GymBug

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

Archive for the tag “healthy diet”

Veggies- Cooked or Raw?

Hi there!

I’m sorry (again) for gaps in posts! i have been studying and enjoying the wonderful weather Spain has been blessed with! However, I suddenly realised that something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently is something you might find interesting! There are forever new articles coming out about the raw food diet (exactly as it sounds, raw food). And whilst I do enjoy some food raw I don’t like it all raw and started doing some research into what foods are better cooked and what foods are better raw! I don’t have an exceptionally long list, but they are staples in my meals so might come in handy for you too!

In the cooked corner;

  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Aspragus
  • Mushrooms
  • Cabbage

In the raw corner;

  • Peppers
  • Broccolli
  • Garlic
  • Beetroot
  • Onions

Have it either way;

  • Spinach

This is a list I will continue to update as I find more information about but the idea behind the ‘optimal methods’ for consuming these depends on the nutrients and what best preserves them. For example, according to BBC Good Food, heating up the foods listed above makes it easier for our bodies to enjoy the benefits from some of their protective antioxidants. Essentially, it helps us better absorb nutrients, like lycopene in tomatoes.
On the other hand, some vegetables like those listed in the raw section are better kept raw because heating them up can damage an enzyme which results in the strength of anti-cancer compunds (glucosinolates) being reduced.

So, here’s a list (that’s incomplete) on how to best prepare your veggies! Let me know what you think and if you know of any others!

As always, I’m a GN Academy member and if you need some protein or any brilliant qualiy supplements/snacks/a lot, lot more then check Go Nutrition out! Use my referral code A5CJC for free 250g of protein when you spend £10 or more!

Gym Bug

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

Why is child obesity so high?

Hi there!

I’m exhausted today since I was exploring a new city yesterday! Salamanca is gorgeous by the way if anyone is looking for somewhere to visit. Maybe not yet, it’s freezing. I think I’ve had a better workout shivering than an hour at the gym! But today I read a disturbing news article. It was from the Daily Mail so I looked around for better, more reliable sources to confirm the claims. Unfortunately, I didn’t struggle. Child obesity now affects 1 in 3 of Britain’s children. Whilst these levels appear to be ‘leveling off’ un under 10’s according to the BBC , it is still a shockingly high number. Obesity brings all sort of health risks including diabetes, heart disease, increased risks of cancer, high blood and more.

It’s not just children either, UK obesity rates in the UK have almost trebled (see the ‘more’ link above). This is shocking, especially with such focus now on leading healthier lifestyles! What can we do? Unfortunately, we can’t change a nation. But you can make small changes to yours and your families life to start leading a healthier lifestyle and (if required) lose weight! It requires hard work and focus but once you’ve made these little changes and turned them into habits, you’ll notice a huge difference. There’s so many little things you can do!

  • Walk to work if you’re close enough.
  • Get off/on at an earlier bus stop if you can.
  • Walk if these trip is 20 minutes or less.
  • Don’t bring temptation into the house (buy one chocolate bar if you’re craving it, not a multipack, for example).
  • Never grocery shop hungry.
  • Fit in at least 20 minutes of physical activity every day (a walk, for example).
  • Have a salad or soup at lunch.
  • Swap the crisps for an apple.
  • Eat porridge for breakfast to fuel you up until lunch.

Little steps like this can make a huge difference. Obesity does not need to be such a problem. We can change and we can help others change too. If you’ve got a group of friends who always complain about feeling overweight or uncomfortable then start a group and challenge yourselves! Doing things with a friend typically helps motivation because you feel a sense of commitment and don’t want to give up before the other (a little friendly competition never hurt anyone). Make some healthier choices to change your life!

What are your thoughts on obesity?

Gym Bug

Foodie Challenge #4

Hi there!

Trying lots of recipes recently! Classes are about to start so it will likely become less frequent but I will try maintain my one new recipe a month! Last nights dinner was a delicious Sweet Potato and White Bean stew, I got the inspiration to this from this recipe but made many edits. What’s great about this is it uses any leftovers from last Foodie Challenge #3!

Ingredients (for one);

  • 1 medium sweet potato, chopped into chunks.
  • 1 carrot, chopped.
  • 1/2 large white onion, finely chopped.
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped.
  • 1 cup spinach.
  • 1/2 cup aubergine, cubed.
  • 2-3 mushrooms, sliced.
  • 1/2 cup brocoli.
  • 100g white beans.
  • 200g tinned tomatoes.
  • 1 teaspoon cumin.
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes.
  • 100ml red wine.
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed.
  • Crushed black pepper.
  • Olive oil

Method;

  1. Heat some olive oil in a pan and soften the garlic and onions (use a lid to do this).
  2. Add the cumin, black pepper and chili flakes and stir to coat over the onions.
  3. Add all the vegetables, sweet potato and tinned tomatoes and mix well.
  4. Add the beans and the red wine and stir it well.
  5. Cover with a lid and cook gently on a simmer for 40-50 minutes until the vegetables are tender, the sweet potato is soft and the stew has thickened.
  6. Taste and season further as required.

This takes longer to cook than my other recipes but it’s delicious, filling and healthy!

It looks very similar to yesterdays post but it's sweet potato not prawns in it!

It looks very similar to yesterdays post but it’s sweet potato not prawns in it!

Not going to lie, I’m really enjoying this challenge!

Gym Bug

Breakfast; The Most Important Meal of the Day

Hi there!

Today I shall be discussing the most important meal of the day; BREAKFAST. Studies have repeatedly shown breakfast is vital if you’re looking to lose weight or maintain a healthy lifestyle. Literally, Google the importance of breakfast and see what happens!

The whole idea behind ‘breakfast is the important meal of the day’ relates to the fact that you haven’t eaten for a considerable amount of time whilst you’ve been sleeping. It’s roughly an average of 5-7 hours. That’s a long time for your body not to receive fuel. Yes, your metabolism is not running at such a high rate when you’re sleeping but you are still burning calories to breath and function, right? Eating breakfast gives you the energy to perform better, concentrate, exercise and generally tackle the day better. It may also reduce hunger throughout the day, leading to weight loss or management. Overall, breakfast is a must-have if you’re looking to make healthier lifestyle choices. Plus, it’s absolutely delicious and it can be quick if you need it to be!

Here are some excellent breakfast options;

  • Porridge
    A huge favourite of mine. I usually have this for breakfast every day and I never get sick of it. The best part about porridge is that you can change it up all the time. Try it with sliced banana, apple, berries, pineapples and more fruit! I love cooking the fruit in with the porridge to soften the fruit and get the juices mixed with the oats. You can also add honey, agave syrup, seeds, cacoa powder, dark chocolate drops, nut butter and cinnamon! Also if you’ve made it rather thick, a good spoonful of yoghurt is delicious too. Porridge is a low glycaemic index food which means it’s slow releasing, keeping you fuelled and focused until lunch (or maybe snack time).
  • Pancakes
    I’ve done two different pancakes posts; Protein Power Pancakes and 2-Ingredient Pancakes. There are literally hundreds of recipes out there though and you can make variations on both these recipes. The best and most versatile thing about pancakes though is the toppings. Go for fruit, syrup (watch the quantities), nut butters, yoghurt, some cinnamon to make them sweet. If you’re wanting something a bit more savoury pancakes are great with eggs (maybe not the two recipes listed above, but a more neutral pancake mix), bacon, sausage (not the healthiest options), even have them with some ham and tomato or avocado.
  • Overnight oats
    I have had Bircher’s Muesli that my mum made once and it’s phenomenal, I’ll post the recipe below for you to try but overnight oats are becoming insanely popular. These are great if you need a grab’n’go breakfast.
  • Eggs
    Have them scrambled, boiled, poached, in an omelette, however you like them! These are a great source of protein which will keep you going until lunch. Have a veggie omelette, veggie scramble, boiled eggs with whole wheat toast, scrambled eggs and avocado, again the possibilities are endless!
  • Muffins
    You’re probably thinking I’m crazy, it sounds strange but you can create some delicious and healthy breakfast muffins for another grab’n’go breakfast. It’s all about preparing the night before and making sure you’re not buying your breakfast muffin! Here’s a recipe below I found for delicious Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins.
  • Smoothies
    Another grab’n’go one here. Through in your favourite fruit, some low-fat yoghurt, oats and blitz it! You can also make vegetable juices or through in some spinach, kale etc to make different combinations of smoothies. Freeze the fruit for an ice-cold serving of breakfast. Also, if you’re taking protein feel free to through in a scoop of your powder to really get a packed breakfast.

These are but a few options. Here’s a link to my Breakfast board on Pinterest for more inspiration  I’m constantly updating it with new finds and I’ll post on here when I use new recipes and let you know the verdict!

Now for the Bircher’s Muesli (for 6, overnight recipe)

Ingredients;
1 cup rolled oats
1 ¾ cups water or milk
1 green apple
1-2 tablespoons honey
1 ½ cups plain yoghurt/non-fat greek yoghurt/ low-fat fruit yoghurt
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Method;
1. Combine the water or milk and oats, cover and leave overnight.
2. The next morning make sure your oats are nice and soft.
3. Core and grate the apple into the oats.
4. Add the honey, yoghurt and (if using) the cinnamon to the oats and apple.
5. Stir until all is well combined.
6. Serve as it is or with your favourite breakfast toppings.

Some favourite toppings; banana, dark chocolate drops, berries, raisins, nuts.

This is a delicious breakfast and one I’m sneakily hoping will be prepared at some stage when I’m home, I may even make it myself!

With all these amazing recipes why would you want to skip breakfast!?

Gym Bug

Bounce Balls; Energy from Nature

Hi there!

When my sister picked up my first Bounce Ball, she raised her arm to launch it at the ground, not quite realising what she was holding. A Bounce Ball is not a bouncey ball that you played with as a kid and probably got hit by (small, round bruises, anyone?), although give me a bouncey ball now and I’ll be quite content for a while. Anyway, back on point, Bounce Balls are food. A great kind of food. They’re energy balls. The idea behind them is to get an excellent boost of energy from small, delicious, nutrient-dense foods.
I’ve only tried one flavour (still making my way around them) but here’s a run-down of their excellent, energy balls.

There are 8 amazing flavours to choose from, made from the highest quality ingredients (messing with quality is not an option here). Each different flavour provides something different whether it’s only flavour, or the function or the nutritional value is provides. Bounce Balls have made sure you will find exactly what you need.
HP= High Protein
V= Suitable for vegetarians
GF= Gluten Free
HF= High Fibre

  • Cacao Mint Protein Bomb; this is their newest flavour. Sunflower seeds, cacao nibs, quality proteins and rice bran. Get your protein pick me up from this incredible new ball! (HP)
  • Apple & Cinnamon Protein Punch; cashews, whey, pea proteins, excellent carbs and heart healthy fats. An excellent high protein which will curb even the meanest of hunger pangs to help you maintain your fast-paced day. (V & GF)
  • Peanut Protein Blast; they’re all on my bucket list, but this is next. I’m a huge peanut fan. Titled “The Golden Nugget” on their website, this ball is packed full of delicious peanut. High protein, energy packed ball of incredible. (HP)
  • Coconut & Macadamia Protein Bliss; an antioxidant packed ball with excellently healthy macadamias, coconut and cashews. This is definitely one for the lovers of coconut and summer flavours (HP & HF).
  • Spirulina & Ginseng Energy Balls; I hear a lot about Spirulina and I wasn’t sure what it was, so I did some research. It’s a superfood which is high in protein, essential amino acids and iron. Excellent sources of iron and great boost for the immune system. This particular energy ball is packed with superfood Spirulina and superfood Ginseng. This seems like a body’s cup of gold. Packed with delicious almonds, oat, sesame seeds, spirulina and ginseng. This is literally a health boost in a packet, it’s got fibre, unsaturated fats, vitamins E and B12 (HF)
  • Almond Protein Hit; I’ve tried this one ad I really enjoyed it, it’s got a bit of marzipan flavour to it, and it did give me a fantastic energy boost (I enjoyed it whilst on an energy slump on holiday, instant pick me up). Another ball packed with heart healthy fats, protein and complex carbohydrates. (HP & HF)
  • Cashew & Pecan Vitality Lift; another heart healthy packed ball packed with delicious nuts and seeds. This one also contains an excellent antioxidant called manganese. Get your mono and unsaturated fat hit from this one! (HF)
  • Fudgie Walnut Health Storm; walnuts, peanuts, carob and sesame seeds. This is an excellent ‘free-from’ option for all gluten free readers. Again it’s packed with manganese, heart healthy fats and fibre. (HF & GF)

All their products are great on-the-go snacks that are packed with healthy but filling ingredients. Once I’ve got some more monies in the bank (curse the student budget) I have every intention to getting my hands on these balls of power to fuel my long days. They’re too convenient not to try!

These are available in a wide variety of stores; find them in Holland & Barrett, Waitrose, Boots.com and other health food shops. You can also purchase them online on their own website. A pack of 12 costs £19.45 or a pack of 40 for £63.95. It sounds like a lot but consider how nutritionally dense they are, I think if you’re really serious about healthy energy, these are worth it.

Gym Bug

Food Basics

Hi there!

So, I’m going to let you in on a secret. I struggle with eating enough. I’m scared if I’m too relaxed I’ll over eat and put on weight. This, given what I eat, is stupid, especially since I exercise 6 times a week on top of trying to follow a good diet. So, I know I’m probably not the only one who struggles with balancing exercise and diet so I thought I’d share my ‘essential shopping list’, or the basic fridge/cupboard content I try to maintain!

Cupboard;
Oats (I eat porridge every morning)
Brown rice
Whole wheat pasta
Eggs
Onions
Garlic
Green tea
Peppermint tea
Cornflakes
Tinned tuna
MyProtein Chocolate Smooth Whey Powder
Crisp breads
Paprika (spicy)
Oregano
Ground black pepper
Olive oil
Sweet potatoes

Fridge/freezer;
Frozen vegetables (great for a quick  meal)
Frozen fish (not as good as fresh, but it’s cheaper and not bad!)
Peppers (any colour)
Carrots
Brocolli
Courgette
Cucumber
Iceberg
Gherkins
Skimmed milk (I don’t like milk and skimmed has the least flavour, in my opinion)
Olives
Bananas
Apples
Satsumas
Lentils/beans

This is very basic, I’ll add things in (e.g Spinach if it’s on offer, avocados) to mix it up and keep it from getting boring. Week by week however I follow a pretty straight forward meal plan. Breakfast will typically be oats, lunch will be a salad with olives, cucumber, lentils/beans, crispbread etc and dinner will be stir fried vegetables with rice, tuna, pasta, fish, sweet potatoes. I snack on bananas, apples and satsumas mostly (cornflakes on occasion too) and take protein (with water) after every weights session.
I’m a University student also, so I do drink. I try stick with vodka and soda, but it doesn’t always work. I also enjoy wine (particularly red).
I wish I had access to Soreen (a post about this incredible food will hopefully be made available soon) because it’s a great snack.

My aim is to ensure I get enough healthy fats, carbs and protein to sustain my level of activity. I fall short more than I over do it, which has seen to weightloss beyond what I wanted. I’m trying to get back on track and I shall keep you all updated!

Remember; failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Plan it out.

Gym Bug

Post Navigation