How do you look after a £100million athlete?

Over the next four weeks we will witness the best players on the planet showcase their skills in pursuit of the ultimate prize any footballer can achieve – to win the World Cup.

As fans of our national teams we like to think that players are giving their all for Queen and country and while the majority of players will see this as the pinnacle of their career to represent their national side in a World Cup, others will see it as an opportunity to put themselves in the biggest possible shop window in order to gain a big money move to the promised land of the Premier League where the pitches are literally paved with gold.

Inevitably we will see a number of the big boys exit at the early stages and whilst excuses will range from arguments in the ranks, refereeing of even Virtual Assistant Refereeing decisions, to bad management or even noisy hotels! I’m pretty confident that the consistent excuse that we hear at every major tournament will appear at some stage – “the players were simply too tired.”

Whatever your thoughts on Premier League footballers, (or players from any other league in the world for that matter), the morality of their wage packets, their level of intelligence or the annoyance of their “WAGS”, you can’t get away from the fact that the world simply loves the beautiful game. Fans want to see more and more league, cup, international and even friendly games played each season, surely this takes its toll on the players required to perform at the highest level in each fixture?

But what is the reality of the situation? Is tiredness a justified excuse? Are we asking too much of players these days and how do we look after them in the best possible way? Here’s my take on things from a human performance perspective…

Dealing with injuries

The fact is that of the 23 members of each nations playing squad, every single player will have had some form of injury of varying degrees, during this past season. Whilst those players would have received incredible care from the best team doctors and sports science support team at their clubs, ultimately the decision to return would be on the player and although all top players can still perform at 80 or 90% of their capacity, consistently asking their bodies to deliver when they are not 100% fit will inevitably lead to long-term issues.

You hear stories of the old school centre halves that would take pain killing injections at half time to get them through the next 45 minutes or just man up and get on with it! But we take a more sensible approach to sports medicine these days and look after the welfare of the players first and foremost, meaning that these type of things simply can’t go on nowadays.

Life moves on and football has moved on at a rapid rate. The evolution of sports science and the evolution of the game itself has drastically changed even in the last few years. The role of the full-back has drastically changed from the guy that just needed to hoof it up the touch line, into a much more skilful attacking player that arguably runs the game from an attacking and defensive perspective. These guys require the upper body strength to hold off other opposing players, the cardiovascular fitness to run over 10km each game, the speed to sprint up and down the touchline and the skill to take on defenders and deliver pinpoint crosses.

But even these highly conditioned athletes will have their weaknesses, typically most players are very one sided which will immediately causes potential imbalances and weaknesses. Coaches and sports scientists are very aware of what they term “functional dysfunction” they just need to address to these imbalances in a structured manner before they potentially lead to injury.

Technology

The fact is we now have the technology to monitor top athletes in so many ways around the clock, we can see how much they’ve moved, how hard they’ve trained, the quality and quantity of the  recovery and sleep they’ve had, we are aware of their personality type and how they need to be managed. We know their stress levels and how they manage it (or don’t). We can monitor how they walk, talk, eat, sleep and breathe, and we have the ability to control so many aspects of their human performance.

Dave Brailsford the former performance director of British Cycling termed this approach “marginal gains” and the advancement in sports science over the last ten years or so has meant that these marginal gains within any sport have enabled a huge impact on the overall analysis and performance of each individual and team.

But, and it’s a very big BUT, we need to realise that these are young men and not machines and sometimes things don’t quite go to plan!

 

How well do you think you would perform with a relatively simple task in your day to day work life if you had over a billion people watching you doing it?!

 

Fail To Succeed

How you deal with pressure and how you respond when things go wrong is, in my opinion what defines you as a potential £100 million pound athlete.

Every single player that has been selected to represent their country in Russia this summer is the best player in their position at their club, they were the best player in the youth team they graduated from and they were head and shoulders above every other kid in the playground at school. When it comes to football, all these player have ever known is how to deal with success!

The real test is when things go wrong.

The average player falls away, but the star performer just gets better.

When David Beckham was sent off for England in France ’98 some thought his England career was over. Instead it ended up being the making of him, the following year he won everything with Manchester United and single handily dragged England through to the 2002 World Cup and in the process became a phenomenal captain and leader.

So what separates the superstars from the nearly men?

In my opinion elite human performance comes down to four areas:

Fitness, Nutrition, Recovery and Mind Set.

 

Fitness - Everyone knows that fitness is a vital component to any athlete’s makeup. Physical fitness and freedom from injury allow a player to compete at the highest level for the longest period of time, but this in my opinion is bottom of the pile when it comes to determining performance, it just gets you entry to play with the big boys.

Nutrition isn’t just about having six pack abs. Good Nutrition will give you a positive outlook, it will turbo charge your energy levels, it will improve your alertness and productivity and can even speed up your recovery from injury. Gone are the days when a typical player’s diet would consist of a pre-match fry up followed by some post-match beers! I’m sure a number of players out there still do this from time to time, but I guarantee they’ll never become a £100 million pound athlete with a Sunday League players diet. If you’re after marginal gains then first stop is the fuel you are putting in your engine.

Recovery is the toughest one to manage. Every player just wants to play and the biggest mistake many of them make is rushing back before they are fully recovered. Top players have amazing coaches, therapists and doctors at their beck and call to safely manage their return from injury. Everything from physiotherapy to cryotherapy, soft tissue work to fitness testing is covered. The problem isn’t when they are at their clubs, the issue is what do they do when they are at home?

A £100 million pound athlete will do everything required to get them back to their best. They will have their own recovery routine, wrap themselves in cotton wool and prioritise a good night’s sleep over a big night out every time.

For high performance I cannot emphasise the importance of sleep enough. It’s no coincidence that Roger Federer and LeBron James who are arguably performing better than ever in twilight of their respective careers swear by 12 hours sleep each night. It doesn’t sell newspapers hearing a footballer is tucked up in bed at 9pm, but it definitely ensures that the player makes headlines on the back pages and not the front pages!

Mind set – This is without doubt the key ingredient to building a £100 million pound athlete.

Forget about success, If you want to look after a £100 million athlete them teach them how to fail big time at a young age!

Throughout their career players will be faced with any number of challenges, from injury, humiliating defeat, falling out of favour with the manager, to transferring to a new country and managing personal issues. Problems will always arise and the bigger the problem, the bigger the potential reward. The truth is in football and in life it's never about the problem, it just comes down to how you deal with it. An average player will just see the problem and it will always hinder their progress, the top player will simply see each problem as another small hurdle along their journey to becoming a superstar!

Get all four of these ingredients in place in a manner that works for that individual player and success is guaranteed.

 

**Food for thought, at the last World Cup in Brazil, then 22 year old Mario Goetze famously scored the winning goal that saw Germany lift the trophy. Four years later and arguably at what should be the peak of his career Goetze didn’t make the squad for this years tournament. We all want to see the star players perform and I'm sure the winning goalscorer will again be the lasting memory of this tournament in four weeks time. But just keep an eye on the spectacular failures, it may just be the making of a new £100million athlete!

Enjoy the World Cup

David Osgathorp


The Power of Mushrooms: It's Not What You Think

Mushrooms really are magic! While some just see them as a fungus, they're actually a versatile vegetable packed with nutrients. Throw them into a pasta dish, enjoy them in your morning omelette, roast them for an earthy, flavoursome side dish, the opportunities are endless. But did you know a number of mushrooms also have medicinal properties? We are getting more and more evidence that some sorts of mushrooms could be bonafide superfoods. Read on to learn more!

 

Vitamin D Deficiency: The Silent Killer

 

In the UK, the risk of vitamin D deficiency is very high. We obviously don't get that much sunlight, especially during the autumn and winter period and health chiefs are now advising to take a vitamin D supplement.

Sadly, the problem with synthetic vitamins is that we can't know if they are identical to the biological molecule. That being said, vitamin D deficiency is still a real issue and the benefits of supplementing could outweigh the risks. If you don't get enough vitamin D you risk poor bone health, low immunity, cardiovascular issues, even cancer.

But food can be medicine. Try including more vitamin D rich foods in your diet, especially during the colder, gloomier months. Mushrooms are a great place to start!

Magic mushrooms, and why the title of this article sounded bad in my head

When I first came up with the idea for this article, I struggled a lot with the title. No matter how you look at it, "the power of mushrooms" definitely  sounds like I'm referring to psychedelic mushrooms.

There are over 200 mushroom species that contain psychoactive compounds like psilocybin, psilocin, and baeocystin. Their mind-altering properties have been known for a long time. Many cultures around the globe used them in religious ceremonies and other spiritual practices.

Other than hallucinations (which can be auditory, visual, and even tactile), "shrooms" also give a feeling of euphoria and well-being.

In most countries psychedelic mushrooms are considered drugs with high abuse potential. As such, they are illegal to grow, sell and consume. That being said, there is an increasing number of people who claim the ban is unnecessary. There is no evidence that people become dependent on magic mushrooms and some say the psychedelic properties can help with kicking addiction and even some mental issues.

As of right now, though, you'd do best to stay away from shrooms if you enjoy the benefits of being a law-abiding citizen! ;-)

The Healing Power of Mushrooms

On the other hand, medicinal mushrooms are fantastic for you, they can improve your immunity, make your heart and blood vessels stronger, reduce inflammation, and even prevent certain types of cancer. There are over 38,000 species with medicinal properties. To experience the health benefits, though, you'd have to take them for at least a month. Alternatively, you could look into powders, capsules, and tinctures, which contain more bio-available molecules.

Immunity Boosting Mushrooms

We can all benefit from improved immunity. Even outside of flu season, there are hundreds, if not thousands of threats that your body fights every day. Did you know that you get mutagenic cells (potential tumours) every day and your immune system is constantly fighting them?

Better immunity = better health

Most of the popular medicinal mushrooms have immune system enhancing effects. Shiitake and Reishi mushrooms, two of the most well-known mushrooms in the west, are both potent immunomodulators. Research on their benefit to overall immune health has been piling up in recent years. We now have every reason to believe that their longevity-enhancing properties are due to the boost of immunity they provide.

Reishi Mushrooms for Your Morning

The reason for this article is because I have recently incorporated reishi mushrooms in my day-to-day. A friend of mine told me about this a while ago and so I did a bit of my own research. Their healing power have been documented over and over again. They have been used in traditional medicine for centuries. In China, Reishi mushrooms are known as "the great protector" for their:

  • Anti-inflammatory,
  • immune boosting,
  • cancer-preventing,
  • helps you sleep
  • improves gut health

Reishi mushrooms can balance out hormones, lower blood pressure and improve cardiovascular function, even fight autoimmune issues like allergies and asthma. Like anything, Reishi mushrooms are not a magic wand. As a superfood, they are a wonderful addition to an already healthy lifestyle. Proper nutrition, sleep, hydration, and an appropriate exercise regimen are the simple pillars of health. If you're interested in reading more about that, check out my recent article on the hierarchy of fitness.

My typical morning juice

Reishi mushrooms are easy to add to your routine. I, personally, am a fan of this reishi mushroom powder. Its' subtle, slightly bitter taste was a struggle at first but now, if anything, it's a bit of a kick to wake up in the morning.

I haven't braved it on it's own, love to add reishi mushroom powder to my morning smoothie. For an anti-oxidant boost, I focus on including lots of green vegetables, as well as berries, either fresh or frozen. As for the liquid, I use almond milk or coconut water with a bit of ice.

The Power of Mushrooms: What Is Your Take?

Mushrooms are tasty, nutrient-dense, and they can heal, too. What surprised you the most about the power of mushrooms? Have you tried Reishi mushroom powder?

I'm exploring all sorts of weird and wonderful supplements and training hacks at the moment while I continue my theme of all things performance enhancing. I hope you're enjoying the content, I'd love to hear from you...

 

 

Thanks,

David Osgathorp


The Hierarchy of Fitness: Performance is more than just exercise!

I get asked a lot about the best exercises for fat loss or how often someone should train each week...

In my role as a Human Performance Coach I believe that performance is more than just exercise. There is never a one size fits all programme for each client to follow and I often find that the exercise programme I create is usually the last thing that is going to have an impact on the performance of an individual, let me explain...

I believe it is my job as a coach to enhance high performance by obtaining a clear picture of each clients overall health and well being. (I will go into details of how I achieve this in later posts)

Each programme I create is founded on the premise that energy is the currency of high performance and I aim to focus on strategies to increase energy and manage it more effectively.

So how do you create more energy?

The Holistic Approach To Training

I have found that unless you treat the body as a whole, you won't experience any real/ lasting change. One thing always affects another. We are often told that exhaustion from too much training has a negative effect on your energy and progress in the gym, but I don't believe in the concept of "over-training", the whole purpose of a training session is to push beyond your previous capabilities and overload the body. Where I find problems with energy levels is when clients under recover.

I’m very aware that putting a client through a tough session when they aren’t eating properly, sleeping properly or are under excessive pressure at work, will do a lot more harm than good.

The stress hormones will reek havoc with their body. High stress hormones equals low energy, less progress, and ultimately - less health.

If this is getting you thinking then take a look at my hierarchy of fitness below. Understand that human performance is much more than just exercise and remember that you can't move up unless you improve the basics.

Sleep, Sleep, Sleep

Yes, my first and most important item is the foundation for your hierarchy of fitness is rest. Even if you got every single other thing right, if your sleep schedule is off, it wrecks havoc in your entire system.

Within just four days of poor sleep, your body can no longer use and regulate insulin properly. Insulin is the hormone that tells your cells to use the glucose in your blood. When you are short on sleep, insulin sensitivity drops. This means that you need more insulin to properly use up the glucose and so your system starts producing more.

The catch?

You can't burn fat when insulin is high. It's biochemically impossible.

But the trouble doesn't stop here. Research has consistently shown that sleep deprivation can also:

  • Mess with leptin, the satiety hormone, this will therefore make you hungrier.
  • Significantly decrease cognitive function, including memory and decision making.
  • A risk factor for deadly chronic disease, including cancer.

Bottom line? Strive to get at least 6- 8 hours every night. If this isn't achievable can you incorporate an afternoon nap? Or catch up at the weekends? Research has shown that keeping a weekly sleep target can still be effective and not cause you to stress too much about the odd late night. Understand that sleep is vital, but you don't have to miss out on life by going to bed at 9pm each night in order to hit your target!

Hydration

Water is literally the essence of life, staying hydrated will protect your joints, help your body rid itself of toxins and it is also key for maintaining optimal health.

Every cell in you needs water to function properly. And yet studies show that most of us live in a state of constant dehydration. One common reason for that is we confuse hunger and thirst. Try this: next time you crave a snack, drink a glass of water first. Your body will thank you.

But how much water do you really need in a day? 8 glasses? A gallon? However much you want?

In theory, your thirst should be enough to guide you. When you are dehydrated, though, you tend to lose sensitivity for thirst. Thankfully, there are tools that could help you figure it out. I personally love this calculator but there are lots of others you can find online.

Food As Fuel

The importance of good nutrition can not be overstated. You are, quite literally, what you eat. It's not just abs that are made in the kitchen, it's the entire state of your body. Without the proper nutrients, your system can't function right. Normal biochemical processes are altered and in the long run, you risk serious damage to your health, not just your figure.

You don't need complicated diets and eating schemes. Focus on eating plenty of vegetables and lean protein at every meal. Limit the processed food you consume. Consider cutting out added sugar and reduce the amount of wheat and dairy you consume.

I know, I know, my advice is hardly revolutionary. The diet and nutrition industry is an industry for a reason. But no matter how hard they try to sell you the next fad diet, the simple tips will never go out of style. Food is fuel for your body and improving your diet will immediately enhance your wellness.

Stress Control

Yes, controlling the levels of stress you experience can be tough. You can't control external factors and learning to manage your responses isn't always easy.

But consider this:

Stressors have real, measurable physiological responses on your system. What begins purely in your consciousness affects everything from hormones to your brain and internal organs.

The over-secretion of stress hormones like cortisol makes you more likely to gain weight while burning fat becomes harder. Even your brain is affected, especially the areas associated with long-term memory.

Since chronic stress can have such a detrimental effect on your performance, implementing stress management techniques will dramatically improve your well-being. My personal de-stressor of choice? Meditation.

We are learning more and more about the benefits of meditation every day. Neuroscientists are only just beginning to discover the power of such a simple exercise.  I love the Master Your Mind Course by Live and Dare and also the Headspace app.

Finally, Exercise

Yes, exercise is the last item on this list. Is it really the least important on this list? In my opinion, YES.

You see a great training programme won't get you great results if your body is completely run down, stressed out, dehydrated and malnourished! Build the strong foundations of sleep, nutrition, hydration and stress management and I guarantee you will turbo-charge your results in the gym.

On the flip side, good habits tend to follow one another, working out will often improve your sleep quality, reduce stress and perhaps even encourage you to eat a little better.

However, it can't and should not be an end in itself. Wondering where to start with fitness? Check out my five favourite exercises to get some ideas!

Change your focus from just simply trying to improve your fitness and aim for ways to increase your energy  and your overall performance.

This is the opening article in a new series in which I will detail numerous techniques, hacks and lifestyle adjustments you can make in order to see huge improvements in your mental and physical performance.

Stay tuned!

David Osgathorp


The Cheat Day: How To Do It Right?

The fitness and diet world is torn on the subject of cheat days. Some believe that 'You need them to stay sane.' While others claim 'Why would you reward a good habit with a bad one?'

To be fair, both have strong arguments, but as the holiday season approaches, the issue has been coming up more than ever. Here is everything you need to know about cheat days.

What A Cheat Day Does To Your Body?

On cheat days you can have your cake and eat it, too!

A cheat day in its' most basic form is you giving yourself permission to indulge. Since indulging typically involves fast food, sweets, and alcohol a lot more often than it does celery, its pretty much certain that you will consume more calories than you need.

Just for reference, your typical visit to a fast food restaurant (burger, fries, and a drink)  will pile on around 1000 calories. Hearty home-cooked dishes although better in nutrients, aren't much better in terms of calorie intake.

Let's face it, even with the best intentions the next few weeks are going to see you consume significantly more calories than you use and this extra energy will be stored in the form of fat.

So what do you do? Do you just decide to get fat in December before you get fit in January?!

I actually believe that a cheat day is a good thing for a number of reasons, but let me first of all explain the science behind it all...

First off, you need to be following a strict eating plan to something to cheat on!

I believe the key to any success with your fitness or diet goals is to know your body. The process of following my 30 day elimination programme is to find out how your body reacts to certain foods more so than just to drop a few pounds.

When most people try to lose weight they follow a calorie restrictive diet.

It's simple right? Less calories in = weight loss!

Well on paper yes, but we need to be aware of hormone levels and in particular a hormone called leptin which is found in the fat cells and is responsible for telling your brain when you are full.

When we follow a calorie restrictive diet leptin levels drop, your brain then senses starvation and the cravings kick in! This is why most people give up on a diet after just a few days. Their body is simply doing everything it can to restore balance. Therefore harnessing the best way to manipulate this process could be the key to success with your fat loss goals.

Your First Month Of Healthy Eating

Those of you that have seen my diet plan know that it is quite a strict process. You will by no means be starving but a lot of your favourite junk food won't be an option. The point is to reset your body to enjoy healthy food once again. But cravings are still a very real problem. Here is how I recommend you deal with them:

  • Experiment with food. Prepare tasty and nutritious meals for your family. Check out that new healthy restaurant. Restricting junk does not mean restricting flavour.
  • When a craving inevitably comes up, just acknowledge it. Understand that it's there because you are burning fat and tell yourself you are just delaying gratification.
  • Finally, at the end of the process, enjoy a cheat day. You will get a massive energy boost and your body will actually appreciate the shock. After that I recommend that you book in your cheat days once per week.

The Perfect Cheat Day

First off, you need to have a good healthy breakfast. I highly eggs and they have been proven to lower your appetite throughout the day. However, anything rich in protein and low in fat and fast carbs will do. You're going to cheat but the you don't need to go completely mad!

Next, whip out that cravings list. Which ones do you really want right now? Circle them and head over to the supermarket. Bear in mind, that whatever you buy you need to eat on the day. That holds true for parties, too, and we both know you will be going to quite a few over the next few weeks! No matter how much your host insists, you are not taking that doggy bag back home with you! You don't want anything tempting you during the week.

Eat freely, whatever your body has craved over the last few weeks - indulge!

If you love your junk food then removing it permanently is just going to make you miserable. It is my belief that all elements of health and fitness should be an enjoyable process and as you see the results of following my nutritional principles I guarantee that the cravings will become less and less.

Cheat Day Psychological Benefits

Internal organs align

The reality is most people will only really stick to a diet about 80% of the time. Over my many years of working in the fitness industry I recognise that instead of forcing my ideas onto clients I need to meet them where they are at. I want commitment but I understand that sometimes life can just get in the way and it is pointless trying to change others if I cannot be adaptable myself.  The cheat day offers a great solution for most people to achieve great results without feeling as though they are depriving themselves.

Instead of failing with a diet plan and turning a minor slip-up into a major set back you can simply accept that you will fall off the wagon manage it appropriately and continue with the diet as planned. A short break from your restricted diet can also really boost your mood and enhance your long-term motivation.

How To Be a Great Cheater!

I believe that a cheat day is a really positive move - as long as you've earned it!

The key to a lean and toned physique is in being strict with your diet - There's no getting around that. You get fit in the gym but you lose weight in the kitchen. Get into great habits, learn how your body reacts to the fuel that you feed it see the results and then be strategic with how you maintain them.

If you eat a clean healthy diet 80-90% of the time then you can get away with eating pretty much anything the rest of the time!

With that in mind... Let the Christmas Party season begin!

So those are my guidelines for a successful (or at least not as damaging) cheat day. If you have any questions or suggestions for future articles, please don't hesitate to share them in the comments below!

Cheers,

David


The Untold Truth of The Ketogenic Diet

In the last few weeks, a lot of people have asked me about the ketogenic diet. I mentioned it briefly in a previous article and I thought I would go into more detail here.

The ketogenic diet has been getting increasingly popular over the last few years. It's not a new concept per se but to the general public, keto seems novel. So much so, in fact, that it's quickly turning into a fad diet. And there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding it so let's try to clear a few up!

What Does A Ketogenic Diet Look Like?

Diet usually implies cutting out some foods and/or swapping them with others. With the keto diet, however, it is just about the macronutrients.

These can be broken down into:

  • Carbohydrates
  • Fats
  • Proteins

Usually, dieticians and nutritionists will have you eat 40-50% carbs, 30-40% protein, and 20% fat. Your calorie needs are something very individual but the carb: protein: fat ratio for these calories remains the same. If your calorie budget is 2000, you would get 800 - 1000 of them from carbs.

On the ketogenic diet, the amount of fats you consume goes up to 60 or even 70%. This is to the expense of the calories in carbs. So in practice, the ketogenic diet would have you cut out foods like pasta and bread and eat more nuts, avocados, and fatty fish. It is definitely not just about eating more fat.

How Does It Help You Lose Weight?

There is a quick science lesson before you can understand it.

The reason why such a large portion of your daily calories should normally come from carbs is because your body just loves glucose. Carbohydrates contain glucose in different forms. Some are easier to digest and the glucose is more readily available, others not so much. This is where we distinguish simple (e.g. Fruit juice) from complex carbs (e.g. Vegetables).

Glucose gives your cells energy. They could also use fats to produce energy but the process takes a lot longer and is more complicated. Hence why your body prefers glucose.

When you consume less carbs, your body has to search for them, first off it uses up the glucose in your bloodstream. Then you move on to the glycogen (which is just glucose stored in our muscle tissue). These are quickly depleted, though, typically in the first 20 minutes of exercise or after just a couple of hours without carbs.

Then your body moves on to a substance called oxaloacetate.

The State Of Ketosis (And Why It's Good For Slimming Down)

Oxaloacetate is found in your liver. When your glucose and glycogen stores get depleted, your body's plan A is to produce more glucose. Oxaloacetate can be turned into glucose and that is exactly what your liver cells begin to do.

At the same time, your adipose cells start sending over fats and the oxaloacetate turns the fats into ketone bodies. The ketone bodies move with your blood and carry energy just like glucose does.

Once this happens you're in the state of ketosis which basically encourages your body to use up fat stores instead of craving the carbs it is not getting. Therefore your body will burn more fat than you would on the same calories but with a different macronutrient ratio.

The Fine Print On Ketosis

Here is a little something people don't tell you about the ketogenic diet. Ketone bodies are not your primary energy source for a reason. They are acidic, meaning that they also turn your blood acidic. Changes to the pH inside your body can be detrimental to a lot of the processes that are essential to survival. On a biochemical level, that might mean blocking enzymes or getting unwanted side products from reactions.

Overall, the state of your body being more acid than normal is known as (surprise-surprise) acidosis. Some common symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Shallow breathing (your lungs trying to normalise the pH)
  • Increased heart rate
  • Strong headache

In diabetics, acidosis can be life-threatening. It happens to them because they can't use the glucose and their bodies produce ketones instead. When you are on the ketogenic diet, you are essentially forcing your system into the same state.

That is not to say that you would suffer all of these negative consequences. It is just a warning that the ketogenic diet can't be used on the long term, as beneficial as it may be for short term fat shredding. As I say with all of my articles, I'm just here to inform and not prescribe. Nothing is ever one size fits all, the Keto diet may work amazingly well for one reader and have negative effects for another. Just be aware of the potential dangers before you jump on the Keto bandwaggon.

More Safety Issues With The Ketogenic Diet

The acidosis is not the only possible negative effect of eating keto.

Glucose is essential to building new protein. When you are trying to gain muscle mass, building new protein is the name of the game. With less glucose in your system, though, there will be very little gains. That is why this isn't a long-term diet plan and you should switch between keto and a higher carb diet if you want to get slimmer AND stronger at the same time.

The kind of fats you choose also matters. In my experience, when clients first start the ketogenic diet, their performance drops. That is the acidosis plus the drop in glucose but it's also the fats they consume. Often it is saturated fat, which is unhealthy both in the short and long run. You should be careful to choose the right fats. Focus on high-quality, polyunsaturated, non-processed fats for best results. Try to get this from nuts, avocados and oily fish.

Practical Tips (And My Favourite Ketogenic Diet Recipe)

In practice, the ketogenic diet is best applied for a couple of weeks at a time. Plan ahead and use a calorie/nutrient tracking application to make sure you are lowering the carbs along with the increased fats. Meal prepping is a tedious but probably essential, especially for beginners. That way, you don't fall into the trap of consuming unhealthy fats.

An easy, keto-friendly recipe I swear by is my keto green smoothie. It is packed full of healthy fats and the greens add some extra antioxidant goodness. The basic ingredient list is:

  • A cup of baby spinach (organic)
  • Half a cup of full-fat coconut milk
  • 5-6 almonds
  • A couple of brazil nuts
  • One tablespoon chia seeds
  • Half a cup of water (or kombucha for some probiotics)

I like to add protein powder, too, especially in the morning. My favourite is hemp protein powder and I even did an article about it if you want to learn more. You could also throw on some berries for extra antioxidants.

As a bottom line, the ketogenic diet could be a great way for you to lose some weight. It is much more than a fad diet and, if done correctly, is safe and healthy. Be smart and maintain some common sense and you should be fine!

If you have any questions you would like me to answer, or any article ideas, I would love to hear from you in the comments below.

Cheers,

David


MCT Oil: What Nobody Is Telling You About The Ultimate Body Hack!

MCT oil has been around for a few years now and has recently gained huge popularity via Dave Asprey and his bullet proof coffee. 

However it wasn't that long ago, that all fats were being deemed unhealthy. So what has changed people's minds so much over the last few years and why should you take MCT oil every day?

Let's dive right in:

What Is MCT Oil?

MCT oil has plenty of benefits to your physical and mental health. Yes, that also includes better cognition.

Your body functions on three fuel sources; carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids. Lipids include fats (also known as triglycerides).

Protein has always been viewed as the building blocks for muscle growth, carbohydrates as our fuel to move and fats as something to avoid at all costs!

I'm sure by now, you now know that fat doesn't make you fat, in fact it is vital for numerous bodily functions.

An example of the "good fat" your body thrives on is triglycerides which are made up of glycerol and three fatty acids attached to it. The glycerol is the backbone and you have the fatty acids sticking out from it. It is found naturally in coconuts, coconut oil and in butter and other high-fat dairy products from grass-fed cows and goats.

So what is so good about MCT Oil?

To digest triglycerides, you need enzymes and bile salts. These transform the fat so it can enter your bloodstream. With medium-chain triglycerides, however, you don't have to do that. They already have the correct structure, to begin with so they are much easier to digest and absorb.

Not only that, but MCT oil can also improve protein metabolism and induce ketogenesis. - another buzz word at the moment.

Ketogenesis is simply another way for your body to distribute energy but has gained popularity recently as the process has been marketed as "turning your body into a fat burning machine!" Part of this statement holds some truth, however there are some side effects to ketosis.

This is a whole other subject that I will go into in a later article but basically, as your body burns fat, the liver produces ketones out of fats. Ketones cross the blood-brain barrier very efficiently, which is why MCT oil is sometimes called brain food.

Here's the key thing, a fat deficiency can seriously tamper with your hormones. Your body needs fats in order to produce oestrogen, testosterone, and a bunch of other incredibly important hormones. When you avoid fats in your diet, you risk an imbalance.

This is why I see first hand how so many female clients now have screwed up their bodies as a result of following poor dietary advice over the years. They have been badly advised to avoid ALL forms of fat in their diet and as a result they now have a hormone imbalance and symptoms such as weight gain, mood swings, lowered immunity, poor physical and mental performance, the list goes on and on.

Consuming MCT oil changes all of this. It gives your body and brain the energy boost it needs, it supports your digestive system and even has antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties.

 

The Reason I Put MCT Oil In My Coffee Every Morning

When people ask me how do I like my coffee, they rarely expect to hear 'With oil in it'. Bulletproof coffee is the real deal when it comes to boosting energy, improving my performance, and giving me a variety of other health benefits.

Obviously, it gives me all the antioxidants black coffee has anyway which are quite impressive. It lowers your risk of getting type 2 diabetes, prevents Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, not to mention coffee lowers appetite and it can help with weight loss.

Another great reason to have MCT Oil in your coffee is that caffeine is also soluble in fats. When you drink coffee on an empty stomach, the caffeine in the water will get absorbed fairly quickly. The MCT takes a little longer to be absorbed. That is why adding it to your morning cuppa gives you lasting energy (and by lasting energy I mean 4-5 hours at least).

Finally, To Sum Up The MCT Oil Benefits...

You have the energy boost and the coffee benefits, but Bulletproof coffee also gives you all the goodness of medium-chain fatty acid supplementation. That means:

  • An easy to digest source of energy. And it is the kind of energy that your brain loves, which improves your cognition visibly (even after your first cup of Bulletproof coffee).
  • Hormone support and imbalance prevention.
  • Burning more calories and an aid in weight loss. MCT oil is popular in the fitness community because it's a fat that helps you burn more fat.
  • Immune and gut health. There is evidence that MCT oil is beneficial to your gut microbiome. It helps balance out the bacteria by fighting the pathogens and supporting the good microbiome species. Since your gut health is related to virtually all other aspects of your well-being (including mental wellness), MCT oil has some major health benefits for your system as a whole.

So there you have it - the reason why I take my coffee with a teaspoon spoonful of MCT oil.

Do you agree with all this?  Do you have any Bulletproof coffee tips and hacks? Or do you just have a question to share? I would love to hear from you in the comments below!

Cheers,

David

 


Woman drinking protein shake

The Best Dietary Supplement You’ve Never Heard Of: 9 Amazing Benefits Of Hemp Protein Powder

Every week I get asked numerous questions covering anything from my favourite pieces of training equipment, my own health care, my nutritional programme and some of my unique training methods that I use with my celebrity clients in London. I thought it would be a good addition to post about some of these here on my blog in this new section I have titled: The Can Do Review.

I'm going to start things off here with my take on Protein shakes...

 

Protein Powder. These days everyone seems to have it in their kitchen cupboard. 20 years ago only professional bodybuilders would start their morning with a protein shake– today protein powder is as much of a kitchen staple as fruit and veg.

The problem is I see so many people that haven't followed a steady workout plan in years but still drink protein smoothies religiously, as though that would magically put more muscle on them!

The question I want to answer here is, are protein powders necessary or even healthy?

In this article, I want to address the common misconceptions about whey protein and why I believe hemp protein powder is much a better alternative for you.

Protein Shakes And Your Performance

Speak to most personal trainers and they will often be quite obsessive about  the amount of daily protein that you should aim to consume. A popular number is 46 grams per day for the ladies and 56 grams for men. But that is way too big of a generalisation. For most people the simple approach of consuming real foods and aiming to add a bit more protein to their diet has incredibly positive affects on their body composition.

Benefits of Protein Powders

So do protein powders actually work? well yes, especially when they have branched-chain amino acids which fuel muscle growth and improve performance exponentially. What is more, a higher protein intake helps maintain muscle strength even during times where the client is working out less meaning that getting back in shape after a holiday becomes much easier.

Finally, protein smoothies (as opposed to protein shakes) are an easy way to add other healthy foods into your diet, for instance green leafy vegetables.

The Dark Side Of Whey Protein

Whey protein cons

Although more protein is great for your body, not all protein powders are. Let’s start with something very basic:

What is whey?

I am sure 99% of gym rats don't actually know the answer to this! Let me explain...

To make cheese, you add acid to the milk. This separates the solids (curd) from the liquid (whey). Most of the fat is left in the cheese, while whey contains the protein which normally helps the calf grow. You know what else helps the calf grow? Hormones.

The hormone balance is one of the most delicate and underestimated systems in your body. Throw that off and you are risking issues like extreme weight gain, mood swings, and horrendous skin problems to name a few.

Hormones are present in our milk and some of them pass into the whey as well. Most of them are peptides (a.k.a. small chains of amino acids) and they make it to the final product in very high concentrations. This can disrupt your hormones dramatically and completely negate any positive effects the powder might have.

More Problems With Whey

Sadly, the hormones aren’t the only problem with whey powders. They are also detrimental to your gut bacteria. Damaging this can cause chronic inflammation, which is a risk factor for virtually all chronic diseases (cancer and heart disease included). If that long-term risk is not enough, gut health issues have also been linked to poor athletic performance. Yes, your workout supplement might actually be ruining your progress.

Don't believe me?

Ask ANYONE that's ever consumed a whey protein shake if they've encountered some flatulence issues or an upset stomach as a result!

To add insult to injury, the very proteins found in whey powder are not typical for the human body. Bovine milk (and whey) contains large globular proteins that are supposed to make the calf put on up to 80 lbs per month. When these same proteins enter the human body, they disrupt our entire system, causing an immune response, as well as unexpected consequences to our metabolism.

Finally, I am yet to meet a client that prefers plain protein powder to the chocolate-flavoured one. The artificial sweeteners in these products have been shown to increase inflammation, induce sugar cravings, and cause weight gain. And don’t even get me started on the flavour-enhancing agents.

Hemp Protein Powder To The Rescue

hemp protein powder

You want to increase your protein intake but now I've told you that whey powder does more harm than good.

A lot of people aren’t even aware that there is an alternative. Hemp protein powder is clean, natural, plant-based, and it contains all the amino acids you need.

Also, hemp is a sort of super plant. It’s one of those rare cultures that doesn’t need pesticides and fertilizers, and it isn’t ever genetically modified, either (it does pretty well on it’s own). You can use it to make textile, biofuel, materials for the automobile and construction industry. And, of course, you can eat it. Hemp seed are rich in proteins and poly-unsaturated fatty acids. They can be consumed on their own (and they have some amazing heart and liver health benefits) or processed into other products.

Benefits Of Hemp Protein Powder

Hemp seeds are processed into plant milk, which can then be turned into hemp protein powder. Here are all the amazing benefits it has (and why I always recommend it to my clients):

  • It’s a whole protein. Hemp contains all 21 amino acids, including the essential ones that your body can’t produce.
  • Hemp protein powder is rich in branched-chain amino acids. These fuel your muscles directly, with very little processing required.
  • Hemp is a safe and clean plant source – no GMOs or dangerous chemicals here.
  • The processing doesn’t involve harmful compounds like hexane that are often found in whey protein.
  • Hemp protein powder is easier to digest.
  • It doesn’t damage your gut flora.
  • The proteins found in hemp protein powder are ones your body is used to recognising and using. They will not cause an immune response.
  • There are no hormones in hemp protein powder. It doesn’t encourage inflammation but rather prevents it.
  • Hemp protein powder can be just as affordable as whey but with a much higher quality.

How To Choose And Use Hemp Protein Powder

I do have a favourite brand and product that I usually recommend. Remember that a protein powder is simply a supplement, though. Nothing can replace a diet rich in real, wholesome food. Try using hemp protein powder in nutrient-rich recipes, rather than just mix it with water. Some of my favourites are in porridge (with some oats or quinoa), green smoothies, or in a protein-packed omelette.

The Review:

Product: Purition Raw Vegan Hemp Chocolate Protein Shake

 

Suitable for: I honestly would recommend this to all of my clients. It is a very common theme for my female clients to consistently fall below their daily protein consumption requirements. As a post workout shake or as part of a breakfast smoothie this product solves that issue in the healthiest possible way. As a vegan source this product is also an excellent meal supplement for those not getting all essential amino acids in their diet.

Value for Money: At around £20 per kilo it's certainly not cheap, but like most things in life you get what you pay for. You can find plenty of really cheap protein powders online but if you've taken the time to read the article above then you'll now know that the low budget price also comes with high levels of animal hormones, sugar and artificial sweeteners that induce inflammation and cause sugar craving and weight gain!

This is the best protein supplement I have been able to find and I believe it represents a good value product.

My thoughts: It actually tastes very good and even better as part of a smoothie. There's no chalky texture or strange after taste that you get with numerous protein shakes and it is a genuinely great source of nutrition. The price may put some people off, but what price do you put on your health?

The Can Do Review: 4/5

 

 

Hemp Powder Smoothie Recipe

Here is my trusty morning smoothie, featuring hemp powder and more healthy goodness:

2 tablespoons hemp protein powder

1 medium banana

1 cup of pineapple (skip it if you want to cut the carbs)

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1 cup of baby spinach (always buy organic)

A handful of berries (fresh or frozen depending on the season)

Liquid of choice (I love plain Greek yogurt for the good bacteria or almond milk)

If that is all you are going to be having for breakfast, add half a cup of soaked oats and a nut butter you like (my favourite is almond butter) for some extra energy. Enjoy!

 

I would love to hear your thoughts and personal recommendations, as well as any questions you might have. Share them in the comments and I will be sure to respond!

 

Cheers,

David


Body Fat Percentage Calculator

It's well established that being fat is terrible for you. It's bad for pretty much every biological system in your body, it places unnecessary stress on your vital organs (including your heart) and makes you look less than your best. But. What can be measured can be changed. And that's why I recommend that all my clients trying to lose fat get their hands on a body fat percentage calculator.

This is what 5lb of fat looks like - disgusting isn't it? - this is at at the lower end of what you can expect to lose on my Can Do Chef diet (below).

The bottom line is it's well worth it and it's best to have your own at home so you can keep the time and conditions consistent each and every week so that you get an accurate, reliable reading.

The body fat percentage calculator scales I recommend are these ones

 These ones are wireless and connect to bluetooth and are low profile for ease of storage.

I'm sure you've seen them around. They look like regular scales but do so much more and link up to your phone so you can track your progress.

If you're still using simple scales to weigh yourself week in week out, you're missing out on key indicators regarding your body composition that your overall bodyweight alone will not reveal.

For instance, if you are trying to lose weight by following a weight training regime, you could have lost fat and gained muscle but still be the same overall bodyweight on traditional scales.

A good fat loss calculator, on the other hand, will give you a full panel of data that explains the numbers.

Traditional scales are almost certainly giving you imprecise results

What does a body fat percentage calculator tell you and how should you interpret the results?

Getting down to the nitty gritty of the data, a body fat percentage calculator can tell you a lot about your overall health. I'm going to pick out the key indicators I use with my clients:

One of my female clients kindly agreed to share a screenshot of her doing well on the Can Do Chef!

  • Weight - a body fat percentage calculator will give you an accurate and exact total body weight which it will use in combination with your height to give you your BMI.
  • Your BMI - your body mass index, the universal measure used by doctors to determine if you are underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese.
  • Body fat percentage - useful for measuring actual progress in fat loss and excludes water weight and changes in muscle volume density - unlike traditional scales.
  • Body water percentage - how well hydrated are you, this number is usually around the 50% -65% mark  if it is much less than 50% then you probably need to recover better with proper hydration.
  • Visceral fat - this is the nastier kind of fat that hangs around around your vital organs and has a higher likelihood of causing conditions such as diabetes. Avoid.
  • Muscle mass - increased muscle mass starts a positive feedback loop for fat loss, the more muscle you have, the more fat you will burn. Weight training is shown in countless studies to be excellent for your physical and psychological well being.

One of my male clients agreed to share his overall health indicators before starting the Can Do Chef

Things to remember when buying a body fat percentage calculator

  • Don't mess around trying to write things down on paper to record them, you'll lose/forget your details.
  • For this reason, you'll want one that has bluetooth and connects to your phone.
  • Always be consistent and weigh yourself under the same conditions in the morning before breakfast.
  • Don't weigh yourself more than once a week, it'll create an emotional rollercoaster. If you keep the time of your weigh-in consistent it's something to work towards. I like to recommend my clients use their body fat percentage calculator on Monday morning first thing.
  • It should go without saying you shouldn't be wearing much other than underwear when you weigh yourself!
  • Use an app so that it instantly sends the results to your phone. That way you can always have easy access to a list of your results and the full data to track your progress in your phone.
  • Get scales that allow multiple family members to use the device during the same period where individual data is stored for each person.

I find the 1byone  interface to be the most user-friendly for tracking progress

Cheers,

David

P.s. the body fat percentage calculator scales I recommend are these ones.

P.p.s....

Lose Fat By Following the Can Do Chef

To get the most out of body fat percentage calculator scales you need to use them in conjunction with a tried and tested diet regime (you get fit in the gym but you lose weight in the kitchen).

Earlier this month I put together the 'Can Do Chef' a very specific diet programme I now insist all of my clients in London follow when they begin working with me. It's designed with the general population in mind (rather than endurance athletes and power lifters). I've since made it available for free online (below).

The thing that works about the Can Do Chef is that it is an exact programme. Nothing is left to chance. There are no cheat days. That's the only requirement is that you stick to the full 30 day programme. During that time most people will lose 5lbs - 8lbs of body fat (depending on your starting point).

The point is you can't just leave things to chance by eating salad and 'health foods' and expecting the scales to move in your favour. You have to be exact (at least at first) and then get the specific data by using a body fat percentage calculator in order to track progress and move forward.

Get the Can Do Chef - 30 day elimination programme


Beach Body Challenge - The Can Do Chef

So summer is in full swing (Not that you’d know it in London this weekend)! The perfect time to launch my beach body challenge and Can Do Chef companion PDF.

Maybe you’ve been on the beach or by the pool this summer, margarita or ice cream in hand?…

Those New Years resolutions are now a distant memory.

Maybe you didn’t quite achieve what you set out to at the start of the year to look your best on the beach. But, there is still time to dramatically improve how you look and feel in just 30 days and eek out the last of the summer sun with my beach body challenge!

The Can Do Chef beach body challenge – will you stick to it? 29 pages of a diet that is PROVEN to work IF you stick to it.

The Can Do Chef – Beach body challenge

That’s why i’m launching a ‘beach body challenge’ in my new North London fitness studio, a 30 day nutrition programme I call The Can Do Chef.

This is something that I’ve been tweaking with a number of clients over the last year or so and now I’m happy that when followed exactly this programme will produce some amazing results.

It will not only get you great results, it will also allow you to discover just how your body works. Which foods your body thrives on and which foods are causing you to become tired, bloated, irritable and fat!

The best part? I want to give it to you for free.

The rules of The Can Do Chef’s beach body challenge

The Can Do Chef comes with a few big promises that must be kept:

  • You acknowledge from the very start that this programme is not going to be easy, it is not a quick fix. I’ve spoken many times before about why false promises and quick fixes are the lifeblood of the fake fitness industry. This is the real deal.
  • You take 100% personal responsibility for following the diet during those 30 days. That means there are no cheat days or deviations from the exact foods and amounts I prescribe within the guide.
  • If you cheat on the diet don’t listen to other experts that tell you to ‘forgive yourself’ – I want you to dwell on what you’ve done wrong otherwise the next week, you’ll do it again.
  • No booze is allowed on this programme (along with a host of other toxins that are holding you back).

Why does the Can Do Chef work so well?

  • It targets inflammation in the body by eliminating the vast majority of foods that could possibly be throwing your body off balance (wheat and dairy are just the tip of the iceberg). This is great if you haven’t had a food allergy test to find out for sure.
  • You’ll lose a lot of unnecessary water weight (particularly if you have been consuming excess carbohydrates) initially in the first week so expect the first week’s results to be the most dramatic.
  • It’s a prescriptive programme. If you follow this word for word you will get fantastic results, I promise.
  • The flip side of that is there are no grey areas, you must follow it exactly, you can’t cheat. If you cheat on the diet at the end of the 30 days other people who have followed it to the letter will look and feel great and you’ll be left wondering what went wrong.

How many people start something in life and by the start of week one they’ve dropped off? I hope I’m not talking to you. So let’s get started.

Download the Can Do Chef for your beach body challenge

Here is it, the programme in full. I suggest you print it out or access it from an iPad. Take time to familiarise yourself with the programme as a whole so that you are well prepared.

Get the Can Do Chef - 30 day elimination programme

Put your email address in the box below and the full 29 page PDF will be sent to you immediately so you can get started.

Although I don’t promote any quick fix solution I do believe that it is vitally important that any great trainer has the tools and abilities to achieve rapid body makeovers with their clients.

For any trainers reading this, feel free to use my programme and start your own beach body challenge.

This is one of those tools that I like to use with my personal training clients and in fact I won’t work with clients unless they are prepared to follow this programme.

For me the primary objective for this comes down to educating my clients on proper nutrition and emphasising the fact that you simply can’t out train a bad diet. I hope you enjoy the programme and more importantly the amazing results that you will see over the next 30 days…

The Can Do Chef was designed with the general population in mind and I guarantee this programme will get results for 90% of you.

If you have any underlying medical conditions then I would recommend that you speak to a nutritionist and look into food allergy testing. This diet also won’t be ideal if you’re training for an endurance event, you will need a more specific nutritional programme for that.

It’s for the average person, who perhaps works out 2-3 times a week, looking to lose at least 5-7lbs of fat. If you want to get really detailed you can look into calculating the amounts of your foods with a macros calculator, readily available online but the aim of the guide I have put together is to keep things as simple as possible so that you stick to it!

Good luck!

David


Broccoli Sprouts - are you missing out?

Begin:

Day 5:

Day 8:

Broccoli Sprouts - anti-cancer, anti-ageing, anti-inflammatory, anti-fat. Are you missing out?

  • The mason jars to make broccoli sprouts that I use (Shown in the video) are these ones, I recommend buying a total of 4-8 jars to produce a big enough batch each month
  • The seeds I use (shown in the video) are these ones.

If you haven't heard already, Broccoli sprouts are *incredible* for your all-round health. I was told about them by an old friend a couple of months ago.

He raved about their benefits, and he was right. This isn't just another cool fitness fad, these are the real deal backed up by a whole library of scientific research.

How to make broccoli sprouts
Grow broccoli sprouts with the top of the mason jar facing down

Just after I take them I always feel an incredible boost of energy, strength and vitality.

I did a bit more research - it turns out that broccoli sprouts are scientifically proven to prevent and fight cancer, detoxify your body, reduce inflammation and super charge your overall health in every other respect. The superfood of all superfoods?

I don't think the amazing benefits are all too common knowledge in the health world (yet) (at least I haven't heard them mentioned once in face to face chats with fitness pros in the UK) so I thought i'd share what I've learned to date in a written guide on the subject, including how to incorporate them into your daily meal or diet plan.

Scientific papers supporting the amazing properties of broccoli sprouts

The days of 'bro-science' on the internet are over. I don't support or endorse anything that doesn't have a weighty amount of scientific literature behind it - thats why I am a big fan of time under tension training. Broccoli sprouts are no exception. Here are the papers I read before trying these things and incorporating them into my meal plans with clients:

Broccoli sprouts: An exceptionally rich source of inducers of enzymes that protect against chemical carcinogens

Broccoli Sprouts, cancer prevention and detoxification

Sulforaphane and Other Nutrigenomic Nrf2 Activators: Can the Clinician’s Expectation Be Matched by the Reality?

Antioxidant capacity of broccoli sprouts subjected to gastrointestinal digestion

Broccoli Sprouts Cheat Sheet

Sulforaphane in broccoli sprouts
Sulforaphane - where the magic happens
  • To get the science bit out of the way, the magic 'ingredient' in Broccoli sprouts is something called Sulforaphane.
  • In scientific study after scientific study Sulforaphane has been shown to have an incredible number of health benefits (including preventing and fighting many types of cancer and tumours).
  • The volume of scientific literature supporting Sulforaphane makes the health benefits of broccoli sprouts (which are very, very high in Sulforaphane) incredibly difficult to ignore or deny.
  • Broccoli sprouts are baby plants (i.e. not fully matured vegetables) that contain 100x more Sulforaphane (the good stuff that your body loves and that fights cancer) than normal broccoli.

Ready to give them a try?

How to make Broccoli Sprouts

 

You'll start to see proper signs of life in your broccoli sprouts after about two days - keep it up
Day 2 - You'll start to see signs of life after about two days

What will you need to make broccoli sprouts?

  • Mason jars x 4-8 (if you are preparing them for the entire family (highly recommended to help them all stay healthy - you will need more) - this will save you time.
  • Organic broccoli sprouting seeds - these are dirt cheap and probably the single best coniferous vegetable you can eat, worth every penny!
  • A cool, dark space to store them.
  • A little tender loving care ;)

Instructions - How do you make them? (It's easier than it sounds!)

  • These refrigerate well for about 2-3 weeks so make sure you prepare enough broccoli sprouts to maximise efficiency.
  • Start by taking a mason jar and filling it with two tablespoons of broccoli seeds, don't exceed this amount since the seeds grow and will be overcrowded if you use too much.
  • Put the sieve lid on the mason jar, make sure it is on tightly.
  • Rinse the seeds with a small amount of water by swilling the water around, make sure all the seeds are well rinsed;
  • Drain away all excess water;
  • Repeat this process 4-8 times with a new jar each time - depending on the amount you want to make (4 jars usually lasts me just over a fortnight but if you are cooking for a family you will need more).
  • Put all of the jars into a cool, dark place such as a kitchen cupboard.
  • It is very important to position the jars using the angled bracket around the lid so that the top is facing down to allow all excess water to drain - if you do not do this your seeds will mould and you'll lose the magic;
  • Put a waterproof tray like this one underneath the jars so you catch any excess water, clean this every now and then to remove any old water;
  • Each day you must rinse the seeds by topping up the jar with a little water and swilling and draining - twice a day else they will go mouldy (I set an alarm on my phone to do this at 6a.m. (when I wake up) and 8p.m. (just after I come home).
  • By day 8 you should rest the sprouted seeds in their jars in indirect sunlight on a window sill - this will give them a nice green apperance.
  • Day 9/10 - refrigerate them, they are good to use now for around two weeks!
  • The whole process takes about 10 days but boy, is it worth it.

 

Here is an update from day 5 of the process (half way!):If you have any questions about broccoli sprouts, please leave them in the comments below and i'll get back to you ASAP!

Cheers to your good health!

David