Food

Superfood Series: The Power of Chia

chia_bottle

What is Chia? 

Chia is an edible seed that comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, native to Mexico and Guatemala, which can be traced back to the 16th-century. Evidence shows that it was cultivated by the Aztec in pre-Columbian times; economic historians have suggested it was as important as maize as a food crop. The word “Chia” means strength, and tradition has it that these cultures used the black and white seeds as an energy booster. That makes sense, as chia seeds are a concentrated food containing healthy omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, carbohydrates, protein, antioxidants, and calcium, hence our term for it: superfood. Additionally, they are gluten and grain free and therefore easy to use in complex diet plans.

Currently they are being used for their nutritional and medicinal properties, as they suppress appetite and support weight loss, level blood sugar, and are a secret tip in regards to endurance for athletes. Dissolved in water chia seeds create a substance that looks like gelatine – the tiny seeds are able to absorb 10 to 12 times their weight in water. This hydrophilic, gel-forming action is due to the soluble fiber in the Chia seed. Therefore, Chia can prolong hydration retaining moisture in the body and even regulating the body’s absorption of bodily fluids like electrolytes.
Researchers believe that this same gel-forming phenomenon takes place in the stomach when Chia seed is consumed, thus creating a physical barrier between carbohydrates and digestive enzymes and slowing the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar. Slowing the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar helps with endurance and metabolic rates.

In a nutshell:

  • High in protein, no cholesterol: Chia seeds are a great source for protein. One serving contains 4.4 grams of protein.
  • Possible treatment for diabetes patients: Chia seeds could be a possible treatment for type-2 diabetes, as they slow down digestions and help to prevent blood sugar to spike
  • Fibre: 28 grams of chia seeds contain 11 grams of dietary fibre – that is a third of the daily recommended intake for adults
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: one serving of chia seeds contains almost 5 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids – 8 times the amount of an equivalent amount of salmon
  • Calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium: One gram of chia seeds contains 6 times more calcium than milk, and 4 times more phosphorus than whole milk; both are important for keeping bones and teeth healthy. It contains 3 times more iron than spinach and 15 times more magnesium than broccoli!

 

 

RECIPES

VANILLA-ALMOND CHIA BREAKFAST PUDDING

2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup Chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
chia_pudding1-2 tablespoons pure maple syrup or raw honey
Seasonal fruit for topping (blueberries, peaches, figs or plums)
Almonds or other nuts for topping

STEP 1   Combine almond milk, Chia seeds, vanilla syrup and sweetener in a bowl. Mix well until combined  and the mixture begins to thicken. Store covered in the fridge overnight, or for at least one hour.

STEP 2   Stir well before serving and add a bit of water to the pudding if it becomes too thick. Top with fresh fruit and nuts of your choice.

NOTE: This recipe makes enough for two large servings, but feel free to double the ingredients and keep it in the fridge. It will keep for up to 5 days.

 


 

 

KALE AND FARRO SALAD WITH LEMON AND CHIA DRESSING

1 cup Farro (or quinoa, if you prefer gluten-free), rinsed and drained
Juice from 1 large lemon (approx. 5 tbls)
3 Tbls olive oil
chia_kalesalad4 cloves garlic
1/2 a medium shallot
1 Tbls Dijon mustard
2 Tbls Chia seeds
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds (Pepitas)
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
1 pear, cored and diced
4-5 cups kale, roughly chopped
Pepper

STEP 1   Place farro in a small saucepan with two cups of water, a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 20 minutes.

STEP 2   Combine the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, shallot and dijon in a food processor and puree. Add the Chia seeds, stir and let it sit while you prepare the rest of the salad, so the seeds have time to expand.

STEP 3   Place pumpkin seeds in a small pan with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt over medium heat. Toast, stirring frequently, until seeds become brown and fragrant, about 5 minutes.

STEP 4   Toss together kale, cooked farro, pumpkin seeds, pomegranate seeds and pear. Serve with lemon and Chia seed dressing.

 


 

 

RASPBERRY CHIA DRINKchia_lemonade

2 cups coconut water
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup raspberry juice (or 1 cup fresh raspberries, muddled or blended)
2-3 Tbls honey
4 Tbls Chia seeds

STEP 1   Mix all of the ingredients in a pitcher. Let sit 30 minutes until the seeds form a gel consistency.

STEP 2   Shake or stir before serving.

 

 

 

Recipes found on dailyburn.com, conveganence.com and busy-mommy.com

 

Easter Recipes for a Family Lunch

carotts2

Happy Easter, everybody! Four months into the new year 2015 we are celebrating the beginning of autumn with these easy and healthy Easter recipes. If you’re starting the day with an Easter brekkie, eggs in all variations are a must! If your having an Easter lunch on the other hand, you can get creative with seasonal veggies, hams and fish. We have hand-picked three delicious Easter lunch (or dinner) recipes that will smoothly fit into your diet plan and won’t make you pay for over-indulging the week after. Add a few simple side dishes, such as roast carrots, asparagus, peas and new potatoes and voilá – you’ve got a beautiful family meal. Off you go, the easter egg hunt is on!

 

ROASTED CARROT SOUP
Hashbrowns, Spinach and Tomato Pie is the perfect addition to your Easter Brunch Menu!

PREP TIME           TOTAL TIME          SERVES

 

INGREDIENTS:soup

  • 3 lb. carrots
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 0.13 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 2 medium trans-fat free margarine or butter
  • 2 clove shallots
  • 3 tsp. garlic
  • 2 c. fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 c. chicken broth
  • 3 piece carrot juice
  • 1 c. fresh ginger
  • 0.25 plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
  • chives

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

STEP1 Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius. On a large jelly-roll pan, toss the carrots with oil, cayenne, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Spread the carrots in a single layer and roast 30 to 35 minutes, or until the carrots are caramelised, stirring once halfway through.

STEP 2 Meanwhile, in a 5-quart sauce pot, melt the margarine on medium. Add the shallots, garlic, thyme, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Cook for 3 minutes or until the shallots are golden, stirring occasionally. Add the carrots, broth, juice, ginger, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cover and heat to simmering on medium-high. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, partially covered, for 10 minutes or until the carrots are tender.

STEP 3 With a blender, puree the mixture until smooth. The soup can be made and refrigerated up to 1 day ahead. Reheat on medium. To serve, top the soup with yogurt and chives.


 

MARINATED BEEF TENDERLOIN

… delicious with roasted carrots and shallots!
beeftenderloin

PREP TIME           TOTAL TIME          SERVES
 
INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 beef tenderloin (3 pounds; preferably center-cut), silver skin trimmed 
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce 
  • Juice of 1 lemon 
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic 
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt 
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely ground pepper 
  • 1 teaspoon safflower oil 
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened, divided

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

STEP 1  Place beef in a resealable plastic bag. Whisk together Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and oil, and pour over beef. Tightly seal bag, and let beef marinate at room temperature 2 hours, turning bag occasionally.

STEP 2  Preheat broiler with rack 4 inches from heat source. Transfer beef and marinade to a heavy oven-safe skillet just large enough to hold the beef. Spread 2 tablespoons butter over top of beef; broil 8 minutes.

STEP 3  Remove from oven, turn beef with tongs, and spread remaining 2 tablespoons butter on top. Broil 5 minutes more.

STEP 4  Remove from oven, and cover skillet tightly with foil. Important: Let beef in skillet rest 45 minutes, otherwise it will be underdone. Thinly slice, and transfer to a serving platter. Serve with pan juices.

 


 

ROLLED STUFFED SALMON

PREP TIME           TOTAL TIME          SERVES

 

INGREDIENTS:
rolled-salmon-baked-343-d111830_vert

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 
  • 2 large leeks, white and pale-green parts only, chopped and washed well (3 1/4 cups)
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, tough stems trimmed, leaves chopped (6 cups) 
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper 
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard 
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic 
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce 
  • 2 1/4 pounds salmon fillet, preferably wild, skin removed 
  • 1/4 cup packed dill sprigs, plus 6 more sprigs for tops 
  • Extra-virgin olive oil

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

STEP 1  Preheat oven to 230 degrees. Melt butter in a large skillet over high. Add leeks; cook, stirring, until just golden, about 4 minutes. Add chard; season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Let cool.

STEP 2  In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, lemon juice, mustards, garlic, and soy sauce.

STEP 3  Butterfly salmon by cutting horizontally through middle along one long side, leaving other side intact. Open flat, like a book. Flip salmon, skinned-side up; season with salt and pepper. Spread top with 1/4 cup yogurt mixture. Top with dill sprigs, then chard mixture.

STEP 4  With a long side facing you, roll up salmon into a tight log. Secure with 6 pieces of kitchen twine, starting about 1 1/4 inches from end and spacing evenly. Cut salmon into 6 equal pieces, slicing between twine. Tuck a dill sprig under twine on each roll.

STEP 5  Place rolls in a baking dish and drizzle with oil, rubbing to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until salmon is opaque on outside but still pink inside, about 15 minutes. Serve, with remaining yogurt mixture alongside.

Recipes found on marthasteward.com and goodhousekeeping.com

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly…

GoodVsBadFats

For years doctors, nutritionists and the media have taught the world that eating low-fat food is the way to live long and healthy. Unfortunately, it is never that easy. Fat is not always bad for the human body. In fact, it can be pretty healthy! Hard to believe?

To understand what you actually should be eating, we first have to clarify some basics. There are actually two types of fat: the horrible, dangerous, yet so delicious one and the healthy, good one. Bad fats can be categorised into so called saturated fats and trans fats. They increase cholesterol and your risk for certain diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and sleep apnoea – no need to mention obesity. Good fats, on the other hand, support your body instead of straining it, protecting the heart and controlling cholesterol, blood pressure and overall health.  Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are know as the good fats.

 

BadfatsTable

Oh-oh: Saturated fats are naturally found in animal products, however, they can be added to other foods, making them healthy. Trans fats are found in baked goods such as pies, cakes, biscuits, pastries, buns, donuts… in everything that is delicious and sticky, really. This kind of fat tends to be solid at room temperature – think of butter or traditional stick margarine.
Both saturated and trans fats increase levels of Low-Density Lipoprotein (often referred to as the “bad cholesterol”, as it can transport its contents of fat cells into artery walls) in the bloodstream.

Generally it is advisable to reduce your intake of saturated and trans fat. When shopping groceries opt for reduced-fat milk, yoghurt and cheese, and leaner meat cuts. However, often “fat-free” or “low-fat” products are actually full of sugar, refined cargo-hydrates and calories, which are equally unhealthy. The keyword is choice – meaning, trying to substitute bad fats with good fats.

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Yay: Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are found in foods such as avocados, almonds, cashews, peanuts and cooking oils made from e.g. seeds, such as sunflower, canola, soybean, olive, sesame and peanut oils. As opposed to fixed-form bad fats, good fats tend to be in a liquid state.
Both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats assist in lowering LDL levels in the blood stream, helping to keep cholesterol levels on track. Where possible, replace foods and drinks high in saturated fat with either monounsaturated or polyunsaturated alternatives. For example:

  • replace butter with olive oil or margarine
  • replace potato chips or chocolate with plain nuts as a healthier snack alternative
  • replace fried fast food with a sandwich or wrap made with lean meat and salad
  • instead of frying, try to bake or grill
  • replace red meat with poultry, fish and shellfish

 

NOTE ON OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS

Fish and shellfish have a high level of unsaturated, rich Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fats are one type of polyunsaturated fats and so ridiculously healthy, that it is recommended to eat foods containing them at least twice a week. Research has shown that they have a significant impact on the physical and mental state of the human body, as they are highly concentrated in the brain. They:

  • prevent and reduce the symptoms of depression
  • protect against memory loss and dementia
  • support memory, conflict-solving abilities and emotional health
  • battle fatigue and help with bipolar disorder and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer
  • ease arthritis, joint pain, and inflammatory skin conditions
  • support a healthy pregnancy

Good Banana Bread – Gluten Free

2a4d57db31ac4db51ed5fc5f17f1b69a

As we come into autumn the nights are getting longer, it is raining and the urge to stay on the couch and declare the day an official cheat-day is immense. Sure, there’s dark chocolate and nuts and all these things that are supposed to satisfy real sugar cravings… Reality is, it doesn’t work all the time.

What about the good, old banana bread? Slightly warm and toasted it is divine and the best thing about it? It doesn’t really count as cheat-food. Bananas is energy food, full of essential minerals and a great source of potassium, which helps maintaining healthy blood pressure and healthy heart function. Being sticky and more or less sweet means you can reduce the amounts of sugar and oil significantly (as opposed to café-bought banana breads, which are full of refined white flour, sugar and saturated, bad fats). We don’t even need to talk about almonds or whatever nuts you decide to use – nuts are full of protein and healthy, cholesterol-lowering fats that keep your body healthy. Get ready, start baking!

 

INGREDIENTS:
1 1/4 cups smashed ripe banana
3 free range organic eggs
2 tbs raw honey or organic maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup macadamia nut oil, coconut oil or cold pressed olive oil
half teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda + 1 tbsp lemon juice
2 cups almond meal
1/4 cup ground flaxseed (linseed) or chia seed

 

METHOD:
banana-sexy

STEP 1   Preheat your oven to 320F (160C).
STEP 2  Combine smashed banana, honey, oil, cinnamon, vanilla, eggs, bicarb and lemon (the lemon activates the baking soda). You can do this by hand in a large bowl or with a good blender. Add the almond meal and flaxseed and mix well.
STEP 3   Lightly oil one loaf tin and then coat liberally with extra almond meal or desiccated coconut. This will prevent the cake from sticking.
STEP 4   Spoon batter into the tin and bake. Bake for 45 minutes to one hour (a skewer inserted into the centre should come out dry). Cover the top with foil if over-browning.
STEP 5   Remove from the oven and allow to cool before turning out the loaf. Makes one loaf and serves 12.
Keeps in the fridge covered for up to one week.

 

SERVING SUGGESTIONS:

Plain and simple, as-is or lightly toasted
Ricotta and honey
Almond butter
Sliced banana, blueberries and raw honey

… on the couch. With Netflix.

 

 

 

Recipe by Teresa Cutter aka The Healthy Chef from her 80/20 cookbook

Quick And Tasty – Easy Lunch Ideas To Prepare The Night Before

e0a9f6f5ac970bfb4f0a9bbfc89f3168

By the time Sunday rolls around, the couch and movies seem way more interesting than slaving in the kitchen for hours, just to prepare lunch boxes for the upcoming week. If you give in, you know, and we know where you going to end up: pizza, pasta, muffin cuffs!
But fear not, we’ve got you covered. Here are three easy-peasy lunches that are prepared in no time, can be eaten even on day 2 and have 500 calories, or less.

 

CHICKEN AND CABBAGE SALAD

Why? Because a portion comes to 575kJ and with 35 minutes cooking time you can easily prepare this filling midday meal the day prior. The crunchy chicken salad has 4g of fat, 17g of protein and therefore is good for you!

What you need:

chickencabbage_salad

 For the dressing:

 

Step 1   To make the dressing, combine the lime juice, palm sugar, fish sauce, vinegar, shallot, chilli and garlic in a screw-top jar. Shake until well combined

Step 2   Place the chicken in a large frying pan and cover with cold water. Season with salt and pepper. Place over high heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes or until chicken is just cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside in pan for 15 minutes to cool. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken to a heatproof bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge for 2 hours to chill.

Step 3   Finely shred the chicken with the grain and place in a large bowl. Add the cabbage, bean sprouts, carrot, mint, coriander and half the peanuts.

Step 4   Drizzle over the dressing and toss to combine. Place in a serving bowl and sprinkle with the remaining peanuts to serve.

 

TUNA AND HUMMUS WRAPS

TunaHummus_wrap

Why? Because tuna. And because hummus. And, it’ll take you 10 minutes to throw something together that will fill you up and satisfy your stomach for a couple of hours. 1903kJ, 14g total fat and 31g protein – boom!

What you need:

 

Step 1   Place the wraps on a clean work surface. Spread hummus evenly over each wrap. Top with tuna, cucumber, spinach and tomatoes. Sprinkle with mint and parsley. Roll to enclose filling. Cut each wrap in half and serve immediately.

 

BEEF AND BLACK BEAN STIR-FRY

blackbean_stirfry

Why? Because rice with a delicious, thick sauce is always a good idea and because it’s super easy to do. Especially when you’re happy to eat the same stuff a couple of days in a row, then this is for you! 20 minutes of prepping, 10 minutes of cooking, 1910kJ per serve with 11g of fat and 36g of protein. Yum, yum!

What you need:

  • 2 teaspoons cornflour

 

Step 1   Combine the cornflour, half the soy sauce and half the sherry in a bowl. Add the beef and stir to coat. Set aside for 10 minutes to marinate.

Step 2   Meanwhile, combine the stock, black bean sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and remaining soy sauce and sherry in a bowl.

Step 3   Heat 2 teaspoons peanut oil in a wok over high heat until just smoking. Stir-fry half the beef for 2 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with 2 teaspoons of remaining peanut oil and remaining beef, reheating the wok between batches. Heat remaining peanut oil in wok. Stir-fry the onion and capsicum for 3 minutes or until tender. Add ginger and garlic. Stir-fry for 30 seconds or until aromatic. Add the beef and stock mixture. Stir-fry for 2 minutes or until sauce thickens. Divide the rice and stir-fry among serving bowls. Top with shallot.

 

All recipes can be found on taste.com.au

Protein – What, Which and Why?

d4e40078f1bfd7e6bab97ec958ffb4d7

Protein powders provide you with a low fat protein source that is convenient and cost effective, meaning, it is a nutrient that is necessary for the proper growth and function of the human body – male, and female. Obviously, there is considerable debate over the amount of protein an adult needs to consume per day. The current recommended daily intake (RDI) for protein is 46 grams for women aged 19-70, and 56 grams for men aged 19-70. Any excess protein is turned into energy by the body. A deficiency in protein leads to muscle atrophy, and impaired functioning of the human body in general.

Of course men seem to make more use of proteins and other muscle-growing substances, than women, but fact is that protein can be part of a healthy diet and a balanced meal plan. The trick is to know how what exactly you need, how much you need of it and what you’re substituting it with.
The biggest factors that influence which protein powder you should choose are generally:

  • What do you need to achieve by using it?
  • Are you allergic to any of the main ingredients such as lactose, soy, casein or eggs?
  • Does the powder contain any enhancements?
  • Are you vegetarian or vegan?

 

DIFFERENT TYPES

white powder of whey proteinThe general types of protein can be divided into two main categories: animal sourced proteins, including milk derivatives, whey, casein, goat’s milk and egg whites; and vegetable sourced proteins, such as soy, rice, pea and hemp proteins. Nutritionally, animal sourced proteins are superior to vegetable proteins, as they generally are complete proteins. This means they contain the necessary amino acids, which are commonly not found in vegetable based protein powders, unless they are added as an enhancement. Vegetable based protein powders are normally used by those who are vegetarian or vegan.

The most common animal protein, whey protein, comes in two varieties: whey concentrate and whey isolate. The advantages of each are:

Whey concentrate is more economical per gram of protein. It has a low lactose level that is well tolerated by most lactose-sensitive people. It has higher amounts of fat and carbohydrates that are relative to your overall nutrient intake. Whey isolate is virtually fat-free and right for those wishing to eliminate as much fat from their diet as possible. It is typically lactose free for those few individuals who are very sensitive to the low-lactose levels found in whey concentrate. Whey isolate tends to taste slightly better than whey concentrate too, yet its consistency is a little thinner.

Casein or Milk Protein

Like whey protein, casein protein is another milk protein derivative. Since most of the protein in milk is casein, the terms milk protein and casein protein are generally used loosely to describe the same product. The key difference between whey and casein is that whey is absorbed in the digestive system quickly, whereas casein is absorbed slowly and steadily, making it a great protein to be taken on an evening before bed. Taste-wise they are similar, both are more or less tasteless in their unflavoured and unsweetened state. At times casein is normally thicker.

Vegetable Proteins

Among the vegetable source proteins, soy, rice and pea protein are by far the most popular. Soy and hemp are unique among vegetable protein sources in that they supply all eight essential amino acids. Most vegetable proteins lack one or more. Soy has additional benefits – the isoflavones in soy provide antioxidant benefits, heart health benefits and is often used by women transitioning through menopause. For all its benefits, soy protein has a characteristic taste that, while not unpleasant, can be hard to completely mask with flavours and sweeteners.

Enhancements

Besides protein, flavours and sweeteners, many manufacturers add other ingredients to enhance the product’s nutritional value and taste, or to make it more enjoyable to use. Other protein powders are enhanced with digestive enzymes to help improve the absorption of large servings of protein.
Another way to enhance a protein powder is by adding amino acids to improve its nutritional value. Although whey protein contains all the necessary amino acids, it doesn’t provide them in equal amounts. By adding amino acids like glutamine, BCAAs and arginine, the nutritional benefits of that protein are extended and enhanced. Other types of enhancements include the addition of carbohydrates and nutritional fats to the protein and/or the addition of vitamins and minerals. However, when these types of ingredients are added, the products can no longer called protein powders. Such products are known as meal replacements or gainers.

Guilt-Free Pancakes

IMG_6729

As we often choose to celebrate specific occasions throughout the year that mean something to us, I am guessing that you didn’t know there was one specific day, just dedicated to pancakes! And why not? Pancakes are awesome! But like everything loaded with sugar, white flour and butter, they’re not the best for . To combat the overwhelming feeling of post pancake guilt, we have found a great healthy pancake recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 scoop Vanilla protein
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal (uncooked)
  • 1/2 medium banana
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon

 

Directions

  1. Place raw, uncooked oatmeal in a blender or food processor and blend until it becomes fine flour.
  2. Add eggs, banana, protein powder, baking powder, salt and cinnamon, and pulse blend until smooth.
  3. Toss blueberries into the batter and mix using a spatula or spoon.
  4. Place a pan on medium-high heat and measure out about 1/8 cup or 2 tbsp of batter per pancake. Use small amount of coconut butter to lubricate the pan.
  5. Cover the pancakes while they cook to help the inside cook faster. Cook them for about 45 seconds to 1 minute on the first side, and then about 30-45 seconds on the other side.
  6. Enjoy some great, guilt free pancakes!

 

Cinnamon helps to lower cholesterol, regulate blood sugar levels and is a source of iron, which improves your ability to transport blood to your muscles so they get workout-powering nutrients. Whey protein powder contains the amino acid leucine, which helps your muscle fibres grow and repair after a gym session. Blueberries are one of the best sources of antioxidants among berries. They are also low-GI, which means they release their energy slowly, and count towards your daily five portions of fruit and veggies. Enjoy!

Running Foods – What to eat before, during and after

chiaseeds

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.

berries

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.

 

 

 

proteinbar

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.

 

chicken

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

c125b8358a3fdd9d33d3d3140fd2c702 copy

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