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Garlic Eggplant, Carrots and Capsicum Salad with Goats Cheese Fetta

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 Large red capsicums
  • 1 Large eggplant
  • 3-4 Carrots
  • Marinated Goats cheese fetta
  • Large handful of parsley
  • Large handful of mint
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • Olive oil

Method:

  1. Chargrill both capsicums whole over a naked flame or under the grill until the skin is completely blistered and blackened. Place in a bowl and cover with cling wrap for a few minutes to cool and soften. Once cooled, cut in half, remove the membrane, seeds and core and carefully peel off the blackened skin. Slice the capsicum into thin strips and place in your salad bowl. This is messy a job so feel free to use kitchen gloves or a small sharp knife to speed up the job. The end result is worth it!
  2. Scrub or peel your carrots, cut them lengthways and cut the eggplant into large chunks. Place them on separate baking trays drizzled with olive, salt and pepper, a bashed garlic clove and a bay leaf.
  3. Roast the veggies in a moderately hot oven at 180 degrees until golden and tender. The eggplant can also be chargrilled with olive oil in a griddle pan.
  4. Once the veggies are cooked and slightly cooled, toss into your salad bowl with the strips of capsicum then add roughly chopped herbs, crumble over the goats cheese with a little of the marinated oil and add a squeeze of lemon juice to taste.
  5. Serve warm.

 

 

 

Successful Snacking

Many of my clients reach a point where their main meals are controlled but hit a wall when it comes to snacking.  Generally, most of us benefit from having one to two snack times per day which helps to control appetite but successful snacking can be challenging so evaluate your need to 'snack' depending on your fitness goals. 

Most snackers eat out of habit, boredom, social circumstances and often make poor food choices. This can easily lead to totally blowing your calorie cap for the day and all of a sudden, you're overeating! On the other hand, a mid-afternoon snack can keep blood sugar levels at bay which prevents overeating your next meal.

The key to success, is optimal food timing and regulating appetite by aligning your body's chemistry at the beginning of the day. When we first wake up in the morning, a neurotransmitter called nueropeptiede-Y is released driving us to eat mostly carbohydrates, so we should embrace breakfast and eat like a Queen (muesli, fruit, milk, yoghurt). If you miss breakfast, you'll be playing catch up all day. "Eat Breaky! Missing it is like a trip at the top of the stairs. Your diet goes down fast" by Matt O'Neill - Nutritionist/Dietician, Speaker, Educator. If you've allowed this to happen, a hormone called Galanin will release in the afternoon and drive you to eat fat usually in the form of cakes, chocolate and sweet biscuits.

Here are some simple strategies for successful snacking and appetite management:

  1. Only eat only if you are truly hungry
  2. Ensure your snack is exactly that! It's not a meal, it's a fix not a fill
  3. Keep your snacks to 140 calories or less (examples to follow)
  4. Make nuts or a trail mix your main mid-afternoon snack (contains healthy fats, protein, minerals and carbohydrates)
  5. Drink more water
  6. Drink green tea
  7. Prepare and plan your snacks at home, which reduces the risk of buying an unhealthy choice
  8. Eat nutrient dense quality food. Why waste snack time on empty calories? Peak performance can only be achieved with proper fuel.

And because we crave variety to keep our taste buds stimulated and motivational levels charged, here is a list of other snack ideas:

  1. Boiled eggs
  2. Green apples
  3. Slice of free range organic ham
  4. Homemade dips  with veggie sticks (capsicum, carrots, celery, cucumber)
  5. Small tub of low fat natural yoghurt with berries
  6. Punnet of berries
  7. Small tins of tuna
  8. Smoked salmon and cucumber wraps
  9. My date & cashew coconut energy balls (110calories/serve)
  10. Maca, Walnut and Macadamia Energy Bars
  11. Berry and banana or green smoothies 
  12. Veggie juices
  13. Natural popcorn

 

 

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Maca, Walnut & Macadamia Energy Bars

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups of whole walnuts
  • 1/2 cup of whole macadamia nuts
  • 1 teaspoon of Maca powder (another super food, this root which grows in the volcanic soils of the Andes in Peru, contains vegetarian proteins, vitamins and lots of minerals)
  • 2 teaspoons of Cacao powder
  • 4 large Medjool dates
  • 1 teaspoon of chia butter (Made by soaking Chia seeds in water 9:1 ratio and the instructions are on the pack). Once made, refrigerate the gel for up to 2 weeks in an air tight container. It can be used as a substitute for butter as well as added to smoothies, freshly blitzed fruit and veggie juices, yoghurts, muffins, slices and energy balls.

Method

  1. Blitz all the ingredients in your food processor until combined and sticky.
  2. Tip the mixture on to a shallow rectangle baking tray lined with baking paper (I recommend a tin 20cm x 15cm x 3cm). Mine was to big so I just shaped the mixture into a rectangle using 1/2 the tin size. Using your hands, press and smoothe the mixture into your tin then cover with baking paper and refrigerate until cold and firm.
  3. Once firm and cooled (about 15mins), turn out on to a chopping board lined with baking paper and slice into 8cms x 2cm mini bars. Or whatever size you like! I like to keep these rich nutrient dense snacks small.
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