Fit Tips - Fibre Gains!!
Get some Fibre
We all know fibre is
good for us, and I don’t just mean fibre-optic. Including fibre in your diet
can help prevent heart disease, diabetes, some cancers and can also improve
advise we consume 30grams of fibre daily, from both soluble and insoluble fibre
sources. A healthy, balanced diet can provide enough but If you feel you need
to increase your fibre intake, it’s important to do this gradually & keep
well hydrated too. Try keeping a weekly food diary and count how much
fibre you’re consuming then adjust accordingly by adding some of the foods
All beans are high in
fibre so why not try meat Free Mondays and make a veggie chilli tonight with a
can of kidney beans and your favourite veg.
Ditch the white carbs
and try replacing with wholegrain pasta or bread where possible.
Keep your finger on the
pulse by adding chickpeas and lentils to your diet. High in fibre, protein and
low in fat they’re a great way to sneak in more fibre. Why not try making
your own hummus for a healthy snack - http://deliciouslyella.com/the-best-hummus/or add chickpeas to curries and soups for added depth.
Go nuts with pecans,
almonds and walnuts as these have more fibre than other nuts. Eat solo or make
your own protein balls, granolanut butter or sprinkle a handful on salads for a
I love sweet potatoes.
They’re so versatile and taste great. When it comes to fibre, be sure to eat
the skin as that’s where the fibre’s at. Sweet potato wedges make a great
dinner alternative to normal fries and are so easy to make –
Sweet potatoes – one
1 tbsp of cayenne
1 tsp. turmeric
salt and pepper to
Pre-heat the oven to
Wash the sweet potatoes
and then after drying, cut into wedges, in a small food bag add some olive oil
and throw in the spices. Add the wedges to the bag and tie a not to secure,
then shake to coat the wedges in spices and oil.
Spread the wedges on a
flat baking tray and bake for 20 -30 minutes. Turning half way.
Oats are a great source
of fibre and are super handy to have in the kitchen. Make porridge and top with
berries for a double dose of fibre, overnight oats or add to your smoothies.
This recipe is seriously tasty http://minimalistbaker.com/peanut-butter-overnight-oats/
Don’t skip your five a
day. Crunch an apple, snack on berries or get creative with broccoli. Try to
eat more veg than fruit as it has less sugar and there are so many awesome
recipes available that veg really doesn’t have to be eaten as a side - http://paleomg.com/paleo-broccoli-fritters/
Live Well, by
fibre-containing foods promotes gut health. It also provides a slow-release of
energy, helping us to feeler fuller for longer. Dietary fibre is found in plant
foods such as fruit, veg, oats, beans and lentils all contain soluble fibre,
whilst wholemeal bread, brown rice and wholegrain breakfast cereals all contain
insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre, such as that found in oats, also helps to
reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol. Insoluble fibre is
vital for our digestive system helping to prevent bowl complaints.
Have a happy, healthy
Fit Tips - Easter Advice!!
Did you know the
average Easter egg contains around 500 calories? Add in the naughty little
treats that go with it and you’re looking at almost half your daily calorie
intake in one sitting. With Summer just around the corner, you’ll want to
banish those extra calories fast! So we have a challenge for you next week – how
many Easter eggs can you burn off in four days?
Speedy ways to shift
those calories in the fitness centre include running on the treadmill adding in
sprint intervals and high intensity classes such as Insanity, studio cycling is
also great for torching calories fast!
those of you that can’t get to the gym over Easter – get active with the kids,
go for a bike ride or grab a good ol’ fashioned skipping rope and take to the
park Tabata style – 20 seconds of skipping, rest for 10 seconds and repeat
eight times. Try doing four sets of tabata alternating exercises such as
burpees, star jumps, push ups, high knees and mountain climbers. Four sets will
be a great twenty minute workout and all you need is a skipping rope and timer.
Have a happy, healthy week.
Fit Tips - Mood Boosting Foods!!
Start your morning with a bowl of
porridge or some overnight oats.
Oats are more of a mood stabiliser than a booster. With
a low GI level they are a great source of slow release energy, this will stop
you getting blood sugar spikes and in turn keep you from getting tired and
Bananas do it all. An easy snack to carry on the go,
they contain the amino acid tryptophan and also vitamins A, B6 and C,
fibre, potassium, phosphorous, iron and carbohydrate! The carbs aid the absorption
of this amino acid, the amino acid then helps produce serotonin. For a
double whammy of goodness, try topping your oats with banana.
Chicken has some of the same magic as
bananas - it also contains tryptophan and boosts the production of
serotonin. Alongside this it encourages the production of melatonin, which
helps regulate sleep. We all need a healthy night's sleep.
Get some nuts
Brazil nuts are
full of the mineral selenium. People have been getting less and less of it
in their diet over the years but just three of these nuts a day brings you up
to your RDA.
Low levels have been linked to
depression, anxiety, irritability and tiredness. We feel like the Snickers
advertising campaign makes even more sense now.
Make like Pop-Eye
is full of key B vitamins that are known to balance your mood and boost serotonin
levels. Lower levels of these important nutrients have been linked to
By Annabel Zierold:
is our body’s source of fuel, providing energy in calories and essential
nutrients for us to function efficiently. Protein is one of the primary
macronutrients that our body requires in large amounts, providing 4kcal/gram.
It is needed for the growth, repair and maintenance of all body cells not just
muscle cells. Protein plays a role in supporting muscle mass which in turn
supports metabolism. It keeps you fuller for longer and also supports your
recommendation is 45g for men and 55g for women. Around 1/6 of our diet should
be made up of protein. Meat, fish, beans, eggs and nuts are all excellent
sources. At Sky, we aim to incorporate these great sources into the food
offering. Like our protein pots! We sell a range of 4oz and 8oz pots which can
be added to a salad, had with a soup or for an afternoon snack. A balanced diet
should include lots of variety which is why all of these pots contain different
sources of protein, from eggs and salmon, to edamame beans and hummus.
Well can assist you this week if you’re looking for a post-work out snack or
something to keep you feeling full, look out for these foods
Have a happy, healthy week
Fit Tips - Mindful Eating!
Be Mindful of your Emotions.
"One should eat to
live, not live to eat” Benjamin Franklin
There are lots of
eating habits we develop from an early age and it’s safe to say a large
majority of us are emotional eaters. We ‘reward’ ourselves with sweet treats
after a tough day at work, reach for the chocolate after a stressful phone call
and after relationship rows some of us are more than capable of devouring an
entire tub of Ben & Jerrys Bridget Jones style.
Food makes us feel
comforted and loved, but those emotions are only temporary and this can lead to
a vicious cycle of craving more sweet food, leading to added weight gain
which will result in increased feelings of sadness or guilt and reaching for,
yup, more comforting food. So how can you overcome this?
eating can help
Mindful eating is all
about learning about your eating habits, being aware of the emotions you feel
when eating and learning to deal with those emotions without food. Whether it
be stress at work, relationship issues or lack of sleep, food may be a temporary
solution to your pain or boredom but it’s important to get to the root cause of
your emotions and try and find other ways to deal with stress and anxiety. So
how do you know if you’re an emotional eater and how you can prevent this?
There are three important characteristics of
context: When it happens and with whom.
find yourself reaching for the biscuit tin every time you hang up the phone
after talking to a particular relative or friend, when your child is misbehaving
or when something goes wrong at work? If so this is emotional rather than
substance: What you crave.
are few of us that comfort eat broccoli or celery. People tend to crave high
sugar/high fat foods for comfort. If you’re physically hungry, carrots will
look as good as a piece of cake. If you’re emotionally hungry, only you’re
preferred fix will do.
it happens: The timing.
hunger builds over time, whereas cravings develop quickly and nag at you
persistently. Teach yourself to become aware of the emotions that trigger
your cravings. Mindfully stay with the craving, listen to the message it has
for you, and then do something to make yourself feel better that doesn’t
involve bingeing on junk food. It could be taking a short walk,
practicing yoga or having a dance to your favourite playlist.
great way to get pinpoint emotional eating triggers is to keep a journal and
log your thoughts and feelings when you eat. This will help you understand what
foods you associate with certain emotions and hopefully help you find other
outlets to relieve these emotions.
This week the focus is
portion control. By Annabel Zierold.
It’s not just what you
eat but how much that counts too. An excess of food usually means an excess of
calories which can lead to weight gain, so it’s possible to even over eat the good
Apart from the
recommendation to consume five 80g portions of fruit and vegetables a day – there
are currently no UK guidelines on portion sizes. Nutritional content and
serving size on packaging is listed in grams yet few of us weigh out food. So
how can we work out how much to eat?
Your hands are a great
tool for this, allowing you to visualise the appropriate portion of basic foods
in relation to the size of your hand.
e.g. jacket potato = size of your fist
- Meat e.g.
beef steak = size of your palm
- White fish
e.g. cod = size of your whole hand
- Oily fish
e.g. salmon = size of your palm
leaves e.g. uncooked spinach = two double handfuls
- Cheese e.g.
piece of cheddar = two thumbs or grated would make a pile the size of your fist
Have a happy, healthy week
Fit Tips - Fabulous February!!
Happy February fit friends,
Well done to those of
you that got involved and made some positive changes to your health & fitness.
For those of you that didn’t quite smash those resolutions, don’t beat yourself
up about it, you’re pretty awesome anyone, so why mess with a good thing? Turn
your focus to February, think about some small changes you can make to your
daily routine that can help you get more out of your day. That could be walking
to work, setting aside ten minutes to meditate or going meat free on Mondays.
Here are some small
changes you can add daily that will help make your February fabulous.
On waking each morning,
drink a large glass of warm water with lemon and turmeric. This is great for
kick starting the body, cleansing the liver and the turmeric is a powerful
Add some lean protein
to each meal – lean protein rich foods such as fish and eggs, provide the amino
acids essential to repair and grow muscles and it will also help to keep you
fuller for longer.
your beta carotene
Beta carotene rich
foods such as pumpkin, carrot, squash, sweet potato and red peppers are high in
protective antioxidants to neutralise toxins already in the body. Try roasting
a big batch with olive oil and rosemary on Monday and eat throughout the week
with salads or add to veggie curries and stews.
Make time for fun
daily. It could be spending fifteen minutes a day dancing in your lounge to the
Spice Girls, hitting the monkey bars at the gym or running in the park the way
you did as a child ( think Phoebe from Friends). This can be great for
sparking creativity, letting go of work stresses and improving your emotional
The feeling of fullness can help us control how
much we eat and prevent mindless snacking, which can result in overeating and
weight gain. A balanced diet means we eat the right combination of nutrients
needed for health, but certain foods and nutrients can help us feel fuller for
longer and control how much we eat. Fibre is an important for digestive health,
and provides a slow-release of energy, prolonging the feeling of fullness and a
satiating effect on appetite. We should be aiming to consume 30g fibre a day.
Fiber is found mainly in
plant-based foods including fruits, vegetables, pulses and wholegrains. Here
are some common foods where fibre can be found:
· 230g cooked wholewheat pasta = 9.7g
· 130g cooked quinoa = 5g
· Two slice of wholemeal bread = 5g
· 230g cooked white pasta = 3.9g
· Medium banana = 3g
· Two slices of white bread = 1.8g
As you can see, whole meal
and wholegrain varieties have a much higher fibre content so try switching to
these when you next choose a pasta dish or order your deli sandwich.
Focus on fibre in your diet this week to improve
digestive health and help you feel fuller for longer.
Have a happy, healthy week
Fit Tips - Pancake Day!!!
Shrove Tuesday marks
the last day before Lent, traditionally a period of abstinence, associated with
clearing your cupboards of things like sugar, fat and eggs. It's known as
Pancake Day because it represents a good opportunity to use up such
ingredients. However times have changed and pancakes have evolved. Forget
boring old sugar and lemon, pancakes have become a breakfast staple for the
clean and lean of Instagram and there are so many options – protein pancakes,
gluten free, coconut flour and cottage cheese to name a few. And the toppings –
coyo, cacao nibs, bee pollen, bacon and even smashed avocado feature heavily,
so you can have pancakes any time of day, guilt free. This Pancake day,
why not pimp your pancakes with these quick & delicious recipes.
1 scoop whey protein powder ( vanilla or chocolate work well)
1 egg & 1 egg white
2 tbsp. almond milk
Natural Greek yogurt, cinnamon, berries
Method – in a bowl smash the banana, then protein powder and egg, ix
then add almond milk until you get a batter like consistency. Heat your frying
pan or griddle and add a little coconut oil, then pour some of the mix into the
pan and cook for a few minutes, turn and when nicely golden on both sides
serve. Top with some natural yogurt, berries and a sprinkling of cinnamon.
& blueberry pancakes
2 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil 2-4 tablespoons of warm water
2 tablespoons of coconut flour
1.5 tablespoons of maple syrup
1 tiny sprinkle of salt
¼ teaspoon of baking powder
½ teaspoon or more of vanilla extract
Method – Add eggs, maple syrup, salt & baking powder to a bowl and
mix. Then add the coconut flour and vanilla, mix well and add water until you
get a batter-like consistency.
Heat some coconut oil in a frying pan, and add some mix to the pan,
after a minute, push down five blueberries into each pancake, once cooked
underneath, flip and cook until golden brown. Try topping with coconut
cream or frozen yogurt.
Oatmeal cottage cheese pancakes
cup old-fashioned rolled oats
teaspoon baking powder
large egg whites (or 1 egg)
cup cottage cheese
tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
Place all ingredients
in a blender and blend until completely smooth, about 30 seconds.
Lightly coat a large
non-stick griddle with butter and heat over medium low heat. Drop batter by 1/4
cup onto griddle. Flip pancakes and cook until golden brown on underside. Wipe
Serve with cacao nibs, banana and blueberries for a sweet, healthy treat
Have a happy, healthy week
Fit Tips - Rise and Shine!!
Rise & Shine
For many of us early
mornings are the only time we can fit in exercise, but with such cold weather
it can be hard to find the motivation to leave the warmth of the duvet, hitting
the snooze button can seem so much more appealing. Here are some tips to get
you going on these cold winter mornings, after all, you snooze, you lose!
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
Set out your work
clothes and pack your gym bag before bed. Prepare a morning smoothie or small
snack to have en route to the gym and this will buy you an extra thirty minutes
It can be hard in
winter to stay hydrated, but try to drink lots of water throughout the day and
on waking drink a large glass with some fresh lemon to give your metabolism a
Have a purpose
and banish negative thoughts
Stop thinking about how
many more minutes you can stay in bed for before being late. Focus on the
positive desire to get fit and healthy. Don’t let tiredness get in your way.
Turn up the music
If music gets you going
create a morning playlist. Anything that lifts your mood and gets you motivated
will work. You can then listen as you get ready and you’ll be bursting with
energy before you enter the gym.
To eat or not?
If you train on an
empty stomach you will burn more fat. If you train with a belly full of
porridge you will just use the energy from the carbs to fuel your workout. Seek
advice from one of the fitness team as depending on what exercise you are doing
you, you’ll have different energy needs. An interesting documentary recently
concluded that men burn more fat after exercising on an empty stomach, however
ladies burned more fat when eating prior to working out. Food for thought.
Think about how you’ll feel afterwards
Once you’ve worked out
you’ll feel amazing and know that you have the rest of the day to focus on work
and friends & family, not to mention a metabolism boost, so you’ll be
burning calories whilst sitting at your desk.
Have a fit week :)
Fit Tips - Getting Clean and Lean!!
Can you believe this is
the last week of January already? This month has been all about getting clean
and lean and I hope those of you that have taken on the challenge have enjoyed
fuelling your body with whole, unprocessed foods and are reaping the benefits
of removing caffeine, refined sugars, alcohol and processed foods. The
challenge is all about developing new, healthier eating habits that can be
maintained and fit into your busy lifestyle.
Healthy eating should
be about balance not restricting certain food groups or being too strict on
If asked what is the
best way to lose weight, most Brits would suggest ‘eat less food’, but this
isn’t always the case. Yes you need to have a calorie deficit in order to lose
weight, but by making smart food choices this doesn’t have to mean feeling
hungry and deprived constantly.
Can you eat a doughnut
and still lose weight? In theory, yes. But it wouldn’t be a smart choice as it
is calorie dense, but devoid of any nutrients. After you eat it, you’ll get a
short burst of energy from the sugar, but you’ll crash shortly after, leaving
you craving more sugar. That’s not a fun cycle.
You’ll feel much better
if you can choose nutrient dense foods that will keep you fuller for longer and
reduced cravings. Focusing on lean proteins, healthy fats, greens and complex
carbs will give your body a host of nutrients and help you reach your ideal
body weight, increase energy levels and leave you with glowing skin.
1 cup basmati rice – 192
calories, 40 grams of carbs
1 cup cauliflower rice –
25 calories, 5.3 grams carbs
You could whip up a
great curry with both these ‘rices’ but the difference in calories is a
whopping 167 per serving. That amounts to an entire snack you could have later
without sacrificing food volume. It will fill you up and help you get more
nutrients. Here are a few more subs that will leave you feeling smug.
Trade this – For this
Pasta – spiralizer
courgette or butternut squash
Mashed potato – mashed
butternut squash or cauliflower and turnip
Mayo – smashed avocado
Sour cream – Greek
Bread – wholegrain
Sugar – stevia or maple
No one can be strict
100 percent of the time, and who wants to be? Special occasions and holidays
are times to treat yourself and that often comes with a high calories price
tag. A great way to strike a balance is to use the 80/20 approach – 80 percent
of the time eat healthy foods and 20 percent of the time allow yourself a
treat. This way, you won’t feel the urge to binge on foods because you’re not
completely deprived and you’ll stay happier and more sane as a result.
The myfitnesspal app is a great way to track
your daily food intake and will show you how much protein, fat and carbs you
are consuming along with calorie intake so you can reflect and consider food
swaps if you need to. https://www.myfitnesspal.com/
We all have different
goals, so if you want Arnie sized gains or a lean physique your macro
requirements will be very different. A macro nutrient calculator can be a
helpful tool: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/macronutrients_calculator.htm
If you’d like any smart
swap recipes let me know.
Have a happy, healthy
Fit Tips - Improve Your Flexibility!!
Improved flexibility is one of the first and most obvious benefits of
stretching and yoga in particular. During your first yoga session you probably
won’t be able to touch your toes, never mind do a backbend. But if you stick
with it, you’ll notice a gradual loosening, and eventually, seemingly
impossible poses will become possible. You’ll also probably notice that aches
and pains start to disappear. That’s no coincidence. Tight hips can strain the
knee joint due to improper alignment of the thigh and shinbones. Tight hamstrings can lead to a flattening of the lumbar spine, which
can cause back pain. And inflexibility in muscles and connective tissue, such
as fascia and ligaments, can cause poor posture.
Stretching and yoga can keep
the body’s joints, tendons and ligaments lubricated and can improve range of
motion. Range of motion refers to the distance your joints are able to move
their corresponding limbs. An increased range of motion from stretching allows
you more mobility and agility. Increased agility provides better balance and
reaction time when dealing with instability. These benefits are important at
any age, but especially critical as you get older.
Stretching and yoga encourage
better circulation of blood throughout the body, including to the joints and
muscles. This yields quicker healing of any muscle injuries and more nutrients
coming to the muscles at all times.
Better posture is another
benefit to yoga and stretching activities. Tight muscles can contribute to bad
posture, but stretching those muscles can improve alignment in your back and
help posture. The particular areas of stretching that yield these benefits are
the chest, shoulders and lower back.
and yoga can provide relief from back pain and arthritis. For lower-back pain,
stretching the quadriceps and hamstrings as well as the hip and pelvis muscles
can contribute to relief. Stretching and yoga can also ease headache pain by
improving circulation and oxygen flow to the head. The relaxation aspect of
stretching and yoga may also contribute to pain reduction.
Injury tips from physiotherapist Chris Myers
know it’s a little cliché but if you find yourself with regular pain in a
certain area, whether it be the knee, hip, foot etc, listen to it and address
the issue! Fighting through the pain is the best way to injure yourself and
lose valuable training time”
Have a great week!
Fit Tips - Winter Cocktails!
Be the hostess
with the mostess this Christmas
comes but once a year, so you shouldn’t deprive yourself.
living is all about balance and a great way to stay full of festive beans this
winter is to add some superfoods to your snacks and winter cocktails.
are some awesome ways to pimp your winter treats. Try whipping up some of these
beauties next time your entertaining, your guests won’t be able to tell the
difference and you’ll feel smug knowing your enhancing their wellbeing and
reducing their ability to shake their bellies like a bowl of jelly…
Mulled wine – It wouldn’t be
Christmas without mulled wine
5 cardamom cloves, crushed , 1 tsp of ground
cinnamon, 4 whole cloves, 1½ tbsp maple syrup ,
2 thick slices of a medium orange including the peel, 2 inch piece of ginger,
roughly chopped, 1 bottle of red wine, 2 star anise
everything, except the red wine and star anise, into a medium saucepan with a
cup of water (more water if your pan is big).
to the boil and let it simmer away on a medium heat for 5-8 minutes until the
water has nearly evaporated.
wine and the star anise, reduce the heat and let it all warm through for 5
minutes. Strain and serve
‘Eggnog’ – A healthy twist on
this Christmas classic
25g ground almonds, 2 free range egg yolks, 1
tbsp of raw honey,
200ml filtered water, 1 tsp of vanilla extract,
a pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon to taste, 1 sachet (4½g) baobab powder– Add all ingredients to a blender and blitz.
as a cucumber Vodka - serves one
50ml vodka, slices of cucumber, fresh lime, handful of fresh mint, top with soda and loads of ice.
cacao dream - serves one, add more for extra peeps.
50ml vodka, 1 tsp cacao powder, 100ml unsweetened almond milk,
50ml cold black coffee, ½ frozen, peeled banana
Add all ingredients to a blender and blitz. A yummy frozen
your nut – You don’t need alcohol for this one, but it’s a tasty treat
1 tsp. peanut butter, 200ml unsweetened almond milk, ½ frozen
banana, ½ avocado, 1 tsp cacao powder.
Add all ingredients to the blender and blitz for a few minutes. Serve in a tall glass.
200ml coconut milk, 50ml vodka, chunk of pineapple, ice, juice of
Throw in the blender and blitz for a few minutes then sprinkle
gin, dash of elderflower cordial, sparkling water, ice - Serve with ice
and fresh lime
Choc Avocado mousse
food processor add an avocado,1 small banana, 3 tbsp. cacao powder,
1 tsp vanilla extract, pinch of sea salt
it for a few minutes then fill little cups or shot glasses with the mix and
refrigerate for two hours before serving with a sprinkling of cacao nibs.
Have a happy, healthy week
Fit Tips - Festive Fitness!
It’s the most
wonderful time of the year
mulled wine, mince pies and ridiculous jumpers. London is such a great city to
spend Christmas, but with so much going on it can be easy to crash and burn
before the main event arrives, leaving you lethargic at your desk and shunning
your post work trip to the fitness centre.
Here are some tips
to keep you feeling energised and fighting fit this festive season.
massively important for good health and one could legitimately argue that it’s
the single most important mineral for sports nutrition. It is vital for energy
production enabling you to work harder and longer; it plays a fundamental role
in muscle contraction helping to improve overall strength; it is required for
muscles to relax and loosen, thus increasing flexibility; and it reduces
inflammation, muscle cramps and soreness, speeding up your recovery. Magnesium deficiency can lead to a whole host of
problems… depression, insomnia, anxiety, PMS, fatigue, migraines and muscle
cramps to name a few.
are some foods that you can add to your diet to help increase your magnesium
levels such as leafy greens, nuts, seeds and legumes. Try adding a handful of
spinach to your smoothie or top your porridge with an extra helping of seeds.
You can also try taking a magnesium supplement or better yet, why not try the
Better You Magnesium Oil Spray or Magnesium Flakes. You can spray it on your
muscles or add it to a bath; it is designed to be absorbed directly through
your skin quickly replenishing the magnesium lost via sweat. Might be one for
the xmas list: www.betteryou.com
cacao powder and cocoa powder is basically the same product – both derived from
dried and pressed cacao beans and just a spelling mistake apart – the
difference is in the processing. Cacao refers to powder made from beans that
have been cold pressed whereas cocoa powder is from beans that have been
roasted. Raw cacao
contains very high levels of antioxidants (like 20 times more than blueberries)
– which is good for preventing heart disease, boosting immunity and generating
energy. It is also a fantastic source of calcium, magnesium, iron, essential
fatty acids and zinc. However, when cacao beans are roasted (to make
cocoa), the living enzymes are killed, thus greatly reducing the antioxidant
level. An additional process called Dutching involves washing the beans in
potassium carbonate solution in order to lessen the acidity and this further
reduces the nutritional benefits.
For all you chocoholics, cacao
powder can be bought from most good health stores and makes a great hot
chocolate. Why not try this winter warmer:
Mug of almond milk
2 tsp. raw cacao
2 tsp. Honey or
1 tsp. almond
Method – Add all
ingredients to a pan and heat gently, stirring continuously. Pour into your mug
Mint tea is a
great drink to have during the festive season as it is known to aid digestion
and prevent bloating. Sip on a mug after an over indulgent dinner or try
changing up your night time cuppa for a mint brew.
xmas energy balls
shopping or heading to the health and fitness centre, these Christmas energy
balls make a great snack, full of beneficial ingredients to help fuel your day
and with festive spices they are a great guilt free sub.
80g ground almonds
· 100g pitted dates
· 130g dried apricots
of half an orange and half a lemon
tsp ground cinnamon
tsp ground mixed spice
1. Mix all ingredients for the energy bites in a food
processor and grind until the mixture starts to clump together. It should be
stodgy and easy to roll into a ball.
2. Take about 1 tbsp of the mixture and roll into a
ball. The mixture should make about 12.
slightly more indulgent energy ball, whip up this chocolate coating.
Cacao chocolate coating
· 50g coconut oil
tbsp cacao powder
tbsp coconut sugar or rice malt syrup
pinch of sea salt
To make the dark chocolate coating,
melt the coconut butter over a simmering saucepan. Once the butter has melted,
whisk in the cacao powder, sugar and salt. Leave to cool down to room
temperature, then dip the balls in mix and freeze.
Christmas is coming: By
Christmas is coming!
Lights are being switched on, decorations hung, Christmas shopping at the top
of everyone’s’ to-do lists and Gather & Gather have rolled out their
Christmas cups! A season of endless celebrations often leads to endless
indulging, meaning we feel stuffed like a turkey come New Year.
This month, Live Well has launched four new
festive products that you can enjoy without all the guilt.
There’s a new breakfast
bircher muesli, made with wholegrain oats, pear, apple, low fat yoghurt and
mixed spice. This little pot is a great way to start your day and keep you
feeling full, helping you to control the urge to snack come 11am. If you do
need a pick-me-up then try our Christmas juice, a refreshing combination of
beetroot and blackberry gives this juice it’s festive charm, whilst providing
you with a dose of fibre and antioxidants. The evenings are drawing in and so
it’s easy to rich for a sugary boost come 4 o’clock, but instead try one of the
new Christmas yoghurt pots, made with spiced cranberries and orange zest, this
little pot helps boost your calcium and protein intake. We have also introduced
a Christmas energy bite, made with cranberries, hazelnuts, oats and spices,
these are a great small snack after a workout, with nuts providing healthy fats
So this month, look out
for these Live well treats to help you manage your waist line in the run up to
the big day.
Have a happy, healthy week
Anna Carnegie - Fit Tips - Festive Season!
Anna Carnegie - Fit Tips - Fuel Your Fitness This Festive Season!
of Yule: Party like a boss this festive season.
The festive party season is well under way and there's no
point in fighting it, Christmas always wins! It’s all about balance and
Christmas only comes round once a year, so enjoy yourself but try these tips to
keep hangovers to a minimum and energy levels high.
On waking drink a mug of
hot water with freshly squeezed lemon – this will help to cleanse the liver and
get you kick started for the day ahead.
We all know that alcohol
dehydrates the body, so be sure to drink 1.5 - 2litres of water prior to the
big night out.
snooze, you lose
If you’re prepared to work
hard, you can do a great workout in thirty minutes, so don’t hit snooze, get up
early and come for a beasting at the fitness centre. You can book a session
with one of the fitness advisors or why not get involved in our 12 days of
Fitmas, starting Weds 2nd December.
Maker yourself a breakfast
smoothie and add a scoop of chlorella, this superpowder is full of fatigue
fighting iron, immunity boosting zinc and vitamin D, so it’s an
indispensable aid when the festive batteries are running low.
Natural yogurt with chia
seeds and blueberries – natural yogurt is a great source of calcium and is full
of gut friendly bacteria to help you strike the prefect digestive balance, by
adding chia seeds you will increase your omega 3 fatty acids which are great
for healthy skin.
Choose a balanced lunch
with protein and complex carbs. This will help keep you fuller for longer and
give your body an added nutrient boost. Good options would be one of our Live
well 500 calories meals ( see below for options).
Drop a berocca into a
glass of water for a vitamin C hit, your body needs all the nutrients it can
get and by taking after food, your body will absorb the vitamin better.
A tactical protein shake
mixed with some bee pollen will keep hunger pangs at bay so you’ll be less
likely to over-indulge in the Christmas canapés. Bee pollen is great for
boosting the immune system as it has a lots of nutrients and can boast a
content of 22 amino acids, 12 vitamins and 28 minerals which are easily
absorbed. It can be add to smoothies, yogurts or salads for a delicious
Christmas canapés & buffets
are awesome, but be mindful of what you’re consuming. Try and fill half your
plate with salad and vegetables and the rest with protein based canapés such as
salmon or chicken.
Try and alternate between
an alcoholic drink and a glass of water to reduce calories. Great options
include vodka, soda & fresh lime and prosecco has very little sugar. The
worst offenders are cream based cocktails so try to avoid those if you’re
watching your weight.
party’s done and you’ve worked up an appetite throwing shapes all night. This
is usually the time for utter dietary carnage. As hard as it may be, your best
bet is to forget greasy chips and high street pizza. They will only weigh you
down the next morning and serve to expand your waistline in the long run. Your
best option if you are hell bent on eating is from the kebab shop. The humble
chicken kebab can be heaven sent. Throw away the refined white pitta bread and
you've basically got grilled chicken salad. The chicken will give your liver a
good supply of amino acids that are used to metabolise and remove alcohol,
while the salad will supply a timely vitamin boost.
morning after – Alive & kicking
Start your morning with a
glass of water and add a sachet of the diarrhoea treatment Dioralyte, Alcohol
causes a sugar rush and the body responds by producing insulin, leading blood
sugar levels to plunge, resulting in headaches, shakiness and hunger. Dioralyte
restores blood sugar and lost salts and minerals.
like a champ
Eggs are an excellent
choice for the morning after because they provide choline, a nutrient that
supports the liver. Add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper or a chopped chilli to
boost circulation and rev up your recovery. If you can't face a cooked
breakfast then have a smoothie made
with fruits like bananas, oranges or kiwi - these are rich in potassium which
helps replenish the electrolytes lost due to the diuretic effects of alcohol.
Sweat it out at the health & fitness
yourself to the gym and do some cardio. A spin class is the best idea as you
aren’t required to think. Simply rock up and let us put you through your paces.
500 calorie meals – By Annabel Zierold
For some people, managing
food intake means keeping track of the amount of calories consumed. Certain
diet plans require calories to be counted in order to manage food intake, as
ultimately an excess in energy intake will lead to weight gain.
Live Well aims to suit
everyone when it comes to making the right dietary choices which is why we
offer an under 500calorie meal daily in NHC4. These recipes are developed by a
nutritionist and the chefs to ensure accurate nutrition information can be
provided, such as the calories.
doesn’t have to be boring or tasteless, which is why we have a bank of almost
30 different recipes (and growing!). These include a Thai chicken burger,
turkey stir-fry, Cajun salmon fillet and feta and chickpea salad, there is even
an under 500 calorie Christmas dinner!
By providing this
information we can help you to make an informed choice that suits your dietary
Have a happy, healthy
Anna Carnegie - Fit Tips - Cooking Up A Storm!
COOKING UP A STORM...
This weekend I have
been cooking up a storm with pearl barley. Although not a whole grain, pearl
barley is a great winter warmer and has some super health benefits to boot. It
offers a rich nut like flavour with chewy pasta- like consistency so it’s
a great addition to soups, casseroles or as I have been experimenting this
weekend, risottos and breakfast treats.
Pearl Barley’s claim to
nutritional fame is that it’s rich in
phytochemicals, fibre, and minerals that ward off a plethora of disease. It can
help lower cholesterol, reduce risk of coronary heart disease, reduce
constipation due to its high fibre content, keep blood sugar levels
balanced and thanks to its selenium content can work wonders on the skin.
Pearl barley can be a
cheap addition to your weekly shop and can be found in most supermarkets.
Barley can take a while
to cook but it reheats wonderfully so makes a great brekkie substitute, try
making a big batch on Sunday and storing in the fridge so you can have a
nutritious, hearty breakfast in no time at all. Here are some ideas I’ve been
1. Take a cup of
cooked barley and put in a bowl, add a little almond milk, cover with
cling film and microwave for 90 seconds stirring half way through.
2. Remove from
microwave and sprinkle with cinnamon, then top with some fresh berries and
Super easy and delicious (you can substitute the
almond milk for a milk of your choice and experiment with toppings).
& barley risotto with kale
tin chopped tomatoes
litre chicken stock
grams pearl barley
chopped red chilli
1. Fry the onion and
garlic in a little oil for a couple of minutes then add mushroom
2. Add the chorizo
and cook for 2 minutes then set to one side
3. Prepare the
chicken stock and then in a pan add pearl barley, chopped tomatoes,
spices and chicken stock, bring to the boil and leave to simmer for
around 20 minutes
4. Add chorizo,
onion, mushrooms and garlic and chilli and leave to cook for another ten
minutes or until you have a nice risotto like consistency.
your kale and serve on the side. This will serve 2 to 4 people
Tips from Annabel Zierold to help you live well this winter...
the days get colder, it is necessary to take care of your health to avoid those
winter colds and flu.
nutrition is essential to maintain a healthy immune system - our bodies’ defence
against infections. No one food can provide us with all essential nutrients;
therefore it is important to consume a balanced, varied diet.
few nutrients known for their immune boosting properties include:
A: helps keep
the skin healthy, an important barrier to infections. Beta-carotene is a form
of vitamin A, found in carrots, sweet potato and green leafy veg. Try our
crudités pot with hummus as a healthy snack or a baked sweet potato at
C: the immune
boosting antioxidant vitamin everyone turns to at the first signs of a sniffle.
Naturally found in many fruits and vegetables, rich sources include kiwi
fruits, berries and broccoli. Try a berry booster or kiwi quencher juice to
kick start your day.
antioxidant vitamin, protecting cells in our body against damage. Found in
whole nuts and seeds, try adding a sprinkling to your porridge or grab one of
energy bites post-workout.
Zinc: zinc has many important
functions in the body, including skin structure. Some studies have also shown
that zinc can shorten the duration of a cold. However, as zinc is present in so
many foods including meats, eggs, wholegrain cereals and nuts, it shouldn’t be
necessary to take a supplement.
care this winter!
a happy, healthy week.
Fit Tips - Abs of Steel!!
Fit tip of the week from Anna
for abs of steel and a concrete core? Try adding these moves into your workout
routine. Short on time? No problem, ten minutes is enough time to give your abs
a little tabata blast, so stop hitting that snooze button & walk the plank
Side plank variations – This exercise is challenging
but will help strengthen the obliques, which in turn will give you a
strong core & help your performance in a range of disciplines such as
running and snowboarding.
Bend your supporting leg and lift up from the waist. Keep your supporting elbow
in line with your shoulder, extending the top arm into the air. For a more
advanced option, keep both legs straight and raise hips off the mat.
in a rotation of the top arm, threading it through the gap between your waist
and the floor. This will work the internal and external obliques from a
lift the top leg off the floor to further activate your lower abs. Make sure
you maintain your shoulder alignment.
an added challenge, repeat the above sequence holding a kettlebell or dumbbell.
Do each move ten times and rest then repeat three times.
1. Raise both legs toward the ceiling, press your lower
back gently towards the floor. Inhale and tighten your core muscles.
2. Keeping the legs straight, lower your
left leg until it’s about six inches off the floor. Lift your head and
shoulders off the floor, hands supporting your head.
3. Holding the legs still, lift your head,
neck and shoulders off the ground on exhale up and down 5-10 times. Switch legs
and repeat on the other side
ball plank variations- Take your basic plank, add the
unstable BOSU into the equation, and your core is suddenly working double time.
1. Basic Plank:
Start in a basic plank with the ball side of the BOSU facing down. Holding this
plank can be quite a challenging exercise on its own. Hold the position for 30
to 60 seconds, and repeat three times.
2. Knee Up:
For an added challenge, while holding the plank, pull your right knee to your
chest and hold there for two or three seconds. Return to the plank, and switch
legs for one complete rep. Do 10 reps altogether. You need to keep the BOSU
stable throughout the exercise — that's what makes it tough.
3. Add a Twist:
Start in plank, pull your right knee toward your chest, and twist to the left,
bringing your right knee toward the left elbow. Reverse the action, untwist,
bring knee to chest, then return to plank. Do 10 times on each side. This one
is tough, but it will work your core a treat. Do two to three sets of this move
while keeping the BOSU stable.
minute Tabata Takedown – For a ten minute killer core session
try these exercises in a tabata timed session. 20 seconds of an exercise, rest
for 10 seconds and repeat eight times. Choose four moves and repeat twice in
one tabata circuit, then choose a different four moves for your second set.
Boom! Take 30 seconds to a minute rest in between tabata sets.
Have a happy, healthy week
Anna Carnegie - Fit Tips - Fuel your Fitness!
FUEL YOUR FITNESS
We all know cupcakes are a big no, but what else should be
Sugar hides in places
you wouldn’t expect because it’s cheap to produce, tasty and addictive.
Flavoured yogurts, ketchup, bread, salad dressing and even crackers all contain
sugar, but compounding the problem further is the fact that sugar has about 50
different names so it can be difficult to read the labels and some of the
products don’t even taste sweet. High fructose corn syrup is one of the most
common and is found in most processed foods and beverages, other names to look
out for include sucrose, cane juice, dextrose and many more.
is generally made up of both fructose and glucose molecules. Fructose and
glucose are metabolized differently by your body; when consumed in excess,
fructose triggers your liver to convert it to fat, while glucose triggers a
blood-sugar spike and the release of insulin, a fat-storing hormone, to
counteract the spike. Eating too much sugar may stimulate your appetite rather
than satisfy it, so after eating sugar, your body can actually crave more food.
In addition to its association with obesity, excess sugar consumption has been linked to serious
conditions like insulin resistance, high triglycerides, fatty liver, heart
disease, and type 2 diabetes.
good tip when reading labels is to know that one teaspoon of sugar is
equivalent to 4 grams, so you can easily work out how much you are eating. NHS
guidelines recommend we consume no more than seven teaspoons of added sugar
daily, but this doesn’t include naturally occurring sugars found in dairy or
fruit. Fruit is an essential part of our diets as it is full of vitamins
and fibre but try to limit to two to three pieces per day and get the majority of
your nutrients from vegetables.
Is one type of sugar better than another? By Annabel Zierold
Many of you are taking
the No Sugar November challenge however this is a question nutritionists often
Table sugar is commonly
used in confectionary and soft drinks as well as ‘hidden’ in some foods like
soups and bread, it provides us with instant calories but no additional
nutritional benefit. There are however, alternatives which provide nutritional
benefits in addition to the calories.
Honey: provides around 20calories per teaspoon but also contains enzymes
and antioxidants, and has antibacterial properties, particularly raw honey. The
Kitchen is now serving honeycomb - Try adding it to porridge or on granary
bloomer for breakfast.
Syrup: provides minerals including manganese and zinc,
which are both important for maintaining a healthy immune system. It has fewer
calories than honey and a lower glycaemic index than sugar, meaning it is
absorbed more slowly. Try this on your morning porridge instead or added to a
Syrup: the jury is out as to
whether agave syrup is ‘better for you’ than table sugar. It does not have a special
nutritional profile and has a similar calorie content to honey. However, it is
almost twice as sweet as sugar, meaning less is needed to get the same
sweetness and it has a lower glycaemic index.
It is worth considering
sugar alternatives which provide additional benefits; however as ‘added’ sugars
they should still be consumed in moderation.
Have a happy, healthy
Anna Carnegie - Fit Tips - Say Goodbye to Sugar!!
Sugar = Poison?
growing to show sugar is indeed poisoning us. Studies are proving sugar to be
the biggest cause of fatty liver, which leads to insulin resistance. This then
causes metabolic syndrome, which is now being seen as the biggest precursor to
heart disease,, diabetes and cancer.
just a bunch of naughty, empty calories. Some leading scientists are
saying it’s responsible for 35 million annual deaths worldwide.
Taube’s, author of why we get fat, wrote in the New York Times:
scares me… I’d like to eat it moderation. I’d certainly like my two sons to be
able to eat it in moderation, to not over-consume it, but I don’t actually know
what that means, and I’ve been reporting on this subject and studying it for
more than a decade. If sugar just makes us fatter, that’s one thing, We start
gaining weight, we eat less of it. But we are also talking about things we
can’t see – fatty liver, insulin resistance and all that follows. Officially
I’m not supposed to worry because the evidence isn’t conclusive, but I do. ‘
Whatever your diet, we’ve got the right type of healthy for you!
that everyone makes different dietary choices. Perhaps you aim to control
your intake of carbohydrates – particularly if you are taking on the No Sugar
provide essential energy at 4Kcal per gram. In a balanced diet starchy foods
are the main source of energy, broken down into glucose which is especially
important for the brain.
Wholegrain varieties provide fibre,
important for digestive health and certain types can help lower cholesterol.
Sources include wholemeal bread, brown rice, sweet potatoes and oats. Try
bircher muesli or a warming bowl of porridge. Choose a deli sandwich on rye instead of white bread.
to lose weight, it’s not necessary to cut out carbohydrates instead go
wholegrain, control the portion size and avoid additional creamy sauces or
butter. Try wholemeal pasta.
in the form of sugar can be found naturally in fruits and milk products as well
as added to foods such as cakes and breakfast cereals. Too much sugar can
lead to health problems such as tooth decay and weight gain, if you need to
satisfy your sweet tooth choose natural sources of sugar which come in
combination with other vitamins and minerals beneficial to health.
Have a happy, healthy week - Anna