Say Hello To Parsnips!

What’s in season in the  Brealy Bootcamps Kitchen Garden ?

Say hello to the great taste of PARSNIPS!

At Brealy Bootcamps we are lucky to have such a great vegetable garden at the retreat venue that helps our chef create seasonal dishes.

There are a number of good reasons to eat more local, seasonal food:

  • to reduce the energy (and associated CO2 emissions) needed to grow and transport the food we eat
  • to avoid paying a premium for food that is scarcer or has traveled a long way
  • to support the local economy
    • to reconnect with nature’s cycles and the passing of time

but, most importantly, because

  • seasonal food is fresher and so tends to be tastier and more nutritious

Parsnip is richer in vitamins and minerals than its close relative, the carrot and contains more fiber but less calories than a potato so a good alternative to have on your plate.

It’s a good source of Vitamin C , which can help our bodies boost the immune system which makes us less prone to diseases and infections.  It also aids the body’s digestive system so it can function properly.

Parsnips are high in Folic acid which is not just an important vitamin for pregnant women so they can avoid birth defects, it also helps reduce the chances of having heart-related diseases.

The Fiber content in parsnips lowers bad cholesterol and aids in the regulation of bowel movement while potassium helps the kidney function normally.

One cup of sliced parsnips can give you more than 5% your daily value of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and manganese.

For the best flavour, look for parsnips about the size of a large carrot, with firm, unblemished flesh. If the leaves are still attached to the tops, they should still be green and fresh.

Because of their unique flavour parsnips go well with a wide variety of dishes. Try these ideas or create your own to get the full health benefits of parsnips.

  • Boil parsnips until tender, about eight minutes, and mash with unsalted butter and  milk for a low calorie parsnip puree.
  • Shred 1 parsnip and add it to your Coleslaw mix for a spicy bite.
  • Dice 2 carrots and 2 parsnips and sauté with chopped onion for a healthy breakfast hash.
  • Rough chop parsnips and add to your favourite stew.
  • Give mashed potatoes a kick by mashing parsnip along with potatoes.
  • Slice parsnips into strips, rub with olive oil, rosemary, salt & pepper. Bake at 400° F for 15 minutes or until done for healthy fries!

Top Brealy Bootcamp  parsnip recipe and a favourite with the regular Day Bootcampers.

Spicy Parsnip and Apple soup.

Makes 4 mug sized servings

2 onions, chopped

1tbsp rapeseed oil

2tsp cumin or to your taste.

4 medium parsnips, washed and chopped

600ml vegetable stock (boulin)

2 red apples Chopped, skinned and cored

Salt and pepper and fresh coriander to season

Sauté onion in a little oil until soft, add cumin and cook for a minute then add parsnips, apples and stock and bring to simmer.

  1. Cook for 25 mins or until parsnips are soft, then whizz in a blender and more water or stock if soup is to thick and reheat if necessary.
  2. Stir though and season with some fresh coriander



Am I ready for Rapid Results?

I understand and accept the logic that weight is easily gained and hard lost and that I should be looking for a safe sustainable weightloss of about 2/3 lbs per week, but, there is a part of me that wants or actually it feels more like needs, a boost to my weightloss. Just a little kick start to get me moving. I know that losing 2/3lbs this week will take me into the twelve stone mark and away from the dreaded thirteen, but I’m feeling fired up. I want more.

I’ve read that losing more than 2/3lbs means that you are mostly losing water and not fat, and while a shift on the scales downwards is most welcome I would much rather be losing lard than liquid.
Brealy Bootcamps are going to be launching Rapid Results online programme in 2012, so I asked Julie if I could have a sneaky pre trail. This Rapid Results programme is supposed to strip fat off the body safely and quickly. Julie tells me that I have to be very disciplined to get the rapid results, that the programme is very specific in its design so there can be no substitutions or little cheats along the way.
I’m a bit nervous now, because let’s be honest, if I were able to be disciplined and not cheat then I wouldn’t be the size I am now. Julie goes on to tell me that if I follow the programme I can lose between 5 – 8lbs in a week. There will then be a few days after that initial phase to stabilise the loss and then I can pick up a sensible eating and exercise programme to continue my weightloss.

I’ve also told Julie that I will include this in my blog, so back to the cognitive dissonance thing from last time, if I do cheat and I don’t get the expected results then I’m going to feel a bit silly to say the least. Julie asks me to think about it over night and if I’m sure I can commit then we can get started.
I try to fathom out why I feel nervous about this, it’s only a week, it’s only a change to how I eat and exercise for 7 days…7 days …it’s nothing really. But I don’t want to let Julie down and I don’t want to look like I can’t do it.
As crazy as it sounds, it occurs to me that there is also a little bit of apprehension about “what if it does work?”…. I’ve never been slim. Yes, I was able to achieve 11 stone a couple of years ago, but no sooner did I reach the magic number that I started to go back in the opposite direction. The Big Girl tag has been with me for so long, its sort who I am. I’m the big friendly Irish girl. I’m the girl who loves to eat out, to eat in, to eat on the run, to eat at my desk. And that’s before I get started on my love of wine, cocktails, even the odd vodka and coke! I love food and drink, I love spending time with friends and family and almost all of that time revolves around food and drink. Would the new slim me become a boring cow????
In NLP terms I would say there was a misalignment between my inner self (big girl) and my goal of losing weight (becoming slim girl). NLP logical levels is a technique that helps you align yourself so that every part of you is pulling in the same direction to achieve a goal. Going through logical levels helps set you up for success and can help you to discover where and why you have a blocker to this success. NLP logical levels are hierarchical and in sequence.

IDENTITY – (who I am )



BEHAVIOUR – (what I do)

Mmmm, this is getting deep…. trust me to have a block right at the top of the hierarchy.

I can change my environment, for example make the house diet friendly, I can change my behaviours and follow the programme I am set, I am capable of following the programme as I am healthy enough to be able to do the exercises and I understand what is expected of me, I believe it is possible to lose weight and I do value that weight loss…but is it me?
I spend some time thinking about who I think I am. Yes I do love to socialize and I do enjoy food and drink but that is only a part of who I actually am. As I work this through it becomes clearer and clearer to me that the Big Girl label isn’t mine, it isn’t me. I don’t want it. I can still be friendly, still be Irish and still spend time with friends and family and be a slimmer version of where I am today.
Having spent some time working through this I know I am ready for action.
The next day I tell Julie I’m ready for rapid results. She smiles a mischievous maybe even a little evil smile and the butterflies in my stomach flutter again. But Rapid Results here I come.