Bulking Up, where to start


There are a lot of articles and advice out there about losing weight and cutting down but what if you have the opposite intentions, bulking up is in my opinion just as difficult if not more.

I have put a few tips below to help out, let me know what you think

1. Eat more

If you want to gain more muscle then you need to up your calorie intake, which means eating more. If you aren’t consuming more calories than you are burning throughout the day, you won’t be able to put on any muscle. Your diet should be made up of nutritious, unprocessed foods that are rich in complex carbs, protein, healthy unsaturated fats, and important nutrients needed for muscle growth, energy production and good health. Steer away from processed, sugary and fatty foods that will only mess with your blood sugar levels and promote fat gain.

2. Increase your protein intake

Protein is essential for providing your body with amino acids, which are vital for building and repairing muscles. Have some good quality protein with each meal and with snacks. Having protein with each meal and with snacks will help increase amino acid levels to optimize muscle growth. Choose healthy, lean protein choices such as lean meat, chicken, eggs, fish, legumes and low-fat dairy foods. Healthy protein-rich snacks include nuts and seeds, quinoa, yoghurt, muesli and protein bars and balls, and hummus with wholegrain crackers.

3. Protein powders are a great way to boost your protein intake

There are lots of different protein powders the market. If you find whey-based protein powders difficult to digest, and you suffer from bloating and gas when you consume them, go for a brown-rice-based protein powder instead, that is still a fantastic protein source without the tummy upset. You don’t need to go overboard with protein either as excessive amounts of protein can put you at risk of putting on fat.

4. Don’t forget to have some complex carbs with each meal

You need carbohydrates for energy, and to fuel your muscles when you train to stimulate muscle growth. Choose complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, brown rice, wholemeal pasta, whole oats, grainy breads and root vegies like sweet potato. These types of carbs will supply you with sustained energy.

5. Eat 5-6 smaller meals

Eating 5-6 smaller means throughout the day ensures that your body is getting a good constant supply of fuel and amino acids to build and repair muscles. Having a protein shake (that also contains some carbohydrates) around 30 to 60 minutes after weight training will help encourage muscle development by upping the production of anabolic hormones. Protein fruit smoothies are another healthy post-workout snack, made with healthy ingredients like low-fat milk, banana, berries, chia seeds, yogurt and protein powder.

With all the above I would also recommend a resistance training program to get those muscles moving.

Strength training can be done at home or in the gym. Common choices include:

  • Body weight. You can do many exercises with little or no equipment. Try pushups, pullups, abdominal crunches and leg squats.
  • Resistance tubing. Resistance tubing is inexpensive, lightweight tubing that provides resistance when stretched. You can choose from many types of resistance tubes in nearly any sporting goods store.
  • Free weights. Barbells and dumbbells are classic strength training tools.
  • Weight machines. Most fitness centers offer various resistance machines. You can also invest in weight machines for use at home.
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Quote of the day


Chicken,rice and pepper casserole


I wanted to make something I hadn’t made in a while and came up with this, chicken, rice and pepper casserole. Its easy, quick, comforting and near enough everyone will love it (well, you can’t please everyone).

Try it out and let me know what you think, any suggestions on improvement are welcome.

Nutrition value

PER SERVING: 418 Calories 48g Carbs 27g Protein 6g Fat

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp organic coconut oil
  • 1kg of chicken legs
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 1 large stick celery, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme 11/4 pts fresh chicken stock (or use one organic stock cube)
  • 150g long grain rice (dry weight)
  • 150g cauliflower, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper

Method

Melt the oil over a medium/ high heat in a large saucepan.

Brown the chicken pieces on all sides. You may have to do this in batches. Remove from the dish and put to one side.

Lower the heat, add the onion, celery and pepper and gently cook for 10 minutes until softened.

Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Stir in the tomato purée and cook for 1 minute.

Return the chicken pieces to the dish along with the thyme and stock. Bring the liquid to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to medium / low. Cook for 30 minutes.

Add the rice and stir well. Cover, set over a low heat and cook for a further 15 minutes or until the rice is cooked and has absorbed most of the liquid.

Add the cauliflower and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and leave the dish to sit for 10 minutes to absorb any of the remaining liquid.

Season to taste.

Mediterranean chicken paella


I raided the cupboards and found the ingredients below and racked my brain thinking what to make, I finally came up with paella.

Have a look and feel free to share your opinions

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olice

    oil

  • 3 chicken breasts fillets, cut into chunks
  • 2 small onions

    finely sliced

  • 1 fat garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • pinch of saffron
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 300g basmati rice
  • 850ml hot chicken stock
  • 1 tin garden peas
  • 1 leek
  • 1 pepper (choice of colour is yours)

Method

Get your chicken and place on an oven proof dish, put in the oven at about 200 C for around 25 mins.

Pour your rice into a saucepan cover with water and bring to the boil.

  1. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan, add the onions and cook slowly until softened, about 10 mins.

  2. Add the garlic, stir for 1 min, then toss in the peppers, mushrooms, peas and leek. Stir in the spices, then tip in the rice (after you have drained the water from it of course) Stir to coat the rice in the oils and spices for about 2 mins, then pour in the hot stock. Bring to the boil,

    Remove your chicken from the oven and add to the rice mixture

    Stir well to coat chicken, let the whole lot stand for 5 mins then serve.

Sweet potato carbonara


Loaded with veggies, this spiralized sweet potato vegetable noodles recipe achieves superfood status with the addition of spinach. Look for large, straight sweet potatoes to make the longest veggie noodles.

I found this dish easy tomake and bursting with flavour, it is also gluten free, nut free, high in calcium and fiber, give it a go and key me know what you think.

Ready to eat in approx 40 mins.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 1 leek, sliced,
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • A few sprays of low fat cooking spray
  • 3 strips center-cut bacon, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic,
  • 1 cup of baby spinach leav

 

 

 

 

 

Method

Put a large pot of water on to boil.

  1. You can buy the ‘swoodles’ pre spiralized but if using a spiral vegetable slicer or julienne vegetable peeler, cut sweet potatoes lengthwise into long, thin strands
  2. Cook the sweet potatoes in the boiling water, gently stirring once or twice, until just starting to soften but not completely tender, 1½ to 3 minutes. Reserve ¼ cup of the cooking water, then drain. Return the noodles to the pot, off the heat. Combine eggs, Parmesan, salt, pepper and the reserved water in a bowl; pour over the noodles and gently toss with tongs until evenly coated.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and leek and cook, stirring often, until the liquid has evaporated, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add spinach and cook, stirring, until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the vegetables to the noodles and toss to combine. Top with a generous grinding of pepper.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Refrigerate the raw “noodles” (Step 2) for up to 1 day.
  • Equipment: Spiral vegetable slicer

Free your mind 


There are so many people whose minds do not belong to them. There are so many people whose thoughts have been purchased by people. There are so many people who have made people kings and queens of their thought. There are so many people who cannot sleep because of people. There are so many people whose lives are a small percentage of their own self and a greater percentage of others. When the offenses of people occupy your mind, your mind becomes the offenses of people instead of your own mind. To have your own mind and to be your own self, free your mind!
– Ernest Agyemang Yeboah