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Recipes

Cinnamon Oat Baked Apples

This is a really easy option for a warming winter dessert. Delicious as it is or even better with a scoop of Greek yoghurt or ice cream! I make a batch and then I can reheat them for pudding or even have one for a snack or brekkie! Bramley apples work best but you can actually use any apple you like.

This recipe makes 4 portions (half an apple) at approx 77 cals per portion (this will vary with apple size).

You will need:

2 Apples

50g Oats

10g sugar (I use half spoon – as it gives sweetness with fewer calories)

20g light spread (I just used a normal anchor light spread)

1/2 tsp cinnamon (or more to taste)

Preheat the oven to 180 C

Mix the oats, cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl.

Add the spread and use a fork or your hands to mix it into the oat mix. Leaving clumps.

Cut the apples on half and use a spoon to remove the core and create a little hollow.

Pop the apples on a baking dish and pack the oat mix into the hollow and across the top of each apple half.

Add a tbsp of water to the dish, cover lightly with foil and bake for 25 mins. Then remove the foil and bake for a further 10 mins.

Serve as is or with ice cream/ yoghurt

Enjoy! 🙂 Xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Swaps to save calories….

Swaps to save calories…. 🥤🍟 🍫

When I’m working with clients for sustainable fat and weight loss one of the big things I try to encourage is making some ‘easy’ swaps that they can incorporate into their diet. to save calories. It’s not about replacing something you love with something you hate (that will never work and will make you feel like you’re deprived) but there are some swaps you can make which you may not even really notice. Or they may be compromises which you’re willing to make.

This is a selection of some of the common ones and although individually some of the calorie savings may seem small it’s amazing how they all add up. Some involve similar tasting but lower calorie products, others are a portion size thing too. Obviously there are loads more – but I have tried to present a few of the main ones that my clients have used and enjoyed. Let me know about your own swaps too!

Here’s the list:

⁃ Oven chips (100g) 157cals vs 100g potatoes and oil spray (ten sprays) 83 cals

⁃ Lean beef mince (250g) 313 cals vs meat free mince (250g) 225 cals

⁃ 15ml olive oil 125 cals vs fry light olive oil spray 1 cal per spray (so even using 25 sprays is still a massive saving)

⁃ Bacon rashers (3) 180 cals vs Turkey Rashers (3) 72 cals

⁃ Cheddar cheese (20g) 85 cals vs babybel light (20g) 42 cals

⁃ Kettle Chips Small bag 205 cals vs pop chips 94 cals

⁃ Ben and Jerrys tub 1125 cals vs halo top tub 320 cals

⁃ Mars bar 228 cals vs curly wurly 118 cals

⁃ Grab bag Haribo 649 cals vs 3 mini bags 162 cals

⁃ Medium whole milk latte 237 cals vs skinny Americano 25 cals

⁃ Gin and tonic (single) 93 cals vs Gin and slimline tonic 64 cals

⁃ San pellegrino Lemonade drink 71 cals vs 7up zero lemonade drink 0 cals

⁃ Pint of London Pride Ale 199 cals vs Michelob Ultra 95 cals

Remember as part of a balanced diet it’s not a problem including some lower calorie options, especially if they mean you actually stick to it! If you want any help with making swaps just shout!

🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Vitamin D and COVID-19

Tuesday Tip: Vitamin D and COVID-19 🦠

There are mixed messages in the media about the link between Covid 19 and Vitamin D so I thought it was worth a quick overview.

Vitamin D is a fat soluble steroid hormone and is important for bone health, and regulation of the immune system. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to numerous health problems including muscle weakness, various cancers, MS, Asthma, TB, heart disease, type I and II diabetes, depression, Alzheimers etc. Very few foods naturally contain vitamin D, so sun exposure is the main way that we obtain this vitamin. Even before the pandemic the recommendation was that people should consider taking vitamin D supplements between October and March (darker months) as there is a high rate of deficiency in the UK.

Many studies have shown that vitamin D can reduce the risk of getting acute viral respiratory tract infections and pneumonia, and can help with common colds and flu. So what about COVID-19? Studies are limited but a recent study found that 82.2% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 were deficient in vitamin D. This was compared to the healthy control group of people without COVID-19, where 47.2% of people were vitamin D deficient. Studies have shown a correlation between lower vitamin D levels and higher levels of COVID-19 cases in the population. Some studies have also shown a correlation between vitamin D deficiency and COVID-19 severity and mortality. There are now 30 or so studies showing that optimal blood levels of vitamin D reduces the risk of covid-19 risk of infection, risk of severe disease and risk of dying. Many researchers now regard the evidence as ‘overwhelming’.

More research is needed, but there is little to be lost in supplementing with Vitamin D. Vitamin D supplements are inexpensive and have low risk of toxicity but do bring significant benefits, not just in relation to COVID-19, but to overall health and well being. So what dosage should you take? You need a minimum of 10 micrograms a day (or 400 IU (international Units)), and the maximum daily safe dose is 100 micrograms (4000 IU), so something in between is a good place to aim for.

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Just a walk…

Just a walk… 🚶🏼‍♀️

I shared this back in the summer but as this second lockdown progresses I’ve noticed a lot of my clients are beating themselves up over not doing “enough exercise”. In many cases they’ve been trying to work from home again, and run the household etc. Some days they’re managing to fit in a workout, others they’re not and they’re feeling guilty about it, and worrying about the loss of those activity calories they “should” be burning.

During this time one thing most people are can manage is to walk more, making the most of the allowed outdoor exercise. This is often not viewed as something which contributes to those activity calories, but it’s actually doing more good.

It’s natural to associate cardio workouts with burning loads of calories; you feel sweaty and breathless so you feel like you’re working hard. A 45 min HIIT for example is very tough and regardless how hard you’re working you’re going to be feeling it. However, it may be hard to motivate yourself to commit to a 45 min session at home when there are so many other things shouting for your attention (children (literally!), work, house chores etc). In contrast an hour’s walk doesn’t feel particularly strenuous, it may be something you do anyway to walk the dog, get the shopping or get out the house for bit, and it in fact burns more calories than the workouts.

I did this experiment on myself back in the summer so the numbers will vary according to your age, height, weight and fitness levels but the principal is the same (independent studies show this too). A one hour walk a day will burn significantly more calories than a 45 min HIIT workout. So if you’re not managing a workout every day – don’t stress, especially if you’re managing to go for a walk. In addition 7 days of HIIT workouts is actually NOT a good idea – studies have shown these workouts impact negatively on sleep if you’re doing too many a week. Obviously there are cardiovascular and health benefits to the HIIT workouts which are equally as important as calories burnt so don’t ditch them completely but my point is that you shouldn’t feel guilty if all you manage is a walk on some days.

🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Losing fitness in lockdown?

Tuesday Tip: Losing fitness in lockdown? 🏃🏼‍♀️

I posted this back in Spring but I know from the messages I’ve received that a worry for many of you (me included) is losing your fitness during lockdown, even more so as many of us had just got back into our fitness routines. Well don’t panic – it’s not as bad as you may expect.

Studies show that muscle loss doesn’t occur until about 4 weeks BUT that’s only if you stop training completely! And even then it’s minor and happens in tiny increments each week. If you continue to workout even just with occasional bodyweight workouts then you’ll preserve muscle mass, and post lock-down you’ll be back to normal within a few weeks. If you have no equipment then focus on full body circuits, increase intensity by adjusting the tempo, and increase the volume (number of reps) e.g. a 10 bodyweight move circuit repeated 5 times etc a few times a week.

Studies show that over 12 weeks there’s only a 16% reduction in aerobic fitness overall. If you can run or cycle then this will help, but even long fast paced walks will help. If you’re into cardio classes then you’re sorted as HIIT workouts lend themselves to small spaces. You can do your own little HIIT workout, but if you struggle to motivate yourself to work hard then there’s loads of free workouts online now – see my previous posts or ask me for links). Another fab way to replicate cardio workouts is with skipping – 2 mins a few times a day as a cardio blast!

Specific fitness losses will relate to your own training/exercise history, types of exercise you do (fitness is maintained for longer if you did a variety of types of exercise e.g. not just running, and genetic and lifestyle factors. However, if you’re a regular exerciser it will take longer to lose fitness as things like increased capillary density take much longer to disappear.

So basically – don’t fret! You’re going to be fine! I hope these tips help. If you want any specific advice then please ask, anytime.

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx