I'm excited to announce that the latest episode of the Cj Sends Word Podcast features Gregg Elliot who is the chief Sports Scientist at Elite HRV.
We explore in depth the phenomenal implications of HRV as a non-invasive bio-marker. From improving sports performance, weight loss,to fine tuning wellbeing and helping to manage medical conditions from depression all the way to chronic fatique syndrome. I know this may seem far fetched, but when you understand the science, and connect the dots, you will be able to see clearly the mind blowing potential..
My mum actually introduced me to this one.
When I decided to go plant based, she soon realised that she would have to modify a lot of the traditional Carribean cuisine. if I was to ever pop around for dinner again!
Gone were the salt fish fritters, in came these. I can't share with you Mrs Swaby Senior's secret recipe (it's more than my life's worth), but Chef and Yoga Teacher, Rebecca Szczypka hit me up with this version which is gorgeous.
Here's the ingredients
1/2 large courgette - grated.
6 mint leaves - chopped.
1 tablespoon parsley - chopped
1 teaspoon of chilli flakes
Zest of 1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper
egg x 1 - whisked.
How to make it
Tip the fritter mix in a bowl and mix to your hearts content.
Heat the frying pan so its hot when you spoon in the mixture ( I suggest coconut oil)
Using a tablespoon, spoon a dollop of the courgette mix into the pan, spread the fritters a little so they are not mounded.
Continue with rest of the mixture. (mixture makes 4 - 5 fritters).
Cook on each side until they are golden and delicious.
Serve the fritters with a mixed salad or sweet potato fries for a light meal. They also taste great by themselves with a dip as a snack.
Here's my week in numbers.
With Cracking The Wellness Code event now behind me, and a funeral approaching this coming week. My strategy was ensuring that my mental wellbeing was duly taken care of. Now for the uninitiated the link between managing your emotional state and tracking your heart rate variability may seem a jump too far, but there is some fascinating research available that has shown a connection between maladaptive emotion regulation and a dysregulation of the ANS (automatic nervous system).
Now while the mechanisms behind this phenomena is complex, tracking your HRV as a non invasive bio marker has been shown to be extremely effective. In a study conducted at the University Department of Psychiatry, Warneford Hospital, Oxford UK, it was found that there was reduced HRV during cognitive reappraisal of negative stimuli. The test subjects were asked to passively view negative images or attempt to down regulate the effect on their emotions elicited by the powerful images (thus looking at their ability to manage their emotional state and biological impact of the external stimuli).
The reduced HRV readings indicated a link between the loss of flexibility in the parasympathetic system and emotion regulation (consistent with other studies). In a study on depression and decreased heart rate variability post cardiac surgery, Patron, Favretto et al found that compared to the non-depressed patients, the depressed group showed a lower standard deviation of the normal-to-normal (NN) deviations, confirming previous findings that depression is associated with a reduced HRV (especially after cardiac surgery).
These are just two examples, the amount of literature available regarding is beyond the scope of this post, but ineffective emotion regulation has also been associated with ANS functioning. So what were my strategies for this week?
Reconnecting with family and friends who presence I felt "uplifted" in was a key strategy. Some of these friends I hadn't spoken too in 3 years! I allocated more "quiet time" where I could be alone with a good book, or study a subject that interests me.
I restructured my training to give me more focus and a sense of empowerment, plus I also began writing in my journal more frequently. First doing a brain dump, then reframing situations and thoughts that were draining my energy. This was a powerful step in and or itself, but I also took action to take it one step further. Revisiting DrJohn De Martini's book The Break Through Experience was crucial for me and free'd me up massively. I highly recommend it.
Nutrition was pretty good, there were a few more refined sugars this week, but I didn't beat myself up about it, just put the steps in place to minimise it's effects. I also downloaded "The Rock Clock" app. If you don't know about this, you really need to check it out. It was created by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson an is basically an alarm with his various phrases/ motivational abuse - call it what you will, but it never failed to wake me with a smile, elevate my mood and feel like a certified badass (It's the little things that can make a difference).
Below is a clip of my training this week, where I returned back to PMT (Partial Movement Training) and on that note I think it's only proper I'll leave you with a quote from The Rock.
It's never about how you start., It's always about how you finish.
p.s Excited to announce that this week the podcast episode with Gregg Elliot, Sports Scientist over at Elite HRV, will go live!
Decreased Heart Rate Variability During Emotion Regulation in Subjects At Risk For Psychopathology : Di SImplicio,M. Costolini,G. Western, D et al: 2012
Depression and Reduced Heart Rate Variability After Cardiac Surgery: The Mediating Role of Emotion Regulation: Patron,E. Favretto, G. Gasparotto, R et al : 2014
Now I know what you are thinking.
Here's the thing. Meat free meals can be as simple or as complicated as you make it. But the truth is, for some of us we just don't have the time, or not as inspired to make some of the more deliciously intricate plant based dishes.
Sometimes we just want it simple, filling and hassle free. So this week I bring to you a hybrid dish based on one of our previous dishes Vegetable Chilli slapped inside a jacket potato. This is a great way to utilise your left overs if you have made a batch of the vegetable chilli.
Here's the ingredients
Vegetable Chilli [recipe here]
Rock salt/ Sea salt (a dash or two)
Butter or Olive oil
Baking potato or sweet potato if you prefer (1 per person)
How to make it
Heat the oven to gas mark 7 . Wash the potato, and pierce the skin with a fork. Rub the rock salt into the skin and then place in the oven fro 20 mins.
Then turn the oven down to gas mark 5 and cook for a further 40 mins+ or until the skin is crispy and the flesh is soft. You can test this with either a fork or piercing with a sharp knife.
In the mean time, heat the vegetable chilli.
Place your jacket potatoes on plates. Split down the middle (but not in halves). Use butter or pour some olive oil and mix the flesh with a fork until mashed slightly.
Top the potato with the warm chilli.
Serve either on its own or with a side salad.