Rachel's Rules for Happy Eating.. and a favourite walk by the river. Members' Bulletin #8

photo of the view across the river to Charlton looking at the Thames Barrier

This week’s news:

  • Welcome to this week’s Gym Member bulletin. In this edition we have a fantastic My Recipe from gym member Rachel who reveals how easy it is to cook up a tasty dinner using store cupboard ingredients and whatever is in the fridge. Thanks so much Rachel for an interesting and entertaining contribution! 

  • Gym member Christine provides an article in My Walks, a brand new feature in our bulletin. It’s important to breathe some fresh air every day and, if you can, getting out and about locally can really lift the spirit during lockdown.  

  • Your Try This at Home exercise this week is the Hip Adductor. Tony shows us how to exercise the inner thigh muscles which help to control our balance and stability. You’re going to need a squashy ball - or you could use  a firm cushion - to do this simple exercise.

  • We chatted to BBC London TV this week to talk about exercising online and what we’re doing during lockdown and beyond, to support our gym members. We are told that they will put out our short article on Saturday (27th Feb) news or in one of next week’s programmes. Watch out for us on TV - and don’t worry if you miss it we will share the link in next week’s bulletin! 

  • We welcomed hearing the government announcements about lifting of lockdown restrictions, and the cautious approach they seem to be taking. In the ‘road map’ you may have noticed that the earliest date that gyms may open is the 12th April. So we will look to reopen Ability Bow at some point after that. Ideally our staff team and some of our gym members will have completed their second vaccines by the time we open the gym doors to in-person services again, which will help to reduce the spread of coronavirus and increase everyone’s safety somewhat. When we do have a date to reopen we will let you know, and obviously we will continue to ensure covid-safety is paramount, just as it was before lockdown.

Try this at home: Hip Adduction Exercise

For this week's exercise we are going to look at Hip Adduction. Hip adductors are the muscles in your inner thigh that help support balance and give you stability when you are standing, walking or transferring.

Even if you are currently unable to stand unassisted, it is still important to keep all your leg muscles as strong as possible. 

For this exercise you can use a ball or alternatively a cushion or pillow.

·      Sit straight with the ball in between your knees. 

·      Move your knees inwards, slowly squeezing the ball and then slowly relax to the starting position.

·      Repeat 10-15 times. 

Ability Bow Recipes

Every week we share a special recipe from somebody in our community. This week’s recipe offering is from gym member Rachel who takes a creative approach to cooking a meal. 

This week’s recipe:  Rachel’s Vegan Curry 

Kitchen Habits: Vegan Curry turns into Vegan Daube or add some wine and it’s Drunk Daube.

I just look briefly at a proper recipe in the gym members monthly email. So, this inspires me to write my story, no see through trunks ANYWHERE.

O.K.,this is my Jamie-Oliver style cook;possibly resulting from a rule-obsessed background and concerned now,with a creative and healthy experience, name of dish aside, though it is possible just to make one up(see above).

1. See what’s in the fridge.

Out comes a pepper, some carrots, a courgette, some potatoes and a tube of garlic purée.In the freezer is some diced onion and some little cute, onion balls(“petit”darling, French is good).

2. Chop. Remember to use a really sharp knife and be super careful.Also, wear some o.k. knickers. I didn’t hear Jamie Oliver say, but always be prepared for the worst and, well, paper knickers are paper knickers. I digress.

3. When you’ve had enough of chopping, stop. Look at your pile of vegetables and feel good. Assess size of vegetable pile and hungry mouths.Match it roughly where possible.

Feel extra good if it’s organic. “I look after the earth, the earth looks after me” or some such life affirming mantra can be said or sung during cooking(the vegetables are cooking, not me).

4. Cooking. I steam the veg. first,to soften, and then warm up some oil(sunflower oil, a few drops of toasted sesame.Unsure if the sesame likes heat, olive oil doesn’t).

Excitement. Well, I couldn’t find the Turmeric, so I wave some ground cumin over the pan. Also some salt and pepper and chilli powder ( be really careful here, can use a saucer to sprinkle chilli on first.) And I then find a tin of Free and Easy Butternut Squash,Sweet Potato and Turmeric Soup, which I add after frying/sautéing.

I cook some brown basmati rice- the quickest brown rice I know to cook. However, this is not needed with the starchy presence of potatoes.

Rules for Happy Eating:

Always have some basics and you can whip up easy food that tastes nice-frozen veg is always easy to use-just steam off any extra water-don’t mix it with oil.

The frozen chopped onion also saves time and effort(and tears).

I find a tube of garlic or granules easy.

Always have some oils - sunflower, olive , and vinegars -white wine, cider, some sauces - soya, fish etc.

Basics like potato, pasta and rice will fill you up(but not TOO much!)

and lastly, Digestion Time .Very Important. At least 10 minutes.

Happy Cooking Rachel Clare


My Walk: 

This week we introduce a brand new feature in our bulletin - a section for sharing places that you’ve walked, local or otherwise (well we can reminisce..) to inspire and interest other readers. Gym Member Christine kicks off this new feature with her favourite local walk.

My Favourite walk. 

I live five minutes from Thames Barrier Park situated in the Royal Docks in the London Borough of Newham.  It opened in November 2000.  It was London’s first riverside park in 50 years. 

It is a pleasure to walk to the park and to see the river traffic on the Thames.  In the distance is the reassuring sight of the Thames Barrier.  There is abundant wildlife and a children’s play area.  It is lovely to see families, dog walkers and those out for a breath of fresh air using the park. 

The closest station is Pontoon Dock on the Docklands Light Railway.  It is then just a short walk to the park.  The park is open daily from dawn to dusk.  The café in the park is being refurbished but due to Covid there is no date for it to re-open.  However, when restrictions are lifted there are a number of cafes in the area.  The toilets are open daily. 

If you are able it is worth a trip out to this part of East London to see the Thames Barrier Park. Christine