babble

Sorry For The Silence

10th May 2018

I know, I know, I’ve gone quiet again! I’m sorry for the silence on the blog, and it’ll be that way for another couple of weeks. I’ve got three weeks left until all of my finals should be handed in and I’ll be finished with my HND Graphic Design course.

From https://www.pexels.com/photo/blur-business-coffee-commerce-273222/

Then it’ll be summer and I’ll be free, without homework, to actually blog and exercise and hopefully eat right, too.

There’ll be a product review of a new dietary supplement, Phentatrim, and an update on our old favourite, Phentaslim, at some point in the next three weeks, so look out for that.

And please wish me the best of luck with finishing my HND! I’m looking forward to having some free time again, and not being so quiet.

fitness, food, Muscle Food, review, weigh-in, weight loss

[Product Review]: Muscle Food + Do The Unthinkable

22nd April 2018

I was invited to review Muscle Food‘s new Food and Fitness program, Do The Unthinkable, and was absolutely delighted to work with Muscle Food, as I’ve been very tempted to purchase some of their protein bundles… only to be thwarted by the lack of space in the freezer.

Included in Do The Unthinkable is food to feed you for every meal, plus snacks. It comes in a huge box (or two), so your cat will be extra-grateful.

Muscle Cat

The Food

A week's worth of food from Muscle Food

For a week, I received the following:

  • 1x Chicken Tikka Pizza
  • 1x Goat’s Cheese Pizza
  • 1x Roasted Squash & Chilli Soup
  • 1x Tomato, Basil & Quinoa Soup
  • 1x Chicken & Sweetcorn Soup
  • 1x Thai Green Chicken Curry
  • 1x Satay Chicken
  • 1x Thai Chicken Stir Fry
  • 1x Chicken Fajita Stir Fry
  • 1x Chinese Pork Stir Fry
  • 1x Chicken Pad Thai with Asian Veg
  • 1x Persian Lime Chicken with Quinoa & Minted Peas
  • 1x Beef Lasagna with Italian Veg
  • 2x Shreddies MAX Granola
  • 2x Fuel Porridge
  • 3x Oomf Protein Oats
  • 5x Muscle Food Bar (Chocolate Decadence, Lemon Crunch, Cookies & Cream)
  • 3x PhD Diet Whey Protein Bar (Salted Caramel, Triple Chocolate Cookies)
  • 2x Zippers (very crispy almost biscuit-like stick things!; BBQ flavour, Cheddar & Sour Cream)
  • 1x Cheese & Onion Protein Crisps
  • 1x Beef Jerky
  • 1x Chinese Marinaded Chicken-On-A-Stick Snack

The Breakfast Foods

Unfortunately, I really didn’t like ANY of the porridges and protein oats, which I’m really sad about, because I like porridge, and used to eat quite a lot of the porridge pots, but it’s entirely possible that this is why I didn’t enjoy them, because they weren’t sweetened! I realise that this is the whole point of healthy food (to be healthy!) but I’d have rather just eaten plain porridge with salt. Others’ taste buds may appreciate the Oomf and Fuel oats more than I did, however. The best of those was the apple, cinnamon and raisin flavour, which had an excellent flavour of apple and cinnamon, but was lacking in raisins. I think I found two, and the sweetness of that pot might have been better with more raisins. The Shreddies MAX Granola was actually quite nice, although a 45g serving is tiny, and on the morning that I ate the Shreddies, I really, really needed a snack to keep me going until lunch time.

The Soups

I was a huge fan of the soups, although I didn’t enjoy the chicken & sweetcorn flavour… only because it had a lot of fresh coriander in it, and I’m one of those people who really can’t enjoy coriander, because it tastes like soap. Apparently that’s a genetic thing! The roasted squash and chilli soup was DELICIOUS! It had a beautiful flavour of squash, and the chilli was FIERY-HOT. I’ve never been a fan of overly-spicy foods, but this was beautiful, and left my tongue tingling. The Tomato, Basil & Quinoa soup was lovely, and the flavours were balanced nicely.

The Ready Meals

First off: the pizzas are excellent, although portion sizes for pizzas tend towards the smaller side, which is its only let-down. The takeaway container ready meals are delicious, despite the Satay Chicken not tasting at all like peanut sauce. It was still lovely to eat, and the red peppers and green beans cook wonderfully – still some crunch left, and they didn’t go soggy.

Actually, that was a thing I noticed about all of the food: the veg definitely feels fresh, when I’m eating it. There’s a lot of peppers and onions, and there was always a good bit of crunch from them during meal times.

I was also lucky enough that I got quite a few Asian flavours: Thai Green chicken, chicken Pad Thai, Chinese Pork, Satay Chicken (for the main means); chicken tikka pizza; Chinese marinated Chicken-On-A-Stick snack. The Chinese flavours I’ve always had from ready meals has been an over-saturation of Five Spice… but while there’s five spice in these meals and snacks (not all but some of them) it wasn’t overly-strong, and just added a nice flavour. The Chicken-On-A-Stick snack was actually one of my favourite items, especially as it turned out to be actual chicken meat – chicken breast, even! – and I don’t think I’ve ever eaten chicken-on-a-stick that wasn’t processed meat. It tasted lovely, it was moist, and it was delicious.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the beef lasagne, which wasn’t saucy enough for me. I like plenty of sauce in my lasagna, which is a personal preference of course.

The Snacks

Ever eaten a protein bar before? I’ve tried a few diets with meal replacement bars, and I’ve found that they all taste quite the same: a little powdery, and nothing like their description.

Luckily, the protein bars included in this bundle weren’t powdery, and in the case of the chocolate chip/chocolate decadence, they were actually chewy and sticky, and that was fine by me, because it made them so much easier to eat than previous bars I’ve tried. The beef jerky was the first beef jerky I’ve ever tried, and while it was a little on the tough side (I’ve been assured by other eaters of jerky that this is Normal and How It’s Supposed To Be) the marinade was delicious, and I will happily eat jerky again in the future. The zippers were brilliant – very crunchy, and so, so much flavour. I’ve never had so much flavour on crunchy biscuity crispy snack things before (the only thing I can even think that comes close to their texture is the little cheese crackers that you get in snack packs) and I’m definitely going to order zippers if/when I get a Muscle Food bundle again. The Cheese & Onion crisps tasted just like cheese and onion crisps, and they had a great crunch to them that I really enjoyed.

The Plan

The plan’s simple: three meals a day, plus three snacks a day, and it’s your choice as to what to eat when, although I’d suggest no more than one protein bar per day, as this reduces the amount of processed food eaten each day. Each food pack is portioned (or has the portion count mentioned on the ingredients/nutritional information label) and includes cooking instructions where necessary. The easiest way to keep your food at its best is to freeze the items that can be frozen on day of receipt, and defrost the next day’s food in the fridge overnight. Almost everything is freezer-compatible, including the soups, which makes it easy to keep the food fresh and delicious.

Incorporate the suggested exercise from the DVD on the days marked on your calendar, and you should see an improvement in your health shortly!

The Outcome

Now, I didn’t take my measurements for the before and after, because it was only a week’s course, so I didn’t expect to see any difference, even with the Do The Unthinkable fitness plan incorporated into my life (see below).

Do The Unthinkable Weigh-In: April 13

ozeri
0lbs
426lbs
30st 6lbs (193.23kg)
0lbs

Do The Unthinkable Weigh-In: April 20

ozeri
-4lbs
422lbs
30st 2lbs (191.42kg)
-4lbs since April 20, 2018

Yup, I managed to lose 4lbs in a week while eating more food than I’ve been eating recently. I was only hungry that one morning that I ate Shreddies Granola instead of porridge/oats. And I don’t think I’ve ever eaten that many vegetables in one week before in my life.

Do The Unthinkable

Do The Unthinkable

The other part of the Muscle Foods Do The Unthinkable program is the exercise. You get a 90-day planner with spaces to mark in your fitness test scores (marked on the calendar in green) and which days to rest, which days to work out, and spaces to mark completion of your exercises. None of these exercises require anything more than a towel, some water and a bit of space, which is awesome, because it means the only thing standing in the way of a great workout is… well. You.

(Trust me: I got in the way of a lot of the workouts.)

I learned something very important during the fitness test on day one:

I am very, very unfit.

I honestly couldn’t even do most of the fitness test. Mountain climbers? Nope. 123 with High Knees? Nope. A press up? Nope. Glute bridges? NOPE. I am unfit. It’s not even funny how unfit I am.

I mean, I tried. I did. But honestly? I’m just so fat that I can’t do some of the exercises. My belly gets in the way, and I’m in no way strong enough or fit enough to fix that right now. So I did what I could, which wasn’t much at all, because I’m being honest.

For those capable of performing the exercises, Phase One of the program (also known as “The Base” in the material) will provide a more than adequate amount of difficulty to keep them interested and to work them out hard. It was more than I could cope with, and I’m a little ashamed to say that, but I’m not ashamed to say that I would be happy to work at it until I am capable of performing the workouts.

The calendar included in your materials is for the entire length of the program, so includes Phase Two and Phase Three, and includes space for all fitness tests (start and end of phase one; start and end of phase two; start and end of phase three) as well as spaces for your measurements on days 1, 30, 60 and 90.

Included Materials

Included With Do The Unthinkable...

These are the items that I received; my program was for a week only, and so if you purchase the full program for 90 days, you’ll receive everything for the duration, including 3 DVDs in total. You will also get access to an account area on Muscle Food.com, which includes things like a meal planner, a workout tracker, and a progress tracker, not to mention access to Steve, a personal trainer and nutritionist who can answer questions you may have via social media (you need to have a Facebook account to access this part of the program).

Deliveries are weekly, and you can change your food choices whenever you want/need, and you get the option of having a weekend off (you’ll receive food enough for 5 days); a cheat day (you’ll receive food enough for 6 days); or total dedication, which means you’ll receive food enough for all 7 days of the week. Total Dedication offers the best value for money, and you’ll eat better than you’d ever expect, while never feeling hungry, and never feeling deprived.

Overall

Overall, I’m really happy with everything to do with Muscle Food and Do The Unthinkable – the quality of the fresh food, the taste of the meals, the freshness of the ingredients – as well as the workout program, are pretty incredible. The plan is especially good if preparing your own healthy meals is a bit of a problem, as there’s no preparation involved in any of the meals, unless you feel like adding a half an avocado or something to that effect. The most work you’ll need to do is frying the stir fries or heating up the oven. It’s perfect for people who aren’t so hot in the kitchen, especially as the food is all delicious, and you’ll have more than 40 choices of foods.

While the workouts may seem difficult, I’ve no doubt that you will not regret a single day of the 90 days of the duration of the program.

Given my experience with the food and the workout, I’m more than happy to award Muscle Food and Do The Unthinkable an outstanding ★★★★★/★★★★★

Availability

You can set up and choose your plan at the Do The Unthinkable homepage, or you can check out Muscle Food.com to see what else they have to offer. Do The Unthinkable costs between £60-79 per week, depending on which package you’re choosing:

  • £60 for 30 meals (“Weekend Off” 5-day plan)
  • £69 for 36 meals (“Cheat Day” plan)
  • £79 for 42 meals (“Total Dedication” plan)

After completion of the program (90 days’ subscription), you will also receive 5x£10 Muscle Food vouchers, and a, “Do The Unthinkable” t-shirt!

Disclaimer

I received no monetary compensation for this review; I was provided with one week (7 days) of Muscle Food‘s Do The Unthinkable meal products, snacks and breakfast foods to try out, and was also given Phase One of the Do The Unthinkable fitness plan, which included a DVD and a 90-day calendar. The links included in this review contain affiliate links, which means that if you follow one of my links and make a purchase, I will receive a small affiliate’s compensation payment. This does not increase your cost for the products; prices are correct as of April 22, 2018.

babble, body talk, exercise, spinning, story of my life

I’ve Finally Recovered From Spinfit

10th April 2018

As you may have read, I went back to Spinfit on Friday.

I’ve only today recovered from the 30-minute workout.

See, I was going to go to the gym after finishing class, but honestly? I came out of the room, sat down on the stairs, and I thought I was going to die. Therefore I did not go the gym to lift weights, which was my original plan. Instead, I chose to sit on the stairs and catch my breath, cool down, and wait for my mother to come and pick me up.

I was in agony on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, in places that I’d forgotten I could feel pain. I tried to do my stretches as much as I could to try to make my muscles feel better, but I’m not entirely sure that it helped much.

I woke up this morning and was amazed that I was only in my normal amount of pain. I felt fine-ish.

Now, I’ve booked myself in for this Friday’s Spinfit class, and I’m excited. I can’t wait to get back into the gym afterwards, as I’m going to go and lift weights or do something in the gym after my class. I had planned on going to the gym in the middle of the week, but I think until I’ve gotten used to going back to Spinfit and the gym after class, I’ll leave attending the gym itself (down the road from my house and across the football fields) for later, when I’m at least a tiny bit fitter.

I’ll admit, I’m also kinda terrified that I’d kill myself at the gym, and not want to go Spinning, so I’m saving that for later.

#fitbyforty, 400s, bicycle, exercise, fitness, hamilton water palace, spinning

I Think That Spinfit Has Killed Me

6th April 2018

Okay, so the title’s a bit… overly dramatic. But I might have died. Maybe.

Not for any serious reason, but…

Well.

You Spin Me Right ‘Round Baby

I went back to Spinfit today. I got the bus into the West Station and then walked as fast as I possibly could to the Hamilton Water Palace because I was a two-minute walk away from the bus stop WHEN THE BUS LEFT, so I had to wait for the next one, which didn’t leave the most time to get to the gym in a timely manner for my class.

I managed my usual leisurely eight minute walk in 6 minutes. Which I’m quite proud of! I managed to get to class with 4 minutes to go until start. Got my bike ready. Changed my shoes, peed, got back to class, and – after getting help from the instructor to raise my handlebars, which were stuck – sat down on a Spinfit Bike for the first time since LAST MARCH.

Now, I will be entirely honest: I am not looking forward to exercising again. I hurt more than I did last March. I’m going to be under mucho stress until the start of June, because it’s my final unit of second year. But I don’t care how much I don’t want to exercise. I need to. I am seriously unfit, and just having done that Spinfit class this afternoon was agony.

I AM IN PAIN

My shoulders hurt from leaning forward on the handlebars, which you’re not supposed to do. My feet hurt from being A) in spin shoes and B) in the pedals, all weight thrown onto the balls of my feet and my toes. My back was actually surprisingly fine. The whole area between my legs is a ball of fire from sitting on the tiny bike seat.

I am OUT OF SHAPE. I know I wasn’t exactly fit when I was living on my own, but I was a damn sight better than I am right now.

I gotta change that.

Next week, I’m still off on holiday so I might see about going down to the Jock Stein to do basic cardio + weights. Spinfit on Friday. I need to increase it slowly, or I’m absolutely not going to stick this out.

And I have to.

HAVE TO.

babble, food, non-scale victory, story of my life, weight loss, weight watchers

In Which I Drag Mum Back To Weight Watchers

8th February 2018

I’ve been back at Weight Watchers since September now, and I’ve been up and down so much you’d think I was on a rollercoaster, or someone was playing me like a yo-yo.

Nope. I joined with best intentions, but between having to have my cat put to sleep last year, and my Aunt dying at the start of this year, plus stress from so much work for college, my brain hasn’t exactly been in the best place to deal with weight loss. I understand that it can’t really be simpler than “track everything, don’t go over your points, and do your exercise as much possible,” but all I’ve really wanted to do for the past 6 months has been to eat crap. As much crap as possible. The more the merrier, in fact. My head has not been in the game.

I signed up to Sugar-Free February in aid of Cancer Research UK a few weeks ago, and I’ve just finished week 1. I feel a little irritable, a lot headachey, but I lost 2.5lbs this week, which is excellent.

Bringing Mum Back To Weight Watchers

Mum was talking about how she had to get her eating and her weight in check, so I asked her if she wanted to come to Weight Watchers with me. She rejoined on Tuesday, so hopefully with Mum also following the plan, it’ll be easier for me to stick to it.

Of course, I still have breakfast and lunch to deal with when I’m at college, but I’ll see how that goes. I still have plans to pack my lunch every day to A) eat healthier and B) save money, but so far I’ve managed a whole one day, oops.

I think my head’s back in the right place for everything else, though. I’ve not had the urge to binge at all this week, which is probably because I ordered Domino’s the night before I started this challenge month, so my cravings were sated a little.

I’ve still got three weeks to go, though, so I don’t wanna brag like, “Oh this is so easy, why didn’t I do this earlier?!” It’s definitely not easy. It’s really effing hard, in fact, and I bow down to people who have fully gotten on board with the whole sugar-free thing. If any of them are reading this: please send prayers. I may need them.


Donate To FATGIRLslim’s Sugar-Free February Challenge

I’d be really grateful if you could donate to my fundraising page, in aid of Cancer Research UK. This month, I’m challenging myself to remove added sugar – sweets, chocolates, ice cream etc – from my diet, and I’m also attempting to give up soda for the month (although I had some in the first three or four days because Mum bought a few bottles by accident). Others are also taking the challenge to raise money for cancer research by doing exactly the same.

If you’d like to donate, please follow the link below. If you cannot afford to donate but would still like to help spread the word, please feel free to share my giving page!


https://fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/page/tracy-takes-on-sugar-free-february-17

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