Tag Archives: Bath

Fitness can be fun

When I set up Zest Bootcamp in Bath back in 2009 I really had no idea of whether it would work but I’m happy to say that it did!

Over the last 9 years we have gone through several changes but one thing that hasn’t changed is my passion to help more people to feel healthier, fitter and happier.

Fitness Classes at Zest Bootcamp in Bath

The outdoor group exercise classes are a great way for people, especially those who don’t like the gym environment, to get their bodies moving in a friendly, supportive group. Often people think that the British weather is going to be a problem, but to the contrary, you’d be surprised at how infrequent we have any rain at the classes. Being outdoors is actually what attracts many of the Zest Bootcamp members, aka “zesties”, to the classes as so many of us spend our lives indoors so it’s nice to get out in nature. It’s a chance to see mother nature, listen to the birds, feel the wind in your hair, the sun on your skin and watch as the trees change through the seasons. Being out in nature is actually very calming and can help to destress us far more than going to the gym.

Here is our brand new video showing you a bit more about what we do and hopefully that we are nothing like the military style bootcamps such as British Military Fitness than some people might imagine we are similar to.

Other benefits of the classes include the fact that your space is pre-booked so you can’t make excuses not to exercise and let’s face it you don’t get results if you don’t actually attend the classes and do the exercise. We do all the preparation and thinking for you so you just turn up with a “can do” attitude and we will ensure you get a great workout and results that you will be proud of. Zest Bootcamp is more akin to group personal training than a large scale bootcamp and along with the classes there are numerous other benefits including nutritional support and much more. You may also spot that we do fitness boxing in the classes – generally something most women joining us have not done before and something most Zesties love!

Unlike some group classes, we cap our numbers so that everyone can get the attention they deserve and technique is something we really focus on to get the best results possible. This being said we do balance out the classes with some fun so that the experience is still enjoyable.

Most of our long term members joined us for a trial week and then stayed because they enjoyed it so much – one lady is in her 7th year and she’s now in her 60’s so age is no barrier. We have a variety of people coming to the classes including several runners who love the fact we do strength training, core work and flexibility that helps with their running.

So if you have been thinking about trying something different or just starting some kind of regular exercise programme then hopefully you can see that there is life outside the gym.

I’d love to welcome you to a taster week soon and show you how you can feel great. Just go to www.zestbootcamp.co.uk to register for a trial week and we will be in touch. The next one is November 20th otherwise it will be January 2018 – perhaps to burn off all that Christmas pudding!

You can also see photos and videos of Bath’s original bootcamp on our Facebook Page by clicking here

Zest Bootcamp in Bath

For those of you on Instagram you can follow me HERE

Sleep Hygiene

Hands up who feels full of energy and vitality?

There can be a variety of reasons, including nutrition, but one of the simplest lifestyle habits we can look at is sleep.

If you’ve been following me for a while you probably know that I am a fan of having good sleep “hygiene”.

What’s that you may ask?

Well, it’s a way to ensure you get a good nights sleep by following certain rules including:

1. Having a room as dark as a cave – so no l.e.d lights showing (in hotels I turn clocks around and cover TV light with something). At home we have black out blinds so that in summer when sun rises early (and I don’t want to) I won’t be awoken by light.

2. A cool room with some air – having a window open is vital and if you live somewhere where there is outside noise you may need earplugs to help at first until you get used to it. Ideal temperature is 60-67 so maybe you need to turn down the radiators in the bedroom if you like the rest of the house cosy.

3. Establishing a good wind down routine is essential and that means turning off phones, laptops and any other “blue light” brain stimulants at least 30 mins before sleep. Better to switch to reading a good old fashioned book if you want to wind down. Having a bath will also help as it raises your external heat so your core temperature drops slightly.

4. I’ve put this as a separate point because I think it is too common – do not have your smart phone in the bedroom as an alarm. Go get a cheap battery powered travel one and use that and turn your wifi and phone off at night and keep in another room. The electromagnetic frequencies are messing with our brains and at night when we are trying to repair we shouldn’t be interfering with it.

5. Don’t do a hardcore workout too close to bedtime as it will stimulate your central nervous system. Yoga and stretching exercise is better late in the evening.

6. You probably know that avoiding stimulants such as coffee in the afternoon is wise if you have trouble sleeping and also not eating a rich, heavy meal late at night won’t help you drift off either so pay attention to those habits.

7. Getting outdoors into natural daylight, especially in the winter will also help you sleep better along with regular exercise – I always sleep better the days I have exercised. That’s one of the benefits of our group outdoor exercises in Bath at Zest Bootcamp.

8. Trying to get up and go to bed around the same time each day will also improve your ability to sleep.

So hopefully that will give you some ideas and here is the science bit….

Click here to read a great article about WHY we need to get more sleep – it’s very informative and a bit worrying really at how damaging the lack of sleep can be.

Go on have a read – you may not know that sleep has a huge impact on weight loss too.

And if you’d like to get a healthy eating kickstart then grab a free copy of my 7 day kickstart packed with delicious, filling recipes HERE.

Sweet dreams

Zita x

ps I’d love to know what you do to get a better night’s sleep so let me know below …

Black Friday Fitness (and health offer)

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To me it’s normally fitness Friday (later followed by fizzy Friday) but there’s no getting away from the fact that today is Black Friday so I wanted to offer you something special as everyone else in the world seems to be!

A healthy body starts in the kitchen (well the supermarket really) so to help you plan and prepare some tasty meals that are also gluten and sugar free as well as not containing dairy products I have 2 great cookbooks you will love.

The first is my 30 day fat loss cookbook that has 90 recipes – breakfasts, lunches and dinners that the whole family will love – trust me, a lot of people have been enjoying this cookbooks over the last few years.

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If you like things a bit more spicy there is my Clean and Lean Curry Cookbook with almost 100 recipes, many of which are suitable for vegetarians, perfect for these cold winter days.

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Also there is my simple 7 day detox plan that tells you exactly what to eat over a 7 day period to help banish any bloating, feel healthier and also drop a few pounds (you could do this before Christmas to help you feel great at those parties). Don’t worry it’s not 7 days of celery and cottage cheese, far from it infact, just 3 tasty, healthy meals a day that won’t leave you feeling hungry.

LISA – working mother of 2 lost 6lbs on the detox plan

“Zita’s 7 day detox worked really well for me – It gave me the kick start that I needed and plenty of inspiration to continue with the good eating habits after the 7 days.  I have continued to have the smoothies for breakfast as they are perfect to take to work and the healthy habits really did make an impression on me and have stayed front of mind ever since.  During the 7 days I felt stronger, slept better and had so much more energy.  I also lost 6lb which was fantastic. I Highly recommend! – Give it a go.”

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Some of you may want these now so that you know come January when the festivities are over you have something to help you kickstart a healthy 2017.

With the 7 day detox you also get free access to our private Facebook group for extra support and ideas (priceless) – perfect for a January kickstart.

All of this would normally cost £24 but as it is Black Friday I am giving you a very special deal…

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You can have all of these PLUS my 10 minute core workout for just £12.99

Yes just £12.99 – what’s not to love about Black Friday!

Please note these are all digital download products and nothing physical will be sent – click the Paypal link below to get started.




The offer will expire on 30 November so grab your offer now to start using straight away or ready for January – either way this is an offer not to be missed!

All you have to do is click the Paypal link below and then I will send you your products to the email address provided. If you have any questions please email fitnesszita@gmail.com.




Without this we will die

We all know that water is vital for life and even if we didn’t have food for several days/weeks we would survive along as we had water to drink. Given over 70% of our body is made up of water you can see why and also that’s why it is so important to stay hydrated every day (quick go grab a glass of water whilst you read this).

So how long would we survive without oxygen?

Not long as we need it to give life to our bodies to enter our blood stream and be pumped around our body by our heart and enter our cells and give us the energy we need.

This is exactly why on an airplane we are told to always put on our oxygen mask first before helping other with theirs.

I’ve done a little video to explain this more and help you understand the relationship between the oxygen mask and living a healthy lifestyle.

I was recently visiting a school friend who now has 3 children, aged 4 -13, and she had got out of the habit of doing some exercise each morning and wanted to start it again as she knew it made her feel better, so on the Sunday morning before breakfast we did it together.

One of the children was off playing football so we had the 4 year old join us and the teenager had good intentions to do it too but her bed was too cosy on a Sunday morning instead (can’t blame her really!). Simple bodyweight exercises that didn’t take long at all, apart from when I showed my friend how to do press ups properly.*

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In my years of coaching men and women the press-up is one of the hardest exercise to master but it can be done and it is such a great exercise to build strength in the chest, shoulders, triceps, core (if you can do it on your toes) and it also burns calories as it elevates the heart rate – plus you get the added bonus of extra calories burn at rest because you have built more muscle fibres.

I’ll say that again as it is something women especially don’t think about…. one of the benefits of increasing your muscle mass (without looking like a body builder) is that it raises your metabolism after exercise so you burn more calories whilst at work, sleeping, driving, watching TV etc.

So be sure to learn how to do your exercises properly to get the most value out of them and if you’d like a complimentary copy of my 10 minute core workout then click below for my simple bodyweight routine.

Click here to get my 10 minute core workout

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If you are in Bath or Somerset and want to get moving then consider our Zest Bootcamp classes or 1-1 personal training.

Be a good role model to your children by eating the right food and doing your exercise and also remember that in order to help them now and in the future it is important you look after yourself by putting on your own oxygen mask first.

Infact, although I don’t have children I do have a lot of demands placed on me like most people, so even I have to remind myself to prioritise my exercise sometimes and that’s why I am happy to pay in advance to go to some group sessions so they are booked in my diary and I work my clients around that some days, to make sure I am feeling as good as I can to service my clients the best I can.

Have a great day
Zita x

ps We all went out for lunch that Sunday to Pizza Express as the kids love pizza and it was close by and me and my friend had a delicious superfood salad which you could add chicken or salmon too for extra protein. Highly recommended – click here for a photo

*In the press up photo I should really be tucking my chin in more to keep my head better aligned with my body and also my hips could be a couple of inches lower if we want to be really precise 🙂

Women supporting each other

I was recently asked if I’d like to host a women’s business networking club in Bath that I had been a member of for a while and although I’m pretty busy already I thought why not!

I knew it would take me out of my comfort zone but I also knew that it would meant I had to learn new things and develop new skills that would help me grow so why not seize the opportunity – as offers like that don’t come around every day and my belief is that I’d rather have a go at something and if it doesn’t workout that’s fine, at least I tried, rather than in the future regretting that I didn’t give it a go.

That’s the reason that I had my own fitness product the Ztrainer, that was sold on Amazon, amongst several other things I’ve tried over the years. Looking back maybe wish I hadn’t wasted time on some things but hindsight is a wonderful thing right!

Sometimes I think that the fear of the unknown and all the stories we make  up in our head stop us doing so many of the things we could and should in order to feel better. Before my first time hosting Women’s Business Club I was nervous, worried if I could do it and loads of other stories in my head – reality was it went really well and I had need not worry.

That’s why at Zest Bootcamp we have the option of doing a trial week before committing to the full month but even that is too much for some people who lack the confidence to just commit and do it. Only today at bootcamp we had a member return after 5 years away (she had been living abroad) but in that time she had had her 50th birthday so was worried that if she returned she would be surrounded by loads of super fit youngsters strutting around in lycra. Far from it, infact one of the ladies in the group is 60 and can put some of the “youngsters” to shame!

The text I had after class says it all….

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I’ve worked hard to ensure that Zest Bootcamp offers a supportive place for all types of women (and some men) to improve their, health, fitness and wellbeing no matter what their age or ability and this is exactly what is offered at Women’s Business Club groups so if you are a business woman in or around Bath who would like to meet some other like-minded women is a non-competitive, judgemental environment to help develop your skills, contacts and also have some fun and time out plus some delicious food then why not come along as a visitor to our next meeting on Wed 5th October at the lovely Bailbrook House. The lunchtime meetings are held every month so if you can’t make this one then come in November. Click here to book a place at the business lunch or click here to come for a trial week at Zest Bootcamp.

Women's Business Club Bath September

Women’s Business Club Bath September

ps If you are still not convinced about coming for a trial week at Zest Bootcamp why not look at our Facebook page where there is a joint testimonial video from several of our members.

I vote to look after my health

Whether you are happy with the result of the referendum or not, the one thing you can control is your health and wellness.

No matter what life throws at us,no one can deny that being in good health, feeling fit and energetic will helps us deal with things better.
So if you stayed up late or all night to watch the votes come in, be sure to get to bed early tonight as when we don’t get enough sleep our immunity is one of the things that suffers so you will be more prone to catching any summer colds flying around.
Also our sugar cravings can go a bit wild if we miss out on the correct amount of sleep and appetite a bit haywire – the body is so clever and looks after us if we look after it.
This week at bootcamp we have gotten a little wet to say the least but even in the rain the park looked beautiful and everyone got a good workout so stop making excuses and just get on with it – exactly like the crews did as shown in one of the videos on my Instagram page here 
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Result or excuse you can’t have both as proved this week by a previous personal training client coming back for support as she thought she could do it on her own but 6 months later she feels rubbish because she stopped exercising and eating well.
Also a new 1-1 client, after just a few weeks, is noticing how much fitter she feels, her clothes are looser, she is sleeping better and her confidence is going up – she stopped making excuses and put energy into herself which in turn will rub off in a positive way with her children, husband and at work.
*** Don’t wait for there to be a problem to start paying attention to your health. ***
High blood pressure and other health conditions can often go unnoticed for many years, especially if someone isn’t overweight as they might assume they are healthy.
So I vote that you prioritise your health
have a great weekend
Zita “not at Glastonbury festival so no face painting this weekend” Alves
ps For anyone who prefers to exercise indoors why not download your f.ree copy of my core workout if you haven’t tried it yet. Click here

Gut feeling

So during the hottest week of the year I had to get a loan vehicle as mine was in the garage for repair and although I rarely use the air- conditioning, the fact the hire vehicle didn’t have any really threw me! Luckily the fact is was diesel wasn’t a problem as that is what I use normally.

BUT…

If I had put petrol into it I dread to think how much time, hassle and money I would have used to sort it out.

So why is it that we often put the wrong fuel into our bodies and wonder why we feel sluggish, tired, have bad skin, brain fog, have aches and pains, indigestion or anything else that just generally makes us feel – yuk.

Yesterday I donated blood and was chatting to someone whilst we were enjoying our well deserved tea and biscuits after donation, and I’m not sure how but we got onto subject of digestion and he said he was off to buy his wife some probiotic yoghurt drinks. The conversation reminded me that I should do a blog post about gut health.

Ever thought about the phrase we use “gut feeling”?

Well it is because often our gut (digestive tract) is referred to as our second brain and that’s why if we don’t treat it properly we won’t be firing on all cylinders.

“We are what we eat” yes but really we are what we absorb and given our gut is filled with billions of bacteria (good and bad) then our top priority should be to assist digestion and absorption as much as we can.

Ofcourse firstly we need to avoid anything that we are intolerant of – common ones are gluten and dairy and often people aren’t great with soy or even eggs.

Following on from that we should support our system with natural foods in their original state, with plenty of raw fruits and vegetables for their enzymes.

As well as eating vegetables at every meal then you can boost your enzymes and digestion by having a daily greens powder such as Lean Greens, especially important if you are way on business or holidays or just when you can’t get access to as many green vegetables.

I was recently telling the story of when I was travelling in Hungary and Czechoslovakia about 22 years ago (yikes some of you might were probably in nappies then!) that the food was really stodgy – dumplings, bread and some meat and NO green or raw vegetables. I was constipated and felt awful 🙁 The supermarkets literally had big gaps on shelves where there were things missing and there wasn’t much of anything in the supermarkets (makes you realise how very lucky we are in the UK) so one day when I saw a man selling cucumbers on the roadside, yes that is all he had, I grabbed several and started chomping away as my body was telling me that is needed fibre and enzymes.

Luckily we have no excuses not to eat well except maybe laziness 🙁

Have you ever taken antibiotics? If so watch this…

Anyone who has taken a course of antibiotics (which are prescribed to kill the bad bacteria but unfortunately also kill the good bacteria in our gut) should follow up with a course of probiotic capsules which you can buy in good health food shops.

As I told the man at the blood donation, I’d avoid the Yakut and Actimel type drinks as they contain sugar and are an expensive way to get what you can better in a capsule. (plus for me I don’t believe in all that packaging which we have to dispose of).

Another great way to get some fibre and good bacteria into the gut is through raw sauerkraut that you can buy in good health food shops. It is fermented cabbage and great to add alongside your meals to help digestion.

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There is far more detail that I could go into but I just want to make it simple and this post is already long!

As a side note if you have never donated blood then why not give it a go – apart from the free teas and biscuits, it is also a great way to get your iron levels checked. I’ve been donating for years (infact I recently got my 25 donation certificate which was a lovely surprise) and I’ve always passed the first check for iron levels but yesterday I didn’t so they did an extra test and I was fine to donate. It made me think though that it is a good way to see if you are low on iron (which can make you feel tired) which many people are due to poor diet or lack of absorption which highlights the importance of gut health. A bit like coming to trial week at Zest Bootcamp, I say to people why not try it as you will never know until you have a go. If you’d like to find your nearest blood donation session click HERE

have a great weekend

Zita 🙂

Ps If you are near Bath and would like to join Zest Bootcamp for a trial week then click HERE  

 

 

Christmas

So not long until Halloween, which means Christmas is coming!

This pretty much means we have 2 choices when it comes to our health & fitness

  1. We might as well wait until January now as there are sweets at Halloween, burgers on bonfire night, Xmas meals out so lots of socialising, eating & drinking…….  busy with Christmas shopping which often means more eating & drinking as there are extra temptations with gingerbread flavour lattes, mulled wine, mince pies etc that pop up everywhere and the list goes on.

The other option is………

  1. Do something NOW so that come January 1st we don’t feel like a bloated, beached whale, lacking energy and having to wear our “fat clothes” because nothing else fits.

You don’t want to look like this gingerbread man do you?

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The wise people will accept that eating and drinking a bit more than normal a few times over the run up to Christmas is perfectly natural and part of the fun.

They realise that in order to feel good in their clothes at the Christmas parties the hard work has to be put in now.

They understand that regular exercise will not only help them feel better in their clothes, but also will keep their energy levels up ( through what can be a challenging time for some people.)

They know that immunity, positive mental attitude, strong toned muscles and a healthier, fitter body will only be achieved if they put the effort in to do some exercise.

They want to enjoy some Christmas treats knowing that they can burn them during their workout.

These are the people who realise that our bodies are designed to move and so regular exercise is part of their life.

Which one are you?

Do you want to stick your head in the sand and wait until January, along with half of the population who decide they have had enough of feeling bloated and lethargic then no need to take action.

>>>>>> However if you want to breeze through the next few months feeling and looking great then take action now.<<<<<<<<

For those of you in Bath our next Trial week at bootcamp is on 27th October (a week Monday).

But for anyone who is not local to Bath (or me for 1-1 personal training) then there is our new online programme called HEALTHY MAMMAS. (yes you have to be a mum but that is the only requirement – your kids may have left home but that’s fine, you are still a mum).

The Healthy Mammas programme is for any mum, any age, anywhere in the world as the short workouts are done in the comfort of your own home plus there is nutritional support and a private group on Facebook for more help should you need it.

ps If you know anyone who might want to come to Zest Bootcamp in Bath please share our trial week page with them.

pps If you are not a mum but might know someone who is and wants to get back her VA VA VOOM then please share the website with her – there is a free breakfast recipe collection to download too HERE

Very uncomfortable

So X Factor is back on TV and whilst I don’t mind it, I’m much more of a fan of The Voice which could be the reason I had a singing lesson this week …..

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Yes that’s right – at the age of 43 I had my first ever singing lesson!

It was a taster session to see if I liked it and more importantly the teacher.

I was TOTALLY out of my comfort zone but I just thought what have I got to lose. I didn’t even know anything about vocal chords and realise how the force of the air going through them creates a sound, therefore how vital the breathing and using your lungs and diaphragm properly really is.

Infact, as an asthmatic I am not great at breathing deeply into my lungs as well as I should, tending to do more chest breathing (as do most people anyway, especially when we are stressed).

That’s one of the reasons I thought I’d try out some singing lessons to encourage better breathing, plus my husband subtly emailed me a link to a singing teacher a few weeks ago – nuff said!!

So I have done the taster and booked up some lessons but what is going to make a big difference is doing the homework in between, which at the moment is just doing some basic scales.

I realised how similar this was to my work.

Many people don’t ever start a fitness regime either at the gym, at bootcamp, classes or with a trainer for fear of being out of their comfort zone.

****BREAKING NEWS – if you actually want to make progress and get results then you have to get out of your comfort  zone.****

Infact when I changed careers 16 years ago and retrained to become a personal trainer I was WAY out of my comfort zone. As a previous non-exerciser I sat there at the lecture on day 1, surrounded by a lot of super fit people, not even knowing what the quadriceps muscle was (ps its your thigh but I expect you knew that anyway).

So step 1 is to get out of your comfort zone – that’s why we have taster week at bootcamp.

Step 2 is to do your homework – this is why my 1-1 Personal Training clients have home workouts to do between our session, or boot campers have videos for extra stretches, foam rolling and core work to do between sessions.

Step 3 – Keep going – giving up is a waste of steps 1 & 2 and will get you nowhere.

Right, I’m off to practice my scales whilst driving to my next client!

Have a great weekend

Zita “Watch out Tom Jones” Alves

ps If you are in Bath our next trial week at bootcamp starts on 29th September so you have time to SIGN UP HERE

pps If you a mum who wants to have more energy and eat healthier then grab our collection of breakfast recipes here for f.ree  HERE

 

Chocolate vegetables

Eating your 5 a day can be easier than you think if you blend in smoothies, soups and even better into a chocolate cake!

beetroot choc protein bites

In Bath we are finally lucky enough to have a new health food place called “Beyond The kale” that makes amazing fresh juices and blends (healthy smoothies) as well as loads of other goodies.

Today I had a lettuce, kale, coriander, lemon and banana  (I think) and last time it was a beetroot and other goodies blend.

Even more exciting more me is that they make fresh almond milk which I love and don’t always get time to make myself. It’s not only dairy free but also loaded with enzymes  and goodness – plus it tastes wonderful.

If you are on my email list, have the 7 day detox (you can sign up for above) or have my cookbooks then you should already have tried a few delicious smoothy recipes. Also you can see my famous “kermit” recipe here on Martini Mum Blog

Anyway here is a super simple recipe (if you have kids it might be a way for you to get them to eat beetroot!)

Have a great weekend and if you are in Bath we start our April 4 week bootcamp on Monday – outdoor group fitness for all abilities at either 6.30am, 9.30am or 6.15pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Trial weeks available too – Click Here for more info

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Zita’s Beetroot Chocolate Protein Bites

These are dairy & gluten free sweet “treats” that are high in protein, good fat and are easy to make and taste great.  Great alternative to biscuits, chocolate or cakes.

Ingredients

100g of 80 to 90% dark chocolate

150 cooked beetroot (either cooked from fresh or vacuum packed – not in vinegar!)

3 eggs

3/4 cup almond or coconut milk

3/4 cup chopped dried apricots or dates

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup almond butter (or unsweetened peanut butter if can’t get almond)

1/2 cup ground almonds

2/3 large tablespoons coconut oil

Cinnamon

Method

  1. Melt chocolate and coconut oil slowly
  2. Blend beetroot & almond milk until smooth
  3. Mix all other ingredients then add beetroot mix then finally melted chocolate mix
  4. Spoon 10 or more bites onto greased baking tray & cook at 180 degrees for approx 15 mins
  5. Let cool then store in fridge
  6. Enjoy!

Zita x

Other options:

Could try banana instead of dried fruit and grated carrot or courgette instead of beetroot.

Also could add spoon of flaxseed or chia seeds for omega 3 and fibre