Activité Pop Watch Review

I got the Withings Activité Pop Watch in January as a Graduation present from my parents. I’ve been using it for about a month now and a few people have asked about whether I think it’s worth splashing out £120 for so I thought I’d write a brief review! I picked this watch over the other activity trackers because it just looks more stylish and I would be more likely to wear it even if I got bored of the activity tracking element as it’s still a lovely watch.

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I think I got bought the watch as part of a pre-release offer because the emails said things like “thanks for being one of the first Activité Pop users!” and now the  site says “notify me” instead of buy now so you might not be able to buy it in the UK for a while.

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What does the Activité Pop watch do?

The main things I use it for are monitoring activity and sleep patterns. The watch has a “High precision MEMS 3-axis accelerometer” which detects movement, from walking, running and swimming to fidgeting in bed. The amount of activity you do is indicated by the analogue dial on the face. The watch is water resistant so you can use it to track swimming but I haven’t done that yet.

You sync the watch with via bluetooth to your iPhone (I don’t think they’ve sorted Android yet). The Health Mate app tallies up the activity and sleep patterns (and gives you achievement badges or sad faces according to you activity levels).

I really like how you can see the activity levels spread throughout the day – really shows you when your peaks of energy are.

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You can also compare activity levels across the week – it’s pretty upsetting how little I move at work :<

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Even after one month I’m still enjoying waking up and checking my sleep patterns to see how much deep vs light sleep I got. It’s interesting to see the correlation between nights with less deep sleep and tiredness levels in the day.

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The watch also has a silent alarm which vibrates to wake you up. I don’t use this as I have a lumie light bodyclock that I got for Christmas.

Pros and Cons of the Watch

Unfortunately, the watch doesn’t really capture exercise such as cycling (unless you put the watch around your ankle, which I have done a few times haha). Also the first watch I ordered was faulty – it didn’t sync with my phone at all. The support from Withings was really good, they remotely upgraded the internal software (as each watch has a serial code) and when this didn’t work, immediately sent me a replacement and paid for the delivery of the faulty watch back to France. They are also very friendly and quick to respond which I really value.

Positives about the watch include the fact that it is really comfortable to wear – light and flexible so you don’t want to take it off at night. I really can’t wait for the other coloured straps to be released though because the beige is not that exciting (I picked it so that the face would match all of the straps). I also like that you don’t have to charge it or plug it in to sync with your phone. It’s very handy that it is water resistant because I cycle to work and it rains a lot in England. Looking at the activity dial throughout the day encourages me to get up from my desk at work and walk around, it shows how easy is is to be sedentary!

Overall, I love the watch! I’ve recommended a few of my friends get it too so we can track each other’s activity on the social leader board – let me know if you have this watch and want to join it : )

Protein Waffles

I am a big fan of protein pancakes and I had seen a few people turning their recipes into waffles and wanted to try it out myself! I’ve tried 4 recipes so far, but my favorite by a long way is this one adapted from the Tone it up pancakes:

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Ingredients to make 16 waffle triangles (8 portions @110kcal)

  • 3 small ripe bananas
  • 4 medium egg whites
  • 4 scoops of vanilla protein powder ( I use Holland & Barrett soya one)
  • ~ 200ml of soya milk sweetened with grape/apple (not refined sugar)
  • few shakes of cinnamon

1. Preheat waffle iron and spray with low calorie oil to prevent sticking.

2. Add the bananas, egg whites, protein powder and cinnamon to a blender. Top with about 100ml of soya milk and blend. If the mix is too thick, add more milk.

3. Keep blending and adding milk until you have a thick batter consistency

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4. Pour a quarter of the mix onto the hot waffle plate and smooth until even

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5. Close the lid and let it cook on medium-high temperature for about 4 minutes until golden brown. Can cook for longer if you like them crispier.

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6. Take out of the waffle iron with a spatula and leave to cool on a wire rack.

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7. Split in to triangles for freezing in portions of two!

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8. Or stick in the toaster and eat with your favourite toppings (maple syrup is delicious, but also tasty are chopped bananas, agave syrup, butter, choc-shot, cinnamon, berries…. anything you fancy!)

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Have you made any good protein waffles? Keen to try new recipes! :)

Bulk buying herbs & spices, and tempeh finally!

I was running low on herbs and spices so took a detour on the way home to the Chinese supermarket. I have to be careful because I could spend hours browsing in there, so much interesting stuff! Anyway, the herbs are always so much cheaper than buying brand names so I like to refill old jars. I also found some tempeh! So excited to try that this week! It’s frozen so I’ll have to look up how to prepare. Any suggestions?

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Tahini tasty stir fry!

I’ve used tahini to make houmous before but never thought to put it in a stir fry until a friend suggested it today. I had some freezer foods to use up so thought I’d give it a go – and it’s delicious! Noting down the “recipe” for my own reference as this is a fast favourite! My first draft of this recipe was wiped by the wordpress app in upload grrr!

Ingredients (serves 1)
– half tblsp olive oil
– half a small onion finely chopped
– 2 quorn frozen fillets
– soy sauce (dark)
– chilli flakes
– broccoli (sliced into bitesize pieces)
– peppers (mine were frozen)
– any other stir fry veg you have to use
– noodles/rice/quinoa (rice and quinoa should be cooked earlier than the veg)
– 1.5 tblsp tahini
– cayenne / black pepper (optional)

1. Heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and soften.

2. Add fillets and coat with the oil. Cook for a few minutes then add splash of soy sauce and some chilli flakes.

3. Star cooking the noodles as directed.

4. Add the veg and stir to coat with soy sauce/chilli.

5. When the noodles are cooked (5-7 minute) drain and set aside.

6. Mix the tahini in with the veg/fillets then add the noodles.

7. Stir and serve topped with cayenne and black pepper. Enjoy!

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Spicy Mexican tortillas

If you’re vegan and looking for a way to spice up those bean cans, or a carnivore looking for a delicious meat-free dinner then I’d recommend the meal I just made (35 minutes from chopping to plating up!)

Ingredients (makes 4 portions)
– 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 onion
– 2 garlic cloves
– 2 carrots
– 1 courgette
– 2 tablespoons tomato puree
– 1 tsp smoked paprika
– 1 tsp chilli powder
– 1 tsp fajita mixed spice (optional)
– salt and black pepper
– Other spices as desired
– 2x cans of 400g black beans
– 1x 400g chopped tomatoes
– 1 avocado
– 8 mini wholehwheat tortillas (I don’t think mine were vegan)
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1. Heat the oil in large pan over medium heat. Chop the onion and garlic finely and add to hot oil. Stir until translucent (couple of minutes)
2. Chop the carrot and courgette into small pieces, add to the onion and garlic. Soften for 5 minutes in the oil/onion mix.
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3. Add the spices of choice and tomato puree, sir to combine well.
4. Drain and rinse the beans. Add to the mix along with the tomatoes.
5. Add about 100ml of water and bring to the boil. Then reduce to a simmer and let the mix reduce for about 20 minutes. Could add more water and boil down for longer if you have the time!
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6. When reduced to desired texture, start warming the tortillas up and slice avocado to serve.
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Hot & Spicy Tofu Stir Fry

I quite often buy tofu after seeing a recipe somewhere and then forget what I was planning to do with it… this time I had written down some ingredients for a stir fry I saw online but then decided to add some flavours to it as I went along. The result was very tasty so I’m sharing :)

Ingredients (makes 2 portions)
– Tofu
– 1/2 tblsp olive oil
-2 garlic cloves
-1 red onion
-1 medium carrot
-handful of mushrooms
–  1 green pepper
-2 tablespoons tomato puree
-1 courgette
-1 tsp paprika
-1 tsp parsley flakes
-1 tsp black pepper
-1 tsp tumeric

– optional: 2 tsp harissa paste, dried chili, sesame seeds, brown rice/noodles

Directions:
1. Drain tofu and press between chopping boards to remove excess water. Then cut into small cubes (~2x2cm)

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2. Chop veg to bite size pieces, slice onion and garlic thinly (I am saving half of ingredients for dinner tomorrow!)

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2. Heat the oil on medium and add the garlic and onions – soften for 3-4 minutes

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3. Add the courgette, mushroom, carrots, and pepper – soften for 1-2 minutes

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4. Add the spices, harissa and tomatoe puree and stir until veg well coated

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5. Add the tofu and warm through for a couple of minutes

6. Serve with rice, noodles or simply topped with seasame/flaxseed :)

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Roasted vegetable quinoa

I started this post as a reminder to myself to make this again as I really enjoyed having it from lunch – it was tasty and filling. In fact, that’s what most of my posts are for haha. Anyway, give this a try if you need some lunch inspiration.

Ingredients

– half butternut squash
– 2 large carrots
– large sweet potato
– medium onion
– 1 garlic clove
– 1/2 cup quinoa dry
– half veg stock cube
– olive oil
– cracked black pepper
– Italian herbs

1. preheat oven to 200

2. Cut up veg into cubes

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3. slice onion and garlic
mix together in baking tray with oil, pepper and italian mix herbs
roast in oven for 30-40 minutes

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4. rinse 1/2 cup dry quinoa
add to pan with 1 cup boiling water and half a veg stock cube, bring back to boil then simmer with lid on for 10 minutes until can see the swirl on grain
drain quinoa and leave in pan until veg ready

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5. add to veg and mix. leave out to cool then refrigerate until ready to eat. microwave (2-3mins) or eat cold

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