Featured, Fit Food, Lawrence Price

Protein Snack Ideas

November 18, 2015

Over nearly 10 years working as a Personal Trainer …

…I have spent much of my time, in the early phases of my client relationships, trying to encourage people to switch from an often high carb low fat and protein diet to a higher protein and fat with lower carb arrangement. This is obviously summarising the complexities within my approach to healthy eating but I hope it highlights the issues we tend to have in our western diet.

It is a fact that a lot of people avoid fat thinking it is unhealthy (there is certainly no recognition of good fats and bad fats) and stick to high carb ‘filler’ meals such as cereals and toast for breakfast, pasta bowls for lunch, potatoes for supper…the misconception has been that if it is low in fat then it must be healthy! Thankfully these misconceptions are starting to change and I have seen a massive shift in the widespread understanding of macronutrients among the general population in the last couple of years.

Within this cauldron of confusion there is a second issue.

People don’t tend to eat enough protein to suit their fitness and health goals. I have lost count of the amount of times I have read a clients’ first food diary and seen ‘cereal for breakfast’ followed by ‘sandwich for lunch’ followed by a massive portion of meat for supper (the only notable protein source of the day).

When you consider that your body struggles to digest too much protein in one go and instead prefers to be topped up with modest portions every 2-3 hours it is easy to see that many people have spent many years of their lives increasing their body fat % and not maximising their muscle % without realising they were even doing so. Of course there are other factors that can play a role but I want to focus on protein intake in this article.

To help combat much of this my early advice is often very simple but effective if taken on board and put into action consistently. Simply put…take out the processed carbs and instead look to eat approx. a palm sized portion of protein every 2-3 hours starting with breakfast. Simple right? Not exactly…

The Problem…

People tend to dislike the idea of eating lots of meat, fish, eggs and nuts, etc. They often either get bored of the options or put off by the idea of eating lots of animal products even if it is a great source of complete proteins.

The Solution…

Get inventive with your protein meals and snacks!!!! Along with the developments in general public understanding of nutrition has come a boom in the options being presented by food companies. My Protein, for example, have released a series of products to help you get inventive and combat the aforementioned issues.

I recently spent a few days trialling out some of their products and came up with a few simple snack ideas.

a) Protein breadsticks with peanut butter. For me this worked best as an afternoon snack as I sat at my desk coaching my Online PT clients and catching up with other admin.

b) Protein pancakes with zero sugar sauce. A reward for after the gym…you’ve earned it! As they say, you eat with your eyes, so a large protein pancake with a big dollop of yogurt and drizzled with the My Protein zero sugar chocolate sauce looks like I’m doing something incredibly cheeky…but I’m not really (evil chuckle to myself).

c) High Protein cheese! Everyone loves cheese don’t they? Well I certainly count myself as a cheese snob and so was sceptical about this one BUT…it really did taste just like cheese – only slightly denser due to the high protein content. Snacking on this to fill in the gaps makes sense, but I even use it to spruce up the protein content of my omelettes by adding thin slices over the top, it gives it a great texture and added flavour to eggs that can get a bit ‘samey’. Or… a snack before bed … but be careful of those nightmares!



Featured, Lawrence Price

Some of My “Secrets”: Systems & Gadgets that ‘Upped my Life’.

October 19, 2015
FaFitSake Systems And Gadgets


Like most people, at some point I had asked myself the following questions;


‘Am I doing enough cardio each week?’

‘Do I eat enough vegetables?’

‘Am I hydrated enough of the time?’

‘Am I getting enough quality rest?’

‘Do I eat too many sugary ‘treats’ each week?’

‘Am I as informed and educated as I could be?’

‘Am I time efficient with my days?’


In a bid to ensure the answers I wanted to hear to the above questions I had inadvertently introduced some gadgets and systems into my life. There are more and the list is ever evolving, but I hope you find the following useful and that it benefits you when taking care of those daily details.



The idea for this article came to me after a recent conversation with a client in which I was proclaiming my personal embrace of any gadgets that made it easier to do more of the things I wanted to do, more of the time – in a health and fitness context particularly. This life improvement spans quite a wide horizon of possibility. In general, I encourage people to do things that enable them to be stronger, fitter, healthier…but also happier, more knowledgeable, better rested (mentally as well as physically), to feel less stress/guilt…the list could potentially go on.


Because the list could potentially go on, it is easy to feel slightly overwhelmed and to give up on obtaining those desired outcomes by collectively doing what needs to be done day in day out. But for me, when it comes to living a healthy and happy life the devil is in the detail…along with a hefty dose of consistency. This means there is no wonder ‘diet/fitness pill’ scenario, no quick fix. The results are obtained after a commitment over time to take care of the seemingly daily mundane or to implement the routine that you don’t begrudge and then subsequently rebel against (the odd relapse is fine by the way, just make sure you get back on that horse). Because of this requirement for consistency, if you are battling with too many obstacles to live a healthy and happy life you will eventually give up. Fact.


After the aforementioned conversation with my client I realised that I had brought a number of gadgets and systems into my life to help bust down the obstacles that were present in my life.


Some of My Secrets…. My List of Systems & Gadgets:


Quest Protein Bars – Ok after such a big build up this first one is perhaps a bit of surprise but let me explain my rationale. Having cut all sugar out of my life but also having an irrepressible sweet tooth from time to time (along with an active lifestyle) I was experiencing phases of abstinence followed by bouts of extreme relapses. Cakes, donuts, chocolate everywhere…things often got pretty messy. A change of tact was required. By introducing Quest bars every now and then during the week my urges were satisfied and, while still strictly a processed food, with a very low net carb rating and high in protein I was taking care of my cravings but was also many fewer grams of sugar a month better off. If you think about it, for any sweet toother, this could be a master stroke!


Kindle – I was never a big reader previously. Becoming a real life adult (very recently) completely changed that and I now love to read up on subjects that interest me. I always read my Kindle before bed and on weekend mornings…on the go…fantastic. It has inspired and informed me with great success.


Nutribullet – One of the biggest clichéd health and fitness items on this list – but for a reason. I used to be concerned I wasn’t consuming enough soluble fibre, alkaline and nutritiously dense foods…in one fell swoop this took care of that. Highly convenient.


Sunrise Alarm Clock – This has ‘risen’ as a topic in a previous article. Especially prevalent now that the mornings are dark at wakey wakey time…avoid adrenaline bolts of wake up stress by gently waking and feeling happy. I actually often find myself waking with a small grin on my face. Weird I know – especially for someone who aint built for early starts! Start the day happy and it’s more likely to last.


Bicycle – ‘What could one of these strange contraptions be?’ I hear you say…well while it may seem obvious to some, swapping the hectic public transport commute for a gentle cycle through parks and along the river has downgraded my monthly stress levels ten fold. In fact the stress of late overcrowded buses and tubes has been swapped for beautiful scenic cycles filled with happiness and inspirational sunrises/sunsets.

(Just one example of my commute to work…pretty uplifting)


Abel and Cole Weekly Vegetable box – I used to also be aware that perhaps I wasn’t eating enough vegetables of the required quality each week. So I introduced the Abel and Cole delivered veg box into my life on the premise that I would always have a stack of organic veg that I would HAVE to get through each week. It worked! I now eat tons of veg without even thinking about it…not to mention the variety of nutrients I now consume from lots of different vegetables I previously didn’t even know existed. It’s a highly healthy and highly brainless procedure. For the record, I don’t buy nutritiously bland and flavourless supermarket veg anymore. * Also, as an add on to my veg I also include a weekly order of lovely Welsh water to ensure I drink enough during the day without having to think about it. Drinking enough quality water (not from the tap ideally) is so easy that in my experience it is often over looked by people and neglected. It is amazing how much better your body and mind function when you are hydrated!


Nespresso Coffee Machine – Quick and easy morning expresso straight after my shower. Enough said.


Audio Books/Podcasts – You know those bicycle and Kindle things I mentioned earlier…well it’s tricky to combine the two and still be alive at the end of the day…BUT…With about 2 hours daily spent on my bike, in the gym or walking around town I can now learn amazing things, be inspired to achieve more or be entertained whilst peddling along or lifting heavy things listening to Audible and my Podcasts (obviously not whilst cycling in traffic, don’t be foolish now! Strictly parks only). If you combine all that time over the week then I have the potential of 10 hours extra learning. Pretty awesome.


These are all simple gadgets or add-ons to my weekly routines that stack up over time and make a huge difference. I no longer worry if I am getting enough cardio in each week just as much as I relax in the knowledge that I am eating all my greens! The end result is that I feel pretty damn good most of the time and with little effort required, I certainly don’t resent the process of living a fit and healthy life but instead revel in it.


I recommend that you take some time to consider the obstacles in your life and implement the necessary solutions to overcome them with the minimal effort for the maximum results. A little initial groundwork will massively be worth it. 

Featured, Lifestyle, Marathons, Travel

Where are the world’s most scenic marathons?

September 9, 2015


It doesn’t matter where you’re going to run: the buildings, the landmarks and the general scenery are all going to dictate part of how you feel during the event.

Cityscapes can often be extremely rewarding, especially in major urban hubs, such as London or New York. Conversely, running alongside the coast, Brighton for instance, makes for a hugely appealing prospect and definitely adds a scenic air of calm alongside the cheering, happy crowds.

Choosing which marathon course you’re going to run for the first time can often depend on where you live. However, if you’re looking to combine great sights with an awesome experience, check out the six scenic marathon routes below and don’t forget your camera.

Venice, Veneto, Italy – 25th October 2015

Seriously, if you’re looking for scenery whilst running a marathon then there are few finer and more unique examples than Italy’s premier north eastern city, Venezia. Starting at the Villa Pisani and set against a backdrop of villas, bridges and piazzas, the Venice Marathon is one of the world’s most special events with plenty of appeal for families, beginners and pros alike. Picturesque does not do this route justice and anyone hoping to run back in time and incorporate the history, heritage and culture of one of Europe’s most revered locations has to add Venice to their hit list.

Jungfrau, Switzerland – 12th September 2015

There can be few more beautiful sights other than snow-capped mountain peaks and ice cold melt-water lakes which is why the Jungfrau marathon encapsulates the true meaning of stunning scenery. Not only will the sweeping views over Interlaken and Kleine Scheidegg take your breath away but the altitude at almost 1900 metres might well do the same. There really is nothing like this anywhere else in Europe with some of the Alps most iconic mountains adding to an absolutely exhilarating and challenging marathon experience.

Marathon du Medoc, Bordeaux, France – 12th September 2015

It would be a shame to run through one of Europe’s most revered wine regions without at least stopping off for a tipple along the way which is why Marathon du Medoc always proves to be a draw for athletes and wine buffs alike. This ‘race’ gives participants the chance to put the fun back into run as fancy dress is obligatory as is consuming over 20 glasses of regional reds. Aside from the wine there’s more than enough cheese, meats and crackers to go round with a backdrop of chateaus, vineyards and lakes adding to one of the world’s most unique and enjoyable marathons.

Florence, Tuscany, Italy – 29th November 2015

Renowned for its Renaissance artwork and architecture, Florence (Firenze) is one of the world’s most enduring cities and certainly a great setting to run 26.2 miles. In general, the course is flat and takes in many of the city’s characterful piazzas and major sights including the Santa Maria del Fiore, the Ponte Vecchio and Michelangelo’s statue of David. Although there are a fair few cobbles and not too many cheering crowds, this is definitely one to add to the scenic hit list and a must if you’re hoping to lose yourself within the beauty and culture of Tuscany’s world-famous citadel.

Big Sur, California, West Coast USA – 24th April 2016

Serious scenery on the west coast of America has to be experienced first-hand. An early start to the Big Sur marathon guarantees you get to make the most of the entire day as well as avoiding the midday heat and if you’re hoping to incorporate giant redwoods, undulating hillsides and those crashing Pacific coast rollers then this is the one for you. There is a time limit of six hours but if you can better an average of around 13 minutes per mile you should be on track to experience the coast with the most alongside the awesome sights on Highway One.

Great Wall of China, Tianjin Province (near Beijing) – 21st May 2016

Why not save the best to last? There can be few more iconic images on the planet other than China’s Great Wall and if you’re hoping to take on just over 5000 steps as you wind through valleys, past villages and across hillsides then this will be one of the most challenging, yet rewarding, marathons to put you through your paces. With a cut off time of eight hours, you’ll be expected to grin and bear it if you don’t complete prior to 2pm but if you can handle the heat, the altitude and those steps then the views are simply sublime and well worth the inevitable calf strain.

Whichever scenic marathon you’ve set your sights on, just remember that preparation is the key to having an enjoyable all round experience. Running in a different country can throw up numerous obstacles that you might not have thought of so just aim to take everything in your stride rather than dwelling too much on any negatives.


Featured, Lawrence Price, Lifestyle

Calm and in Control: The Power of a Good Morning Routine.

August 19, 2015
Relax And Control FaFitSake

I feel like it is the right time to be writing about this

I am currently enjoying the home straight of a massive U-turn in my life. Growing up I may have been guilty of developing a reputation as a big sleeper, which is great and healthy when applied in the right measure to an active person, but lying in and waiting until the very last second to leave the house each and every morning has its many drawbacks. I have a very different approach nowadays…now that I’m a proper grown up man n’all, I cherish an earlier rise to allow for a morning routine that sets me up on the front foot every day (and life is MUCH better for it) – here I want to share with you the pitfalls of the relentless ‘Lyer- Inner’ and the endless benefits of the ‘Rise N Shiner’.

Observing: The Lyer-Inner of old…

Back in the day, my morning routine would be thus:

1: Wake up as late as possible to allow a simple shower and dash out the door with mobile food in hand. On with day….
2: (I guess there is no second part to this routine?!?!).

The only other elements to add here would be a robotic zombie like check of social media, my emails and the news as I prepare to take on the delights of London public transport just at the time most people are looking to do the same.

The result is that I have left the house with an under nourished and dehydrated body who’s first task is to start reacting to external forces that will ultimately shape my mood for the day, alter my hormone balances and almost guarantee a lower level of personal productivity and performance until I go to sleep….only to repeat the horror show the next day. Does this seem rather familiar? Perhaps you’re thinking ‘what’s the big deal?’…

…well let me explain my rationale.

Doing all the above on a regular basis can lead to a physical frame with less muscle and more body fat relative to what you deserve as an active and healthy individual. Why?

  • –  Firstly, you haven’t eaten a decent meal in a long while by the time you wake up in the morning, your body NEEDS to be nourished properly. Refined or processed convenience foods simply won’t do because you can guarantee they will be lacking in the required nutrients to get you into a thriving state (Remember…the goal is to ‘Thrive not Survive!’), in fact they will also contain a whole host of unpredictable nasties that will hijack any physical progress you are trying to make – if you haven’t made your breakfast completely from scratch, you really don’t have a full idea of what could be in there regardless of label claims!
  • –  Secondly, the stress hormone Cortisol is being encouraged to flourish from the second you are; startled by your alarm clock, right through to reading the first frustrating email of the day oozing of a colleagues own personal frustration, on to checking some doom and gloom news headlines of Armageddon imminent, then feeling serious FOMO (fear of missing out, obvs) and jealousy at what fun everyone else ‘seems’ to be up to on Facebook and finally to sprinting for a bus you may well miss before being crammed onto a sweaty tube for half an hour. High cortisol levels reduce the body’s ability to regenerate and tone muscle whilst it encourages fat storage in the body. You may be training regularly and eating healthily at supper time but wasting all your efforts due to a poor morning routine!

    Doing all the above can lead to lower cognitive function (under functioning mind/thought processes). Why?

    – Firstly, you are not giving yourself the opportunity to be in control of your own personal mindset and emotions. From the moment you read someone else’s demands on email you are entering into a state of reactive thinking that is controlled by other people with other issues very different to your own. Once this chain reaction starts early in the morning it tends to stay with you for the rest of the day…not good if you are trying to follow some personal dream of your own!!!

  • –  Secondly, healthy body healthy mind and all that…as discussed, your body ain’t so healthy perhaps, so maybe neither is your mind! This is a whole other post altogether (watch this space!).
  • –  Stress and adrenaline leads to ‘fight or flight’ mechanisms triggering emotional thinking…we all know that’s not always a good idea when it comes to making good decisions!! Without going into too much detail, you get the picture….

    Ok here we have ‘The Rise N Shiner’…

    My morning routine in this day and age goes a little something like this…

    1: Be gently woken up by my Sunrise Alarm Clock a good hour before I need to leave the house. This is a lovely calming experience I must say, no early shots of adrenaline thank you please…I recommend you buy one in fact!

    2: I make my way downstairs and before getting into the shower pop my saucepan of food (eg grass fed beef stew and veg left over from the night before) onto a light heat so that it’s ready for when I’m changed and ready. Btw, I ignore conventional breakfasts and stick to what’s best for my body and what makes me feel tip top…once you break yourself free of cultural habits such as cereal and toast you’ll be feeling tip top too!

    3: I sit down and eat my breakfast with what is normally my only coffee of the day and I really enjoy the process of my body slowly waking up and my mind slowly engaging with the day ahead. I DO NOT TURN ON THE TV OR LOOK AT MY PHONE!!! Sorry, I just had to stress that bit..

    4: Now this next bit may sound slightly mental to some, many apologies. Next up I take 10-20 minutes to practice a very relaxed form of meditation, non religious. This is my opportunity to form the mindset that I want for the day and to encourage my ‘true self’, for lack of a less hippy term, to be in control and not be affected by others or the media.

    5: Lastly I take on my first challenge/task of the day completely on my own terms and what’s great is that I feel completely calm and in control…what a lovely feeling that is.

    For me, this routine fits in perfectly with the lifestyle I believe in of being fit, happy, healthy and in control of your destiny (as much as one can be). If you value taking time to eat well and train hard because you understand the benefits, then I suggest you also give some time to consider your morning routine, it may be the last piece of the puzzle that opens up endless possibilities for you…


All, Featured, Lawrence Price, Lifestyle, Music

First World Fitness Problems…Headphone Wires and Clunky iPhones

August 5, 2015
Miiego Earphones No Wire No Worries FaFitSake

Sometimes you don’t fully appreciate the depths of a niggling problem until you live a little of your life without it. Or at least that is to say that you sample how improved something could be…which modifies your perspective on what you have been putting up with!

My new found freedom…

I had such a moment in the gym this week…

Perhaps you could liken it to the moment 21st century man invented the Oyster card allowing other humans to effortlessly bleep their way onto the tube without fumbling around in their pockets for loose change. Or that time when you realise you can copy and paste blocks of text from the Internet into your course work project without the need for monotonous copying by hand. Eureka!

Ok, so maybe this weeks breakthrough wont have quite the same level of impact on mankind and civilisation, but when it comes to finding an edge to my training I do get a little excited!

For years I have been grinding my way through gym sessions whilst semi consciously doing an intermittent dance with my headphone wires as they ping-pong back and forth across my face, chest and into my short pockets where they penetrate my sizeable iPhone. No I’m not just pleased to see you…

The amount of times I have accidently karate chopped my headphone wires whilst running on the treadmill causing my iPhone to fly off the shelf…or spent most of my efforts focussing on avoiding the scenario by half holding the wires with one hand instead of relaxing into the running style itself. This state of affairs leads to an odd one sided arm drive…not efficient for good running technique and certainly not cool!

In other scenarios I have ended up playing an imaginary game of chess with my iPhone as the only ‘chessman’ on the stretching mat whilst foam rolling tension out of my quads and ITBs. You know the sequence of events – you’re writhing around on the mat trying to find new areas of tension whilst massaging out painful spots and you end up nudging your phone out of the way across the surface whilst getting more and more tangled in your wires. At some point you’re guaranteed to foam roll over your phone and accidently email someone something you really shouldn’t have…ok that’s only happened to me once, but once is enough believe me!


Wire Free Foam Rolling

There are certainly many more niggling issues, too many to list…

…yesterday I was doing the bench press and as the bar firmly pressed my chest it crushed the volume control button towards the top end of my headphone wires which is definitely a painful shock and rather a distraction with 100kg bearing down on your pecs.


…the biggest and most common problem with headphone wires and bulky phones is highlighted when trying to perform a ‘cross-training’ or ‘circuits’ type of workout. In such a HIIT routine you need to push yourself hard and move quickly between a wide variety of exercises, it is unrealistic to achieve the desired intensity whilst being plugged in.

Here is the paradox – your favourite music motivates you to push yourself, but your headphone wires and phone cause you to hold back your efforts slightly!

I know I’ve certainly held myself back from a box jump or two at the fear of launching my phone across the room as the wires tear off my ears and land on the girl doing her Yoga poses on the adjacent mat. I’ve lost count of the times I have thrust an arm into the air and pulled out one earphone mid set to then have to try and pretend that it’s not a distraction whilst finishing the remaining reps.

All these problems aren’t the end of the world of course, we can happily cope by being patient and adjusting most exercises to accommodate a few pesky wires and a small metal brick of a phone bulging in your pocket…but the best workouts are always focussed with minimal distractions and taking these problems away can actually free you up for a whole new level of performance. That’s got to be a good thing non!?

So what did I do this week that was so revolutionary?

Well I grabbed some wireless headphones (Miiego AL3 Freedom), got my favourite playlist prepped and ready before hitting the gym. According to Miiego’s tag line ‘No Wires. No Worries’… I was feeling hopeful!

Rather like an animal being let out of captivity into the wild for the first time, at first I felt slightly hesitant with my new found freedom. There I was in the gym listening to my favourite tracks, in my own little fitness world, with only wireless headphones on (plus my gym kit obviously…) and no other distractions! To test the water I started jumping about and trying out some plyometrics. Pretty soon I was fully engrossed in a full on training session incorporating some compound lifts with some dynamic contrast sets. The animal had been set free and was truly enjoying what the vast gym wilderness had to offer!

Having smashed out one of my best sessions in weeks I sat down with my recovery drink together with nibbles and tried to mentally digest what had just happened. I likened the liberating feeling to skinny dipping for the first time…casting off the shackles and enjoying the essence of the activity itself. I had definitely discovered what pro sports teams call ‘an edge’ to my game.

Now that I’ve experienced training in the wire free zone, like copying and pasting my course work for the first time, I would find it tricky to go back to the old ways. If you love music and love to train hard without distraction I definitely recommend that you take this next step in your fitness evolution and go ‘wire free!’


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