The fit foodie: Green smoothies, roasted kale and cous-cous salad

This week I’m jumping into the world of green smoothies. 

In an attempt to get my greens each day I’ve been drinking a super simple and surprisingly tasty green smoothie. 

I’ve also been making an easy peasy no-cook cous cous salad that will keep well in your fridge and goes great with everything.

In fitness, I’m wondering about the benefits of supplementing vitamin D and whether we should all be considering this for better health for training.

Simple Green Smoothie

I wasn’t very sold on the thought of a green smoothie being nice but I’ve decided to give them a chance. I started out pretty basic with this recipe. Its sweetness takes the edge off the green element. 

I consider this a simple green smoothie, it’s a basic one that most people will happily drink without feeling like they are being tortured!

It’s handy to have this in the morning and start the day getting some good greens into you.

Makes: 1 portion

Fast

  • 200 ml apple juice (not from concentrate)
  • 2 pineapple rings (ideally fresh but from a tin in their own juice will work)
  • 1 small handful of Kale or Spinach

Remove the hard stalks from the kale.

Pop all the ingredients in a smoothie maker, I own a nutri-ninja because it has a really strong motor.

Blitz the ingredients on high for about 20 seconds until the drink is smooth.

Serve straight away.

Roasted Kale

I can’t get enough of easy recipes and this is another one. It’s a great and simple way to do kale. 

Once I’ve roasted it I either eat it on it’s own or as a veggie side with my dinner. Roasted kale goes great with the cous cous salad, below.

  • 1 bag of kale
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Pre heat the oven to 160. Spread the kale out on an oven proof dish.

Drizzle the kale with oil and salt. Pop in the oven for about 8-10 minutes, until the leaves begin to colour. Be careful not to burn them.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Cous-Cous Salad

I recently gave a fit foodie workshop at Ballymaloe and this was one of my recipes. 

When recipes don’t require cooking it almost seems like cheating to demonstrate them! 

This is a wonderfully simple and tasty recipe. 

I make a batch of this each week and keep it in the fridge to be dipped in and out of as a lunch salad or to accompany dinner.

It’s a great side to fish or chicken.

Prep time: 3 min

Cook time: 12 min

Makes: a big bowl

  • 280g couscous
  • 500ml chicken or
  • vegetable stock,
  • simmering
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 80g sultanas
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • freshly ground pepper

Place the couscous in a large bowl. Place the chicken stock, garlic, olive oil, salt and spices in a large measuring jug and whisk until combined.

Pour the stock over the couscous and stir to combine. Scatter the raisins over the couscous.

Place clingfilm over the bowl and leave the couscous to cook for 10 minutes.

Fluff the couscous with a fork. Stir in the lemon zest. Season with pepper and divide the salad between serving plates.

FITNESS FOCUS

For the love of Vitamin D

Vitamin D keeps popping up on my radar. I gave my daughter a vitamin D supplement from the time she was born and I’ve recently started supplementing it too. I did this after receiving advice from healthcare professionals. 

Whenever I chat to the wise dietitians out there they mention the benefits of supplementing Vitamin D. Some people even claim vitamin D is the new super supplement. 

I’m very cautious on taking lots of supplments but this is one that I feel is worth chatting about.

I’m wondering can taking a vitamin D supplement benefit your fitness? 

To improve your training it’s important to look at the whole picture and not just what you actually do whilst you train. 

You need to consider what you are doing the rest of the day that could help support your body to train in a more efficient manner. The basic information on vitamin D is that it is vital for bone and muscle health. 

It’s hard to get sufficient amounts of the vitamin from food sources and the sun. Especially in a country like Ireland where we have limited sun for a number of months. 

Right now is a pretty crappy time for vitamin D for us. When I was a professional athlete I travelled to sunny countries during the winter months to train. 

Everything always felt so much easier in the sunshine. I felt my body recovered far better from training sessions.

If you are deficient in vitamin D then your training performance may benefit from supplementing with it. 

It’s could be a simple way to improve your fitness. It’s worth having a chat with your doctor or dietitian about vitamin D

I’m currently supplementing with a brand called Solgar and using their D3 supplement.

Fitspiration: This week my fitspiration follow is the fantastic Sharon Madigan. Sharon is the Irish Olympic Team dietitian and she did the nutritional content on my second book “The Fit Foodie”. 

She regularly posts great links to articles. 

Her twitter handle is @madigan_sharon



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