Marvellous Matcha

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Organic Green Matcha Tea in a Bowl

Organic Green Matcha Tea in a Bowl

Matcha is a form of green tea but the marvellous thing is that it has around 137 times the amount of antioxidants! It has been used in Japan for many years for this reason. It contains catechins, a form of antioxidant and in particular EGCG which is linked to fighting cancer and heart disease amongst other things.

Other benefits:

  • Contains many vitamins and minerals
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Gives you more energy
  • Better blood-sugar regulation
  • You can consume it many different ways: hot or cold, in tablet form, or you can include it in meals
  • It is known to create a sense of calm without drowsiness
  • Weight loss

The list is endless…

Has anyone tried matcha before? Let us know. If you would like to get some, we would recommend looking at the options on Amazon.

U-Shape Loves: Get the Glow

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Have you heard of Madeline Shaw? She is the author of the ‘Get the Glow’ – our latest favourite cookbook. Madeline says ‘I belive healthy eating shouldn’t be about fad diets, starvation or deprivation. My philosophy is simple: ditch the junk and eat foods that heal your gut so you can shine from head to toe and really get the glow.’

Now, what we like about this cookbook is that when you flick through, the meals are not bland and boring but all of them are colourful and look like they would fill you up. There is a big focus in the book on homemade meals and lots of vegetables, it isn’t all about limiting calories.

Madeline gives guidance about how to ditch the junk with top tips including great alternatives and realistic goals you should set yourselves.

Some of our favourite recipes are:

  • Autumn salad: mexican bbq grilled corn and quinoa, with chilli salsa
  • Monkfish curry with indian spiced cauliflower rice
  • Ginger cookie cups
  • Skin saver juice

Madeline also has a second book ‘Ready Steady Glow’ has a fantastic collection of weekday recipes that can be made in less than 30 minutes – ideal for busy people who still want to be healthy. Buy now for £8.99 on Amazon.

Advantages of having a Personal Trainer

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Woman doing push-ups exercises with her personal trainer in a modern urban context. She are wearing gray and black sportswear and a phone holder, the trainer look at watch and incite her

There are many benefits of having a personal trainer to help you reach your fitness and health goals and here are just some of them:

  • Motivation

Personal trainers are also ‘personal motivators.’ Many people who find they have lost the motivation and drive to exercise choose to get a trainer to get this back. Regular sessions will help you get active and it will make exercise become a habit, getting you back into a routine.

  • Personalised workouts

You can tell your trainer exactly what you want to work on. For example, you’d like to lose a few pounds but also tone up your arms. This means that they can tailor your sessions to help you achieve these goals.

  • More than just exercise

You can get advice about your diet as well as your fitness regime, giving you even more of a push to achieve sucess and a healthy lifestyle.

  • They push you

Who has been for a run an felt tired after 10 minutes and decided just to walk the rest of the way? It is very easy to stop when you are on your own but not so easy when someone is next to you telling you to do five more minutes. Personal trainers know your limits and they push you much harder than you would yourself.

  • Variety

It is very easy to get into the habit of doing the same workout every time you exercise but personal trainers keep things interesting. Their varied workouts will also give you inspiration for when you are working out on your own.

At U-Shape we offer individual personal training or in a couple, small groups or large groups. We currently have the following sessions available:

Tuesday – Before 9am, 10am and 10.30am
Wednesday – Before 9am, 10am and 10.30am
Thursday – 9am

For more information please contact Nadya at nadya@u-shape.co.uk

Stylish and Wonderful Water Bottles

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Water is obviously a very vital part of our survival…so who is to say you can’t drink in style? Take a peak at some of our favourite water bottles on the market right now  – you will save money and plastic.

S’well water bottles

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This is our number one favourite water bottle brand. They are so stylish and also are a company with a conscience, having launched with a mission to rid the world of the plastic water bottle. Buy them at the Hip and Healthy store.

HydrateM8

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If you are someone that doesn’t drink as much as they should throughout the day, this water bottle would be a great purchase for you. There is a chart down the side of the bottle monitoring how much you should be drinking, and when. This will encourage you to get to the bottom of the bottle pronto! Prices start from £11.19 and they also have a range of kids bottles too.

The Bkr bottle

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These are very stylish, glass water bottles that are all the fashion at the moment, with a dedicated celebrity following. They are extremely pretty so we see why!

The Bobble Bottle

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You may have seen the bobble bottle around a bit more than the others, and that’s for a good reason – they are very popular. Not too expensive and with a built in filter, the bobble bottle is a great choice for a water bottle. They also have a new ‘bobble infuse’ bottle designed so you can add fruit/veg into them.

Which bottle is your favourite?

Review: Peli Phone Protectors

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peli-products

As busy personal trainers, we are running around all the time. This means that our phones need to be extremely protected.

We have been trying out the Peli phone covers to see if they can handle this challenge…and they are doing extremely well so far!

They describe themselves as the slimmest impacting-absorbing case on the market. With military-tested specifications to survive multiple drops, you do feel a lot better knowing your phone is safe.

The covers come in a range of colours and styles and you can even get one for your Ipad. Check out the Peli website here for more information: Peli

Healthy Lunchbox Lunches

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It can be tricky to be creative when you are packing lunch boxes (either your own or your childrens). Here are some of our favourite healthy and delicious lunchbox ideas:

Carrot and Halloumi Patties

Courtesty of Honestly Healthy

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Ingredients:

For the patties:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fennel seed
  • 4 large carrots, grated
  • 40g (4) spring onions
  • 30g coriander, roughly chopped
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 100g Halloumi, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, finely grated
  • 20g red onion, grated
  • 40g rice flour
  • 1 egg white, whisked

For the dressing:

  • 4tbsp of olive oil
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tsp of agave syrup

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 175°C
  2. In a pan, heat the olive oil and the fennel seeds for 3 minutes, take off the heat and put to one side.
  3. Mix all of the remaining ingredients into a separate bowl, with the fennel seed olive oil. Take a handful of the mixture, squeeze the moisture out, and make a small patty; it should fit in the palm of your hand. Transfer to a hot pan with 1 tsp sunflower oil, and sear till golden on each side. Then put into the oven to cook for 15 minutes.
  4. To make the dressing, simply mix all of the ingredients together until combined.
  5. Serve on a bed of rocket with the lime dressing.

 

Smoked salmon and avocado on rye

Courtesy of BBC GoodFood

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Ingredients:

 

  • ½ avocado
  • chilli paste
  • squeeze lime or lemon juice
  • rye bread
  • few slices smoked salmon
  • lime wedges
  • slices of roast chicken or turkey

Method:

  1. Mash the avocado with a little chilli paste and a squeeze of lime or lemon juice. Spoon over a slice of rye bread and top with the sliced smoked salmon and lime wedges.
  2. This is also good with sliced roast chicken or turkey.

 

Mexican Bean Salad

Courtesy of BBC GoodFood

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Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 avocados, peeled and stoned
  • 2 x 400g cans of beans (we used pinto beans and kidney beans, rinsed and drained)
  • small red onion, finely sliced
  • large bunch coriander, leaves only, roughly chopped
  • 250g punnet cherry tomato, halved
  • bottle bought good-quality dressing (we used English Provender Company Lime & Coriander dressing)
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
  • 1/2 tsp cumin

Method

  1. Lower the eggs into boiling water and boil for 6½ mins, then put into a bowl of cold water to cool. Slice the avocados and place in a large bowl with the beans, onion, coriander and tomatoes. Measure 3 tbsp of the dressing into a small bowl, then mix in the chilli and cumin. Once the eggs have cooled but are still warm, peel off the shells and cut into quarters. Toss the salad with the dressing and nestle in the eggs. Serve straight away – delicious with toasted tortillas.

Courgette and feta bakes

Courtesy of Tesco realfood

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Ingredients:

  • 3 medium courgettes, coarsley grated
  • 10 eggs beaten
  • handful mint, chopped
  • 100g feta cheese
  • olive oil for greasing

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C.
  2. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt over the courgettes and leave for 5 minutes. Put in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze tightly to remove the excess water. Put in a large bowl and stir through the eggs, mint and most of the feta and season, if you like.
  3. Lightly grease a 12-hole muffin tin. Fill the moulds and sprinkle with feta. Bake for 12-15 minutes, then grill for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is golden. Leave to cool a little then carefully ease out of muffin tin and serve. Can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.

Lentil Tabbouleh

Courtesy of Jamie Oliver

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Ingredients:

  • 200g puy lentils
  • 1 bunch spring onions
  • 200g ripe cherry tomatoes
  • 1 large bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 large bunch of fresh mint
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon

Method:

  1. Rinse the lentils, then cook in plenty of salted water until tender. Drain and set aside to cool.
  2. Trim and finely slice the spring onions, halve the tomatoes, then pick and finely chop the herb leaves.
  3. Mix the cooled lentils with the spring onions, tomatoes, herbs and 4 tablespoons of oil. Add the lemon juice to taste, season with sea salt and black pepper, then serve.

Gluten-Free Recipes

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harissa-chicken-traybake-1

Here are some of our favourite gluten-free recipes for those who are intolerant to gluten or not!

Harissa chicken traybake

Courtesy of BBC GoodFood

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Ingredients:

4 chicken legs

4 tbsp harissa paste (rose harissa is nice)

1 garlic bulb, broken into cloves

1 lemon, cut into wedges

400g cherry tomatoes on the vine

350g new potatoes, halved if large

50g Kalamata olives

2tbsp olive oil

green salad, to serve (optional)

Method

  • Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Score deep lines all over the chicken legs, then rub in the harissa. Season well and place in a roasting tin. Scatter the garlic over and around the chicken. Squeeze the lemon wedges over, then place them in the tin with the cherry tomatoes, potatoes and olives. Season, drizzle over the oil and toss briefly to mix everything together.
  • Cook in the oven for 45 mins-1 hr until the chicken is cooked through and golden. Serve with salad, if you like.

 

Charred avo and eggs

Courtesy of Jamie Oliver

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Ingredients:

1 red pepper

4 spring onions

½ a ripe avocado

olive oil

1 sweet potato

2 large free-range eggs

2 tablespoons cottage cheese

½ a fresh red chilli

a few sprigs of fresh soft herbs, such as parsley, mint, coriander
Method:

  • Halve and deseed the pepper, then slice into fine strips. Trim and finely slice the spring onions, then destone, peel and chop the avocado.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium frying pan over a medium-high heat, add the spring onions, avocado and pepper and fry for 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly charred.
  • Using a speed-peeler, peel the skin from the sweet potato, then continue peeling into fine ribbons. Add to the pan, tossing with the charred veg, and fry for 3 minutes, or until the sweet potato ribbons start to char.
  • Spread the veg evenly in the pan, then use the back of a spoon to push and dig out two pockets. Crack an egg into each one, then tilt the pan so the whites run into the veg and bind everything together.
  • Season with sea salt and black pepper, cover with a lid or tin foil, then reduce the heat to medium–low and let the eggs cook for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on how runny you like your yolks.
  • Meanwhile, deseed and finely chop the chilli, and pick and roughly chop the herbs.
  • Spoon the mixture onto a plate, dollop with cottage cheese and sprinkle over the chilli and herbs, then tuck in!

Quinoa Tabbouleh

Courtesy of BBC GoodFood

tabouleh

Ingredients:

100g dried quinoa

75g parsley

300g tomatoes, cut into 1cm dice

100g of cucumber, cut into small dice

For the dressing:

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

juice and zest ½ lemon

1 tsp rice syrup or agave

pinch of Himalayan pink salt

½ garlic glove crushed

50g salad leaves to serve

Method:

  • Cook the quinoa following pack instructions, then set aside to cool.
  • Make the dressing by adding the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, vanilla extract, rice syrup, pinch of salt and garlic into a jug and whisk until smooth. Mix this into the quinoa and mix together with all the other ingredients. Serve on a bed of salad leaves.

 

Gluten-Free Crab Cakes

Courtesy of Tesco Real Food

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Ingredients:

300g (10oz) white crab meat

1 shallot, finely chopped

small handful coriander leaves, finely chopped

1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

2 limes, 1 zested and one cut into wedges

100g (3 1/2oz) white gluten-free bread (crusts removed)

4 1/2 tbsp mayonnaise, plus extra to serve

pinch of sea salt

pinch of black pepper

1 egg, beaten

sunflower oil, to fry
Method:

  • Place the bread into a food processor and blend until it has just become bread crumbs. In a bowl combine the crab meat with the shallot, coriander, chilli, lime zest, a squeeze of lime juice, 50g (2oz) of the breadcrumbs and the mayonnaise. Season with sea salt and black pepper and mix everything together until well combined. Divide the mixture into 12 equal portions and form into slightly flattened balls. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Place the beaten egg in one bowl and the remaining breadcrumbs in another. Dip the chilled crab cakes in the beaten egg yolk and then roll in the breadcrumbs until evenly covered. Set aside.
  • Pour 2.5cm (1in) sunflower oil into a medium pan. Place over a medium heat until a piece of bread dropped into the oil browns in about 40 seconds. Carefully place the crab cakes in the oil and fry for 3 minutes on each side until crisp and golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
  • Serve the crab cakes with a green salad, extra mayonnaise and lime wedges.

 

Rhubarb sorbet with pistachio brittle

Courtesy of Jamie Oliver

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Ingredients:

  • 800 g rhubarb
  • 400 g caster sugar
  • 1 lime

Pistachio Brittle:

  • vegetable oil , for greasing
  • ½ teaspoon matcha powder (see tip)
  • 100 g shelled pistachios

Method:

  • Trim and chop the rhubarb, then place in a large pan with 175g of the caster sugar and 100ml of water, and cover with a lid.
  • Bring to the boil, then remove the lid and simmer for 5 minutes, until the rhubarb is cooked. Set aside to cool.
  • Spoon into a blender and blitz to a purée. Squeeze in the juice of half the lime. Taste and add more sugar and lime if needed (it should have a subtle, not overpowering, flavour).
  • Churn in an ice cream maker for about 20 minutes, or until smooth and set. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, put the mixture in a tub and place in the freezer. Every hour give it a good stir. Repeat until your sorbet is frozen to the right consistency. Transfer to a nice dish and store in the freezer.
  • To make the brittle, use vegetable oil to lightly grease a tray lined with baking paper.
  • Mix the matcha powder with a little hot water, then top it up to 75ml. Pour into a small pan with the remaining caster sugar, and place on a medium-high heat.
  • Bring it to the boil, but don’t stir – just gently swirl it. Simmer gently for 4 to 5 minutes, or until it turns a deep brownish-green colour (or the temperature reaches 150ºC on a sugar thermometer, the ’hard crack’ stage), then pour into the greased baking tray.
  • Roughly chop and scatter on the pistachios and 1 teaspoon of sea salt, then leave to cool. Once set, break into pieces.
  • Roughly chop and scatter on the pistachios and 1 teaspoon of sea salt, then leave to cool. Once set, break into pieces.
  • To serve, let the sorbet stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes, then scoop into bowls and sprinkle with shards of the brittle.

U-Shape Loves: All Things Yoga

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serenity and yoga practice in park at sunset

Practicing yoga is one of the best forms of workout as you are not only training your body you are also helping and healing your mind. Discover 5 of the top reasons we love yoga in the post below:

  • Strength

You will be surprised at how much your strength improves with regular yoga practice. With tricky body weight poses and the core focused moves, you will be constantly working those muscles!

  • The effect it has on your mind

Yoga is a lifestyle. You will begin approaching many aspects of your life in a healthier way. More of a focus on healthy eating, positivity, self love and motivation are just some of the ways yoga can help both your body and mind. If you’ve had a stressful day at work, meditation and yoga will help you become clearer and more focused.

  • Reduces the risk of injury

If you enjoy high-impact exercise such as running, Yoga alongside this can help you reduce your risk of injury. It has a dramatic effect on tight, sore and inflamed muscles and can help them heal and restore.

  • Improved sleep

If you struggle with getting to sleep at night, yoga is a great way to improve the quality of your sleep. The breathing exercises and the calming movements help to counteract stress and anxiety which in turn will help you drop off and to sooth your nervous system.

  • Better posture

Bad posture can lead to health problems such as neck pain, back pain, headaches and muscle fatigue. Yoga is a great way to improve your posture and get your body back into alignment. It has been proved to strengthen the core and lengthen the spine.

The list is endless! Which just proves, you can’t go wrong with Yoga.

If you are interested in starting yoga why don’t you book our U-Shape summer yoga sessions?

Veronica’s Top Tips for a Healthy Holiday

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Young woman sits in yoga pose with city on background. Freedom concept. Calmness and relax, woman happiness. Toned image

 

U-Shape trainer Veronica gives you some top fitness tips to stay healthy on holiday.

Summer is here, your holidays are imminent and you all look fantastic.  This is because you have been working hard, do not undo your good work.  Here are some quick exercise tips for your holidays.

  1. Take a skiping rope . . .and use it!
  2. Pool walking – Elle Macphearson swears by it. In the shallower end of a pool get your shoulders under the water, and walk lengths.  The water adds challenge and resistance to the body so you have to work hard.
  3. Tread water – even in a tiny vila pool you can tread water, for added difficulty do a number of minutes legs only then swap to arms only.
  4. Found object training – step-ups on a bench, or step. Tricep dips on a wall, or bench. The plank anywhere. Bicep curls with bottles of water.
  5. 10s in under ten (minutes) – Ten Squats. Ten Lunges. Ten Press-ups. 10 Half Crumps. 10 Burpees and thirty seconds of plank and side plank (L&R).  Isn’t a lot, won’t take you long but will help you maintain your strength and fitness.

You are the master of your body and only you can control what happens next!

 

Battersea Class Information

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Profile view of a female athlete doing some tricep dips on a park bench

 

Battersea Classes will continue on Wednesdays throughout the summer break.  Veronica would like to commend the outstanding dedication and commitment to attaining goals that you have have shown over the last couple of terms and thank you for always being ready to smile through your effort.

U-Shape recognise that summer child care can be tricky, as occasionally happens at the Clapham Common Circuit Class, attendees need to bring their children.  They are welcome to play near us and run around on the neighbouring grassy section at Battersea.  Please note there will be no extra care provided, you will have to be happy to train alongside them.  And remember – water, sunscreen and bug repellent, for both you and your children.

Class information:

Wednesday Battersea Park 8:45am-9:45am

Saturday Clapham Common 9:30-10:30am

Contact veronica@u-shape.co.uk for more details

£10 cash drop in or £25 prepayment for the month to include both classes.