It’s the Halloween time of year again, and just throwing it out there, but I guess you might be finding it harder to stay on the fitness ‘straight & narrow’ as we run into the festive season, consuming a bit more alcohol than normal, chomping on some salty sweets and let’s not forget all the sugary ‘trick or treat’ fare. You might even have some war wounds after running around town late one night chasing bats dressed up as Batman – cape, knickers at minus 2 degrees? Sound familiar? HAVE NO FEAR – Fitness On Toast’s healthy (& seasonally on-trend) Pumpkin Soup to the rescue – it’s ultra hydrating and nutrient-rich to make up for all the sugary sweets, alcohol and salt in which you’ve been overindulging! Plus it’s packed with minerals and vitamins to help recover from a heavy night out or just a little man-cold. Read MORE for ingredients & ‘How To’, here! (more…)
This post is about an alternative, healthy ‘burger’ recipe which takes inspiration from a recent blog trip to New York. ‘When in Rome’ do as the New Yorkers… with that in mind it seemed right that on my monumental ‘cheat day’ I should go overboard and indulge in a proper American burger, milkshake & fries! If you read this blog regularly, you’ll know this is a VERY rare occasion indeed! I headed to the grand opening of Shake Shack in Grand Central Station, which I’d heard so much about (great PR!). To celebrate it I wore my favourite gold burger ring by GoldieRox – gorgeous jewellery celebrating junk food, best of all with 0 calories!!! (On that matter, in America most menus now include ‘calories’ which is really helpful!)
I was fully aware that this meal would rack up some seriously naughty numbers but I was blown away; I consumed 1870 calories in just one meal, which is pretty much what I would typically eat in a day!!! Going to Shake Shack was certainly a bit of a fun outing, and I believe you do have to enjoy and live life a little now and then, but this serves as a reminder of just how easily you could be consuming a VAST amount of the wrong kind of calories without even realising it. In the event, I could only manage a half of my portion (still 935 calories), and since my body isn’t used to it, I struggled for the rest of the day. I’m much more at home with a healthy alternative; my previous healthy burger recipe included a tuna steak; this alternative is my nutritious, low-fat, low-sugar and lower-calorie ‘Skirt Steak Wrap’ (pictured below), which weighs in at a nutritious 485 calories, bursting with vitamins minerals and quality protein. See MORE pictures, ingredients and ‘how to make it’ below…
Be inventive and make your own protein powder recipes! But rather than some horrific chemical-tasting ‘banana’ concoction, why not try adding almonds, oats, chia seeds, hemp seeds, frozen or fresh blueberries, blackberries and plain yogurt to thicken the texture, diversify the flavour and inject some nutrients! In this post, I run through my two personal favourite protein recipes. They’re a great way to start the day, a strong boost before/during a workout, as well as an excellent reload after a tough session!
Protein enables so many vital functions in our bodies; it helps to regulate hormones (e.g. insulin to control blood glucose levels), maintains and repairs the body, regulates enzyme release (including that for digestion), and stimulates antibody production and muscle growth, to name just a few. In that light, it’s worth making sure you’re consuming not only the the right amount but also the correct quality of protein on a daily basis. If you’re a veggie it’s worth taking particular care to ensure you have enough ‘complete proteins’ in your diet (most plants are incomplete proteins meaning one or more of the essential amino acids are missing). One way to tackle this is to combine certain plants as they aren’t missing the same amino acids, and thereby forming a complete protein (such as beans, lentils, grains, nuts & seeds). If you’re not a veggie, then apart from what I just mentioned, then meat, dairy and eggs are the obvious sources of protein. A foodstuff will never be absolutely pure protein, so check into the quality quantity and saturated fat content of the product.
HOW MUCH DO YOU NEED?
Your daily protein requirement will depend upon your body weight and lifestyle, upon how active you are, and upon what type of training goals you have. Training puts the body under an increased amount of stress, following which it’s in need of repair and recovery. Almost all muscle growth takes place outside the gym (especially whilst you’re sleeping) and depends upon what and how much nutrition you provide your body with to initiate muscular repair. This is the time to ‘up’ the protein intake. I often get healthy stuff from the store next to my gym, Holland and Barrett. They have a vast selection of protein powders and offer good deals with things like their penny sale (buy one, get another for a penny). I do want to emphasise that these powders are supplements, meaning they are additive to an already existing complete and healthy diet – they are not replacements for meals! There is no precise science, but typically, nutritionists will calculate the min. daily protein requirement by taking your body weight in kg and multiplying that by 0.8 (if lbs, it’s x 0.37). The number you get is the number of grams of protein you should be eating as the daily minimum. So if I weigh 55kg, I should be consuming a minimum of 44grams of protein every day.
See my two favourite protein powder recipes here!