This Summer I shall attempt to bunny hop to the top of the temple steps at “Wat Phra That Doi Suthep” in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
The steps are very steep and extremely long. There are 309 steps, this combined with 36°C and oppressive humidity should make this task very challenging.
This mad nonsense will be posted to YouTube upon my return in August.
If you find yourself in Asia this summer why not give it a go or better still find a temple with even longer steps and beat me.
I’m sure a lot of my clients wonder why I make them do the overhead squat, so here it is in a nutshell.
MOBILITY AND STABILITY
If you suffer with any of the following:
A rigid thoracic spine that can’t extend. A weak core. Inflexible hips, knees, and ankles or pectorals that pull the shoulders and upper back forward.
Then doing overhead squats can help relieve these issues and make your body limber.
Most people sit hunched over a desk all day, this puts your torso into constant flexion, your shoulders and scapulae are pulled forward, making it uncomfortable when your arms are behind your head.
The overhead squat can help your body learn how to extend your thoracic spine. Putting your upper body into an extended position can improve the health of your spine and shoulders. It will correct your posture and improve all your lifts in the gym.
The overhead squat works your core hard because your torso is elongated, the tension in your deep inner-core muscles will be very intense.
The problem with diets is that they invariably restrict the intake of certain food types (e.g. Carbohydrates). This leaves your body starved of energy and so it starts to break down your fat reserves to make up for the shortfall in your diet. This sounds great in principle and achieves the desired weight loss.
To stay on these diets for long periods of time can leave you feeling tired all the time and be detrimental to your health.
Moreover when you come off the diet your body says to itself “hello, carbohydrate… I haven’t had that for a while…I’d better store this as FAT because I don’t know when I might get any more.”
You may find that not only do you quickly put the weight back on but very often end up fatter then when you started.
And so you start the whole process again sending you into a never ending cycle of Yoyo dieting, never achieving your goal for very long, always hungry and miserable.
The key to weight loss is portion control at meal times and regular exercise.
Tuna Nicoise Salad
Mixed salad leaves
1 small tin of Tuna
1 sliced Boiled egg
Handful of baby Tomatoes
Handful of sliced cucumber
A few anchovies (optional)
low fat salad dressing
Mix them together on a plate and enjoy 🙂
Thai Quorn Salad
300g Quorn mince
20 Leaves or so of fresh Mint
1 Red Onion
1 Sachet of Laab – Namtok powder (available from Thai supermarket)
Add the Quorn in to a pot with 3 table spoons of water over medium heat and stir for 10 minutes.
Add the sachet and mix well.
Turn off the hob and add the Onion and mint, mix well and serve.
2 Thai Hot Chilli
3 large cloves Garlic
1/2 Tablespoon Yellow Soy-bean Paste
1/2 Tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
1/2 Tablespoon Oyster Sauce
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
Crush the garlic and finely chop the chilli.
heat the oil in a wok and add all the ingredients.
Stir-fry turning from bottom to top until all the spinach is wilted.
1 Onion finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic
2 sticks of celery finely chopped
1 Carrot grated
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
200g low-fat natural fromage frais
1ltr water or vegetable stock
salt and pepper
Add some olive oil to a saucepan and fry the Onions, Garlic, Celery and carrot for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the water or vegetable stock and tomatoes, bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove from the heat and season. Using a hand blender puree the soup.
Stir in the fromage frais and serve with a rustic bread.
Pan Rustico Bread
For the starter dough:
150ml warm water
1 tsp caster sugar
3 tsp fast-action dried yeast
125g/ strong white flour
For the bread dough:
160ml warm water
1 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp fast-action dried yeast
225g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
100g strong wholemeal flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
For the starter, pour the water into a bowl and stir in the sugar.
Stir in the yeast and leave in a warm place for about 10 minutes or until a beige foam floats on the surface.
Stir in the flour to make a thick paste, then cover with cling film and leave at room temperature for 24 hours.
At the end of the 24 hours the paste will smell yeasty and slightly fermented.
For the bread dough, pour the water into a jug and stir in the sugar. Lightly stir in the yeast and leave in a warm place for about 10 minutes or until a beige foam floats on the surface.
Stir the flours and salt together in a large bowl, then make a well in the centre and add the yeast and water mixture, the starter dough and the oil.
Mix with a wooden spoon and then with your hands until the mixture comes together and forms a slightly lumpy and sticky dough. If the dough feels a little dry, add another tablespoon or two of water.
Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead for a good 10 minutes until it’s smooth and elastic. As you knead, push the dough away from you with the heel of your hand to stretch it as long as possible, then fold it back towards you.Resist the temptation to add too much extra flour as it could make the dough dry. Put the dough in an oiled mixing bowl, cover it loosely with oiled cling film and leave it until it has doubled in size.
Line a baking tray with parchment and dust with flour.
Tip the dough on to the baking tray. Stretch the dough very gently until it’s about 1ft long, then fold it in half and stretch again. Do the same thing twice more. This should help to give the dough a more holey texture.
After the third stretch, shape the dough into a long loaf shape and slash the top a few times with a sharp knife. Dust with a little flour and leave to prove in a warm place until it has risen again and feels light and puffy.
Preheat the oven to 240C/450F/Gas 8.
Bake the loaf for 20–25 minutes or until golden-brown and crusty.
The base should sound hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack.