This week we’re riding the high of wrapping up another round of Beat the Couch. Season 11 brought us an amazing pack of beginner runners and we now have another 60 people on the road.
There are a lot of reasons why I love this programme, but one of the biggest is because it gets people moving just enough. Despite all the excitement and our recent dose of triathlon fever, it’s worth remembering that you don’t have to be a major athlete to significantly reduce your health risk factors.
Running just 30 minutes three times a week is a great start when it comes to your weekly target. Add in a couple of brisk walks and two strength-training sessions and you could give yourself a big pat on the back. And remember it doesn’t have to feel like exercise …. sometimes you just have to reframe it in order to see it as a positive.
For me, running is time to listen to all the music I haven’t got around to yet. Other people like podcasts or just 30 minutes of silence. I prefer to drown out my heavy breathing … but everyone is different! Some people are simply more naturally inclined to exercise than others, there’s even a gene for exercise inclination — true story!
Either way, while routine is great for establishing new habits, it’s also a good idea to mix things up; partly because your body will respond well to different types of exercise that challenge different muscle groups, and partly to keep things interesting. If a lifestyle change is going to stick, you’ve got to want to do it — that part is key! In Beat the Couch, our goal is to help get people to a place where they want to run because they enjoy the sense of freedom, the new strength in their bodies, the mind space, the satisfaction of all the sweat and tears.
Likewise, with Nutrifit (my six-week nutrition programme) the goal is to give people a really good understanding of nutrition principles. The idea is to help you make smart, informed assessments and choices going forward and also to inspire you to want to eat healthy in the first place! The idea is to readjust your taste buds and give you an understanding of how cravings/addictions work (and can be managed), so that you end up in a much better position to work from. I make healthy choices consistently because I want to, not because someone told me I had to. I’ve never been good at doing what I was told “just because” — not many of us are!
One of the biggest keys to success (I find) when it comes to healthy eating, is to keep experimenting and trying new products and recipes. If you stick to the same old same old, then things quickly become boring. Boring doesn’t hold up well against a bar of Dairy Milk! So when it comes to chocolate, try the Bark Thins (Supermart … the blueberry and quinoa one is amazing!) if you haven’t already. There are also mini Justin’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups and Theo’s chocolate crispy rice clusters. They’re all good — just take it easy! Supermart do a great job of bringing in new and interesting things, so take a look at what’s new next time you are there.
This week, I have a hummus recipe for you because I recommend it all the time — although hummus is easy to overdose. If you have hit your hummus threshold, try this one as it has a great citrus and turmeric twist. I made this one up for a class I taught at The Chef’s Shop a while ago and it went down a treat. Serve it with fresh veggie sticks and some of the Lundberg brown rice chips, which are really tasty too. For details of the next Beat the Couch (Season 12!) and the new Nutrifit option, have a look at my website. Otherwise, I will see you back here next week. Have a great weekend!
Whipped Golden Hummus
1 15oz can of garbanzos/chick peas or white kidney beans, drained and rinsed really well
1 lemon, juiced
1 clementine or small orange, juiced
3 tbsps tahini (the Waitrose one is soft and easy to handle)
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1 inch ginger, peeled and crushed
1 tsp golden paste (or ½ tsp turmeric and a pinch of black pepper)
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Dash of maple syrup, to taste
Large pinch sea salt, to taste
Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until really smooth. Scrape down the sides if necessary and, if too thick, add a little water.
The advice given in this article is not intended to replace medical advice, but to complement it. Always consult your GP if you have any health concerns. Catherine Burns is a fully qualified nutritional therapist trained by the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in the UK. Please note that she is not a registered dietitian. For details: natural.bm, 236-7511 or, Facebook, Natural Nutrition Bermuda