Friday, 13th July

Antioxidants

We have all heard the term antioxidants these days and associate them mainly with fresh fruit such as blueberries.  However, there are many fruits and vegetables that  contain good sources of antioxidants which are highly important in your training diet.

Antioxidants are important in your diet as they prevent oxidation and protect the cells from free radicals.  These free radicals can cause diet related diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Free radicals tend to attach to the fatty acids in the body and can cause havoc to your cells.

The foods that contain these valuable antioxidants are rich in vitamin A, C and E and the minerals Selenium, Copper and Zinc.

The following foods contain these antioxidants in abundance and we encourage you to include them at every opportunity in your diet.

Broccoli and other green leafy vegetables

Carrots

Peppers

Olive oil

Apricots

Nuts/Seeds

Whole grains – oats, rice, quinoa, corn

Monosaturated fats and oils such as olive oil, rapeseed oil and avocados are much better for you than polyunsaturated fats and oils such as synthetic magarines.

Friday, 29th June

Keep it simple 

Summer is an excellent time to start simplifying the food we eat.  Fresh food in season is delicious and full of nutrients.  Also, keeping food simple means less time wasted in thinking about recipes and trying to find all of the ingredients!

This is one of my favourites for breakfast, snack or simply as an alternative to ice cream on a hot summer’s day.  

There is always greek yoghurt in our fridge, but you can use low fat or non fat if you prefer, alternatively use a Vegan yoghurt such as Alpro vanilla which is also nice.

Greek yoghurt with strawberries and raspberries

Ingredients

3 heaped tablespoons thick greek yoghurt 

1 handful of fresh strawberries

1 handful of fresh raspberries

1 teaspoon maple syrup

Method

  1. Place the greek yoghurt in a nice bowl.
  2. Add the berries on top and drizzle with the syrup.  Simple!

Have a nice weekend,

Nicola

Monday, February 12th-Breakfast choices

Breakfast choices

Delicious overnight oats
I love breakfasts the best and knowing that you have something delicious waiting in the fridge just makes getting up even better!
Overnight oats have been around for a while now, but I never get sick of them.
There are many ways of dressing up oats and you can even leave the toppings such as nuts and seeds until the morning, which would make them crunchier.
Don’t think of these as just a breakfast meal though. I regularly eat a small bowl as a mid-afternoon snack, an afterschool snack for the kids and they make an excellent post workout meal after weights too.
Fill up a ceramic bowl or Tupperware container, so that you have enough for a couple of days.
250g oats
Enough almond milk (or any other milk) to cover the oats
Grate an apple with skin and fold into the milk and oat mixture
2 tablespoons of chia seeds
1 tablespoon of Sweet Freedom, maple syrup or honey
Method
Place the oats in the container, pour over the nut milk and sprinkle the chia seeds and a squirt of sweetener.
Place in the fridge overnight.
In the morning
Give the oats a stir and then top with your favourite nuts, seeds and fruit.
I like raisins, sunflower seeds and a small pinch of cinnamon at the moment. More flavour combinations coming up soon.
Enjoy your day,
Nicola.

 

 

 

Super seeded oat porridge
It’s not possible to have too many ideas for porridge. This is cooked with chia seeds and topped with omega seed mix which is a mixture of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and linseeds.
Ingredients
half a mug of porridge
1 tbsp chia seeds
small pinch of raisins
milk of choice to cover such as almond or cow’s
1/4 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 tsp maple syrup
1 tbsp omega mix seeds
Method
1. Place the all of the ingredients apart from the omega mix seeds in a small saucepan and cover with the milk. Bring to a boil and lower the heat and stir continuously ensuring it doesn’t burn for around 5 minutes until cooked through. Serve with the seeds on top.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Energy Balls
Energy balls
Get through christmas cravings with these little balls of deliciousness! The peanut butter/cocoa combination makes them feel like a real treat. Easy to make and no need to feel guilty, you have worked hard for them. One ball a day is enough though before or after a workout is best. I get the ground linseed mix from Aldi, they have different combinations. You could add other ingredients, whatever you have such as dates instead of raisins.
100g ground almonds
75g raisins
1 tbsp ground linseeds
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp agave syrup or honey
50g desiccated coconut
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp coconut oil
In a big bowl place ground almonds, add the raisins, peanut butter, linseeds, cocoa powder, and agave syrup and mix to combine.
In a small saucepan, place the butter, coconut oil and sugar. On a low heat, melt until you have a runny mixture. Mix with the other ingredients in the bowl.
Shape mixture into walnut sized balls and roll in desiccated coconut to coat. Put in the fridge to firm for 30 mins, then eat whenever you need a quick boost such as before a workout or after with a glass of skimmed milk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scrambled eggs with spinach
Scrambled eggs with stir – fried spinach
Scrambled eggs have a reputation as being breakfast food, however they make a great fast meal any time of day. One tip though, make sure you use a non – stick frying pan otherwise you will spend the rest of the evening scrubbing away!
Makes 1
1 tsp olive oil
2 eggs, whisked with a fork in a cup
2 handfuls of fresh spinach
1 tsp sweet chilli sauce (optional)
Method
In a non – stick frying pan pour oil in and bring to a medium hot heat. Place the spinach in and stir until wilting, only a minute or so. Stir in chilli sauce and place on a plate.
Pour the eggs in and stir round constantly or it will catch. Scrape the egg off the bottom of the pan until cooked. Couple of minutes this will take.
Place the eggs on the spinach and dress with cracked black pepper (optional).
Eat to train,
Nicola.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Berry Super Shake
Intro to fat loss
Berry Super Shake
A super shake is a meal replacement you can take with you or rustle up quickly when you need good quality nutrition fast, for example for breakfast or after a workout.
However, calling these meal replacements is almost an insult. There are literally hundreds of supplements on the market claiming to be meal replacements however they tend to contain bad fats, low-quality protein and sugar.
This super shake should supplement an already healthy and nutritious diet full of whole foods.
You can eliminate the oats if it’s a rest day. We recommend whey protein powder for these shakes.
12 oz skimmed milk
2 scoops vanilla or strawberry whey protein powder
2 cupped handfuls of mixed berries, frozen
1 fist of spinach
2 thumbs of walnuts
3 tbsp plain low fat greek yogurt
Handful of oats
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Add the milk to the blender, followed by the protein powder, berries, yogurt, nuts, cinnamon and oats.
Blend on high for 1 minute.
Next add the spinach to the blender and blend again for 1 minute.
Eat to train
Nicola.

 

 

 

 

Breakfast
Introduction to fat loss – recipes
This is a breakfast recipe however if you can’t stomach eating this in the morning or you haven’t got time, it makes a great tasty meal any time of day. I’ve recently started shopping in Aldi’s which is very reasonable for fresh food such as fruit, vegetables and fresh meat.
Breakfast
Omelette with side salad
3 whole eggs
3 egg whites
1oz mozzarella cheese
Olive oil cooking spray
2 handfuls of mixed salad leaves (rocket, spinach, watercress)
1 avocado
Small handful of mixed nuts
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Method
Preheat a large non-stick frying pan on medium heat. Lightly coat with olive oil spray. Whisk egg whites, eggs and grated mozzarella cheese together in a bowl.
Pour egg mixture in the pan. Cook for a couple of minutes until the bottom is golden brown. Flip the omelette and cook until the other side is golden brown.
While the omelette is cooking, in a separate bowl add the salad leaves, chopped avocado, mixed nuts, olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Toss lightly to mix the ingredients.
When omelette is ready, transfer to a plate. Add salad to the side and serve.

 

 

 

Breakfast Granola

Oats are rich in soluble fibre and provide slow release energy as well as plenty of B vitamins and iron. The nuts and seeds supply protein, calcium, zinc and healthy monounsaturated oils. This is quite expensive to make but Aldi’s sell a great range of nuts and the spices will keep for a while. Shop bought cereals are packed full of sugar and salt. This is a nice thing to make on the weekend handy for the week ahead.
Ingredients
400g jumbo oats
3 tablespoons olive oil
200ml apple juice
50g flaked almonds
50g walnuts
125g sunflower seeds
4 level tablespoons linseeds
3 tablespoons flaked coconut
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
100g sultanas
Method
1. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper and pre-heat the oven to 180C(fan) 200C, gas mark 6.
2. Throw all the ingredients apart from the sultanas into a big bowl and mix thoroughly.
3. Spread the muesli over the two trays and bake for 30 minutes or until golden. It is important to stir it every 10 minutes.
4. Cool slightly and add the raisins. Leave to cool completely before storing in a plastic cereal container. This will keep for around 2 weeks.
5. Serve with milk or sprinkle over low fat greek yogurt. 80g whole almonds

Tuesday, 23rd January-Simple veg and nut stir fry

 

Simple weekday vegetable and nut stir fry

Serves 3 – 4

350g egg noodles (or rice noodles)
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil (or olive oil)
handful of button mushrooms, quatered
1 red pepper, sliced
1 yellow pepper, sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 handfuls of fresh spinach or pak choi
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, grated
1/2 red chilli, sliced very thinly
4 – 5 tablespoons low salt soy sauce or tamarin
200g sweet and salty cashews (see recipe below)

Method

Boil the egg noodles according to packet instructions
Drain using a colander and leave to cool.
Meanwhile, fry the onion, mushrooms, peppers, garlic, ginger and chilli with the rapeseed oil for 5 minutes.
Add the noodles to warm along with the spinach and soy sauce. Give it a few more minutes. The vegetables should stay fairly crunchy.
Add the sweet and salty cashews and serve immediately.