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

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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.

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!

Berry Banana Breakfast Bake

My breakfast recipes are constantly evolving. This is an amalgamation of the breakfast omelette and the Seriously Healthy Flapjacks. The eggs make it high protein and filling; oats for sustained energy, cholesterol lowering and fibre; the berries and banana give your fruit fix.

It’s fabulous cold (I’ve had 2 already this morning), straight from the fridge, especially good if you are on the go to work or with kids. Experiment with the fruit and sweetness…..you can add a tablespoon of honey or use cinnamon instead of coconut. My youngest daughter

A hit with the Little Man

A hit with the Little Man

can’t be in the same room as a banana, so I mash them and she doesn’t notice they are in there.

Beth likes, Evie declined

Beth likes, Evie declined

The recipe makes about 9, each has about 160kcal, 10g protein, 25g carbohydrate. Two would make a good breakfast, or one for a between meal snack.


I
ngredients:

1 cup oats

2 ripe bananas mashed or chopped

measuring cups

measuring cups – very handy!

1 cup berries (I use frozen, defrosted)

2 eggs

2 cups of milk/protein milkshake

1/4 cup desiccated coconut (optional)

Method:

In a casserole dish (mines about 9 inches square), spread the berries, coconut and chopped banana

Sprinkle over the oats.

Beat the eggs and milk/protein shake (if using mashed banana add it to this liquid)

Pour liquid into the casserole dish

Bake for approximately 45 minutes at 180C

Refuelling for Tournaments

Keeping the body fuel at it’s peak for training and matches can be challenging enough, so how do you ensure that you are reaching full throttle during events that have multiple games or rounds?

It is typical for the athletes, players, and believe it or not, coaches to turn up to events like football, rugby or swimming tournaments with no fuelling strategy in place. If peak performance is the objective, this is utterly absurd and an inexcusable oversight.

Here’s why:

  • muscle fuel stores will decrease during each game or event. Water or rehydration drinks are not enough to replace this energy so muscle fuel stores will become depleted, affecting muscle power output, speed, balance, injury risk etc.
  • carbohydrate is required for the brain cells to function optimally, essential for making quick and accurate decisions on the field

Be prepared, stock up on food supplies before the journey to the event. Don’t ‘wing it’ by hoping that there might be food available when you get there.

3-4 hours before:

Normal meal: consisting of plenty of carbohydrates (bread, potatoes, rice pasta etc.) protein (meat, fish, eggs, chicken etc.) and ideally fruit/veg. Fluid.

1-2 hours before: easily digestible food, high carbohydrate, low fat, continue to drink plenty.

  • energy bars Unknown-2Unknown-3
  • muesli bars
  • banana or any fruit
  • fruit smoothie
  • low fibre breakfast cereal with milk e.g Rice Krispies or Cornflakesimages-1
  • Scones
  • Sandwiches made with white bread
  • low fat fruit yogurt
  • Scones

    Scones

    imagesbetween heats:

  • 200ml diluted fruit juice/smoothieUnknown-4
  • Energy gels
  • Carbohydrate Drinks e.g. Lucozade Sport
  • Handful of jelly sweets e.g. jelly beans/babies (Haribo are quite chewy so hard to eat enough!)
  • Scone/fruit bread
  • Ripe banana

Know what works for you, and don’t try something new on the day. For example, some people find that energy gels give them stomach cramps and feel better with a ripe banana.

If you suffer from diarrhoea before or during an event, there are a number of foods that you should avoid for 24 hours before. ‘Trigger foods’ typically include lactose (found in milk/yogurt), gluten (found in food containing wheat flour), and ‘prebiotics’ (look for inulin or oligosaccharides on food labels – often in sports energy bars and drinks). Confused? Then just ask a sports dietitian who can help you.

Diabetes – taking control

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Diabetes medication

Once a month, I hold a Diabetes Clinic with a GP and Diabetes Nurse at one of the local surgeries in Kingston. There is a constant stream of patients looking for help with what they are eating to help to control their blood sugar levels or to lose weight. I hope I make a difference for them, using the most up to date scientific evidence combined with 13 years of practical experience.

Type 2 Diabetes does not have to be a disease that gets worse over time. It is possible to keep your blood sugar under control by eating the right things. It is possible to reduce diabetes medication.

Contrary to the outdated advice that many UK health professionals are giving, a diabetes diet is not the same as a healthy eating or weight loss diet. The problem for diabetics is that the body has difficulty keeping blood sugar levels down. Sugar in the blood comes from the food that we eat. The foods that turn into different types of sugar as soon as they reach the stomach are called carbohydrates. This means sugar (as in sugary drinks, fruit juice, sweets) and starch (as in bread, pasta, rice and potatoes). The science shows that avoiding these foods can improve blood sugar levels and halt the progression of diabetes.

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All carbohydrate foods will increase blood sugar levels

The more carbohydrates we eat in a meal, the more sugar is absorbed into the blood stream. The more sugar that’s absorbed into the blood stream, the higher the blood sugar will be. Here is an example of how a high carbohydrate meal (sandwich, fruit and flavoured yogurt) affects the blood sugar levels compared to a low carbohydrate meal (beef, vegetables and a creamy sauce):

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High carbohydrate meal (red) Low carbohydrate meal (green)

Outside of the UK e.g. in Sweden and America, the medical community is recognising the benefits of reducing carbohydrates. The American Diabetic Association has approved lowering carbohydrates since 2008. Unfortunately, in the UK, official dietary advice has been slow to catch up! Advice from health professionals continues to be ‘a balanced healthy diet’ including plenty of carbohydrate foods. Unfortunately, for people with diabetes, carbohydrate foods are not healthy! There are however, lots of delicious foods that you can eat Are you confused and don’t know what to think?

Try it yourself for a few weeks and monitor the effect. Here are some examples of what you can expect:

  • Improved blood sugar levels from when you reduce the carbohydrate foods
  • Increased feelings of fullness and weight loss
  • Reduced sugar cravings
  • Many people with bloating experience considerable improvements

Note for diabetics

Avoiding the carbohydrates that raise your blood sugar decreases your need for medication to lower it. Taking the same pre-low-carb diet dose of insulin might result in hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). You need to test your blood sugar frequently when starting this diet and adapt (lower) your medication. This should ideally be done with the assistance of your doctor or diabetes nurse. If you’re healthy or a diabetic treated either by diet alone or just with Metformin there is no risk of hypoglycemia.

If you would like some help and guidance with controlling blood sugar levels with your diet, then contact me on 07758 100727, or use a contact form.

 

 

Veggie Spaghetti – with £3.29 gadget!

Julieene Peeler, £3.99 Lakeland

Julieene Peeler, £3.29 Lakeland

Do you struggle to eat more vegetables?

Need fresh and inspiring ideas?

Are you watching your weight, or need to lose a few pounds?

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Spiraliser (£30 Amazon)

I very rarely recommend a gadget, but yesterday I was inspired by an article and recipe in this month’s Red Magazine, which used a gadget called a ‘spiraliser’ (£30 from Amazon).  It allows you to transform a healthy, low-calorie, low-carb vegetable into a giant bowl of pasta! Nutritious, filling and very, very easy. After a bit of online research, I was able to come up with a cheaper alternative to the Amazon Spiriliser…….a julienne peeler (£3.29 from Lakeland). We are lucky enough to have a Lakeland store here in Kingston, so after dropping the eldest two children at school this morning, the Little Man and I high tailed it to purchase the peeler.

Courgette, carrot and garlic

Courgette, carrot and garlic

Lunchtime saw a quick experiment with the new gadget. To be honest, I was a bit skeptical that the veggies would taste any different to simply chopping or grating. Just a few minutes of ‘julienning’ a carrot and a courgette, tossed in a pan with olive oil, some garlic and a tin of tuna produced a most awesomely delicious lunch for the two of us (I added some left over rice to Little Man’s to bump up the carbs and cals for him). The carrot and courgette had the most fabulous texture, a little al dente and juicy!

Result! in just 5 minutes

Result! in just 5 minutes

For anyone in to calorie counting, here is a comparison. One courgette julienned producing a big bowl of courgette noodles: 30 kcal. One bowl of spaghetti: 220kcal! And I can honestly say that, to me, it tastes miles better than standard pasta or noodles.

I’ll be testing the new spaghetti veg on the girls this evening. I predict it will be a big hit with them too!

A big hit with Little Man

Slurping up the courgette spaghetti!