Low Carb Lunch Ideas

#2 low carb lunch

Spaghetti squash with Kale, chick peas and hazel nuts. 

Oh my Gosh, the Nutrition!
Winter squash rocks because it is a powerhouse veggie. Unlike summer squash (re: zucchini, crookneck, pattypan), winter squash has had a lot more time to develop and pump itself full of vitamins and minerals throughout its lengthy life on the stem. We’re talking oodles more vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), vitamin C, manganese, potassium, and even some extra dietary fiber thrown in just for kicks. This combination of nutrients spells good news for asthma sufferers, those with heart disease, elevated cholesterol, or inflammatory conditions such a rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.  
The other bonus? Nature designed summer squash to be rather delicate, with a high water content for those hot summer days when we need a cool down. Naturally, their shelf life is rather short during our abundant harvest season when produce is plentiful. On the flip side, winter squash has a tough outer skin and lower water content, which allows it to be stored for a very long time – some varieties up to six months. This means that we can keep these vitamin bombs around for a long time after the first frost to provide our bodies with the nutrition we need to see us through the long months of winter when there is nothing fresh in sight. 
Put that in your oven and roast it. 

This dish is so yummy – like Oh my Gosh yummy. I wanted to create something totally special and seasonal, with rich, earthy flavours, and satisfying comfort. Everyone loves pasta and the way it is like getting a hug from the inside, right? Well, this dish comes pretty close, except that instead of that really heavy feeling you get after a plate of penne, spaghetti squash is filling in an energizing way. I bet you will be very surprised at how delicious it is all on its own, straight out of the oven – I nearly ate a meal-sized portion to myself before combining it with everything else. I just couldn’t stop myself! I’m totally wild!


Oh my Gosh, Spaghetti Squash
Ingredients:
1 spaghetti squash
1 bunch kale
1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 can)
3 cloves garlic
olive oil
sea salt
pinch crushed chilies
¾ cup toasted hazelnuts
Pecorino Romano (hard sheep’s milk cheese)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. 
2. Prepare the spaghetti squash by cutting it in half lengthwise, removing the seeds, rubbing the inside of each half with a drizzle of olive oil, then seasoning with salt and pepper. Place face down on a lined baking tray and place in the oven – cook for about 45 minutes.
3. While the squash is baking, prepare the rest of the filling. Wash kale well and remove the tough center rib of each leaf. Roughly chop kale into small pieces. 
4. Heat oil, ghee, or butter in a frying pan, then add minced garlic, crushed chilies to taste, and a pinch of sea salt. Cook 2 minutes until fragrant, then add chopped kale and cook until the leaves are bright green and just starting to lose structure. Throw in the chickpeas and cook just to warm. Remove from heat. 
5. Remove squash form the oven when it is cooked through. Using a fork, scrape out the insides, which will pull away from the shell in strands, like spaghetti (whoa). Place all strands in a bowl, and toss with the kale and chickpea mixture. At this point you can either serve it from the bowl, or mix it everything together and place back in one half of the empty squash shells for a beautiful presentation. Sprinkle with chopped toasted hazelnuts and shaved Pecorino Romano. Enjoy.

Are you deficient in essential nutrients?

1. Are You Deficient?

1. Vitamin D

This vitamin helps regulate calcium absorption in your gut. It also helps maintain bone strength, healthy muscles, a well functioning nervous system, and is important for immune function and cell growth.

You might be deficient if you are experiencing digestive or gut issues, a weakened immune system, or even feeling depressed.

To get more try eating more eggs, milk, cheese and butter. Mushrooms can also be a great source of Vitamin D. Fish such as cod, salmon, mackerel, and tuna. Perhaps the most efficient way to get more Vitamin D is to get out in the sun. Our bodies naturally produce it when exposed to sunlight so try getting at least 10 to 20 minutes a day.

Go for a walk at lunchtime, park further away from work or the shops, expose your skin – you don’t need factor 50 ALL year round – feel healthy and alive! 
P.s. I’m not suggesting you strip off in public tho’, especially this time of year. The UK is at a latitude meaning we don’t get the Suns rays at an angle where we get enough Vitamin D even if we streak around the garden naked in Autumn, Winter and even part of Spring. 
Think about a supplement – you can get soft gels to chew or an under the tongue spray and you’re golden! 

Consistency is Key! 

Don’t Cheat a Diet
I’m not sure how many times I’ve written or read this, but it’s true. The dietary system or nutritional framework that you choose to employ is far less relevant than your level of compliance within it. The reality is that most nutritional approaches have very similar principles, the overriding one perhaps being that you need to eat within your calorie requirements, being in a deficit if your goal is weight loss.
Fitness Truths: the three reasons you’re not burning fat

  
Is this really what you had for breakfast?

Most systems will assume that most of what you consume comes from decent sources, with the key messages being to drink more water, eat your vegetables and get enough protein. Regardless of what you choose, the bottom line is that you’ve actually got to do it, consistently.
Don’t Skip a Workout

  
Cheating on the gym is the same as cheating on your diet: it doesn’t work. Again, most approaches and systems will share common underpinning principles, such as prioritising resistance training for example, so what you choose to do is far less important than you actually doing it consistently.
The simple way to think of nutrition and exercise when it comes to changing your body shape and composition, is that your diet will look after fat loss, while your training or exercise will look after your muscle mass – think toning – and cardiovascular health. Both are important. 
The bottom line is that you need to turn up three times per week, focus your mind on the task at hand, and give it a good go.
Do Invisible Training

  
Invisible training is a term I borrowed from a well-known coach in professional sports, which refers to various recovery and regeneration strategies, or the things that we do outside of the gym that often go unseen. 
Fitness Truths: three reasons you’re not burning fat

I use the term in general fitness circles to describe the exercise or movement that we do outside of our structured workouts – that is, activity that keeps the systems ticking and burns additional calories. Things such as walking to work, taking the dog out, playing tag with the kids, taking the stairs, swimming a few lengths on holiday, and all of the other things that you do not record or perhaps think of as exercise, but are actually equally, if not more important than, your scheduled sessions.
 Written by -Claude Vacassin is founder of W10 Performance,

Can You Snack Healthy?

There are more options than you think!!

Sometimes, the whole world of snacking seems to be based on the one thing you’re supposed to limit: refined carbs. Even the “healthier” packaged items, like granola bars, smoothies, and crackers, are full of them. If you look past the vending machine, though, you’ll find plenty of other tasty options, like these smart snacks. The best part? They’re as easy to toss together as they are delicious. 

#1 Low carb snack

Apples and Cheese

  
Sweet and salty flavors add up to a great snack. Pair half a cup of apple slices with string cheese for about 10 grams of carbs. The combination of protein, fat, and fiber makes it a filling and satisfying nosh.
#2 low carb snack

Avocado on a Crisp

  
Avocados have a place in your diet outside the guacamole bowl. Mash one-quarter of a ripe avocado and spread it on two light rye crisps for a crunchy, creamy snack with 18 grams of carbs, plus plenty of fiber and heart-healthy fat. It’s like a mini open-faced sandwich.
#3 low carb snack

Yogurt and Cucumbers
  Take your yogurt in a savory direction. Use a cup of low-fat, plain Greek yogurt as a creamy dip for 1 cup of refreshing cucumber spears. It adds up to12 grams of carbs and a mega dose (20 grams) of appetite-satisfying protein. It’s like a version of the famous Greek dish, tzatziki.

#4 low carb snack

Turkey Roll-Ups

  
Deli turkey has uses beyond a sandwich filling. Lose the bread and roll up 1 ounce of sliced turkey in lettuce leaves with mustard. This light, crisp snack has about 3 grams of carbs and will get you through the afternoon.

#5 low carb snack 

Cottage Cheese With Berries

  
Cheesecake doesn’t make for a healthy snack option, but you can mimic a little of the flavor in a healthier way. Pair a cup of low-fat cottage cheese with half a cup of fresh or frozen blueberries and a little of your favorite no-calorie sweetener. The result? A dessert-like snack with 18 grams of carbs.

#6 low carb snack

Better Beef Jerky

   
Jerky has been going upscale in recent years, and there are better options now than the over-processed mystery-meat versions you’ve had before. Look for jerkies made from grass-fed beef, which have big flavor and just 10 grams of carbs per serving (about 1.5 ounces). 

#7 low carb snack

Celery and Peanut Butter

  
Remember eating this snack with your homework after school? It’s still a good idea! Fill two medium celery stalks with 2 tablespoons of natural-style peanut butter for a nibble that will take you back to your childhood, with only 9 grams of carbs.

#8 low carb snack

Hardboiled Egg With a Kick Nuts

  
Mixed nuts are an all-time snack classic for good reason. They’re just as satisfying at your desk as they are at a party. One ounce of crunchy, salty, mixed nuts will keep your energy up for hours for only 5 grams of carbs per ounce.

Hard-boiled eggs are the original grab-‘n’-go power snack. Cut one in half and spread on a little hot sauce (such as sriracha) to make it as full of flavor as it is of protein. That’s a zesty bite for less than 1 gram of carbs.

#9 low carb snack

Nuts

  
Mixed nuts are an all-time snack classic for good reason. They’re just as satisfying at your desk as they are at a party. One ounce of crunchy, salty, mixed nuts will keep your energy up for hours for only 5 grams of carbs per ounce.

#10 low carb snack
Kale Chips

  
Even kale haters come around when they taste kale chips. Some store-bought varieties have less than 10 grams of carbs. You can cut that number even further by making them at home. Tear the leaves from a bunch of kale. Rinse and dry them. Toss with 1 tablespoon of oil and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Roast them in your oven at 300 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until the kale is crispy.

#11 low carb snack

  
Edamame

Also called steamed soybeans, edamame taste great, are full of fiber and protein, and have just 8 grams of carbs in a half cup of shelled edamame. They’re easy to make in your microwave, so keep a bag in your freezer.

#12 low carb snack

Hummus and Red Bell Pepper Wedges

  
Though they’re often spotted together, hummus isn’t married to high-carb pita bread. Spread 1/4 cup of hummus onto wedges cut from one red bell pepper for a filling, tasty snack that has 16 grams of carbs.

#13 low carb snack 

  
Stuffed Tomato

Get the health benefits from tuna without all the carbs that come with your typical tuna sandwich. Pack 3 ounces of canned tuna into a ripe tomato half for a hearty snack with only 3.5 grams of carbs.

November Flash Sale

Pre-Xmas Offer Class Packs & Breakfast Fitcamps 

PILATES

  

Buy any class pack before December 1st and get a matching half price pack to follow on!

SO 

£60 get 10 sessions, then £30 gets you 10 more! (£90 = 20 small group classes)

£100 get 20, then £50 gets 20 more!! (£150 = 40 small group sessions)

BREAKFAST FITCAMPS

Monday to Friday 06:30-07:15

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Usual fees £60 for 10 Semi Private Training sessions

Buy before December 1st 

£50 per calendar month UNLIMITED access to Breakfast sessions

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PLUS 1 weekly Pilates class too

OPTIONAL FREE Yoga Tuesday & Thursday 12:30-13:30 (at Fitness4Less) 

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That’s Pilates, Yoga, Fitness, Nutrition coaching, Body Composition management for £12.50/ week!!!!

Also makes great presents….. 

Jax X

Strong Legs = Brain Health!

This one of the reasons we have leg week!  
Long legs could be easy on the eye, but how trim a woman’s legs are, in terms of power, could indicate how healthy her brain will be at old age says a study. (The picture above shows Svetlana Pankratova, Guiness World Records holder for the ‘World’s longest female legs’.)Guinness World Records Site

Puzzling as it may seem, fit legs, could mean a healthy brain for older women. According to a study, legs are better brain health indicators than the heart. The study adds to growing evidence that physical activity benefits both body and mind.

The research, spanning a decade, studied 300 twins to arrive at its initial conclusion. The link lay between the exercise a healthy mind gets, according to the King’s College London team. Leg power is an indicator of sufficient exercise that in turn releases brain boosting chemicals in the body of elders.

Leg power in the 150 pairs of twin sisters aged between 43 and 73 years, was measured across the period by both speed and power of leg extension. Brain power was tested by looking at memory and mental processing skills, reports the BBC.

The twin with more leg power at the start of the study showed better cognition and fewer brain changes associated with ageing after 10 years. This was so, even when other risk factors for dementia, were included.

Lead researcher Dr Claire Steves said: “When it came to cognitive ageing, leg strength was the strongest factor that had an impact in our study. Other factors such as heart health were also important, but the link with leg strength remained even after we accounted for these.”

The reason behind the body-brain physical activity is not well understood. It is also to be determined if memory improvements lead to reduced dementia risk. Every four seconds a new case of dementia is detected globally and by 2050 more than 115 million will suffer dementia.

The benefits of exercise to the brain could come from various factors like reduced insulin resistance and inflammation, and brain growth factor stimulation that release chemicals that keep brain cells healthy, help grow new blood vessels in the brain. A UCLA work in fact proved this link between exercise and growth factors enhancing new neuronal connections in the brain.

Meanwhile, a University of British Columbia study found that regular aerobic exercise like walking seems to boost the size of the hippocampus, the brain centre for memory and learning. Another Georgia University study claimed that 20 minutes of exercise improves brain information processing and memory. Researchers say an hour of walking twice a week is sufficient to keep the grey cells ticking away.

Give Paleo Eating A Try

 2Clean Up Your Act!

Our next push – nicely placed between our Xmas party and Xmas! Give it a go. I’ll place meal ideas and recipes on this blog and on our Facebook page. 
Clear out your food stores this week! 

Make a Clean eating shopping list ASAP!

Make meal plans

Go shopping 
EAT:

Grass-produced meats (Free Range)

Fish/seafood (wild)

Fresh fruits and veggies (frozen too)

Eggs (FreeRange)

Nuts and seeds

Healthful oils (Coconut, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado, olive)

DON’T EAT:

Cereal grains

Legumes (including peanuts)

Dairy (except natural/live Greek yoghurt)

Refined sugar

White Potatoes

Processed foods

Salt

Refined vegetable oils (except Olive oil for dressings)

TIPS TO MAKE THE PALEO DIET A ROUTINE PART OF YOUR LIFESTYLE:

For breakfast, make an omelette – non stick pan fry a little bacon (for tasty good fat) add veggies (lots), add omega-3-enriched or free-range eggs and diced turkey or chicken breast.

Paleo lunches are easy.

 At the beginning of the week, make a huge salad with anything you like. A good starting point can be mixed greens, spinach, radishes, bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots, avocadoes, walnuts, almonds and sliced apples or pears. Store the salad in a large sealable container. Each morning prepare a single serving from the large batch and then mix in meat (beef slices, chicken, turkey, game, pork chunks, etc.) or seafood of choice (salmon, shrimp, tuna, or any fresh fish or seafood). Toss with olive oil and lemon juice and you are set.

For dinner, try spaghetti squash as a substitute for any pasta recipe. Top with pesto, marinara and meatballs. Roasted beets and their greens make a great side dish for pork. Asparagus, broccoli, and spinach can be steamed quickly. Salmon, halibut, or other fresh fish filets grill well with accompanying foil packs full of cut veggies. Batch roast root veggies! 

Berries and other succulent fruits make a great dessert. Pre-cut carrot and celery sticks, sliced fruit, and pre-portioned raw nut/dried fruit mixes are easy snacks.( steady with dried fruit)

Daily Sample :

Breakfast: Omega-3 or free ranging eggs scrambled with chopped herbs & black pepper. 

Grapefruit, or any fresh fruit in season, herbal tea

Snack: Sliced lean beef, fresh apricots or seasonal fruit

Lunch: Caesar salad with chicken (olive oil and lemon dressing), herbal tea

Snack: Apple slices, raw walnuts

Dinner: Tomato and avocado slices; grilled skinless turkey breast; steamed broccoli, carrots, and artichoke; bowl of fresh blueberries, raisins, and almonds; one glass white wine or mineral water. (Clearly, wine would never have been available to our ancestors, but the 85:15 rule allows you to consume three non-Paleo meals per week.)

Give this eating plan a go.. It might rock your world and get your transformation moving!
Jax x