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What Drives Obesity

Gaining fat is really simple: your energy intake is greater than your energy expenditure. You just eat too damn much! Gaining so much fat, that you are actually classified as overweight or even obese, however is a task that takes a lot of consistency and time (and avoiding to look into the mirror). As many drastic changes, this doesn’t happen overnight. But why do you do this to your body?

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Fats: Because Nutbutter Is Happyness

But wait, fat makes me fat, right?! Now you should already know the answer: it’s all about the calorie deficit at the end of the day and like carbs, fats are neither good nor bad. Nevertheless, fat is really energy dense: 10 gramms of fat (approx. a tea spoon) have huge 90 kcals. This means that, you should not indulge in those tasty “healthy” low-carb-paleo-keto-raw-gluten free-vegan nut bars if you are trying to lose body fat ;). So what’s the deal with fats, now? Let’s have a closer look through the biochemist’s googles.

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The Zero Calories Dessert #1

Coffee Granita

Have a look at the picture below if you do not know what a granita is: it’s a delicious Italian dessert with -probably- Arabian roots. We eat it especially in summer but to be honest it is like ice cream: it is always time for it ;-).

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Granita al caffé at Caffé Sant’Eustacchio in Rome

But zero calories ice cream? Are you kidding me?

Stefan and I are dieting and especially for me there is no much room for delicious ice cream and generally gorgeous high caloric treats, like dark chocolate and nut butter. This is also the reason why both of them are in the cellar right now 😉 but more about this issue later. That’s why we developped the recipe below.
Long story short: here is the solution for all of you coffee lovers and sweet tooth people: it is refreshing, it is sweet and it teleports you in Piazza Navona in Rome when you eat it. You can use coffein-free coffee too -as we do- so that you can have this treat also in the evening.

Makes two big servings

  • three ice-cube trays (each ca. 250 ml water)
  • three teaspoons instant coffee (it makes it more fluffy)
  • 250 ml tap water
  • pinch of salt
  • sweetener to taste
  • optional: flavours, spices (cinnamon, vanilla, ginger…)
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Blend everything!

Blend everything in a powerful blender. Enjoy. A lot.
As most if not all of our recipes, it’s a mothership: vary it, experiment with it, make it better and have fun! Of course, let us know how we could do it even better 😉

Suggestions:

…with cacao (no zero calories, but awesome)

…with matcha (add a bit more water)

…with the juice and zest of one lemon

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Kitchen Tricks

I have compiled a few of my favourite kitchen tricks for you. Hopefully they make your life in the kitchen easier and more fun, while at the same time increasing your meal prep efficiency.

Minimize preparation time

I rarely wash or peel any vegetables, as I almost exclusively buy organic quality. If your veggies seem to be a little dirty, give them a quick wash. Peeling them is almost always a huge waste of time and resources. I only trim away the ugly parts. Most of the time, my veggies get roasted anyways, so I save a lot of time here.

Do the roasting combo

As you probably know me now, I love my roasted veggies. But I love a good old sunday roast even more! Why not combine them? Whenever I cook a roast, I put a lot of root vegetables underneath to roast with it. The veggies will suck up all the awesome roast drippings and give flavour to the meat in return.

Use that fat

When I go to my butcher to buy chicken breasts, I always buy them with their skin. At home I rip the skin off and put it into a pan and put it on moderate heat. This will render the chicken fat and turn the skin into amazing crackers. Two for one! Use the resulting fat to roast your chicken breast or strain it into a jar to keep it for later. Never throw this away! Rendered fat is full of flavour and it would be a shame to throw it away. You can use similar techniques for duck breast, or even your steak!

Sharpen Up

Please invest some money in good quality knives. And also invest a little of your time to keep them sharp. Using a blunt knive to cook makes cooking miserable and dangerous: a blunt blade will slip when you try to cut! A sharp blade will “stick” immediately onto the object you are cutting, which makes working in the kitchen much saver. Trust me, I’ve cut myself several times and it happend only with blunt knives! You also will be working faster in your kitchen 🙂

Flavour bomb

Want to make something tasty? Be sure to incorporate all five flavours:

  • Sweet: vegetables high in carbs, fuits, sugar
  • Sour: citrus fruits, vinegar, joghurt, wine
  • Bitter: herbs, some vegetables or dark roasting
  • Salty: salt, algae, soya sauce
  • Umami: meat stock, soya sauce, miso, parmesan, algae

Waste nothing

Use as much of your vegetables as you can, you paid for it! For example: you can use the roots of spring onions, they are delicious when fried. The green leaves of radishes and many other root vegetables can be turned into a salad. Fennel stalks can be used just as normal fennel, just cut it thinner. The same is true for broccoli, cauliflower and cale. The thin ends of parsnips and carrots often get cut away … I don’t understand why, they are as delicious as the rest! You don’t need to peel ginger, if it is organic. Always buy organic citrus fruits and use the cest for additional flavour.

To sum this up: strive for efficiency and waste as little as possible! And don’t forget to have fun ;)!

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Carbohydrates: Candies, Noodles And All That Good Stuff

…or are they evil?

Currently, it is a real hot topic, especially since many countries have introduced a sugary drink tax and low-carb and keto diet are becoming very popular among the broad public.  Is it the right way to go in order to lose fat? Yes. And no.

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Roasted Veggies – Easy and Healthy

Many peoply struggle with preparing enough food in order to have always something healthy in their fridge. If you just have to put some food on a plate and microwave it, you will be much less inclined to buy junk food after a long and strenous working day.

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Why you get fat

Metabolism in a nutshell

As I already told you in my last post about macros, no matter if you are eating low carb, low fat or low-whatever, if you are in a calory surplus the body start to store fat. Why? Let’s have a closer look at the picture below and follow the way of the macros:

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  • Carbs: in a very simplified way, carbs are broken down into pyruvate in a process called glycolysis. Pyruvate‘s fate depends on the body’s needs, it is either:
    • turned into energy and CO2 or
    • converted into fats through acetyl-CoA or
    • converted into aminoacids through oxalacetate or
    • turned into glucose again through oxalacetate in case of low body sugar.
  • Fats: to keep it simple, dietary fats are broken down into acetyl-CoA, which can be either oxidized into energy and CO2 or used for synthetis of (other) fats.
  • Aminoacids: simplified aminoacids can go two ways:
    • either through pyruvate into acetyl-CoA (energy and fat synthesis) or
    • some of the aminoacids can be used for glucose synthesis through oxalacetate.

Acetyl-CoA is the reason why everything you eat can be converted into fat and stored in the adipocytes (=fat cells). Therefore, the key for fat loss is not omitting one of the macros from your diet, but to be in an energy deficit (=eat less calories than you need). Nevertheless, it can be crucial to eat enough protein and useful to have more or less carbs and more or less fats in your diet depending on your needs (it is NOT the same for everyone!).

I will cover every macro in my future posts. Hope you enjoyed my small biochemistry lesson. See you soon!

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