Clean Raspberries Cookies

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What if I told you that these babies had;

No flour

No butter

No sugar

and tasted incredible!

You better believe it!

These heavenly little cookies will change your life!

A sweet, protein filled snack perfect for an afternoon treat!

Ingredients

  • 1 can of Chickpeas, drained
  • 3 Tablespoons of Nut butter (I used a mix of peanut and tahini)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Norbu (or sweetener of choice, honey, date syrup or maple syrup will work but calories won’t be as low)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of Vanilla
  • Raspberries

Combine all ingredients except raspberries in the food processor. Blend until well combined.

Will wet hands roll into small palm sized balls and place on lined baking tray.

Place 2-3 raspberries on each ball gently pushy down (to make a cookie shape).

Bake in the oven at 200 degrees celcius for 15 minutes.

And hey presto! Gooey, guilt-free, cookie goodness right at your finger tips!

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Snack Hacks

Snacking is a great way to fit extra nutrients into your diet and stop you from overindulging at mealtimes. People often avoid snacking because they are afraid that they will hinder their weight loss. However, a healthy snack can actually do wonders for your metabolism and mindfulness when eating. Here are a few of my favourite ways to combat ‘between meal’ hunger pangs.


IMG_5473 1. Toasty combo’s

Toast is one of my favourite snacks. It can be savoury or sweet, it is satisfying and it is healthy…..all you need to do is choose the right ingredients! Bread gets a lot of slack in the “diet industry” but with all my own research and experience, nothing has turned me off eating it. In moderation of course. When choosing bread I look for ‘wholewheat’ or ‘buckwheat’ flour and an ingredient list where I can identify all the ingredients. My local deli makes amazing breads rich with seeds, grains and essential minerals.

Toppings When choosing my toppings for my toast I look for a good combination of fats, proteins and tastiness. Here are a few of my favourites;

  • Tahini, iodised salt and grated beetroot
  • Tomato, garlic, basi and balsamic
  • Avocado, iodised salt and chia seeds
  • Natural peanut butter and banana
  • Tahini and dates

2. Simple trail mixes Putting a little bit of this and a little bit of that in a bag to create a ‘dry’ portable snack to keep you munching healthy on the go. Here are some great examples:

  • Almonds and goji berries
  • Sulphate free apricots and cashews
  • Sultanas, dried apple and walnuts

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3. Veggie Fingers and Hummus dip.

An oldie but a goodie. Cut up you veggie/s of choice and dip away. Hummus is full of essential fats, fibre and protein, making it the perfect snack to satisfy greasy afternoon cravings.

Hummus recipe:

•400g Cooked Chickpeas (or canned) •1 Tbspoons Tahini •1/2 Lemon squeezed •1/2 teaspoon Cumin •1 Tbspoon of Olive Oil Blend until well combined!


4. Veggie/fruit dipped in nut/seed butters

Now if you don’t have time to make hummus, this is a great alternative! Just choose your preferred fruit or vege and drizzle or spread your butter! Carbs, protein and essential fats….good snack in my opinion.

Here are a few of my favourite combos;

  • Tahini and carrot
  • Apple and natural peanut butter
  • Strawberries, cacao and natural peanut butter
  • Dates and tahini
  • Celery and cashew butter

IMG_6523 5. Smoothie time!

Absolutely loaded with ‘easily accessible’  antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals. Enjoying a smoothie in between meals or post workout is a great way to satisfy hunger and rack up those nutrient points.

Green smoothies are my favourite, great for getting leafy green nutrient hit…..without having to eat your greens.

All you need is:

•Banana •Spinach •Coconut water or plain water if you prefer. •Protein (optional~ I use IsoWhey® Pea Protein) •Tbspoon of Avocado (optional~ makes it super creamy ).


6. Popcorn

Once prepped this is a great low calorie snack that you can easily pack up and take to work or school.

I prepare mine with a little bit of coconut oil over a hot saucepan and season with a little iodised salt.

To mix it up a little throw in a handful of chopped dates for a salty caramel flavour!


IMG_2608 7. Blissful Bliss Balls A nice way to fix those naughty afternoon cravings and so simple to make. Play around with variations, I just recommend trying to get ingredients that will give you some protein, good fats and antioxidants. Here are a few simple recipes for you to try and experiment with.

Cookie Dough: Blend 400gm can of organic chickpeas, 1/2 cup of natural peanut butter, 1/2 cup of ground oats, 2 T maple syrup (or sweetener of choice) **Optional- 1/2 cup of Cacao nibs (or a healthy substitute eg. Dark chocolate, dates, sultanas). Roll into bite-sized balls.

Salted Caramel: Blend 1 cup of dates, 1 cup of ground oats or almond meal, 1 scoop of vanilla protein ( I use Isowhey Wholefoods), 1/2 tsp of Iodised salt. Roll into balls and top with coconut (optional).

Chocolate Fix: Combine 2 Tbspoons of cacao, 1 cup of dates and 1/2 cup of almonds in the food processor, roll into balls and dust with cacao. Measurements are a guide, experiment with ratios as needed.

Sip it, Sip it Good!

My Top Tips for Keeping Hydrated All Year Round!

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So we all know that we need to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to keep our system healthy, happy and hydrated….but how many of us actually do it?

Some of the main reasons people are not meeting their daily water intake is a) failing to pack and prepare a drink bottle and b) they don’t actually enjoy drinking water.

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Set yourself hourly reminders:

Either using the memo feature on your phone or downloading an app such as ‘Waterlogged’ to help spur you on and remind you to keep on sipping.

Set yourself a challenge:

I like to set myself a daily challenge, aiming to drink 4 refills of my bottle while I am at work to help keep my mind on the drink and to keep myself accountable.

Keep it handy:
Always bring water! Wherever I go I am sure to take my trusty water bottle with me. There is nothing worse than being stuck somewhere feeling parched with that oh so frustrating headache beginning to take charge. If you work at a desk always keep a glass or bottle handy while you work. To help you sip throughout the day.

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Style it up:

Ok so you are probably not going to want to carry around that old school sports bottle with the chewed lid or that scrunched up Mount Franklin bottle now are you? I recommend investing in a quality bottle that you can carry everywhere you go. I love this one from Made by Fressko. BPA free, inbuilt infuser for tea, roots and spices, stylish compact design and made from completely organic materials! There is no way I am leaving this bad boy behind!

Add some Flavour!

Here are some great summer flavours                       IMG_8182

that will motivate you to drink:

Infuse these fruity combinations overnight for the best effect.

  • Lemon & Ginger
  • Blueberries and mango
  • Watermelon and lime
  • Cranberries

Or put on the kettle and help beat the winter chill by enjoying a nice warm glass of infused water or tea;

  • Lemon & Ginger
  • Mint leaves
  • Apple Pie- sliced apple, ginger and cinnamon

Functional Training

IMG_3970Functional training and functional fitness are definitely amongst the buzz words in the fitness industry at the moment but what do these words actually mean and why are they important to you?

So you have been having a few good sessions at the gym. You feel like you are getting stronger. I mean yesterday you shoulder pressed 40 kgs for goodness sake… but then you go to lift your 20 kg child out of the high chair and you put your back out. So you can bench press 20 kgs but can you lift your own bodyweight? So you can squat 40 kgs but can you jump over a puddle of water? So you can walk on the treadmill for an hour but can you run up a flight of stairs?

These are all questions I ask not to undermine your level of fitness but to try an open a new perspective towards health, fitness and traditional sense of working out.


What is Functional Training?

Functional training is a type of exercise which prepares the body for various forms of activity common in our daily lives.

It was a style of training first adopted by physiotherapists to help balance out the body’s movements and allow the body to function more efficiently to prevent, reduce and rehabilitate injury.

The exercises within functional training aim to get the muscles working together through both fast and slow, controlled multi-joint movements. Its aim is not only to strengthen and build muscle but to increase range of motion.

In short objective of functional training is to be able to do awesome stuff with your body so that you can live your life to the fullest and continue to maintain your active lifestyle right up in to your later years.


The Benefits of Functional Training

  • Because our bodies were made to move! Our bodies are amazing machines, there were designed to run from predators, build shelters, hunt for food…..they weren’t designed to sit in front of the tele or computer desk all day. Functional training allows us to develop the strength, motion and coordination so that we can make the most out of these amazing machines we have been given.
  • Functional training focuses on training movement patterns rather than isolating individual muscles to ensure no muscle group gets left behind. One of the most common causes of injury is imbalances created between opposing muscle groups. The multi-joint movements adopted by that of Functional training helps prevent this from happening.
  • One of the main focuses of Functional training  is to strengthen and connect the core and back to other working muscles; assisting to correct bad posture  and muscle imbalances caused by the daily grind, stressful jobs and hectic lifestyles.
  • Functional training provides fantastic fat burning workouts, The full body nature of functional training means that it is a fantastic fat-burner. Adopting exercises that improve strength, endurance and boost metabolism to provide you with a more efficient way to train.
  • It develops strong lean bodies, have a look at these particular athletes; dancers, gymnasts, pole-vaulters. They are constantly training movement patterns and lifting their own bodyweight but I don’t know how often you would see them doing a bicep curl.
  • Functional training will aid your overall performance in any sport; enhancing speed, power, range of motion and coordination.
  • In Functional training every exercise involves core activation, teaching the core to stabilise and work with the spine throughout an array of different movement patterns and body positions. Therefore mimicking the demand placed upon the core and spine in our every day tasks and recreational activities. Way more effective than your traditional crunches.

So what do you think? Is functional fitness for you? I am writing this article out of pure interest. I am finding myself falling in love with the concept of functional fitness and wanted to share a few of the main reasons why I am starting to adopt it principles in my own routine.

Keep posted. Later on in the week I will share a great Functional Workout that you can try at home.

In the meantime get cracking with my workouts on Instagram and checkout my Facebook for additional fitness and health tips.

A Cleaner Way to Cocktail

IMG_1520 Strawberry Daiquiri (low sugar)

– Squeeze fresh lime juice

1 shot vodka

– 3 strawberries

1/2 cup mineral water

– 1 tsp agave or natural sweetener of choice (optional)

Mix lime, vodka, agave, mineral water and strawberries in a blender. Pour into serving glass with chilled mineral water. Stir until combined. IMG_1671 Pina Colada

2 rings of fresh pineapple

1/2 cup of coconut water

1 shot of rum (white or dark)

– Squeeze of fresh lime juice

(optional – 2 Tablespoons of Coconut cream)

Juice or blend pineapple (I juiced mine so it wasn’t stringy), pour it into a glass. Separately blend coconut water, coconut cream, rum and lime. Once combined pour on top of pineapple mixture.

IMG_1672 Margarita (low sugar)

– 1 squeeze fresh lime juice

– 1 squeeze fresh lemon

– 1 tsp agave or natural sweetener of choice

– 1 shot of tequila

– 1/3 cup mineral water

Blend all ingredients with some ice and pour into a cocktail glass. IMG_1519 Vodka Cranberry (low sugar)

– Small handful of cranberries 

– 1 shot vodka – 3 mint leaves chopped

– 1/2 cup mineral water

– 1 tsp agave or sweetener of choice

Mix cranberries, vodka, mint and agave in a blender until well combined. Pour over ice along with some chilled mineral water. IMG_1669 Mai Tai

– 1/2 cup coconut water chilled

– 3 strawberries

– 2 rings of fresh pineapple  

– 1 shot spiced rum

Mix strawberries, rum and coconut water in blender, until well combined. Pour in glass. Juice or blend pineapple separately then pour on top of strawberry mixture. IMG_1674 Grape Freezer

– Small bunch of frozen grapes

1 squeeze fresh lemon juice

– 1 shot of vodka

– 1/3 cup of Mineral water

Mix grapes, lemon and vodka in a blender until well combined. Pour into a cocktail glass along with the mineral water.

Simple Spritzer: One of my favourite drinks is made simply with mineral water, vodka and fresh lemon. It is simple, cheap and low in sugar! Too spice it up a bit you can even add fresh fruit pieces i.e.. blueberries and raspberries.

Virgin cocktails can be made simply by omitting the alcohol. This would work best with the Mai Tai and the Pina Colada.

Safe and happy partying! Remember unwind but stay wise 🙂

Stretch It Out

Here is a great little stretch routine to help open your body and keep those hard working muscles happy.

You can perform these moves straight after a workout, a hot shower or a foam rolling session.

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Kneeling Lunge- Hip Flexor Stretch

Lunge forward with knee on padded mat. Position foot beyond forward knee. Lift up from the pelvis and push the hips forward. Hold the stretch for 20 seconds and repeat on the other side.

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Upper Hamstrings- Kneeling Extension

Maintain first position. This time lift up from the pelvis and push your hips back. Keep a slight bend in the front leg to target the upper hamstrings. Hold for 20 seconds then proceed to straighten the front leg until you feel a stretch behind the knee. Hold for 20 seconds.

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Seated Spinal Twist- Glutes, Lats and Spinal opener

Sit with your legs straight out in front of you. Slowly lift one leg and place it over the opposite. Rest your foot so that it is flat against the mat. If you have enough space in your hips, slowly lift up from your pelvis  twist around to place the opposite elbow on the outside of the bent knee. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

 

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Hip Rotators – Lying Glute Stretch

Lie flat on the mat with your bent upwards in front of you. Slowly twist one leg so that the ankle is resting on the opposite legs knee. Using your hands slowly draw the bent knee towards your chest. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat on the other side.

 

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Cobra- Spinal Opener

Lie prone on the floor. Stretch your legs back, tops of the feet on the floor. Spread your hands on the floor under your shoulders. Hug the elbows back into your body. Press the tops of the feet and thighs and the pubic bone firmly into the floor. Slowly Straighten your arms and lift your chest up off the mat whilst maintaining a strong lower body, hold for 10 seconds and repeat.

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Childs Pose- Lower Back Opener

Start by kneeling on your hands and knees. Slowly lower your bottom towards your heels feeling the tailbone lengthen away from the back of your pelvis. As your torso folds over your thighs, lengthen the back of your neck before your forehead rests on the floor. Place your hands above your head and stretch out your arms. (In this picture my knees are together for a deeper lower back stretch, widen your knees to get a deeper shoulder stretch).

Helpful Hints

  • Remember to breathe! Exhale when moving into the stretch to take it deeper and increase your range of motion.
  • Stretch should be uncomfortable but never painful. Take it to a point that works for your body and current flexibility.

 

Happy Stretching 🙂

Vacay The Healthy Way

My Top Tips on How to Stay Healthy When Travelling

So as most of you know, I have just returned from a two week kickback on the incredible Big Island in Hawaii. I had the most amazing time relaxing, adventuring and celebrating with loved ones from across the sea and still managed to keep on track with my health and fitness goals in the process. Here are a few strategies I used to keep myself in check.


image1Be prepared

Holidays are unpredictable and if it’s like travelling with my family plans change all the time! It’s therefore important for you to kit yourself up with the essentials to ensure you don’t end up in a Macca’s drive thru. Here are a few sure fire ways you can always be prepared whilst travelling.

  • Pack snacks- Meal time can be very sporadic when you are on vacation and if you are like me and need feeding every three hours, you will need make sure you have an array of healthy snacks on hand (to avoid  “hanger” tantrums and overindulging in the wrong kind of foods).
  • Bring your training gear along- When opportunity strikes, take it. I did so many spontaneous workouts in amazing places when I was away ( trail running through an awesome rainforest, a superset on a beautiful rock platform and a rock workout on the beach). It was a great way to burn calories and create some memorable experiences.
  • Research cafes or restaurants that serve healthy cuisine- I don’t know if you’ve noticed but healthy eating is very trendy at the moment and there are a lot of cafes and restaurants popping up around the place that specialise in ‘clean’ cuisine (especially in Western Cultures). Google your local surrounds and I am sure you will find something.
  • Get to know the local grocers- I know it may be tempting to eat out every chance you get but sometimes a good quality, home cooked meal is just what the doctor ordered. Make it social event by getting your friends and family involved in a healthy, holiday style cook up.

Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 12.19.08 pm Explore

Run, walk, hike and immerse yourself in the surrounding culture and scenery. It’s a great way to burn calories, soak up the atmosphere of your destination and tone those glute muscles. IMG_8742Step out of your comfort zone

Vacations are a great opportunity for you to try new sports no matter where your destination is. Whilst on my vacation to Hawaii I rekindled my love for snorkelling. I fell in love with the underwater gardens scattered around the island and all that kicking made my booty very happy. As I was on an Island I had a vast array of recreational sports to choose from; like surfing, paddle boarding, volley ball etc. If your destination has a bit more of a inland vibe your options may be; Hiking, biking, skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, trail running etc. image3-4Make the most out of your time

If I want to workout whilst on holidays I wake up early and start sweating before anyone else is up. That way I don’t feel like I am missing out on any thing.

Quick intense workouts are also a perfect way to squeeze in a sweat in between holiday activities. When everyone else is having a bit of down time you can rev up that metabolism with a fat burning HIIT or Tabata.

Here is a great workout that will target your whole body and it perfect for hotel rooms; Perform each move for 20 seconds with 10 seconds rest in between.

  • Mountain Climbers
  • High knees
  • Burpees
  • Ab bikes

Complete 4 rounds.

Check out my Instagram page for more examples. Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 12.02.10 pmIndulge, nourish and eat smart.

I get it you’re on holiday, there is temptation everywhere and the last thing you want to do is miss out on trying out new, delicious, local cuisines….Guess what? you don’t have to. For me it is not a matter of restriction but a matter of eating smart.

Here are a few ways you can keep your nutrition in check whilst also making the most of your holiday meals.

  • Indulge wisely– Be picky and choosy when it comes to cheats and treats. Only indulge in something that is going to leave your cravings satisfied after it and won’t leave you feeling guilty. You can also make one meal a day an indulgent one and make all your other meals extra nutritious.
  • Sample local produce- You are in a new place! What a great opportunity to try new delicious, nutritious local foods. Ask around, in restaurants, shops or look for local produce markets. In Hawaii I had so much fun trying new interesting fruits that I had never really eaten before. I picked pomelo, noni and guava just from the trees outside my holiday rental (don’t worry, I did my research before I ate….)
  • Ask the waiter questions- How is it cooked? Is it fried? Can it be steamed? Any chance I could get this sandwich with wholemeal bread? Ask away, don’t be afraid…. I’m sure they have had to deal with far more annoying people than you…it’s all a part of the business.
  • Don’t drink your calories- Now when I say calories I mean empty calories like fruit drinks and soda ( you can consume just as many calories through drinking these as eating and with little to no nutritional value) …. fruit and veggie juices and healthy smoothies are fine by me (just make sure they are made from real fruit). If you want an alcoholic beverage a little glass or two of wine won’t hurt. If you’re after something a bit stronger Vodka, mineral water and lime is your best bet!
  • Make a choice entree or dessert?- Have a good look at the menu and see what tickles your fancy, which one do you prefer and which could you live without.

Happy travelling! x

Diet Myths Busted

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There is so much conflicting information out there telling us what we should eat and shouldn’t eat. Some of it’s legit and other’s are just marketing ploys.

So I thought I would clear up a few Diet Myths that personally tick me off.

Myth- eat low fat foods for weight loss:

Diets low in fat will leave you feeling tired, hungry and craving sugar!

One thing that I cannot stress enough is how important good fats are in your diet! Fats such as Omega 3 and monounsaturated are the best kind and are found in foods such as salmon, eggs, avocado, raw olive oil and coconut oil. These fats are important for nutrient absorption, hormone balance, immunity, thyroid function (the gland in charge of regulating your metabolism) and overall well-being.

In saying there are still some fats you need to be wary of. Animal fats, man made fats, hydrogenated fats (margarine, vegetable oil, cooked olive oil) can all have a negative affect on your body’s health and may impede the function of the healthy fats mentioned above.

Myth- low calorie/ ‘diet’ foods are the best for weight loss:

Just because an item says sugar-free or diet on the package does not always mean that it is healthy. These products are often instead packed with artificial sweetener and chemicals…which are in fact worst for you! Sure, artificial sweeteners have zero calories BUT they are so much sweeter than real sugar which as you can imagine confuses the hell out of your body! When you eat something sweet, your body expects the calories to follow….but when they don’t come your body feels deprived and goes searching for it later (resulting in a late night sugar binge). Now I am not telling you to go eat a big bag of jelly beans and gorge yourself on Tim Tams… I am just suggesting that you don’t choose your foods based on their calorie count…. For example if you had to choose between a glass of freshly squeezed juice or a zero calorie fruit drink …. I am sure you can guess which one I would be choosing. Count nutrients not calories!

Myth- all herbal teas are bad for you-

Though herbal teas and teatoxes alone will not help you lose weight, they aren’t the evil products they are made out to be. Teas made from natural organic ingredients can do wonders for improving your overall health and wellbeing. Not only do they improve digestion, aid bloating and boost your daily antioxidants…. the act of enjoying a delicious cuppa is also great for the soul with it’s relaxation and therapeutic qualities.

Side Notes ~

Do not use teas as a single means for weight loss.

Avoid teas with additives and diuretics.

Myth– salt is evil:

Yes a diet high in salt is bad for your arteries and increases your risk of hypertension, stroke etc..BUT a diet low in salts isn’t great either. Salts contain a lot of essential minerals in which our body needs for efficient functioning. This includes a great little substance called IODINE! Iodine is an important mineral that helps prevent thyroid related issues and intern helps regulate your metabolism.

Now before you start reaching for that ketchup bottle let me clear a few things up.

The processed foods we buy are definitely too high in salt and aren’t usually good sources of the minerals I am talking about. I am just letting you know that it not always necessary to shy away from the salt shaker when preparing home cooked meals. Keep a shaker of Iodised salt or natural sea salt in the cupboard and sprinkle a little to season your home cooked dishes.

Myth- Diets and meal plans will work for everyone. 

We humans are complex creatures. We come in different shapes and sizes and we all lead different lifestyles with different beliefs and very different ideals.

As a result our bodies have adapted in their own unique way and may have completely different dietary needs to that of the person next to you. A good example of this are the food intolerances and allergies that are beginning to develop around the western world.

Other factors that affect our daily dietary requirements include;

  • Activity level
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Body structure
  • Health conditions

For me this is enough to turn me off any meal plan that hasn’t been specially designed for me and my lifestyle.

Different things will work for different people. What I aim to do is eat as healthy as I can without negotiating a little indulgence  every now and again. I eat when I am hungry and stop when I am satisfied (most of the time…..).

The ideal diet for me is healthy, nourishing and not too restrictive.

Hormonal Balance and Weight loss

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Hormones play a big role in the way our body functions and affectively have a huge impact on your overall health. This includes weight loss, weight gain and fat storage.

Yes a lot of it does have to do with genetics but our hormones (and in effect our lifestyle) can also influence the way we store fat, where it is distributed around the body and issues such as cellulite.

But it’s not just about weight!

Hormones are chemical messengers that play stimulus to all the main bodily processes; Growth and development, Metabolism, Sexual function, Reproduction, and Mood.

If you have symptoms like fatigue, skin issues, weight gain, weight around the middle, trouble sleeping, always sleeping, PMS, endometriosis, infertility, PCOS or other issues, chances are you have hormone imbalance.

In saying this, If you suffer from any of these symptoms I recommend referring to your GP in order to get an accurate diagnosis.


Tips For Achieving Hormonal Balance

The good news is that you can naturally improve hormonal balance just by making a few simple lifestyle changes.

Below are some tips on how you can improve hormonal balance:

  • Swap long cardio sessions for short sprint or HIIT sessions

Exercising for long, extended periods can place a lot of stress on the body, (metabolic functions/ energy systems and fat burning) putting your hormones into overdrive. In contrast sprint training and HIIT will get you into that fat burning zone without placing prolonged stress on your body.

  • Include weights and body weight training in regime

While extended cardio can be bad, short bursts of heavy lifting and body weight training can be beneficial since they trigger a cascade of beneficial hormone reactions. There are many examples of this type of training on my Instagram page

  • Eat your Healthy fats (avocado, coconut, chia seeds)

Your healthy fats/ Omega 3 fatty acids are one of the best ways to boost testosterone or female hormones. Cholesterol is needed for formation of healthy cell membranes and is a stimulant for all steroid hormones (progesterone, estrogen, FSH, ect). We cannot have proper hormonal balance without adequate amounts of saturated fats. Yep! Saturated fats aren’t always evil…

  • Avoid man made fats (margarine, vegetable oil, canola oil)

Your body needs natural (omega 3 fatty acids- healthy fats mentioned above) in order to produce hormones and rebuild cells. When we give it these unstable man made fat (Omega 6 polyunsaturated) it is forced to use them instead, which not only impedes the process but may also lead to cell mutation.

  • SLEEP

Now this one it so important! Getting your recommended daily amount of shut eye (8 hours) can do so much in regards to balancing out your hormones and just makes you feel so much better!

  • Stress less

Physical, mental and emotional stress -all cause major spikes in cortisol, one of the main attributors to fat storage. Have some down time and be present…. So much easier said than done I know but even a simple meditation or stretch video on Youtube can do wonderful things for lightening your mood.

  • Try adding natural hormone enhancers such as Maca root and Cacao to your diet.

Maca- Is a root vegetable with a history of boosting hormone production and libido. Maca is also high in minerals and essential fatty acids, making it great for hormones. It is also great for PMS, increasing fertility, and improving skin.

Cacao- The magnesium levels found in cacao means that it supports hundreds of reactions in the body and often contributes to better sleep (which is great for hormones!). You can also just use magnesium supplements in your diet (found in both tablet and liquid form).

  • Limit your ‘white foods’ (white flours, sugars, etc.)

White flours, simple carbs reek havoc on your insulin levels, a hormonal spike that nobody wants.

  • Avoid toxins

BPA, Parabens, Pesticides found in everyday items such as plastics, teflon, household chemicals and even unwashed fruit can totally mess with your hormones. Check the label for BPA free when purchasing water (or do not leave your plastic bottles exposed to heat or light), replace teflon cookware that is peeling and wash your fruit and vegetables with vinegar (sounds strange but it is the most effective way of washing the wax off).

  • Fix Your Leptin

Leptin is a hormone that regulates hunger and metabolism. We can create a deficiency and resistance in our leptin levels by consuming too much sugar or processed foods, skipping meals or by skimping on sleep—which can result in more food cravings and a slower metabolism. The fix? Eat whole foods, steer clear of sugar, don’t over-exercise, under-eat and get some sleep.

Leptin is such an interesting topic! I really recommend reading up on it if you are interested in metabolism and weight loss.

Remember if you have any queries feel free to comment on here or contact me via email.

A Beginner Guide To Squats

Squat, Squat, Squat, Squat!

We are constantly told that we should do them but if you have never had proper instruction or coaching this is not a simple task. There is actually quite an art involved in mastering this popular move with incorrect technique leading to possible injuries to knees and lower back.

Below is a video with a detailed analysis of beginner squat modifications that will help you strengthen the necessary muscles and master the correct technique involved in a basic squat move without exposing you to injury risk. (listen with audio to hear description of each move).


 


You can add one or all three of these squat variations to your next workout.

Tips:

  • When performing both the Ball Squat and Chair Squat aim for 10-15 reps with 5 pulses at the bottom of the last repetition.
  • Aim to hold the wall-sit for 1 minute. Increase this time by 10 second increments each time you try until you can hold for 2 minutes straight!
  • As you progress feel free to add weight in order to increase the intensity. I still do these squat variations when I feel that my form is lacking. It is so important not to learn bad habits.

Teaching Points:

  • Start with your feet roughly at hip width apart.
  • Do not bend too far forward, try to keep your posture straight by pulling up through your core and lifting your chest.
  • Place your weight in your heels. You should be able to wiggle your toes.
  • Make sure you knees do not extend past you toes.

Happy Squatting! Xx