Take two with Roz Purcell ...for bite-sized exercise, eating and mindful moments
Recipes from Purcell, exercises from Karl Henry and mindfullness from Suzanne Donohue
Raspberry and peanut butter oat bread.
Rozanna Purcell, Karl Henry and Suzanne Donohoe. Photograph: Marc O’Sullivan
I don’t have time. I don’t have time to run, to prepare a dinner this evening, to take a deep breath and count to 10 and remember that the 73 emails weighing on my shoulders will still be there in the morning. I don’t have time to be healthy.
We eat, we drive, we rush, we “grab a bite”, we watch gym membership direct debits zip out of our bank accounts and shamefully pretend we’ll go next week.
Time is one of the best excuses we can use for making poor decisions when it comes to our health. To get healthy, there is no rocket science: eat less, move more, take care of your heart and your head, and you will start to look, and feel, better – right?
Rozanna Purcell, Karl Henry and Suzanne Donohue are involved in a new campaign to address all three areas: food, fitness and mindfulness. Central to the campaign is that it takes only two minutes for each one. Seriously? Two minutes to get healthy seems too easy. The “2 Minute Energy for Life” campaign is based around little bite-size (I couldn’t resist) tips to “energise your day”.
Fitness expert Karl Henry has created a programme of two-minute step-by-step exercises. Model, author and home cook Rozanna Purcell has created and filmed two-minute recipes using Flahavan’s oats, the sponsors of the campaign. And mindfulness coach Suzanne Donohoe gives two-minute mindfulness meditations.
Henry says health is so much more than food, and the campaign is aiming to take a 360-degree approach. “Food is at least 60 per cent of it, then you build on that with exercise and then Suzanne is there for the mindful side of things and your wellbeing.”
Incorporating exercise into your lifestyle can be the biggest hurdle for people on their path to health but Henry says people like to use lack of time as their excuse.
“My job is to try to get people to be healthier. There are so many barriers to it for people and one huge one is time. The idea with my exercises is that you click on the website and onto one of the two-minute exercises I have done, and do as many as you can. So no matter how fit you are, you can take part.”
The initial gesture of taking control of your health, and setting yourself a goal to work towards, is vital, according to Henry.
“I think one of the best things you can do is define a clear goal. ‘I want to get healthy because . . .’ Ask yourself, ‘why do I really want to do this? What’s different this time?’
“I had one client who was getting out of breath after 16 holes of golf and was embarrassed, so this ‘triggered’ him into wanting to get fit and finish 18 without feeling out of breath, so he had a clear goal.”
Henry says the focus of the exercises is all about movement and he also advises trying to fit things into your daily routine. “It might be getting off one stop earlier on the bus, or taking the stairs in your office or apartment block.”
Purcell says she has become much more aware of looking after her wellbeing in recent years.
“Fitness, food and looking after your mental health all have equal importance.
“Obviously, going out with Bressie [musician and mental health campaigner Niall Breslin] has made me much more aware of taking care of my mental health. You can be as fit as you want or eat as healthily as you want but you do need to look after your mental health too.
Purcell has a hectic lifestyle but says she makes her health a priority.
“It is a priority for me to keep fit and to eat healthily, and I make it a priority. For me it is about taking that second out for what I need and taking that time every day. Growing up, exercising was always part of my life and I make sure every day to fit it in despite my schedule or how busy it gets.”
Mindfulness facilitator Donohoe aims to show how to incorporate the techniques of mindful living into busy lives.
“Mindfulness can just be about stopping and enjoying the moment. We often miss the moment because we are all in our own head. Mindfulness is turning up the gas on your awareness. It is a practice and it does become easier the more you do it.
“Even when you have a stressful situation and you are in that moment of stress, taking a deep breath is very effective in everyday life.”
Donohue says her two-minute meditations are little ways to help you pay attention to your body during your day.
“Small techniques like the one on eating mindfully for even one meal a day can be very effective. It might be having breakfast on your own, sitting down . . . being aware of the food you are eating without having a mobile phone or distractions.”
She said it is all about befriending your own mind, sitting with yourself, recognising your own mood and what is going on internally. “It is the opportunity to ask yourself ‘How am I?’ It is not navel-gazing – checking in with yourself hugely affects our relationship with ourselves and managing yourself and your health. The mind being healthy is so important. To stop and just be.
“It can help to lower blood pressure, help digestion. It can help you sleep better and can be anti-ageing.
“Life is stressful and life is about ebbing and flowing and learning to surf that, so mindfulness can help to teach us optimism, that there is light at the end, and can help to improve your focus.
“We will never stop the stress completely, but recognising it, and being aware of it and managing it, is so important.”
To find out more visit flahavans.com/2mins/
Roz’s two-minute recipes...
Raspberry and Peanut Butter Oat Bread
Ingredients 200g Flahavan’s Oats 4 tbsp peanut butter. I used crunch but smooth will work too 3 large ripe bananas 3 tbsp coconut oil 2 tbsp maple/or honey 1 tbsp baking powder 3 tbsp (50 ml) unsweetened almond milk 125g fresh raspberries
Method 1. Preheat oven to 180°C. 2. Process the oats into flour, using a NutriBullet or food processor. 3. Place in a medium- sized mixing bowl along with the baking powder. 4. Melt the coconut oil and set to one side. 5. In a separate bowl, using a fork, mash the bananas really well so there are no large bits visible, stir in the peanut butter, melted coconut oil and maple/or honey until fully combined. 6. Scrap the “peanut banana” mix into the oat flour bowl and stir until combined. The dough will be a thick and a little dry. Now, add in the almond milk and stir until a sticky dough texture is reached. 7. Stir in the fresh raspberries and spoon into a lined baking tin or a silicone tin. 8. Place in the oven and bake for 50 minutes until golden brown and hard when tapped. 9. Remove and let sit for 30 minutes to set before digging in. 10. Once fully cooled, store in an airtight container. It will keep for four days.
Ingredients 1 can chickpeas 2 scoops whey protein 2 tbsp peanut butter 1 tbsp honey 50g Flahavan’s Oats 70g dark chocolate for dunking, optional
Method 1. In a food processor blend the oats into a fine flour and place into a medium-sized bowl. 2. Add in the chickpeas and blend until smooth (we don’t want to give away any idea these are made of chickpeas). 3. Add in the rest of the ingredients and blend until fully combined. 4. Using a spoon, stir in the cacao nibs to give that chocolate chunk effect. 5. Using your hands, take sections and roll into balls, keep in the fridge for up to three days.
Simple Oat Pancakes
Ingredients 50g Flahavan’s Oats 1 egg 1.5 tbsp Greek yoghurt, plus extra to serve 1 tsp honey or maple syrup 1/2 tsp gluten-free baking powder 1 scoop (30g) protein powder (optional) Coconut oil, for frying Greek yogurt Fresh berries
Method 1. To make the oat pancakes, blend all the ingredients except the oil in a food processor until smooth. I use my NutriBullet for this. 2. Heat a little coconut oil in a non-stick frying pan, then wipe it out with kitchen paper. 3. Add spoonfuls of the batter to the pan – it‘s a thick batter, so make small pancakes. 4. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is golden brown and ready to be turned. 5. Flip over and cook for 1-2 minutes more, until golden brown. 6. Repeat with the remaining batter. 7. Serve warm with a dollop of Greek yoghurt and fresh berries.