Current Newsletter

February 2018

February 2018

  • Online Personal Training – Coming soon
  • Easy Seasonal Recipe: Warming Parsnip Soup
  • Article: Keeping Colds and Flu at Bay
  • And Finally… Not Counting Steps

Hello healthy people,

It’s amazing how quickly January flies by, and here we are in the second month of the year already. How are your resolutions going? To help individuals stick to an exercise and nutrition programme, Griffen Fitness will soon be offering Online Personal Training (to be launched late summer). I’m aiming for Online PT to be a balance of economy with enough support to help people who might not be able to make it to the studio. As part of this we’re also creating a members area of the website, and I’d love to hear what you think. What would you like to see on a members area?

Easy Seasonal Recipe: Warming Parsnip Soup
Parsnips grow extremely well in the Scottish climate and are full of potassium, folate and Vitamin C. I could eat roast parsnip all day, however this soup is just as moreish. It’s warming on a chilly day – earthy and wholesome. Serves 6, or 4 hungry people.
parsnip soup
1 – 2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
20 g butter or oil of your choice
1 heaped teaspoon cumin
2 medium potatoes, diced (no need to peel)
4 parnsips (or around 800g), peeled and diced
1L vegetable stock
Freshly ground pepper to serve

– Saute onion and garlic in butter / oil on a medium heat until translucent. Add cumin.
– Add chopped potatoes and parsnip and stir.
– Add stock and cook, covered for around 20 – 30 minutes until veg are tender.
– Allow to cool slightly and zizz using a stick blender in the pan. You can add extra water if you prefer a thinner soup.
– Vegans, use oil instead of butter. Serve with freshly ground pepper.
– Freeze leftovers!

Article: Keeping Colds and Flu at Bay
The tailend of winter is often the worst time for colds and flu. Many of us stay indoors over the colder weather, and may have depleted Vitamin D and immune systems. Minimising colds and flu is paramount if you are a bit older, run your own business (no statutory sick days) or have family to look after. Here are some simple ideas to keep you in tip top shape:

–    Regular hand washing is important, especially if you’ve been on public transport or anywhere with lots of people. A very simple but effective point.
–    Eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. Over winter I make a smoothie a day with various fruits, including bananas, yoghurt, frozen berries (most supermarkets now stock frozen raspberries, strawberries, mango, blueberries and even frozen pineapple). Perfect!
–    Be sure to hydrate well. It’s easy to forget that both central heating and being out in the cold dehydrates us. Herbal and fruity teas are excellent for this, or you can make a homemade ginger and honey infusion.winter cycling
–    Get enough sleep. Set a reasonable bed time, switch off electronic devices an hour before and enjoy your immune boosting zzz’s.
–    Get outdoors and enjoy the daylight during the day. You can even roll up your sleeves for some extra Vitamin D.
–    Stay warm, recent research has proven the old wives tale of avoiding a chill is in fact true. Your system is more likely to come down with a virus if the body temperature is low. Rug up and keep your chest warm (it’s what my Grandma told me).
–    A gentle workout can get oxygen and antibodies circulating effectively around your system. Avoid high intensity workouts if you are feeling under the weather as they can zap your energy, go for gentle strength and stretching in a warm room instead.
–    Plan a summer holiday. Sometimes having something to look forward to can psychologically help you through a dreich week, when everyone else on the bus is coughing and sneezing!

And Finally… Not Counting Steps
Anyone who knows me knows I’m not a big fan of counting steps – it’s exercise exertion that counts. It seems the experts now agree that activity monitors may not be the magic bullet they were marketed as. Measure your heart rate not how many steps you take.

Have a happy and healthy February,
🙂 tracy