Orange Chicken

Orange Chicken

Prep Time: 15 mins 

Cook Time: 15 mins

Total Time: 30 mins

Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

1 kg of chicken thighs or breast cut into 2-4 cm pieces

Sauce

1 tablespoon of ginger grated

6 cloves of garlic minced

1 tablespoon of peri peri or hot sauce

225 ml of orange juice

100 ml cup of tomato sauce (optional)

3 tablespoons of granulated sugar

1 tablespoon of rice wine or dry white wine

3 tablespoons of brown sugar

3 tablespoons of soy sauce

Orange zest (if you’re feeling fancy)

Cornstarch Slurry

2 tablespoons of orange juice

2 tablespoons of cornstarch

Instructions

  1. Dry the chicken then cut it into 2-4 cm chunks.

  2. Heat up a heavy based pan on a medium-high heat.

  3. Add the oil to the pan, then add the chicken and sauté for 2-3 minutes or more, stirring occasionally.

  4. Cook until it becomes golden. Stir continuously so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

  5. After you’ve sauteed the chicken, check if parts of it stick to the bottom. If that happens, deglaze the pot with 100 ml of orange juice and scrape with a wooden spoon.

  6. Mix in the Sauce ingredients to the pot: add the remaining 150 ml of orange juice, ginger, soy sauce, minced garlic, brown sugar, rice wine, white sugar, orange zest and peri peri sauce.

  7. Mix in the tomato sauce if using. The tomato sauce adds tanginess to the sweet recipe, and it makes it taste more savoury.

  8. Turn slowly until all the ingredients are mixed and coated in sauce. Cover the pot and set for 5 minutes on a med-high heat. Make sure the lids on securely.

  9. Turn off the heat, open the lid and sauté again on a low heat.

  10. In a medium bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with the orange juice, mix until all are combined with no lumps.

  11. Combine the mixture to the pan and slowly stir to combine. Sauté for a few more minutes, stirring gently, until the sauce becomes thick. Simmer for 2-3 minute or more.

  12. If you want the sauce thicker, mix in one more tablespoon of cornstarch with orange juice and add to the pot. Leave the Orange Chicken to stand for 5-7 minutes or more.  The sauce will thicken more.

  13. Serve over rice and garnish with fresh chopped green onions and extra orange zest if using.

Chicken nutritional information per 1/6 of the recipe

Calories 270

Total Fat 4.5g

Total Carbohydrates 44g

Sugars 13g

Protein 30g

My 5 Cheats to Smash your Fitness Resolution

My 5 Cheats to Smash your Fitness Resolution

2/3 of resolutions are health and fitness related. 80% of resolutions fail before February. I’ve got 5 cheats to help turn the scales!

My resolution is to do 10 minutes of yoga every single day
My resolution is to do 10 minutes of yoga every single day

Happy New Year!

So January always brings around new habits, new plans, new goals and new people. Which I like. I think it’s important to have a goal and work away at it every single day.

Even-though I believe we should be making goals all year round and not just on Jan 1st, I think it says a lot about a person who can stick to their resolution for 365 days +.

The top 3 resolutions in 2018 were:

  1. To eat healthier

  2. To get more exercise

  3. To save more money

But how many of them will stick to it?

I read a statistic the other day: 80% of resolutions fail before February

That’s a pretty scary statement!

My 2018 New Years Resolutions

So this year I’ve made 3 resolutions and I can genuinely say I can see the benefits already.

I think it’s important to write down your goals and create a plan to accomplish them. Words and ideas are cheap, a plan and direction isn’t.

My Resolutions:

  1. To do 10 minutes of yoga a day

  2. To be more organised

  3. To be more stylish (this ties in with me not wearing gym clothes 24/7)

This will be me in 2 months. Stay tuned for the vegan preaching and the yoga man-bun

Cheats to Smash to your Fitness Resolution

I’m going to keep this blog short and snappy so you can refer back to it easily throughout the year. My 5 cheats:

1. Blend you Veg

This is a cheat I use most days. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not the biggest cooking fan anymore. So I cheat a lot. I usually prepare meat and carbs on one baking tray then after, drink my vegetables.

Let’s try something. Stop reading this post for 2 minutes and on your fingers count how many veg you ate yesterday?

………..

The average person in the UK has less that 3!

The solutions easy. Load your freezer up with frozen veg (and fruit!) and at some point in the day fill your blender with 5 different veg and get it down you. You can get your daily allowance in one drink.

2. Say ” I don’t want that” instead of “I can’t have that”

This is a psychological cheat I want you guys to learn.

When you’re next at your grandmas or friends or whatever, and they bring out the chocolates and the cakes I want you to say to yourself;

“I don’t want that”

This simple statement creates a sense of achievement in your brain. It creates momentum and a rewarding sensation.

If you turn around and say;

“I can’t have that”

This statement creates the feeling of restriction. It also creates temptation. PLUS you’re more likely to have a weak moment!

Don’t underestimate the power of the brain.

3. Count your F**king Calories

When was the last time you watched a VHS or saw a child knocking a big metal ring down a street with a stick?

Things change, technology develops. Apps were created.

I’m going to make a pretty bold statement here:

“If your goal is to JUST lose weight, you don’t need a personal trainer you just need to count your calories using myfitnesspal”

I’m on zero commission and I am a personal trainer! BOLD

How it Works

  1. You scan or type in what you’ve eaten

  2. Its counts everything

  3. You ensure you’re eating the calorie total it prescribes

  4. You lose a pound a week

The app will also save foods you frequently eat, so you can literally drag and drop to save time.

No fad diets or expensive shakes. Foods you eat everyday, just quantities measured.

Logging your calories in an app isn’t perfect, it can be a chore. BUT, it’s by far the best method to dropping weight.

4. Plan your workouts

I’m going to get all preachy here. My 2nd resolution is to become more organised and I’m off to a cracking start.

I took about 2 hours out of my day to write down everything I need to do in a week, I then assembled them on Google calendar.

For example a reminder went off this morning at 9 am saying “Blog Writing”

So I poured a coffee and here I am .

I also know at 2:30 pm I’m going to get another reminder reading “Workout”

So I’ll grab a pre-workout coffee and hop to it.

Try and get yourself into a routine

For example. Say you watch Eastenders 7:30 pm Monday, or you do the food shop Saturday morning, or you always take the dog out at 6 pm.

You already have a routine to an extent. Just add in your workouts.

Set your workouts in stone and then all you need to do is focus on turning up!

Use Google calendar or the reminder app on your phone to send you a notification 30 minutes before to get you mentally prepared.

5. Find a plan you absolutely love

This is one that I picked up on recently.

I’ve been weight training for 8 years now. Ever since I could afford my first gym membership.

That’s a lot of squats. A lot of pressups. And a lot of lunges.

I had zero motivation in December. I was just going through the motions, trying to think of reasons to skip the gym or cut it short.

I didn’t have the drive or the passion I once did.

So I got myself an online personal trainer. I had a 12 week bespoke plan made and started to integrate home workouts and yoga into my week.

I’m loving it. I have a new challenge, something different and refreshing.

I’m now looking forward to getting into the gym or unroll my exercise mat in my living room.

For this reason I would highly recommend asking a trainer or searching for a new plan on the internet.

Find something new that’s fresh and against the grain. Something you’ve never done before to really spark your curiosity and attention.

So. The best of luck to you this year! I really hope the 5 cheats above have an impact on your fitness resolution and you get the most out of your decision to take on a new challenge.

One last thing

On a side note my online training is due to be released before February!

This is a super exciting time for me, so make sure you stay connected with the news on my social media channels. The count down will begin there!

If you enjoyed this post or a friend of yours is embarking on a fitness resolution, please share it on to them (:

Thanks guys

Ben xx

Super Veggie Pasta

Super lean. Super quick. Super healthy. Super Veggie Pasta!

Super Veggie Pasta

Super lean. Super quick. Super healthy.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients

340g of whole wheat pasta

One green pepper chopped

Half onion chopped

250g of chopped mushrooms

Half bag of fresh spinach (2 big handfuls)

Three cups of marinara sauce (tomatoes, olive oil, and garlic)

Instructions

  1. Bring water to boil and cook pasta.

  2. Coarsely chop the veggies while cooking the pasta.

  3. Drain the pasta, rinse in cold water, and set aside.

  4. Heat the olive oil in a pan and saute onions and green peppers.

  5. Add the mushrooms and spinach, saute until veggies are tender and spinach is wilted.

  6. Add the marinara sauce and simmer on low for five to ten minutes.

  7. Serve the sauce on top of the pasta or mix the pasta and sauce together.

Nutritional Information per 1/4 of recipe

Calories – 443

Total Fat – 8.4g

Total Carbohydrates – 9.0g

Protein – 13.4g

Mexican Stuffed Sweet-tatoes

Mexican Stuffed Sweet-tatoes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Servings: 1

Ingredients

One sweet potato medium sized

2 tbsp of salsa

8 tbsp of black beans rinsed and drained

Handful of Monterey Jack cheese shredded (or cheddar)

4 tbsp of Guacamole

Instructions

  1. Using a fork, prick the potato about five times hitting different areas of the potato.

  2. Put the potato on a microwave-safe plate and microwave for four minutes, turning the potato over halfway through.

  3. Potato is ready when soft to touch and is easily pierced with a fork. Cook in one-minute increments until done. The length of time will be upon the size of the potato.

  4. Make an opening in the top of the sweet potato and carefully push the ends of the potato towards the centre to make an opening in the top.

  5. Using a fork, carefully fluff the inside of the potato.

  6. Mix the salsa into the fluffed sweet potato flesh.

  7. Layer the beans, cheese and guacamole on top. Enjoy!

Nutritional Information

Calories – 423

Total Fat – 15g

Total Carbohydrates – 57g

Protein – 18g

The Reverse Plank

The Reverse Plank: The One Exercise you need for Better Posture & A Healthier Lower Back

I’m going to set you a challenge. Perform the reverse plank everyday for one whole month. I can promise you less-rounded shoulders, no lower back pains, a stronger core & more toned glutes.

The Reverse Plank
The Reverse Plank

Benefits of a reverse plank

Less rounded shoulders; To have your arms beneath your body and your chest up tall (like the photo above) requires great flexibility through your chest, shoulder and bicep muscles.

These are the muscles, that when tight pull your head forward to create that horrible rounded neck. This also causes NASTY neck pain and tension headaches.

A reverse plank will stretch out the muscles associated with rounded shoulders.

No lower back pain; To hold a reverse plank, you need a strong set of glutes (bum) to keep your hips up. Weak glutes lead to an overactive (and painful) lower back. (I’ll go into more detail about this later)

A stronger core; You’ve done a normal plank before right? and where does that burn? your stomach muscles. The reverse plank is no different. To statically hold your body up requires a strong core.

Why I like the reverse plank so much

When exercising I like to use movements that get the most “bang for your buck”

In other words, exercises that benefit as much of the body in one movement as possible

A good example would be squats

Squats target the whole lower body, the stomach, lower and upper back. So you get a lot out of a set of squats!

We refer to squats as compound exercises as more than one joint is required throughout the movement (ankles, knees and hips)

We also get isolation exercises

An example of an isolation exercise is a bicep curl (the elbow is the only joint required throughout the motion)

Isolation exercises have their use but you’ll get much more out a compound exercise like a squat

The reverse plank, in my opinion, is one of the best compound exercises I can offer to improve your posture

If you read my last blog; How to Grow Delicious Glutes

I spoke about posture issues and how the glutes are vital to having a good posture and less lower back pains.

The reverse plank simulates a glute bridge position, which makes it a great exercise for strengthening the ass

Glute Bridge
Glute Bridge

While the glutes are holding up your hips, your arms are supporting your upper body.

Flexible chest, shoulder and bicep muscles are necessary to keep your chest pronounced.

Which is more attractive?? Left = Flexible chest, shoulder and bicep muscles
Which is more attractive??

So the RP is amazing at stretching out the muscles associated with rounded shoulders, forward head tilt and “creaky” shoulders.

Just like the squat – “you get a lot for your money” with a reverse plank

Your 30 Day Challenge

This is my challenge to you;

For 1 whole month perform the reverse plank everyday

I’ll be making the exercise more challenging as the weeks go by increasing the duration of the hold;

Week 1: Aim for 5 x 15 second hold

Week 2: Aim for 5 x 20 second hold

Week 3: Aim for 5 x 25 second hold

Week 4: 5 sets, holding for as long as possible

Watch the video demonstration of the reverse plank here

That’s all I want you to-do. In a month I can promise you’ll feel better

Set a reminder on your phone for the same time everyday for month. This will help you stick to the challenge and create a healthy habit.

I’m writing a post about good habits next week, so make sure to take a look!

Thanks for reading and please try the challenge, I know you’ll benefit from it!

Ben x

P.s MY ONLINE TRAINING IS LIVE FRIDAY (1st FEB)!!

yayaayayayayaya

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