Hello! I cannot believe how fast this year is whizzing by. In just over three weeks I’ll be in New York and I cannot describe how excited I am about it.
Determined to feel and look good for it, I joined the gym three months ago and am having a love-hate relationship with the place (more ‘hate’ than ‘love’). It’s taken a considerable amount of nagging from my inner conscience (and my mum) to stick to it and make friends with the gym equipment. The treadmill and I do not get on and never will, however I have grown fond of the rowing machine as well some weight machines.
My goal is to trim the fat and stay healthy but still be allowed to indulge in a few naughty treats. Ultimately a balanced diet is going to help with exercising or it’s thrice the time and effort to burn the remnants of a doughnut.
With Christmas around the corner too, the temptation to overindulge is frighteningly difficult to dodge with parties and snacks at work. It is always my downfall every year but not this time! No way! I’ve got into a routine at the gym and I’m determined to stay on the straight and narrow.
Lowering my intake on sugar and carbs and boosting with more protein and vitamins is at the forefront of my mind. I don’t believe in cutting out completely because your body needs a bit of everything. It’s just some things should be in moderation. Protein is one of the most important ones, which Quorn is rammed with.
Quorn is famously known for being a meat substitute with more benefits. It is intended to replicate the taste and texture of meat and contains mycoprotein as an ingredient which is derived from a type of fungus grown by fermentation through a process similar to the production of beer or yoghurt. Normally Quorn is mixed with egg, which acts as a binder but recently Quorn launched a vegan only version of its pieces.
Last week the lovely folks at Quorn invited me to rustle up some delicious healthy meals in minutes. As a carnivore, incorporating Quorn into my diet has not been easy because I’ve not been sure what to do with it. As I discovered, cooking with Quorn is not complicated. When we are all pretty short of time but want something substantially filling and nutritional, Quorn does the trick and stops the hunger pangs.
One meal that is unbelievably easy and quick to make yet looks like you’ve been slaving away in the kitchen for hours is Quorn Vegan Mediterranean Socca. Essentially a pancake with toppings, the base is a pancake made from chickpea flour, olive oil and water and is either eaten on its own or topped with an assortment of vegetables. In other words it’s a healthier alternative to pizza.
I must say, I did not expect a few pieces of Quorn to jazz up a socca quite so deliciously and the mouth-watering recipe has inspired me to push the boat out more on cooking with Quorn ingredients.
I also had a quick chat with Quorn ambassador Jessie Pavelka for his top tips on keeping fit and healthy this winter:
- Set boundaries with food and people. Being able to say ‘no’ is a strength of discipline. The more you exercise that will, the stronger you become.
- Start the day with a breakfast smoothie (such as frozen berries, oats, banana, egg protein or a plant-based protein) to get all the essential nutrients to keep you going till lunch time. For lunch try scrambled eggs with avocado, sprouts, peppers, mushrooms or whatever is in your fridge, followed by salmon, chicken or pasta for dinner.
- Don’t avoid carbs! It all boils down to how much and what kind but it’s better to eat it earlier in the day so your body has time to burn it off gradually.
- Don’t be afraid to eat carbs at night – there really is no reason to but stay away from refined carbs and instead go for something slow-burning that your body will work with.
- After a work-out, if you haven’t much time then a smoothie is quick and convenient. Try to get in some sugars and carbs within the 30 minute window after a work-out as your body can absorb protein better.
- Go running in the cold – it’s exhilarating! If you prefer to stay indoors then HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) exercises are a great and effective way to burn more fat.
Jessie hails from Texas and his favourite Quorn dish to make is Chilli (“It has to be spicy!”) but it’s good to know he enjoys letting down his guard by indulging in a barbecue and a few desserts (to name but a few) when he returns home and Christmas is no exception.
*This is a collaborative post with Quorn.
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