Jessica-Jane Applegate MBE becomes FitBites Ambassador

jessica-applegate-world-para-series-2017-1

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.

 

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.

Make The Most Of Your Yoga Practice

yoga-instagram

Make The Most of Your Yoga Practice

When we started FitBites in 2014, we did it with the practice of yoga in mind. Our original range including Maca Mantra, Acai Asana and Spirulina Stretch, was a big hit, and even though we’ve grown that passion for a good stretch has stayed with us.

Yoga is great for keeping your muscles and joints toned and active, but it works wonders on your energy levels, too. Depending on the style, yoga can help to get you moving and motivated, or wind you down ready for bed. You’ll get a clear head from yoga, as well, which is great considering how busy most of us are these days.

These are our top tips for getting started and getting the most out of your yoga practice.

Buy a yoga mat

The simplest advice in the world, but a mat is so important. Not just for safety and comfort, but for getting into the zone. When you unroll your mat you’re making a commitment to spend some quality time looking after yourself. The mat is where you focus only on yoga, nothing else.

Try it at home

If you have to commit to a class right off the bat, and that class isn’t what you were hoping for, or they move at a pace which doesn’t suit you, it can be a little off-putting. Joining a yoga class is fantastic later on, and a great way to socialise, but we recommend starting out at home. Choose a few videos and work through them, finding your way into the flow.

We love the selection at YogaTX — fun, challenging, easy to follow along with.

Go until you feel the stretch

When you’re starting out, there’s a tendency to do all you can to match the instructor’s pose exactly, even if it means being painful bent out of shape. Perfect posing is not the point of yoga. Yoga is a self-care exercise, and the right pose is the one which feels good to you. If that means you’re only half as deep into the stretch as the instructor, then that’s where you need to be.

Breathe into movements

Don’t hold your breath, that’s the opposite of what yoga is supposed to be. When we can’t quite get into a certain pose, sometimes we hold our breath and force our bodies into that movement — that’s bad.

Breathe to lengthen out, then exhale as you sink into your pose.

Enjoy yourself

The most important thing to remember with yoga, is to enjoy yourself. This is time you’ve given yourself to take care of your body. It’s 30 minutes to an hour at most, so relax, focus, and enjoy it.

Visit the FitBites online shop to buy the original range, or check out our new flavours.