Sunday, 27 November 2011

Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) with Mixed Vegetables and Mackerel

New Camera in a month, I promise!

There's a story behind this recipe:
  1. I've been ill all weekend so after the Fitter London classes on Saturday, I came back home and stayed on the sofa till bedtime. Today, Sunday, I was in bed till 6pm. I feel better now but I definitely have another 15-20 hours of sleep left in me.  
  2. Also, I've been advised to eat less non-organic (read: pumped full of hormones) meat, which will be explained another time, and find other sources of protein.
With the second point in mind, I bought a 500g bag of chickpeas (100g contains: 164 calories, 2.6 grams of fat (of which 0.27 grams is saturated), 7.6 grams of dietary fibre and 8.9 grams of protein) and had NO idea what to do with them... yes, I was a chickpea virgin! I've had hummus/humus a couple of times but I've never cooked chickpeas in my 30 years! A couple of days ago, I soaked them in water for 8 hours (as advised by many sources online), drained and stored in the fridge for future use - I'm so happy I did that!

Today, when I finally dragged myself out of bed, I realised I had NO food at home. Perfect time to experiment ;)

Serves: 3


200g chickpeas (previously soaked for 8 hours)
100g frozen mixed vegetables
1 smoked mackerel
2 tablespoons of organic tomato puree
1/4 of an onion
Mixed herbs
A pinch of salt

  1. Add chickpeas to a pot with just enough water to totally submerge them. Add herbs and salt, bring to boil (medium heat).
  2. Slice onions and add to the pot. Allow to cook for 10 minutes (increase heat a little).
  3. Add the mixed vegetables, and allow to cook for 5 more minutes.
  4. Cut up the mackerel and add it with the 2 tablespoons of tomato puree and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Serve :)
  1. I'd have definitely cooked the chickpeas in chicken/meat stock if I had any in the freezer as that would have given the meal more flavour.
  2. To save yourself a lot of time, use pre-soaked, canned chickpeas.
  3. Substitute the mackerel for any fish, meat, prawns, shrimps of your choice :)
  4. You can be as adventurous or boring (like me) with your vegetables.
Verdict: It was tasty! And very filling :) Enjoy!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Happy Sunday :)

Hope you had a nice week and are enjoying your weekend.

My camera's broken :( I'm waiting for Xmas sales so I can get a brand new Canon camera :) I will upload food pictures from my phone once in a while on Sundays, I took this (not-so-great) picture of mackerel stew last week with my phone:

And turkey meatballs in tomato sauce:

I will post the recipe later... and I'll also be cooking later today *watch this space*

I know some of my readers are Mums or  Mums-to-be so check this out:

Monday, 14 November 2011

Reader's Question: Zumba

Hello Adura, Doing Zumba 4 times a week is it enough exercise to lose weight?

Attending Zumba classes more than 3 times a week is really good to begin with BUT
  • Like most exercise routines, when your body gets used to it, you start to reach a plateau. This means you won't see the same results you saw at the beginning. This is because initially you're shocking your body with exercise but if you don't vary your workouts, you won't see constant significant results.
Zumba is solely a cardio based class but it is a very fun way to get your exercise so definitely keep attending the classes :)

I'd suggest attending 2-3 classes a week and at least one (preferably two) strength based session (Read this post: 'I Love Strength Training') every week. If you're in London, why don't you try out a Fitter London class? Your first class is FREE. Check out the Fitter London timetable:

Your goal with exercise should be to constantly shock your body so it doesn't get the chance to know what's coming next. With strength training, as you get stronger you can increase your weights, repititions or sets.

Good Luck :)

Check out this Zumba Review by Ogo

Monday, 7 November 2011

Workout Series :)

Happy Monday!

So I'm actually really back... really! ;)

I was in Lagos most of October and I was in holiday-mode, sorry!
If you haven't already, take a quick look at this blog post --> Exercise More, Live Longer.

I really enjoyed the 'Get Trimmer' series, I love having different people participate and discussing their experience. That inspired me to do this next series, it doesn't have an official name yet but will be a 'baby' of 'Get Trimmer'. It will be exercise (at home) based, please let me know if you're interested via email.

Have a nice week ahead!

Friday, 4 November 2011

Exercise More, Live Longer :)

I keep saying this to friends and clients - life is unpredictable, the unexpected can happen BUT we need to do whatever is in out control to increase our chances of living longer and better.

So when I read this month's issue of ZEST Magazine, I had to share this with you:

"Just 15 minutes of exercise can help you live longer. A Taiwanese study of more than 400,000 people over eight years found that even small amounts reap big rewards.

An average of 92 minutes' a week exercise a week led to:
  • a 14% reduced risk of early death 
  • life expectancy being increased by three years
  • a 10% reduced risk of cancer
And for every 15 minutes extra, an additional:
  • 4% reduced risk of early death
  • 1% reduced risk of death from cancer"

Yes, eating healthy can result in losing weight and keeping in shape BUT exercise is very important and shouldn't be ignored.

So get up and do some exercise NOW :)

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

I love Strength Training :)

You're allowed to laugh at my expression ( I did the first time I saw this picture)... I'll have you know that it is advised to exhale on exertion while doing strength exercises so....!

I've been asked about my strength training routine. I usually aim for 2 strength (heavy weights) sessions per week... on Tuesdays and Saturdays. I won't go into detail about my strength training now, I'll leave that for another post...

Strength training won’t make you bulky and muscular. This is a common misconception amongst women and just in case you have any doubts, look at the pictures of me in my gallery - do I look like a muscle-bound? Your answer had better be NO! (haha)

Women have 15-20 times less testosterone (hormone that helps men gain muscle) than men.

Studies have shown that regular strength training results in lean muscle gain and close to twice the fat loss in weight (exactly what you’d like to hear).

Health benefits of strength training include increasing bone density, reduces the risk of health issues including diabetes and heart disease, lowers blood pressure and more.

And of course it makes you stronger :)

Have I sold it to you a little? Here are a couple of tips to get you started:
  • If you have access to a fitness professional e.g. at your gym, ask to be shown the correct technique for strength exercises.

  • Your aim should be to have 2-3 strength sessions a week. Start of with one and slowly build up to 2 or 3.

  • For every exercise, aim for 10-12 repetitions and 2-3 sets (of 10-12 reps). Each rep should be slow an controlled.

  • Always start with a light weight initially and slowly increase for each set until you find the right weight. The aim is for the last few reps to be almost impossible.

  • If you have no idea what exercises to do, try this:
    5-10 minute warm up - jogging, cycling or some bodyweight drills including jumping jacks, high-knees, etc
    Squats - These are mainly for your glutes (bum), quads (front of thighs) and hamstrings (back of thighs). Ideally these should be done with free weights - a barbell (on the back of your shoulders) or dumbells (arms hanging on your sides). But it's best to get your squat technique* right before you progress to variations of weighted squats.
    Chest Presses - Pectorals (chest muscles) or my favourite (NOT!) Pressups (technique is extra important with these)
    Bicep Curls - Biceps (front of the upper arms)
    Shoulder Presses (like my picture above) -Deltoids (shoulders) and Triceps (back of upper arms)
    Crunches - Abdominal muscles

    Remember - aim for at least 2 sets of 10-12 reps of each exercise. Rest should be a maximum of 1 minute between each set.

    Stretch (I'll blog about this in detail)

Start tomorrow - fat burning, healthier heart, healthier body. What are you waiting for? :)