Wednesday, 31 October 2012

My all time favourite lunch.............

And in glorious colour, here it is a medium organic Avocado, two soft boiled poached eggs, baked tomatoes and mixed leaves on wholemeal toast x 2.

And why is it my all time favourite lunch, well apart from being yummy, healthy and nutritious, it is well balanced and gives me nutritionally everything I need. 

Lets look at my lunch in a little more detail.

Firstly the Avocado, I love avocados (some people like my daughter hates them, I'll never know why!)  Now while they are high in fat (around 14g in half a medium sized fruit), most of that fat comes from healthy monounsaturated fat.  The most commonly known monounsaturated fat is olive oil.  These type of fats are 'heart' healthy and may help reduce your risk of stroke or heart disease as well as lowering bad or LDL cholesterol.

Avocado's are also packed with carotenoids. Carotenoids are lipophilic (soluble in fat, not water), so eating carotenoid packed foods like fruits and vegetables along with monounsaturated fat rich avocados helps your body absorb more carotenoids. Which is why I have it with leaves and baked tomatoes.  The tomatoes being cooked (rather than just eaten cold) so the skin just starts to split releases more lycopene.  This super little fruit is also high in fibre which of course is necessary for healthy digestive functioning as well as giving us the feeling of satiety.

I could go on more but I think you get the drift, so if you've not tried avocado's yet, be sure to add them to your next shopping list :)

Next the eggs, love poached eggs nearly as much as I love avocado's!  And as I was taking a photo I managed to do two brilliant soft and oozing poached eggs, Delia would be proud :) 

Eggs have for a long time had bad press due to the cholesterol which is found in the yolk. But the NHS now says "that cholesterol found in food has much less effect on the level of cholesterol in your blood than the amount of saturated fat that you eat".  I could argue that 'trans fats' are much more harmful to your body than saturated fats but I think I'll leave that for a later blog. 

Back to the eggs and why they are good for us.  Firstly they are high in protein and protein is essential for the functioning and development of our bodies.  See protein as our bodies foundation, it renews, repairs and maintains, we wouldn't be able to function properly without it.  And a bit like foods high in fibre, protein also has the effect of keeping us full for longer.

Eggs are also high in Vitamin A, (vision and immune system) Vitamin B2 (skin, eyes, CNS, red blood cells), Vitamin D (also known as the sunshine vitamin, healthy bones and teeth) and Iodine (thyroid and metabolic functions). 

So again as you can see an important food for essential bodily functions, if you are worried about cholesterol just have eggs moderately.  But you'd be better off seriously looking at your overall diet, don't think giving up eggs will suddenly lower your cholesterol levels especially if the rest of it is not so good.

Lastly the bread, yes carbs.  And yes carbs are essential, they are your bodies preferred source of energy.  I will try to have my carbs in the form of bread or cereal for either breakfast or lunch or post exercise.  That way I'm able to be active and work them off rather than store them.  Except in the latter example where the carbohydrates eaten after a high intensity workout will help replenish lost muscle glycogen.  I will also try and have slow release carbohydrates that release their sugar slowley so I don't end up with constant crashing and burning! 

And the green leaves was made up of rocket, spinach and watercress.  What can I say goodness from the ground with no interferance apart from a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic!

I know your probably salivating now, so give my lunch a go, you won't regret it and just think how happy your body will be!

Till next time, all the best

Monday, 29 October 2012

Baked Cinnamon Apple Slices

A quick and healthy nutritious snack using only two ingredients, yep you've guessed it apples and cinnamon.

I used gala snack size apples cos their crunchy and sweet but any apple would do.  Simply wash and dry your apple then core it, I left the skin on.  Slice the apple, I did mine about 1cm thick.  Lay them onto a non stick baking tray and dust with cinnamon both sides, use as much as you like.  Put in the oven at 180C for 10 -12 minutes, turn once.

Baked Cinnamon Apple Slices

Eat them either hot by themselves or serve with mixed berries such as blueberries, blackcurrants, strawberries or whatever is in season.  You could even add a dollop of yogurt or vanilla ice cream if you were eating it post workout!

Yum, enjoy :)

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Fish Cakes Recipe

Had some great feedback from a client on these lovely homemade fish cakes so thought would share.  Enjoy, yum!
Homemade fish cakes

·         1 small onion finely chopped

·         500g fish fillets such as salmon, cod or trout

·         350ml of fish stock or white wine

·         500g mashed potato (could be half each of white potato and sweet potato)

·         2 tablespoons of parsley, tarragon or dill or a combination of all three

·         flour for dusting

·         1 beaten egg

·         Fresh breadcrumbs for coating, could be a mixture of both brown and white

·         Little coconut oil for frying


1.    Put the onion in a large frying pan, cook for a couple of minutes on a low heat. 

2.    Add the fish on top, pour over the wine or stock, bring to a simmer.  Cover and cook for 6 – 8 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.  Remove and cool.

3.    Add the onion to the mashed potato with the herbs.

4.    Flake the fish into the potato, season.  Gently mix together with floured hands and shape into 8 cakes.  Lightly dust with flour, dip in the beaten egg, then the breadcrumbs.  Chill for at least 30 minutes (to help the binding process).

5.    Heat 1 cm of coconut oil in a frying pan.  Fry the fish cakes in batches for 3 – 4 minutes on each side until cooked through and golden brown.  Drain on kitchen paper and keep warm till served.  Serve with a mixed green salad and / or the easiest tomato sauce ever (see below).

Easiest tomato sauce ever;

·         garlic (as much as you like, or omit if you’re not keen),

·         1 small red onion chopped roughly

·         500ml carton of passata

·         250ml vegetable stock

·         4 / 5 small plum tomatoes roughly chopped

·         Pinch of Italian herbs

·         seasoning to taste 

Cook the onions and garlic in a saucepan with a teaspoon of coconut oil.  When onions have softened add the passata and vegetable stock.  Continue cooking on low heat on the hob.  Add the plum tomatoes, cook for a further 2 minutes, season and add Italian herbs to taste.
This sauce can be eaten hot or cold. This will store in the freezer for up to 2 weeks, or up to 4 days in the fridge.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Some Tips for Happy Healthy Eating

1.    Eat Protein such as organic lean meats, topside or silverside, sirloin or filet of beef for example, poultry, chicken, turkey (everything trimmed of fat), beans, pulses and fish with at least once a week make this be an oily fish such as fresh tuna, salmon, herring or mackerel.  Soya and Tofu products are also very high in protein. 

To the protein add complex carbohydrates such as wholegrain bread, brown rice/ pasta and fibre rich vegetables, and fruit.  Complex carbs release glucose into your bloodstream more slowly, therefore making you feel fuller for longer.  Our bodies find complex carbs harder to break down; hence you get more energy from it for longer.  Both protein and carbohydrates are essential for bodily functions.  Protein helps with the growth and repair of muscles, bones and cells in the body.  And carbohydrates are our bodies preferred energy system. 

2.    Cut down on saturated and more importantly trans fats, that is the kind we find in cakes, biscuits, baked goods, chocolates, processed foods and junk food, pastries, pies, pasties and always trim the fat off from around meat.


3.      Eat a wide variety of foods.  Your aim is to have a colourful plate of appeasing foods, rather than a bland uninteresting one.

4.      Ideally 40 % of your plate should be made up of carbohydrates, up to 30% should be protein, and up to 30% good fats.


5.      Eat breakfast; it’s the most important meal of the day! 

It will start you off for the day, kick start your metabolism into gear and boost your energy too.


6.      Eat little and often.  Our stomach doesn’t like to be overloaded at any one meal.  Try and have at least 3 meals a day, breakfast, dinner and tea with a healthy snack either side of dinner and tea if possible.  Eating this way helps keep energy levels constant throughout the day.  Plus if you sporadically eat, only once or twice a day, you slow down your metabolism and the food you do eat may well be kept and stored as extra fat!  Try and trick the brain into thinking you are full by eating off a slightly smaller plate.  Take your time and chew properly, it takes about 20 minutes for the stomach receptors to tell the brain you’ve had enough. 

7.      Avoid sugar, or at least try and cut down on the amount you have.  For example, if you have 2 teaspoons of sugar with your morning coffee try and cut down to 1!  Remember sugar causes rapid energy highs, followed by energy slumps, which make you then crave more sugar or sugar loaded snacks.  Instead always make sensible nutritional choices to keep your blood sugar levels constant throughout the day.  Although that said I would prefer to have sugar (which is a natural product) over sweeteners, which is a man-made refined processed product.  As I’ve mentioned just be sensible.

8.      Also watch portion control, we tend to be a very visual, and what’s better than seeing a great big plate full of Steak and chips literally piled high on a plate!  As a general guideline a portion size is what you could fit into the palm of your hand (more detail on this subject to come).

9.      Eat fat to lose fat.  Essential good fats such as Omega 3 found in fish, oily in particular such as sardines, mackerel, trout, tuna and salmon. Omega 6 fats are found in nuts, seeds and pulses.  Other good fats include both poly and monosaturated such as olive, sunflower, vegetable and plant based oils or spreads and avocados.  These types of fats are vital for healthy bodily functions. 

10. Try not to add any extra salt when cooking or at the table. Recommendations are less than 6 grams for an adult and 4 grams or less for children per day.  If you must have your salt fix, look for a low salt or sodium alternative at the supermarket.  Also check food labels, a lot of hidden salt can be found in things such as bread, and cereals.

11. Keep hydrated.  Water is valuable and very important to our daily bodily functions and it helps cleanse are body of nasty toxins.  Try and drink as much as you can, up to 2 litres a day is perfect, more during exercise.  If you find plain water a bit of a chore, try adding a little fruit juice to make a little more appetising.  Rather this than a fizzy drink that will be loaded with sugar and chemicals.

Note on Alcohol, the experts now say, drinking moderately is actually okay.  It allows the arteries to open a little more allowing greater blood flow.  But this is NOT an excuse to drink inexcusable amounts, be careful!!  No more than 14 units for women per week or 2 per day and 21 per week or 3 per day for men.  If possible try and have a couple of ‘non alcohol’ days during the week to allow your liver to recover.

12. Obey the 80/20 rule.  This means if you can be good for 80% of the time, you may allow yourself a little treat or reward 20% of the time.

13. Make time to eat.  In this hectic lifestyle that we tend to lead inevitably we may sit down in front of the telly with a meal on our laps after a stressful day.  Try and make time to sit down at the table and enjoy a family meal together.  Take your time, enjoy your food and enjoy each other’s company.


Personal Training for Motivation

People are mostly creatures of habit; it’s simply the way the mind works. We leave so much to the autopilot inside, the one we've actually conditioned to make all our responses automatically. Personal training from a motivator can actually un-train your old worn out and inappropriate responses so that you make changes in your lifestyle to make real progress.

Motivation is probably the number 1 reason you need to make personal training a part of your weight loss solution or exercise routine.

Personal Training - Advice for Exercise Equipment

If you have been doing the same exercise routine regularly and not achieving the goals you had planned for, the chances are you may have 'plateaued'. It is very common to keep on doing the same program especially if no one has encouraged you otherwise. Your body is stale and bored; it's probably looking for a little variety. It could also be that when you started, without personal training, you lacked motivation, stayed in your comfort zone and didn't use progressive 'overload' to challenge yourself.

A Personal Trainer will ensure you use equipment with maximum effect to get maximum results; you will not have time to become bored!

Personal Training - Diet Solution

Nutrition is about 80% of the big picture. Without sensible eating habits you may as well throw in the towel before you've even started! Sounds harsh I know but bodies that are given everything they need will work at their most efficient. They'll process the foods put in faster and better. They'll give us the energy we need to move more, they'll protect us from illness, and they'll clear all the fat and crap that is clogging up our arteries so that we can effectively burn those stores of fat that are weighing us down.

It is important to know how to work with your metabolism and the correct diet solution to accelerate fat burning. A Personal Trainer will work with you to address your nutritional needs.

Personal Training - When You Hit the Wall

Any personal training advice will tell you that a lot of this is psychological in nature, when people in sight of the finishing line, "hit the wall" and lose energy, drive and sometimes even the hope of finishing the exercise routine or weight loss solution program. Motivation and drive from personal training can help you break through that wall. A personal trainer will help you build a different belief system - a "can do" attitude, rather than a "can't do" attitude. It's a lack of motivation to get started and to sustain your exercise routine and weight loss program, when you need that personal training element to succeed and actually get the results your autopilot inner being has been depriving you of.

Personal Training - Getting the Right Information

How many of you have trawled the net looking for a specific diet solution, a specific weight loss solution, an exercise routine or where to get, how to use, or what is the best piece of equipment for a particular purpose? When it comes to fitness, healthy eating and diet solutions, personal training will be able to give you the answers you are looking for, and often trainers work with other health and fitness professionals to get all the answers you need to get the results you crave.

Personal Training - Rehabilitation

If you are coming back from an illness or an injury, personal training will take all these factors into consideration so that you do not overexert yourself unnecessarily. Your personal trainer will ensure that your routine is complementary to where you are in your physical recovery.

Personal Training - Results Driven

Money does not grow on trees, you have invested in a personal trainer because you want results, you may need them quickly for that last minute holiday you've decided to book or your best friend's wedding.  Whatever the reason your personal trainer is there to make sure they get the best results for you. All you need to do is bring along some enthusiasm, commitment, willingness to have a go and the desire to be your absolute best!

No matter what weight loss solution, diet plan or exercise routine you are looking for, as you can see personal training has so much more to offer than most people realise at first glance, so come on what you waiting for, contact me now and take advantage of the special offer below!