Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato & Chicken Curry with Cannellini Beans

I made a batch of this tonight and it was simply delicious. I made it up as I went along, so I’m sharing the recipe before I forget how I did it! This taste healthy curry would work just as well without chicken for the meat free alternative…

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INGREDIENTS (serves 4)

• 1.5 tablespoons chilli infused olive oil
• 1 large red onion chopped 
• 500g butternut squash cut into small chunks
• 300g sweet potato cut into small chunks 
• 40g tomato paste 
• 70g green curry paste
• 300ml chicken (or veg) stock
• 300g chicken breast diced
• 1 teaspoon medium curry powder 
• a shake of ground coriander & ground cumin 
• 200g cannellini beans 
• 100g frozen peas
• handful chopped fresh coriander
• 50g natural yogurt 
• low sodium salt & pepper

METHOD

1: Heat the oil in a wok or a large frying pan. Throw in the onion, butternut squash & sweet potato and sauté for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables start to soften slightly. The squash will release a really nice smell!

2: Add the tomato and curry pastes, the stock & the chicken, then season with the curry powder, coriander & cumin. Add a little salt & pepper if required, & leave it to bubble away for 20 minutes on medium heat

3: Add the cannellni beans & peas & give it a good stir, then leave for another 10 minutes

4: Add the fresh coriander & yoghurt & leave to settle for 5 minutes

5: Enjoy with some steamed veg or a wholemeal pitta

 

 

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The Myth of Muscle Toning

MYTH-OF-TONING

 

Personal training is about goal setting…

When I begin working with clients on a 1-2-1 basis, or on my 10 week programme, I ask them to state their individual goals. The most common answer I hear is “I would like to TONE UP…but I do not want to BUILD muscle”.

In this post, I am going to prove the above statement is incorrect. It is a big fat lie sold to you by the media!! It is physically impossible for skeletal muscle to go from soft to hard, or from hard to soft. Nor is it possible for muscle to be converted to fat or vice versa. Muscle is muscle, fat is fat, plain and simple.

 

fat-vs-muscle

 

First, let’s look at what people really mean when they say their goal is to ”tone up’. From experience, clients generally mean their goal is to develop a lean physique with shape and muscle definition. Sound about right?

In order to achieve this, there has to be an increase in lean mass (muscle hypertrophy) and a decrease in body fat (mainly subcutaneous, under the skin, fat). The above goal can only be achieved by altering body composition (muscle to fat ratio) in favour of lean tissue.

 

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And to achieve this, YOU MUST ENGAGE IN STRENGTH TRAINING. Strength training, supplemented with moderate cardiovascular training is imperative in building a lean muscular physique. Of course, nutrition is paramount, but that is not the purpose of this post.

And by strength training, I don’t mean light weight and high repetitions. YOU MUST OVERLOAD MUSCLES with relatively heavy loads to stimulate fast twitch muscle fibres. This is not the same as body building, which is a totally different discipline.

Strength training will take care of any muscle adaptations and, to an extent, fat loss. Add some cardiovascular conditioning, and you are on course to achieving your goal of a lean healthy physique.

Strength training and cardio don’t have to be exclusive from one another. Science has proven HIIT, metabolic resistance training and circuit training have all been proven to get results fast!

This is the principle my CIRCUIT TRAINING CLASSES and BOOT CAMPS are designed upon and it is the reason my clients continue to achieve their goals and meet targets.

 

I hope this was of benefit

Alan (May 2018)

Malcolm Mackay

Malcolm Mackay (before & after)

TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS: 2 stone 4 lbs / 32 lbs / 15kg (the equivalent in weight to 7.5 2 litre bottles of coke or a Staffordshire bull Terrier)

ACHIEVED THROUGH: 1-2-1 Personal Training, Nutrition 

“I started 1-2-1 training with Alan towards the end of 2016 (several months after my 60th birthday). I had always lived an active lifestyle, but my weight started to increase in recent years. Somehow, I found myself over 90kg for the first time, and I was miserable! I often felt bloated after meals and I was experiencing lower back. My sleep pattern was poor and I felt out of balance. Given my age, I was sceptical about being able to lose weight and how much I could get my fitness back. Alan made the process very straight forward and he broke the training, and the nutrition, down so that I was clear on what I had to do, and he has been with me every step of the way. With Alan’s help, I’ve learned to respect my body, I feel younger, faster, fitter and happier…and I’ve lost well over 2 stone”

May 2017

Donna Harvie

Donna Harvie (before & after)

TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS: 2 stone 7.5 lbs/ 35.5 lbs / 15.8 kg (the equivalent in weight to 3.5 adult Maltese dogs or 150 Starbucks blueberry muffins)

ACHIEVED THROUGH: Circuit Training, Boot Camp, Nutrition, Spartan 70: 10 Week Boot Camp Transformation Programme

15M MSFT (BEEP TEST): Level 4.6 (May 2016) – 8.6 (November 2017)

“The Spartan experience has been amazing, I have enjoyed every single class & I especially enjoyed the variation covered through the different training disciplines. I am so happy with my results and I feel so much better for it. It’s made me very aware of how bad my eating habits were and it has given me a lot more confidence within myself. All the classes were very well instructed and explained so clearly. As far as I am concerned, I could not have achieved this without the great coaching from Alan – he has so much knowledge. I have signed up for the next Spartan classes in January 2018, which I can’t wait to get back into”

November 2017

Lesley Gallagher

Lesley Gallagher (before & after)

TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS: 1 stone 6 lbs/ 20 lbs / 9.1 kg (the equivalent in weight to 30 tins of soup or 30 human hearts)

ACHIEVED THROUGH: 1-2-1 Personal Training, Circuit Training, Boot Camp, Nutrition, Spartan 70: 10 Week Boot Camp Transformation Programme

15M MSFT (BEEP TEST): Level 5.4 (May 2016) – 8.8 (November 2017)

“As a runner, when I developed knee problems, I thought my days of exercising were over. I started gaining weight and I felt miserable. Thank goodness a friend took me along to Alan’s classes. The sessions were amazing. The group are so welcoming and supportive. I learned good technique and discovered just how important developing core strength is. Over the past two years I’ve now completed Alan’s five week Gladiator programme, I’ve had PT sessions and I’ve just signed up for my second 10 week transformation programme: Spartan 70. Wanting to be as strong as I can be is definitely now part of my life. I love every minute of it and I would encourage anyone to speak to Alan Goodwin today about what you can achieve”

November 2017

Poem: Depression

depression

 

You feel it all over

From head to toe,

You carry it with you

Wherever you go…

Although in a crowd

You feel very alone,

Is everyone with someone?

And you are on your own?

 

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From time to time

Life loses appeal,

Sadness & pain

Is all you can feel…

You’ve no satisfaction

From your favourite food,

And when you make love

Does it feel as good?

 

 Your world is in darkness

You’ve no-one to hold,

You feel wholly isolated

Naked & cold…

Would you be missed

If you checked out tonight?

It’s a never ending tunnel

Without any light

 

isolation

 

 

Feeling worthless & inferior

And you don’t know why,

You think you have failed

Before you even try…

Are you really so unattractive?

It certainly feels that way,

‘Who would want me’ you ask yourself

And you ask it everyday

 

If you don’t keep striving

The bastards win the fight,

Pray to God that the dark

Will soon be the light…

Someone once told me

‘You’ve got to have hope’,

If you don’t believe you can beat it

How will you cope?

 

 What goes around comes around

Karma will prevail,

The good will eventually succeed

And the bad will always fail…

The battle is yours

And it’s yours to win,

Where’s this indomitable spirit

That’s locked deep within?

 

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Alan J. Goodwin 2004

 

Poem: A day in the Life of M.E.

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My hands are so cold

My limbs are so weak

It’s time to be bold

For the future looks bleak

 

Muscles ache and burn

Words no longer flow

How do I forget

I can feel so low?

 

The body’s so sluggish

I must scream and shout

It all makes me wonder

What life’s all about?

 

optogenetics

 

Glands are so swollen

The throat is so sore

I break down in tears

I can’t bear much more

 

At night so depressed

Feeling all alone

Awake in the dark

And sick to the bone

 

Fibromyalgia_pain

 

The pain’s not forever

The illness will go

But not overnight

As recovery is slow

 

I’ll not let it beat me

I’ve grown strong and tough

That’s what is needed

When I’ve had enough

 

Embracing each day

What an awesome task!

At least I’m alive

What more can I ask?

 

sunshine-heart

 

Alan J. Goodwin 2001

 

Metabolic Resistance Training? What? Why? Where? When?

 

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Whether you want to gain lean mass, trim the body fat, improve sports performance or take a step closer to achieving the toned lean physique you’ve been working towards, resistance training is a must.

And I WOULD LIKE TO OFFER SOME ADVICE to ensure you get the most from your visits to the gym, or more specifically, the weights room…

So, you’ve just finished your first set of pull downs or back squats (or whichever exercise you’re working on). What now? Do you sit on the bench, pull your phone out and catch up on the day’s social media? Do you text your pal to arrange that long overdue trip to the cinema?

Or do you UTILISE YOUR TIME MORE PRODUCTIVELY AND GET THE MOST FROM YOUR TRIP TO THE GYM?

Let’s assume you chose the latter

So, you want to maximise the efficiency of your workouts, do you?

What I’m about to tell you will not only increase your gains (or losses), it will also cut your workout time down considerably. I often tell my clients the longest workout is not necessarily the best workout; ‘QUALITY OVER QUANTITY’.

THE ANSWER lies in what IS known as METABOLIC RESISTANCE TRAINING (MRT). MRT, in a nutshell, is a series of exercises performed back to back at high intensity with minimal or no rest between each exercise. MRT is somewhat of an ‘umbrella term’ covering a range of disciplines such as supersets, drop sets and resistance circuit training.

 

caution

 

MRT tends to be performed using ‘compound exercises’. Compound exercises are multi-joint exercises that challenge several muscle groups at a time. Examples include squats, deadlifts, lunges, pull downs and chest presses.

The aim of an MRT session is to deplete the body of its natural resources and increase ‘post exercise oxygen consumption’ (EPOC) aka the after-burn effect. This basically means, you make your body work harder so it expends more energy returning to normal. The harder your body works to return to homoeostasis (a state of balance), the more calories it burns and the more fat it continues to melt for hours, even days, after an MRT workout.

The beauty of MRT, other than its simplicity, is it successfully BREAKS DOWN TRADITIONAL BARRIERS BETWEEN CARDIOVASCULAR TRAINING AND WEIGHT TRAINING by increasing muscular strength and cardiovascular endurance.

In addition to this, regularly performing MRT increases production of human growth hormone (HGH); an anti-ageing hormone. Increased production of HGH slows down the ageing the process.

 

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The number of exercises and circuits you perform during an MRT workout ultimately depends on your training goals and fitness level. However, I recommend starting with as little as 2-3 rounds of 3-4 exercises, building up to 4 intense rounds of 8 exercises. Progression can be achieved not just by adding exercises and circuits, but also by increasing weights and attempting more challenging exercises. For the number of repetitions, see my blog post ‘Ideal rep Range’.

Although the goal is to leave the gym exhausted, PERFORMING ALL EXERCISES WITH SAFE AND EFFECTIVE TECHNIQUE IS PARAMOUNT. So, remember folks, work on technique first and build the intensity sensibly. If you are new to resistance training, seek the advice and instruction of a professional with lifting experience.

Give it a try. You will be reaping the benefits in no time!

Benefits of MRT summarised

  • Aerobic AND anaerobic adaptations
  • A Greater calorie deficit achieved than traditional weight training or cardiovascular training
  • Cuts workout time down considerably
  • Fast track method of altering body composition (muscle to fat ratio)
  • Increased production of (HGH) – an anti-ageing hormone
  • Adds variation and fun to gym sessions

Emma Boyle

PicMonkey Image22

TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS: 2 stone 5 lbs/ 33 lbs / 15 kg (the equivalent in weight to 4 human heads + a Guinea pig!)

ACHIEVED THROUGH: Circuit Training, Boot Camp, Boxing Fitness, Nutrition, Spartan 70: 10 Week Boot Camp Transformation Programme

15M MSFT (BEEP TEST): Level 9.2 (August 2016) – 11.7 (July 2017)

“I first started boxing fitness which was great fun, a brilliant work out and everyone in the class was so friendly. This made it so much easier for me and I started the other classes. My fitness has improved so much, I can now achieve things with my body that I never thought I could – such as chin ups!! I love Ord Hill Boot Camp which has been invaluable in improving my running technique and getting me a sub 24 min 5k! Alan’s knowledge of fitness and nutrition is unsurpassed and has helped me achieve so much more than my physical goals”

July 2017

Spartan 70: 10 Week Boot Camp Transformation Programme

Louise Taylor (side) week 1 & week 10
Louise Taylor (front) week 1 & week 10

WEIGHT LOSS

18 lbs (1 stone 4 lbs) – the equivalent to the average car tyre or a 40″ flat screen TV!!

BLOOD PRESSURE

* week 1: 141/89 (hypertensive)
* week 10: 109/82 (ideal range)

BMI
* week 1: 37
* week 10: 34

 

MSFT/ 15M BEEP TEST

* week 1: L 3.7
* week 10: L 5.3

 

Claire Jack (side) Week 1 & 10

Claire Jack (front) Week 1 & 10

WEIGHT LOSS

17 lbs (1 stone 3 lbs) – the equivalent to 2 gallons of paint or 3 bricks

BLOOD PRESSURE

* week 1: 122/78
* week 10: 111/73

BMI

* week 1: 28
* week 10: 25

MSFT/ 15M BEEP TEST

* week 1: L 5.6
* week 10: L 6.5

 

Shona Calder (side) Week 1 & Week 10

WEIGHT LOSS

9 lbs – the equivalent to a large watermelon!!

BLOOD PRESSURE

* week 1: 150/93 (hypertensive)
* week 10: 136/87 (almost ideal range)

BMI
* week 1: 29
* week 10: 27

 

MSFT/ 15M BEEP TEST

* week 1: L 6.4
* week 10: L 7.8

 

Donna Harvie (side) Week 1 & Week 10

WEIGHT LOSS

15.5 lbs (1 stone 1.5 lbs) – the equivalent to a medium sized bowling ball + an average sized table lamp

BLOOD PRESSURE

* week 1: 127/76 (ideal range)
* week 10: 124/68 (ideal range)

BMI
* week 1: 25.5
* week 10: 23

 

MSFT/ 15M BEEP TEST

* week 1: L 7.4
* week 10: L 8.6

 

Anika Watkins (side) Week 1 & Week 10

WEIGHT LOSS

12.5 lbs – the equivalent to 4.5 human brains or 6L of water

BLOOD PRESSURE

* week 1: 129/76
* week 10: 109/70

BMI

* week 1: 25
* week 10: 22

MSFT/ 15M BEEP TEST

* week 1: L 7.1
* week 10: L 8.3