Adventures in Coffee… Costa Sticky Toffee Latte

Christmas coffee’s this year are not living up to my expectations at all.

They are all TOO SWEET!

I can’t believe I’m saying it, but I have lost my sweet tooth, when it comes to coffee. I now prefer really nice black coffee, or maybe with a dash of milk. A latte now feels like a meal to me, rather than a drink. It’s just too much and takes away from the actual coffee.

I have given another new one a go recently and that was the Costa Sticky Toffee Latte. This was is sweet, but it has a burnt toffee flavour, which is nice (for a little be). I should have order the smaller size, but as I was waiting around for my car to be cleaned I thought I better lengthen my stay.

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I also asked for no cream, but they were so busy and disorganised I couldn’t be bothered to ask for to be remade. Cream is a bit no-no for me – unless it’s proper cream, which only gets served at high-end hotels nowadays.

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Overall this wasn’t too bad, but still overly sweet for me. I will probably treat myself to an eggnog latte from a another chain at some point before christmas, but I feel I may be disappointed this year, which makes me sad.

However I did just find a local coffee roaster and bought their holiday blend, which is rather nice – that coffee adventure to follow soon :)

ProBikeKit Products

I’ve been extremely lucky in the last couple of months with a couple of website getting in touch to collaborate  on product reviews. This is great for me as I am currently researching fuelling and nutrition for my 70.3 triathlon next year. This has given me a chance to try products I might not have tried otherwise and see if I like them and if they work while I’m out on the bike or running around town, without the pressure and needing something urgently.

The folks over at ProBikeKit let me pick two products off their website to try for free (all I had to pay was £1.99 postage) and I chose:

PowerBar Energizer Wafer

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 SIS energy gels

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As I chose recovery products for previous reviews I thought I would try energy products this time. I need to work on fuelling with solid food on the bike and also make sure I have energy in me for the run, so that is why I chose these. I also know that once I am exhausted I struggle to eat anything, so need to find a few different products to have on me just in case I can’t force something on myself.

So over the next couple of weeks before christmas I will be trying these out and will let you know how I get on and do a comparison between the two products with regards to how they impacted my energy while training.

MyProtein Impact Diet Whey Protein Powder

The folks over at MyProtein were kind enough to send me over some free products to review and I jumped at the chance to try a new flavour of protein powder – Latte!!

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I started out by trying the protein powder with milk and water, and then a combination of both. For me the milk was the nicest, but the combination of adding a bit of water was a good compromise. It was creamy with the milk, whereas it was too watery without.

I liked the flavour. It could do with a bit more coffee coming through, but otherwise as a sweet iced latte type drink the flavour worked really well. I added a shot of espresso a couple of times when I was having for breakfast and that brought the flavour out really well (just make sure you shake it in well). I found it a little sweet for straight after exercise, but once I had cooled down and recovered a bit, it was much better and my body enjoyed it.

The only downside I have found with this protein powder is that I cannot seem to get it to mix fully. I find it quite a grainy texture in the drink and cannot seem to get it smooth. I tried different types of shaker bottles and also my milk frother whisk to see if any worked, but I think it just meant to be grainy. I did find leaving it to dissolve for a good 5 minutes helped, but it was still a texture I can’t get fully behind. I think the only thing I didn’t try was adding to a smoothie where that texture is expected. For me though I like smooth protein powders.

I received the 1.45kg pouch, which would normally cost £19.49. I think that is good value. I double the amount of servings I get out of the bag as find the double scoop suggestion is too much for me, so I half it for my purposes.

Overall I really liked the flavour and will continue to use the pouch I have to see if I can find the best way for me to get the drink I want at a texture I like. At the moment I would not buy just to drink as a protein shake, purely down to the texture, but I am hopeful I can find a smoothie recipe after christmas that I love – I’ll keep you updated!

The folks over at MyProtein were also kind enough to send me a link to their discount pages, so head over there and see what you can find! http://www.myprotein.com/voucher-codes.list

Overwhelmed by my Goal

My goal next year is to complete a 70.3 mile triathlon.

I’m currently freaking out quietly!

This is because I haven’t broken it down. I’m thinking about the whole thing, rather than breaking down into manageable chunks. It’s currently too big and not SMART at all.

However for some reason I get overwhelmed whenever I start thinking about it and stop myself from planning it. The furs test I’ve got is looking at how many weeks I have and setting the date to start official full on training in May.

I feel like my own worst enemy right now. I feel like I wasted the last 4 weeks. However I know I was ill and then had all my swimming galas. It’s really this last week I feel I could have got my act together.

But all I can think about is wanting a proper break. I think I’m suffering from a bit of seasonal affective disorder this year. I did last year too, but forced myself through it by being active. I can’t seem to get myself into to gear like last year.

I also know I am comparing myself to other people and what they are doing training wise – the downside of Strava!

So I need to plan to get my plan together. I know where I want to get to for March next year, so I just need to work towards it bit by bit.

Right now that means getting my feet out the door – simple.

Then I can build upon each week. Session by session. I want to enjoy the process. I don’t want it to feel like a chore. If it does I will not want to achieve my goal.

Does anyone else get like this once they have set a goal for themselves?

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MyProtein Max Virtue Bars

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The folks over at MyProtein.com were kind enough to send me over some products to test and review. I introduced the two products a few weeks ago, then go ill and held off trying them properly until I was better. Firstly I though I would share my thoughts on the bars – Max Virtue Bars in Maple and Pecan flavour.

I was super impressed by these bars. At only 95 calories each I was expecting a cardboard tasting bar with little appeal, but that is not what arrived!

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Instead I received a  small, but well proportioned bar for a snack. I loved the look of it as I unwrapped it. It looked like real ingredients, rather than a mash of a mixture of lots of different things. It didn’t feel like it was being bulked out. It looked very appealing to my sweet tooth. I chose the maple and peacon flavour, but there are two other flavours available (Double Chocolate and Fruit Burst). I really enjoyed the flavour. It is on the sweet side, but at the same time nutty enough to not be overpowering. I love maple flavours so the coating on the bottom of the bar was a perfect touch to break up the flavour and the texture. It added a smoothness to the bar that you would not had otherwise.

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I found the best time for me to enjoy these bars were for a mid-afternoon snack at work. I could make a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy this treat while other people had biscuits or cake. I tried them in the evening, but I felt they were a bit sweet for the time when I am trying to unwind. I found including them in my routine in the afternoon meant I was less likely to chose the cake (once I did), but compared to not using them and having no alternative snack option it was a success. I have lost 2lbs in the couple of weeks I started having them as a snack too – bonus! (Side note these work out at 3 propoints each on WW)

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I received these free, but at £8.99 for a box of 12 I would definitely buy them. As of late last week they were on sale for half price, which is a bargain, and something I would look out for when wanting to stock up. Big thanks to MyProtein for allowing me to try these, I will be stocking up shortly!

I am taking a bit longer to review the protein powder I received as want to try it at different times and after different activities, so will post about that next week.

If you would to try the guys have given me a discount link to share :)  http://www.myprotein.com/voucher-codes.list

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