RECIPE: Chicken Noodles With Black Bean Sauce

Have a try at this flavoursome dish, perfect for after a hard session in the gym. Don’t be afraid to mix it up either, swap your noodles for some sweet potato or rice.

Nutritional Information

  • Kcal 549
  • Fat 17g
  • Carbs 56g
  • Saturates 2g
  • Sugars 2g
  • Fibre 3g
  • Protein 48g
  • Salt 4g

Ingredients

  • 250g pack Chinese egg noodles
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 4 skinless chicken breasts, sliced
  • bunch spring onions, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 205g jar black bean sauce
  • 300g pack beansprouts
  • soy sauce, to serve

Directions

1 – Cook noodles according to pack instructions. Heat the olive oil and 1 tbsp sesame oil in a large wok, then stir fry the chicken until it just changes colour.

2 – Add spring onions and garlic, cook briefly, then add black bean sauce and toss well. Drain noodles, add to the wok with the bean sprouts and remaining sesame oil. Toss until piping hot. Serve with soy sauce.

Serves 4

Preparation time approx 25 mins

RECIPE: Simple, Perfect Porridge

Start the day off right! This porridge recipe is quick, easy and tasty, to get you ready for the day ahead.

Nutritional Information

  • Kcal 175
  • Fat 5g
  • Saturates 2g
  • Carbs 25g
  • Sugars 0g
  • Fibre 3g
  • Protein 10g
  • Salt 0.24g

Ingredients

  • 50g porridge oats
  • 350ml milk or water, or a mixture of the two
  • Greek yogurt, thinned with a little milk and clear honey to serve

Directions

1 – Put 50g porridge oats in a saucepan, pour in 350ml milk or water and sprinkle in a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for 4-5 minutes, stirring from time to time and watching carefully that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan

2 – Or you can try this in a microwave. Mix the porridge oats, milk or water and a pinch of salt in a large microwave proof bowl, then microwave on High for 5 minutes, stirring halfway through. Leave to stand for 2 minutes before eating.

3 – To serve, pour into bowls, spoon Greek yogurt, thinned with a little milk, on top and drizzle with honey.

Serves 1

Try it and let us know what you think in the comments below:

RECIPE: Low Fat Blueberry Muffins

This one is requested from Personal Trainer Jordan. He’s been on a blueberry muffin craze lately and wants everyone to be able to enjoy them too… So we have a low calorie and low fat recipe everyone can enjoy.

Nutritional Information

  • Kcal 95
  • Fat 0.6g
  • Carbs 21.5g
  • Sugars 8.5g
  • Fibre 2.5g
  • Protein 2.6g

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp milk of choice (95g)
  • 1/4 cup yogurt (preferably plain soy yogurt) (60g)
  • 2 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar (12g)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (4g)
  • 1 cup spelt, all-purpose flour (125g)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp plus 1/16 tsp salt
  • just over 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sugar of choice or xylitol (50g)
  • pinch stevia OR 1 additional tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (125g)

Directions

1 – Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a muffin pan, or line with 7 or 8 muffin liners. (Since the muffins are added-fat-free, they will stick to the liners the first day. However, the liners peel off easily after sitting for a day. So you can either wait a day or choose to bake the muffins sans liners.)

2 – Whisk together the first four ingredients, and let sit at least ten minutes. (My yogurt is plain but not unsweetened, so add a little extra sugar if using unsweetened yogurt.)

3 – In a large mixing bowl, combine all remaining ingredients except the blueberries and stir well.

4 – Pour wet into dry and stir until just evenly mixed. Then add the berries and stir again, very quickly and carefully so that the berries don’t break.

5 – Divide evenly into the muffin tins (it’ll fill up about 6 unlined or 7-8 liners) and bake 17-18 minutes or until muffins have risen and a toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean. Store leftovers in the refrigerator, or freeze.

Makes 6 – 8

Preparation time approx 25 mins

Try it and let us know what you think in the comments below:

RECIPE: Pizza Puff Pinwheels

“Try these ideal pizza treats, guaranteed to go down well with the whole family… but at just 171 kcal whats the need to share? ;)”

Nutritional Information

  • Kcal 171
  • Fat 11g
  • Saturates 5g
  • Carbs 12g
  • Sugars 0g
  • Fibre 0g
  • Protein 6g
  • Salt 0.74

Ingredients

  • 375g pack ready rolled puff pastry, thawed if frozen
  • 6 tbsp ready made pasty sauce (not too chunky)
  • 100g wafer thin ham
  • 100g mature cheddar, grated
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1tbsp dried oregano or mixed herbs

Directions

1 – Preheat oven to fan 180C/conventional 200C/gas 6. Unroll the pastry onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out to 40 x 32cm. Spread a layer of pasta sauce over it, leaving a 1cm border around the edges. Arrange the ham evenly on top, then scatter the grated cheese over.

2 – Starting at one of the short ends, roll the pastry up as tightly as possible. Chill in the fridge for 10 minutes or so.

3 – Take a very sharp knife and cut the roll into 12 equal slices, laying them flat on 2 non-stick baking trays as you go. Brush each pinwheel lightly with beaten egg and sprinkle over the herbs. Bake for 12-15 minutes until puffed and golden. Leave to stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Makes 12

Preparation Time: 35 mins approx

Try it and let us know what you think in the comments below:

Article: So Jan didn’t go your way, how to get on track in Feb!

So January didn’t go your way…

January’s a funny month for everyone. Once we’ve got rid of the expense of Christmas we can start thinking about summer holidays, February can be when most people start in the gym.

The first thing to think about is where do you want to be by summer? Training starts nows.

If you’re new to a gym lets start with the simple stuff first:

What is a healthy training schedule?

Everyone has their own opinion on training. Some friends who are into training might train 5 days a week. For others once a week might seem a chore, so what’s best?

For the average person 3 hours per week is enough to reap 90% of the benefits.

It’s enough for your body to progress.
It gets a nice balance of rest which is important in training too and we believe you can fit it in around your social life.

What sort of training is best?

We’re big believers in weights for the foundation of most of our training.

Our clients want to lose weight and we want to create all around fitness. That’s a balance between strength and cardiovascular fitness.

Strength isn’t going to make you bulky but it is going to mean you can do more in the gym; you’re less likely to have an injury, you’re going to live longer and you can bore all your friends about how much you can lift in the gym because even though it might not seem cool now, it’s really fun once you get into it.

Fitness can be achieved with weights too.

Rather than sweating it out on the treadmill, lowering weights down and increasing the reps can be used to elevate your heart rate and burn calories. Picking a few exercises and multiple stations is a great way to work out for longer without it been boring.

That’s not to say there aren’t other options, the most important thing is finding something you enjoy.

Boxing is a great example of an alternative to your conventional gym which burns loads of calories.

Food

Food and training go hand in hand.

We lose weight by burning more calories than we take in. If we start burning more calories that’s great but we need to take steps to make sure we’re not eating more too.

Unfortunately we do get hungry and exercise does have an effect on that.

There’s no diet what’s absolutely better than others, it all depends on your situation. The only things which are guaranteed is you do need to eat more protein (it fills you up for longer, protects your muscles and makes sure you can recover from exercise), you somehow need to take in less calories than you burn (thats physics) and eating less sugar will help your appetite (sugar makes you crave more sugar).

There are 3 diets which we would say are really popular right now; calorie counting with myfitnesspal, paleo diets and intermittent fasting. There are pro’s and cons’ to all of these.

Calorie counting – Personally I think some time calorie counting is beneficial for everyone.

One big part of fat loss is education.

It’s not about how much you eat it’s about what you eat and there is some truth to that. A tub of Ben and Jerrys has 1200 kcal in it. The same tub of halo top ice cream has 320 kcal in it. That’s not to say you can eat as much as you want but you would have to eat 4 tubs to take in the same calories.

It’s a good lesson, it’s not all about portion size if the calorie content of the food is much less.

Using MyFitnessPal is a good way to learn what you can have more of and what’s good to avoid aka ‘good’ and ‘bad’

The second really good lesson is that you can eat a bit of anything and still lose weight.

Cutting out foods entirely is a surefire way to crash. It leads to resentment and then overeating when you do fall off the wagon. Healthy people don’t just eat grass, they enjoy a bit of everything in balance.

Intermittent fasting – Intermittent fasting is gaining popularity. For some people it works really well as a lifestyle diet for others they just don’t like the idea.

The idea is simple. You do all your dieting in one go and then eat normal for some time too.

There are two ways to do it:

1. You have a feed window where you eat for 4-6 hours a day. I.e just in the evening.

This is good because when you do sit down to eat you don’t feel restricted and for people ‘who don’t have time’ It can also work well around a busy lifestyle. There are also benefits to fasting for cravings.

2. You eat normal 5 days a week and then have 2 fast days where you eat approximately 400kcal.

It usually sounds worse than it is. Eating normal for 5 days means hunger isn’t as bad on the fast days. Essentially you do all your dieting in one go.

It works because it doesn’t matter how you create a calorie deficit as long as you do. On a calories counting diet like myfitnesspal you create it daily, on IF you can create it weekly. It ultimately comes down to what you find works best.

The Caveman diet. (Paleo)

A lot of people believe that the reason obesity is so prevalent is because our bodies just aren’t designed to deal with all the processed food we eat these days. Our bodies have developed over thousands of years however prior to even 50 years ago you couldn’t just get a big mac or a mcflurry. We eat processed fats and sugars which our bodies just aren’t used to. This leads to us taking in more calories than we’re used to which coupled with lifestyles been much less active makes us gain weight.

Hormones do have an effect on weight gain. High levels of insulin can lead to unstable blood sugar levels which drives cravings and makes us eat more food (calories). High sugar food makes us crave more food.

The caveman diet follows a really simple concept, would a caveman eat it? If not, you shouldn’t

Something like the caveman diet acts like a hard reset. It forces us to go back to basic, throw out calorie dense foods, cook more ourselves which means we eat better food and learn new lifestyle habits. You will naturally have to eat more protein and less sugars.

Clients typically lose 8 – 12lb on the diet over a month.

For me I think it works as a really good challenge before going back to normal eating habits. Long term it’s hard to stick to if you don’t follow it forever you should take away a few good habits.

Why not challenge yourself this February. .

Staying motivated

Staying motivated is a funny thing. Motivation is important, however it washes out really quickly.

A good way to think about it. Have you ever met anyone who’s really motivating? Either in person or on a video. When you listen to them you’re really invested and fired up. They make you want to be your best and then you walk away and what happens next?

An hour later are you still motivated? A week later are you doing what you committed to in that moment?

No..

And that’s normal. It’s because motivation washes off.

Instead aim to be consistent. Set a plan and stick to it. The best plan is the one you stick to over time. If you aim to train 5x per week but only do 3 weeks how many sessions is that? 15

If you aim to train 3x pw but do it for 10 weeks that’s 30 sessions. Which is going to be more effective? Which is going to be easier to stick to.

We are the sum of what we do consistently.

Also know why you are doing something. It’s easy to get swept away in the numbers.

No one I know would be happier been 6lb’s lighter. Its deeper than that.

They want to be able to wear their favorite pair of jeans without been shoe horned into them.

They want to be able to go out with their friends and not feel the one who stands out.

They want to be able to have their picture taken and like what they see.

They want to be a fit Dad.

Keep your why at the forefront of your mind and you will be much more motivated.

Finally..

Not to drill on..

Make your training fun!

Training isn’t just about losing weight. It’s about seeing progression. Getting stronger, getting faster, been able to run up the stairs without getting out of breath. Been able to do that padwork routine easy.

Find a routine where you can see progression.

Do all these things; pick an healthy training schedule, make a few changes to your lifestyle, do some weight training and find something you enjoy and you will see progress in feb.

Found this article helpful. Want more advice?

Send us a message to get in touch.

Sean