22 May Chef Gary Cooking Demonstration Bonanza Blog
‘This is my advice to people: Learn how to cook, try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun” – Julia Child
So, the day has come and gone.
The legendary Gary, Chef Gary, came, cooked, conquered. If you were there, well done. You got the opportunity to see a masterclass in simple, balanced, healthy cooking, a skill which for some reason so many people lack. I blame the Tories.
Anyway, for those of you that missed it, what was it all about and why did we decide to give this opportunity, for free, to our members??
Well, to answer the second question, long story short it was to make our lives easier. The sooner people learn how to become confident in their cooking abilities and know how to build a balanced meal, the sooner they can reach their body composition goals and we can all give each other a pat on the back.
To tell you what it was all about I need to tell you about a vision. A vision that we have had at Pinnacle Performance since we upgraded our facility and expanded the team. We want to be able offer our members the best value for their membership fees and when it comes to training, nutrition, and lifestyle give them an unrivalled service. To help us achieve this vision we are bringing in the best from the local area to hold workshops, such as the cooking demonstration, this past Sunday.
Chef Gary and I had a plan in mind to take my nutritional knowledge and combine it with his culinary expertise, to design a simple meal plan for attendees to witness and take away with them to try on their own (don’t worry, I’ve attached the recipe cards for you to download as well).
Each of the meals Chef Gary masterminded was adjusted to fit my idea of how most people should be structuring their main meals (plus snack) over the course of the day.
The meals were built around servings of high quality protein, lots of veg, fresh ingredients as well as a tonne of flavour. The Overnight Oats were designed for you to be able to knock together in 2 minutes, place in the fridge and have ready for you to eat in the morning or during your commute. The Spicy Chickpea and Lentil Curry (added shrimp optional) was our stand out ‘batch cook’ meal, with just 20 minutes of cooking (disclaimer: this may take longer for beginners, but it’s a learning process, you will get better) providing enough food for FOUR lunches/dinners.
When it came to lunch on the go, Chef Gary knew which boxes to tick; convenience, simplicity, and flavour. The Mediterranean Spiced Chicken Wraps are a doddle to make and will keep fresh overnight for you to take to work. Again, high quality protein was the theme, as we know that protein is the most satiating macronutrient it makes sense to have it with every meal to help keep your thoughts away from the biscuit tin during work hours.
A mistake I see over and over again is women (sorry ladies but its more prevalent as you are more likely to be ‘dieting’. Fact.) eating like sparrows from morning until the end of work, followed by the flood gates opening, consuming everything you’ve been trying to avoid all day.
The snack we put together for you to try is a protein and oat-based bar. The recipe is enough to make up 8 bars, contains but 4 ingredients, and only ~300 kcal per bar. Yes, that’s a lot compared to a rice cracker (please stop eating those) but its substantial and will keep you going until dinner.
You don’t need to massively restrict your food intake, as it will only result in rebound, followed by more restriction, followed by more rebounding (I’ve spoken about this before in Yo-Yo dieting).
The entire 3 main meals PLUS protein bar comes to ~1600 kcal. If you are training 3x per week, walking instead of driving everywhere, and sleeping well, that’s not a bad place to start! Of course, it will need adjusting from person to person, but the point of the workshop wasn’t to give out specific advice to individuals. It was to give them the opportunity to see that cooking healthy, substantial meals that taste amazing is the way forward when it comes to weight management.
When trying your own recipes remember portion control and building them around a protein source and lots of different coloured vegetables. Garnish with healthy fat (be mindful of portion control and be honest with yourself) and add carbohydrates to support training as needed. Those that are less active need less starchy carbohydrate (rice, pasta etc) in their diet, so replace with alternatives such as courgette spaghetti, cauliflower rice, butternut squash pasta, whatever. Large supermarkets have so many of these options readily available there’s no excuse for being ignorant to it!
Enjoy the recipes, don’t eat like a sparrow, crack on.