Summer's coming so ZM host PJ has decided it's time to get her run on. Keep up with PJ as she works through adidas RunClub's new programme.

This month the focus of the Adidas Run Club is on the importance of good nutrition with training, as the two inevitably go hand in hand. I used to think exercising was enough to keep you fit and healthy and never understood the vital importance of the right food.

As a society, I believe we have been wrongly educated when it comes to fads and diets.
When people are losing weight they often try to restrict food and constantly count calories instead of focusing on eating real food that nourishes the body, mind and soul. To discuss this issue more, I caught up with Simone Anderson, a highly inspiring health enthusiast from Auckland. Simone made headlines earlier this year and featured on Tyra Banks' show discussing her journey in losing 92 kilos.

Simone said eliminating processed foods and eating smaller portions is the key to a new, healthier self. She brought me a few examples to show the importance of meal prepping. As an unorganised, erratic and spontaneous person, meal prepping has always intimidated me. All those tupperware containers lined up on Instagram are what nightmares are made of! I decided to shelve the fear and see what all the fuss was about.

First, Simone offered me some delicious chicken rice paper rolls filled with fresh vegetables which were to die for. Loaded up with coriander and accompanied by a homemade satay sauce, they led me to make an absolute mess of myself; they were awesome. Such an easy lunch to make the night before and so yum! She also brought along some delicious protein bars she made on the weekend which were so tasty and contained no refined sugar. After she spoiled me with healthy treats Simone continued to hammer home how she always has a water bottle on her. Keeping up water intake is so important and is something I still struggle with. So, to wrap up Simone's wise words, to avoid being tempted by unhealthy, processed foods always have your own healthy alternatives prepared so you don't get tempted...

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I was inspired by Simone and her healthy snacks so decided to find some sugar free morsels to make. I will leave you with a delicious paleo banana loaf I found. First time I made it, I thought I could use coconut flour instead of almond flour and it was a disaster but the second time when I actually used almond flour it was a dream. (credit to allrecipes.com)

Good nutrition is so crucial when training as it helps to fuel you with the energy you need to help reach your full potential. It never takes as much time as you think to prepare healthy food. Hope you enjoy the recipe!


Ingredients:

2 cups almond flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup agave syrup or honey, or you can use stevia for healthier option (1/4 teaspoon)
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (optional)

Method:

Preheat oven to 175 degrees and grease loaf tin
Mix together almond flour, ground cinnamon, and baking soda in a bowl.
Beat two eggs in a bowl. Mix in water, almond extract, agave syrup, mashed bananas, and vanilla bean paste. Add banana mixture to almond flour mixture; mix until no dry areas are visible. Pour batter into the prepared loaf tin.
Bake banana bread in the preheated oven until brown and crisp around the edges, about 45 minutes.