Power Bar – Natural Energy Cereal

Power Bar – Natural Energy Cereal

The Power Bar natural energy cereal is one of the samples I had through being a Power Bar product tester.

I have been really impressed with the products I have tasted and this is no exception!

During my 3 hour training ride I used this as an energy snack. The session was mid to high intensity and I found I had to slow down to eat this bar. However the taste was brilliant a mixture of wholegrain oats, fruit pieces, pumpkin seeds and peanuts. It was the right balance of flavours and the mix sweet and savoury.

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The texture was like a normal cereal bar and it was easy to chew when riding at a steady pace.

I found later during my ride that my energy levels had been maintained and I did not get a sugar rush or a low which was great. On long rides you want your fuelling to maintain your energy levels for the duration of your workout without major changes in your energy levels.

Nutritional Information:

Nutrition Information per 100g per bar (40 g)
Energy kJ (kcal) 1549 (367) 620 (147)
Fat 7,2 g 2,9 g
of which saturates 2,6 g 1,0 g
Carbohydrate 65 g 26 g
of which sugars 22 g 9,0 g
Fibre 5,8 g 2,3 g
Protein 7,2 g 2,9 g
Salt 0,33 g 0,13 g
Magnesium 180 mg 72,0 mg
(48%**) (19%**)

I would recommend this bar for a pre-training snack and on long steady training rides its great to have as a crunchy snack.

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The final preparation week

The final preparation week

Anyone who knows me well by now will probably be aware that I am racing across the Alps with team mate Michelle. If you’re unlucky enough to have seen me recently you’re probably bored of hearing about the wave of different emotions that hit me on a daily basis about how I feel about it being so close…

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Since starting this journey in October the idea that I actually have to haul myself and my bike up Everest twice has been far on the horizon, a blip in the distance. Well now it’s only a week away that blip is in full focus in my mind and all around me consuming most of my days with thought’s on whether ive done enough training, having I got my nutrition right, what if I brake a spoke have I packed enough brake pads and so the carousel of thoughts goes on…

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Last week was a huge training week for me as I crammed in vital miles on the bike around work and play (play being one fun ride with my Dad). I covered 185 miles (one of my biggest weeks) in 15 hours and felt super happy with how everything went.

This is my first stage race and one question I keep asking myself is, why did I pick a 7 day stage race as my first and not maybe 2 or 3! I have learnt so much this year from training and racing I have had some real highs and real lows but feel stronger both mentally and physically for it. I think this year has made me a stronger person all round and I am hoping that strength will help carry me through my first stage race.

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I have learnt a lot about myself and really learnt to listen to my body most importantly and I feel more in tune with what’s going on inside and how to get the best out of myself.

Training for an endurance event is a bit like rehearsing for a play, each time I set out I am rehearsing for the big event. Concentrating on my fuelling, listening to my body and improving my pacing.

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Having Rachel’s help on my nutrition has enabled me to get a lot more out of my training and improved my focus. She has helped me come up with a fuelling schedule that keeps me feeling on top form.

I feel physically ready for the Alps now, I have been working hard with my coach Mark to up the miles and feel myself getting stronger.

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This week I have started to taper off training and have been keeping a watchful eye on my nutrition and making sure I’m getting loads of good food!

Thank you to my coach Mark, Specialized, Bike Fixers, Food for Thought, Grip Grab and Dog Tag and of course all my friends and family keeping me going!

Now all I have to do is pack…

 

 

 

You can only train as hard as the fuel you put it in

You can only train as hard as the fuel you put it in

This week a new session was added to my training plan Mark my coach at Velo Coaching added a ‘no hanging around’ ride a 3 hour fast ride, his comments said ‘no hanging around ride’ which I found this amusing I wasn’t aware that I did much hanging around on training rides!

Thursday was the day for my ‘no hanging around’ training, it was also the day I decided commuting to work on my bike would be fun!

It was a damp but warm morning as I peddled from my house towards work. I had not fully appreciated the amount of climbing in this 31km ride so trying to take it easy wasn’t always possible, by the time I got to work I was slightly pinker than I would have liked! I felt great for arriving under my own steam.

I ate all the normal things that day and felt fine. At 5:15 I got back on my bike for my ‘no hanging around’ training ride. The first hour I did as instructed I pushed hard letting my body recover on the flat, averaging around 25kph which is good for a mountain bike on the road.

I had a torq energy gel at 45 mins in which gave me a super charge of energy, I felt like someone had added an extra fuel cell to my battery. Sadly this feeling was short lived and by 1 hour 30mins in I had a bout of ‘shaky leg syndrome’ so I stuffed in some salted peanuts for good measure knowing this would be slower to take effect I waited 10 more minutes and had another gel I had another zing of energy (slightly shorter this time) and then another lull by wonder peanuts didn’t seem to be kicking in at all and I was starting to realise it was too little too late.

I finished my training early deciding to listen to my body instead of be frustrated by my lack of pace for the rest of the session. I still managed 60km in 2 hours 37 minutes which is good going and my fastest 60km to date showing that with the correct furling I could achieve more.

The moral to this story is that of you are only as good as the fuel you put in and the timing of that fuel is crucial. You are not eating for ‘now’ but 30 mins later so start eating earlier on to stop getting to the point of no return. Also to look at your daily energy expenditure if you add in a commute or some other activity you need to eat to recover from that and replenish ready for training.

Nutrition seems to be one of my weaknesses so I have taken on a dietician. A girl that I used to work with who comes highly recommended called Rachel Hobbs she is now setting up my diet plan to get me on track for the Trans Alp.

More on my new diet soon!

Thanks for reading x

Apricot & Pistachio Cake

Apricot & Pistachio Cake

 

Some times a sweet treat is needed! This apricot and pistachio cake is made using semolina which contains selenium in combination with other nutrients, including vitamin E — as an antioxidant. This means that it prevents harmful oxidation of your cell membranes and DNA, which would otherwise contribute to diseases, including heart disease. Getting enough selenium in your diet also strengthens your immune system to prevent infection. Semolina also boosts your intake of several B-complex vitamins, especially folate and thiamin. Collectively, B-complex vitamins support your metabolism and ensure that you can convert food into useable energy.

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 100g apricots
  • 1 large orange
  • 170g butter
  • 170g sugar / Struvia
  • 225g semolina
  • 4 eggs
  • 150g ground almonds
  • 100g pistachios
  • 300g greek yoghurtSyrup:
  • 150g honey
  • 2tsp lemon juice
  • 100ml orange juice

Method:

1. Preheat your oven to 190°C. Now line a 20cm circle tin

2. Put apricots, squeezed orange and peel into a bowl and soak for 6 / 12 hours. Transfer the apricots and juice to a food processor and blend

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3. Put butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat together. Add egg yolks one by one and fold in

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3. Add the semolina and ground almonds and mix well together, fold in apricot puree

4. Whisk egg whites until stiff, put the mixture in a tin and into the oven for 40/45 minutes

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5. Make the syrup put the honey, orange juice and lemon juice into a saucepan and boil for 2-3 minutes then set aside

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6. Once out and cooled pour the syrup over the top and serve with a dollop of greek yoghurt and a sprinkle of pistachios!

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Let me know what you think 🙂

Greek Yoghurt and Blueberry Muffins

Greek Yoghurt and Blueberry Muffins

I came across this recipe whilst looking for a healthier blueberry muffin mix. I love blueberry muffins but usually they’re full of sugar and white flour so I wanted to try something a little different. I changed the recipe adding dried apricots instead of 1 cup of brown sugar I used  half and added dried apricots to increase the natural sweetness. I also changed the white flour for brown flour and a cup of oats.

Ingredients

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup of oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup low-fat Greek yoghurt
2 large eggs
1/4 cup of honey
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup of dried apricots

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C
  2. Line a tray with 12 muffin cases
  3. In a large bowl mix your dry ingredients
  4. In another bowl mix your wet ingredientsIMG_2297
  5. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry
  6. Add the blueberriesIMG_2298
  7. Divide the mixture into the casesIMG_2301
  8. Bake for 18 minutes, remove from the oven and check your muffins by putting a knife through the middle if it comes out clean its done

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These muffins are really tasty and will last about three days in a sealed container. As they have yoghurt in them best kept in the fridge. They will freeze too!

 

 

Apricot and Nut bars

Apricot and Nut bars

Granola bars are full of slow releasing carbs great to keep you going all day. Sometime I find shop bought bars are quite sickly so I am always on the hunt for a new recipe.

Today the weather was not great for cycling, (although I did get a short training session in) but perfect for baking so I re-created this bar recipe I found to see how good they are.

Ingredients

  • 80g butter
  • 80g honey
  • 40g apricot jam
  • 80g dark brown sugar
  • 120g jumbo oats
  • 30g cashews – chopped
  • 30g sultanas
  • 30g dried apricots
  • 40g mixed seedsDry Ingredients

Method

1. Preheat your oven to 190°C. Now line a 20cm square baking tin with greaseproof paper.

2. In a large saucepan melt the butter, honey, jam and sugar together on a medium heat, stirring until dissolved.Wet Ingredients

 

3. Bring to the boil and cook for one/two minutes so that the sugar caramelises, making it a sticky sauce.

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3. Add the dry ingredients and mix before turning out into your tray.

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4. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes until set. Once ready just turn it out and leave to cool on a rack, cut into slices while its slight warm.

Tah Dah! Scrummy energy bars fit for long rides, although there is some refined sugar in here a lot of the sugars are natural, coming from fruit so will be released slowly during your training.

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Let me know what you think 🙂