Cocu Kitchen

FitVision Feature: Cocu Kitchen.

Cocu was born from a love of quality food and a desire to eat healthy, while maintaining a busy lifestyle.

The name ‘Cocu’ is a play on ‘counter culture’ referring to the fact that they serve up fast, over the counter food but using local, seasonal and healthy ingredients.

Cocu Kitchen is one of our go-to places for great coffee and healthy eating.

They offer a great selection of highly nutritious and not to mention tasty foods!

Cocu staff are also extremely friendly and pleasant which is a real bonus.

We recommend trying their smashed avocado on brown sourdough toast, a perfect way to start the day!

Check out Cocu here:

Karl @FitVisionIreland



Sprout & Co

At FitVision, we love Sprout & Co.

Why? Their healthy seasonal and local wide range of quality foods, juices and coffee.

Boasting tasty ingredients that revolve around Irish seasons. Sprout & Co are all about keeping it local by sourcing from local growers, famers and suppliers which is evident in their ever changing , mouth-watering menus.

We paid a visit to the Baggot St branch last week and it is now one of our top go-to places for healthy eating at lunchtime.

Sprout & Co offer a wide range of healthy options on an extensive menu, along with decent portion sizes that will without a doubt leave you feeling fuelled for the day ahead!

Their Baggot St branch has a large seating area with good music and a pleasant atmosphere.

Ideal for business meetings or catching up with friends at lunchtime.

One of our all-time favourite finds!

Check out Sprout & Co here:

Kark @FitVision.




Building Habits

Building Habits

Habits are the basis of your success and maybe your downfall. Yet despite the importance of habits, few people know much about how they work.

Habits are often thought of negatively, such as a drug habit or a gambling habit. But there can be good habits, such as exercising regularly, making thoughtful comments, meditating and starting projects long before deadlines.

A habit is something we do regularly without consciously thinking much about it. It is an automatic mental and behavioural activity. Habits make it possible for us to do things without spending much mental effort. They make everyday life possible.

Many people try desperately to break bad habits. Dieting is the most well-known example: it is an attempt to break the habit of eating too much or eating the wrong sort of food. A lot of the time we are performing these bad habits without even realising it, they become so ingrained in us. For example checking Facebook or Instagram and procrastinating from our most important tasks.

If we take this approach to good habits we want to introduce in our lives and commit to spending enough time on each habit to make it a regular occurrence over time you will replace these existing habits which are negatively impacting mind and body with habits that fill you with energy.

3 key take away tips when building habits

·       Pick 2 new habits max a week and no more.

·       Always choose your most important areas of change first.

·       Commit to the change for at least 21 days to make it a habit.

See the list below of examples of healthy habits to get you started.


Exercise Habits

·       Take the stairs instead of lifts or escalators. Take any opportunity to add in a couple of minutes of extra activity it all adds up.

·       Move every hour. Sitting for long periods of time is not what humans are meant to do – set an alarm if you have to, but get up and move around every hour even if its just to fill up your water.

·       Walk more. There are so many ways to add extra steps to your day, Get off your bus or train a stop early and walk the last part of your commute.

·       Incorporate exercise on purpose into your routine, planned exercise is vital to good health. Aim to do whatever you can to start, with a goal of a minimum of 20-30 minutes every day.

·       Start Resistance Training. Start slow and try some bodyweight resistance exercises in your booklet, the full benefits of resistance training are listed in the booklet.

·       Write down your exercise goal and Increase the intensity of your workouts slowly.

·       Pay attention to how you feel while exercising this is a key habit when exercising. Push yourself to the point where it’s tough, but something you look forward to each day.


Nutrition Habits

·       Eat that first meal within 30 minutes of waking up to avoid over eating through the day and boost energy for the day ahead.

·       Drink a glass of water before each meal to help you eat the correct portion sizes. 

·       Replace something white (starch, processed foods) with something green, orange, red or brown (vegetables, protein, lentils) at every meal.

·       Plan your meals ahead of time.

·       Pack from home if possible what you need to eat for each day if food is not provided on site.

·       Pack a healthy snack for the drive home from work.

·       Shop from the outskirts of the supermarket, avoiding processed foods.

·       Access your shopping trolley and ask how much food is processed?

·       Go for whole foods over processed whenever you can. The fewer ingredients, the better, when it comes to anything in a package.

·       Drink water all through the day. Carry a refillable bottle with you and remember if your urine is pale yellow, you’re probably adequately hydrated.

·       Eat Fats they keep you feeling full. Don’t eat fat-free everything. Nuts, avocados, healthy oils, dairy and fish can all be great sources of fat in your diet. Omega-3s, found in fats help prevent cardiovascular disease.

·       Read food labels. Get familiar with sneaky labelling, you can find tips in your booklet.

·       Cook more. Cooking at home is healthier, since you’re in control of what you put in your food and how it’s prepared find tasty recipes in your booklet.

·       Eat mindfully. Chew your food 20 times per mouthful and enjoy it.

·       Limit your alcohol consumption. If you’re a drinker, keep a log of all the alcohol you drink in a week and if you think it is impacting some healthy habits aim to cut down a few units per week.

·       Don’t skip meals. It messes up your blood sugar. Try to plan whenever you can with snacks.


Mindset and Recovery

·       Set goals and work towards attaining them. Sometimes it’s the working towards the goals where the magic happens, and habits are built.

·       Use to-do lists. Taking time to map out your priorities and what you need to get done gives you a sense of control.

·       Watch less TV. Pick what you really want to watch and make a pact to turn the TV off at other times, don’t mindlessly watch TV.

·       Try meditation think of it as taking a few minutes to yourself to just breathe and unplug from everything around you.

·       Exercise your Brain, read books, do crosswords or other brain games.

·       Sleep better. If you’re not waking feeling rested, try going to bed 5 minutes earlier every night, until you get to the magic number of hours of sleep for you. Try dropping the phone an hour before going to sleep to help your body feel ready for bed.

·       Totally Switch off occasionally. Leave your phone behind and from time to time try break complete reliance on technology.




Tarkka Dal


·       100 g Benal ram (chana dal)

·       50 g red lentils (masur dal)

·       ½ tsp turmeric

·       3 fat garlic cloves, grated into a paste

·       10 g fresh root ginger, peeled weight, grated into a paste

·       Salt, to taste

·       A handful of chopped fresh coriander leaves

·       3 tbsp vegetable oil

·       1 rounded tbsp butter

·       2-–4 dried red chillies

·       1 rounded tsp cumin seeds

·       1 small onion, finely chopped

·       2 small tomatoes, chopped

·       ½–-¾ tsp garam masala, or to taste


1.             Wash both types of lentils together in several changes of water. Place the lentils and 1 litre of water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, skimming off any residue that forms. Add the turmeric, garlic, ginger and a little salt. Simmer, covered, for 40 minutes, giving the pot an occasional stir.

2.    After the lentils have been cooking for about 30 minutes, heat the oil and butter for the tarka. Add the whole dried chillies and cumin seeds and, once they have browned, add the onion; sauté until well-browned. Add the tomatoes, garam masala and a little more salt and sauté until the masala releases oil, around 10 minutes. Pour some of the lentils into this pan, swirl and scrape the base to extract all the flavours, then pour everything back into the lentils.

3.             Cook for another 10 minutes, mashing some of the lentils on the side of the pan to make a homogenous dhal. Add a little water if the lentils are too thick (remember it will thicken further as it cools). Taste, adjust the seasoning and serve scattered with the chopped coriander.

Recipe by:

Spicy Roasted Parsnip Soup


2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp cumin seed, plus extra to garnish

½ tsp ground turmeric

½ tsp mustard seeds

1 large onion, cut into 8 chunks

2 garlic cloves

675g parsnip, diced

2 plum tomatoes, quartered

1.2l vegetable stock

1 tbsp lemon juice



Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. In a bowl, mix together the oil and spices. Add the vegetables and mix well. Spread over a heavy baking sheet, then roast for 30 mins until tender.


Spoon into a food processor or liquidiser with half the stock and process until smooth. Pour into a pan with the remaining stock, season, then heat until barely simmering. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Garnish with cumin seeds.


Karl’s Top 5 Tips For Staying On Track Over The Weekend

1.       Get your workout/exercise in early – weekends can be hard to stay regimented with our training but getting it in early ensures that you don’t decide to put it off until “tomorrow”.

2.       When eating out, be wary of dishes with rich sauces as they tend to be very calorically dense and can throw you off your daily targets. Instead, opt for a more calorically friendly meal or even ask for a sauce on the side so that you can control how much you use.

3.       If you are planning on indulging in food and/or alcohol, try to add in some extra cardio such as a 20 minute brisk walk or a run. The calories you burn in doing so will give you some leeway when it comes to that after dinner desert.

4.       Alcohol – If you are drinking mixed drinks, try to opt for a zero calorie diet option. Regular soft drinks are high in sugar and easy to overindulge in. Instead of having 6 pints, try to only have 3. Generally the clearer the liqueur, the less sugar and calorie content. Why not opt for a gin & tonic?

5.       Make sure you keep track of your food intake via the FitVision Nutrition App or the FitTracker Diary. It is easy to turn a blind eye over the weekend but keeping track of your food will hold yourself accountable and will help with staying with your daily targets.

6.       Finally, relax, unwind and have fun! Weekends are a time to let loose and shake off any stress. Keep in mind some of these tips to help you stay on track with your current targets and goals, ensuring that you enter the new week on the right foot.  

Karl profile 1.jpg

5 Questions to Ask when Designing an Employee Wellness Program

1. Should I offer something to each demographic of my organisation?

Often we tend to neglect some people within our organisation when starting an Employee Wellness Program, to combat this, be sure to spread the plan across the 3 keys of Physical Wellness: Exercise, Nutrition and Recovery. My advice here would be to hold an open day in the weeks prior to the chosen date of the Wellness Week to get as much feedback on the elements of your program and to find out what the plan may be lacking.


2. What topics on-trend at the minute?

With the Wellness industry constantly evolving and most of us following these changes through platforms such as social media, it is important to include relevant events. For example we are now inundated with healthy cookbooks. During your next Wellness Week why not host your own healthy baking competition or invite in a local company to hold a Healthy Cooking Demo for staff members. As we know a habit like healthy cooking can have a huge impact on employee wellness for both the employee and the workplace such as; reduce stress, increase energy and improve body composition.


3. Are my Wellness Providers working in a corporate setting currently?


Looking at running a successful Corporate Wellness Plan is quite different to looking at an event in a gym or an exercise studio.

The different dynamics and requirements of the working environment mean that your providers experience is essential, we need to be targeting both mental and physical aspects of Wellness and placing ourselves in the employee's shoes. 

This is a difficult task that only gets easier with prior experience of the Corporate Wellness Setting.

4. What worked during our last Wellness Program?

It is always a good idea to revisit a previous program, at FitVision we analyse each program for the Company and deliver real time data and feedback on what worked, this can help you design future Wellness Programs and discover reasons why certain elements of the program were effective or ineffective.


5. What can we offer employees during the program that they might not be able to access outside?

Many of us are now regular visitors to the gym but do not really know how to develop a specific training program to get results, the same applies for our nutrition as we struggle to understand what we should be eating for optimum health.

Health Assessments like Body Fat Percentage are something that can be very beneficial and motivational but not very accessible for the individual. 

During one of our recent Wellness Weeks with Primark we held Health Assessments for employees along with seminars on Correct Training Techniques and finished it off with a Supermarket Tour promoting the products we should have in our trolley. 

It's the little things like this that employees may struggle to get with the local gym provider and all of the above deliver valuable information that truly benefit the ongoing health of the individual.


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