Competition time and discount code: new GOOD Hemp with Stevia

March 12, 2012

Morning all! My sponsors, GOOD Hemp nutrition, have just reformulated their chocolate protein powder to use Stevia as a sweetener (previously Sucralose). Great news, as Stevia is far preferable (read why in this blog post).

There are all sorts of reasons why GOOD’s hemp protein powder is great for you: as well as helping you reach your protein requirements (regardless of whether or not you’re a bodybuilder, or even “sporty”), it’s full of really “GOOD” stuff (see what I did there?) including omega 3, dietary fibre and all the EAAs (essential amino acids) your body needs. It’s also much less likely (than dairy-based protein powders) to cause any digestive issues or bloating. Plus it’s reallyreallyreally chocolatey and great for baking as well as just in a shake! The new formulation tastes great and it’s good to know that GOOD have pioneered the way in using Stevia as a sweetener. Be gone, Sucralose!

GOOD Hemp giveaway competition and discount code

To celebrate the launch of the new formulation, GOOD have kindly given me five tubs to give away to five of you! And, on top of that, an exclusive discount code for readers of the blog.

Put the code GOODN1 in at the checkout and you’ll get a whopping 25% off the new Gym Shake with Stevia (one code per reader). It’s currently on an introductory offer of £26.99 (1kg) so the code will make it….erm….*gets abacus out*…. £20.25 (?) And you’ll get loyalty points too.

To win one of the five tubs of the new formulation Gym Shake, leave me a comment telling me why you want to try the product, and then head on over to GOOD Hemp’s Facebook page and pop a post on their wall saying you’ve entered thefitwriter blog competition to win one of the five tubs. That’s it! (Make sure you comment here, otherwise I won’t know you’ve entered).

Entries close this Friday night at 8pm UK time and I’ll pick the winners at random over the weekend. 🙂


– follow GOOD Hemp on Facebook (just click the link)
– follow GOOD Hemp on Twitter (click the link)

Competition time and discount code: new GOOD Hemp with Stevia 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.

“Who doesn’t miss cereal?”

February 2, 2012

“Who doesn’t miss cereal?” These oh-so-true words were uttered to me at B-Fit at the weekend, after I was asked what I miss most on a bodybuilding prep diet.

One thing led to another, and so it was that I told Anna (of Protein Pow(d)er) of my vague plan to create some kind of protein cereal. “It ought to be easy,” I said. “Surely I could make some kind of batter from… I dunno… egg whites and protein powder and something, spread it thinly on a baking sheet, bake it, take it out, smash it into bits, and maybe bake it again? Then I could have cereal and (dairy-free) milk again! Trouble is, I never seem to find the time.”

Anna does find the time. Day after day, she finds the time to create amazing low(er) carb, high protein, high delicious stuff on her blog

And today, she did it. Today, she created “crunchy protein cereal“.

Here’s a picture (stolen from her blog). Now go and read the recipe. Four ingredients. Five if you include your milk of choice.

I am SO making this.

Thank you, Anna! You might just have transformed my life. Or certainly my diet.

Anna blogs at Protein Pow(d)er and also has a very active Facebook page.

“Who doesn’t miss cereal?” 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: Bio Synergy Skinny Protein Shake, Acai Berry capsules

January 19, 2012

Hello from a very rainy fitwriter central. The dog is not impressed. Here is the latest Fitness kit I’ve tested this week post.

I was recently sent a couple of items from Bio Synergy. For the past 10 years, the brand has been creating high quality nutritional supplements, ranging from sports performance to slimming products. Their latest range – Body Perfect supplements – use various natural extracts like green tea, resveratrol and acai berry, to boost results.

First up, I tried the Skinny Protein Shake in the strawberry flavour. This whey powder (which also has soya extract) contains extra ingredients to help control appetite and encourage fat loss: green tea, guarana, chromium (which can reduce sugar cravings) and l-carnitine. It also packs a hefty protein punch, as you’d expect. I like the sound of those extra ingredients, and indeed most of them are supplements I already take. What about the taste and mixability of the powder? It mixed very well and was pretty sweet (sweetened with sucralose) and light tasting, quite like a milkshake I guess. I’ve said before that I’m not a huge fan of berry protein shakes, but if you like strawberry milkshakes, then you’ll probably like this.

With that in mind, I gave my sister some of this to try, and this is what she had to say: “The Bio Synergy Skinny Shake is actually really nice, it mixes together with water really quickly and is very smooth (unlike some protein powders that I’ve found I have to blend, and even then they’re still a bit grainy). I only have to mix this one in the flask thingy you gave me and only have to give it a little shake. The flavour is just right, not sickly or heavy. It’s refreshing and easy to drink quickly! Yum yum, I am looking forward to drinking a lot more of this!”

If you’re interested in introducing the chromium, l-carnitine etc into your nutrition regime, this is certainly a convenient way of doing it, particularly if you’re not confident about adding bits and bobs to your water bottle or taking various pills during the day.

Per 40g serving:
30.7g protein
3g carbs (from sugar)
3g fat (2.4g from saturates)

I also tried the Acai Berry capsules. You take two caps a day (2x2000mg) of this extract of acai berry, apparently used by Brazilian aboriginal communities for fat-loss and to combat obesity. The extracts of the purple acai berry, they say, containing anti-oxidants, anti-carcinogens and anti-ageing agents, boosting immunity and metabolism. Acai berry contains EFAs (essential fatty acids), amino acids, phytosterols and antioxidants, as well as fibre and digestive enzymes.

Now, the problem here is this: it’s very difficult for me to say whether one supplement or other truly helps me, unless the results are going to be something very obvious. I’m not obese, I exercise regularly, I eat for fat-loss and I already supplement with lots of other things. So it’s very difficult for me to say whether or not these capsules had an effect. I’m sorry, Bio Synergy people! I can say that they were very easy to take, completely tasteless and gave me nothing in the way of side-effects.

Have you taken Acai supplements? What do you think of them?

Fitness kit I’ve tested this week: Bio Synergy Skinny Protein Shake, Acai Berry capsules 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.

Monday baking: dairy-free mocha muffins

January 16, 2012

Happy Monday, everyone! I’ve been meaning to bake for the blog, but weekends seem to fly by in a blur of training. Mondays are my day off, and also my “eat up!” days. The perfect time for baking.

Apologies as always for iPhone pics – I never said I was a food blogger 😉

I recently got hold of some brown rice protein powder (thanks to Anna at Protein Pow(d)er for the recommendation) and have been wondering how it would bake up alongside some GOOD Hemp Nutrition chocolate hemp protein powder. I used this recipe of Anna’s as a very vague base (OK, so it’s nothing like it, but browsing her amazing recipes got me inspired!)

By the way, GOOD Hemp Nutrition are currently offering a whopping 33% off new online orders, to celebrate the launch of their new website. Go and check the website out and then grab your 33% discount! (Available until 17th January using this link.)

My aim with this recipe was to create a baked thing which would go well with a mid-morning cup of tea/coffee, fit my macros but still be something which a non-bodybuildery type would eat. I love coffee and dark chocolate, so that was the flavour hit of choice. I wanted to use non-whey protein powders.

The resulting muffin was denser, rather than fluffy, but very tasty indeed, ideal with a coffee (even held up to the “dunk test”.)

Next time I might try:
– less egg white/more Kara
– one egg as well as egg whites
– and/or some kind of filling or topping (vanilla protein powder and liquid? Or – if you do dairy – quark/greek yoghurt?)

All in all, two thumbs up. Let me know if you give them a try!

Dairy-free mocha muffins

Assemble your ingredients:

Chocolate brown rice protein powder (I use Growing Naturals currently on offer here)
Chocolate hemp protein powder (I use GOOD Hemp’s)
Liquid egg whites (I use’s)
Non-dairy milk (I love Kara)
Coconut flour (I use Tiana)
Baking powder (I use…er… Tesco’s?)
Not pictured – because I forgot – ground espresso beans (the real stuff not powdered, and dry not ready to drink)

25g chocolate brown rice protein powder
25g chocolate hemp protein powder
150g liquid egg whites
5g coconut flour (a little goes a long way with this stuff)
Splash (aka 25g) non-dairy milk
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp espresso grinds (or to taste)

Use a blender or bowl ‘n whisk to mix it all together. I just do it in one go. Add the baking powder last.

Pour into muffin cakes (I use silicone ones). Sprinkle a little extra espresso on top if you like (I do).

Bake at gas 6 for 15-18 minutes.

Allow to cool (at least a little bit). Eat!

Stats per muffin (I got five out of this mix… even though there are only four in the picture… ahem):

Monday baking: dairy-free mocha muffins 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: myprotein Pulse, myprotein Elle True Diet

January 13, 2012

Here we are with another Fitness kit I’ve tested this week review post, although I really need to rename the series “Fitness kit I reviewed at some point over the past month”. Both products are from myprotein who, incidentally, recently launched a new type of packaging for some of their products which is proving to be really great. MP’s new MP MAX® range of pouches is made from thicker, more durable material and has a good re-sealable opening, both of which mean your protein will stay better protected from light, oxygen, warmth and moisture. Of course, you could get tubs, but (as anyone with lots of supplements will tell you), tubs take up plenty of space. You can roll these pouches down as you use the product, so they end up taking up hardly any space at all (they’ve got stand-up, slim bases).

There are six products available in the new pouches: MAX® True Whey, MAX® Hurricane Evo
, MAX® Total Gainer
, MAX® Total Peptide, MAX® Creastorm and MAX® Recovery Evo.

There’s also MAX® Elle True Diet, which I tested out. I really liked this product, and if it wasn’t for the fact that I’m trying to stick to non-whey protein powders this year, I’d order it in a flash. Here’s why:

– it tasted great (I tried the chocolate flavour) and mixed up really smoothly. I made it as a kind of pudding, just by adding a little water and mixing thoroughly. It was lovely
– it’s full of extra ingredients which are there to support weight gain and give you a boost in the gym, and which I think would make it a great option for taking before morning cardio (Green Tea extract, Guarana, Chromium, CLA, EFAs)
– it’s also got fibre (something we all need more of) and carbohydrates, from low GI sources
– it really seemed to zap my sweet tooth, even though it was sweet and chocolatey. I guess that’s the fibre and caffeine? Or perhaps the Bioperine®, which helps the absorption of nutrients.

A word of warning: I didn’t do my research, and picked up the sample pack to take with me to a late-night appointment. I then wondered why I had real trouble sleeping that night. Not one to take late in the day, particularly if you’re sensitive to caffeine.

The verdict on MAX® Elle True Diet? All good! It’s just a shame I’m avoiding whey. Sorry, MP! If I change my mind, I’ll be ordering a (foil!) pouch of this.

The other product I tried was MP’s pre-workout, Pulse® . This is full of whizzy things to give you a big boost before you hit the gym, great for days when you’re feeling a bit tired or know you need a lot of focus. Let’s see, it’s got Tyrosine, Glucuronolactone, Guarana and Chocamine® Plus (this stuff is potent! you can buy it by itself from the MP website and a little goes a very long way). There’s also CEE (Creatine Ethyl Ester HCl) in there, and a dose of Beta Alanine: two performance boosting supplements which have been shown to promote power output and ward off fatigue.

I can’t say for sure whether Pulse® gave me a boost, because I tried it whilst training with my new friend Amie, and we were both over-excited to the point of hysteria, but what I can say is that I ought to have been very tired for our training sessions (late nights the night before!) and I wasn’t. And I seem to remember we trained for a very long time, actually! Tastewise – two thumbs up. Berry-ish. (It’s called Berry Blast, so that shouldn’t come as a surprise).

Myprotein recently announced price cuts of up to 50% on over 100 products – these are long term price reductions across some of the most popular products. As most bodybuilders will agree, this can be an expensive sport, so moves like this are appreciated: thanks, MP!

Thanks for the samples, myprotein people!

Fitness kit I’ve tested this week: myprotein Pulse, myprotein Elle True Diet 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: Tesco Nutri1st Advanced protein products

January 4, 2012

Did you know Tesco have launched a range of protein products? No, nor did I, until I was sent some to test. Welcome to this week’s installment of fitness kit I’ve tested this week. I actually tested all of these things some time ago but never mind! Christmas got in the way of this blog post.

I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t think to head to Tesco (other supermarkets are available 😉 ) for a protein hit. Other than, perhaps, rotisserie chicken. Even so, that’s a bit tricky to eat whilst driving out of the carpark.

Obviously it’s best not to be in a position where you need to buy anything from the supermarket on which to snack, but life isn’t perfect. So, Tesco’s Nutri1st Advanced products – a new range of protein shakes and bars – could come in handy.

According to the press release, the Tesco bods have crafted this range with the bamboozled in mind. The products have been designed to make it easier to select a protein product to support your sporting goals. Additionally, the decision was made to have packaging which doesn’t feature muscly models, the idea being that these products might appeal to people who have just started out on their fitness quest.

There are six types of products, all of which are clearly labelled with their intended purpose: muscle definition and strength, lean muscle growth, maximum muscle growth, increasing size and strength, early morning workouts and non workout days and bedtime. I’m not sure there’s a distinct difference between all six, but I can see the value in assisting people new to protein supplementation. The products include only natural colours and flavours across the entire range.

Nutri-Whey Extra – for supporting muscle definition and strength
These high-protein, low-carb shakes and bars contain a triple combination of whey proteins (isolate, concentrate and hydrolysate). I sampled two flavours of the shakes (at around 130 cals, 24g protein, 3g carbs and 2g fat per 34g serving) – strawberries and cream, and chocolate. Both £22 for a 1kg tub. They were perfectly nice tasting, but I’m more interested in what’s in them. As well as the triple hit of wheys, you get amino acids and an enzyme complex, to make the shake more easily digestable. You also get sucralose, unfortunately. In terms of taste, I wasn’t hugely keen on the strawberry (but it’s never my favourite flavour) and thought it was very sweet, but the chocolate was good.

I also tried one of the Nutri-whey extra bars (strawberry again) which was nice, but coated in a chocolate-flavoured layer so, essentially, a protein-rich candy bar. £1.25 for the 60g bar. At 190 cals, 18g protein, 20.3g carbs and 4.7g fat per 60g bar, it’s a decent protein hit for sure, and a better choice than a chocolate bar, but I’d suggest there are better bars out there (or better things to munch on from the supermarket) than a bar covered in sucralose and palm kernel oil. Mind you, I munched my way through it perfectly happily so who am I to tell you what to eat! On the plus side, this bar is bigger than a lot of protein bars out there. In texture, it was chewy rather than crispy or crunchy.

Nutri-Lean Extra – for lean muscle growth
The shakes and bars in this range contain metabolism-boosting ingredients as well as whey protein. I was sent one of the bars in the range, a chocolate/mint concoction. £1.25 for a 40g bar. At 144kcals, 18.7g protein, 11.8g carbs and 3.3g fat per 40g bar, it’s a good chunk of protein but I have to say I wasn’t a fan of the texture. It was a little chalky. The ingredients of note here are good old CLA (1097mg per 100g – the bar is 40g), green tea extract (430mg per 100g), and l-carnitine. To be honest I’m not sure that the thermogenic ingredients would offset the fact that, again, you’re eating the bar’s coating, with ingredients like sugar and glucose syrup. Although the bar is surely a better choice than a Twix or something like that, and undeniably delivers a good hit of protein.

Nutri-Power Complete – help support maximum muscle growth as part of your exercise plan
The shakes and bars in this range are branded as all-rounders, with whey and soya protein, plenty of carbohydrates and supplements including creatine, l-glutamine and HMB. I tried the raspberry and honey flapjack bar which was tasty and carby, but pretty sweet (as you’d expect from something called a honey flapjack). £1.25 for the bar. Per 60g bar (again, it’s a decent size), you’re getting 215kcals, 20.6g protein, 25.8g carbs and 4.7g fat. Not one to choose whilst dieting or trying to having a low-carb day, and I’m not sure that I’d choose a bar with this many sweeteners if there were other options available.

In summary, I think these products are a good entry-level range for people who don’t know about sports supplements and would feel confused or intimidated by some of the existing brands. The packaging does explain in simple terms what the ingredients are useful for. However, for me, the amount of sugar and sweeteners, and vegetable oils, mean I’m unlikely to choose the bars over products from other ranges (in truth I’d rather bake my own!) But I appreciate that a lot of people simply don’t know where to start when it comes to supplementing with quick-grab protein before or after training, and wouldn’t know where to start when it comes to mixing up creatine, l-glutamine, etc for themselves.

The range also includes Nutri-Gain Extra – for increasing size and strength, Nutri1st Advanced Breakfast Shakes – ideal for early morning gym goers and Nutri1st Advanced Staged Release Shake – ideal for non-workout days and bedtime. The range is available in store or from Tesco Direct.

Have you tried anything from Tesco’s Nutri1st Advanced range? What did you think?

Fitness kit I’ve tested this week: Tesco Nutri1st Advanced protein products 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.

Quick and easy hemp protein mini loaves

December 18, 2011

Hello! Well, isn’t this lovely? The weekend before Christmas and it’s all about decorating the tree, wrapping presents and baking. There’s even one of those marathon “best of” TV shows on. This one’s about musicals. So, I’m baking and bellowing. (My husband is out and the dog is feigning deafness).

At this time of year, people tend to bang on about the fact that it’s so difficult to eat healthily. Poor old Christmas. It’s not Christmas dinner which is the problem. It’s everything else around it! Christmas dinner, at its basic level, is great. Plenty of veg (probably more than most people usually eat), and turkey. What’s not to love? However, when we add in bread sauce (WTF?), sausage rolls and all the desserts and cakes, we can see where the potential problem lies.

So I was wondering if a lower-carb, lower-fat, higher-protein alternative could be made for any of those little extras, particularly the ones we don’t really like in the first place. I thought I’d start from the beginning, with Christmas Day breakfast or canapes (if you get up too late for breakfast), by inventing a replacement for bread, blini or crackers.

Today, I baked up some high-protein “bread” made with my GOOD Hemp (plain) hemp protein powder. It was so quick and easy. I think I only missed out on “Cats” and “Fiddler on the Roof” in the TV musical countdown.

Quick and easy hemp protein mini loaves

Gather your ingredients:
– one egg
– 200g egg whites
– 4g coconut flour (sounds like hardly any but a little goes a very long way with this stuff. Buy it from your local health food shop or Holland and Barrett)
– 20g quinoa flakes (I got them from our local health food shop, I suspect you can get them in the “weirdy’ section of the supermarket, too. You could probably leave them out, maybe add a little more coconut flour, or substitute for oats/oat flour)
– 30g GOOD Hemp natural hemp protein powder
– pepper
– baking soda

– Put everything in a blender. Blend it.
– Pour it into mini loaf pan (I have a silicone one, it’s great). Top tip: half fill, then go round again and top them all up, because the heavier ingredients will sink to the bottom of your blender whilst you’re pouring.
– Bake at about gas 6 for about 20 mins or until a knife comes out of the middle of a loaf clean
– Allow to cool on a rack
– Pop out of the silicone mould, slice, top with whatever you like: a sliver of organic butter, cream cheese, smoked salmon, scrambled egg or sliced hardboiled egg, tahini…. ?

I’m going to suggest to the husband that we have these as our Christmas breakfast with our eggs and salmon. They have a savoury, nutty taste and a light, spongey texture. You could, of course, bake the mixture in one large loaf tin and then slice the loaf up. I got 8 mini loaves out of this mixture.

Using hemp protein powder doesn’t just give these a lovely savoury taste. It packs the loaves full of omega 3 and all essential 10 amino acids, and (particularly alongside the coconut flour) lots of fibre, too. Oh, and they’re not too green! More of a brown colour, like brown bread. (Sorry for the rubbishy iPhone photos.)

Per loaf (if you get 8 from the mixture above) without toppings:

Enjoy! 🙂

For more protein powder-based bread recipes (including more using hemp), check out Anna’s blog Protein Pow(d)er – her recipes were my inspiration today.

Now, can anyone suggest a lower-carb alternative for devils on horseback? No? Me neither! 😉

Quick and easy hemp protein mini loaves 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.

Competition time: win GOOD Hemp protein samples

December 8, 2011

I’m glad you liked the guest posts from Hey Joob!, girlontheriver and Protein Pow(d)er whilst I was away. If you didn’t catch them, take a look. Joob wrote about rising obesity rates, girlontheriver made a case for rowing and Anna from Protein Pow(d)er gave us a recipe.

Today I’ve got a competition for you. Yes, even you in the USA. Anyone can enter, hooray!

Up for grabs are several sample packs of GOOD Hemp protein powders – my favourites in fact. After reading my recent review of the GOOD Hemp range, the kind folk over there sent me a load of sample sachets of my two favourites: the Gym shake in chocolate flavour and the Fit Shake in Strawberry flavour.

I want to spread the love, so I am giving away five sets of the two samples, as well as a money-off voucher to use should you want to place an order at any point.

Do you fancy trying my two favourite protein powders? Both are great just straight-up, mixed with water, but the chocolate one is great for baking with, too. They’re definitely not just for bodybuilder, gym-bunny types. Anyone sporty could use them, and even anyone non-sporty. I sent my sister some recently and she loves them in smoothies.

Here’s how to enter. All you have to do is one of the two options below – then come back here and leave me a comment to tell me you’ve done it. I’ll pick five winners at random from the comments.

– follow GOOD Hemp on Facebook (just click the link)
– follow GOOD Hemp on Twitter (click the link) and tweet a link to this blog post (something like “I’ve entered @thefitwriter ‘s blog giveaway for @goodhempnutri samples [link]” should do it!)

Closing date is this Sunday – December 11th – at midnight UK time. I’ll pick the winners on Monday!

Competition time: win GOOD Hemp protein samples 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.

Guest post: Anna from Protein Pow(d)er with a chocolate cake recipe

November 29, 2011

Today, Anna from Protein Pow(d)er gives us a very easy, very delicious recipe using hemp protein powder. As you know, GOOD Hemp kindly support my sporting endeavours, so I’m delighted to give you a variety of ways to use their products. I’ve got a recipe series up my sleeve, but I have to say this recipe from Anna is a fantastic one to kick us off! I urge to to try this… it’s fantastic.

When Nicola asked me whether I’d like to write a guest post, my first thought was ‘HELL YEAH!’ See, I’m a massive fan of her blog (and her absolute awesomeness! she’s a jaw-dropping champ and, as you guys already know, a tremendously inspiring person) so it was definite GO from me from the beginning. Knowing that Nicola is also a big fan of chocolate hemp protein powder, I thought it’d be appropriate to make a protein cake using it :-)))))

I love making protein cakes because they are so absurdly easy (you just blend everything together and, if you want, add some protein frosting) and, alongside a cup of coffee? Well, well, well *sigh* the whole thing can be quite disarming 😀 Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe:

Chocolate protein cake with coconut vanilla frosting

1 medium sweet potato (111g)
3/8 cups of chocolate hemp protein powder (56g)
1 cup liquid egg whites (170g)
1/4 cup cocoa (20g)
1 medjool date (pitted)
3/8 cups of milk (75g)
1tsp of baking powder

1 tbsp quark (23g)
1/4 cup of dissecated coconut
1 scoop of vanilla whey (20g)
bit of water (or milk)

Mix all the cake ingredients together using a blender.
Bake at 160 degrees C for about 35 minutes (until a knife comes out clean.)
Take it out and let it cool.
When cool, mix together the frosting ingredients and top the baby up 🙂

Macros per 1 slice if you slice it into 4: 208kcals, 21g protein, 14g carbo (6g sugars), 7.8g fat (4g sat) and 5g fiber!

Yum, yum, thanks Anna! I have a few recipes of my own – using chocolate hemp – to share soon, lots of them inspired by your kitchen adventures!

Anna blogs at Protein Pow(d)er and also has a very active Facebook page.

“Guest post: Anna from Protein Pow(d)er with a chocolate cake recipe” 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: Optimum Nutrition Whey Crisp and Wholly Oats! bars

November 16, 2011

Hello! What better on a dark November night than a few sport supplement reviews? Well, you’re in luck, cos here is my latest “fitness kit I’ve tested this week” post.

Today we have a few bars which were sent to me by the kind folk at Optimum Nutrition (ON). They sent me their Whey Crisp bar in Marshmallow Treat (anyone would think they know my tastes…) and in Double Rich Chocolate. They also sent through some Wholly Oats! bars in Strawberries and Cream flavour and Chocolate Peanut Butter flavour. Marshmallow. Peanut butter. Optimum Nutrition, are you stalking me? 😉

I have to own up to not testing the Wholly Oats! bars myself, at least not fully. Even in an off-season non-diet, they’re just not my thing. Too….wholly oaty, I guess. However I am married to an endurance athlete for whom oats (wholly or otherwise) are a good thing. I did “sample” a bit (I’m such a nice wife, I prepare my husband’s packed lunch every morning and have taken to chopping the Wholly Oats! bars into bits to add into homemade trail mix) and this is what I have to say:

– Chocolate Peanut Butter – not as peanut buttery as I’d hoped, but this is actually a good thing otherwise my husband’s packed lunch would have been lighter that day. It was a nice flavour but not outstanding. Mainly chocolatey. My husband said they were very good. “Chocolatey and peanutty, but not very peanut buttery,” were his exact words.

– Strawberries and Cream – as the name would suggest, this is very sweet. The top layer represents the cream and is a bit like white chocolate. Right up my husband’s street (although he did report a taste of “marzipan”?!), but not mine. Horses for courses – you may love this bar and I’d certainly say give it a go. It’s nice, just not very me. The ON website says these bars represent a replacement/alternative to a bowl of porridge (translation for my US readers: “oatmeal” 😉 ) and a protein shake, and certainly that’s a typical breakfast for many a bodybuilder, so don’t think they’re only for endurance athletes.

The Wholly Oats! bars stats are: 21g protein (from casein, whey and egg), 42g carbs and 5g fat per bar

The Whey Crisp bars were mine and mine alone to sample! Husband didn’t get a look in, in fact I suspect he doesn’t even know I ever had them to review. Here’s what I thought:

– Marshmallow Treat. A treat indeed! Marshmallowy in taste but not texture, this was crispy (like a rice crispy cereal bar thing) and a bit sticky but not as sticky as an actual marshmallow. I… erm… may have dipped it in a cup of tea, and it held up admirably to that rigorous stage in the review process. I thought I might find this too sickly but I didn’t. I am proud of myself.

– Double Rich Chocolate – again, I thought this might be too sweet for me but it wasn’t (just). The bars aren’t huge, but I think this would have been too sweet if they’d been any larger. The tea-dunking test worked well for this bar, too.

The Whey Crisp bar stats are 16g protein (from whey). 25g carbs, less than 1g sugar and less than 2g fat. So, hardly a low-carb bar but then again I’d suggest that if you were in a low-carb stage of dieting you wouldn’t be using bars anyway. 😉 A tasty treat which was a welcome tea-dunking experiment in this more relaxed stage of bodybuilding eating!

Like most commercial energy/recovery/meal replacement (etc) bars, these aren’t the ideal solution when you need a snack, but they’re better than a lot of choices (chocolate bars, crisps, biscuits) and help you meet your protein requirements.

The flavours and sweetness are very much a personal thing. But here you have two different types of bars from a well-respected sports nutrition brand, worth trying if you like bars and certainly worth keeping in your bag in case you’re caught short without food. Thanks for the samples, Optimum Nutrition people!

Fitness kit I’ve tested this week: Optimum Nutrition Whey Crisp and Wholly Oats! bars 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.

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