Are the Brits any good at Bobsleigh?

Adam Hames Team GB Bobsleigh Pilot

Are the Brits any good at Bobsleigh?  FitBites are excited to announce Adam Hames as our newest ambassador.  Adam Has some exciting credentials and is currently training hard for the 2022 Winter Olympics as Team GBs Bobsleigh Pilot. We fired a few quick questions at Adam.

Adam Hames 

I started my sporting career as a karate athlete at the young age of 4 and have amassed several British and English titles. I became Wado-Kai European Champion in 2014 at just 15 years old. I then made the switch to bobsleigh after attending an open trial at Loughborough University in the summer of 2015.

I have now competed all over the world for Great Britain including travelling to countries such as Canada, Norway, Austria, Switzerland and Germany where I finished 4th in the World at the  Youth Monobob World Cup (1-man bobsleigh).

I am now 18 and part of the senior GB team having made my 2-man debut at the British Championships where I finished a credible 6th last November.
Now I am training hard towards the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing and the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo in hope to become the first British summer and winter Olympian.

Interview answers:

Q I expect you have been asked this many time but how did you become a bob sleigh pilot?

I attended an open trial at Loughborough University having heard them advertising for youth athletes to join the Great Britain Team. I turned up in shorts a t-shirt and a pair of old trainers to see everyone else kitted up in their best spikes and Lycra. I then passed all the sprint, pushing and jumping tests they put everyone through and progressed to the next stage of tests in Bath. I then impressed the coaches and became one of four boys selected to represent GB in the Omega Monobon World Series (1-man bobsleigh). I then went on to finish 2nd in my first international race in Lillehammer, Norway which is where my career kick started, I have then gone on to compete for Great Britain all over the globe including Canada, Austria, Germany and Switzerland to name a few.

Q It’s not a sport that you would expect the Brits to be any good at….are we?

Yes, at all levels youth, junior and senior Britain are consistently a top 10 team at all major championships. The GB1 4-man team piloted by recently retired John Jackson finished 5th at the Sochi Olympics.

Q What does a typical training day look like for you?

An average day for me consists of two training sessions, either a sprint, gym, swimming, karate or plyometric training. I’m currently still studying for my A-level exams and will be going to The University of Bath in September, so my training fits around my studies. As well as sport and school I also enjoy spending time with my family, friends and girlfriend.

Q What races through your mind when you’re are on the start line for a big competition?

Standing on the start line staring down the track in any competition is a nerve-racking feeling but the big competitions are completely different. I’m pretty good with handling adrenaline and nerves so most of the time the only thing going through my mind is being as aggressive and strong at the start during the push then as calm and collected to ensure I deliver a smooth fast drive down the track.

Q How do you relax when you are not training or studying?

Sport is a big part of who I am and what I’m about so if I’m not in the gym or at the track I enjoy playing other sports with friends such as football and badminton. I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend who is incredibly supportive of my sport especially when it comes to going away for weeks on end competing abroad. Having a balance between social life and sport is incredibly important for me.

Q Which is your favourite FitBites flavour and why do you like them?

Definitely the apricot and spirulina flavour! I think FitBites are great as a pre work out snack to boost energy levels before a hard training session and that’s why I love them!

Jessica-Jane Applegate MBE becomes FitBites Ambassador

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Jessica Jane Applegate MBE, International Swimmer, Paralympic Gold Medal Winner, British World Record Holder has become our newest FitBites Ambassador. We are hugely chuffed to say the least! We asked Jess a series of questions to get to know her a little better;

What motivated you to get into swimming and why do you love it?
My mum taught me to swim when I was very young, I live very close to the sea & rivers & she always said it was an important life skill. I had lots & lots of energy as a child, I got into trouble at school because of this but the more I swam the more energy I used up! Swimming is my space, my place when I can dream about anything, it’s so quiet under the water & I really love that.

How do you mentally prepare for a big competition?
The big competitions are fun & I have to control my excitement more than stress. I find it difficult to keep an ongoing strong mind set for the months of training going into a competition & that’s where I am very lucky & have the full support of my coach, family & friends.

What thoughts raced through your mind as you were presented with your Paralympic medal?
I had only just turned 16 years old when I won Gold in 2012 & I really dont think even I knew what was really happening. To win at any event is amazing but a home games is such an amazing experience. When I won two silvers & a bronze in Rio I was incredibly pleased & proud but the competitive side of me was already planning my training schedule as I wanted Gold like everyone does as that’s the goal we aim for.

FitBites “Bite Back’ project encourages kids to become more active and try a sport. Why would you recommend kids give sport a go?
I recommend everyone to give sport a go & that’s any sport. It’s fantastic for keeping fit & healthy, the more active you are in the day the better you sleep in the evening, it helps you to meet people & become part of a team, it gives you responsibilities & disciplines, it’s great for mental health & my favourite……..the more I exercise the more I can eat 😊

What is your favourite FitBite flavour and why do you like them?
FitBites are awesome! They are the perfect size for a quick & convenient snack, they contain natural ingredients & are full of flavour. My favourite is Orange Maca and Cacao Nibs, it is so zesty & tastes & smells really refreshing.

We look forward to supporting you Jess and seeing you win more of those medals!

Victoria Pendleton’s Diet and Fitness Program

Victoria Pendleton

Two-time Olympic gold medal winner, Victoria Pendleton MBE, is arguably one of the most celebrated athletes Great Britain has ever produced. On paper, she’s the epitome of what sportsmen and women dream of, having accomplished a lot of things at such a young age. Today, at 36-years-old, even though she’s retired from the sport of cycling, the native of Stotfold, Bedfordshire still finds ways to compete; this time on a different saddle.

Victoria Pendleton found a new passion in horse racing. Back in March 2015, she announced her intention to become a jockey with the aim of competing at a host of high profile events. Pendleton made her spirited debut five months after, racing and claiming second place in the Betfair Novice Flat Amateur Riders’ Handicap at Ripon Riding Royal Etiquette.

From there, Pendleton’s stock rose. She went under the tutelage of renowned horse trainer and journalist, Paul Nicholls, who also regularly contributes expert tips on Betfair and its extensive coverage of the Grand National among other events. The following year, along with her thoroughbred, Pacha Du Polder competed in other major events such as the Foxhunter Chase at Cheltenham, where she placed fifth. This, according to her, was “probably the greatest achievement” of her life.

In hindsight, Victoria Pendleton wouldn’t have been able to get this far without proper discipline when it comes to her diet and her training. During Pendleton’s 2014 interview with Poorna Bell of The Huffington Post, she revealed how she regularly eats healthy snacks like almond butter and olives. She also advised readers to chop up carrot sticks and dip them in hummus for another guilt-free snacking option.

Being a vegetarian, Pendleton regularly consumes either homemade muesli or granola bars or mixed fruits with yogurt for breakfast. Lunchtime normally features something like corn thin crackers, avocado, and a few slices of tomato and cheese. For dinner, Pendleton loves making Thai or Indian food heavy with vegetables, as well as other forms of protein. These cuisines also underline savoury flavour profiles.

During her cycling career, Victoria Pendleton wasn’t allowed to run as her trainers advised her against it. It was because the exercise mainly focuses on quad muscles, while running is mainly for hamstrings and calves. Also, her coaches didn’t want her to be at risk of any injury. Now since she’s retired, she puts in a lot of roadwork for cardio, jogging four or five times a week.

In terms of strength and conditioning exercises, Pendleton does body weight and kettlebell training. Her focus is to build much-needed upper body strength in order to endure the rigors of horse racing. She’s also into boxing, which perfectly combines power, speed, and cardio.

All in all, Victoria Pendleton isn’t just one of those retired Olympians who savour life after sport and give up their strict exercise and diet routine. She represents athletes who not just find different passions outside their usual ventures, but also take care of their bodies by eating right and training well. Be sure to visit Fit Bites’ blog section for more lifestyle tips, celebrity features, and healthy recipes.

 

Eating For Allergies: Healthy Swaps For Everyday Staples

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If you’ve lived with an allergy for a long time, perhaps your entire life, then you’re probably well aware of the alternatives. If, however, you’ve recently developed an allergy, or maybe your child has, then knowing which foods to avoid, and importantly, which foods you can substitute, is incredibly important.

We’ve detailed a few of the most common allergies here, and offered advice on what you can sub in to replace them. Where appropriate, we’ve even mentioned where an alternative might be better for you, even if you don’t have allergies.

Swap: Almond butter for peanut butter
The first and most obvious on our list is the peanut. Millions of children and adults around the world suffer from an allergy to peanuts and other tree nuts — often just peanuts. Cases range from mild to severe, and exposure to peanuts can be fatal for those with an extreme allergy.

Swapping almonds in for peanuts is a good idea, and a great way of introducing healthy fats and protein back into your diet. Almonds are also rich in vitamin E, which is fantastic for maintaining healthy skin and hair. Almond butter can be spread and blended just like peanut butter, and the flavour is more delicate than peanut butter, too.
Tip: Almonds add an awesome crunch when sprinkled with coriander on top of curries and salads.

Swap: nut milk for dairy
If dairy is your foe, then swapping it out in favour of nut milk (or mylk, as it’s often called), could be the way forward.

Nut milks are made by blending and pressing different nuts, then mixing with spring water, and sometimes a natural sweetener or thickener. You’ll need to experiment with the kind of nut milk that suits your tastes, as they all have their own unique flavours. Making them yourself is easy, but can be costly. We recommend buying your nut milk from any large supermarket. You’ll find cashew, almond and hazelnut in most places.
Tip: Nut milks don’t do so well in coffee, but if we had to choose one, it’d be cashew milk, as it has the mildest flavour, and the best texture.

Various swaps for eggs
Eggs used to be a problem area for people with allergies, but with so many replacements, if you’re making your own food, then it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. This brilliant post over at She Knows, details four great substitutes for eggs, including bananas, applesauce, flaxseeds and a mixture of oil, flour and water.
Swap: buckwheat for wheat-wheat
Don’t let the name fool you — buckwheat is 100% wheat and gluten-free. It’s also high in protein and can be found in seed form, or ground into flour. Check out these cool recipes for buckwheat bread, and for dessert, try buckwheat pancakes.
Those are a few of our favourite swaps for your everyday staples. Got one that you love? Let us know on Facebook.

Why Choose All-Natural Food Over Processed

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There’s no reason why you can’t start eating better at any time of year, but right around the start of January is when most of us — hungover or not — have the fresh motivation to try something new. Call it a resolution, or just call it getting your butt in gear, but eating more healthily — that is to say, eating more natural foods as opposed to processed ones — can only be a good thing.

Processed Foods Are Overpriced
But we’re facing a problem, and it’s not as simple as too many leftover chocolates. We’re still buying and consuming too many processed foods. We’ve talked about it before on the FitBites blog, about how sales of processed foods are continuing to rise, despite the thousands, probably tens or hundreds-of-thousands of articles and blog posts on the internet telling us to cut back and choose natural (this one included.)

Why do we do it? Why are we still buying overpriced, processed foods and ready meals, when whole food ingredients that are packed with nutrients and flavour are not only cheaper, but better for the environment and better tasting? Maybe it’s convenience. Maybe it’s an addiction to all of the salt and sugar that’s rammed into processed foods to (a) make it last longer, and (b) to distract you from how god-awful the stuff that’s in it really tastes. The reality, is that it’s probably both of those reasons and then some.

Natural Whole Foods Are Better For You
We don’t think that this is a problem unique to countries like the UK and the US, but we’re certainly getting a raw deal when it comes to the food we buy. Walk into most shops and supermarkets, and while some effort has been made to make the cheaper, more natural choices favourable, profits win every time, and if you’re not going in there consciously to buy food that’s value for money, healthy and delicious, you’re going to get suckered into buying nonsense that’s overpriced, lacking in nutrition and frankly, pretty disappointing for the price.

Choose Protein and Good Fats Over Sugar and Fillers
A part of the reason a lot of people are reluctant to buy natural foods to prepare at home, has to be that ready meals and processed foods are made to look so filling and delicious. If they’re small and expensive, you assume they’re outstanding quality. If they’re huge, you assume that they’re filling and/or nutritious. That’s not always the case.

We say processed foods because what we’re talking about is food that’s been torn apart and stuck back together with tons of sugar and artificial oils and preservatives. Those cakes, cookies, pasta sauces, ready meals, cans of stuff and boxes of things that never go off, they’re full of things your body has to filter out just to get what it needs.

Instead, what you ought to be looking for is food that’s as unaltered as possible. It can be cooked or prepared in some way — FitBites balls are raw, but they’re prepared with care to naturally preserve and highlight their best flavours and nutrients — but your food ought to be recognisable for what it is.

Nature is fine as it is. Eat what the world provides, and keep the preservatives where they belong — which is nowhere.

Here’s to a happy, healthy 2017, from everyone at FitBites.

Maca 5 Reasons to Try This Superfood

Maca powder

Maca for a natural energy boost

As part of the radish family, the maca root looks pretty unremarkable, but it’s anything but. It’s packed with vitamins and minerals, and is known in South America as Peruvian Ginseng, for its ability to boost energy levels, stamina and even sexual health.

This amazing ingredient is also rich in antioxidants and skin-loving compounds which can help to restore your body’s natural glow and vitality. Here are five great reasons to give  FitBites Maca Mantra a try:

Increased energy levels

They don’t call it Peruvian Ginseng for nothing. This energy boosting root is a potent alternative to caffeine, and can raise energy levels without the dizzying come-down. Lovers of this Peruvian Ginseng report feeling more alert and more focused, with all of that head fuzziness gone.

This amazing supmay also help to improve stamina, which is why so many athletes trust it to help power them through tough training sessions.

Rich in antioxidants

Maca is full of antioxidant compounds, which are essential for helping to rid your body of harmful free radicals. A modern Western diet, stress and fatigue, can lead to a build up of free radicals in your body. When that happens, those free radicals begin to steal electrons from healthy molecules, making your cells unstable. That does damage to your body in all sorts of ways. Antioxidants neutralise those free radicals, and maca is a great source of them.

High in vitamins and minerals

Here are just a few of the nutrients present in maca powder:

Vitamin E — Essential for healthy, glowing skin.

Vitamin A — A powerful antioxidant which also helps to protect your eyesight.

B Vitamins — The best way to keep your energy levels stable and peppy is to take in enough B vitamins. Maca is full of them.

Zinc — Needed for energy metabolism and for making enzyme reactions happen inside your body.

Potassium and phosphorus — Energy boosters? You guessed it. We told you, they call it Peruvian Ginseng.

Sexual health

Alright, this is anecdotal, but there are plenty of reports saying that maca is awesome for boosting libido and sexual health generally. It may even help ease aches, pains, hot flushes and other symptoms of menopause.

Healthy, glowing skin

Having higher energy levels is likely to make your skin look and feel healthier anyway, but thanks to the high amounts of antioxidants and vitamin E in maca powder, supplementing with it regularly can help to restore elasticity and vitality to your skin, especially if taken in conjunction with vitamin D.

Visit the FitBites online shop to get your hands on some maca power.

Organic Foods, Are They Better For You?

organic ingredients

Organic foods, are they better for you?

We pride ourselves on being fully organic at FitBites, but if you’ve ever wondered what the big deal is, why anyone would bother paying extra for organic food, we’ve got a few answers. In short, if you asked us whether it pays to go organic, we’d say yes, absolutely. The debate goes on as to what extent organic food is better, but the consensus is that it is better for us.

What makes a food organic? Organic foods are generally foods which contain no artificial substances. With meat and dairy, that means the food comes from animals which were not fed on antibiotics or other hormones. For fruits and vegetables, organic means they’ve been grown without the use of chemical pesticides.

Why would producers use hormones and pesticides? Most prepared and processed foods contain preservatives, E numbers and flavourings. Manufacturers include them to both extend the product’s shelf life, and ensure consistency. It’s the same deal with hormones and pesticides. For supermarkets, consistency is key. Using preservatives and other chemicals to regulate how foods grow, what they look like and so on, means that you can find apples and oranges that look the same, even though they’re 200 miles apart. The price for this, is potentially harmful chemicals and hormones, being introduced into your body.

Organic food doesn’t contain chemical preservatives, which is why it often looks different to non-organic food. It’s why it even looks different compared to itself. A pack of organic apples might be slightly different shapes, sizes and colours, because the natural growing process was interfered with less.

Why is organic food more expensive? Because organic food isn’t ‘protected’ by pesticides or hormones, it’s more labour-intensive. With organic food, there’s also an increased risk of wastage, something growers and sellers need to factor in when pricing products.

Does organic food taste better? In some cases, almost certainly. Without the interference of chemical preservatives, the natural flavour of food is allowed to shine through. In other cases, it may come down to personal preference, and what you choose to tell yourself.

So, is organic healthier? Yes, in a nutshell. Organic food is less harmful to the environment and to your body. It also contains on average, more nutrients than non-organic food, and given the choice, we will always, always make FitBites organic.

Why not visit our shop and give FitBites a try

5 Ways To Use FitBites Superfood Blends

Smoothies, juices, beverages, drinks variety

 

Finding all of the right ingredients for your recovery or pre-workout smoothies can be both challenging and expensive. That’s why we created our superfood blends, so that you’d have more of what you need to create healthy, high-energy, high-protein smoothies in one pouch. There are loads more ways to use our blends, though, and most of them are pretty simple. Here are five of our favourite ways to use them to help power you through exercise, recover from a tough workout, or just feel fabulous.

What’s in FitBites Superfood Blends?

All three of our blends are a carefully selected combination of plant proteins and superfoods. They’re vegan and paleo-friendly, as well as gluten and dairy-free.

Alkalising Detox Blend

Hemp protein | Spirulina | Barley grass | Wheatgrass | Chlorella

Replenish Blend

Hemp protein | Pea protein | Cacao | Lucuma | Himalayan pink salt

Energising Blend

Maca | Baobab | Goji | Guarana | Beetroot

How to use FitBites Superfood Blends

Fruit smoothies

The simplest way to use our blends is to just add a scoop or two into your favourite smoothie mixture during blending. The scoop is pretty small, which means you can add the blend to almost anything without changing the texture too much.

Here’s a lovely one:

  • 1 handful of strawberries
  • ½ banana
  • 1 handful frozen blueberries
  • Dash of vanilla extract
  • 200ml cashew or almond milk
  • 1-2 scoops of FitBites Superfood Blend

Milkshakes

For something richer, try a milkshake instead. You can use dairy-free ice-cream, but if you’re fine with dairy, regular ice-cream is a real treat.

Try this:

  • 200ml cashew or almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • Dash of vanilla extract
  • 1 scoop of vanilla ice-cream
  • 1-2 scoops of FitBites Superfood Blend

Oatmeal

Prepare your oatmeal as usual, whether it’s on the hob, in the microwave, or instant, and just swirl a couple of scoops in at the last second.

Green tea

For the ultimate detox experience, we love stirring a scoop of FitBites Superfood Blend into a hot cup of green tea. Also works really well as part of an iced green tea (or fruit tea.)

Ice cream

If you’re making your own ice-cream, the key is have everything as cold as possible before adding it, that includes powders. Just add a scoop or two into the mix when it’s almost ready. Alternatively, you can just sprinkle a little powder over ice-cream you’ve bought.
Visit the FitBites online shop to see the full range of superfood blends.

 

Sugar, is the war on sugar justified or misunderstood?

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Sugar good or bad?

We’re really open at FitBites when it comes to sugar. Our products are healthy, natural and organic snacks, but they’re also intended for active people. Eat too much of anything and there are bound to be negative side-effects, and sugar is no different. What’s helpful to understand, though, is that the quality of the food your sugar is in, really matters. Not all sugars are created equally, and what’s attached to them can make a big difference to your energy levels, and your waistline.
Is all sugar the same?
Once it eventually gets broken down to be used as energy, yes, all sugar is the same, but hold on.

Glucose is the simplest form of sugar. It’s what your cells use as their main energy source, and it’s easy to get too much of it, sending your blood sugar levels rocketing.

Fructose is what’s in fruit. It’s harder to break down, but eventually ends up powering your cells in the same way.

Sucrose is a combination of the two, and because your body has to work harder to process it, it builds up more easily in your blood. Basic table sugar is essentially sucrose.
Why is natural sugar better?
Ok, you could say that natural sugars — that is, not processed table sugar — such as honey, coconut sugar and sugar from fruit, are better for you because they break down in a more efficient way, not too quickly, not too slowly. This is true, but, the real reason natural sugars are better, if consumed as part of the food you find them in, is that they’re attached to other nutrients, vitamins and minerals, which regulate their release into the bloodstream.
The point, is that natural sugar is still sugar, but it comes as part of a higher-quality package, when you eat it in fruit and vegetables. With that in mind, let’s look at a few of the fruits featured in FitBites products, and see how they stack up in terms of sugar and nutrients.
Values based on 50g of fruit. Each FitBites product contains much less than this, of course.

Dried Figs (50g)
Sugar: 8g

Also contains:
* Potassium
* Calcium
* Magnesium
* Iron
* Vitamins A, E and K

Featured in FitBites Maca Mantra

Dried Apricots (50g)
Sugar: 25g

Also contains:
* Vitamin C
* Copper
* Fiber
* Potassium
* Antioxidants

Featured in FitBites Spirulina Stretch

Dried Pineapple (50g)
Sugar: 27g

Also contains:

* Vitamin C
* Manganese
* B vitamins

Featured in FitBites Baobab Bounce

Dried Strawberries (50g)
Sugar: 22g

Also contains:
* Potassium
* Manganese
* Biotin
* Phosphorus
* B vitamins
* Vitamin C

Featured in FitBites Super Reds

Dates (100g fresh)
Sugar: 63g

Also contains:
* Calcium
* Iron
* Phosphorus
* Sodium
* Zinc
* Magnesium
* B vitamins
* Vitamins A and K

Why not try out FitBites for a healthy source of natural sugar. To see the entire FitBites range visit our shop

What Does a 12,000 Calories Olympic Diet Look Like?

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What Does a 12,000 Calories Olympic Diet Look Like?

Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, just won his 20th and 21st gold medals. His training regime is outrageous, of course, but how does a man like Phelps eat? Apparently, he doesn’t eat anywhere near the legendary 12,000 calories a day mentioned during an interview in 2008. But what if he did? What does 12,000 calories look like? Fair warning to you all, it’s mostly not healthy — cramming in that many calories using grilled chicken and veggies is near impossible.
This is fairly close to what Phelps describes in his interview. We don’t recommend it, but if you’d like to see a guy eat all of this stuff in under an hour, be our guest:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W83e-qSjH2U

Breakfast-

x1 Five-egg omelette (cooked in butter)
x3 French toast with powdered sugar
x3 Chocolate chip pancakes with maple syrup
x1 Bowl of grits (similar to oatmeal)
x3 Fried egg sandwiches
 Lunch-

x2 Ham and cheese sandwiches with mayonnaise
1 lb of pasta (half a kilo)

Dinner-

1 lb of pasta
x1 12” pepperoni pizza

Add in however many calories you take in through drinks (the guy in the video downs two coffees and four Monster energy drinks.)
Phew! Dessert anyone?