It has seriously been months since I posted a recipe. Uh… sorry, guys. I never claimed to be a food blogger! But I just had to share this wonderful creation I made last week: a healthy Pad Thai inspired by leftovers in my fridge. It was so good, and I’m dying to make it again!
Healthy Pad Thai
Ingredients (serves 2):
300g chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 whole eggs
1 clove garlic, crushed
4 spring onions, chopped
1/2 red capsicum (pepper), sliced
4-5 mushrooms, sliced
1 chilli, chopped finely
100g bean sprouts
1 tspn oyster sauce
1 TB soy sauce
Rice noodles (optional)
Start by heating a table of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 2-3 minutes, until lightly browned.
Then add the onions and garlic, and mushrooms and capsicum (these are not traditional vegetables to include, by any means – they are just what I had in my fridge to use up!).
Meanwhile, add the eggs to a separate bowl with a splash of soy sauce and mix well.
On a low heat, gently scramble the egg mixture – while remembering to give your other pan a stir every now and then!
Once the eggs are done, take the pan off the heat. To the pan containing chicken and vegetables, add the bean sprouts, chilli and rice noodles (if you’re having them!). Add the soy sauce and oyster sauce and mix well.
Finally, stir in the egg. Serve with the crushed peanuts on top. Yum!
And now for the second part of this post…
I’ve received a lot of emails lately from those of you who are unsure of how to perform certain exercises correctly, or how to incorporate them into your existing routine. So I’m thinking of introducing a new weekly post where I describe one exercise (or training technique: e.g. drop sets, pre-exhaustion) in detail, and provide a workout that includes that exercise. I would love to also film myself or at the very least take pictures of myself performing whatever move it is, but one step at a time.
What do you guys think? Would that be something that would be of interest to you?
For (potentially) week number one, I thought I would cover one of my all-time favourite leg exercises: the Bulgarian split squat! These are also known as Hungarian split squats, rear leg elevated split squats, or supported leg split squats. Whatever they are called, they are brutal and not for the faint of heart!
Set up: You can perform this exercise with either a barbell on your upper back or dumbbells down by your sides. I know some people are cult-like in their hatred towards Smith machines, but I actually love performing the split squat using a Smith machine. Place one leg on a bench behind you, and take a big step forward with the other leg – keeping your back leg slightly bent. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart. Brace your abs and you’re ready to go!
Execution: Lunge forward towards your front leg, making sure your knee doesn’t go beyond your toe. Bring your back knee as close as possible to the ground. Push up through the heel to return to the starting position, and repeat for the desired number of repetitions before switching to the other side. I typically find better results with 10-12 reps on each leg. It should not be easy! From about the sixth rep you should want to give up, but push through the pain.
Here is a video of Nicole Wilkins performing Bulgarian split squats (she could go a bit lower!):
This exercise mainly targets the quadricep muscle, but it will also hit your butt. The first time I did these, my glutes were incredibly sore for almost a week and I thought I had performed the exercise incorrectly! But not at all – when you go heavy, you engage your glutes.
Nevertheless, I have a hard time targeting my quads during most leg exercises, so this is one of my favourites. Because it’s performed on one-leg it also really works the core muscles, and alleviates the pressure often felt in the lower back during traditional squats. Not only will Bulgarian split squats increase the strength of your quads, but they will improve your balance and hip flexibility too.
Quad-focused leg workout:
Step-ups: 3 x 20 (10 per leg)
Front squats: 4 x 8
Bulgarian split squats: 4 x 20 (10 per leg)
Box jumps: 3 x max in 30 seconds
Leg press: 3 x 8
Short step walking lunges: 3 x 20 (10 per leg)
If you try the workout above let me know! Would you like to see more posts like this?