STAXX Protein Bars Review

We had never heard of STAXX Bars before we were very kindly sent them to review as they have recently launched three new flavour- Peanut & Caramel, Cookies & Cream & Dark Chocolate Mint. STAXX previously only had the Chocolate Caramel flavour. We couldn’t wait to try all of the flavours when they arrived as they all sounded delicious.

You can currently purchase STAXX bars on the website or across many other independent and online retailers including Amazon and Muscle food.

We can honestly say that STAXX bars are the nicest protein bars we have EVER tried, and we have tired a lot. We LOVE the fact you cannot taste the protein in the bars which is something we have struggled to find.

When we eat a STAXX Bar it feels like you are eating a chocolate bar, it really hits the spot and doesn’t leave us craving more sugary foods. The sugar content is low with most of them having about 2g of sugar per bar which is also another bonus. They also contain 20g Protein and are also low in net carbs.

We love how chewy the STAXX Bars are as well, they all have a caramel consistency to them which you will also love if you like a chewy protein bar. All the bars have a chocolate rice crispy coating on the outside layer which is something we really enjoyed.

CHOCOLATE CARAMEL
This was the first flavour we tried and immediately fell in love with the brand and the bars they had on offer. Chocolate caramel was also the first STAXX Bar launched and the only one you can currently purchase on their website. I felt like I was eating a toffee crisp which was a massive throw back as I have not had a toffee crisp in SO long, those chocolate bars are so under rated!

PEANUT & CARAMEL
This one was quite similar to the chocolate caramel flavour just with peanuts. We love peanuts and anything nutty  so this bar was right up our street. We loved the caramel in the bar mostly because we are fast eaters and it slowed us down so we could saviour it for longer.

DARK CHOCOLATE MINT
Dark Chocolate Mint was definitely one of my favourites which I was really surprised about but that is just purely down to the fact I always forget how much I actually enjoy mint flavoured chocolate. It reminded me of a mint Aero but with a crispy outer layer.

COOKIES & CREAM
I left this flavour until last as I am not usually a fan of cookies and cream flavoured products but when I did eventually try it I actually really enjoyed it.  It wasn’t my favourite out of the four as it didn’t give me that WOW factor and the flavours were not as intense.

We enjoyed the bars so much we headed straight to the website and ordered a box. There is a taster box available where you can purchase a box of all the flavours for £8.99. We ordered 12 of the Chocolate Caramel Flavour because it was our favourite but we will be ordering some of the Dark Chocolate Mint ones as well.

We hope to see STAXX bars in supermarkets in 2018 because that would be amazing!

Morning Run In Cornwall 

One of the first things we pack when going on holiday is our running trainers, we love getting outside and going for a run somewhere we have never been before. Recently we spent a week in Cornwall, Port Isaac to be exact and we loved our early morning runs.

Every morning before our run we would enjoy a coffee in bed whilst appreciating and admiring the incredible view we had from our bedroom window our coffee of choice this trip was spiced pumpkin flavour 🎃 which was incredible.

Visiting Cornwall
Visiting Cornwall

 

Pumpkin Spice Coffee
Pumpkin Spice Coffee

We decided to run to Port Gaverne, it was only a short distance away from Port Isaac. When we got to Port Gaverne we ran up the headlands to a view point that was truly stunning and every morning we made sure we stopped for a few minutes to appreciate the view.

Stunning views in Port Isaac
Stunning views in Port Isaac


There is something about Cornwall or the countryside in general that makes you slow down and actually enjoy the surroundings when we are in London everything is so fast paced we never get a chance to stop and appreciate everything around us.

Port Gaverne in the morning
Port Gaverne in the morning

We did this run several times during out stay switching it up a little bit each time so it didn’t become boring, not that is could because every corner we turned we were met with another incredible view point.

By the seaside
By the seaside

On the way back we had to run up the steepest hill in the world honestly it was torture but once we were at the top it was a straight road back to the cottage where we would shower and then sit down and enjoy a well-deserved breakfast.

The breakfast we had almost every single day this holiday was natural yoghurt, oats and peanut butter all mixed together it sounds weird but tastes amazing.

Running Trainers
Running Trainers

 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Energy Balls

Pumpkin chocolate chip energy balls anyone? YES PLEASE!

These literally take about 10 minutes to make, they contain 5 ingredients that you are likely to have in your cupboard this time of year. If you are unsure on where to get pumpkin puree (UK Folk) we found it in the world food isle of tesco.

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This makes about 16 energy balls that you can either keep in the fridge or freeze them to enjoy in the future. Don’t you just love it when you fancy something sweet and then remember you have something tucked away in the freezer.

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Ingredients
250g Oats
100g Pumpkin Puree
100g Peanut Butter
150g Maple Syrup
100g Dark Chocolate Chips

Method
Line a baking tray with parchement paper
Combine all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and stir until mixed through (you may find you need to use your hands)
Roll into balls
Place on the lined baking tray
Place in the frige for an hour
Store in an airtight container and keep them refregirated for up to a week (if they last that long).

The Perfect Handbag Snack

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Snacking should be our middle name, we love to snack snack snack!  We always try and make our snacks as healthy as possible, usually opting for a piece of fruit or a healthy snack bar. We find that snacking helps keeps us going until our next meal and stops us over eating when we come to eating our next meal.

We always have snacks floating around our handbags/rucksacks that we can tucks into when those hunger pains start or boredom kicks in because let’s be honest who doesn’t eat when they are bored.

When we received these funky nut snack pots in the post we were over the moon. They are such a good idea and nothing we have ever seen before, we have of course seen peanut butter and apple slices etc. that you can get from M&S but never snack pots with crackers, banana chips or breadsticks.

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We have tried four of the snack pots:

Hazel Butter Dark Chocolate with Banana Chips- Vegan, Gluten Free & 261 Calories
We absolutely loved the dark chocolate hazelnut butter it was so delicious and definitely a pot we will be purchasing desperately. it went really well with the banana chips but then again it would have gone well with ANYTHING it was incredible!

Peanut Butter Honey & Sea Salt with Mini Sticks- Vegetarian, Tasty & 185 Calories
If we had to choose this one would probbaly be our least favourite (has to be the one with the least calories in haha). We did really like the honey peanut butter it was quite sweet but we wouldn’t really choose to have it with bread sticks.

Cashew Butter Milk Chocolate Honeycomb & Crostini- Vegetarian, Tasty & 203 Calories
WOW is all we can say this snack pot was sooo dreamy we LOVE honeycomb it is incredible. We have made our own cashew butter but never purchased it before (I know mad) but we definitely will be because it was so creamy and delicious so that’s another one to add to the basket.

Peanut Butter Four Seed with Banana Chips- Vegan, Gluten Free & 244 Calories
We had actually already tried the four seed peanut butter (its a great savoury alternative). We were quite surprised it was being served with banana chips because initially we would have said the bread sticks BUT we were pleasantly surprised when we tucked in.

Plum Crumble Baked Porridge

Autumn is definitely on its way and the colder mornings have left us wanting a warm bowl of porridge. We are definitely missing the summer but we are enjoying not getting the porridge sweats in the morning, if you know you know!

At the weekends we always enjoy tucking into a scrumptious bowl of baked porridge experimenting with lots of different ingredients. This time we decided to go for a plum crumble baked porridge which was absolutely delicious and probably one of our favourite ones yet!

Let us know if you decide to make this bowl of goodness because trust us it will leave you wanting to go back for more, who doesn’t love eating something that tastes like dessert for breakfast?

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Ingredients
40g porridge oats
1 or 2 plums depending on the size
50ml Almond milk (or any milk of your choice)
1tsp peanut butter

Method
Pre heat the oven to 180oc
Destone the plum and chop into small slices
In a small mixing bowl add in all the ingredients and stir until well combined
Pour the mixture into a ramakin dish
Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes making sure the top is golden brown
Enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea

Healthy eating on a budget

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Healthy eating doesn’t have to be expensive. You don’t have to shop in Whole Foods and you certainly don’t have to spend more money. So many people think convenient fast foods are cheaper than fresh wholesome foods.  We want to put this myth to bed and help people maintain a healthy diet whilst eating on a budget.

If you have any other tips and tricks then please share them with us!

healthy eating 1

Buy in Bulk- We would suggest purchasing your food in bulk for example buying bigger bags of rice, oats and pasta will be cheaper and these are as good go to staples to have in the cupboard.  You should also think about purchasing your meat in bulk there are several established websites that sell meat such as Muscle Foods.  Compare pre packed fruit and veg to loose fruit and veg. Check the price per kg some brands will make loose more expensive where as others will bump the prices up on pre packed goods as its more convenient.

Cook in bulk and from fresh- If you don’t enjoy cooking and it feels like a chore this is probably the last thing you are going to want to spend your evening doing. It will definitely be worth it and your bank balance will thank you for it. If you cook in bulk then you can freeze meals or eat them the next day for lunch or dinner, that way it will limit your cooking time in the long run.

Limit eating out/ ordering take away – Eating out can be expensive, why not eat out when you are celebrating something or as a treat when you want to catch up with family or friends. Don’t just eat out because you cannot be bothered to cook or wash up the dinner plates. Eating out is not only expensive it is likely you will end up eating a less nutritional meal.

Buy frozen fruit- We love purchasing frozen fruit and Tesco have recently introduced single fruit bags e.g. kiwi or mango. These are so much cheaper than fresh fruit and have a longer sell by date. We like having frozen fruit in our porridge for breakfast or enjoyed in the evening as a snack with some yoghurt.

Shop online/write a list- Ever been to the super market and ended up purchasing items you really don’t need? Yes we have all been there! When ordering food online it is unlikely you will purchase foods you do not need especially if you are following a shopping list.

A few other tips- purchase all nuts in the world food sections of the supermarket they are always half the price, Purchase produce when they are in season and don’t throw away leftovers eat them the next day or freeze them.

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Refined sugar free banana bread

We really wanted to bake some banana bread one Sunday afternoon when we were browsing the fruit and vegetable isles in the supermarket. Most supermarkets bag up banana that are about to go out of date and sell them for about 20p bargain!

Banana bread is great because you can eat it at any time of the day! Well you can with this banana bread because it is sugar free and still tastes so delicious! The bananas are sweet enough and become even sweeter once cooked so you wont even notice the lack of sugar.

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Ingredients
3 ripe bananas
200G oat flour (we just blend oats that we already have in the cupboard)
30g chopped walnuts
1 tsp baking powder
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
100ml milk of your choice
1tbsp coconut sugar (optional)
5g Oats

Method
Pre heat your oven to 180oc
Line your loaf tin and grease with some melted coconut oil
Blend the oats until they are fine and resemble flour
Mush 2 of the bananas in a mixing bowl
Slice the remaning banana
In a separate bowl mix your oat flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and walnuts
Once combined add the mashed banana and half of the slices banana and stir
Pour in the milk and stir
Pour the mixture into the loaf tin
Place the remaining sliced on top of the mixutre
Sprinkle the handful (5g) oats and coconut sugar on top
Bake the banana loaf for 30 minutes until cooked throughout
When cooked let cool and enjoy

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BLOGMAS Day 13- Tips to consider before joining a gym

Why not join the gym today? Why wait until January when the gyms are so busy you won’t be able to find a machine to use. A busy gym can sometimes be stressful and de motivating, not being able to get on any of the machines will more than likely annoy you.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas the gym is usually pretty quiet and it’s the perfect opportunity to branch out and try new machines or classes you have never contemplate trying before. It is also a great time to burn off a few extra calories that you may be consuming during the festive period.

If you are thinking about joining a new gym you should do you research before joining the gym as it is likely you are going to be spending a lot of time there. We have been members of several gyms over the years and always take into consideration the below tips before joining.

We hope our top tips help you make the right decisions and go on join the gym today you won’t regret it!

Location- the location of your gym is probably one of the most important factors you should take into consideration. In the past we have been members of gyms that have been a fair few miles away from our house. We like to attend a gym that is close to our houses and also means we can attend before or after work without having to go home first. Why not join a gym that is on your way to and from work that way you have no excuse!

Opening hours- is the gym open when you are likely to use it most? Lots of gyms are now open for 24 hours but not all are so it is important you check their opening hours. You will need to decide what time of day you are likely to exercise to ensure the hours fit your schedule. If the opening times don’t fit your schedule it is likely you will be paying for something you can’t access.

Monthly Membership Fees- You will need to take into account how often you are going to attend the gym. We like to work out the amount of days we will train at the gym in a month and divide this by the membership fee that way we can see the cost per trip. It is also important to check if you have a rolling contract of if you are committing yourself to an entire year as a member.

Fitness Classes- There are several questions you should ask yourself regarding fitness classes; Does your gym have fitness classes included in your monthly membership? Are you likely to attend many of the classes? Will attending classes motivate you? What is the timetable like? You should also ask the gym staff if you need to turn up early to the class to reserve a spot.

Personal Training- Some gyms have a lot of personal trainer, if you gym is quite small you should take this into consideration as they can sometimes take up a lot of floor space. On the other hand if you want a personal trainer at the gym this might be a positive as you will have a selection to choose from.

Facilities available- we would suggest emailing the gym and asking them about their facilities do they have enough machines to go around? It is important you make sure they have a wide variety of machines in case you every want to branch out in the future. We like to go to the gym before work so it is important the changing rooms are clean and have working showers. Some of the boutique gyms also offer a towel service which is great.