Monday, 30 July 2012

Indulgence Options: Chocolate Cereal

After asking on Twitter and Facebook for more of your guilty pleasures, something that cropped up a lot was breakfast cereals of the chocolate variety! These types of cereal are packed full of sugar and bad carbohydrates, and often offer little to no nutritional benefits whatsoever - so you'll probably be hungry again an hour after eating it.
I decided to give myself the mission to help resolve your breakfast blues by find some healthier alternatives for you!

The Trouble-Maker
From browsing all of the branded chocolate-flavoured cereals, I discovered that - despite having fewer calories than some - Coco Pops were one of the worst chocolaty cereals to eat. 85% of this cereal is made of carbs, and almost half of those carbs are from sugar whilst the rest is just starch - not very good for keeping you full during the day, and puts you at higher risk of having a slump in energy as the day goes on.
So what can you eat to fill you up in the morning, but still give your sweet tooth it's chocolate fix? Well look no further!

The Healthy Alternative: Greek Yogurt with Dark Chocolate, Oats & Raspberries

As well as the cereal being high in carbs, another thing that a lot of people don't realise is that milk is pretty high in carbs too! Milk contains a lot of natural sugars in it, and the average 250ml serving of the white stuff (semi-skimmed) contains around 10g of carbs - and all of that is sugar!
For an alternative to milk, I've opted for Fat Free Greek Yogurt. It is high in protein meaning you'll feel fuller for longer, and has a really nice texture to it, meaning your getting that creamy taste to it without all of the calories. It's also got no fat in it (hence the fat free bit!) and is really low in carbs at only 6g per 100g - or it is in the one that I get anyways haha.
To give it a bit of flavour, I went for raspberries, oats, and even added in some dark chocolate to give you your choccy fix! Raspberries are a great source of dietry fibre and anti-oxidants, and are pretty low in calories as well as tasting awesomely summery. Instead of sugary carbs which are in most cereals, oats have complex carbs which release energy a lot more slowly, and will keep you going for longer. That's why porridge is so good for you! If you can, it would be better to leave out the choccy (for obvious reasons) but if you really need that chocolate taste, grate a little dark chocolate over the top. It's proven to be better for you than other types of chocolate and has a pretty rich flavour so you won't need to use as much.

Of course, with something like this you can make up your own flavours and mix and match with loads of different things like nuts, seeds, and fruit depending on how you're feeling. DELICIOUS and perfect for summer!

If You Really Can't Resist:

So so much more healthier than Coco Pops! 10% of it is protein so you'll feel greater satiety, there's literally half the amount of sugary carbs and hardly any saturated fat. What's not to love! And if you want to make it healthier, you could always add the fat-free greek yogurt to it instead of milk. ;)
I didn't realise just how many chocolaty cereals there are on the market. I only searched through three supermarkets and it took me over an hour!

Hope this has given some of you a bit of inspiration, and made your food shopping a little easier! Leave a comment with your guilty pleasures - it could be yours that I pick next week! :)

Disclaimer: Because of a limited time span I was only able to look at foods from the top three supermarkets in the UK (Asda, Tesco & Sainsbury's). I looked at nutritional values per 100g to make it fair, as I am aware that serving sizes can be different through various brands. The method used was to award points for the highest protein, lowest fat, lowest carbohydrate and sugar, and the lowest sodium content as well as calorie content.
This is a light-hearted look at the food industry where I give alternative food options, and should in no way be taken as being scientifically proven. 

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Review: Revlon Lip Butter in Sugar Frosting

I know the Revlon Lip Butters are old news in the blogosphere and have been blogged to death already, but they're one of those products which I've been meaning to purchase for ages but never got round to it. Now that I finally have and I've used it a few times, I thought I might as well do my own blog post on it!
There was so much hype around the blogging community and I was really excited to try them out out for myself, but when I went into Boots to actually buy one I have to admit I felt a little underwhelmed. My Boots store is fairly big and (I believe) they stocked all the colour of the Revlon Lip Butters, but despite me going through and swatching every colour on the back of my hand, none of them really appealed to me all that much.
I was determined to buy one though as I had a voucher for £3 off any Revlon product from Boots so I eventually went for Sugar Frosting. The colour itself I would describe as being a pale, blue-toned pink and when applying it, it didn't look very pigmented which was a little disappointing. When applied, I think it looks more of a lipgloss style product as opposed to a lipstick, as it has a very glossy finish, and I'm also a little undecided whether they're slightly overpriced for what they are.

They are however beautifully moisturising because of the Shea Butter in them, and leave my lips feeling soft and smooth. It's also longer lasting than lipglosses and is even on parr with some of the lipsticks which I own! Despite my doubts Sugar Frosting is still a nice, more neutral colour on my lips, and is a nice shade to use if you want a hint of colour for a more natual look.

I'd be interested in trying out some of the other colours to see if they have a better colour pay-off than Sugar Frosting. Does anyone have any recommendations for me to try? :)

What do you think of Revlon's Lip Butters? Do you think that they live up to the hype?

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Home Workout of the Week: POP Pilates Body Slimming Workout!

Cassey Ho's blog Blogilates has fast become one of my favourite fitness blogs on the whole of the t'interweb! Her short cardio and pilate routines are perfect for when I can't make it to the gym, and her enthusiasm and bubbliness really keeps me going during a workout.

I was meant to go to the gym after work, but being the fool that I am I forgot my shorts so that plan went out of the window! Thankfully the nice weather meant I could go out for a run and when I had got back and recovered a bit, Cassey's POP Pilates: Body Slimming Workout was a great way to finish off. She always chooses the coolest music to do her routines to as well, and takes requests from her followers meaning there has been everything from Lady Gaga to One Direction!

If you want to check out more of her videos then check out her YouTube channel where she posts them all - there's such a mixture that I'm sure there'll be something for everyone whether its a full-body cardio workout or a Miley Cyrus Ab Routine!

On a slightly different note, I didn't manage to lose any weight this week (boo!). I did however lose another inch from my hips and half an inch from my waist! Altogether now I've lost 7.5 inches across my whole body in 3 weeks which I'm so happy about! :)

Hope your week's got off to a good start! If you take a look at my sidebar you'll see a 20% discount code for you lovely people to use on anything on Motel's website! There's so many lovely things on there that will be perfect for summer so don't forget to take a look! :)

Enjoy the sunshineee! :)

Monday, 23 July 2012

Indulgence Options: The Chocolate Brownie

Guilty pleasures. We all have them, and despite knowing they're not good for us we just can't help popping them into our basket on our weekly shop. In this blog series I'll hopefully be showing you healthier options for your favourite indulgences, as well as giving you one of the best options for when you just can't help yourself!
For today's Indulgence Options? The most delicious of foods from the bakery!

Indulgence: The Chocolate Brownie

I don't believe anyone when they say they don't like chocolate brownies - especially when they've just come out the oven and are all warm and gooey! Yummmm.... But don't worry if you're eating healthily, all is not lost! I've hunted around the three major supermarkets' online stores to find you a 'healthy option' as well as the best option if you really can't help yourself!

Healthy Option: DevilMoo Fro-Yo by YooMoo
I'm sure you're sick of me mentioning these already but if you fancy a bit of brownie without anywhere near as many sins, you really have to try Yoomoo's Devilmoo Fro-Yo. At only 151 calories per 150ml tub, sprinkled with chocolate brownie pieces and swirls of choccy sauce as well as being topped with cute little chocolate stars, its a super light alternative for all you chocoholics out there. With the sun seeming to peep out from behind the rain now, it'll be great for warmer weather haha. :)

If You Can't Help Yourself: Weight Watchers  Double Chocolate Brownies
After a long-winded search through every ready-made brownie products on Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury's online stores that had all the nutritional information I needed, the Weightwatchers Double Chocolate Brownies seemed to be the best option out of them all. They contain just 3.3g fat and 167 calories per dessert, and also has a significantly lower carbohydrate content per 100g than the majority of the other brownies on the market. If you really can't help popping some brownie in your basket, then reach for this!

What do you think of my new blog series? What foods would you like to see in the next Indulgence Options post? Let me know! :)

Disclaimer: Because of a limited time span I was only able to look at foods from the top three supermarkets in the UK (Asda, Tesco & Sainsbury's). I looked at nutritional values per 100g to make it fair, as I am aware that serving sizes can be different through various brands. The method used was to award points for the highest protein, lowest fat, lowest carbohydrate and sugar, and the lowest sodium content as well as calorie content.
This is a light-hearted look at the food industry where I give alternative food options, and should in no way be taken as being scientifically proven. 

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Mini Neccessities Haul & An Update

Finally the sun has appeared! It's such a nice change after the amount of miserable weather we've been having. So today the family and I decided to venture out the the Arena shopping centre to have a mooch around some stores and go for a Starbucks (the Cool Lime Refresha was my drink of choice). I loved putting on shorts, sunnies and a vest top for once instead of the jeans and hoodies I've been living in lately, and it was a nice end to a lovely weekend.
It was the last weekend Ryan and I will spend together for a little - he's in the military so he's away for a month for the Olympics. It's the longest I'll have been away from him since he first joined so I'm gonna miss him like crazy! I'll just have to focus on my fitness and healthy eating even more so to keep me occupied until he comes home again haha.

I desperately needed some bits and pieces so I made it my mission to find as many of them as possible in Boots today:
(Umberto Giannini Pure Beauty ShampooUmberto Giannini Intense Beauty Conditioner, Umberto Giannini Indulgent Beauty Moisture Mask)
Boots has a 3 for £10 offer on with a load of their brands and so I picked up some more shampoo and conditioner, and also grabbed a hair mask as my hair doesn't seem to be in the best of condition lately!
Along the lines of the aforementioned damaged hair, I popped some more heat protection spray in my basket. I do still have some of the cheap Schwarzkopf one, but from the state of my hair I don't think it's working... Hopefully this one works better!

I did pick up some other, even less exciting things but I needn't bore you with the likes of makeup wipes and cotton pads. ;)

Hope you all had a lovely weekend! I went to see Batman on Friday and I really enjoyed it! And that's despite not having seen the other two haha. :) Have any of you seen it? What did you think?? 

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

"PureXFit? More Like PureDying!" + A New Blog Series

Today was my first attempt at a XFit class at my gym, PureGym! It's essentially circuit training, but with little or no rest until you've completed the whole circuit where you get a 30 second break before having to start it all over again!! It was a half hour session and thank God because I don't think I'd be able to have managed any more than that without collapsing (which I felt like doing after the second time round!).

Thought I'd share a few pictures of my afterwards for you to laugh at - mainly because for some reason my face is the ONLY part of my that changes after a workout. And by change, I mean go bright red whilst the rest of my body looks no different!
See??? Ridiculous-looking! 

Regardless of how much I felt like crying during the session, I am most definitely going to put myself through the torture again! It's an awesome high-intensity routine for if you need to burn some calories but don't have a lot of time, I totally recommend it!
I had never realised until today just how little high-intensity cardio I do nowadays - definitely going to be stepping it up a gear, which will be easier now I've changed my routine slightly! :)

For those of you who don't have access to a gym that runs a class like this, here is what is essentially involved, I've linked to videos of the exercises where possible:
You then rest for between 30 seconds and 1 minute and then do it all over again! The aim is to do as many as you can of them with as little rest as possible. Obviously if you need a drink have one or if you need to gather yourself briefly during an exercise then do it, but try and keep it to a minimum.
I didn't get the chance to record mine (I was too busy dying!), but recording how many you do each session would be a good way to see your fitness improve! :)

 Foodwise, this is what I ate today:
Literally inhaled two packs of the Turkey Chunks after I'd finished XFit. I was so hungry and I needed to get some protein in me ASAP to hopefully help stop the muscle aches from being too bad tomorrow! ;)
The soup was by posh food company 'Glorious' - I went for the Tuscan Chicken & Orzo Soup and it was amazing! It had heaps of chunky veg and pieces of chicken in, and filled me right up. Such a hearty meal, I really enjoyed it. The tub it comes in is enough for two servings as well so I'll be able to go back for more. ;)

Totally forgot to take a picture of dinner but it was a spicy chicken tortilla if anyone's interested haha. I'll need to eat something else as well before my fast starts again, but I'm not sure what yet so I'll have to rummage through the cupboards!

I promise there will be more posts other than fitness coming along from tomorrow! The beginning of the week is always the motivator for me - good to get the right mindset to set you up for the rest of the week right?? :)

On the topic of future posts, I am starting a new weekly blog series which I need your input for! I need to know all of the foods which you know you shouldn't eat, but are just too good to refuse! If you pop a comment down below with your guilty pleasure that'd be amazing! :)

Hope you're week's off to a good start! <3

Monday, 16 July 2012

12 Week Transformation Progress & Other Nice Things

Hi to all my new followers out there!!!
I'm over the moon you've all been interested enough in my content so far to follow me, thanks for giving me a chance - I can't wait to hear from you all! :)
Today was my best day in a while with regards to eating clean - I changed up my gym routine a little and I think the difference gave me a new sense of enthusiasm! My favourite meal today? Cod with Parsley Sauce, broccoli and peas. Doesn't sound like the most exciting of meals, but I rarely have Cod (or fish of any sort to be honest) because I never know what to have it with besides new potatoes (which I despise!) However when I popped into my local shop on the way back from the gym I saw a Youngs Cod in Parsley Sauce boil-in-a-bag thing and decided to give it a go.
It was so simple! I think I'll definitely be getting some of these when I move out in September as they really are the easiest things ever to make, and makes a change from chicken and turkey! :P

This is my new - and not surprisingly - favourite sports bra at the minute! I nabbed it in TK Maxx last weekend when the boyf was looking for some wellies and naturally I took it on a test run as soon as I could. :P
I think it was the pink that attracted me to be honest, I'm a sucker for bright colours - especially when it comes to gym clothes! The £9.99 price tag helped a lot too as Nike sports tops can be notoriously expensive at times. I know no-one will see it so it doesn't really matter, but pretty coloured gym clothes make me feel so much more cheery when I'm working out. :P

Aside from food and new gym clothes, today also marks the beginning of the third week of a 12 Week Transformation Contest I've entered through The Student Room. I can't believe I'm already almost a quarter of the way through!
So far I've lost 5lbs and have lost 1.5 inches from my waist, half an inch from my hips, and an inch from my thighs among other lost inches here and there. I'm so happy at my progress - I'm only 5 lbs off my goal weight now which obviously I'm over the moon about and I'm still getting stronger as well so I know it's not from losing muscle mass which is awesome!
If you want to have a look at the people I'm competing against, and find out more about my goals etc, click here. :)

I have so many posts planned for this week, I'm so excited to be blogging again! I'm going to my first ever CrossFit class tomorrow which I'm super intrigued about as I've heard so much about them and they're supposedly massive in America haha. I've also got a review or two among other things so stay tuned! :)

I now also have a Facebook page for the blog - it'd mean the world to me if you 'liked' it! :) Other ways you can get in touch are on my sidebar on the right so come say hi if you get the chance!

Have a good week! :)

Saturday, 14 July 2012

The Sweet Treat

Back home at last after a very long day at work! My original plan for today's post was to be able to post my outfit and makeup from the boyf and mine's date night last night. As usual Apparently I was taking too long to get ready though, meaning a lot of impatient sighs and foot-tapping from Ryan and no chance to take a few photos!
I did however manage to get a photo of my attempt at ombre nails and - despite how they look on camera - they look pretty good in real life if I do say so myself pahaha. In my defence, shiny nails seem impossible to photograph! Any tips? :)
I love how these look and how simple they are to do, I can't wait to experiment with other colours. The colours I used this time round were Nails Inc for InStyle in 'Bluebell' and 'Power Pink'. If you're not sure how to do them, I found this video to be the easiest to follow (and she seems super nice!) 
My treat for the week this week (not including last night's Nandos!) was one of my favourite frozen treats ever, YooMoo Frozen Yogurt. This is such a gorgeous treat if you really fancy ice cream but feel guilty over the calories. At only 134 calories for the strawberry its a beautiful way to treat yourself without having to force yourself to the gym the next morning! Other flavours include Chocolate Brownie (Devilmoo), Tropical (Tropicoolmoo), and Blueberry (Angelmoo) - I've had them all and can vouch that all of them are delicious (even the chocolate one's only about 150 calories!) Asda have a 2 for £2.50 offer on at the minute so get some while you can! :)

Hope you're all having a lovely weekend so far :)
The lovely Katy over at Girl in The North has been kind enough to put me in her blog list so don't forget to check out her blog, it's a great read! :) If you want to see what some of my other favourite blogs and websites are, click on my 'Favourites' tab up at the top. It gets updated frequently so keep an eye out! :)

Friday, 13 July 2012

Purple Rain

 Excuse the slightly serious-looking face! No matter what way I faced, the light seemed to be glaring in my eyes - and that's without there actually being any sun! I managed to dart outside in between downpours to snap these photos, and despite them being on my phone this time round I think they look an okay quality. I really hope we get this 'hot summer' they said we were meant to have soon, although as it's almost half way through July I doubt it. :(
Didn't do anything particularly special today, just a little gym workout and some tidying. Sometimes it's nice to know that you don't have to rush around or do anything in particular, as normally I'm a pretty busy person!
One thing I did get to do though was take these beauties out on their first gym session! I've been eyeing the purple Nike Free Runs up for absolutely ages, and last weekend my lovely boyfriend bought me them for our 5th anniversary along with the American Apparel Disco Pants (which I will no doubt blog about soon!)- what a guy! <3
We ended up having to order them as they weren't in stock when I went to get them, but they arrived yesterday so naturally I had to wear them at the earliest opportunity. :P

The first thing I noticed about them when I stepped out the house was that I could actually feel air getting to my foot - as in, it was like there was a mini air-con unit in my shoes! It makes such a change from my cheer trainers and my old running shoes where my feet used to get so hot and sweaty that I'd be embarrassed to take them off when it came to some of my stretching stuff.
I did go for a run on the treadmill to test them out at the gym, but I absolutely hate the feeling of not actually going anywhere and got bored before I could get a really good feel for them! Anyone else get that feeling of complete and utter boredom on those glorified conveyor belts? Give me outdoor running any day.

It's date night for me and the boyf tonight so it'll give me the chance to get a little dressed up and actually put some makeup on! As I go to the gym every week day I never really get to wear much makeup unless I have work afterwards, so if there's ever an opportunity to paint my pretty-face on, I'll jump at the chance!

I'll try and take some photos of my makeup and the outfit I go for tonight and report back tomorrow when I get back from work. Hope you all have a lovely weekend! What are your plans? :)

Thursday, 12 July 2012

The Barbelle's Debut

Hi there!

When I first started blogging over on Rhii Sparks a year or two ago, I never for a second thought I would be sitting here writing my very first post on a fitness blog!
I guess you just grow over time and since starting my blog back when I was in year 12, I've noticed that my interests have changed so so much and just don't fit in with my original blog any more. So rather than just give up blogging altogether (I love it far too much to do that!) I've decided to set up this one where I can talk about makeup, fitness, fashion and ALL my other passions.

Who said that people who are obsessed with make up, can't be obsessed with weights? I'm living proof that you can! I was never the sort of person who was into 'healthy living' and it's something that I've grown to love after finding a sport I enjoy. Hopefully over time you can draw inspiration from my blog to help reach your own lifestyle goals, and that you find what I post interesting. :)
I'm not going to pretend to be something I'm not - whilst I love fitness and eating healthily, I am by no means an expert and what works for me may not necessarily work for yourselves!

I'm super excited to start blogging again and I look forward to hearing from you!

Rhiannon x
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