Review: Quorn vs chicken, calories and nutritional values – can it sway a bodybuilding meat lover?

I have an ongoing life-long love affair with red meat but I also LOVE trying new foods. It dawned on me that to my knowledge I’ve never knowingly had Quorn so it seemed like a good place to start.

Review: MyProtein Sugar Free Syrup – Maple, Coffee, Chocolate and Butterscotch flavours

I’ve tried many sugar free syrups in my time like Waldens, Skinny Syrups, Starbucks and random own brands I come across so I’m interested to see how MyProtein stacks up.

Front -The Photoshoot: 12 Week Body Transformation with Laurie Carr

The Photoshoot: 12 Week Body Transformation with Laurie Carr

Today I received the images from my photoshoot – the pinnacle of my challenge. Looking back now I am so gratified with the experience and contented that I pushed myself as hard as I did; I know I really gave this every ounce of my soul.

Lincolnshire Sausage Oak Smoked Bacon Davidstow Cheddar Cheese Plait

Lincolnshire sausage, Davidstow cheddar cheese and oak smoked bacon plait recipe

I used the basic idea from various sausage plait recipes and combined them to make this glorious sumptuous beast of a main course. This calorific joy is not for the faint hearted and should probably be reserved for special occasions!

Cauliflower Protein Pudding Mousse Low Carb Low Fat High Protein Recipe  

Cauliflower Protein Pudding Mousse Low Carb Low Fat High Protein Recipe  

I’ve really struggled with finding simple desserts that are low calories, low fat and low carb whilst I reverse diet. I don’t want to bump my calories up to normal levels just yet so this little beauty satisfies my sweet cravings for under 200 calories!

Diet and training update: 3 weeks out: feeling sh*t, dieting and cutting 

​The title says it all really! I’m just taking a moment to share some of the downsides of dieting because I think it would be unbalanced to gloss over it, I also think social media and content often highlights only the good bits!

As the weeks have spun on my calories have dropped little by little and I’m now in quite a substantial deficit while the last few bits of fat loss are chipped away. At last check I was sitting around 13% body fat at 50kg.

Dieting for a competition or goal is very stressful on the body… I doubt that’s news to you, it sure isn’t news to me! As expected cutting/dieting is having an impact on several physical and mental aspects of my mind and body, such as:

  • I’m tired
  • I’m grumpy
  • I miss my boobs
  • I miss socialising over food with my boys and friends
  • I miss my sex drive
  • I keep falling asleep sitting up
  • I’m near constantly hungry
  • I can’t concentrate
  • My strength seems low
  • And all I talk about is the gym and my food!

So all in all, feeling pretty sh*t right now and I’m pretty delicate. I got real sad when Laurie took my morning protein oats out and I had to give my head a wobble… There are far more serious things going on in the world; war, famine, injustice, and here I am having a melt down over a few weeks without oats. Pretty pathetic right?

My body perception is completely warped now too. One day I think “OK I’m looking on track” and another day I’m thinking “why am I still so fat”.  These swings of perception seem to have ramped up now I’ve got less time to play with (20 days to go). It’s a phenomenonal mental challenge to not allow yourself to be drawn in to self loathing and criticism. This whole process absolutely magnifies every aspect of your body, and I consider myself to be relatively level headed, but even so, this is tough!

I think one thing that’s really driven home to me now is that all of the above really indicates how this kind of diet and lifestyle is just not sustainable long term, at least not for me anyway!

In the digital world we’re blasted with images of fit girls and competitors who look incredible seemingly day in, day out. These girls have millions of followers and fans wanting to know what the secret is, what the diet plan is, what the training plan is. But there isn’t really any big secret. I truly believe looking like that is a full time job, and it has to be one you’re truly dedicated to.

I have no doubt that people do really love and enjoy this process with the good and the bad, but I just feel like it’s not for me. I’m certainly pleased that I’ve done it, it’s been an exploration of myself, my motivation and my will power. It’s definitely taught me some valuable lessons that I can apply to other areas of my life, like self discipline and restraint.

So what’s next?

Right now I probably look the best I ever have… So wouldn’t it be great to sustain that long term? Well of course, but do I want to do this every year, F*£K no!

I work full time and I’m studying for a diploma and so all my weekends are spent studying and all my evenings after work are spent training in the gym. My body and mind are starting to cry out for some balance. As it is I have little time for my creative projects – and the horror I’ve had to give up my favourite hobby, baking! This is really nagging at my soul, and although diet and training are definitely a huge part of my life, I don’t want it to be my life!

I’ve been on the path to a healthier lifestyle since early 2013 and I intend on continuing it. I love eating for health, I enjoy training and seeing my body change and I’m not going to return to circa 2010 Amy who used to eat chocolate for tea – though that does sound like #lifegoals right now I have to say.

Once this prep is over I’m going to really work out what my long term aspirations are, and never say never, but I have a feeling year round abs are probably not going to make the cut! ?

DIY Handmade Beeswax, Almond and Coconut Skin lotion tutorial

I was very fortunate to have been given some beeswax Angela had saved me from her recent collection of honey, so I decided to set about making my own organic all natural body lotion.

Worrying about judgement, it’s holding us all back

I had an interesting conversation with my beautiful training partner Kim tonight about judgement. More specifically how feeling judged by people can really hold you back from your full potential.

We live in age where even the most private aspects of people’s lives are documented online, from the depravity of human nature right up to the most wonderful achievements of our kind.

For me personally I find it difficult to put myself out there as sometimes I feel my word holds less value then others. I used to be so much more confident than I am now and bizarrely over time I have developed a fear and nervousness of being judged for who I am or what I believe in. I suspect each one of us experiences this to some degree.

What seems to be a common thread is that those who can let go of fear, push other people’s negativity away from them and not care so much about opinions seem to achieve more in their lives.

Those people who are willing to take a chance and hell to anyone else are not constrained by imaginary barriers.

“I can’t post that it makes me look weak”

“I can’t write about that it’s too personal”

“I can’t talk about this I don’t know enough about it”

But that’s the thing, anyone can, and the only difference in the people doing it is that they have balls. They have the confidence. It makes me wonder how much wisdom we miss from the quieter souls of this world.

Basic psychology teaches us that to create confidence we need positive experiences. So I’m making this an extension to my own personal challenges… To choose to be free of judgement, feel the fear and do it anyway.

I suppose really very few people care as much about you and what you are doing as you do, and as Kim very succinctly put it “it will always say more about them than it does about you” if they bring negativity.   

Review: Ameliorate Transforming Body Lotion – Keratosis Pilaris and Dry Skin

Unequivocally nothing has made a difference like the product I am reviewing here and so I wanted to share my experience with the Ameliorate Skin Smoothing Body Lotion (now renamed Ameliorate Transforming Body Lotion).

Current diet and coaching – by Laurie Carr Performance PT

This year I’ve taken on the challenge of a 12 week prep with Super Heavy Weight bodybuilder Laurie Carr. I’m not intending on doing any shows so this is not a contest prep but I am treating it as though it were and throwing myself whole-heartedly at the whole experience