I thought it was time we had another sweet sin day… And these really are taking indulgent, fudgy chocolate brownies to the next level. Thank me later!
200g unsalted butter, plus a little extra for greasing
100g chocolate, 70% cocoa solids
100g chocolate, 50% cocoa solids
397g can carnation caramel
1 tsp flaky sea salt, plus a little extra for the top
200g golden caster sugar
4 medium eggs, at room temperature
130g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
1 – Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
2 – Grease then line a 23cm square traybake tin with baking parchment.
3 – Melt 200g unsalted butter in a medium pan, break in 100g chocolate (70% cocoa solids) and 100g chocolate (50% cocoa solids), then remove the pan from the heat and wait for the cubes to melt.
4 – In a small bowl, mix 175g Carnation caramel from a 397g can with 1 tsp sea salt – it will loosen up.
5 – Put the rest of the caramel in a large bowl with 200g golden caster sugar and 4 medium eggs, and beat with an electric hand mixer or balloon whisk until even. Whisk in the chocolate and butter.
6 – In another bowl, combine 130g plain flour, 50g cocoa powder and a good pinch of table salt, then sift this on top of the chocolate mix. Beat briefly until smooth.
7 – Pour half the brownie batter into the tin and level it with a spatula.
8 – Using a teaspoon, spoon half of the salted caramel on top of the batter layer in 5 thick, evenly spaced stripes.
9 – Spoon the rest of the brownie batter on top and smooth it out, trying not to disturb the caramel beneath. Top with the rest of the caramel in the same stripy fashion. Drag a skewer or tip of a knife through the caramel to make a feathered pattern on the top.
10 – Scatter with a little more sea salt, then bake for 25-30 mins or until risen all the way to the middle with a firm crust on top. When ready, the brownie will jiggle just a little when you shake the tin.
11 – Let it cool completely in the tin, then cut into squares.
I’ve been into training since I was young. After I left school I started working out from home; no equipment, just bodyweight exercises.
I loved the feeling after doing a workout and then I started noticing a gradual change in my physique which motivated me to do more.
I eventually decided to leave my job in a Spa and train to be a Personal Trainer. I started in my garage which my parents converted with just enough size for 1-2-1 Personal Training and that’s where I trained my first client from.
In 2017 I decided to set myself a new goal to see how far I could push myself and that’s when I signed up for my first body building competition.
I prepped and coached myself for 15 weeks along with some posing classes as well. On my first competition I didn’t place but the feeling of achievement was still overwhelming that I managed to step on stage. At my second competition I placed 1st and got an invitation to the British finals where I placed Top 10 Junior Bikini Tone in Britain.
After 2 years of body building competitions I wanted to see what else was out there and thats when I found Crossfit. It’s one of the toughest things I’ve done but that’s why I love it. Every time you hit a PB there is a huge sense of achievement and the Crossfit community makes it even more enjoyable. With a huge amount of support and encouragement you feel you can do anything, that’s why I love my job.
As a trainer I feel it’s my job to be there to motivate and help my clients achieve their goals and stay on track because I know from my own experience there is no better feeling.
Request an appointment with Hannah, fill in the contact form below:
Only 10% of people are successful at losing weight through diet alone.
Regular weight training increases your daily metabolism.
What you do now sets the tone for the rest of your life
Muscle mass diminishes at the rate of 0.2% – 2% a year after 40 and it all depends on how active you are
Everyone can reap the benefits of fitness, regardless of age, shape or size.
Parents who exercise regularly are good fitness models for their children; this encourages children to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Yet despite all that for 90% of us fitness is not something we’re keen on.
We all know we should do it in the same sense that smokers know they shouldn’t smoke but the very thought puts us off.
We make excuses, tell ourselves we haven’t got time or that it’s something we’ll get around to.
We think about how far we have to go to ‘get fit’ and that alone puts us off. It’s like sitting at the bottom of mount everest dwelling on how far it is to the top. It’s easier just to stay sitting and not bother.
And where is the compelling drive?
Especially when for a lot of us the idea of cardio is grinding out an hour on a treadmill or going to a clicky body pump class.
The fact of the matter is.. Getting started is going to suck a bit.
We’re going to be out of breath, sweaty, maybe even light headed and it’s going to feel like it’s never going to get any better and that’s where a lot of people stay.
Flip side of the coin… there are people who seem to do it effortlessly. Where it’s part of their daily routine and they never miss a session.. Maybe they’re just born that way.. Maybe they enjoy it and there is nothing between fit and unfit.
So why should we do it? And how are we going to get there?
1: It does get easier!
For a lot of people the reason their fitness is so bad is they just do not get started!
I explain to my clients all the time that gaining fitness happens really quickly compared to other goals…
If you want to lose fat or build muscle you have to wait for mass to physically be burned or gathered. That is going to take time! Nutrients either need to be taken from one place and expended or consumed and put to the right place in your body.
For fitness, everything you need is already there!
You have muscles for movement… Lungs to take in air.. A working stomach to take in energy.. And a heart to push it all around…
Your body just isn’t very use to using them at first. It can adapt very quickly.
In my experience the body reacts equal to the stimulus.
Go for an incline walk and it’s going to take a long time for you to build up to running.
Start doing some interval training though to a tougher intensity and it’s going to adapt quickly.
You get out what you put in.
Once you do start pushing yourself then your body will adapt and it will get easier. You’ll develop a mindset that CAN push yourself rather than you can’t and everything will develop pace.
The main thing is to give your body time. Pick a schedule you can stick with and your body will adapt with time. Even training once per week is much better than sat on the couch doing nothing.
2: It is going to give you more energy!!!
This may sound counter intuitive as why would moving more give you more energy so bear with us a moment while we explain.
Think of your fitness like your car engine. If you’ve got a small engine, day to day driving is going to be harder work.
Driving up a hill, means dropping into a lower and screaming just to get to the top.
Put a bigger engine in the car and you can attack it in whatever gear you want.
Day to day tasks become easier and so it takes less energy from you.
The negatives to a bigger engine in a car is it needs more fuel. For us that more food though and that’s a positive 🙂
3: Less stress! (Double Energy!)
What’s your routine atm?
Is it going to work, come home, repeat?
Are you surrounded by the same people with little variety through the week?
Are you carrying the baggage from the day home with you?
A change of scenery is going to help!
Along with that it’s going to give you time to zone out. One of the best things about training is it’s an hour when you’re not thinking about anything else so when you go home you’re your best person.
For some it’s a vent.
Physiologically it’s going to release lots of dopamine which is the feel good hormone which will help you relax.
It’s a time where you’ve achieved something for yourself in the day and not everyone else.
All of which is a better you with more energy.
4: It increases your output.. making you fit enough to lose weight!
What do I mean by this?!
The fitter you are in the gym, the more you are able to do.
It’s not impossible for a fit person to burn a 1000kcal in very active cardio gym session.
Do that 3x per week and that’s over 3000kcal!
Fat loss happens when we are burning more calories than we consume and so that’s a lot of wiggle room than if you are sat on the couch.
Yet starting out a lot of people might struggle with the first 10 minutes.
I’m not trying to put a dampener on your fat loss efforts. It takes time, it’s a journey. Anything is good if it’s an improvement on what you did last week and I want you to focus on the end goal. How much easier it would be to stay in shape if you could do all your fat burning in one session!
5: It’s all about accomplishment.
Very often I see people imposing artificial ideologies on others. ‘It’s easy for you because you enjoy it’ etc..
You can’t look at someone and know what they’re thinking.
I’m not going to pretend some people don’t enjoy cardio, sessions can be fun. However I didn’t always feel like that and there are times I still find it hard.
If I’m hot, sweaty and really pushing myself, please don’t tell me I’m having the time of my life… because I’m not!
The feeling of accomplishment after however is buzzing!
Going home and telling friends about the workout, or thinking back 3 months to the time where I couldn’t do the warm up.
That is what I enjoy and it’s like that for a lot of others too.
6: Confidence – The ability to do what you want without thinking about it.
Finally the biggest reason I have for been fit is confidence, been able to do things without thinking about it. Not having to make excuses if your family wants to do an activity or a long day out.
It’s hard to express without experiencing it, especially if you’ve never been fit before but I grew up struggling to run up the stairs.
These days the last barrier to me doing anything would be my fitness, I just don’t have to think about it.
Nowadays we have clients who at first wouldn’t have set foot in a gym arranging all sorts of activities.
Having a go at crossfit, doing white collar boxing matches because they’re confident and want to try new things and that’s without talking about the more day to day stuff like doing things with your kids.
Been fit is a great feeling and it’s something everyone should have!
HOW TO GET STARTED
In terms of getting started at some point you just have to pull the trigger. I remember interviewing Rachel, the girl who has lost 11 stone with us. When I asked her what gave her the motivation to do it she said ‘I just knew I had to do it and I needed to stop putting it off’
Rachel started at 30 stone with us and I can’t imagine an harder place to start from.
In my time I’ve also trained clients who are deaf, blind and with physical disabilities and it all come down to just getting started. Some gym’s can be scary but ours isn’t and in my experience most have some of the friendliest people you’ll meet there.
One thing I say a lot is build it up. You’re only competing with yourself and aiming to do better than yesterday. Keep going and it will all get better with time.
Apply the FIT principle.
Fit is an acronym for fitness and stands for; Frequency, Intensity & Time.
Frequency – how often you work out
Intensity – how hard the circuit is, how low the rest is, the difficulty of the exercises, the weight used
Time – the length of the circuit.
Rather than progress all at once, work on just one element. Go from a 10 minute circuit to a 15 minute to a 20 minute circuit.
This is the basic premise behind the couch to 5k program which is so successful and it does work. Over time you’ll be in the gym regular doing all the great things you see on our facebook and instagram.
No one ever regrets a workout.
It’s 16 weeks until summer now. If you start you have plenty of time to see a difference.
Think we can help you get in shape? Drop us a message to get in touch.
When trying to loose weight, you don’t need to loose the good food you enjoy. Take this recipe for example, who doesn’t love a Kiev?… A simple recipe which wont leave you slaving away in the kitchen for hours. Just add a side of salad or spuds and serve.
6 garlic cloves, 2 peeled
small bunch flat-leaf parsley
85g fresh breadcrumbs
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast
4 tbsp garlic & herb soft cheese
PLUS 4 tbsp olive oil
1 – Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Whizz together the 2 peeled garlic cloves, parsley and 1 tsp olive oil in a food processor. Add the breadcrumbs and seasoning before pulsing briefly to mix. Tip onto a plate.
2 – Cut a slit (roughly thumb-length) in the side of each chicken breast, at the plump end. Spoon ¼ of the soft cheese into each hole and press the edges together to seal. Rub 2 tsp oil over all the chicken breasts before pressing the herby crumbs onto them.
3 – Place the coated chicken in a shallow roasting tin. Scatter round the remaining unpeeled garlic cloves and drizzle with the rest of the oil. Bake for 20-25 mins until the chicken is cooked and crumbs crisp and golden. Squeeze out the soft, roasted garlic from the skins and serve with the chicken.