Healthy Snacks for a Fitter You

While you may not believe it now, there are a large number of snacks that you can pick up from your local store and prepare without picking up a dramatic amount of weight. You deserve to feel you and look your very best, and a fridge full of healthy snack is the best way to go.

Join us as we explore a mouth-watering list of healthy eats that will give you the get up and go that you need to stay fit and maintain that summer body all year round.

Griddled Pineapple and Coconut

You may not be aware but pineapple actually contains a specific enzyme that is responsible for alleviating joint pain and reducing inflammation, called bromelain. (Serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 1 peeled and sliced pineapple
  • 2 handfuls of coconut chips
  • 4 scoops of coconut flavoured frozen yogurt

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 180
  • Place the coconut chips in a baking tray and toast them in the oven for a couple of minutes until they appear golden brown.
  • Warm up a griddle pan on a medium to high heat and add the pineapple. Grill for a minute or 2 on each side.
  • Serve pineapple with your scoop of frozen yogurt and sprinkle the toasted coconut on top.

Grilled Halloumi & Mango Slaw with Tahini

If you’d prefer to spend your time exercising and staying fit and only treat yourself to games at a casino NZ on your sofa when you’ve completed you work out, you won’t want to miss out on this summer salad. It boasts a combination sweet mango and fennel flavours with salty halloumi and topped with a creamy tahini salad dressing. (Serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • Coconut butter or oil
  • Cashews (100g)
  • 1 fennel bulb, grated or julienne
  • 1 carrot, grated or julienne
  • 1 mango, grated or julienne
  • raisins (50g)
  • Halloumi (400g) cut into thin slices (Approx. 1cm wide)
  • Basil leaves (10g)
  • 1 red chilli

The Dressing:

  • Tahini (2 tbsp)
  • 1 Lime
  • Salt (½ a tsp)
  • Coconut milk (1 tbsp)

Method:

  • Heat a teaspoon of coconut butter or oil in a pan before throwing in the cashews and stirring well. Sprinkle salt and keep stirring until you see the nuts turn a golden colour. Set on a plate to cool down.
  • Mix your fennel, mango, carrot and raisons in a bowl and combine the dressing ingredients. Add a tablespoon or two of water to thin out.
  • Heat a tablespoon of coconut oil in a griddle or frying pan and make sure it is over a high heat. Fry the Halloumi for a minute on each side until it too turns a golden colour. Top your veggies with the halloumi and the cashews and pour over the dressing. Throw in the basil leaves and the chilli to serve.

Deep Green Smoothie

Spirulina is a great superfood that is ideal for increasing energy levels and cleansing you body to remove toxins and improve immune functions. (Serves 1)

Ingredients:

  • 4 sprigs of mint
  • Pineapple (200g)
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ a cucumber
  • 2 big handfuls of spinach or kale
  • A ¼ tsp of spirulina powder

Method:

Simply add all the ingredients into your blender, but be sure to only add the spirulina at the end.

Bay-Infused Beetroot and Orange Salad

Beetroot-Orange-Salad

One of the best things about healthy living is not having to miss out on meals packed with colour and flavour. Beetroot, citrus, and onion have all been scientifically proven to support healthy body functions, the immune system, exercise and athletic performance, and so much more.

Increase your intake of these fantastic foods with a bay-infused beetroot and orange salad that will brighten up and add a whole lot of zing to summer lunches.

The Body Loves Beetroot

One of the salad’s star ingredients, beetroot is high in naturally-occurring nitrates, and improves oxygenation of the muscles during exercise, which can enhance exercise tolerance. It also contains choline, which aids with muscle movement, memory, learning, sleep, cellular membrane structure, nerve impulse transmission, fat absorption, and chronic inflammation.

Beetroot is also a good source of dietary fibre that promotes a healthy digestive system and helps prevent constipation.

Oranges are Awesome

Whether you work up a sweat in the gym or by playing online keno games, the incredible benefits of oranges can work for you. The glucose contained in oranges is released slowly into the bloodstream, which means more steady energy levels over a longer period of time, and the best part is it’s not followed by a crash.

Oranges are also a good source of potassium, a mineral that assists with muscle contraction, fluid regulation, and more. The flavonoids in citrus fruit can help keep your heart healthy, while the fibre in citrus not only helps the digestive tract, it also helps regulate glucose levels and lower cholesterol.

All About Onions

As far as health benefits go, onions are awesome. They contain high amounts of flavonoids, phytochemicals, vitamin C, and sulphuric compounds, all of which are good for you in all sorts of ways.

Flavonoids such as quercetin is an antioxidant linked to cancer prevention, and can help reduce risks of cardiovascular disease, Parkinson’s disease, and stroke. It can also help lower blood pressure, promote prostate health, improve bone density in post-menopausal women, ease bladder infection symptoms, and has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Brilliant Balsamic Vinegar

They say dynamite comes in small packages. Balsamic vinegar bursts with goodness in every dose. The vinegar can help lower and stabilise blood pressure levels by reducing hardening of the arteries.

It can also help stabilise cholesterol and blood glucose levels.

Ingredients:

6 – 8 raw beetroot, peeled and cut into wedges

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large bay leaf

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

½ a red onion, sliced thinly

2 oranges, peeled and segmented

A handful of microgreens, mustard greens, or rocket leaves

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 220˚C. Place a large piece of foil on a baking tray, shiny side up, and place the raw beetroot wedges in the centre of it. Mix the honey, 1 teaspoon of the olive oil, and 1 tablespoon of the balsamic vinegar, and drizzle it over the beetroot wedges. Place the bay leaf on the beetroot, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Fold the foil over the beetroot, forming a sealed package, and cook in the oven for 45 minutes. Open up the package, and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes, taking care the beetroot does not burn or scorch.

During the last 15 minutes of cooking, mix the remaining olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a jug. Remove the beetroot from the foil, and arrange the wedges, along with the orange segments and the onion slices on plates or a serving platter. Sprinkle the greens over, drizzle on the dressing, and enjoy.

4 Quick, Easy, and Delicious Muscle-Making Recipes

4 Quick, Easy, and Delicious Muscle-Making Recipes

Some are savoury, others are sweet, but all these recipes are packed with protein for your healthy, muscle-making diet and lifestyle. You can never have too many healthy recipes and having plenty of options will keep your diet from becoming unappealing and unsatisfying.

Not only are these recipes delicious, but they’re all quick, easy, and delicious as well, so you don’t have to be a master chef to whip them up! Bon appétit!

Beef and Spinach Meatball Pasta

For the meatballs:

  • 170 grams of lean beef mince
  • ½ cup shredded raw spinach
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ½ tablespoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the pasta:

  • 60 grams whole wheat spinach pasta
  • 1/8 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 ½ cups raw spinach
  • 5 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon low fat parmesan cheese

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 205°C
  • Sauté the red onion in a bit of olive or coconut oil
  • Mix ground beef, raw spinach, red onion, garlic, and spices together thoroughly until the spinach is evenly distributed throughout the meat
  • Form 2-3 meatballs of roughly the same size with your hands
  • Place on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes
  • Cook pasta and stir in warm marinara sauce, raw spinach, cherry tomatoes and parmesan
  • Add meatballs, stir, and enjoy!

Mustard Baked Salmon with Grilled Asparagus

If you enjoy body building as well as online sports betting, this recipe will give you the energy to get into Crown Oaks Day betting with real gusto!

Ingredients:

  • 140 grams wild salmon (raw weight)
  • 1 ½ cups fresh asparagus
  • ½ tablespoon minced garlic

Marinade:

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Juice from half a lemon

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 205°C
  • Mix together the marinade ingredients in a bowl
  • Completely cover salmon in marinade and refrigerate for at least an hour
  • Place salmon on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes
  • Cut off the bottoms of the asparagus spears
  • Set a non-stick pan on medium heat and spray with olive or coconut oil
  • Toss asparagus and garlic in the pan and sear for 5 minutes, rolling the asparagus so that all sides are seared
  • Plate salmon with asparagus and enjoy!

Protein Powder, Banana, Blueberry, and Oatmeal Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 3 egg whites
  • ½ cup of uncooked oatmeal
  • ½ medium banana
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Method:

  • Place raw oatmeal into a food processor or blend and blend until it’s a fine flour
  • Add egg whites, protein powder, banana, and baking powder and pulse until smooth
  • Add blueberries to the batter and mix in gently with a spoon or spatula
  • Place a non-stick pan on medium heat and measure out 3 tablespoons of batter per pancake
  • Cover the pancakes while the cook to help the insides cook faster
  • Cook for 45 seconds to 1 minute on the first side, and then 30-45 seconds on the other side
  • Plate and enjoy!

Green Meal Replacement Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • ½ small avocado
  • ½ medium banana
  • ¼ cup pineapple
  • 3 strawberries
  • 10 grams wheatgrass
  • ¼ cup water
  • ice for cooling

Method:

  • Add ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth
  • Add ice to chill the smoothie and blend again or use frozen fruit to chill the smoothie down
  • If you’re looking to add more complex carbs, add ¼ cup uncooked oatmeal and blend
  • Pour into a glass and enjoy!

5 Expert Nutrition Tips for Athletes

Nutrition Tips - healthy habits - sports nutrition

If you’re doing more than 90 minutes of exercise on a regular basis, especially if you’re doing high intensity or endurance exercises, you will need to be aware of what you’re putting into your body to get the most out of it.

If you’re training for strength or weight-less you will need to be especially careful of your daily calorie intake and eat a diet that will help you perform at your best and help you recover quickly. Here are 5 expert tips for getting the most out of your diet.

Carbohydrates Are Your Friend

Nutritional experts have known for many years that carbohydrates are the athlete’s main source of fuel, as the body breaks carbohydrates down into glucose – a form of sugar – and stores it in your muscles as glycogen.

When you exercise and burn calories, your body takes the stored glycogen and turns it into energy, which is what allows you to keep going even if you haven’t just eaten a carb heavy meal. However, it’s important to remember that if you’re exercising for less than 90 minutes you will have enough stored glycogen, so be careful not to overindulge.

Get Enough Protein, But Not Too Much

While protein doesn’t offer much in the way of energy to an athlete, your body does need it to maintain and replenish muscle. The average person requires 1.2-1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, which is approximately 90 grams of protein for a 70 kg person.

Contrary to popular belief, the best source of protein is real food so stick to lean meats, eggs, fish, poultry, nuts, beans, or milk as opposed to protein supplements.

Take It Easy on Fats

The best type of fat is the unsaturated kind found in nuts, avocados, olives, vegetable oils, and fatty fish like salmon or tuna.

The internet has brought us many amazing things: with everything from online shopping and social media to online betting and recipes, no one can say that they don’t know how to cook healthy and delicious meals anymore.

There are plenty of ways to cook with less fat and cutting down your daily fat intake by just a few teaspoons make a huge difference. Remember – it all adds up!

Drink Fluids Early and Often

Heavy exercise, especially during hot weather, can quickly leave you dehydrated which will hurt your performance, and in the worst cases can even threaten your life. All high intensity athletes should drink fluids early and often.

In other words, don’t wait until you feel thirsty as by the time you’re parched you may already be facing dehydration. It’s important to drink fluids before, during, and after a workout because your body expels fluids during exercise through sweating.

It’s also a good idea to drink chilled fluids as they are more easily by the body absorbed as opposed to room temperature water.

Replace Lost Electrolytes

Electrolytes help to convey nerve signals throughout your body, and both fluids and electrolytes are lost when you start sweating.

As such it’s a good idea to reach for a sports drink post exercise, as these contain the right amounts of both sugar and salt which mimics natural electrolytes in the body.

If you’re losing a lot of fluids while you exercise, it’s a good idea to mix equal parts water and sports drink to maintain the correct balance of hydration to electrolytes.

Quick Mexican Chicken Salad

Mexican Chicken Salad - Healthy nutritious Meals - Fitness Collaborative

Mexican Chicken Salad – Nutritious & Healthy Meals

You may groan at the mention of chicken salad. Oh no, not that again. Whenever we are trying to lose weight and work out, invariably one tends to eat a lot of chicken salad. Often at a restaurant it may the one of the only things which fit into our diet plan, thus leaving us with little choice than to half heartedly push lettuce leaves around our plates whilst watching our friends tuck into a plate of cheesy nachos. Enter the Mexican Chicken Salad.

This particular chicken salad has the best of both worlds. Quick and easy to make, it puts a new spin on things with a slightly spicier flavour palette and the addition of nacho chips for texture. Be sure to use only high quality, oven baked chips and not a packet of the local corn triangles from the nearest grocery store.

Another thing to remember with this healthy recipe is if you want to make it ahead of time, for work, for example, be sure not to add the nachos until you actually eat the meal. Otherwise, they will go all soggy and you will end up with a disappointing, squishy mess. Sit down with your meal and enjoy it while perusing some of the best NZ betting sites on the net, possibly increasing your bank balance while decreasing your waist.

Ingredients:

  • 4 corn tortillas (or ½ packet of good quality nachos)
  • 2 cups frozen corn (or tinned whole corn)
  • 8 cups bagged fresh spinach (or Chinese cabbage if you can get any)
  • 2 cups sliced chicken breast, (rotisserie chicken can be used but is not advisable as it is usually very full of oil and fat)
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 medium avocado, sliced in thick slices
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
  • If you are using the tortillas in your Mexican Chicken Salad, then place them on a baking tray. Place the tray in the oven when it has reached the correct temperature. Cook until crispy about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Prepare corn according to package directions if using frozen corn, if using tinned corn then heat gently in a microwave until warm but not boiling.
  • Toss spinach (or Chinese cabbage. Chinese cabbage has a very nutty, earthy flavour with lots of bite. It is great cooked or eaten raw.), chicken, black beans, tomatoes, avocado, red onion, and corn in a large bowl. Divide among serving plates if you are making enough for more than one person, if it is just for you serve the desired amount onto a plate. In a bowl, whisk together sour cream, olive oil, lime juice, chipotle chilli powder, cumin, coriander and a few pinches of salt.
  • Break tortillas into small pieces and sprinkle over salad. If you are using the nachos, crumble them slightly until about a third of their original size. Drizzle sour cream dressing on top.

This Mexican Chicken Salad is not only a great lunchtime option but will keep the whole family happy at dinner too. Remember that eating too many carbs too late in the evening is never a good idea for those wishing to reduce their waistline.