Review: Fage Greek Yoghurt

Greek yoghurt is high protein and so versatile. It can be added to almost any meal and makes a great snack.

I tried FAGEs Classic, 2% and 0% Greek yogurts and its fair to say I will never go back to another type again.  FAGE yogurts are 100% natural which is great, but best of all they taste amazing! FAGE yogurts are made without added preservatives, thickeners or stabilizers. So you can be sure you are only putting good ingredients into your body.

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Think you can imagine how excited i was when this turned up on the doorstep!

0% Fat Greek yogurt                                                                                                                                                                   Classic Greek yogurt

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0% Fat Greek yogurt nutrient value wise, the 0% fat wins by a substantial distance, with 10.3g protein and 0g fat per 100g and only 57 calories! This yogurt is rich, thick, creamy and low calorie – don’t think you could ask for more!

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The classic variety is 5% fat with 96 calories with 9g protein 100g. This rich and creamy yogurt needs no added extras and can be enjoyed just be spooning out of the container!

 

 

 

 

 

2% Greek yogurt

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The 2% fat is 76 calories with 9.9g protein and 2g fat per 100g.

Each of the yogurts have different consistencies and therefore make them good for different recipes. Whilst I would choose the 0% fat as a snack on its own (perfect topped with some fruit and honey!) If freezing the yogurt i.e. to make a frozen yogurt, then I would suggest one of the higher fat products.

Recipes using FAGE Greek Yogurt:

Creamy avocado dip: https://trainandchew.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/creamy-avocado-dip/

Tuna Burgers: https://trainandchew.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/tuna-burgers/

Vanilla Pancakes: https://trainandchew.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/quick-and-easy-fluffy-vanilla-pancakes/

 

 

 

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Review: Primal Kitchen Bars

Eating well on the go can always be difficult and finding something you can carry around to ensure you are eating well and not grabbing that chocolate bar when you get that energy dip. Primal Kitchen have created the perfect portable Paleo bar which is the perfect snack and completely guilt free!

photo 1 (5)The Primal Kitchen grain-free bars are made with 4-5 100% real food Ingredients and no extra ingredients that you wouldn’t be able to pronounce or have in your kitchen cupboard at home. All the dried fruit used do not contain vegetable oils, sugar or sulphites as commonly found in other snack products.

correct-tick-hi  Grain Free

correct-tick-hi  Gluten Free

correct-tick-hi   Refined Sugar Free

correct-tick-hi   Dairy free

correct-tick-hi   Soya Free

correct-tick-hi   Vegetable Oil Free

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This Almond and Cashew was my favourite of the three bars! So sweet, nutty and guilt-free!

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Containing Dates, Brazil nuts, Cherries and Coconut Oil with nothing else and under 200 calories!

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Coconut and Macadamia is a perfect energy source containing only natural ingredients.

Surviving freshers week

So, its not uncommon for many freshers to gain that dreaded ‘freshers 15’, and put on some unneeded belly flab. This often occurs once you get to uni because you have full rein over what you eat and do. This, unfortunately can lead to some not quite so healthy choices.

When you start at university, you are now in charge of what you eat, and for many students this means endless nights of pot noodles and chips. Then, out comes the alcohol and with that the after night out takeaway and don’t forget the hungover fry up – when you put it like that you can see how easy it is for those dreaded empty calories to mount up and before you know it you’ve been hit by that 15.

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Make the right choice the next morning!

One way to reduce the effects of freshers, but still experience the ‘fresher’ lifestyle is to get up and get moving! Not only will you feel a lot better for it, but you will prolong the time before you become that little bit podgier!  So why not join a sports team – great way to meet new people, and a fun way to get that exercise in, or start an intra-mural sport such as badminton?! There is no excuse because there is such a huge array of different clubs to try all with different levels so something for everyone! If team sports are not for you, then why not join the gym, get along to classes or find a jogging group. Being active is great fun, and so good for your health and wellbeing. So what is stopping you?

Get Involved!

But note, it will only ‘reduce’ and ‘prolong’ the effects, the real way to prevent the freshers bulge long term, is to get the best nutrition in you that you can. It doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy life, and nor does it mean you have to eat salads all day every day. Just find a balance and make the right choices.

And with regards to alcohol, you do not need to down ridiculous amounts to have fun, a few drinks here and there will get you merry enough and won’t damage your liver as much as a nightly binge would! You also don’t need to drink to have fun – a sober boogie never hurt anyone. And after the night ends you may be hungry after hours of dancing, briskly walk past the fast food restaurants and have a  healthy snack at home ready for your return! For example, healthy ideas could be: cereal and a banana, toast with peanut butter or a chicken sandwich.

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So next time you try and order the entire menu at McDonalds, give it another thought and think of the effects of that meal – will it make you feel better? or is it just extra calories you don’t need? Why not just go home, drink a pint of water and grab something healthy to eat.

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You’ll thank yourself for it the next day! (well in the future – I promise!)

Review: Cereal from Natures Path

Natures Path is a family run, independent company that prides itself on making and selling the very best nutritious and organic food products. I tried some of the cereals that they offer.

Qi’a Superfood Cereal 

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Qi’a is a chia, buckwheat and hemp cereal that is gluten free and high in protein, fiber and essential omega 3’s. I tried the original flavour, which is sugar free!

And also, I tried the vanilla, cranberry mix which contained vanilla dusted cranberries and almonds. I added the cereal to my porridge (oatmeal) but it could be added to yogurt, smoothies, or salads. Also, bear in mind, you don’t need much to gain lots nutritionally, as a 30g serving provides 4g fibre, and 6g of protein. Although this doesn’t seem like much, the chia expands to 16x its volume, which fills you up. In addition to the range of macro nutrients it provides, each serving of this unique the cereal provides 12% of your daily requirement of iron. These factors make it an excellent choice for active and healthy people.

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In addition to the traditional ways of serving cereal, you could also use Qi’a in your cooking. Natures Path has some great recipes on their website. Here are a couple of the ones that I thought looked easy and yum!

Dark Chocolate Cranberry Qi’a Bars
Ingredients 
  • 12 ounces (340g) quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup (10 tbsp) Nature’s Path Qi’a (Cranberry Vanilla)
  • 1 cup (16 tbsp) sliced almonds, toasted
Method
  • Line a 9 x 13-inch pan with parchment paper, make sure it overhangs the ends.
  • Place the chocolate in heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir occasionally, and continue until melted.
  • Remove from heat. Stir in the Qi’a and almonds (Keep 2 tbsp Qi’a for sprinkling on top of the chocolate)
  • Pour onto the prepared pan and spread evenly.
  • Sprinkle with the reserved Qi’a.
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour or until chocolate is set.
  • Remove from pan and peel off the parchment paper. Break into pieces.
  • Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.

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 Gluten Free Qi’a and Veg Burgers 

Ingredients 

  • 3 tbsp oil, divided
  • 3/4 cup  onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup packed grated carrotburger
  • 1 cup packed grated courgette/ zucchini
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp tahini paste
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 1/2 cup Nature’s Path Qi’a (Original)
  • 2 cups cooked  white kidney beans
Method 
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan on a medium heat.
  • Add onion, carrot, courgette/zucchini, cumin, coriander and oregano.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until vegetables are softened.
  • Stir in pumpkin seeds, parsley, lemon juice, tahini paste, and tamari.
  • Remove from heat and cool slightly.
  • Stir in Qi’a and beans. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  • Add mixture to food processor; pulse until ground.
  • Preheat the oven to 425˚F (220 Celsius)
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the mixture into 6 portions. Shape into patties and brush with remaining oil.
  • Bake, turning once, for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden and heated through.

Honey Almond Granola

Natures path Honey Almond Granola was the next cereal I tried. This gluten and wheat free crunchy granola cereal also contains chia, which added to the nutritiousness of the cereal. The granola, because it is made by natures path, is made from real ingredients that are organic and free of synthetic preservatives and additives. Additionally, each 30g serving provides over 16g of whole-grains!

I really enjoyed the crunchy granola and I had it as an evening snack with a banana, greek yogurt, and peanut butter. However, this flavorsome crunchy granola could be enjoyed on its own, used as an ice cream or frozen yogurt topping or added to cooked fruit for a delicious desert.

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Granola Breakfast Muffins

Ingredients 
  • 150g (2 1/3 cups) Nature’s Path Granola
  • 200g all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup Vanilla Low-Fat Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) vegetable oil, plus 1 tsp. for greasing muffin tins
  • 3 tbsp agave nectar or maple syrup
  • 100g (1/2 cup) dried blueberries or cranberries
Method
  1. Set oven rack in middle and preheat to 400 degrees (180 celcius).
  2. Grease 12 standard muffin tins lightly with oil.
  3. Put 100g granola into a large bowl. Break up any massive clumps.
  4. Use a fork to stir in flour, baking powder and baking soda.
  5. In a medium bowl, lightly beat eggs.
  6. Thoroughly blend in yogurt, oil, and agave nectar/ syrup.
  7. Stir liquid and blueberries into dry ingredients to create a lumpy batter; do not over mix.
  8. Distribute batter among prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle remaining granola on top of each muffin.
  9. Bake for 7 minutes, then turn muffin tin back to front. Continue baking until muffins spring back to a gentle touch and a cake tester inserted into center comes out clean, 4 to 5 minutes more.
  10. With a fork and oven mitt, immediately pry hot muffins gently from pan, and set on a cooling rack.
  11. Eat warm or at room temperature within a few hours, or freeze cooled muffin in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

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Sunrise, Crunchy Cinnamon 

The final cereal I tried form Natures Path was their new Sunrise Crunchy Cinnamon variety. This mix of corn, quinoa, flax, buckwheat and amaranth is gluten free and truly delicious. The cereal, of course, only contains natural ingredients, so you can be sure that you are only eating real ingredients.

I enjoyed the cereal on its own as a snack and also with milk at breakfast. I particularly enjoyed adding the crunchy cinnamon cereal to yogurt as an evening snack before bed. However, I am sure that the cereal would be great to add extra crunch to pancakes, or sprinkled over yogurt, or ice cream.

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Tuna Burgers

Ingredients: photo (13)

1 Garlic Clove

Half an onion

1/4 yellow bell pepper

1 Can of tuna

1 tbsp FAGE Greek Yoghurt

Method:

Fry together the garlic, onion and pepper in a pan. Mix together the tuna and yoghurt. Once the onions, garlic and pepper are fried mix into the tuna. Mould this mixture into burger shapes and fry for a couple of minutes on each side.

IBS

IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome, is a digestive disorder that has an  unknown cause. The symptoms vary between individuals, but usually include; constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas, stomach discomfort and cramping.

If you’ve got IBS you’ll know how uncomfortable it is to have a bloated gas-filled stomach day in day out. Especially if you are in the knowledge that there is no real cure. Although this seems like a depressing thought, there are lifestyle changes which you can make to help live an easier life!

Here we give you some recipes to try out which we hope will help you to feel more comfortable.

ibs

Smoked Haddock and Roasted Root Cakes

Ingredients: 

  • 4 oak smoked haddock fillets (undyed)
  • 4 large carrots, chopped
  • ½ small butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and chopped
  • Handful fresh chopped parsley
  • ½ lemon juice
  • Handful of chestnut flour for dusting
  • 2-3 tbsp coconut butter for frying

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C. Poach the haddock fillets in a small amount of coconut or nut milk until tender. Meanwhile, roast the veg until tender. Once both are cooked put the fish (deskinned) into bowl, and flake into small pieces using a fork. Then, mash the vegetables and add them to the bowl. Divide the mixture into 8 even sized balls, press each one between the palms of your hands to form a cake and set to one side. Pre heat a large frying pan until hot and add the coconut oil. Whilst the pan and oil are heating dust the cakes in the chestnut flour on both sides, add each one to the pan of hot oil and fry for around 7 minutes on each side. Until golden and crispy. Serve with salad.

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Banana and Pecan Ice Cream

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Ingredients:

  • 4 large bananas
  • 4 tbsp raw pecan butter
  • 2 tbsp Great Lakes Gelatin hydro
  • 2 tsp raw honey

Method

Chop your bananas into slices and pop into a glass bowl. Freeze until solid, this will take around 2 hours. Remove the banana slices from the freezer and add to your food processor along with all of the other ingredients. Blend until smooth. Decant the mixture back into your glass bowl and re-freeze until semi solid. Remove from the freezer and enjoy!

Banana Pancakes 

The gelatin powder may sound a little odd, but it acts as a natural food source of additional protein, whilst being highly anti inflammatory and calming to the nervous system. gelitin hyrdo

Ingredients make 4:

  • 2 large bananas
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1tbsp coconut oil
  • 2tbsp Great Lakes hydro gelatin

Method

1. Pre heat a frying pan until very hot. Whilst your pan is heating, put the other ingredients into a food processor and whizz until smooth. Ladle ¼ of the batter into your pan, sweeping the mixture outwards from the centre with the back of the ladle to form a pancake. Cook for around 5 minutes, until the pancake is almost cooked through to the middle, then flip. Cook the second side for just a couple of minutes to brown off. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the other pancakes and serve with your favourite fresh fruit. 

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Grain Free Drop Scone Pancakes 

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1  large egg
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tsp coconut oil for cooking

Method

Pop all of your ingredients into a food processor and whizz until smooth. Leave to sit for 10 minutes so that the coconut flour expands and absorbs the egg. Meanwhile heat a large frying pan on a medium heat, add the coconut oil. Now divide the mixture into 4 equal portions in the frying pan. You are forming little mini pancakes. Cook for a few minutes then flip and cook for a few minutes on the other side. Your pancakes should be golden and firm on the outside, moist and springy on the inside! Serve with a little melted coconut oil and raw honey.

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Creamy Avocado Dip

So, this was the yummiest dip ever, and best of all it was so quick and easy to make. This is perfect as it is, as a side to sweet potato chips,  as a dip with crudités, a sandwich topper – you get it the possibilities are endless!

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This recipe serves 2:

1 Ripe Avocado

1 salad tomato

1/4 green pepper

1/4 yellow pepper

1 tablespoon FAGE Greek Yoghurt

Squeeze of lime juice

Method:

Chop all the ingredients finely then in a bowl mash the avocado, mix in the FAGE. Then add in all the chopped ingredients, mix until all covered by the avocado and yoghurt mix. Add a squeeze of lime. And VOILA – the creamiest easiest dip ever!

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Perfect as a simple snack or light lunch on top of wholegrain rice cakes!

10km Training

Training for a 10km can be tough- 6.1 miles is a long way for someone who is not used to running, and feels especially long if you are wanting to get a certain time. This aim of this 6 week training plan is to get your 10km time down.

Training for a 10km forms the foundation of all-round fitness. This is because training for this distance includes all three of the core components of distance running which are: strength, stamina and speed. It is hoped that this plan will not only help you to train for your goal 10km, but if you make small adjustments you could also use it to prepare for everything from a 5km to the marathon.

Obviously, it is important to adapt the training to your own goals and lifestyle. This is because training for a 10km is not the same for everyone and there is no one-size-fits-all plan. Therefore,  if you can’t complete a given workout, don’t. Also, if you need to rearrange training days to fit your schedule, do it.

I have devised 3, 6 week training plans. Look at the profiles and decide which one best suits you, then follow that plan.

Runners Profiles 

Beginner 

You have been running for at least 6 months and would say you are above a novice in ability. I would suggest that you have done a couple of 5kms and are able to run 5-6km three or four days a week. Beginner runners often run when they feel like it, and do not follow a training plan. However, now you want to enter – and finish – a 10km race.

Intermediate

You have been running for at least a year and have done a few some 5km races. You may also have done one or two 10km races. But you often finish feeling like you could have done better. You are a recreational runner, but you now want to make a commitment to training to see how fast you can go.

Advanced

You have been a serious runner for a number of years. In this time, you have run many races, maybe even a marathon. You are familiar with different types of training sessions such as fartleks and intervals, and you feel that you can run comfortably for an hour or more. You now want to commit even more to training, and want a breakthrough time. You are keen and willing to put in a rigorous six weeks to achieve it.

Beginner 10km 6 Week Training Plan 

10km-Beginner

Intermediate 10km 6 Week Training Plan 

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Advanced 10km 6 Week Training Plan 

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In addition to training consistently and sleeping well, your nutrition and hydration must be good. To learn more about these aspects look at other ‘trainandchew’ posts.

Information above is from ‘Runners World’.

3 Top Tips for Recovery

1. Plan Ahead

Schedule your week so that you give your body the chance to recover from your biggest sessions. Don’t forget that this includes the impact of work and family life too.

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For example if you’ve done a long run on a Sunday morning, try and schedule a rest afternoon off your feet rather than a family shopping trip for the rest of the day.

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Also, don’t forget the importance of fueling your body even on days that you are not training. For example, if you have an early morning commute on your bike and skip breakfast before you set off, make sure you have some breakfast for when you get to work to avoid struggling with your concentration and energy levels throughout the rest of the morning.

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2. 30 Minute Rule

Your metabolism stays lifted for around 30 minutes post-exercise. Make the most of this opportunity by replacing carbohydrates, protein and electrolytes  to optimize your recovery and provide your body with what it needs to make the adaptations you have stimulated during training.

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In order to do this, make sure you carry post session snacks and drinks with you in your training bag. By doing this you won’t miss out on the all important 30 minute slot. And when you get home or back to work, make sure you get some real food to let your body recover completely.

3. Recovery Tools Aren’t All Good

Although Ice baths and compression clothing can be of great help around competition, using them consistently throughout training has been found to blunt the training response, as it removes some of the stimulus for adaptation. Stick to properly cooling down, with a good stretch routine and maybe some foam roller work to ease tight muscles.

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Further to this, as exercise is perceived by the body as a form of stress, causing inflammation, it could help if you try and eat foods or products that reduce systemic inflammation such as tomatoes. This aids recovery times but does not impact locally on the muscle and impair training adaptations.

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For more information on this, and for more nutrition advice look on the SIS website.