I can’t believe that 2016 is almost done and dusted. It’s been a year full of drama and surprises.
I’ve really enjoyed 2016 and it’s made me very excited for 2017. I’ve been super busy with lots of projects that have been great to work on.
I started this column a couple of months ago, it’s been great to meet people who have come up to me to give their feedback.
I released my second cookbook this year, I’m really proud of it. I’ve met a ton of people through my “Fit Foodie” events and I can honestly say that none of it has felt like work.
2017 is looking to be just as busy as 2016. I’ve lots of “fit foodie” events with companies booked in for the new year. My “fit foodie” snack product will finally be hitting shelves. Last but not least I can’t wait to keep writing each week and getting more and more interaction from people.
To see us out of 2016 I have a grab and go brekkie option, a great dinner stew, and ways to fancy up your H20. I’ll also be giving my tips to nail your goals in 2017.
I like to have brekkie options that are grab and go, this is definitely one of those.
This is made with healthy and tasty ingredients to set you up for the day.
It will freeze well so consider making a double batch and keeping a stock in your freezer.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15-20 minutes
250g full fat yoghurt
120g jumbo porridge oats
70g ground almond
2 tsp baking powder
1 ripe banana, peeled and mashed
50g mixed nuts, roughly chopped
Heat the oven to 180 degrees. Line a tin with greaseproof paper.
Mix the yoghurt, oats, honey, almond and baking powder in a large bowl. Stir in the banana and nuts, mixing until just combined.
Use a spoon to divide the batter evenly.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until it’s golden and a skewer comes out clean.
Carefully remove from the tin and allow to cool on a wire rack.
These go great with a cup of tea.
Fancy Up your H2O
Most of us realise we need to drink more water, every part of our bodies depends on water.
There is no exact rule of how much each of us should drink each day but an easy way that people have used for a long time is 8x8, eight glasses of eight ounces a day. Anywhere between two to three litres of water depending on the person.
However, drinking loads of plain water can be a bit boring. I find it hard to drink two litres of plain water in a day. My solution to this is to flavour the water with natural ingredients.
This means I’m not picking up drinks with added sugar or preservatives. I add ingredients to my (BPA free) water bottle and keep it topped up as the day goes on so that I’m getting lots of water while I’m working.
1. Minty Lemon
Mint is a gorgeous and versatile herb. I grow it, mainly because I use so much of it and because it’s super easy to grow. This is the main way I drink water.
500 ml water
juice of half a lemon
A few mint leaves, roughly chopped
2. Rosemary and Apple
Rosemary is the second most used herb in my kitchen.
It is hardy, like mint and easy to grow. It’s a herb that you will always find uses for if you go to the trouble of growing it.
This combination is lovely.
500 ml water
Half apple, cored and thinly sliced
A few sprigs of rosemary
This stew recipe exists because of my need to multi-task. I rarely have time to just cook. I’m always trying to fit loads into my day. This is a low- maintenance stew.
The measurements are not precise so feel free to add your own touches to this stew.
I like to get this simmering and get out the door for some exercise before it is done.
There is nothing more satisfying than walking into your house when it smells of a gorgeous stew, especially if you’re just back from a jog.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
2 tbsp olive oil
400g beef pieces
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed
4 celery sticks, chopped
2 tbsp dried mixed herbs
8 baby potatoes, halved
400g tin chopped tomatoes
200ml vegetable stock
salt and pepper
Chopped fresh herbs to serve (if you have them!)
Heat the olive oil in a large casserole over a medium heat. Brown the beef in batches and set aside. Add the onion and garlic, cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally so the onion and garlic do not stick to the pot. Return the beef to the pot, add the celery, mixed herbs, potatoes, tomatoes and stock. Stir well and bring to the boil. Reduce to a low heat, cover and simmer for about an hour.
Meanwhile, go out and get some fresh air. Ideally go for a jog!
Season the stew with salt and pepper. To serve ladle the stew into warmed serving bowls. Sprinkle over the fresh herbs and serve.
Nailing your goals
I’m a big believer in setting goals. I do it in everything. I have food goals, fitness goals
and work goals. At this time of the year lots of people set about making their new year’s resolutions. Some people do brilliantly at their new year’s goals whilst others fail at them. Here is my simple guide to setting achievable goals.
1. What do you actually want to do?
People tell me all the time that they are planning on increasing their weekly training sessions and are going on a “fitness plan”. But is this something that you actually want to do? Or is it something that you think you should do? When setting a goal think of something that appeals to you. Don’t do something that you don’t really want to do.
2. What do you enjoy?
Everybody is different and what makes one person happy can make the next sad. Don’t do something that you don’t enjoy. If you want to get fit, pick activities that you will enjoy and do them in a setting that you like. Personally I like to be around people so when it comes to hard training I pick activities that I’ll have company doing.
3. Make it measureable
Give yourself realistic targets that you can measure. I have a weekly goal of two gym sessions, this is easy for me to measure making it a simple goal to stick to. I aim to get outside for 20 minutes each day, again this is a simple and measureable goal. Both of these goals keep me on track and they are enjoyable to track.
4. Be realistic
This is essential. When I was a professional athlete I only ever set goals that I genuinely believed I would achieve. Be careful setting drastic goals that are unlikely to succeed, you are far better off with realistic goals. Small wins will see you through to the long term.
5. Consider doing less of something…
This might seem like an odd thing to say but have you considered doing less of something? There are a limited number of hours in the day and these are gobbled up very quickly by our lives. If you want to achieve a new goal you may need to do less of something you are currently doing. Prioritise your time to achieve your goals.
Fitspirations: I’ve just stumbled upon Maeve Madden on Instagram. Maeve is a former professional Irish dancer turned personal trainer. Her Instagram is full of images of this Irish gal in London and well worth a follow.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved