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.

 

FitBites Love Hemp Protein

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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.

Baobab Bounce! That’s Bay-Oh-Bab

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FitBites Superfood energy balls - Baobab Bounce

Some baobab trees still producing fruit have been carbon dated to around 1,000 years old, with estimates of others being even older.  

Reason enough, we think, to want to try the incredible fruit it bears – what an awesome link to the past!

Baobab trees are native to parts of mainland Africa, Madagascar and Australia, and the fruit, known simply as baobab or baobab fruit, comes as large seed-shaped pods. These pods contain powdery white chunks, which although they look pretty drab, have a pleasant tangy flavour.

The flavour isn’t really why we’re so into baobab, though. With around six times the vitamin C of oranges, baobab is outstanding at helping to maintain healthy skin and bones, as well as strong nervous and immune systems. With twice the calcium by weight of milk, baobab powder can be very valuable to those allergic to dairy.

Potassium, iron, magnesium and fibre all go towards making baobab powder one of the most naturally nutritious supplements in the world. In parts of Africa, baobab has been celebrated for nourishing generations of families through hardships, and demand for it in Europe could go some way to helping communities earn a living, or trade resources.

In ground form, the powder can be mixed into porridge, yoghurt and smoothies. We’ve mixed ours with dates, almonds, pineapple and coconut, to give you a highly nutritious and natural way to power your workouts.

Baobab is nutritionally rich 

Vitamin C – skin, bones, immunity and nervous system

Potassium – muscle performance and recovery, healthy blood pressure, kidney function

Iron – red blood cell production, healthy blood oxygen levels

Magnesium – strong bones, nervous system health

All of FitBites products are gluten-free, paleo-friendly. We don’t add any sugar or preservatives

Spirulina Stretch Uncovered

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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

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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!