Day 71: 22 miles swum!

Fitness has been good this week. I have at last finished the Aspire Channel Swim Challenge and have swum the 22 miles of the English channel, finishing at the weekend at Hitchin Pool.  Thanks to everyone that donated on my just giving Fundraising Page for Aspire Charity we have raised £200 to help people with spinal cord injuries.

Here I am with my swim hat on, looking very pleased to have finished.

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For those of you who have asked about what I eat to keep me going with swimming, here’s a great dinner, which is filling, low-fat and full of nutrients.

Chicken casserole but you can use Quorn Chicken Style Pieces instead of chicken.

Here’s the recipe, which is easy to make:

600 grams of chicken or Quorn chunks, 1 onion, 1 tin of chopped tomatoes, a chicken or vegetable oxo,  1 tablespoon of olive oil, 400 grams potatoes, 400 grams of squash or carrots, 2 tablespoons of gravy powder, 200 grams sweetcorn (I use frozen). Chop the onion and fry with the chicken in the olive oil in a large non-stick saucepan until the chicken is no longer pink (usually around 10 minutes), add the chopped tomatoes, crumble in the oxo cube, add 1.5 pints water and the gravy powder and give everything a good old stir. Chop the potatoes and squash into chunks, add in with the chicken and stock mix and boil for 10 minutes then leave on a low heat to simmer for another 20 minutes with a lid on the saucepan. Put the sweetcorn in a layer on the bottom of a casserole dish, add the casserole mix you have just boiled on top of the sweetcorn and put in the oven at 150 degrees for 1 hour.

Why is this a good dinner? Here’s the science: Chicken contains plenty of protein (ghrelin the hunger hormone is suppressed by protein) keeps you feeling full for longer. Olive oil is also better for you than margarine for cooking as it contains pretty stable monounsaturated fatty acids and has a high level of protective antioxidants, most margarine contains trans fats which your body doesn’t recognise as food so finds it hard to digest and ends up floating around clogging up your arteries. Tinned tomatoes are high in lycopene, shown to help lower the risk of heart disease, prostate and breast cancer. Squash and potatoes are high in fibre (keeps you full for longer) rich in antioxidants and flavonoids. Since this casserole contains lots of veggies and liquid, you will feel full but won’t have consumed tons of calories.



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I'm a science writer and presenter. In my spare time, I'm an actor.

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