From the journal

Taking a Balanced Approach To Food

We hear the word ‘balance’ being thrown around all the time at the moment but what exactly is a ‘healthy balanced diet’ and what does it mean by taking a ‘balanced approach to food’...

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We hear the word ‘balance’ being thrown around all the time at the moment but what exactly is a ‘healthy balanced diet’ and what does it mean by taking a ‘balanced approach to food’...

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Mindful Eating: What is it and how can you do it?

Mindful Eating is a term which has gained a fair amount of media coverage recently. It’s also quickly being thrown around without really being understood. So, in this article we’ve broken down what mindful eating is, why it’s important and how you can start to embrace it a little more.

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Mindful Eating is a term which has gained a fair amount of media coverage recently. It’s also quickly being thrown around without really being understood. So, in this article we’ve broken down what mindful eating is, why it’s important and how you can start to embrace it a little more.

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How to fuel your workouts...

It’s officially summer and this is the month of sport and exercise... 

With the Tour De France, the Netball World Cup and the British Golf Open it’s about time we start talking about nutrition and exercise. You don’t have to be a pro golfer, professional netball player or world class cyclist for this information to apply to you.

Quite the opposite really. This KNOWLEDGE BITE is all about helping you to understand how to eat around different types of workouts. So whether you’re a early riser or a night owl, a flexible yogi, a regular weight lifter or a casual walker there’s information here for all of you.

Are you an early riser? Eating around your morning workouts…

If your morning session is a lower intensity yoga or pilates session you don’t necessarily have to eat something first although it you’re someone who can’t leave the house without breakfast then go for something light like a yoghurt, a banana or a large medjool date (just enough to provide you with some energy but nothing too difficult for your gut to manage).

After your morning workout go for something light packed with some protein and veggies e.g. eggs and greens or avo, natural yoghurt topped with berries, seeds and cinnamon or a quick smoothie.

For those of you who are smashing a HIIT workout or heavy strength session in the early hours of your day then ideally you should fuel up before (note: everyone is different and some people workout better on an empty stomach so do what works for you). A banana or a small bowl of porridge is perfect to provide you with some fuel.

Following these types of workouts you need to replenish your glycogen stores so load up on complex carbohydrates and protein to support optimal recovery. Breakfast examples include: porridge topped with some berries and nut butter, scrambled eggs or peanut butter on toasted rye bread or a fully loaded protein shake with banana or oats, peanut butter, milk (or milk alternative) and a good quality protein powder. Eggs are rich in leucine which helps with muscle repair and so perfect if you have the time. Although if you’re finding breakfast prep difficult then try out The Transformation Chef breakfasts which can ensure you’re supporting your workouts and help to keep you fuelled throughout the morning.  

Are you a lunch time gym go-oer?

For those of you who are time poor and time savvy and try to fit your workouts in at lunchtime then it’s advisable you have a larger breakfast and a light snack mid-morning to ensure you have some fuel for your workout. An apple with nut butter, Greek yoghurt (or yoghurt alternative) and berries, some nuts or our energy balls are perfect.

Following your workout, opt for something high in complex carbohydrates, protein and a range of vegetables. Exercise produces free radicals (a very natural reaction) and so consuming your vegetables can help to neutralise the free radicals as they’re super high in antioxidants.

A quinoa salad with chicken, salmon or tofu is a great post-workout lunch option as is a mixed bean salad or even a wholemeal wrap with hummus, halloumi and mixed vegetables. Why not try our Spiced Tilapia with Quinoa as the ideal post workout meal. Throughout the afternoon you may also be aware that your appetite can increase in response to your workout. Make sure to opt for a protein rich snack to keep you fuller for longer. Roasted beans, boiled eggs or hummus and crudités are all good options.

Are you the night owl exerciser?

If an after-work workout is more your style then try snacking on a carbohydrate rich snack in the afternoon around 1-2 hours prior to your session The Transformation Chef matcha and vanilla vegan blondies are a great way to keep your energy levels high to see you through your workout.  Alternatively opt for a banana smoothie, dates with almond butter or rice cakes with mashed banana.

Following your workout opt for a protein and complex carbohydrate rich dinner. E.g. bolognaise over a jacket sweet potato (or a mixed bean bolognaise for a plant-based option), grilled meat or fish with brown rice and veggies, a root vegetable frittata or even a tofu stir-fry.

Finally, make sure you’re getting enough variety in your diet and surrounding your workouts to ensure you’re obtaining a varied micronutrient and amino acid profile. Finally, ensure that you’re staying hydrated throughout the day as dehydration can contribute to lower energy, irritability, headaches and impaired cognitive performance.

 

Struggling to find the time to meal prep?

Check out our healthy, pre-prepared meals that we'll deliver direct to your door.

Read more

It’s officially summer and this is the month of sport and exercise... 

With the Tour De France, the Netball World Cup and the British Golf Open it’s about time we start talking about nutrition and exercise. You don’t have to be a pro golfer, professional netball player or world class cyclist for this information to apply to you.

Quite the opposite really. This KNOWLEDGE BITE is all about helping you to understand how to eat around different types of workouts. So whether you’re a early riser or a night owl, a flexible yogi, a regular weight lifter or a casual walker there’s information here for all of you.

Are you an early riser? Eating around your morning workouts…

If your morning session is a lower intensity yoga or pilates session you don’t necessarily have to eat something first although it you’re someone who can’t leave the house without breakfast then go for something light like a yoghurt, a banana or a large medjool date (just enough to provide you with some energy but nothing too difficult for your gut to manage).

After your morning workout go for something light packed with some protein and veggies e.g. eggs and greens or avo, natural yoghurt topped with berries, seeds and cinnamon or a quick smoothie.

For those of you who are smashing a HIIT workout or heavy strength session in the early hours of your day then ideally you should fuel up before (note: everyone is different and some people workout better on an empty stomach so do what works for you). A banana or a small bowl of porridge is perfect to provide you with some fuel.

Following these types of workouts you need to replenish your glycogen stores so load up on complex carbohydrates and protein to support optimal recovery. Breakfast examples include: porridge topped with some berries and nut butter, scrambled eggs or peanut butter on toasted rye bread or a fully loaded protein shake with banana or oats, peanut butter, milk (or milk alternative) and a good quality protein powder. Eggs are rich in leucine which helps with muscle repair and so perfect if you have the time. Although if you’re finding breakfast prep difficult then try out The Transformation Chef breakfasts which can ensure you’re supporting your workouts and help to keep you fuelled throughout the morning.  

Are you a lunch time gym go-oer?

For those of you who are time poor and time savvy and try to fit your workouts in at lunchtime then it’s advisable you have a larger breakfast and a light snack mid-morning to ensure you have some fuel for your workout. An apple with nut butter, Greek yoghurt (or yoghurt alternative) and berries, some nuts or our energy balls are perfect.

Following your workout, opt for something high in complex carbohydrates, protein and a range of vegetables. Exercise produces free radicals (a very natural reaction) and so consuming your vegetables can help to neutralise the free radicals as they’re super high in antioxidants.

A quinoa salad with chicken, salmon or tofu is a great post-workout lunch option as is a mixed bean salad or even a wholemeal wrap with hummus, halloumi and mixed vegetables. Why not try our Spiced Tilapia with Quinoa as the ideal post workout meal. Throughout the afternoon you may also be aware that your appetite can increase in response to your workout. Make sure to opt for a protein rich snack to keep you fuller for longer. Roasted beans, boiled eggs or hummus and crudités are all good options.

Are you the night owl exerciser?

If an after-work workout is more your style then try snacking on a carbohydrate rich snack in the afternoon around 1-2 hours prior to your session The Transformation Chef matcha and vanilla vegan blondies are a great way to keep your energy levels high to see you through your workout.  Alternatively opt for a banana smoothie, dates with almond butter or rice cakes with mashed banana.

Following your workout opt for a protein and complex carbohydrate rich dinner. E.g. bolognaise over a jacket sweet potato (or a mixed bean bolognaise for a plant-based option), grilled meat or fish with brown rice and veggies, a root vegetable frittata or even a tofu stir-fry.

Finally, make sure you’re getting enough variety in your diet and surrounding your workouts to ensure you’re obtaining a varied micronutrient and amino acid profile. Finally, ensure that you’re staying hydrated throughout the day as dehydration can contribute to lower energy, irritability, headaches and impaired cognitive performance.

 

Struggling to find the time to meal prep?

Check out our healthy, pre-prepared meals that we'll deliver direct to your door.

Read more


Health benefits of Chocolate...

In light of World Chocolate Day we wanted to give credit where credits due!

Chocolate can sometimes get a bad rep. It’s commonly referred to as a ‘guilty pleasure’ and there appears to be a common misconception that eating indulgent food that tastes good must be terrible for your overall health. However, as we hope you are aware by now. Nutrition doesn’t have to be black and white. As cliché as it may sound… it’s all about #balance.

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In light of World Chocolate Day we wanted to give credit where credits due!

Chocolate can sometimes get a bad rep. It’s commonly referred to as a ‘guilty pleasure’ and there appears to be a common misconception that eating indulgent food that tastes good must be terrible for your overall health. However, as we hope you are aware by now. Nutrition doesn’t have to be black and white. As cliché as it may sound… it’s all about #balance.

Read more


Health and Wellbeing Top Tips

This week is world wellbeing week and at Transformation Chef we’re passionate about taking a 360 degree approach to health and wellbeing. Our mission is to make healthy eating as delicious, easy and convenient for you. Unfortunately, we can’t take complete control of your health and there are some additional habits which you can incorporate into your daily routines to support your mental, social and physical wellbeing.

You don’t have to tackle these all at once. Finding your version of health is often a journey and not something which occurs overnight. Wherever you are along your road stay consistent, mix things up and start or continue to look after yourself in the best way you know how.

Get your 8 hours 

Sleep is very much underrated when it comes to overall health and during busy periods sleep is often the first thing to go. Sleep is essential for repair and recovery and is even more important if you’re a regular exerciser. Poor sleep has been associated with altered appetite related hormones. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation increases ghrelin (the hunger hormone) and decreases leptin (the satiety hormone) meaning that you’re more likely to consume more food. The research has also shown that you’re more likely to crave high sugar foods to help boost your energy levels too. Try and ensure that you’re sleeping around 8 hours per night.

Time out

With so much going on in today’s society it can feel near impossible to take time out for yourself. Although taking time out is vital for your overall health. Chronic stress can lead to risk of deficiencies, risk of adrenal fatigue, poor mental health and prolonged excess food intake. It’s so important that you manage your stress levels as much as possible by taking time for yourself. Do something everyday you enjoy – even if it’s just for 10 minutes. Reading a book, sitting down with a cup of tea, taking a bath or just going for a walk.

Healthy gut

There is a lot of research now to show the strong link between the gut and the brain. The relationship is by directional although more messages are sent from the gut to the brain than vice versa. Aside from digestive function gut health has also been associated with mental wellbeing. Impaired or unbalanced microbiota in the gut can cause poor mental wellbeing. We also know that 90% of serotonin (the happy hormone) is produced in the gut, consequently if you don’t support your gut health you’re at risk of impaired serotonin production which can have lasting affects on your mental wellbeing. Support your gut by consuming a wide range of plant and fibre rich foods. Ensure that you’re also consuming some live cultures in the form of yoghurt, kombucha, kefir and fermented foods.

Move your body

Exercise is vital for your overall wellbeing. We know that exercise releases endorphins which are also referred to as ‘the feel good’ hormone. Exercise also helps to maintain a healthy weight, support your bones, joint and heart health for later on in life. You don’t have to pound it out in the gym if that’s not your style. Instead try and Yoga class, a YouTube pilates session, a walk in the park or a play with the dog! It all counts.

Make small dietary changes

As there’s so much information around nutrition in the media and on social media it can seem all too confusing. Before making a complete overnight overhaul to your diet try making small changes which are more likely to be sustainable in the long run. Whether this be increasing your water intake to 2L per day, hitting your 5-aday, consuming 30g of fibre per day, reducing your alcohol intake or limiting your sugar consumption. Try tackling one goal at a time and you’ll begin to notice big differences.

Remember start small, this is a journey. Avoid putting too much pressure on yourself and remember to enjoy the process.

 

References:

Crispim, C. A., Zimberg, I. Z., dos Reis, B. G., Diniz, R. M., Tufik, S., & de Mello, M. T. (2011). Relationship between food intake and sleep pattern in healthy individuals. Journal of clinical sleep medicine: JCSM: official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 7(6), 659.

Golem, D. L., Martin-Biggers, J. T., Koenings, M. M., Davis, K. F., & Byrd-Bredbenner, C. (2014). An integrative review of sleep for nutrition professionals. Advances in Nutrition, 5(6), 742-759.

 

Read more

This week is world wellbeing week and at Transformation Chef we’re passionate about taking a 360 degree approach to health and wellbeing. Our mission is to make healthy eating as delicious, easy and convenient for you. Unfortunately, we can’t take complete control of your health and there are some additional habits which you can incorporate into your daily routines to support your mental, social and physical wellbeing.

You don’t have to tackle these all at once. Finding your version of health is often a journey and not something which occurs overnight. Wherever you are along your road stay consistent, mix things up and start or continue to look after yourself in the best way you know how.

Get your 8 hours 

Sleep is very much underrated when it comes to overall health and during busy periods sleep is often the first thing to go. Sleep is essential for repair and recovery and is even more important if you’re a regular exerciser. Poor sleep has been associated with altered appetite related hormones. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation increases ghrelin (the hunger hormone) and decreases leptin (the satiety hormone) meaning that you’re more likely to consume more food. The research has also shown that you’re more likely to crave high sugar foods to help boost your energy levels too. Try and ensure that you’re sleeping around 8 hours per night.

Time out

With so much going on in today’s society it can feel near impossible to take time out for yourself. Although taking time out is vital for your overall health. Chronic stress can lead to risk of deficiencies, risk of adrenal fatigue, poor mental health and prolonged excess food intake. It’s so important that you manage your stress levels as much as possible by taking time for yourself. Do something everyday you enjoy – even if it’s just for 10 minutes. Reading a book, sitting down with a cup of tea, taking a bath or just going for a walk.

Healthy gut

There is a lot of research now to show the strong link between the gut and the brain. The relationship is by directional although more messages are sent from the gut to the brain than vice versa. Aside from digestive function gut health has also been associated with mental wellbeing. Impaired or unbalanced microbiota in the gut can cause poor mental wellbeing. We also know that 90% of serotonin (the happy hormone) is produced in the gut, consequently if you don’t support your gut health you’re at risk of impaired serotonin production which can have lasting affects on your mental wellbeing. Support your gut by consuming a wide range of plant and fibre rich foods. Ensure that you’re also consuming some live cultures in the form of yoghurt, kombucha, kefir and fermented foods.

Move your body

Exercise is vital for your overall wellbeing. We know that exercise releases endorphins which are also referred to as ‘the feel good’ hormone. Exercise also helps to maintain a healthy weight, support your bones, joint and heart health for later on in life. You don’t have to pound it out in the gym if that’s not your style. Instead try and Yoga class, a YouTube pilates session, a walk in the park or a play with the dog! It all counts.

Make small dietary changes

As there’s so much information around nutrition in the media and on social media it can seem all too confusing. Before making a complete overnight overhaul to your diet try making small changes which are more likely to be sustainable in the long run. Whether this be increasing your water intake to 2L per day, hitting your 5-aday, consuming 30g of fibre per day, reducing your alcohol intake or limiting your sugar consumption. Try tackling one goal at a time and you’ll begin to notice big differences.

Remember start small, this is a journey. Avoid putting too much pressure on yourself and remember to enjoy the process.

 

References:

Crispim, C. A., Zimberg, I. Z., dos Reis, B. G., Diniz, R. M., Tufik, S., & de Mello, M. T. (2011). Relationship between food intake and sleep pattern in healthy individuals. Journal of clinical sleep medicine: JCSM: official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 7(6), 659.

Golem, D. L., Martin-Biggers, J. T., Koenings, M. M., Davis, K. F., & Byrd-Bredbenner, C. (2014). An integrative review of sleep for nutrition professionals. Advances in Nutrition, 5(6), 742-759.

 

Read more