In this months newsletter...
Greetings healthy people,
The weather is (or was!) getting warmer, the days longer and people are out and about. This is my favourite time of the year, when Edinburgh really comes to life… Is it my imagination, or are there more bikes on the road this year? Those training for the Race For Life on June 1st should be entering their final stages of training, so keep up the good work. I have recently entered the surreal world of iPod obsession, and have been carrying it about with me, working out the warm up routine to the Great Scottish Walk next month. I already knew Stardust's 'Music Sounds Better with You' word for word before I chose it for the warm up. Now I know it inside out too.
What's in Season for May / June
It's good to eat seasonal fruit and vegetables, so here's a list of what's in season locally:
Artichokes, asparagus, broad beans, cauliflower, cherries, courgettes, elderflowers, gooseberries, lovage, mint, new carrots, new potatoes, parsley, peas, radishes, raspberries, rhubarb, rocket (easy to grow in a window box), tayberries strawberries, sorrel, spinach, spring onions.
Easy Recipe: Hummus expanded and improved
My brother David is a fantastic cook and also runs his own business in Cornwall as a photographer, often of food (see strawberries photo, What's In Season). He recently told me of his experiments with last month's hummus recipe – by caramelising chopped onions in the olive oil that would have been just simply added in, you keep the fat content the same but add extra moisture and yumminess.
Brother David's Hummus with caramelised onion
1 Tab olive oil
1 small onion, chopped.
1 – 4 cloves garlic, chopped, depending on taste
Tin of chickpeas
Juice of ½ lemon (or more to taste)
1 Tab Tahini - Caramelise the chopped onion and garlic in the olive oil (i.e. sauté on a low-ish heat with the lid on until tender and sticky)
- Allow to cool and zizz with the chickpeas, tahini and lemon juice. You can reserve some of the cooked onion to use as a garnish.
- Serve with toasted wholemeal pita bread cut into triangles. Perfect for a starter…
Resisting Temptation Hint of the month
Resisting temptation is not a problem if you're not hungry in the first place. At lunchtime many people fall into the grips of crisps or chocolate. For most, the simple reason is that they are hungry. Simple as that. Try having a healthy mid morning snack. Some oatcakes or a small handful of healthy nuts (not peanuts) and seeds will keep your metabolism ticking over and also ensure that you are not ravenous at lunch (and therefore are less likely to make unwise food decisions). Easy!
Fad or Fab: Skinfold Calipers
Skinfold calipers are a low tech, but accurate way of measuring your percentage of body fat. They look like big pincers and they measure the thickness of pinches of flesh on four specific sites of the body. By measuring subcutaneous body fat (i.e. fat just beneath the skin) you can work out body fat as a percentage of your mass.
From working out your percentage of body fat, you can then calculate what percentage body fat you need to be healthy, and then how much weight you need to lose to become the shape you want to be.
I have in my possession a pair of skinfold calipers which are available for client use. Let me know if you'd like to know your percentage body fat…
Try Something Different: Nordic Walking
Before last week I knew very little about Nordic Walking, however having tried it on the weekend, I now consider myself somewhat of an enthusiast. Nordic Walking is basically walking with poles. To quote their website "Originating from summer training for cross-country skiers, Nordic Walking works your upper and lower body at the same time, strengthening your back, legs and arms, and reducing neck and shoulder tension - all this while improving the health of your heart and lungs." I discovered both Nordic Walking, and Don Morton's inline skating lessons (featured last month) through the most excellent Sunday Brunch Club, a social activities group in Edinburgh that offer a wide variety of exciting activities to its members. Both the SBC and Nordic Walkers of Edinburgh will be participating in the Great Scottish Walk in Edinburgh, Sunday 22nd June.
If you'd like to give it a go, Nordic Walking instructor Anne-Marie is leading a walk on Sunday June 29, see the sports section of the Sunday Brunch Club website for more information.
Spotlight on Aloe: Aloe Sunscreen
If you're serious about looking after your skin it's a good idea to wear some kind of sunscreen every day, especially if you're out running or exercising. I find the non-greasy formula of Forever Living Products Aloe sunscreen agrees with my skin and it is no problem to wear it every day. It's especially good for children or those with sensitive or dry patches on their skin. As a Forever Living Distributor I can drop off a tube to you for the princely sum of £10.59.
I am getting a lot of interest in Forever Living aloe products, however I am so busy with personal training that I do not have time to build a separate aloe business. If you're interested in trying direct distribution of aloe products, please do drop me an email...
Article of the Month
Protein: Your Body's Pro-Team
… Not just for Body Builders
If it weren't for protein, you wouldn't exist. Your skin, blood cells, muscles, hair and bones all contain some form of protein. Protein is essential to keep your body functioning normally, for growth, repair and even to form neurotransmitters, that tell your body what to do, and when.
That's how important it is! Protein is made of strings of amino acids, which are the basic building blocks. There are nine essential amino acids (that you need to get from food) and thirteen non-essential (that you can manufacture yourself from non-protein food sources). If you imagine that your muscle cells are about 22% protein, you can understand why you need to get enough. This is why many body-builders can be somewhat obsessed with protein shakes and the like. They need protein to build their muscles. The good news is a healthy balanced diet will provide you with all the protein you need. The average adult needs about 0.8g of protein per kilogram of body weight, however you will need more if you are exercising or recovering from injury (to help build new muscle tissue).
Animal sources provide the most biologically similar form of protein for humans. The higher the biological value, the easier it can be used by the body. An egg has the b.v. of 100% and is known as a complete protein; however it is not only animal-derived foods that contain useable protein. The humble soya bean is an excellent source of protein, and soy products can be a valuable source of protein for vegetarians. If you're not a tofu fan, don't despair, you can obtain protein from vegetable sources. Other vegetarian sources often contain incomplete proteins, meaning that they may lack one or more essential amino acids. To boost the protein value, it can be combined with another food that is rich in the missing amino acid. Some examples are:
- Whole grains and legumes: dhal and rice, beans on toast, falafel and pita bread.
- Whole grains and dairy products: a simple cheese sandwich, pasta and parmesan, porridge with milk (breakfast of champions!)
- Dairy products and legumes: baked beans with cheese
- Dairy products with nuts or seeds: muesli and milk
- Legumes with nuts or seeds: hummus
It should also be noted that protein, whilst valuable, is not the body's number one energy source. You do need to ensure you eat enough carbohydrates, which will keep you well fuelled for any activity! Next month: Do the clothes maketh the man, or the other way around?
…And Finally: Not a recommended source of Protein
Someone has taken the protein drink thing a little literally, check out www.dinnerinabottle.com. The claim on the Facts page "By drinking Meatwater you can cut down on exercising and eating time, and have more time to enjoy yourself." Is slightly worrying. Please someone tell me this is a joke!
© Copyright all material Tracy Griffen 2008