Food for thought 

A few ideas for meals,  I will elaborate on later as the candles burnt long enough tonight! 

Could you be gluten intolerant or have Coeliac disease?

Approx. 55 diseases are linked to gluten (protein in wheat, rye, barley)! 99% could have undiagnosed gluten intolerance or Coeliac disease. 15% of the population may be gluten intolerant! Symptoms may be a sign of gluten intolerance:

Migraine headaches
Fatigue, brain fog or feeling tired after eating a meal that contains gluten.
Autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Lupus, Psoriasis, Scleroderma or Multiple sclerosis.
Dizziness, feeling of being off balance and Neurologic symptoms
Hormone imbalances: Premenstrual syndrome, PCOS, unexplained infertility.
Mood issues such as anxiety, depression, mood swings and ADD.
Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia; without a cause of your fatigue or pain.
Inflammation, swelling or pain in your joints such as fingers, knees or hips.
Digestive issues such as flatulence, bloating, diarrhoea, constipation (especially in children).
Keratosis Pilaris aka ‘chicken skin’ on the back of your arms! Caused deficiency of fatty acid, Vitamin A (secondary to fat-malabsorption caused by gluten damaging the gut).

If you think you may have a gluten sensitivity then eliminate gluten from your diet for a month. Reintroduce it and note any symptoms. If you have symptoms reintroduce to diet and ask doctor to refer you to be tested.

Tru3 J0y

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Low fat Chocolate Brownies

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Ingredients

100 ml (4 fl oz) sunflower oil, plus extra to grease
500 g (18oz) dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), broken up
8 medium eggs
300 g (10ozs) light muscovado sugar
2 tsps vanilla extract
150 g (6oz) plain flour gluten free
1 tsp baking powder gluten free
2 tbsp cocoa powder

* optional100 grams (4 ozs) walnuts

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan) mark 4.
Lightly grease and line two 20.5cm (8in) square tins with baking parchment.
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water (make sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water).
Lift bowl off the pan, set aside to cool (if too hot the brownie may not cook in the middle).
Beat in the eggs, sugar, vanilla, oil and a pinch of salt in a large bowl with a handheld electric whisk until pale and thick.
Sift the flour, baking and cocoa powder over and add the *walnuts and cooled chocolate.
Fold together with a large metal spoon.
Scrape mixture into the prepared tin, level and scatter over topping* (if using).
Bake for 20-25min or until set.
Cool completely in tin before cutting into squares.

Optional Toppings:
A good handful of fresh raspberries and blanced almond slithers or broken walnuts or chopped mixed nuts.
Dusting of icing sugar and/or popping candy

To Store:
The brownie without raspberries, will keep well wrapped in foil or in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Adding fresh fruit shortens the shelf life (if it last that long in your household!).

Tru3 J0y

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Banana Berry Smoothie

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Serves 2 (or halved for 1)

Ingredients

2 ripe bananas
400 grams of berries
Berries of your choice either one type or a variety (whatever takes your fancy) blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, mulberries, cranberries, loganberries

200 ml almond milk (or another dairy free milk of choice)

2 tablespoons of honey, agave (or maple syrup or another of your choice)

2 tablespoons of linseeds

Method

Put all ingredients carefully into a blender and blend thoroughly, add crushed ice, if preferred especially on warmer days.

Serve chilled and immediately in tall glasses.

Tru3 J0y

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Training and good nutrition work best together!

Drink for the reason that around 70% of your body is made up of water; used to regulate temperature, lubricate joints and transport nutrients and energy around the body. Dehydration diminishes performance, so when you are training, you will sweat more, add an electrolyte tablet to your drink.

Avoid spikes in blood sugar from high G.I. sugary processed food and snacks eat low G.I carbohydrates which stabilise blood sugar and last for longer in the body.

Avoid overuse of caffeine which interferes with performance

Foods high in saturated fats should be avoided, but your body needs essential fats to process protein, and in endurance events, the body uses fat as fuel. Fish, nuts and avocado are sources of good fats. Supplement your diet with fish oil supplements which contain Omega 3 and Omega 6 will provide added benefits to joints, reducing inflammation, and boosting energy!

To quickly replenish glycogen stores and muscle repair, which continues after exercise for a few hours, eat something small every hour since small meals are easier for the body to process than one large meal.

Training and good nutrition work best together!

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Seasonal produce in Ireland and the UK

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January: Beetroot, Leek, Squash, Cabbage, Parsnip, Shallot, Celeriac, Carrot, Onion, Kale, Celery, Turnip, Potato, Brocolli, Brussel sprouts, Pear, Apple, Clementine
Goose, Lobster, Scallops, Brill, Clam, Cockles, Haddock, Halibut, Hake, Lemon sole, Monkfish, Mussels, Oyster, Plaice, Turbot
February: Cabbage, Chicory, Potato, Leek, Brocolli, Squash, Kale, Onion, Parsnip, Shallot, Celeriac
Guinea fowl, Goose, Halibut, Mussels, Lobster, Brill, Clam, Cockles, Cod, Haddock, Halibut, Hake, Lemon sole, Mussels, Oyster, Salmon, Turbot
March: Parsley, Radish, Carrot, Leek, Sprouting broccoli, Sorrel, Potato, Mint
Sardine, Lobster, Cockles, Cod, Halibut, Hake, Lemon sole, Mussels, Oyster, Salmon, Sea trout
April: Rosemary, Spinach, Morel mushroom, Wild garlic, Radish, Carrot, Celery, Kale, Watercress, Strawberry, Rhubard
New season lamb, Cockles, Cod, Crab, Halibut, Salmon, Sea trout
May: Samphire, Asparagus, Cauliflower, New potato, Parsley, Mint, Broad bean, Carrot, Spinach, Lettuce, Celery, Cherry, Raspberry, Rhubard
Duck, Sea trout, Sea bass, Lemon sole, Cod, Sardine, Lamb, Crab, Dover sole, Halibut, Herring, John Dory, Plaice, Salmon
June: Artichoke,Courgette, Broad bean, Lettuce, French bean, Pepper, Spinach, Asparagus, Celery, Aubergine, Pea, Mangetout, Tomato, Gooseberry, Elderflower, Strawberry, Redcurrant, Cherry
Hare, Crayfish, John Dory, Lamb, Cod, Crab, Dover sole, Haddock, Halibut, Herring, Lemon sole, Mackeral, Plaice, Salmon, Sardine, Sea bass, Sea trout
July: Artichoke, Beetroot, Courgette, Aubergine, Fennel, Pea, Runner bean, Tomato, Watercress, French bean, Sage, Lettuce, Mangetout, Cauliflower, Broad bean, Blueberry, Strawberry, Loganberry, Raspberry
Clam, Pike, Trout, Pilchard, Lamb, Cod, Crab, Dover sole, Haddock, Halibut, Herring, John Dory, Lemon sole, Mackeral, Plaice, Salmon, Sardine, Scallop, Sea bass, Sea trout
August: Artichoke, Basil, Beetroot, Pea, Tomato, Broad bean, Brocolli, Cucumber, French bean, Lettuce, Fennel, Mangetout, Aubergine, Spinach, Courgette, Sweetcorn, Apricot, Damson, Melon, Strawberry
Lamb, Cod, Crab, Dover sole, Grey mullet, Haddock, Halibut, Herring, John Dory, Lemon sole, Mackeral, Monkfish, Plaice, Salmon, Sardine, Scallop, Sea bass, Squid
September: Artichoke, Aubergine, Beetroot, Brocolli, Sweetcorn, Cucumber, Courgette, Kale, Spinach, Onion, Tomato, Lettuce, Mangetout, Runner bean, Pumpkin, Leek, Plum, Blackberry, Apple, Fig, Damson, Grape, Melon
Autumn lamb, Partridge, Wood pigeon, Duck, Venison, Grouse, Brown trout, Oyster, Mussel, Sea Bass, Clam, Cod, Crab, Dover sole, Grey mullet, Haddock, Halibut, Herring, John Dory, Lemon sole, Mackeral, Monkfish, Plaice, Salmon, Sardine, Scallop, Squid, Turbot

October

Watercress, Squash, Celery, Brocolli, Beetroot, Leek, Mushroom, Runner bean, Courgette, Marrow, Kale, Pumpkin, Elderberry, Fig, Apple, Grape

Autumn lamb, Duck, Grouse, Guinea fowl, Partridge, Oyster, Mussel, Brill, Clam, Cod, Crab, Dover sole, Grey mullet, Haddock, Halibut, Hake, John Dory, Lemon sole, Mackeral, Monkfish, Plaice, Sea bass, Squid, Turbot

November

Parsnip, Chestnut, Beetroot, Swede, Cabbage, Runner, bean, Turnip, Potato, Kale, Celery, Celeriac, Squash, Pumpkin, Leek, Cranberry, Pear, Quince, Apple, Clementine

Duck, Grouse, Teal, Partridge, Brill, Clam, Haddock, Halibut, Hake, Lemon sole, Monkfish, Mussels, Oyster, Plaice, Sea bass, Squid, Turbot

December

Celery, Red cabbage, Swede, Celeriac, Turnip, Kale, Brussel sprout, Pumpkin, Beetroot, Parsnip, Brocolli, Leek, Onion, Pear, Apple, Clementine, Cranberry

Turkey, Partridge, Duck, Goose, Haddock, Sea bass, Brill, Clam, Halibut, Hake, Lemon sole, Monkfish, Mussels, Oyster, Plaice, Turbot

Tru3 J0y

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Lemons

Lemons reduce stress due to their vitamin C content and burn fats!

Lemon juice with a pinch of salt every morning lowers cholesterol levels and brings your weight down!

Lemons are high in antioxidants that fight off free radicals, preventing many diseases, including cancers, stroke and cardiovascular diseases.

Prevent illness, start curing yourself with help of lemons. Lemon helps produce antibodies in blood that attack the invading micro organism and fights the infection.

Aid digestive system by adding a few drops of lemon juice in hot water to purify the liver and clear the digestive system.

Lemon is one of the best fat burning foods that can help you trim down your body naturally!

Tru3 J0y

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Colourful vegetables

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Vegetables can be freely paired with greens making your nutrition full and balanced.
Everyone has their own favourites; carrots, beets, celery, turnips, sweet potatoes, brussel spouts, onions, broccoli, cabbages. All are extremely nutritious, containing vitamins, fibre, water, elements and minerals to fill you up trim the body naturally, high in folate, potassium and vitamins A, E and C.
The proverb says:

“A sound mind in a sound body.”

By adding more vegetables and greens to your diet plan you will notice an improvement in a brief period of time to enhance your the body’s performance, especially pre or post exercise.

Tru3 J0y

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Go Bananas!

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Wrapped up inside like a present hidden beneath the wrapping peel are excellent nutrients.

Potassium for:
• optimal brain,
• cardiac,
• muscle function.

Manganese for:
• healthy bones,
• tissues,
• blood pressure.

A non-irritant to the gastro intestinal tract due to high dietary fibre.

Bananas are often included as part of a diet called BRAT (Bananas, Rice, Apples, Toast) for people with gastro intestinal problems.

Full of Vitamins:
• B6,
• C,
• other antioxidants for a healthy immune system.

Carbohydrates for
• pre-exercise fueling
• post-exercise fueling.

Tru3 J0y

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Muscle cramps!

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Muscle cramps are painful spasms which happen during or after exercise, regardless of whether you are at rest or asleep, when your muscle goes into a hard, contracted state and you can’t relax it. The pain usually subsides after a few seconds or minutes thankfully rarely does it last for 15 minutes or more! Cramps can come back a few times before eventually subsiding moving from your position, walking around or a light jog (my son tells me).

Muscle cramps do not usually have serious long-term effects however they may be a sign of an underlying health condition or just after exercising and nothing to worry about but always check with your doctor to be certain.

What causes cramps?

Surprisingly, the exact cause of cramps is still unknown, however causes which may lead to them are:

  • overexertion (straining or overusing a muscle), or after strenuous activity such as running a maratho
  • dehydration
  • lack of fitness or specific training
  • a lack of electrolytes in your diet (sodium from salt) 
  • a loss of electrolytes from your body through sweating
  • exercising in hot weather
  • a poor training technique

How can I treat cramps?

The first thing to do when the cramp comes on is DO something to ease the pain.

Tips to help relieve it:

  • STOP whatever exercise you’re doing.
  • Gently stretch the cramped muscle, hold until your muscle relaxes – ask a friend to help you.
  • Gently massage the muscle.
  • Walk around a little or go for a gentle jog.
  • You may initially want to apply some heat to your muscle to relax it. After this, ice may give some relief – use an ice pack or ice wrapped in a towel. Don’t apply ice directly to your skin as it can damage your skin.
  • Drink some water to replace any fluids you may have lost
  • Gently massage the muscle.
  • Walk around a little or go for a gentle jog
  • Apply some heat to your muscle to relax it initially
  • After, ice may give some relief – use an ice pack or ice wrapped in a towel. Don’t apply ice directly to your skin as it can burn your skin.
  • Drink water to replace any lost fluids.

Any muscle can go into spasm, however, cramps affect mainly the muscle groups, so specifically to treat:

Cramp in your calf gastrocnemius:

  • stand in a lunge position
  • stretch your affected leg out straight behind you.

Cramp in your quadriceps – thigh muscles

  • stand upright,
  • lift your ankle towards your buttocks while holding the top of your foot.
  • pull your heel gently in towards your buttocks to stretch.

Relieve cramp in your hamstring muscles:

  • sit down,
  • stretch your leg out in front of you,
  • keeping your knee straight,
  • lean forward to touch your foot.

How do I prevent cramps?

Prevention is better than cure!

To prevent injuries and cramp, before they happen:

Training

Build up the intensity and duration of your training gradually so your body will have time to adjust to the increasing activity.

Hydration

Make sure you stay well hydrated while you’re exercising. Urine colour is a useful indicator of how hydrated you are. Generally, dark urine suggests that you’re dehydrated, with the paler yellow urine being ideal in fact the paler the better!

Warming up and stretching

Start exercising with a gentle warm-up before you move to more intensive exercise. Stretching your muscles reduces your chances of developing injuries, including cramp, improving on your flexibility so the benefit of stretching before or after exercise for preventing injury is unproven idea;;y do both to warm up and warm down is what PE teachers tell you/students.

However, if you regularly get muscle cramps, see your GP or physiotherapist for advice.

Be prepared before training/exercise:

  1. Build up your training gradually.
  2. Drink enough water before, during and after exercising – how much you need will depend on how thirsty you feel.
  3. Wear the right clothes with properly fitting trainers when you exercise.
  4. See your doctor/GP if you regularly get cramps.

 Exercise wisely it’s great to exercise however it is so easy to overdo it or not drink enough water – I know I live up a big hill however depending on which way I go depends on how steep the gradient is and I need to build up my fitness gradually no think I can push myself too fast or with too much sudden exertion!