Healthy Eating

Parent Fit – Part Five

Posted by on 30-04-2016 in Nutrition | 0 comments

When children arrive, all your health goals go out of the window right…? This week: How to use food as a real lifesaver In this series we’ve been looking into ideas that actually support a healthy lifestyle when children arrive (or any other life situation that turns your world upside down). IMPORTANT NOTICE: You may find this hard to believe, but I’m not actually a midwife J . Please do not take these ideas as prescriptions, see your health professional before you do anything. Give yourself the gift of nourishment How would you describe your relationship to food? You may have not been asked that before. For some, food is simply fuel. For others, there is a lot more emotion attached to it. For years, I have used food as a way to de-stress, for comfort and often as a reward for all those greens I ate during the week! I’m still a work-in-progress on that front. It is very common for people to change their eating habits (eat more, less or different) during times of stress. So as you can imagine, when children come along, the challenge is this: A tired, stressed body needs good nutrition more than ever but all you want is a biscuit!! So how can we approach this? 1) Make the call. You can have the best diet plan in the world, but if you haven’t made the decision to live a certain way you will always fall back to old habits. Quick tip; it’s always better if you and your spouse are doing this together 2) Meal plan. Decision making is exhausting. When deciding whether you need to go to the toilet or you can hang on becomes a life or death decision, you know energy levels are at crisis level. At this point, the last thing you want to do is think what to have for dinner, go out to shop for it then spend an hour cooking. You also don’t want to go down the slippery road of having chocolate digestives for a third meal in a row. Spend a few minutes planning your meals for the week, then shop for the ingredients (they even deliver these days!) 3) Throw junk away. Yes I know, it goes against everything our mothers banged into us for decades. “Children across the world are starving”. Yes I know mother, but at the rate of my weight gain I’m going to be the size of Africa in a week. After you’ve meal planned and got the food in, throw away the junk food that you know you’ll reach for. 4) Get colourful. The female body literally goes through trauma when giving birth. The different coloured foods provide different healing and energising nutrients that your body is craving. And men, you need them too! 5) The rule of one. There will be moments and often days where you just need something. This does not make you a bad person. If you have to have something, have it, have one. Sit down and enjoy...

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Fatloss Tips – Nutrition

Posted by on 08-03-2016 in Latest News, Nutrition | 0 comments

Fatloss Tips – Nutrition

Last month we put together a list of short and sharp fat loss tips. They were so popular that we’re going to put together a couple more lists. And to hopefully further help, we thought we’d categorise them so you could work at one thing at a time (which seems to be the most effective way at approaching a new task, from a results and sustainability point of view). This week – Nutrition  Starting the day with good quality fats and protein has been shown to improve people’s body composition (i.e. they become leaner) and because most of our brains biochemistry is made from fat, it can help us to think better and clearer throughout the day. If you’re going to eat that treat, sit down and enjoy it. Don’t be a ‘treat ninja’ and stuff your face in secret Adding things like lemon, lime and vinegar products to your foods and/or drinking water can help your body handle sugary foods better. It also helps balance out the acid/alkali balance in your body (which when balanced gives you more energy and can lead to your weight normalising) You are how you eat. Stress pretty much shuts down the digestive system. So when we eat in this state (e.g. in a rush, watching an action film), we don’t digest our food as well. It can even sit there fermenting and becoming more and more toxic for hours at a time. This can lead to bloating, a lack of energy and irregular releases of the brown sausages. Relax. Chew your food. Enjoy it. Eat anything green! Green foods improve the acid/alkali balance in your system which can improve energy and speed up fat loss. Challenge yourself to have something green with every meal (tip: a cheeky sprinkle of green herbs is a great addition to any meal) Herbs and spices are nutrient powerhouses. Not only do they contain tremendous health properties they make things taste ridiculous. With the amount of benefits their finding in turmeric, it’ll probably solve world peace and the refugee crisis by Christmas. Low carb is great, but don’t kid yourself. Eating more leafy greens instead of bread/rice/pasta, or swopping these things for lower carb alternatives like courgette noodles, spaghetti squash or celeriac mash will undoubtedly help you lose body fat. But I wouldn’t be too concerned about the spoonful of rice, when there’s enough curly wurly’s eaten in-between meals to put a 12 year olds birthday party to...

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February Fatloss tips

Posted by on 23-02-2016 in Nutrition | 1 comment

February Fatloss tips

For some, at this time of year, the enthusiastic resolutions of the New Year seem a long time ago. Research has shown that over 90% of people have given up on their New Year’s resolutions by now. But for those of you who have made your mind up and are sticking with it (firstly, well done), we’ve put together a list of quick tips and tricks that will help keep you on track and give you ideas on how to progress.  “If you don’t assess you guess”. Always start by measuring something so you know if you’re methods are working or not. Here are a few ways to do it: Photos of yourself in the mirror Tape measure Use one piece of clothing (pic of me with a measuring tape around me) Take out as many variables as possible by measuring on the same time and day each week. Last week my mother-in-law completely disregarded my fat loss ambitions and taught a young Korean chap how to bake, so he can go home and start a business. Yes, I know, very selfish. The lesson to learn here: We all have our weak points (especially at the start of our journey), so if you ever come across a deluge like this one, RUN. It sounds silly, but you cannot eat if you are not in the kitchen. If fat loss if your goal, limit domino foods (once you start eating them you can’t stop) like nuts and humus to one portion/day. Although they are extremely healthy for us and it’s not all about calories, swimming in a tub of almond butter every day can put an abrupt halt on your fat loss ambitions. Keep a food diary. This is a huge one. Simply recording what you eat does two things: Makes you realise how much you eat and/or all the little snacks you didn’t realise were going in! Recording what you eat causes you to make thousands of sub conscious decisions every day regarding what you eat as you are more aware of it. This is even more so if you know you have to show it to someone who is holding you accountable to it PLAN YOUR MEALS. Each week, write out the meals you’re having then shop for the ingredients. Ideally have very little other food in the house, apart from the food within the meal plans. This takes out so much stress and impulse eating....

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New Year Starts – Healthy Eating

Posted by on 02-02-2016 in Nutrition | 0 comments

New Year Starts – Healthy Eating

New Year kick-start – Healthy eating: Where to start? When trying to improve an aspect of our health, a major reason why people often fall short of their target is because the goal is either too unrealistic and/or the whole process of trying to achieve it becomes too overwhelming and too drastic a change of lifestyle to sustain. Along with exercise, healthy eating is one of the most common areas people find hard to maintain. Why is what we eat so important? Your body is making millions of new cells every single day. So guess what your body uses as building blocks for these cells? Yep, the food we eat. What we eat can determine not only how we look, but how much energy we have, how our joints feel and even our mood (ever noticed people get a bit grumpy/have an energy crash after sugary food and junk food?!) How would our cars perform if we put dirty fuel in it as opposed to premium, filtered rocket fuel?!! If food’s so important why can it be so hard to change? As we’ve mentioned in previous articles, it is harder than we think to change habits that have been there for a long time, and what we eat can be a very strong habit (if you’ve ever tried taking chocolate off a chocoholic you’ll know what I mean!) Another factor which can prove challenging is simply not knowing what to do. With so much conflicting evidence out there regarding what’s best to eat, it is very easy to get so confused you don’t know where to start. So to help, here are a few basic tips to get you started: 1) The number one rule of nutrition is Eat food as close to its natural state as possible. For every stage of processing a food goes through it loses some of its goodness. Small changes like having a jacket potato instead of curly fries, cooking with lean mince instead of a fast food burger, or an apple instead of apple juice can really help. 2) Aim to reduce the amount of sugary foods in our diet. Watch out, big claim coming up: sugar is one of the most dangerous substances for your health there is. It is toxic. Unfortunately, because it makes foods a lot tastier and addictive, food companies add it to everything. Sugar increases the chance of weight gain and drastic drops in health and energy. Aim to buy natural foods and if you like sweeter tastes, add your own sweetness using foods like honey or natural fruit juices. 3) Go green. Green vegetables would do more for your health than Mr Motivator and the magic drink from the Nutty Professor combined. Eat as much as you can. If you don’t like them, start by adding them in small quantities to things like soups and stews where they can be hidden. You can also add things like olive oil, balsamic vinegar, herbs and spices to make them taste better. These may sound ridiculously simple, but you’d be amazed at how you start feeling and looking once you start feeding your body the fuel it thrives...

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How I Use My Nutribullet

Posted by on 13-11-2015 in Nutrition | 0 comments

How I Use My Nutribullet

How do I actually use this Nutri-Bullet thingy?!! How to avoid creating another expensive dust collector and actually get the most out of your latest kitchen gadget Whenever someone tells me they’ve bought a treadmill for the house, I gently smile and congratulate them on their new, very expensive coat hanger. Yes I know, I know, there are some of you out there, who are far better human beings than I am and actually use their home based exercise equipment. It is however, a fact that the vast majority of exercise equipment bought for the home gets less use than the spice rack in a bachelor pad. There is sadly, another area of ‘health at home’ that, with all good intentions attracts huge investment for a similar miniscule return: kitchen gadgets. If you’re anything like me, your kitchen has been filled over the years with machines that chop veg, make soups, blitz beans, grind spices, squeeze lemons, peel garlic, the list goes on. Most of these, I have now relocated to the ‘filing cabinet’. I have, however, made one recent addition to my gadget repertoire that I actually use, and would now struggle to do without: The Nutri-Bullet. The What? The Nutri-bullet is a glorified liquidizer/food processer that blitzes whatever you put into it. It seems to be all the rage at the moment, and I often get asked what I think of them and how to use them. It can be used for many things, but for the cause of saving another kitchen gadget, I will share with you today how we use it for smoothies. Why smoothies? I’ve found the smoothies that can be made from a Nutri-bullet, are a great way to get nutrition into your diet, which you may not be able to through meals. For example, a decent amount of ginger can overpower a meal, but add a lovely zing to a smoothie (as well as the amazing health benefits). I personally use them as snacks and a replacement for the extra caffeine. Below, is the ingredient formula that we find hits the balance between health and taste. It is easy to get too excited and go all out health (all raw green veg), ending up with an undrinkable mush and a rush to buy more toilet roll. On the other hand, if there’s too much fruit and/or fruit juice, the ever increasing share price of diabetic drugs will continue to rise. For some important background info on how to start using juices/smoothies and one of my favourite recipes, check out these two short articles http://www.alphapw.com/juicing/ http://www.alphapw.com/project-restoration-part-three/ The Smoothie Formula * Pick one from the greens column (more than one can make it undrinkable when you start off), * Pick one from the fruit section (you may need more than one initially, but try to get it down to one serving of fruit as soon as possible to limit sugar intake. Also, beetroot and carrot can really help sweeten the smoothie). * As many as you want from the filler/diluters section (these add some good nutrition, but won’t add much taste. They can however dilute the stronger tastes of ingredients like ginger) * Pick one from the liquid (due to the nutri-bullet blitzing the whole vegetable, skin and all, you will need to add...

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Tasty upgrades

Posted by on 12-10-2015 in Nutrition | 0 comments

Tasty upgrades

“My people die for a lack of knowledge” Learn about these simple switches you can make in your food planning that could boost your health, without too much of the pain that comes from change The world seems to be going a little carb crazy at the moment. In the 80’s we were brainwashed that fat was the enemy (my mother still has a heart attack when I fry my nuts in butter as a healthy snack). Meat was then castigated as the source of all evil, especially when the china study came out (where a vegetarian diet was highly encouraged). These days it’s all about low carb. Let’s talk sense for a second… Common sense, believe it or not, is actually very common. It’s very common for people to know what foods actually help them to improve their health. We can’t go too far wrong with quality foods cooked from scratch, that are as close to their natural state as possible. This however takes work, which we like to avoid at all costs, so we would rather kid ourselves that a convenient ‘low carb healthy cereal bar’ is better for us than roasting some ‘carby’ vegetables dressed with oil. The simplified version of low carb is this: If you’re looking to lose body fat, reducing the amount of sugary foods and starchy/white carbohydrates (cereals, flours, breads, rice, pasta) will produce good results. Watch this short video I made for you to help on this topic. Learning to manage your sugar levels will provide more benefits than just around you middle, this article will serve you best by clearly stating the following obvious point, which we all try ignore more than run down batteries in the TV remote… To improve anything, especially your health,  you will have to work hard and change things. And change often isn’t easy or pain free.  If it was, we’d all look as good as the dancers on ‘Strictly’ With that said… I am definitely a fan of avoiding any unnecessary pain when it comes to change. So if you would like to reduce body fat and improve a whole host of health markers, here are some changes to your diet that are not that painful but do yield some pretty impressive results: Cauliflower rice as a replacement for normal rice.  Type this into google and it will come up with loads of “how to’s” and recipes. I simply grate the cauliflower, dry fry it in a wok (or with sesame oil is stunning) and serve it as you would rice. Spiralized vegetables As you can see in the picture, these machines produce spaghetti type shapes with vegetables that have a far better impact on your blood sugar than white flour spaghetti. You can boil them like usual spaghetti, but my favourite is to gently fry them in butter. Here is a video of another kind of...

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Project Restoration – Part Three

Posted by on 12-10-2015 in Nutrition | 0 comments

Project Restoration – Part Three

How focusing on recovery can sky rocket your results Did you know that you are designed to be lean, strong, healthy and energised? That’s your default setting! There are many factors however in modern day life that are taking us away from our design. This is why we started PROJECT RESTORATION, where we share tools you can use instantly to RESTORE you to what you were designed to be. In week 1 we described one of the most powerful tools you will ever come across yet no one talks about, then last week we talked about how you can use different types of movement (and importantly, the appropriate movement for you at any given time) to energise and heal instant of drain you and cause pain. This week we’ll be tackling one of the biggest issues in the world when it comes to how much energy you have and consequently how you feel.….. What we put in our mouths. How does what we eat and drink affect our energy, mood and waistline?? Your body is made up of millions and millions of cells. Cells die and new ones are made constantly. What are these cells made out of? You guessed it, what we put in our mouths. The quality of your cells can determine how your joints feel, mood swings, energy levels and tonnes of other things. Just like you can’t make chicken salad out of chicken poo, the better the fuel you put into the system the better you’re going to look and feel. We’ve talked lots of times about food quality, so today I’m going to address another aspect of nutrition: quick fixes. When mid-morning strikes or you’re approaching the middle of the afternoon, have you ever thought “oh, a little coffee or chocolate now would be just the thing”? Our energy drops and we feel a little sugar or caffeine would be perfect for a quick energy boost. We’ve all done it. I used to be pretty much addicted to coffee for these pick me ups. The danger with using caffeine and sugar is that it’s a short term high that has long term problems: Increases chances of diabetes and other chronic diseases Mood & energy swings due to fluctuating sugar and hormone levels Body decreases ability to handle sugar or stress leading to weight gain and anxiety challenges So what’s the answer? Don’t get me wrong, I still love my coffee and have an espresso every morning. Life’s too short sometimes! But I have found superb additions as a snack are green smoothies. Smoothies (using a juicer is also a good option) are a great way to get in extra veg and fruit. They add crazy amounts of energy, they really help to shed the pounds and they just makes me feel really good. For more important info on the benefits of juicing and smoothies and how to start click here. Today I’d like to share with you my current favourite: The Green Energy Machine. Add all the following to a liquidizer or juicer and vary the amounts to your taste: Handful of spinach Half a courgette Half a cucumber (or celery) Thumb piece of ginger Half a pear Half an apple Juice of half a lemon I’d love to get your feedback on how...

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Juicing

Posted by on 13-09-2015 in Nutrition | 0 comments

Juicing

Recently we touched on a topic that is crucial when it comes to improving your health: Learning to listen to your body. Your body knows exactly what it needs, and it’s trying to tell you all the time. But with the hectic nature of modern lifestyles, many of us have forgotten how to listen to it! Just like when you put the right fuel into a car and regularly service it, when you start to giving your unique body what it needs at any one time, real health starts to develop. This month we are going to look at the latest fads and health crazes that are sweeping the nation, listing the benefits, the things to look out for and I’ll leave you to make your conclusion. I am writing on these topics simply due to people constantly asking about which one works the best. As you can probably imagine from what I have mentioned and frequently write about, if it’s not sustainable it generally won’t produce sustainable results and we are all unique, so what may work for your friend may not always work for you, hence why I encourage people to really start to understand their own bodies and listen for what it needs! The first one we’re going to look at is Juicing What is it? Juicing extracts the juice from fresh fruits or vegetables. The resulting liquid contains most of the vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals (phytonutrients) found in the whole fruit. However, whole fruits and vegetables also have healthy fibre, which is lost during most juicing. Good points: Extreme heat (over cooking) can degrade the nutrients in most foods, so juicing is a good way to get raw foods. Having the foods in liquid form can increase the amount of goodness we absorb. There is a caveat which I’ll mention later If you’re not eating much fruit and vegetables at the moment it can be a good way to introduce them into your diet. Things to watch out for: If you’re used to sweet foods, the taste takes a while to get used to. Many people add sugary foods to sweeten their juice which takes away most of the benefits. Limit fruit if you’re looking to lose weight. It must be remembered that it is not a meal replacement as it has very little fat and protein. Degrades quickly over time so drink straight away Can be time consuming The caveat I mentioned earlier to ‘drinking’ our vegetables is that the process of chewing is more important than many think. Chewing alerts the body to prepare for digestion and also releases some of the enzymes needed to break down the food in...

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Serial Snackers

Posted by on 24-04-2015 in Nutrition | 0 comments

In our fast paced, high stress, keep up with the jones’, ‘time is money’ society, snacking literally and metaphorically is the tool we’re using, even when we know deep down it’s not the answer. When was the last time you sat down at the table, away from all forms of work, screens and other distractions, for at least half an hour for breakfast, lunch and dinner? And when was the last time you did the above, whilst making each meal from scratch? For most of us, the above never happens. We are so blessed in our society, we have everything we could ever want, yet we are still being told we must strive for more. Now please don’t misunderstand me, I am a firm believer in making the most of what we have been given and aiming to become the best version of ourselves we can be, in order to have a fulfilling life and be able to contribute to society. I’m not sure however, that we’re going about it in the best way… The gap in the market With the modern day lifestyle, the convenience food industry spotted a gap in the market, and have very slowly and very cleverly created a whole diet plan of convenience foods that you can eat ‘on the go’. On the surface, this appears ideal: “I can have a nutritious shake and healthy cereal bar for lunch AND get more work done by skipping my lunch hour” or “I just need another coffee and chocolate bar for a quick pick me up”. This may seem like a ‘win-win’ but is a very big problem and it’s not confined to our food. We are being driven towards a people that demand instant gratification, whatever we want, whenever we want it. This is leading us to always look for the quick fix, which we think will solve all our problems and not take any work on our part. Once you notice it, it is everywhere: Losing weight (surgery, pills, gimmicks), making money (get rich quick schemes, lottery) and many other areas. Do these quick fixes actually work? I think you know the answer. Over 90% of lottery winners are broke within two years and over 90% of people who have liposuction put the weight back on AND MORE in the same time frame. So what do we do? This may not be what you want to hear, but I’d rather serve you properly by telling the truth: Powerful people take control of their lives by accepting responsibility for their actions. Anytime they want to get better at something, they realise we are our habits and to change it will take time, effort and sustained discipline by THEM. But do you know what they also realise? The results are worth every penny and every second they put into it. So I really encourage you, take an honest look at your health, realise it is what it is at the moment, forgive yourself for beating yourself up for so long and start taking the steps to improve it. A great first step could be: eat 3 or 4 good nutritious meals a day, taking your time, giving it the importance it deserves. You’ll really start to enjoy the results. Have a great...

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