Author: Caroline Colwill

Health and Fitness on the go

It always seems difficult to be healthy and active while on the go.

This week has been really hectic, it’s seemed like there are not enough hours in the day! I’ve been working, doing some home improvements and looking after a friend’s horse.

As I was dashing from one thing to another, listening to my stomach rumble, I was left wondering what on earth I was going to conjure up for dinner. I had not had time to do my weekly shop and I had a few eggs, some left over chicken, an onion, a bit of cheese and some tomatoes!

It’s times like this that it’s so tempting to call in at the take away on the way home, so what can you throw together with just a few ingredients in the fridge?

I decided to go with an old favourite…the omelette!  I love eggs, they are so versatile you can fry them, poach them, scramble them, boil them and with a few extra ingredients the list goes on and on!! Omelettes are really easy to make and all you really need is a frying pan and a spatula. The best thing is that you can put almost anything in them and they are great for using up leftovers.


What to eat

If you want a super simple and quick meal eggs are the answer! Here’s some links to some super simple, yummy egg recipes that you can use for lunch or dinner.

Pizza Omelette

Anytime Eggs

Spicy Tiffin Eggs

Muffin Frittatas

Tomato, Avocado and Egg Salad



Oh my goodness as with my fitting in time to cook it has been a challenge to find time to go to the gym and it can be so easy to let good habits like exercising or eating well slip, but there are only so many hours in the day, what should we do?

Exercise Tip 1: Plan

If you know you have a busy week ahead plan ahead, are there times when you can fit in the exercise that you like to do?  This might mean getting up a bit earlier one day or changing the day that you normally exercise or doing the activity for a shorter time, if you are meeting friends can you join them slightly later etc.

Exercise tip 2: Do what you can

Something is (almost) always better than nothing, depending on your level on mobility/fitness are things that you can do in your own home…bicep curls are an example, you can do them with no weight or with a tin of beans, wrist weights or dumbbells (hand weight).

Exercise tip 3: Do something you enjoy

It’s much easier to find the time to do ‘exercise’ if it doesn’t feel like exercise….do something you enjoy!  Wheelchair dance is a great way to meet new people and get some exercise at the same time!


Healthy eating and wheelchair exercise

Wheelchair exercise and healthy eating

For lots of people wheelchair exercise and healthy eating can be daunting or they don’t know what they ‘should’ eat to be healthy.  In this blog series I’ll give you some simple hints and tips.

Tip 1: What to eat.

  • Eat breakfast, it’s an easy meal to skip, but we can all take 5 minutes to eat! For a super simple breakfast try having some natural yoghurt with some fresh fruit.

Tip 2: How to cook.

  • Use a slow cooker, so long as you can chop some veggies/meat you can make some great tasting food. Check out the recipe idea below.


 Wheelchair users with manual chairs will do a lot of pushing motions which work the chest and shoulder muscles, this can mean that back muscles can become weaker.  Paralyzed Living shows some gym based wheelchair exercise that can help.

Many of the exercises in the video you could practice at home either using no weight or using a tin of tomatoes (or similar) instead of a dumbbell.  Make sure you listen to your body when performing any kind of exercise – it should not be painful.

Warning: Remember before you start or change your exercise program speak to your doctor.

If you’re thinking of trying something new, wheelchair dance is a great way to meet new people and get some wheelchair exercise at the same time!



Slow cookers can be used to make some super simple and super tasty meals!!  Here is one of my favourites!

Slow Cooked Chicken

What you’ll need

  • A slow cooker
  • A tin opener
  • A knife
  • A tablespoon
  • A plate
  • 2 forks
  • Measuring jug



  • 600g chicken (breast is easiest)
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 1 tin Kidney beans
  • 1 red onion chopped
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 tbs of smoked paprika
  • 1-2 tbs mixed herbs
  • 1tbs ground cumin
  • 300ml water
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • Salt and pepper

How to make it

Step 1: Turn on the slow cooker, on High.

Step 2: Chop the onion (use a grater if you struggle to chop an onion) and garlic.  Measure out the water.

Step 3: Put all the ingredients (add the chicken breasts whole) in to the slow cooker and put the lid on – when adding the herbs and paprika start with 1 tbs and add more half way through cooking if desired.

Step 4: Cook for 2 hours (adjust seasoning and paprika/herbs after an hour)

Step 5: Take chicken breasts out and place on a large chopping board or plate and shred the chicken with two forks (should look a bit like pulled pork)

Step 6: Put the chicken back in the casserole dish and stir well – you can continue to cook on low heat to further develop flavour or serve it up.

Step 7: If you are preparing ahead divide into portions, allow to cool and place in containers for fridge or freezer.







Exercise and Healthy Eating

Healthy Eating

For lots of people cooking is daunting and in this mini series I’m going to give you some super simple recipes for healthy eating and some top tips to make cooking easier.

Tip 1: What to eat.

  • Include protein in every meal for healthy eating. Protein isn’t just for body builders, we all need it and a lot of us don’t get enough.  Optimal sources of protein are meat, fish and dairy as they are what’s know as complete proteins, which means they have all the essential amino acids your body needs. For vegetarians there are few complete protein sources (quinoa, buckwheat and Quorn are a few examples), so eat a wide variety of foods to make sure you get in all the amino acids.
  • Protein is great not only because it’s the building blocks of our bodies, it also helps us to feel full for longer.

Tip 2: How to cook.

  • Chopping up onions can be difficult, use a grater instead and in you have difficulty using a grater you can use the grater attachment in a food processor.


Exercise doesn’t mean that you have to go to the gym, the important thing is to start moving and to find something that you enjoy.

If you are just starting out then keep things simple and start with some exercises you can do at home, YouTube can be a good source of exercise ideas, this video from Physical Therapists, Bob Schrupp and Brad Heineck is just one example.

If you’re thinking of trying something new, wheelchair dance is a great way to meet new people and get some exercise at the same time!

Warning: Remember before you start or change your exercise program speak to your doctor.


I said eat protein with every meal so instead of reaching for the cereal box in a morning here’s a super simple of alternative that takes a couple of minutes to make.

Scrambled egg on toast

What you’ll need:

  • A toaster (or use a grill)
  • A bowl
  • A frying pan
  • A wooden spoon
  • A fork


  • Some butter
  • 2 slices of bread
  • 3 eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • A dash of water (or milk)

How to make it

Step 1: toast the bread.

Step 2: while the toast is in the toaster crack the eggs into the bowl.

Step 3: using the fork whisk the eggs up so that the white and yolk are well mixed together. Add a little salt, pepper and a dash of water (or milk) and mix.

Step 4: when the toast is done, butter it – try to avoid using margarine – or leave dry.

Step 5: put the frying pan on the hob on a medium heat, melt a nob of butter (about a teaspoon) and use the wooden spoon to spread it around the pan.

Step 6: pour the egg mix into the frying pan and stir …make sure that you hold the handle of the pan while you do this. The eggs will cook very quickly, when the get to a consistency you like then off the heat and use the wooden spoon to put the eggs top of the toast.

Tip: To make this even better add some smoked salmon on top of your cooked eggs.

Smoked salmon is a great addition because not only will it increase the protein content, which will help you feel full for longer, it also a great source of omega (check which ones) which is essential nutrient.


What is healthy food?

Wheelchair Dancing involves keeping fit and healthy, so we asked one of our Trustees, Caroline, a qualified nutritionist, What is healthy food?

I was in my canteen at work the other day and looked at the healthy options, looking back at me was jelly…wow wow wow, since when is jelly a healthy option?!?  Would you pick up the jelly thinking it’s a healthy option?  What is healthy food?

Aren’t we all trying to be a bit more “healthy”? But have you ever asked yourself what does that really mean?? So many things sell themselves as “low fat” so is fat bad? Low carb diets are all the all the rage, so carbohydrates (carbs) bad, aren’t they? Someone told me too much protein bad for you, should I avoid protein? It is so confusing to know what to eat!  So let me try and help…

  1. Fat is not evil
  2. Carbs are not evil
  3. Protein is not evil

I know, given all we’ve heard over the years its hard to believe that fat is not in its spare time hanging out with Lucifer hatching plans to send us all to an early grave.  The truth is that we need fat in our diets, in fact it is critical for the health of our cells.  I’m not suggesting you go eat a bar of lard, or even half a bar, just that fat is not generically bad and there are some fats that are even known as “good fats”.

So without boring the life out of you with a lecture on what fats are ‘good’ let me give you a couple of super simple recipe ideas that might even be worthy of a healthy label!

Avocado and Prawns

This could not be simpler, all you are going to need is:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 100g cooked prawns (drain off any juice)
  • 1 tablespoon of salad dressing (Newmans is a good choice)

How to make

Cut the avocado in half length ways and remove the stone.

Scoop out the avocado with a spoon and roughly chop up in to chunks

Put the avocado in a bowl, add the prawns and mix

Eat out of the bowl or serve on a plate

…add some lettuce, tomatoes or other salad if you want!

If you’re not a shell fish fan swap out the prawns for chicken, either get some cooked chicken or chop some chicken breast in to bite sized chunks and fry in a pan with a little oil over a medium heat until the chicken is white all the way through.


Baked Salmon

You’ll need:

  • 1 piece of salmon per person, around 100g depending on your appetite.
  • A nob of butter per person (avoid margarine if you can – it’s a whole other blog to explain why)
  • 1 slice of lemon per person
  • Salt and pepper
  • A bag of ready prepared salad leaves
  • Washed new potatoes
  • a piece of tin foil
  • baking tray
  • saucepan

How to make

Switch on the oven at 180C

Fill and boil the kettle

Put the potatoes in a pan, cover with the boiling water and set a timer for 20 mins

Take a piece of tin foil that is about 3-4 times as big as the piece of salmon

Place the salmon in the centre of the tin foil, season with salt and pepper, put a slice of lemon and a nob of butter on top

Fold the tin foil up at the slide and scrunch together to make a parcel and put on the baking tray

Cook in the oven for about 15 mins

When the timer for the potatoes goes off, check they are cooked by sticking a sharp knife in them and then drain the water off (you can use a colander for this)

When the salmon has been in the oven for 15 mins, remove from the over (using oven gloves) and open the parcel if the salmon is cooked it will be a lighter pink colour

Serve with the salad and new potatoes.