Outstanding performance by Becky Adlington on her bronze! Simply loving the team spirit exuding from the French. Congratulations to them for securing their gold medal in the pool tonight.
Wouldn’t you say that the first thing that you notice about athletes is their confidence and air of determination teamed with a winning streak? It’s an insanely desirable trait. I am sure that I am not alone in saying that I feel incredibly inspired by our athletes. Such a talented group of people; yet it’s not just talent that got them where they are today. Hard work, dedication and of course winning nutrition fuel them towards that winning medal.
Besides enjoying the lovely commentaries by Ian Thorpe, I certainly loved my friend’s comment ‘I feel a six pack coming already – magic!’
I am delighted that you are stimulated and inspired from this Olympic glory. This brings me nicely to the topic of cherries. I stumbled across an article on cherries in the Journal Of The International Society of Sports Nutrition. It has been suggested that tart cherries which are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, may have a protective effect to reduce muscle damage and pain during strenuous exercise.
This study trialled tart cherry juice in fifty-four healthy runners and concluded that drinking tart cherry juice for 7 days prior to and during strenuous running event can minimise pain after a run. This is a very small study, but it’s interesting. Nevertheless, eating cherries adds another purplish red goodness in your diet and variety is the key to any successful nutritionally balanced diet.
If you love cherries desperately, then tart cherries or not, you could either enjoy this stone fruit as a snack on its own, or in baking. Cherry cakes could make a delicious snack pre-exercise or as a lunch box item for a child needing the extra calories. If you are watching your weight, go for the ‘French-like' portion sizes, which are basically just – tiny.
This cherry cake is inspired by Delia Smith's number. To view the original recipe see Delia's Old Fashioned Cherry Cake. Here is my recipe suggestion for a milk, egg, wheat and soy free version!
200g Pure margarine
200g brown sugar
1 large banana mashed
160g gluten free self-raising flour
40g polenta flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
100g glaced cherries, halved
120g fresh cherries, stoned and halved
50g ground almonds
10 - 12 tablespoons semi-skimmed milk (or use almond milk for a milk free diet)
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC.
2. Cream the margarine and sugar together. Add in the mashed banana. Mix well.
3. After sifting the flour and baking powder, fold this into the mixture.
4. Add the cherries and ground almonds. Now add the milk but only use as much as you need to create a smooth mixture.
5. Pour into a baking tin and bake for 50 minutes, then for a further 20-30 minutes covered in foil.
To store, you could slice this into individual portions, wrap in cling film and store in the fridge.
Lovely readers, how do you enjoy cherries? Do comment below, I love and read all of your comments!