Friday, 19 September 2014

Recipe | Babybel Surprise Burgers

Melted cheese. Burgers. Melted cheese IN burgers. Now you just try and tell me that doesn't sound like heaven.
Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a sucker for cheese of any kind, and it's a daily struggle to avoid scoffing any of the dairy goodness that my family may have hiding in the fridge. I resist though, because 1) I know that eating a little results in eating a lot with me, and 2) because I know it's not exactly healthy for me.
That said, I do like to treat myself to a little nibble every now and then in the form of more calorie friendly snacks such as Babybels and Dairylea triangles, and the recipe which I'm sharing today is one which I've been meaning to give a try for a while as it seems like the perfect treat to indulge in that doesn't carry the guilt of a shop or restaurant bought burger.

And the best thing of all, is that they're super quick and so so easy to make!

You'll need about 500g of lean beef mince to make about 4 burgers, along with some herbs and spices (I used some dried mixed herbs and a season-all mix from Schwarz) a couple of spring onions and a Babybel for each burger. If you fancy a different flavour then it's super easy to just swap spices in and out dependant on what you fancy on the day! :)
Simply throw all of the ingredients in together and give it a mix, making sure that all of the ingredients are evenly distributed around the mince. Once everything's combined it's time to make the patties!

I used a burger press to ensure that mine were all the same shape, and put a layer of the mince mixture in the bottom, before placing the babybel in the middle and covering it up ready to press. If you don't have a burger press (although I think they're pretty cheap to get hold of), then you may need to add an egg yolk into the mixture to bind it all together a little better before moulding it around the Babybel itself in the palms of your hands.
Once you've got your perfect patties - just pop them into the fridge to chill for half an hour.

When you're ready for them to be cooked, place them under a pre-warmed grill/skillet/whatever you have at your disposal and cook for around 10-15 minutes or until cooked through, preferably on a medium heat to stop the outsides from burning before the inner bits are cooked! :)

And that is it. How simple right??? I had mine with a simple salad, but dependant on what flavourings you use, there are heaps of different things you could have with them!
Remember when making them that the leaner the meat the healthier - and you can't go far wrong. :)

So I guess the only question left is....

Who's going to be giving these a try??!




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Monday, 15 September 2014

#SB30DaySweat Challenge | Half Way Through!

So it's half way through Sweaty Betty's 30 Day Sweat Challenge already! How's everyone been doing??
Fitting it in on top of my regular gym routine as well as training for cheer has been a challenge and I have to admit that while it's been easier to fit in the fitness aspects as I can just add them onto my workout, trying out some of the recipes or wellness exercises have been a little harder to incorporate.

I will be better for the second half though!

For those who haven't signed up and want to know what's in store for the SB Sweaters from now until the end of September - here a few of the one's that I can't wait to try out:

17th: Strong & Steady - a lovely yoga flow created by SB founder, Tamara.
20th: Breakfast of Champions - breakfast is one of my favourite meals to take time over, so I can't wait to see what awesomeness Danielle rustles up!
24th: The Glute Pulse Challenge - because I'll do anything that helps me get that Beyonce booty. ;)
30th: Results Day - Time to see if/how I've improved on my original scores!

As well as wanting to see whether I've improved the amount of push-ups, burpees and pendulisers I can do it a minute, I've also taken before photos so that I have a more visual comparison - something which I thoroughly recommend instead judging progress solely by numbers on scales.

I've been toying with the idea of treating myself to some new workout gear if I did well at the challenge as I'm such a sucker for new pretty things, and Sweaty Betty have some doozies at the minute. I mean look at these things?? Aren't they super cute?!



First on my list is the GF4F Campaign Top which is super cute with it's slouchy cropped-ness baring a logo which is oh so true - it definitely is good to sweat! The Zero Gravity Leggings are also to die for, with the Camofloral Print giving a lovely spin on boring old black. In all my years of fitness I have never owned a pair of full-length leggings, and I'm thinking that these beauties would be the perfect first pair.
Last but definitely not least is this gorgeous Ultra Run Jacket in the City Lights print. I completely fell in love with this print when I saw it, and am also eager to get my hands on the shorts iconas well! Again, a solid running jacket is something which I don't yet possess (looking for any excuse here!) and this stunning combination of colours and print is just too good to pass on.

Hopefully tempting myself with workout gear will keep me on track! Are you planning on treating yourself to anything once the #SB30DaySweat is over? I'd love to hear what you've got waiting for you at the end of the tunnel! :)

If anyone is still wanting to take part in the #SB30DaySweat Challenge, then it's not too late - download the calendar here and hop on board!


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Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Out & About | Fit-Fashion Junkies Get Over Here!

Over the past few weeks I have been lucky enough to attend the launches of two fantastic sportswear e-commerce websites, and I was so blown away by the brands which both of them offer that I couldn't help but get a post written up for you guys ASAP so that I can spread the word to all fellow fit-fashion junkies!
With sports luxe taking the spotlight for the past couple of seasons, and lesser-known but absolutely outstanding brands coming to the forefront of the sportswear market - we gym bunnies now have the perfect couple of one-stops shops to get our fix of gorgeous gymwear.


The first of the invites to land in my inbox was that of online fashion magazine Fashercise who, after months and months of planning, had made the big step of relaunching their website to include an e-commerce add-on. As a big fan of Fashercise anyway, I was super happy for them and had an amazing time at Box Park in Shorditch where I bopped along with Natalie and Cantara to a fantastic DJ and munched on Wheyhey Ice-cream and Peach & Mango Vita Coco - YUM!


This invite was followed shortly after by Style PB - a brand-spanking new website who launched their new online store with a lovely afternoon yoga session, a sneak peak of their super stylish new site and sipping on Vitamin Water and some gorgeous cold-pressed juices from Press. Founder Natalie was super welcoming and took me through all of the various brands Style PB offered - all of which are amazing!
Style PB

Both sites are stocking fantastic brands with the likes of Lexie Sport, Charli Cohen, Lucas Hugh and Been by D'Heyere all displayed in their on-trend awesomeness, allowing us all to get hold of great performance wear that doesn't compromise on style - I can't wait to put in my orders!

Have you checked out Fashercise and Style PB yet? If you're as much of a fit-fashion freak as I am, I know they'll be right up your street!

Comment below with your favourite pieces! :)

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Friday, 5 September 2014

Personal | September Goals

So it's just occurred to me at midnight last night that I haven't written my September Goals blog post yet! Due to my whirlwind of an August, this will be a shorter post than usual as I didn't have time to set goals for last month and therefore having nothing to report back to you with... Oops!

September is looking to be a super busy month with the cheerleading season starting and training with my new team being ramped up as we up our conditioning and begin practicing the skills that we'll need to be able to perform a kick-ass routine this year. I'll also be going back to university as well as fitting in the gym, blogging, work and of course the #SB30DaySweat Challenge which you can read more about here! So naturally I want to mould this month's goals around making this month as successful as possible. :)

This time round I've decided to split my goals up into little sub-categories to make sure that I cover all bases, and also because I think it's a bit easier on the eye to read!

Health & Fitness


I guess the photos above say it all really! I desperately want/need to improve my flexibility. Not just for cheerleading (although it will help massively!), but also because you tend to lose a lot of flexibility when weight-lifting as new muscle isn't very stretchy (using all of the scientific wording there as you can see!). An added factor is that more mobile you are, the easier you will find performing certain moves, for example straight-leg deadlifts, squats and pretty much anything which even remotely uses a limb!
So I'm hoping that these photos will bare witness to the old, inflexible me by the end of the month, and I will be able to post some lovely new photos of my actually being able to do the splits by the end of September - or at least be a lot lower... ;)

Another goal is to complete Sweaty Betty's 30 Day Sweat Challenge and to be able to see some results from it. I've been really enjoying it so far as it's given me the opportunity to add extra things in to mix my routine up a little, and gives great exercises to do at home for the times when I can't make it to the gym. No excuses for not exercising this month! If you want to follow my progress don't forget to make sure you're following me on Instagram (@thebarbelle) and Twitter (@tweetrhii)!

Life & Blogging


Outside of health and fitness, my soul focus this month is to prepare and organise myself ready for heading back to university for final year and all of the time management that goes along with it. I've given myself a tough task with the amount I have taken on both academically and with extra-curricular stuff, but I know that all it takes is a little planning ahead and I should be there! Hopefully this month I will have the opportunity to perfect this technique and report back to you all with any tips which I have come across along the way. :)

What are your goals for September? Leave them below! :)


Sunday, 31 August 2014

Are You Doing the Sweaty Betty 30 Day Sweat Challenge?

If you’re not then you should be!

Sweaty Betty have teamed up with fitness experts and influencers in creating a month-long campaign to help you all get fit for free – challenging women (and men!) around the world to give their health, fitness and general wellbeing a boost now that summer is drawing to a close.

We know that a lot you are super pressed for time, but Sweaty Betty have thought of it all by combining daily challenges with 30 minute body-sculpting workouts that they ask you to complete a few times per week. They’ve even put it all into a handy calendar for you to either print off or put as the background on your iPad or laptop making it super easy to stay on-track!

The workouts sound like they’re super fun (and challenging obviously!), and can either be done at one of the Sweaty Betty stores in a fun social setting with one of the Sweaty Betty Ambassadors, or you can stream/download the online video and get your sweat on in the comfort of your own home.
Guest nutritionists Calgary Avansino and Danielle Copperman will also be providing tips on fuelling your body when you’re training, as well as some gorgeous recipes being provided weekly by The Detox Kitchen – quite frankly I can’t wait for it all!
If you want to follow my journey on the 30 Day Sweat Challenge then make sure you’re following me on Twitter and Instagram, as I will be posting how I got along with the daily challenges/workouts on there. If you decide that you want to take part too (and I really hope you do because it will be heaps of fun!) make sure that you use the #SB30daysweat campaign hashtag so that I can like all of your photos and see how you’re getting along!

It looks like there’s going to be a fantastic community surrounding this campaign, and I’m really excited that Sweaty Betty have asked me to be a part of it – I hope you’re all excited as I am! J

If you want more information then click here to go through to the Get Fit 4 Free campaign page where you can download the calendar and uncover heaps more information and tips such as shopping lists, the in-store class timetables, workout videos and loads more!


Friday, 1 August 2014

Personal | The End of an Era


I can't believe that it's finally here - but today is my last day as a marketing intern at Intel! It's all come around so fast, but today I'll be packing up my desk and saying goodbye to my team and all of the amazing friends that I have made during my year in sunny Swindon.

The people who I have lived with this year are the loveliest people ever and it has genuinely been the best time of my life. When I first arrived in our Wootten Bassett holiday home (where we had to live for the first month until our houses for the year were ready), I had no idea I would be leaving with such amazing friends and I can honestly say that I will be staying in touch with as many as possible - it would break my heart if I never saw any of them again!

Now it's time to head back to Coventry and start to settle back into University life once more which I am looking forward to, but I would much rather be able to stay at Intel!... Who'd have thought that I would enjoy full-time work so much??!

So thank you for the amazing year ladies - I'll never forget you all, although I'm sure that this won't be the end! <3


Tuesday, 29 July 2014

An Interview with Zumba Creator, Beto Perez!

A couple of Fridays ago I was super lucky to have been invited to head down to the Excel Centre in London to attend the Zumba Instructor Academy which was in the UK that weekend. It's normally only open to qualified instructors so I felt really privileged when the email popped into my inbox, and promptly booked the day off of work to make sure that I could attend!
The day itself was absolutely amazing - with a masterclass which was led by the creator himself, Beto Perez, among heaps of other classes and workshops. Fortunately for you guys I also managed to sneak a cheeky interview with the main man, which I have made sure that I type up for you all so you can see what a lovely guy he is for yourself! :)

Q: So Zumba is now one of the biggest fitness brands in the world - did you ever imagine when you taught your first Zumba class that it would become what it is today?

A: Yes! It's my dream. What happened [when I forgot my music - which ultimately led to the creation of Zumba!] was an accident, but I see the reaction of the people and I say 'Wow!'.
I'm having a good time, they pay me for this, and I have girls around me - it's the perfect job! My passion for dance is so big, and this is the thing that I want to do for my whole life, but I know that I need to work hard, and I want to conquer the World so that everyone knows what [Zumba] is.
I started [teaching exercise classes] when I was very young - only 16 - I said 'OK, I don't want to spend time making the wrong decision', because sometimes when you are a teenager you go to college and you don't know what you want to do, but I didn't have this time. I said OK [dancing] is the thing that I want to do for my living and now I need to work hard.

Q: You discovered your passion for dancing when you were really young, how did you discover that you wanted to be a dancer?

A: When I was 6 or 7 years old I went with my mum to see the movie Grease with John Travolta, and when I saw this movie I was like 'Wow!' - for me this was my first musical and that was when I knew that I had a passion for dance. It's funny because I discovered my passion for dance through Rock & Roll and I love Rock & Roll!

Q: So which is your favourite song from Grease then?

A: Wow ermm... Dog, Dog. Dog.. Erm... *lots of long pauses as he thinks* I put the song in one of the Zins! (Zumba music tracks).
*Beto then preceeds to spend he next few minutes trying to sing and explain it to me, while a lovely lady (whose name escapes me, sorry!) searches for the Grease soundtrack on her phone! We did get there eventually however, and it turns out it was Hound Dog by Elvis!*


Q: So Zumba has loads of variations now like Step, Sentato (sp?) Zumbabinis (sp?) - do you have a favourite out of them?

A: So Zumbabinis is for like babies, and then there are ones for little kids. But all of the programmes are special to me - they have a specialness to me because they are my creations you know? Like when I create something and then people follow, have passion and identify, change [their] lives, lose weight - it's amazing.

Q: What do you do when you're not doing Zumba?

A: I have my own studio in Miami where I teach Zumba,
For other exercise I [weight] train or I will lose weight from too much cardio. I need to maintain my muscle and I have a special diet too. I need to take care of myself all the time.

Q: My mum wanted me to ask you what sort of food she should be eating to keep healthy. Do you recommend anything?

A: The trick for me is no sugar and to drink a lot of water. I eat a lot of protein from meat and fish, then vegetables, water, brown rice, sweet potato - that's it! It's so boring but it's the only way for me.
We also have a programme called Zumba Gold which has a different beat and rhythm to normal Zumba. I recommend this for people who may not be as fit or who are older. It's still hard work out but we use different music!

Q: And one last question before I let you get back to the day - if you could describe Zumba in one word, what would it be?

A: Happiness.

And I can't fault him - Zumba is some of the best fun I've ever had while exercising. So much fun in fact that I am seriously considering becoming an Instructor! All of the people who I spoke to whilst I was at the Academy were so lovely and said that becoming an instructor was one of the best thing's that they've ever done, so if I do decide to take the plunge then I know that I will be in amazing company. :)

I just want to thank Zumba & See.Saw for inviting me to the Instructor Academy for the day. I had an amazing time and genuinely feel honoured to have been given the opportunity to interview a man who is an inspiration to so many people all around the world! I met people that day who have been waiting to even have a photo with Beto for five years, so for me to be able to have a one-on-one chat with him like that is beyond a privilege and is something that I will remember forever! :)
Not quite sure what move I was meant to be doing here, but lets roll with it anyway!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Fit Fashion | Social Discoveries

For all people say that the internet can be a dark and scary place at times, the vast majority of the time I don't think I would have discovered half of the brands, hobbies and information that I know about today if it wasn't for the internet. Social media in particular has been HUGE in uncovering some absolute gems, and I couldn't resist sharing these two fantastic sportswear brands which I have completely fallen in love with since finding them on Instagram and Twitter!

Lexie Sport - www.lexiesport.co.uk/


Lexie Sport are as serious abut fashion as they are about creating performance sportswear, and it definitely shows with their Blonde Collection in particular being a beautiful one. The gorgeous print which features in some way on each of the items looks perfect - and their Lake leggings are the top of the crop for me! All of Lexie's products are made in Britain which is always a great thing to hear in my eyes and as well as all this and looking amazing, they're also fantastic technically speaking with 4-way stretch and UV protective fabric all coming as part of the package.
If next season's lines are anything to go by, I personally cannot wait for them as I'm sure the next batch will be just as awesome. Keep it up Lexie, you're doing aright by me!



Fabletics - www.fabletics.co.uk


Fabletics is a brand which literally launches today! (8th July!) I've been so excited for it - as it seems to be along similar lines to the styles of more premium brands such as Sweaty Betty and Lululemon, but for a much more friendly price which I am absolutely thrilled about. A full outfit for £44??? Yes please!
The brand has been co-created by Kate Hudson in collaboration with the fashion subscription service, JustFab - and is inspired by Kate's active lifestyle and personal wardrobe. The pieces are so easily layered, and if the shopping experience for the UK arm is anything like the US one, it makes it super simple to select a whole outfit and customize colours to suit your own individual style. Win!
So what am I loving? The biggies for me are the sports bra with the cool back (accurate naming I know! I don't have an actual name though so this will have to do), and the sports top and bra combo which looks equally as awesome. From what I understand they'll be available in a fair few colours so while I may not have my exact choice nailed, at least I have a pretty good idea of what I'm gunning for when I get onto the site!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Personal | June Review & July Goals!

So I had planned to post this yesterday in my usual Tuesday slot, but after a crazy few days at Glastonbury Festival (in case you couldn't tell from Instagram) I was so tired today that I could barely concentrate on a computer screen at work, let alone come home and continue to sit on one! So the entirety of last night was spent chilling out with the girls and catching up on what had happened over the weekend instead, as today was our first evening all back together.
June went by just as quickly as all of the other months seem to have done so far in 2014, and I'm now in the final month of my internship which is super sad as I've absolutely loved it. In all of the hustle and bustle of the month, I have to admit that whilst I have kept to a few of my goals, there have also been a couple which fell by the way-side a little - but I've done the major ones and that's the main thing! If you need a recap of my June goals and the story behind each one then click here, but if not here is the low-down on how I did on each of them before spilling the beans on July's goals of choice!

JUNE RESULTS

Nail the Keto Diet

I researched into this way of eating for well over a month before deciding to give it a try, and I have to admit it is not for the faint-hearted!
So. Did I do it? In short, yes. Did I see improvements in body-shape and a drop in weight/body-fat? Yep. Am I going to continue to do it? Nope. And after beginning to write a summary of my experience and why I won't be doing keto any more I realized that I had made this post IMPOSSIBLY long! So I promise that I will explain all, just in a different blog post!

Consistent Blogging

Last month I promised myself that I would blog twice a week on Wednesdays and Fridays, and generally speaking I did! Although I switched to Tuesdays and Fridays to give me more time between posts to organise my thoughts... I still did it though right?! I'm proud of me no matter what you say haha. ;)
I still have a lot of posts backed up in draft mode, but as I mentioned in my June goals post I honestly did just want to make sure I can plan my posts properly first instead of getting too ahead of myself - something which I definitely feel that I've managed to do throughout June. For now I've decided that I am going to continue Tuesdays any Fridays (I know this is a Wednesday but cut me a little slack!) perhaps adding in Sunday blog posts if I can get everything organised in a couple of weeks - if that happens I shall of course let you all know!

#Junathon & #100happydays

Anndddddd now for the failure.... Well there was bound to be one, wasn't there! What an absolute flop of an attempt at these two Instagram series. Junathon was a non-starter as despite me having tried something along these lines,, my gym is far too busy for me to feel comfortable taking lots of workout selfies (no matter how discretely I tried, I definitely think that I was always caught), and the rest of the time I just get completely into 'the zone' and forget!
I did make a better attempt at #100happydays but again kept forgetting to post every day (is there really anything happy about a bog-standard day at work followed by sitting in front of the telly post-gym?). I am going to keep it up though and will probably do a blog post when I hit the quarter or halfway point as I do think that it is a lovely concept!

JULY GOALS

Three goals again! I've decided to shift my focus slightly to things which are going to benefit me in the run-up to heading back to university, in the hope that I can slot back in without too many issues after a year out working.
  • To not spend money on 'stuff'.
    And buy stuff I mean, things that I don't need! If I'm going out fro a drink with friends, or it's someone's birthday then that's fine as long as I'm sensible and don't go buying bottles of Moet for everyone. I'm planning to use August as a balancing month where I counteract all of the spending that I did during my internship ready for uni so hopefully this will be a good test run for me!
  • To begin to improve my functional strength and flexibility.
    I'll FINALLY be able to pick-up competitive cheerleading again in a couple of months which I feel like I've been away from for far too long! Whilst I've been working on my strength, I've been super lazy on my flexibility and have lost a lot of it as a result. I also want to try to optimse my weight training to involve a lot more functional movements such as clean and jerks, and overhead presses to build on some of the muscle movements I use when I cheer, and get in some more HIIT to replicate the energy and strength I'll need during a routine - so maybe a little Tabata? I'll let you know how I get on!
  • To keep a food diary.
    After coming off of keto I still haven't been feelnig 100% and I am becoming more and more certain that there is something which I am eating which I may have a slight intolerance  to. So for a couple of weeks this month I'm hoping to keep a food diary of what I'm eating/dribking and also how i'm feeling with hope of figuring it out! I will also be working on improving my healthy eating habits and trialling new recipes but that is another story! :)


What are your goals for July? Let me know! :)

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Out & About | #FitMeet2014 Part One!

SUPER LONG POST WARNING!

I have tried to split this post into two, but both are still going to end up being a little longer than normal so apologies in advance! :)

So last weekend after a lot of last minute panics and organising, I was lucky enough to meet-up with some fabulous people in London's Covent Garden for #FitMeet2014. It was literally the most gorgeous day, and I don't think we could have asked for better weather as I hopped onto the tube to meet Natalie at King's Cross so she could laugh at me help me carry the goody bags to Gymbox ready for everyone to arrive! Despite me being in my full gym-kit I think a Swedish nightclub promotor must have taken the bright pink bags to mean that I was on the way to a hen party or birthday as he wondered up to me at Baker Street and asked if my friends and I wanted free entry and drinks at his Mayfair club... Needless to say I politely declined.
Natalie and I also popped to Leon for lunch - but as I wolfed my Chicken Club Wrap down far too quickly to get a decent photo, it just means that I'll have to go back and write it a post of its own (which it thoroughly deserves!) Poor me... Haha. ;)
Firstly I want to say a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who came! I am so grateful for you all taking the time out of your day to come down and meet everyone, I hope you had a nice time! If you write a blog post on the meet-up, please let me know so that I can add it to this blog post (and the second part!). :)
I'd also like to say another HUGE thank you to the fantastic brands who contributed goodies for the event! I'll show all of the goodies in a second blog post to prevent this one from being ginormous but here are all of the thank yous to all of the brands involved in making #FitMeet2014 awesome!:
  • Thank you to Primal Snack Box for their super generous gifts of one of their subscription boxes for each of the bloggers who attended - they are absolutely delicious!
  • Thanks to Vivid Drinks for providing us with lots of yummy refreshments that kept us all super hydrated post-class and when we were out in the sun. I'll definitely be keeping an eye out in the future, they were amazing!
  • Thank you to Pretty Athletic for sending over three full-sized versions of their products for me to use as a giveaway prize for one lucky attendee (Cantara won!) - and for the discount code you generously sent over for all of the other attendees!
  • Thank you to Simon Roshdy from The Diet Kitchen who shared some fantastic information on nutrition with us, and answered all of our questions.
  • Thank you to MyProtein for providing us with some additional goodies for each of the bloggers who came along - that protein shaker came just in time for me as all of mine seem to have mysteriously disappeared!
  • Thank you to Gymbox & our gym instructor Jess for letting us hire the venue, and for an amazing class - I'm still aching now!
  • I also want to thank my work (Intel!) for paying to have Gymbox as a venue, and giving me the perfect opportunity to test out my Acer Switch 10 to the limit while I was planning it - the event couldn't have gone ahead without your contribution!
I think I've remembered everything - now lets move on to the actual event! :)

(Christina, Simon, Cantara & Natalie Rollin' with their Foamies - led by Instructor Jess!)

We all arrived at Gymbox and headed down to Studio 1 for a super-cool sounding class called Rollin' with my Foamies - and yes it was as awesome as it sounded! The class is unique to Gymbox Gyms and is based around a foam roller which you use for a combination of plyometric-style pick-up/put-down kind of movements, as well as movements where you used the foam roller to create a more unstable surface so that your core gets more of a workout as well as the rest of your body.
Jess was a fantastic instructor and her enthusiasm was utterly contagious! Even when I was struggling to keep going through some of the exercises, Jess wondering around encouraging us to sing along to some of the tracks could put a smile on even the most exhausted of faces! Her choice in music was also outstanding, with a mixture of Beyonce and more old-school tracks keeping things upbeat and super fun.
It was the first time that I've ever used a foam roller, and boy did I feel it! I always suspected that my legs were a little tighter than normal from adding running into my weight routine, but I wasn't expecting them to be that bad at all! So naturally I went out and bougt a foam roller that day....
I definitely suffered from major bum and leg ache the next day after that workout, despite the use of the foam roller to massage my muscles a litlte, and is a class I 100% would recommend trying out if you ever get the chance!

Once Jess had put us through our paces, we inhaled some of Vivid Drinks' Matcha drinks which Vivid Drinks had kindly sent over in a variety of flavours. I loved all of them but I did have a particular soft-spot for the Grape & Elderflower which was delicious and super refreshing! Whilst we cooled down and rested our poor bodies, nutritionist, YouTuber and MyProtein rep, Simon Roshdy led a Q&A-style session with us all sat round in a cirlce on the studio floor asking any burning question we had.
There was such a good variety of questions from recommended supplements, to macro-nutrients, to eating for fat-loss. It was honestly so so interesting to hear and I felt like I came away having learnt a lot - I've definitely taken lots of mental notes which I plan to put into action as soon as possible (Simon I'm sure you're glad to hear that!).
Simon definitely gets an extra honourable mention for sticking it out the whole day being the only lad in attendance - I can imagine it must have been pretty daunting to be surrounded by 8 over-excited females!

By the time we had gotten showered, changed and had ventured outside, the sun was still glaringly hot and despite my original idea of heading to a restuarant for lunch/dinner - we decided instead to head to M&S to grab some grub and feasted outside in the sunshine perched on the steps of Covent Garden Market.
(l-r: Simon from The Diet Kitchen, Cantara from Gymbags & Gladrags, me!, Natalie from The Blonde Ethos & Natasha from Ballet Dance Fitness + Cantara with her prize from Pretty Athletic!)
 A spot of shopping was the next port of call, and with Covent Garden being busier than I had ever seen it, we were lucky to have Natasha as our guide who took us round all of the side streets to get to places instead of having to battle it out with the masses of people surrounding all of the street performers!

I'm going to leave the shopping for a separate post as that was an event alllllll of it's own believe me! I'm still debating whether to be brave and go for a video 'haul' or whether to just stick to the normal with some photos instead... If you are interested in a video, then let me know!

Sunday, 22 June 2014

First Impressions | Acer Aspire Switch 10

Last week I was given the Acer Aspire Switch 10 by someone at work, with the task of giving it a full-on test drive, and give feedback on the device and what I thought of it from as user perspective as both a blogger and also as a general lover of health and fitness. Of course being a blogger means that I’m also sharing my experience with you guys with my honest opinions of the device and whether I would recommend it or not!
The thing which really intrigued me about the Switch 10 is that it can either be a laptop OR a tablet (classed as a 2 in 1!)  – which is why I have been referring to it as a ‘device’ and not a laptop or tablet until now! Because of how the tablet and keyboard attach together (some super strong magnets that just slot together) you can have the 2 in 1 in different ‘modes’. Depending on what I’m doing I can switch modes making it loads easier to watch films, use it to do workouts, or write blog posts. The ones which I have probably used most frequently is laptop mode to blog and display mode for watching Cheerleaders or Game of Thrones in bed!
While prodding the screen instead of using a trackpad or mouse did feel a little strange at first, now that I am used to it, it actually feels a lot more natural to me to gently poke or tap where I would usually click, and scrolling using your finger or thumb is a nice way to navigate as well. It’s also super lightweight and is the perfect size for portability, which is essential as I travel a lot between my house, Ryan’s and my parents’. It fits in my smallest handbags and I can barely feel it compared to my old laptop which I swear weighs the same as a baby elephant.
Of course no device is perfect and there are a couple of drawbacks. Being a detachable-style 2 in 1 means that it is more tablet-based and so doesn’t have as much memory as some other laptops, but with Microsoft’s cloud storage and all the other online storage tools that are around at the minute I honestly can’t see it being too much of a problem for me. The only thing that might change is the amount of time that I used to spend on The Sims!
That said when I do need the bog-standard desktop it’s there waiting for me, and anything there isn’t an app for in the Windows store like Picasa for my photo-editing (I’ll learn how to use Photoshop eventually! :P), I can just download and use as a normal programme.
So far the battery life has been a lot better than I expected considering I'm effectively putting a tablet through the same paces that I would a laptop, and it's been really responsive for me in that it can keep up with everything which I am doing on it at once - which is all down to the tiny but powerful Intel Atom processor that it has inside of it I guess!

The Acer came preloaded with Windows 8.1 and after playing around with the features there are definitely some which I feel deserve a special mention. Firstly, despite me hating Windows 8 on my old, non-touch laptop, I actually really enjoy it on a touch-enabled device. It’s super handy having the customizable tiles on the one hand and has applications such as Bing Food & Drink where you can make shopping lists, search/create recipes, and not down food plans for myself. It’s so easy to use I can really see myself using this day-to-day to plan my food for the week and discover new things to try – although I guess the proof will be in the metaphorical pudding I guess!

So – how does this brand-spanking new 2 in 1 fit into the life of a health and fitness blogger? Well, from first impressions it would seem really well! But I’m not going to give it The Barbelle seal of approval just yet – it has to go through more tests than that before I make a final decision.

What are your first impressions from what I said so far? Is there anything you would look for in particular when hunting for your perfect device?

If you do have aspects in particular you would like me to focus on when I’m testing the Switch 10 out, leave them in the comments section below and I’ll make sure that I add them into my final review in a week or two!

Monday, 16 June 2014

A #FitMeet2014 Update!

So #FitMeet2014 is this weekend and words cannot express how excited I am to meet everybody! It’s been a lot of work and I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t a little nervous about how it will all go on the day, but I’ve tried super hard to try and make sure it goes without a hitch so fingers crossed! I wanted to do a blog post for you all to explain a little more about what’s happening on the day so that you all know where you need to be and what to expect. There are still some little bits and pieces which I’m still trying to sort out but they’re all mini surprises anyway so we shall have to wait and see what happens. J

What We’re Doing

Now that everything is booked and organised I can finally tell you guys what we’re going to be up to on the day!

We’re starting at GymBox in Covent Garden where the lovely Jess will be taking us through a class called Rollin’ with my Foamies which was developed by herself, is unique to GymBox gyms and sounds like so much fun! I obviously know what it entails, but I’d love to hear your ideas on what you think it might involve in the comments below – and no cheating!! ;)
After we’ve been put to the test a little, GymBox have allowed us to use their facilities to get showered and changed, with some refreshments provided by the lovely folks at Vivid Drinks, which I am super excited about because their Matcha drinks sound amazing. Whilst we’re inhaling sipping on some yummy juices, nutritionist, vlogger and general healthy-food guru Simon Roshdy will be here to talk to us about healthy eating and answer any questions that we may have (I love his YouTube channel The Diet Kitchen, so make sure you take a look!).
After that it will be a little more free-flow with us having lots of time to explore, do a bit of shopping and grab some food, as I’m sure that we’ll all be starving! There are heaps of shops in Covent Garden and the surrounding areas including Lululemon and Reebok FitHub as well as all of the usual high street and high-end fashion and beauty stores. I can’t wait to let loose on all the beautiful workout gear in Luluemon, although I can’t promise that my bank account will feel the same! I’d love to see your wishlists for things which you’re hoping to pick up at #FitMeet2014 so make sure that you use the hashtag if you do make one and I’ll be sure to retweet it! J
With regards to food, I'm thinking of Bill's Restaurant (see menu here!) but I want to get all of your recommendations and feedback on it before I book it, so let me know if you have any suggestions ready for me to book on Wednesday! 

What to Bring

Depending on whether coming in your gym kit or are planning on changing when you’re there (which you are more than welcome to, just remember to come with time to change!), bring a change of clothes for afterwards as well as a towel and any shower gels, shampoo etc that you need. You’ll also need to bring a padlock for the lockers, and whilst Vivid Drinks will be providing refreshments post-class, it may be a good idea to bring a bottle of water with you as well to ensure you remain hydrated throughout!
Other than that, all you will need to bring is a smile! I really want #FitMeet2014 to be the perfect excuse to chat, and meet new people who share the same passions as yourselves, so don’t feel shy just wander over and say hello! J

Timings

We’ll meet at 13:15 outside GymBox Covent Garden which is on St. Martin’s Lane, and I’ll hang around until a little before 13:30 in case some of you are running a little late. Leicester Square station is probably the closest station as I think Covent Garden’s is still closed, but please remember to check for planned closures, delays etc of the various lines to save you a lot of hassle on the day! As far as I’m aware, the only line that may be affected by planned works is the District Line, so we should be safe. If you are a little late, just send me a tweet (my handle is @tweetrhii) so I know to keep a look out for you! J
For those who can’t make it to the class, but want to come along to the talk from MyProtein and The Diet Kitchen’s Simon Roshdy, it will start at around 14:30. Again, just let me know your plans so that I know when to expect you as I don’t want to leave anyone behind!
After the talk which will be over by 15:30 at the latest (although more likely a bit before!) it will be time for some shopping chilling-out and dinner! I don’t want to structure this too much as I want to just see what/where people fancy going on the day, although I will probably tweet what time I have booked our dinner location for as I doubt that a bunch of overly chatty bloggers will be able to turn up and expect to get a table!
Dependant on whether I get my final surprise organised, the day could go on until half 9 in the evening, however I know that some of you will have had to travel to get to the meet-up so let me know what time you have to get trains by so I know whether the Finale will be worth it! J

A Little Competition!


Pretty Athletic who are a superb skincare brand specialising in products designed specifically for us gym bunnies have kindly donated some of their products as a prize for me to give away on the day! The winner will be chosen at random from the attending blogger who has been tweeting using the #FitMeet2014 hashtag, so the more you tweet, the greater chance you have of winning!
If you want to find out more about Pretty Athletic and the products which they have created, click here to go through to their website. J


If you have any more questions then let me know! Also, if you would like to come but haven't let me know yet, send me an email on thebarbelle@gmail.com or tweet me @tweetrhii and I'll see what I can do - the more the merrier! :)

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

What's in my Gym Bag?

 
I've seen many a 'What's in my Bag?' post on blogs over the few years that I've been reading them, but since the content of my handbag is many old receipts and long-forgotten lipglosses I thought that a what's in my Gym Bag post would be a nice spin on it!
Starting off with the bag itself - a not-so sparkly-new holdall from Victoria's Secret's PINK range. I can't remember how much I actually paid for it, but i expect it was a little above what should normally be paid for something you carry smelly gym clothes around in! But no regrets here - I bought, I love it and it's still around a year or so later, even if it is with the addition of some grubby marks from where it has been tossed and dumped in all kinds of places.
Pink Animal Print Logo Top - Nike | Grey three-quarter length Leggings - Nike | Nike Free Run 2 | Victoria's Secret Such a Flirt Body Spray | Sure Crystal Invisible Compressed Deodorant | Lee Stafford Blow Dry Wonder Spray | Niva Pure & Natural Body Lotion | Virgin Active Gym Towel* | iPhone Earphones

Naturally bits and pieces are added or taken away from my gymbag's contents dependant on whether I have work afterwards, going for a swim etcetc. but this time round it was a standard post-work gym session where the only thing I planned on doing afterwards was going home and eating!
I guess the obvious contents is the gymwear itself, and I guess it's easy to see I do have a slight addiction to Nike! I'm not normally one to wear t-shirts to the gym in all honesty as I over-heat super quickly which can make the high-intensity workouts that I do the majority of the time absolutely unbearable. If I'm doing yoga or a standard pick-up-put-down weights session however, then I can normally get away with wearing one without feeling like I'm in the Sahara desert. Is anyone else the same?!
My trusty Nike Free Runs have been with me as long as I have been 'seriously' working out - and when I say 'seriously', I mean actually making a dedication to getting fit and healthy as opposed to doing some sit-ups and thinking I was the don. After a couple of years of solid, unrelenting wear though, they are sadly starting to lose their support around the ankles so I am beginning to wonder if it isn't time to trade them in for something fancy and new!
Other products worth mentioning is the Victoria's Secret body spray (or 'fragrance mist' as they call it) - a gorgeously fruity combination of grapefruit and white orchid that really seems to lift my mood and relax me before heading into the gym, and Lee Stafford's Blow Dry Wonder Spray which while not perfect by any means, is a bit of a saviour when I'm running late and need to get my mane dry ASAP. Not forgetting of course my Virgin Active gym towel which comes complete with a handy zip-up pocket which is a savious for the girl who has a tendancy to leave her locker key, headphones or anything else which may not be attached to me lying around the gym!

So there you have it. The contents of my gym bag. I can't say it's actually anything drastically different to the norm to be honest, but if you are thinking of starting up at the gym and wanted some ideas of things which may be useful to take along, then here are some things that you should probably pack for your first time at the gym! ;)

What's in YOUR gym bag? Comment below! :)

 Don't forget to sign-up to come alnog to #FitMeet2014 - there's still space!
Open to all bloggers, not just health and fitness! :)
Click the button below!

The Barbelle

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Personal | June Goals

I cannot believe we are already half-way through the month and I feel as though I have accomplished nothing, even though I know that is probably not the case! I do feel like I should probably keep a better trakc of what I am doing to see if I actually ever achieve any of the goals which I laid out back in January (see this post).
So here are the things which I want to accomplish for June - are they the same as any of yours?

Consistant Blogging


Whilst I am still well and truely back into the blogging mindset, I'm still struggling to post on set days so that you guys know when to expect posts from me! This is something which I am hoping to rectify this month with me deciding to post on Wednesday's and Friday's as a bare minimum. This will probably go up to three or four posts per week when I get back to university, but for now I don't want to promise too much and want to get into a proper routine slowly to get my consistency and quality nailed down.
And if you were on the ball today you may have noticed that that the image of my blog is not the same layout as I am currently using! I am in the process of moving my entire blog over to Wordpress and have decided to take the opportunity to give my blog design a bit of a revamp in the process. The blog URL etc will stay the same, but make sure that you keep a look-out to see when I make the switch!

#Junathon & #100HappyDays

I am also taking part in a couple of Instagram challenges so make sure that you're following my journey for #100happydays and #Junathon! I'm sure you've seen these popping up in your feeds so far, but in case you haven't #100happydays is a daily photo challenge where you upload something which has made you happy every day for 100 days. It's so easy for us to focus on the negative things that happen instead of the positives so it will be lovely to be able to make a concious effort to remember the little things that brighten up my day-to-day life.
#Juneathon is similar in that it is a daily photo challenge, and asks you to upload the exercise/activity that you did for that day and share it on social media using the hashtag. I want to get into the habit of taking photos of my exercise routines etc. so that I can use them on my blog as I tend to get so involved in what I'm doing I forget! Hopefully this will act as a good reminder for me. :)

Nail the Keto 'Diet'


The last of my goals for this month, is to really give the Keto 'diet' a go. I first tried this for a couple weeks before holiday in a bid to shred a little more fat before I hit the beach, and I the results I got were fantastic having lost 5lbs and 3% body fat in the first week. Whilst I don't ever intend for this to be a permanent lifestyle change (I am relucant to use the word diet!), I would like to see how it goes over the next month or so and potentially use it as a cutting method in preparation for the summer months before switching to 'normal' healthy eating during winter.
I have also been thinking about doing a write-up talking more about what Keto is, how it works,typical meals etc. if you would be interested in something like that?

I'd love to hear what your goals for this month are, so leave them in the comment box below! :)

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

FitTech | Health & Fitness Apps I Couldn't Live Without

I can't lie, being the stereotypical youth that I am, I use my phone for everything. Listening to music, buying clothes, reading the news - so it's no wonder that I also use my phone when tracking my workouts. Now there are other apps which I use - Jefit (a weightlifting tracker app which is good but annoyingly unintuitive to set up), my FitBit app, and a plethora of others which I dip in and out of. The three below however, are ones which will always have a space in the centre of my home screen.

Nike+ Running

I am a sucker for user experience, and the Nike+ Running app has it all for m.
Before setting out the Nike+ Running app allows me to select whether I am indoors and outdoors, and I can select what type of run I am going on whether standard, distance, time or speed.
As well as being able to select playlists or general music from your phone, I can also choose PowerSongs on the app meaning that if I'm ever starting to lag and need a motivational pick-me-up song I can switch to it with a couple of taps.
It has so many features that when I first typed this up, this section took up the majority of the post!
To try and shorten it, I will just say that is has hundreds of useful features that are too many to count, with my personal favourites being the social media features which are both motivating and great for sharing my progress with others.
For the competitive streak in me, I can set challenges with friends, keep track of how many miles I have clocked compared to my friends, and it even encourages me to compete against myself by telling me how my last run compared to the average of my last 7 runs. The 'Coach' feature is also something that I keep meaning to try but have never gotten round to it - mainly because I am yet to (successfully) enter a race.
Post-run I get a breakdown of my run through my headphones as well as any goals which I have accomplished showing on my screen. It automatically notes down the weather, and allows me to select the trainer that I used, how I felt and what surface I ran on. Oh and did I mention the post-run messages from the likes of Ellie Goulding, Mo Farah and Paula Radcliffe? They always bring a smile to my face when I'm cooling down!

Nike Training Club


This is an app which I have only begun using recently, and it's honestly given my workouts a new lease of life! My typical workouts tend to consist of running in the mornings, followed by weightlifting in the evening, but for the past couple of weeks I have been using the Nike Training Club app to change it up a little and add something extra to my routines. Typically I've been using them on Sundays when I don't have anything in particular planned, and I would like to confess now that some of them are pretty hardcore! I've been enjoying a lot of them and there is a lot of variety from HIIT all the way down to Yoga, but my favourite by far HAS to be their Total Body Sculpting routine. All that is required is 45 mins, some dumbells and a medicne ball, and I can honestly say that I have never sweated so much in my life! There is no rest in between movements (although I may have had to pause it a couple of times to grab water...) and there is no option to skip movements either which forces you to stick it out the whole way through, whether you want to or not.
There's also an option to begin a Program using the app, and you can even ask it to add runs into your workout using Nike+ Running, which is a feature of it I haven't yet used but am seriously tempted to in place of my current gym routine if the Total Body Sculpting routine is anything to go by!

MyFitnessPal


I'm pretty sure that every man and his dog is using MFP, or has at least heard of it so I won't say much. This is however literally the most invaluable tool for me as I use it to keep track of my calories, my macronutrients, my weight and also my body measurements.
I don't tend to track my workouts on it although I do know that it is a feature. That said, when I'm using my FitBit, I do love that the two apps sync and will add a couple hundred extra calories if I've had a particularly active day - who doesn't love being allowed more food?!
The database on My Fitness Pall is HUGE, and it's super easy to track what you've eaten by a quick search or a scan of a barcode. There is also the option to add homemade meals which makes homecooking really easy to track, and is something I use a lot of the the recipes I keep gonig back to!
 

Do you use any of these apps? Which health and fitness apps could you not live without?? 

 The Barbelle

Don't forget to sign-up to come along to #FitMeet2014!!

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Let's Get Together!: #FitMeet2014


It's been a long time coming and after chatting with some fellow health and fitness bloggers we thought that it was about time that we all got together for a day of fitness, fun, food and shopping! I've been to a few beauty blogger meet ups before and I can't tell you how much fun I had - it's amazing to meet other like-minded people who you all share a passion with, and I can't wait to meet other health and fitness bloggers and have some fun!

#FitMeet2014 will be on Saturday 21st June in the Covent Garden area of London, and (hopefully) all of the information that you will need to know will be in this post, however if there is anything else that you would like to know more about let me know!


If you're interested in coming along I've got a bit more information here for you! If you do decide to come please let me know as soon as possible so I can let the venue, sponsors etc know how many to expect - there will be a limit on spaces as well so the sooner the better! :)

Who is organising it?

I'm currently organising it solo but if anyone would like to be more involved in organising the meet-up and helpnig with any set-up on the day then please send me an email or tweet me (@tweetrhii) as I'm sure there'll be plenty that I'll need a helping hand with!

Who can come?

 Anyone can come along regardless of whether you're a health and fitness blogger or not, as long as you blog! The day is all about getting like-minded bloggers together and having fun, so whether you're fitness, fashion, or anything in-between it honestly doesn't matter. :)
There will be a limit on spaces so if you do want to come along try and let me know as soon as possible! 


Where is it?

The meet-up will be centered around the Covent Garden, area of London as there is a good mixture of shops, food, drinks and gyms/studios etc. Lululemon have also not long opened a store there so that'll probably demolish any money I have in my bank account... I am still waiting to hear back on specifics from some of the venues but it's definitely going to be that area!

What time is it?

We'll aim for everyone to meet in Covent Garden by midday and could potentially last until around 8 or 9pm. Obviously you don't have to stay for the whole time but it would be amazing if you were able to as I will have a lot of things lined up!

What will we do?

The day which I have planned so far will begin with a fun fitness class before getting showered and changed ready for some talks from people in the fitness and nutrition industry whilst having some drinks and snacks. We'll then go for dinner and some shopping - where I may have a couple of surprises lined up for you!

If you have any questions

If there is anything else that I haven't mentioned that you would like to know please get in touch either by Twitter @tweetrhii or via email - I've tried to remember everything that I need to tell you, but knowing me I might have forgotten something!

I really hope that lots of you guys can come along - it'll be so lovely to meet everyone and for us to all finally get together for a day full of things that we love! Please spread the word as much as possible to make sure everyone who might want to come knows about it - I've even included a blog button for you to put on your side bars/blog posts etc!

The Barbelle


To let me know that you want to come, please send me an email with your name, email address you want me to contact you on (if different), your twitter handle, and blog URL.

See you all soon!!! :)

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

A Runner's Must-Have Summer Product

 As my first post back from basking in the Egyptian sun for 10 days, I wanted to share a brilliant product with you all which has become an essential for whenever I venture outside for my runs, or to do anything for that matter!
With summer just around the corner and the sun staying out of the clouds that little bit more, my attention has turned a lot more towards how to protect my skin when I exercise. I've been finding myself outside a lot more going on runs, doing yoga or even bodyweight workouts, and it's something that I definitely prefer over the stuffy gym! However with all this pavement pounding under the warmth of the sun, I've needed to find a product which will protect my skin from too much sun exposure. Luckily for me I stumbled across Soap & Glory's Make Yourself Youthful Sunshield Superfluid SPF 50+ before I ended up red-faced from sun burn!

I tend to apply it while I'm getting ready to give it time to sink in - after moisturising but before applying anything else. It absorbs into the skin super quick meaning there's no waiting around and it doesn't leave a weird oily sheen like some can either which is perfect in my eyes. The only shime I've ever had while wearing it is that of a hot, sweaty nature - which of course is no fault of the product. I've always found that when I have worn it day-to-day under makeup, I haven't suffered from any shine either which is lovely.

When I do wear it with makeup I've also teamed it with their Make Yourself Youthful CC Cream which I treated myself to as part of an offer which was on at Boots, and is another product I really rate at the mibute although I'll perhaps save that one for another time. :)

Both of these products are currently on offer in Boots by the way so if you're interested snap them up quick!

Have you been using sun protection when you're exercising outdoors? What's your favourite outside workout? Let me know!

Friday, 4 April 2014

Taste Test | Paleo Products

Over the past month or so, I have been dipping my toes into the world of Paleo. I have to say that the idea of a 'caveman', hunter-gather way of looking at food really intrigues me, and is definitely a far-cry from typical western attitudes towards food where grain-orientated meals can tend to be the norm.
 I'm not going to attempt to explain the ins and outs of the lifestyle to you as I don't feel that I know enough about the area, but there are plenty of Paleo websites out there which will give you a much clearer understanding than I ever will!
I guess the thought which originally sprang to mind at the thought of zero grains was "huh, so it really is a meat and two veg kinda diet..." - can't say that it sounded all that thrilling if I'm honest. But after mooching around Wholefoods one afternoon, it turns out that there are actually a lot of ready-made Paleo products out there - and they are all absolutely delicious, and a lot more exciting to eat than I thought a Paleo lifestyle would entail!


The first product which caught my eye and which called itself out specifically as a Paleo product was a box of Cocoa, Vanilla & Hazel Grain-Free Granola, by The Paleo Foods Company - a beautiful concoction of nuts, unpasteurised honey, coconut, pumpkin and chia seeds, 100% cocoa powder and pure vanilla. It was like heaven in my mouth as I am a huge fan of anything nutty! It didn't really taste all that 'healthy' having cocoa powder as an ingredient as it gives you that chocolaty taste usually associated with the opposite, but one of the things which I like about the Paleo diet is that there are no artificial preservatives so you know you're not putting anything unnatural into your body.
It is also higher in calories than most cereals as it is packed with nuts etc., but with 14.2g per 100g of it being protein as well as being low in carbohydrates and saturated fat, I think I'm willing to let it slide.
To buy a box of the stuff was pretty pricey for cereal at just over a fiver - but novelty and curiosity won me over in this instance and I have no regrets in buying it, although I can't see it being more than a 'once every now and then' treat for me as my student lifestyle doesn't  really allow for spending £5 on cereal every week... As much as I wish it could! They also have a couple of other flavours - Berries, Almonds & Vanilla, and Original Honey & Pecan which I would LOVE to try, so don't be surprised if you see them pop up on the blog next time I go to Wholefoods!



After joining a couple of #paleohour talks (which are great if you're interested in it by the way!), I was approached by The Primal Kitchen, asking if I would like to try some of their new Paleo Bars when they were released - which naturally I jumped at after my previous great experience with Paleo products previously.
The Paleo bars reminded me a little of the Nakd bars, with the differences being the addition of nuts (win!) and the more generous serving size which made it a lot more of a filling snack. There are only 4 or 5 ingredients in each, and they are all hand-made and cold-pressed here in the UK. I personally really enjoyed all three of the flavours available (Almond & Cashew, Coconut & Macadamia, and Brazil Nut & Cherry) but my favourite was definitely the Coconut and Macadamia which was an awesome combination of flavours!
A little like the granola, these Paleo bars are a little higher in calories than other snack bars due to the nuts and the dried fruit. The Primal Kitchen call them out on their website as being a 'natural energy bar', but to me they are a healthy, nutritious choice none the less - life shouldn't always be about counting calories when it comes to wholesome foods!
If you want to give Primal Kitchen's Paleo Bars a try they are a little trickier to get hold of as they are currently only available on smaller online health stores - however I have heard that they are hoping to get them into Ocado soon so you'll have to keep a look out!

Overall I have to say that my experiences with Paleo products have been nothing but good so far, and whilst I may not be taking the plunge into a full Paleo lifestyle which still daunts me a little and the costs associated with it (apparently it can be quite expensive!), I'm definitely going to be looking for other Paleo products and meals to try in the future!
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