Energy Snacks: Product Review (and Discount!)

These days it feels like you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to subscription boxes. Five years ago it started out with Graze, delivering snacks direct to your door, and it truly seems that the subscription box has ushered in a whole new era in how we spend! When I heard about Energy Snacks on social media, I was fangirling pretty hard (that’s what Twitter’s for, right?) and they were kind enough to send me a trial monthly favourites box. Opinions, as always, remain my own. Head to the bottom for the discount code!

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What was in the October box:

  • Mule Bar (Apple Strudel)
  • Sweet Peaks (Citrus)
  • Virtue Energy Water (Lemon & Lime)
  • Tribe Bar (Cacao & Almond)
  • GU Energy Stroopwafel (Caramel Coffee)
  • GU Energy Gel (Chocolate Outrage)
  • PowerBar PowerGel Shots (Cola)
  • PowerBar Recovery 2.0 (Raspberry Cooler)
  • 32Gi Sports Gel (Raspberry)
  • 32Gi Sports Chew (Orange)
  • OTE Hydro Tabs (Blackcurrant)

The boxes retail at £19.99, and I think you actually get a fair amount of products for that, especially given that they’re specific sports nutrition goodies.

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What I liked:

I loved that I was able to try out products I wouldn’t have usually bought, such as the Virtue Water. Additionally, it was great to try out Tribe Bars without having to commit to buying a whole box of them. I’m notoriously fickle when it comes to my choice of snacks, so I like to try before I buy!

What I wasn’t so keen on:

I’d like to have seen a more complete mix of recovery and everyday snacks as well as high-sugar energy foods. Yes, yes, I know, the clue is in the name, but balance is key! However, fear not! I’ve had a sneaky peek at next month’s selection and there’s a really good balance of energy, hydration and recovery.

Will I get it again?

Yes! Not necessarily as a regular subscription, but definitely when I’m doing a heavy load of training. I think you get a lot for your money, especially with items like the hydration tablets and Gus. They’re the kind of items I always run out of, and have to buy the day before a race when there are frankly other things I’d rather be spending my time doing (eating pasta and napping)! I love the idea, and it’s just so damn convenient!

What was that about a discount?

Yes, let’s get to that! The folks at Energy Snacks have offered followers a 20% discount off a monthly favourites box with code PIPINMOTION20 just head over to their site!

Have you tried Energy Snacks or a subscription box? What’s your favourite?

 

Lots of love,

Pippa

 

 

 

 

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Healthy Eats on the Go: Lunch

Last week I shared with you my favourite healthy breakfast options for when I’m pressed for time, on the go, or just fancy treating myself. And now, we move on to lunch. Normally I bring a prepped lunch or bring the ingredients for a hearty salad, but sometimes (and more often than not right now) things are busy and I just can’t be bothered. Thankfully though, my little corner of London offers a fantastic range of nutritious options. So, the key things I look for in an on-the-go lunch option are:

  • Slow release carbs such as brown rice, wholewheat bread or beans
  • High protein content
  • Some decent healthy fats

Here are my top picks:

Itsu: Chicken n’ Brown Rice Miso

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This is hands-down my favourite lunchtime treat, especially when I’m ill or doing a large volume of training- the slow release carbs from the brown rice keep my energy levels up, whilst the chicken gives me a nice boost of protein that keeps me full. Oh, and it tastes amazing too.

  • Calories: 343
  • Protein: 32.2g
  • Carbs: 35.5g
  • Fat: 8g

 

Pret: Smoky Chorizo Chicken Soup

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I’m so in love with Pret soup that I know their Soup of the Day rotation by heart- a bit sad, I know. But this one is my favourite due to its high protein content and wonderful taste. You can also add a chunky bread roll if you fancy upping your carbs, or have one of their new smaller “side” portions with a sandwich.

  • Calories: 233
  • Protein: 15.9g
  • Carbs: 21.1g
  • Fat: 8.1g

 

Leon: Mini Chicken Meatballs

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Great things often come in small packages, and this is no exception to the rule. I often have this when my body is really craving meat, and it’s just fantastic. I love that Leon offers smaller portion sizes of some of its classics, so you can treat yourself without heading for an afternoon food coma.

  • Calories: 490g
  • Protein: 18.2g
  • Carbs: 65.9g
  • Fat: 18.8g

 

Abokado: Red Thai Chicken on Brown Rice

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Another asian-inspired healthy choice- I really love the slow release carbs and high-protein content, plus the red thai sauce is gorgeously decadent but surprisingly healthy! I was frustrated when I checked the website for nutritional information and found that the only info available was total calorie and fat content. I like restaurants to be completely transparent when it comes to nutrition, so this isn’t ideal. However, it’s still a good healthy choice so I’m including it nonetheless.

  • Calories: 378
  • Protein:
  • Carbs:
  • Fat: 13g

 

Greggs: Mexican Chicken Sandwich

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A bit of a curveball in this list of healthy options, but Greggs truly has been pulling it out of the bag recently with more balanced options. In particular I love this chicken sandwich on wholewheat bread, which definitely caters to those days when you just need carbs. It’s certainly a lot better than a sad supermarket prawn sarnie!

  • Calories: 393
  • Protein: 23g
  • Carbs: 49g
  • Fat: 12g

 

It’s so great that brands are increasingly looking to appeal to consumers’ health concerns- who’d have thought five years ago that Gregg’s could position itself as a balanced meal option? Given that eating healthily and nourishing my body well is one of my top priorities in life, I’m encouraged by what I’ve been seeing recently and can’t wait to see more of what’s to come!

 

Where do you go for healthy eats?

 

Lots of love,

 

Pippa

Holistic Eating for Dummies

Over the past few years we’ve seen an evolution in the way people think about health and wellbeing. As opposed to being a chore, keeping fit and eating well have become aspirational-instead of Louis Vuitton and Louboutins, green smoothies and Lululemons are now the new status symbols. And whilst I certainly don’t subscribe to the idea that you have to take out a loan to spend on fancy kit and deluxe superfoods, it makes me happy that health and wellbeing is becoming a priority in our lives. 

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One thing I’ve noticed over the past few months, especially at the OM Yoga Show, is a shift in how we perceive food- instead of simply viewing food as fuel (or worse, the enemy), many of us are starting to see it holistically and using it as a way to cure or prevent common ailments such as acne, headaches and the flu. This change in attitude owes a lot to the ancient practice of Ayurveda- literally, life-medicine in Sanskrit- and it’s becoming increasingly mainstream. I’ve been discovering this practice in small doses during my weekly yoga classes, as it has a strong influence.

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For instance I re-discovered Pukka Herbs, best known for their teas, at the OM Yoga Show. They’re currently championing turmeric in teas and superfood capsules and powders. Turmeric has long been used in Aryurvedic medicine and is known for its power to reduce inflammation and regulate cholesterol. Very early studies have even suggested it may contain cancer-fighting properties, and so you can see what all the hype is about.

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I for one am really glad that people are starting to look at food as  an integral part of their health- especially as someone who has a history of disordered eating. I’m enjoying learning about the different healing and health benefits of food, as well as doing more general research about Ayurveda. Now don’t get me wrong, I still champion modern medicine, and approach alternative remedies with a healthy dose of skepticism; but when thoroughly researched, some of these therapies make a lot of sense.

For instance I’m looking at food and supplementation to help me get rid of a particularly nasty bout of hormonal acne I’m experiencing as a result of coming off the pill. I’ll keep you all posted on my progress, but it looks like this is just the beginning for me!

Lots of love,

Pippa

My Hydration Favourites

In an odd turn of events, British Summer seems to have finally emerged from wherever it’s been hiding. And with that, comes heat, humidity, and heightened concern over hydration. I’ve always been pretty good at hydrating throughout the day, but with the heat and humidity being what it has been recently, I’ve been making a conscious effort to get enough fluids and salts. So here are my hydration faves, water aside:

 

Miso soup

 

I know this is a weird one, especially to start out with. But after a long run (or even a short one for that matter) I find slightly cooled-down miso soup to really hit the spot when it comes to salt and hydration. If I’m feeing adventurous, I’ll add spinach and an egg into the mix, but mostly, I just gulp that shit down plain.

 

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Powerbar or Science in Sport Electrolytes

 

I like both of these brands as they seem to do the job just fine; Powerbar electrolytes have a better taste, but SiS feels a bit more premium…like it might be doing more of a job! I know that’s largely influenced by branding and packaging though, so I’m not fussed either way. I used to use Nuun electrolytes but I still often found myself with a post-run headache even after having taken them.

 

Powerbar 5 Electrolytes Tablets

 

Carbonated Water

 

You can buy flavoured, carbonated water at pretty much any local supermarket- they’re usually sugar free (and virtually calorie-free), and come in a variety of flavours. They taste so damn good, and they aren’t quite as bad for you as a Diet Coke. That’s my excuse anyway.

 

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Coconut Water

 

I don’t drink this very often due to the cost, but every once in a while I’ll splash out and get a big carton to sip on throughout the week. I find it does the job, and the taste (which bothers some people) can be masked by mixing it in with a smoothie of some sort.

 

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Tea and Coffee

 

Whilst tea and coffee both have a bad rep for being diuretics, studies have shown that two large cups of coffee per day don’t really affect you too badly. And as for tea? Being the true Brit that I am, I drink several cups a day, but I try to switch it up and have at least a few cups of green or herbal tea, as a bit of a healthy switch.

 

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So is there anything I’ve missed? I’m always keen to try new things!

 

Lots of love,

 

Pippa

Mindfulness: My Training Principles

Last night, feeling particularly inspired after a yoga class, nourishing dinner and catch-up with a friend, I found myself with some time to properly reflect on some principles I want to train by in the next few months. With quite a busy schedule of races and training ahead, I want to be careful to avoid burnout. During my training for Manchester Marathon at the start of the year, I was doing way too much, prioritizing all the wrong things, and it ended up costing me dearly both in terms of injury and professional accomplishment.

 

 

So without further ado, here we go:

Run Less, with More Focus

Whilst I haven’t read the book in its entirety (yet), I want to focus on the approach set out by Run Less, Run Faster for the next few months. As much as I love love love to run junk miles, and regularly run 4 or 5 times a week when not training for a specific goal; my body can only take 3 structured (i.e. intense) training sessions a week. I’ll be keeping it simple, and supplementing the following with cross-training:

  1. Long run
  2. Tempo run
  3. Intervals

Focus on Balance

In my brand new Believe, Achieve Training Journal, there’s a section on balance, and it talks about your “training wheel” being made up of the following spokes:

  • Physical training
  • Mental training
  • Nutrition
  • Recovery
  • Life Balance
  • Competition
  • Community

“Put too much emphasis on one spoke or ignore another, and your wheel becomes weak and collapses beneath you.” Wise words to live by.

Focus on Rest and Recovery

I am absolutely terrible at allowing my body to recover, and last training season I was burning the candle at both ends, which led to burnout, both physical, and more importantly, mental. I was really unable to focus on my work, and it wasn’t a good time at all.

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Focus on not getting fired

Okay, a slight exaggeration. But I want to focus on being able to deliver 110% in my current role, and take on more responsibility whenever possible. I cannot slump in my chair and let the brain fog take over.

Plenty of Race Prep ahead of the big event

The big event being, of course, the marathon. I want to get as much experience racing as I can, without overly interfering with my long runs. I currently have a good few in the diary, and seeing that I love racing so much, it’s hardly a sacrifice to add a few more when they come up (and believe me, they always come up)! Specifically I want to use 10k races as tempo runs, and do some half marathons as a way of getting over this weird mental block I have about 13.1.

 

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Good Food

This is entirely obvious, but something I really skimped on at the start of the year. I have a troubled history with food and dieting, and so it’s always a focus of mine to get better. My motto: Eat More Bananas- which is basically a shorthand way of saying “eat more real foods”. I also want to focus on eating fewer nothing foods- things like popcorn and rice cakes, which essentially keep you full but don’t really provide you with anything nutritionally. I’m certainly not swearing them off or restricting, but trying not to reach for a bag of popcorn whenever I get hungry.

 

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And yes, that includes treat food!

 

Have Clear Red Alerts

These are my signs that I absolutely have to cut back on training. I know people say listen to your body, but when you have a slightly obsessive personality like I do, it’s hard to do this without having an objective list of things.

  • Brain Fog
  • Any Work Fuckups or Close Calls
  • Monumental Life Fuckups
  • Heightened Emotions
  • Sickness or injury

 

These principles will hopefully stand me in good stead for lovely, successful and not too stressful training in the months to come.

 

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If you had to set a training principle for the next week, what would it be?

 

Lots of love,

 

Pippa