Banana Protein Pow Mush & A Weekend in Aberdeen


I’m in Scotland for the weekend and today, I woke up at 5:30am, right after 2:00am, which came after 12:00am, after having gone to bed at 10pm. The definition of sleeping like a baby! During the one weekend spent away from sleeping without my actual baby around. The irony…Anna Sward Sleeping

I just can’t seem to be able to sleep away from home! Even in a massive bed like this with ten pillows of different thicknesses to choose from and a side thing on the mattress that apparently lets you control the pressure of the bed. I slept like a newborn, in the literal sense of waking up every few hours. Woopawoo….
Anyways, I don’t want to talk about sleep. I want to talk about what actually brought me here: to this hotel, to Scotland, to Aberdeen. It was a Protein Pow sampling at the Nutricentre in a huge Tesco Extra store and I chose it, out of a list, I chose that store four months ago when, sitting in front of the head buyer at the Nutricentre, I told her we’d include Aberdeen in our tour to celebrate the arrive of our mixes in 309 stores nationwide. I had 309 stores to choose from and I chose Aberdeen. And it went badly.
Well, not badly. It just… wasn’t as hot a success as all other stores have been where everyone who stops by goes wild for our Pow samples and buys either one, two, or three bags of Pow mixes right then and there!

Why didn’t this happen in Aberdeen? Two reasons: location and the foreigness of our concept to the audience.

FullSizeRender (6)Location in the sense that we were in a very low-traffic store. And foreign in the sense that, while every single person who tried our Pow bars thought they were delicious, hardly anyone there understood why making one’s own protein bars was a million times better than buying protein bars ready-made. You know why they didn’t? Because they didn’t buy protein bars to begin with! Or protein powders for that matter. Most people who went into the store when we were there actually went buy vitamins. And the people at Tesco? Most had either never bought a protein bar or had tried samples from protein bars that tasted like shite (pardon my Scottish) and assumed all  protein bars de facto were like that so they didn’t stop by to say hi. To be honest, I can’t blame them because we saw a well-known company handing out bars the other day and they were beyond atrocious – they tasted like… imagine someone poured cocoa powder into a dirty sock, let it sit there for a week, and pulverised it before combining it with melted plastic and molding it onto a bar. Yeah…

IMG_5152This all being said, we DID speak with several people who fell in love with the idea and bought a bag or two of our mixes mix. The majority of them were parents who were short on time and wanted to make better snacks for themselves and their kiddos. They were incredibly excited about it all – the pancakes, the porridge, the bars and truffles. The kids too were like “mmmm!” which made me smile the big smiles because if there’s one thing about kids it’s that they don’ lie.

IMG_5164So all in all, it was… aight.

I don’t at all regret coming all the way here, to sample at a store less receptive to our message than pretty much every other store we’ve sampled at. I’m a firm believer that all downs have their ups, you just have to look out for them! So what were the ups of this trip to Aberdeen?

1. Yesterday’s dinner. You may think it unoriginal because Nandos is a chain and I always order the same at Nandos and potentially “how boring and non-experimental, why not get a Scottish meal somewhere?” But what can I tell ya? I’m a creature of habit and consistently go weak at the knees for a nice couple of chicken breasts, salad, and freshly-baked sweet potato wedges…


2. Another thing: I’ve laughed so much! Practically every time we’ve had to take a taxi I’ve ended up in stitches because the people we’ve met here have been hilarious! The last taxi driver I was chatting with kept telling us about porridge and how he always only has it with water and salt and I said I loved porridge and that sometimes I add smoked mackerel to mine and he was losing it. “What… the F*** would you do that for!?!?!” He then was talking about going out to drink with his mates and I said next time he does he’ll probably end up eating mackerel with porridge and he was like “no f**** weh! That’ll just neh’varrrr happen, sounds f**** disgusting is what that dohs.” Thank God I wasn’t the one driving because we would have crashed. And I don’t say that  because I don’t have a license (I don’t), har har har.

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3. The fact that I finally get to share you with THIS recipe, which I’ve wanted to share with you for ages. I get to share it with photos taken in my actual hotel room! It makes a difference, you see, because, while obviously not as good as photos I could take at home, this is where it all happens. Or needs to happen. Let me open up that thread of the story by mentioning what happened two summers ago in New York City.:

IMG_5321I went on a book tour to NYC and to run two workshops with Cellucor in the summer of 2014 (check out those pics here and here). I was there for ten days and had THE best lunches ever! But breakfast was a sticky one for me because I didn’t want to spend too much money in New York City but I also didn’t want to not have breakfast. I wanted a quick breakfast that I could have in my hotel room. My requirements were simple, to me at least: I wanted something high-quality, including predominately grass-fed whey, gluten-free, containing fiber, nutritious, and delicious. That was my mission when I went to Whole Foods that second day in New York City. I walked in there to FIND that breakfast item to have in my room. I looked for ages, bought a ton of stuff, and went back to my room where I ended up pushing aside a couple of gluten-free ‘cereals’ I bought because they were gross and, after a few trial and errors, ended up making what I went on to call my New York City Banana Protein Mush. Here’s that recipe. It was awesome! But it did involve buying a bunch of ingredients to mix in and when the time came to fly back, I couldn’t fit all the individual ingredients in my bag so I left them behind. I felt pretty bad about it to be honest because they were expensive but hey… life.


Fast forward to now though, to my Pow mix, and the fact that it’s pretty much just THAT in a bag: the perfect breakfast to carry with you on a trip, any trip. One bag? 15 servings. All you do is this:

1. Find the coffee cup in your hotel room (if it doesn’t have one, just buy a coffee, drink it, and use that cup).

2. Add some Pow mix (the whey or the pea one).

3. Add enough water to turn it into a mush. Or milk if you are staying in the same hotel and it has a fridge – then just buy a carton for the duration of your trip (I did here, I bought some almond milk) and use it every morn.

4. Like your mush sweet? Find the sweetener in your hotel room and add it. No sweetener there? Just grab some sweetener sachets when you go buy your coffee and use those.

5. Mush in a banana. This is optional but I love bananas!

6. Enjoy!

All it is then is: mix + water + banana +/- sweetener. THAT’S IT! One bag and that’s breakfast: DONE. I mean, how awesome is that!? So I had it today. Just now, as I write this, it’s sitting next to me.

Wanna jazz up your hotel protein mush? Pre-pack with you some single serving sachets of nut butter to add on top! Justin’s do these cute 10 packs and they take almost no space (or weight) to carry. Same with little bags of flaxseed – Linwoods do some gorgeous mini packs and they’re great too. The mush is awesome solo though, I’m a fan.

So yeah! Next time you travel, bring your Pow mix bag with you! You can get one from amazon, Tesco stores across the UK, our shop, and through our stockists! And do try to sleep more than I do. And chat with taxi drivers wherever you go, they’re a phenomenal gateway to understanding different cultures and cities!

PS: That on the desk, which I’m holding below, is a stuffed a hairy coo. I bought it yesterday to take back for baby! She’s already seen in on FaceTime and given it endless smiles and giggles so YESSSSSSSSS! Hehe :-)




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