Experiment: coffe and fitness ☕️💪🏻

coffee gym

 

As many of you know I love doing little experiments, both in the kitchen and on myself.

So this week, having had some troubles sleeping recently, I have been going completely caffeine free. Not even one small cup in the morning, ZERO.

So yes, if you love coffee and are used to the caffeine kick as soon as you are awake (or at any other time of day for that matter) I won’t lie to you:

It’s going to be tough. Really tough.

The conclusion?

Sadly, my sleep hasn’t improved, but! I have made some interesting discoveries along the way.

  1. In my search for coffee substitutes I discovered that guarana‘s (a lovely Brazilian plant) seeds  have got caffeine in it, and not just a little, but double the amount of coffee seeds. I was like :-O Especially as I had guarana infusions in the past thinking they were caffeine free. Oh well. Better late than ever. So if you are looking for natural coffee substitutes which are completely caffeine free, you will have to stick to herbal teas (Liquorice is my favourite) (no green tea though!!) or barley mixes, which actually taste quite similar to coffee but without any caffeine. Oh and decaf coffee of course, although that’s not completely natural
  2. Effects of coffee on workouts: WOW. I knew this already but I guess I never paid much attention until now that I have gone caffeine free for a week. 1 cup of coffee about 1 hour before I hit the gym made my workout WAY better, both from a cardio and weights lifting perspective: double the energy, double the strength. A natural booster! (and I hadn’t slept much, imagine what I can do when I sleep 😉 )

Not bad for a 1 week experiment!

Next, onto improving my sleep pattern.

Did you know this already? I’d love to hear about your little experiments too, as I am sure there’s loads of other crazy ‘chemists’ just like me :)

 

 

 

 

Charity Spinning Marathon – 10th April

We had such a terrific time and managed to raise a nice amount of money for the Butterfly project – all burning tons of calories!!

Here’s the day in pictures – enjoy :)

Meet & Greet

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For Sale today!

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The calm before the storm…

 

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Some serious sweat going on in the studio..

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Go Lucaaaaaaaa

 

 

Time to parteeeeeeee

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Until next time, yours in cake :)

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🌈My colourful interview at Colourful Radio 🌈

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Last 27 January I had the pleasure of being interviewed by the amazing Sonia Poleon at Colourful Radio – in case you missed it here’s the podcast – and a few pictures to tell a bit of the story of me in the studio.. was it very obvious I had not been on the radio before?!

As Sonia said though you do get used to it pretty quickly I must say, and what I thought would be a nerve-wracking experience actually turned out to be pretty much fun!!

So if you ever get requested to be interviewed on the radio, go for it! It’s such a thrilling experience :)

Huge thanks to Sonia and the soooo lovely staff of Colourful Radio for having me!

Now enjoy the craziness below.. :)  (interview starts at 12:52)

 

 

Studio 1, here I wait…

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Fans following me from their mobile! 🙌

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Please don’t tell me you love sugar 😖

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Whaaaat are we liiiiiive?!?

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La la la la la la la la 🎶🎵🎶🎵

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Smile for the camera! Well supposedly you should see the Colourful Radio logo behind me hehehe 😝IMG_2419

 

 

 

A martial arts week at Urban Kings Gym 💪🏻

And so it came to an end.. what a week!!

Bananicious and Oats Fix have been the unrivalled stars of this past week at Urban Kings Gym – London’s premier MMA gym and specialist training facility.

Here’s the week in pictures.. which I think count more than a 1,000 words :)

But if you missed it, don’t panic!! We’ll be back next week introducing the Muscle Builder range 💪🏻… so watch this space!!!

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…and to conclude a bit of fun during spin class :)

 

Vanilla Almond Protein Cheesecake

 

 

vanilla almond protein cheesecake by CK-optimised

Who said that cakes should only be considered as treats? If you thought that cakes were bad for you and that you should stay away if your goal is to lose weight, think again!

Here’s one of my favourite recipes, delicious, very easy to make and 100% a crowd pleaser. Oh and absolutely guilt free! Check the macros out:

Per serving (1 out for 4):
Calories 257
Protein 17g
Fat 17g
Sat Fat 3g
Carbs 15g
Fiber 4g
Sugar 6g

The beauty of it is that you can twist this recipe with your favourite flavours, such as fruit or even chocolate (dark of course)!

Ready? Let’s dig in then!

Serves 4

Ingredients

FOR THE CRUST:
6 Claudia’s Kitchen Almond Crunch biscuits
36g avocado
21 g olive oil

FOR THE FILLING:
150g cream cheese
120g crème fraiche
12g stevia
4g gelatine (2 leaves)
1 tsp. vanilla powder or vanilla beans (optional – here is where you can be creative and add strawberries or dark chocolate for example!)
1 scoop (25g) of whey protein powder (optional – this will boost the cake’s protein content but it’s entirely optional!)

Note: Always try to buy organic and free range ingredients if you can, less chances of ingesting nasty chemicals or hormones.

Method

  • Place all crust ingredients in a food processor and blitz them to crumbs
  • Place the obtained mixture in a small (about 9cm) greased spring-form pan and press it down (Note 1: this recipe allows you to make two of these pans)
  • Insert the pans in a pre-heated oven at 170 degrees for 12 minutes
  • Now place the gelatine leaves in a small bowl filled with cold water for 5 minutes
  • Place all the filling ingredients in a bowl and mix until you reach a creamy consistency (Note: I suggest tasting the cream to ensure the sweetness is up to your taste – if not add a bit more stevia)
  • Take the gelatine out of the bowl, drain it and cook it on a medium flame in a pan with about 3 tablespoons of hot water, mixing every so often, without making it boil (2 minutes)
  • Take the gelatine out and add it to the other filling ingredients and mix well to remove any lumps
  • Once mixed put the creamy mixture in the fridge and let it rest for 5 minutes (this will allow it to set a bit)
  • Take the pans out of the oven and let them cool on the rack
  • Once the crust has cooled down and the cream is slightly set, pour the cream on the crust (still in the pan)
  • Put in the fridge and let them rest for about 4 hours
  • Check the cakes are nice and firm before taking them out of the pan!
  • Once they are out of the pan decorate with flaked almonds (Note: if you added fruit or dark chocolate or anything else to the cream then use these ingredients to decorate if you like!)
  • Guilt free enjoyment coming your way now

Preparation time

30 minutes prep time + 12 minutes oven time + about 30 mins cooling time + about 4 hours refrigeration time

Never eat carbs alone!

 

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So here’s a little trick to help you lose weight and that much hated excess body fat!

Never eat carbohydrates on their own.

Why? Very simple.

Easting carbohydrates releases glucose (sugar) into our bloodstream

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as our body isn’t able to manage glucose on its own, the insulin hormone is raised to convert glucose into energy.

The more carbohydrates you eat, the more glucose gets into your system, the more insulin is produced

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Why does this matter?

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Because first of all if you make overeating carbohydrates a habit you could easily become insulin resistant, develop a range of illnesses such as obesity, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes type 2 (but that’s not the object of this post!), and secondly because

the glucose in excess (that your body doesn’t need for energy) is stored as FAT

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Yes.

BUUUT!

If you pair carbohydrates with protein

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the spike in glucose will be much lower, which also mean that you will:

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  • feel fuller for longer
  • experience no sugar crash (i.e. feeling sluggish after that 3pm donut – yes that nicely glazed one you just ate)
  • and

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not store FAT! (subject to amount of carbs eaten of course :) )

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Remember that the amount of carbohydrate that your body needs depends on a number of factors, but probably the most important one is how active you are.

So the key takeaway here is:

especially if you are trying to drop body fat, always pair carbohydrates with protein: think fruit and cheese/yogurt/milk for example, or nuts if you are vegan :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

🎄🎅🏽💪🏻Mini Christmas workout!💪🏻🎄🎅🏽

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Here we are again.. Merry Christmas!!!

A very brief post to help you burn off some of that delicious Christmas lunch  😋

And yes we didn’t have 2 Santa’s hats so I had to use bunny ears … 😅🐰😂

So here it is, enjoy!! 💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻

3x
20 burpees
20 push ups
20 squat and jump
20 russian twists with raised legs 💪🏼
🎄🎅🏼Merry Healthy Christmas from Claudia’s Kitchen!🎅🏼🎄

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How to stay fit (or get fit!) in the run up to Christmas

It’s that time of the year again, oh yes and one of my favourite too.. I can’t help it but I am madly in love with the Christmas atmosphere (ho ho ho!) It might have something to do with releasing the inner child in me :)
But with the Christmas atmosphere here come the calories! And we inevitably put weight on year after year..and as you get older that’s not easy to lose as your metabolism inevitably slows down!
So I wanted to share with you my very personal tips to face the run up to Christmas without putting weight on, and maybe even lose weight!

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Let’s start by saying that if you only overindulge ONE DAY, your body will not necessarily accumulate extra weight, meaning that if you only overindulge on Christmas day you are actually OK.

But let’s face it: how many times do we constantly over-indulge during the holidays? Or not even that, over the entire month!!

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So THAT’S the problem. Buuuut not to worry, every problem has a solution, and this one (ones rather) isn’t very painful I don’t think.

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Here are my 6 tips to stay fit or even get fit (or fitter!) during December. The first 3 are everyday tips, the last 2 are specific for the day of the party and the day after (go check them out first if you like :) )

1- MOVE!

Yes you heard me! It doesn’t matter what you do, just move. Walk instead of taking the bus (get off one stop earlier even!), take the stairs rather than the lift, leave the car keys at home, get rid of old junk in your wardrobes and clean them. That’s easy extra calories burned!

And if you want to take it up a notch (i.e. you already have some level of fitness) well then add some HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) sessions – these are basically short circuits which you can do just about anywhere that elevate your heart rate to the max for 30-60 seconds – guaranteed to burn fat and great after-burn effect!

2 – NO SUGAR!

Yep. Completely banish sugar for December (and it wouldn’t be so bad to continue doing so after that :) ) This includes the most obvious forms of sugar such as that you put in coffee, to less known forms of sugar, such as those contained in pre-packaged foods and take away foods (ALWAYS read the label! You’ll be amazed to see how much sugar is present in practically  every pre packaged food)

3 – LIMIT CARBOHYDRATE INTAKE!

No panic! Not the end of the world. Try to eliminate all refined carbohydrates (white bread, white pasta, white rice) and instead opt for wholegrain products (good time to try new foods such as quinoa, buckwheat, millet) but still in limitation. Eat loads of vegetables and go for smart substitutions: pumpkins are in season and they can take the place of grains superbly.

4 – NO ALCOHOL!

Forbidden when not at parties (and there will be lots this month). Alcohol is particularly good at (WHAT?!) stopping fat burning (AH!), so why not try to go for alcohol free drinks, even better if homemade? I love infusing fruit in sparkling water: zero calories and zero of the soda induced cravings !!

RIGHT, so now comes the Party Strategy!

5 – THE DAY OF THE PARTY

5.1) Squeeze a quick (or long if you can!) exercise session in the morning so you kick-start your metabolism. A quick HIIT session is great, but going up and down the stairs will do as well :)

5.2) If you can, try to limit your calorie intake during the day, but do eat before going to the party. It might sound counter-intuitive but it will help you reduce the craving for the calorie laded treats you’ll find at the party! Ideas of pre-party snacks: 2 eggs on wholegrain toast with greens, turkey with avocado and tomato, greek yogurt with fruit and nuts.

5.3) If it’s a standing party, stay as far as possible from the food and remember you are there to enjoy other people’s company, not to bombard your body with un-necessary food! Always keep a glass in your hand (preferably with a non-alcoholic and not-full-of-sugar drink), that way you’ll be less likely to reach for a plate. Ask the bartender for sparkling water with a few slices of lemon. And if you must have alcohol, well no more than 2 units for ladies and no more than 4 for gentlemen – and remember, wine is the lowest in calories!

5.4) Don’t have doubles of anything – savour the food slowly, and stop thinking you can’t wait to have another slice!

5.5) If you are right-handed, eat with your left hand! It might seem funny but it’s guaranteed to make you eat much less :)

And don’t forget to drink, drink, drink (WATER!!!!)

6 – THE DAY AFTER THE PARTY

6.1) Do NOT feel guilty: you have a plan!

6.2) Drink water like crazy and eat tons of greens

6.3) Have an aerobic training session (run, dance, anything that will keep you moving for a good 45 minutes – for beginners a long walk in the park is perfect!)

6.4) Go to bed 1 hour earlier: sleep will help your body recover and will prevent you from eating more :)

Well I hope these tips help (they aren’t so hard are they?!), and don’t forget that I have a great selection of snacks that are absolutely perfect to stay in shape this holiday season !

Happy Holidays everyone!!

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The Best Christmas Gifts for 2015

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I am soon excited to finally announce that we now have our beautiful Christmas Range!!

Sorry it took a bit longer but it is definitely worth it :)

Struggling to find the perfect present this year? Looking for something different than the usual gifts, that will not get recycled and is guaranteed to make everyone (especially the healthy conscious ones) happy? Or maybe you just need a little something for your colleagues?

Look no further!!

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Sugar free, Healthy, Natural, Low in Calories, High in Protein and naturally Delicious, Claudia’s Kitchen Christmas range has something for all taste buds (choose between almond, coconut and “spiceful” biscuits) and all pockets (boxes range from £5 to £10) ! Plus, it features two brand new products, which I promise are going to be your next addiction: Spiceful Munch and Cocoa Star  :-O

So here they are…. Christmas Range

ENJOY!!!!

PS: It’s OK to buy them for yourself 😉

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