Archive for November 30, 2012

GRIT 21 DAY CHALLENGE: Challenge Completed

Welcome challengers and readers to another Grit Challenge themed post! If you’ve missed earlier posts or want to re-read some you can find them here:

Today sums up the entire challenge and will be the final post for the Grit 21 Day Challenge. The challenge officially ends on Saturday the 1st of December. But turn that frown upside down- just because the challenge has finished doesn’t mean you can’t have a challenge of your own; and DEFINITELY does not mean you can’t keep doing Grit Strength. So instead of letting those 3 weeks just be another 3 weeks where you jumped on the wagon only to fall off it the day after you finished, why not set yourself some new goals, try new classes (Body Step- best class ever), and continue attending those Grit Strength classes! Because challenge or not, the benefits of Grit are still there.

Before wrapping up my Grit Challenge Series I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone involved in the challenge, to the Captains, the club- Go Health, and to those of you who tuned in for each instalment and got involved through comments. Without the other challengers and the fantastic captains there’d be no challenge- (duh) but there also wouldn’t be the competitive, encouraging and exciting environment and atmosphere that was always there with us through every (painful) class. For many of us there also wouldn’t be the motivation to continue going and annihilate this challenge and our goals.

Now let’s get into it. Naturally, being a group fitness instructor, an active gym participant (I’ma say gym-athlete if there ever was one) and a passionate fitness person I loved this challenge. Whilst I wasn’t gung ho about the meal plan, I felt it wasn’t essential for the Challenge- which made it really easy for literally anyone to get involved. However, setting goals was great.

I’m a goal setter anyway, so this was right up my alley. For those of us who need that little bit of push and organisation- this was the perfect way to keep on task. Although we handed our goals in at the start, actually writing them down imprinted them into my mind so they were never far away when I needed something to help me get one more push up jack in, or stack some extra weight on the bar. Did I accomplish my goals? Well I think so. I know for sure I increased my squat weight- twice actually! Which was an awesome feeling. [Side note: A not so awesome feeling? Lifting the bar up and down between those squats and jumps- I can squat it fine but boy do I struggle to lift it!]. I definitely saw myself getting stronger and fitter also. I was able to work harder during the classes and my other classes benefited too- I can rock out tricep push ups like nobodies business [on the toes people!]. Now goal number 2- the vanity goal. I guess this one is subjective, and someone with my history might not be the best judge in this case, but I did take photos to compare. One at the start of the challenge and near the end. I debated with myself, asked my partner and thought long and hard about whether or not to upload the pictures. I didn’t want to insult, scare, show off, revolt (ha) etc any of you. What I did want to do is show you that it does and can work. Personally, I can see differences- but that might just be me since I tend to go over myself with a fine tooth comb at times.

(Before -> After)

Now these differences might not be JUST due to the incorporation of Grit and the challenge, but they definitely had an impact. My diet (in terms of what I eat- not a fad thing) didn’t change at all (complex carbs were still my good friends) and my exercise regime (albeit pretty high) still remained the same, with the addition of (soon to be- one more tonight!) 7 Grit Strength classes into my usual routine.

These weren’t the only improvements. We all know that real health starts (and lasts!) with our minds and our mental health. These classes gave me more confidence- yes I CAN do it, drive- relit my fitness crazy fire and self/body love. That last one is a really important one for me and truth be told most of us probably don’t see this as a priority, but it is. I began to incorporate rest days into my training (overtraining=bad idea), I listened and responded to my body and I nourished it. Some days (after that 9 hr extra fat burning woo!) my body was hungrier than normal. Other days my body was sore and needed some extra stretches and foam rolling. I complied. It’s not giving in but working with my body.

Before this turns into a novel (too late?) I’m going to wrap it up. But the discussion doesn’t have to end there- I’d LOVE to hear your challenge stories- struggles, triumphs, funny moments, so please leave a comment and lets continue this community feel! For those who are members at Go Health- see you round the gym (I teach Thursday night 5:40pm- Step!) and for my readers, I’ll chat to you in the morning.

What’s your Grit Challenge story? Please share!

If you’ve enjoyed this Grit Challenge Series and like what you see read please follow my blog by entering your email address into the right sidebar (where it says ‘Follow Blog Via Email’). Or connect with me on Twitter, Pinterest & Facebook. Alternatively send me an email to bekatcrave [at] gmail [dot] com if you want to chat.

Slim Secrets

I was recently contacted by the lovely people at Slim Secrets to see if I was interested in trying their produts. In all honesty it took me ages to reply because I was a bit skeptical about the whole thing. I did plenty of research into the nutritional info, ingredients and the company. I just didn’t want to try and then share with you guys products that I didn’t support.

Immediately I assumed that these bars and products were just glorified chocolate bars, full of sugar with a bit of that protein ‘stuff’ thrown it. Oh how wrong I was. And this will probably be the only time I’m ever glad that I’m wrong- so enjoy it people. I compared it to another brand of ‘healthy’ muesli bars my brother eats. They had half the sugar and something like 3 times the amount of protein. I was sold.

Before I tell you about the products let me tell you about the company.

(Source)

Slim Secrets is an Australian owned and operated brand. Their philosophy is to promote a healthy lifestyle and to help those who are currently aiming for that in their lives, and those who are also living it out! They don’t just focus on health though, taste is also important- that is why these products work. They’re good (as in delicious!) and they’re good for you (I’ll share this at the end). Want to know more? Check out more about the Slim Secrets company.

The products I (I meaning myself, bf, bf’s workmates and mum) got to try were the Fit Balls, Wanted Bars and Designer Cookies. However, there are many other products in their range. These are just the ones I was interested in trying, and the ones I’d typically purchase myself.

So a few weeks ago I received a package (yay) and inside was an assortment of goodies. I knew I wouldn’t enjoy them by forcing myself to try every one then and there, so I took my time incorporating them into snacks and eating them as I typically would.

Here’s the breakdown according to each product.

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Wanted Bars

  • Vanilla Almond Bar

This was my first bar I tried and probably would be my least favourite of the four. That’s not to say it’s bad, I just preferred the other ones. I was so glad I couldn’t taste the soy protein, I really enjoyed the texture and it managed to keep me full for 3-4 hours during an exam! Talk about brain power. Mum tried this also and found it nice but wasn’t fond of the vanilla flavour. I ate mine crumbled with some 2% plain Chobani.



  • Apple Cinnamon

Instantly I could smell that beautiful cinnamon flavour as I opened the packet. It really reminded me of the Kellogg’s bars I used to eat- only better (and better for you!). There was a subtle apple flavour with a lovely cinnamon sweetness. This one was much more natural tasting than the Vanilla Almond (although all bars have ALL natural ingredients). I think you could almost rename this flavour- Cinnamon Spiced Apple Pie. Again I ate it with Chobani 2% for a snack.

  • Cranberry, Choc & Nuts

I really liked this one- was it because it had chocolate? Possibly ;) It reminded me of something that I just can’t put my finger on- a slice? Fruit loaf? What I do know is that the cranberries are a very nice addition to this bar. The chocolate wasn’t half bad either. The portion of chocolate was on the bottom half and was only thin but still had an (great) impact on the flavour. I had this flavour in a creation with Chobani plain 0%, 1/2 banana sliced, 1/2 apple, strawberries, wholegrain oats and some trim milk to get it all moving. Definitely my favourite of the lot.

  • Peach Perfection

This bar was my second favourite..and that may be because of the thin layer of white chocolate on the bottom half of the bar..maybe. Or possibly because of the natural sweetness of the peach. This was also eaten in a creation, that went un-photographed. Delicious!

(Source)

Fit Balls

  • Butterscotch Bliss

I didn’t try these but they were tried by my bf and his coworkers- tough crowd. Everyone really enjoyed the balls. One person noticed they had soy protein in them, but didn’t mind that at all- he just felt the need to point it out. The bf thought the butterscotch flavour was great.

  • Choc Mint Chip

These were tried by the same crowd of people and weren’t welcomed as well. No one was a big choc chip mint fan so it wasn’t there thing. Now that doesn’t mean the flavour was crappy or the product was lacking. I’m sure you could give them a full fat tub of choc mint ice-cream and they’d feel the same way. I refused to eat this because chocolate should never be poisoned with mint. My mum actually loved these- she said: great texture, lovin’ the addition of the mint pieces and really good taste. Although she did think that they were a bit calorie dense, but then again my mum is very uneducated in that aspect…so let’s not even get into that.

Designer Cookies

  • Trail Mix Cookie + Protein & Chia

I enjoyed this cookie in a creation also. Although I did try a bit before (as I did with the others) adding it in. I felt like I could taste something in these- whether that be the soy protein or not. I really loved the trail mix flavour throughout the cookie and it made a perfect addition to my after dinner creation.

  • Choc Chip Cookie + Protein & Chia

The bf had this and while he said it was no ‘gourmet’ (pfft food snob) chocolate chip cookie, he did like it and said he’d definitely eat a few of these with coffee or as a snack. It also managed to fill him up for ages- to which he missed dinner and had Doritos instead (he will never learn!).

Now, that is my unbiased and truth be told review of the products. The big question- would I buy any again? Honestly, I would buy the Wanted Bars, specifically the Peach Perfection or Choc, Cranberry & Nuts! And here’s why:

  • Perfect snack size
  • Low in energy
  • Delicious
  • Nutritionally balanced
  • No artificial stuff- flavours, sweeteners or colours
  • All Natural ingredients- and that the ingredients list is smaller than others and I know what each thing is!
  • Love the addition of chia seeds
  • Fantastic protein-not an empty snack that leaves you hungry 2 seconds later (muesli I’m looking at you)
  • Good sources of fibre
  • Relatively low sugar- less than a 7th of the bar is made of sugar (comparatively very good [other muesli bars])

All of Slim Secret’s products have the perks of balanced nutrition, good fibre, high protein, low calories (in comparison) and a great taste!

I would like to say a big thank you to the Slim Secret’s company for opening my eyes to their great products. Otherwise- I hate to admit- I would have remained snobby to these products and definitely missed out. In particular, I really enjoyed eating my favourite 2 bars with my creations!

Now all Slim Secrets has to do is introduce a raw bar with all the same perks- and sign me up as the first taste tester!

For more information head over to the Slim Secrets website or check them out on Facebook.

Have you ever tried any of the Slim Secrets range? Would you?

**I was provided the products at no charge, and was not paid for this review. However this did not [and will never] impact my thoughts and what I write. As always all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**