Coffee-Date recovery muffins

Coffee-date recovery muffins 5

Coffee-Date recovery muffins

This little number was created for my hard in training ironman boyfriend who had a big training day today. The fatigued body and mind demands that several strategies are put in place.

“Endurance training depletes not only muscle and liver fuel stores; but also places stress on antioxidant, electrolyte and pH buffering systems, the nervous system, hormonal system, and obviously also muscle fibres and soft tissues such as tendons and ligaments will be severely stressed.

People often forget that long training runs will negatively impact the gastrointestinal system and the immune system is placed under significant stress.

Recovery takes time, nutrition, and active processes such as warm Epsom salt baths, gentle stretching and for some the use of elevation or compression practices. From what I read the verdict is now less clear on the benefits of ice baths so I do not recommend them.

Aromatherapy oils such as Vibrant Blue oils lymph and inflammation and Young Living oils Pan-Away are also superb to aid recovery; we use these in the clinic in combination with PEMF treatments.

Today’s nutrition recovery thus included protein, healthy fats and some additional carbohydrates before a warm Epsom salts bath. Hydration is also important and I covered this along with several other nutrition goals in the beef rib and vegetable stew that we demolished tonight with garlicky polenta on the side (lots for him less for me as my run was only 1.20 hr and his 3 hours plus).

Recovery will occur over several hours following a long training run so be sure to eat every few hours. Foods with anti-inflammatory effect and an abundance of minerals and antioxidants will be especially beneficial. The stew we ate also contained some healthy fats and glycosaminoglycans to support gastro and soft tissue health. NO JUNK or alcohol if you are serious about your recovery.


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Carrot, Oat, Chestnut and Caraway gluten-free bread

Bread - carrot, oat, chestnut gluten-free flour 6

Here is another quick and experimental bread that I knocked together and wow it worked a treat! Be sure to bake only to the point of just done to keep this moist and enjoy with real butter, nut butter, pesto, cheese, or hummus.

This bread is super for hard training recovery and far better for the body than processed gluten-free varieties.

“My goal when I bake breads is to add in more goodness,
and remove the ingredients that I don’t tend to need.
The inclusion of healthier more nutrient dense flours,
and the addition of grated vegetables raises the nutritional
density of the bread.
I don’t add milk, butter, oils or sugar as they simply aren’t needed.”

There are many substitutions that can be made in this bread recipe; for example:

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Fruity-veggie athlete bread (gluten-free)

Fruity-veggie athlete bread 10

Fruity-veggie athlete bread (gluten-free)

This loaf is similar to the Athlete fruit bread but jam packs in some more goodness in the form of vegetables, fruit and nutrition rich grain alternatives. Who would have thought you can sneak in all this goodness into a slice of bread!!


Amaranth is a super little seed that is high in protein, minerals and fibre and works like a grain in the diet. It can be prepared as a grain (similar to quinoa), popped like popcorn, or used as the whole seed or flour in baking or as a porridge option for breakfast.

Here is more to keep you entertained from an article in the Huffington post about amaranth and some helpful nutrition data here:

Ingredients for fruit-veggie athlete bread:

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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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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.


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Banana-Date Health Nut Bread.

banana-date health nut bread 3

This bread was concocted in anticipation of a carbo load before a half ironman distance triathlon this coming weekend. I baked the bread last Sunday afternoon and froze it ready-sliced in anticipation of my busy week. I will however admit to a sneaky “preview” slice just to check it was yummy!

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Carrot and Caraway Gluten-free bread

Freshly sliced

By Andrea Cullen

13th July 2014

I created this bread at the same time that I created the delicious Potato, Thyme and Turmeric bread; and wowzers this one is even better. Yum!

Caraway seeds have a delicious flavour that is definitely different. It is often that intriguing flavour that you notice in traditional eastern European rye bread. It has been years since I have enjoyed rye bread I am sad to say as I had to go gluten-free for serious health reasons back in 2008. If you suspect that you have a gluten-related problem then I recommend that you seek expert advice (this is a speciality area of mine so I am delighted to help you; I have written an e-book that can be found here).

Caraway seeds have many health benefits however in the quantities used here in this recipe their main function is flavour but they may ease the digestive tract somewhat. Every little bit of goodness in cooking helps through what herbalists and nutritionists describe as synergism. This mean that the sum total action of the ingredients is greater than that of those alone. So what better way to add health benefits to your day than via your food; exactly how mother nature intended 🙂

Like the Potato, Thyme and Turmeric bread, this bread has no added fats or sugar, is gluten, egg, and dairy-free and made from healthier flour choices that are higher in healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, fibre, and protein than your regular flours. Also due to the addition of psyllium husks the bread has a higher fibre content and is has a fluffier consistency by virtue of this addition.

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