Salad isn’t boring, it’s just chronically misunderstood; this recipe is a refresher on how to get the most out of your relationship with it! It’s a protein-packed dish which takes mere seconds to throw together and packs a host of flavours as well as some unusual textural surprises. It’s light, lean, nutritious and also works as a great post workout meal. For the piece de resistance, I’ve added some fresh, plump, juicy raspberries! The low GI sweetness of these little red cones compliments the crunchy textures and savoury flavours of the broader dish fabulously, and overall makes it taste fresher and lighter. What’s more, the colour renders the dish less drably green by introducing some visual variation to excite the eye as much as the taste buds! A beautiful, timely reminder that spring is on its way which is a big deal for us Swedes 🙂 I hope you love it too; on the off chance you prefer something more carby, I’ve provided an alternative ‘progression’ of the dish, invoking the timeless formula of the whole grain wrap… Click MORE for the full recipes and how-to…(more…)
I recently spent some wonderfully peaceful days at the beautiful Chateau de la Chèvre D’Or (full ‘active escape’ review forthcoming) in Eze, France, where I enjoyed some exquisite and healthy mediterranean cuisine, and have returned freshly inspired! Apart from seafood, the locally-grown organic vegetables are a recurrent feature in the region’s cuisine, often prepared via steaming. Whilst I may not be able to replicate the beauty of the piece we photographed above (I’m not Michelin-starred!), I believe it IS possible to simulate that same mix of flavours and textures at home! Click more to see this mediterranean-inspired vegetable recipe, focussing on the benefits of steaming, and which is a fantastic pre-workout dish to help fuel your session! (MORE) (more…)
This utterly delicious dish was inspired by my admittedly childish love of animation. If you haven’t seen it, Ratatouille is a laugh-out-loud Pixar movie which I think works just as well for adults as for children. Regardless of that side-track, whether you’re a cartoon fan or not, this dish is, as ever, healthy, super easy to prepare and packed with overwhelmingly gorgeous flavour. I teamed it with some fresh Haddock from the local fish mongers which I poached in a filtered water-bath. The main activity involved in crafting a Ratotouille masterpiece is a whole lot of chopping (great cardio), so sharpen your knives and lets go! (more…)
I normally like to post my own recipes, but this meal from a recent trip to France was in another league – I had to blog about it! As a pescatarian, I’ve had ALOT of fish in my time, but this was amongst the best I think I’ve ever had! Click MORE below to read about the nutritional benefits of white fish like sole, and see the pics of my gorgeous meal…
It’s almost 35 degrees out – uncomfortable & sweaty, but I’m not complaining; it serves as a great reminder of just how important it is to stay hydrated especially in heat like this. I normally drink about 2 litres of water a day (we lose 2.5 litres during the average day, regain 1 litre through food, and the remaining 1.5 litres is supposed to be your drinking water… but I like to build in some extra!). In these pictures shot in Saint Tropez, en-route to Pamplonne, it’s more like 3-4 litres a day – I literally got through 8 of these 50cl bottles in the 24 hours. Water must be the most important ingredient we can give our bodies, which are 60% water anyway – it’s critically involved in pretty much every bodily function we humans are capable of. It improves overall well-being and quality of life in so many ways and will certainly improve your ability to achieve your training goals.
Click MORE below to read my 8 reasons for staying optimally hydrated, and a couple of tips to spice up the bland taste 🙂
Time for some Fitness On Toast ‘ethos’ 🙂 … I’ve always believed that there should be very little difference in how men and women train themselves. Women, like most men, hope to achieve the same aesthetic end-point; a lean physique (drop body fat percentage and in so doing, ‘tone’/sculpt the musculature), as well as wanting to build strength, endurance, flexibility etc.
Why is it then, that so often I see women performing simpler, less effective (and perhaps less ‘intimidating’) exercises than men in the gym? Take the deadlift – a phenomenal compound exercise, yet 80%+ of the time men dominate the freeweight area with not a single woman in sight! Women should squat, dead lift, bench press, sweat and work hard! Go heavy and work to the maximum – THAT gets results much faster, which is of course the key reason we seek progress at the gym in the first place – to see results, and preferably quicker!
The popular misconception that ‘wafer-skinny’ is the ultimate reward for sacrificing hours on end at the gym, is misguided and unhealthy. That’s just so ’80s. These days ‘strong is the new sexy’; people want to FEEL strong and BE healthy, not just LOOK thin at the cost of feeling malnourished. That’s not to say we should all end up looking like Muscle Mary’s either, by the way, but it is far tougher for women to gain physical mass than for men.
Muscles constantly burn fat, which combined with a healthy diet, can help to yield the ‘lean’ look. However, female bodies have a different hormonal set-up. Men naturally have higher testosterone levels (a ‘muscle-building’ growth & repair hormone) and because women have significantly less of this, it’s harder for us to gain muscle mass. Those few women you may see in the gym who look huge have most likely worked incredibly long & hard for that look! So stop worrying about ‘bulking up’. You just wont wake up one morning and split your blouse sleeves because you lifted heavy weights the night before!
There are certain muscle groups (& therefore certain exercises) that women should probably de-emphasise, relative to men. The Trapezius (neck & surround) muscle is a good example – something most women don’t care to develop. Likewise, few mademoiselles want comically-pronounced quadriceps – but what woman doesn’t want a perky, round firm ass – which by the way, is the gift you get from almighty squats and thunderous dead lifts! Or toned arms and defined shoulders? So start benching, or keep lifting heavier – I don’t want to come across all feminist, but ‘Go take over the weights area, Bitches !!!‘
(click MORE below to see all the photos from my workout at the very well equipped gym in the Hotel Byblos, Saint Tropez).
In this post I’ve attempted my very first YouTube video recipe! It’s on a healthy avocado snack-ette, the perfect dip for entertaining!
Avocado is packed with healthy fats and a good amount of dietary fiber too (27g per 100g). I often overhear someone at the gym discussing a wacky diet they’re trying out, whether it’s juicing for weeks, not eating for two days, or a trusty online purchase which ‘guarantees’ you’ll ‘lose over a stone in less than 4 weeks’… Often these ‘diets’ involve cutting out an entire food group, and any plan that claims this is a good idea sets alarm bells ringing for me! Often the food group they’ll cut is the much-demonised ‘fat’. Good fats work wonders for your skin, hair, training results and general well being. You don’t need to skip fat to lose weight – the body needs them for a range of functions;
1) Benefits of Fat:
– Growth, repair, and development of tissue, including muscle cells.
– Allows the body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, and without fats in the diet, you can become deficient in these (vits A,D,E,K)
– Provides energy, (1 gram of fat will provide 9 calories of energy)
– Cushions organs and insulates nerve cells
– Facilitates your body’s thermoregulation (temperature control)
2) Which types are good / bad?
– ‘Trans fatty acids’ (aka ‘trans fats’) are ones to avoid. They are not natural, but rather, are artificially produced through a process called ‘hydrogenation’, of converting liquid fat to solid fat. They’re often found in margarines, cakes, biscuits and junk food in general, and are proven to increase your risk of coronary heart disease.
– ‘Saturated fats’ can be found in animal produce – butter, cream, eggs, meat etc. They’re a good fat, however too much saturated fat can affect the body’s blood cholesterol levels, which over time can fur the arteries, leading to coronary heart disease. Once that happens, there’s little that can be done to reverse the effects, so it’s best to moderate saturated fat intake where possible.
– ‘Monounsaturated fat’ is a “good fat.” It can be found in olive oil, nuts, avocado and some seeds. It can lower your blood cholesterol and decrease your risk of heart disease.
– ‘Polyunsaturated fat’ is another good fat, and mainly derives from plants, vegetable oil, nuts and oily fish.
– ‘Essential Fatty Acids’, are ‘awesome fats’, being comprised of such health buzz-words as ‘Omega 3’ (found in foods like wild salmon, edamame, walnuts and flax seed), and ‘Omega 6’ (found in vegetable oil, black beans and wild rice).
With that in mind, watch this video to make my recipe Guacamole, with metabolism-boosting chilli, healthy avocado monounsaturated fats (+ omega 3 & 6), and vitamin C / antioxidant properties of Celery! Faya x
STAGE 3) PROTEIN POWER!!!
Sugar cravings under control √. Complex energy understood √. Now it’s time to fuel your training! Protein is part of any balanced diet; in the gym environment it’s often known for ‘growth and repair’ properties, but every function in our cells/organs/bodies are regulated by protein – ‘growth and repair’, yes, but also, digestion, absorbtion, healthy blood oxygenation, bone strength, antibody production, brain activity etc. With this in mind here’s a good recipe to make a yummy dish packed with high quality sources of protein!
This picture is of my healthy, home made, grilled (avoid frying) tuna steak ‘burger’. Tuna is a naturally rich source of lean protein (c. 25g of protein per 100g), and has very low saturated fat content especially when compared to red meat. The calorific content is also low, at c. 220 calories per 150g tin. It also contains healthy omega-3 fatty acids, iron, potassium, zinc, vitamins B12 & B3 and other essential fats. I topped it off with half an avocado (tasty, with essential fatty acids), rocket (for iron and a vitamin boost) and some chilli powder (to set my metabolism racing)! Also, the bun is wholegrain (complex carbs, slow release energy)!