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Since Fit&Treat production kitchen in London was closed November 2016 I received hundreds of emails from our customers and followers asking me to share recipes we used to cook their loved healthy meals. So I decided It would be at least selfish to keep a secret. From this moment i’m going to publish bit by bit all Fit&Treat’s healthy recipes created in Fit&Treat’s kitchen and gathered from best industry experts for years of my bikini-fitness expurience.
Starting the series with healthy muffins.
Personally, I’m not a big fun of muffins but my Fit&Treat’s customers and followers, my family and friends simply love them.
Peanut Butter & Banana Muffins – happy school days flesh back.
These muffins taste exactly the same way as traditional school days snack but far lighter in terms of nutrition. I swaped all heavy and sugary ingredients on healthy substitutes and here we go! Try to make this fantastic snack to spoil your loved ones. Peanut butter-banana healthy muffins could be a great idea as a pre-workout snack or breakfast. Let me know if you liked it.
Protein: 4 grams
Carbs: 23 grams
Fat: 4 grams
1 cup white whole-wheat flour + 1 cup oat or whole grain flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 3/4 cup mashed bananas (about 4 large bananas)
2-3 Tbsp. of stevia or any other sweetener (i never use refined sugar in my recipes)
2-3 Tbsp. of honey or agave nectar (optional for those who have a bigger sweet tooth)
1 Tbsp. coconut melted oil
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup creamy peanut/almond butter
1/2 cup unsweetened almond/soya milk
Yield: 15 MUFFINS; prep time: 15 min; cook time: 20-25 min; total time: 37 min
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Line a muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.
3. Whisk together hard ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
4. Mash bananas until smooth. I use mixed but fork is also an option. Add stevia, honey (optional), coconut oil, egg, vanilla and beat everything together. Add in the peanut/almond butter. Add the flour mixture and milk. Mix until smooth.
4. Fill muffin liners half full. Bake about 20 min. until toothpick inserted into muffin centre comes out clean. Cool. I like to serve the muffins with peanut butter and berries. You can store them in room temperature for up to 3 days.
You can also freeze and use when needed just reheat in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
Yummy, healthy and lean option of your favourite banana bread. I use oat flower and oatmeal to make it even healthier. You can easily fortify this bread with protein powder if you aim to increase your protein intake and swop stevia with other sweaters or fructose.
Perfect for breakfast, as pre and post-workout snack.
Could be stored up to 3 days in room temperature but usually it’s not the case.
Macros per piece: macros is approximate (depends on the portion size)
Calories: about 90-130 kcal
Protein: about 5 grams (without protein powder), about 15 grams fortified
Carbs: about 10 grams
Fat: about 4 grams
Yield: 1 loaf (about 5-6 pieces); prep time: 15 min; cook time: about 1 hour; total time: 1.30 min
1 cups oat flour + 1 cup whole wheat flower + 1 cup oatmeal
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1-2 scoops whey protein powder (optional). I use bannoffee pie flavour.
½ tsp salt (optional)
8Tbsp coconut oil, plus 1 tsp. for greasing
1 Tbsp. stevia
2 Tbsp. honey (optional)
4 ripe bananas, mashed
mixed crushed nuts and dried fruits (optional)
85ml/3fl oz unsweetened almond milk mixed with 1½ tsp lemon juice
1 lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
Mix together flour, baking soda, salt and protein powder into a large mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, combine coconut oil butter, stevia and honey together until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, mashed bananas, almond milk and vanilla extract to the butter.
Add crushed nuts and dried fruits to the butter.
Grease a loaf tin and pour the cake mixture into the tin.
Transfer to the oven and bake for about an hour.
Remove from the oven and cool in the tin, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before serving.
How many days a week do you actually work out? How many days should be devoted to rest? Do we really need a rest day? Some people believe that the more you exercise, the quicker and better the results. What’s the ideal ratio of rest to workout days in order to maximise the outcome of your exercise?
Workout days are simple to follow: you just follow your routine. Then, on your “rest days”, you feel like a lost duckling. It is always so tempting to fill them with “other physical activities” up to the top. Do you run on the treadmill? Or maybe do lighter weights? A bike ride on a unicycle up a mountain sounds nice. How about this: try actually letting your body rest.
“Rest” Is Often Misunderstood
There’s a reason rest days are intentionally woven into workout programs. In fact, rest is necessary for progress. When you exercise—particularly when you do really intense stuff like training for a marathon or lifting heavy weights—you’re damaging your muscle fibers. And it’s really the rest and recovery that let you repair muscles, and get fitter.
The American Council on Exercise (ACE) defines a rest day as a non-training day, where you’re not challenging your body at all. Some people interpret it as a license for a cheat day or just do nothing—the latter of which I actually encourage if you already work out too much. I used to work with people who took rest days to mean activity that was the exact opposite of resting. They might go for a “quick run” that ended up being eight miles; or do high-intensity interval training right after squats and deadlifts. That’s on top of training five to six days a week, sometimes twice a day. Those are pretty stressful rest days. Of course, these are extreme cases, but the urge to be extreme in fitness is more common than you think.
Refusing to Properly Rest Hurts You in the Long Run
You’ve heard the saying: “No pain, no gain,” or “Pain is weakness leaving the body.” If you work out intensely every day, you run your body ragged. Ideally, your fitness cycle should be: Work out, recover, profit, repeat. The recovery part is necessary for you to keep up this cycle over and over again and be able to see those results in the long run.
But remember, you’re (probably) not only exercising. You’ve got a life, a job, a family, Game of Thrones spoilers, and so many other stressors. These will all impact your ability to recover from your workouts.
And let’s not gloss over the fact that fitness is 50 percent physical and 50 percent mental. I know I spend a lot of time thinking about how to crush my workouts, what to do to get the most out of them, the “right amount” of reps and sets, what glorious thing I’m going to eat afterward, or whether the stripes on these socks match the color of my shorts. All of these stressors will have rippling effects on not only your workout performance but on other areas of your life, too. A little extra strenuous activity here and there isn’t a big deal.
But by the time you really do need that rest, it may be too late: you’ve burnt out. As a result, your motivation and energy levels will get hit hard; you’ll get lackluster or no results; you’ll make yourself more prone to injuries; or worse, you’ll start to see exercise as a chore.
Some fitness practitioners believe (and I share their opinion) that over-training causes massive water retention. At first glance it may resemble gaining fat. However, just a few days of complete rest could solve the problem, and is sufficient time to shed up to 2-3 kg of retained fluids in men and up to 5 kg in women.
Rest Doesn’t Have to Mean Doing Absolutely Nothing
At the same time, plenty of people have told me that deliberate rest would be too disruptive to their “hot” workout streak. That is, they’re stuck on this idea that if they take some time to rest, it’ll mess up their momentum and be much harder to get crackin’ to work out again.
If that’s you, you don’t have to stop entirely. Instead of being completely still, you can do what’s called “active recovery”, where you’re still moving, just letting your body recover. Many coaches advocate engaging in some sort of movement, but advise that it should be easy on the body.
Here are some ideas on what that might look like:
Do some mobility work: Mobility refers to how well your joints and body move. If you sit at a desk all day, you can probably work on your mobility to improve your posture and range of motion (like in your upper back and hips). Besides, better mobility can translate to better performance in the gym, too. Your rest days are the perfect opportunity to fit in light mobility and flexibility work. Yoga or foam rolling can be part of this regimen.
Practice technique: Whether you’re learning a new weightlifting move or trying to improve your running stride, use your rest day to practice. If you’re practicing a weightlifting move, I recommend using a broomstick in place of a barbell. A lot of repetitions even with just the barbell could tire you out.
Do cardio (only if you want): You’re probably told to just do cardio on the exercise machines on your rest days. You can, but don’t feel like you need to, especially if you’re already pretty active. Do it only because you want to and it’s actually a way for you to feel relaxed.
Take your activity outside: Hike, jog, bike, play catch, swim, prance, or do anything you enjoy. When you spend all your time working out indoors, it’s nice to be able to mix it up with doing something outside. Recreational sports are great, but sports like soccer, football, basketball, Ultimate frisbee, and so on can also be really intense. If you’re playing at a competitive level on a regular basis and feel beat, talk to a coach who specializes in your sport about designing a proper in-season training protocol.
When you feel really run-down and lack the energy and motivation to work out, it’s a dead giveaway that something needs to go. Obviously, you can’t just easily toss aside many of your life’s obligations, but you can always cut down on your activity. Instead, you can spend a day preparing your meals on your rest day. Heck, if you want to, you can sit on your ass to play video games or read a book at the park. You should take at least one day of rest like that.
Doing too much exercise is counterproductive. Being fit and healthy requires the interplay between rest and exercise, which in turn bring you results and all those other health benefits. So, take care of your body. That’s why you’re working out in the first place.
There is a wide range of protein powders currently. The protein content, quality and value of ingredients used can vary enormously, as can the digestibility and absorption qualities of the supplement. Different types of protein also serve different needs. The array of products found on shop shelves can be bewildering, so here is a quick review with some guidance on what you should be taking.
WPC is the most common source of protein you can find in shops. The protein content of such products usually varies between 70-80%. Some experts believe that WPC is a good option for non-professional fitness practitioners, and for those who are simply looking to increase their protein intake. As a qualified nutritionist and an expert in fitness and bodybuilding I would consider WPC as a suitable option even for advanced users. It can be mixed with carbohydrates in a post-workout shake to boost recovery, and 80% protein content is usually sufficient for most needs.
Recommendation: take it after weight training or mix it in your morning oats after fasted cardio for quick recovery and a metabolic boost. Ask your nutritional adviser to calculate the optimal intake for your needs.
2.) Whey Protein Isolates (WPI)
At between 90-100%, WPI protein content is higher than WPC. This means that the product itself is cleaner, and is of a higher quality. WPI has great absorption and digestibility due to its chemical form; it enters the bloodstream almost immediately following consumption, which is why it’s perfect for a post-workout shake. You can also use WPI if you are on a ketogenic diet (i.e. a no carbs diet), as it’s an absolutely pure source of protein that won’t impact the production of keton bodies (the primary source of energy when you’re on a zero carbs diet).
Recommendation: Do not follow a ketogenic diet on your own without qualified and experienced nutritionist supervision. It could cause hypoglycemia and other health problems.
3.) Hydrolysate Protein (HP)
Experts consider HP as the highest quality protein because of its chemical properties and absorption qualities. However, pure HP is not often found on shop shelves, but is usually found mixed in with other kinds of protein such as WPC and WPI. Manufacturers mix sources for two principal reasons:
To decrease the production price without any significant compromise in terms of quality;
To provide your body with proteins with various speeds of digestibility, in order for the body to retain its protein supply for a longer duration.
4.) Casein Protein
Casein is a slow-digesting protein. There is a completely different mode of thinking behind casein supplements than with other types of rapid-absorption protein powders. Depending on one’s metabolism, the body needs up to 5-7 hours to fully digest casein; this is why it is perfect as either a meal replacement or a bedtime snack.
Recommendation: Do not take casein after fitness activities as it will only enter the blood stream a few hours later, leaving your body starved of vital nutrients. You can take casein as a bedtime snack by mixing it with a small amount of water. Due to casein chemical properties such a mix will create a mousse-like texture, and could be taken as a desert.
5.) Soy/Pea/Rise/Hump Protein
All plant-based proteins can be taken to increase protein dietary content. They are suitable for vegans, and can potentially be a great way of fortifying their constitution with essential amino acids. However, keep in mind that all vegetable proteins have an incomplete profile of amino acids. According to Gastellu and his colleagues at the International Sport and Science Association, plant-based proteins should ideally be mixed with other sources such as WPC, WPI or HP (which are also suitable for vegans in the majority of cases) in order to provide the body with all the necessary building-blocks for its recovery and maintenance.
I’m sure you know your brain works better following exercise?
A team of researchers in Ireland made this discovery through a relatively simple experiment. They asked a group of students to watch a rapid lineup of photos.
Each photo included a name and face of a stranger. Then, after a brief break, the students tried to recall the names of the faces that had moved across the computer screen. After this initial test, half of the students were asked to ride a stationary bicycle at a strenuous pace until they reached exhaustion. The other half of the students sat quietly for 30 minutes. Then both groups took the test again to see how many names they could recall.
The group of students who exercised performed much better on the memory test than they had on their first attempt. The group who simply sat in another room did not improve. As part of this experiment, the scientists also collected blood samples, through which they discovered a biological explanation for the increase in recall among the students who exercised. Immediately after the strenuous activity, students in the exercise group had much higher levels of a protein known as brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, which promotes the health of nerve cells.
So make some time daily, weekly for that walk, work-out, run, hike etc.
It’s not always easy to convince yourself to exercise after a long day of work. (Ok, it’s never easy.) But people who consistently manage to do it may be using a simple trick—whether they realize it or not—according to a new study published in the journal Health Psychology.
The most consistent exercisers, researchers found, were those who made exercise into a specific type of habit—one triggered by a cue, like hearing your morning alarm and going to the gym without even thinking about it, or getting stressed and immediately deciding to exercise.
It’s not something you have to deliberate about; you don’t have to consider the pros and cons of going to the gym after work,
explains L. Alison Phillips, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at Iowa State University and one of the study’s authors. Instead, it’s an automatic decision instigated by your own internal or environmental cue.
The researchers wanted to see whether this type of habit, known as an instigation habit, was better than another type of habit at predicting who stuck with a month of exercise. At the beginning and end of the monthlong study, they asked 123 university students and faculty questions that assessed how often they exercised and how strong their exercise habits were—whether they did it without thinking, for example. From these questions, they gleaned whether a person has a strong instigation habit—one where a cue triggers the instantaneous decision to exercise—and whether a person has a strong execution habit—that is, knowing exactly what kind of exercise they’ll do once you get to the gym, or being able to go through the motions of an exercise routine while being mentally checked out.
The only factor that predicted how often a person exercised over the long-term, they found, was the strength of their instigation habit. It got stronger with time, too.
When people started exercising more frequently over the month and became more active, I saw that their instigation habit strength increased with that frequency, but execution habit didn’t really change in relation to frequency at all…
Interesting idea of how to lose weight relatively effortlessly without counting calories… Read more and share
Mind over matter: psychology over calorie-counting
Interesting idea of how to lose weight relatively effortlessly without counting calories (warning: you still have to watch what you eat) by letting your own body dictate how much you eat. Seems pretty sensible and worth a try.
byMichael Graziano (is a neuroscientist, novelist and composer. He is Professor of Neuroscience at Princeton University in New Jersey. His latest book is Consciousness and the Social Brain (2013). Edited by Ed Lake | 18 January, 2016 | Aeon
Hunger isn’t in your stomach or your blood-sugar levels. It’s in your mind – and that’s where we need to shape up…
…If weight were a matter of calories in and calories out, we’d all be the weight we choose. Everyone’s gotten the memo. We all know the ‘eat less’ principle.(Read Why diets don’t work and what you can do about it and Diets and exit strategies.) Losing weight should be as easy as choosing a shirt colour. And yet, somehow it isn’t, and the United States grows heavier. It’s time to consider the problem through an alternative lens.
Whatever else it is, hunger is a motivated state of mind. Psychologists have been studying such states for at least a century. We all feel hungry before dinner and full after a banquet, but those moments are the tip of the iceberg. Hunger is a process that’s always present, always running in the background, only occasionally rising into consciousness. It’s more like a mood. When it slowly rises or eases back down, even when it’s beneath consciousness, it alters our decisions. It warps our priorities and our emotional investment in long-term goals. It even changes our sensory perceptions – often quite profoundly.
You sit down to dinner and say:
That tiny, little hamburger? Why do they have to make them so small? I’ll have to eat three just to break even.
That’s the hunger mood making food look smaller. If you’re full, the exact same hamburger looks enormous. It isn’t just the food itself. Your own body image is warped.
When the hunger mood rises, you feel a little thinner, the diet feels like it’s working and you can afford a self-indulgence. When satiety kicks in, you feel like a whale.
Even memory can be warped. Suppose you keep a log of everything you eat. Is that log trustworthy? Not only have you drastically misjudged the size of your meals, but you’ve almost certainly forgotten items.
Depending on your hunger state, you might snarf up three pieces of bread and after the meal sincerely remember only one.
One recent study found that most of the calories people eat come through snacks between meals. But when you ask people, they deny it. They’re surprised to find out just how much they snack…
…Let’s say you decide to cut back on calories. You eat less for a day. The result? It’s like picking up a stick and poking a tiger. Your hunger mood rises and for the next five days you’re eating bigger meals and more snacks, perhaps only vaguely realising it…
… I’m not denying the physics here. If you take in fewer calories, you’ll lose weight. But if you explicitly try to reduce calories, you’re likely to do the exact opposite. Almost everyone who tries to diet goes through that battle of the bulge. Diets cause the psychological struggle that causes weight gain.
… Let’s say you try another standard piece of advice: exercise. If you burn calories at the gym you’ll definitely lose weight, right? Isn’t that just physics? Except that, after you work out, for the rest of the day you’re so spent that you might actually burn fewer calories on a gym day than on a regular one. Not only that, but after a workout you’ve assuaged your guilt. Your emotional investment in the cause relaxes. You treat yourself to a chocolate chip muffin. You might try to be good and decline the muffin, but the exercise revs up that subtle hunger mood lurking under the surface and then you don’t even know any more how much you’re overeating. Meals grow bigger while seeming to grow smaller. Extra snacks sneak in.
…But the most insidious attack on the hunger mechanism might be the chronic diet. The calorie-counting trap. The more you try to micromanage your automatic hunger control mechanism, the more you mess with its dynamics. Skip breakfast, cut calories at lunch, eat a small dinner…
be constantly mindful of the calorie count, and you poke the hunger tiger
All you do is put yourself in the vicious cycle of trying to exert willpower and failing. That’s when you enter the downward spiral…
Don’t put a plastic bag over your head. Likewise, don’t eat the super-high death-carb, low-fat diet. Don’t micromanage your brainstem by counting every calorie. You might be surprised at how well your health self-regulates.
Michael Graziano is a neuroscientist, novelist and composer. He is Professor of Neuroscience at Princeton University in New Jersey. His latest book is Consciousness and the Social Brain (2013).
I recently attended an all day event at the USC Campus, specifically at the USC Davis School of Gerontology to learn about the latest science on healthy aging from several of the world’s top aging experts. I feel inspired to share with you all what I learned. Many of you may have come across the information that I am about to share, but in case you have not, it’s never too late to learn something new!
1) One of the “hottest” question presented was “Does caloric restriction extend lifespan?” Answer: only sometimes. But if you compare a low fat diet versus a Mediterranean diet (which includes nuts and olive oil), the Mediterranean diet wins! It was shown to prevent cognitive decline and heart problems.
2) Sitting is the new smoking! Incredible to believe but the more hours you spend sitting on a daily basis decreases your health span. It is important to use your break time to get away from your workspace. And if you don’t get any breaks? Get up and take a walk to the bathroom every hour or two. Sitting can cause a multitude of heart problems, whereas smoking can cause lung problems/lung cancer. I guess you pick and choose your poison, or avoid them altogether.
3) Ovaries removed after normal menopause lessens a woman’s risk for dementia. Ovaries removed before normal menopause increases a woman’s risk for dementia.
4) A low protein, high carbohydrate diet is recommended for everyone below 65 years of age. Once you reach 65 and older, moderate (not low!) protein intake is recommended.
5) If you want to live longer and spend your later years without getting a disease or being disabled in any way, adhering to a plant based diet that includes high levels of legumes, vegetables and healthy fats (olive oil, other monounsaturated fats, nuts) is recommended. Waist goals for men to have should be less than 40 inches, and less than 35 inches for women.
6) Take care of your teeth! Get regular dental checkups! Edentulousness (having no teeth) is directly related to nutritional issues and health problems.
7) Watch the BBC video: The Men Who Made Us Fat.
8) Recommended weight loss programs are: weight watchers and TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly).
9) Create your own individualized diet/meal plan that takes into consideration your age, gender, weight, and activity levels.