My name is Coralie. I’m a foodie. The problem with this, you see, is that calories love you as much as you love them. I needed a new approach. So when John Lewis sent an invite for an evening around Pilates and healthy smoothies, I signed up for it.
The event took place at the OXO Tower building. Little did I realise there was a beautiful event space there, right on the second floor, with a gorgeous view on the Thames… The room was all lit in an appeasing lilac shade, complete with candles here and there, yoga mats all set for the lesson. A sporty evening with a VIP feel!
Hayley Pedrick from The Nutrition Coach guided us through the first part. It’s not just about burning calories. It’s also about hydrating the body efficiently… Juices/smoothies can be your best friend for this: because the fibres are torn, the nutrients are 4 times more accessible than in say, a salad. Not only that: the body absorbs these easily accessible nutrients 20 times faster than you crunching into an apple.
There are little tricks to know to make the most of this though. You want a trio:
> Fruit and vegetables: vitamins, minerals, nutrients and trace nutrients all in one + they optimise your immune function. Go for a 2/3 veg, 1/3 fruit ratio to keep the sugar level down.
> Essential fatty acids: a shot of avocado oil, for example, or nut butter – great for muscle recovery
> Animal protein: the richest source of branched-chain amino acids, potent stimulants for building and repair of muscle tissue. Think whey powder for smoothies.
Pre or post workout? Both really. Pre-workout, they can be the ideal protein + carbohydrate snack (banana & nut butter, fruit and nuts, but even a soup would work). During your workout, you only need water or electrolytes. Post-workout, your body is ready to restock and store carbs.
So when is the best time to, er, refuel after a workout? Your recovery window is within 30 minutes after exercising. Sugar flows into the cells at that point, without the body needing to use insulin. Let alone the workout will have risen the blood acidity level and vitamins are the perfect trick to rebalancing it…
Time to get to work. John Lewis had provided a range of juicers, blenders and nutribullets to play with and a couple of magic potions to experiment: the Red ambulance recovery shake and the Get your game on green smoothie. Finally recipes that do not include apple juice, which seems to be everywhere these days! Really good ideas to steal in these – coconut oil, Manuka honey, maca and spirulina powder, turmeric…
Lottie Murphy then guided us through a Pilates class – a gentle initiation to core strength and postural alignment all along a great playlist. You can feel muscles you had no idea were there stretching, yet the work on breathing, refocusing on the present makes it a wonderful therapy too. It proved so rewarding, so relaxing I’m not entirely sure I deserved the smoothie! Mine was the green one, which I’m tempted to call The Hulk. It may look herby but it is on the sweet side, very refreshing. And it’s REALLY good for you.