GymBug

I've caught it. Fortunately, it's not treatable.

Archive for the tag “good food”

A step too far in tackling obesity?

Hi there!

I was on DailyMail (out of boredom, I don’t use it as my key news source) and the following article popped up; “Snacking ‘should be as shameful as smoking’. The article explains that Professor Susan Jebb has said that snacking on unhealthy foods and any meals served without vegetables should be seen as negatively as smoking in doors.

This is opening an already wide open door to socially obliterating obese people. It’s unfair. It’s also further widening the very dangerous door of social media inducing eating disorders such as disordered eating, anorexia, orthorexia nervosa and so on. By shaming people from having ‘an unhealthy meal’ or having ‘an unhealthy snack’ a stigma is being created surrounding these foods. A stigma I’ve fallen victim to myself.

Now I completely understand that we need to start doing something about the obesity  problem. It;s giving rise to a generation of overweight children, increasing the instances of diseases and is a heavy burden on public spending in the UK. But I do not believe making unhealthy foods ‘shameful’ is the way to do it. What about the people who live a healthy, balanced life? Are they not allowed to go out and enjoy a burger or a donut or a slice of cake? I know for a fact when I turn 21 this year I’ll be enjoying a delicious slice of cake and other little, delicious extras!

I believe the key to changing lifestyles is making it clear what health risks obese individuals face, the impact it has not only on themselves but their families, educating these people about how to deal with the issue and trying to life these stigma’s around foods. It’s also important to highlight how easy it can be to make small, healthy changes and start living a healthier lifestyle.

For example, make this more widely available

                                                                       The Eat Well Plate (UK)

There’s also some great resources out there that many proably do not know about. For example, there’s Change4Life in the UK offering tips, recipes, vouchers, information on local activities and support! Eat To Perform is another excellent source for information and some hard to hear facts that are incredibly motivating. (Side note, they’re articles help me deal with having to put on weight).

Now, I’m not saying this is the easiest thing to do. But it’s a lot easier than people think! It’s not about dieting (terrible word and I hate it) it’s about making healthy, sustainable changes in your life. Going for a walk everyday, having an apple instead of crisps (potato chips) at lunch, walking to the next bus stop, the small changes you can make today are endless! It’s also important not to be ashamed of not “eating 100% clean, 100% of the time”. What does that even mean-clean? Google ‘clean eating’ and I guarantee you’ll get numerous definitions!

Just try focus on eating good food, whole grains, vegetables, fruit, lean meats, protein and good fats. Get in a bit of cardio and weight training. Enjoy that slice of cake! Keep highly processed foods to a moderate amount, but don’t go cold turkey, trust me you’ll end binging, it’s not worth it!

If life becomes all about food and exercise (or not doing it) then it’s no fun. Again, trust me. I’m still coming out of some food and exercise related issues but I’m slowly learning food is to be enjoyed and 6-pack abs aren’t necesary to be happy!

Gym Bug

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Foodie Challenge #7

Hi there!

I had a night out on Friday for Carnival here in Spain and offered to cook dinner for myself and 2 friends. I wanted something that would be bulky enough for us to be able have a few drinks and not leave the contents of our stomach somewhere embarassing or wake up feeling like we’d been ran over (some of my friends did wake up like this, but anyway). I decided to cook something I haven’t eaten in a while and never cooked before; gnocchi. Gnocchi is essentially potato dumplings that feel more like a pasta based dish. So it ticked the boxes of being carb heavy to line our stomachs! My family make it with mascarpone, tomatoes and spinach but dietary requirements of one friends ruled the mascarpone cheese out, so I decided to wing it.

Ingredients (this served 3 of us with a dash leftover);

  • 400g of gnocchi
  • 400g tin of tomatoes
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup of aubergine, cubed
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • Crushed  black pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • Couple of sprigs of fresh basil
  • Olive oil
  • 100ml red wine

Method;

  1. Mix the aubergine with the olive oil in a pan, add the onion and red wine.
  2. On a medium heat, put the lid on the pan and allow the onions to soften.
  3. Add the tomatoes and all the seasoning, tasting and adjusting accordingly.
  4. Allow the sauce to simmer for around 5 minutes then add the gnocchi and spinach.
  5. Put the lid on and allow the gnocchi to soften in the sauce, takes about 5-10 minutes, stir occasionally to prevent burning.
  6. To check if the gnocchi has cooked properly, you can slice one open and it should be soft through the centre and hot.
    Note; alternatively, you can boil the gnocchi in water for 2-3 minutes, then add to the sauce.
  7. Tear up the basil and sprinkle on top before serving.

Gnocchi

It’s tasty, simple, cheap, quick and it’s healthy! We had a side dish of caeser salad with ours. You can also add peppers in with the tomatoes to add more vegetables (going to try that next time).

I’m finding that I’m enjoying just winging recipes with new ingredients but I will return to using recipes too! I have a rather long bucket list awaiting my attention!

Gym Bug

2-Ingredient Pancakes

Hi there!

Last night was pancake night! A friend and I had decided to make some pancakes to give ourselves a break from studying. However, we used a recipe neither of us had tried before. I was slightly sceptical, there is literally 2 ingredients in these pancakes but they were actually really, really good.

Ingredients; (for one person, about 3-5 pancakes)

1 large, ripe banana
2 eggs
Cinnamon (optional, we actually forgot)

Method;

  • Mash the eggs, bananas and cinnamon (if using) all together to form a smooth batter.
    You could use a blender here if you have one.
  • Heat a little oil in a pan (on a medium heat).
  • Fry the pancakes until browned on each side, about 2 tablespoons per pancake works well.
  • Serve with your favourite toppings!

We had jam or honey or a bit of dark chocolate on ours, but try with yoghurt, fruit, dark chocolate drops, maple syrup, whatever you love on pancakes! They are sweet because of the banana, so watch out for that!

A couple of cooking notes;

  • The ‘batter’ will be quite thin if you leave your bananas slightly chunkier (like we did), it still works really well, plus you get delicious hits of warm banana through the pancake.
  • They are paler than normal pancakes, to ensure the egg is cooked leave about 2-3 on each side.
  • If you’ve left banana chunks in there; you will find wetter parts through the pancake as you are eating it, the pancake is cooked (if you’ve left it long enough) it’s just the banana making it a bit more moist.
  • Next time I think I’ll add some raisins or dark chocolate drops to add to these a bit.
  • If you’re looking to bulk them up a bit add some peanut butter in there or any nut butter (or you could use these as toppings).
  • Chocolate craving? Cocao powder in there.
  • These average out at about 25 calories per pancake (untopped), that’s about a 20 calorie saving per pancake compared to generic pancakes!

These were such a great mix up to my usual boring dinners! Love them! There are some photos below (on my iPhone, apologies about the quality) of them cooking and one finished pancake!

Pancake Cooking

Pancake cooking

One completed pancake

One completed pancake

The set-up

The set-up

It’s a Monday! Did you get your Monday off to a great start with a workout!? I did not, the gym is closed so I went yesterday instead! But if you can go on a Monday I recommend it! It sets you up for the week!
Here’s to a great week.

Gym Bug

Dinner; Panga Stir Fry

Hi there!

Thought I’d share another recipe with you. Last night I had curried panga with vegetables.
Panga is a relatively cheap white fish that’s pretty bland on its own, hence the curried element to it. The photo below is what I had tonight, it doesn’t look amazing. This is because I chunk the panga once it’s cooked to make extra sure it’s cooked. I’m paranoid about eating undercooked poultry, fish, pork etc, so I tend to break it up to make sure it’s all cooked through. Also, it releases more juices and helps flavour the vegetables.

So here we go, the recipe for one person

Ingredients;
1 x panga fillet
1 x medium carrot
1/2 cup brocolli
1/2 cup onion
1/2 cup aubergine
1/2 cup courgette
1/2 cup pepper (red, yellow or green)
Handful of spinach
Garlic clove
Curry seasoning (optional)
Black pepper
Olive oil

Method;
1) Rub some curry seasoning onto the panga filet (if you can do this the night before and leave it in the fridge overnight, even better)
2) Chop the onion and garlic (to whatever size you like, I like mine finely sliced)
3) Heat up a little olive oil in a wok/pan
4) Add the onions and garlic and soften them
5) Whilst softening the onions, cube the carrots, brocolli, pepper, aubergine and courgette
6) Once the onions are softened, throw in the vegetables and stir often to prevent anything burning, do this for about 3 minutes
7) Make a space in the middle of the vegetables and add the panga filet
8) Keep the vegetables moving as much as possible, after about 2-3 minutes flip the panga
9) Allow the filet to cook another 2-3 minutes (I, at this point, start breaking the fish up and mixing it with the vegetables, cooks it thoroughly and mixes flavours)
10) Add the spinach and turn off the heat, stir continuosly to wilt the spinach
11) Serve

There should be some nice juices from the panga, flavoured with the garlic, vegetables and curry powder. It’s delicious.

If the curry rub isn’t your thing here are some alternatives I’ve tried;

  • Spicy paprika, oregano, black pepper rub
  • Spicy paprika, black pepper rub
  • Oregano, black pepper rub
  • Black pepper, lemon juice (put this into the wok at the end for a minute or so)

You could other seasonings as well, but it needs something to help give the fish a bit of flavour!

It’s super simple, quick, cheap and healthy.

Panga Stir Fry

This has the paprika, oregano, black pepper rub

Panga Stir Fry

Tonight’s dinner with the curry rub and black pepper

Panga Stir Fry

Here is the paprika, oregano, black pepper version cooking in the wok

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Gym Bug

Power Up Pancakes

Hi there,

Another transfer from my old blog, but these pancakes are incredible so they must be shared. Best part? They’re good for you. Excellent post or pre-workout fuel and they’re very easy and quick to make

Ingredients:
50g oats (Stoats Original work perfectly)
100g cottage cheese
2 eggs
Your favorite pancake toppings

Method:
1) Blend all the ingredients together (easiest to do with a food processor).
2) Split the batter into two equal portions and spread into a pan.
3) Cook until golden brown on each side.
4) Top with your favorite toppings!

I topped mine with fresh raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, banana, a little golden syrup and some raspberry fat free yoghurt. It was amazing.  The photo below shows an example of what you can do with the pancakes in terms of toppings. This particular photo was taken on Friday when my two sisters made them.

Some suggestions for healthy* toppings;

  • Banana and greek yoghurt
  • Berries (fresh or frozen, you could even whip up a quick fruit compote)
  • Peanut butter (just watch the quantities)
  • Fat free yoghurt (keep an eye out on the sugar content)
  • Golden syrup (again all about moderation)
  • Tinned fruit (aim to buy tinned fruit in it’s own juice not syrup)
* you might consider some of these unhealthy, but things in moderation are okay, and let’s face it, these pancakes deserve decent toppings!

Start the day with a protein punch! Or have them as a post-workout snack!
Check out my Pinterest page for othe healthy recipes I’ve found (and some little treats), when I tried them out I’ll post about them!
Gym Bug

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