Macro-friendly Recipe: Protein Nutella Brownies!

Who doesn't love Nutella?! Actually, my mum doesn't. Or peanut butter for that matter. Was I adopted? 

Anyway. Making Nutella macro-friendly isn't as tricky as you might think.  I'm in the middle of reverse dieting and yesterday was a "craving f**king everything" kind of day. So to take the edge off, we came up with this and they were AMAZING. The entire batch makes six biggg brownies.

Per brownie:
169 calories
10g protein
16g carbs
6g fats

They took about 15 mins to make, start to finish.

Ingredients:
100g Nutella
60g chocolate protein powder (We used PNI Supplements Lean Shake Plus in chocolate caramel. This cooks better than standard whey as it's a blend including casein and egg albumen, so it doesn't dry out like other powders)
60g oats
1 teaspoon baking powder

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°. Blend the oats into a fine powder, using a blender or a nutribullet.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir together.

3. Gradually add some water (or you could use almond milk if preferred), little by little, stirring as you go, until you get a batter consistency.  It shouldn't be too runny, but make sure it isn't overly dry.

4. Spoon the batter into a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.

5. Pop in the oven and bake for about 8-10 minutes. They should still be quite runny when they come out.

And that's it! Enjoy :)

When Sickbucket Saturday gets a little bit deep, and a little bit embarrassing...

Last week we posted about the exciting (disgusting) AM Performance Sickbucket Saturdays.  A different type of high intensity conditioning session each week which aims to put us (me… Adam is yet to actually attempt one) through our paces, keep our hand in the old fitness game and provide a different kind of challenge for us and anyone else who dares to give them a go.

Week one was great. Check out the video we posted last Saturday which details the session and shows me giving it my best shot.

I’ve been looking forward, albeit with slight trepidation, to Week Two all week. I felt amazing after last week’s and loved the response we got from others giving it a try.  Conditioning work is a whole different type of challenge and whilst it’s nehhhhhrsty, it’s so rewarding.

So, Saturday rolls round. But suddenly I’m not so excited. I didn’t sleep last night. I kind of needed to sleep well too, we had a long day yesterday and Sickbucket Saturday is a bright and early 6am session. I also woke up with a sore throat, bit of a headache, and just feeling a bit ‘meh’.

We got to the gym and by that time I had some food in me and had woken up a bit, so I felt… ‘okay’.  Not exactly raring to go, but ‘okay’.  Yeah, I could have done with an extra hour in bed, but I was ‘okay’.  I got a bit of a shock when I looked in the mirror and saw how pale I was, but hey, I was ‘okay’.  Anyway, it’s Sickbucket Saturday! I’d already posted on social media building up to today’s gruelling session! Yep, I was going to have to be ‘okay’.

Here’s the session:

Every Minute on the Minute for 10 minutes:

Even minutes: 10 x thrusters + 10 second airdyne (now not-so-affectionately nicknamed the Bastard Bike)

Odd minutes: 3 lengths overhead walking lunge + 10 burpees

Then:

Ladder 10-1:

Dumbbell snatch (each arm)

Plank press up

As anyone who’s ever done this type of work will know, you start off and think”this is WAY too easy”, then literally 30 seconds after that you feel like you’re going to die. Usually in a very strangely good way. You think “I can’t possibly do this for another second, let alone another 10 minutes” but then somehow, you do. You end up on the floor, gasping for air, but it’s done! You did it! And now you’re on a crazy endorphin high and can go home and eat pancakes. Conditioning fo lyf.

Not today.

As soon as I started I was gassed. That’s not me. I’m also not one to complain - I get my head down and get it over with. But today I was totally up against it, my body wasn’t cooperating at all. Neither was my head, I was hating every single second and really, really struggling to complete any of the exercises.

We’ve probably all been there or at least had similar experiences. A session you fly through one day might finish you off another, no big deal.  I’ve been there before myself. But today was different and I don’t know how/when/at which point it happened but all of a sudden I was crying my eyes out. Yep. 27 years old and I was absolutely sobbing because “I can’t!!” over a casual, supposedly enjoyable Saturday conditioning session. Big, maffis, can’t-speak-I’m-crying-so-hard, toddler style sobs.

Adam timed me out and we sat down. I took a couple of minutes and calmed down, then we modified the session slightly, removed the timing, and I did it at my own pace, then went home to rest.

So for anyone wondering why Sickbucket Saturday stopped being documented pretty swiftly today, that’s why.

So what’s the take home message?

  1. Sometimes we have to push ourselves to “just get it done”, or maybe even push ourselves to dig deep and get in the gym when we really can’t be arsed.  But that’s not the same as pushing ourselves too far when our bodies are crying out for something different, ie rest. “Go hard or go home” and “Team No Days Off” are all well and good, unless actually, you really do need to go home and, you know what, you really do need a day off.

  2. Our bodies are clever. We become so used to pushing past the “good pain” and the “I can’t do it” moments in a GOOD way, that sometimes we become deaf to the quiet but important requests from our bodies to just back off a little bit. It’s important to learn the difference between silencing your own laziness/lack of motivation (which is great, keep pushing!) and silencing your body’s cries for help (not so great at all).

  3. Sometimes even when recovery and ‘not overdoing it’ are your priorities (they’re certainly mine), your body can surprise you by needing a bit more.  This week has been a great training week, I haven’t been too stressed, my calories are up, I’m recovering well.  So I didn’t expect this, especially compared to the exhaustion that is prep. But just as progression isn’t linear, neither is recovery. Take it as it comes - if you need to rest, rest.

So there you have it. Even the people who live and breathe this stuff have days when they hate it so much it makes them cry, and forcing yourself through it anyway is just a sure fire way to make you hate it harder.  Listen to your body, learn to know when less is more just as you learn when more is more, and most importantly, look after yourself.

Em x

Consistency

These pictures are from 3 separate squats, but as you can see they're pretty much identical. I'm consistent with my squat pattern, so much so that I even pull the same daft face #attractive

But this post has nothing to do with my squat.
It's all about your goals.

What's the most important factor to take into account when it comes to reaching your goals?

No it's not your nutrition plan. Nor is it your training split or your fancy supplements.

It's consistency.

You can have the best training programme on the planet, and the perfect nutrition programme all backed by the most scientific science. But if you aren't consistent with it, it's worthless.

A mediocre programme that is actually followed will yield better results than an incredible one that isn't.

Practise consistency first. Get fancy later. If you even need to at all.

Food Hangover

 

OK so, lots of people struggle with that post-cheat guilt and grossness. It's all fun and games at first, then you're waking up feeling crap and wishing you hadn't had that last piece of chocolate. Or 2 pieces... ok bag. Sharing bag. 

Yesterday I had a post comp day of basically eating whatever the hell I wanted. I THOROUGHLY enjoyed it, but yep, it was a bit of a shock to the system once we got past the crazy high calorie mark. I went to bed feeling like I never wanted to see another piece of food again. I woke up groggy, dehydrated, and just generally feeling gross.

I initially looked good, but once I'd eaten and got some water down me, I looked softer, puffy and watery.

I used to feel so guilty with this kind of thing. One thing that really got me was all these other people on social media who'd post their epic cheats then say "SO much food, but I just had the best session, never been stronger, pump was unreal, bla bla bla." Some people are like that, sure, but I'll tell you straight, I don't even go NEAR the gym when I feel like this. Yeah, it'd be great if the extra calories fuelled amazing sessions but for me they don't, not until a couple of days later at least. And I also think it's so important not to use training, which I adore, to "punish" myself for over indulging on food, which I also love. So I take a day off

How can we help ourselves feel better?

1. Stay active: maybe the gym isn't an option, but a long walk and staying as active as possible really helps.

2. Hydration: plenty of water, green tea and vitamin C.

3. Back to normal nutrition: This one is really important. No cutting calories to compensate! That isn't a healthy approach & starts a vicious cycle which won't "undo damage" anyway. There is no damage to undo - it takes CONSISTENTLY higher calories to gain fat, one day won't do it. Water weight gets rid of itself.

4. Sleep: a nice early night to set yourself up for a big training session the next day.

Disclaimer... There's a world of difference between a day of overindulgence & binging. I've struggled with the latter in the past & it's scary & not ok. I've seen lots of people, especially post comp, struggle with that so if that's you, you aren't on your own & it's nothing to be ashamed of, you'd be surprised how easy it is to find help and overcome. This isn't about encouraging disordered behaviour, it's about managing the odd overindulgence in a well rounded relationship with nutrition.

Anyway. Get back in your groove & don't stress, you'll feel right as rain in no time! And yes, yesterday was SO worth it.😍🐷

Em x