Best for muscle: Steak and Eggs
• 300g rump or sirloin steak
• 2 free-range eggs
• A good glug of olive oil
• Salt and pepper to taste
668kcal; carbs 1g; protein 93g; saturated fat 14g
1. Pour olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan and heat it until you see the oil start to smoke.
2. Place your steak in the oil and fry for 4-5 mins on each side (for medium rare). Season while in the pan.
3. Remove steak while you fry your eggs.
4. Add more oil to the same pan, the heat turned down, and combine with the steak juices.
5. Crack your eggs into the oil and fry gently until the whites are just set and the yolks runny. Serve immediately with the steak.
Most people fill up on pasta before training, but it’s easy to binge on easily digestible starchy carbohydrates and the excess is stored as fat. Lean meats and eggs, on the other hand, slow down digestion, so you feel full for longer. Furthermore, eggs contain all the essential amino acids needed for good health. Lean steak is packed with iron, which is needed for efficient delivery of oxygen to the muscles, and its high protein content will help repair, build and maintain muscle.
Best for brain power: Grilled Kippers
• 1 whole kipper
• Zest of ¼ orange and ¼ lemon (and lemon juice)
• 25g butter
• Fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
320kcal; carbs 0g; protein 16g; saturated fat 15g
1. Gently grill the kippers for 4-5 minutes.
2. Put the orange and lemon zest in a pan with the butter and heat until bubbling gently.
3. Stir in the lemon juice and parsley, if using.
4. Put the kippers on a plate and pour over the sauce. Serve with crusty bread.
A study at the Oregon Health and Science University in the US has found that omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil may help reduce depression. Oily fish such as kippers (people still eat them, honest) also contain vitamin D, which, recent studies have shown, can help keep the brain in good shape as we age. Research into omega-3 fatty acids continues – and some claims do not seem to stack up – but we should still be eating one or two portions of oily fish a week.
Best for detox: Greek yoghurt with blueberries
• 60g rolled oats and 30g sliced almonds
• 15g light brown sugar
• 10ml vegetable oil
• ½ tbsp honey
• Pinch of cinnamon and dash of vanilla
• 25g raisins and blueberries
• 150g natural Greek yoghurt
684kcal; carbs 85g; protein 25g; sat fat 3g
1. Preheat oven to 150°C/gas mark 2. Mix the oats, sugar, almonds and cinnamon.
2. In a saucepan warm the vegetable oil and the honey; whisk in the vanilla.
3. Pour this over the oat mixture and stir.
4. Spread it in a baking pan.
5. Bake for 40 minutes, stirring regularly. Allow to cool, then stir in the raisins.
6. Finally, add the yoghurt with the granola mixture and top with blueberries, then serve.
Blueberries are high in phytonutrients, those plant compounds that have been shown to play a vital part in maintaining good health. Blueberries contain antioxidants that help protect the body from the unstable molecules called free radicals. As for yoghurt, a study at University of California School of Medicine in the US found that 170g of yoghurt a day offered protection against colds and hay fever. And honey also contains antioxidants, the amount and level of which depend on the source of the honey.
Best for weight loss: Porridge with linseeds and maple syrup
• 30g porridge oats
• 250ml milk
• 1 tbsp maple syrup
• 1 tbsp linseeds
297kcal; carbs 45g; protein 13g; saturated fat 4g
1. Place the oats in a small pan and add the milk (you can use half milk, half water if you want to).
2. Bring to the boil, then cook gently for two minutes.
3. Tip into a bowl and drizzle with the maple syrup and linseeds.
When trying to lose a little weight it’s tempting just to grab a piece of fruit or slice of toast – this is nothing more than hunger deferral. A two-year study by Professor Jeya Henry of Oxford Brookes University and chef Raymond Blanc found that those who ate porridge and linseeds chose less for lunch and consumed fewer snacks between meals. Linseeds are a good source of fibre, which keeps you feeling full for longer. The slowly absorbed carbohydrates in oats have the same effect.