My Super Charged 7 Day Challenge with Fitness First (sponsored by Fitness First), including new Yoga outfit, Yoga Mat and Protein Ball recipes
For the month of April, Fitness First generously donated $250 for me to super charge my health and fitness goals in celebration of Australian Fitness Week. So much excitement. I've always wanted to explore my options into clean eating and commit myself to a new fitness goal.
But before I did all this, I decided to pursue a separate goal, that is- to participate in a triathlon. I was invited by Fitness First as a VIP guest to participate in their annual Corporate Triathlon as part of a relay team. I did the 3km run at the end of the race but my team mate did the 800m ocean swim before completing a 8km bike track. I achieved a time of 18mins for 3km which is something I am really proud of. I really slack off in the sport of running, I can't stand cardio and I can't stand being out of breath.... yet I pushed myself to do it.
Now after the event (I really would not have believed it myself 6 months ago), I'm slowly developing an appreciation for running and squeezing it in into my daily routine. I find it really lets me clear my mind and I've learnt to control my breathing better. How things have changed!
The Triathlon Finish Line! I found the support of my team and the company looking after me really made me so proud to cross that finish line. So many people were cheering for me. You can register your interest for next year's event here.
Wearing: Bonds Active 3/4 Pants (Grey Marle); Bonds Overdyed Pullover (Grey Marle); Bonds Basic Tank (white) [all Bonds Items sponsored by Fitness First]; Vans Authentic; Agent 99 slouchy beanie
In addition to achieving my first triathlon, I decided to bring some more peace and relaxation into my life. I always loved Yoga but with my shift work I find it difficult waking up for classes. I decided to bring Yoga to my home. I found a beautiful eco friendly Earth Mat from Stretch Now with a matching bag for only $55.00. The material is soft yet sturdy and came in a beautiful lilac colour. I spread it out on my tile floors at home and as well as the park for Yoga and it gives great traction.
I think I am clumsy and ungraceful when it comes to completing Yoga poses (like the Tree pose you're supposed to hold for 1 minute, or the Extended triangle which is actually harder than it looks), so my immediate thought was: Yeah I'll need some comfortable breathable clothes. Bonds clothing were the first to come to mind. I browsed their Active range for some slouchy 3/4 pants with a convenient back pocket for my iPod. I also included a Basic Tank and Slouchy Pullover for a relaxed look. In total my new Yoga outfit cost just under $100 from Bonds. It made a great investment into my well-being and peace of mind, forcing to take my fitness outdoors into the warm sunlight and fresh air which I rarely do (always indoors at the gym breathing in air conditioned recycled air).
Recipes: Chocolate Date Protein Balls and Apricot Goji Berry Protein Balls (Protein Ball Ingredients all sponsored by Fitness First)
And last but not least, I used the remaining money to buy ingredients for home-made Protein Balls. I have been introduced to clean eating by my bestie Betty but I decided to take it more seriously this week. I even used some money to buy ingredients for Green Smoothies (recipe can be found here).
With the help of Betty, we managed to produce two types of delicious protein balls. Here are the recipes for each.
Apricot Goji Berry Protein Balls Recipe
50g rolled oats
100g dessicated coconut
100g cashews (or walnuts/almonds)
100g dried apricots
50g goji berries
pinch of sea salt
2 tablespoons raw coconut oil
Chocolate Date Protein Balls Recipe
100g dessicated coconut
100g chopped cashews (or almonds/walnuts)
2 tablespoons organic peanut butter (with cacao)
2 tablespoons cacao powder
2 tablespoons agave syrup or honey
pinch of sea salt
100g pitted dates
For both recipes, you just blitz all the ingredient into a blender, food processor or thermo-mix (those machines are amazing!) until you get a nice consistency. The magic of these protein balls is that you can mix and match ingredients from whatever you have in the pantry. Make sure the batter is sticky enough to roll into a ball. If you find the batter not sticking together when formed into a ball, you can add more wet ingredients like coconut oil, more fruit or agave and blitz again.
Roll all batter into small balls with lightly wet hands, then coat in fine dessicated coconut. Alternative coatings include cacao powder, cacao nibs, crushed peanuts and chia seeds. It's also fine to have without coating. Then store in the fridge for an hour to firm up before serving. Can keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to two weeks. Perfect snack for on the run or to fuel up pre or post workout!
Tips: You can add a tablespoon of protein powder if you're in training mode. Freezing them makes them firmer and chewy.
So all in all, I think I really made use of the $250 to super charge my health and to achieve my Fitness goals. Making protein balls really opened up the potential of eating healthier snacks. I tend to opt for crackers or a muesli bars which I'm sure is quite processed. Protein balls only took about 15 minutes to make and I stored enough for a whole week. The reassurance I was eating something organic, clean and healthy was great too.
And then adding Yoga to my week bought calmness and peace. Something about stretching in the open air listening to the winds bristling the trees and birds chirping makes the small problems seem miles and miles away. The new Bonds outfit and Yoga Mat really motivated me too.
And of course, I am still proud of my triathlon achievement. It may have been minor compared to people who did the whole course on their own (these people are so motivating) but I found that it has opened up doors to the idea of adding running to my fitness regime. My motivation for cardio really has soared.
Thanks Fitness First for such an amazing and enlightening week!