Welcome to Your Letterbox’s new monthly feature ‘Your Letterbox Life Coach’ where I will be sharing health and fitness tips to put the ‘Well’ back into “Cherwell.’
I have always been a passionate foodie and have previously worked as a Development Chef for a company based in the Cotswolds. I am studying to become a qualified vegan Sports Nutritionist, and am also a freelance Menu Consultant, currently supporting the Holiday Inn Group to develop their veggie options. All very exciting. I have just joined a local gym, where my goal is to improve my own overall fitness through yoga, resistance training and maybe some running. I completed a half marathon a couple of years ago but have been plagued by a knee injury since then which has impeded progress.
So that’s a little about me, I am not an elite athlete but I do eat healthily and I do know a bit about nutrition. Best of all, I know what tastes good, and will be sharing some of my favourite recipes with you to try out at home. I’ve been asked by the ‘Your Letterbox’ Team to share my knowledge and insights, and also to encourage you, the readers to do the same. I will be answering your queries about health and wellbeing over the coming months, so please email me! Treat this as a forum for sharing anything that can benefit the wellbeing of our community. We’re all in this together!
Summer is a great time to do a bit of a stocktake of where we are in terms of our health, and I always think it’s the best time of year to introduce better self-care routines in preparation for the autumn and winter months when we tend to get sick. I’m in the process of working out some weekly meal plans which I’d be happy to share if anyone is interested.
Step Number 1 for anybody wanting to begin a health overhaul, reducing the number of animal products consumed, especially highly processed products, is a great place to start. There are some excellent recipe sites online, for example, Veganuary, Bosh and Wicked Healthy!
Check out Meat Free Monday for recipes too- Sir Paul McCartney can’t be wrong, now can he?!
Step Number 2 Get moving! Join a gym. Go for a walk every day. Try out the fabulous sports facilities provided by our local councils- the Lidos, in particular, are magnificent!
And in the meantime, here is a quick and easy gluten-free recipe to whet your appetite!
Farinata (as pictured)- serve with a salad for a delicious light Summer lunch
• 250g chickpea flour
• 100ml extra-virgin olive oil
• 3 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked
• 1 tsp Himalayan salt
• Combine flour and 1 tsp salt in a large bowl. Gradually whisk in 800ml warm water until very smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside overnight to ferment.
• The next day, preheat oven to 220°C. Skim off any impurities that have risen to the surface, then whisk in 2 tbs oil.
• Heat 1 1/2 tbs oil in a 30cm ovenproof dish until almost smoking. (like you would when making Yorkshire Puddings.) Slowly add the batter, tilting the dish so it’s evenly covered. Transfer back to the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes. Add the rosemary, and any additional toppings such as black olives, sun dried tomatoes etc. Cook until crisp and golden on top, and a skewer comes out clean from the centre.
• Slide onto a wooden board and cut into wedges.