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Yin & Yang Turmeric Tofu 💛

I came up with this simple spice mix for tofu back in 2018. I had been looking for a tofu recipe (since I had no original ideas for tofu not being a vegan or vegetarian) but I couldn’t find anything desirable so I had to improvise in the end anyway – the irony!

The original recipe calls for the use of soft tofu, which will give you an amazing scrambled tofu dish (it will look and taste like eggs or even better!). It is so far my own favourite tofu recipe out of the ones I’ve cooked so I dare to recommend it to you all.

The more recent version of this recipe saw the use of firm tofu instead and I omitted onions for my low FODMAP people! I didn’t miss the onions at all and I liked the firm tofu, but I will stick to the original soft tofu simply because it takes in SO much more flavour and remains really juicy. The firm tofu would probably need to be marinated a bit longer in the spice mix or you could benefit from an additional sauce as it can be a bit on the dry side compared to soft tofu.

Here’s what you’ll need:IMG_2831
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 hot paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
a bit of water to mix
+ 200g soft tofu
2 cups of kale
1/2 red onion
1 pepper

Heat vegetable or olive oil in a pan. Drain the tofu and crumble it onto a pan. Pour the spice mix/sauce over the tofu and fry on high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to allow it to soak in the flavours and colours.

Tip: if you allow it to cook for longer, you can even brown the soft tofu and give it a slightly crispy exterior while it remains soft on the inside. It’s incredibly tasty!

Add chopped onion and pepper and fry for a few more minutes. You can add kale to the scramble or blanche it separately like I did. Just clean the pan (I used a wok this time) and throw a generous amount of kale on it and add a bit of water. 1-2 minutes is all you need – you’ll be able to tell from the colour of the leaves as they turn into vibrant green.

Your gorgeous colourful dish will be ready in about 10 minutes! And all under 250kcal! ☺️

I’m not vegan myself nor will I ever become one – I’m sorry – but I do love meat free dishes. When I cook something without animal protein, it’s usually because I have not felt like eating anything heavy and too hard to digest or I have wanted to increase my vegetable intake. In this case it was to eat this gorgeous bright dish that should, according to science, make me happier given that Curcumin can boost the happy hormones in our brains (re my Instagram post).

Whether you’re an omnivore or a herbivore, always remember to love your body by using a variety of ingredients for a variety of macro and micronutrients!

Christmas: Food, Training, Alcohol – what to do before, during and after.

Just two more days until the big day!

Christmas is such a lovely time of the year. People travel within the country or fly overseas to spend time with their loved ones; others fly in from abroad to visit family and friends. However, when it comes to food and drink, Christmas has a big problem: there’s just too much of everything. This is where we tend to trip up since the majority of dishes are only consumed once w year, it’s like going to a new all-you-can-eat restaurant: you’re going to want to try a bit of everything.

Over the last two weeks I have been asked for healthy eating tips for the festive period. Without telling you exactly what to eat, I will give you a few handy pointers on how to make better food choices over the next few days.

Most importantly, I would like to say please do not stress yourself out too much about how many calories you’re going to be consuming. We don’t want it to take the joy out of Christmas. Enjoy the time with your family and friends and make the most of it.

However, here are a few tried and tested methods.

My advice for clients before big dinners or events is to prepare by leaving “calories in the bank”. This means increasing the intake of healthy, highly nutritious food beforehand to be able to enjoy the time off without overly worrying about calories and the ratio of macros. By consuming highly satiating, low calorie foods, which provide quality nutrients, you can improve your digestion. Plus, should you have time for a workout or two beforehand, you will also boost your metabolism and increase your body’s ability to process the energy consumed.

Here’s what to do today and tomorrow:

FOOD:

In the run up to Christmas Dinner, eat an abundance of green vegetables and lean protein. Per meal, I recommend at least 2 servings (160g) of vegetables and 125g of lean protein such as chicken or turkey or about 200g of white fish or seafood such as prawns, scallops, mussels etc. Out of green vegetables I recommend broccoli, asparagus, all types of green beans, courgette and cauliflower (although not green, it acts like a green vegetable when it comes to satiety and fat loss) and of course Brussels sprouts are ideal on Christmas Day. If you like kale and spinach, aim for up to 200-300g in the same meal. On top of that, add some rainbow coloured vegetables for a variety of vitamins and minerals.

TRAINING:

I highly recommend at least one whole body resistance training session: one exercise per muscle group with 2 sets of 12-15 repetitions each. This workout could include lunges, squats, press-ups, tricep dips, bent-over or seated rows, shoulder press and some abdominal work followed by a lovely stretch. Should you have time for two sessions, do upper body and core today and leave lower body training for tomorrow.

Either option will increase your body’s insulin sensitivity and uptake of glycogen (carbohydrates). This way you’ll ensure the energy consumed on Christmas Day goes to good use.

On Christmas Day:

ALCOHOL:

Refer to my previous blog post or YouTube/IGTV video on alcohol and all facts on its consumption.

FOOD:

First and foremost, enjoy yourself and remember that no food is inherently bad or good. The problem is the quantity, so go by “everything in moderation”. If you are a healthy eater who trains regularly throughout the year then a single meal will not tip the scales. It’s been scientifically proven that the amount of body fat stored from a single overindulgent meal is negligible and following a phase of dieting and training can actually boost your weight loss and improve performance in the gym the next day. Still, I would encourage you to listen to your body and not to force yourself to eat more should you feel stuffed up to the eyebrows. 🙂

TRAINING:

Maybe grab a smaller relative and do a couple of squats if that makes you feel better. Otherwise, don’t worry about it.

From Boxing Day onwards:

FOOD:

Reverse dieting – repeat what you did before Christmas Day. Lots of greens, lean protein and an increased water intake. Do not restrict your food intake to “balance out” the calories – our bodies don’t work like that. If you feel a bit heavy, reduce your starchy carbohydrate intake for a couple of days or until you start to feel lighter again. Allow yourself to feel hungry before eating and savour your meals. Do not weigh yourself as it’s pointless. The scales will simply reflect the total of your bodyweight plus gross weight of all foods and drinks consumed. It’s helpful to remember that your body will store 3 grams of water per every gram of carbohydrate consumed, which can lead to bloating and water retention. If you must, please allow yourself 2-4 days before weighing. If you had been following a calorie controlled diet beforehand, you’ll still stand a good chance at having lost some weight by your next weigh in.

TRAINING:

Do not punish yourself with exercise. However, to improve both mental and physical wellbeing, you have two options. Either opt for a light cardio session (cycling, running, swimming) or go to the sauna to sweat out the toxins from alcohol. Or do another whole body session to utilise the excess energy from carbs and fats. As a bonus you will feel a lot stronger, so I do encourage you to put that to good use.

I hope this handy little guide will have given you some peace of mind before the festivities and you feel better prepared.

Once more, please don’t forget to have a great time!

Merry Christmas!

Rahel x