This month’s issue:…
- Testimonial of the Month
- What’s in Season at the Allotment
- Easy Seasonal Recipe: Briam
- Fad or Fab: Cycling Undershorts
- Article: Intermittent Fasting (aka ‘The Fast Diet’)
- And Finally…. Trampolining Fun
Hello healthy people,
Here’s hoping you enjoyed festival month in Edinburgh and summer holidays, now it is September it seems autumn is definitely here. Congratulations go to the five winners from last month’s Foodies event competition; Robyn, Kim, Sharine, Rosemary and Beatrice all shared their favourite seasonal snacks with me (berries featured highly!) and gained free entry to Foodies Fair. Keep your eyes peeled for further competitions in this newsletter, with just under a thousand subscribers, you’ve got a good chance of winning.
Testimonial of the month:
I don’t usually include testimonials in my newsletter, but perhaps I should start. Here’s one from last month:
“This probably sounds dramatic and a bit over the top, but with Tracy’s help I feel I now have an opportunity to change my life and potentially live longer, enjoying life. I can’t emphasise enough the sense of shock when Tracy measured my weight and body fat on my first day – I was obese and I thought I was just a bit overweight. Hearing the word obese was enough to motivate me to take on board very seriously all of the advice Tracy gave me. She has provided me with the tools to improve my health, lose weight, strengthen my body and most importantly begin to understand the significance of what and when you put fuel into your body. I was a chocoholic and one of the positive things for me was knowing that I didn’t have to give it up all together. I was a bar of chocolate a day man and now i’m maybe eating a piece of chocolate a day, but better quality! But I’m eating more fruit and veg and loving it – Tracy’s book is fantastic too – all sorts of tips and recipes.
I’m exercising regularly and it’s fun, particularly when you realise how much better you feel. And the good part, in six weeks I’ve lost three inches off my waist, lost half a stone in weight, improved my blood pressure level, reduced my body fat to the point where with a little more effort I will be in the acceptable range! My stamina for running has improved and I feel stronger, oh yes and looking in the mirror isn’t as frightening as it used to be!
It’s great working with Tracy and her knowledge of her fitness and nutrition is absolutely amazing! If you have been hesitating on engaging the services of a personal trainer, look no further. Don’t think of it in monetary terms, this is an investment in your life!” – John McL, August 2013
Thanks John. Drop me a line if you need assistance getting your fitness kick-started to see real results.
What’s in Season at the Allotment
Growing season is slowing down, and we’re hoping there’s still time for our tomatoes to ripen under cover. We’ve been harvesting lots of cabbage, radishes, onions, courgettes and potatoes (see recipe below). The herbs are starting to die back so I’ll prune them hard and make some herb oil when I have a spare moment. Herb butter also works well and can be kept in the freezer. We are also looking forward to harvesting the first of our apples this week.
Easy Seasonal Recipe: Briam – Greek Potato and Courgette Bake
Makes one large dish (2 for mains, or 4 as a side)
This is as seasonal as recipes get, and the slow cooking method makes the ingredients intensely flavorsome and moreish.
500g potatoes, scrubbed and sliced 3mm thick
2 large courgettes, sliced 3mm thick
2 medium red onions, sliced 3mm thick
3 medium tomatoes
60 mL olive oil
Small handful of chopped fresh parsley
– Preheat oven to 200 C, and find a large baking dish (a lasagne dish is ideal, as long as it’s big).
– Layer sliced vegetables into baking dish, they only want to be about three layers deep.
– Puree tomatoes, you don’t need to peel them, just zizz in a blender. Pour over vegetables.
– Pour over olive oil and stir to coat vegetables. Add 100mL water to the dish. Season with a pinch of salt and ground black pepper.
– Pop the dish in the bottom of the oven and cook for 90 minutes to 2 hours, checking every half hour. The water should gradually
evaporate leaving the dish rich and gooey.
– You can also cook other dishes in the oven as you cook the briam (saves energy).
– Sprinkle with parsley to serve. Briam can be served fresh from the oven or at room temperature.
– This is traditionally a main course, but you can serve it as a side with some protein if you wish.
Fad or Fab: Cycling Undershorts
I’m not a big fan of lycra cycling gear, so I was overjoyed when I discovered cycling undershorts. I am now a regular wearer of the Endura brand of ladies undershorts from Evans. They’re made of mesh fabric so more breathable than standard cycle shorts, and more discreet to wear under your normal clothes. So if you’d like to do a longish bike ride and stop somewhere for lunch, you can look like a ‘normal’ person. Fab!
Article: Intermittent Fasting (aka ‘The Fast Diet’)
Fasting is an ancient concept, often deeply embedded in religious ceremony. Lately, it has been under the spotlight as a simple way to lose weight (body fat). The Fast Diet came about after Dr Michael Mosley produced a Horizon television documentary on the science behind fasting. He reported significant weight loss and other health-related benefits. My mother in law has a copy of his ‘Fast Diet’ book, which I read cover to cover recently.
The premise is to have 1 to 2 fasting days a week (under 500 calories for women, under 600 for men). I was curious, so I’m currently trying one fast day a week for a month to see what happens. So far I’ve discovered that fasting days seem to ‘reset’ hunger. You’d think that the day after fast days would involve feasting on food, but instead it seems to diminish the appetite. To eat under 500kcal involves some planning, and food choices involve mainly vegetables. It also contradicts accepted wisdom of having a big breakfast; as the easiest way to severely restrict calories means having breakfast as late as possible. The theory of the fast diet is that if you eat a big breakfast you’ll be more hungry later (i.e. boosting your metabolism). It’s not ideal if you’re exercising every day, and I’ve chosen my fast days as one that involve as little exercise as possible. Exercising on fast days isn’t impossible, but less effective. I have found my concentration on fast days seems to wander, but that may be psychological as opposed to physical. In the name of scientific accuracy, I have also been measuring my blood sugar levels on fast days, and they seem to be fine (between 4.5 and 5.5 mmol/L).
Yesterday was my second day of fasting, and I’ll will include more in next month’s newsletter regarding effectiveness. It certainly makes one rethink hunger pains…
And Finally…The Joys of Trampolining
Bouncing on a trampoline can be a fun way to burn up energy. Here’s some animals having a jolly old time on the tramp: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSjHCbS_u0Y
Griffen Fitness is investing in a trampette (mini-trampoline) for winter workouts in the warm studio so you can bounce your way fit.
Have a happy and Healthy October,
© Copyright all material Tracy Griffen 2013