Athlete fruit bread

athlete fruit bread

Athlete fruit bread

This is a handy bread for using as part of a snack or meal balanced with either more protein or fats to aid either preparation for or recovery from short or longer endurance sessions.

For example speaking all things recovery, a longer bike ride or run will allow for a decent slice of this yummy bread as an add-on to a proper meal of protein with some healthy fats (e.g. omelette with avocado and veggies) or a shorter 60-90 minutes spin / approximately 1 hour run will allow a whey protein or vegan protein shake and a slice of this bread covered with almond nut butter.

A slice of this with some nut butter and for example a scrambled egg or some slices of meat will make a handy pre-training snack. Or simply enjoy this bread alone with some hazelnut butter or coconut butter as a mid-morning or afternoon snack.

Talking flours:

I normally use gluten-free self-raising flour as everything in this house is baked 100% gluten-free; but I had an “error” purchase a few months ago of non-gluten free Doves farm self-raising flour (warning they look the same!) and so this one was created for my hard training ironman boyfriend. It got the thumbs up. I personally would slather this with some nut butter or real Irish butter but eaten alone this bread is also perfect.

Ingredients for Athlete fruit bread:

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Rainbow spirals winter salad
Adding my curly spirals

Rainbow spirals winter salad

Cooking is usually a rush job in our house to accommodate for a hectic work and long-distance distance triathlon training schedule. It always seems like there are too few hours in the day and despite this we do our best to never compromise on nutrition; from the sourcing to the eating :-).

If we can be prepared for our work and training we can do the same for our daily meals all it takes is organisation.

We eat every evening dinner at the table with one another when possible; it may be the only calm and peaceful part of the day and it is sacred to us.

families stay together

Food is crucial to not only fuel the body but to create it, regenerate it, heal it and with sport in mind to make it work better than it did the day before (via multiple physiological adaptations). We are not only what we eat, we are what we absorb AND we are made, move and think from what we eat… amazing.

It is currently winter and so we aren’t eating a lot of cold salads; all the same it is good to sneak one in now and again; which is exactly what I did last week.

Some background nutrition titbits:

In our house the perfect plate must achieve the following goals:

  1. Several colourful vegetables. 
  2. A well sourced protein from either wild caught or organically farmed fish, seafood, grass-fed meats, free-range and organic poultry, grass-fed organ meats, vegetarian protein such as beans, legumes and lentils (NOT soya protein veggie creations, quorn or any other processed fake vegetarian foods – same rules as for all other foods!), duck eggs and free range hen eggs, and I think I have covered the options here!
  3. Fats from any of the following depending on what our bodies are crying for given that endurance training expends a lot of fuel from fats: nuts, seeds and their products, quality cheese, quality oils/ fats (from olive, coconut, butter, pumpkinseed, toasted sesame, rape seed, etc. Not all of these are suitable for heating), animal fats as found on cuts of meat or organs, and avocado are the most commonly consumed in our house.
  4. Fuel from carbohydrates depending on how much we have earned during the day, what we need for recovery and what we require in preparation for the coming day: root vegetables are the norm and on occasion we enjoy home-baked vegetable packed alterative grain baked bread (multiple recipes up on the blog), polenta, alternative grain and high protein pancakes, and on rare occasion quinoa, rice, or bean and brown rice pastas.
  5. We are condiment junkies; there is often home-made pesto, relish or hummus, or Dijon mustard on the plate 🙂

Back to salads:

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Carrot & caraway gluten-free flax-oat bread
Caraway seeds

Carrot & caraway gluten-free flax-oat bread

Carrot and caraway flax-oat bread

The bread is a healthier tweak on bread. It is still a carbohydrate dominant food source but the carbs are slow releasing in nature and provide nutrition; the bread also contains omega 3 from flax, protein and healthy fats from the duck egg and a nice dose of beta carotene from carrots. Psyllium adds fibre as well as texture hence supporting the gastrointestinal system while also blunting the absorptions of sugars.

If you haven’t eaten caraway seeds before they add lovely flavour to bread (and also home-made red onion marmalade). Caraway seeds although in small quantity in this bread do still add nutrition in the form of healthy fats, antioxidants and also digestion soothing essential oils. When it comes to food every bit of goodness adds to your health.

Ingredients:

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Sweet apple-cherry gluten free flax-oat bread
Sliced apple

Sweet apple-cherry gluten free flax-oat bread

Sweet apple-cherry gluten-free flax-oat bread

apple and cherry flax-oat bread.2

Here is a bread recipe that I threw together last Sunday looking for something sweet and not overly high in carbohydrates. I always aim to add some healthy ingredients so this bread benefits from oats, flax seeds, bitter cherries, and apple.

Many Paleo and Banting bread options can actually be very high in protein and fat. I do believe that active athletes and persons with good health do need some carbohydrates to fuel their health and training. So a slice or two of this served with grass-fed butter or nut butter is perfect to aid recovery and preparation for subsequent training sessions.

The bread is still a carbohydrate dominant food source but the carbs are slow releasing in nature and provide nutrition; the bread also contains omega 3 from flax, protein and healthy fats from the duck egg and a nice dose of antioxidants from the cherries and apple. Psyllium adds fibre as well as texture hence supporting the gastrointestinal system while also blunting the absorptions of sugars.   (more…)

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Herb Stuffed Lambs Hearts…

stuffed lambs hearts
Leftovers! We ate it all before I remembered to take a photo

So tonight was a completely invented little number after I saw some lambs hearts at the butchers for a steal. We haven’t eaten heart meat in a while and it is something that I believe should be eaten frequently if you are an athlete (or suffer energy or health problems) given the high amount of CoQ10 and quality of the meat.  The meal worked a treat, and so I am sharing it on. We demolished the meal if the truth be told, and I completely forget to capture the prep in progress; we are a hungry athlete house!

Meal highlights:

Lambs hearts are very nutritious. I have written in-depth about organ meats in another blog which I encourage you to read. In brief the benefits of this meal are:

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Mushroom and Celery Soup with Cumin and Coconut

Mushroom and celery soup with coconut and cumin

Here is a very quick and handy soup recipe containing celery (rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients; very low in calories), garlic (immune, gastro, and heart friendly), healing bone broth and also MCT fat rich coconut milk. I made this to support an Achilles niggle that I am nurturing back to running health.

This soup is very easy to make and don’t worry if you are not a celery fan; my significant other hates the stuff and loved this soup.

Ingredients:

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Simple Bone Stock
Bone broth

Simple Bone Stock

Simple Bone Stock

Whenever I get a chance I get some open beef bones and joints from the butchers to make a large batch of bone stock.

Why?

I include bone stock frequently in my diet often for several reasons:

  1. Flavour and to avoid the use of processed stock cubes – real stock adds amazing depth to soups, casseroles, stews and any recipe asking for stock as an ingredient.
  2. Ethical balanced eating – it is correct to eat as much of the animal as possible, for ethical and nutritional reasons. Excluding organ meats, the cartilage, bones, gristle, and fats excludes many vital nutrients from the diet when only the leaner cuts are chosen. AND it is wasteful.
  3. Winter warmth when the summer juice season is over I switch to warming soups and broths made from fresh bone stock and as many veg as I can get in one soup. Juices are very cooling and often not appropriate for people in the cooler autumn and winter months. So switching my strategy to warmer vegetable containing foods ensures I continue my nutrient rich pH balancing diet.
  4. Skin, hair and nails – this stuff is the bomb for supporting the health and vitality of the skin, hair and nails replacing any need for supplements containing collagen, hyaluronic acid or other structural protein (glycine and proline) supplements.
  5.  Immune system – the marrow fat contains many immune supporting factors and minerals from bones also support a healthy immune response. Adding ginger, turmeric, herbs, pepper, chili and plenty of veg (shiitake mushrooms are a great choice) to your stock will add more immune supporting clout.
  6. Gastrointestinal and liver health – the minerals and structural protein and soft tissue building ingredients in bone stock support the healing and repair of an inflamed gastrointestinal system and liver detoxification function. Broths also providing easy to digest nourishment to the whole body. Use broth to prepare nutrition filled soups and casseroles to add even more food quality to your diet.
  7. Bone, tooth, and joint health; wound and musculoskeletal system healing – bone broth is rich in minerals and ligament and tendon healing ingredients. The addition of ginger, turmeric, herbs, plenty of veggies and some omega 3 rich salmon to your broth will give you a broad spectrum natural healing supplement and will aid injury prevention in active persons.
  8. Cheap – most butchers don’t charge for bone marrow beef bones, lamb bones, or pork bones. Beef long bones and the large gnarly joint bones containing tendons and sinews are fantastic choices as they will provide marrow fat and also more soft tissue supporting nutrients.

Easy.

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Warming recipes for Autumn…

Hi Folks,

Life has been busy I apologise that I haven’t more blogs up of late; I intended writing one about my Ironman 70.3 experience in Zell Am See, Austria but I am back to THE REAL WORLD with a bang. In a nutshell

I did it!
From triathlon virgin to half ironman in 6 months 🙂

I’m in here somewhere!

And here is some awesome coverage of the Ironman 70.3 World Championships the day after my race, in which my amazing man competed. The course is truly stunning as you can see.

So back to business! As we head into Autumn I wanted to pass on a few helpful cooking resources to keep you on your toes in the kitchen and warm in your tummy. I tend to link these on to clients and then forget about them so here are a few to keep you busy 🙂

Walking-path-in-autumn-park

Top 10 things to forage in Autumn; I am afraid that I wouldn’t be so brave as to harvest any mushrooms other than the common field mushroom.

A beginner’s guide to autumn foraging

Nourishing soups by Healthy Chef

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