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So, something very exciting has come about. My personal trainer in Perth, Rach, has asked me to be an ambassador for her company, FitBodies. Given that the FitBodies motto is “Coach, Transform, Empower”, I happily accepted as I felt it was the logical progression in my fit and healthy lifestyle journey.
I first met Rach because the gym I was attending in Perth was running a free PT session promotion. Having been pounding the pavement and treadmill for several years with no results, I decided to sign up and see what they had to say.
As it turned out, Rach had plenty to say. Too much cardio, too little resistance training. Too many sweet treats, not enough water. Too much eating out, not enough sleep. Those of you who know me can imagine the eyerolls I was giving, if not physically (I CAN control it sometimes), then definitely in my mind. Of course, these were all things that I’d heard multiple times before from numerous sources. But there was something about Rach’s quietly firm demeanour that made me not only want to train with her, but to actually follow this sage advice to a tee for the first time in my life!
What started as a 3 month trial turned into coaching sessions that I actually looked forward to. By the end of that first year, I had lost about 10kg and was ready to bite the bullet in signing up for her nutrition plan as well. Another 7kg (and more muscle definition) later, I think the results speak for themselves. Here is a photo of myself in Germany in December 2014, right before I started training with Rach, size 14; and one from my recent Japan trip in April this year, size 8-10 (and sometimes even a 6), depending on the store.
So it was in my 2nd year following the FitBodies nutrition plan that I found myself truly transformed, not just physically, but in terms of building a sustainably fit and healthy lifestyle for myself that I could somewhat follow even whilst travelling and enjoying social meals with my friends, 2 things I was never willing to give up. Where before, “being healthy” meant giving up on foods I like to eat, exercising for hours on end and basically feeling like a chore, I now find myself exercising less yet enjoying it more, savouring healthy food choices and actually having gut-turning visceral reactions to excessively sugary and fatty foods (I seriously don’t crave them anymore). As a byproduct, I’ve noticed I have a lot more energy – no more after-lunch slumps at work, and heaps more enthusiasm for walking miles on end, which means I see and experience a lot more when I’m travelling the world. All of this has led to a much happier outlook on life.
It is fitting then, that in my 3rd year, I feel empowered enough to not only impart some of this knowledge I’ve gained to the friends and family who have asked me about it, but to officially take on the mantle of FitBodies ambassador. It is a mantle I wear proudly, and hope that the responsibility that comes with it will be motivation enough to keep me on track.
With all that in mind, I thought it would be nice to share some recipes of the healthy meals I’m cooking up at home. I just whipped this one up for breakfast today and it seriously took all of about 20 minutes, including prep and washing up time!
Baked eggs with zucchini and black beans
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
1 clove garlic
1 bird’s eye chilli
1/2 red onion
2/3 medium sized zucchini (mine was about 135g)
1/3 can drained black beans (about 90g)
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground coriander
130g egg whites
3 whole eggs
1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 tsp lightly dried parsley or mixed herbs (parsley/basil/oregano)
Salt to taste
1. Turn on oven to 180C and place a non-stick oven proof casserole dish onto a hot plate at high heat.
2. Finely dice garlic, chilli, and red onion, throw it all into your casserole dish and allow to brown, stirring occasionally. I found I didn’t need any oil at all.
3. Meanwhile, dice your zucchini and drain your black beans, then throw into the casserole dish with the onion mixture.
4. Stir through paprika and ground coriander with salt to taste.
5. When everything is lightly browned, take off the hot plate, pour over the egg whites and mix everything well. You’ll find the egg white will start to cook and solidify a little.
6. Make 3 little wells in your vegetable/egg white mixture, and crack an egg into each well.
7. Pop into the oven for about 15 minutes (or until eggs are cooked to your liking – I like mine runny). Use this time to wash up and put everything away.
8. When it’s ready, take it out of the oven, drizzle over the lime juice and sprinkle some herbs over the top for garnish and extra flavour.
9. Dig in with a spoon and enjoy it while it’s still hot!
1980 kilojoules, 16.3g fat, 35.2g carbs, 45.8g protein
Note: This is ONE serve for me for breakfast, but my daily nutritional intake has been carefully calculated by Rach based specifically on my weight, activity level, energy requirements, fitness goals and eating habits. For instance, I am used to having a BIG breakfast, as you can see, but then I only eat fruits for lunch. So you may find that this recipe is enough to feed 2 or 3 people. If you would also like a personalised nutrition plan, you can contact Rach here. I highly recommend it. Why? It works because you WON’T go hungry! Instead, you’ll learn how to fill yourself up with healthy nutritious food so that you don’t feel the need to binge.
Tips and suggestions
-I once attended a cooking class and learned how to quickly and easily dice an onion, which I’d love to share with you now. The trick is to NOT remove the hairy bottom of the onion. Just cut it straight down the middle, then chop off a bit at the top to help you peel the skin off. Then, make about 2 cuts parallel to that first cut, and 4-5 cuts lenghthways. The intact hairy bottom will help to keep everything in place while you make the 3rd and final set of cuts horizontally from top to bottom.
-I found my casserole dish was a little too big/deep for the quantity of ingredients. You may like to transfer the vegetable/egg white mixture into 2 or 3 smaller ovenproof dishes (eg ramekins) instead prior to baking, with 1-2 cracked eggs per dish, especially if you find that the above quantity of ingredients is too much for you to eat as 1 serve.
-For that matter, you may like to increase the volume of ingredients so that you can feed more people, or so that you’re using up a whole tin of beans and a whole zucchini instead of 1/3 of beans and 2/3 of zucchini. The above quantities are based on my personalised nutrition plan by Rach, and not a hard and fast set of ingredients for you to adhere to. The beauty of this recipe is its flexibility. Want a more Mexican flavoured dish? Feel free to add in some tomatoes and corn. Hate black beans but prefer chickpeas? Use that instead, I’m sure it’ll taste great. Just remember that the nutrition information will change depending on what you add and/or omit.
What other recipes would you like to see more of? Give me some ingredients to work with, and I’d be happy to play around with them. And does anyone know how to create a recipe card???
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