Super easy homemade granola

Hey guys, so this week in honour of it being study week, I’ve got a straightforward recipe for you guys that contains omega fatty acids which a great for your brain! And it takes less than 15 minutes to make. All you need is………..

1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbs cinnamon
1 cup oats
1 cup seeds and nuts (I just used sunflower and pumpkin seeds because I had them on hand)

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
2. Mix the oats and nuts together using your hands.


3. Add cinnamon and mix it in. I may have gone a bit over the top with the amount because I love cinnamon but feel free to add extra or take some away.


4. add coconut oil and melt in with the heat of your hands, so it coats the mixture this gives the granola its crunch.


5. Cook in the oven for 5-10 minutes, or till the oats and cinnamon become fragrant.
6. Enjoy!

Motivation in Fitness

I could embellish the whole meaning of this piece by declaring that my own motivation arises from inner will-power and determination. I could fabricate reality by stating that my own motivation stems from my soul and personality. I could distort the truth and express that I do not experience slumps in my own motivation. But; that all would be a colossal lie.

When following my own healthy lifestyle, I always decide what truly motivates me. What deters me away from taking a second biscuit and what encourages me to endure a sweat-dominant workout on a Monday morning? Boiling down to the psychology aspect of things, I have both intrinsic and extrinsic motivators.

Intrinsic motivation can be defined as any internal stimuli that drives an individual to adopt a behaviour for their own internal satisfaction or fulfillment. It took me a long time to come to grips with this meaning, as I only incorporated intrinsic stimuli into my life quite recently. I have learned that this kind of desire arose between the relationship between myself and my attitude towards fitness. I no longer perceived fitness as ‘dieting’ and ‘abs’ and ‘calorie counting’ but through the lens of what emotions exercise and healthy eating made me feel. My intrinsic motivators include

  • Experiencing the high levels of happy hormones during and after a workout
  • Feeling productive rather than sitting at home doing nothing
  • Feeling full and not wondering when my next batch of calories could be eating
  • Possibly not a shared motivator among people, but I fall in love with the burn and muscle fatigue EVERY SINGLE TIME

 

Extrinsic motivation can be defined as any external stimuli that drives an individual to adopt a behaviour. This used to be my only motivator, which was very dangerous as it contributed towards my unhealthy perception and relationship with fitness. My sole focus was appearance and aesthetics, and what opportunities this ‘perfection’ could open up for me. Before truly falling in love with fitness, these were my extrinsic motivators

  • Seeing numbers drop on the scale when trying to lose weight and seeing numbers increase during times of muscle gaining
  • Being able to see lines for abs or bicep muscles
  • Believing that if I was a size smaller, I would be more confident

 

I can say that now, my motivation is intrinsic and I have never been happier. My newfound self-esteem has stemmed from my attitude and belief in my healthy lifestyle, not from the way I look. And, it is THAT confidence, that has allowed me to fall in love with the world around me, grab opportunities as they fly by me, and truly become the person I am happy to be.

Are you intrinsically or extrinsically motivated?

First, you dream. Then, you do.

Stay beautiful, stay smiling,

Anna.

10 Things to Do in Galway at Christmas

1. Go Ice-Skating at Leisureland in Salthill

Student tickets are only €13, so get down to Lesiureland in Salthill between November 18th, 2018 and January 6th, 2019!

More info: www.galwayskates.com

 

2. International Potluck Party at the Hub

 

In association with the International Student Society (ISS), we’re hosting an International Holiday Party here at the Hub on Friday, December 7th from 5pm to 8pm! Bring a traditional dish to share and enjoy a little study break on us!

3. Lunchtime Recital at St. Nicholas’ Church

On Tuesday, December 4th at 1:10pm the St. Nicholas Church is holding the From Europe with Love: Czech Republic classical recital. Admission is free, but donations are always appreciated!

4. Christmas Day Swim – Blackrock

An annual Galway tradition, the COPE Christmas Day Swim down at Blackrock in Salthill always brings a crowd. It takes place Tuesday, December 25th from 10am to 1pm. Registration is €10 and goes to COPE Galway to support vulnerable and isolated men, women and families.

More info: www.copegalway.ie/get-involved/events/christmas-day-swim/

5. Galway Christmas Market – Eyre Square

Already well underway, the Galway Christmas Market takes place from November 16th through December 22nd, 2018. Get down to Eyre Square to see all the festive sights, snack on all the delicious goodies, and see Galway from a different perspective from the top of the Ferris Wheel!

6. Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony –Human Biology Building

Join students, staff, retired staff and friends from the community outside the Human Biology building in the South Campus on Wednesday, December 5th from 3.30pm to 4.15pm as we switch on the Christmas lights. Food and festive fruit punch from our campus caterers, with entertainment from our choir and student societies. Wear your Christmas jumper! Bucket collection in aid of COPE Galway and Galway Rape Crisis Centre.

7. Connacht v Ulster Rugby Match

If you’re sticking around Galway for the holidays, Connacht plays Ulster on Friday, December 28th, 2018 at 7:35pm at the Sportsground in Galway. Student tickets are €22.

More Info: www.connachtrugby.ie/tickets/

8. Festive Afternoon Tea – Hotel Meyrick

Get down to the Hotel Meyrick with your friends for afternoon tea served in their stunningly-decorated dining room.

More info: www.hotelmeyrick.ie/afternoon-tea.html

9. Fields of Athenry 10k

Only a 20-minute train journey from Galway, the annual 10k Fields of Athenry race will be held on December 26th, 2018 at 11am. Registration is €20 and will hopefully inspire you to get training during the holiday season.

More info: www.athenry10k.com

10. Christmas Lights on Shop Street

Check out the festive lights on Shop Street and get started on your Christmas shopping with a hot chocolate!

Easy lemon drizzle cake

Hey guys, so this week I’m going to give you the recipe to my favourite type of cake lemon drizzle cake. It’s super easy to make and tastes amazing. All you need is……
cake:
225g softened butter
225g caster sugar
4 eggs
225g self-raising flour
zest and juice of 1 lemon
icing:
juice of 1 lemon
40g icing sugar
40g caster sugar

1. Preheat the over to 180 degrees and grease a baking tin with butter
2.Beat together butter and sugar until pale and creamy add lemon juice3. Add eggs one at a time beating slowly

4. Sift in flour and add lemon zest and mix

5, Bake for 45-50 minutes to check if its cooked insert a fork into the middle if it comes out clean the cake is made.

6. For the icing add the juice of a lemon and icing sugar and caster sugar mix together and pour on the cake once its cool.

7. enjoy!

adapted from: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/4942/lemon-drizzle-cake?fbclid=IwAR1qdeAxJjWbSxrgE1wJyM09_7iglMWSLY_X8jkWsxezZnHalM2QehWmucU#recipe-method

-Claire

Discipline in Fitness

“I’ll start tomorrow” turns into “I’ll start next Monday” turns into “I’ll start on the 1st.” I can admit that I was, and still am undoubtedly a slave to this mindset. This attitude does not contribute to a healthy perception of fitness whatsoever. It constitutes the concept of fitness to be a chore; a negative task impeding on the things and activities you enjoy. Trust me, it does not have to be this way. It has taken me months and months to come to the one and only useful conclusion about health and fitness. Being fit is all about discipline.

I confess that I am weak in terms of avoiding binge eating and all the emotions attached to it. I decide that tonight will be the night that I am allowed to binge on EVERYTHING that I crave, every sweet, every bar of chocolate, every grain of sugar that my budget will allow me. Tomorrow will be the day I resume eating healthily. This never, ever works for me, both emotionally and physically. I feel ashamed and guilty, and want to pretend that that night never happened. My confidence is inevitably low and I begin to dislike the way I look. The next morning, my body is groggy and lethargic in every action in takes. More than likely, I’m starving the next day because for some strange and inexplicable reason (for me, anyways), I become a ravenous human once I overeat.

The one true piece of advice I reiterate to myself on a severely regular basis is that being healthy is a lifestyle, not a quick fix. A lifestyle is all about habits and discipline, it does not have to be encumbered by restrictions and unattainable goals. Every single person on this planet is different, they harbour their own quirks and traits. But every single human, can be attuned to the art of discipline.

Discipline is about setting goals, and staying true to what needs to be done in order to attain them. Discipline is about being self-aware and knowing what you can and cannot do. Discipline is understanding when self-reward is needed. Lastly, and in my opinion, the most dominant definition, discipline is about habit. Once our bodies succumb to a habit, discipline follows.

Again, we are all different but here are some of the following habits I introduced to my lifestyle, which allow me to (nearly always) be disciplined in terms of healthy eating and exercise.

  1. On Sunday nights, I schedule my week in regards to what days I will go to the gym, and what workouts I will perform – this habit improves my discipline as I have to factor in time constraints. I am obliged to stick to these schedules or my workouts will not be completed.
  2. I plan my meals for the week, and only buy the ingredients accordingly – habitual planning and purchasing of meals allow me to be disciplined in the food I eat. I would not have bought food that deviated from my plans, and hence, it is not available for me to eat.
  3. I allow myself treats, without being accompanied by the feelings of regret and guilt. The most important meaning behind this tip is that having one or two treats does not set you back in your healthy lifestyle whatsoever. Restricting myself from all treats contribute to my frequent binge eatings, whereas this cures my cravings (without the consequences that I mentioned in the first paragraph).

 

A habit takes 30 days to make or break, you have the choice of which route to take.

Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going.

Stay beautiful, stay smiling,

Anna.

Chocolate biscuit cake

Hey guys, so I’m here to brighten up your week with everyone’s favourite CHOCOLATE. More specifically the recipe for an amazing super simple chocolate biscuit cake. All you need is…..
250g chocolate
225g butter
150g golden syrup
1 pack of rich tea biscuits (300g)
optional
buttons
marshmallows
maltesers
almonds

 

 

 

 

1. In a large glass bowl melt the chocolate, golden syrup and butter over a pot of boiling water. Alternatively if like me you don’t have a suitable bowl, just melt them in the microwave I would recommend using a low heat setting and checking every 10 seconds to make sure it doesn’t burn. I would also suggest melting the butter separately to the golden syrup and chocolate as it melts quicker than the others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Break up biscuits into small pieces like shown below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Add the all ingredients together. If using malterers, marshmallows or nuts add now

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Spread mixture into a baking tray lined with parchment paper top with buttons and refrigerate for 2 hours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Scrape the remaining chocolate off the sides of the bowl and eat while you wait for the cake to set.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pros: chocolate biscuit cake.
Cons: lots of washing up if you have to use a microwave to melt your ingredients.
Silver lining: you can bribe someone to do the washing up for you by offering them chocolate biscuit cake.

adapted from https://www.connachtgold.ie/recipes/chocolate-biscuit-cake/

-Claire

Debunking Fitness Myths

Guys, fitness isn’t all it is cracked up to be. There are so many incorrect perceptions of being healthy which honestly hurts my heart. Whether it’s through social media or through word of mouth, rumours and gossip spreads. Lying in relationships and friendships is obviously uncalled for, everybody wants to know where they stand and who exactly they are surrounded by. If we expect people to fall in love with each other through honesty and trust, how do we expect people to fall in love with themselves and fitness if all we know is deception and myths?

Being aware of these myths and how you need to not worry about them will give you that extra step ahead when approaching your own fitness journey. Knowing exactly the why’s and how’s of each healthy action contributes to a more well rounded and informed lifestyle. Let me tell you everything that you should not be believing!

  1. You can’t target one area in which you want to lose fat – you need to lose overall body fat and then tone up that specific area. For example, you can’t lose fat in just your core.
  2. Doing weights will not make females bulky – the testosterone levels in a female body are way too low to even allow us to look only vaguely bulky so get lifting those weights, girl!
  3. Solely eating healthily won’t help you achieve your desired results – you need to make sure that you’re eating the right foods AND the right amount of food. For example, when trying to lose weight, your body needs to be in a calorie deficit, which may not occur if you’re eating egg after avocado after egg after avocado (if you get my gist!)
  4. Your BMI is a figure you should never ever listen to! – It does not take into account your muscle mass, or bone density or anything.
  5. You do not have to consume protein almost instantly after your workout in order to gain muscle – as long as you have enough protein in your daily calorie intake, it does not matter what time of day you have it at.
  6. You do not need to workout every single day to see results – rest should be a part of your workout, not an alternative to exercise.
  7. You do not have to only workout in the morning in order to see results – picking a time that you can stick to and enjoy on a consistent basis is the true secret to being healthy.
  8. You should not be following the ‘no pain, no gain’ motto in regards to exercise – yes, you may feel a little uncomfortable but you should never ever be in pain. You should always feel good after a workout, that’s how you know it was an effective one.
  9. Calories eaten at night are not more fattening than calories eaten during the day – calories are calories, it does not have any effect on the composition of our bodies. However, it may affect our sleep and/digestion as we try to catch some zzz’s.
  10. This last one, as much as I hate to admit it, is a sore topic for me, but don’t trust the calories lost counters on gym equipment – they are not entirely accurate, they don’t know how much effort you’re putting in or whether you have the proper form.

 

I hope your eyes have been opened to all the things you may have believed before. I know I was a common believer of working out when in pain, and often got to the stage of my body being physically sick. I believed that this was a true sign I was trying my hardest but alas, your hardest is not always the healthiest.

Big change is made up of small, healthy habits that add up over time.

Stay beautiful, stay smiling,

Anna.

Blueberry breakfast bars

 

 

Hey guys,
So today I’m going to share with you a recipe for the most delicious breakfasts bars you will ever try. These bars are great for making ahead of time and having for breakfast all week long…… although they taste so good mine never seem to last more than two days. all you need is

250g oats
150ml milk
150g mashed banana
2 tbsp of melted butter
2 tbsp of maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla essence
a dash of cinnamon
150g blueberries
3 tbsp lemon zest
juice of half a lemon

Simply mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and bake at 180 degrees in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.

Notes:
I would recommend using fresh blueberries when possible as I think it tastes nicer.
To make this recipe vegan I would recommend oat milk as a milk alternative and coconut yoghurt or coconut oil as a butter alternative.

Adapted from https://thefoodmedic.co.uk/2018/07/blueberry-breakfast-bars/

Fitness Intimidation

Let me start by saying, everybody, and I mean every single athlete, dancer, sports competitor and the like have been intimidated by the whole concept of fitness in one way or the other. So, never feel like you are alone if the topic of ‘health’ scares you!

I’m going to be honest, I was always petrified of sports and fitness. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be as fast as the other kids in athletics, that I would miss the hoop too often in basketball or that I wouldn’t be as strong as my crew mates when rowing. The worst intimidation I have ever felt was when I approached the weights section in the gym for the first time. I assumed everyone questioned my presence and why I stood among the dumbbells and squat racks instead of sprinting on the treadmills. My heart would literally start to pound erratically in the irrational fear that I was doing something wrong or that someone was watching me.

Getting out of this mindset, this warped, distorted perception that some of us don’t belong in the ‘fitness world’, is the only way to truly fall in love with being healthy. Health is for everyone. Everyone has a heart, everyone has a brain, everyone can fall in love, everyone can cry, so who is to say that some people are not welcome into the world of health. We all have our own bodies to look after, to care for, and to love, and being fit and healthy is one of the best ways to achieve that.

Yes, it is a lot easier said than done, but nobody is judging you when you exercise or watch what you are eating. Embrace the multitude of sweat and red faces. Allow those muscles to dance and swing. Let your heart sing the music of exertion to the beat of your pulse.  Try to forget where you are, what and who is surrounding and fall in love with the way you feel. There are may tangible tips I can provide in order to help you get over this premise of intimidation such as

  • Fall into a habitual practice – following a normality in your own life will make you question why you were ever self-conscious
  • Find an exercise partner – having someone to laugh and spur you on makes you feel a lot more comfortable than being on your own
  • Acknowledge your habits and assess whether they need to be altered – for example, increasing your water intake to more than 2 litres a day (rather than relying on tea, like myself…)
  • Focus on the fact that people are too preoccupied with their own training and wellbeing to notice whether or not you’re doing an exercise wrong or not
  • Realise your worth – everyone is entitled to be healthy and love the way they look, so nothing and no one should stand in your way

 

One of the most empowering things in life is recognizing that your body can do something that it could not do two weeks ago.

Stay beautiful, stay smiling,

Anna.