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Christmas can take its toll on our immune system as a lot of us eat more and move less.

If you are tired of cooking and entertaining I have the perfect recipe using shitake mushroom that’s not only quick and easy but nutritious and delicious too.

Shitake Mushroom’s are known not only for their great taste but they’re packed with B vitamins and have the power to fight cancer cells, cardiovascular disease and infections. They have anti bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. During the winter months they are one of the few foods that provide vitamin D and they also help to boost energy and brain function.

As we move into January our food becomes even more important as many of us struggle with low mood and feel a bit of a crash post Christmas. It’s important to remember that January is a month for selfcare and not crazy resolutions. It’s still the middle of winter, which is the gestation period for both nature and us. It’s a month for inward reflection as we prepare for the year ahead.

To do this we need nourishing food, nourishing thoughts and nourishing rest. Pop in some movement and air and you will be ready for Spring where you will emerge stronger ready for the year ahead.

Try this simple recipe, which is great for all the family and it will help you to ease into the new-year with comfort and calm.

INGREDIENTS (serves 4)

3 Cloves garlic

Large handful of shitake mushroom’s (see video)

1 Lemon

Handful of Basil

Fresh Parmesan

Salt/Black pepper

Barilla Spaghetti

DIRECTIONS

Boil water and put in pasta with some salt

  • Heat the pan and add oil and garlic
  • Add chopped shitake mushrooms and cook until softened (5-8 mins depending on mushrooms)
  • Add in ½ a lemon zest
  • Squeeze in ½ juice of lemon
  • Save a cup of water from the pasta
  • Add pasta and then parmesan and stir through
  • If it’s a little dry add some of the water
  • Plate and serve with fresh black pepper and parmesan shavings

Barilla calling on students to unlock their inner TriHero

triheroes, shitake mushroom, barilla, recipes, schools, exercise, selfcare, shitake mushrooms, sport, pastaPrimary and secondary schools are being encouraged to register for TriHeroes, a schools triathlon programme which brings together the lifelong activities of swimming, cycling and running to inspire, motivate and challenge children to participate in a healthy and active lifestyle.

The TriHeroes programme, delivered by Triathlon Ireland and supported by Barilla, a family owned Italian food company and advocate for a healthy lifestyle, helps teachers introduce triathlon activities in a safe and positive environment.

Delivered by Triathlon Ireland’s development team, the programme is typically run over six 90-minute training sessions with students taking part in a mini triathlon at the end of the programme giving students a taste of this hugely popular sport and exposing them to three sports that could see them excel in the Leaving Cert and later life.

Primary and secondary schools can find out more about the TriHeroes programme at www.triathlonireland.com and register their interest at schools@triathlonireland.com.

A gourmet selection of recipes, perfect for budding triathletes and prepared with seasonal ingredients for vegetarians, as well as meat and fish lovers is available at www.barilla.co.uk.

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Things can get hectic in the run up to Christmas so along with Barilla I have put together some healthy and nutritious quick and easy dishes.

I have been working with Barilla the past few months to help promote their TriHeroes campaign. There are so many reasons why this campaign is of interest to me. As I work in the area of mental health awareness and health coaching its so important to understand the real benefits of sport. When I was in school a lot of us dropped out of gym class and ate bad food. This affects your performance academically, mentally and physically.

RESEARCH

Recent Sport Ireland research has shown that students who play sport achieve, on average, higher points in the Leaving Cert than those that do not. It also highlighted that swimming; cycling and running are the most likely sports to be continued into adult life.

The workload is school can be overwhelming and very often exercise can be dropped early on. This schools triathlon programme gives students the chance to participate in a healthy and active lifestyle and have fun. 

DIRECTIONS AND STEPS FOR PASTA DISH

PESTO PASTA WITH CHICKEN, BROCCOLI AND GREEN PEAS

SERVES 2

  • Enough pasta for 2 people (I used Barilla pasta which really grips the sauce)
  • 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 small boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • ¾ broccoli florets
  • 1 avocado
  • 125ml single cream
  • 3 generous Tbsp. Barilla basil pesto
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Copped basil to serve

DIRECTIONS

Boil water and put in pasta with some salt

  • Pour oil into a hot pan and then add garlic and onions until they are softened.
  • The add chicken cooking slowly and when half cooked
  • Add in Broccoli
  • Add in peas just a couple of minutes towards the end
  • Pour in the cooked pasta and
  • Spoon in 3 large spoons of pesto
  • Stir well and serve with a half sliced avocado and garnish with chopped fresh basil

Barilla calling on students to unlock their inner TriHero

Primary and secondary schools are being encouraged to register for TriHeroes, a schools triathlon programme which brings together the lifelong activities of swimming, cycling and running to inspire, motivate and challenge children to participate in a healthy and active lifestyle.

The TriHeroes programme, delivered by Triathlon Ireland and supported by Barilla, a family owned Italian food company and advocate for a healthy lifestyle, helps teachers introduce triathlon activities in a safe and positive environment.

Delivered by Triathlon Ireland’s development team, the programme is typically run over six 90-minute training sessions with students taking part in a mini triathlon at the end of the programme giving students a taste of this hugely popular sport and exposing them to three sports that could see them excel in the Leaving Cert and later life.

Primary and secondary schools can find out more about the TriHeroes programme at www.triathlonireland.com and register their interest at schools@triathlonireland.com.

A gourmet selection of recipes, perfect for budding triathletes and prepared with seasonal ingredients for vegetarians, as well as meat and fish lovers is available at www.barilla.co.uk.