Monthly Archives: April 2012

Quick & Easy Dinner

One thing that frustrates me to no end is when clients tell me they don’t have time to cook healthy meals. They blame work, family, commitments, basically anything they can think of. I don’t buy this at all. I’m in the same boat. I work 40-45 hours a week just like everyone else, yet I find the time to cook and eat healthy.

I’m a big fan of bulk cooking and the reheating it to save time. My standard weekday lunch is chicken with some form of sauce and broccoli. I cook 1 to 1.5kg of the chicken and three heads of broccoli up on Sunday, put it all in tupperware containers and reheat it at work. Protein + vegetable = done!

I’ve recently been playing around with egg slices/casseroles for dinners. The original I used was by Nia Shanks and you can find it here. I’ve made my own adjustments week by week, but here’s this weeks to give you and idea of how easy it can be.

INGREDIENTS:
1 Onion

1 Carrot

1 Red Capsicum

1 Green Capsicum

1 Yellow Capsicum

1 Zucchini

250g Short Cut Bacon

12 Free Range Eggs

DIRECTIONS:

1) Chop up all of the vegetables, keeping the onion separate from the rest.

2) Remove any excess fat from the bacon and chop into small squares.

3) In a large frypan, cook the onion and bacon together. Now would be a good time to turn the oven on. I had it at 150′ but my oven is TERRIBLE so you may need to play around with the temp.

4) Once the bacon and onion are cooked, spread it evenly over a baking dish.

5) Using the same frypan cook the remaining vegetables.

6) While they are cooking, whip the 12 eggs up in a bowl. You can add pepper and small amount of salt if you like.

7) When the vegetables are all done spread them evenly over the bacon and onion.

8) Pour the eggs evenly over the vegetables.

9) Cook in the oven for around 30 minutes. Again my oven is terrible so you may need less or more time, just keep an eye on it and remove when the eggs are done.

10) Enjoy!

This will be five dinners for me. All I need to do is reheat which takes a total of two to three minutes.

See how easy it is to cook quick and healthy meals? You don’t have copy this exact recipe, play around with the vegetables. I’ve tried using chicken sausage as a base and it worked just as well.

Being organised on one day saves me for the rest of the week. So no excuses when it comes to eating healthy.

Happy Cooking!

D

The Session That Owned Me..

Today I decided to copy a workout from Marianne Kane. She’s one of the directors of Girls Gone Strong and has her own fitness blog, which you can follow here. This is one of those workouts where you need a partner or coach there to keep you going, so I challenged one of my 6 weeks to a 6 pack members to come down and do this with me, Ben happily took up the offer. He enjoys having any form of bragging rights over me if he ‘beats’ me in a session. Here’s the session:

1A) Dumbbell Reverse Lunges

1B) Mountain Climbers

2A) Kettlebell Front Squats

2B) Kettlebell Swings

3A) Kettlebell Clean & Press (Single Arm)

3B) Kettlebell Clean & Press (Other Arm)

4A) TRX Rows

4B) Burpees

Each set is timed, 45 seconds of work with 15 seconds rest between each, three rounds of each exercise, so six rounds in each set. Marianne completed three rounds of each set in her workout, Ben and I both agreed we’d try one round of each set, see how we felt after that and then attempt a second if we felt up to it.

Geez I’m glad we made that call. This workout was insane! Round one was hard, but easy enough to get through. The kettlebell swings really hit me in the second round and set my heart rate off destined not to come back down at all for the rest of the session. Then here comes set three, a clean and press is hard by any standards so to throw in a timed set after what we had already done was interesting. By the end of each 45 second round I was close to failure and it took every ounce of me to get that damn kettlebell in the air. The last set was where I’m became grateful to have invited Ben, having him there kept me motivated because lets face it, had I stopped the hassle I would have received from him would have been never ending.

My next goal is to complete two full rounds of the circuit then three the week after. The only change that Ben and I both agreed was a good idea was the use a dumbbell for the clean and presses. Here’s why:

 

The photo on the left is my wrist, the right is my shoulder, both are on my left arm. My left arm is the weaker out of the two so I had less control of the kettlebell and the bruises are the result. I tried a dumbbell after and it didn’t hit me anywhere so the substitute will be made, I look like I have been beaten up!

The workout hit every part of our body and took just over 30 minutes to complete. Take up the challenge and try it yourself. Even only one round is enough give you a great session.

D

Winter Is Coming…..

Yes I stole the title for this post, but who doesn’t love Game of Thrones? This post doesn’t have anything to do with dragons, wars, white walkers or my battle for a kingdom, but with something that people ask me about every winter: training while you are sick.

We are coming into winter and that means an influx of colds and flu. Ranging from a small case of the sniffles or a sore throat to full-blown body aches, headaches and fever, these can have a serious effect on your training regime. Most people I have spoken to (coworkers and gym members) seem to have the same opinion, if the infection you have is above the neck (ie sniffles, runny nose, sore throat) it is ok to train, whereas if it’s below the neck (fever and coughing up phlegm-gross) then you need to take time off.

The reasons behind the above thoughts is that if the infection is below the neck, it is closer to your heart and when you train the infection can spread to your heart. I can personally testify to this. A little over two years ago I picked up swine flu while in Indonesia. I didn’t realise it was swine flu and when I returned home I went straight back into full on training. My heart was under some serious strain, I could feel it every session almost bursting through my chest and I struggled to recover after each session. Eventually I realised this probably wasn’t a good thing and saw my doctor. I’m not kidding when I say she pretty much smacked over the head when I told her what I had been doing. My infection was so bad I had to stop training for six weeks and ended up taking two courses of antibiotics, the doctor told me that any more stress on my heart and body would probably see me end up in hospital. Not a good thingĀ  by anyones standards.

Due to this I also take extra precaution when I get sick, even it’s above my head only. Why? Well let’s think about this.

When you’re sick your body is fighting an infection. It’s putting all of its strength into getting rid of the illness so you do not get worse. When you train you are doing something very similar to your body. You are draining it of stored energy, you are tearing your muscle fibres (yes tearing, it’s for muscle growth) and you are putting it under enormous strain. Think about how you feel after a really intense workout, somewhat similar to being sick? So if you train while you are even minorly sick you body is then trying to fight/repair two ‘infections’, it’s not designed to do this. By doing so you can end up getting worse, look at me and my swine flu-SIX WEEKS OFF! Don’t make the same mistake I did. Take the rest, take that one week off, it’s better than six.

Here’s some other things for you to consider if your still going to be one of those people who ‘just push through’:

You’re contagious and I, nor the other 300-400 people who come through the gym doors daily, want your germs. Firstly for the gym members, if you come in they can catch whatever it is you have, they may get even sicker and have to have time off training. Because of this you are directly affecting their health and fitness goals. How would you feel if someone did that to you? Now when it comes to me, if you come in and I get sick what happens? Plenty. If I need to take time off sick, I don’t get paid for those personal training sessions or classes I don’t take. So you’re affecting my income. Are you going to do my food shopping or pay my rent? Doubt it. Then there’s the clients that I would have to cancel because I don’t want to pass this illness on to them. You are then affecting their health and fitness goals, again I ask how would you feel if someone did this to you? Finally if I get sick, I do not train, refer to the story above. So you’re now affecting my health and fitness and if you know me at all, that’s not a good thing.

This winter I’m asking you one thing. If you get sick, even mildly sick, take time off from training and allow yourself to recover. If you need to go for a gentle walk do so, the fresh air would do you good and get you moving in a way that is not harmful to your body. I know that this might be hard for some to take the time off. They feel guilty for not training. But think about this long and hard, one week now or six weeks forced off with the threat of hospital in the back of your mind? If that doesn’t work then think of everyone else who you could impact by coming into the gym.

If you’re someone who trains with me privately or comes in to my classes, here’s a forewarning: If you come in with even the slightest sniffle, I’m not training you. I refuse to put that stress on your body or put myself at risk of catching it. Save yourself the hassle of debating with me on the gym floor and cancel the session. I will make it up to you later.

This all comes from a place of caring about your health.

D