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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What is a food allergy or intolerance?

A food allergy is sometimes used to describe all adverse reactions to food, the term is more often used to refer specifically to food reactions that are mediated by the immune system.

To protect us from illness and disease, our immune systems protect us from illnesses and diseases so  are continuously trying to lessen the danger represented by substances called antigens. Antigens are parts of proteins that our bodies recognize as dangerous and take steps to neutralize. Antigens can be found most anywhere there is protein – in foods, of course, but also in microorganisms like bacteria.

When our immune cells identify a dangerous antigen, they act to neutralize it and prevent it from causing harm in the body. When antigens from bacteria or viruses interact with our cells, we can get the flu, or the common cold. We don’t get the flu from food antigens, but we can get a wide range of immune-related symptoms that range from sniffles to hives to anaphylactic shock.

Immediate versus Delayed Hypersensitivity

Allergic reactions to food, also called food hypersensitivities, are further classified as either immediate or delayed. Immediate hypersensitivity reactions occur within hours or even a few minutes after a food is eaten, typically causing very obvious physical symptoms such as a rash, the hives, a running nose, or a headache.

In rare cases, immediate hypersensitivity reactions can cause anaphylactic shock, a life-threatening condition in which the throat swells and blocks the passage of air. Immediate hypersensitivities affect only a small percentage of the population.

Immediate Reactions to Food

The foods that are most often implicated as the cause of immediate allergic responses include milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (walnuts), soy, strawberries, wheat, fish and shellfish. Many people with immediate food hypersensitivities must completely eliminate the offending food from their diet to avoid the serious symptoms.

Delayed Reactions to Food

Many of the same foods that are known to cause immediate hypersensitivities in a small number of people, have been implicated as a cause of delayed or “masked” food allergies in much larger numbers of individuals. Delayed food hypersensitivity reactions are believed to affect millions of people; some physicians have suggested that as many as 60% of all Americans suffer from masked food allergies.

These reactions may be responsible for a variety of symptoms including dark circles or puffiness under the eyes, fluid retention, dermatitis, sinus congestion, fatigue, abdominal pain or discomfort, joint inflammation, mood swings, indigestion, headaches, chronic ear infections, asthma, poor memory, anxiety and depression.

As the name suggests, delayed hypersensitivities do not appear immediately after consuming a particular food. In fact, in most cases the immune response is so delayed that it is difficult to determine which food is causing the symptoms, and many people are unaware that they are sensitive to certain foods.

Only through careful dietary manipulation, such as an Elimination Diet or Rotation Diet, is it usually possible to identify these hidden food allergies. The foods most often associated with delayed hypersensitivities include dairy products, eggs, wheat, soy products, peanuts, shellfish, and refined sugar.

Food Intolerance are immune-mediated food allergies represent one type of adverse food reaction. Another type of adverse food reaction is called food intolerance. Food intolerance is an umbrella term that refers to any abnormal physiological response to a food that is not caused by an antibody/antigen reaction. For example, some food intolerances are caused by enzyme deficiencies, while others are caused by poor function of the digestive tract or a sensitivity to a natural or synthetic chemical.

Lactose Intolerance is the most common food intolerance, which affects as many as 30% of adults, additionally it is particularly common in people of African and Asian heritage.

People with lactose intolerance do not produce enough of the digestive enzyme called lactase, which breaks down the milk sugar (lactose) found in dairy products. When too much undigested lactose makes its way into the large intestine, people suffer from gas and/or diarrhoea.

Wheat intolerance,  wheat allergy, and wheat sensitivity are all terms frequently used to described adverse reaction to this food. Wheat is unique when it comes to adverse food reactions, particularly because it has long been classified as the primary “gluten grain” and because its research history has been both complicated and controversial. Understanding allergy-related issues associated with gluten is important for understanding problems connected to wheat.

 

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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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Cajun chicken

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Cajun spice

1 kg Chicken breast or pieces

Rub Cajun spice onto chicken.

Leave to marinade for at least thirty minutes to two hours or overnight as the longer it has the flavour is enhanced.

Bake in oven 200 degrees Celsius/Gas mark 6 for 1 hour and 40 minutes, per 1kg of meat.

Check juices run clear and there is no pink meat to prevent food poisoning.

Tru3 J0y

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Gluten Free Flatbread

Before you read on, I have a confession to make… I ate it before remembering to take a photograph! Ah well, I’ll just have to make another one tomorrow!

150g gluten free flour blend
Warm water
Olive oil
Sea salt

1/2 tsp of any of the following (or a combination of your choice) of:
cumin seeds
black onion seeds
fennel seeds
pine nuts
rosemary

Preheat the grill to hot.
Add water gradually to the flour in a bowl and mix until the mixture is the creamed consistency.
Lightly brush oil on a baking tray/grill pan with the olive oil.
Spoon the mixture roughly on to the tray, then drizzle oil over the top.
Oil your hands, flatten the mixture out into a rough rectangle, as thin as you can get it.
Sprinkle sea salt over the top, put under the grill, watch as the dough starts to bubble and char, remove and turn over.
N.B. The dough lifts up at the edges after turning, and start to cook too quickly.
Before the dough is charring on the other side, take it out and scatter seeds/herbs over the flatbread, place back under the grill until it is lightly charred.

Serve cut into smaller rectangles, scatter with herb/s of choice: oregano, thyme, coriander, parsley or basil.

Serve with soup or dips.
Use as a pizza base, add the tomato sauce, toppings grill on hot.

Tru3 J0y

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Cullen Skink

For the stock

– 75g/2½oz butter
– 1 tbsp vegetable oil
– 2 leeks, roughly chopped
– 2 onions, peeled, roughly chopped
– 2 fennel bulbs, roughly chopped
– 250ml/9fl oz white wine
– 500g/17½oz smoked haddock
– 750ml/1 pint 7fl oz water

For the soup

– 75g/2½oz butter
– 1 tbsp vegetable oil
– 2 leeks, finely chopped
– 2 shallots, peeled, finely chopped
– 2 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
– 300g/10½oz potatoes, peeled, chopped
– 500ml/17½fl oz double cream
– 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
– pinch freshly grated nutmeg

Method for the stock

1, Heat the butter and vegetable oil in a large pan and gently fry the leeks, onions and fennel for 3-4 minutes, or until softened.

2. Add the white wine to the pan and bring to the boil. Add the smoked haddock, pour in the water and bring back to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface, until the haddock is cooked through.

3. Strain the haddock, reserving the cooking stock. Chop the haddock into bite-sized pieces.

Method for the soup

1, Heat the butter with the vegetable oil and fry the leeks, shallots and garlic for 3-4 minutes, or until softened.

2, Add the potatoes and the chopped smoked haddock to the pan.

3, Add the reserved cooking stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

4, Stir in the cream and briefly blend the soup with a stick blender.

Serve the soup with crusty bread and sprinkle with the chopped fresh parsley and a sprinkling of freshly grated nutmeg.

Cullen, Scotland

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!