Posts on Jan 2015

Running Foods – What to eat before, during and after

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Everyone has different levels of comfort regarding eating around training, so it is important to trial what works best for you. In general, allow two to four hours before running and/or after eating a large meal, to allow time for your food to fully digest. After a smaller snack 30 minutes to two hours should be sufficient, depending on how much you have eaten.

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BEFORE

BERRIES: For energy boosting snacks before a run, try to focus on smaller carbohydrate snacks that have a reasonably high glycaemic index score (GI). A food’s GI measure is relative to how quickly it is digested and broken down into glucose, so high-GI foods are absorbed faster and less strain is placed on the gut. Berries are a great little energy booster, they are packed full of healthy sugar and also contain Vitamin C and potassium to help your muscles repair whilst you run. Potassium is also one of the key electrolytes that will help you body fight off those unwanted muscular cramps.

 

 

 

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DURING

NATURAL POWER BARS OR GELS: When talking about foods and supplements to be taken during a run, it all depends on what length we’re talking about. If your going on a chilled run around the block, then you probably won’t need anything, just suck it up and push on as your body has enough energy to get you through. But if we’re talking about a full marathon, then you will have to look to supplements and food sources to keep you going. A great natural option is a handful of sultanas or natural power bars – these babies are packed full of sugar and good fats to keep you going. Alternatively, if you’re about to embark on a 20km+ run it is possible to stick to energy gels. These are full of sodium, potassium and magnesium; all the key electrolytes your body loses during such a run. They are also much more manageable than a handful of fruit.

 

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AFTER

PROTEIN: After your run you probably won’t care what you eat, as long as its tasty and within grabbing distance. However, this is the most important part of your working meals. Your body has just depleted a lot of its minerals and vitamins and has worked a lot of muscle groups for a long period of time. Your post run meal has to be packed with as much protein, carbs, minerals and vitamins as possible – look to lean chicken breast, quinoa, avocado and green vegetables for nutrient dense recipes.

 

Australia Day – A Guilt-Free BBQ

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As we head into a long weekend filled with Australia Day BBQ’s and booze, you’re probably a little worried about sticking to the healthy stuff,  here are a few great BBQ recipes to get you through the weekend, and have you come out on top, ready for another strong week of training. Swap the fatty burger patty for a chicken breast filet and the cocktail sauce for a dressing, voilá – a gazillion calories saved.

A. THE ENTREE: DIPS VS SKEWERS

The classics are generally what ever is on special at Woolies, honey soy chicken, BBQ chicken, hummus and tzatziki dips etc. But you will save yourself a bucket load of money, if you whip them up yourself. Bonus: you will know exactly what is in the marinade. Grab some green banana prawns, garlic and lemon and you will have an entrée to die for! Extra fancy points especially if you leave the tails on when you cook them…

B. THE MAIN: THE BURGER 

Everybody loves a good burger. Unfortunately a quarter-pound beef burger with all the frills will set you back round about 500 calories (30 grams of fat). Take off the cheese will save you about 100 calories. Swap the beef patty for a chicken breast fillet and you save another 200 calories. The burger bun has around 130 calories, so opt for an open sandwich to halve the intake. But if you can’t give up the old burger bun go for a high seed wholemeal variety with a low GI.

C. THE SALAD: POTATO VS CABBAGE

All time classic: the potato salad. Being full of calories (mayo, yum!) it won’t make the top spot on our healthy-eating-list, although it’s full of fiber and Vitamin C. Using full-fat mayo will set you back about 360 calories per cup, but that’s still better than using no or low-fat mayo, which is full of other, ridiculously unhealthy ingredients, such as conservatives, synthetic sugars and so on. Instead, opt for coleslaw with a vinegar based dressing. Red cabbage, white cabbage and carrots are low in fat, packed with vitamins and anti-oxidants and the dressing is low in sodium – which makes it a perfect side.
If you’re not into creamy salads at all, but still want something potato-y, try this: a fresh sweet potato, apple and walnut salad. Find the recipe here: http://bit.ly/1JqxGus

D. THE DRINKS: COCKTAILS VS BEER

Regarding fat, with cocktails you’re on the safe side. Unfortunately the booze and the mixers are what gives your drink additional calories. A standard drink will easily get 160 extra calories on your meal plan. Better: stick to low-calorie light beer (less than 100 calories).

E: THE DESSERT: ICE CREAM VS ICE CREAM

Well, well, chocolate ice cream – delicious 125 calories and 57 grams of fat per serving. Isn’t it tragic? There is literally nothing you can do about the recipe that would lower chocolate in calories without somehow messing up the classic chocolate-flavour. So, simply forget about it all together. Instead, try self-made fruit ice-blocks: swirl up some kiwi fruit, mango and passion fruit in a mixer and a tiny bit of caster sugar, freeze it to ice sticks and enjoy your (almost) guilt free dessert. Find the recipe here: http://bit.ly/1Bd9j1F

Exercise of the week – The Bird Dog

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A much as we all know how much you love a good 5-minutes-bridge every now and then its always important to go back to the basics, especially when it comes to core strength. One of the best core slash lower back strengthening exercises you can do is “The Birddog” (who comes up with these names!?). None the less it’s a great exercise that can be done quickly and at home or work with now equipment, as a warm up or cool down.

HOW TO: Begin on all fours with hands under shoulders and knees under hips. Without arching back and keeping your head in line with the spine, extend your right arm and left leg up. Make sure your arm and leg are level with the back. Balance and hold this position for 5 seconds before returning to starting position. Now perform the same movement using the opposite arm and leg, perform 10 repetitions for each arm/leg combination for 3 sets. Be conscious of your heel position – it must travel higher than your head.

Note: When performing core exercises, breathing is key. Breath OUT on the contraction/initial phase, and IN on the release/rest phase.