healthy eating recipe Evan Lynch for weight loss

Healthy eating recipe: Low calorie cauliflower soup

Soups are one of the best meals you could have at dinner when following a healthy diet plan. Are you looking for some healthy soup recipes? Then, here I have one of the healthy and creamy soup recipes for your dinner. This soup has minimal ingredients and more flavors. This soup is ideal for anybody looking to stick to a lower calorie option and is also ideal for low carbers or athletes on rest days, cauliflower is a massive vitamin C source, but is also a FODMAP so may cause issues for those with irritable bowel syndrome. I hope you enjoy the recipe, I am an Irish weight loss & sports nutrition expert currently based in Clonmel, if you want to chat to me about your diet, why not book yourself in for a session in my online clinic, from the comfort of your own home at a time that suits you. Click here to get to my online clinic booking page.

Let’s see how to cook this healthy soup for your dinner, if you like this recipe you can see more at my cookbook right here, and use FITNUT10 for 10% off. If you want more recipe ideas you can click here to follow me on Instagram!

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  •  Cauliflower – 1 large head (1.5 kg)
  • Onion – 1 large (roughly chopped)
  • Garlic – 1 (chopped)
  • Chicken or vegetable stock – 800 ml
  • Whole milk/ heavy creamy –  ¼ cup
  • Salt – as per taste 
  • Black Pepper – 1 tsp.
  • Cumin powder – ½ tsp.
  • Olive oil – 2 tbsp.
  • Greens/thyme – (finely chopped) for garnishing

Instructions/Method:

  • First of all, wash the cauliflower and cut it into small florets.
  • Take a large and open pot, add olive oil, and heat it over medium-low flame.
  • Add garlic and stir it until light brown.
  • After that, Add onion or cook it unit they are soft.
  • Add cauliflower and cumin; stir it for 5 to 7 minutes until soft.
  • Now, add vegetable or chicken stock and cook it for 10 minutes.
  • Once the cauliflower is soft or cooked, blend the soup using a hand blender until a smooth mixture.
  • After that, add heavy milk or cream, salt, pepper, and mix all the ingredients well.
  • You can adjust the thickness of the soup by adding more stock.
  • At this point, you can taste or adjust the spices as per your taste or choice.
  • Turn off the flame and Pour the soup into a bowl, garnish it with some greens.
  • Your healthy and creamy soup is ready.
  • Enjoy!

Recipe Note:

  • You can also use brush olive oil on fritters instead of using olive oil spray.
  • If you are going to blend it in blender jag or jar then, you will have to let it cool down first.
  • You can store the leftover in an airtight jar or container in the refrigerator for up to 2 to 3 days. 

Nutrition Facts:

  • Calories – 176
  • Carbohydrates – 14g
  • Fat – 8g
  • Saturates – 3g
  • Protein – 8g
  • Fiber – 6g
  • Sugar – 10g
  • Sodium – 520mg

healthy zucchini pancakes recipe for weight loss Evan Lynch sports nutritionist & weight loss expert

BAKED ZUCCHINI FRITTERS

Are you looking for healthy recipes for weight loss? Then, here I have the best recipe for snacks for you. Most of the time, zucchini dishes are fried, but we will keep them healthy and bake these zucchini fritters. You will enjoy the perfect crisp even after baking them. These fritters are healthy, easy to make, suitable for anyone on a low carb diet, they are gluten-free.

Now let’s see how to prepare this healthy snack. For more recipes like this you can check out my recipe book here and if you want to get some professional insights into how you can easily lose weight (without having a miserable diet), why not book into my online nutrition clinic at a time and date that suits you, by clicking right here.

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 7 to 8 Fitters

Ingredients:

  • Zucchini – 2 large
  • Onion – 1 small (finely chopped)
  • Salt – 1 tsp. /as per taste
  • Black pepper – ½ tsp. /as per taste
  • Egg – 2 large
  • Olive oil spray
  • Garlic – 1 tbsp. (minced)
  • Almond flour – 1 cup ( finely grounded)
  • Coconut flour – 1 tbsp.

Instructions/Method:

  • First of all, peel out the zucchini and wash it.
  • Now, grate the zucchini using the grating attachment of your food processor.
  • Take a large and open bowl and set a strainer atop of it. Place all the grated zucchini in the strainer and add ½ teaspoon salt in it.
  • Mix it well and let it drain for at least 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, press the zucchini with the spoon to extract all the extra liquid. 
  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. cover the baking tray with parchment paper and spray it with some olive oil.
  • Now take a large and open bowl and transfer the drained and grated zucchini in it. 
  • Add chopped onions, garlic, salt, freshly grounded black pepper, coconut flour, almond flour, and eggs.
  • Mix all the ingredients well.
  • Now take a scoop and scoop out the zucchini fitter’s mixture into the already prepared baking tray. While using the back of the spoon, lightly flatten the fitters and shape them into rounds.
  • Once you set all the fitters in the baking tray, spray the tops with some olive oil.
  • Now, set the tray in the oven and bake the zucchini fritters until they are wonderfully fragrant or golden brown. It will take 10 minutes on each side. 
  • Flip the side after 10 minutes and spray some olive oil again.
  • Once they are done, place or transfer the zucchini fritters into a plate. The crispy, healthy, and low in carbs snack is ready to eat.
  • Serve immediately with your favorite sauce or yogurt.
  • Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts:

  • Calories – 260 (2 fritters)
  • Carbohydrates – 12g
  • Fat – 20g
  • Protein – 10g
  • Fiber – 6g
  • Sugar – 4g
  • Sodium – 289mg

What is it & how does it work?

Appetite is a very useful evolutionary adaptation that compels us to consume nutrients and energy, the lack of an appetite (seen in elderly and sick people) would result in a lack of compulsion to eat, which ultimately leads to weakness and decline, it makes sense then, that the biological strive to survive axioms have led us to 21st century living, where our super sensitive hunger mechanisms, combined with dizzying levels of distraction and hyper-palatable and calorie dense foods, and a general increase in self-indulgence, have culminated in mass obesity and overweight globally. Appetite is frequently cited as a root cause of indulging or overeating.

This makes sense, as it is incredibly hard to ignore hunger, and the low blood sugar, temper and general lethargic feeling that can come with it. That being said, a simple understanding into how our appetite is regulated from a physical point of view, and a psychological point of view, can help us easily tame this beast.

Let’s look first at what appetite specifically means, a desire to eat (not always from hunger) or a lack of desire to eat i.e. lack of appetite, both are flipsides of the same mechanistic control. Let’s look at the control center for biological hunger, which is the hypothalamus (more specifically, the infundibular nucleus). From this segment of your brain, a whole variety of hormones are released, which either stimulate or suppress your appetite.

The main players in making you feel hungry are the neuropeptides Neuropeptide Y (NPY) & Agouti related – peptide (AgRP), both of which are stimulted via ghrelin release. Ghrelin is released from the mucosa of your stomach and into the brain via blood-brain barrier, when you haven’t consumed food in a number of hours, and blood sugar levels begin to decrease. This trio of compounds results in a decrease in leptin circulation and activity, which is the hormone resulting in us feeling satiated. This tends to happen in tandem with glucagon secretion and decreased insulin secretion, which makes sense, as these are hormonal responses to lower blood sugar levels.

On the flip side, there are two main neuropeptides that inhibit our appetite and make us feel full, which are effected by a large amount of circulating hormones. Pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) and Cocaine & amphetamine – regulated transcript (CART) are the big players in making you feel full, these are enacted on by leptin & insulin (note that these rise when we eat, in tandem with blood sugar increases), and suppress NPY, AgRP and ghrelin. Other players in this game include incretins (CCK/GLP-1/GIP). all of which are secreted by your GI tract when you eat, CCK reacts mostly in response to consumption of fats & proteins, and inhibits feeding desire, GIP aids insulin action and results in better energy storage capacity, GLP-1 delays gastric emptying and inhibits glycogen breakdown – soe research shows that simply thinking about eating can stimulate the three prior hormones. There are a number of other minor appetite effectors that work at appetite suppression and NPY inhibition.

Slowing down gastric motility, making us feel full, gastric emptying rate, aiding insulin secretion and suppressing our hunger hormones, these are all important elements to remember for the follow on article.

This is the hormonal basis for appetite regulation, though there is also a psychological basis too, and an illness effect. Being chronically sick can result in leptin release, this often happens with chronic diseases and cachexia (inflammatory state resulting in weight loss via appetite suppression). Our mind can also have a hindering or enhancing effect in our appetite, stress can cause cortisol and glucocorticoid release, and can result in increased appetite, whereas anxiety can stimulate our fight or flight response, shutting off digestive processes to favour vital functions and blood flow to muscles (this makes sense as fight or flight is an evolutionary response to threats, and prepares us to flee quickly from predators). The final aspect of the psychological and non-homeostatic appetite regulation is boredom, and hedonism.

In the 21st century, it is not uncommon to have multiple screens on the go, to multitask and alongside the general deifying of being busy all the time, it is no wonder that we are not good at being bored, or relaxing. These are typically the scenarios where we may experience cravings and a desire to eat, though not necessarily hunger, which is an important distinction. When we have a gap in the typical level of stimulus we are used to, i.e. when we relax or slow down, we feel uncomfortable, and we are conditioned to fill this gap with any form of food, usually junk food, which kicks off the pleasure centers in our brains, making it the perfect antidote to being bored, or stressed, or frightened etc…

The next article will look at the practical aspects of what we can do with this information here, a lot of which will be based on slowing down digestion, how we can suppress appetite, how to maximize leptin levels and how we can deal with comfort eating once and for all.

For an in depth look at how you can control your appetite, and how you can integrate this knowledge into your dietary approach, why not sign up for online coaching and finally stop being a slave to your diet and weight today.

Till next time.

E

The gap between knowledge & success is application

It has become inherently evident to me that there are many things that do not work when it comes to giving out nutrition advice, and having people interact accordingly with it. One such factor was giving people overwhelming amounts of information, which I was privy to doing, with the intent of helping and informing, but in reality what happens is that people become confused, distressed, they don’t understand what figures apply where, and why. This became very apparent with a recent client, with whom suggestions such as low fat yogurts, microwave grains and ready made salads seemed like made up products, and the idea of reading a food label was out of this world.

So today, I am doing my first session of what I hope to become a main pillar in the services I offer, practical shopping guides, and my only regret is that I hadn’t thought of it sooner! What does this entail?

  • 30-45 minute shopping trip to your local supermarket (Aldi/Lild/Tesco)
  • A software analyzed report of your typical diet
  • Suggested meal plans
  • Suggested shopping lists
  • Meal prep guidelines & recipes

The session is basically a walking tour of a supermarket, discussing aisle by aisle, pointing out your habitually consumed foods that are contributing most to your calories/fats/salts/sugars and some suggested alternatives. Being shown first hand where to find the foods you need to plug the holes in your diet, and compiling a shopping list that meets your weekly needs, which will fit into both easy cooking and practicality time wise, followed up by a round up in my where we discuss budget/food storage/prepping and some finer points of label reading.

I really think this has the potential to actually reach into practical elements of healthy eating & living by ensuring you have:

1) A good food environment

2) Constant food availability

3) All your nutritional needs met

4) A plan

I will be properly rolling this out in the coming weeks, but will be taking bookings. If you are interested, and think this could benefit you, get in touch and let’s organize your groceries!

Get in touch via Facebook/Instagram platforms or email: fitnutspectrumfitness@gmail.com

Stay healthy,

Evan

This is hotly debated topic, what is FODMAP, what is it for, how does it work? All is explained below!

Having IBS and issues with bloating, cramps and malabsorption can really wreak havoc with your life, it can cause food to become a source of anxiety, it can destroy your appetite, cut you off from your social and ruin your confidence, not to mention feel powerless in terms of never knowing what to eat. The FODMAP protocol is designed to help you avoid specific sugars and fibres that either are poorly digested, are broken down rapidly by gut bacteria to create gas, or which can draw water into your intestines, these sugars and fibres are well defined, and there are clear cut ways to avoid them, it just takes a little know how and a little practice. Let’s look at what FODMAP stands for:

  • F is for fermentable. The sugars and fibres that your gut bacteria love to eat and make lots of gas with, very quickly, leading to bloating and abdominal pain, and possibly reflux/nausea.
  • O is for oligosaccharide. These are compounds consisting of fructans and galacto-oligosaccharides. These are very poorly absorbed and difficult to digest for humans in general, and can be common sources of gastric distress. Sources include onion, garlic, legumes, pulses, wheat and rye.
  • D is for disaccharide. These are two molecule sugars such as lactose, the sugar in dairy products, ice-cream, creams and milk would be the biggest offenders. High fat cheeses should be fine.
  • M is for monosaccharide. Fructose is the main one here, it is well absorbed in the presence of glucose, foods usually have a mix of the two, but in high fructose foods, you may be prone to malabsorption issues, foods high in fructose will include honey, apples, watermelon and watch out for high-fructose corn syrup on labels (also known glucose-fructose, isoglucose, glucose-fructose syrup). Avoid juices in excess.
  • A doesn’t stand for anything. It’s purely to make the acronym easier to say. Just FYI.
  • P stands for polyols. These are sugar alcohol sweeteners that contain about 3 calories per gram (just nice to know they are not calorie free). These are not absorbed, and they can draw water into your gut, giving you the urge to go to the bathroom and potentially to have diarrhoea. These include sorbitol and mannitol, anything ending in –ol is most likely a sugar alcohol, unless you are drinking actual alcohol, which has 7 calories per gram.

How we approach it

The FODMAP protocol should be stuck to for approximately 4-6 weeks, sticking to lower FODMAP food options for this period of time, Monashe university have useful resources and an app that is quite useful and can inspire some recipes! After the six week period, you can start slowly introducing some of the trigger foods, basically anything that isn’t on the list. This should be done under the guise of a dietitian or registered nutritionist, as the nature of the low FODMAP diet can put people at risk of energy and nutrient deficiency, an expense for lower incidence of gastric issues. Taking a multivitamin, speaking to a doctor and getting a blood test to check your nutrient status prior to embarking on this would be a good idea. The main thing to note is that this diet is only designed for short term, the whole point is to include more and more items as your gastric symptoms allow, in increasing amounts.

Food lists (to include)

Low FODMAP carbs: Options include rice, potato, gluten free bread, rice noodles, gluten free pasta pasta/spaghetti, oats, corn, quinoa, buckwheat, popcorn, oat/rice/potato flours are fine, fruit is okay, but that is a separate category below.

Low FODMAP fruits: Banana (green), blueberries, cantaloupe, cranberries (1 tbsp), clementine, grapes, guava, honeydew and galia melon (NOT watermelon), kiwi, lemon & limes (juice is okay too), mandarin, orange, passionfruit, papaya, pineapple, raspberry, rhubarb, strawberry.

Low FODMAP veggies: Bamboo shoots, bean-sprouts, beetroot, broccoli (1/2 cup), Brussel’s sprouts (2), butternut squash (1/4 cup), cabbage (1 cup), carrots, chick peas (2 tbsp), courgette, cucumber, eggplant, fennel, green beans, ginger, kale, lentils (1-2 tbsp), lettuce, marrows, olives, parsnip, snow peas (<5 pods), peppers, potato, pumpkin, seaweed, spinach, sundried tomato (<4 pieces), sweet potato (1/2 medium potato), tomato, turnip, yam, zucchini.

Low FODMAP dairy: Butter, brie, camembert, cheddar, cottage, feta, goat , Monterey Jack, mozzarella, parmesan, ricotta (2 tbsp), Swiss, dairy free chocolate pudding, margarine, almond milk, hemp milk, lactose free milk, rice milk (200ml), sorbet, soy protein (avoid soya beans), Swiss cheese, tempeh, tofu , whipped cream, coconut yoghurt, Greek yoghurt (small portions), lactose free yoghurt.

Low FODMAP nuts/seeds: Walnuts, pecan, pine nuts, brazil nuts, almonds, chestnuts, chia seeds, hemp seed, sunflower & pumpkin seeds.

Low FODMAP condiments: Butter, strawberry jam, maple syrup, marmalade, peanut butter, pesto, ketchup, BBQ sauce, mustard, soy sauce.

Low FODMAP protein: Beef, cold meats, cod, chicken, egg, haddock, lamb, mussels, oysters, plaice, pork, prawns, Quorn, salmon, trout, turkey, tuna (avoid breaded or marinated options, flavour foods yourself as much as possible.

Low FODMAP drinks: Water, lactose free milks, lemonade made fresh, tea, coffee, gin, whiskey, wine, 1 glass sugar free soda max.

Sneaky things to avoid

  • Sugar free soda or squash, chewing gum, mints. Check labels for sorbitol/mannitol/xylitol, these are sugar alcohols and can cause some gastric pain and diarrhoea in IBS sufferers.
  • Avoid dried fruits; they have an increased concentration of fructose sugars as a result of the processing.
  • Avoid anything with garlic or onion, garlic infused oil is fine.

Portions

  • Gluten free pasta (100g/7 tbsp/3 handfuls)
  • Gluten free spaghetti (100g/bunch 1 inch diameter)
  • Brown rice/couscous/Quinoa (80g/5 tbsp)
  • Buckwheat (75g/5 tbsp)
  • Popcorn (40-50g)
  • Potato (2 egg sized potatoes)
  • Bread (2 slices wholegrain, 1 slice Maltese bread, 1 wrap, 1 small bread roll)
  • Cereal (2 Weetabix, 40g cereals, 50g oats)
  • Fruit (1/2 banana, 1 apple/orange/pear, 6-7 grapes, 10-15 blueberries, 3-4 strawberries, 2 dates, 1 cup of chopped melon/pineapple)
  • Veg (1 handful broccoli/spinach/kale, salad veg, 1 carrot, 1 marrow, 1 cup of chopped pumpkin/squash, 2 tbsp peas/corn/beans)
  • Seeds (1 teaspoon)
  • Nuts (6-8 nuts)
  • Oils/dressings/honey (1 teaspoon)
  • Dairy (200ml milk, 125g yogurt, matchbox/thumb sized portion of cheese)
  • Chocolate (2-3 squares, 2 cookies, 5-6 maltesers, small chocolate bar)

How can you add flavour to your food without risking side effects?

  1. Use garlic/onion/chili/herb infused oil. FODMAPs cannot infuse into oil, but you can get their flavour to, use these to keep your meals kicking!
  2. Use good old herbs and spices, these are all okay.
  3. Add a little salt, and a little pepper.
  4. Sauces like soy and salad dressings should be okay.

Thanks for reading, I hope you find this helpful!

Get in touch:

  • fitnutspectrumfitness@gmail.com
  • Instagram: @elynchfitnut
  • Facebook: E Lynch Fitnut