Monthly Archives: January 2016

Breakfast…the Go Ape way!

Breakfast

If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, does that make National Breakfast Week the most important week of the year?

Victoria Bowden - Go Ape Thetford ForestOk, so we’re getting a little too philosophical for a Monday morning, but we can all agree breakfast is a pretty major part of the day. So we asked the team at Go Ape Thetford how they power up for a full-on day in the forest. Here’s what Deputy Manager, Vic, had to say:

“We’ve all heard it before (dons whiney voice..)

 “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”

But you know what, I think they might be on to something.

Breakfast is so incredibly versatile. Hot, cold. Sweet, savoury. At the table, on the go. Eat in, Takeaway. 

That’s why I would hands down class it as my favourite meal of the lot. As a self-labelled “foodie” I get excited to go to bed, knowing what delights might await me in the kitchen in the morning! 

As Deputy Manager at Go Ape Thetford (the original forest adventure, there’s now 29 across the UK!) I am always on the go, as are all of the instructors whose job it is to make our customers experiences the best while adventuring in the forest.

l have witnessed first-hand the difference that a good breakfast can make. Last year, I introduced the ‘Banana Breakfast Club‘ to encourage others to get as enthused about their most important meal as I am. To no surprise, the results spoke for themselves. It was a great way to socialise before knuckling down to a long day in the forest. The team had chance to properly wake up, chat and nourish both mind and body to fuel them for their busy day ahead. Productivity increased, people had more energy and were in a better frame of mind to deliver the top notch customer service that Go Ape prides itself on. A win win!

Naturally, working for a company called ‘Go Ape’ where at every site there is a resident ‘Gorilla’, and head office is called ‘Banana HQ’, bananas become a staple part of the diet. It’s practically a given, And why not?! They are a great food, the unsung hero of a breakfast plate I think. You can slice ’em, dice ’em, smash ’em, fry ’em, put them in a smoothie, or just peel ’em for the easiest of on the move eats. The list of health benefits of bananas is a long one, but for us at Go Ape, their high energy and ability to stabilise blood sugar during exercise is great for keeping us going whilst swinging through the trees.

Here’s a few snaps of my breakfasts that have helped me get to where I am today. 

(Please excuse me for being one of ‘those’ people who takes photos of their food – I just love it!)

Oat and Chia Porridge

Oat and Chia Porridge, Cinnamon toasted Cashews, Caramelised Bananas and a dusting of raw Cacao

Banana and Date Breakfast Bars

Banana and Date breakfast bars made without fat or sugar

Gluten Free Banana Pancakes

Gluten free banana pancakes with Nutella Yoghurt

Feeling inspired? Got a favourite breakfast of your own? Share it with the Go Ape Tribe!

Macro Photography That’ll Blow Your Mind

Macro Photography

Macro photography: Extreme close-up photography, usually of very small subjects, in which the size of the subject is larger in the photograph than in real life.

Macro photography’s got us mesmerised here in Banana HQ – we can’t stop staring at the surreal images of real-life objects and insects. Macro photography’s all about zooming-in on teeny-weeny subjects to reveal things that often aren’t visible to the naked eye. And the results are pretty outstanding.

Here’s a pick of some of our fave macro photography shots:

Macro Photography Snowflake

Remember cutting out paper snowflakes and hanging them across the ceiling of your school classroom or bedroom? We do. But we never knew this is what they actually look like! Impressive, huh?

Macro Photography Snow

…And how about this cool ‘ice formation’, captured by Moscow-based photographer Andrew Osokin. It looks just like a Christmas tree – how apt!

Macro Photography Frog

Oh, nothing much to see here. Just a frog, perched on top of a log, practicing the art of Haka…

Macro Photography Dew Droplets

How beautiful is this? Photographer Noam Fram-Schwartz believes macro photography is a combination of art and science. With his camera, he “[tries] to capture images that are aesthetically pleasing while at the same time scientifically captivating.”

Macro Photography Insect

Here’s a fly, taking its morning shower in the dew. We’re amazed, while at the same time a little freaked out…

Macro Photography Praying Mantis

Nope, we didn’t believe it was real either, but it is. Eco Suparman from Borneo captured this wheely cool picture of a praying-mantis setting off on its morning commute. But It’s left us wondering: where’s the helmet?

Macro Photography Ant

If you think you’re having a bad day, spare a thought for this little fella. Apparently, zorbing isn’t so fun when you’re a teeny insect…

Macro Photography Caterpillars

Two very hungry caterpillars indeed. The only thing that would make this photo more impressive is if the caterpillars’ trails spelled the word ‘hello.’

So, are you as captivated as us by macro photography? If you’ve seen some interesting snaps whilst scanning the web, or have had a crack at taking some macro photos, why not share them with us?!

It’s Snow Joke

Snow in the Forest

Well, we’ve certainly got the weather for it but even so, there’s still not enough of the white stuff!

We’ve been sat here twiddling our thumbs in anticipation of some snow – we’ve dusted off our sleds and everything! Snow…where are you?!

Alright, so there are some parts of the UK that have already had some snow, but it’s yet to grace us with its frosty presence. The thing we love most about snow is that everyone can get outdoors and enjoy it. It doesn’t matter how old you are, it’s always acceptable to hurtle down a hill on top a scrap of cardboard!

Another great thing is that snow brings people together – mates meet up for a snowball fight whilst families make snow angels in their back gardens. And let’s not forget finding the spare woolly hat and scarf and heading outdoors to build a snowman.

When it comes to constructing icy masterpieces, people are becoming increasingly inventive. We’ve been scanning the web and have come across many creations that have amazed us, amused us, and even frightened us! Here are some snowman alternatives to try:

Lego Snowman

Impressive, huh? We suspect these kids’ parents have put in some serious snow sculpting practice over the years. And it’s certainly paid off…

Evil Snowman

It’s the stuff of nightmares – and probably not the snowman to build if you want your kids to sleep tonight.

Snow Cat

How about building a frozen friend for your pet? Be warned, though: your kitty might need some serious comforting when its pal turns to slush.

Snow Bird Feeder

Pretty and practical, if you can get over the fact the bird is essentially pecking at the snowman’s brains.

Snow Stormtrooper

Introducing Snowtrooper. If you’re a Star Wars buff, why not have a crack at building a snowy version of one of the characters? (Tip: Jabba the Hutt is a good place to start).

Snowman Eats Child

“Kids, this is what’ll happen if you misbehave at school.”

Cycling Snowman

Q: How do snowmen travel around? A: By b-icicle! Hats off to the creator of this sculpture, who has someone managed to keep the snowman and bike upright!

Snow Unicorn

What is more magical than a unicorn? A unicorn in the snow! Even more magical if you manage to find an icicle for its horn.

Snow Bed

All that snow sculpting is bound to tire you out. We can’t imagine napping on a bed of freezing cold snow is very comfortable, though…

So, are you feeling inspired? We certainly are. If and when the snow arrives, make sure you share pictures of your brrr-illiant snow sculptures with us!

 

Feel-good drinks to try this winter

Feel-good Drinks - Top Tips from Go Ape

Has this weather left you feeling, erm, a little under the weather?

If so, then it could mean you’re suffering from SAD – that’s short for seasonal affective disorder if you didn’t know and yes, it’s a real thing.

Not only are many of us trying to battle wintertime blues, but this chilly weather’s got our immune systems working overtime as they try to fend off nasty colds and flus. Not so easy when Jack Frost comes nipping at our fingers and toes every time we head outdoors.

But, fear not. We’ve got a solution – well, a number of solutions in fact, in the form of healthy, natural winter remedies that will cheer you up and give your immune system a boost, too. So, rather than indulging in a hot chocolate the next time you feel blue, treat yourself to one of these healthier feel-good drinks instead – your body will thank you for it:

Lemony goodness

Did you know, one of the best ways to start the day is to drink a cup of warm water with lemon? That little yellow fruit is packed full of vitamins and antioxidants that boost your immune system, flush out bad toxins and energise your body and mind. The recipe’s simple: squeeze the juice from half a lemon into a cup of water (warm is better than boiling) and add honey to taste.

Minty fresh

It’s a great breath freshener, and it’s also been proven to aid digestion and alleviate aches and pains (making it a perfect post-winter’s-walk brew). Grab yourself a handful of mint leaves, roughly chop them and diffuse in a cup of boiling water. Sweeten with a squeeze of lemon or dollop of honey.

Ginger tea

Ginger: you either love it or hate it. If you’re a fan of the spicy root, enjoying it in a cup of hot water has many benefits: it helps settle stomachs, it cleanses our bodies, and it also has antitussive properties, meaning it can soothe a tickly throat. You need just 1 teaspoon of grated ginger root per cup and if you want, you could add ½ a squeezed lemon, some honey, or a cinnamon stick to enhance the flavour.

Spicy coconut tea

If you’ve a penchant for spicy things, try this immune-boosting recipe: in a saucepan, mix together ½ cup of coconut milk with ½ cup water and a teabag, along with a generous pinch of turmeric, ground clove, grated ginger and vanilla (and cayenne pepper, if you really like it hot). Allow the ingredients to simmer for five minutes before serving.

Super smoothie

Feel-good wintertime drinks needn’t always be warm! If you’re suffering from a cold or flu, treat yourself to this super smoothie and you’ll feel better in no time: in a blender, blitz together two seedless oranges, 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of grated ginger, 2 teaspoons of honey and 4 ice cubes. For that additional kick, add a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Do you have any wintertime drink recipes of your own? If so, we’d love to hear them! Now, let’s go and put that kettle on…

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