This is a recipe from the Book Vélochef, a recipe book written by Henrik Orre.
Henrik Orre wrote his recipe book during his time as Head Chef of the Team Sky Professional Cycling Team.
The purpose of the recipes in the book, including the one below, is to provide athletes with all the nutrients required to train and compete at the highest level.
For people like you and I these recipes are a great way to ensure we get the ongoing nutrients we need to get the best out of ourselves in our busy lives whilst also aiming to get to the gym a few times per week.
Using recipes from performance sport is great because the underlying intention is one of making sure you have everything you need in the body for energy, attention, concentration, and physical effort over a given time.
Which very much sounds like most people’s average week. We may not be professionally competing for a sport, but we are competing at life!
We find this approach is more productive than aiming to eat less purely to lose weight, which often leads to 3 problems…
- No pleasure from food
- Low energy intake
- Low nutrient intake
Eating for performance turns this on its head by asking “What nutrients do my mind and body need to perform this week?’
(Note: I didn’t say how many calories do i need to perform this week!)
“What do I need to stop eating to lose weight?”
Yes, food is the stuff we eat to fuel our bodies. It provides the energy for us to recycle ATP, which is the body’s sole mode of energy production. So when we think about proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, that is their main role in the body.
However, there is a little more to it than that.
Micronutrients including vitamins, minerals, water, fibre, and chemicals play very important roles other than simply fuelling the body.
An example of this is calcium.
Ask most people and they will give you the correct answer that calcium is vital for strong bones.
Did you also know that calcium is the mineral responsible for facilitating every single muscle contraction in the body?
Hundreds of these examples exist in vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, vitamin D, and vitamin C playing important roles in cells all through the body. If the cell has what it needs to function then the body has what it needs and you will move, think and look well.
If the cell doesn’t have what it needs, the body doesn’t have what it needs and your body will look, think and move in accordance with this.
Eating unhealthy foods then is a double-edged sword. Foods that don’t help us usually provide too much energy (fuel) and not enough micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).
The message here is it is not so much about the “bad” foods you are putting in but the “good foods” that you are missing
Weston A Price wrote a book after moving around the World in the 1930s looking at different tribes and what happened when they started eating a Western Diet. He obviously found that people became more ill and poorly conditioned as they adopted a Western diet of processed foods rather than a natural, local diet.
Price came to the following conclusion.
The problem that is created when following a diet made up of processed food is one of lack, when the body doesn’t get what it needs in terms of the simple nutrients and micronutrients the processes of the body start to break down and we start to physically degenerate
This accelerates the aging process and the degenerative diseases that come with it.
When we are missing key vitamins and minerals energy feels low, you get sick frequently and you don’t look, feel or perform well.
When deciding which foods to eat, going for those rich in micronutrients usually has the additional benefit of controlling the amount of fuel intake along with providing the body with all the vitamins and minerals required for your body on a cellular level.
Although these nutrients don’t provide fuel, we need them to thrive.
Healthy chemicals from the foods we eat have a list of benefits vital to health.
- Protection against the development of cancer
- Reduced risk of heart disease
- Reduced inflammation and blood clotting
- Reduced risk of diabetes
The body has natural defences against all these problems, but it needs the micronutrients to be able to run these defences.
Counting calories can be a useful tool, but it is just that. It’s a hammer in a toolbox, and sometimes hammering a nail, is not what is required.
Calorie counting has the benefit of being a simple measure that you can apply to the amount of fuel that you put into the body and the limitation of not accounting for micronutrient intake or any of the body’s discreet cellular functions.
If you want a tool for loosely measuring fuel intake then calorie counting is a good place to start, but as with every measure there is a margin for error and a degree of validity and reliability must be considered.
As well as fuel, food is information for the body. It tells the body what to do and what not to do, when to release a hormone and when not to when to build more muscle tissue or not.
It turns on or off your genetic machinery so when you feel run down and feel like you get ill too frequently and too easily your body might just be waiting for you to give it enough vitamin B6 to send the message to your DNA to produce more white blood cells to regulate your immune function. Fail to eat a selection of vegetables each day and you are likely to fall short of the amount needed to effectively power your genetic machinery to produce enough white blood cells to keep you healthy.
All the chemical processes running that affect your health and body fat are affected by further food intake.
On top of this studies have shown that as your emotions change – happy, sad, angry, stressed. These chemical processes change with them. They speed up, slow down or change because your emotions create actual chemical changes inside the body. Even just thinking uses up glucose as energy indicating the importance of food choice on concentration and information processing in the brain.
Every food choice is an opportunity to change the body and brain’s composition, performance, and wellbeing.
This particular recipe provides everything you need, is great for an easy evening meal, and can be stored easily for lunch the next day.
It takes only 15-20 minutes to make.
Pasta with Fresh Salsiccia
Salsicca is a fancy Italian Sausage. If you cant get hold of that just use good sausage meat or chicken.
400g Pasta Penne
300g Salsicca (sausage)
200g cherry tomatoes
½ Red onion
100ml olive oil
Salt & black pepper
1 pot basil
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius
- Put the sausages in a greaseproof oven dish and cook for 15-20 minutes
- Remove sausage from the oven and slice
- Boil the pasta for 10-12 minutes in lightly salted water
- Cut the cucumber and tomatoes into equally sized bits
- Slice the red onion into thin rings
- Mix all the vegetables and drizzle the olive oil over them
- Zest and juice the lemon and pour over the vegetables
- Season with Tabasco, salt, and black pepper
- Pour the warm pasts over the vegetables and mix thoroughly
- Add the sausage
- Top with finely chopped basil and grated parmesan
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