Monday, 11 July 2016

Healthy Treat Brownie.......

You will need: 
150g pitted dates
325g raw nuts (I used mixed)
65g raw cacao (or cocoa) powder 
2tsp of vanilla extract (I used a tiny bit of vanilla essence)

-Cover the dates in warm water for 10 minutes
-Use a food processor to blend the nuts and cocoa into a powder (keeping some back for the topping)
-Drain the dates keeping some of the liquor for later
-Mix all ingredients together adding a little of the liquor if required, and press into a small, baking paper lined tray
-Add the remaining chopped nuts and put in the fridge for 2-3 hours
Cut into 16pcs and enjoy (180 calories per brownie)

Store in the fridge or freeze for up to 2 weeks

#healthytreats #nonasties #heaven #vegan

Monday, 4 July 2016

5 alternative ways to lose weight

I have worked in the fitness industry for years and have met many clients whose goal is ultimately to lose weight..... each and every one of them is playing the calories in Vs calories out game. Yes, that's a great way to begin but it's not the only way to change your lifestyle if you want to lose that spare tyre. This is my guide to help:

1) Sleep:
Sleep your way to a better body. Well, partly!! Sleep is the way for your body to reset. To heal, to grow and to start each day with a winning attitude. One which says, I am the pilot of my own plane and I am responsible for me! How will you find the energy to exercise without rest?
Failure to sleep causes confusion in our hormones, Ghrelin (our hunger marker) and Leptin (our satiety signal) become unbalanced. This means you are likely to eat more than you need.
It's also the case, if you are un rested you will lack energy and seek "instant hits" from sugar, from here you are likely to hit the sugar cycle:

Crave sugar > consume sugar > cell walls open > blood sugar elevates > sugar level drops and you return to craving!

"Sleep has so many benefits with so little effort, sleep directly affects the quality of our waking life" -Unknown

Need some help to sleep? The following actions will help to improve sleep duration and quality.....

A) Sleep in a dark room, with a blackout blind if necessary or buy an eye mask, which signals to the brain that it's time to sleep.

B) Try to go to bed at the same time, creating a healthy sleep habit.

C) Keep T.V's and gadgets outside of the bedroom, the stark blue light often omitted from devices signals to the brain that it's day time.

D) Try counting sheep, Yes! it helps, this may seem like an old wives tail but is a form of meditation/ relaxation which helps you to nod off.

E) Reduce caffeine from mid afternoon, as this stimulates brain activity, replace that espresso with a herb/ fruit tea which is caffeine free. Camomile is said to be very good for relaxation.

2) Move more:
We were built to move and to work, moving is one of the best ways to create calorie deficit, which means you will lose weight. It's medically proven that people who move more are:
  • up to a 35% lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
  • up to a 50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes
  • up to a 50% lower risk of colon cancer
  • up to a 20% lower risk of breast cancer
  • a 30% lower risk of early death
  • up to an 83% lower risk of osteoarthritis
  • up to a 68% lower risk of hip fracture
  • a 30% lower risk of falls (among older adults)
  • up to a 30% lower risk of depression
  • up to a 30% lower risk of dementia 

Other reasons to move include:
  • Improved bone strength (reduced risk of Osteoporosis)
  • Increased lean muscle mass (which elevates our metabolism)
  • Higher self esteem 
It's really important if exercise is new to you that you seek medical approval before embarking on an exercise programme, also please move within the realms of your ability. Walking is a great way to start.

3) Hydrate:
I know, it's old news right? So what does water do for us?
-Hydrates brain cells
-Lubricates skin and tissues
-Oxegenates blood and lungs
-Regulates body temperature
-Prevents loss of calcium
-Provides elasticity to muscles and joints

Still not convinced, well.......consider this:

  • Brain = 75% water
  • Blood = 83% water
  • Muscles = 75% water
The cost of being dehydrated is massive: At 1% dehydration you will struggle to concentrate. At 5% dehydration you will feel hot and tired and experience a drop in performance.

4) Reduce stress:
If you are constantly feeling stressed, your are likely to be tired and irritable. This irritability causes yet more hormone in balances as discussed under the sleep section......

The smart phone generation is in a constant "information overload" state, next time you are in a public area, stop for just 5 minutes and count how many people you see who are attached to phones: texting, snap chatting, calling, checking e-mails, taking photos, posting to Instagram or for that matter any other platform which allows you social at the click of a button..... So banishing your i-phone is not an option? I'm with you but just try to reduce the amount of time you spend on it, nourish real relationships and making an effort to laugh.

"Meditate" Go on try it. Meditation doesn't mean that you have to grow your hair, live in a camper and smoke weed.
It means, step back, relax your brain from the constant demands on your time and relax. It's not a self indulgent act, it's about giving yourself a breather, some space to just chill. Try these ideas:

- Listen to your favourite piece of music, nothing else, just listen.
-Find a comfortable space and focus on 360 degree breathing (in through your nose, out through your mouth.
-Focus on an inanimate object for 5 minutes

5) Plan:
The best tool to take your thoughts a step closer to actions is to plan. Commit your ideas paper using the humble Biro! Take a look at what's above and decide which is your personal priority. I've listed some useful tips here, why not plan to implement one tip per week? 
If you currently drink a litre of water per day, commit to drinking 2 litres. Write yourself 5 or 6 post it notes and leave them in significant places. These might include: The car, the office, the fridge door, the dining table and anywhere else you spend a lot of time.

"You will never find time for anything, you must make time"- Uknown

If you would like help to lose weight in a sustainable, healthy manner and have had enough simply cutting calories, please get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you.