It’s more than wishful thinking; chocolate can be good for you!
Dark chocolate and cocoa is packed with anti-oxidants which protect our cells from damaging free radicals, help fight off disease and basically keep us healthy. Cocoa and dark chocolate also contains high levels of important minerals such as copper, iron, potassium and magnesium. Anyone stepping up their activity for summer races will find that they feel better if they keep up their mineral levels which can become depleted though sweat and heavy exercise…what better excuse can you have to eat more good quality chocolate.
I have been putting together a collection of breakfast recipes for my new book for child and teen athletes – Go Faster Food for Kids – and I’m searching for ways to break away from the processed cereal culture. This is a hard task when we’re bombarded by advertising and such tantalisingly attractive packaging on the shelves. I have a big problem with the majority of processed cereals; marketed as healthy but essentially stripped of natural goodness which is then artificially restored, with ‘added’ nutrients. It’s really difficult to sell your child (even my children who can really appreciate good, wholesome food) a wholegrain and natural alternative like porridge when there is a pack of shredded or puffed, sugary wheat-based cardboard in the cupboard!
Hence my idea ofchocolate granola! If you ask me, this chocolate granola gives you the best of both worlds; sweet, crunchy and very delicious, packed with a good balance of low GI, sustaining and natural carbohydrate, fibre, omega-3 fatty acids, protein and essential minerals…and it even makes the milk go brown and chocolatey like it does with Cocopops.
Here’s a quick version of how to make it, the full version will be in the book:
Heat the oven to 180 C.
Victoria (makes a lovely sponge!)
Every now and then I get a craving to keep hens in the back garden but I’ve always chickened out (excuse the pun, I will now try to refrain from any further egg puns although so eggstremely tempting). Lucky for me, my lovely friend Jane Evans of Birdcombe Court Farm keeps me supplied with delicious freshly-laid beauties.
So as athletes, why should we eat eggs? Well,
Butter Butter Soup; this tasty and wholesome combination of butternut squash, butterbeans and ginger makes a very comforting, sustaining and healthy training lunch. I have to admit that, as is the case with many good culinary discoveries, this soup combination evolved as a result of a mistake. I had put too much stock in my butternut squash soup and luckily struck upon the idea of using a tin of butterbeans to make it less runny.
When you’re training hard it’s important to be vigilant about keeping up your intake of vitamins and minerals as levels can become depleted with intensive workout, just as you need to ensure your glycogen levels are topped up by eating plenty of carbohydrate. The ingredients in this soup all work hard together to provide
Whilst playing around with butternut squash recipes I fell upon the idea of grating it up and making a cake, just like you might do with carrot or courgette. It works! In fact, it works really, really well and what’s even more surprising, my daughter, who will normally extract any trace of butternut squash from her meal, absolutely adores it!
I think butternut squash is a fabulous vegetable and an excellent addition to any training diet. Bell-like in shape, it has a beautifully smooth, creamy-coloured skin which protects its dense, rich golden-yellow flesh. Its texture is deliciously soft; its taste sweet, buttery, nutty. It
Just a quick post about the most delicious, healthy and, most importantly, FAST, 10-minute supper we had tonight. An excellent training meal, cod is an really good, tasty and low fat source of protein. I served it with potatoes in their skins, crushed with a little olive oil and fresh spinach with a little nutmeg and
Since the weather has become so autumnal, or dare I say, WINTERY, the Go Faster Food household has become a bit of a soup kitchen.
I’ve just been severely reprimanded for not blogging about the fact that my very own wonderful daughter (aged just 17), my brother-in-law and my best friend Amber, all ran their first 1/2 marathon on 5th September. I’m SO sorry, I AM REALLY PROUD of you, you did BRILLIANTLY – it’s just that I’ve been snowed under with life and just haven’t got round to writing about it! Helena (daughter) and Paul (brother-in-law wiith shin splints who was kind enough to run with Helena almost the whole way – making sure that he sprinted off at the last minute so he wasn’t beaten by his neice!) managed their 13 miles in 1:57. They sprinted from mile 9 however, and had plenty of energy left over….they basically got their pacing wrong because I had been so adamant that they shouldn’t set off too quickly.
They have both declared that they’re going to train properly and get the pacing right for the Bath 1/2 in March 2011. They certainly followed my nutrition advice this time. They hydrated really well over the 3 days prior to the race and I cooked them all a deliciously balanced, low-fat, healthy pre-race meal of spaghetti with my slow-roasted tomato sauce the night before….
Now, my lovely friend Amber is completely new to running. Since recovering from breast cancer a couple of years ago she has worked incredibly hard to get fit. She’s gone from doing no sport at all to a committed runner, working out at least three or four times a week. She has started eating sensibly, she has lost at least two stone, and two years later she is a completely new woman….She ran the Bristol 1/2 in 2 1/2 hours and I have to say that, although this is not incredibly speedy, it is a most incredible achievement, especially as she’s done this on top of her very full time job – she’s one of the top Paediatric Anaesthetists in the country, specialising in saving children with severe burns and head injuries. Check out this thought-provoking video:
What a week it has been! Book sales are really hotting up this week mainly due to a fab write-up by Catalina Stogden in the Telegraph and the local media coverage of
On 3rd September Kasabian Bassist, Chris Edwards and his brother Jay start their gruelling MONSTER Lejog cycle challenge from Lands End to John O’Groats in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust. Lucky me, they’re stopping over at my place in Bristol for a Go Faster Food Supper! So on 6th September, after a little photo shoot with the local
Sticky lemon and honey chicken, basmati and wild rice and a crunchy rainbow salad