Month: September 2015

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The science of starvation: why fasting diets should come with a health warning

The science of starvation: why fasting diets should come with a health warning

I really enjoyed speaking with Phil Clarke about his radical take on fasting! Opting for a diet that reflected Ramadam (not eating during the daylight hours) then eating what he pleased (usually curry and beer!) when the sun set, Phil successfully lost over 4 stone.  A healthy approach to weight loss?

Not likely! It’s not just about calories as they’re not created equally.  If you’re reducing your calorie intake then make every mouthful count with highly nutritious foods.

I’ll be blogging my take on weight loss soon, complete with a two week menu plan and recipes.

Read what Phil had to say here.

 

 

Nutrient packed protein snack

Nutrient packed protein snack

I’m always getting asked for post-training snack ideas so thought I would take a quick snap of today’s little number.

If your fitness regime involves a few trips to the gym each week, and your goal is to lose weight, then there’s really no point in replacing those calories you have sweat your heart out to burn.  However, if you’ve skipped breakfast or eaten very little for lunch before a workout then this snack is perfect to satisfy your hunger.

There’s also no need for mega protein shakes after training.  They don’t make you miraculously sprout muscles and are usually loaded with sugar.  You’ll get more than enough protein from your daily food intake.  If weight gain is your goal then bulk up with lots of small meals throughout the day that also include carbs and healthy fats (gaining weight can be just as hard as losing it for some people).

For those who are super-fit, training hard to gain weight or maintain a high calorie intake to meet your intensive training needs, then nutritious snacks will make up an essential part of your regime.

This snack is rich in healthy fats, including anti-inflammatory omega 3’s, which research suggests may help with post training soreness (although the amount of omega 3 implied in such studies exceeds what this snack provides but hey, my legs will thank any help they can get!). It’s also rich in magnesium (natures muscle relaxer), low levels of which may encourage cramping.

As always, a good supply of antioxidants from fresh veggies is beneficial for overall health and may be especially important for professional sports people who are exposed to an excess of free radicals from intensive training regimes.

If you’re training hard or looking to gain weight then you may want to add some carbs to this dish.  Try a little white pitta bread as it’s quickly broken down to restore glycogen stores in the muscles and liver.

 

Lentil sprout salad with smoked salmon

Serves one

270 calories per serving

Rich in protein, omega 3, potassium, magnesium, vitamins B & C

 

Ingredients

2 slices of smoked salmon (about 60g)

5 raw cashew nuts

1 tsp pumpkin or sunflower seeds

3 radish, quartered

1/6th small white cabbage, finely shredded

1 tbsp lentil sprouts

1/4 small cucumber, diced

1/2 small courgette, diced

Small handful of coriander, finely chopped

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1 small lemon, juiced

Sea salt

Ground black pepper

 

Method

  1. Place the salmon on a plate.
  2. Set a small frying pan over a low heat and add the nuts and seeds. Toast gently for a few minutes until slightly coloured (don’t leave the pan as they will burn!) then set aside to cool.
  3. Add all the veggies to a medium-sized bowl and combine with the oil and lemon juice then season well.
  4. Add the nuts and seeds to the salad then serve alongside the salmon.

 

Filming with That Girl London

Filming with That Girl London

Great day last Thursday filming recipes with my gorgeous buddy and hugely talented personal trainer, Christina Howells of That Girl London.  Huge thanks to the talented Nina for her filming skills and Fiona for letting us film in her beautiful kitchen.

Deliciously healthy recipes included:

Aubergine, chickpea and feta salad (see below)

Shredded turkey broth

Cashew nut milk

Edemame salad

Lentil sprout wraps with tahini dressing

Chickpea, pomegranate and pumpkin curry (taken from The Detox Kitchen Bible)

 

Great day! Will be including these recipes when Christina and I entertain the health media on a fitness retreat at the Hillside Beach Spa in Turkey next month!

 

Aubergine, chickpea, pomegranate and feta salad

Aubergines and chickpeas make this dish rich in fibre which is lacking in the diet of most people.  Fibre not only aids good digestion but can help with weight loss (keeping you fuller for longer), protect against certain cancers and promote good heart health (reduce cholesterol).

Serves 2

340 calories per serving

Ingredients

2 medium aubergines
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
210g can of chickpeas
Pinch of salt
Pinch of ground black pepper
80g pomegranate seeds
Handful each of parsley and mint, chopped
60g feta cheese, crumbled

Method

1. Cut the aubergine into thick slices lengthways then set to one side.
2. Heat a griddle pan or large non-stick frying pan over a high heat.
3. Place the slices of aubergine on the pan and cook each side for 3 minutes until lightly charred and tender. Once each slice is cooked, place them all in a large bowl and cover with clingfilm. Leave for 15 minutes.
4. Make the dressing by combining the oil and vinegar in a small bowl and whisking.
5. Drain the chickpeas in a colander and rinse then transfer to a large bowl.
6. Take each aubergine slice and roughly tear into strips (you can also use kitchen scissors for this) then add to the bowl with the aubergine.
7. Add the dressing to the bowl and combine, adding in salt and pepper. Next, throw in the pomegranate seeds, parsley and mint leaves then lightly toss.
8. Divide the aubergine mixture between 2 plates and sprinkle with feta before serving.