This month’s issue:…
- What’s in Season at the Allotment
- Easy Seasonal Recipe: Baked Tofu
- Resisting Temptation: Use Social Media For Good
- Fad or Fab: Nike FreeRun Trainers
- Article: Banish Cellulite Forever
- And Finally… A Low-cal Recipe From Beardyman
Hello healthy people,
It’s official: spring has sprung! It’s time to come out of hibernation and start active commuting to work. Walking, running or cycling to work, or part the way, is a time-effective way to fit in extra exercise and can save money.
If you’re a keen cyclist, or even if you’re simply cycle-curious, you need to check out the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling, of which myself and hubby Andy are founder members. We have an exciting programme packed with rides, exhibitions, talks and events. I’m hosting a ladies day ‘Heels on Wheels’ on the Meadows on Saturday June 22, which even got a mention in the Evening News last week. http://www.scotsman.com/edinburgh-evening-news/features/heels-on-wheels-peddling-stylish-cycle-gear-for-women-1-2866169
We’re looking for sponsors, so if you’re a local business or charitable cycle-mad individual, you can get lots of goodies and kudos by sponsoring Edinburgh’s newest festival, bronze packages are £50.
What’s in Season at the Allotment
Our plot was in suspended animation awaiting the sunshine and longer days and now it’s starting to grow. We’re still harvesting leeks and have started to thin out the densely growing rhubarb. The over-wintered landcress may be tough, but good for cress soup and stir fries. Earlier this week we sowed onions, shallots and garlic for harvesting at summer’s end. The radishes we sowed should be ready in six weeks and this coming weekend early tatties will be buried in mounded rows too. We hope this year will be drier, as even our allotment guru John Harrison labeled last year as “one of the worse growing years on record”.
Easy Recipe: Baked Tofu
Tofu (soy bean curd) is a good vegetarian source of protein, however has a reputation for being boring. Fresh tofu also has the habit of falling to pieces in a stir-fry unless you cook it first. After years of tofu-eating, I have finally perfected a recipe that makes it really tasty. In fact, it’s so good you can enjoy it on its own fresh from the oven. Buy fresh firm tofu (not silken) from a Chinese supermarket; you can also find it in large supermarkets.
Chop into inch thick slices and arrange in a single layer on a lightly vegetable oiled oven-proof dish. Marinating is key – I like to drizzle a teaspoon of soy sauce on top and sprinkle with sesame seeds and sometimes a drop of chili sauce, however experiment with your favourite flavours. After marinating for at least an hour, place in the bottom of a lowish oven (150 degrees C) for around 45 minutes, turning occasionally. The tofu will evaporate much of its moisture and will produce tasty slices of slightly spongy goodness. Either cube the cooled slices and toss into the end of a stir-fry or enjoy on salads or sandwiches.
Resisting Temptation Hint of the Month: Use Social Media for Good
It’s like Marmite: some people love Facebook, some people hate it. There is one thing it’s useful for, and that’s getting motivated. If you use the Endomondo GPS app, you can upload your runs / rides / walks. Share photos of yourself at the peak of a hill walk, Facebook your intentions to go for a long bike ride (to make sure it happens), and alert your friends if you’re enjoying an alcohol-free month. You might even be able to find an exercise mate. Remember to encourage your friends if they’re posting their fitness intentions and get a good vibe going. Like.
Fad or Fab: Nike FreeRun Trainers
I bought a pair of Nike FreeRun black trainers a couple of years ago and wore them nearly every day for one summer. They were fab as they were plain black and not obviously trainers. They were very comfortable for standing around in and offered good support, but not too much bounce. The idea behind FreeRun is a flexible sole, and when I took them outside the unique sole picked up endless pebbles and was impossible to clean dog ‘dirt’ from. I prefer Saucony trainers for running in for comfort and durability. I also wonder what kind of working conditions Nike uses in Vietnam, where my trainers were made. Having said that, the Saucony trainers were made in China. I say no to sweat shops, but how can you tell?
Article of the Month: Banish Cellulite Forever
It’s getting to the time of year where we consider baring our legs to the sunshine. Hopefully anyway. What condition are your pegs in? Are they a bit wibbly up top with dimpling on the back?
Despair not, are here are some easy ways to help keep dreaded cellulite at bay.
Hydration: Staying well hydrated will help your body flush away toxins. Try keeping a bottle of water on your desk, so you see it and drink it.
Loads of fresh fruit and vegetables: that contain antioxidants that help mop up free radicals caused by oxidative stress. Fresh vegetable juice is great, but you can’t beat a raw salad made of fresh veg.
Scrubby Brush: a regular scrub will exfoliate dead skin, leaving soft skin underneath. Massaging the area also encourages blood flow and helps lumpy cellulite break down. You can use a scrubby brush dry, or in the shower (be sure to dry it properly). Replace every few months, or more often if required.
Exercise: losing body fat is the most effective way to banish cellulite. Cellulite is the herniation of fat cells leading to a dimpled, ‘orange peel’ effect. Lose body fat and lessen the dimpling. Specifically, I find cycling an excellent cardiovascular option. Doing regular leg strength exercises, especially squats, tones the muscle underneath.
And Finally… A Low Calorie Recipe from Beardyman
A bit of culinary silliness to finish this month’s newsletter, a low-cal recipe from human beatbox, Beardyman. Watch and be amazed… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7GGkKpBR-g
Have a happy and Healthy April,
© Copyright all material Tracy Griffen 2013