Don’t Skip a beet BEETCamp with Olivia Cooney


What a better day to start your day than with a dynamic all-body HIIT session to some booty-shaking tunes? Maybe not for some of us, but as I have been training for my #balibod this month, this has pretty much been my life for the last 13 days.. who is counting?

As it happens there is now evidence that high-impact interval training, or HIIT, reverses ageing at a cellular level, the new findings have potentially life-changing implications for anyone seeking to improve their fitness, and by the sounds of it youthfulness too.

This Don’t skip a beet BEETcamp had an underline message to it, BEETROOT.

This is because as we all learned just how beneficial and super nourishing it is to have beetroot not before, but after your workouts too. After Olivia Cooney put us through our paces with a very sweaty HIIT session in a very cold, brick walled studio in Borough, we got to dive into some beetiful red-coloured beetroot infused healthy snacks whilst listening to Mr. Beet aka Dr. Tom Clifford, a handsome, thirty-something scientist from Newcastle University.

He went on to show us all the scientific findings which he discovered after dedicating most of his adult life to this earthy, red-velvet coloured root vegetable. He explained “The nitrate in beetroot seems to be particular beneficial for the fast-twitch muscle fibres we use for short bursts of rapid movement, as we do during intensity interval training and competitive team sports” I didn’t know that having chocolate energy balls infused with beetroot was just what I was meant to be having after my “beast-mode” gym sessions as of late. He went on to add “What’s also interesting is that recreational athletes see bigger benefits from consuming beetroot than those who are at elite levels. In other words, beetroot seems to give the biggest boost to those who need it most”

That is very reassuring to know for those of us who are getting back into fitness, as it does enhance your recovery and minimises muscle soreness which is a win/win if you already eat a lot of beetroot as part of your balanced diet. Olivia went on to add “When you are starting a new work-out regime, or stepping up to something more strenuous like HIIT, it’s really important to stay motivated, and make the most of anything which lifts performance and reduces muscle soreness afterwards. Thats why beetroot is brilliant!”
We tasted some delicious bite sized beetroot-infused recipes which Olivia created, such as sweet chilli beetroot frittata’s, beetroot falafels as well as my favourite chocolate beetroot energy balls – which are all easy to make and incorporate into your diet for the extra iron, anti-oxidants, polyphenols, magnesium and potassium and most importantly the deep red pigmented betalains.

So, whether you work-out regularly, want to do more, or want a simple dietary tweak that can deliver real health benefits, you can’t beat beetroot.
What are you waiting for? Grab a food processor, and stuff your face with some of these bad boys after your next HIIT workout for a fast recovery and a protein boost!

Makes 25 servings
75g cooked beetroot
75g rolled oats
100g pitted dates,
2 tbs nut butter
3 tbs cocoa or protein powder
1 tbs honey or maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla essence
Pinch of salt

Coating options
Mixed seeds, Desiccated coconut & cocoa powder
1. Grate the beetroot into a sieve over your sink and leave a few minutes to drain any excess liquid.
2. Using a food processor, whizz the dates, nut butter and honey or syrup into a smooth paste.
3. Then add the oats, cocoa or protein powder, essence and salt and blend until smooth and thick. With damp hands, shape into teaspoon-sized balls and roll in to your desired coating.
4. Place in fridge for 10-15 mins to firm up and enjoy!

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Written by Marsha Derevianko