Michelle-bridges

Q&A with Michelle Bridges

One of our favourite cookbooks this year is Michelle Bridges’ Superfoods, which we know is going to be an instant classic. Packed with amazing dishes like Cauliflower and Broccoli Cheese and Lamb and Asian Greens Stir Fry, it’s more than just a collection of healthy recipes, it’s a new way of thinking about ingredients, nutrition and weight loss.

We chat to Michelle Bridges about the power of superfoods, her favourite 30-minute superfood dinner recipe and how this busy lady likes to relax.

Congratulations on your new book! Why are superfoods so important to you?
Every meal, in my opinion needs a superfood. I think that there is so much hype around superfoods that makes it easy to forget; a simple bunch of cauliflower from our supermarket is as super as it gets. In my opinion there are four main criteria that gets food onto my super list. They have to be easily accessible, not cost the earth, packed full of nutrients and finally these nutrients have to be delivered effectively.

In other words, you don’t have to eat a barrel loads to get their full benefit.

How much of superfoods should we be eating each day?
Every day every meal should has 1 -2 serving of superfoods. My motto is green is go.

Which 3 ingredients can’t you live without?
Spinach, fish and berries.

What’s one of your favourite quick and easy superfood dinner ideas?
I love my minted brown rice salad from my new book. When I am rushed I just use the pre-cooked rice that you can buy from the supermarket and throw all the ingredients together – 10 minutes and its done. I have been touring the country with Penguin and Big W and have been demonstrating this recipe. It really is very easy, flavoursome and filling.

What’s coming up this year for you?
I have a huge year ahead of me. I am launching a new program within my 12 Week Body Transformation called Move. – this is for all the absolutely beginners who have never really exercised before.

I am also releasing my first book into the U.S. as well as launching my 12 Week Body Transformation over there as well.

You’re always on the go – describe your ultimate day off?
I would wake up naturally without an alarm, get up and train then eat a healthy breakfast. I would later have a massage and get my nails done without having to rush.

Finally I would take my gorgeous dog Paddy for a walk on beach.

superfoods

Superfoods Cookbook: The facts, the foods and the recipes – feel great, get fit and lose weight by Michelle Bridges, photography by Henryk Lobaczewski and Julie Renouf. Published by Viking, RRP $29.99.

February 13, 2014

Michelle Bridges’ Ultra Superfood Fruit Salad Recipe

Want to amp up your regular fruit salad and make it even healthier? Michelle Bridges’ superfood fruit salad is so delicious, you’ll want to start everyday with a bowl of it!

Recipe from Superfoods Cookbook: The facts, the foods and the recipes – feel great, get fit and lose weight by Michelle Bridges, photography by Henryk Lobaczewski and Julie Renouf. Published by Viking, RRP $29.99.

Around 154 calories.

Combine:

* half a thinly sliced red apple
* 1 chopped kiwifruit
* a handful of fresh blueberries
* 1 tablespoon dried cranberries
* 1 tablespoon orange juice
* 2 teaspoons torn mint leaves

What’s your favourite healthy snack?

superfoods

February 12, 2014

Super Muesli Recipe

Start your day off right with Michelle Bridges’ muesli recipe, packed with nutrition and flavour, with none of the nasties of store-bought muesli.

Store-bought muesli can often contain lots of added sugar – it’s much better to make your own. The sweetness here comes from the cranberries and mango, while the flaxseed and wheatgerm really crank this up into ‘super’ territory. 

Recipe from Superfoods Cookbook: The facts, the foods and the recipes – feel great, get fit and lose weight by Michelle Bridges, photography by Henryk Lobaczewski and Julie Renouf. Published by Viking, RRP $29.99.

Serves: 2
Prep: 5 minutes. Calories per serve: 392

Ingredients
2⁄3 cup (50 g) bran
1⁄2 cup (45 g) traditional rolled oats
1⁄4 cup (35 g) dried cranberries
20 g dried mango, chopped
2 tablespoons raw wheatgerm
1 tablespoon flaxseed
1⁄2 mango, peeled and chopped
1 cup (250 ml) low-cal milk

Method
1. Combine the bran, oats, cranberries, dried mango, wheatgerm and flaxseed in a bowl. Divide between two serving bowls. Add fresh mango and milk to serve.

Tip: You can make a big batch of this super muesli and store it in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to one month (346 cal per 100 g/1 cup).

Variation: Replace the mango with 1⁄2 cup drained apricot halves in natural juice and 50 g raspberries (400 cal per serve).

What’s your go-to breakfast?

superfoods

February 6, 2014

Chicken Salad with Beans and Peas Recipe

Michelle Bridges shares an easy chicken breast recipe from her new cookbook Superfoods that doubles as one of your new go-to midweek dinner ideas. It’s healthy, full of incredible flavours and leftovers make a great next-day lunch.

Just the one superfood in this recipe, but so many other good things alongside it. The mixture of peas and beans gives heaps of fibre and iron, while the chicken gives a meaty texture without overloading the calorie count. Add the delicious dressing and you’ve got one hell of a tasty salad.

Recipe from Superfoods Cookbook: The facts, the foods and the recipes – feel great, get fit and lose weight by Michelle Bridges, photography by Henryk Lobaczewski and Julie Renouf. Published by Viking, RRP $29.99.

Serves: 2
Prep: 15 minutes. Cook: 10 minutes. Calories per serve: 380

Ingredients
250 g skinless chicken breast, trimmed
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil spray
100 g green beans, trimmed
100 g snow peas, trimmed
½ cup (60 g) frozen peas
¼ cup (70 g) no-fat Greek-style yoghurt
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
½ garlic clove
400 g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

Method
1. Season the chicken with black pepper. Lightly spray a char-grill pan with olive oil and heat on medium–high. Cook the chicken for 4–5 minutes each side or until lightly charred and cooked through.

2. Meanwhile, cook the green beans in a medium saucepan of boiling water for 4 minutes, adding the snow peas and frozen peas for the last 2 minutes. Drain and cool in iced water. Drain.

3. Process the yoghurt, mint and garlic together until smooth.

4. Thickly slice the chicken. Arrange the beans, peas and chicken on a serving plate. Drizzle with the dressing.

What’s your favourite chicken breast recipe?

superfoods

February 5, 2014

Cauliflower and Broccoli Cheese Recipe

Michelle Bridges shares on our favourite comfort food dinner ideas: classic cauliflower cheese with a healthy, low-calorie twist.

Cauliflower and cheese – what a flavourful combination. With the addition of broccoli, you get a double whammy of cruciferous goodness as well. The cheese provides protein and calcium, but use a low-calorie version to avoid too much fat.

Recipe from Superfoods Cookbook: The facts, the foods and the recipes – feel great, get fit and lose weight by Michelle Bridges, photography by Henryk Lobaczewski and Julie Renouf. Published by Viking, RRP $29.99.

Serves: 2
Prep: 10 minutes. Cook: 45 minutes. Calories per serve 388

Ingredients
700 g cauliflower, trimmed and broken into large florets
1 large head broccoli (300 g), trimmed and broken into large florets
2 1⁄2 tablespoons cornflour
2 cups (500 ml) low-cal milk
1 cup (120 g) grated low-cal cheddar cheese
freshly ground black pepper
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
pinch cayenne pepper
mixed salad leaves, to serve

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced).

2. Steam the cauliflower over a large saucepan of boiling water for 4 minutes. Add the broccoli and steam for another 4 minutes or until just tender. Place in a 5-cup (1.25 L) capacity ovenproof dish.

3. Meanwhile, combine the cornflour and 1⁄4 cup milk in a jug. Place the remaining milk in a saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. Whisk in the cornflour mixture and cook, stirring, for 2–3 minutes or until the sauce boils and thickens. Stir in half the cheese until smooth. Season with black pepper and nutmeg. Pour over the cauliflower and broccoli. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and cayenne. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden.

4. Serve with the salad leaves alongside.

What’s your favourite comfort food dish?

superfoods

February 4, 2014

Lamb and Asian Greens Stir Fry Recipe

Stir-fries are one of our go-to quick dinner ideas, and we love this Michelle Bridges recipe from her new cookbook Superfoods, ready in under 30 minutes!

I’m a huge fan of stir-fries. They are quick to prepare, adaptable so you can use whatever ingredients you have on hand, and the cooking method means they are not drowning in oil. Here I’ve used gai lan, but you can substitute ordinary broccoli as well; just cut it up quite small so it cooks through quickly.

Recipe from Superfoods Cookbook: The facts, the foods and the recipes – feel great, get fit and lose weight by Michelle Bridges, photography by Henryk Lobaczewski and Julie Renouf. Published by Viking, RRP $29.99.

Serves: 2
Prep: 15 minutes. Cook: 10 minutes. Calories per serve: 421

Ingredients
75 g dried pad thai rice noodles
1 teaspoon peanut oil
250 g boneless lamb loin, trimmed and thickly sliced 1 bunch gai lan (Chinese broccoli), cut into chunks, leaves and stalks separated
100 g snow peas, halved on the diagonal 5 spring onions, cut into 5 cm length
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3 teaspoons dark soy sauce
3 teaspoons light soy sauce
1 egg
sliced fresh red chilli, to serve

Method
1. Cook the noodles in a saucepan of boiling water for 4 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool under cold running water. Drain well.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wok on high. Stir-fry the lamb, in two batches, for 2–3 minutes or until browned. Set aside.

3. Reduce the heat to medium–high. Stir-fry the gai lan stalks and snow peas for 2 minutes. Add the spring onion and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the noodles and sauces and stir-fry until the noodles are well coated. Make a well in the centre of the mixture and crack an egg into the middle. Cook, stirring the egg, for 1 minute, then return the lamb to the wok with the gai lan leaves and stir-fry until hot and the leaves have just wilted.

Tip: When stir-frying Asian greens such as gai lan, choy sum or bok choy, separate the leaves from the stalks and only add the leaves at the end as they take no time to wilt.

Variation: For a vegetarian version, replace the lamb with 200 g firm tofu, cut into cubes (407 calories per serve).

What’s your favourite stir fry recipe?

superfoods

February 3, 2014

Michelle Bridges’ Banana Bruschetta Recipe

We’re obsessed with this Michelle Bridges recipe for banana bruschetta from her new book Get Real! – sounds a little weird but it’s really just elevated banana on toast that keeps you full for longer and tastes amazing!

Extract from the book Get Real!: Inspiring Stories and lessons from the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation Revolution by Michelle Bridges and photography by Jane Allen published by Viking RRP $24.99.

Cinnamon can make anything taste amazing, and this easy brekkie is super yum!

Serves: 2

312 calories per serve 

Prep time 10 mins.  Cooking time 5 mins

Ingredients

4 slices wholegrain bread
100 g low-fat cottage cheese
2 medium bananas
pinch of ground cinnamon

Method

1. Toast the bread.

2. Peel and slice the bananas.

3. Spread the toast with the cottage cheese and top with banana slices.

4. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve.

Mish Tip : For a gluten-free version, use gluten-free bread.

My favourite recipe, hands down, is the Banana Bruschetta! I just can’t get enough of it! It gives me the energy I need to start my day after my morning workout  and I am still finding it hard to believe that such an amazingly delicious breakfast is so good for me! It’s like my naughty breakfast treat … that isn’t even naughty at all! – laura

What’s your favourite healthy breakfast?

November 24, 2013

Michelle Bridges’ Ginger Salmon Stir-Fry with Chinese Broccoli

We’re always looking for quick dinner ideas and this Michelle Bridges recipe for ginger salmon stir-fry with Chinese broccoli from her new book Get Real! is not only delicious but low in fat and calories. Winner!

Extract from the book Get Real!: Inspiring Stories and lessons from the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation Revolution by Michelle Bridges and photography by Jane Allen published by Viking RRP $24.99. 

As with my other stir-fries, you  can replace the fish with any kind of protein you like. I would recommend tofu or chicken as alternatives for this dish.

Serves: 2

396 calories per serve

Prep time 15 mins  Cooking time 10 mins

Ingredients

210 g salmon fillet, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 cm piece ginger, grated
2 tablespoons reduced-salt soy sauce
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 bunch gai lan (Chinese broccoli), cut into 5 cm lengths
1 medium red capsicum, thinly sliced
6 medium shallots, cut into 5 cm lengths
¼ cup fresh coriander leaves

Method

1. Combine the salmon, garlic, ginger and half the soy sauce in a bowl.

2. Heat half the oil in a wok over high heat. Add the gai lan, capsicum and 1 tablespoon water, then stir-fry for 2 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender. Transfer to a bowl.

3. Heat half the remaining oil and stir-fry the shallots for 1−2 minutes or until bright green. Transfer to the bowl with the other vegetables.

4. Heat the remaining oil and stir-fry the salmon for 2 minutes or until lightly browned.

5. Return the vegetables to the wok, with the remaining soy sauce, and toss to combine.

6. Divide the stir-fry between bowls and scatter with coriander leaves to serve.

Mish Tip : Gai lan (Chinese broccoli) is a leafy Asian green and, like regular broccoli, it is extremely nutritious. If you can’t find it, simply replace with any other leafy Asian green.

michellebridges

November 20, 2013

Michelle Bridges: The Motivation Myth

Forget motivation – The Biggest Loser’s Michelle Bridges shares the real secret to achieving your fitness and weight loss goals.

Extract from the book Get Real!: Inspiring Stories and lessons from the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation revolution by Michelle Bridges and photography by Jane Allen published by Viking RRP $24.99. 

When people tell me they’re struggling  with their training, the first thing they say is that they’ve lost motivation. Most people believe that if they inject some motivation into their lives, they’ll be fine – right? WRONG! It’s like we have all become motivation junkies, just waiting for the next hit.

If you’ve done my 12 Week Body Transformation you’ll already be aware that I think motivation is a complete crock – in fact, it’s a trap! I always say that motivation is like a bad boyfriend – never there when you need him most!

I know, as a personal trainer and a human being, motivation is not always going to be there, so what’s going to happen when you wake up and it’s gone? Is that game over for you? Motivation is like any emotion – it comes and goes, so if you’re going to rely on motivation to get the job done, it will let you down. And that’s the trap – motivation is an often an excuse in disguise:

‘As soon as I don’t FEEL motivated, I’ll just stop’.

Don’t get me wrong here – it’s great to set goals and be positively motivated by them, but understand that you do not need to be constantly motivated or even have set goals to exercise. And knowing THAT should make you feel relieved! You don’t need to be wound up like a spring coil in order to get a training session done, and you don’t need to feel anxious and vulnerable when motivation disappears.

Motivation is not necessarily your friend. So…what’s left if not motivation? Well, there is something far more effective, and here’s the secret…athletes know it, coaches know it, and successful business people know it. There is something out there that will support you and will take you where you want to go. It will not let you down. What is it…? Consistency.

Be consistent and you will achieve. No bells and whistles, no hype. And we don’t just do it for three days and then go out and celebrate with cake! You don’t think, you just do. Consistency isn’t something that you need to recharge and it’s not something you need to go out on the hunt for! Consistency is steady, it’s relentless and it’s steadfast all the way through. Take the emotion out, go into robot mode, and get on with the task at hand.

michellebridges

November 19, 2013

Michelle Bridges’ Tips For Back At Work Lunches

 

Michelle Bridges believes we should look after our health – and the environment. As an ambassador for SAFCOL tuna, she supports the brand’s sustainable “pole and Lline” fishing method as opposed to the more traditional “Purse Seine” method, which catches excess unnecessary marine life in nets while fishing for tuna – known as by-catch. SAFCOL is one of only two canned tuna brands in Australia that fish sustainably.

“Tuna is a convenient and healthy staple in my diet, rich with omega 3 and protein to keep me energised and ready to to,” says Michelle. “I was shocked to learn of the destructive ways the tuna gets from the ocean to the tin – so now I only eat tinned tuna that is responsibly caught with a pole and line – SAFCOL tinned tuna.”

With this in mind, Michelle has put together these top tips for healthy lunches that are also sustainable: great to keep in mind every day.

1. Portions

You don’t have to miss out on the variety of great foods available to us at lunchtime. Have sensible portions and enjoy an occasional treat.

2. Think sustainability

Consider how your food has ended up on the table. Purchase responsibly sourced products like Safcol Tuna and head out to the local fruit and veg shop.

3. Go for a lunchtime walk

Get outdoors during lunch…You will work better in the afternoon and sleep much better at night.

4. Recycle

Glass, cardboard, paper and plastic – pop it in the recycle bin at work! Simple but it all helps!

March 5, 2012