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News Update // September 15

Hello everyone!

Instead of hassling all of you with emails (which are so 1995), we have decided to create a monthly blogpost where we talk about our events, news, recipes, products, tips, fans and much more… This way you can view if you so please, and no fingers will be strained in the process of having to delete from your inbox! Win/Win really! ūüėÄ

EVENT // 17.08.15 // CLOCK TO ROCK CHEQUE PRESENTATION:

When we were approached by the fellow cyclists who were taking on the challenge to cycle from Big Ben to Gibraltar, we were more than happy to provide them with sponsorship in the form of our treats. Who would be crazy enough to take this challenge? Not us, thats for sure!

We gave them a selection of treats to set them on their way which helped them in the first leg of their journey… they however, mentioned that the rest of the time they kept guzzling down Coke’s to help keep their sugar levels up and keep them awake!

In this picture below they had just arrived into Gibraltar; faces of utter happiness.

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Here we are at the cheque presentation held at La Parrilla Restaurant with a Giant Chocolate cake donation because extra cake never goes a miss.

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In total they raised £7, 804 which was donated to the Cancer Relief Centre.

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WELL DONE BOYS!

 

EVENT // 21.09.15 // SHORJI LOCATION STORE OPENING:

We joined our little buddy Shorji down at her brand new store as she held a week-long opening, we donated a Giant Malt to a lucky winner and came along on the last day armed with tasty treats for her visitors.

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The creator of Shorji, Christel Mifsud, hand makes each of her creations after having designed all the patterns from scratch herself. She prides herself in bringing the best quality of sportswear, the best materials and of course all catered for with a big smile. We own 2 shorji creations and they are worth every last penny, not only does she create perfectly fitting sportswear, her customer care is second to none and is always happy to adjust each item to your comfort.
Shorji 2

To get your hands on some Shorji creations visit her at her store situated on 17A Cornwalls Lane or check out her website/ FB Page.

 

RECIPE HIGHLIGHT OF THE MONTH //

We have been creating lots of wonderful recipes across our site, Bulkpowders and GymVersus however we decided to highlight our latest creation of Cinnamon & Almond Cookies. Why? Because they are awesome (DUH) but also because they use an ingredient called Vitafiber. This is a high fiber sugar/ flour replacement alternative and much like in cookies, you can use in lots of wonderful recipes!

Cinnamon Almond Cookies

We buy our Vitafiber from Bulkpowders, however we have a few in stock in our online Shop for anyone based in Gibraltar who may be interested.

PRODUCT OF THE MONTH //

We decided to highlight this product after a recent bout with tummy issues led us to try these out. The doctors claimed it was IBS but without an accurate diagnosis, the need to heal the stomach issues was growing. Even scaling back our meals to its simplest and closely monitoring all foods ingested, the problem was still there, and the nudging pain still constant.¬†So, after reading up on friendly gut bacteria we decided to try these out (which happened to be on the penny sale at Holland & Barrett at the time… yay us).

Acidophilus

Just a week after consuming them and the tummy had settled and the pain was beginning to decrease.

Research in recent decades has confirmed that supplementing with acidophilus can help our digestion and also treats diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), leaky gut syndrome and reduces lactose intolerance and increases our absorption of calcium, B vitamins and can even improve appetite*

Did you know that Fage Total Yoghurts contain the very same friendly bacteria that will help your gut stay in a happy place.

*Sourced from Probiotics.org. Read more here.

DIET HACK OF THE MONTH //

Salads are awesome. No combination is ever wrong, you can tailor it to suit your taste and add all your favourite things. It’s¬†basically a giant savoury flexbowl of gains.¬†

Our latest favourite salad combo involves popped potatoes as crunchy ‘croutons.’ (Promise its tasty) Not sure about you guys but, we love a bit of crunch when eating a salad. Unfortunately, most store bought croutons are quite calorific and add extra (unnecessary) calories so this is our quick fix for those who don’t have time to maybe make croutons from scratch themselves.

DietHack-Croutons

Grab your favourite bag of popped potato chips, in this case we have used some Morrisons Nume Paprika flavour (which are currently our favourite) and crumble them over your prepped salad. Garnish as you please and enjoy! You can choose to use half the bag or all of it.

If you want a higher protein alternative, Novo Chargrill Chicken Protein Bites available at GibProtein are also really tasty and go perfectly with a healthified Caesar-style salad.

 

CAKEY CREATION OF THE MONTH //

Our most popular cake to date is no doubt our Vegan Snickers Cake. Layers of cocoa sponge using an egg-less blend of flours and almond milk. Frosted with a raw caramel layer, topped with cocoa ganache, low-fat peanut butter sauce and homemade Snickers Bars. A sight (and taste) to behold!

Snickers Cake

To pre-order a cake, check our calendar to check availability then email us or FB msg us!

FAN PICS OF THE MONTH //

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Special thank you to all those amazing customers who keep buying our products, who praise us and support us in everything that we do.

We love seeing your pictures so remember to share them with us via our social media platforms ūüôā

 

Have a healthy, happy day everyone.

With love

The Muscle Baker

<3

BCAA’s, what are they and do you need them?

Very often I get asked questions related to supplements, in this case it was… ‘What are BCAA’s?’¬†

Admittedly, it caught us by surprise and although I knew the answer I didn’t really know how to explain myself, so, for a more thorough answer, we sought the advice of GYMversus creator and online coaching genius, Thomas Hartnett.

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What are BCAAs?
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein of which, nine are considered essential. Essential amino acids cannot be manufactured within our bodies and as such, must come from food.

Of the essential amino acids, three account for as much as 33% of our muscle tissue ‚Äď leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They can be found in many whole food protein sources, such as eggs, meat/poultry, nuts and legumes, whilst also as a supplement in either powder or table form.

What is their role?
BCAA’s have been found to increase immune system support, protect against muscle atrophy, increase absorption of protein, speed up recovery during training and decrease mental fatigue. A longer-term deficiency in any one of these three will attribute to muscle loss and unlike other amino acids, BCAA’s are metabolised within muscle tissue and not the liver.

So how does the above translate? The acute stress of training ‚Äď increased cortisol and muscle breakdown ‚Äď can be effectively combatted with the use of BCAAs. Further to that, they will help drive muscle repair, reducing DOMS and giving us the opportunity to train more frequently ‚Äď speeding up your progress toward goal attainment.

Are BCAAs important?
BCAA’s can help prevent protein breakdown and muscle loss, which is significantly more important to those who are in pre-contest diets. During these times of low caloric intake, the use of BCAAs is strongly recommended because there is a greater risk of muscle loss due to a decrease in the rate of protein synthesis and an increase of proteolysis, which is the hydrolytic breakdown of proteins into simpler, soluble substances such as peptides and amino acids, as occurs during digestion.

When to take BCAAs?

BCAAs are free-form and competition for uptake in your G.I. tract can inhibit their effectiveness and digestion if taken with other foods or on a full stomach. So we recommend you take around or during your workout (such as with pre-workout drinks). If you are training fasted in the morning, they can be a great addition to protecting muscle breakdown from low glycogen during a low-carb phase of competition prep.

How much do I need to take?
Take one serving as recommended by the supplement guidelines for the product you are using

Who can take BCAAs?
BCAA’s are suitable for everyone including Vegans. In fact BCAAs are an excellent form of amino acids for those with a Vegan diet struggle to source complete proteins from food or Vegan proteins.

What should I look out for when buying?

  • Ratio of Leucine (e.g. 2:1:1)
  • Flavour
  • Added Ingredients
  • Reliable Brands

Recommended Products:

Bulkpowders BCAAs – Cola Flavour

Scivation Xtend

Gaspari Aminolast

 

Top BCAA recipes:

BCAA SLUSHIE by The Beltsander

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Most undedicated swoldiers grab a few beers when having a barbecue but if you want to save your gains, make a BCAA Slushie instead.

BCAA GUMMIES by The Muscle Baker

BCAA Cola Gummies

Guilt-Free Cola sweeties which are good for you? Move over Haribo, WE GOT THIS!

BCAA Squares by If The Sneaker Fits

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Easy Gello Squares as shown to us by If The Sneaker Fits, simple and easy recipe. No mind blowing kitchen skills required!

RASPBERRY LEMON MOJITO by The Muscle Baker

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Bring Club Tropicana to your very own home with this delicious Vegan Friendly (alcohol-free) Mojito!

 

 

Special thanks to Thomas Hartnett (@shakeofdoom).

For more info on tailored online coaching packages and e-books, visit gymversus.com

 

Any question we missed out? Comment below and we’ll be happy to answer.

Lots of love,

The Muscle Baker <3

 

References:
– Bodybuilding.com
– Breakingmuscle.com
– Gymversus.com
– enkiVillage.com

FREEZE! Top 8 Recipes to help you BEAT THE MELTDOWN!

The temperatures are soaring, doing anything has you resembling a wet dog and you are actually looking forward to getting to the gym today, for no other reason¬†than there is air conditioning there… We feel ya!

But, there is something that can help… These refreshing selection of recipes we have created will help take you from wet dog to cooled down kitty cat IN NO TIME!

Have a go…

PEANUT BUTTER BANANA ICE-CREAM //

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Frozen bananas + peanut butter + whey = DELICIOUSNESS!

Recipe here //

COCO PRO ICE POPS //

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CocoPro High Protein Coconut Water in Pineapple flavour makes for the perfect protein ice-pops!

Recipe here //

RASPBERRY FLUFF ICE-CREAM //

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Who knew frozen raspberries and whey would make such a delicious treat! Make fluff or ice-cream with the very same recipe!

Recipe here //

GREEN MACA SMOOTHIE //

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Add some ice to this nutritious refreshment for a light, low-fat, vegan-friendly summer drink!

Recipe here //

PROTEIN JELLIES //

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Jelly is great no matter the occasion! Try this one for a supped up protein version!

Recipe here //

TOP TIP // WE LOVE ADDING LOADS OF ICE TO OUR COLA BCAA’S FOR A QUICK (EASY) REFRESHMENT! TRY IT WITH YOUR FAVOURITE FLAVOURS!

 

OATMEAL COOKIE WHEYHEY SANDWICH //

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This is the most decadent of them all! No baking required, you will however need some decent amount of will power to avoid eating more than one!

Recipe here //

BLUEBERRY LEMON ICE POPS //

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This combination of flavours is truly sublime and so damn refreshing! Perfect to consume pre AND post freezing! YUM!

Recipe here //

RAZZLE DAZZLE SMOOTHIE //

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Want something a bit easier to make? Add these ingredients to your blender and PERFECTO! Add ice to help with cooling down!

Recipe here //

 

MOST IMPORTANTLY…

Keep your skin safe, wear sunscreen, keep hydrated, use a portable battery operated fan if need be. (They are cool promise) or find your nearest pond or fountain and bathe yourself silly.

Our buddies at¬†BULK POWDERS‚ĄĘ have some sound advice on how to survive a heatwave if you need it…

 

Otherwise, enjoy! Summer’s only come round once a year! ūüėõ

 

Lots of love,

The Muscle Baker <3

Why Nutritional Yeast is so (fricking) awesome!

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We cannot really remember the time when Nutritional Yeast didn’t form part of our pantry, or do we want to! All we DO remember is being recommended it by a foodie friend who swore by it, and that was it… the beginning of a beautiful love affair with Nutritional Yeast. *insert love hearts here*

The name does not really help sell it, most people make the automatic connection to mainstream yeast, which is used in bread and beer ie the foods most people avoid when eating ‘healthy’. And I loosely say the term ‘healthy’ ( but, thats a post for another day).

Anyhow, we can confirm that this is NOT that same yeast, just its long lost distant cousing (at best) and this is a proclamation as to why you need it in your life. ASAP.

How is it made?
Nutritional yeast is produced by culturing a yeast in a nutrient medium for several days. The primary ingredient in the growth medium is glucose, often from either sugarcane or beet molasses. When the yeast is ready, it is killed (deactivated) with heat and then harvested, washed, dried and packaged.^

What does it look like?
We prefer using Nutritional Yeast Flakes, but it also comes in a powder form and is a yellowy colour, with a light ‘nutty and ‘cheesy’ smell to it.

Nutritional Yeast Flakes

What does it taste like?
The taste is hard to describe, mainly because you won’t believe it tastes cheesy without it being ACTUAL¬†cheese. But it does, it gives a rich flavour to a lot of dishes and is used a lot in Vegan cooking. The savoury taste of nutritional yeast comes from glutamic acid, an amino acid that is formed during the drying process. Glutamic acid is a naturally occurring amino acid found in many fruits and vegetables and is not the same as the commercial additive monosodium glutamate. We LOVE it sprinkled in soup, to make Kale chips AND to make Cheesy Nachos ofc.

What are the benefits?
On average, two tablespoons provides 60 calories with 5 g of carbohydrates (of which 4 g is fiber).

A serving also provides 9 g of protein and is actually a complete protein, providing all nine amino acids the human body cannot produce. That’s more than in 1 cup of whole milk (8g), a large egg (6g), or one oz. of beef (7g).

Nutritional yeast is a source of B vitamins, including thiamine, folate, B-6 and niacin. Just 1/2 tablespoon of some brands will provide you with a day’s worth of B vitamins, while other brands offer between 30 and 100 percent of the B vitamins.

^ Sourced from Wikipedia.

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STILL NOT CONVINCED?
Check these recipes out, if the above didnt sway you, no doubt these will!

 

CHEESY KALE CRISPS //

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If you’re a sucker for crisps, then look no further. In no less than 3 ingredients, these crunchy Kale crisps alternative¬†will conquer them cravings!

 

VEGAN CHEESY NACHOS //

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Doritos better move over, theres competition in town.

 

PROTEIN FLAT ROLLS //

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Struggle to find Gluten-Free breads which taste good? Try these! Added nutritional yeast for extra (awesome) flavour!

VEGAN CHEESY SAUCE //

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Although we dipped our chicken skewers in it, the sauce is Vegan friendly, wahey! Go check out for yourself.

 

Hope you enjoyed this article and selection of recipes, we hope to be doing more like this in future.

 

If there is anything you’d like to see us talk about, just comment below, we are happy to hear from you!

 

Lots of love,

The Muscle Baker <3