Everything in moderation – A little of what you fancy can be good for you!

Ask anyone who’s tried a new diet or exercise regime and they’ll tell you that what’s most difficult is finding a routine which is realistic, achievable and which you can stick to. To make long term changes your must adopt life long habits.

Now I’m four weeks away from my competition my calories are getting lower and lower by the week and staying strong mentally is getting harder. But it’s really important to try and keep myself sane, depriving myself of too many foods for too long can trick my mind into believing that certain foods are bad long term which isn’t the case at all.

I’m fortunate enough to work with two fantastic Fit Pros, Richard Scrivener and Lee Constantinou, who are helping me prep for my latest competition and whose advice and guidance throughout the process is invaluable. Both of them are strong believers in adopting a realistic approach to training and diet; being sensible and listening to your body is hugely important for your physical and mental well-being. At the moment Lee is providing my nutritional guidance and he strongly advocates that my diet should not be overly restrictive, if I want chocolate I should have it, as long as it fits into my calorie target and my macro split (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins).

I found this weekend tough, I’m weirdly obsessed with Bake Off, it’s essentially my food porn and seeing the finalists construct their extravagant showstoppers made me crave foods I’ve never even considered before! So today I decided that I’d take the time to make myself some tasty clean treats which are guilt free, which fit perfectly into my diet and which are super quick and easy to make.

One of my favourite breakfast treats are protein pancakes with yummy mixed berries and chocolate and caramel protein powder. So simple yet they really help satisfy my need for something tasty and enjoyable.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 40g of rolled oats
  • 1 organic free range egg
  • 1 scoop of Viva High Pro protein chocolate and caramel powder
  • Organic coconut oil (any good quality coconut oil will do)
  • 80g Mixed berries, half for the mix and half to drizzle on top (you can buy frozen from most supermarkets)
  • Water/almond milk (enough to create a smooth like batter)

Simply blend all the ingredients together in a bowl, meanwhile heat a little coconut oil in a frying pan. Spoon in the mix into the pan when its hot, one heaped tablespoon makes one mini pancake. Leave to brown on one side then flip to fry the other. Remove from the pan, stack then drizzle with your mixed berries (I warm mine in the microwave). Dust with protein powder and as Gordon Ramsey would say ‘Protein Pancakes…DONE!’ This mix will make c.6 mini pancakes. If I didn’t need to limit my calories I could easily add a spoon of melted dark chocolate to make this really indulgent.

Another comp prep treat for me is natural nut butter on dark chocolate rice cakes, I LOVE it!!! Dark chocolate has many powerful health benefits and although it can seem bitter at first, I assure you that once you get used to it you’ll never want to go back to the sugary, salt laden confectionery alternatives. Lindt do really smooth creamy 85%, 90% and 99% cacao versions which I recommend and Sainsbury’s now sell Meridian Almond Butter which is great but you can easily find other clean butters at Holland and Barratt or any good health food shop. Best of all both these treats are totally dairy free 🙂

I really encourage you to experiment to see what you can make. For inspiration check out some of the great, mouth-watering recipes from Zanna Van Dijk aka Blonde Health as well as the Protein POW guys who also run really fun protein cooking workshops, I went to one in April and can definitely recommend them.

So, go forth, experiment and indulge! Make sugar free, dairy free cakes and bakes that Mary and Paul would be proud of 😉

References and useful links


Key ingredients for my tasty treats.This morning's protein pancakes - yummy!


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About Eleanor Barlow

Hi I’m Eleanor Barlow and I’m a part time Personal Trainer (Level 3), qualified Snowboard instructor (BASI Level 1) and occasional fitness model. Staying fit and active not only benefits your body it benefits your mind and soul, it’s good for the heart and good for the spirit. Training is only half the story though, eating clean is just as important if not more so. I don’t eat diary and am very particular about the nutritional merits of the protein supplements I use which is why I’m so excited to be a Brand Ambassador for Sativa Shakes which taste great and fit perfectly into my diet. Every year I set myself a new fitness goal or challenge, this year I decided to enter my first physique competition so in June I competed with the WBFF and came second in my category. I loved it so much I’ve entered again this November! Follow my progress here at the Sativa Shakes blog were I’ll be providing regular updates on everything fitness and food related :-) For more info or to get in touch drop me a line at my Facebook page, Eleanor Barlow Fit Pro.
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