Fight Camp Glasgow Bootcamps and Personal Training

 

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Mediterranean Turkey Kebabs

Hey folks, hope your well and enjoying the sun today – Perfect day for Burpees outdoors d;-)  As soon as the sun starts shining, we know summer’s just round the corner so here’s a great recipe for a busy weekday dinner or post-workout after a Fight Camp session to put you in the summer mood.

Minced turkey breast is mixed with Mediterranean spices to create flavorful, protein-packed kebabs. Serve with salad and vegetables and a side of plain Greek yogurt. Servings: 4 

Here’s what you need:

  • 700g turkey breast, de-boned, trimmed of skin and cut into thin strips
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup almond meal (more if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • dash of salt (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped
  1. In a food processor, blend the turkey strips until ground. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until well blended.
  2. Pre-heat your grill or grill pan.
  3. Lightly grease your hands, then press the meat into the wooden skewers until it covers about 3-4 inches in an elongated meatball shape. If the meat is not sticking then add some more almond meal.
  4. Grill for about 8 minutes per side.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 254 calories, 8g fat, 156mg sodium, 2g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, and 47g protein

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Blood, Sweat and Intermittent Fasting

Firstly, let me wish you all a happy new year from the fight camp team. I hope the festive period has been fun and the self indulgence monumental. Sadly, it’s time to put the lid back on the biscuit tin, stick a cork in the wine and shake the dust off your gym gear. After all these new year fitness resolutions are not just going to happen people. They will require some blood, sweat and some intermittent fasting.

What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting (IF) is a pattern of eating that alternates between periods of fasting and non-fasting. By fasting and then feasting on purpose, intermittent fasting means eating your calories during a specific window of the day, and choosing not to eat food during the rest.

For instance, you might fast (eat nothing) for 16 hours per day, and eat during the remaining 8 hours. Or you might fast for 20 hours per day and cram all your calories into a 4-hour window. Some protocols even call for eating one day, and fasting the next.

Why do intermittent fasting?

For many different physiological reasons, fasting can help promote weight loss and muscle building when done properly. According to a study conducted by the University of Leuven, exercising in a fasted state elevates fat loss. Research conducted by the University of California demonstrated that alternate day fasting can reduce oxidative damage to various tissues and DNA. It can reduce blood pressure, improved insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake. Finally research conducting by the University of Virginia found that fasting increases growth hormone levels. Intermittent fasting can help teach your body to use the food it consumes more efficiently. Basically, intermittent fasting is good for the body.

Is there only one set way to use intermittent fasting? 

There are various protocols for using intermittent fasting. I guess it depends on a persons individualistic needs, lifestyle, exercise, goal, macronutrient ratios, and so forth. I feel my lifestyle is more suited to the shorter fast, so I am going to follow Martin Berkhan’s “Lean-gains” protocol which is based on a few simple rules.

 

• Fast 16 hours every day.

• Eat within an 8-hour window every day.

• Exercise with high intensity, a few times per week, often while still in a fasted state.

• Use 10 g of BCAA before or during your exercise session.

• On your exercise days, eat 2-3 big meals of protein (meat), veggies, and carbs.

• Eat your largest meal directly after your workout.

• On non-exercise days, eat 2-3 meals of protein (meat), veggies, and fats.

• Eat mostly whole, minimally processed foods, instead of processed foods or supplements.

Wrapping it up.

So over the next 6 weeks I will be given you updates on my experiences with intermittent fasting. I think the key to intermittent fasting is just starting it and seeing how it works for me, listening to my body and changing things up if it isn’t working.

______________________________________________________________

Patrick O'brienPatrick O’brien is a Glasgow Personal Trainer and co-owner of Fight Camp Ltd.  With over 10 years experience in fat loss training and nutrition, he has become a name you can trust when it comes to your training, nutrition and health goals.  For more information on the services Patrick offers or to get in touch with any of the members of the Fight Camp Team, check out:http://www.fightcampblog.com or email

info@fightcamp.org.
_____________________________________________________________

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Fight Camp Hits China

Ni hao from china! I hope everyone back home is training hard in the run up to the Christmas break.  Fight Camp has finally went international with its torture……  sorry training methods.  This week sees the end of a four week camp here in Beijing hosted at Fight Republic gym.  The camp was was received extremely well and although it only lasted 4 short weeks for 3 sessions per  week the results, as always, spoke for themselves.

Fight Camp Beijing

On our fitness test and retest 90% of campers broke their initial time by 20-30 seconds.  One camper even shaved off 2 minutes and 30 seconds! The test was a simple descending pyramid of push ups, squats and, of course, burpees!

imageThe program here was 3 set sessions per week, Tuesday was competition and boxing day, Thursday was tabata circuit day and Saturday was Muay Thai conditioning. Everyone here really enjoyed the training and after only two weeks comments on physical changes in their bodies  were common talk in the gym.

This proves one thing…. Fight Camp works worldwide!

imageOne of the challenges here was really focusing on diet and eating plans. Food, as you can imagine, is everywhere in china.  The problem here is the quality of food and how it is cooked. Most people live very hectic lifestyles in this city and eat out every day. Of course seeing as its my job I made it a priority to try as many local restaurants as I could to find healthy food alternatives to local favourites….. What a nightmare eh?  After trying many places I found a select few that I could recommend. One even offered our campers a discount and my advise on a healthier menu.  One thing is for sure, if you train your butt off and stick to a clean diet the results you want will be achieved! It’s all about choices and how much you want it.

See you guys in January for the first run of Fight Camp Glasgow 2014!

Coach Tee

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The Reluctant Vegetarian Finale

Oink… Oink… its the revenge of the swine.
Vegetarians
For me its been an intriguing experiment living the pseudo life of a gluten free vegetarian. I would be lying if I said that the last few weeks were a breeze. I mean it’s not like I was loosing sleep over my hankerings for juicy, succulent, tasty, moist, mouthwatering, heavenly protoplasm… mmm… however I did find it difficult. And yes admittedly I slipped up on occasion. Actually on two occasions. One to a reindeer who will remain nameless for legal reasons, the other to a piece of slow cooked pulled pork. Now wait… before you call for your pound of flesh… in my defence the swine in question got his revenge. Taking down not one, but two FIGHT CAMP coach’s. In the end that pound of flesh was more like a river of bodily fluid escaping from every orifice of my body. So do me a favour don’t mention the war… I think I have been punished enough.
So what did I learn?
I have a new found respect for vegetarians and for people who have to live a gluten free lifestyle as it’s bloody hard. There really is no quick fix, you need to do the groundwork. I learned that preparation is key or else you will go hunger. Personally I found travelling the worst. I was on a train last week on route to London. The carriage was filled with tight lipped, serious, business types, you know… generic shirts, stripped ties, company issue briefcases. The hustlers of the modern world, hunched over their computer screens while talking on phones and intermittently munching on the sustenance found in Mr Branson’s mobile, virgin, junk food, train shop.
Now for a hungry gluten free vegetarian like myself, Mr Branson’s so called food emporium was demoralizing. There was nothing that I could eat besides a miserable looking apple, that resembled my toilet brush after my week of intense food poisoning. If this is modern living then I want nothing to do with it. I’m going back to the countryside as something is rotten in the state of Britain and I think its our nutrition. I bet half the folk on that train wished there was a pill they could take that would cut out the inconvenience of food. It’s really so time consuming when you are busy rapping the day out of every second. (oh wait… isn’t that why they invented herbalife, that great pyramid scheme, promoted by phony experts as an alternative to eating food… really?)
How do I feel?
I feel good, I don’t think abstaining from gluten made that much of a difference. I’m no doctor but common sense would suggest that I probably don’t suffer from a gluten sensitivity issue. However it has made me more aware of my choices i.e. food that contains gluten and the healthier alternatives.
I have lost a considerably amount of weight but this is probably due to a combination of 3 factors: cutting out meat, cutting out gluten and suffering from an intense week of food poisoning. The latter being the main perpetrator, oink… oink.
Whats next?
I am going for a steak but I am going to try and reduce my intake of meat. Over the last 6 weeks I have found some great recipes of which I have shared with you guys. I think for the next camp starting on the 6th of January I will be blogging about my experiences with intermittent fasting. I intend to stick to for the 6 weeks of the next camp and maybe coach VALBO will join me…. Maybe Just Maybe.
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VEGE-TERRORISATION GOES GLUTEN-TASTIC

I barely have the energy to write, my body is in a rapid state of decline, I’m wasting away, must keep going…  ahhhhh….. had you going.  Actually, I feel great. I think I am starting to get the hang of this vege-terrorisation but its the gluten free that is the real hassle. Admittedly I have been going overboard in my quest for gluten free dominance due to my completion of the book “Wheat Belly” by William Davis. So from this moment on I have made a conscious decision to be more gluten aware than gluten phobic… Jesus I sound like a right bell end.

So what is all this fuss over gluten?

Gluten is a major protein found in wheat and related grain species, including barely and rye. Gluten can turn up in unexpected places likes certain brands of chocolate, deli meats, soy sauce, vitamins, some cosmetics, hair products and beer. Basically all the fun stuff. For some people, about 1% of the population gluten can be a matter of life and death. These people have a condition know as celiac disease. Unless you are part of this group its very unlikely that you need to live a completely gluten free lifestyle.

So then why even attempt to reduce your gluten intake?

Gluten causes the immune system to damage or destroy villi, the tiny, fingerlike structures that line the small intestine like a microscopic plush carpet. Healthy villi absorb nutrients through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream, so when they become damaged it can trigger symptoms such as stomach pains, heart burn, joint pains, headache, skin rashes, fatigue to name but a few.

As a society, we are in a state of “gluten overload”. Some of us may even suffer from a condition that was recognised only a few years ago as “gluten sensitivity”. Although many of the symptoms are similar to celiac sufferers, it is difficult to diagnose. If you turn out to be gluten sensitive, it probably won’t require giving up gluten entirely, just cutting back on products containing it.

So if I cut back then what should I eat?

A gluten free diet like any diet can be healthy or unhealthy. If you have a gluten intolerance or sensitivity, it makes little sense to avoid gluten or wheat products just to replace them with gluten free yet highly processed products. If your diet relies heavily on one food source then you are setting yourself up for problems. If your average day starts with toast for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and pasta for dinner, thats a lot of one food group in 12 or so hours. Replacements should be based around whole, real foods.

What about getting adequate carbohydrate intake?

Like me, if you lead an active lifestyle and are wishing to reduce your intake of grains, particularly wheat. There are other satisfying options beyond pasta and bread to boost your carb intake. Why not try sweet potatoes, yams, quinoa, wild rice, buckwheat to name but a few. Here is a nice recipe I made this week with quinoa.

Pesto Quinoa with Tomatoes and Corn

This recipe will make extra pesto and quinoa. Feel free to use all of it as long as the pesto to quinoa ratio isn’t overbearing.

ingredients:

2 cup quinoa, cooked
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup walnuts
4 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 corn on the cob, cooked
1 cup cherry tomatoes

directions:

Cook the quinoa according to the packages instructions, set aside.In a food processor, add the basil leaves and olive oil. Next incorporate the Parmesan cheese, walnuts and garlic. Pulse a few times to combine and sprinkle in the salt and pepper. Scrape the bowl with a spatula.Combine 2 cups of your cooked quinoa with 1 cup of your freshly made pesto. Top with cherry tomatoes, cut in half and corn cut off the cob.What about energy levels?

Personally I have never felt sick from eating food containing gluten. However, I found my energy levels are a lot better. For the first week or so I did feel lethargic and not really up for training. But  I did persevere and this week I have been waking up feeling great. My energy levels have been a lot better much to the annoyance of a certain John Valbonesi, as I slaughtered his 100 burpee time without barely even breaking a sweat. (Side note from John Slaughtered is a strong word 6 seconds of difference which will be rectified this week!!)

So what have I learned this week?

Well apart from learning that they have discovered a new human body part…  now… don’t get too excited… its not gonna give us superpowers or anything useful, its just a ligament in the knee. I have learned to stick to one golden rule on my journey into vege-terrorisation and my war on gluten. Make sure you base your food intake on whole real food and eat a wide variety to maximise nutrition… the rest is just common sense.

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The Reluctant Vegetarian Part 2

Its been a week since I last sampled the glories of meat. Surprisingly its not been too bad… that is… until my flat mate was eating pulled pork this very morning for breakfast… a couple of deep breaths… a cup of coffee… walk away muttering expletives.

So what have I learned this week?

  • Apart from my flat mate been an inconsiderate so and so I think the key to following any diet is preparation. Plan and prep as much of your food for the week as you can.
  • Vegetarian Paleo is hard. Rob Wolfe a famous advocate of the Paleo diet states that its not possible to be vegetarian or vegan and follow a strict Paleo diet. I would have to agree with him on this. The reason being that the food choices are very limiting. If you where to follow a strict vegetarian Paleo diet you are to avoid the following : Meat, all grains, including wheat, rice, oats, rye and corn; grain like seeds, including quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat; all legumes, including beans, chickpeas, lentils, peas, and soy; starchy tuners suck as potatoes; dairy, alcohol most sugars except in fruit.
  • As you can see the hardest thing about this list is that every major source of protein is off limits for a vegetarian. So I have had to adapt the diet to suit my needs as I lead a very active lifestyle. I am allowing myself fish, eggs, whey protein plus beans, legumes, hemp seed and grain like seeds like quinoa. I am trying to avoid all foods that contain gluten.

 

Here is the diet I followed this week.

 

Monday
  •  6 a.m. – Protein Shake – loaded with goodness
  • 10 a.m. – Caramelised Apple, Pumpkin & onion hash
  • 1 p.m. – Satay Quinoa Fried Rice
  • 4 p.m. – Protein Shake
  • 8 p.m. – Satay Quinoa Fried Rice
Tuesday
  • 6 a.m. – Protein Shake
  • 10 a.m. – Buckwheat porridge
  • 1 p.m. – Yoga Pot
  • 4 p.m. – Protein shake
  • 8 p.m. – Yoga Pot
Wednesday
  • 6 a.m. – Protein shake
  • 10 a.m. – Caramelised Apple, Pumpkin & onion hash
  • 1 p.m. – Roasted sweet potato in coconut basil
  • 4 p.m. – Protein shake
  • 8 p.m. – Roasted sweet potato in coconut basil
Thursday
  • 6 a.m. – Protein Shake
  • 10 a.m. – Roasted eggplant salad
  • 1 p.m. – Protein shake
  • 4 p.m. – Fish – fresh sea bass and veg
  • 8 p.m. – Protein shake
Friday
  • 6 a.m. – Protein shake
  • 10 a.m. – Buckwheat porridge
  • 1 p.m. – Thai red curry
  • 4 p.m. – Protein shake
  • 8 p.m. – Fish and veg
Saturday
  •  7 a.m. – Coconut pancakes (gluten free)
  • 10 a.m. – Caramelised Apple, Pumpkin & onion hash
  • 1 p.m. – Satay Quinoa Fried Rice
  • 4 p.m. - Protein Shake – loaded with goodness
  • 8 p.m. – Satay Quinoa Fried Rice

 

Recipes

 

Below are a few of my favourite recipes which I have recreated this week.

 

Green Recovery Smoothie

Celery and banana are rich in the electrolytes Sodium and Potassium (which you loose when you sweat). Together with the proteins in the hemp powder and nut butter, they are the perfect ingredients in a recovery drink. Keep hydrated and drink this Green Recovery Smoothie after a workout for best result.

1 celery stem with leaves
1 ripe banana, peeled
1 kiwi, peeled

1/2 avocado, stoned
1 lime, juice
1 tbsp protein powder, optional
1 tbsp almond butter or soaked almonds
1 cup coconut water or plant milk of your choice

Buckwheat Porridge
Serves 4

1 cup whole buckwheat
2 cups water
150 g dried fruit (apricots, prunes, cranberries or what you have at home)
salt
2-3 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp cardamom seeds
1 vanilla stick

serve with fruit salad, dried fruits and oat milk

Rinse the buckwheat in hot water. Add buckwheat, water and the rest of the ingredients in a pot and boil it on low heat for about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. When the water is gone the porridge should be just about ready. Remove the cinnamon sticks and vanilla stick and serve it with fresh fruit salad, dried fruit and oat milk. You can re-use the spices the next morning if you rinse them in cold water.

Yoga Pot 
Serves 4

1 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1/2 tsp dried chili
1 tsp ground cayenne
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces
2 large carrots, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 fennel, thinly sliced
1 zucchini, cut into bite-size pieces
2 x 400 ml (3,5 cups) canned plum tomatoes
1/2 cup (125 ml) red lentils, rinsed
1/2 cup (125 ml) cooked kidney beans or chickpeas
1 handful fresh herbs like cilantro or thyme

Heat coconut oil in a pot, add onion and garlic. Lower the heat and cook for a few minutes until the onions have softened. Add ginger, chili, cayenne and cinnamon, stir constantly, ensuring that they do not burn. When the spices smell fragrant add remaining ingredients, except beans and herbs, cover and simmer until lentils are cooked and the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. If it is too dry, add a little water, it depends on how much liquid the lentils absorbs. Add beans and herbs and let it cook for another minute or so. Eat as it is or serve with brown, black or red rice, nice both ways.

Thai red curry
Serves 4

Paste:

-3 shallots
-10 cloves garlic
-2 stalks lemongrass (white part only)
-1 inch ginger, peeled
-1 inch galangal, peeled
-Zest of 1 kefir lime, or 1 lime
-1 tsp coriander seeds, lightly toasted
-1 tsp white pepper seeds, lightly toasted
-5-10 Red ‘Birds Eye’ chillies (depending on how hot you like it)
-Juice of 1 lime
-1 cup loosely packed coriander

Curry:

-1 tbsp coconut oil
-2 cups coconut cream
-1-2 cups water
-1 cup broccoli florets
-1 cup sweet potato
-1 cup diced eggplant
-1 cup sliced mushrooms
-1/2 cup freshly shelled peas
-1 tsp raw coconut sugar
-1 tsp vegetable stock powder
-1 tsp ground turmeric
-4 kefir lime leaves, torn
-Extra coriander to serve

-In a food processor or blender, add all of the paste ingredients and pulse until a it becomes a smooth paste
-Heat safflower oil in a large soup pot and add as much (or as little) paste as you like- I used all of my paste! (Leftover paste can be stored in the fridge or freezer)
-When paste becomes fragrant, add coconut cream, water (start with 1 cup and add extra as needed) and vegetables
-Bring to a gentle simmer, then stir in the coconut sugar, stock powder, turmeric, and torn kefir lime leaves
-Simmer for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are soft, then serve with kelp noodles
-Garnish with extra coriander and a few slices of chilli

 

And finally for a treat on saturday morning I made these guys

Gluten Free Coconut Pancakes…

Serves 4

-1/2 cups Ceres Organics Buckwheat flour
-1 cup Ceres Organics Coconut flour
-2 heaped tsp gluten free baking powder
-1/2 cup Ceres Organics Desiccated Coconut
-1 tbsp ground cinnamon
-1 tsp Ceres Organics Almond Butter
-3 1/2 cups Ceres Organics coconut milk
-1 tsp chia seeds soaked in 3 tbsp water
-1/2 cup coconut sugar
-Ceres Organics Coconut oil to cook
-Ceres Organics Shredded Coconut flakes, sliced banana, berries and agave/maple syrup to serve

-Warm a non-stick pan over a high heat
-In a large mixing bowl, sift buckwheat flour, coconut flour and baking powder, add desiccated coconut, cinnamon and combine
-In a separate bowl, whisk together almond butter, coconut milk, chia seeds and coconut sugar
-Add the wet to dry ingredients and mix well; do not over stir. It will be a thick mix.
-Lower heat and add a small amount of coconut oil to pan
-Ladle a few spoonfuls onto the pan, and cook for 2-3 minutes until browned, then carefully flip
-Continue until the mix is used, keeping the cooked pancakes warm in a low oven
-Serve with coconut flakes, banana, berries and syrup

______________________________________________________________

Patrick O'brienPatrick O’brien is a Glasgow Personal Trainer and co-owner of Fight Camp Ltd.  With over 10 years experience in fat loss training and nutrition, he has become a name you can trust when it comes to your training, nutrition and health goals.  For more information on the services Patrick offers or to get in touch with any of the members of the Fight Camp Team, check out:http://www.fightcampblog.com or email

info@fightcamp.org.
_____________________________________________________________

 

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Mobility

Great workouts start with great Mobility!!!

Evening Camp Preparing For Battle

 

Morning Camp Preparing For Their First Circuits Session

 

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Hearty Chicken Casserole

Hey Folks, hope your all well this week and despite the cold and dark nights, still killing it with your workouts. Hearty Chicken Caserole

Working long hours is usually killer for sticking to your nutrition plan unless you are prepared. Preparation is indeed key to not raiding the supermarkets when your hungry on your way home.

Preparation need not be arduous or time consuming however. Below is a recipe you can prepare in about 10 mins either the night before or in the morning and have it ready to bake as soon as you get in from work with no fuss, stick it in the oven and

whilst your waiting you can use the time to stretch those weary muscles from the week’s training.

Casseroles like this are a lifesaver on busy weeknights, and unlike most casserole recipes, this one is dairy, grain and gluten free. The tender, hearty veggies and chicken are mixed with tomatoes and basil then topped with a sprinkle of toasted ground nuts and nutritional yeast. You get to enjoy delicious flavor while filling up on protein, veggies and fiber that powers your body and energizes your day. Servings: 8

Here’s what you need…

1 teaspoon coconut oil
3 Tablespoons pine nuts
3 Tablespoons pecans, chopped
3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
dash of sea salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
2 aubergines, chopped
2 cups roasted chicken, cubed
1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes
3 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees . Lightly grease a casserole dish with coconut oil.
In a small frying pan, place the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and pecans. Saute until golden brown. Remove from heat and pulse in a food processor with the nutritional yeast and dash of salt. Set the nut mixture aside.
In a large pan, place the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add the pepper and aubergine and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
Mix in the chicken, tomatoes, basil and wine. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.
Spread the chicken and veggie mixture into the prepared casserole pan. Evenly sprinkle the nut mixture over the top of the casserole. Cover with foil and bake for 50 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes. Enjoy!
Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 223 calories, 7g fat, 320mg sodium, 19g carbohydrate, 9g fiber, and 19g protein.

Enjoy Folks!

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The Reluctant Vegetarian

Coming from a small agricultural community in Ireland, meat is religion. Growing up in my home town, your mothers cooking prowess was accessed on her ability to deliver the piece de resistance at the end of the week, the sunday roast. The local restaurant was judged not by the quality of its culinary delights, but on how good the steak was. So, needless to say, I love meat. If I could sprinkle it on my porridge in the morning I would. So why on earth would I even consider cutting out meat.

Why do it to yourself?

I’m a meat and veg kinda guy with a tendency to cook the same dishes over and over again. So, for the next 6 weeks in order to increase my knowledge of nutrition for vegetarians athletes and fine tune my cooking skills I will cut out all meat except for the occasional piece of fish (yes… I know the article should have been entitled the ‘Reluctant Pescetarian’, but it doesn’t have the same ring to it). I will also be trying to stick to a Paleo type diet which mimics the diets of our caveman ancestors. I have been down this road before when I was younger and having issues with the ethics of eating meat. Unfortunately I was not very clued up on nutrition so my diet consisted of pasta, Dolmio sauce and the occasional vegetable thrown in for good measure. My principles were eventually broken down after about 6 months by the smell of a bacon sandwich after a night out. So this time it will be a different story.

Benefits of not eating meat?

Firstly, I am not advocating that we all cut out meat from our diets and become strict vegetarians. I think meat consumption is important in our diets.  I imagine after 6 weeks I will be chomping at the bit to get stuck into a nice juicy steak but they’re also a lot of health benefits from cutting out or down on the consumption of meat. The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) published a review of the major studies on food, nutrition, and cancer prevention in 2007.

It was determined that people who consumed too much red meat and processed meat increased cancer risk by up 20 percent.  Large studies in England and Germany showed that vegetarians were about 40 percent less likely to develop cancer compared to meat eaters. (1-3) That alone should be enough reasoning to try and cut down on the consumption of red meat especially processed meats. Processed meats include bacon, sausage, hot dogs, sandwich meat, packaged ham, pepperoni, salami, sandwich meat used at popular restaurants and virtually all red meat used in frozen prepared meals. They are usually manufactured with a carcinogenic ingredient known as sodium nitrite (4). This is used as a colour fixer by meat companies to turn packaged meats a bright red colour so they look fresh (you won’t find it in chicken or fish products). Unfortunately, sodium nitrite also results in the formation of cancer-causing nitrosamines in the human body. And this leads to a sharp increase in cancer risk for those who eat them.

In addition, the high fat content of meat and other animal products increases hormone production this increasing the risk of hormone-related cancers such as breast and prostate cancer. The high fat content can also lead to heart disease.

Reducing Your Meat Consumption.

I think a lot of folk shy away from cutting down on meat consumption as they don’t know what to replace it with. As we know meat is a good source of complete proteins. If you’re eating too much meat, replace some of the meat in your diet with non-meat sources of protein. Beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, eggs all contain protein. While fish and seafood might technically be meats, they don’t carry the same risks as do red meat , pork and poultry, because they are so low in saturated fats and cholesterol.  Fish helps maintain healthy blood cholesterol levels which reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes and other related blood circulatory problems which can happen later in life. One thing to be aware of is unfortunately that various fish can and do absorb contaminants, the most common being mercury.

Conclusion

So over the next six weeks I will be blogging about my experiences with my fellow fight campers. I will be posting  my weekly meal plans, recipes and pictures of my progress. See you on the other side.

1. Thorogood M, Mann J, Appleby P, McPherson K. Risk of death from cancer and ischaemic heart disease in meat and non-meat eaters. Br Med J. 1994;308:1667-1670.
2. Chang-Claude J, Frentzel-Beyme R, Eilber U. Mortality patterns of German vegetarians after 11 years of follow-up. Epidemiology. 1992;3:395-401.
3. Chang-Claude J, Frentzel-Beyme R. Dietary and lifestyle determinants of mortality among German vegetarians. Int J Epidemiol. 1993;22:228-236.

4. http://voices.yahoo.com/sodium-nitrite-processed-meats-causes-cancer-2522974.html?cat=5

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Patrick O'brienPatrick O’brien is a Glasgow Personal Trainer and co-owner of Fight Camp Ltd.  With over 10 years experience in fat loss training and nutrition, he has become a name you can trust when it comes to your training, nutrition and health goals.  For more information on the services Patrick offers or to get in touch with any of the members of the Fight Camp Team, check out:http://www.fightcampblog.com or email

info@fightcamp.org.
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