Eating For Allergies: Healthy Swaps For Everyday Staples

mineralrichnutmilk (13 of 15)

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

natural_nutrition

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.

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?

natural-fruit-sugar

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

FitBites Love Hemp Protein

hemp-protein-300x164

Let’s talk about Hemp Proteinhemp protein

We’re always looking for new and exciting ways to get as much delicious nutrition into our FitBites as possible. So, when we came across hemp protein which not only ticks all of our ‘organic’ and ‘gluten-free’ boxes, but also provides a substantial vegan-friendly protein source, we were pretty excited.

 

Let’s clear something up straight away, though; when we talk about hemp, we are talking about the same family of plants that marijuana comes from, but hemp seeds do not contain anywhere near enough psychoactives to produce an effect (less than 0.3% by weight.)

How is Hemp Protein Made? 

The hemp seed is harvested, before being separated from its husk and pressed to remove the oil. The oil goes on to be used for other purposes, while the resulting seed ‘cake’, is ground into a fine powder – this is the hemp protein that we mix into FitBites Protein HIIT balls.

Amino Acid Jackpot 

Unfortunately, a lot of other non-animal and non-dairy proteins are poor alternatives, having either a pretty low protein content, or other nasty side-effects (usually digestive.) Hemp protein is not only high in protein, it also contains all 21 amino acids, including the nine we can’t make inside our bodies – meaning we have to get them through our diets. Those nine essential amino acids are:

  • histidine
  • leucine
  • isoleucine
  • lysine
  • methionine
  • phenylalanine
  • threonine
  • tryptophan
  • valine

These amino acids aren’t just important for building muscle after hitting the gym, either, they’re crucial to allowing all of your body’s organs and systems to function properly, from your kidneys and liver, to your brain and nervous system.

Fatty acids 

The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that are found in hemp protein are naturally occurring, they’re not added in. They’re essential, too, for optimum brain function and for helping to reduce inflammation (omega-3.)

You’ll only find tiny amounts of these fantastic fatty acids in FitBites, because they’re pretty small, but if you’re interested in their health benefits, we would recommend doing a bit more reading about them. You could start here.

Vegan-friendly 

We’ve mentioned it already, but we were incredibly excited to start using hemp protein, because we know that for vegans, finding good sources of protein can sometimes be challenging. We would love it if, after trying our Protein HIIT balls, you bought yourself some hemp protein to use as a regular supplement.

Two tablespoons of hemp protein contains around 15g of protein.

If you have questions about hemp protein, or any of our other ingredients, we’d be happy to discuss them with you. Join us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Organic Healthy Energy Bites and Active Kids: FitBites Q&A

fibites-figures

Organic Snacks and Healthy Kids: FitBites Q&A

 FitBites was founded in 2014 with the ambition of combining healthy eating and sport, with a passion for getting kids active. Now, almost a year on, FitBites are available in yoga studios and independent health food shops across the UK. The product itself,  organic healthy energy bites made from fruits, nuts and superfoods, is also available online and soon from some of the country’s leading retailers.

If you’re curious to learn more about the FitBites mission, here’s a quick Q&A with our founders, Emma and Ramon.

What was the inspiration for starting the company?

It’s a very simple story. Both Ramon and I have a passion for natural healthy food and have been surrounded by sports all our lives. Since starting the business we have certainly seen the demand for clean eating grow and this is what FitBites represents – simple, clean and healthy foods.

We also hope that by donating 10% of our profits to active kids projects, we will see more children enjoy and benefit from sports too.

FitBites is on a mission to get kids physically active again. What are the main challenges we face? Is it still TV and video games?

As with many issues, there is often a combination of challenges which is why society scratches their heads for a solution. If we were to focus on one issue, my personal belief is that in most instances, children’s habits are influenced by their family and teachers. If mum and dad eat junk food and activity extends to pushing a button on the remote then, I think you get the picture.

If both parents and children enjoy a healthy balanced diet, and they share the fun of a family walk, the kick of a football in the park, or a swim at the local pool, then surely this can help mould them for a better future?

As a key influencer, schools also need to take greater responsibility, make lunchtime meals healthier, and inject some fun into PE. Imagine young children being offered a Zumba class rather than being asked to run around a muddy field in the rain. Bootcamp style workouts can be made fun and accessible for children of all ages. Learning good form in these types of classes teaches a child a lot about their bodies. 

How can parents encourage their kids to be more active?

By being more active themselves. Being fit and healthy for your children is so important. Enjoying and sharing activates with them is so much fun. 

And the products themselves, how are they made?

Our processes are very simple; we curate only the highest grade of natural ingredients. These are then blended and hand rolled. So as to maintain the optimal nutritional value, none of the ingredients are heated. 

How do you come up with the flavour combinations? Have there been ones that didn’t quite make the cut?

With lots of testing and the use of many human guinea pigs. We’ve certainly had a few combinations that turned faces and rapidly found the bin but that’s part of the fun. As we avoid the use of binding agents, the tricky part is then ensuring that the ingredients bind well naturally.

FitBites are paleo-friendly, organic and gluten-free. How important was it to you that you covered all of these things?

Our ingredients are fruit, nut and plant-based, so they naturally tick a number of health conscious boxes: paleo, vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free. Where possible we always use organic ingredients because quite simply why wouldn’t you? They taste better and they are free of nasties. If we are ticking lots of boxes then we hope we are satisfying more people.

Tell us about your new Pre/Post pouches. What are they for?

Ah well, our pre/post balls were the brainstorm of hours of marathon training. The pre training balls gives you the burst of energy you need to get you on your way and the post recovery ball provides a little protein and replenishment after your run. Having them in a handy resealable pouch means you can just throw them in your kit bag or pocket and you’re off.

FitBites are free from added sugars, are paleo and vegan friendly and are gluten-free. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates and competitions.

 

 

Super Reds and Fabulous Fruits

raspberries

 

Sweet, tangy and absolutely packed with delicious organic fruits, the next in our line of brand new flavours, Super Reds, bring a taste of Summer year-round.

With Super Reds, we wanted to create something that would help you out both immediately before and after your workouts, but that would also benefit your long-term health. We chose raspberries, strawberries and beetroot for Super Reds, not just because they look and taste great together, but as because as a combination, they offer some pretty powerful immunity and anti-inflammatory benefits.

We do a lot of research before deciding which foods to include in FitBites, and while we acknowledge that there are different views on how anti-inflammatories affect recovery and performance, we believe that for regular swimming, running, or other sports which can leave you feeling sore, anti-inflammatory foods are beneficial.

Beetroot

Beetroot has been studied for its effects on performance endurance, with evidence suggesting that it can decrease the amount of oxygen needed to maintain performance. This means less energy expended over time.

Alongside a host of other nutrients such as iron, vitamin C and folic acid, beetroot is a great addition to your diet.

Strawberries

If you love strawberries, you probably don’t need much convincing, but we chose to include them in Super Reds because of their immunity-protecting properties. They’re also rich in nitrates, which help to promote healthy blood oxygen levels and blood flow.

Raspberries

Raspberries are high in vitamin C, which is important for wound healing, immunity and cell health. They’re also a powerful anti-inflammatory, which can help to reduce some of the soreness you feel post-workout.

The entire FitBites range is designed to help you fuel and refuel naturally, with specific benefits built into each combination, but if an immunity-boost and a reduction in soreness are what you’re after, we recommend giving our Super Reds a try.

FitBites are free from refined sugar, and are gluten-free.

Spirulina Stretch Uncovered

spirulina

Did you know that spirulina is the richest source of plant protein in the world? Its protein content is around 60% of its weight, and gram-for-gram, it has more protein than red meat, chicken and eggs. How could we not use it, right?

What is spirulina?

It looks pretty simple – spirulina is a blue-green algae (technically a cyanobacteria) that grows in water. It’s a single-cell protein, but amazingly, is packed with other nutrients like iron, and amino acids like leucine. Leucine is a very popular amino acid in its own right, used by athletes in many sports for healthy, natural muscle recovery.

Our Spirulina Stretch ball is also made from 40% apricots, and with good reason. As well as being high in vitamins A and C, dried apricots are a great source of fibre and catechins, which help to reduce inflammation. That’s good news if you’re running, lifting weights, or putting stress on your joints.

Another ingredient we love in Spirulina Stretch is almonds. As well as being a great protein source, almonds are high in vitamin E (vitamin E is actually a group of 8 different nutrients), a powerful anti-oxidant and healthy heart supporter.

Almonds also contain good amounts of copper. Copper enables all sorts of reactions to take place in the body, and helps to keep blood vessels flexible and healthy.

The other ingredients in Spirulina Stretch are medjool dates and coconut. That’s it. Nothing else. No added sugar or preservatives at all.

FitBites Fuel and Recover the Natural Way

Fitbites Logo

PREPOST without shadow

If you’re new to FitBites, welcome! We started making our products in 2014 because of a love for fitness and for healthy, natural foods. We decided early on that we wanted to help out active children’s programmes, too, since we think that getting kids involved in sports is really important for the health of generations to come.

That’s why we donate 10% of our profits to charities and programmes that support this idea – whether for health, social or educational reasons.

So what do we make?

FitBites are really simple. They’re made from fruits, nuts, seeds and some really special ingredients often referred to as ‘superfoods’. We don’t include these superfoods because they’re trendy, though. We include them because we want to pack as much useful nutrition into our condensed little balls of energy as possible.

The spirulina in our Spirulina Stretch ball, for example, is one of the most protein-rich food sources on the planet, at around 60% of its dry weight – that’s more than beef, milk and eggs!

The sweetness in FitBites comes from fruits, like figs and dates, and our Acai Asana ball is rolled in organic cacao powder, which when combined with that sweet fruit, feels pretty special (if we do say so ourselves!)

We started out with FitBites in the yoga community, but actually, they’re perfect for anything from running, to cycling and even newer sports like CrossFit.

We really are passionate about helping people to fuel their workouts the natural way, with foods that are both effective and taste great. We hope that you’ll enjoy eating FitBites as much as we enjoy coming up with the flavour combinations and making them. Our range currently includes:

Spirulina Stretch – Spriulina, almond, apricot and coconut

Maca Mantra – Maca, almonds and coconut

Acai Asana – Acai, cranberry, fig and cacao

With others planned for release very soon.

We’ve also just released our Pre/Post-workout pouch, the first product of its kind, to combine a ball designed for pre-workout, and a ball designed for post-workout, in a single sporty pouch.

The pre-workout ball contains chia seeds, banana, spirulina and guarana. The post-workout ball contains cherry, beetroot, almond, hemp protein and virgin coconut oil.

We have 50 of these awesome pouches to give away, too! All you need to do, is visit our Facebook or Twitter page, like or favourite the post, and then share it.

Until then, stay healthy!