Thursday, August 21, 2014

Summer Oats

These oats are perfect for the summer
months because you don’t have to cook
them. You just mix everything together
and the recipe takes care of itself
overnight in the fridge. The next morning
you can add whatever topping you like.


50g porridge oats
120ml Greek yogurt
120ml milk (or water if you don’t want to use milk)
1 tsp chia seeds
½ tsp vanilla extract

Combine all of the ingredients in a
large bowl. Transfer the mixture to a
serving bowl, cover and leave to soak
overnight in the fridge.
Next morning, add the topping
of your choice and serve.

 These toppings are great with Summer Oats: 
Chopped banana, crushed pecans and a drizzle of agave syrup
Blueberries and sliced strawberries 
 Grated apple and crushed raw cashews
Chopped medjool dates and a drizzle of agave.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Healthy Alternatives

I think life is too short to exclude the things I love. Rather than having a list of meals that are offlimits
because they contain certain ingredients, I find ways to adapt my meals to incorporate
healthier alternatives. Most of the time, it works brilliantly and it’s a guilt-free way of eating any
meal I want.

I love to take a recipe and make substitutions for any of the ingredients that could do with a
healthier alternative. So, rather than using white flour and white sugar, I’ll try the recipe with spelt
flour and agave syrup. Many of the recipes in this book came about because I was experimenting
in this way. If you want to give it a go yourself, here’s a handy chart to get you started.

Original .........Alternative
White sugar ........Agave syrup
Cooking oil ........Coconut oil
Cream .........Natural yoghurt
Mayonnaise...... Greek yoghurt
White flour ......Gram, coconut or spelt flour
White rice ......Brown rice or quinoa
White pasta .......Wholewheat pasta
White bread........ Brown bread or rye bread

Friday, August 15, 2014

Peter’s Frozen Protein Bars

This recipe makes some of the tastiest protein bars you’ll ever have. Plus – there is no
actual cooking in them. Win-win! 

Peter, my husband, makes these at least once a week
and they are always gobbled up within a couple of days.


300g chocolate protein powder (banana
or vanilla flavours also work well)
160g jumbo porridge oats
70g sunflower seeds
50g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids) chopped
30g ground almonds
1 banana, peeled and mashed
120ml water
3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract

Line a 33cm x 23cm (13 inch x 9 inch) baking tin
with parchment paper.

Place all of the ingredients in a large mixing
bowl and use your hands to mash everything to
a sticky consistency. This process will take a few
minutes and the mixture must not be too wet,
so do not panic and throw in more water.

Simply keep working the mixture with your

Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin and
place in the freezer for at least 1 hour.

Remove the tin from the freezer and leave to
stand for about 30 minutes.

Cut the slab into bars and carefully remove from the tin. Store the
bars in airtight plastic bags in the fridge. 

Take them out as needed.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Project Book

Hi Everyone,

It seems like a long time since I wrote a blog. What better time to start then when I have exciting news?

As many people know I'm really into healthy, tasty cooking. I love to spend my time trying out new recipes and coming up with healthy options.

I had an idea years ago about writing a book that combined tasty, healthy recipes with practical tips and lots of fitness/motivation.

I spent the past decade eating great food to run fast and now I eat great food to live well.

It took my experience as a professional athlete, a full time course in cookery school, pitching it to a publisher and a huge amount of time (over 2 years I think!) to pull it together. But I did it!

It is now officially gone to print. I'm very, very excited. It's due to hit the shelves in September.

Derval xxx

Monday, December 16, 2013

Oaty Chicken Strips

I'm always experimenting with different ways to make tasty, healthy food and tonight I had chicken fillets to use up. Recently my sister has been talking about healthy gougans so I decided to test out making them.

They turned out amazing, way better than I had expected. So good in fact that Peter has banned me from eating them all so he can take the leftovers to work for lunch tomorrow!

I served these with roasted sweet potato and peas. I used the dried herbs that were sitting in the cupboard looking at me, use whatever combination you have at home. They were a great healthy Monday night meal.

Oaty Chicken Strips
4 Free Range Chicken Breasts
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ cup Tamari Soy Sauce
1 tsp dried Sage
1 tsp dried Oregano
1 tsp dried Tarragon
1 tsp dried Rosemary
Pinch Salt
¾ cup Porridge Oats

1.     Cut the chicken into strips.
2.     In a bowl combine the chicken, olive oil, soy sauce, dried herbs and salt. Leave to marinade for at least 1 hour. 
3.     Pre heat the oven to 180 C.
4.     Pour the oats into a large mixing bowl. Dip the chicken into the oats a few pieces at a time
5.     Place all the chicken pieces covered in oats on a non-stick baking tray and pop in the oven.
6.     Cook for about 30 until thoroughly cooked and the coating is crispy.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Granola Recipe

Hi All,

I get asked about granola all the time. Finally I'm posting this recipe. Don't worry about being too exact with the ingredients and substitute whatever nuts you like. The key is for it not to be too dry going into the oven.

I like to have my granola with fruit, greek yoghurt and when I have time I add a protein pancake.



100g spelt flakes or jumbo porridge oats
50 g sunflower seeds
50 gr pumpkin seeds
50 g flaked almonds
50g hazelnuts (put in a sandwich bag and bash with a rolling pin)
50g walnuts
3 tbsp agave syrup (This is found in the health shop)
4 tbsp melted coconut oil
pinch of salt
1.     Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.
2.     Whilst the oven is heating mix all the ingredients in a big bowl. 
3.     Spread the ingredients into an oven proof dish. After 15 minutes remove the dish and stir the ingredients making sure that all the mixture is well tossed.
4.     Place the dish back in the oven for another 15 minutes or until the ingrerdients are golden brown.
5.     Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Once cooled place in an airtight container.

Variation: After the granola has cooled you may want to add chopped dried fruit such as mango, pineapple or raisins. If you don’t have agave you can use honey.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Hello new foot

Part 1
I wrote the below blog a week or so ago but for various reasons I never got a chance to post it. Rather than press the delete button I decided to update it a little by writing this part and uploading a couple of pictures.

Life post surgery is going fine. It's hard but it's doable. I have way more range of movement this week as I enter into week 3. I'm able to put more weight through my crutches as I walk with them and I can walk short distances in backless heels!

My stitches were removed a few days ago. I was quite worried about this. The wound had been covered for 14 days and I was a little anxious that everything would be ok once the bandaging came off and the stitches were taken out. Thankfully the wound was really good and the stitches came out without any major pain.

The reality of this period between having my surgery and returning to full training is tough. I underestimated just how hard it would be to even start to walk properly again. Now I'm in the realistic place. Rather than talk about sprint hurdles and racing I'm taking each week as it comes. My goal this week was to keep getting a little more range into my achilles and to take good care of my wound post stitches being removed.

Next I will focus on returning to walking. It really is the little things that I have to aim at. I need to stay focused on the present and take care of that.

Track and field is such a sport of highs and lows. This is definitely a low but hopefully there will be a high at some stage to make up for it.

More updates in the next few weeks.

Derv xoxo

"This too will Pass...."

Part 2
When my body is broken I just know. This summer I knew.

I had a really bad feeling about my achilles/heel on my left leg for the summer. It has been causing me problems since March and it got to a point where there was no way to manage it whilst trying to still run. Then it became difficult to walk then it progressed to pain most of the time. In my experience there are rarely black and white answers to serious athletes injuries. This injury involved many different opinions until I finally reached an opinion that made the most sense and gave me the biggest chance of getting back healthy. Sitting on my couch and hoping a solution would knock on the door is not an option. I'd still be sitting there next year!

After countless treatments I ended up getting surgery in London on 20th August at 9 a.m. The surgery was done under local anaesthetic and took about an hour and fifteen minutes. The surgeon had to remove bone that had cracked off and was inserted in my achilles tendon, stitch my tendon internally after making an incision in it to get at the bone, hammer my heel bone to smooth it down, cut out a nerve and scrape my tendon on each side. He finished by stitching me up and sending me back to my hospital bed to recover. By 11 a.m I was back in my room and feeling relieved it was over.

As the surgery was not performed under a general anaesthetic I was allowed to leave the hospital and stay with my fiance in a nearby hotel.  The whole day I felt amazing, honestly I thought I must be hard as nails because I was unaffected by the surgery. Then came the surprise......the drugs wore off. I'm going to be honest it was one of the worst nights I have ever had. Every single thing the surgeon had done I could feel. I could feel the hammering of my bone, the stitching in my achilles and even the scraping of my tendon. I was in the bad place. I was in the everyone is my enemy and the world is evil kinda place!!!!

The following day I went to see the surgeon for a post-op check up and he increased my pain medication which was a huge relief (Also to my fiance who was having to manage my pain induced rage!). The surgeon was happy and we had a good discussion about what he did, why he did all the different parts and recovery from this point. He was happy for me to fly home and I got back to Ireland that night.

I'm on crutches and have to be really careful of the wound. I can't put my foot down at all which means doing anything is a bit of drama. Most of the time I'm ok but for a few minutes every day I'm just utterly frustrated and irritated this usually corresponds with me needing to do something basic and struggling (eating for example!).

I hope to be walking again in 3-4 weeks. Right now it is all about recovering from the operation and beginning to plan the next few months. I won't lie it is a tough place to be. There are some positives. I'm now starting at zero and giving myself a chance to come back and run. I have a great ability to heal and hope that this will stand to me in the next few weeks.

Derv x