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It can be really hard to stick with New Year’s resolutions. January is so miserable already – we’re broke, back to work and about a stone heavier after all the Christmas indulging. Plus, this year, it’s looking like it will be harder than ever with another lockdown looming.

But one way you can stay on track and exercise for a healthy body and mind this January is to check out Lidl’s new range of health and fitness products! Our favourite has to be their new Sanita Massage Gun, ideal for working out all your sore muscles after your at home work out!

 To help ease your muscles into your New Year’s health and fitness resolutions, Lidl are debuting their new and versatile Sanita’s Massage Gun for just €79.99 – that’s up to 2/3 less than similar machines on the market! The ultra-affordable massager is available in all 168 Lidl stores nationwide from 31st December

The deep tissue massager is the perfect way to destress after the busy Christmas season and with 4 interchangeable massage attachments, you can adapt the massage gun for use on the entire body. The must-have tool offers various intensity levels to suit all needs from softer massages releasing knots and increasing blood flow to more rigorous muscle recovery. Lidl’s Sanita’s Massage Gun also comes with a 5.5-hour rechargeable battery and a practical storage bag, so you can massage away that muscle fatigue and stiffness wherever you are.

To further kick-start your New Year health buzz, Lidl are launching free online workout classes led by star Irish athletes, Ciara Mageean and David Gillick, helping you over the first hump of your 2021 health and fitness journey. With classes each Saturday at 10am for the month of January, Lidl’s ambassadors will keep you on track and motivated to achieve all your New Year’s goals. The perfect little boost to help you to keep your resolutions!

Each 20 minute exercise class will be hosted on the retailer’s Facebook here and Instagram (@Lidlireland) platforms, requiring little to no equipment. However, from Thursday 31st December, Lidl is stocking a whole range of versatile workout products starting at just €4, which are perfect to kick-start your new workout regime and can be used to follow the classes too. With staples such as Lidl’s Crivit Kettlebells (€4.99, 4kg/€8.99, 6kg/€9.99, 8kg) to help build strength and endurance and Crivit Resistance Band Set (€3.99) with light, medium and strong bands to keep your muscles challenged, it won’t be long until you’re feeling like an Olympic athlete yourself.

Lidl’s Sanita’s Massage Gun and workout range are available in Lidl stores nationwide from Thursday 31st December but hurry, they are only available while stocks last and with these price tags, they’re sure to sell out fast!

With their equipment and online classes readily available in the New Year, Lidl have all of your health and fitness needs covered! We could all use a helping hand with our motivation, especially in January. So let Lidl help and pop into store to check out what you’ll need to beat those January blues!

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Our phones are something we check in with every day. Like it or not, our lives are tied up in these little pieces of technology, so we might as well use that to our advantage, right?

We use our phones for our entertainment needs, so why not use it for your personal improvement, wellness and mental health needs too? You check in with your phone every day, so you should really check in with yourself too. There are loads of apps out there at the moment that claim to do these things, but which ones are really worth trying out?

We’ve detailed our favourite apps for all your sleep, fitness and mental health needs, to get you back on track in an interactive and effective way. Pick which ones work best for you and make room for a little wellness in your life!

Lifesum

Lifesum is one of the world’s most popular health and wellness apps with over 45 million users, and features personalised diet plans, nutrition advice and healthy recipes. Lifesum emphasises the nutritional value of food, and gives users personalised feedback, so they can successfully reach their health goals, whether it is to lose weight, gain weight, or just be healthier. Lifesum shows users how changing small habits and implementing them in everyday life can improve better eating and overall health.

Lifesum’s key features include

Personalised food rating algorithm: Provides users with important feedback based on their eating preferences. Users are able to get insights for each food, meal, and day they track

Wide variety of diets: Ketogenic, Vegan, Paleo, 5:2, 6:1, Mediterranean, Scandinavian, and High Protein, to help you stay on track

7-21-day Meal Plans: For example, Vegan for a week, Keto Burn, 3 Week Weight Loss, that provide users with four tasty, pre-planned recipes a day

Hundreds of easy-to-cook recipes: With detailed nutritional information, based on food preferences, health goals, and allergies

Track your food: Easy tracking with the barcode scanner. Create and save an unlimited number of foods, meals, recipes, and exercises to enjoy one-tap tracking

Detailed food and meal ratings: Ratings, including “Great source of fibre,” “high in sugar,” “low in sodium,” “high in sodium,” so you know how closely different foods align with your specific goals and preferences

Adjustable settings for macronutrients: Giving you customised recommendations to follow based on your unique needs and preferences

Body measurement tracking: Weight, waist, body fat, chest, arm, BMI – excellent tools for highlighting your progression to health

Integration with your favourite health-tracking platforms: Connects with Apple Health, Google Fit, and Samsung Health

Health Test & Life Score: A weekly health score based on 16 nutrition and exercise measurements, so you understand where you are and what’s next for you to build a healthy lifestyle

 

Headspace

Headspace has one mission: to improve the health and happiness of the world. And with millions of users in more than 190 countries, we’re well on our way. Mindfulness is the idea of learning how to be fully present and engaged in the moment, aware of your thoughts and feelings without distraction or judgment. Learn how to manage feelings and thoughts with the lifelong skill of everyday mindfulness, any time of the day.

With over 40 million users already getting some Headspace, you can join them and map your journey, track your progress, and reap rewards in your overall health and wellbeing. You can even buddy up with friends and motivate each other along the way.

Headspace was officially launched in 2010 as an events company, but attendees wanted to take what they learned home with them. Founders, Andy and Rich, and a small team decided to make Andy’s meditation techniques available online so more people could experience the benefits of meditation anytime, anywhere. And that blossomed into the Headspace you see today: guided meditations, animations, articles and videos, all in the distinct Headspace style.

You can try Headspace for yourself and learn the essentials of meditation and mindfulness with the free Basics course. If you enjoy it, then it’s time to subscribe. Once you do, you’ll have bite-sized minis for when you’re short on time, exercises to add extra mindfulness to your day, and hundreds of meditations on everything from stress to sleep. Their guided meditations truly cover every aspect of life, from work to kids, allowing you to focus, relieve stress and combat anxiety.

 

Sleep Cycle

One for the sleepyheads! Sleep Cycle tracks and analyses your sleep, waking you up at the most perfect time, feeling rested!

Waking up feeling refreshed is all about timing. Sleep Cycle tracks your sleeping patterns and wakes you up during your lightest sleep phase, without a conventional alarm clock. Waking up during light sleep feels like waking up naturally rested.

Your movements vary with each sleep stage. Sleep Cycle uses sound analysis to identify sleep states, tracking your movements in bed, and a wake-up phase that ends at your desired alarm time. During this phase, Sleep Cycle will monitor signals from your body to wake you softly when you are in the lightest possible sleep stage.

 

Streaks

Streaks is the to-do list that helps you form good habits. Every day you complete a task, your streak is extended. Choose or create up to twelve tasks, like walk the dog, floss your teeth, eat healthily, practice Spanish or whatever habit you want to form! This is definitely one that we’re excited about.

Working on something every day helps you form a new habit. Don’t break the chain, or your streak will reset to zero days.

With the iOS Health app, Streaks can automatically track certain goals, like walk 5,000 steps, measure your heart rate, record your blood pressure or run for 5 miles.

Some tasks aren’t for every day, so the app allows you to set the days, so you don’t break your streak! For example;

  • Walk to work (Monday to Friday)
  • Go to the gym (3 days per week)
  • Call your parents (every Wednesday)
  • Avoid junk food (Sunday to Friday)

View your task statistics and track your results easily so you can keep motivated and up to date with your progress!

 

Yoga Studio Mind and Body

This app provides beautiful HD video yoga classes for everyone with easy-to-follow teacher commentary.

They believe yoga should be accessible to all! Which is why they have carefully crafted and curated the prefect mix of technology, teacher experience and overall yoga goodness to make Yoga Studio: Mind & Body the number-one destination for health conscious individuals looking to begin their yoga journey or to take it to an all new level. All the classes come with full HD video and teacher commentary that’s clear and easy to follow

They’ve done all the hard work, so making your own yoga classes is a breeze. Unique features like pose blocks and smart-link make it simple, intuitive and fast. 

Pose blocks are short sequences of poses – like a sun salutation – that can be used like building blocks to make classes. They help speed things up – just add a few blocks, throw in some of your favourite poses and your class will be ready in no time. Simple.

Not sure how to make your class flow? They’ll do it for you with their awesome Smart-link feature. Use it to connect poses that might not naturally lead into each other. This way you see exactly how to smoothly move from one pose to the next. It's like magic yoga glue.

Video stitch is a great way to learn and practice yoga. That's why they created a unique library of over 1,700 yoga video clips. It enables Yoga Studio to stitch together a full, flowing video of almost any class you can think of. So, you make the class, and they’ll make the video.

Freedom to practice wherever, whenever. No connection, no problem. Classes in Yoga Studio live on your phone: just download a class once and have the freedom to practice wherever and whenever you want.

Schedule classes that sync with your calendar, making it easy to stay on track. Don't have time for a class right now? Schedule it for later. They’ll put it straight into your iPhone or iPad calendar, so you don't forget.

Schedule a single class or repeat your favourites every month, fortnight, week or day. Whether you prefer an hour a week or 15 minutes every morning, a regular practice is important, so let them help you fit yoga into your busy life!

 

Sworkit

Sworkit means to simply work it. Your body was built to move daily and this innovative experience that makes it easy, enjoyable, and, yes, simple, to do just that.

This daily workout app is tailored to every goal, whether it’s weight loss, muscle gain, improved flexibility, increased endurance, weight maintenance or to simply tone. One of the top fitness apps for iPhone, Android, or web users, Sworkit’s workout plans are designed to help you reach your fitness goals faster and simpler.

Their philosophy involves consistency, meaning believe fitness isn’t just something you do, it should be who you are and part of a lifestyle you enjoy. The workout program is designed to help you make fitness a habit. With Sworkit, the idea is that you can get in shape and stay in shape for life.

No gym? No Equipment? No Time? No problem. They make it simple to workout at home or on the go. You choose the time – from 1 minute to 90 minutes – and they provide the variety, including strength training, stretching, cardio, yoga, and more.

Results: Sworkit has delivered life-changing results for thousands of people. Need personalized help? Get one-on-one guidance from certified fitness trainers with the ‘Ask a Trainer’ program.

With more than 400 unique workouts and over 800 exercise, you choose the time you have to work out, and create and save your own custom workouts. The app recommends workouts plans based on your goals and certified trainers answer all your fitness and nutrition questions.

 

Mood Mission

MoodMission is an evidence-based app designed to empower you to overcome feelings of depression and anxiety by discovering new and better ways of coping

When we feel down or anxious, there are heaps of things we can do to help us feel better again. Doing these things can help prevent everyday mood disturbances from developing into mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety disorders.

When you tell MoodMission how you're feeling, it gives you a tailored list of 5 simple, quick, effective, evidence-based Missions to improve your mood. All Missions are taken from scientific research, made accessible to you through the app, so you can learn exactly how what you're doing is helping.

Completing Missions earns you rewards in the app, motivating you to take steps towards becoming healthier, happier, and more confident.

MoodMission’s personal mission is to empower people to change the way they feel, and it is their vision to be the best provider of easily accessible, evidence-based mental health and well-being support. The app does this by showing people new and better ways of dealing with mood and anxiety problems, educating and enlightening people about their own psychology and the importance of practicing self-care and linking people in with professional or clinical supports

The key components of their mission are that they are;

Ethical

  • Evidence-based: using hard evidence to make decisions and recommendations
  • Give back with research: they engage in the research process and publish findings to help mental health support more broadly
  • Respectful: they respect others and act in a way congruent with this

Effective

  • Do what works for the user
  • In line with users’ long-term goals, as well as their short-term ones
  • Solution-focused – do what works and what empowers the user

Collaborative

  • Transparent
  • Responsive to feedback
  • Validating of users
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Due to lockdown, at home workouts are seeing a surge in popularity that they haven’t seen since the 80s. We’ve been crunching, curling – and sweating – at home more than ever this year. A whole new way to keep active has emerged and it’s never been easier than it is now to keep in shape.

Fitness bloggers and vloggers have gotten creative in their fields with the unexpected challenge of Covid restrictions and have been busy making innovative at-home workout videos. But how do you know which is the right one for you?

We are here to help with our round up of the best Irish fitness bloggers and our favourite videos, motivational posts, and fitness-nutrition plans they’ve created to help you sweat your way out of the post-lockdown slump!

Maebh Madden @maeve_madden

Maeve’s bubbly and motivating persona fills the entire screen as she takes us along on her workouts with her. The founder of the Queens Community, she has been focusing on educating women, helping them improve their health, body confidence and find a new-found love for fitness for over a decade.

Former professional dancer, best-selling author and personal trainer, she tells us ‘my workouts are for everyone, whether you are a beginner, or ready to take on a new challenge, I am here to help you become fitter, stronger, happier and more body confident all from your own home.’

This page, while motivating, is also a hub of body positivity, with Maeve keeping it very real and posting ‘unposed’ pictures too, explaining how the Instagram fitness culture can be deceiving;

‘You are not designed to be perfect. Your body is not a problem to be solved. Don’t let your mind bully your body!’

Our favourite thing about Maeve’s channel is her IGTV workouts! Focusing on cardio, toning and strength-building, Maeve’s workouts are full of upbeat tunes, easy-to-follow routines and extremely accessible fitness. Definitely one of our favourites!

Trisha’s transformation @trishas.transformation

Cork native, Trisha Lewis, began her transformation journey in February 2018 at 26 stone. Since then we’ve all been following along with her amazing and inspiring journey to fitness through its ups and downs, good days and bad days.

Trisha’s honest and upfront account documents not only the good moments but highlights the struggles of the mental journey to fitness, as well as the physical;

‘The truth is for this to work you have to be selfish in the best way possible. You have to prioritise water, food, sleep and exercise. You have to learn to say the hardest two letter word in the English language. No.’

Apart from inspiring stories, the 32 year old author, corporate wellness speaker and chef has an IGTV section full of delicious and healthy recipes for us all to try out. From broccoli soup to the perfect ‘fakeaway’ chicken curry, she’s got every taste covered.

Siobhan O’Hagan @siobh.ohagan

This Irish fitness lover living in Bali seems your typical influencer upon first glance. Bikini photos on boats, pool pics, and fabulously toned arms. But looking a little closer, her captions are full of nuance, mental health advice and promotion of body positivity.

The online coach is bright and real on her IGTV videos, warning of the dangers of diet culture and how cameras can distort our ideas of ourselves and our bodies.

When speaking about mental health awareness month last October she spoke about mental health being just as important as physical health;

‘Id like to encourage anyone out there who’s struggling to speak up. I started this page as a way of sharing mt fitness journey, and helping others do the same. But what I’ve realised is that no matter how much they can lift, how lean they are, no matter how perfect their body looks, you have no idea of what’s going on underneath…While I set out to help people with their training and nutrition, I realise that none of that is important if you don’t have peace of mind.’

With her quick rep routines, body confidence advice and FAB Bali pictures, this woman’s page is definitely one to keep and eye on.

Sarah Moloney @sarstri

Sarah’s utterly enviable body – and how she got it – is evident all over her feed. She says she ‘teaches women how to transform their bodies forever with ZERO restrictions’ and that powerful, assertive attitude is a trademark in her work.

Starting her fitness journey in 2016 after a rocky relationship with food and her body in her teens, the Carlow native has progressed as far as to receive a WBFF card and to participate in the world’s bodybuilding shows in Vegas in 2018.

Now a PT, her page features reels detailing her favourite exercises to tone different areas of the body, tips and tricks about getting started on your fitness journey and how to cultivate a healthy relationship with food while focusing on your body’s shape.

Vogue Williams @voguewilliams

Aside from her page being #lifestylegoals, Vogue Williams’ Instagram also functions as one of the more accessible fitness channels out there.

Her recent IGTV series of online workouts has seen her invite guest PTs such as Rosie Stockley and Dalton Wong to shoot workout videos together and focus on different aspects of wellbeing.

When she’s not serving amazing looks and giving hilarious and real updates about motherhood, the quick routines and workouts she walks us through have us sweating just watching her!

Ursula Walsh @ ursulawalsh_

Ursula Walsh is a qualified health & nutrition coach and mother to three kids. Her colourful lifestyle Instagram page is jam-packed with recipes for gorgeous food and well worth checking out on that basis alone!

Her page emphasises the importance of proper dietary regulation in your fitness journey and how diet culture is harmful;

‘I want to spread a message of positivity and show restrictions don’t work, I want to cancel diet culture and show how you can eat EVERYTHING using your intuition and be healthy without being hungry or depriving yourself! I want to show how we can be at any size and love ourselves the same. I was the same person before and after. And loved myself in both stages. Also want to point you can be healthy at any size. Size is not a reflection of a healthy body!’

For great, healthy dinner ideas give her a follow! Your meal prep will never be the same again!

Rozanna Purcell @ rozannapurcell

The Tipperary blogger has been a fitness blogger for years, showing people how to get fit at home before it was cool – and Covid necessary. Sharing her go-to stretches and fast ways to work out tips, her lifestyle is centred around her body.

Amidst her fashion, beauty and travel blogging, the main theme is activity. Whether she’s hiking in Glendalough or the MacGillyCuddy reeks, or posting messages of body positivity, Rozanna is always on the go;

‘Sometimes I wish there was someone I looked up to in my early twenties that told me these things & maybe I wouldn’t have wasted years trying to be a smaller version, a number & an idea of flawless that was probably never really real? Which was very time consuming & a load of sh*t tbh!’

Her IGTV recipes and workouts make her a must-follow for non-toxic fitspiration!

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Do you ever pressure yourself into working out after a rubbish day? It’s one of those days where nothing goes right for you, but you still drag yourself out for a run even though all you want to do is curl up on the sofa and watch Parks and Recreation for the evening.

And that’s exactly what you should do.

A new study has found that exercising when you’re in a bad mood is actually dangerous.

The Heart Association revealed that working out when you’re in bad can increase your chances of heart attack.

The researchers analysed 12,561 patients who had suffered heart attacks. The results of their research showed them that one out seven patients were upset or worked out just before they had a heart attack.

They also found that people were three times more likely to suffer a heart attack if they were feeling sad or exercised strenuously an hour before.

 

So sweating out your anger and frustration isn’t the best move at all. We all know that regular exercise is key to being happy and healthy, but skipping a workout every so often isn’t the end of the world.

If you’re feeling a little grumpy or cranky then take it easy and stay home instead.

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Is anyone else struggling to keep up with their fitness goals? It’s completely understandable given the current crisis we’re all facing, but sometimes all you need is a little motivation.

Pitch Perfect star Rebel Wilson has opened up about her weight loss journey in an empowering post. Alongside a photo of the actress in a tracksuit, she revealed that her goal is to reach 75kg.

“Even if you have to crawl towards your goals, keep going x it will be worth it. Try and give a little bit of effort each day…

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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“I know some days are frustrating as hell, you feel like giving up, you get annoyed at the lack of progress…but good things are coming your way. What are your goals this year? 

She continued, “I’ll be honest with you guys – with my “Year of Health” mission I’m trying to get to 75kg’s and career wise am trying to get one of my movies into production before the end of the year! Both of these things are requiring a daily effort and there’s constant set backs – but I’m working hard x.”

Rebel’s inspirational message is exactly what we need right now. It’s important to remember that skipping your daily workout is perfectly fine too. Some days you just need to curl up on the sofa and take a break from it all.

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Are you looking for the perfect challenge this year? We have found the ideal one for any super cyclists who are eager to raise money for charity. It is time to get on your bike and sign up for the annual Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle. Participants are now being encouraged to sign up for the annual fundraising event, which is both a test of endurance and an unforgettable experience.

Registration is now open at www.ringofkerrycycle.ie for one of the nation’s favourite charity cycles with organisers looking forward to welcoming returning hardy perennials who have taken part in this epic cycle more than once, as well as newbies eager to prove their mettle on the 175k route around the stunningly scenic Ring of Kerry. 

“The Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle is considered a ‘bucket list’ experience by veterans of the annual event,” said Bridget McGuire, Chairperson for the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle. “The route will undoubtedly test your fitness and endurance, but the camaraderie of fellow cyclists that travel all over the world just to take part, encouragement from spectators, and the knowledge that your fundraising efforts can make such a big difference to deserving charities is all the motivation you’ll need to get you around the route!”

Each year, six charities are shortlisted from a long list of applicants to become approved beneficiaries of the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle. This year, cyclists can choose to raise much-needed funds for the following charities:

  1. Ard Chúram Day Care Centre, Listowel – A daycare service that operates from Monday to Saturday and caters for older people in a purpose-built centre in Greenville, Listowel.
  2. Banna Rescue – A voluntary inshore and land rescue unit covering one of the busiest and best beaches in the country.
  3. Breakthrough Cancer Research – An Irish medical research charity focused on raising vital funds for cancer supports and services.
  4. Cunamh Iveragh – A respite home for adults with special needs in South Kerry.
  5. Down Syndrome Ireland (Kerry branch) – Helping people with Down Syndrome to make their own futures as bright and independent as possible by providing them with education, support and friendship every step of the way.
  6. St Francis Special School – Providing educational programmes in Beaufort for students with moderate/severe/profound general disabilities. 

Registration for #ROKCC2020 costs €100 plus a 3.5 percent service fee per entry. Cyclists can fundraise with an official Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle 2020 sponsorship card or through the online fundraising platform, www.everydayhero.com. While the six main beneficiary charities benefit thanks to the efforts of the cyclists, an additional number of charities will receive funds raised through the registration process.

With an entry limit of 6,500 cyclists this year, places on Ireland’s favourite charity cycle are expected to sell out quickly, so participants are encouraged to secure their spot soon. The #ROKCC2020 team will be posting regularly across its social media channels, where they’ll offer training tips and hints on how cyclists can boost their fundraising, highlight the beneficiary charities, and introduce followers to a number of cyclists ahead of July 4, so be sure to follow and tag as you prepare for the big event.

For more information and to register visit, www.ringofkerrycycle.ie. To set up your fundraising page, click here.

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We are always eager to try out new fitness classes because jogging on the treadmill for 20 minutes is just way too boring.

And we think we may have found the perfect class.

On December 1, Fearless Moves is hosting a mega festive fitness session in Everleigh Gardens on Harcourt street at 10.30am. The session will feature a ton of Christmas classics along with famed Mean Girls Christmas dance moves. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Fearless Moves is a fitness event series featuring a deadly music theme, banging tunes and an unreal instructor. 

Over the last year, Fearless Moves hosted a sold out Beyonce versus divas sets, along with 90's sweat sessions that have gone down a treat. 

The class will be a HIIT/ Dance class with hosted by Sylvia Fitness, who has choreographed the Christmas session. 

Tickets are on sale though EventBrite and are now available.

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A new research report launched today by safefood has revealed that chocolate is the main ingredient in almost 40 percent of protein bars surveyed, with many also being high in saturated fat and containing added sugar and salt. The research also found that over 1 in 3 people (37 percent) surveyed think protein bars are “healthy”.

When comparing current protein intakes among adults with what’s recommended, both men and women are already consuming more protein than they need from their diet.

The safefood research looked at the nutritional content of 83 high-protein snack foods and drinks available for sale in supermarkets on the island of Ireland. These foods included protein bars, yoghurts, yoghurt-style products and milk drinks. According to industry sources, there was a 498 percent increase in products launched between 2010 and 2016 with a high-protein claim.

Introducing the research, Dr Catherine Conlon, Director of Human Health & Nutrition, safefood said, “We’ve witnessed a significant and consistent upsurge in the number and variety of foods and drinks for sale which claim to be ‘high-protein’. From bars to milks and yoghurts, high-protein foods have now become mainstream in our supermarkets. When we asked people about protein bars, a third of them thought they were healthy. However, many of these bars are, in reality, highly processed foods with a calorie content similar to that of a bar of chocolate”.

“What’s also evident from dietary data is that men and women are already consuming more than enough protein in their diets and simply don’t need this extra, highly processed protein,” stated Dr Conlon. 

Of the 39 protein bars surveyed, 38 percent listed chocolate as their main ingredient. 77 percent were high in saturated fat, with 79 percent being a source of salt. The average bar size was 55g with an average price of €2.27, though some bars cost as much as €3.00 each.

“Processed snack foods high in protein need to be combined with fat, sugar or salt in order to make them tasty,” continued Dr Conlon. “People would be better sticking to natural sources of protein in their diet, which tend to be much healthier. And if you need a source of protein as a snack, alternatives like some nuts, a small glass of milk or a yoghurt is the way to go instead of these foods with added chocolate.”

The report “A survey of high-protein snack foods” is available to download at www.safefood.eu

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There are two types of people in this world.

The first, like us, tends to curl up in a ball of self-pity after a night of heavy drinking, only to emerge from their fortress of blankets when the delivery driver arrives with the essential three-in-one and diet coke combo.

The second, unlike us, would rather spend the morning after the night before working up a sweat in an attempt to rid their body of any remaining alcohol and toxins – and while this may certainly sound like the smarter choice, research has shown that working out is actually one of the worst things we can do while hungover.

Speaking to HuffPost, Mark Leyshon, senior policy and research officer at Alcohol Concern, explained why your post-drinking gym routine is a big ole' waste of time:

"Our performance after drinking will be pretty underwhelming," he said.

"Alcohol makes our kidneys produce more urine, causing dehydration which will only be made worse by exercising, leading to reduced performance."

"No amount of exercise can reduce the effects of a hangover," he concluded.

What's more, as well as being fairly pointless, exercising after a night out can actually be pretty dangerous.

While you may feel OK, any alcohol left in your system could affect your co-ordination, thus increasing your risk of strain or injury.

Dr Sarah Jarvis, Drinkaware’s medical advisor, warned “you’re more likely not to know your limits – for instance, if you’re lifting weights. That means you’re much more likely to suffer an injury or strain something, which could put you out of action for a much longer time.”

In other words – stay in bed, drink plenty of water and cancel the gym class.

We'll drink to that!

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KBC and WellFest are returning to bring Europe's largest outdoor health, fitness and wellness festival all around Ireland on a summer tour.

Which city is next on their wellness pop-up list? Cork Showgrounds, Curraheen. 

Corkonians will get a real taste of what WellFest is all about on July 6, with experts such as Karl Henry, Roz Purcell and Derval O'Rourke set to feature.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Tickets to the Cork wellness event are now on sale, and those who attend can look forward to leaving the place feeling refreshed and inspired to put health first.

The pop-up has the most incredible line-up, involving some of Ireland's biggest names in the health and fitness industry.

Bestselling cookery author, personal trainer and host of podcast Bite Back, Roz Purcell, will make an appearance. The nation's leading personal trainer, broadcaster, and host of The Real Health podcast, Karl Henry, will also be a guest.

We're so excited to see Olympian, world champion, bestselling author and coach on Ireland's Fittest Family, Derval O’Rourke on the panel. She's an absolute queen.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Tom Dalton, founder of TD Fitness, will also be on the discussion panel, as well as Damy Redmond of Platinum Pilates; The Coaching Circle; mobility expert Brian O’Loughlin of Movement 101 and yoga and meditation instructor Lee Tracey.

Some of the highlights from the day includes a wellness panel with the three line-up stars, Pilates with Damy Remond, bodyweight HIIT with Tom Dalton and a slow yoga flow and meditation with Lee Tracey to wind the day down with relaxation.

Self-care, self-belief and resilience will also be a prime focus of the day thanks to The Coaching Circle. It's guaranteed to inspire you to progress yourself, a bit like The Fab Five from Queer Eye.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The WellFest Summer Tour hosted a sold-out wellness pop-up event for 500 lucky visitors in Salthill, Galway recently.

The tickets to the Cork day are highly limited, and are available now for only €20 on wellfest.ie. Cork WellFest will occur from 10am until 3:30pm in the Cork Showgrounds.

In 2019 alone, Wellfest has attracted over 10,000 people to it's life-changing event, which promotes a healthy lifestlyle both physically and mentally. This year looks set to be the best yet.

Feature image: WellFest.ie

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If you’re looking for ideas for lunchtime … look no further. We’ve teamed up with Dubliner Lighter to bring you our favourite cheese recipes that are perfect for lunch.

Dubliner Lighter Courgette Fritters

These are so gorgeous and they’re ridiculously easy to make.

Makes 9 – 12 fritters, depending on size, and has 102kcal/100g

Ingredients

2 Courgettes, grated

85g flour

3 spring onions, finely sliced

2 eggs

100g Dubliner Lighter White, grated

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp black pepper

Method

Place all ingredients together in a large bowl then mix until all ingredients are combined.

Heat a large frying pan over medium high heat, when hot, lower temperature to medium heat then add a drizzle of olive oil.

Drop large spoonful’s of mixture into the pan, use the back of the spoon to flatten fritters slightly and cook for about 4 minutes. Flip fritters over and cook for another 3 – 4 minutes.

Leave cooked fritters to drain on paper towel while you cook the remaining mixture.

Serving tip: Delicious served with a dollop of sour cream.

 

Dubliner Lighter Phyllo Pizza

Who doesn’t love pizza? This one is seriously tasty and makes a great homemade alternative to the shop bought ones.

This recipe makes one pizza, and 241kcal / 100g

Ingredients

Makes 1 pizza

Ingredients

3 phyllo pastry sheets

Olive oil

2-3 tbsp passata

4 slices Dubliner Sliced Lighter Red

4 slices Dubliner Sliced Lighter White

Salt & pepper

Toppings: tomato, mushroom, rocket, peppers, onions, corn – really anything you love

Method

Preheat oven to 220°C / 200°C fan assisted and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Lay 1 sheet of phyllo onto the baking tray then lightly brush one half with olive oil. Fold pastry in half then brush the top lightly with olive oil. Lay another sheet of phyllo on top, making sure the edges are mostly lined up, then repeat above steps until you have 6 layers of phyllo in total.

Spread passata over the pastry then arrange Dubliner Lighter slices on top. Add your favourite toppings to your pizza then bake in the oven until edges are crisp and golden, about 4 -5 minutes.

Enjoy while hot.

 

Dubliner Lighter Sweet Potato Taco Fries

Sweet potato tacos are a real favourite of mine at the moment, perfect for a lunchtime pick me up, they’re tasty and warming.  In fact, they would suit any meal time. This one is simple to pull together, and of course it’s with Dubliner Lighter cheese which has 33% less fat.

This recipe serves 4 and has 104 kcal / 100g

Ingredients

– For the fries

2 large or 3 medium sweet potatoes

Olive oil

Salt & pepper

– For the mince

500g beef mince

1 onion, roughly diced

1 carrot, finely diced

1 red chilli, roughly chopped

1 packet taco seasoning

2 tbsp

tomato purée

1 tsp salt

½ tsp ground black pepper

1 can kidney beans, drained

– To serve

Dubliner Lighter White, grated

Crème fraîche

Fresh chilli, sliced

 

Preheat oven to 200°C / 180°C fan assisted and line a baking tray with tinfoil. Cut sweet potato lengthways into wedges then loosely arrange on prepared baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and a bit of pepper. Lightly toss.

Bake until cooked through, 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile for the mince, heat a large pan over high heat, when hot drizzle with olive oil then add the mince. Cook until mince is browned.

Lower heat to medium then add the onion, carrot and chilli. Cook until the onions have softened, 2-3 minutes.

Add the taco seasoning, tomato purée, salt and pepper, stir through. Add the kidney beans then leave to simmer on low heat until the sweet potato fries are cooked.

To serve, spoon mince on top of sweet potato fries then top off with a generous handful of grated Dubliner Lighter White cheese, crème fraîche and sliced chilli.

 

Dubliner Stuffed Aubergine Boats

This is a brilliant way to include Aubergine in your diet, providing you with fibre, vitamins B1, B6 and potassium. They’re also full of antioxidants (the skin especially), so if you’re not already eating them, start now.

This recipe serves 4 and has 133 kcal / 100g

Ingredients

2 aubergines

Olive oil

1 red onion, roughly chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ tsp salt

125g cherry tomatoes, quartered

100g quinoa, cooked in vegetable stock

200g Dubliner Lighter Red Cheese, grated

Pine nuts, optional

Method

Pre-heat oven to 200°C / 180°C fan assisted and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Cut the aubergines in half lengthways. Using a sharp knife, cut a 1cm boarder inside aubergine halves, then use a spoon to help remove the flesh from the middle. Roughly dice the removed aubergine flesh and set aside.

Brush hollowed out aubergine boats with olive oil, place cut side up on the baking tray then bake for about 20 minutes until cooked and the edges are starting to char slightly.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Heat a large frying pan on medium high heat then drizzle with 1-2 tbsp olive oil. Add the diced aubergine and allow to brown slightly, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat to medium low and continue to cook until aubergine is mostly cooked through.

Add the onion, garlic and salt and cook until onion is tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cherry tomatoes and cooked quinoa, cook for further 5 minutes until tomatoes start to soften and release their juices. Remove from heat and stir in 150g of the grated Dubliner Lighter Red cheese.

Spoon filling into the roasted aubergine boats and sprinkle each with pine nuts (or any other seed of your choice) and the remaining 50g grated Dubliner Lighter Red cheese.

Return to the 200°C / 180°C fan assisted oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until the cheese on top has melted.

Serve immediately.

 

Dubliner Burrito Bowl

Don’t spend a fortune at lunchtime buying these – not only are they expensive, but they won’t taste half as good as the one you make yourself.

This recipe serves 4 and has 110 kcal / 100g

Ingredients

For the mince

2 tbsp olive oil

500g beef mince

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp smoked paprika

½ tsp cayenne pepper

1 (400g) can chopped tomato

1 (400g) can kidney beans, drained

250ml beef stock

Salt & pepper

For the salsa

4 tomatoes, seeds removed & finely chopped

¼ red onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tbsp fresh lime juice

½ red chilli, finely chopped (optional)

To assemble

4 portions cooked basmati rice

Cooked mince

2 avocados, sliced

Salsa

150g Dubliner Lighter Red Cheese

Sour cream

Fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Method

To cook the meat, heat pan on medium high heat. Add olive oil then add the mince. Break up large pieces with a fork and spread out over surface of the pan. Brown the meat, stirring occasionally.

Lower heat to medium then add the onion, cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook further 1 minute.

Stir in the cumin, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper. Add the chopped tomato, kidney beans and beef stock. Stir to combine, then leave to simmer on medium low heat until half of the liquid has been reduced, stirring occasionally. Between 15-20 minutes. Taste for seasoning, add salt & pepper as needed. Remove from heat.

While mince is cooking, make the salsa. Combine all salsa ingredients and stir together. Chill in the fridge until needed.

To assemble the burrito bowl, spoon a layer of cooked Basmati rice into serving bowls. Spoon cooked mince over about half of the rice, then spoon fresh salsa next to the mince, covering about 1/8 of the rice. Arrange half an avocado on top, then sprinkle generously with Dubliner cheese. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with sour cream on the side.

 

These gorgeous recipes are all made with Dubliner Lighter which has 33% less fat, for more great recipe ideas you can follow them here on facebook or here on insta.

 

 

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The vast majority of us feel we could do with putting in a little more effort when it comes to maintaining or improving our fitness levels.

When social media is awash with countless #fitspo posts and innumerable gym selfies, it can be difficult not to feel like you're falling short in a society seemingly obsessed with squats, deadlifts and gains.

But if you think this feeling may ultimately work to your benefit and force you to step up, recent research suggests that it may actually do more harm than good.

According to a study conducted at Stanford University, believing you are lazy or less active than your peers can have a serious impact on your health, and in some cases reduce your life span.

Using data collected from more than 60,000 people in the United States over two decades ago, researchers established a connection between a lack of belief in one's fitness ability and recorded deaths.

Commenting on the significance of the findings, researcher, Alia Crum, said: "Our findings fall in line with a growing body of research suggesting that our mindsets – in this case, beliefs about how much exercise we are getting relative to others – can play a crucial role in our health."

Highlighting the impact mindset has on one's physical health, she continued: "It’s time that we start taking the role of mindsets in health more seriously."

"In the pursuit of health and longevity, it is important to adopt not only healthy behaviours, but also healthy thoughts."

"So much effort, notably in public health campaigns, is geared toward motivating people to change their behaviour: eat healthier, exercise more and stress less. But an important variable is being left out of the equation: people’s mindsets about those healthy behaviours."

The study was published in the journal of Health Psychology.

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