Seriously Healthy 1 minute muffin

UnknownHigh in healthy fats and protein, low carbs.
The main ingredient in these healthy muffins is ground flaxseed. Flaxseed is a source of healthy fat, antioxidants, and fiber; rich source of micronutrients, dietary fiber, as well as manganese, vitamin B1, and the essential fatty acid omega-3.

imageModern research has found evidence to suggest that flaxseed can also help lower the risk of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. I regularly recommend it to patients especially for constipation.

Flaxseed can be bought in most of the big supermarkets or health food images-3shops (it is the same as ground linseeds – my Mum tells me they used to put linseed oil on horses tails to make them healthy and shiny)

Add a little bit of honey/maple syrup/agave nectar/sweetener/raisins if you like (they can be a little bland without any sweetness!)

Nutrition info: 320 kcal, 1g carbohydrate, 16g protein

  • 1/4 cup flaxseed
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon light vegetable oil, such as olive oil
  • optional sweetener of choice (1/2 teaspoon sugar/honey etc)
  1. 
In a coffee mug, stir together 1/4 cup of flax meal, 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, sugar/honey/sweetener if using and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Be sure to use a coffee mug, not a cup.
  2. Add 1 egg and 1 tsp. of oil to the dry ingredients and mix well.
  3. Microwave the mug for 45 to 60 seconds.
  4. Pop the muffin out of the mug and enjoy.

Eat on the run, or serve with a high protein yogurt and berries.

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Medical News Today article on Benefits of flaxseed

Berries improve memory?

Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries all contain something rather magical called polyphenols. Polyphenols are antioxidants that are found in fruit and vegetables.

Studies show that regular consumption of foods containing polyphenols may reduce the risk of several chronic conditions, including neurodegenerative diseases e.g. Alzheimer’s and dementia, heart disease, and certain forms of cancer.

Brand nimages-10.jpegew research published in the British Journal of Nutrition has found that feeding rats berries for 8 weeks improved their brain function, memory and the growth and development of nerves. Although the study was in animals rather than humans, these interesting findings help to support eating berries regularly.

The polyphenol/phytochemical research adds to our growing knowledge of why fruit and vegetables are so beneficial to our health. I advise that people should lots of different fruits and vegetables with different colours and hues because these are indicators of different phytochemical profiles. They all contain different things, and they all contribute to your health.

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Unknown-12.jpegHere are some easy ways to incorporate berries. Fresh ones can be expensive when not in season, so you can use frozen which are just as nutritious. I buy Sainsbury’s Basics which are £1.50 for a 400g bag. Use them frozen in smoothies or ice-cream, or defrost (can be quickly defrosted in the microwave).

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2 Ingredient Pancakes with yogurt and berries

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Natural yogurt, berries, oats and honey

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Healthy ice-cream (blend natural yogurt with frozen berries)

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Super simple breakfast smoothie (milk, ripe banana, handful oats, handful frozen berries)

Avocado Fans – new from Tesco

A perfectly ripe avocado can be difficult to find, and in my experience they can be either rock hard (the one’s from the supermarket) or too mushy (the ones from my local vegetable market). Many people aren’t keen on the messiness that can be involved to prepare them.

Here is a fab new idea from Tesco: frozen avo’s that have been destoned and peeled. They are at a good price too: £2.50 for about 9 halves.

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£2.50 – about 9 halves

Although high in calories, avocados are little bombs of nutrition with a multitude of health benefits:

  • monounsaturated fats which lower the bad blood cholesterol and raise the good
  • The fats enhance absorption of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E & K
  • Fats and fibre are slowly digested, so making you feel full up for longer
  • High in vitamin E, A and B vitamins
  • Twice the potassium of a banana – potassium lowers blood pressure
  • Very low in carbohydrate/sugar
  • people who regularly eat avocado are more likely to have a lower body weight, BMI and waist circumference

So what can you do with a frozen bag of avocados?

Green Smoothie Breakfast – blend 200ml water, 1/2 avocado, a kiwi, a handful of greens e.g. spinach or kale, juice of half a lime, some ginger, and a tablespoon of Total greek yogurt.

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Defrost and simply use sliced or mashed and piled on wholemeal toast with some salt and pepper, egg, strawberries or tomatoes.

 

 

 

Chicken Curry in a Hurry

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A quick, easy, healthy and tasty recipe for chicken curry.

 

When time and energy are in short supply, but you want a super healthy dinner, this is perfect. I usually knock this up in about 20 minutes (in-between refereeing bickering children and negotiating their homework)

  • 4 ingredients: onion, tinned tomatoes, chicken breasts or roast a chicken and shred, Patak’s Korma Spice Paste
  • very quick and very easy
  • chocablock full of anti inflammatory nutrients (quecertin from onions, vitamin C and lycopene from tomatoes, and turmeric,  cumin, garlic in the spice paste)
  • High protein: from the chicken, excellent for your muscles and keeps you feeling full up
  • Not too spicy: my children will even eat it

What to do:

  1. chop up a large onion, fry on a medium heat in a tablespoon on vegetable or coconut oil for a few minutes until soft.Unknown
  2. add the 1 tablespoon of the spice paste (more if you like a stronger flavour)
  3. add the diced chicken breasts/chopped up roast chicken – coat in the spice paste, cook for a few minutes
  4. add the chopped tomatoes – allow about half a tin or carton per person
  5. simmer for about 20 minutes, longer if you prefer a drier sauce

Serve with rice or in a jacket or sweet potato……lovely to soak up the juices 🙂

Short cuts for when you’re too knackered or just don’t have the time: use frozen chopped onions, ready cooked chicken and microwaveable pouches of riceUnknown-5

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To add some extra nutritional oomph:

  • coriander/spinach, stir in at the end. If you cook it for too long it wilts away to nothing. Lots of antioxidants and phytochemicals
  • tomato puree – for some concentrated lycopene
  • wholegrain rice – extra fibre, more filling and more slowly  than white rice so keeps the blood sugar levels steadier

4 no effort meals

Most of my sports clients struggle to put the theory of macronutrients, calories, protein and carb grams in to practical day to day meals and snacks. Unless they have a special interest in nutrition, the last thing any player or athlete in training wants to do is to analyse food labels for carbs/protein/fat, or search for the hottest ‘superfood’ ingredient. Passing out on the sofa is mostly what is needed!

So here are four easy, no effort meals using food you can get from any supermarket. All are balanced for protein, carbohydrate and healthy fats, not forgetting important vitamins and minerals from veg. (Quantities depend on the individual, your S & C coach/nutritionist or I can help with that).

Meal 1

4002359642685_LMeatballs, tomato sauce, pasta, broccoli. Cook the meatballs in a frying pan with some olive oil until brown on the outside, add the Dolmio, simmer for 10 minutes. Cook pasta, broccoli: boil/steam in microwave. 600kcal meal: 6 meatballs in the sauce provides 30g protein, a mug of cooked pasta 50g carbohydrate.

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Meal 2

Ready cooked rice, roasted chicken/grilled or stir fried chicken breasts, mixed veg, humous/chilli sauce to dip. Frozen veg can be defrosted/heated in the microwave or boiled in water for a few minutes.

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Meal 3

Rice noodles, baby veg stir fried (add olive oil, soy sauce, ginger puree, garlic puree), chop up 1-2 salmon fillets add to stir fried veg. Salmon can be tinned/fresh/ready cooked.

already cooked, just add to stir fried veg

rice noodles – already cooked, just add to stir fried veg

ready cooked salmon

ready cooked salmon

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Meal 4

1 or 2 jacket potatoes or tortilla wraps, tin of tuna, tablespoon mayonnaise/natural yogurt, 1 whole chopped up red pepper and 2 chopped spring onions mixed in.

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Microwave in 5 minutes

Tuna wrap

Tuna mayo wraps with pepper & spring onion

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Just mix the tuna, chopped pepper, spring onion, mayo and natural yogurt together, and fill the potatoes/wraps.

2 minute Healthy Ice cream

 

Here is a recipe for a very quick and healthy dessert. Plain yogurt has Lactobacillus bacteria which is important for a healthy digestive system, calcium for bones, and no added sugar. Frozen berries add the vitamins, fibre and phytochemicals; a powerful combination that simply can’t be bottled in a multi vitamin pill. For sweetness I add a ripe frozen banana and honey if it needs it. It doesn’t have the normal ice cream consistency (more thick smoothie), but call it ice cream and kids love it. If they moan that it’s not ice cream, just eat it yourself. Win, win!image

 

300ml natural yogurt

mugful of frozen berries

one ripe banana (frozen if possible)

1-2 teaspoons honey image

 

Whizz the lot up in a blender, spoon in to bowls.

Super Simple Smoothie

Here’s a super healthy smoothie using REAL food……a complete breakfast containing protein, antioxidants, calcium, vitamin C and soluble fibre. Nutritionally, this is an incredible combination of ingredients. It’s also an easy way to get fruit in to kids!

Unknown-2IDShot_90x90-2Shop bought smoothies tend to be very high in fruit juice, and therefore high sugar.

150ml milk (normal cow’s/Lactofree/almond/rice milk etc.)

1 tablespoons natural yogurt e.g. Total is high in protein

1 banana/handful of oats

Low fat, high protein yogurt

Low fat, high protein yogurt

handful frozen berries

dollop of honey

Whizz the lot up and serve!