Tag Archives: fitness

5 Days – 5 Meals: Turkey & Egg Cheese Burger


There’s no wrong way to make these. The variations are endless but this is by far one of tastiest ways to eat turkey burgers and eggs.

Difficulty: Simple
Cooking time: 10 mins
Serves: 1

Nutritional info (based on 1 person)
Calories: 508
Carbs: 34
Fats: 16
Protein: 52

Ingredients
1 BK Flamer
1 Wholemeal bun
1 Slice of Lighter Cheese
1 Egg
50g O’Egg whites
15g Lighter than light mayonnaise
5g Dijon Mustard
Sliced red onion
Sliced pickle

Method
1. Preheat a pans over a medium heat.

2. In a bowl crack open the egg and measure the egg whites and whisk with a fork.

3. Cook the turkey burger in a pan with spray oil or on a George Foreman grill.

4. Cook the eggs over a medium heat – omelette style or scrambled.

5. Toast the buns.

6. Put it altogether

5 Days – 5 Meals: Spicy Eggs, Turkey Burger & Tortillas

5 brand new recipes each day for the next 5 days. The beauty with these recipes is that the nutritional value can be adjusted accordingly to suit your requirements.

Spicy Eggs (2)

Super simple to make and it cooks in no time too. The real beauty of this dish and many of the others is that the ingredients can be adjusted however you want them to suit your needs. There are days where more protein and less carbs is required so more egg whites are added and only 1 wrap. The same can be done with the fats. If more or less is required, it is simply a matter of adjusting the amount of oil or cheese.

Difficulty: easy

Cooking time: 10 mins

Serves: 1

Nutritional info (based on 1 person)

Calories: 649

Carbs: 41

Fats: 28

Protein: 56

Ingredients

1 BK Flamer

1 Egg

50g O’Egg Whites

5g extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil

40g grated mozzarella cheese

40g light sour cream

40g hot salsa

2 mini wraps

1 tbsp Cajun gymchef spice.

1 spring onion – chopped

Spicy Eggs (7) Spicy Eggs 20170908_113501.jpg

Method

  1. Preheat a small pan on a medium heat.
  2. In a bowl, crack in the egg and measure out the egg whites and whisk with a fork.
  3. In a dry pan cook the burger on each side for 2 – 3 minutes then roughly break it up in the pan.
  4. Add the oil, the spring onions and the beaten eggs. Sprinkle the Gymchef. Allow to cook over a low heat mixing it with a spoon/spatula until the eggs scramble.
  5. Toast the wraps. Then fill with the eggs and top with cheese, sour cream and salsa.

Training & Nutrition: a new beginning

It’s the kind of situation when you say to yourself “but if only I started sooner I’d be x by now”. As I looked at myself in the mirror those were the kind of thoughts that once consumed my mind. That was back in January of this year – a blowout in the months leading up to the New year meant that I was now a stone heavier than I was six months previous and all of it was my own doing.

To be fair I wasn’t excessively overweight by any means anyway. But my belly was beginning to grow out from my waist and clothes that once fit comfortably where starting to feel a little tight. For the first time that I can remember I was beginning to feel uncomfortable in my appearance and that was spilling over and negatively impacting others areas of my life.

Having turned 27 in November of 2016 it wasn’t the end of the world by a long shot. Time is in my side – I get that. However, finding myself in that situation was still far from ideal and I knew that some changes needed to be made so in perhaps in 3 years time at the ripe old age of 30 I can look back and say “I’m happy I started sooner!”

Having envisioned my future self as an unhealthy, overweight, inactive human being was a bit of a shock if I’m honest. I love being outdoors having fun, hiking hills and spending time with family and friend’s. Being unable to experience life like that due to poor mobility, unhappy etc. was a disturbing prospect and something that wasn’t far off should I continue making the same silly choices while expecting everything to be fine.

Things were not going to be fine, the days of late teens/early twenties extremities, heavy drinking minus the hangovers, binge eating rubbish food and staying up all night had now run it’s course (athough some of this had been diluted over the years and became less extreme). The body was beginning to respond with signs that this way of living cannot continue without dire consequences to my health. Something clicked and that vision really hit home and provided a glimspe of what life could be like continuing down that path. There had been attempts in the past to get “fit & healthy” usually due to external forces such as holidays abroad or weddings. Events like these are planned way ahead of time allowing a time frame to be set and a target to be achieved which (for me) usually conclude in a blow out and falling completely off the wagon for weeks if not months on end. This time it was different. The feeling for change came from the inside. Not only was there a need for change but a desire to “want” to change. Not for holidays or weddings or … instead for me, to feel, move and look better. No more half-arsed attempts. This time is real, now more important then ever before. At this age there’s still a good chance to write some wrongs, get my shit together and become a better version of myself.

Accepting the long road

Fully accepting that change doesn’t happen overnight was like a revelation when it occurred. The journey ahead was going to be a long one. No quick fixes!! I didn’t want to change overnight either. I want to see progress overtime. Slowly the results will show and in that I will also have the time to make amendments when needed.

Most importantly I wanted to enjoy the process and of course learn from it too. No doubt there will be setbacks but that’s the challenge I want. There is no rush. Time is on my side, for now anyway. I say that because I’m not interested in just becoming “shredded” that will hopefully come as a result of being a fitter and healthier person. First and foremost health, be it physical or mental is my primary goal. Physical in reference to mobility and functionality of the body. Mentally – simply being happy. Looks and appearance: although they are secondary I’m not completely writing them off either 😉

January 2017 – all of this excitement of change is very encouraging and the initial reaction is to jump headfirst and balls deep into it changing everything overnight. Which is all well said and done until it starts to become undone 3 weeks when the excitement wears off and reality starts to begin.

Having been through this before I knew it was coming so the plan was to pace myself and not get to ahead of to quickly. Small changes and small wins will become big changes and big wins overtime. Consistency is key, not perfection. Sounds corny?! Recently I read in a book that eventually your thoughts become your actions and your actions become your habits. No doubt that remembering these phrases or others like it have been a source of motivation towards staying on the right track.

Having not done any physical activity/training in the previous 3-4+ months it was going to be a struggle to get going again. Establishing a routine around eating, sleeping, hydration and training alone can sometimes feel like a part-time job. What’s more is a fulltime unpaid internship and part-time minimum wage job had now began peeking over the horizon. I was already feeling overwheled. Adding all of this on top was throwing fuel on the fire. The next 15 weeks from January – April would be a challenge. The hardest thing for me to do now was actually get my head down and in the game. First things first make a plan of action.

To be continued in part 2. How I intended to plan my meals and the food that I eat. Training splits and finding a personal trainer.

Fulfill Oats

There is a previous post from not to long ago about the perfect porridge. The main point in it referred to how oats have made a huge comeback in recent times.

Porridge has come a long way from the days when your only options depended on what was in the cupboard after the weekly shop. Whatever the brand, the end result was the same – a colourless bowl of bland grool that even Oliver Twist wouldn’t mind giving a miss.

I… could… not… stand porridge as a child. It never had any taste because, adding anything other than sugar or honey was never an option in my house (that’s no direspect to my parents, it’s just how many households ate). These days things are different. Search for “Proates” on any social media platform and you’ll see what I mean.

Game Changer 

It goes without saying that the key ingredient that makes these oats so delicious is the Fulfill White Chocolate & Cookie Dough protein bar. The combination of white chocolate and raspberries is a winner, every time!

The recipe below is tailored to my own needs but the quantities & nutritional value will differ depending on the needs/goals of each person so feel free to adjust accordingly to suit you.

Ingrediants

80g porridge oats

200 – 300ml of unsweetened almond milk

20g vanilla whey protein powder

10g toasted flaked almonds

1 Fulfill protein bar – any flavour

Raspberries

5g raw Cacao powder (optional)

How to…

Toast the almonds in a dry pan over a low heat. Mix the milk and the oats then microwave for 2 minutes or more until they become fluffy or most of the milk has been absorbed. Mix on the protein powder (and cacao if using for more rich oats) crush up the bar and spread on top along with the berries and the almonds.

Its as easy as that, hope you enjoy this one. Protein bars would not usually be a staple of my diet but on occasion I will enjoy one either with oats or melted over pancakes.

I’m always intrigued trying new food combinations and concepts. Any ideas feel free to comment below.

Shane

 

Bad Decisions Are Made On An Empty Stomach: Part 1

Dream big, Set goals, Take Action

A goal without a plan is only a dream – Recently I have been dwelling on the meaning of this statement and the impact it has when it enters the forefront of my mind.  At 27 I realise that although life is still in front of me, the decisions made now will determine the circumstances we will find ourselves in the future. Everybody has a goal, either conscientiously or subconsciously, individually or collectively there is something out there that is keeping you on your current trajectory in search of something better. Goals may be different but the behaviors such as sacrifice, willpower, discipline, determination and motivation remain constant.

From my own experience setting the goal involves visualizing the end result  and working back towards the current moment in time. See in your minds eye what the end result will look like, figure out how to get there and how long it will take. Achieving a goal is a tough assignment, each year I write down what it is I want to achieve in that given year (usually consists of eating, training, income) then break it down into medium and short term mini goals. Even then there is no guarantee that I will see them through to the end. Of course succeeding at your goals will give you the confidence to set more challenging targets.

One of my main long term goals is to finish college with at least a 2.1 grade. Break that down into smaller targets such as attending classes; even the most life draining, soul destroying lectures are important, submitting assignments on time and studying for exams. Go even further and make it a priority that when going to lectures you have the proper materials (pens, paper, calculators) study for exams by reading the right books and taking notes and get enough sleep so as not to pass out mid way through the day you get the picture right? Since January, I have been working towards completing an (unpaid) Internship as it is a mandatory requirement of the college. Again, showing up on time, making a good impression and buying into the organisational culture for the sake of 15 weeks just to get to where I want.

All of these little things make up the bigger picture. Again, the decisions we make now determines our future. Along the way remember failure is inevitable, it will more than likely happen but don’t worry because failing plays a huge part in understanding the approaches that do & do not work. It teaches us in the form of experience and creates lasting knowledge that will be beneficial on our future endeavors. Once you have established what simply isn’t working let common sense prevail and move on, try something a new approach.

Play to your strengths! but don’t forget your weaknesses, learn not to avoid them but rather learn how to deal with them and use it to your advantage until eventually it becomes no longer a weakness. Overcome the limitations that only you set!!

Food Goals

Food is the fuel of the body & mind so therefore it can be said that the better the quality the food then the more of a positive impact it will have on your physical and mental health – in long term at least. Highly processed, sugar laced, hydrogenated fat, chemical based lab creations have the same positive effect, but only in the short term and usually the endorphin’s released last longer than the time it takes for the body to digest this so called food. Nevertheless I will admit they can be delicious on the palate because they are loaded with all the winning combinations at once – fat, sugar, salt etc.

What you don’t know about food these days will hurt you. Many people are unaware of what the majority of the items in there press contain claiming to be ingredients. To quote Jamie Oliver “food should not contain ingredients, food is ingredients”.  I think the more we become detached with food the easier it is to make poor choices. This why I believe in cooking from a 36o degree perspective (knowing what is good for you, sourcing/buying fresh food and cooking it yourself) because it allows you to become more engaged and consciousness about what you’re actually eating. Fortunately cooking is a skill that can be learned by anyone. Unfortunately cooking can be very time consuming and costly which is the reason people make the wrong choices.

Also I should mention at this time that I am all in favor when it come to eating at Cafes and Restaurants and do not believe that “everything” we consume should be homemade. However, I will say that if you decide do eat out, do some research and find out if your favorite seafood & steakhouse are serving locally caught fish, is the beef imported or brought in from frozen halfway round the world.

image

avoiding temptation by preparing meals in advance for a busy week ahead

Have a Mantra & Shout it out

Getting back to the statement at the beginning ” a goal without a plan is only a dream” sounds good but doesn’t provide any real context on how to get there. To give substance to a goal, you need to actually develop a practical meaning around it. My own way of doing this is like many others. Think of the reasons of ‘why’ this goal is important to you in the first place ‘how’ it can be achieved.

“Bad decisions are made on an empty stomach” is a sort of mantra I live by. The underlying meaning behind it suggests that food is my weakness and I  am very likely to fall off the wagon at anytime. It reminds me of the benefits of training and preparing meals in advance and staying on track. In PART 2 of this post I want to go deeper into preparing meals in advance and what means to stay on the right course in search of that little bit better. It is this statement that time and time again I refer to that reminds of what I need to do to get to where I want to be. Knowing that bad decisions are likely to happen if I don’t prepare food for the week reminds me that by not doing so I am not achieving my goal.

One thing I have learned is to give yourself the best possible chance both physically and mentally to have any success in other parts of life. Physically I am prone to slipped discs in my lower back and mentally I tend to become very bogged down in finer details of certain circumstances which leads stress and failing to acknowledge the bigger picture of the event. Personally exercise is an excellent tool for eliminating negative self doubt and allows me to retain a clear head. As for food, well you are what you eat basically. As previously mentioned I am prone to falling off the wagon in many areas of my life. Eating proper food and training regularly really been extremely beneficial both  physically and mentally so therefore I try to keep it balanced.

Given my background as a chef with an interest in the gym, keeping active and all round performance improvement the purpose of this blog page is to show how easy it is to create mouth watering food at home and provide information on how to make better food choices and decisions in the kitchen.

The second part will discuss the basics such as planning meals in advance, the benefits of this and how to stay on course. Along with sourcing fresh ingredients including what to buy and where are the best places to shop especially on a budget.

Shane.

Basic essentials of vital importance for superstar student cooks.

Creating something from scratch takes some patience and dedication. Chefs, musicians, construction workers, artist’s all share something in common in terms of the equipment they use being of a certain quality or standard. 

This also applies to those of us who try to be creative at home. Having easy access to the necessary tools is of vital importance for anyone living off a budget, sticking to a healthy plan, preparing food in advance etc. I rely on a few basic peices of equipment that have a significant contribution in achieving efficiency in the kitchen. In other words, the items listed below allow me to prepare large quantities of food in the shortest amount of time because they help reduce the total amount time spent preparing & cooking food. This I believe a key factor when keeping track of a budget or a diet.

Before you say psycho…

I would like to confirm that the knife collection is due to a previous professional endeavor that is no longer the situation.

The majority of these knives are rarely used as the one I rely on the most is the long serrated confectioner’s knife (1st on right beside the sharpener). Costing around 30 euros (link below) it is by far the most versatile of the bunch because ilon one side of the blade there are little “teeth” and the other side is straight as a razor.
It gets used for everything – chopping all kinds of veg, slicing meat, carving chicken, cutting up desserts etc.

So – my recommendation is to forget about buying lots of different knives, just invest in one good knife and a steele or stone to maintain a sharp edge.

Mind your tips…

Unless you like the pain that comes with loosing a finger or two. I assure you the sensation triples when the skin is grazed from your knuckles while grating the zest from citrus fruits or hot chillies.
Besides that – using the madolin safely by taking your time pays dividends over time as you become faster. Before you know it, you’ll have developed ninja like speed just rattling off onions and peepers right down to the core stopping just before the tips of your fingers end up in the bin.

3 wise pans

Having in your possession some decent pans are essential components in the persuit of great cooking at home. A deep wok that allows you to make stirfrys, stew, spagball in fact anything in large batches. There’s nothing a wok cannot be used for as they are so versatile. 

A small pan for cooking omelettes / pancakes and reheating cooked rice in are perfect for quick and easy meals. Sometimes making  small quantities of food can get lost in a large pan so it is handy to have a small one on standby for meals that require less maintenance. 

And finally a griddle pan – IKEA sell these for €10 and are ideal for bugers, steaks, chicken, sweet potatoes, corn on the cobb. This is personally my favorite because of the smokey, charred, bbq flavor that can be achieved when cooking meat or veg. The only downside is the amount of smoke that builds up when left on a high heat, even if it’s not for long. My advice is open the windows on advance. 

When the pan begins to smoke and get hot, put the meat or veg. onto the pan and let it cook for a few minutes then turn the heat down to medium. This way it allows for the food to become charred and will then slowly continue to do so as the smoke clears away.

Again it is unlikely that I would cook from start to finish on the griddle pan with the exception of burgers perhaps. Usually I’d start the chicken on the pan and finish it in the oven, or start in the oven and finish on the pan.

Nothing is achieved without effort so therefore the plan is to maximize the the highest amount of output based on the level of input. Having a few of the basic essentials will no doubt in my mind helps make life at the stove that bit easier.

Peace out,

Shane.

(The link for a good set of knives can be found below. Just to clarify this is NOT a paid advetisment by any company who either make/sell/stock these products, this is just some friendly advice)

http://www.sweeneyorourke.com/ebstore/so/product.asp?p_part_code=~4501%2E26

Stronger than before #4 feel the burn

[Photo source: the journal.ie]

That moment when the pre workout kicks in ⤴ 

All jokes aside everyone in the local community is devastated this has happened to Flyefit Coolock.

Located in an industrial estate in a rough borough of north Dublin this 24/7 gym was something to be proud of in terms of new businesses opening in the vicinity, creating a positive atmosphere that everyone can enjoy.

I was a member in Flyefit before yhe Coolock branch opened. I travelled into the city (Macken Street) in the early hours before college or work to beat the morning rush.

Anyway – for the two months Coolock was up and running it was busy but it was a huge warehouse with plenty of equipment. Until (as the reports suggested) somebody drove a car right smack bang into the front door, poured petrol and set it on fire.

Fortunately nobody was hurt as it happened in the very early hours of the morning. 

Unfortunately for now, many people including myself have to travel roughly 30 minutes by car to another branch in order to workout.

Although the 30 minute commute sucks, it’s not the worst part of having to travel to another branch. 

Gyms located in the city centre are always packed, therefore getting in early (5:30am) in order to get a machine, weights or treadmill is a must. 

You can forget about going between 5pm-7pm unless you have a class booked or willing to ignore the que of tight spandex and nipples glaring at you to hurry up.

My routine, although only more than two weeks old has been interrupted. Instead of heading home after a morning session to get food ready etc. it means that I have to lug around an extra bag of clothes and lunchboxes (the tupp life isn’t for all of us)  for the day ahead.

But whatever about that. It’s been a week since “our” gym was taken away from the community and I genuinely miss the convenience of having a gym on my doorstep. Get in, get done, feel the burn, go home.

You only really appreciate what you have until it has been taken away. 

Hopefully last week’s incident does not deter the owners from reopening, sooner rather than later is the general consensus.

At a glance, it seems like a lot of damage and with no sign of renovations being mentioned for anytime soon the wait goes on.