Hi 2018! Bit of a lengthy-ish post coming up!

So I’ve been a little absent from the whole internet-y social media world as of late. While I’m all too aware that 90% of what you see online is fake or only the absolutely best snippets of someone’s life, I found myself profoundly affected by having a 24/7 view-only access to lifestyles that were completely unachievable for me.

So I opted to take a hiatus from all of it; it was doing nothing for my self-esteem and my 2017 has been hard enough without that shit. Amazingly within the space of week I already felt better, the frighteningly long hours that I would have wasted each day on Facebook etc, I spent doing things I actually enjoy. Hell even just sitting staring into space was a vastly more enjoyable activity that looking at “#blessed” 4 million times over.

It’s been a couple of months without (maybe 3/4ish) and now. I feel like I come back at this world with a plan of what I want out of social media. For me I’ve realised for me the enjoyment is in being useful and relatable and to me that means it’s about blogs and sharing with people who enjoy life while being grounded in reality.

I love to learn and get a bit of a useful hint, tip or solution to get me through life and last year I learned countless useful bits and pieces around FODMAP/IBS on various blogs. On instagram and the like, I’ve enjoyed seeing everyday people just getting on with it. I like people who share all that it takes to achieve a goal and then seeing them achieve it, people that tell you honestly what it takes, proper blood sweat and tears (and food of course). I’ll believe the badass Lifter that eats a balanced diet and treats themselves to a pizza before I’ll believe the person that tells you the only way to be like them is some random companies fat burning supplements. The last thing I want is another year of scrolling through nonsense where “athletes” spew out nothing but motivational quotes and constant product placement (lets be real here, we’d all think your products were great if we got them massively discounted or even for free).

So for 2018 I’m getting really real about shit. Instagram, I’ll follow you if your interesting, if you’re about food and lifting we’ll get along just smashingly! If you’re about showing off wealth and the kind of fitness where all you do is take constant gym selfies or any other posing selfie and post ABSOLUTELY ZERO workout or fitness activity I don’t think we’re meant to be.

Also (my main rant about instagram) No longer will I follow people if they only follow me so that I’ll be polite and follow back and then immediately unfollow me (seriously how shitty is that?!). I want to enjoy Instagram the way I did in the begging and if that means quality not quantity; sure I won’t end up “insta-famous” but I’d rather have 10 awesome followers I can relate to than 10,000 shite ones.

So this year I’m all about me; and here’s what you should know

  • I’m no ones “ambassador” or “athlete”, though I will constantly share photos of my socks cause I love them (I buy every pair with my own hard earned pennies).
  • I’ll constantly talk about food, like 99.9% of it will be about food.
  • I’ll seldom post photos of me posing in the gym, I go to the gym to lift and you should too
  • Sometimes (rarely) I’ll post a photo of me, the reason will be I feel particularly proud of myself that day and also I suppose it helps to see what all my eating and lifting is achieving. Though said photos will never involve any expected stereotypical female fitness pose (we’re all equal and I show off the guns if I want dammit)
  • I’ll complain when it gets tough or sometimes (heaven forbid) I’ll skip a workout, cause sometimes I’d rather just sit on my ass.
  • I’ll give you this one motivational quote (just in case you really need one) “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. If you can appreciate and accept that, you’ll figure out how to achieve your goals.

So for now it’s bring on 2018, hopefully I can stay strong and keep at it (blogging and lifting)! Below is me being fearsome for your enjoyment… hehehe

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New Recipe Alert! Low FODMAP Teriyaki Sauce!

This one is a game changer for me, finally I have a good option for eastern inspired food! There’s nae garlic, nae onions and it’s DELICIOUS! 

This is my first attempt so I expect I’ll perfect and tweak the recipe as I try it for other dishes but this version is still pretty damn special!

Click the photo to get the recipe! 

New Recipe Alert! Tomato and Herb Turkey Burgers (Low FODMAP)

This was today’s lunch experiment and I was so pleased with it that I decided I must waste no time and get it added to the site!

This beauty is the 2nd of my Low FODMAP Recipes but it’s really a great. One for everyone as you’re free to make it your own by adding your own favourite spice combo!

I teamed them with some M&S “Made without Wheat – super seeded sandwich thins” and some of my own homemade Asafoetida Mayonnaise (another awesome recipe I need to add) and it was awesome! I’m looking forward to trying this one again and topping it with a bit o’ cheese! 

Go check it out and give it a try, you won’t regret it! Just click the photo to be taken to the recipe!

Oh they’re good!

New Recipe Alert! 

There’s two new things here! First is my new recipe for a simple Chicken and Buckwheat Salad, the second is that it’s also the first recipe in my new “Low FODMAP Recipes” section!

It’s a great on the go meal as it’s tasty hot or cold and you can make it your own by adding your favourite veggies!

Click the photo to give it a try!

FODMAP and fitness: My New Challenge

So I’ve been a little quiet over the past few weeks, both recipe and workout-wise. The truth is I’ve not been very well. For the last few months I’ve been suffering an array of uncomfortable stomach pains and issues, something that led me to reduce how much I’m eating and as a result my energy levels dropped with it. (On a side note it’s been an eye opener toward just how important your eating is for exercise)

After a string of doctor visits and tests, this week I finally got my answer. The good news: it’s unlikely that I was ever lactose intolerant. The bad news: I have irritable bowel syndrome, meaning that lactose is now one of many things I can’t eat.

It was tough but I suppose also helpful news to take. Now that I know the problem I can work on the solution; and the solution I’m told is FODMAP (Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-Mono-Saccharides, and Polyols). The condition is aggravated generally by these so called high FODMAP foods and my emotions/stress (no mystery why this is the worst it’s ever been then with the jobless-induced worrying), so a FODMAP restricted diet is the best way to manage it.

So now my Challenge is to reduce dairy, gluten, high-sugar foods, certain sweeteners, alcohol, fizzy drinks (this one hurt to hear), garlic and onions (rendering every spice mix in my cupboard redundant). It’s going to be difficult, but it’s also an opportunity to try new things and maybe scrap some bad habits for good (cough*fizzy juice addict*cough). 

So be prepare to see some new recipes and ingredients from me and for anyone else suffering from irritable bowel or any other restrictive diet, this is a chance to see one way of making it work for a strength training lifestyle (hopefully)!

Updated training plan for this week and my Current Meal Diary!

For updates on this weeks training check out the plan here!

New this week is my new daily meal diary. While I write up my actual detailed meal plan, I’ll update the diary to give you a view of my weekly munching. 

I’ll be keeping it as honest as I can, I suspect I’ll forget sneaky snacks here and there (a good sign that I eat too many snacks maybe), so it’ll be as honest as my memory allows!

Check out the meal diary here

I’ll start getting some more photos of my good self on here so you can see the results of my eating and training (you know, so you can see I’m not just saying this is what I do) plus I’ll work on both pages to combine and create an actual plan you can use as a reference or base point in creating your own plan!

New Section on the site! My Weekly Training!

I’ve added my training as a way to share what I get up to training-wise and for me to keep track of what I’ve been doing!

I’ll update week by week so hopefully we can see some progression and celebrate new PB’s! Wooo! 

Click here to have a wee look! 

P.S. I may also add photos of my socks, because they are generally awesome! 

Adding my doodling hobby into my training!

As well as lifting (& well I really should include eating), I’m a creative wee soul. Art was easily my first love and passion in life, I’ve always loved designing and creating new things and it’s been a lifelong dream to have it feature in my career.

In recent times my painting, sketching has gone more to graphics and doodling and with my desire to take Gains, Trains & Appetites further; there was no tine like the present to have a go at designing some merch! 

So now I have the First sample of the new tank design (hopefully one of many in future), I need the grey font much darker but otherwise I love it! 😍 I’ll be adding it to my webstore soon though! 

Here’s a couple of photos (I’ve just finished an Olympic Lifting session so next time the photos will be more enthusiastic)!

The Covetted Banana Peanut Protein Bar Recipe is now in the Store! 

Yep these guys are fan favourites on the GT&A instagram and I have finally written up the recipe to add to my Etsy Store! The recipe and the chocolate version can can be yours for a super £1.20! Click on the photo to get yourself a copy and enjoy the wonder that is homemade protein bars!

The Meat-tox: Making a Good Habit out of a Bad one

A few weeks ago I had the absolute joy of going to Pula (Croatia) for a weeks holiday. Now, I went with the best intentions;  I was going to keep working out each day and stick to the meal plan…all I will say is that I came home 7lbs heavier (essentially putting all of my pre-transformation weight, plus some more, back on)…

It’s not that I was eating unhealthy food (quite the opposite), I just ate waaay too much of the good stuff. Part of that was meat, I ate A LOT of meat so, by the time I got home I decided I needed a few days meat-free.

So generally I eat meat every day, a good mix of fish, red and white meat. Since it’s pretty much tasty with minimal effort, I’m not especially adventurous with my cooking; so taking meat out of the equation has always made me nervous. What would I eat? A plate of raw veg for lunch and dinner? No thanks! So, with this in mind, I decided for 4 meat free days I had to make an effort and get some recipes. Cue ‘Womens Health’ ‘Eat Clean Get Lean’.

This Magazine/book hybrid, along with my Womens Health and Train magazines made this deep dive into vegetarianism  marvellous experience!

Here’s my Veggie Venture in Pictures!
Sweet Treats/Breakfasts: Raspberry Chia Pot and Apple Cinnamon 0% Fage yogurt

Salads/Lunches: Fig/Freekeh Salad (top/bottom left), Chilli Mango Salad (top right), Blackberry Feta Salad (Mid/Bottom Right) and Pea and Green Lentil Salad (Mid Bottom)

Down-right Awesome Dinners: Baked Sweet Potato and Balsamic Lentils (top left), Wild Rice Stuffed Squash (top right), Baked Potato with mixed Pulses (Mid Right), 4 Bean and Quinoa Chilli (Bottom Left), Aubergine and Chickpea Curry (Mid Bottom/Bottom Right)

Conclusions: First thoughts on this experience is that I am a damn good vegetarian cook, every meal turned out great and tasted wonderful! I enjoyed the experience so much that I decided to take up “Meat-Free Monday’s”.
Overall my meat-tox was an amazing and eye-opening experience. Vegetarian is an exceptionally varied and colourful diet that does encourage you to be more adventurous with your cooking. Admittedly it is tough to get your proteins naturally and keep the macro’s where you want them; but 110% I’d recommend putting a meat-free day into your meal plan!

(Also worth noting – by the end of my meat-tox I had lost 5lbs of my holiday weight, although I suspect some of it was water weight!)