Spinach & Avocado Smoothie

Hi, I’m Alison and I’m an Avocado addict!

It’s serious guys – I’m hooked and you should all be too.

Avocados are not only rich, creamy and buttery they are also ultra-healthy.

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ollesvensson / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

 

 Also known as the alligator pear, avocados are the fruit of the Persea Americana, which, native to Mexico and Central America, is a large evergreen tree commonly seen at 35-40 feet tall, and although this technically classifies them as a fruit they are more often than not used as a vegetable.

…and yes, we know, avocados are fattening, but don’t let that put you off –they are full of amazing nutrients such as vitamin B6, C, E & K, dietary fibre, folic acid, iron and potassium – which ultimately makes them the best kind of fattening!

I’m still shocked at how often I eat Avocado these days as I remember at the tender age of 13 giving this fruit a try (yes, I was an adventurous child) and absolutely despising it. To make matters worse, rather than waste the fruit, I mashed it up and made it into a face mask which only went and brought me out in a bright red rash. So that was that, avocados and I just didn’t get on…

Or so I thought – fast forward 14 years and they are a staple of my diet. I find it crazy how much our taste buds mature (although I’ve not yet had the guts to retest it as a facemask!?!?).

So what can we do with avocados beside mash them on our face…?

We can mash them with eggs for a start; or try guacamole, adding them to various salads, in cakes, on top of cakes (frosting), in chocolate pudding, eaten solo and even in smoothies.  

I know ‘avocado smoothie’ sounds odd and to be honest I wasn’t entirely sold on the idea – but its that good I just had to share a recipe with you.

So first things first – picking your avocado…

Go for an avocado free of blemishes, which should give when gently squeezed (but not too easily)

Preparing your avocado…

Run a small blade around the fruit from top to bottom and twist to separate. To remove the stone stick the length of a sharp knife into it and twist it out (but be careful)

And finally making your smoothie…

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Ingredients

• 1 Frozen Banana
• ½ avocado
• 1 large handful spinach
• 1 tbsp chia seeds
• 1 tbsp honey (or any other sweetner)
• 1 cup Almond Milk

Method

• Throw all your ingredients into your blender, pulse for a minute and turn on full power until completely blended.
• Pour into your favourite glass or jar and serve – et voila!

What’s your favourite avocado recipe?  Let me know in the comments below

Love Ali x x

what I ate Wednesday #2

I know I’m your typical blogger – absolutely awful at sticking to a blog schedule – but I do love a good WIAW – they help hold me accountable for every morsel of food I put in my mouth. 

I hope you love these posts too and they you some ideas for quick everyday meals.

So today I woke up at 5:15 to go to Crossfit (I know I’m mental right?!?) – I can never eat at that time so would usually grab a coffee with some MCT oil and drink it on my way out the door but today I was running late – I was so sleepy I even walked for 10 minutes with my earphones in and no music playing.

The workout today was a sweaty one – I even stripped to my sports bra for the first time EVER it was that hot – sorry to all who had to witness this!  So we did –

10 rounds x 1 minute

3 Deadlifts (RX 95kg)
Shuttle runs 5/15/20
Burpees for remaining time

Rest 1 min

Your score would be the number of burpees. 

After Crossfit I rushed home to quickly shower and walk the dog, I’m out of protein at the moment but had boiled some eggs late last night so quickly peeled and ate one of these. 

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I know this isn’t a great post workout meal but as long as I can get something in my body within 30-45 of training I’m happy!!

I took a further 2 eggs to work with me with the view of getting avocado on my way but again I was running late (yes – it’s a problem) so I grabbed a banana in the work canteen – cautiously edging round the oats - to eat with almond butter and my eggs (weird but strangely satisfying).  I try to think of my meals at carbs/fats/proteins so I guess this meal ticked the box.

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For lunch I had a simple tuna salad at my desk

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I then ate scoffed a Nakd bar which are my absolute favourites. 

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This was supposed to be my 4pm energy hit (damn how I need to whole30 again) so I then had the task of avoiding food until dinner time – anyone who knows me knows this is one mean feat!

This evening I had the arduous task of cleaning my make-up brushes and removing my acrylic nails – you girls know what I’m saying – so I coerced my husband into putting together a healthy evening salad of warm chorizo, red onion & grilled haloumi…

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Good job babe (my terrible picture doesn’t do it justice)

For a late snack I had a large square of dark chocolate; dark chocolate is so good for you as it’s full of antioxidants, just make sure it’s over 70% – mine was 85% Yum!

I’m proud of myself not snacking too much today - are any of my readers snackers?  If so, let me know your healthiest snacks in the comments below.

Ali x x 

 

 

Crossfit wants and needs

Being relatively new to Crossfit and hating to be underprepared, it wasn’t long before I started splashing the cash on some new ‘box bag’ essentials. 

Some things can be bought pretty cheaply and others are 100% worth saving for…

So, I thought it would be a good idea to provide any budding Crossfitters who may read my blog, with a list of items you will need (and some you will simply lust after) 

rope

 

A speed rope – when I first started I had a normal cheap ‘skipping’ rope I picked up at a local store but it wasn’t until I purchased a decent speed rope that I really saw my double unders improve.  You don’t have to spend a fortune on one either, I picked mine up from Amazon for less than £5.

Top Tip: Never leave it at the gym!

 

wraps

 Wrist wraps – from the moment overhead lifts were programmed during my classes I used wrist wraps.  At first I felt silly as I wasn’t necessarily lifting a massive amount of weight but if you have weak wrists like me (and a lot of other female crossfitters I know) I would highly recommend getting a pair… and again you can pick these up really cheaply on Amazon. 

nano

 Training shoesReebok Nano’s are the dream but again if you can’t afford them (there is a theme here) or you are waiting to see whether you want to make Crossfit a regular thing you can pick up some decent trainers for a decent price.  I have the Adidas Adipure which I would highly recommend, they are really lightweight and can be worn during a variety of exercises/workouts.  I wouldn’t  suggest using your running or regular trainers for your workouts as they have extra cushioning which can affect your balance and in turn mess up your knees.  I use mine in all my Crossfit workouts but if you get obsessed with Crossfit (like I am becoming) you might want to buy my next item…

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Oly lifting shoes – Since starting this blog post - (it’s been sat on my desktop waiting to be completed for a while now – I can be very lazy) – I went and purchased my very first pair of lifters.  They will give you better stability during lifts and make you look badass (or possibly all the gear no idea), plus these ones were actually on sale so who could refuse.

If you haven’t got these or are unsure about spending the money you can use an old (or new) pair of Chucks.  These are ideal as they have a thin, hard, flat sole helping you stay on your heels during the lift as well as being well balanced.  They are also great for box jumps, wall balls etc, the only thing you wouldn’t wear them for is those pesky long runs that are sometimes programmed to keep us on our toes.

foam roller

 

Foam roller – To be honest I did have this before but never realised it’s importance.  When you are training hard almost every day it’s imperative to take the time to stretch and work on mobility; whether it be static, dynamic or myofacial, we must treat it as part of the workout.  Most decent gyms will have these for you to use but I like to multitask and do my stretches sat in front of the TV.

 

 

A PB Card or journal - We have these at the gym which are perfect for keeping up to date with PBs or workout times.  Remember:  it’s you vs you – you are the competition!!!!

My final few needs wants are definitely for the girls -

foucher

 

 

 

Bootay shorts (and a bit of my idol Julie Foucher) – Give it a few months and you will take any opportunity to get that ass out – Just be careful who is stood behind you!

 

 

reebok-crossfit-headband-3-pack

 

Headband - This is a no brainer, I hate seeing girls working out with their hair down (I mean COME ON!!) or with their fringe in their eyes.  Focus on the lifting – not what your hair looks like!

 

ring

 

Ring Cozy – This is my personal favourite and I would be lost without it.  If you have a special ring on a certain finger you will definitely be getting fed up with taking it off and on, not to mention the sore dry skin this can cause.  With a ring cozy you can leave your ring on, cover it up and even have a little peak now and again – just in case you forget what it looks like!

 

…and there you have it!  

Now I know there are definitely things I’ve missed off, so please comment and let me know, What are your Crossfit / workout essentials?  

Clean Eating Pesto

Today’s recipe comes to you in a bid to keep my meals fresh and exciting.  Eating clean can make it super easy to become bored with the same meals, which in turn can see us falling hard off the wagon; how many times can you eat the same chicken and veg meals over and over again.  

I admit it, when I first started on this journey I would batch cook all my meals for that week and it was more than a tad depressing.  Admittedly, getting creative in the kitchen can take more time which I know is a luxury not all of us can afford, but don’t fear, it can still be easy.  

Through Foodie Fridays (Yes I know I’m late) I try to inspire you to mix up your healthy meals using super easy methods and recipes.   

So with that said this week’s recipe has the ability to be used as a sauce or condiment alike, adding dimension to those clean (boring?) meals.

Here you have my super easy Clean Eating Pesto.

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Now this recipe is Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Paleo Friendly and before you start stressing over the fat content, remember it’s all healthy fats which are essential to a good diet & can in fact help you lose weight PLUS I have removed one ingredient and switched it for one of my pantry essentials making it suitable for a dairy free & vegan diet.

MY CLEAN EATING PESTO:

  • 2 Cups Basil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • ½ cup oil
  • Salt
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • ½ Lemon – juiced

1.  Put all the ingredients minus the oil into a blender and blend

2. Turn your blender to 1 and slowly add your oil (I used extra virgin)

Simple as that.  Store in the fridge in your favourite jar.

You can use it on your Zoodles, in salad, on steak etc etc.

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Happy weekend fitfam! x

Food Friday – Homemade Dried Mango

Addictions can be sooooo expensive… and no, I’m not talking drink and drugs, I’m talking dried fruit.

Even more expensive if, like me, you seek out the good stuff – with no added c**p!

When I was younger I was obsessed with dried banana, I thought I was such a healthy child and it wasn’t until now in my late 20’s that I discovered the healthy snack was majorly  unhealthy – what a bummer!  Completely filled with chemicals and added sugar.

I actually grabbed a packet of dried mango off my friend the other week to discover it was only 60% mango !!!SIXTY PERCENT!!! so what else was in it I hear you ask – SUGAR – full on added sugar… as if fruit weren’t sugary enough.

Rant over.  

My obsession has now developed into dried fruit of the mango variety – now mango isn’t the cheapest of fruits but making your own does work out cheaper (especially if you live in America where I hear it’s ridiculously expensive to buy), and who knew how easy it is.  Even without a dehydrator.

All you need is:

  • 2 mangoes
  • 1 wire cooling rack
  • And an oven (well durr)

1. Preheat the oven to it’s lowest temperature (between 50-75°C)

2. Peel the mangoes

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3. Thinly slice taking care to avoid the stone (see tips below)

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4. Place onto your wire cooling rack and pop in the oven for 2-3 hours turning halfway

5. Let cool and store in an tight container to be enjoyed at your leisure – remember these don’t contain any preservatives so the shelf-life won’t be great (that’s if they make it to the container in the first place – they are delicious)

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Top Tips: Don’t slice your mango too thin otherwise they will turn into crisps.  Likewise don’t slice them too thick as they will take too long.  If you keep an eye on them you can take some smaller pieces out at an earlier time.

Happy Fri-YAY fitfam!

x x

 

 

 

What I’m loving Wednesday

HOLIDAYS

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As you may have noticed I haven’t be blogging for a while as I’ve been off on my jollies – South of France for a friends wedding & Croatia with my husbands family – BLISS!

FITNESS FASHION

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 I need to get paid more – so many amazing designers & so little funds… anyone fancy buying me this new gym outfit…? No… Go oooonn – NO… Oh. Okay :(

OLY LIFTING SHOES

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 Just bought my first pair of lifting shoes!  And they were on sale!!!  And they go in the oven!!!  Seriously…

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Tried them at Crossfit this morning and they are so comfortable as well as giving me greater stability in my lifts – WINNER!

What do you love this Wednesday???

 

 

Raw Jaffa energy balls

One of my favourite treats growing up had to be a box (yes a whole box) of Jaffa Cakes.  I would take two returning the box to the cupboard, realise this simply wasn’t enough, go back for another two etc. etc. you know how it goes.  Not only were they super delicious, they were also fun to eat.  I love any food that comes in layers that can be peeled away bit by bit.

So, As I’m off on holiday next week I wanted a tasty healthy treat to see me through and I instantly thought of recreating the Jaffa!  With just 4 ingredients it’s incredibly easy to make, won’t break your diet and tastes oh so gooooooood!

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For the Jaffa Balls you will need:

(Makes 9 medium sized balls)

  • 1 Cup Hazelnuts (You could use any nuts or even a mixture)
  • 1.5 cups dates
  • 1 Tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa or Cacao powder (plus more for dusting)
  • 1 Small orange (All zest, ½ of the juice)

 

  1. Blend the Hazelnuts and dates together until they start to form a ball.
  2. Add the Cocoa along with the orange zest and juice, blend until thoroughly mixed.
  3. Roll into balls and dust in some more cocoa powder.

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What were you favourite treats as a child?

Alison x

Paleo Banana Bread

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A few weeks ago a work colleague brought in both banana bread and lemon & poppyseed bread and I was insanely jealous.

Not only do I love banana bread but she is a kick-ass baker (seriously, her cookies are out of this world).

Having given up all things good naughty, I had to pass on a slice, however, for fear of missing out… I asked for her recipes and adapted them to make them paleo friendly.  

Of course these were just experiments and with me being new to the paleo scene, I never in a million years expected them to work out first time around, but, low and behold, the banana bread was instantly delicious – and even the lemon & poppyseed bread wasn’t a complete fail (I’ll be onto round 2 soon).

If you do try & like this recipe, please do me a MASSIVE favour and comment below.  You can also tag me in a snap of your creation on Instagram!  I love coming up with these recipes and sharing them with you so any feedback would be amazing.   Even to just know ONE person has tried it would be unreal!

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  • 3 ripe bananas
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 2.5 tbsp coconut butter
  • 120g Ground Almonds
  • 60g tapioca flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tsp cider vinegar
  • 100g walnut
  • 1/3 cup choc chip
  • 1tsp vanilla

1.    Heat oven to 190° and line a loaf tin with baking parchment.  Mash together the bananas and the honey with a fork. Add the eggs and mix well with an electric hand whisk then add the coconut butter and mix for a few more minutes. In another bowl mix the flour & ground almonds, baking soda and vinegar then fold together with the banana mix.  Next, add the walnuts and chocolate chips, giving everything one final mix before pouring into the lined loaf tin.

2.    Bake for 1 hour & 5 mins or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool slightly, then turn out and serve either warm or at room temperature. 

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Hope you enjoy as much as I did!

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Twitter for everyday eats, workouts and recipe updates… 

IG – @mybigfitdiary_

Twitter – @mybigfitdiary

Alison x

 

Lime & Coconut Energy Bars

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We all know that we shouldn’t but sometimes there is nothing better than satisfying that 3pm sweet tooth craving with a tasty snack, right?

I used to snack on ‘healthy’ protein bars that I thought were okay to have in my diet but this was way before I started to properly research the foods that were going into my body. Back then I ate whatever I saw the fit girls of Instagram seemingly munching on day after day not taking into account the rest of their diets & workout regime, not to mention the possibility they may just have great genetics! This was until I actively studied the ingredient list and realised I couldn’t pronounce half of them, let alone know what they were.

These days I’d much rather invest a bit more time and make my own actual healthy snack bars.
However, when I am running low on time I head straight to the health food section of my local supermarkets and buy a scrumptious Nakd bar from my local shop – which you can also buy online here – in case you were wondering Chocolate Orange is my particular favourite!

When I do have time, I love to get creative with my own combinations – usually using some form of nut & dates as my base and whatever other ingredients I have in my cupboard.

The inspiration for todays recipe came when I visited America for the first time earlier this year.
Whilst there I nagged my fellow travellers to take a trip with me to wholefoods (& various other health food stores) in order to stock up on some healthy snack bars I’ve been longing to try but which we unfortunately don’t get in the U.K. Naturally hunting down some Quest bars was top of my list but whilst I was there I also discovered the ‘Larabar’ (which are actually pretty similar to the Nakd bars we get here) but as usual with America there was a lot more variety, they had some tempting flavours such as PB&J, chocolate chip brownie & key lime pie. It was actually driving back from Key West, munching on a Key Lime Larabar (when in Rome) that I thought – why don’t I just make my own back home?!?

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To make my version at home you will need:

1/2 cup Almonds
1/2 cup Cashews
1 cup dates
1/4 cup shredded coconut
Zest of 2 small limes
Juice of 1 lime

- Put nuts into blender & pulse until chopped into small pieces
- Add your dates, coconut & lime zest and do the same
- Add your lime juice and continue to pulse until ingredients bind together
- You can then either roll the mix up into energy balls or (like above) form into bars
- You will then need to put the bars into the fridge for around 2 hours to allow to set.

Enjoy & as always, let me know in the comments below what you think of them or tag me in your creations on Instagram @mybigfitdiary_

Alison x

P.S – I’m now on twitter as @mybigfitdiary

 

Paleo Cinnamon, walnut & raisin bread

Before I get to the good stuff I want to introduce you to the newest member of my family…

Meet Hudson.

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How cute is he???

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I’m loving having a puppy in my life and can’t wait to be able to take him on some nice long walks, especially since it’s starting to heat up outside.  It smells like Summer today at long last.

Looking after a puppy is so time consuming, it’s like having a baby.  I’ve never had such responsibility in my life but I’m loving it.

Let me know if you have a puppy in the comments below… and any training tips are welcome. There are so many ways to do it, it’s hard to know which one to use!

Anyway, let’s get this post back on track…

I love to create new recipes especially when it comes to making recipes of the ‘treat’ variety.  This is the main thing I missed during my whole30 phase as you’re not allowed to make any ‘paleo-ified’ junk food (such as my favourite breakfast pancakes).  This is because the whole 30 is all about breaking our addiction to sugar and post whole 30 being able to control our cravings (I personally believe that they never truly go away – and why would we want them to?).

During my whole 30 I couldn’t resist making lists and coming up with recipe ideas… needless to say I have a long list of things I want to attempt to make soon.

The first thing I decided to make was a Cinnamon, raisin & walnut bread; the perfect swap for hot cross buns over the Easter period.  

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You can eat this bread for breakfast, brunch or as a little sweet treat.  I’ve had it with Almond Butter and with fruit and a side of eggs.  It’s quite simple to make and no crazy ingredients – if you are anything like me recipes with too many or hard to get hold of ingredients just put me off instantly – so you have no excuses not to try it.  

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I put half the loaf in the freezer to stop me eating it everyday and handed out the other half to my friends and family who absolutely LOVED it!  My friend Steph who doesn’t eat Paleo at all said…

‘I would have eaten the whole thing to myself, and I’m not even a fan of walnuts but I loved it honestly.  My stomach goes pretty bloated after eating bread or cake and this hasn’t made me feel like that at all’

So if that’s not motivation for you all to get in the kitchen and try it, I don’t know what is!

To make the bread you will need… 

  • 1.5 Cups Almond Flour (this is just Ground Almonds in the UK)
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Butter
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch Salt
  • 1/3 Cup Raisins
  • 1/3 Cup Walnuts

Mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet in another.  Lightly beat the wet ingredients before adding to the dry and thoroughly mixing with a wooden spoon.

Put into a greased baking tin and pop into a preheated oven at 170°C (340°F) for 30-35minutes – make sure you keep an eye on it.  It will be ready when you can stick a knife in the centre and it comes out clean.

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Hope you enjoy!  If you make any of my recipes please comment below or you can tag your pictures @mybigfitdiary_ on Instagram

Hope you all have a lovely Easter break.  

I’m excited for my four day weekend – even though it’s mainly going to be spent indoors puppy training… means more recipes being created for you though!  Banana bread is on the agenda today.  Wish me luck!

Alison x