Our all too familiar, cold, dark autumn mornings are closing in fast. Soon the evenings will be dark too. The idea of comfort eating sounds appealing doesn't it? Well, you can. There is often a misconception that 'comfort eating' involves eating large amounts of junkfood in one sitting. Unfortunately, this is true in a lot of cases, but it doesn't have to be. There are plenty of menu options when it comes to warm 'comforting' meals that will still support our training and fat loss goals.
This recipe below is just one example of that, and straight out of my own book! It is based on the zone diet and will provide you with a 4 block meal. If you are familiar with the zone diet, feel free to tweak the quantities to support your own goals, and if not, stick to the quantities stated and you won't be far off the mark!
Ground Beef Chilli - Serves 6
800g lean minced beef
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
400g tinned tomatoes
1 -2 Teaspoons hot chilli powder (depending on taste)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 medium onions, finely chopped
salt & pepper
- Heat the oil in the pan, add the onions and the garlic. after 2 mins, add the beef and cook until browned
-Add a sprinkle of basil, oregano and salt & pepper
- Add the chilli powder, turmeric and ground cumin and stir for 3 - 5 mins
- Pour in the tinned tomatoes and stir well. cook for 5 mins before covering. Allow to simmer for 1-2hrs and stir occasionally
Serve with 1/2 cup of brown rice and 2 cups of green veg per person. This is also a great option if you don't want to share - simply box up the extra servings and put them in the fridge or freezer for later in the week. Enjoy!
PS. whoever posts the nicest looking picture gets to host come dine with me next week.....
One of the most intense battles in the history of nutrition...........
There is conflicting information coming from all directions regarding the quantity of food we devour, and the quality of said food. Some say that we should eat only food from unprocessed, 'healthy' sources, and to eat as much of this food as we want, with no limits. Others say 'eat whatever you want, as long as it's not too much'.
So who is right?
Well, a bit of both actually. See, here's the thing. It doesnt matter what kind of food we eat, or where it comes from, if we consume more calories than we expend as energy, the only possible outcome is weight gain. So for that reason, the quality argument is fundamentally flawed. The simple fact is that all food, no matter what the macro content is, contains a certain amount of calories. If the 'healthy' foods are therefore consumed in excess of our expenditure, we have a problem - fat gain.
So what about the quantity then? A little bit more complex but the argument is basically correct.
We already know how difficult it can be to control our portion sizes and almost impossible to accurately work out how many calories a certain meal contains.
Can anyone tell me how exactly many calories they burn in a day? (without looking at your fitbit Erina)
So the argument of 'eat what you like, just not too much' is right in theory, the problem is, that with us mere mortals that don't have access to the fancy technology, we have no idea what 'too much' is.
So how do we overcome the obstacles? its all about balance. Trying to control our food intake from poor quality food choices is a dangerous game. For example, when we put birthday cake in our mouths, a few things happen. Firstly, we usually get a sugar rush for a few minutes, due to a spike in our blood sugar, caused by the fast release of sugar from the processed carbohydrate in the food. Then, when the sugar high wears off, we often feel tired, lethargic, maybe even a little bloated. Our brain then decides that more energy is needed. That piece of cake was nice, wasn't it? So you'll have another...and so on and so forth. Suddenly you've eaten double what you had planned. It takes a serious amount of self discipline to control your food intake, whilst consuming whatever foods you like.
On the other hand, a delicious plate of roast chicken, sweet potato and green veg - all 'healthy' unprocessed foods - will be hard to resist. It will also be difficult not to overeat if this is placed in front of you, particularly if there are extras. Same thing as the cake applies. If the serving is too large, the chances are, your calories in, will be more than your calories out. The end result - weight gain
Ideally, if we can strike a balance between the two, we won't be far off the right track. If we get used to eating mostly whole, unprocessed foods that come from natural, local sources, we will be half way there. The other half of the deal will be controlling the amount of food we consume. Whole foods are generally going to support our overall health and fitness a great deal better than our friends over in the biscuit aisle, or in the pizza freezer. There are a number of reasons for this, but most of these are for another day. The main reason that we are going to look at - and it's good news - is that good quality food makes us feel more satisfied. When we eat lots of green veg with our meat, or whatever else, our brain gets a message from our stomach that says 'stop, I'm full!' And we generally do.
So the key is to control both our food sources and our quantities. Meet somewhere in the middle. We would recommend that you use your (smallish) plate as a guide.
- 1/4 of your plate protein (Meat, fish, eggs.....)
- 1/4 of your plate starchy veg (potato, rice,bread....yes, bread!)
- 1/2 of your plate green veg (broccoli, spinach etc....)
So Quantity V Quality? Why not have both. If you follow this general guide 3 times a day and have a couple of small protein based snacks throughout the day, you will be on the right track. This of course, can be tailored for the individual depending on their goals, but again, that is a new topic altogether!
Happy eating...and stay tuned, I promise there will be some recipes in the pipeline!
As the mornings get darker and darker, and the evenings get shorter and shorter, lying in bed for an extra half hour sounds appealing, right? Even if it means skipping breakfast? Yep, We've all been there.
Ok, missing breakfast one day here and there because you have accidentally slept in, isn't going to be the end of the world. However, lying on for that extra few minutes, knowing that you are either going to be late for work or miss your breakfast, is asking for trouble. The likelihood is that this is going to kick off a chain of events that could very easily spiral out of control if not nipped in the bud at an early stage.
The reality is that when you miss a main meal, especially early in the day, whether you like it or not, your body is going to overcompensate some time later in the day. How will it do this? Have you ever heard of the 'see food diet'? I can guarantee you that if your body does not get properly fueled in the morning, you will be that hungry by mid morning that your body will indiscriminately crave and consume all the food you can get your hands on - good and bad!
And what happens after that? Guilt sets in. How do we cope with guilt? Go for a cup of coffee and eat 3 caramel squares along with it. Sounds familiar? By the end of the week you'll be stopping for a Chinese on the way home. All sounds very downbeat, but don't worry, there is plenty of light at the end of the tunnel.
People have an emotional relationship with food. When we are eating well, we feel good, energetic, happy, focused, postive......and the list goes on. When we are eating poorly, or not as well as we would like, we often feel great when we are eating, but that's it. Afterwards we start to feel guilty, then maybe even unwell, bloated, lethargic, even depressed. That's how important Breakfast is folks, and just an example of what can go wrong without it.
So how do we go about ensuring we get a good, nutritious breakfast?
Have everything you need sitting ready the night before. Overnight oats are a great option. That way, if you do happen to sleep in, or are running late, you can simply grab them on your way out and eat them on the bus! You could also cook up some Veg on the pan at night and have them ready for an omelette or simply scramble some eggs through them. that's a 5 minute job and tastes great! A favourite
of my own would be to steal a potato from the dinner pot and fry it up on the pan with some kale or spinach and add some egg. That way, I have the perfect combination of protein, fats and carbs.
Stay tuned and we might even post a few recipes!!