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Sweat for Summer: Tips for getting your mind and body ready

When we talk about getting your mind and body ready for summer, it’s easy to start freaking out about how we are going to look on the beach, because this is what we have been conditioned to do. But we say, who cares how you look, it’s about how you FEEL. So, we’ve put together 10 of our very best tips for getting your mind and body feeling as amazing as that holiday sun should do.

  1. Sweat it out

It’s no secret that working cardio into your workout routine is great for burning fat and keeping your heart and lungs working well, but it’s proven that it’s exactly this form of exercise that encourages the release of the wonder-hormone; endorphins. Now you’ve probably heard us mention these before, but that’s because we just can’t get enough. Working up a sweat is usually a good sign you’re working your heart hard enough to release ‘em, so don’t shy away from it. Endorphins boost your confidence too, so you’ll soon forget any worries you had about donning a swimsuit on the beach!

  1. Outdoor workouts

Step outside! If you feel like you’re experiencing Groundhog Day every morning at the gym, it’s time to switch it up a little. There’s little better than watching the ever changing sights of the wonderful natural world around us. Spring is a time for new life, so why not get amongst it whilst you pump your body. Breathing in fresh air and soaking up some Vitamin D will boost your mood, whilst also reminding you of the sunny days you have to look forward to. There’s a whole host of outdoor workouts you can get involved with in a city near you, so there’s no excuse not to get outdoors!

  1. Make it fun

As we mentioned earlier, we know that feeling when you’re stuck in a workout rut and are super uninspired by your trusty treadmill. Step away from the machine and get creative! Whether it’s rollerdisco-ing, trampolining, bouldering or barre, we challenge you to think outside the box when it comes to getting your sweat on. You might even discover you’re a dab hand at badminton and show your pals who’s boss on your hols!

  1. Fit in your fitness

Taking the stairs can often be the last thing you want to do, but once you get in the habit of it, you’ll never consider the lift again. This tip’s an oldie but we think it’s one of the easiest ways to squeeze in getting fit into your everyday routine. You can feel that summer holiday fast approaching, but you’re worried about how you’re going to make time for the gym 5 days a week. Good news, you don’t have to! It’s easy to feel lazy or guilty on your ‘off days’ and in turn this can discourage you from your goal (whatever that may be). So keep up the stamina: take the stairs, get off the bus a few stops early, run to the gym, do a few reps of your shopping bags. However you fit it in we want to hear about it.

  1. New threads

Get yourself down to your nearest gym gear retailer and treat yourself to some new threads. We’re fans of Sweaty Betty’s super comfy leggings, but even a pack of new trainer socks can be the boost you need to inspire you to get moving. If you do turn to a spot of retail therapy, set aside an extra bit of time to really get to know your body and what works for you. The difference between feeling uncomfortable and feeling confident in your clothes is very often down to finding the right size and tailoring to suit you – and this goes for workout gear too!

  1. Sleep

Ever feel like everyone’s out to get you when you’re running on a bad night’s sleep? We feel ya. It’s natural to get grouchy when you haven’t had your 8 hours, and there’s a science to why. But did you know that the opposite is also true? Having a good night’s sleep can not only make you feel fresh but fearless too. So make sure you value your bedtime and enjoy some good quality sleep to get you feeling fighting fit and unstoppable in time for the summer months.

  1. Banish insecurities

We’re all about body positivity here at Profusion, and no matter where you are on your fitness journey, we believe the first step is to treat your body with the kindness it deserves. Dislike a particular part of your body? Cover up your arms on a boiling hot day? We think that making small steps every day to overcome these insecurities is the best way to embrace every inch of you. Start off small in the comfort of your own home. Stand in front of the mirror for 10 minutes and list 3 positives for every negative you think of. Step a little further out of your comfort zone each day and come summer, you’ll have forgotten what you were ever worried about.

  1. Self Care

This buzz phrase is buzzing for a reason, self care is a crucial part of loving the skin you’re in. However you like to treat yourself, taking time out of your day to look after yourself is a major part of accepting your body and feeling content with it. Self care can seep into all aspects of your life, but we think a great way to start is to organise a date with yourself – an hour or 2 a couple of times a week where you do things that make you happy. Whether that be having a bath, painting your nails, working through your favourite yoga routine or doing a salt scrub – find what works for you!

  1. Mirage motivation

You might feel like your summer holidays are just out of reach at the moment, but visualising what you’re going to do when you finally get there can be just the motivation you need to keep up with your workout routine. Don’t let that beach break be a distant mirage – keep a list of things you want to do on your holidays at hand as a daily reminder of what you have to look forward to. Pin up the list in your office, put a picture of your destination as your desktop background, and install a holiday countdown on your phone. All of these little teasers are healthier goals to work towards than a number on the scales.

  1. Don’t sweat it, it’s a marathon not a race

And lastly, you want to work up a sweat, but don’t sweat it if you don’t wake up tomorrow looking and feeling like a swimwear model. These things take time, and being hard on yourself is only going to make things feel like a chore. Slow and steady wins the race – you can do it!


Woman exercise workout in gym fitness breaking relax holding apple fruit after training sport with dumbbell and protein shake bottle healthy lifestyle bodybuilding.

Fitness Fuel and Midwinter Motivation

Picture this – the alarm clock goes off and it’s still pitch black outside, you’re wrapped up like a marshmallow, dreading making the treacherous commute. Hopping down the gym on days like this is often the last thing you want to do. We feel ya. So, how can we make these last gloomy February days a little bit more exciting to get us through to the spring? Here are our top tips to get you feeling like Mr Motivator.

Daylight alarm clocks:

As we venture closer to spring, our mornings are getting brighter earlier. But, if you’re trying to be top of the class and pack in your exercise routine before work, you may still beat the sun to rising. For days like these, we recommend a daylight alarm clock. Studies show that humans are naturally programmed to wake up when the sun rises. So if you’re a serial snoozer, this bit of kit may be for you. It mimics a natural sunrise to wake you up gradually, so you wake feeling more rested. No more being startled awake by that annoying song you’ve heard way too many times! And here’s a bonus tip – if you’re breaking the dawn with a workout, then chuck your workout gear on the radiator the night before so you wake up with toasty threads that’ll make leaving your bed that bit more inviting.

“There is no such thing as bad weather, there are just bad clothing choices,” Zanna Van Dijk

Water:

There’s no underestimating the power of water. We quite simply can’t live without it – but you knew that already! But what you might not know is that dehydration is one of the main causes of decreased energy levels. When you’re moving through the day like a snail, it can sometimes be as simple as downing a bottle of water to pick your energy levels back up. The best way to ensure you start the day with a boost is to drink a glass of water first thing. But, if you’d rather a hot mug of tea, try making a warm salt sole instead. Lots of your body’s natural salts are lost during exercise, so it’s a good idea to keep them topped up pre gym sesh. Follow the instructions here to make your own sole at home, and don’t forget to use our Himalayan Pink Salt to push the mineral content to the max!

Pair up:

There’s nothing like a good old gossip to raise your spirits. We think combining this with exercise is one of the best ways to have a great time while working out. There’s no reason why your workout routine has to be boring, and finding a stellar gym buddy can be the difference between making it down to the gym and not! Not only does it create dependency – someone to call you and kick you out of bed when you’re being lazy, but the time really does fly when you’re having fun! Grab a whole group of mates and work through some Yoga with Adriene in your living room, or sign up to your local gym’s spin class to embrace the power of strength in numbers.

Energising foods:

If being wrapped up in your duvet doesn’t already make you feel slug-like, then those carb heavy foods we all crave in the winter months are bound to make you feel a little sluggish! It might seem counter-intuitive to go against what our body seems to crave, but we often get mixed signals from our brain that make us think we want one thing, but in actual fact we really need another. Take water for example – studies show that many of us confuse being thirsty for being hungry. Take a look at this simple guide to help you figure out the differences. However, that’s not to say we shouldn’t be fending off hunger pangs too! But how about mixing it up a little and swapping sugary snacks for foods that release energy more slowly. Refined sugars spike your energy quickly, which may feel good in the short term, but can leave you feeling worse than where you started not long after. These are some foods that release their energy in a more controlled way, so you can stay feeling bouncy for longer: Cacao, dates, chia seeds, nut butter, quinoa… And, don’t forget to pack in those trusty foods that keep your immune system fighting back, because we all know how a pesky cold can get us down.

Endorphins:

It’s no myth that exercise puts you in a good mood. But, it’s not just the pleased-with-yourself buzz that works the magic. Endorphins are the body’s own little bit of magic. They’re a hormone that’s released when you exercise, and are responsible for making you feel like you can conquer anything when you leave the gym. So, no matter how much you dread getting your exercise routine back in gear after a lull, you know you’ll always be rewarded afterwards by your body’s natural high!

Weekends away:

Why not book a cheeky holiday to get you through the winter? When you feel like the cold days will never end; THAT’s when you need to hop on Skyscanner and book a cheap flight to anywhere with sun. But if recentering is more your thing than sunning yourself, check out Groupon for the latest deals on spa trips and detox retreats that’ll make the last days of winter fly by.

Tunes:

And last but not least, you’ve got to get your workout tunes on lock if you have any chance of feeling pumped to get training. We recommend hitting up Spotify’s workout playlists to transport yourself to a world of 80s aerobic video throwbacks and bangers that’ll get your heart pumping. Having something good playing in your headphones is the best way to feel great when you’re on a solo run, but we’ve also got to give an honourable mention to the good old Zumba class. Bring a mate, get moving and have a laugh and you won’t even realise you’ve been exercising! There’s a lot to be said for dancing in the kitchen too…


Vegan protein sources. Top view on a blue wooden background

Where Do You Get Your Protein? A Beginners Guide to Vegainz

“But where do you get your protein?” It’s the question that many vegans are all too familiar with, and the urban myth that vegan diets are lacking in protein is just about as old as the one that says we’re all long-haired hippies! Well, we have some tips to show you just how easy it can be to answer the haters, and maintain a protein-rich diet.

With #vegainz topping out at 127k tags on Instagram, and #veganprotein with a whopping 576k tags, we know we’re not the only ones to cotton on to the fact that it’s possible to gain muscle on a vegan diet. More and more fitness bloggers are sharing the benefits of a vegan lifestyle, and the many ways you can create exciting plant-based meals that are rich in protein too. Thoughts of warming bowls of veggie goodness is just the inspo we need to get down to the gym in the colder months.

So, here are our five top tips for gaining muscle on a vegan diet that’ll see you chanting “Vegainz!” from the rooftops.

Know your macros from your micros:
They’re not as scary as they sound. Put simply, macros (macronutrients) are the big food groups we all learnt about in primary school – Carbohydrates, fat, fibre, etc. So that means that micronutrients are the small food groups – vitamins and minerals.

We all know that protein (a macro) is where it’s at when it comes to gaining muscle fast, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect the other big food groups. While it’s important to up your protein intake when increasing your level of activity, it’s also important to remember that carbs and good fats are also vital players in building a healthy, balanced diet and providing all-round nutrition. And don’t forget those micronutrients either! In these grey winter months, we’re all lacking in vitamin D which can make our energy levels take a plummet. So finding foods rich in this dynamite vitamin can give you the kick you need to get down to the gym!

That extra rep:
Did you know it can be as simple as just adding one extra rep per set to your lifting routine to get your muscles into gear? While you’re working out, muscle fibres are damaged, and proteins are what help these fibres rebuild to create bigger and stronger muscle fibres. This fibre breakage is what you get when you’re at your very physical limit – the muscle twinges we feel when we’re on our very last rep. Pushing ourselves to this limit where we can’t lift anymore is where the muscle magic happens. But remember to know your limits – don’t push yourself too far, and make sure you rest up between workouts!

Powerful plant-based proteins:
Knowing which foods are high in protein is rule 1 of the vegainz life! Adding a few of these powerful plant-based foods will give your meals the boost they need to turn from humble to hearty:
Chickpeas, tempeh, falafel, hummus, kidney beans, legumes, soy milk, soy yoghurt, nuts, seeds, nut butters, lentils, nut milks.
These are the sorts of foods that you want to be eating pre and post-workout to ensure your hungry muscles are getting what they want!

Profusion Organic Hemp Peanut Butter

Profusion Organic Protein Bread

Profusion Organic Chickpea Fusilli

Profusion Organic Chickpea Cous Cous

Staying full:
There’s an ongoing argument in the nutrition world about whether it’s better to have 3 larger meals or to eat little and often. Whilst it’s never a good idea to stuff yourself sporadically, there is actually little evidence that eating 6 small meals a day has much benefit either. The key player in doing away with hunger pangs is making sure your protein levels are topped up. Protein is great at keeping you satiated, so boosting the protein content in your meals is your best bet when it comes to staying fuller for longer. This will help you from snacking on foods that do little to satisfy your cravings.

Get inspired:
Chicken breasts, plain rice and boiled eggs, OR a colourful goodness bowl packed full of fresh plant-based protein? We know what we’d rather have after a session in the gym… While many people think that being vegan can be restrictive to what you can and can’t eat, we actually think that it makes us think outside the box! It’s easy to get stuck in a food rut when you’re focusing on your workout routines too, but that’s why we’ve made things easier for you. We’ve got an extensive range of vegan recipes on our website, so you don’t even have to think about what to have for dinner tonight. Take a look at some of our favourites below, and look out for starring roles from some of our protein-rich products.

Butternut Squash Pasta with Bacon Bits

Protein Packed Hemp Butter Open Sandwich

Vegan Mac and Cheeze

Vegan Protein French Toast


Profusion_Kombucha_BLOG

Is Kombucha wellness in a bottle?

How functional drinks, have changed the mindset of millennials in the search for healthier fizzy alternatives

 

With 2018 being the year of all things gut friendly, the growth in popularity of the once obscure fermented tea drink is now quite the norm with over a million posts tagging #kombucha on Instagram and people at home even getting in on the action by brewing their own from scratch! The increasing popularity of kombucha reflects the overall trend towards health and wellness and the importance of understanding how to keep a healthy gut and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, particularly among millennials.

 

But why is kombucha so popular? Firstly, it’s associated with an array of health benefits, such as improving gut health, immune boosting properties, detoxification and promoting joint health. Not only is kombucha considered pretty healthy, affirming its status as a functional drink, it’s also readily available in an endless list of flavour combinations. From ginger, turmeric and lemon to maca, coconut and pineapple, there’s a flavour to suit all kinds of taste buds. Kombucha also has a pleasant fizziness, a natural result of the fermentation process, making it a great alternative to conventional fizzy drinks that people love so much, but with less of the sugar and more of the healthy bacteria! So surely, it’s no wonder more and more people are gravitating towards this ‘elixir of life’ as Japanese Samurai warriors once named it!

 

If you haven’t tried Kombucha before and want to try it, luckily, it’s not too hard to come by, thanks to the growing thirst for healthier fizzy drinks. Kombucha can be found in most health food shops around the UK, including Wholefoods and Planet Organic, and if you haven’t already noticed, it’s also starting to appear on the shelves at some of the major supermarkets (you can find the Profusion range on Ocado!) As well as in major supermarkets, you might also spot kombucha making an appearance in many cafes and restaurants too… There’s no denying it, this probiotic powerhouse is more desirable than ever, and we think it’s here to stay!



Reasons Why You Should be Drinking Kombucha Post-workout

Drinking Kombucha is fast becoming known as one of the best things you can do for your health, and if you’re into health food then you’ve probably heard all about the amazing health benefits fermented foods can provide you with. But maybe you didn’t know, that as well as being packed with nutritional benefits, Kombucha is a great post-workout drink too!

At Profusion we’re all about getting as many nutrient dense ingredients into your daily diet as possible, which Is why we’ve packed all of our kombucha’s with additional superfoods. From the anti-inflammatory turmeric to the antioxidant packed baobab as well as maca and blueberry. All of which are the perfect addition to your post-workout refuel! Let us tell you why…

 

  • The properties in Kombucha can help heal, repair and prevent joint damage. By supporting joint collagen, it can prevent arthritic pain after working out, helping you to recover faster. By combining hydration and health promoting nutrients Kombucha is a healthier alternative to the artificial sports drinks that are out there!

 

  • In addition to small amounts of caffeine, Kombucha contains energising B vitamins and Iron. The iron may increase oxygen flow around the body, helping you refuel after your workout and stay energised!

 

  • Kombucha contains numerous amounts of antioxidants, enough to help combat free-radicals that can be produced during exercise. Consuming Kombucha and foods rich in antioxidants like blueberries, and you’re onto a winner. (Psst. we’ve combined both in our Profusion Blueberry Pro+ Kombucha!)

 

  • By helping increase diversity of gut bacteria, drinking Kombucha may in turn help with your immune system, detoxification, digestion & nutrient absorption and energy. Perfect for when your body needs to recover after a tough workout!

 

  • We all know about the post workout endorphins, but we also know how tired a workout can make you, especially if you’ve had a tough session! By drinking our enhanced Kombucha with turmeric, lemon & ginger, the anti-inflammatory and immune boosting properties of turmeric can help rid that post workout fatigue and give you that much needed boost of energy to keep you going throughout the day.

 

  • It’s a great alternative to sugary fizzy drinks with it being both low in calories and sugar – so it’s definitely the healthier choice! Quench your thirst with our Baobab, Mint & Pomegranate Kombucha after your workout to increase your alertness and avoid the sugar crash and empty calories!

 

  • If weight loss is your goal, drinking kombucha, especially when made from green tea (all Profusion Kombucha is made from the finest organic sencha green tea), may help stimulate your metabolism throughout the day. Combine this with eating a healthy diet made up of whole foods, and you may see it benefit your whole body.

 


Sport and fitness concept on bleached wooden planks background

7 tips to stay active in winter

Finding the motivation to exercise is hard at the best of times, when the sun is shining and the skies are blue. But as winter arrives, with its dark mornings, short days and cold, wet nights it’s almost impossible to drag ourselves out of our warm, comfy beds to move our bodies. But, of course, we all know it’s especially important to keep active during the colder months, to keep our immune systems healthy, our bodies strong and our minds calm. In doing so, we will find it easier to ward off colds, boost our mood and feel our best until the sun starts to shine again.

Here are our top tips for finding the motivation to move this winter:

Stay indoors

Seems a little counterproductive, doesn’t it? Not if you find yourself a little area in your house/ flat where you can work out without having to leave the house. All you need is a small space on your floor and a workout to follow. You can try YouTube for HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) or yoga videos, a fitness DVD or a workout app. The possibilities are endless. You could even just put on some old favourite tunes and have a little dance in your room… no one’s watching! You can find equipment such as yoga mats, small weights, skipping ropes and resistance bands for very good prices online. Otherwise just use your body weight (and maybe a few cans of baked beans!).

Try something new

It is so easy to get stuck in a rut. Going to the gym and doing the same thing every time is not only going to make you completely bored but it might mean that you plateau in terms of progress as your body gets used to the same routine. If you want to see changes you need to challenge yourself… who else remembers the saying ‘no pain no gain’?! If you are a member of a gym, investigate the range of classes on offer and challenge yourself to try a new one each week. Classes such as boxing, spinning and HIIT can seem daunting but you might discover a new passion and even meet new people who can then become motivational gym buddies. If you prefer to stay in the gym, try some of the machines that you usually ignore. It’s good to mix up steady cardio with weight training to burn fat and tone up. Girls, do not be scared that using these machines will suddenly make you ‘bulky’. They won’t!

For those who are not a member of a gym at all, there are still endless options. If you usually run, try power walking or cycling. You might find you can go for longer and appreciate your surroundings a little more.

Buy new gear

It might sound silly, but treating yourself to some new leggings or a fancy water bottle might spur you on! If you tend to work out in old gym kit that’s lost its stretch and now more closely resembles pyjamas, there’s no surprise that you’d rather hide inside. You also need to think more carefully about what you are wearing to work out if you will be outside. Layers, waterproofs, hats and gloves are all essential.

In fact, one piece of kit that is really worth investing in and updating is running shoes. Running in unsuitable trainers can be damaging to your body. Running is a high impact activity and you need the correct support for your feet and knees. Go to a running shop, where they will ask you to run on a treadmill for a few minutes (this isn’t as embarrassing as it sounds) so that they can watch how you run and therefore determine the type of shoe best suited to you. Remember to ask them about water resistant shoes if you will be running in the wet or in snow. And when you find the right pair it will make all the difference to your workout. You’ll be bounding out the door in no time.

Wrap up and walk

People underestimate the effectiveness of a good walk. Not only is it a great workout but it can be incredibly relaxing and a good way to clear your head. I know it’s chilly and might seem more welcoming to stay on the sofa, but layer up, grab a warm cup of tea to go and head to your nearest park. Going with a friend or your dog is a sure fire way to have fun but if you find yourself walking solo, do not despair. It’s nice to pay attention to nature around you but if you find yourself getting a bit bored, try listening to a podcast or audiobook. Before you know it you’ll have been walking for 45 minutes and be half way through a great book!

Two words…hot yoga

Yes, heading out into the cold to go jogging might not be the most tempting idea, but yoga in a heated room? That we can get on board with. Not only is it great for stretching those muscles and improving your posture but you will leave feeling calm, relaxed and probably ready for a well-deserved long sleep as some of the more intense classes can really take it out of you!

Be adventurous

If you live near the mountains or an ice rink, have a go at some wintery sports. Skiing, snowboarding and ice skating are all great at getting the heartrate up. Failing that, head to your nearest park and just have a play around in the snow. Have a snowball fight, make a few snow angels, basically pretend you’re 8 again. Doesn’t get much more fun than that does it?

Remember to rest

While staying active is important, we cannot forget the importance of rest, especially during these gruelling cold months. Try to listen to your body. If you’re feeling exhausted don’t push yourself to go to the gym. Go home, relax and have some ‘me time’. By taking days off, which are vital for your body and to allow your muscles to recover after more strenuous workouts, you will feel more motivated the next day to get back to it and likely perform better rather than just going through the motions because you feel like you have to.