Weekend Essentials: Banana Loaf

_DSC5829.jpg

People who love to eat are always the best people. – Julia Child”

After a gruelling Ultimate Circuit class in Haddins on a Friday morning or any work out in any country this little number can be celebrated. Enjoy a slice or three and kick back in a leisurely fashion.

The recipe is similar to the Porridge Bread recipe I posted a few weeks ago. It is simple to make and even simpler to eat!

Make From Scratch

10-12 slices (depending how you slice)

  • 4 large Ripe Bananas (3 to sweeten, 1 to decorate)
  • 360 grams Oats
  • 1/4 cup Buckwheat Flour ( if you don’t have it handy, you can omit)
  • 1 large tub 0% fat Greek Yogurt – I went for Glenisk
  • 1/3 Stevia ( I picked up Canderel brand in Spinneys)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. All Spice
  • 1 tsp. Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 2 tbsp. Shredded Coconut
  • 100% Unsweetened Hersey Cacao (purchase in Spinneys)
  • I added a mix of sunflower, pumpkin seeds to the mix for texture, you could try dried fruits like raisins or cherries.

Bake From Scratch 

  1. Preheat oven 170 degrees (fan oven), 1 hrs baking time for a nice crust.
  2. Mash three bananas.
  3. Pop yogurt in a mixing bowl add bicarb and baking soda. Allow it to fizz for a few minutes. Add the mashed banana and blend together.
  4. For the oats I added 50% to the food processor, blitzed until it resembled a flour consistency. If this is too much hassle, then you can just add all the oats to a large mixing bowl.
  5. Pop oat flour and oats in large mixing bowl – add buckwheat flour, stevia, cinnamon, all spice, shredded coconut, nut and seed mix. Mix until combined.
  6. Add the yogurt and banana mixture to the dry mixture and give it a good stir. If mixture has a dry appearance add 1-2 tbsp. liquid (I used almond milk).
  7. Pour the bread mix into a greased loaf tin. Get the fourth banana and cut in half. Press into the top of the bread. I grated 100% unsweetened cacao on top.
  8. Allow to cool before slicing and slather on the kerrygold butter like me or your favourite toppings.

Be sure to keep me posted if you try and test these recipes by posting on Twitter: @WhelehanLynne or Instagram @makeandbakefromscratch #makeandbakefromscratch and Facebook: Make & Bake From Scratch

 

Recovery Rescue

Squats

Image source

The festive season is over and it has been a wild ride. At this point it can be difficult to know where to start; your mind is racing, “new fitness programme”, or “new eating regime”. To get back on the health train it is best to make a plan, start it and stick with it. Don’t lose interest after one week; develop new positive healthy lifestyle habits. Over time you will reap the benefits. Be kind to your body feed it wholesome foods and put it through the paces of a sweaty workout. Remember inhale, exhale.

Try this Sweat Session I created over the festive season to help you kick start your fitness regime:

You will need:

  • Gymboss set 40 seconds on/ 20 seconds off (20 rounds)
  • Skipping rope

Sweat Session

Train

Image source 

3,000 meter Rowing. Once this is complete begin the following 5 rounds, set your gymboss timer.

  • Skipping
  • Bear Crawls
  • Walking Lunges
  • Burpees
  • Jump Squats

Next move to 5×5 sets to build strength:

  • 5×5 Lat Pull Downs
  • Press Ups AMRAP (as many reps as possible)
  • 5×5 Bench Press

Bonus Round

  • 100 Walking Lunges
  • 50 Full Squats

This is a great session to get your heart pumping and sweat those toxins from the festive silly season. Make sure you drink plenty of water both during your workout and afterwards.

Once you have the sweaty session completed, you will need to refuel your muscles for recovery. After working out I love recuperating with a smoothie. Try this Berry Bliss Smoothie Recipe:

  • 250ml Koko Coconut Milk
  • 50 grams Frozen Raspberries/Strawberries
  • 1 scoop Vanilla Whey Protein or Vegan Protein
  • 1 tablespoon Chia Seeds

Pop in blender, blitz till smooth and enjoy!

PWO Smoothie

DSC_4153

“To nourish someone is to feed them deeply something that’s very good for them”, Alice Waters.

The beautiful hot weather is back and at times it can get a bit much; you do not even have to lift your finger and your sweating bucket loads! Therefore, it is imperative to stay hydrated and keep your electrolytes in balance.

I have been playing around with different smoothie mixtures and right now my favourite involves banana, coconut milk, superfood shake mix by Soaring Superfoods and bee pollen.  It is so creamy and delicious and creates a great chill vibe in the sunshine or after a pumping workout.

Superfood shake mix contains lucuma powder, mesquite powder, raw cacao powder, hemp seeds, maca powder, cinnamon, vanilla powder and sea salt. I highly recommend it; you can even add it to a banana soft serve. Lately, I am a big fan of bee pollen. They are little individual grains or pellets that vary in colour as you can see from the image. You can taste honey off the bee pollen. If you have pollen allergies probably best to omit.

I recently discovered “Koko”, coconut milk in Dischem (South Africa) but you can also find it in Super Valu (Ireland). It tastes great in smoothies, shakes, soaked chia pots or oats. I used a frozen banana for the smoothie. I usually have a couple in zip lock bags in the freezer; they create an ice cream texture in a smoothie and you don’t have to add ice either.

This recipe is gluten-free, dairy free if you use coconut milk and sweetened with fruit. Enjoy!

Ingredients

250ml Coconut Milk or milk of choice, water or coconut water

½-1 Banana

1 tbsp. Superfood Shake Mix

1 scoop Whey Protein Isolate (I like to use Optimum Nutrition 100% Natural Whey)

1 tbsp. Chia Seeds (optional)

½ tsp. Bee Pollen

Method

  • Pop all ingredients in a blender except bee pollen – blitz until well combined. Pour into a tumbler and sprinkle bee pollen on top.

Be sure to keep me posted if you try and test these recipes by posting on Twitter: @WhelehanLynne or Instagram @makeandbakefromscratch

Real Food Rocks & Cookin’ Rolls x

Refuel, Replenish & Rehydrate

You have just finished an awesome, sweaty, pumping workout. Now you must decide what to eat and refuel your muscles.  There is no set rule for how I eat meals I tend to mix and match what is in the fridge and what suits my needs at that time. My plate can look like a pick ‘n’ mix bag. Load your plate up with veggies, make it look like a kaleidoscope of colours. This post contains three post workout recipes to help you stay on track to achieving your health and fitness goals.

Here is an piece wrote  about Nutrition “15 Myths You Want to Know”. Jeremy Loenneke (PhD student in Exercise Physiology at the University of Oklahoma) dispels the myth about nutrition after working out. Read more nutrition myths here: 15 Myths You Want to Know

The biggest nutrition myth in my mind is the idea that a person must consume protein within 30 minutes of exercise to see muscular adaptation from that exercise bout. 

Although this is known as “fact” in many circles, the scientific basis for such a claim has little data to support it.  In fact, the idea that all muscular gains are lost 30 minutes after completing an exercise bout unless food is eaten doesn’t seem to make sense from any biological perspective. 

Esmarck et al. 2001 is the most commonly used citation to support this “window of opportunity”.  That study took older untrained men (74 years) and had them resistance train for 12 weeks.  One group had 10g of protein immediately post and the other group had 10g of protein 2 hours later.  The group that had protein immediately post exercise saw increases in muscle size, however, the other group saw no change in muscle mass.  The fact that one group exercises for 12 weeks and saw no increase in muscle mass whatsoever should be a red flag because resistance exercise has been shown to increase muscle mass in numerous studies (elderly included) not giving protein immediately post exercise. 

Recently, a well-controlled study by Erskine et al. 2012 presented data in untrained healthy men (23 years) who worked out for 12 weeks.  One group consumed 20g of whey protein immediately post exercise and the other group consumed a placebo.  In addition, participants were instructed to consume only water in the 2 hours before and 1.5 hours after each training session.  What they found was that the muscle size and strength gains following exercise were identical between groups.  This means that consuming protein immediately post exercise did not offer any additional benefit.

The point I am trying to make is that there is nothing magical about placing all of one’s focus onto one meal during the day. There is nothing wrong with consuming protein immediately post workout, however, it is important to understand that it will not hurt ones muscle gains if they wait until they get home or even later to eat a meal. The focus should not be on one meal, it should be on all meals.  A person should focus on consuming adequate protein, carbohydrate, and fat at each one of their meals.  Specifically, one should focus on maximizing their muscle protein synthetic response about every 4 hours and recent data suggests that distributing protein evenly throughout those meals is beneficial.  I would then place their training between anyone of those meals.

For example, if a person’s eating schedule was

Meal 1: 8am

Meal 2: 12pm

Meal 3: 4pm

Meal 4: 8pm

I would recommend that they work out anytime between Meal 1 and Meal 4.  This strategy focuses on hitting sufficient macronutrients at all meals not just one meal.

In conclusion, there doesn’t appear to be anything magical about consuming protein immediately post exercise for improving muscle size and strength. However, although the data doesn’t support this “window of opportunity” it will undoubtedly stick around as “fact” by those who wish to believe it to be true in the face of evidence directly to the contrary.  Remember that all meals are important, not just the post-workout.

References:

Esmarck et al. “Timing of postexercise protein intake is important for muscle hypertrophy with resistance training in elderly humans.”  Journal of Physiology (2001), 535.1, 301-311.

Erskine et al. “Whey protein does not enhance the adaptations to elbow flexor resistance training.” Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (2012), 44(9), 1791-1800.

Oven Baked Salmon with a Rainbow Salad

DSC_3600“To enjoy the glow of good health, you must exercise”, Gene Tunney.

Ingredients

1 Salmon Fillet

Lettuce, any kind, roughly chopped

½ Pepper, yellow or red

4-5 Cherries

Handful Blueberries

Cucumber, thin slices

Flaked Almonds, toasted

Salad Dressing

3-4 tablespoons Cold Pressed Olive Oil

1 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar

1 tablespoon Rice Syrup/Honey

1/2 Orange, juice only

1 Orange Slice

Coarse Sea Salt

Fresh Ground Pepper

Method

  • Preheat oven at 180 degrees.
  • Lin foil with coconut oil, place salmon on top and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Place on a baking tray. Bake for 12-15 minutes until salmon is cooked thoroughly.
  • Cut yellow/red pepper into chunks and place under a medium heat grill. Allow to soften and brown. Cut into strips for the salad. Next, place 1 tbsp. flaked almonds on a baking tray and toast until lightly brown, set aside until ready to serve.
  • Wash and chop all salad ingredients and place pop onto your serving plate.
  • Salad Dressing: Pop all ingredients except orange slice in a bowl and whisk until rice syrup is dissolved and emulsified. Add orange slice at the end. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside and serve with meal.  Spoon it over your salad. Store any leftover dressing in a glass jar in the fridge.
  • Once everything is ready , plate up and nourish your body.

Protein Punch: Pumpkin & Cacao Smoothie

DSC_3168

This post workout Smoothie is great to help way to replenish your muscles. It contains pumpkin, banana, coconut water, raw cacao and cinnamon. To boost the protein content you could add a scoop of whey isolate protein (chocolate or vanilla flavour) or one raw egg. A brand I am fond of in South Africa is Absolute Organix they sell a whey isolate or a raw vegan protein powder. If sourcing pumpkin is difficult use sweet potato puree as an alternative.  Sweet Potato puree is made the same way as pumpkin puree. You can store it in the fridge in an airtight container. It works really nice in coconut flour pancakes too.

Pumpkin is a great source of beta carotene, potassium and copper. Adding a banana to a post workout Smoothie will help energize your body, it is packed with potassium an electrolyte. Electrolyte restoration is paramount after a workout. Coconut water adds a nice sweet flavour and is a low fructose drink, full of electrolytes to rehydrate the body. The cacao powder will give the Smoothie a chocolate flavour and is a powerhouse of antioxidants.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons Pumpkin Puree (visit how to make Pumpkin Puree)

½ Banana

1 cup Coconut Water

1-2 teaspoon Raw Cacao Powder

½ tsp. Cinnamon

*optional: 1 scoop Whey Isolate Protein or Raw Vegan Protein Powder

Method

  • Pop in blender, blitz until smooth consistency. Pour in a glass and add some ice.

Basil Omelette with Grilled Tomatoes, Goats Cheese & Homemade Pesto 

Eggs are a great addition to your fridge. They are very versatile and can used in sweet and savoury dishes.

basil omlette

Basil Omelette

2 Free Range Eggs

Handful Fresh Basil Leaves

Pinch Pink Rock Salt

Black Pepper

Sprinkle Goats Cheese on top, can be omitted

Grilled Cherry Tomatoes

Coriander & Basil Pesto

Large handful Coriander

Large handful Basil

1 Garlic Clove

1 small Chilli, de-seeded

1 tsp. Cumin Seeds or Powder

1 tablespoon Unpasteurised Apple Cider Vinegar ( I use Braggs or Biona)

1/2 cup Cold Pressed Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper to season

Method:

  • Basil Omelette: Pop eggs, basil and seasoning into a food processor/blender and blitz until combined. On a medium heat pan, melt ½ tsp. coconut oil and pour omelette mixture into the pan. Cook for about 4-5 minutes or until the egg is set and firm, toss some goats cheese on top. Place under a medium heat grill and lightly brown the top of the omelette.
  • Grilled Tomatoes: Line an oven dish with tin foil and pop in a handful of cherry tomatoes. Place under the grill at medium temperature and grill tomatoes until they blister. I like to brown the skin. I love the taste. I usually store any leftover tomatoes in an airtight container in the fridge and use them in salads.
  • Coriander & Basil Pesto: Chop chilli and peel garlic. Pop all ingredients into food processor and blitz until combined. Pour into a glass jar and store in the fridge until ready to serve. It will keep in the fridge for a week and you can add it to salads, chicken, beef or your favourite fish. I like to mix it into my cauliflower mash for extra flavour.

WIth these recipes you will be on the right path to fighting fit and keeping your body nourished. Be sure to keep me posted if you try and test these recipes by posting on Twitter: @WhelehanLynne or Instagram: @makeandbakefromscratch

Real Food Rocks & Cookin’ Rolls x