Something “Fishy”

 

To be able to inspire change has always intrigued me, the idea that we as human beings are able to change the world and the lives that flow through it, with not only our words but more importantly with our actions, is an incredible notion.  This is the very essence of the Fry’s Family Food Company, two very ordinary individuals wanted to inspire change from their kitchen– creating plant-based foods that are now consumed in over 20 countries – they are the “crafting food, inspiring change”

So what exactly inspires the creation of mock fish? A mothers love of course. Tammy Fry (Marketing Director of Fry’s Family Food Co and Director of South Africa’s #MeatFreeMondays and the eldest daughter of the Fry family) on a family outing at the beach, witnessed her youngest son, distraught over watching fish being caught and was inspired to create the only sustainable fish, reminiscent of the traditional battered hake.

I was lucky enough to crack an invite to the launch of the Fish Style Fillets, and the re-launch of their famous ” Crispy Prawns”. The Bond Shed, situated on Point Durban, held the perfect ambience to host a handful of bloggers. We were welcomed with smiley faces, warm hugs (always a bonus) and the promise of delicious plant-based tapas (promise delivered – I am still dreaming about those coconut curry prawns).

The aim of gathering a group of bloggers was not only to feed us, but also to make us aware of the devastation our oceans face and how we as a community can assist in creating change and in essence protecting our oceans for our future and for generations to come.  Andre Rutishauser from the global Sea Shepheard Conservation Society (if you do not know who or what Sea Shepheard is, they are the badasses of ocean conservation).  They are making enormous efforts in curbing whale poaching in Antarctica, protecting sea-life off the African coast and educating communities in ways to protect and conserve our marine life, oceans and beaches.

Fun Fact: Crewmembers all eat plant-based meals , because as Andre explained “We do not eat our clients”.

Congratulations, Fry’s Family for hosting an incredible meeting of minds.

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No Added Guilt Hot Choc

As the weather becomes increasingly cooler, my craving for everything decadent, toasty and soul comforting has increased – there are very few things as comforting as a cup of indulgent hot chocolate on a chilly evening, or morning… whenever!

I am consistently looking for ways to re-invent my favourite comfort foods so that it still fits in with my lifestyle, is equally delicious and certainly nothing I can’t burn off tomorrow.  This is how my idea for a decadent protein hot chocolate was born and because I am a tad extra, I have decided to add a coconut fluff topping – plant-based protein, chocolate, coconut; now all I need are cuddles!

Let’s get started.


Serves: 2

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Hot Choc Ingredients:

80 grams Vegan Chocolate (De Villers available at Woolworths)

1 scoop/16 grams plant-based protein (chocolate /unflavoured)

500ml unsweetened almond milk

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Coconut Fluff Ingredients:

1 tin/175ml coconut cream

Chill tin of cream in the refrigerator overnight ( the liquid and cream need to separate)

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Method:

Bring ½ a cup of water to the boil, once water is simmering, place glass bowl over pot (double boiler method), add the chocolate and allow to melt, this should take less than five minutes and once majority of the chocolate has melted, stir through ensuring there are no lumpy bits, remove pot off stove top.

In another pot, combine the almond milk and protein powder, bring to the boil, whisking continuously, wait until milk and protein mixture is simmering, pour in melted chocolate and whisk vigorously for 20 seconds – this should create a chocolatey froth with a silky liquid underneath.  Pour chocolately deliciousness into your favourite mug.

Chill a glass mixing bowl, 10 minutes before you are going to make the coconut fluff.

Carefully remove the lid from the chilled can of coconut cream, be sure not to shake or tip the can as you do not want the liquid and hardened cream to mix. Scrape out the thickened cream, leaving the liquid behind (the liquid can be used to soak chia seeds or in smoothies)

Place the thickened cream in the chilled mixing bowl, whisk/ beat for 30 seconds until creamy and fluffy ( leftover cream can be kept in a refrigerator for 1-2 weeks)

Spoon the cloud-like cream over your hot choc, add a sprinkle of cinnamon and enjoy!

 

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I love hearing from you, please tag @beyond_the_bikini in your posts if you have tried this decadent, guilt-free, soul comforting hot choc.

#BeyondTheBikini #BeyondTheBikiniandMe

 

Re-posting of recipe and pictures with permission only or acknowledgment.

 

 

 

 

 

Superfoods Make Super Humans

So with all the hype surrounding comic book heroes and their super strength, I decided to give a few of my secrets that could save you and a few others too.  We all strive to eat correctly so that our bodies benefit from nutrition so much so that we expect a radiant glow and energy comparable to that of the Energizer bunny.  Well, I can tell you that the glow and energy are real.  However there are so many foods that experts recommend that it is baffling as to which to choose and if we were to choose just a few off of the never-ending list – are we missing out on certain nutrients or even worse the glow?

I’ve created my very own list from my personal experience and long-term use of these superfoods.  These four nutrient-rich foods will have you gleaming from the inside out, rejuvenate your lack of energy and one of these particular superfoods will boost your sex drive – now I know you pervs are hooked.

Chia Seeds

Yes, these tiny black seeds that you have probably bypassed in every health store could quite literally change your life.

The Chia seed is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, they are rich in antioxidants as well as provide your body with fiber, calcium, and iron. Chia seeds pack a punch in the protein department, not only are they a complete protein but they are also a high-quality protein that digests easily and contain essential amino acids needed for optimum health.  The protein content found in chia seeds is much higher than that found in meat and eggs.

Chia seeds have proven to aid in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels, proven to reduce the risk of developing diabetes by regulating blood sugar levels.  The anti-inflammatory properties found in chia seed oil relieves acne and restores the skins moisture levels to normal, here is how you get skin that naturally glows, the antioxidants found in chia seeds combat free-radicals and protect your skin from anti-aging, these antioxidants also prevent wrinkle formation giving you younger, smoother skin.

Runners can add chia seeds to their smoothies or soak them in coconut water pre-run, this will keep the body fuelled for a longer period of time and sustain energy levels.

Add your chia seeds to your morning smoothie, a tablespoon in your oats or soak them overnight in coconut milk and fruit and you have a delicious brekkie.

Maca Powder

Although the health benefits associated with the maca root have newly been considered a superfood, the maca root has been around for thousands of years and is native to the Andes of Peru.  The maca roots newly found superfood VIP status is well-deserved.

The maca powder is rich in antioxidants, which counteract harmful free radicals, fighting chronic diseases as well as prevents damage to cells.

From personal experience, I have found that adding maca powder to my diet has improved my energy, I find it more effective than my morning java. It maintains energy levels and some studies have found that maca root can be used to reduce symptoms of depression.

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So here’s the part you pervs have been waiting for, men you might want to read on also…drum roll, please.

Maca root has proven to enhance sexual desire, increase stamina in men and women, so guys if you are tired of getting side ass every morning, add a teaspoon of maca powder to your daily routine and enjoy the difference… you can thank me later.

Apart from increasing sexual stamina, maca powder aids in balancing female hormones, alleviates symptoms of menopause and improve sexual health.  Don’t panic male counterparts, studies have shown that regular use of maca powder will also benefit your sexual health as well as improve sperm count… great fertility all around.

Goji Berries

Although their wrinkled appearance has pushed many away from gripping them off shelves, do not be fooled, goji berries pack a punch.  They are a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals and are protein dense. These red jewels are high in vitamin C – ADIOS COLDS AND FLUS!

Goji berries contain high levels of Beta-carotene (pigment found in fruits and plants), which promote healthy naturally radiant skin and more importantly, studies show that they act as a natural treatment for skin cancer.

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Other benefits include improvement in energy levels, low in calories, they are a great source of fiber and high in antioxidants.

They can be easily added to smoothies, oats, and salads and if you are lazy just stir them into a serving of yogurt.

Cacao Powder

We all know that cacao is used to make chocolate no wonder it has superfood status… chocolate makes everything a lot better.  However, this Amazonian antioxidant is more than just chocolatey goodness.

Cacao is the highest plant-based source of iron, it contains 7.3 mg of iron per 100 g, pair with vitamin C to get the maximum benefit.  You might also want to swap out your skinny cappuccino with a few squares of dairy-free raw chocolate, as cacao contains more calcium than milk vegans are winning.

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Again I will accept “thank yous” later, cacao is a natural aphrodisiac, it improves libido and sexual health.

Flavanols found in cacao protect against cardiovascular disease, reduce the risk of stroke and bad cholesterol as well as improves blood circulation.

Just like maca, cacao can be easily added to smoothies, oats, even heated over the stove with almond milk makes for a delicious hot chocolate that packs a punch.

I hope you have been encouraged enough to add these superfoods to your diet, I can guarantee that you will feel the difference in how your body responds to all of the goodness these four heroes bring.

P.S

You might want to leave the cape and spandex for the bedroom.

#EverydayMotivation

Let me start off by saying thank you to everyone that sends me blog suggestions on a weekly basis, this not only shows that you are interested in my content but also that you love to learn. I am grateful for the active engagement from all of you via my social media sites.

With that being said, I received a suggestion last week asking to please write a blog that keeps and advises women on how to stay motivated during their fitness journey – so here goes!

When I started my fitness journey, I remember my only goal was getting stronger, prior to me jumping ship on my old lifestyle, I binged watched series, laying on my couch surrounded by copious amounts of junk food, I ate takeout for breakfast, lunch and supper and I even earned the nickname “Koeldrank Kannigan”.  I know that you are wondering why and what motivated me to give up this seemingly perfect life, that’s simple  – I wanted more, more than mediocrity, more than being skinny despite the amounts of trash I shoveled into my body and more for my mind.

Pictured below is when I had just begun my fitness journey in May 2016, clearly I have always been skinny, but my mind was headed in the direction that strong resided, so every day I got up early to smash goals, trained twice a day, fueled my body with the correct nutrition for a vegan, and yes there were days that seemed nearly impossible to get through, but I knew my goals and I reminded myself that it was just a bad day, not a bad life . Fast forward one year later and the second picture is the result of my consistency and dedication.

However, the transformation I am most proud of is one that cannot be caught in pixels – that being my mind.

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So we are almost five months into the year, most of you may have abandoned the resolution of health and wellness, and to those of you who are still barely going, this is what I have found that keeps me motivated always:

Remember why you started – we often forget the reason we take on anything, this is understandable, our lives are not black and white, there are many aspects that take precedence over getting healthier and sadly we often neglect ourselves for the betterment of something else that we have deemed a priority.

Know this – you are the biggest priority! Remember the fire and mindset you had when setting your goal, remind yourself every day why you are on this journey, even if your reasoning makes you angry, use that as your fuel to create a better, stronger you.

Pen to paper – I know this seems pretty elementary in the age of technology, but trust me nothing affirms your goals than physically writing them down.  Start with short-term goals, this could be anything from sticking to eating correctly or even getting your training done, as the day progress tick off your accomplishments and you will see by 7pm you would have conquered your goals.

Long-term goals, like furthering your studies, reaching your personal best on a run or even competing in your first marathon, in the words of Tom Hardy “it doesn’t hurt to dream a little bigger darling” should reflect on this list, work every day to take small steps to achieving these goals.

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Positivity – easier said than done, I know. We all have those days where all we want to do is lie in a ball and forget everything, but you are not an armadillo – get the fuck up and face life!

If you haven’t heard me say this enough, I will say it again – remove everything negative from your life and YES this includes people, you become the company you keep and success rarely follows the unmotivated and energy draining life forms that do exist.  Instead keep the kind of company who are motivators, who are striving to better their lives and are overall the kind of people who empower you – please do not be the energy drainer.

Fuck comparison – while it is nice to gawk at pictures of toned bodies and perfect lives through social media, you need to understand that this does nothing for your confidence or self-esteem.  What you really need to do is find inspiration, and no I don’t mean inspiration from the model on the front page of the Cosmo, because even she doesn’t look like the cover page girl.  Get your inspiration from everyday women, women who just like ourselves find it difficult to run every aspect of their lives but shit still gets done.

Doubt is a killer, you are not your fears! At some point in all of our lives we are beginners, do not be afraid to try. I cannot explain the feeling of gratitude that you will have once you have accomplished something that you never thought you would.

I hope you find my strategy helpful and inspirational and if you are still feeling a little demotivated, drop me a DM, I will pep talk the fuck out of you!

Push-up like a GIRL!

If there is one thing I pride myself on, it is the ability to do, not only a push-up but multiple variations of the humble push-up.  Whilst women around the world are still trying to get around the idea of getting on the floor and lifting their bodies off the ground, there are those that have mastered this male ego-crushing movement.

The push-up can be described as a plank on steroids, because, just like the plank it recruits your core to balance your body, but here’s the gift from the toning gods – you will also use your arms, shoulders, chest, back and legs all whilst holding your core and hips tight.

Push-ups are a great full body workout.  It recruits a large number of muscles, focusing on your arms say goodbye to those bingo wings, core and your lower body all at the same time. They assist in training your muscles to work together and become stronger.  Throw in a kettle-bell and you have a HIIT routine that will have you sweating buckets.

Balance and stability, when you do a push-up you train proprioceptive muscle fibers, these are microscopic nerves that keep your body balanced.  When you do a push-up, these nerves are constantly working in order to keep your body from slanting over.  Push-ups train these nerves to respond faster to stimulation which assists your balance and speed.

If you don’t know, now you know…

If you have never attempted a push-up, do not panic when you find that you are unable to support your full weight, as a matter of fact – not many people can do so at first.

The following method will assist you in building your arm strength whilst getting accustom to dropping and lifting your body weight:

Step One: Position your body with your knees on the ground, your arms should be positioned in a way that is comfortable for you, cross your legs over each other behind you.

Step Two: lower your body, using your arms, your elbows shouldn’t flare out. Your body should be straight, tighten your hips and core.

Step Three: Lift your body to the start position – that’s one assisted push-up; now 9 moreto go!

Once you have mastered this technique, you can now move onto straightening your legs:

Step One: This time you are going to straighten your legs, keeping them in line with your hips, neck and head.  Keep your glutes, core and hips tight

Step Two: Slowly lower your body and come back to the starting position, don’t rush, perfecting proper form is far more important than the reps dished out.

There are countless variations of push-ups, conquering the basic push-up will make learning the variations much easier.

Pictured below are the different variations you can attempt, namely the pike, diamond, decline and incline push-up.  All proven to add resistance and build a stronger body.

So go forth and push-up like a GIRL!

 

Remember Who You Are

Happy Human Rights Day! As we all remember the Sharpeville massacre, a day that marked an affirmation by ordinary people, who sought to protect and lay claim to their rights as human beings – so yeah pretty big deal South Africans.

sharpeville-ian-berry

Let us also remember to lay claim to the rights of our well-being.

If you have been avidly reading my posts, you would hopefully by now know that everything I write about is relatable to the ordinary, average and lost people I encounter on a daily basis, if not through personal training then through my ordinary life, lives I wish to give hope, confidence and a lust for life to.  With this being said, we are all aware of our physical human rights, the right to be fed, educated, clothed, housed, protected etc., but I want to tell you that you also have the right to protect your mental psyche from anything and anyone who threatens your soul’s energy and balance.

Recently, I have found that we often let others get the better of us, we allow for others to demean, lambaste, degrade our character and most importantly remove peace from our lives.  I have met many women that over time, like myself, lost their confidence and in all honesty forgot who they really are, the essence of their being – and now they are just dead fish going with the flow.

I have always maintained, that as we go along life’s journey situations and circumstances eat at our core, taking more and more from us as the years go by.  My solution – remove anything and anyone that does not serve your well-being and no this does not mean live selfishly only expecting goodness for yourself. You are so much more than the job you did not get, the clothes you wear, the lover that left and the friends who failed you.  You are everything, you are affirmed by something greater and nothing will take away from you what you were born with and that is – greatness!IMG_7025

If you aren’t convinced, I am going to leave you with the words from one of Disney’s greatest creation The Lion King “you have forgotten who you are…look inside yourself Simba.  You are more than what you have become… remember who you are.”

 

Image 1 – Sharpville: Ian Berry

Image 2 – Love: Pride Nyasha

Thirst Trap

So by now, you have gathered that I duped you into reading my blog post by reeling you in with a catchy and lewd title – fool you once…

Alas, this week’s post is solely based on hydration, yes water, its functions and why it is vital for the human body – athlete or not.  We are all aware that we should be drinking 8 glasses of water per day and that water makes up most of the human body but we don’t know is why we should be drinking water, its function and role in our bodies.

Parched?

This should go without having to say, water is absolutely essential for the functioning of the body.  Between 60 and 70 percent of one’s total body weight is water.  A loss of just a mere 10 percent of water in our bodies’ causes’ dehydration and a loss of 20 percent can result in death.

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Functions of H2O

  1. Helps maintain the body’s fluid balance, every cell in the human body is made up of water, therefore a lot of our bodily functions require water and if you are not drinking enough water your body will not function correctly.
  2. Among other functions, water maintains kidney function and digestive health. Kidneys use water to flush out toxins and waste.  If you are not drinking enough water, they cannot do this.  Just as your kidneys require water so do your bowels, water is used a lubricant to help move food and waste along – if not enough water is consumed, constipation occurs.  Our skin also relies on water to remove the toxins and waste that cause pimples.
  3. Water helps you get the best out of your food because certain nutrients and vitamins are absorbed only in water, if you do not drink enough water, regardless of the number of vitamins you take, your body will not absorb all the vitamins it needs.
  4. Prevents muscle fatigue and joint injury When you sweat at the gym, your muscles lose water too, make sure you get enough water before, whilst and after training. Your joints need water for lubrication in order to avoid injury.

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How much of a thirst trap should you be?

Water intake varies in adults from 1 – 3 litres a day. When exercising 80 percent of fluid lost must be replaced to maintain intensity, before training drink a glass of water, sip water during and after your training session in order to maintain the water levels needed.

So the next time you think of entertaining a thirst trap, chug a tall glass of water – you’re probably dehydrated!