8 Red Flags of Underfuelling

What does underfuelling mean?

Underfuelling means that you are not consuming enough energy to support your body’s demand to sustain your daily life activities (cleaning home, going to the office, play with your kids, hangout with friends…) combined with your training sessions (whatever these are). 

Underfuelling can happen to anyone – whether you identify yourself as a man, woman or not, whether you are an elite athlete, dancer or gym goers.

What are the main sign of underfuelling?

These are 8 of the main sign of underfuelling:

  • Feeling fatigued most of the time
  • Experiencing poor recovery
  • Being often sick with colds or other illnesses
  • Getting injured frequently
  • Hitting a performance wall – you feel as if you can’t improve further
  • Having irregular or absent menstrual cycle
  • Experiencing gastro-intestinal issues, along with other red flags
  • Having low libido

Overtime, being in an energy deficit can lead to Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S), a clinical syndrome caused by an imbalance between excessive energy output (training load or lifestyle) and inadequate energy intake (not eating enough). This syndrome can affect key physiological processes with a negative impact on both health and performance. The underline cause is also known as LEA (Low Energy Availability).

LEA represents a state in which the energy left in the body is not sufficient to support all physiological functions to maintain optimal health. Other consequences that could be linked to LEA are:

  • Impaired performance
  • Reduced training adaptations
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Low mood/irritability
  • Compromised immune function
  • Feeling low in energy

It is crucial to understand how to optimise nutrition and adequately fuel our body to support our health and trainings. 

NOTE: If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are in a LEA state as they could be linked to other root causes. Always speak to your GP if you are concern. 

Your training and health will benefit from nutrition support and working with a registered nutritionist can help to formulate strategies that work. Overall patterns matter most and small habits can build lasting improvements to your performance and health.

Glazed Salmon

A delicious option for a quick lunch or a recovery meal (post-workout), ready in about 15 minutes. A great balance of protein (to repair muscle and tissues fibres) and carbohydrate (to replenish glycogen stores). Plus, salmon is a great source of Omega-3.

Glazed Salmon

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Rating: ★★★★★
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  • 2 skinless salmon fillet
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp teriyaki sauce
  • 1cm fresh ginger, finely sliced or grated
  • 2 handfuls of broccoli florets
  • 2 courgettes, sliced
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • Wholegrain Rice


  1. In a pan heat some olive, add the vegetables and cook over a medium heat until tended but still firm.
  2. In a small ball mix together the sauces and a dash of water.
  3. In another pan hear a drizzle of olive oil with grated ginger and chilli flakes.
  4. Add the salmon fillets to the same pan and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Poor over the sauce mixture and cook for another 4-5 minutes (or less depending on the size of your salmon fillet).
  5. Add the rice to the vegetables pan as stir fry for a few minutes.
  6. Serve the salmon with the rice and vegetables. Sprinkle some chilli flakes, sesame seeds and Nigella seeds for extra flavour.

Top tip: having some microwave rice or mixed grains in your cupboard will make your life easier! For a cheaper option cook your grains in large quantities in advance and store in the fridge or freezer for those days when you have zero time to cook.

Porridge Cake

This Porridge Cake is rich in fibre and delicious. If you want to try something different for breakfast this is for you. This recipes serves 6 portions (roughly!) and it is great for meal prepping.

If you slice it in small rectangle you can make some cereal bars ,perfect to carry out with you on busy morning.

Serve with some fresh milk or yogurt.

Porridge cake

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Print


  • 250g rolled oat
  • 2 Tbsp flaxseeds
  • 1 1/2 apple
  • 400ml milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg, ground
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 70g honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Peel and dice the apple. Add them in a bowl and squeeze some lemon juice. Add the spices and stir well.
  3. Add the oats, milk and honey. Mix well.
  4. Line a baking tray and add the mixture. Spread evenly.
  5. Add some blueberries or raspberries or chocolate chips.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Stir-fry noodles with glazed tofu

You must try it – ready in 20 minutes or less! This meal is perfect as a post-workout meal as it provides around 20g of protein and 60g of carbs:
– Tofu is a great plant based source of protein
– Noodles provide you with plenty of carbs
– Veggies provide you with additional carbs, fibre, micronutrients all crucial when we speak about recovery nutrition!

Stir-Fry noodles with glazed tofu

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Print


  • 150g tofu (I used the @cauldronfoods original tofu and it’s my favourite)
  • Egg noodle, 1 nest (around 65g)
  • 1 medium/large courgette
  • 1 medium/large carrot, peeled
  • 1 Tbsp Corn starch
  • 1 Tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp teriyaki sauce
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil or sesame oil
  • fresh grated ginger (1cm or more)
  • To serve:
  • Fresh coriander
  • Chili flakes
  • Nigella seeds or sesame seeds


  1. Dice the tofu and add it into a bowl with corn starch, mix until the tofu is well coated.
  2. Cut the vegetables using the “julienne” technique (or finely chop them if you don’t have time)
  3. Heat the olive oil in a non sticky pan and add the grated ginger. Stir fry for 1 minutes (be careful not to burn it) then add the vegetables.
  4. Stir fry for 5 minutes and add the soy sauce. Cook until soft but still firm.
  5. Meanwhile cook the noodles accordingly to the pack instructions.
  6. In another non sticky pan add the the tofu (drizzle some olive oil if needed) cook the tofu and once there is a crispy crust add the teriyaki sauce with 1 Tbsp of water. Stir well.
  7. Serve your noodles with the veggies, tofu and fresh coriander. Sprinkle some nigella seeds and chili flakes for extra flavor.

Pesto eggs with mixed grains and broccoli

If you have never tried pesto eggs you must!!! So delicious and easy to cook. This quick meal works well as a post-workout meal providing you with a good amount of protein (around 20g) and carbohydrates, but also important micronutrients coming from the veggies, eggs, mixed grains and mixed seeds.

  • Difficulty: super easy
  • Print


* 100g cooked mixed grains
* 200g broccoli florets
* 2 eggs
* 1 Tbsp olive oil
* 1 heaped Tbsp pesto
* 2 Tbsp mixed seeds
* Chili flakes
* Salt and pepper


1. Cut the broccoli florets in small pieces.
2. Heat the olive oil in a non sticky pan and add the broccoli. Stir-fry untile cooked. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Remove the broccoli and set aside. In the same pan heat the pesto. When the pesto start bubbling crack the eggs on top of it. Cook for a few minutes but keep the egg yolks running.
4. Serve the eggs and broccoli with the mixed grains. Sprinkle some seeds, pepper and chili flakes.


Creamy salmon pasta

Creamy salmon pasta

This creamy salmon pasta is my go-to recipe when I need a delicious meal ready in less than 30 minutes. The combo of salmon, lemon zest, ricotta cheese, spinach and peas is simply mouthwatering (and nutritious).

You can swap the spinach for chestnut mushrooms – trust me it’s a winning combination!

If you don’t like ricotta you can use creme fraiche instead.

Creamy salmon pasta

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Credit: fsnutritionist.com


  • 160 grams linguine or spaghetti
  • 2 fillets salmon, skinless and boneless
  • 1/2 leek, finely sliced
  • 50 ml white wine, optional
  • 100 grams frozen peas
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 4 Tbsp ricotta cheese
  • 1 lemon zest
  • dill, fresh or dry
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil


  1. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a frying pan and add the leek. Cook for 3 minutes and add a dash of water if needed.
  2. Boil a kettle and fill a large saucepan with the water. Bring to boil, add a pinch of salt and the linguine. Cook for 10 minutes (or according to pack instructions).
  3. Add the salmon fillets to the leek and cook for 5 minutes or until thoroughly cooked. Add a dash of wine if you wish. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Gently break up the salmon into big chunks.
  5. Add the peas and spinach.
  6. Cook for another 3 minutes, until the spinach has wilted and the peas are soft. Add dill to the salmon.
  7. Stir the ricotta in a small bowl with a ladle of the pasta water to thin the sauce. Add the sauce to the salmon.
  8. Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the salmon and sauce. Mix well.
  9. Serve garnished with some extra dill and lemon zest.

OATS: 4 ideas to used them in your breakfast

Oats have become part of my breakfasts since I moved to the UK from Italy. They are satisfying and versatile and are starting to become popular in Italy as well.

Oat has many nutritional properties: it is rich in a soluble fibre called beta-glucan which have been linked to lowering LDL cholesterol (the “bad” one) and may help reduce fat and sugar absorption.

Oat naturally contains low levels of gluten, however, for celiacs it is advisable to choose one which has been certified as gluten-free.



In a pot mix a portion of oat and milk (either dairy milk or an alternative drinks – If you use an alternative drink opt for the fortified version). Cook on a gently heat for 5 minutes, stirring any now and then.

To complete your breakfast add some fresh yoghurt, a portion of fruit, spices (cinnamon, cocoa powder, vanilla) and some nuts or nut butter.

These are some of my favorite combination:

  • Raspberries + peanut butter + chocolate chips
  • Apple + cinnamon + pecan nuts
  • Pear + cocoa powder + almonds
  • Blueberries + hazelnuts + coconut flakes

Overnight porridge

Overnight porridge is perfect if you have little or no time in the morning to make yourself a fulfilling breakfast. It can also be a perfect breakfast on the go.

You simply need to mix the oats with milk or yoghurt in a jar or container with a lid, mix it well and adding some honey or jam for sweetness. Let it sit in the fridge all night and the in the morning you will need to add just some fresh fruit and nuts or anything else you fancy.

For a more thick texture add some chia seeds when preparing it.


Muesli is easy to make and last for quite a long time: you simply need to mix your favorite ingredients in an air tight container and then add a few tablespoons to your milk or yoghurt with some fresh fruit.

To the oats you can add:

  • Mixed seeds, mixed nuts, coconut flakes or chocolate chips as a source of fats
  • Dried fruit as a source of sugar
  • Vanilla or cinnamon for extra flavor


To make the perfect granola you will have to add to oats some honey or maple syrup to get the right texture – big crunch clumps.

What will you need to use?

  • Rolled oats
  • Mixed seeds, mixed nuts, coconut flakes or coconut oil as a source of fat
  • Honey or syrup or sugar as a source of sugar
  • Vanilla or cinnamon for extra flavor

If you want have the perfect crunchy granola, try my Chocolate Granola.


Porridge should be consumed on the same day, while the overnight porridge can last in the fridge for up to 1 day.

Muesli and granola can last for a few weeks if stored in an air-tight container.

Broccoli and Cannellini beans soup

A vegan heartwarming soup rich in flavor and packed with plant-based protein. I would say it is perfect for vegenuary (and if you are not a broccoli fan).

Broccoli and Cannellini beans soup

  • Difficulty: super easy
  • Print


1/2 leek, finely sliced
400g tinned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
600g broccoli (a big one or two small)
500ml veg stock
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp miso paste
Salt and pepper to season
Chilly flakes (optional)


  1. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large pan, add the leek and miso paste. Gently stir fry with a ladle of water.
  2. Chop the broccoli florets and stem (don’t waste it) and add it to the pan with the beans.
  3. Add the stock and mix well. Boil for around 20-30 minutes or until the vegetable is soft.
  4. Once ready, blend with a hand blender until creamy.
  5. I served mine with the remaining olive oil, olive sourdough bread and some roasted broccoli florets and beans.
  6. For the roasted broccoli and beans, simply preheat the oven to 180°C. Add the broccoli florets and beans to a baking tray, season and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Pumpkin Risotto

Pumpkin risotto is a comfort meal, simply delicious and with a nutty flavor. This creamy version is very easy to make and based on traditional Italian recipes to make the perfect risotto. With the leftover rice you can make some delicious croquettes.

What kind of pumpkin should we use?

In Italy we have different names to call squash and pumpkin based on the varieties we are referring to. In my opinion Delica squash is the best one to make a truly delicious risotto.

What rice is the best in risotto?

In Italy we traditionally make risotto with Arborio or Carnaroli rice. Arborio is the most common in supermarket (and it’s the one I use here in the UK). In general you want to use a short grain rice which gives the right texture to the risotto – not to chewy and perfectly creamy.

Pumpkin risotto

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Credit: fsnutritionist.com


  • 400g pumpkin, diced and peeled
  • 400g Arborio or Carnaroli rice
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1 L vegetable stock
  • 1 small glass of white wine
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 80g butter, cold from the fridge
  • 4 Tbsp grated parmesan (or more), cold from the fridge
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh thyme or sage
  • 1 tsp grated nutmeg


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roast the pumpkin on a oven tray line with baking paper for about 40 minutes.
  2. Once the pumpkin is ready roughly mash it.
  3. You can now start making your risotto. Heat the olive oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the sage and onion and gently cook.
  4. Once the onion are soft but not brown, add the rice and stir well until the rice is hot to the touch. Add the wine and deglaze the pan with the wine.
  5. Add the mashed pumpkin and stir well.
  6. Start adding the a cup of stock and stir gently until the stock has all disappeared into the rice. Continue by adding a laddle of stock at the time.
  7. Once your rice is cooked turn the heat off. Add the cubed butter, nutmeg and parmesan and stir gently.
  8. Serve with extra parmesan and pepper.

Lentil bolognese

By far, this lentil bolognese is one of my favourites dishes and I make it at least once a week. If you have only 15-20 minutes to prepare your lunch (or dinner) this is the perfect recipe. My suggestion is to use pre-cooked lentils – I used the puy lentils from Merchant gourment and they work perfectly for this recipe. I love their flavour, taste and texture. 

My tip: batch cook it and freeze it!

Head over to my website for the recipe, ingredients and instructions.

Let me know in the comments if you love lentil bolognese as much as I do.

Lentil Bolognese with basil

Lentil bolognese

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Credit: fsnutritionist.com


  • 300g pre-cooked lentils
  • 160g pasta
  • 500 ml tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 big carrots, grated or finely minced
  • 2 celery sticks, finely minced
  • 2 leeks or 2 small red onions, finely minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • fresh basil
  • parmesan or vegan cheese, grated


  1. Boil a pot of water and cook the pasta according to pack instructions.
  2. In a mixer finely mince the carrot, celery and leeks.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add the vegetables and bay leaves and gently stir fry for a few minutes.
  4. Add the lentils and combine the ingredients. Add the tomato sauce and season with salt and pepper. Cook for at least 15 minutes.
  5. Once the pasta is cooked, combine with the sauce and serve with fresh basil and grated parmesan.