Butternut Squash and Potato Soup (serves 4)

What you need

1 Medium butternut squash cut into small pieces
250g New potatoes cut into quarters
500ml Vegetable stock
1 Clove garlic – crushed
½ – 1 tsp chilli powder (to taste)

ingredients

What to do

Boil the potatoes and butternut squash in a pan for 12 – 15 minutes until soft
Drain and transfer into a blender
Add the vegetable stock, garlic and chilli powder

Blitz until smooth

Transfer back to a pan and heat though
Serve with crusty bread.

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Winter walking

With the clocks changing last weekend, evening walks have suddenly been plunged into darkness, it’s important that you maintain your walking through the winter but it’s more important to stay safe. Wear clothing that allows you to been seen, a bright jacket, a high visibility vest or even flashing armbands will make you visible to vehicles and alert drivers of your presence.

It’s also a difficult time when deciding what clothing to wear, (what you had once worn during your summer walks are no not cutting it) your body could be cold when you start (despite a warm up) but you could soon be overheating if you have too much clothing on. You’ll soon workout how your body reacts but initially go for layers; these can easily be removed should you be too warm and replaced if you start to cool down. It’s also worth carrying an extra layer with you just in case the temperature drops while you’re out.

Footwear is also hugely important during the winter, cold and damp feet are the last thing you want or need and are a sure fire way or demoralising even the most motivated person. Good sensible footwear that allows your feet to breath and is water resistant will keep your feet (and you) happier for longer.

Above all, keep safe when you walk, walk in well lit areas, walk with other people and if you do go out on your own tell someone where you’re going and how long you’re are expecting to be. Carry a mobile phone in case of emergency and enjoy your winter walking.

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Weekend Workout Week 8

This weekend we are focusing on legs, as we’ve now reached week eight we can increase the number of reps for some of the exercises.  We’re still using the exercise bands that were introduced last week for a couple of the exercises but will be using these more next week.

Remember that good quality exercises work the muscles harder, give faster results and reduces the risk of injury.

The workout

  1. 30 lunges (15 each leg)
  2. 20 Arms curls (10 each arm) (hold your exercise band handles in each hand with the band under your feet. Stand with your legs shoulder width apart and your arm by your side. Curl your arm to bring your knuckle towards your shoulder and slowly lower to the start position. Repeat with you other arm)
  3. 15 leg raises (lie on your back with your arms by your side, lift your legs up 6 – 10 inches of the ground and lower back down. Don’t let your legs touch the floor until you have completed all 10 exercises
  4. 30 squats
  5. 15 Crunches
  6. 20 Heel raises (start with your legs together and flat on the floor, from this position lift up onto your toes to hold for 2 seconds and low back down)
  7. 15 Press ups
  8. Rest for 2 minutes
  9. 30 lunges (15 each leg)
  10. 20 Arms curls (10 each arm) (hold your exercise band handles in each hand with the band under your feet. Stand with your legs shoulder width apart and your arm by your side. Curl your arm to bring your knuckle towards your shoulder and slowly lower to the start position. Repeat with you other arm)
  11. 15 leg raises (lie on your back with your arms by your side, lift your legs up 6 – 10 inches of the ground and lower back down. Don’t let your legs touch the floor until you have completed all 10 exercises
  12. 30 squats
  13. 15 Crunches
  14. 20 Heel raises (start with your legs together and flat on the floor, from this position lift up onto your toes to hold for 2 seconds and low back down)
  15. 15 Press ups
  16. Finish
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Ceamy Salmon Pasta

Pasta is rich in carbohydrates which is your body’s main fuel source and is one of the reason you’ll hear people talking about carb-loading prior to a marathon or long run. It is also a good source of potassium which is helps muscle function and vitamin A which can help to reduce the risk of infection.

This week I’ll be giving you 3 simple pasta based recopies for you to try starting with creamy salmon pasta dish.

What you need

200g Penne pasta
75g Smoked salmon, chopped
100ml crème fresh
Salt and pepper
Lemon, cut into wedges
2 tsp chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp chopped fresh dill

What to do

Cook the pasta as per packet guidelines and drain
Meanwhile add the crème fresh, chopped salmon, dill and parsley into a bowl and mix together
Season with salt and pepper to taste
Gently combine the mixture with the cooked pasta
Serve with a wedge of lemon

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Weekend workout – week 7

This weekend we are focusing on your core strength, this will help to improve your posture and build muscles.

The workout

  1. 15 reverse abdominal crunch (lie on your back with your knees bent at 45 degrees and your arms down by your side, from this position lift your feet of the ground around 6inches, this is the start position. To perform the exercise bring your knees 6 – 10 inches (depending on how flexible you are) towards your head and slowly return to the start position.
  2.  20 Tri extensions (10 each arm) (hold your exercise band handles in each hand with the band under your feet. Stand with your legs shoulder width apart lift your arms up and place your hands behind your head, this is the stat position.  From this position extend your arm until it is straight, slowly lower to the start position, repeat with the other arm.
  3. 20 lunges (10 each leg)
  4. 15 leg raises (lie on your back with your arms by your side, lift your legs up 6 – 10 inches of the ground and lower back down. Don’t let your legs touch the floor until you have completed all 10 exercises
  5. 10 Upward row (hold your exercise band handles in each hand with the band under your feet. Stand with your legs shoulder width apart, arms in front of you with your thumbs touching, palms facing towards you. Bring both hands straight up together until they are in line with your shoulders and slowly lower to the start position)
  6. 20 Heel raises (start with your legs together and flat on the floor, from this position lift up onto your toes to hold for 2 seconds and lower back down)
  7. 15 hand to knee sit up
  8. Rest for 1 minute
  9. 15 reverse abdominal crunch (lie on your back with your knees bent at 45 degrees and your arms down by your side, from this position lift your feet of the ground around 6inches, this is the start position. To perform the exercise bring your knees 6 – 10 inches (depending on how flexible you are) towards your head and slowly return to the start position.
  10.  20 Tri extensions (10 each arm) (hold your exercise band handles in each hand with the band under your feet. Stand with your legs shoulder width apart lift your arms up and place your hands behind your head, this is the stat position.  From this position extend your arm until it is straight, slowly lower to the start position, repeat with the other arm.
  11. 20 lunges (10 each leg)
  12. 15 leg raises (lie on your back with your arms by your side, lift your legs up 6 – 10 inches of the ground and lower back down. Don’t let your legs touch the floor until you have completed all 10 exercises
  13. 10 Upward row (hold your exercise band handles in each hand with the band under your feet. Stand with your legs shoulder width apart, arms in front of you with your thumbs touching, palms facing towards you. Bring both hands straight up together until they are in line with your shoulders and slowly lower to the start position)
  14. 20 Heel raises (start with your legs together and flat on the floor, from this position lift up onto your toes to hold for 2 seconds and lower back down)
  15. 15 hand to knee sit up
  16. Finish
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Lemon Chicken

What you need

2 skinless chicken breasts
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
60g shallots, sliced
1 ½ tbsp honey
50ml olive oil
1 lemon

What to do

Pre heat the oven to 200⁰C (gas mark 6)
Mix together the honey, vinegar oil along with the juice and zest from the lemon.
Add the shallots to a roasting dish,
Cut the remainder of the lemon into 1/4’s and add to the roasting dish
Add the chicken
Cover the chicken with the honey, vinegar, oil and lemon mixture
Cook for 30 – 40 minutes
Server the chicken and cover with any juice from the roasting dish
Server with new potatoes and vegetables

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Colourful Chicken

What you need

2 skinless chicken breasts cut into quarters
½ Green pepper cut into strips
½ Red pepper cut into strips
½ Yellow pepper cut into strips
1 Red onion sliced
1 Clove garlic chopped
1 tsp dried chilli (optional)
75ml White wine
1 Large tomato chopped
Olive oil

What to do

Using a large pan, over a low heat fry the onions in a little oil until soft and set aside
Add a little more oil to the pan, turn the heat to a moderate heat and add the chicken
Cook for 7 – 9 minutes until brown on all sides
Add the onions and garlic and chilli
Add the wine and cook until the liquid has reduced by half
Add the pepper and tomatoes
Lower the heat and slowly cook for around 25 minutes
Add small amounts of water if the pan appears dry

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