Yesterday I was kindly invited to Rawligion in Fitzrovia for Lalani & Co’s Matcha Morning. Lalani & Co are a family run business who specialise in craft single-batch teas from artisan family-run gardens.
The morning started with Matcha lattes with raw almond milk and Magic’s Matcha-coconut-cayenne-cinnamon drink. They both tasted divine but the latter was incredible – I’ve never tasted a drink with so much flavour.
The first of the savoury dishes was the Matcha ginger chia pudding which was delicious. I really enjoyed the pudding and the ginger was perfectly balanced, not too overpowering.
The next dish was a sweet one and my favourite of the event – raw matcha pancakes with banana and dates. As soon as everyone tried these, the tray that they arrived on was cleared within seconds and I think that says it all.
The second savoury dish was matcha raw vegan sushi which was my least favourite of the event. It was made with cauliflower which when added with the matcha made it all a bit bland. It just needed an extra flavour to give it a kick!
The second sweet dish was the coconut matcha chi lime pie. I don’t usually go for citrus desserts when given the option but this was amazing. The lime, coconut and matcha worked perfectly together.
Our last treat did not have matcha in. These were cacao truffles and I could have eaten the whole tray… The truffles were rich and smooth – a luscious way to end the event.
All of guests were also kindly given goody bags to take away which contained Lalani & Co’s Matcha Gold and Rawligion’s Brain Mylk. We were advised to drink the Brain Mylk on the day as it wouldn’t last so I obliged and oh my goodness, it was fantastic!
Thank you so much to Lalani & Co and Rawligion for a wonderful morning of matcha goodness! It was lovely to spend time with people who have similar interests and meet new people. I know I tend to write this a lot about events but I came away feeling so content and happy after the Matcha Morning! It was so interesting to see how matcha could be used in sweet and savoury dishes. I also enjoyed learning from Jameel Lalani himself the best way to make matcha which I will take away and use in my own matcha cooking!
“You’re going to break your back benching like that”, “look at her back” and “why is she doing that?” and so on, all the comments that every powerlifter rolls their eyes at when they post a video on social media. So I guess I’ll get straight to the point, why do powerlifters bench with an arched back?
- Decrease the range of motion (ROM)
In competitions, you get a ‘start’ command which is when you should start the bench press movement. Once the bar is stationary and paused on your chest, you get given a ‘press’ command where you finish the movement and press the bar up from your chest. A large arch and wide grip significantly reduces the distance that the bar has to move to the chest, making it easier to press a heavier load. This is the same as the fact that you can squat more weight if you do a quarter squat compared a squat that is below parallel.
- Allows you to recruit more leg drive
The powerlifting-style bench press is not just a chest exercise but a whole body exercise. An arched back allows you to use more leg drive. When benching in the powerlifting style, your bum is not sat on the bench but merely resting on the bench and your feet are flat on the floor. This means that the movement is coming from drive of your feet and legs pushing against the floor, not just from isolating the chest muscle. Why do you want to do this?! Which is stronger, your whole body or your chest? This in turn again allows you to shift a heavier load.
- Potentially safer for your shoulders
As discussed in point 1, an arched back decreases the ROM of the bench press movement which allows for a closer touch point to the shoulders. A closer touch point means that there is less shoulder rotation. If there is too much shoulder rotation during the movement, it may lead to shoulder impingement.
I think the key point to remember is that a powerlifting style bench press is a whole body exercise, whereas a bodybuilding style bench press is a chest isolating exercise. They are performed differently as they are essentially different exercises which share a name.
A super quick protein mug cake recipe for when you’re craving something sweet but don’t have lots of time to spare…
- Mix together the whey protein, coconut flour, oats, vitafiber and baking powder in a bowl
- Add in the wet ingredients – coconut oil, egg white and almond milk
- Add enough almond milk so the mixture is of batter consistency
- Grease the mug with coconut oil and transfer the mixture
- Microwave for 1 minute (800 w)
- Add lashings of peanut butter (compulsory)
Apparently I seem to have taken it upon myself to try all the Christmas drinks from each of the main coffee shop chains this year… On Sunday, I tried Starbucks Toffee Nut Latte as I’m a sucker for a Starbucks red cup.
The description of the Toffee Nut Latte –
‘the rich, buttery flavour of sweet toffee is combined with the warmth of toasted nuts and blended with our smooth espresso and velvety steamed milk; topped with whipped cream and toffee nut sprinkles’
First things first, why does the whipped cream never look as good as in photos? The latte itself was nice and sweet as expected. I’m not sure I would describe it as ‘buttery’ but it had a sweet nutty, toffee flavour throughout – not just a sludge of syrup at the bottom. I found that the consistency of the coffee was a bit ‘thin’ compared to other Christmas drinks I’ve had. Just as with the whipped cream, I think the person making my drink was stingy with the toffee nut sprinkles (they were obviously immune to my charming skills).
Overall, I think the Toffee Nut Latte is a nice festive treat and I think I would personally order it again if I found myself in Starbucks over Christmas. I don’t think I would make my way to Starbucks especially for the drink though as at £3.15 for a small, it is very expensive for what it is – good, nice but not mind blowing.
Overall Rating 6/10
On Sunday I had the pleasure of being invited to the MissFits Nutrition x Be:FIT Autumn Takeover Event which was held at BLOK London. MissFits Nutrition are a company who produce ‘The Multitasker’ – a pea protein with added essential ingredients which has been ‘designed with the active woman in mind’.
The event started with a HIIT workout led by Becki (@alt_healthy_becki) and Tessa (@londonpaleogirl). The workout consisted of a variety of different exercises, including press-ups, mountain climbers and squats, some of which were done with a partner. My partner in crime for this event was Melody (@thehappypt_) and it was so much fun!
After the workout, we all refuelled with MissFit’s own, ‘The Multitasker’ protein shakes and Sambazon acai bowls which were made right in front of us! We were also given goodie bags with products from Pip and Nut, Sukrin, Sweet Freedom, The Protein Ball Co., Two Chicks, Moju, Urban Fruit, Chi, Pop Chips, Pukka, Ugly Drinks and so many more! There was also a LIVE! London clothing rail which offered tempting fitness clothing.
Once we had all tucked into our protein shakes, acai bowls and goodie bags (as seen below, photo courtesy of @thehappypt_), we then had the opportunity to do a Q&A with Becki and Tessa who were then joined by Chessie King (@chessiekingg). This offered an insight into their fitness routines, diets and generally gave out some sound advice.
I really enjoyed the event and it was so well organised. A huge thank you to Tara at MissFits Nutrition for inviting me! It’s so lovely to meet new people who enjoy fitness as much as I do and also seeing people you have interacted with on Instagram in real life. I have found that I have met some truly lovely people through events such as this.
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On Saturday I decided to try the Costa Lindt hot chocolate after seeing Costa had released it as part of their Christmas drinks collection. Being a massive Lindt fan, I knew I had to try it!
I’d read that the hot chocolate was a smaller size but I wasn’t prepared for just how small it was. It look quite frankly slightly ridiculous compared to the large toasted marshmallow chocolate that was ordered with it. Nevertheless, I didn’t mind as it arrived in the cute Christmas cup and I was preparing myself for a Lindt chocolate explosion.
The hot chocolate was very rich and thick. To be honest, I struggled to distinguish the Lindt flavour. It tasted like someone had tried to make a hot chocolate but used too much powder and not enough liquid. In my head I had visualised the Lindt Lindor Balls in the form of a hot chocolate so perhaps it was my own imagination which was the source of the disappointment. The drink was more like a very thick, dark hot chocolate.
Overall, I wouldn’t bother ordering the Lindt hot chocolate. At £2.95 and being a size smaller than their normal small size, it is very expensive. I enjoyed the toasted marshmallow Costa hot chocolate far more and I won’t be ordering the Lindt hot chocolate again.
Tigress Apparel sent me their Coral & Black Crossback sports bra and Coral & Black Stripe leggings to review.
I love the look of the outfit. The colour of the sports bra and the bottom of the leggings match perfectly, complimenting each other well. I think the tiger stripe pattern with the colour gradient looks really good!
I had both the sports bra and leggings in a small. The sports bra fitted me but was on the larger side. It has removable padded cups which definitely help to enhance what I have in the chest area (always a benefit)! The leggings I found to be too big around the waist but fitted well on my legs. I could probably have done with an extra small on the sports bra and the leggings but small is the smallest available. The leggings could have done with having string round the waist to combat this issue. I like that the leggings have the flattering seam on the back to accentuate le booty.
The sports bra is quite substantial and flattering. The material of the leggings is quite thin (similar fabric to brands such as ICANIWILL) so I think that they would be more suitable for the summer as to oppose to the winter.
The sports bra is £13.99 and the leggings are £29.99 which I think is quite reasonable.
Being quite petite (size 6) and having a small frame, the leggings weren’t suitable for me as they were far too big round the waist. I think that an extra small would have been ideal for me. I love the pattern and colour gradient of the leggings but they are most definitely something for the summer wardrobe!
Overall rating 6/10
The sport bra is available here and the leggings here.