Friday 26 December 2014

100 fit days - Smart carbs control your fat hormone

Gregg Marsh

Published 05/09/2014 | 02:30

Gregg Marsh
Gregg Marsh
Banana cake

Insulin is nicknamed the fat hormone and plays a very important role in your body and is key for recovering from exercise, building muscle and maintaining optimal blood sugar levels. Insulin and carbohydrates are very tightly linked. The more carbohydrates you eat, the more insulin will be released.

To optimise insulin for fat loss, aim to get most of your carbohydrates from vegetables and some fruit and good carbs like steel-cut gluten-free oatmeal, sweet potato, winter squash and any type of rice, quinoa or legumes (beans and lentils) directly after exercise.

In reality carbs are neither "good" nor "bad". Some carbs are simply better choices than others. Here is a healthy dessert - for your cheat meal only!

Synergise Lean Banana Cake (makes 24 servings)

Ingredients

For the cake:

• 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted over low heat

• 1/2 cup agave nectar

• 3 omega-3, free range eggs

• 3 ripe bananas, mashed

• 1/4 cup coconut milk, full-fat from can

• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

• 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

• 2 cups blanched almond flour

• 2 teaspoons baking soda

• 1 teaspoon cinnamon

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the frosting:

• 8oz organic cream cheese, room temperature

• 2 tablespoons agave nectar

• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

• 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

• Pinch of salt

• 1 tablespoon coconut milk, full-fat from can

1. Preheat oven to 325 °F / 160 °C. Grease a 9 x 11 baking pan with coconut oil. Set aside.

2. In a medium sized bowl combine the coconut oil, agave nectar, eggs, banana, coconut milk, vanilla extract and almond extract. In another bowl combine the almond flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and mix until well combined.

3. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden on top.

4. For the frosting: With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Reduce the mixing speed and add the remaining ingredients. Beat on high speed until fluffy.

5. Once the cake is fully cooled, cover with the frosting and cut into squares.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 169 calories, 7g fat, 158mg sodium, 12g carbohydrate, 2g fibre, and 4g protein.

Gregg Marsh is a personal trainer and owner of Synergie Fitness. He is showcasing his 'Get Ready For the Big Day' personal training packages at the Wedding and Honeymoon Show at the RDS this weekend.

100 FIT days is a day-by-day nutrition and exercise plan that will get you in the best shape of your life. All you need is willpower, and Health and Living magazine, free with the Irish Independent every Monday. To sign up for daily updates and extra content visit www.independent.ie/100fitsignup

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