Thought for the day


Life is so ironic, it takes sadness to know happiness, noise to appreciate silence and absence to value presence. Everything has a lesson for us to learn. So stay open and say #yes to it all and then let go!

-Make your mark

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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.

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.

The Mighty Meatzza


If you like meat and you like pizza well this is the dish for you. Its guilt free and is so versatile, hot or cold, breakfast or lunch the possibilities are endless. Well, maybe not endless but pretty good. Its quick, easy and not too expensive too.

Check this out and let me know what you think

Image result for meatzza

Ingredients

  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 500g passata with basil
  • 25g finely chopped fresh basil, plus leaves to garnish
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 100g low fat natural cottage cheese
  • 200g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
for the base:
  • 500g lean beef mince (5% fat or less)
  • 250g lean pork mince (5% fat or less)
  • 2 tsp dried Italian herb mix (OR ANY SPICES YOU DECIDE)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°c/Fan 170°c/Gas 5. Put the garlic, onion, passata in a saucepan and bring to the boil over a high heat. Turn the heat down to medium, stir in the basil, season to taste and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, line a heavy-based 25cm pizza tin with non-stick baking parchment. Put all the ingredients for the base into a large bowl, season to taste and mix well using your fingers. Press this mixture into the prepared tin to make a flat round base and bake for 12-15 minutes. Remove the base from the oven and drain off any liquid. Increase the oven temperature to 220°c/Fan 200°c/Gas 7.
  3. Spread the passata mixture over the base, scatter over the mushrooms and peppers. Return the pizza to the oven and cook for 8-10 minutes or until the topping is lightly browned and bubbling. Scatter over the basil leaves, cut into wedges and serve with a crisp green salad.