Go nuts for November!

Homemade Nutty Energy Bars
For this recipe, you will need:
100g chopped mixed nuts (or nuts of your choice)
180g peanut/almond butter
200g oats
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp honey

• This is a really easy, no-bake recipe. First, mix the chopped nuts and oats in a large bowl. Melt the honey, peanut butter and coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat, then mix into the nuts and oats.

• Once the mixture is firm and holding together, press it into an eight-inch baking dish and store in the fridge for 2-3 hours, before cutting it into around eight good-sized bars. They last up to five days in the fridge, but mine rarely last that long!

That’s it for this month. Next time I have a Christmas treat for you that’s so tasty, you’ll wonder how it’s possible it can be healthy too! Stay safe and well in the meantime.

Words by:
Ian Eassom
Featured in:
November 2021

Personal trainer (and former chef) Ian Eassom shares his tips on staying fit and healthy, with the occasional treat…

Happy November everyone!
It can be hard to find the motivation for exercise, especially with these colder days setting in, so why not try and get friends or family involved to help you encourage each other? A few of my clients like to book their sessions with a friend or partner for that very reason, although I suspect sometimes against their will!

This month, my clients will be demonstrating four different exercises you can do, which will not only burn pre-Christmas calories but also up your fitness levels and flexibility. Earlier this month, Alison and Michael had their two grandchildren join them, and this is a perfect example of how much fun exercising together can be, regardless
of any differences in your age or ability.

Although you will need a pair of gloves and some pads, these can be quite reasonably priced and soon earn their keep! This is great cardio, as well as working your whole body. Not only can you punch the pads with your fists, you can also work in some kicks. For this I go into a reverse lunge (take a step back and lower yourself onto the leg behind you) then push forward into a high kick whilst someone holds the pads in front of you. If you want a real challenge, you could do a set of burpees between each bout of jabs at the pads.

Hip Thrust with High Air Punch
The hip thrust motion mainly targets the glutes (your bum muscles), as well as the hamstrings at the back of your legs. Your quads (the muscles on the fronts of your upper legs), core and hip muscles will be working too.

To do this, lie on the floor facing upwards, and place your palms on the floor behind your head and your feet under your knees. Decide which arm you want to punch with; let’s use your left for the example. Push your pelvis upwards to form a tabletop position, and using your left leg to keep your balance, punch upwards with your left arm, making sure not to lock your arm fully straight. Repeat this ten times before swapping over onto the other arm.

Jump Rope
My client Hattie uses the jump rope at various speeds and heights as a great warm-up at the start of our sessions. However, don’t forget that skipping is a high impact exercise for your knees, so don’t forget to warm up with a few stretches first and go gentle to start.

Dive Bomber
The dive bomber is another great exercise and one of my favourites. From a kneeling start, place your hands on the floor, with your feet and hands set at shoulder width apart. Then lift your hips up towards the ceiling and straighten your legs so that your body looks like an upside down V-shape from the side. Aim to create a straight line through your body from your hands, arms, shoulders to your hips. Getting the motion right is key for this next move, so keep in mind a bird diving into water then lifting elegantly up and out again; you’ll see what I mean. From this top inverted V position, bend your elbows and lower your head forwards and down towards the floor between your hands, whilst keeping your hips up above your shoulders. Just before your head touches the floor, start to move your head and shoulders forwards in front of your hands, keeping just above floor level, whilst lowering your hips down to the same height as your ankles and shoulders. You will find yourself in a low plank position, similar to a basic push-up. Take a moment and then from this bottom position, move your head and shoulders backwards, as you bend and push your hips upwards, straightening your arms to return to the top position of the upside down V.

Homemade Nutty Energy Bars
With all the pre-diet and exercise before Christmas, we’re probably in need of some extra energy and a sweet treat to keep us going. Luckily, these high protein nutty energy bars are just the job, and they’re vegan too. Research has proven the positive impact that eating nuts can have on our overall heart health. Nuts are tasty, convenient and make for the perfect snack, so you can easily incorporate them into your diet. They are a great source of protein for vegetarians and vegans, and provide you with Vitamin E, Magnesium, Folate, Copper and Phosphorus. These healthy energy bars are also rich in fibre, which adds bulk to the diet and helps you feel full longer. What I love is that they are a tasty treat that’s good for you!

Ian Eassom is a Lincoln-based mobile personal trainer. Ian can offer private online one-to-one sessions, with bespoke exercise and diet plans to suit you. Ian can also offer individual training sessions in your own garden or public space, subject to and in adherence with the latest Covid guidance. Don’t forget there’s a special offer for Lincolnshire Life readers! For the latest information, visit www.ianeassom.co.uk

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