Jennifer Hanway

Enliven Your Lightest, Brightest You

Jennifer Hanway is a Holistic Nutritionist, Bio Signature Modulation Practitioner and Certified Personal Trainer, originally from London but now living in Newton Centre and working in Back Bay, Boston.

Filtering by Tag: nutrition

Fat Loss: Chicken and Zucchini Skewers with Raw Cashew Satay Sauce

I've given one of my favourite recipes a gut healing makeover for my 28 Day Gut Healing Program and I have to say I think its even better this time round! 

Chicken and Zucchini Cashew Satay Skewers

Makes 2 servings

For the skewers

2 x chicken breasts

  • 1 large zucchini

  • 1 large bell pepper

For the marinade

  • 2 tablespoons tamari

  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger

  • 1 clove finely minced garlic

For the satay sauce

  • 4 tablespoons cashew nut butter

  • ½ cup coconut yoghurt

  • 1 teaspoon tamari

  • 1 teaspoon lime juice

  • ¼ teaspoon finely chopped red chili

 Mix all marinade ingredients in large bowl. Cut the chicken into cubes and place in marinade for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Soak the wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes

Make the satay sauce by placing all ingredients in a food processor and mixing until smooth.

Slice zucchini and peppers into cubes, then slide onto skewers alternating with marinated tofu or chicken cubes.

Grill skewers for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked thoroughly

Serve with the satay sauce and a green salad.

We buy all our pasture raised, grass-fed meat from Butcher Box and its changed our lives! Snag your free bacon for life, free shipping and $15 discount by heading to: 

https://www.butcherbox.com/jenniferhanway

Our pantry staples come from Thrive Market and we love the convenience of the service, the prices, and the fact that our membership gives back! Use the link below to save an extra $25 on your order and get free shipping:

http://go.thrv.me/SH7Be

Our local, seasonal and organic produce comes from Boston Organics, and every time the big green box arrives it feels like my birthday! Save 10% off your first delivery with the code: 6519bofdbh

https://bostonorganics.com/ 

Carb Cycling for Beginners

Below is an article I wrote last year for a British Health Magazine - now I can finally share it with you! 

Carb Cycling for Beginners - but not these kind of carbs! ; ) 

Carb Cycling for Beginners - but not these kind of carbs! ; ) 

 

Most nutrition plans written by fitness and nutrition professionals usually involve some kind of carb cycling, even if the term is not specifically used. In essence carb cycling (like the majority of diets) is a form of calorie restriction (the foremost principle of weight loss is you need to expend more calories than you consume to see the scale drop). 

Carb Cycling, when referred to by a Dietitian, Nutritionist or Personal Trainer refers to the manipulation of the amounts consumed of the 3 macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fats), usually determined by the clients bodyweight, body fat to muscle ratio, and frequency and intensity of workouts.

Macronutrients are the building blocks of the foods we eat (micronutrients are the vitamins and minerals) and are classified as follows:

Carbohydrates: the components of carbohydrates are Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen. In their original form most carbohydrates come from plants. There are two types of carbohydrate: simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates break down quickly in the body (and in turn raise our blood sugar rapidly, forcing the pancreas to make more insulin) due to their lack of fibre. Complex carbohydrates are a healthier option (and more suitable for weight loss diets) due to their fibre content which slows the rise in blood sugar. 

Great complex carbohydrate choices include: 

  • Organic starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, squashes and yams.
  • Gluten free grains such as rice, oats, buckwheat and quinoa.
  • Low GI fruits such as berries, apples and kiwis. 

 

Protein: protein is made from complex macromolecules that contain carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and sulfur, and are composed of one or more chains of amino acids. These amino acids are broken down in the digestive system and are used for the essential growth and repair of tissues, and as a secondary energy source.  Animal sources are referred to as ‘complete proteins’ (meaning they contain all 20-22 amino acids), and plant sources are ‘incomplete’ as they do not contain all the amino acids. 

Healthy protein choices include: 

  • Organic, lean cuts of meat 
  • Wild caught fish.
  • Pasture raised eggs
  • Organic, full fat dairy
  • Beans, pulse legumes
  • Whey and Vegan protein powders

 

Fats: fats consist of Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen. Dietary fat supplies us with essential fatty acids (known as linoleic and and linolenic acid) that cannot be made by the body. Fat is vital in our diets as it aids the absorption of certain vitamins, helps brain development and protects our organs, and is the body’s second most preferred source of energy. It is important to avoid trans fatty acids and hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats as they can have negative effects on health. 

Healthy fat choices include: 

  • Avocado
  • Coconut oil
  • Pasture raised butter
  • Nuts and nut butter 
  •  

When looking at any kind of diet for weight loss, choosing foods that have the most ‘bang for your buck’ (the most nutrient dense foods) is of utmost importance. When calories are restricted the quality of those calories are essential not just for weight loss (it is easier for the body to utilize fat burning for energy production when the body is in a healthy state), but for energy, stress levels, good sleep and beautiful hair, skin and nails. Choose single ingredient, unprocessed foods, that are organic and in season.

Carbohydrate intake is usually the first variable changed when dieting for fat loss. Reducing carbohydrates can cause a drop in weight for a number of reasons:  It automatically reduces calories, it limits the amount of processed foods consumed, and is effective if a client is showing signs of insulin resistance. When any type of carbohydrate is consumed our blood sugar levels rise, followed by the release of insulin from the pancreas. The insulin is released to enable the sugar (energy) to get into the muscle cells (insulin literally ‘unlocks’ the cells to enable to energy in). Insulin resistance is the body’s inability to handle carbs efficiently, when blood sugar is raised too quickly and too often the body is unable to handle the amount of energy being produced, it is unable to ‘get into fuel the cells, and therefore is stored as fat.

However, not all carbs are bad for you, and not all carbs are created equally. Refined, processed carbs (white bread, donuts, cookies,) raise blood sugar very quickly, and should not be consumed on a regular basis. Carbohydrates such as sweet potato, oats, squashes and whole grains can be eaten as part of a healthy diet and have some great nutritional benefits.

There is no doubt a low carbohydrate diet can be a great quick fix for some, and the resulting weight loss can give a much needed boost to health, self esteem and insulin sensitivity. However, most on a low carbohydrate diet will start to plateau, and not including carbohydrates in your diet can cause negative effects such as raised cortisol (the stress hormone), lowered thyroid function and poor mood and energy levels. 

Carb cycling has many benefits, and can be successful for both the general population client and the professional body builder! Below is a list of some of the reasons why carb cycling can be an effective approach for most: 

  • It is a great transition from a lower carb to a moderate carb diet - carb cycling reintroduces carbohydrates to the body at a slower rate, important for insulin sensitivity. 
  • As body weight and workout intensity are used to calculate your macros (and therefore your calories) it is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach, it is highly personalised which is essential for weight loss results 
  • Higher carbohydrate foods often contain higher levels of some micronutrients (vitamins and mineral) than proteins and fats such as B Vitamins, magnesium and and beta carotene. 
  • It can prevent catabolism (muscle loss), and even increase muscle growth, important when trying to build muscle and increase metabolism (muscle mass burns more calories than fat mass). 
  • Adding carbohydrates to the diet can breakthrough weight loss plateaus as it can upregulate thyroid function and provide more energy for hard training sessions.
  • Boredom and lack of food variety can be an underestimated player in weight loss, carb cycling reintroduces different foods and meal plans.
  • Its flexibility means you can plan for when you may eat off track, such as dining out, holidays and vacation. 
  • It helps mitigate stress and improve sleep - carbohydrates upregulate the neurotransmitters that control your feel good hormones (serotonin and dopamine), which in turn can also help you get a great night’s sleep and result in more weight loss. 

In the majority of diets ‘low carb’ is considered to be an intake of under 50g of carbohydrates a day, but what is considered high carb can vary greatly, and what is high carb for 1 person may be low carb for another. This is dependent of a variety of factors including: 

  • Bodyweight
  • Body composition (muscle mass to fat ratio)
  • Level of insulin resistance / insulin sensitivity
  • Amount of inflammation in the body
  • Stress levels 
  • Genetic make up
  • Hormone balance
  • Training frequency and intensity 

In this example we will look at 3 different levels of carbohydrate intake, a high carb day, a mid carb day and a low carb day. The more weight you have to lose, the less insulin sensitive you will be. This means your body will be more likely to store carbohydrates as fat rather than muscle. If you have over 20lbs to lose, start out with 1-2 high carb days a week. Those who are leaner who wish to build more muscle can handle more frequent high carb days, and would benefit from 2-3 a week. 

For example, let’s say you strength train 3 times a week in the gym, and on 2 days a week you do cardio for 25-35 minutes. On your 2 most intense strength training days (perhaps your full body workouts or leg day) you will raise your carbohydrate intake, keep protein at mid range, and have little to no fat (ie. your high carb day). This will help increase muscle growth and provide energy for your workouts.  On the 3rd strength training day (your lighter day) you would consume a medium carbohydrate intake, a little more protein and a little more fat (mid carb day). The other days would be your 4 low carb days, keeping insulin levels low and enabling your body to use fat as a fuel source. 

To establish your own macronutrient goals we need 3 pieces of information; your body weight, your somatotype, and the frequency and intensity of your strength training. Somatotypes are a classification of 3 body types in relation to bone size and muscularity, they are detailed below to help you ascertain yours:

Ectomorph: generally lean, a smaller frame and thinner limbs. Has a faster metabolism, your goal is usually to gain muscle instead of losing fat. Ectomorphs should choose 3 high carb days, 3 medium carb days and 1 low carb day a week. 

Mesomorph: athletic looking with a medium sized frame. Stays reasonably lean and muscular without too much effort. Your goal is usually to optimize body composition (increase muscle / decrease fat). Mesomorphs should choose 2 high carb days, 2 medium carb days and 3 low carb day a week.

Endomorph: a larger frame and heavier set. A slower metabolism, you are usually trying to decrease body fat.  Endomorphs should choose 1 high carb day, 1 mid carb, and 5 low carb days a week. 

 

A suggested calculation for your high, medium and low carb days is as follows:

High Carb Day

Carbohydrate: 1.4 g per lb of bodyweight

Protein: 1.4g per lb of bodyweight

Fat: under 30g

 

Medium Carb Day

Carbohydrate: 0.8g per lb of bodyweight

Protein: 1.5 g per lb of bodyweight

Fat: 0.3g per lb of bodyweight

 

Low Carb Day

Carbohydrate: Approx 50g carbs coming from non starchy vegetables only

Protein: 1.4g per lb of bodyweight

Fat: 0.5g per lb of bodyweight 

 

Let’s put this into practice for a 125lb female Mesomorph, whose priority is looking to drop fat whilst maintaining muscle size. Her base calories are 1625 a day as she workouts 5 times a week and is reasonably active. She trains with a high intensity 3 times a week, and does 2 x 35 minute Metabolic Conditioning workouts a week.

Her Carb Cycling breakdown for the week might look like this: 

High Carb Day (2 Days a Week) 

Carbohydrate: 175g

Protein: 175g

Fat: 20g

 

Medium Carb Day (2 Days a Week)

Carbohydrate: 100g

Protein: 187.5g

Fat: 37.5g 

 

Low Carb Day (3 Days a Week)

Carbohydrate: 50g

Protein: 200g 

Fat: 62.5g 

 

The nature of carb cycling lends itself to eating smaller meals more frequently and you may find that 5 small meals are easier to digest, especially on on your high carbohydrate days. 

A neglected (but effective) aspect of carb cycling is known as ‘nutrient timing’ - the placing of the carbs at specific times (usually focussed around the workout) for the body to be able to use them most effectively. To utilize nutrient timing eat the majority of your carbohydrates in the two meals after you workout. This could mean adding oats into your post workout shake, and then having another serving of low GI carbs (such as sweet potato) in the next full meal post workout. Keep fats low in these 2 meals so your body can use the carbs to full muscle building effect. With this format the meals furthest away from your workout will consist mostly of protein and fats. 

 

Below is a suggested meal plan for our 125lb female mesomorph on a high carb day (training mid morning):  

 

Breakfast: 40g Protein / 10g Fat 

2 large scrambled eggs, 4 slices of turkey bacon with steamed spinach

Post Workout Smoothie: 35g Protein / 75g Carb

2 scoops protein powder, ½ cup oats and a small banana

Lunch: 35g Protein / 75g Carb

3.7oz grilled chicken breast, 1.25 cups sweet potato with a leafy green salad

Mid Afternoon Snack: 30g Protein

1 serving 0% fat greek yoghurt with 0.5 scoop protein powder

Dinner: 35g Protein / 10g Fat

5oz Rump steak, steamed broccoli, green beans and 1 teaspoon butter

 

There is some math involved, but once you have your individualised calculations you have a very effective guideline to work to.Here are some tips to make the process easier: 

  • Use single ingredient foods in their natural state, this will help to separate and calculate your amounts of protein, fats and carbs
  • Food preparation is key, plan and prepare your meals in advance 
  • Use a calorie tracking app on your smartphone - My Fitness Pal is easy to use, has an enormous database of foods and you can even scan the barcodes of the foods you eat. 
  • No change on the scale? Remember that muscle weighs more than fat, which is why you may not see the drop bodyweight you expected. Track your progress by taking weekly photos in your sportswear and note improvements in the gym and in mood and positivity too. 

 

 

5 Simple Ways to Ease Post Workout Soreness

A lot of my personal training clients are ‘mentioning’ their post workout soreness after their sessions. These particular clients are in the middle of tough training phases right now, so a little muscle soreness is natural, but there are some simple things that can be implemented to help ease the pain! When a client asked how much soreness is natural I tell them that it differs from client to client and depends on the workout / training phase, and a little soreness up to 48 hours post training can be expected. A red flag for me is when the soreness is debilitating and affects everyday life, other overtraining signals can be lack of progress in the gym, disrupted sleep and feeling like there is ‘no gas in the tank’. At this point training should be reduced and strategies such as extra rest, yoga, and nutrition support should be implemented.

If there are no red flags then I ask them to implement the following, and may even bring them in an Anti Inflammatory Mango Smoothie if they are working extra hard!

Drink more water: I know this may sound obvious, but proper hydration can increase performance and reduce post workout muscle soreness. Ensure you are drinking water throughout the day, not just during and after the workout, and aim for at least 0.7 ounces of water per pound of bodyweight as your personalized water goal.

Train more often: this may sound counterproductive, but training large muscle groups at least 3 times a week can condition the muscles to hard training and eventually reduce post workout soreness. This is also why new trainees may experience more soreness than those more experienced, and why you may be more sore after a changing your workout. So hang in there - it gets better!

Warm up and cool down properly: boring, I know, but reducing muscle soreness starts even before your workout does. I ask my clients to walk, bike or row for at least 8-10 minutes (more if they have a desk job and are coming to me during their work day), then complete another 5 minutes of mobility work and dynamic stretching. Warming up has so many benefits, preventing injury, improving performance, preparing the mind for exercise, and reducing soreness post workout.  After working out I ask my clients to foam roll and stretch for as long as they can. If they are in a rush then I advise them to stretch post shower or in the evening before they go to bed. 

Take a cold shower: this is my favorite way to ease muscle soreness post workout, and can be really enjoyable once you are used to it! A cold bath or shower post workout increases circulation, bringing fresh blood to your muscles to help repair, lower inflammation and increase recovery speed. It also has the added benefit of tightening skin and giving you a great glow! If this is too much to bear try switching to a cold shower for the last 2 minutes after your hot shower.

Supportive nutrition and supplementation: if you are working hard in the gym your nutrition should support your efforts. Ensure you are well fueled before training (a mixture of protein, carbs and fat 60-90 mins before training is ideal), and a strategic post workout shake can give your muscles the materials for repair whilst lowering inflammation.

Turmeric (the active ingredient being curcumin) is a wonderful anti inflammatory, and can be use to great effect either in food or supplement form. One of my favourite functional foods is Inflam PX from the Poliquin Group, which contains turmeric extract (along with other anti inflammatory and healing compounds) that can be consumed on its own, or I like to add it to a vanilla protein shake. I recommend Inflam PX to all my clients if they get injured or after surgery, but it can also be used everyday to support hard training. 

You can also replicate this at home with my Turmeric Mango Coconut Protein Smoothie, which also contains collagen powder which is my go-to for muscle repair and ginger which also has anti-inflammatory properties: 

Anti Inflammatory Mango Protein Smoothie 1 scoop vanilla protein powder 1 cup coconut milk ½ cup filtered water ½ cup frozen mango ½ banana 2 teaspoons collagen powder 1 teaspoon fresh grated turmeric or turmeric powder 1 teaspoon fresh grater ginger or ginger powder Throw ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Anti Inflammatory Mango Protein Smoothie 1 scoop vanilla protein powder 1 cup coconut milk ½ cup filtered water ½ cup frozen mango ½ banana 2 teaspoons collagen powder 1 teaspoon fresh grated turmeric or turmeric powder 1 teaspoon fresh grater ginger or ginger powder Throw ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Anti Inflammatory Mango Protein Smoothie

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

1 cup coconut milk

½ cup filtered water

½ cup frozen mango

½ banana

2 teaspoons collagen powder

1 teaspoon fresh grated turmeric or turmeric powder

1 teaspoon fresh grater ginger or ginger powder 

Throw ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Endless Energy Bites!

My favorite recipes involve grabbing a bunch of super nutritious ingredients, throwing them in a bowl and smushing them into bite size pieces...these Endless Energy Bites fit that bill perfectly! Like most people these days, a good proportion of my snacking and meals happen on the go. As a result of this we want to make sure we get as much 'bang for your buck' nutrition as possible, in a way that is easy to digest and accessible to the body.

These Endless Energy Bites are packed full of energy boosting superfoods and are easy to make, easy to grab and go and easy to eat on the run (not literally, thats dangerous)! 

Maca: an ancient super food known for increasing energy and stamina, balancing hormones, and is said to help raise libido...

TigerNut Flour: the world's number one source for resistant starch (the food for the good bacteria in our stomachs), tigernut flour is also packed full of vitamins and minerals and has a delicious sweet taste.

Cacao Nibs: Natures chocolate, cacao has the highest concentration of antioxidants than any other known food, raises levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine (that make us feel great) and has gentle levels of caffeine to give us a little boost!

Endless Energy Bites

  • 1 ripe avocado

  • 1 ripe banana

  • 1 cup tigernut flour

  • 1 scoop vanilla vegan protein powder

  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed

  • 2 tablespoons chia seed

  • 2 tablespoons shredded coconut

  • 1 tablespoon cacao nibs

  • 1 tablespoon maca powder

Mash avocado and banana together until smooth (can use a food processor). Add in all the dry ingredients and mix well together (can use a food processor). At this stage I like to refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to help the mixture to solidify, but this step can be skipped if pushed for time. Roll into balls, about 1 heaped teaspoon of mixture per bite. Refrigerate, will keep for about 5 days in the fridge.

 

My Top Five: Beauty Boosting Foods You Already Have at Home

  Our Instagram and Facebook feeds are full of exotic looking superfood smoothies and acai/moringa/matcha/unicorn horn bowls, that promise glowing skin and endless energy, but what about the humble kitchen staples we all have in our refrigerator and panty?

There are many 'everyday' foods we already have at home that can deliver the same results as these 'superfoods', but that are easily accessible and a fraction of the price! Here are my top five everyday 'Glow For It' foods:

Apples

My favorite fruit, and I'm living proof that an apple a day does keep the doctor away!  Apples are a antioxidant powerhouse (they have the second highest levels of antioxidant activity of commonly consumed fruit in the US), containing host of phytochemicals such as quercetin, catechin, phloridzin, and chlorogenic acid.

How does this translate to beauty benefits? Quercetin acts an anti flammatory for the skin, reducing free radical and UVB damage, and it also has anti aging properties. Apples are also a great source of pectin, a soluble fiber found in the cell walls of plants. This type of fiber is super gut friendly (remember great gut health is one of the keys to great skin), has been shown to help balance gut bacteria, helps to keep you satiated, and has a detoxifying effect.

The key to getting the most of benefits from an apple - eat the skin as this is where the majority of the nutrients are housed. I love to munch on apples as a snack, and they are a staple of my green smoothies (including the skin) on a daily basis.

Apple Hearts
Apple Hearts

Avocado

Where do I start with the beauty benefits of avocado? Full of wonderful monosaturated fatty acids (the good fat), avocados are a great source of oleic acid, an omega 9 fat that can help with lowering inflammation within the body. They contain lutein, an antioxidant that is important for both skin and eye health. Avocados are rich in fiber, Vitamin E which keeps skin cells strong and hydrated and B Vitamins that are essential for energy production, and that assist in lowering redness and inflammation in the skin.

Avocados are also a budget friendly beauty food as they are one of the 'Clean 15' - meaning you can buy conventionally grown avocados (as opposed to organically grown) as their thick skins are a great barrier to pesticides.

Something you may not know about avocados - you can actually eat the pit! The pit (or seed) is where you will find 70% of the avocados's antioxidants, and avocado pit oil can increase collagen formation, keeping skin young, firm and wrinkle free! A word of warning though - you need a heavy duty blender to handle these!

I eat avocados with my breakfast, throw in my smoothies, even use them as a face mask! I also love them as a dessert food - check out my Avocado and Cacao Mousse recipe here! 

green avocado on the dark wooden table
green avocado on the dark wooden table

Oats

Oats contain a double whammy of fiber - soluble and insoluble, both of which are fundamental to great gut health and digestion (a healthy gut is the foundation of beautiful skin). Although they are a carbohydrate they are have a very low glycemic load due to their high amounts of fibre and protein content, making them a great option for sustained energy throughout the day.

Their beauty benefits? They are rich in minerals, including manganese, which is important for healthy hair and vibrant hair color, iron, for strengthening hair and nails, and selenium which is essential for skin elasticity.

Oats are absolutely one of my staple foods, from traditional oatmeal, baking with oat flour, overnight oats and as a component of my go to beauty snack: Glow Bites!

Just like avocado, oats are also wonderful for your external beauty, and one of my favorite green beauty products to contain oat flour is from SW Basics:

on a wooden spoon oat flakes
on a wooden spoon oat flakes

Olive Oil

Olive oil has fallen out of fashion recently to its hip cousins coconut oil, ghee and grass fed butter. Whilst those are all wonderful options, olive oil still has a myriad of beauty benefits that we can enjoy on a daily basis.

Due to its high content of Omegas 3's, olive oil is a natural anti-inflammatory agent, which can help in reducing puffiness and redness in the skin, as well as improving body composition (the body's muscle mass to fat ratio). Its high in anti oxidants (including phenols) and Vitamin E which can protect the skin from harmful UVA rays and helps to strengthen skin membranes.

Olive oil is great for using in salad dressings and for drizzling on veggies - a little fat helps the body to absorb all the amazing vitamins and minerals from your nine (!) a day.

Not all olive oils are equal however, choose wisely and always pick an organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil for beauty betterment! Most importantly, save olive oil for post cooking only as heating it can alter its structure and can change it from an anti inflammatory to a pro inflammatory food source.

Olivenöl, Fleur de Sel und grüne Oliven, Draufsicht
Olivenöl, Fleur de Sel und grüne Oliven, Draufsicht

Sweet Potato

My number one when it comes to carbohydrates for beauty. The beautiful orange color is an indication of the high amounts of beta-carotene present, that converts to Vitamin A within the body. Also containing Vitamins B and C, these 3 vitamins keep skin smooth, ensure cell turnover, and regenerate collagen. They are also a low GL carbohydrate due to the huge amount of fiber they contain, ensuring an energy boost but not a blood sugar spike. Yams however are different from sweet potatoes, and are nutritionally inferior, so choose carefully! 

Some of my clients complain that sweet potatoes take forever to cook, but a great tip is that you can throw them in the slow cooker! Just wash and piece the skins, and throw in your crockpot on low for about 4 hours. You will then have perfectly cooked sweet potatoes that you can eat whilst warm, save for cold, or even freeze for another time.

If I'm in a rush post workout I love to throw cubes of frozen sweet potato into a vanilla protein smoothie for a beauty boosting blast that tastes like a milkshake!

Sweet potatoes season
Sweet potatoes season

And there is one extra booster that I have to mention: Water!

Water is such a simple component of beautiful skin that sometimes it gets forgotten about in these types of lists! Up to 60% of the human body is water, and, unlike the other foods in the list here we can feel and see the results of not drinking enough water in a matter of hours.

Consider a water goal of 0.7 ounces per pound of body weight, and even more if you train hard or to tend to be a ‘sweater’!

Zucchini and Sundried Tomato Meatloaf Muffins

My breakfast of choice for all my clients (and myself) is a combination of high quality protein, good fats and veggies. This is going to guarantee a great start to the day, ensuring high energy, stable blood sugar levels and a revved up metabolism!

These Zucchini and Sundried Tomato Meatloaf Muffins contain some amazing macro and micro nutrients as well as being a great way to get an extra portion of veggies into your day without even realizing it!

The grass-fed beef is not only a great source of protein that will keep you satiated for hours, but contains the following health boosters:

  • Taurine - an amino acid that helps to lower the stress hormone cortisol (it facilitates the production of the neurotransmitter GABA, in turn helping your body to manage anxiety), encourages the body to metabolize fat so you can use it as an energy source (vital for a lean physique) and it protects the heart and lowers blood pressure.
  • Omega 3's and CLA - the 'good' fats found in grass-fed beef (not cereal fed), Both of these fats offer properties that can reduce inflammation and insulin resistance, help prevent CVD and high blood pressure and improve body composition.

Zucchini contains a high amount of potassium, a mineral essential for a healthy heart. It also has significant amounts  Vitamin A and beta-carotene, and the lesser known lutein and zeaxanthin, micronutrients essential for eye health!

A fun fact about tomatoes, botanically speaking they are a fruit, technically they are a berry, and legally they are a vegetable! Whatever you call them, when they are cooked they are the ultimate source of lycopene, a compound that has shown to both prevent prostate cancer and reduce the severity in sufferers. Research shows lycopene can also protect against other cancers, and has been shown to lower blood pressure.

Finally, regular readers will know about my love for tigernuts due to their fiber rich, gut friendly properties. Tigernuts are the number one source for prebiotic fiber, the fiber that feeds the probiotic fibre in the gut.

Best of all, these meatloaf muffins are not only super good for you, but they are easy to make, keep well in the refrigerator or freezer, and are portable so make a great breakfast or snack on the go. And they are delicious too!

Ingredients

  • 1lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 cup grated zucchini (squeeze out moisture)
  • 1 egg (or flaxseed egg)
  • 1/4 cup tigernut flour (almond or coconut flour is fine too)
  • 1/4 sundried tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Thoroughly mix all ingredients in a food processor or large mixing bowl (I use my hands)!
  • Separate into 8 equally sized balls and put into muffin tin.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until brown on top.

 

My Top Five: Tips for Eating Clean on a Budget (Part One)

Clean eating doesn't have to break the bank - I can personally attest to that. When I first came to live in Boston I was subject to US  immigration and waiting on a Green Card -  the full process took us a total of six months, meaning we were living on one salary for the whole time! I also had to learn how to shop for food in the US, all the grocery stores were alien to me, except the ever enticing Whole Foods. Well, I learnt the hard way that we couldn't afford to buy all our food and household products there, and had to find ways to make our dollars stretch without compromising our clean eating values.

Using the principles below we managed to save hundreds of dollars a month on our grocery bills, some months even saving up to $700!

1. Eat Real Food

This may sound simple, but I truly believe this is the number one strategy to both save money on grocery bills, and get healthy! Base all of your meals and snacks around good quality proteins, an abundance of vegetables and fruits, and clean carbohydrates. Your food should resemble its original source and have minimal processing. It doesn't matter if you are not a great cook, keep meals super simple, 6 ingredients or less, and utilize the wealth of recipes available on the internet. Some of my favorite sites to go for inspiration are Nom Nom Paleo and Paleo on a Budget.

Organic Vegetables
Organic Vegetables

2. Convenience vs. Cost

Even when aiming to eat real food can we fall into the trap of buying 'convenience foods'. Think pre peeled, pre cut carrot sticks, jerky, store bought chia pots and  protein powders. Now I'm not saying there is anything wrong with those foods, to the contrary they are all nutritionally sound (and I eat them myself on occasion), but when it comes to eating on a budget just take a little extra time to do these things at home, and your bank balance will thank you.

chia pudding
chia pudding

3. Find an Alternative to Whole Foods (a.k.a Whole Paycheck)

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Whole Foods for their quality and selection of products, but now there is a socially conscious alternative offering an enormous range of healthy products, at approximately 50% retail value,and they get delivered to your door!

Enter Thrive Market. Thrive Market offers the best selling natural and organic products at wholesale prices for a membership of less than $5 a month. And my favorite part? For every membership bought to Thrive Market, they will donate another membership for free to a low income American family.

At present Thrive Market is offering an extra 15% off your first order, and shipping is always free if you spend over $49. To sign up for Thrive Market click here or on the picture below and do good for both yourself and another family.

Thrive_Sharing_0004_5
Thrive_Sharing_0004_5

4. Food Prep Like a Boss

We meal prep twice a week because that fits in with our schedule (and I enjoy cooking). We usually roast up a joint of meat (pork or beef), chicken breast and or thighs, throw something in the slow cooker (usually a chili) and roast up seasonal veggies too.

Roasting veggies is super simple (and delicious), just peel and chop them into equal size pieces, then melt coconut oil with salt, pepper and herbs and spices if you wish (I use smoked paprika, turmeric and fresh or frozen thyme) in a pan. Put vegetables in a pre heated dish, and cover them with the melted coconut oil - this means you use less coconut oil than if you put it in the pan, and it covers the veggies more evenly resulting in quicker cooking time. This food prep enables us to have a delicious meal that night, and have leftovers for breakfast, lunches and dinners during the week. If we get bored of eating the leftovers dry I add them to a soup base (I call this 'pimp soup'), use them as a topping for veggie or gluten free pasta, throw them in a curry sauce or add to a gluten free wrap.

It is worth investing a little money in equipment that will make food prep easier and therefore save you money in the future, consider a slow cooker and a set of Pyrex storage as a great starter kit. Click here and scroll down to 'Equipment' for a list of links to my favorite food prep tools.

Food Prep
Food Prep

5. Reduce Food Waste

The average American household looses up to 40% of its food through food waste, a statistic that has huge economical and environmental implications. My husband and I have worked hard to reduce our food waste to under 5% food waste through forward planning and being conscientious. Here is how we did it:

  • Have a rough plan of what you are going to eat throughout the week (this ties in with the food prep advice above)
  • Understand how much you approximately eat each week
  • Get creative with leftovers - they can be turned into soups, stews, pasta toppings, salads, fillings for wraps and sandwiches
  • Learn how to store your food: did you know citrus fruits, avocados, fresh herbs, ginger and red wine can be frozen?

For more information on how to reduce your food waste check out the guest blog food activist Ashely Gelineau wrote for me last year: Reducing Food Waste On a Clean Eating Diet.

foodprint_img
foodprint_img

For more tips and tricks on how to reduce your food costs and still eat clean, nutritious, delicious foods check back next Monday for Part 2.

I'd love to hear your ideas for Clean Eating on a Budget - comment below and let us know what has worked for you!

In the spirit of full disclosure, some of these are affiliate links, which means that I may get a commission if you decide to purchase anything.  I only recommend products and services that I use and love myself, so I know you’ll be in good hands!

My Top Five: Apps for Health, Fitness and Wellbeing

  The new year comes with a lot of resolutions for all of us, and if those resolutions include improving your health and wellbeing then read on!

It has been proven many times that we are more likely to stick to our healthy habits if they are made easily accessible to us, and what could be more accessible than our smart phones, tablets and laptops that we cant seem to live without these days!

You can use all of these apps without having to purchase an expensive gadget such as a Fitbit or Jawbone (I don't own any of these).

I love anything that makes wellbeing easier, and as someone that couldn't live without her iPhone I wanted to share with you my top five apps that I use to help with my nutrition, fitness and wellbeing.

1) My Fitness Pal

Available as an App and via their website, My Fitness Pal is my go-to for food tracking for both myself and my clients. It is so easy to use, and has a huge database of foods ranging from grocery store goods to restaurant dishes. Even better, you can scan barcodes on food packaging for easy uploading.

You can also allow your friends to see your food diaries, and this can help accountability, and also makes it very easy for your nutrition coach to keep track of your food intake too (I see you...)

As with all food tracking apps I do not agree with their 'one size fits all' approach to calculating calorie allowances, so I suggest setting your own custom macros in accordance with your goals.

My Fitness Pal is free.

2) Nike+ Training Club

One of the originals and in my opinion the best of all workout apps available, you cant beat the behemoth that is Nike for a huge variety of beautifully shot and easy to follow workouts.

You can set the workout to music from your iTunes library, reiview all the exercises before you start the workout (I love this feature), and view the workout on your television if you have Apple TV. Workouts range from 15 minutes to 45 minutes so even those strapped for time have no excuses!

Nike+ Training Club is free.

3) Yoga Studio

Yoga Studio by Gaiam is my favorite of all the yoga apps available as it is so easy to use, clearly shot, and easily accessible to beginners. It has options for viewing ready made classes, from which you can select based on focus, ability or duration, or you can create your own class depending on what you want to achieve from your practice. From what I have seen so far all you need is a mat and some space, and you are ready to go. I love the Yoga for Back Pain classes, and the Deep Relaxation ; )

Yoga Studio is $3.99.

4) f.lux / Sunn 

Such a simple concept, but I've really found these two apps life changing. Both apps make the color of your computer or smartphone displays adapt to the time of day showing as warm at night (less blue light) and like sunlight during the day. Bringing down the amount of artificial light you are exposed to after dark can lower cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and normalize our circadian rhythms, helping us sleep better at night.

I use f.lux for my laptop, and Sunn for my iPhone, as Apple do not allow f.lux unless you jailbreak the phone.

f.lux is free and Sunn is $3.99.

5) Headspace

Headspace is a relatively new app for me but I love it already. Think of it as 'meditation for non-meditators'. You are guided through a series of  'brain training sessions' by the creator Andy Puddicombe (a meditation and mindfulness expert and a fellow brit - this app is worth downloading for his soothing British accent alone), in which you are asked to focus on your breath, physical sensations and noise around you, making for practice that can be adopted by anyone.

Your are also able to track your progress, find friends who are also using Headspace, and pick practices from collections to suit your mood and lifestyle.

Headspace is free for the first 10 sessions, then moves to a paid subscription starting at $7.99 if you sign up for a year.

 

I'd love to hear about the apps you use to enhance your nutrition, training and wellbeing! Please share your suggestions below so we can all reap the benefits!

Beat the Christmas Bloat!

Some people have what my Dad would call 'cast iron guts'! They can eat or drink anything they want, and have no nasty side effects. I am not one of those people. I am on the extreme end of the spectrum however; I have a severe gluten allergy that was undiagnosed until my early 30's (like a lot of the people in the health and wellness field I became frustrated when conventional medicine could not help me, and started to do my own research, but thats a story for another day), I'm intolerant to dairy (gluten and dairy sensitivities often go hand in hand), and I caught Typhoid whilst working at a fitness resort in Mexico in my late twenties.

Because of this I am very strict with my diet and avoid gluten, dairy and eggs like the plague. Even so, being out of routine, increased calorie intake and more alcohol and sugar than usual (my mother in law bakes amazing GF and DF treats for me) can result in 'stomach upset' (my polite English terminology), which in my case means bloating, gas, constipation and generally feeling miserable.

Below are my 3 tried and tested ways of helping my gut through the holiday period:

Friendly Bacteria

Probiotics are in common use now, and most people understand the benefits of incorporating them into their diets either in the foods they eat or as a supplement. I like to go two-fold on this when I know my digestive system is going to work a little harder than usual: I up my intake of probiotic rich fermented foods (goats milk kefir and sauerkraut are my favorites, you can buy both from Whole Foods), and every evening I take a good quality probiotic supplement from the Poliquin Group.

What is not as well know is that Probiotics need to feed on Prebiotic fiber to be active in the gut. I like to ensure my prebiotic fiber comes from my diet, great sources are fibrous veggies such as artichokes, leeks, dandelion greens and chicory. These are best eaten raw, but you can still get some of the benefits by lightly steaming them. Bananas (the greener the better) are also a great source of prebiotics.

I've also started to bring a bag of " target="_blank">Tiger Nuts with me when I travel - these little guys are not nuts, but tiny little tubers that are an amazing source of prebiotic fiber. You can also cook with Tiger Nut flour, and watch out for some Tiger Nut recipes on the blog in 2016!

Tiger Nuts
Tiger Nuts

Get Moving

Such a simple thing, but I find it makes a huge difference in my digestion and ahem, motility. I've learnt the hard way that I need to move my body everyday for all aspects of my health, and my favorite way to do this on holidays is to go for a walk, and practice some basic yoga poses that aid digestion.

Here is a 5 minute Yoga for Digestion video from ekhartyoga.com that is suitable for everyone:

[embed]http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lefh3wWcCHs[/embed]

Green for 'Go'

The fiber from green smoothies (not juices) is a great way to help everything move through the digestive system with a little more ease, and adding pineapple, lemon, parsley and ginger can help with gas and bloating. Below is my favorite 'stomach saving' green smoothie recipe:

1 cup fresh or frozen pineapple chunks 1 cup water or coconut water (or 1/2 and 1/2) 1/4 cup fresh parsley 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger 1 cup leafy green veggies such as kale, chard, spinach or dandelion greens Big squeeze lemon juice Blend together until smooth and enjoy!
1 cup fresh or frozen pineapple chunks 1 cup water or coconut water (or 1/2 and 1/2) 1/4 cup fresh parsley 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger 1 cup leafy green veggies such as kale, chard, spinach or dandelion greens Big squeeze lemon juice Blend together until smooth and enjoy!

I hope these suggestions help you as much as they help me. If you have any questions about this post please comment below, and if you have any 'stomach savers' you would like to share I'd love to hear them.

Quick and Easy Tips for a Healthy Road Trip!

Are you (like me) hitting the road today (or tomorrow) to visit family and friends for the holidays? I'm a big fan of road trips, but they can often derail our healthy habits. Here are some quick and easy ways to have a healthy road trip, to ensure you feel full of energy and ready to party when you arrive at your destination! Move It or Lose It

I'm really bad at sitting still for any amount of time (read longer than 5 minutes), so long car journeys are definitely a challenge for me. Before we hit the road I aim to get up just a little earlier so I can do a short at home yoga practice. I love the free content from Yoga Journal, and can complete my practice is around 30-45 minutes which is perfect. Taking a walk, going for a swim, having a dance party in your kitchen to Mariah (just me?), anything that gets the body moving and the blood pumping is a great antidote to sitting still for hours on end, and will stop you feeling stiff and achy on the journey.

The Most Important Meal of the Day

You've guessed it - protein, fats and veggies before you go (see my 7 Days of Breakfast post for suggestions)! Having a good breakfast is going to set you up for the day, stop you from having to eat breakfast at a gas station (no one deserves that), and keep you mentally focussed

Be Prepared

On the subject of gas station food, don't do it! Husband Hanway and I always take snacks on our road trips, and it makes for a much more pleasant journey! Protein shakes, jerky, nuts, fruit (see Healthy Holiday Travel for more ideas) are always on our list, and if its a longer journey consider packing a cooler with some homemade meals too.

Coffee is Life

And then there is gas station coffee. Bitter, tasteless, and served in chemical polystyrene cups. Don't do it. Brew your own at home and take in a thermos. Delicious, better for you and will save you money too.

Water Water Everywhere

Be sure to stay hydrated during the journey, there is nothing worse than arriving tired and cranky at a holiday party, and dehydration can be a big cause of this. Ensure you drink plenty of water during your journey, and your skin will thank you too.

Thats Entertainment

I'm a huge fan of podcasts and long car journeys can be a great time to catch up on my 'must listen' list. Audible is a great option too, so make sure you have downloaded some great content before you leave. Because there is only so many times you can play 'The Preacher's Cat', right?

Disconnect and Connect

Being able to access emails, the internet and social media 24/7 wherever we go is both a blessing and a curse, and I've been guilty myself on being 30 minutes into a road trip and connecting more with Instagram than my husband. Car journeys are a great opportunity to connect with your other passengers and shoot the breeze, just keep it light and fun and in the holiday spirit.

Champagne and Chicken Wings

Because even for me the holidays are about fun and celebration. Husband Hanway and I usually spend Christmas in the company of our family which we love, but last year we instituted a new tradition of going to our favorite bar and ordering champagne and chicken wings (a combo you HAVE to try) before we descend on the family. This is wonderful in many ways (umm, hello champagne and chicken wings) as for us it signals the start of the holidays and give us time to connect with each other before the craziness begins!

Whatever your plans for the holidays I hope they are happy, healthy, and above all, fun! Stay tuned in January for a heap of new recipes, meal plan ideas, workouts, product reviews and amazing giveaways! to make 2016 your best year yet! 

Contact: jenny@jenniferhanway.com