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Fit Tips - Fibre Gains!! Get some Fibre Gains   We all know fibre is good for us, and I don’t ...
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Fit Tips - Easter Advice!! Did you know the average Easter egg contains around 500 calories? Add in the ...
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Fit Tips - Mood Boosting Foods!! Start your morning with a bowl of porridge or some overnight oats. Oats are ...
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Fit Tips - Mindful Eating! Be Mindful of your Emotions.   "One should eat to live, not live to e...
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Fit Tips - Fibre Gains!!

Get some Fibre Gains

 

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 digestive health.

 

Government guidelines 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 below.

 

High fibre sources

 

Beans

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.  

 

Wholegrains

Ditch the white carbs and try replacing with wholegrain pasta or bread where possible.

 

Pulses

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.

 

Nuts

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 crunchier taste.

 

Sweet potatoes

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 –

 

Ingredients

Sweet potatoes – one per person

1 tbsp of cayenne pepper,

1 tsp. turmeric

salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil

 

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 200C

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

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/

 

Fruit & veg

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 Annabel Zierold

 

Regularly eating 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 week 

 

Anna Carnegie 




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!  

 

For 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.
 
Anna Carnegie




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 moody.


Bananas

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

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

Spinach 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 depression. 

 


By Annabel Zierold:

 

Food 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 immune system.

 

The daily 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.

 

Live 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
 
Anna Carnegie




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?

 

Mindful 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 emotional hunger.

 

1.The context: When it happens and with whom.

Do you 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 physical hunger.

 

2. The substance: What you crave.

There 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.

 

3.How it happens: The timing.

Physical 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.

 

Keep a journal

A 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 stuff.

 

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.

 

-         Carbohydrate 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

-         Salad 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
 
Anna Carnegie




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.

 

Rise & hydrate

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 anti-inflammatory.

 

Protein power

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.

 

Boost 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.

 

Be playful

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 well-being. 

 

Annabel Zierold.

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
 
Anna Carnegie




Fit Tips - Pancake Day!!!

What is 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.  

 

Protein pancakes

1 banana

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.

 

Coconut & blueberry pancakes

Handful blueberries
2 eggs

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


Ingredients:

1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1/2 medium banana

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 large egg whites (or 1 egg)

1/4 cup cottage cheese

1-2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk

 

Method:

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

Anna Carnegie




Fit Tips - Rise and Shine!!

Rise & Shine Everyone!!

 

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 in bed.

 

Keep hydrated

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 kick start.  

 

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 :)
 
Anna Carnegie




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 yourself.

 

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.  

 

Smart swaps

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. 

 

Examples

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 thisFor this

Pasta – spiralizer courgette or butternut squash

 

Mashed potato – mashed butternut squash or cauliflower and turnip

 

Mayo – smashed avocado or hummus

 

Sour cream – Greek yogurt

 

Bread – wholegrain tortilla

 

Sugar – stevia or maple syrup 

 

 

Balance your life

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 week

Anna Carnegie




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.  

 

Range of Motion

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.


Better Circulation

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.


Improved Posture

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.


Pain Relief

Stretching 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

 

"I 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!

Anna Carnegie





Fit Tips - Winter Cocktails!

 Be the hostess with the mostess this Christmas

 

Christmas comes but once a year, so you shouldn’t deprive yourself.  

Healthy 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.

 

Here 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

How to:

Put everything, except the red wine and star anise, into a medium saucepan with a cup of water (more water if your pan is big).

Bring to the boil and let it simmer away on a medium heat for 5-8 minutes until the water has nearly evaporated.

Add the 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.

 

 

Cool as a cucumber Vodka -  serves one

50ml vodka, slices of cucumber, fresh lime, handful of fresh mint, top with soda and loads of ice.

 

Caffeinated 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 cocktail.

 

Off 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.

 

Coconutty

200ml coconut milk, 50ml vodka, chunk of pineapple, ice, juice of one lime

Throw in the blender and blitz for a few minutes then sprinkle with cinnamon.  

 

Gin n’ Juice

50 ml gin, dash of elderflower cordial, sparkling water, ice  - Serve with ice and fresh lime  

 

Choc Avocado mousse

In a food processor add an avocado,1  small banana, 3  tbsp. cacao powder, 1 tsp vanilla extract, pinch of sea salt

 

Blitz 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

Anna Carnegie




Fit Tips - Festive Fitness!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

 

Christmas parties, 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.

 

Magnesium

Magnesium is 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.

 

There 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

Although 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:

 

Cacao hot chocolate

Mug of almond milk

2 tsp. raw cacao powder

2 tsp. Honey or date syrup

1 tsp. almond butter

 

Method – Add all ingredients to a pan and heat gently, stirring continuously. Pour into your mug and enjoy.

 

Mint benefits

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.  

 

Raw xmas energy balls

Whether Christmas 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.

 

Ingredients -

80g ground almonds

·        100g pitted dates

·        130g dried apricots

·        Zest of half an orange and half a lemon

·        ½ tsp ground cinnamon

·        1 tsp ground mixed spice

·        1 tsp vanilla

 

Method –

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.

 

For a slightly more indulgent energy ball, whip up this chocolate coating.

 

Cacao chocolate coating

·        50g coconut oil

·        3 tbsp cacao powder

·        2 tbsp coconut sugar or rice malt syrup

·        Tiny pinch of sea salt

 

Method –

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 Annabel Zierold

 

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 and protein. 

 

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





Anna Carnegie - Fit Tips - Festive Season!

Anna Carnegie - Fit Tips - Fuel Your Fitness This Festive Season! 

 


The rules 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.

 

Rise and shine

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.  

 

 

Keep hydrated

We all know that alcohol dehydrates the body, so be sure to drink 1.5 - 2litres of water prior to  the big night out. 

 

You 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.

 

Pimp your breakfast

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.

http://www.planetorganic.com/naturya-chlorella-powder-200g-200g/11825/ 

 

Snack smart

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.

 

Lunch Live well

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.

 

Tactical snacking

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 nutrient boost.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/BonPom-Bee-Pollen/dp/B00BAH18MQ/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1448873795&sr=8-2&keywords=bee+pollen+grains

 

Buffet benefits

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.

 

Pace the booze

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.  

 

Eating isn’t cheating

The 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.

 

The 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.

 

Breakfast 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 centre

Get 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.

 

Counting 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 needs.  

 

Have a happy, healthy week

Anna Carnegie




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 trialling.

 
 

Berry barley bliss

 

Method:

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 flaked almonds. 

Super easy and delicious (you can substitute the almond milk for a milk of your choice and experiment with toppings). 

 

 

 


Chorizo & barley risotto with kale

 

Ingredients:

Chorizo sausage

1red onion

2 cloves garlic

1 tsp Mixed herbs

Small tin chopped tomatoes

½ litre chicken stock

150 grams pearl barley

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

¼ tsp paprika

1 chopped red chilli

3 mushrooms sliced

Bag of curly kale

 

Method:

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.

Steam 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...

 

As the days get colder, it is necessary to take care of your health to avoid those winter colds and flu.

Good 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.

A few nutrients known for their immune boosting properties include:

Vitamin 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 lunchtime.

Vitamin 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. 

Vitamin E: another 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.

Take care this winter!  

 

 


Have a happy, healthy week. 

 

Anna Carnegie




Fit Tips - Abs of Steel!!

Fit tip of the week from Anna

 


Looking 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 matey!

 

 


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.

 

1. 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.
 

2. Add 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 different angle.
 

3. Now lift the top leg off the floor to further activate your lower abs. Make sure you maintain your shoulder alignment.
 

4. For an added challenge, repeat the above sequence holding a kettlebell or dumbbell. Do each move ten times and rest then repeat three times.

 

 


Scissor Kicks

 

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

 

 

Bosu 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.

 

4.       Ten 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




Anna Carnegie - Fit Tips - Fuel your Fitness!

FUEL YOUR FITNESS
 
We all know cupcakes are a big no, but what else should be avoided?

 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.

 Sugar 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.

A 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 get asked.

 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.


 Maple 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 breakfast smoothie.                                                 


Agave 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 week.

Anna Carnegie 




Anna Carnegie - Fit Tips - Say Goodbye to Sugar!!

Sugar  = Poison?

Research is 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. 

Sugar isn’t just a bunch of naughty, empty calories. Some leading scientists are saying  it’s responsible for 35 million annual deaths worldwide.                       

 Gary Taube’s, author of why we get fat, wrote in the New York Times:

‘Sugar 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!

I recognise that everyone makes different dietary choices.  Perhaps you aim to control your intake of carbohydrates – particularly if you are taking on the No Sugar November Challenge.

Carbohydrates 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. 

When trying 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. 

Carbohydrates 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