Food Matters Tip of the Week #4

Cheat S-M-A-R-T

We all have food ‘stuff’ that we dream of – but you need to be smart about it and take charge of your treats rather than letting them take charge of you.  You get to eat the chocolate if you are good all week.  Sorry.  You get to eat a sensibly sized piece of chocolate if you are good all week.  You don’t get to eat it (or drink it) on Wednesday night because you had a crappy day at work.

Own this stuff.  Don’t be the person who is amazing with their food ‘ALL DAY’ but blows it all in the 90 minutes between the end of dinner and the time your head hits the pillow.  Don’t be the person who has been good ‘ALL WEEK’ but then blows it all at the office morning tea on Friday for a sausage roll or cup-cake that isn’t even that good.  Take control.  We all need to be able to relax with our diet and ‘eat what we want’…but we do this when WE decide, not when our cravings tell us too…or when an opportunity to cheat just ‘pops up’ out of nowhere.

I will forever struggle with this one and (to me) it is the thing that holds more people back in terms of achieving their body goals than any other.  Everyone seems willing to get to the gym and train there bum off…but if you want to benefit from that you have to leave the wrapper on the after dinner chocolate and the cork in the bottle of wine.

Me?  I like to pick my cheat meals and reward myself for good behaviour.  I like to stick to the straight and narrow and promise myself that if I do, on ‘Saturday’ I will get to eat Mexican food with all the trimmings.  Whatever you desire the most – you can plan for it and USE IT to help you stick to the right side of the road!

 

Easy Prep for Cheat of the week

No-one ever likes this suggestion because it is a ‘waste of money’, but if there is stuff in your cupboard/fridge/freezer that ‘calls you’ the moment you walk in the door…chuck it out.  Me?  I would suggest that the money was wasted when you bought it…keeping it in the cupboard to eat ‘sometime’ makes it a waste of money AND a waste of all your hard work in the gym.  All of us as trainers have our own personal vices (no-one is perfect!!!) – Kirei = chocolate liquorice, Elie = Peanut butter, Sez = Kit Kat’s, Eden = Corn Chips, Lloyd = ice-cream – and we all know that having this stuff in the house is a BAD PLAN.  There is a bit of an ongoing joke in the office that when someone goes shopping, they buy someone else their favourite ‘VICE FOOD’, knowing that the person who receives it will be equal parts HAPPY and FURIOUS.

If you don’t want to deal with the temptation, chuck it out.  Or even better, don’t buy it in the first place!

Food Matters Challenge of the Week.

Choose a drink – any drink – but it needs to be alcohol free, un-caffeinated, sugar free and, well – delicious to you.

When you sit down after dinner at the end of the day – make yourself ‘that’ drink as a substitute for any of the ‘bad stuff’ you are so often tempted to have at that time of day.  It might be peppermint tea (though I couldn’t think of anything worse), it might be a Progenex ‘Cocoon’, it might be a mug of warm water with a squeeze of lemon…it really doesn’t matter.  If you feel the urge to get up and get that chocolate out of the fridge or ice cream from the freezer, be smart – you DON’T need it.  Make yourself your new best friend – that relaxing post meal drink – that tells your body it is OK to go to sleep whilst doing only good things to it!

Recipe of the Week

My favourite breakfast/lunch meal.  My mouth is watering just thinking about this!

Sweet Potato Hash

Watcha need.

  • About 3/4 of a sweet potato for each person who will be ‘enjoying’
  • 1x rasher of bacon for each person
  • 2x eggs for each person
  • 1x handful spinach for each person
  • Some Mexican spice (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil to ‘drizzle’ over the spinach (so not much)

How You do it?

Cube the sweet potatoes and cook them gently in boiling water for about 20mins.  You can slice them if you want to speed the process up but I find the cubes make for a better final dish…so speed of prep vs final outcome.  Whilst the sweet potato is cooking, slice the bacon and throw it in a pan on a low-medium heat.

Drain the sweet potato and throw it in the pan with the bacon (and the bacon fat!) and stir it around (a lot).  You can turn the heat up a bit at this point.  Throw in a teaspoon of Mexican spice and keep stirring.  Throw in a bit of sea salt and black pepper and keep stirring.  When the sweet potato cubes are nicely browning on all sides, turn the heat back down to medium-low and crack the eggs directly into the pan (yes, on top of the bacon and sweet potato).

Whist the eggs are cooking, put a handful of baby spinach leaves topped with a drizzle of olive oil on each plate – when the eggs are cooked, serve out a couple of eggs for each person who is eating.  Eat and enjoy.

(p.s.  You can add other stuff to the pan – mushrooms are a favourite of mine.  I have also found that mixing the spinach with some kim chi or some giardiniera (antipasto) is an awesome thing to do – particularly the sun-dried tomatoes and artichokes.  Of course, you can always top the serve off with a dollop of avocado which will taste amazing.)