Wednesday, 28 December 2016

2016 Bodybuilding & Athletics Revew!

So 2017 is rapidly approaching and that means 2 things- review last years goals and set some new
I don't really set resolutions but I do set numerous goals, big, medium and small to keep me focussed all year. But its important to reflect on the previous years goals to see if you hit them, if you didn't - analyse what happened and whether you can learn from that to have a better chance of hitting future goals. So its important to write those goals down and keep them safe so you can look back and see how your previous year went and also put them up somewhere that reminds you constantly of what you are working towards to help keep you focussed!

So this time in 2015- I set some big fitness goals for myself, I love challenging goals but they all come down to one thing.
If I feel I committed 100% and didn't hit my goal, as long as I know what I need to do to improve, and I did my best- I will be happy, I wont hang my happiness and self worth on a goal in a subjective sport where many factors out of your control can influence the results. So if you compete on the stage- I also recommend making performance goals so that all your focus isn't on the stage itself.

So last years goals
Retain my World Title (making it 3 in a row)
Win NPA British Title (retain but in new category) (making it 3 in a row)
Win an Olympia Title (natural Olympia of course)
Win the Natural universe
Gain a pro card with another fed
Win a British title at Masters Track Champs
SO how did i get on?
Well i didn't hit them all- but i am really happy with how it went and this years results have opened up new doors and new challenges as i move on to a new chapter in my competing career!

My main two goals were to retain my world and British titles making them both 3 in a row and i set a personal goal to try and win a British, World, Olympia & Universe title with 4 different feds, in one year - a crazy goal which i don't think has every been done before - and i came close, but one got away!

Retain my World Title
I competed in Madrid in October, i moved up to Masters this year so i moved from open to Masters
category and won my category, making me World Champion with this fed for the 3rd year in a row- i did also enter the open class, and took 2nd- there nothing i could really have done to change my look for this- it was just a close result with a great competitor.

Win NPA British Title (retain but in new category)

This is the only time i stepped on stage in the UK this year. NPA are lifetime natural, and i support this fed because its the only fed i know who
do this- and the fact they have no political agenda- its just a friendly fair fed. Again i moved up to masters- so took my 3rd British title, but in a different category this time. It was so much fun competing with NPA again.

Win an Olympia Title (natural Olympia of course

I have my pro card in Figure and Classic Figure and i came away with 2nd in the Pro Classic Figure, just one spot off hitting my Big goal for he year- yes disappointing to come so close, but i knew it was a crazy goal in the first place- and to come so close to getting the 4 different titles - i am still proud of that.

Win the Natural universe
This was a new federation for me- UNBA- and wow, what a federation, i felt at home as soon as i
arrived for registration - i love the people - ive already been back to compete with them again and they will be on my calendar every year now! I entered open figure and won the tall class and then went up for the overall with the short class winner. Whoever took the overall, walked away with their IFPA Pro card so it meant the world to me to win the overall!  

Gain a pro card with another fed
I entered a few new feds this year and am happy to say i won my pro card with 3 new feds to add to my WNBF pro card. I got pro cards with the IPL - a new federation with stringent policies and procedures with doping control and i was so excited to get the opportunity to compete with them while i was in the USA. I also gained my PNBA Figure pro card in my 3rd year competing with them- i won this at the Night of Champions in California. At the universe i won my IFPA pro card and had my debut at the California Pro Show in November, taking 2nd in my first pro show which i was so excited about and i took away some great feedback and advice for next year!

Win a British title at Masters Track Champs 
I had hoped to compete a few times on the track this year - but i actually only made one comp. The British Masters Indoor Champs. I took Gold in the 200m, and silvers in 60m and 400m. The times were much better than i had expected after a 2 year lay off so i came away a very happy girl- i didnt get chance to compete again but i'll amend that in 2017!

Get a new deadlift PB (i love / HATE deadlifts)
So i really struggle with deadlifts- after i broke my back i struggled to get this lift up to anything descent. I had a very long gap from training deadlifts because i prefer a HEX bar and the gym I'm using didn't have one. (i prefer HEX as i can do these pain free (standard bar deadlifts always cause me hip / nerve pain- regardless of treatments and technique work) But my gym just got a HEX bar so 2 weeks ago i put deadlifts back in my plan, I
felt good first session back so i thought id try a 1rm tests and see where i was at and smashed my pb from 104 to 110! So in the last few weeks of the year- i finally managed my final goal of the year- i left it late but it just shows you should never give up on a goal!

So today is full of reflection and setting my goals for 2017 and starting to make a plan for how to hit those goals, its really important to start planning- as that old saying is true...  
                                         FAIL TO PREPARE and PREPARE TO FAIL
so have you set your goals? made a plan and started to prepare? 1st Jan will be here in a flash!

Monday, 24 October 2016

New Supplement Sponsor! Vegan Supplements

Last year I transitioned to vegan after 25 years as a vegetarian and I was fortunate to have a supplement sponsor who already had a choice of vegan supplements, vegan proteins and foods that they could supply me with - however they were moving in a direction as a company that didn't really work for either of us so a few months ago we parted ways. I'm not one for jumping company to company- and I have to be sure any supplements I use will not result in problem with drug tests etc so I didn't want to rush finding a new sponsor, but I also wanted to have an opportunity to work with a company who share the same ideal and ethics as myself - so basically I wanted to look for a vegan only supplement company- of which there are several around now!

Anyway- I got a message last week from a company I have used when I first went Vegan- Veggie Style- an all vegan company run by Carlos Barbon- Vegan Strongman competitor. Carlos asked if I would be interested in a sponsorship with them - and without any hesitation I was happy to accept  his offer- as ive used the products before, he is passionate about the vegan way of life and we met last year at the Alicante Vegfest and I just felt this was a great match!

I strongly believe people should be careful not to sell out to the first company that offers them a tub of protein or a discount- if you are representing a brand- that brand also reflects on you so you should always be sure you 100% believe in their products before putting your name to them! I feel totally confident this is a great company for me- all natural supplements- with no added chemical/ artificial nasties- just perfect for me! The company are based in Spain, like I am but they ship across many parts of Europe - so I'm really excited to be announced as one of their Team! Im excited for the future and want to give a huge thank you to Veggie Style for believing in me and supporting me on my journey! 10% off with promo code Jules
also find them on FACEBOOK

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Vegan Athlete My first track race in 2 years. British Masters

2016 Competitions!
Just an update on what ive been up to this year. I started my year off with some athletics, competing at the British Masters Indoor Champs after 2 years off racing. It was great to see my athletics friends again and i even had a few ask me about my vegan lifestyle which is cool!
200m Gold- my favourite race
60m Silver- a great battle of a race with Michelle Thomas- an awesome athlete
400m Silver- I love / hate the 400m, i hadnt really trained specifically for this- or long enough so it was just good to get a good race in!
Its definitely got me fired up to compete on the track more regularly - but it will be 2017 before i don my spikes in a race again as this years comps ive already planned and its all about the stage. But im already training with next years races in mind!
Some pics from the comp and a video of one of my races! I even got a little mention in Athletics Weekly!

#hubbardathletic #hubbardfitness

Monday, 4 July 2016

Documentaries about healthy eating and plant based diets, vegan, vegetarian.

If you are thinking of going veggie or vegan, or have made the switch but family and friends aren't very supportive- or you are struggling to keep to the lifestyle- there are lots of documentaries out there that can inspire you and give you the facts to back up your lifestyle choice!
Over the last week I have been ill (first time in about 10 years!!!) so I thought while I cant go to the gym or go out- I will watch some documentaries ive never had chance to watch, to get more knowledgeable about Vegan living - its been really eye opening for so many reasons
reinforcing my belief that's its the healthiest way to eat, but  also the information on environmental damage and how bad factory farming has become- id say worse than when I first went veggie 25 years ago... which is truly sad. Its also reinforced my belief in that whatever your food choice- avoiding overly processed food and reducing consumption of junk food is vital for our longterm health.

SO if you are interested in a good watch- heres the links to the ones ive been watching!

Since I wrote the original blog a new film has been released called
What the Health
This was filmed recently and focuses more on health and misinformation out there- definitely highy recommend this one- doesn't contain too much graphic filming so much easier to watch than many Vegan documentaries.
You can watch the film on DVD, Netflix, Vimeo and I found it on you tube too

Original blog...
Vegucated is a 2011 American documentary film that explores the challenges of converting to a vegan diet. It follows three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks- also youtube have follow ups on each of them now! I think its interesting to follow people trying to adjust to this way of life as most of us could relate to them in some way.
Vegucated on YouTube

Food Inc
Not specifically focused on Vegan / Vegetarian diets-  but in more general terms looks at food production processes, How farming has changed, industrialisation of farming, GMO's and processing of foods. It may speak to a wider audience as its focus is food production, and would probably make most people think about reducing the amount of processed foods and junk foods in their diet and look at organic/ whole foods (nutritious whole foods) for a healthier diet.
Click here to watch Food Inc
Documentary filmmaker Robert Kenner examines how mammoth corporations have taken over all aspects of the food chain in the United

Forks over knives
Focuses on the Health aspects of Plant based diets. It looks at studies on the causes of illness and disease and how our diet can impact our health and how doctors are using food as medicine.
watch Forks over Knives

Cowspiracy & Meat the Truth
Both these Focus on the environmental impact and sustainability issues surrounding animal agriculture. SO if you are concerned about deforestation , global warming, pollution of our waters etc- these are very enlightening to watch!

Click here to watch Cowspiracy

The Sustainability Secret is a groundbreaking feature-length environmental documentary following intrepid filmmaker Kip Andersen as he uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today – and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it.
Animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation, water consumption and pollution, is responsible for more greenhouse gases than the transportation industry, and is a primary driver of rainforest destruction, species extinction, habitat loss, topsoil erosion, ocean “dead zones,” and virtually every other environmental ill. Yet it goes on, almost entirely unchallenged.
As Andersen approaches leaders in the environmental movement, he increasingly uncovers what appears to be an intentional refusal to discuss the issue of animal agriculture, while industry whistleblowers and watchdogs warn him of the risks to his freedom and even his life if he dares to persist.

click here to watch Meat the Truth
high-profile documentary, presented by MP Marianne Thieme (leader of the Dutch party for the Animals), which forms an addendum to earlier films on climate change. Although such films have succeeded in drawing public attention to the issue of global warming, they have repeatedly ignored one of the most important causes of climate change: the intensive livestock production. Meat the Truth draws attention to this by demonstrating that livestock farming generates more greenhouse gas emissions worldwide than all cars, lorries, trains, boats and planes added together. The calculations used in the film derive from and have been validated by the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the UN (FAO), the World Watch Institute, the Institute for Environmental Studies of the Free University Amsterdam and numerous other authoritative sources.

Do you have a recommendation? Please share in the comments!

Friday, 1 January 2016

Vegan and Vegetarian easy substitutions!

If you are switching to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, it can seem very daunting to start with, so heres my simple guide to how to make simple substitutions to make the transition easier.

Firstly look whats out there, there is actually so much more easily available vegan and veggie foods now that weren't around when I switched 25 years ago, when lentils and dry soya chunks was the only thing available and you havd to go to specialist health food shops to find it. Go to your regular supermarket, If you take a look at the alternative diets section of the supermarket you will find dairy free products to replace chocolate, biscuits etc and the chilled cabinets and freezer sections will have lots of options. Then take a trip to a health food store and even more choices are available!

Heres some ideas!

Meat & Fish Fillets
There are so many veggie and vegan options now to easily replace fillets, roasts, burgers and sausages, which means your meal will look very similar to your old meals, this is particularly helpful when the whole family are not on board as familiarity makes everyone feel more comfortable, Linda McCartney does a Vegan and Veggie range, Quorn have now got a Vegan and Veggie range along with many other brands, even supermarket own brands!

Casseroles, chilli, bolognaise, curry, soups etc
Quorn or Soya mince / chunks can be used to easily replace popular dishes very easily as you pretty much use them in the same way you would meat. Beans, split peas, lentils and chickpeas can easily be used to make a variety of dishes replacing the meat and still packing a protein punch.

Anyone taking the next step towards a Vegan Lifestyle, I would advise a gradual transition, while your digestive system adapts and you get familiar with some new foods and recipes.

Animal Products
Many foods contain animal products like gelatine (made from beef and pork), especially sweets and yoghurts / chilled deserts. Jelly is gelatine based, but you can get vegan jelly to use as a substitute and there are many veggie / vegan alternative yoghurts and deserts that use pectin instead, you just need to check the labels. Health food stores sell gelatine free sweets now so you can still have lovely cruelty free treats!
There are so many alternatives here, with a huge choice of non dairy milk commonly available including soya, rice, almond, oat and hemp milk, for yoghurts you can find  soya and coconut varieties, non dairy butter, non dairy icecreams, soya cream, custard, There are lots of non dairy cheeses now and hummus is just a naturally dairy free option which I love! You can even get dairy free chocolate in health food stores! And did you know Oreo cookies are naturally vegan!

This is one may people struggle with, most veggie sports people and meat eating bodybuilders rely on eggs as a high quality protein so replacing them can seem daunting.
Breakfast- I simply replaced my breakfast eggs with vegan sausages and I really look forward to my breakfast, but you can make a replacements for scrambled eggs using Tofu! One of my vegan friends and fellow competitor Emma, gave me this scrambled tofu recipe! Simple and tasty!

Break down the tofu with a fork first, then fry it with turmeric and Maggi Sauce (adds spicy flavour) then add black pepper and Nooch (nutritional yeast) 

The pic shows a breakfast I had in an Amercian Diner, scrambled Tofu, sliced potatoes, tomato, mushrooms and kale. It was delicious! 

Also, for those that bake and cook their recipes from scratch, eggs are a vital ingredient to may recipes as a binding agent. The pic below shows lots of options you can try as egg replacements in recipes.

Protein- most people use whey and casein protein- but if you want to give up dairy then there are lots of options available. Check through my blog for product reviews! I'm currently using Veggie Style Protein & Moringa blend. It mixes the best out of several I have tried and helps me get my protein needs in, especially when I'm travelling!

Many supplements are from non veggie / vegetarian sources so you need to check the websites / labels, but more and more products are being made with non gelatine capsules. I get all my supplements from Veggie Style, I am sponsored by them, but I was using their products for over a year before I was sponsored, so I totally believe in their products.

Anyone wanting to make sure they get enough protein, please see my page 'how do I get my protein' HERE
find my tips on  on how to become meat free HERE

And for bodybuilders and sports people, here's a typical day to answer that common question How do you get your protein? HERE

And check out my archives for other articles & supplement reviews, recipes etc!

Dairy free Vegan supplements click here!

Feel free to comment with your own suggestions or links to good recipes and good luck with your transition to a Veggie or Vegan lifestyle!