The fit foodie: A Salad of All Sorts and a Healthy, Happy Loaf

This week my recipes have a very healthy feel, says Derval O’Rourke.
The fit foodie: A Salad of All Sorts and a Healthy, Happy Loaf

They are full of great, nutritious ingredients but are made in a really tasty way, life is a little too short to be torturing yourself with food that doesn’t taste good.

Unfortunately I’m a little cranky regarding my fitness this week. I’m officially fighting with my fitbit. I’ve written about my fitbit in this column.

I really like the idea of fitness trackers. I think there are a huge amount of positives to them and if they are used in a certain way they can definitely enhance your fitness.

I’ve been wearing the fitbit HR for about 5 months now but things have become rocky between the two of us.

The first issue I started to have was the battery life. My fit bit needs to be charged every 2 days, roughly. For me that is a bit of a pain.

That leads me on to the charger. The charger is a tiny wire the slots into your plug for your phone charger. The wire is so small that I find it hard to use. Recently I misplaced the wire. This meant that within 2 days my watch was dead and I had no way to charge it.

I do realise it was carelessness on my part but the charger is so small and easy to misplace especially if you are continuously swapping it with the wire for your phone charger.

It took me two weeks to find the wire and by that stage I had lost a bit of the buzz for my fitbit. I had started jogging longer distances without it and didn’t really miss it.

Now that it’s charged again I realised that it doesn’t have the capacity to track my runs and tell me what sort of distance I am covering.

I’m seriously considering investing in another watch that would track my runs and my daily steps. If I do this I think my fit bit days will be behind me.

Which does make me wonder was the fit bit the best watch for me after all?

Moral of my big moan is that if you are considering investing in a tracking device make sure it is the right one for your needs (battery length and tech features are important). I wish I had done a little more research.


This week’s fitspiration is a speedy Cork girl.

Phil Healy will race at the European Indoor Championships this weekend and she has impressed me loads in the past year.

She’s well worth a follow on social media @philhealy2

Healthy, Happy Loaf

Bread is often deemed the enemy. When I was an athlete there was always a certain amount of athletes that “wouldn’t touch bread” and the same athletes generally had a strong dislike of “carbs” too.

I always found the extremism of the approach somewhat ridiculous. I didn’t think that foregoing bread was the key to winning medals.

I approached food with a more moderate way of thinking. I tried to eat everything in balanced amounts.

This bread was created from my desire to make a really tasty bread that is full of great nutritious ingredients.

This bread is a staple in our home. I make two loaves at a time, I keep one in the freezer pre sliced and take out slices and toast them as I want them.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 2.30 hours (this bread needs to sit after it has been made to help it set)


  • 50 g pine nuts
  • 50 g hazelnuts
  • 250g porridge oats
  • 100g flaked almonds
  • 4 tbsp psyllium seed powder (this is essential and you’ll get it in the health store)
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbsp honey


Blitz the pine nuts in a food processor and tip them into a large bowl. Stir in the rest of the dry ingredients.

Whisk the coconut oil, honey and 350 ml of water in a measuring jug. Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and mix until combined.

The dough should be very thick. If it becomes too thick to mix add a few teaspoons of water until it is manageable.

Scrape the dough into a 900g silicone loaf pan and leave it to sit for about an hour. This allows the psyllium to bind the bread.

Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees. Place the loaf in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Carefully remove the bread from the loaf pan and place the bread upside down on the oven rack. Bake for another 40 minutes.

This bread is cooked once it sounds hollow when tapped.

Place the bread on a wire rack and leave it to cool.

A Salad of All Sorts

I have the type of fridge that tends to house leftovers. This is great when it comes to throwing together a salad.

I realise it’s not really a salad time of year but when you’re busy and need to get tasty, nutritious food into needs must.

This salad is very adaptable. This recipe is how I like to make it but feel free to sub in and out ingredients as you would like.

Serves 2

Prep Time: 5 minutes


  • 100g cooked quinoa (any cooked grain will work well)
  • a handful of leaves, ideally spinach
  • 2 tbsp nuts, cashews
  • 2 tbsp seeds
  • 25g blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1 apple, chopped into small pieces
  • a handful of mint leaves


  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • juice of ½ lime
  • a pinch of sea salt


Place the quinoa, leaves, nuts and seeds in a serving bowl and mix well.

Place the ingredients for he dressing in a jar with a lid and shake to combine.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well. Crumble over the blue cheese. Scatter the apple and mint on top.

Your salad is good to go!

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