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How to not sabotage our hard workout efforts.

Today I wanted to talk about things that we can do to sabotage our hard workout efforts. I sometimes hear people complaining that they aren’t seeing results or improvements after spending time in the gym. This might be because they are doing small things that are prohibiting them from receiving the full benefit of their workout.

**Please remember that while I did receive my Bachelor’s degree in Health and Sport Studies, with a focus in Exercise Science, I am not a certified fitness professional. These statements are my opinion and are based on my experience and discussions with the Personal Trainer Shoreditch Team .

8 Ways You May be Sabotaging Your Workout Efforts

1. Holding on to the hand rails on cardio machines that don’t require arm movement. This is a big no-no because it decreases the amount of effort you have to use, thus making the workout easier. Also, when holding onto the rails you are not allowing your core to fully engage and your posture is often much worse.

Try it with no hands!

2. Using too much momentum and not enough muscle force to lift weights. If you use all momentum to propel the movement of a weight, you aren’t stressing the muscle the way it should be stressed. And, you could actually cause some forces that will lead to injury.

3. Working out as hard as you can, every single time you exercise. Just as much as your body needs a rest day, it also needs to be worked at varying intensities. You don’t want to overwork your body and cause burnout.

4. Completing all of your cardio workouts at one intensity. While you don’t want to go as hard as you possibly can every single time, you also don’t want to lolly gag your way through a workout. Your cardio routines need variety so your body doesn’t get used to them, and even though you don’t need to go all out, you should still challenge yourself.

5. Doing the same strength training routine or using the same exercises over and over again. Our bodies are smart things. If we keep doing the same exercises all the time, our bodies will adapt and get used to them. Then we will be able to perform the exercises more efficiently and we won’t need as much energy to do them. Thus, less calories will be burned and your muscles will not be challenged as much!

6. Spot reduction. Spot reduction doesn’t work. Fat loss can’t occur from just one area (unless you want to get a medical procedure). It’s important to incorporate cardio, especially interval training, in order to help with fat loss for the whole body. Then, the muscles you’ve been strengthening can show through!

7. Not taking a rest day. Our bodies need time to recover and rejuvenate. The repair and strengthening of our muscles actually occurs when we rest. Also, rest days help with feelings of burnout!

8. Not consuming enough calories for your activity level. I wrote a post on this a while back. It is essential that our bodies get the amount of calories it needs to sustain its functioning. This way our bodies are at a level that enables us to thrive and feel good!

Our Favourite Quick bread

 

This month’s theme is “Creative Quick Breads.” its mine and Laurens favourite recipe.

This month we’re going way beyond grandma’s banana bread. From sweet to savory and whole-grain to gluten-free, show us your new quick bread creation fresh from the oven. And if you have a tip for wrapping and giving your lovely loaf, please share that too!”

Quick bread: bread made with baking soda or baking powder that allows immediate baking of the dough or batter mixture

I created three different quick bread recipes this week, but this cinnamon apple raisin bread recipe was my favorite.

I think I loved it not only because it was perfectly moist (sorry to those of you who hate that word) and full of a warm, cinnamon flavor, but it reminded me of eating cinnamon raisin bread at my grandma’s house when we’d go visit. My grandma did not cook very much, and she didn’t bake the bread, but every time we’d go visit, I looked forward to her making me a piece of cinnamon raisin toast. It was so good, and since my parents rarely bought bread like that, it was such a treat!

I’m sure you have most of these ingredients in your pantry, so you can whip this up and have it for a yummy and healthy snack or even a slice or two for breakfast.

Apple Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Yields 1
A deliciously moist and flavorful quick bread made with less fat and less added sugar
Write a reviewSave RecipePrint
Prep Time5 min Cook Time30 min Total Time35 min
Ingredients
1/4 c unsweetened applesauce
1/4 c canola oil
1/3 c brown sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
2 c whole wheat flour
1 chopped, peeled apple (I used Gala, but you can use your favorite)
1/2 c raisins
Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix together the applesauce, oil, and brown sugar
Add the egg and vanilla and mix
Add the cinnamon, baking soda, and whole wheat flour and stir to combine
Fold in the chopped apple pieces and raisins
Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and add the batter, which will be thick and lumpy
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
Notes
Serve warm with vanilla yogurt for a healthy snack or breakfast!
Wrap with plastic wrap and a ribbon and give as a gift to a friend or neighbour

This recipe uses less fat (applesauce is used to replace some of the oil/butter you would see in traditional recipes), and it also uses less sugar. I’m not against sugar (see here), but it has been one of my long-term goals to reduce the amount of added sugar in my day-to-day eating. You can’t even tell there’s less sugar because the cinnamon, apple chunks, and raisins add plenty of flavor. The whole wheat flour adds additional fiber and protein that you won’t see in traditional quick breads.

If you aren’t sure what to give your neighbors and friends for a holiday treat this year, make a loaf of this! Or better yet, if you have mini loaf pans, do that! Wrap it in some plastic wrap, tie a ribbon around it, and you’re golden! You could even add a cute little saying like, “Here’s some lovin’ from the oven” attached to the ribbon if you’re cutesy and craftsy like that.

 

 

 

Sticky Mix Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

I think one of the biggest struggles for myself and Lauren when tackling Veganuary was concerning baking. I love to bake! I’ve baked a few vegetable cakes before such as beetroot, sweet potato or courgette, but most recipes still included eggs or butter. So when I discovered Sticky Mix in last months Vegan Kind box I was very excited!

Sticky Mix Cookie review-1

Sticky Mix specializes in baking mixes. The big thing for vegans is there have a range of free from mixes, free from dairy, eggs and soya. Inside Sticky Mix there are most of the ingredients needed for your bake. The box included a bag of vegan chocolate chips, flour and sugar, all that I needed to add was vegan butter and water.

Sticky Mix Cookie review-3

The recipe took 5 minutes to pull together and 10 minutes to bake. The cookie batter was even nice enough to lick off the spoon before washing up!

I ended up with 10 decent sized cookies. They weren’t as chewy as I like my cookies – a little more spongy but I think that’s because I added a little too much water to the mix so had to throw in some additional flour to soak this up.

I’ll definitely be buying this mix again and may even try some of there other flavours!

Have you ever used Sticky Mix before? Have you any vegan baking tips?

Healthier Crisps Options

It seems as though the poor simple potato’s day is over. Once monopolizing all starchy dishes and snacks, the potato is seeing his cousin the sweet potato taking on fries and chips and now lentils are making a move into the crisp market!

I for one am excited to see the potato taking a back seat. I’m already a huge advocate of sweet potato fries, sweet potato crisps…sweet potato anything really! But I’ve recently been trying an alternative to the traditional potato crisps. Burt’s Lentil Waves are lentil crisps which are free from MSG, hydrogenated fat, artificial flavourings, colourings and are vegetarian friendly – they’re already sound better than Doritos! They’re also made on British turf in Devon.

So health wise and ethical wise they sounds pretty good, but of course they also need to taste good! Well I’m pleased to say they do. Matt and I have enjoyed nibbling on all three flavours – my favourite is definitely the Sour Cream and Chive, but the Sweet Chilli is a close second!
I’m not sure on the method behind the crisps and how they manage to make lentils into crisps but they do work. They are very crunchy and flavoursome and are becoming a snacking favourite of mine thanks to their guilt free nature – they’re only 99 calories a pack and have 40% less fat than traditional crisps!

Have you ever tried lentil crisps? Do you favour crisps that aren’t made from traditional potatoes?