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diet

Posted on February 3, 2017

Top 10 health and diet tips from a personal trainer

diet

top 10 health and diet tips

KP Nuts has recently done a study that shows we go into a slump at precisely 3.06pm on a Monday afternoon! They’ve teamed up with Personal Trainer and Former Professional Rugby Player to come up with some fantastic tips on you can make some changes to your lifestyle, routine and diet.

 

1. Breakfast: Start the day with a high protein breakfast, such as eggs and salmon to stay fuller for longer, and prevent over eating later in the day. Eating too much can cause your blood sugar levels to fluctuate, which can ultimately contribute to an afternoon slump. If you’re feeling peckish, a handful of peanuts will keep you going until lunchtime. 

 

2. Water: Ensure you’re drinking a minimum of 1.5 litres each day, and more if you are working out. Dehydration can lead to constipation, dizziness and hunger and can affect energy levels throughout the day.

 

3. Low GI lunch: Choosing a refined-carb heavy lunch such as white bread or pasta can lead to a spike in blood sugar levels, which again can result in an afternoon slump. Base your lunch around protein, vegetables and wholegrains such as wholegrain bread, brown rice, beans and pulses as this will help slow digestion. Wholegrains are low GI foods that slowly release glucose into the bloodstream which can be used as energy.

 

4. Nuts: Peanuts are a wonder food. They contain healthy fats such as monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and offer multiple nutrients and minerals such as fibre and vitamins B3, B6 and B7. A good source of protein, peanuts can have a positive effect on appetite – a couple of handfuls of peanuts can offer up to 7 grams of protein, helping to curb hunger pangs until dinnertime.

 

5. Workout: Exercising before work or a quick HIIT session at lunchtime will help boost productivity and help improve blood circulation. If you can’t get to a gym don’t worry, walking at a moderate pace away from your workplace is just as effective.

 

6. Alcohol: Drinking the night before or even worse on a boozy lunch break will play havoc on your energy levels and can lead to mental fatigue. Drinking can affect the brain’s neurotransmitters that relay information, resulting in drowsiness.

 

7. Coffee: Keep it black. A black coffee minus the heavy cream or milk will put the brakes on the compound (adenosine) in the brain that makes you sleepy. Caffeine will block these receptors, making you think you’re no longer sleepy. Avoid caffeine after 2pm as the effects can last up to 8 hours, which could interrupt your night’s sleep.

 

8. Sugar: A diet high in processed sugary foods and highly refined carbohydrates can lead to imbalanced blood sugar levels and energy slumps. Balance each meal with a protein source (peanuts are a great source of protein!) to help regulate blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates such as sweet potato, oats or wholegrain pasta can help sustain energy levels and thereby prevent an afternoon slump.

 

9. Sleep like a baby: A single night of sleep deprivation can increase levels of the ghrelin chemical in the brain, which is responsible for telling you when you need to eat. A poor night’s sleep can lead to too much ghrelin being produced, fooling the body into thinking we need more food when actually the body is already nourished. Aim for 8 hours of unbroken sleep each night, switching off all tech two hours before bedtime to help improve sleep quality.

 

10. Vitamin D: A deficiency in Vitamin D can lead to fatigue. It’s produced in the body from natural sunlight so if you can’t go outside for a walk in the sun every day (and who can, with this British weather?) then supplementing with tablets is sensible. Aim for 10mcg per day.

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Posted on December 19, 2016

Boot Camp Body by Slimming Solutions

diet/ review/ weight loss

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Boot Camp Body by slimming solutions is a weight loss shake to help you either maintain or lose weight. You can get it in chocolate or strawberry.

To use it for weight loss, replace it with two meals a day. For weight loss maintenance – which would be ideal if you’ve recently lost weight and want to go into maintenance without gaining weight.

Each serving gives you 1/3 of the recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals – so you don’t need to worry about getting the nutrition you need while on a calorie restricted diet – which can often be a cause of diet failure for many if you’re not feeding yourself properly.

For more information, prices, and to buy it – head over to this site. 

boot camp body meal replacements slimming solutions

boot camp body meal replacements slimming solutions

boot camp body meal replacements slimming solutions

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Posted on November 29, 2016

Is alcohol ruining your fitness routine? // Alcohol Explained

diet

alcoholexplained

How many times have you skipped the gym because you’re hungover, or had a rubbish workout because you’ve had a rubbish nights sleep thanks to drinking?

It happens to me all the time. I have occasions where I go weeks without drinking, in those times my exercise routine is always brilliant. Never missing a workout, feeling fantastic.

Alcohol Explained by William Porter is a great read if you’re planning a Dry January.  Alcohol Explained is the definitive guide to getting a grip on the bottle!

Published by Amazon and available in both paperback (£7.99) and Kindle (£4.99) editions, the book explains the scientific basis for alcohol addiction in simple and easy to understand language.  It provides exciting new guidance on how to stop drinking by giving you a complete understanding of how alcohol works – and how its grip can be reversed.

Some of the many facts revealed by the book, or in supplementary chapters on the accompanying website www.alcoholexplained.com, include:

1 Just one glass of wine or pint of beer can profoundly affect your quality of sleep so if you drink every day, you can build up a chronic sleep deficit. Most people who drink regularly never stop for long enough to recover normal sleep.

2 Alcohol is an anaesthetic and a depressant.  Rather than relaxing you, alcohol makes your brain release stimulants to counter its depressant effects.  These stimulants leave you more anxious than before – and in need of a drink.  Dependency is caused by the drink – not the drinker.

3 Blackouts do not just happen after a heavy drinking session – they can become a result of more moderate regular drinking over time. And when this kind of memory problem starts happening – you become more prone to it.

4 Physical intoxication does not dissipate as fast as the very temporary relaxing ‘hit’ of a drink – meaning that you have to keep drinking to chase the feeling but, in so doing, you become increasingly drunk.  Over years of drinking, it takes more alcohol to create the relaxation in the first place – meaning you have to drink more and more to get the same effect.

5 Alcoholism is not a genetic condition.  Anyone can become addicted to alcohol – it just takes a few years of drinking and if you drink heavily or irresponsibly regularly enough then the process will happen quicker.

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Posted on November 23, 2016

Herbalife Nutrition Protein Bars

diet/ food/ review

Herbalife Nutrition Protein Bars

In the exercise pack I got from Herbalife last week, I was sent a box of protein bars.

The chocolate flavoured bars contain only 139 calories and 10g protein. They’re small in size, too, so ideal for the back of cycling jerseys or for popping in your pocket if you’re going for a run. They’re about the size as a chocolate biscuit, rather than chocolate bar.

I’ve been taking these to work and either having them for breakfast with a piece of fruit or for dinner with fruit after having a bigger breakfast.

They are very chocolatey and sweet. The consistency is similar to a chewy nougat/mars bar type filling. If you’re not a fan of sickly protein bars, then give this a miss, but if you have a sweet tooth then you’ll love them!

Do you have a favourite protein bar or snack?

Herbalife Nutrition Protein Bars

Herbalife Nutrition Protein Bars

Herbalife Nutrition Protein Bars

Herbalife Nutrition Protein Bars

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Posted on October 26, 2016

November is World Vegan month, are you up for the challenge?

diet/ food

November is World Vegan month

Being vegan is an idea I’ve toyed with a lot, so something like a challenge throughout World Vegan Month sounds ideal for someone like me.

I stopped smoking during a month challenge and never went back. Stop eating meat during a week challenge and never went back. What’s not to saying doing a months-long challenge can have a similar effect?

Many celebrities including Liam Hemsworth, J Lo, Brad Pitt and even Beyoncé credit their weight loss and healthy complexions to a vegan diet – so it’s something worth looking into if you’re wanting to improve your health. 

There are many benefits, both inside and out, that you’ll feel from a vegan diet, so why not give it a go this November for World Vegan Month? 

November is World Vegan month

8 Tips to keep you healthy and happy during World Vegan Month:

Let your timeline motivate you!

Keep your motivation up during the month by following social media accounts that will encourage you to keep at your vegan diet. There are loads of Instagram accounts dedicated to vegan diets, as well as videos on YouTube showing you what vegans eat in a day. 

Protein Power

Shona Wilkinson, nutritionist at Superfooduk.com explains that there are many more nutritious protein packed alternative to meats:

“Don’t rely on ‘fake meat’ soy- and gluten-based products; keep them for an occasional treat. Consume pulses every day! These include lentils, peas and all kinds of beans. These are packed with protein and complex carbohydrates”.

If you are worried about getting enough protein you can always add a vegan protein powder to your morning shake.

Cultured Cuisine

Going vegan can be the change you need to try out some new foods around the world. Thai and Middle Eastern restaurants will have plenty of vegan options to keep you satisfied.

When I became vegetarian, it motivated me to try loads of foods I hadn’t before!

Top up on Vitamin D

Cutting out protein can mean that you are missing out key nutrients that are vital for your general health and wellbeing.

Dr Marilyn Glenville, the UK’s leading nutritionist and author of ‘Natural Alternatives to Sugar’ says:

“Natural food sources of vitamin D are few. It is found in oily fish and eggs, and other sources would include fortified foods such as margarines and breakfast cereals. The advice now from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition recommends that adults and children take vitamin D every day especially over the winter. When selecting a supplement containing vitamin D, choose one where the form of vitamin D is D3. I would suggest trying NHP’s Vitamin D3 Support in a convenient, spray from (£10.97, www.naturalhealthpractice.com).”

Don’t overload on unhealthy carbs

Going vegan is not an excuse to eat loads of bowls of pasta! Make sure you fill out your meals with some healthy carbs, Shona says:

“Don’t eat lots of refined carbohydrates. Focus on varied wholefoods like quinoa, millet, rye, basmati rice, oats, and buckwheat.” 

Get your Omegas

Cutting out meat and fish means you are also cutting out a great source of omegas, as Shona explains, you can get them from vegan-friendly foods:

“Our skin needs fat. It’s an essential element in retaining both the moisture and barrier function of the skin. Certain fats such as omega 3, 6 and 9 are of particular importance. Omega 6 (linoleic acid) fats are readily available in most nuts and seeds such as flax, hemp and evening primrose, while omega 9 (oleic acid) is best found in olive oil, avocados and almonds. Omega 3 (alpha-linolenic acid) can be found in flaxseed, chia and avocado.”

Stock up on your vitamins!

Many people who stick to a plant-based diet are lacking in Vitamin B, in particular B12, which is great for keeping your energy up!

Shona says:  “In general, if you eat dark green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, lentils and brown rice you will be getting B vitamins but the following foods are good sources for the individual B vitamins.”

“It is usually best to take B vitamins in a complex. This is because the B vitamins work in synergy with each other.  If you take too much of one particular B vitamin it may put the others out of balance.”

Lily Soutter, nutritionist and weight loss expert at www.lilysoutternutrition.com, adds:

“With a zero meat policy, vegans and vegetarians are at risk of iron deficiency. Our richest and most bioavailable source of iron come from meat and fish. Whilst plant sources such as beans and green leafy veg do contain iron, the abundance and bioavailability is much lower. However if vegans and vegetarians supplement with vitamin C at each meal, this can help with absorption rate of iron from their food.” 

Check your cupboards

If you decide to make your new found veganism more of a lifestyle rather than just a diet, make sure you check you bathroom cupboards!

It’s also important to educate yourself on what you can and cannot eat as there are loads of animal products hidden in foods that you wouldn’t expect!

Choose beauty products that don’t test on animals and use all natural products.

Using completely organic products might even improve your skin, as Sonja Dymalovski, skincare expert at What Skin Needs explains:

 “Hydration is the key to young looking skin, and adding a serum to your night time routine is a great way to wake up with youthful glow. I would go for a serum with natural oils that have anti-inflammatory and soothing properties like Jojoba oil and Plantolin. Try Hydrating Facial Serum by What Skin Needs (www.whatskinneeds.co.uk, £17.99)”

Hope these tips help. Will you be joining in on World Vegan Month?

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Posted on August 10, 2016

MyNoodles made with Konjac flour

diet/ food/ review

MyNoodles made with Konjac flour

Konjac flour seems to be the basis of most noodles like this. There’s pasta versions too, but the noodles are usually the safest bet.

With only 7 calories per servings, it’s a great way to bulk up a dish when on a diet. I generally have these with soya mince and veg with some pasta sauce or chilli. Because the noodles are only 7 calories per serving, I don’t feel at all guilty about grating some cheese on top. Sometimes you don’t have to eat less, just smarter. Ha.

Honestly, every brand of these type of noodles have tasted the same. They all cost around the same price, too. But MyProtein often have offers on where they knock off a few quid of products or your whole order if you spend so much. In that respect, you can end up getting quite a lot of food/suppliments at a discount.

The noodles have a slight fishy smell when you open them, train them and give them a rinse and the smell disappears. They don’t taste of anything but absorb the flavour of what you eat them with. The only thing I dislike about these type of noodles i that they seem to clump together. You either get a fork full of them or nothing! But for 7 calories, you can’t complain.

These things are life savers when you’re really hungry and craving bulk.

Get your own here.

MyNoodles made with Konjac flour MyNoodles made with Konjac flour MyNoodles made with Konjac flour MyNoodles made with Konjac flour

That’s the new Quorn chorizo, too. Which is actually really nice. Please do make sure you cook it first though. I made that mistake, oops.

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Posted on July 29, 2016

7 day shot challenge with Whitworths

diet/ food

whitworths shots

Over the past week, you might have seen on Instagram that I’ve been taking part in a little challenge.

Whitworths sent me some of the shots. The challenge is to replace a snack with a packet of shots for 2 days.

I got creative and did various things with my shots, added them to cereal and pancakes, for example. Or just ate them on their own.

I’ve been working nights and I’ve not wanted to eat massive meals, so these have been a great 3am snack to keep me going but not make me feel too full and heavy.

I’ve enjoyed doing this challenge and if you see any shots in your supermarket, you should give them a go. They’re often on offers like 4 for £1.

Have you tried them before? Are you a fan?

whitworths shots whitworths shots whitworths shots

whitworths shots

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Posted on July 22, 2016

My Protein Pancakes

diet/ food

My Protein Pancakes

Pancakes are the new black. Or something like that.

I’ve been seeing protein pancakes all over on YouTube and Instagram. Last time I did a massive MyProtien order and decided to give the protein pancake mix and sugar-free syrup a whirl.

It’s weird that it doesn’t tell you how to make the pancakes on the packet. I had to search online and go to their product page.

You make it by mixing 100-150ml of water of milk into 50g of the mix. You then put a bit of oil in a frying pan and cook away.

I used almond milk and it mixed pretty easy.

It didn’t take long to cook, and I managed to flip the thing too. Yay me.

After it had cooked, I put a Whitworth’s shot on it, as I’m doing the 7-day Whitworth’s shot challenge.

It looked amazing. I’ll be honest and say it didn’t taste amazing. If you’ve tried a protein enriched food, you’ll know what I mean when I say it tasted dry and a bit chalky.

It’s a good way to get a massive 34.3g of protein per serving, though! Wow.

If you end up trying these, just make sure you have plenty of toppings and things to give it more flavour. It doesn’t taste of much on it’s own at all.

My Protein Pancakes My Protein Pancakes My Protein Pancakes My Protein Pancakes My Protein Pancakes My Protein Pancakes My Protein Pancakes My Protein Pancakes My Protein Pancakes My Protein Pancakes My Protein Pancakes My Protein Pancakes

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Posted on July 15, 2016

The Benefits of Coconut Oil

diet

The Benefits of Coconut Oil

We all know coconut oil is the new big thing. Well, it’s not so new anymore. It’s been around for a while and to be honest ,I think avocado is now taking over!

But let’s look at some of the reasons why coconut oil is recommended not only as an oil substitute but as a topical treatment for your body.

1. Weight Loss.

Add a teaspoon to your diet daily, increase this until you work your way up to 4. Coconut oil is easy to digest and protects your bloody from insulin resistance. It also boosts your metabolism so you’ll burn more calories. It’s also an appetite suppressant so you’ll eat less each day, which will lead to weight loss in the long run. It’s also known for getting read of fat around the abdomen.

2. Skin Care.

Coconut oil is hydrating for your skin – it keeps the skin’s connective tissues strong to prevent sagging and wrinkles. Great for oldies like me! You can apply it to your skin directly to reduce the appearance of fine lines or use it daily on both your face and body for a healthy glow. You can also use it as a body lotion and hand cream.

3. Hair Care.

Coconut oil is good at protecting your hair from damage. It can prevent sun damage by blogging around 20% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. It can give your hair a lovely shine and keeps it growing healthily. It can be used on your hair after showering, it’s a great conditioner for helping the re-growth of damaged hair.
Also massaging it into your scalp can keep it dandruff free. It can also prevent catching head lice, for any of your mums or teachers out there.
Though remember when you use it on your hair, it can be hard to wash out – it made my hair appear greasy after I used it!

4. Improves Dental Health.

Using coconut oil can be used as a mouthwash to kill off harmful bacteria and reduce bad breath. It’s also said to whiten teeth and even help improve hangovers. It’s a process called ‘oil pulling’, where you swish a tablespoon of coconut oil around your mouth for 20 minutes and then spit it out – just be sure to spit it into a bin or tissue as it solidifies and will clog up pipes and drains!

5. Nail Care

Rubbing coconut oil into your nails and cuticles is a great way to moisturise them as well as prevent them from splitting.

The Benefits of Coconut Oil The Benefits of Coconut Oil The Benefits of Coconut Oil The Benefits of Coconut Oil

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Posted on May 20, 2016

New In – Zero Calorie Canderel Sugarly Sweetener

diet/ review

Zero Calorie Canderel Sugarly Sweetener

Oh look, a new zero calorie sweetener. Made by the very well known Canderel, this sweetener actually looks and has the texture of sugar – as you can see in the images below.

Normally, sweetener in a jar like this has that light and fluffy texture. But nope, this is granulated, just like sugar, and claims to be the closest thing to sugar you can get.

The taste is pretty spot on, too, the only difference is that it dissolves faster than real sugar and is a bit lighter.

When using this, remember that it’s sweeter than normal sugar so you’ll need less. Half the amount should do it – so if you usually have a tea spoon of sugar in your tea, you’ll need just half a teaspoon of Canderel Sugar to do the trick!

Zero Calorie Canderel Sugarly Sweetener Zero Calorie Canderel Sugarly Sweetener

Zero Calorie Canderel Sugarly Sweetener Zero Calorie Canderel Sugarly Sweetener Zero Calorie Canderel Sugarly Sweetener Zero Calorie Canderel Sugarly Sweetener

This products was sent to me for review via Degustabox, the monthly food subscription box. If you want to get hold of your own box full of yummy treats like the ones below, you can get £6 off with the following discount code:

BLDEG15

Zero Calorie Canderel Sugarly Sweetener

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