. It also has a very loud siren if needed. It’s actually really easy to carry, and gives off a good amount of light also.

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Strobe Lights: I was sent a variety of strobe lights, of varying power and with lots of different settings. They are easy to clip onto yourself or your gear, and would be great for running or cycling. The Orion is the most powerful, and it also illuminates the path ahead of you as well as lighting up yourself. The Pulsar strobe is super light so you can even clip it onto your shoe comfortably.

Light Spur: I now have two of these, and will be attaching one to each shoe. They are great for runners/cyclists for ensuring you are well seen from behind. I have used my single one a lot since getting it last year, and am looking forward to using two. It fits snugly on your shoes, and isn’t heavy or restrictive either.

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Bandolier Vest: I’ve never got on that well with hi-vis vests, I just find them a bit of a faff to get on over other gear, and their constant movement irritates me. 360 degrees of reflectivity for maximum visibility. I actually had no idea what was the front/back of this vest, and I probably won’t be wearing it regularly in future, I prefer to stick to the lights for being seen.

Fire and Ice Bottle: This is a reflective bottle, that is insulated and keeps fluids cooler while offering visibility. I don’t carry bottles when I am running, so I am using this as a daily water bottle instead.

The Nathan hi-vis range comes in a range of prices, and some of them are very affordable, a small price to pay to ensure you stay seen on the roads this winter.

 

Disclaimer: I was sent a box of Nathan goodies for review purposes, all opinions are my own.