Tested this week: Fuelify fitness snack box and 20% off your first box

March 13, 2015

Today’s fitness kit I’ve reviewed this week is something yummy! Hands up if you like 1) snacks 2) surprises and 3) deliveries?
fuelify snack box review

Fuelify is a tailored fitness snack box service which sends sports snacks, fitness nutrition, bars, gels (and more) to your door.

And they’ve kindly offered you lot 20% off your first box – scroll down for the discount code!

Fuelify is a tailored service, choosing 6-8 products from the latest in sports snacks and fitness nutrition, customised to your fitness needs. You just tell them how you train, what kind of sport you do and what you need from your snacks and supplements and they send you some goodies.

It’s a great way of discovering new products from established and up and coming brands like Pulsin’, Nakd, Clif, Luna, CNP and more. You can see the entire range of everything they stock here.

I told Fuelify it was OK to send me a very general selection so I could get an overview of some of their favourite products.

Here’s what I got in my box.

IMG_7940

I actually gave the gels to a mountain biking friend, but I worked my way through the bars, electrolyte powder and the energy chews/shot bloks myself. All of them were great – some were brand new to me (the Nom brand) and some I’d had before (Trek).

IMG_7941
IMG_7942

My favourite – for what it’s worth – was the Nom protein bar, made with pea protein and coconut oil. It had a lovely texture and was very filling, hitting the spot for me (I prefer fats to carbs, as a rule).

You can get a one-off box (ideal as a present), or opt for monthly or fortnightly subscriptions. I think this would be a great way to discover new favourites and try things you wouldn’t usually come across (or things which you usually have to buy in bulk).

And once you know what you love, you can head to the Fuelify store and buy bulk-boxes of your favourites!

20% discount code for your first Fuelify box

Use code TFW20 at the checkout or when you sign up to Fuelify and get 20% off your first box!

Thanks for the sample box, Fuelify!

You can find Fuelify on Facebook and on Twitter.

Tested this week: Fuelify fitness snack box and 20% off your first box is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


4 Healthier Pancake Day recipes from top fitpros

February 17, 2015

Today I turn the blog over to the capable hands of four fab fitpros. They’ve whipped up a pancake recipe each – which will you use tonight for Pancake Day?

The truth is, pancakes can be enjoyed all year round so if you find this blog post at a later date, go ahead and take your pick from these healthy, delicious protein pancake recipes!

Thanks to Fitcetera, The Fit Mum Formula, Benjamin Tormey and Vikki Ede.

fitcetera pancake day recipe
Fitcetera’s Fuss-Free Protein Pancakes

Fitcetera is a health and fitness blog run by Georgina Spenceley, a full time business analyst, part time sports massage therapist and blogger. Running, CrossFit and Yoga are her weapons of choice, but she also enjoys trying new fitness concepts. She has a passion for stylish apparel, and sometimes geeks out with science and gadgets. Georgina believes in a balanced approach to nutrition – no fads, no elimination – just moderation and learning to give your body what it needs, when it needs it. Look out for her “Anti-Diet Approach” book and course in the near future.

“I love these protein pancakes as a weekend treat that also helps me get my protein intake up. I sometimes struggle to get in enough protein to fulfill my needs as a very active person, but I also have a real sweet tooth, so protein powder helps me supplement my food. This recipe is so easy to make, and feels indulgent every time.”

Ingredients
– 1 medium banana
– 2 whole eggs (or 1 egg and 3 tbsp egg whites)
– 1 scoop (70ml or 25g) of whey protein (I use MyProtein Impact Whey, or Impact Whey Deluxe – vanilla or chocolate are nice)
– 1/2 tsp coconut oil (not because it’s “metabolism-boosting” or a “superfood”; just because it stops the pancakes sticking!)

Method
– Mash the banana with a fork. Add to a jug with the egg and protein powder and mix well.
– Heat a small pan (for American style pancakes) or a large pan (for traditional thin) on a medium heat and add 1/3 of the oil until melted.
– Add 1/3 of the batter mixture and tilt the pan to coat. Cook until small bubbles appear on the surface then flip with a spatula (or, if feeling nifty, by flicking the pan), and cook until browned.
– Repeat for the remaining mixture.
– Serve stacked on a plate with toppings of your choice (berries, peanut butter, hazelnut spread, maple syrup, etc.) or for traditional thin pancakes, roll them up with lemon and a sprinkle of sugar (or substitute).

ben tormey pancakes recipe
Ben Tormey’s Coconut Flour Protein Pancakes

Benjamin Tormey is an international fitness coach and trainer with a background in pure mathematics. He applies those mathematical skills to the science of training and nutrition: this allows him to get results quickly and efficiently, while fitting training and nutrition comfortably into clients’ lifestyles. Ben has previously coached clients for and written articles for PropaneFitness and Fitocracy, and contributed recipes to Anna Sward’s Protein Pow. Ben teaches people how to fit training and nutrition into their lifestyle in a sustainable way, and build good habits, to ensure long-term progress. He helps them understand why they should do things, not just how.

“These pancakes are perfect if you’re keeping carbohydrates low, but they aren’t terribly high in fat either, which means you can almost certainly fit them into your macros with room for extras.

I have experimented with loads of different protein pancake recipes and I always come back to this one. It’s simple, quick, and doesn’t require loads of esoteric ingredients. It actually tastes like you’re eating a real pancake, which is the most important thing!

You can play around with the ingredients, because the recipe is quite robust. You can use egg whites instead of a whole egg, or coconut milk instead of cow’s milk, for example, and it’ll still work.

I like to serve them with dark chocolate pieces placed between each pancake in the stack. Or take an additional scoop of whey, mixed with a little water to form a sauce and drizzle that on top.”

Ingredients
– 1 scoop/25g whey protein (white chocolate and vanilla whey are excellent choices for this recipe, but pretty much any flavour will work)
– 4tbsp coconut flour
– 1 whole egg
– 2tbsp semi-skimmed milk
– Raspberries, blueberries, dark chocolate, nut butter to serve (optional)

Method
– Mix all the ingredients or blend until smooth
– Coat a non-stick pan with cooking spray (butter and coconut oil are fine too)
– Place the pan over a medium heat
– Form small pancakes using 2-3tbsp of the batter
– Cook until bubbles form on top and then flip, cooking for another minute, or more until golden.

vikki ede gluten free pancake recipe
Vikki Ede’s Gluten and Wheat Free Banana Pancakes

Vikki Ede is Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach at MenopauseSurvivalPlan.com. As well as running MenopauseSurvivalPlan.com, she holds workshops for a charity teaching schoolchildren about healthy eating. She runs cookery classes for the school kids and for the parents looking to learn the basics of feeding children healthier options. After going through peri-menopause in her 40s, Vikki set about learning how best to help this special-population. She understands the feelings and pain that can be associated with this stage of life and wants to help women get more from life, lose weight, increase energy levels and enjoy relationships more. MenopauseSurvivalPlan.com shows women how to prevent, minimise or cope naturally with the many varied symptoms.

“All my recipes (including this one!) are created around tasty ingredients which benefit and nurture the hormones and reduce the impact of menopausal symptoms.

This pancake recipe is gluten free and wheat free and includes soya which is known to help during the menopause. It’s super quick, easy and stress-free for busy women juggling a million things.”

Ingredients (for 2 pancakes)
– 1 large ripe banana
– 1 large organic egg
– 2 tbsp gluten & wheat free or almond flour
– 1 tbsp protein powder (I use Synerprotein but you could use organic soya instead)
– 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
– 1/2 tsp cinnamon
– 1/4 tsp baking powder (GF)
– Coconut oil
– Maple syrup (optional)
– Fresh fruit of your choice

Method
– Put the first 7 ingredients into a Nutri-Bullet or blender and mix for 30 seconds.
– Heat a large frying pan over a medium-low heat and add 1 tbsp of oil.
– Once melted add about 2 tablespoons of the batter at a time to the pan for each pancake and cook until the bottom is set (1-3 minutes).
– Gently flip with a spatula and cook for a further minute.
– They need to be small and will be ‘floppier’ than pancakes which contain more flour.
– Serve immediately, topped with fresh fruit and maple syrup (optional).

the fit mum formula pancake day recipe
The Fit Mum Formula’s Flourless Ricotta Pancakes

Polly Hale is founder of The Fit Mum Formula, an online Fitness & Nutrition programme with all the resources you need to get in shape from the comfort of your own home. As a qualified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Advisor, and full-time Mum to six year old Aurora two year old Bella, Polly understands the need to feel healthy and energetic as well as confident about your body, but knows getting to the gym or following complicated regimes is just not an option for busy parents. Included in the BodyBack programme is an online cookbook with easy recipes that are all tried, tested and approved by her family.

“Avoiding gluten, whether by choice or for allergy reasons, doesn’t have to mean missing out, as this pancake recipe shows. Choose a protein powder that’s gluten free if you have an allergy or intolerance to it. Use whatever flavour powder takes your fancy – you could even skip the cinnamon and vanilla and use an unflavoured powder to make savoury pancakes; a little parmesan added to the mix would be delicious.”

Ingredients (makes 2 pancakes)
– 2 eggs
– 100g ricotta cheese
– 1 scoop (25-30g) protein powder
– 1 tsp. vanilla extract
– 1 tsp. cinnamon
– 1/2 tsp. baking powder
– Pinch of salt
– Coconut oil, to grease the pan

Method
– Whisk all the ingredients together except the oil to make a smooth batter.
– Grease a frying pan lightly with coconut oil and heat to a high heat.
– In two batches, pour the pancake batter into the pan then turn the heat to low.
– After a couple of minutes (when the pancake starts to come loose and bubbles appear), flip it over.
– Fry for a further 2-3 minutes before turning out onto a plate and serving with fruit.

I’d love to know if you make any of these recipes! Let me know here or on FB or Twitter and I’ll pass your comments on to the fitpro behind the recipe 😀 I’m sure they’d love to know that their recipes are being enjoyed.

4 Healthier Pancake Day recipes from top fitpros is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


Tested this week: Supplemented.co.uk and 10% discount code

February 16, 2015

Today’s fitness kit I’ve reviewed this week is a new UK company with a very useful service.

Meet Supplemented, a no-frills, honest supplements and vitamins company that makes ordering health supplements really easy.
logo

Matt from Supplemented got in touch with me via the naturalmuscle forums, where the company are a sponsor. That immediately suggested good things to me: if the admins at naturalmuscle trust and rate a company, chances are I will too.

Supplemented are a small food supplements company based in London. Their focus is on providing top quality supplements, vits and minerals (they actually use exactly the same UK manufacturers as some big-brand suppliers and popular High Street chains) at very cost-effective prices.

Take a look at the prices, you’ll see what I mean. What I really liked about the Supplemented business model is that delivery is so hassle-free. It’s all sent directly from London, foil packed and letterbox friendly. So you won’t need to take time off work to sign for a parcel, or “discover” it behind your bin or with a random neighbour.

And the products are safe for tested athletes, too (a big selling point for me). Supplemented.co.uk’s suppliers are Informed Sport registered and audited, which means their products are all produced at a facility that has full compliance for both ingredients and the manufacturing process.

The guys at Supplemented sent me:

CLA (conjugated linoleic acid)– 1000mg per capsule
Green tea extract – one of my must-have supplements all year round
BCAA tablets – I’m not sure of the ratio but I’d guess 2:1:1, at £7.99 for 90!
Creatine mono tablets – 750mg per capsule. Something I’m adding to my stack this off-season!

IMG_7879
As you can see (dog for scale) the packets are small and slimline, ideal for popping through the letter box with your normal post. The products are all top quality, and I really rate this new company and hope they do well.

Their range goes well beyond the sports supplement and bodybuilder type stuff – there are vitamins, minerals, joint care products, omegas, probiotics… etc.

10% discount code

Supplemented.co.uk have a discount code for thefitwriter readers – add MEMBERSDISCOUNT at checkout for 10% discount on your already very cost-effective order! Delivery is free regardless of order size.

Thanks for the supplements, Supplemented guys!

You can find Supplemented on Facebook and on Twitter.

Tested this week: Supplemented.co.uk and 10% discount code is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


Tested this week: Emergen-C vitamin drink launched in the UK

January 24, 2015

Hands up who’s had that tiresome virus this Winter? Yeah, me too. Hands down if it lasted a week. Two weeks? Yep my hand is still in the air… I was more or less wiped out for three weeks by the dull visitation that was This Winter’s Super-virus. SO BORING.

However, the folk at Emergen-C vitamin drink sent me a bumper pack of EMC samples and the timing couldn’t have been better.

IMG_7667

I can’t claim that the Emergen-C cured my cold (I refuse to call it flu because, let’s face it, it wasn’t. It was just a bad cold virus). But I definitely felt better after a few days of drinking it. And I handed out sachets of EMC to friends and family who were also ill and they said the same.

What is Emergen-C? I’m sure I recognise the name…?

If you’ve been to the USA you’ll probably have seen it. It’s been an American favourite/favorite for years, but we haven’t been able to get it here in the UK. Til now! EMC launched over here at the end of last year and is now widely available (Boots and other major retailers).

It’s essentially a slightly fizzy Vitamin-C drink, available as flavoured powder, with added B-Vitamins and other nutrients.

It’s a great thing to have on hand for a drink in the morning or throughout the day, or you could add it to any smoothie or protein shake concoction.

Each serving Emergen-C has 1000mg (that’s 1g to you and me) Vitamin C as well as Vitamin D, six B-Vitamins (B1 – thiamine, B2 – riboflavin, B3 – niacin, B5 – pantothenic acid, B6, B12) and potassium, calcium, magnesium and zinc, manganese, and chromium.

IMG_7668

The ingredients list is pretty lengthy, so super-clean eaters might want to put their specs on and scrutinise: fructose is the first ingredient, and cane sugar, gelatine and soy bean oil are all on the list.

The little sachets are ideal for stashing in your handbag, gym bag or desk drawer for daily use or when you feel you need a pick-me-up. I’m glad I’ve still got some left – although I’m happy to say I’ve now banished the bug this time round!

Head over to the Emergen-C UK website for recipe ideas and your free sample. You can also find EMC UK on Facebook.

Thanks for the EMC samples, Emergen-C people!

Tested this week: Emergen-C vitamin drink launched in the UK is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


Tested this week: Lewis Moody’s SuperVitality nutrition range

January 7, 2015

The bits and bobs I’m reviewing in today’s fitness kit I’ve reviewed post came to me directly from former England rugby international, Lewis Moody. Well, maybe not actually from his own sizeable hands (although I’d like to think so). But they were developed by him and the company is run by him.

SuperProtein Blueberry

SuperVitality has a range of sports supplements including protein powders, smoothie blends, electrolytes and bars aimed not just at sports people but at anyone wanting to supplement their gym performance, support a healthy lifestyle (or lose weight) with no-nonsense products based around healthy, natural ingredients. That said, the company do support plenty of high level and elite athletes, in sports including tennis, football, polo and arm-wrestling! You can read more about SuperVitality’s ethos and how it came about here.

Lewis has ulcerative colitis (it’s OK, he said I can tell you) and the range is backed by dietician Barbara Cox which might give you an idea about the all-natural basis of the product development and ingredient selection. There are no artificial ingredients or sweeteners – any product which is sweetened contains Stevia (SuperVitality are one of the first UK companies to develop Stevia into supplements).

Granola

The range includes performance and protein products including high-energy granola, good quality protein powders, BCAAs, creatine, pre-workouts and energy bars – all designed to be both nutritional and with natural ingredients and sweeteners.

Much as I was tempted by the granola, I opted to test out the Super Protein in Raspberry, and in Blueberry Smoothie, and three of the flapjack-style bars: Cherry & Almond, “Full of Fruit” and Apple & Ginger.

So, what’s the verdict?

The bars are an easy review! Delicious, very tasty, very moreish! Tastes differ but personally I liked the apple/ginger, then the cherry/almond, then the fruity one, although I’d buy any of them. I’m not a mad flapjack lover, by the way, so don’t think that I’d rave about any old flapjack. I usually find flapjacks waaaay too sweet, too big and too stodgy. These come in at 60g (weight), and around 250-260 kcals each, high in carbs as you’d expect and with a fair bit of that from sugar. They are, however, flapjacks, so let’s not be too surprised by the carbs! I liked that they are relatively small, and not too chewy and dense. Fantastic for endurance athletes I reckon, or as a treat snack!

On to the powders. I knew right away that these weren’t just whey protein powders, and they don’t pretend to be. In keeping with the theme of the SuperVitality range, they contain extras (including “superfoods”). As always I’ll encourage you to do your own research and form your own opinion about the ingredients.

What I noticed is that these powders make a thicker, tastier, and much more satisfying shake than plain old whey, even when just mixed with water.

The raspberry diet protein contains calcium caseinate and whey for the proteins, raspberry powder, and acai berry, CLA, l-carnitine and raspberry ketones, along with Stevia for sweetening.

The blueberry contains calcium caseinate and whey for the proteins, blueberry powder, flavourings and Stevia for sweetening.

Both are sold as a post-workout option (which is how I had them) but they’d be great as a shake during the day too as taste great and feel filling. I imagine they’d also be lovely in oats if you’re a proats kinda guy/gal. They really do have that smoothie kind of texture and taste.

Both are low in fats and carbs per 30g serving (around 1.5g of each) and give about 24g protein.

Thanks for the protein, Lewis and the SuperVitality team!

You can find SuperVitality on Twitter at @superprotein.

Tested this week: Lewis Moody’s SuperVitality nutrition range is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


Tested this week: Activate Nutrition Diet whey protein powder

January 4, 2015

Today’s fitness kit I’ve reviewed this week is a diet whey protein which might be a great fit for your New Year’s Resolutions !
activate-nutrition-diet-protein-plus-38
I was first contacted by Mark, the guy behind Activate Nutrition, via the naturalmuscle forum – turns out we are both members. So that told me straight away that here was a guy who is involved in the gym, bodybuilding and physique sport world, who really understands what we need, and who cares enough to contribute to online forums (as himself, not as his company). A good start!

Mark offered to send me some of Activate’s Diet Whey Protein Plus, which I’ve been using since coming off my contest diet (I didn’t want to add anything new in at the latter stages of prep).

Active Nutrition’s products are all developed, made and tested in Britain and the Diet Whey is part of their weight loss range.

Mark says: “Even though the shake is a ‘diet’ shake, it’s what I use years round. If I’m focusing on gaining more size, then in goes the oats and a spoonful of nut butter! Or sometimes I make flapjacks.”

(I think we might need that recipe, Mark… !)

I haven’t been anything like as creative. I’ve literally been having the protein powder with water as a post-workout protein shake. I’ve noticed that it’s a lot thicker than many other shakes (even just mixed with water). I’m not sure if this is due to the blend of proteins (including whey and casein), but it makes for a great mouthfeel and makes the shake feel more filling, too. It’s very milkshakey!

Here are the nutritionals (per serving of 39g scoop):

kcals: 148
carbs: 3.9g
fat: 1.1g
pro: 30.8g

It has over 79g protein per 100g which – according to the website – is the highest protein content per 100g of any lean/diet protein powder out there.

So what makes this a “diet” shake?

Diet Protein Plus is low in fat and carbs and high in protein, but you’d kind of expect that from anything except an MRP or “mass gainer” type shake. It also contains certain ingredients which claim to assist in the mobilisation and/or “burning” of body fat. These are: CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) at 585mg/serving, Acai Berry 4:1 530mg/serving, Green Tea 156mg/serving, L-Carnitine 195mg/serving and Taurine 1170mg/serving.

Some of these are pretty well researched and are now accepted as helpful to “lean gains” and fat loss efforts (CLA, green tea, l-carnitine). But I know that there are some who are always skeptical about “diet” ingredients in protein powders. As always, best thing is to do your own research about the ingredients and the levels per serving. My best resource for reading up on this kind of thing is examine.com.

I can’t say that I’ve noticed any “diet” effects from this shake but I am not dieting at the moment, and am not using it as any kind of cutting or fat loss nutrition regime.

My personal feeling would be that the CLA and green tea would be helpful to fat loss (in fact, I take both as a supplement in their own right), and the others certainly won’t hurt.

Just one other thing to mention – the protein blend in this product is whey protein concentrate 80, milk protein concentrate 85 (micellar casein) and soy protein isolate 90. I know that some people prefer to avoid soy (whether or not they are correct is another matter and again probably down to personal choice!)

It comes in 6 flavours – I tried the raspberry which I am really enjoying (it’s not a flavour I’d ever choose for myself, so the fact that I like it says a lot!)

Thanks for the protein, Activate Nutrition chaps!

You can find Acvitate Nutrition on Facebook, Google Plus and on Twitter.

Tested this week: Activate Nutrition Diet whey protein powder is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


Tested this week: Enhance Drinks natural fruity water flavour drops

December 5, 2014

IMG_7015

Today’s fitness kit I’ve reviewed this week is something to liven up your water during these chilly days.

We all know we should drink plenty of water (at least 2 litres, although frankly I think 3-5 litres is more like it, particularly for active folk). Plain, filtered water is always going to be best. But sometimes it’s tough to chug tons of water, especially when the temperature is cold and the weather is grim.

I often use sugar-free flavour drops for my water so, when I was sent this lovely presentation pack of “Enhance”, I was happy to give them a mention on the blog.

IMG_7016

They’re little squeezy bottles of concentrated flavour, made from real fruit juice, with no added sugar or artificial colours/flavours. So technically they’re not sugar-free, but they don’t have any additional sugar, and no Sucralose or other sweeteners. And because you only need a tiny amount, the fructose/carb load is minimal (barely worth mentioning). You can (indeed I have) pop them in your gym bag/handbag if you want to top up your water during the day, and they seem to be lasting for ages because you really do only need a small amount.

IMG_7017

There are four flavours: apple & blackcurrant, strawberry & kiwi, lemon & lime, orange & passion fruit. All are lovely!

I’ve been using them in cold water and also as a hot drink (the apple/blackcurrant and strawb/kiwi are best for that).

Sadly you won’t get them in this lovely box when you buy them from the shops, but I can tell you that they’re on offer at the moment – £2 each instead of the usual £2.49. You can get them from most supermarkets and direct from Enhance’s website.

And for every bottle sold, Enhance will make a donation to the charity Just a Drop, which will provide a child in Africa with clean and safe drinking water for a month.

Thanks for the sample box, Enhance Drinks people!

You can find Enhance Drinks on Facebook and on Twitter.

Tested this week: Enhance Drinks natural fruity water flavour drops is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


Fitness kit I’ve tested this week: myvitamins.com BCAA powder

November 6, 2014

Today’s fitness kit I’ve reviewed this week: BCAAs powder (2:1:1) from myvitamins.com.
powdered BCAAs
I was contacted by myvitamins.com – an online store which offers a range of fitness, health & beauty products – to see if I’d sample and review some of their goodies. I explained I was deep in contest prep but that I could probably stretch to BCAAs.

As I’m sure most of my readers know, BCAAs (branch chain amino acids) are three amino acids (leucine, iso-leucine and valine). They’re referred to as essential amino acids because the body can’t synthesise them from anywhere else, so we need to get them from diet (difficult, at least in the optimal amounts and ratios) or supplements.

Powdered BCAA is a popular choice with bodybuilders, who often choose to take a serving in water before cardio (particularly fasted cardio) or pre/intra workout. People in muscle and strength sports tend to like BCAAs because these three aminos help protect muscle mass (particularly when in a caloric deficit). And leucine is currently thought to be the mac-daddy of amino acids (it plays a key role in muscle protein synthesis).

myvitamins.com BCAAs are a ratio of 2:1:1, which is what I’d consider a basic or “general” ratio. 4:1:1 and even 8:1:1 BCAAs do exist, but 2:1:1 is the most common ratio.

My feedback? These 2:1:1 BCAAs mixed well, were gently flavoured (berry) and went down the hatch just fine without causing me any digestive issues. And my Mum liked the taste, too (cue a mini monologue on “BCAAs 101” in her kitchen!)

Take a look at the myvitamins.com site – there’s lots on there including a range for active kids.

Thanks, myvitamins.com for the sample (and for your patience in waiting for this review!)

Fitness kit I’ve tested this week: myvitamins.com BCAA powder is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


Latest favourite training, nutrition, health podcasts

October 26, 2014

It’s been a while since I listed the podcasts I am currently enjoying. I listen to tons (as well as audiobooks) because I walk so much (dog owner living in a beautiful part of the country!)

This will be the third of these types of blog posts I’ve written; my previous podcast recommendations are here:
favourites from last year
more from 2013
and podcast recommendations from 2011 (many of which are no more)

cover170x170
The Ben Pakulski Podcast
For those who don’t know who he is, Ben Pakulski is an IFBB Pro bodybuilder (he was in Generation Iron). I came across his podcast when Mark Coles of M10 (whose social media content I absolutely love) was a guest. I listened to that podcast episode, applied some of the ideas to my next leg session, had DOMS for about a week, and was hooked. Ben and co-host John Meadows interview athletes, coaches and experts in bodybuilding, strength and muscle hypertrophy about practical applications and ideas in various areas.
Ben Pakulski podcast on itunes

cover170x170-3
Elite Muscle Radio
Phil Graham is another guy whose social media content I really enjoy, and now I can listen to his podcast too. The Elite Muscle Radio podcast explores nutrition and training in pretty high-end detail but does so in a way that won’t leave you feeling lost (or bored). I was once stuck in traffic on the M25 and listened to almost 80 minutes all about dietary fats and insulin sensitivity for sports performance and body recomp. I’m not a prep coach nor do I have a scientific mind but those 80 minutes were fascinating and I was grateful for the traffic jam. All of the episodes are similarly interesting. I truly feel like I’m “getting my learn on” when I listen.
Elite Muscle Radio on itunes

cover170x170-2
Physique Science Radio
I’m sure you’ve heard of Layne Norton. Well, here’s his podcast. He co-hosts with Sohee Lee, a smart woman who has just released a reverse-dieting book. Layne and Sohee are known for their work on flexible dieting, reverse dieting and health-based contest prep and off-season nutrition. Expect lots of evidence-based nutrition and training advice.
Physique Science Radio on itunes

cover170x170-1
Real Nutrition Radio
I really like this nutrition podcast, hosted by Clinical Sports Nutritionist, Martin MacDonald and his co-host, Mike Sweeney. Between the two of them, they are able to discuss and dissect nutrition topics from two angles, bringing loads of experience not just from academic study but “from the trenches” of actually treating people. It’s not all fat loss and contest prep, either, which I really like. They set out to dispel myths and misconceptions and bring real talk about nutrition for health, sports performance, muscle gain and body composition.
Real Nutrition Radio on itunes

Do you have any podcast recommendations for me?

Latest favourite training, nutrition, health podcasts is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


It’s official. I’ve got a phagia!

August 22, 2014

Oh, this is so exciting. I’ve officially got a peculiar affliction! It must be true, it says so in a press release (for iron supplements) that I got this week.

Actually, this is something I’ve been meaning to blog about for a while, but now I know there’s a proper word for it and everything, I mustn’t delay.

Pagophagia. Doesn’t it sound cool? Actually, it’s really cool. Sub-zero, in fact.

Pagophagia is a specific form of the disorder (great) “pica” (which involves craving or obsessively eating things which aren’t technically food. You know, like soil, or coal, or licking a shovel or something).

I don’t do any of that. I am obsessed with freezing my drinks, adding ice to drinks, drinking icy things. I stand in front of the freezer, eating ice out of the bag.

That’s pagophagia. It’s a real thing – look, there are 32 articles in PubMed on it.

Does anyone else crave ice? Please, let me know, so I don’t feel like such a freak.

Wiki tells me that “Pagophagia is a form of the disorder pica involving the compulsive consumption of ice or iced drinks.” OK.

And goes on to tell me that “It has been associated with iron deficiency anemia, and shown to respond to iron supplementation… leading some investigators to postulate that some forms of pica may be the result of nutritional deficiency.”

Hm. I dunno, can I really be iron deficient? I eat red meat, probably more often than most people. At least 5 times a week, if not daily. I eat lots of greens, including leafy greens. I don’t boil all hell out of my food. I take a greens powder (Lean Greens – if you’re interested).

I’m not too worried about my pagophagia. In fact, here are my top tips for fellow pagophagists! (I have actaully been telling people in the gym about #1 and now I feel a bit bad for spreading disordered drinking around South East Kent).

IMG_5454

– Half-fill water bottles with water, BCAAs, intraworkout or just squash if that’s your thing. Freeze them, ideally over night. Before you head to the gym, fill the bottle up with water. Voila! You have a gorgeously icy drink for your training session. And – added bonus – you can use the solid ice bit at the bottom of the bottle as an on-the-go ice pack. Ideal for leg day.

IMG_5456
– You can also use your half-frozen water bottles to help keep your food cold in your cool box

IMG_5455
– Know your ice suppliers. For example, Londis only sells bags of massive ice cubes. The holy grail is that “ice crush” stuff and I’ve only ever found it in Tesco and Sainsbury. Tesco ran out of it completely for about 6 weeks last Summer. Let me tell you, that was a bad time.

Pagophagists unite! Do you love all things icy, too, even when you’re actually feeling quite cold? Is it really down to anemia and if so what should I do about it?

It’s official. I’ve got a phagia! is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


%d bloggers like this: