Month: January 2017

Super Healthy-Beany-Veggie (Vegan) Burgers

Super Healthy-Beany-Veggie (Vegan) Burgers

Burgers are one of those foods that are often (incorrectly) assumed to be a privilege solely for the meat-eaters among us.

When I say to people that I actually LOVE burgers, (which I do), the statement is usually met with a sort-of condescending bewilderment:

“But you’re vegetarian…”

Well…yes. I know.

I’ve been veggie for over half my life and in those 14 years I’ve come to the firm conclusion that a good burger does not, in actual fact, have to contain any meat. At all.

All a burger really is, is a mix of your favourite things all smudged up into a patty of deliciousness.

These super-healthy-beany-veggie vegan burgers (Long name, I realise…sorry!) are full of vitamins from the veg and protein from the beans. The quinoa makes them wonderfully filling, allowing for that proper sense of post-burger satisfaction. Hold the grease, and the guilt.

Any sceptical non-veggies reading this should know that this is a tried and tested recipe even amongst the most avid of carnivores. My boyfriend Tom loves his meat, and has even been told to cut back on his protein intake by the doctor.

Anyway, he loved them- so my guess is that you will too.

 Easy Recipe for Super-Healthy Veggie Burgers

Super Healthy-Beany-Veggie (Vegan) Burgers

 

Ingredients

Makes 5 Large or 8 Small Patties. Any uncooked burgers can be kept refrigerated for up to 4 days.

  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 1 Small Onion
  • 1 Celery Stick
  • 1-2 Medium Carrots
  • 200g Green Lentils
  • 200g Black Beans
  • 50g Quinoa
  • 75g Milled Flaxseed, Chia Seeds or Oats
  • 1 Teaspoon Coconut Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Sesame Seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon Turmeric
  • Salt, Pepper & Chilli, to season

To Serve

  • 2 Bell Peppers
  • Mixed Salad Leaves

 

Method

Start by chopping up all the vegetables that you actually want to mix into the burger pattie. I chose celery and carrot, however you can pretty much pick anything you like, or whatever you have lying about in the fridge.

Saute the veg in coconut oil on a medium heat, adding a little bit of water to soften. Season as much as you like with salt, pepper and chilli flakes, and adding in the turmeric as well.

When the veg are nice and soft, pour in the lentils and the black beans so that they cook along with the veg.

When the veg and bean mix is cooked, pop it all into a big mixing bowl and let it cool.

Easy Recipe for Super-Healthy Veggie Burgers

Cook the quinoa, before adding this to the mixing bowl, along with your oats/milled flax/milled chia seeds.

Stir everything in the mixing bowl until it is well combined, adding more oat/flax/chia if too wet, and a drop of water if too dry.

Use your hands to mush everything together and shape the mixture into patties.

Pour the sesame seeds onto a plate, and roll each burger patty in the seeds to coat their outside.

You can then pop them onto a plate and leave to chill in the fridge for at least 20 mins.

When the mixture has chilled, you can fry up the burgers in a pan. I used coconut oil, but it would work fine with any oil of your choice, really.

If you wanted to pop them in the oven at 200 degrees celsius and bake then instead for around 15-20 mins that would work too.

Otherwise, simply let the patties fry for a good 10 mins, flipping regularly so that they don’t get burned but have a nice crispy outside.

I roasted some bell peppers in the oven to serve with mine, simply adding a tiny bit of chilli oil and oregano. I also made a mixed salad with spinach, kale, rocket and cherry tomatoes.

Realistically, of course, you can serve with whatever toppings you like…cheese, avocado, beef tomato, portobello mushroom. The world is your oyster. Or your burger.

Easy Recipe for Super-Healthy Veggie Burgers
What’s your favourite burger topping? I’d love to hear in the comments!

How to really get your sweat on in a Barre Class

How to really get your sweat on in a Barre Class

Barre classes are everywhere at the moment. Particularly in London, around every Instagram account there’s a new style of barre workout: barre-yoga, hiit-barre, cardio-barre- even barre-boxing!

There’s a simple explanation. It’s a fun, but effective workout.

It’s always a bit of a struggle getting up on a Sunday morning to go to work (#freelancelife). However, by the time I’m up, dressed and out the door, I’m completely awake and really excited to go teach my weekly barre classes.

I love personal training, and HiiT classes are always great fun to teach, but my Sunday barre sessions are special. They take me right back to the days when I never set foot in a gym because every waking hour was spent in a ballet studio.

It’s lovely to see clients returning week after week. Dancers and non-dancers alike are satisfied- if a little surprised- by how effective the class really is.

Of course, not everyone always feels that way. Barre is one of those classes, particularly in a large group, where it’s a bit too easy to cheat. It’s going through the motions, whilst avoiding the burn.

It’s called incorrect technique.

So if you’re going to a barre class regularly but you’re not quite sure whether you’re doing it right, or if you’re a first-timer who just wants to make the absolute most out of the class, here are some key points to bear in mind.

Done correctly and trust me, you’ll leave the class sweating.

 

How to get your sweat on in a Barre class

How to Get Your Sweat on in a Barre Class

 

Little Toes on the Ground: This is the easiest way to explain foot positioning for beginner barre-goers. When stood up, think about pressing your weight into your little toes (rather than the big toe). This helps lift up the arches of the feet and avoids unnecessary tension on the ankle or knee joints. It also helps to target the correct muscles- i.e. the glutes, which should be constantly working.

Go Low: Nice and simple – the lower you pulse in a plie, the more you’ll feel the burn in the legs and the glutes. There’s a big difference between a bob and a full range plie. You wouldn’t do half a bicep curl and then stop would you?

Turn-out from the Hip: The big difference between Barre and Ballet is that barre work does lots of exercises in a parallel position, while classical ballet focuses almost completely on turn-out (heels together, toes pointing outwards). When you do go into this turned out position during the barre class, the whole leg should be nicely aligned. If the toes point out to the side but the knees still point forwards, this is a clear sign that something is wrong. Correct this by making sure that the rotation comes from the top of the leg, externally rotating in the hip joint. This will make your glutes work even harder!

How to get your sweat on in a Barre class

Engage the Core…constantly: Barre really starts to become effective when clients begin to really engage their core muscles. Think about putting a wide belt just underneath your belly button, and cinch it in nice and tight. From there, imagine that there are two strings attached to the bottom of your lower ribs. Pull these imaginary strings down gently to close the distance between the lower ribs and the tops of the hip bones. Don’t forget to keep your back straight, chest up and shoulders back. It’s a lot to think about (welcome to barre) but the moment you achieve this abdominal engagement you will feel much more stable. Not only does this mean your six pack is working (hard) it also helps to avoid any overarching in the lower back (bum sticking out) which can cause pain and muscle tension.

Remember to Breathe: It’s the simplest technique but is so often forgotten about. Holding your breath throughout exercises  raises the blood pressure and encourages unwanted tension in the neck and shoulders. Work for a controlled inhale and exhale, which will help your focus, balance and strength.
Use the Teacher: The teacher is there for you- so make the most of it! I love it when clients ask me to help their technique or correct their stance. Even just ask questions in general, because it shows your are there to work hard. If you don’t feel certain about anything, ask and you’ll get ten times more out of the class.

 How to get your sweat on in a Barre class

Do you have any tips or methods to help feel that ballet-barre-burn? I’d love to hear in the comments!

Motivation Management: Into February and Beyond!

Motivation Management: Into February and Beyond!

When it comes to motivation, the last few days in January are a dangerous time of the year.

With February poking its head around the corner, the motivation for all those goals, targets and resolutions that seemed so important back on 31st December, suddenly begins to dissipate.

The drop in motivation is a change that is particularly obvious in gyms and fitness studios nationwide. Gym floors become emptier, spare bikes begin appearing in Spin class- and that outdoor boot camp that you were waitlisted for back on Blue Monday is suddenly drained to the last few, resolute survivors.

This is what I don’t like about New Year’s Resolutions; their shelf life. If you’re serious about your goals then a) it shouldn’t matter what time of the year you create them and b) you should stick at it even when it stops being trendy to be “dry”/gluten free/vegan/going to a different gym-class every day.

Resolutions should be made for you – not for a mark on your calendar.

But how can you keep up that spark of motivation all year round, while everyone else’s January fad is left by the wayside?

How to Maintain Your Fitness Motivation- all year round

Fitness Motivation

Break down your goals throughout the year:

What is it that you want to achieve? Think about what you would like to be in 12, 6 and 3 months time. Give yourself realistic targets that you can then narrow down into a month by month – or even a week by week schedule. Don’t keep it in your head – write it down! If you have something physical to stick to, it’ll  be easier to stay right there on that wagon.

Think about why:

What are the big events happening in the year? In two years? Do you have a wedding to plan for? A marathon to train for? Even a target weight to hit? Create and keep visual reminders, whether it’s a photograph, a “save the date” or a dress that you’re darn well going to look stunning in. This will help remind you why on earth you made the resolution in the first place.

Remember, the gym will be emptier.

Unless suddenly everyone happens to be inspired in 2017, all those people who maxed out their credit cards on a fancy gym membership back on 3rd January and packed out the gym during peak hours are going to start dropping like flies. It’s the perfect time to stick to your resolutions because you’ll no longer have to queue for a shower or hover by the squat rack. You’ll get to your goals in half the time!

Fitness Motivation

Create a routine:

Same time every week. Same time every other day. Weekday mornings and Saturday afternoons. There’s a whole selection to choose from! You may not be off to the gym every single morning like you did back in the first week of January, but the regular habit of a routine will slowly start to change the way you think about this new way of life. You’ll stop having to waste energy motivating yourself to get up and go – because it’ll be an instinct, a habit. This is key to long-term behaviour change.

Regular Rewards:

While routine is crucial, and it’s important to try not to build up your workouts into being such a big deal, there’s also nothing wrong with a little bit of positive reinforcement. Rewarding good behaviour is a tried and tested way of learning. So what if it takes a brightly coloured foam roller, a fancy new water bottle or a shiny new pair of gym leggings at the end of the month to keep you going? After all this isn’t a resolution, it’s a lifestyle, so you’ll surely need it. Plus, at least it’ll keep your insta feed looking on point.

Fitness Motivation