5 ways to make veges tasty!

FIT TIP: Most people are deficient in vitamins and minerals because they aren’t eating enough of the good stuff. Because the good stuff tastes like crap! Most of the good stuff comes from veges, but we can make them taste a lot better with a little bit of effort. Here’s 5 ways to do it:
- Roast vegetables. Roasting is a great way to let the deep, rich flavors of vegetables shine through. Bake cut vegetables until they’re lightly browned. You can roast any vegetable — from mushrooms, onions, eggplant, and courgette to tomatoes, broccoli, and carrots — so don’t limit yourself. Enjoy roasted veges as a side dish or toss them into pasta dishes and other recipes.
- Poach veggies in low-sodium chicken broth and white wine. To poach, boil enough liquid to cover the vegetables. When it boils, add the vegetables. Turn down the heat to just below boiling and cook the vegetables for about five to seven minutes, until they’re brightly colored and tender-crisp. Add garlic, basil, or tarragon for a flavor bonus. To retain nutrients, keep a watchful eye on the pot, or set a timer so you don’t overcook.
- Smuggle fresh cut vegetables into main dishes. Try adding mushrooms, peppers, onions, or carrots into pasta sauce, casseroles, soup, stews, scrambled eggs, and chili.
- Have a salad with dinner most days. Stock your salad with dark green leafy lettuce and toss in chickpeas, tomatoes, onions, celery, carrots, and peppers. As an added benefit, starting meals with a salad can help you consume fewer calories at the meal, as long as the salad is no more than 100 calories. A healthful salad consists of about 3 cups of dark green lettuce, 1⁄2 cup carrots, a tomato, 1⁄4 cucumber, and 1 1⁄2 tablespoons of low-calorie dressing.
- Start your meal with a soup. Leek and potato. Tomato and onion. There are heaps of tasty vege combo’s, just google a recipe! Avoid those with cream of course :-)

Strength training for weight loss

FIT TIP: Why lift weights when I want to lose weight? Wouldn’t this make me heavier? I’ll be going the wrong way! This is a very common fear – but a complete myth! Weight training is THE BEST thing you can do to lose weight!! Why?
In the most simple terms: the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn.
Traditionally, an exercise program would concentrate on burning those unwanted calories in the exercise session only. Meaning that you would need an hour each day. Who has time for that? Not me!
What we want to do instead is turn our body into a fat burning machine, removing extra calories all the time. So the exercise program needs to have lasting benefits long after you’ve finished.
Strength training (weight training, resistance training… it’s all the same thing!) is the key. During a strength session, we cause little rips and tears in the muscle fibres, requiring repair and regeneration. This takes a huge amount of energy. Have a think about how many muscles we have in our body. This process lasts for up to 2 weeks! I have clients conducting fortnightly strength sessions and the system works perfectly!
Provided that we don’t start eating more, our body will learn to use our stored fat as an evergy source.
But the news gets even better. Once we start to lose weight, we can keep eating the same amount of food! Why? Because we are maintaining the muscle tissue, requiring the same amout of energy to constantly repair it.
Without strength training, our body’s energy requirements start dropping. So if you lose weight, you will also lose muscle. And then have to constantly reduce your energy intake with food until you’re eating such a small amount that you can’t maintain it – and the inevitable weight increase starts to happen.
BUT – the problem now is that the damage is done. You have lost a lot of muscle, so your body doesn’t need the extra energy you’re feeding it. What does it do? Store it as fat! That’s why a huge amount of people who lose weight without strength training will blow out past their initial start weight!
Don’t be that person – strength train for weight loss straight away!!

Anti-oxidants from fruit and veges

FIT TIP: I am a firm believer in a diet that consists mainly of lean protein, unrefined carbohydrates, but as many vegetables as you can fit on the plate – and if you can’t fit many on there, you need to get a bigger one!
One of the reasons that vegetables are such a critical component of an athlete’s diet (anyone looking to improve their body through exercise is an athlete!) is that they contain not just vitamins and minerals that our body needs to operate efficiently, but also important anti-oxidants that are needed for recovery and regeneration of muscle tissue.
Anti-oxidants are purported to be helpful in the “fight” against oxygen free radicals – which are thought to be responsible, at least in part, for that familiar muscle soreness experience and ‘oxidative stress’. Anti-oxidants sound great, right?
So why shouldn’t we just load up on these awesome anti-oxidants to mop up those pesky free radicals? The truth of the matter is that anti-oxidants taken as supplements are not particularly helpful.
The purpose of training is to overload the athlete and force their body to positively adapt. From strenuous training comes a certain amount of muscle damage, which is needed as a stimulus for the adaptation. If we completely take away that stimulus, there is no need to adapt, and therefore no need to improve.
You will get a great dose of anti-oxidants from the many colours from fruit and veg… in particular berries, citrus fruits, dark green vegetables and green tea. Just the right amount to combat oxidative stress from the free radicals but not too much so as to remove the adaptation stimulation :-)

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