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With the much-anticipated party season upon us, you’re probably wondering how you’re going to stay healthy—especially with all the temptation and added opportunities to overindulge in rich foods. But there’s certainly no need to cut out all the joy when it comes to food!
With a big part of the festive period centered around treating yourself and spending time with friends and family over delicious meals, it’s not always easy to stay balanced. That’s why we’ve enlisted the help of best-selling UK author and fitness expert Joe Wicks, aka The Body Coach.
“Christmas is my favourite time of the year, and you shouldn’t be worrying about what you are or aren’t eating... it’s Christmas after all!,” says Joe. “I’ll get up on Boxing Day and do a workout and then get back to the cheese board and chocolates!"
Joe’s sharing two of his favorite recipes from his book, “Cooking for Family & Friends by Joe Wicks,” to help you to stay on track whilst not straying far from the fun lane.
The Turkey, Ham & Mushroom Filo Pie is a great wholesome equivalent to a Sunday roast or a yummy reduced-carb way to put your leftovers to good use.
“This is another tasty way to use up your festive food for a crowd,” says Joe. “The crispy filo is a delicious contrast to the creamy filling.”
Turkey, Ham & Mushroom Filo Pie
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
3 tablespoon coconut oil
1 large leek, finely chopped
2 large carrots, finely chopped
200g button mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon cornflour
400ml hot chicken stock
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoon crème Fraiche
300g leftover turkey, cut into chunks
200g thick-sliced ham, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon each of chopped fresh tarragon and parsley
4 sheets filo pastry
- Melt 2 tablespoons of the coconut oil in a medium pan over a low heat. Chuck in the leek, carrots, and mushrooms and cook for 15 minutes until softened but not coloured.
- Stir in the cornflour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually add the stock, stirring constantly, until the sauce is smooth. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the cooked turkey, ham and chopped herbs and spoon the mixture into a medium pie dish.
- Preheat your oven to 200-degree Celsius (fan 180-degree Celsius/gas mark 6). Melt the remaining coconut oil in a small pan.
- Unroll the filo pastry and cover with a clean damp tea towel. Put a single sheet on a board and brush with a little oil. Rough scrunch up the pastry and put on top of the turkey mixture. Repeat with the remaining filo until the top of the pie is covered.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until the filo is golden and the pie mixture is bubbling. Get stuck in.
For something sweet, you can’t get much better than the perfect blend of dark chocolate and fresh, juicy raspberries in Joe’s Guilteee Chocolate & Raspberry Log.
“It’s not the leanest, but the tastiest Swiss roll I’ve ever made,” says Joe, “And should be made as a treat (over the festive period) or on Christmas Day.”
Guilteee Chocolate & Raspberry Log
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
80g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
4 large eggs, room temperature
½ teaspoon coffee extract
100g golden caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
75g self-raising flour, sifted cocoa powder for dusting
For the filing
300g double cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
180g fresh raspberries (or frozen raspberries)
24x 35cm Swiss roll tin
- Preheat your oven to 180 degree Celsius (fan 160 degree Celsius/gas mark 4). Line the sides and base of the Swiss roll tin with baking parchment.
- Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Allow to melt, then remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Place the eggs into a large bowl with the coffee essence and sugar, and whisk using an electric whisk until pale and thickened (about 8-10 minutes). Fold in the cooled melted chocolates and flour.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and flatten with a palette knife. Bake for 12-15 minutes until springy to the touch.
- Place a large sheet of baking parchment on a clean work surface and lightly sprinkle with casting sugar. Remove the cake from the oven and flip onto the baking parchment. Peel away the parchment from the sponge. Loosely roll the sponge from the short end and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, make the filling by whisking together the cream, leaving a 1cm border around the edge. Top with fresh raspberries* in a single layer and re-roll the sponge, removing the baking paper as you do it. Decorate with cocoa and caster sugar.
*If using frozen raspberries, allow them to defrost and stir them through the vanilla cream.
Whatever you’re up to over the party season, enjoy it! Use food as a fuel for lots of activity and festive sweats. If you need some inspiration or want to squeeze in an extra workout in between all the parties, find a fitness class that fits your busy schedule on the MINDBODY app.
Cooking for Family & Friends by Joe Wicks is out now (Bluebird).
That’s something I never expected to hear. Think about it: we join gyms and studios because of their equipment, instructors, space, community (and AC, of course). But who’s to say we can’t get all that—or at least most of it—with virtual and online classes, too? In this new wave of wellness, we’re all switching up our fitness routines as we switch up our everyday schedules and habits. It’s not just in-studio or at-home anymore. It’s in-studio, at-home, at the park, beach, parking lot, rooftop...virtual, hybrid, Instagram Live, online, on-demand, and so much more. As we’re adapting, adjusting, finding our groove, etc., online gym memberships enter the fray. Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
There are tons of benefits to an online gym membership, especially right now.
Let’s break this down:
1. Scheduling convenience
A virtual/online gym fitness membership is a monthly subscription that gives you access to tons of live stream fitness classes you can take anywhere, from studios across the globe. These fitness studios offer tons of at-home workouts, group exercise, and one-on-one training sessions to choose from, no matter your exercise program or fitness level. With so many options, it’s easy to find one that fits your schedule. Whether you want to fit in a morning flow before work, combat that afternoon slump with some cardio, squeeze in some strength training before dinner, or wind down with an evening barre class, you can pick and choose classes to fit your fitness routine.
2. Minimizing exposure to COVID-19
And because they’re online, you can take these classes from the comfort of your home (or wherever you are), thus minimizing your exposure to COVID-19 and eliminating your commute to the gym or studio. By now, many of us have our designated “workout spot,” whether it’s an actual weight room, a quick scooch of the coffee table, or a grassy area in the backyard. Maybe you’re comfortable here... maybe you’ve even learned to love it.
With an online gym membership, you can stay in your safe space/comfy workout spot. Or, you can go somewhere new (local park, beach spot, a different area of the house, you know). You can access these virtual, live stream fitness classes from any device, so you can prop up your phone, laptop, or tablet wherever you want to go, or roll out your mat in front of the big screen TV in your living room.
We all have our favorite, go-to workouts. But sometimes, it feels good to switch it up (especially right now). Working from home all day, many of us are craving some variety and excitement, and an online gym membership can definitely help with that. According to our recent poll about COVID’s effect on our fitness routines, 64% of you have tried new online workouts since the start of the pandemic—I know I have. Maybe it’s because trying new things is easier in the comfort of our homes, maybe we’re finally able to try some classes we normally can’t find locally, or maybe we’re all just bored out of our minds...I don’t know. But I’m excited about it.
With an online gym membership, you can get that spice you’re looking for easily. Start out your Monday by hitting some HIIT, ease your sore muscles with some Restorative Yoga, and end the week with some dance cardio to pretend you’re at the club. The world is yours.
4. Working out without a commute
My favorite part? No commute. There are literally no more excuses when it comes to skipping workouts. No traffic, no schedule conflicts, no fear of returning to the studio. You don’t even have to worry about packing a gym bag with a change of clothes and shower supplies or prepping a snack or protein shake to bring to work. Just shut your computer, throw on some leggings, and get to work.
Community—the element of online fitness memberships we don’t often think of. When we go into studios, we understand the beauty of a fitness community. We’re greeted by our instructors, we chat with others in the class, and we all sweat together and encourage each other throughout. But working out at home is different... or is it?
We can do workouts on our own at home all we want, but we’re definitely going to miss out on the community aspect we all know and love. But, with live stream classes, we can create a different kind of community. The beauty of it? It’s not just your neighbors anymore. Anyone with an online fitness membership can join these classes, regardless of where they’re located in relation to the studio, so you can be working out alongside people from all over the world—now that’s something I can get behind.