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Things can get hectic in the run up to Christmas so along with Barilla I have put together some healthy and nutritious quick and easy dishes.

I have been working with Barilla the past few months to help promote their TriHeroes campaign. There are so many reasons why this campaign is of interest to me. As I work in the area of mental health awareness and health coaching its so important to understand the real benefits of sport. When I was in school a lot of us dropped out of gym class and ate bad food. This affects your performance academically, mentally and physically.

RESEARCH

Recent Sport Ireland research has shown that students who play sport achieve, on average, higher points in the Leaving Cert than those that do not. It also highlighted that swimming; cycling and running are the most likely sports to be continued into adult life.

The workload is school can be overwhelming and very often exercise can be dropped early on. This schools triathlon programme gives students the chance to participate in a healthy and active lifestyle and have fun. 

DIRECTIONS AND STEPS FOR PASTA DISH

PESTO PASTA WITH CHICKEN, BROCCOLI AND GREEN PEAS

SERVES 2

  • Enough pasta for 2 people (I used Barilla pasta which really grips the sauce)
  • 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 small boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • ¾ broccoli florets
  • 1 avocado
  • 125ml single cream
  • 3 generous Tbsp. Barilla basil pesto
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Copped basil to serve

DIRECTIONS

Boil water and put in pasta with some salt

  • Pour oil into a hot pan and then add garlic and onions until they are softened.
  • The add chicken cooking slowly and when half cooked
  • Add in Broccoli
  • Add in peas just a couple of minutes towards the end
  • Pour in the cooked pasta and
  • Spoon in 3 large spoons of pesto
  • Stir well and serve with a half sliced avocado and garnish with chopped fresh basil

Barilla calling on students to unlock their inner TriHero

Primary and secondary schools are being encouraged to register for TriHeroes, a schools triathlon programme which brings together the lifelong activities of swimming, cycling and running to inspire, motivate and challenge children to participate in a healthy and active lifestyle.

The TriHeroes programme, delivered by Triathlon Ireland and supported by Barilla, a family owned Italian food company and advocate for a healthy lifestyle, helps teachers introduce triathlon activities in a safe and positive environment.

Delivered by Triathlon Ireland’s development team, the programme is typically run over six 90-minute training sessions with students taking part in a mini triathlon at the end of the programme giving students a taste of this hugely popular sport and exposing them to three sports that could see them excel in the Leaving Cert and later life.

Primary and secondary schools can find out more about the TriHeroes programme at www.triathlonireland.com and register their interest at schools@triathlonireland.com.

A gourmet selection of recipes, perfect for budding triathletes and prepared with seasonal ingredients for vegetarians, as well as meat and fish lovers is available at www.barilla.co.uk.