Category

Nutrition

All Inclusive Luxury Fitness Retreat at Silver Field Villa

By News, Nutrition, Training No Comments

Charlie and Nate are super excited to have put together this exciting all inclusive, luxury retreat, hosted at the Silver Field Villa which is based at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range 31st October – 5th November 2019.

The house its self is a super modern, contemporary building boasting an outstanding range of facilities including two gyms, an indoor and an outdoor swimming pool, sauna, games room and luxury bedrooms. We have worked hard to put together an exciting few days to make a unique and memorable holiday.

We have worked hard to put together an exciting few days to make a unique and memorable holiday.
The Retreat is perfect for sociable individuals, couples or groups of friends who love sun, outdoors and fitness. There is no fitness level requirements to come away on the retreat and all sessions are optional to participate in. We have a range of luxury suites and rooms which vary in price to suit your budget.
  • Hosted by Charlie Francis and Nate Evans
  • Fully Equipped Outdoor CrossFit Style Gym
  • Morning yoga on the balcony
  • 5* accommodation in Granada, Spain, including 2x swimming pools, sauna and a cinema
  • Bike tours and hiking
  • Excursion to the city
  • Healthy food by The Cornish Lunch Box
  • Supplements by Prozis

Click to download the brochure for all information

Why Eat a High Protein Diet!

By Nutrition

Everyone knows they need a high protein diet to get a banging body, but no one seems to understand why?

Protein is one of the most important macro nutrient for a person trying to maintain muscle while reducing body fat, or for a person trying to gain muscle.

It is also the macro nutrient which most people don’t eat enough of!

Here are some reasons why you should eat more protein:

Reduce Body Fat

Research has proven that consuming a high protein diet will reduce body fat significantly more than when eating a high carb diet. This is because carbs cause a insulin response which puts your body in fat storage mode. Increasing protein intake will increase lean body mass which in turn increases your metabolism. This means your body will burn more calories!! Yay for protein

Better Skin, Hair and Nails

Protein responsible for growth and repair. Not only for your muscles but for all the cells in the body. Your body is constantly replacing old cells using the protein you eat as building blocks. Protein is essential for healthy hair, nails and skin. If the body doesn’t get enough protein it won’t be able to replenish the cells leaving you with flabby legs, weak hair and a wrinkly face. gross…

Better Immune System

Protein helps to create antibodies which are responsible for getting rid of bad bacteria and viruses which enter the body. Having a enough protein in your diet ensures you make plenty of antibodies to fight off disease and infection.

Solid Muscle Tone

Protein is muscle sparing meaning it will help you maintain your muscle while you try to loose weight. This will prevent you from becoming a fat/skinny… (you know when your skinny but flabby with no muscle). Having a high protein diet will ensure your muscles recover from your training sessions, building you a beautiful toned bod!

Keep You Fuller For Longer

There is nothing worse, when trying to loose weight, than being hungry ALL the time. Research has proven that eating a high protein meal will keep you fuller for longer than having a high carbohydrate or fat meal! This means less hunger pains and more weight loss!

‘How Much?’ You Say

As a general rule, a good starting point is 1g per lb of body weight. Everyone is different so it will completly change from person to person

You can get more protein in your diet from meat, fish, eggs, and diary products like cottage cheese. Nuts and nut butters have protein in them, but to get enough protein you would end up consuming way too much fat! How ever much I would like to sit and eat tubs of cashew butter, it won’t get you a lean bod 🙁

Eating Less Doesn’t Cause Fat Loss

By Diets, Nutrition

Yes, thats right..Eating less doesn’t cause fat loss. Diets do not work!

Want to know why?

Eating lower calories than your body needs to survive will more often than not start to burn into your muscle tissue rather than fat. Do you really want to use up your muscle which you have slaved away in the gym to build?

Why does your body burn muscle?

Well..When you go on a calorie restrictive diet, your body will think it is starving and begin to change its hormones to ensure fat stores stay as high as possible for survival. High muscle mass is not actually essential so your body will use your muscle tissue as energy.

When eating less, your body wants to HOLD onto fat.

What else do we know about muscle? Muscle tissue burns lots of calories which makes you have a high metabolism, which means you can eat more. Soooooo this means when you reduce your calories and your body thinks it needs to survive, whats the first thing its going to get rid of? Muscle tissue, because it is ‘expensive’ to maintain. This means your muscle mass will slowly reduce, so you can say good bye to strong legs and toned glutes 🙁 It also means you will have a lower metabolism so will have to eat less and less calories to maintain your weight.

2 years later, I still pose exactly the same. 💁

A post shared by Charlie Francis (@charliefrancisfitness) on

So in the long term, as soon as we decide to stop starving our self and go back to eating a ‘normal diet’, this is now seen to our body as over eating and we will begin to pile on body fat.

The adverts for weight loss programmes never tell you that their diet will not work unless you stay on their unmaintainable starvation diet forever and maintain in a chronically food deprived state for the rest of your life. They don’t tell you if you do go back to your ‘normal diet’ you will gain even more weight back than when you started.. This is because they are bullshit money making scams which will ruin your life. Continually taking money from you while actually making you fatter in the long run.

So actually going on a low calorie diet is worse than doing nothing!!!

After we have been starved for a period of time the number one goal is to get any lost fat back in our fat stores so that if we starve again we don’t die. Just incase, our bodies make sure we store some extra fat for emergencies. This is called ‘Fat Super Accumulation’. Fat super accumulation after a restrictive calorie diet is one of the main causes for obesity. What is awful about this is that it doesn’t even require us to eat loads. You only have to go back to a normal diet to gain a load of fat.

Going on a low calorie diet will not only cause you to be fat in the long run.. It will effect your hormone levels. You will be cranky all the time. You won’t sleep because your grumbly tummy will keep you awake at night. Work will make you grumpy and you will be unproductive. You will be shit in bed. Yes thats right… Your sex drive will be non-existent. Your performance in the gym will be shocking. Loading up the barbell is a workout in its self, let along lifting the damn thing. Every simple life activity the hardest task in the world with the extreme lack of energy.

At roughly 10% body fat, I vividly remember thinking getting up to change the channel on the TV was too much effort. I ended up watching antique road show for hours on end because I couldn’t be bothered to move basically.

Diets don’t make you lean and lovely. They make you ill, sad, fat and slow.

How do I know this? Because this has all happened to me. It has happened to probably most of you reading this post and we all know dieting doesn’t work. You ruin relationships. Your a fucking bitch all the time. You fall out with your family. You are unhappy and at the end of it all you end up fat with no friends, severely sleep deprived and malnourished. Dieting is bad for your health both physically and mentally.

The ONLY way to get a healthy and banging body is to eat a nutritious, realistic and maintainable diet supported with a MAINTAINABLE exercise routine. You must eat enough calories to support life and normal hormone function but not support fat storage. If your body is in a happy healthy state, hormones will be held at a level where fat can be lost at a SLOW rate but fat loss will be able to be maintained in the long run. The ultimate goal is to keep a high metabolism throughout the process to ensure you can eat a normal diet while performing well in the gym. There is no set amount of calories anyone should eat, everyone is SO different so when looking for a personal trainer/nutrition coach, check they have experience in the area and that they don’t make their clients eat 800 calories a day and perform hours of cardio.

Nut Butters

By Nutrition

Nutritionally packed of goodness, high in fiber and bloody delicious. Its silly to not include nut butters in your diet.

Nut butters are great on your oatmeal or granola.. on a bagle or crumpet.. Also made into a savoury satay sauce with your dinner. They are so versatile and can spruce up any meal.

Nut butters Cashew Butter

Cashew Butter does contain the lowest fiber content but the nuts are packed of nutrients including vitamins C,E and K. They also contain iron, magnesium, zinc and loads of antioxidants. Cashews could improve your heart health and bone strength. Cashews contain a type of flavanol called proanthocyanidins, which studies have shown restrict the growth of cancerous cells. The high levels of magnesium will aid recovery and prevent muscle soreness post workout.

Almond Butter

Almonds have heaps of fiber and contain Vitamins E and B2. Almonds are super high in antioxidants which help to protect against oxidative stress, which can damage cells and leading to aging and diseases like cancer. The magnesium levels in almonds can reduce blood pressure and control blood sugar levels.

Peanut Butter

Similarly to the almond and cashew nut, peanuts contain high levels of vitamins and magnesium which can promote muscle recovery. It also contains folic acid and olcie oil which is the healthy oli found in olive oil. Peanuts contain the potent antiaging molecule which is the same phytochemical found in red wine and grapes.

 

Tesco is going to charge you about £5 for 200g of Cashew butter which is just silly. If you head over to MyProtein you can get 1kg tubs of Cashew, Peanut and Almond butter. They also do a Triple nut butter which is all three nuts combined into one. This means in each serving you get the health benefits of all 3 nuts.

On MyProtein you can get a 1kg tubs of of all these nut butters for any price between £5 and £13  (depending which nut). With offers on you usually knock the price down quite significantly too.

With the release of flavoured nut butters you now have a massive selection of choice!

My favourite is coconut flavoured almond butter!!!

Mixing coconut almond butter with sweet chilli sauce and lemon juice is THE BEST sauce for a stir fry!!

I have done a ton of recipes on my blog using nut butters. Nut butters are great to use as a substitute of butter in cakes to keep a good constancy to a cake. Try my Peanut Butter, Sweet Potato Brownies. Super high in protein and loaded with antioxidants and fiber while being super low in sugar.

If you fancy something savoury. Try my Low Fat Hummus which contains peanut butter instead of loads of oil and tahini 😀

 

Mexican Quinoa Bean Balls

By Nutrition

A combination of Mexican and Quiona is just a dream come true. Quinoa is fricking awesome. It is super high in protein and is a great source of carbs. It contains all the essential amino acids and it has a super low GI which means it is good for your blood sugar levels. Quinoa contains anti-oxidants and essential minerals and is super easy to add into your diet.

This super little recipe is awesome as a snack or to accompany a main meal. They are also great to make for meal prep to take for an on the go lunch or snack at work!

With only 48 calories per ball, 0.8g of fat, 6.8g of carbs and 2.5g of protein. You would be silly not to try them…

Mexican Quinoa Bean Balls

makes 11

Ingredients:

  • 240g of drained and washed red kidney beans
  • 110g of cooked quinoa
  • 1x pack of taco spice (30g)
  • 1 whole large egg
  • a large handful of chopped corriander (optional)

Directions:

Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees

Place all ingredneits into a high speed blender and blitz untill smooth. Remove the mix from the blender and roll into 11 balls.

Place the balls on an oven proof tray and bake for 8-10 minutes

Serve hot or cold with guacamole, sour cream or 0% fat greek yogurt for a lower fat option.

 

 

Clean Eating Is Ruining Your Life

By Nutrition

Clean Eating. Another crazy diet in the fitness industry draining the joy out of life!

Clean eating… What the hell is clean eating? Nobody seems to know what foods are classed as clean and what foods are….. Dirty? I guess you can call it dirty? Clean eating pretty much means eating lots of veggies and whole foods, while cutting out refined sugar, starches, bread, red meat, salt, chocolate, cake and all things that make life worth living.

Clean eating is trying to make the normal people who eat normal food feel like they are dirty. ‘Look at you, you filthy animal, eating bread, your dirty’.

Healthy whole foods with no refined sugar or preservatives are obviously very good for you, A balanced diet is essential for life, for a healthy life. But honestly, I have been known to eat a krispy cream doughnut (or two). There is always a place in my heart and my belly for doughnuts. I also like salad, like real salad with ALL the veg! I eat oatmeal for breakfast and quinoa vegetarian bean chilli for lunch. Does this make me a good person. A ‘clean’ person? Do you think better of me for eating all this fantastic clean food?

No?..

Obsessive clean eating is an actual eating disorder. People who are obsessed with eating clean could be suffering from ‘Orthorexia Nervosa’ which literally means fixation on righteous eating. They become completely consumed by what they are eating, how much and how ‘clean’ the food is. Eating only ‘clean’ foods will eventually result in a massive break down where you will find yourself slumped on the floor, crying, covered in nutella and frosties.

I believe in balance. A little bit of everything is not going to kill you, nor will it make you unhealthy or fat. The beauty of flexible dieting is that you can fit most foods into your diet. As long as your micro nutrients (vitamins and minerals) and fiber intake is hit each day, then there is no harm in including some ‘dirty’ food in your diet. It is more than just calories in and calories out as your body also has a certain amount of protein, fats and carbs it requires to achieve your desired body composition. This macro nutrient intake is different for every person.

 

I do not advocate eating shit food. If you have MacDonald’s for lunch every day you need to fucking sort your life out because that is not okay. If you have MacDonald’s once a week. That is fine. It’s also okay to eat ice-cream and cake. Just not all day every day! It’s healthier to include these foods into your diet in small portions to keep you sane and prevent crazy junk food binges. Everyone says your body can’t gain fat from one cheat meal. You wouldn’t believe how much fat your body can store from just ONE massive binge.

Instead of draining the happiness out of your life by restricting fun foods like ice-cream and cookies, just keep small portions of all your fave foods in your diet, make those foods fit your macros. I PROMISE.. You can get lean when eating ice-cream and doughnuts and burgers and pizza. You will also be a much happier person for it.

 

p.s If there are any great doughnut companies out there I am open to sponcership offers

Cinnamon Danish Protein Thick Shake

By Nutrition

Here is one of my fave shake recipes. Great as breakfast or a post workout snack

Cinnamon Danish Protein Thick Shake

Ingredients:

Directions:

Place all ingredients into a high speed bullet blender (if you don’t have one of these you can also use a hand blender)

Blend until a smooth consistency is reached  if you want the snake to be thicker add a little more Xantha Gum. If you want the shake to be thinner. Add more milk or water

Notes:

This recipe will work using any flavour protein powder. Check out the other flavours you can get on MyProtein and get creative.

If you like this shake. Try one of my other shake recipes here>>>>Chocolate Beetroot Smoothie or Mint Chocolate Protein Smoothie

 

 

 

 

Gluten Free, Protein, Chai Seed Flat Bread

By Nutrition

So I thought it was July but apparently its Winter again. I’m sat drinking a hot mug of tea wrapped up in a hoodie. Its fucking July. I should be tanning on the roof with a iced coffee!

There is always a bit of a anti climax for the English Summer. The adverts all over the TV saying ‘Get Beach Body Ready‘. Deals in the gym to get your smoking bikini body and your ripped 6 pack. Its too fucking cold for any part of my body to be exposed right now, let alone wear a bikini on the beach. I have seen so many people grinding away in the gym for months, working so hard, achieving so much progress.. to wear a hoodie…..

Someone remind me why I live in this country again?

Through this pre summer fitness hype, there is so much more achieved than the beach body though. Some people forget that progress comes in so many different forms. Progress isn’t always just about getting ripped abs, or loosing weight on the scales. Sometimes progress is about doing 5 pull ups, its about upping your squat PB by 10kgs, or running a 5k 1 minute faster. Its about gaining a healthier relationship with food and lifting heavy shit in the gym so you can eat loads of carbs 😀 😀 Its about feeling more confident with your self and coming to the gym to train for the love of training. Progress is stronger legs, stronger shoulders and growing a bubble butt.

Progress is not always something visible but sometimes something mental. No scales or progress pictures can tell you how you have changed mentally though your fitness journey. Every journey will have its ups and downs. You will have weeks where maybe your eating habits go up the wall but through the extra calories you manage to dead lift more than you ever have! You have weeks where you feel like utter shit and feel like quitting but you always keep going. You always find the motivation to push through. You always remember your goals and look for the progress. Always learning through the highs and lows. Growing stronger as a person physically and mentally. Learning to love your self and not pointing out every fault. Slow progress is better than no progress.

I’m a slow walker, but I never walk backAbraham Lincoln

 

 

 

Gluten Free, Protein, Chai Seed Flat Bread

Ingredients:

serves 1

  • 15g gluten free flour
  • 15g un-flavoured whey
  • 1/8 tsp xantham gum
  • 1 tsp chai seeds
  • 3-4 tbsp of water

Directions:

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the water a little at a time and stir into a thick paste like consistency (you may need more of less than 3/4 tbsp of water). Take a non stick pan and spread the mixture to the bottom of the COLD pan making sure the mixture is the same thickness the whole way across (it takes a while because its real sticky). Place the pan on the hob and heat on a low/medium temperature for about 2 minutes, When the sides begin to lift, flip an cook for around 2 minutes on the other side.

Notes:

This flat bread can be used as a wrap or a pizza base also. Try topping with a pizza sauce and cheese and putting under the grill. Or making a breakfast wrap by filling with bacon and scrambled egg.

 

Sugar Free Protein Cinnamon Rolls

By Nutrition

Carbohydrates for Fat Loss

Lots of people cut out carbs to loose weight. The media hypes up these keto diets and hammers societies brains with how bad carbs are for you. You NEED carbs for successful, maintainable fat loss!

Firstly let me highlight the importance of muscle. The more muscle the body has, the higher the metabolism. The higher the metabolic rate, the more food you can eat because the body burns more calories.. Sounds good right?! Not only this. Muscle is essential for healthy bones and joints. If you don’t have enough muscle mass you might just slip off the curb and break your bloody leg because there is not enough muscle to support your joints.

Do you want to loose fat while keeping muscle?

Well..Carbohydrates are the most muscle sparing macro nutrient in our diets. If you reduce your carbohydrates too much when trying to lose fat, you will loose weight for sure… but some of it will most likely be from muscle. When the body doesn’t have enough energy it will begin to break down your own muscle tissue to fuel your system!! A decrease in muscle mass means a lower metabolic rate, plus your lovely toned muscles which you have slaved away for in the gym, will slowly be eaten to fuel your own body! Not Cool!

So you want to loose fat but not become a tired sleepy mess during day to day life?

Your brain runs off glucose. Glucose comes from carbs.. Super low carb diets can cause extreme fatigue, decreased performance in the gym, and a reduction in general motivation for life due to a lack of energy!

Where does the fat loss come into this?

Insulin is released into the blood when carbohydrates are eaten. Insulin levels in the blood must be low in order for the body to utilize fat from the adipose tissue for fuel. This is where a reduction is body fat occurs. It is important to fuel your body with carbohydrates in the correct portion sizes, at the right time of day, to give your body just enough energy for muscle sparing and recovery. but to still allow fat loss to occur.

No.. I’m not going to tell you when, or what, or how much to eat because it is different for everyone. Depending on an individuals metabolic rate, lifestyle and age, Different amounts of carbohydrates will be required for every individual. This can be calculated by metabolic and lifestyle analysis through a nutrition coach.

Was that a sneaky little sales pitch for nutrition coaching plans?!

Maybe…

Basically don’t cut carbs!! Find something which works for you. Find something which is not a diet! Make a lifestyle change which is healthy and maintainable while keeping all macro nutrients in your daily food intake. Restriction diets where whole food groups or macro nutrients are cut out are not maintainable. If your diet is not maintainable, neither is your fat loss!

Here is a delish little recipe for you which sure as hell does contain carbs. These are a great post workout snack and really curb sugar cravings 🙂

Sugar Free Protein Cinnamon Rolls

makes 10

Macros:

  • 98 calories
  • 5g fat
  • 4.5g carbs
  • 6.4g protein

Ingredients – Roll:

  • 60g Gluten Free Flour
  • 60g Vanilla (stevia sweetned) Protein Powder 
  • 30g Ghee
  • 1/2 tsp Xantham Gum
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Egg

Ingredients – Filling:

  • 25g Almond Butter
  • 40g Vitafiber
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Combine all the dry ‘roll’ ingredients in a blender. Add the egg and ghee and wizz up until a dough is formed. Put a little flour on the work top, remove the dough from the blender and begin to roll into a squarish shape, about 1cm thick. In a bowl, combine all the ‘filling’ ingredients and stir until a thick paste is formed. spread this paste over the rolled out dough. Now really carefully roll the dough up with the filling on the inside. Cut the large cinnamon roll into 10 small rolls and place on a baking tray. Put in the oven for 8 minutes then remove and allow to cool and harden a little 🙂

Notes:

Try adding different fillings for different flavors 😀

Protein Cashew Milky Way Bar

By Nutrition

Its always overwhelming seeing all these amazing recipes online and not owning any of the bloody ingredients to make them. I have done a quick list of where I order my ingredients from where I have found good prices and good quality supplements and superfoods! If anyone has any other great websites they use, please let me know 😀 I get extremely happy when I find new online ordering sites!!!

I have also added some recipes from my blog where you can use the ingredients.

 

The Protein Works

80 Naked Whey in Vanilla, sweetened with stevia

Also good to keep Casein Protein which is thicker and good to make protein bars with, like recipe bellow 😀

If you use my referral code you get extra free whey protein CF108303

 

Muscle Food..

If you use the code HF50600 you get free meat on your order

Chicken, 5kgs for £25

1KG tubs of nut butters.. Cashew is the bomb!!

Vitafiber to make protein bars with.. Try these Peanut Butter Quest Bars or the Protein Cashew Milky Way Bars (bellow)

Omega 3 tablets

Quest bars.. Great to keep for emergency meals

Low fat peanut flour (good for pancakes)

You can even get kangaroo, crocodile and emu if you fancy??!

 

Buy Whole Foods Online

Spirulina

Wheatgrass powder

Maca Powder

Cinnamon

Coconut flour

Try these Coconut Protein Pancakes

Coconut oil

Nori sheets (to make sushi)

Bee pollen

Raw cacao

Ghee

Chai seeds

Flax seed

Xantham Gum (good thickener for shakes)

Try my super thick shakes with xantham gum Mint Chocolate Protein Smoothie or Chocolate Beetroot Smoothie

 

Now for a recipe containing a number of the ingredients above. It wasn’t my intention to recreate a Milky Way Bar although A number of people have told me these taste like Milky Way Bars.

They are super easy and fast to make. You can do them with or without the chocolate coating.

With out the coating they are only 61 calories per ball!!!

Protein Cashew Milky Way Bars

Ingredients:

Inside

60g vanilla casein protein powder

100g vita fiber syrup

60g cashew butter

Chocolate coating (optional)

4 tbsp coconut oil

2 tbsp raw cacao powder

Directions:

In a high speed blender (yes it has to be a good one or it will have a melt down) add the inside ingredients and blend untill a dough like consistency is formed. Remove from the bender and roll into 20 small balls. For the coating, melt the coconut oil and add the cacao powder. Stir until combined. Coat each ball with the chocolate mixture and place on a trap in the fridge to set.

Notes:

Try rolling the balls in crushed nuts, seeds or super-foods to add a crunch