Tag Archives: fitness

Healthy Pizza for Dinner?

Does the suggestion of healthy pizza sound like a nonsense to you?

 

Check out this recipe for a healthy alternative to take away pizza and treat the family to a fun and nutritious meal. As always, I would encourage you to use organic vegetables however if you find it hard to source your favourite vegetables organically choose fresh & local. Wash your vegetables in water and white vinegar to help strip off pesticides.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza*

Ingredients:
1 large head of cauliflower, cut into chunks
2 free range eggs
1 tsp gluten free yeast
1 tablespoon organic oregano leaves
2 tablespoons coconut oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Pizza Sauce:
400g can of organic whole peeled tomatoes
1 tablespoon oregano leaves
Freshly minced garlic
Freshly ground pepper & sea salt to taste

Toppings:
Free range, organic minced chicken
Thinly sliced zucchini
Organic Basil leaves
12 organic cherry tomatoes, sliced
Cashew Cheese or Organic Goats Cheese

Preparation & Cooking:
• Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade
• Wrap a pizza stone with aluminium foil and rub it with coconut oil and place it in the oven to preheat for 15 minutes (use a large baking tray with baking paper if you don’t have a pizza stone, this will not require preheating)
• Fill a saucepan 1/3 of the way with water, fit with a steamer basket, and place on the stove
• In a blender or food processor, pulse the cauliflower & oregano leaves until it is the texture of snow
• When the water is boiling, steam the cauliflower for 5 minutes
• Remove the cauliflower, drain, and squeeze dry. The drier you make it, the crispier the crust
• Mix the cauliflower with the eggs, yeast, coconut oil, salt & pepper.
• Pat it out into a circle on the pizza stone or baking tray
• Bake for 35-45 minutes, until crisp on the edges
• Remove from the oven and set aside to cool
• Reduce the oven to 160 degrees centigrade
• Combine pizza sauce ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth
• Top pizza base with sauce, sprinkle on minced chicken, sliced zucchini & tomatoes and dollop on the cashew cheese
• Place the pizza back into the oven and bake for 10 more minutes or until golden and crisp
• Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing, garnish with basil leaves and serve with love! Xx

* Pizza Base Adapted from Jodi Nadler

Debunking Health & Fitness Myths

Health & Fitness Myths – Fact or Fiction?

Unravelling the fact and fiction around your fitness regime can be challenging, with all the information out there it can be hard to work out what is fact and what is just marketing hype! As a Personal Trainer my clients often ask me questions about “Fitness Tips” they have heard or read – Here are some of my favourites.

 

Strength training will help you turn fat into muscle!

FICTION: Unfortunately, fat and muscle are two completely different types of tissue. One cannot be turned into the other however it is possible to increase muscle mass which will in turn help to burn fat. When you increase muscle mass, you increase your basal metabolic rate or the amount of calories your body needs to burn to maintain homeostasis. This means that the more muscle your body has the better it will be at burning fat.

With the right Personal Trainer I can target fat reduction in my “problem” areas!

FICTION: I am sorry to disappoint you again but you can’t pick and choose areas where you’d like to burn fat! Spot reduction is the misconception that if you work a specific muscle group you will decrease the amount of fat in that area. The most common example of this is people focusing on abdominal exercises in an effort to lose weight in their stomach area; this is just not going to work! Fat can only be lost from the body as a whole and in an order that is predetermined by your genetics. In order to burn overall body fat I recommend a workout that includes both High Intensity Interval Training and Strength Training. This will decrease your overall body fat percentage, including your “problem” areas. Remember, exercise alone is not enough, you also need to be making good healthy decisions about the fuel you put into your body.

Lack of Sleep Leads to Weight Gain!

FACT: When you’re sleep deprived, leptin (the hormone that signals fullness) falls, while ghrelin (which signals hunger) rises. This combination leads to an increase in appetite. Sleep deprivation tends to lead to food cravings, particularly for sweet and starchy foods. Research suggests that sugar cravings stem from the fact that your brain is fuelled by glucose (blood sugar). So, when lack of sleep occurs, your brain is unable to properly respond to insulin (which drives glucose into brain cells) and you crave carbohydrates to keep going. If you’re chronically sleep deprived, consistently giving in to these sugar cravings will virtually guarantee that you’ll gain weight. Getting proper sleep is crucial for maintaining a healthy weight.

Women who lift weights will bulk up!

FICTION: While on a strength program, the right hormones (testosterone) are necessary in order to bulk up. Women’s testosterone levels are much lower than men’s, so in most cases, they are not capable of building large muscles. In fact, since muscle takes up less room than fat, women tend to lose inches when they strength train. So in addition to the physical benefits (increased metabolism, decreased risk of osteoporosis, increased strength), strength training will help you slim down too!

No pain, no gain!

FICTION: You should definitely not be feeling pain during exercise. Discomfort due to the intensity of the workout? Yes. Fatigue in your muscles? Yes. But not pain! Effort and discomfort go together and that’s what most people would call good pain. You generally expect to feel some level of discomfort during exercise however if it becomes actual pain – burning, stabbing or sharp pain, that’s not a good sign and you should stop. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that it’s beginning to breakdown. So listen to your body when you exercise.

Exercise Boosts Brainpower!

FACT: Not only does exercise improve your body, it helps your mental function. Exercise increases energy levels and increases serotonin in the brain, which leads to improved mental clarity and increased productivity.