5 habits to Keep…!

Habits can be good!

5 Bad Habits to Keep 

All this talk about Breaking Bad – what ARE we going to do without it? – it made me think about knowing which of our so called bad habits may not be so bad after all!

WINE   It’s no secret that drinking large amounts of alcohol is strongly associated with breast cancer, liver and heart disease.  What’s more, binge drinking – defined in women as three pints of beer or six small glasses of wine or spirit measures – is on the rise with one in five women (and a third of men) consuming more than the recommended 14 units of alcohol a week.   But a strong body of evidence suggests that a single glass of red wine a night can help ward off heart disease and could extend lifespan, thanks to its being rich in the antioxidant resveratrol.  Resveratrol helps lower unhealthy LDL cholesterol and raises healthy HDL cholesterol.

Aim to:-  Stick to one glass of quality red each night, as going over that limit can undo all the benefits and impair liver function. If you tend to get terrible headaches even from small amounts, you may be reacting to chemicals such as ‘sulphites’ in white wine and ‘congeners’ in red and may benefit from choosing organic.

 CHOCOLATE  Chocolate not only satisfies a sweet tooth, the dark variety also contains the antioxidant resveratrol which could help with the body’s ability to fight ageing free radicals from food and the environment. A study conducted last year in the Journal Of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that cocoa powder, dark chocolate and cooking chocolate contained the highest resveratrol levels. Chocolate also contains phenylethylamine, which releases feel-good endorphins into your brain.

Aim to:-   Stick to a couple quality squares a day, of the dark choccy!  It’s difficult to binge on quality dark chocolate, it’s too rich. Chocolate shouldn’t contain more than six ingredients: cocoa, butter, soy lecithin, vanilla, sugar and milk with no corn syrup which wreaks havoc on blood sugar or trans-fats listed as ‘hydrogenated’ or ‘partially-hydrogenated vegetable fats’ found in many commercial chocolates. Read the label.

MEAT ? This one is debatable and not for everyoneMeat from lamb, beef and game provides ‘complete’ protein with all eight amino acids necessary for muscle-building, something few vegetarian sources can provide.  Not getting enough protein can cause symptoms like depression, moodiness, insomnia, fatigue and poor concentration.  Plus, meat is a vital source of vitamin B12 which helps energy production and iron, a deficiency of which can cause anaemia and fatigue. However there ARE other ways of getting protein (without the need to kill  animals) – like ISOWHEY!!

Aim to:- Try and eat vitamin-C rich foods such as tomatoes or spinach with red meat,(if thats your choice) to increase your iron absorption.  To boost your intake of omega-3 fatty acids, opt for wild game such as duck, or rabbit and ask at the meat counter whether the meat you are buying has been grass fed as meat from grass fed animals is far higher in omega-3s than those fed on corn or soy (most organically produced meat have been grass-fed).  Always choose the leanest cuts possible and if you can afford it, go organic.  Opt also for lean, grass fed and eat it less often, say three times a week.  The rest of your protein can come from healthy, low-fat sources such as  chick peas, beans, grains and lentils. If you are going to eat meat, white is a better option, go for the red on occasions

FAT  For decades we’ve believed all fat is bad, but the right fats can help control appetite, stabilize blood sugar and burn fat.  We now know not all fats are created equal.  There are essential fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids which the body can’t make itself, as well as healthy fats, called Monounsaturated Fatty Acids or MUFAs which can help you lose weight. A 2007 study found a diet high in MUFAs prevented participants from putting on fat around their middles.  There are also the saturated fats which we only need in limited amounts, and found in meat, dairy, butter and coconut fat.  Most dangerous are man-made trans-fats, and created when food processors inject hydrogen molecules into oils to make them hard at room temperature, and found in many commercial cakes, biscuits and sweets as well as many take away deep-fried foods.  These should be kept to a minimum as they are strongly linked to heart disease, weight gain and infertility.

Aim to:-l Eat and enjoy good fat in moderation. A Spanish study found that consuming one teaspoon daily of peanut butter could promote long-term weight loss and a teaspoon of butter at each meal is beneficial in terms of keeping us full for longer (and helping food taste better!).  Essential omega-3 fats can be found in oily fish, such as salmon, tuna and mackerel as well as venison, flaxseeds and grass fed meat and poultry. The best MUFA sources are olives, coconut oil, avocados, olive oil, nuts and seeds and dark chocolate.  Try and eat at a little of each every day. Where you can, avoid foods containing trans-fats, listed on labels as ‘hydrogenated’ or ‘partially hydrogenated vegetable fat/oil’

CHEESE  Cheese provides essential calcium, important for women in helping prevent osteoporosis in later life and to the functioning of vital organs.  What’s more, as a certain amount of calcium is circulated in the blood, if the body is lacking it from the diet, it may leech calcium from bones, leading to bone loss, and because it’s excreted by the body daily, we need to eat a little each day.

Aim to:-  Generally speaking, the harder the cheese the higher the fat content so if you’re worried about fat you can choose the softer cheeses.  Our daily recommended intake of calcium should be about 1000 milligrams – 40 grams of cheddar cheese (about a matchbox size chunk) contains 310mg calcium, a 200 gram tub of natural yoghurt contains 340mg and a glass of skim milk contains 310mg.

Here’s to your good health during the winter months!

By IsoWhey Chef Janine Royce.

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It’s about this time of the year when coughs and sneezes start around the office and comments like “my throat feels sore”, “my kid is sick again”, “how I can I boost my immunity?“, are abound.

As the weather gets cooler we spend more time indoors which means more time in closer contact with people AND potentially germs which can cause colds and flus.

Continue Reading…

Stress Less…and feel the difference!

Stress-Less Today!Have you ever had ‘one of those days‘ where you get out of bed and everything just seems to go wrong? It’s like a snowball effect where more and more things go belly up as the day progresses and it’s like there is nothing you can do to stop it?.

These days can be very stressful and if we’re not careful this stress will build up and get stored within our central nervous system and remain there, causing a number of damaging side effects that we probably do not even associate with the initial stressful situation.

While some events which are pretty stressful, are hard to avoid and which we all may have at some point or another, (like moving house, a death, divorce or a breakup) – others in our day to day life we can effect and lessen the damaging effects. A lot of it is having the strength of mind to change our thought process. This is not easy. Sometimes when we have a situation in our lives we seem to just go over and over it it our minds…it can drive you crazy! I unfortunately I have a couple of these situations occurring at the moment and yesterday I had one of those ‘snowball‘ effect days…and I could feel the stress levels increasing dramatically in my body and there was nothing I could do to stop it as I was getting more and more frustrated with the unfolding events- culminating by my running home in the rain late for a really important appointment, only to be completely drenched by a passing car speeding straight through the massive puddle on the road (I was sure on purpose!) – Well, I made it to my appointment (an appearance on a live TV show, of all things!) – so I then HAD to change my thoughts away from my ‘disastrous day’ thoughts which were on repeat in my head.

The show went really well and afterwards I realised that my day had totally changed. While I still had lots going on, the tortuous thoughts had ceased, I felt calmer and the drive home was smooth (even through peak hour!). I then had to go to the hospital to visit a very good friend of mine who is very sick at the moment, and you know what, I realised as well that no matter how bad your day may seem, there are always those who are worse off – my friend, despite her pain, remains positive and with a sense of humour in tact, and I thought if she can do it, I’m damn sure I can – and YOU can too…

Stress can have many damaging effects, but a main one is Obesity. Clients have often said to me they are eating well and doing their exercise routine but not seeing results – stress, for whatever reason will often be the culprit – the hormone cortisol is released and this will inhibit weight loss and actually make it harder to lose those extra pounds.

There are many different ways to handle your stress levels, different things work best for different people – above is a list of easy things you can try if you find yourself caught up in the repeating thoughts that just won’t dissipate. I have talked about meditation before, either by itself or through the practice of Yoga – this can train the mind to be more prepared for these situations when they occur and also deal with them better when they do. Here’s a link to my previous blog to better explain it – “Meditate for Motivation”.

But don’t give up – and don’t forget, “Think, Act…Be”

Think, Act...Be

No time for Fitness? – Workout at work!…

Def. NO excuses!We have all heard that one of the main excuses given for people not doing exercise is that they simply do not have enough time – people will often priortise work or family commitments over their own health – despite the fact that without their health they are no good either to their work or their family!

Most people tend to think of exercise as a means to losing weight, or maintaining a certain fitness level and of course a healthy lifestyle – but it is now realised just how important exercise is for improved productivity in the workplace.

There is a common belief that doing exercise releases a rush of the ‘feel good’ endorphins, and although there is actually little hard scientific evidence of this, anybody who has done a really hard workout or done a great run will certainly vouch for this – you don’t always need scientific proof to know something works!

So how can such exercise helps with our workload??

It seems that exercise may give our body a better chance at dealing with stress (a big cause of weight gain and lack of productivity). Exercise can force the body’s physiological systems to ‘communicate’ better than without specific exercise – i.e the cardiovascular system talks to the renal system, which then talks to the muscular system and these are all controlled by our nervous systems, which must also communicate – what does this mean? – that the more sedentary we are the less efficient our bodies are in responding to stress.

Exercise gives you Wiings!

Research from the University of Bristol showed that after exercising during working hours, participants “returned to work more tolerant of themselves and forgiving of their colleagues” – plus they had better performance shown by improved time management and better mental sharpness. This shows that it is more than just the feel good response but a physiological one. So, if companies provided their staff with this exercise ability, they should get in return more efficient employees, happier in themselves, working better together plus a reduction in sick days and greater attendance and attitude, thereby reducing costs and improving productivity, even if there is a reduction in hours worked, as shown in a recent Swedish study, where workers were given 2.5 hours a week to exercise, resulting in better productivity with less hours.

Further evidence is put forward by Dr John Ratey (an author and psychiatry professor) – there is a protein called BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), and when secreted it boosts brain cell growth and strengthens cell to cell connections. This, it is thought leads to increased learning capacity – and guess what triggers this release of BDNF – that’s right – EXERCISE! This also works more efficiently when the exercise is combined with cognitive tasks, hence increased productivity after your lunch time exercise class, and a better time for decision making as well perhaps?!

Think better after Exercise..

So, exercise will help you to be more focused and think clearly, plus enhance your learning ability as well as the fact it can boost your mood and in turn reduce stress and relieve anxiety…when you put all this together imagine two people going for the same job – one exercises the other doesn’t, who do you reckon may have the better attitude/mindset and therefore chance of getting the job (all other factors being the same?)….it’s about looking after your body AND your brain, and getting along that career path quicker (and having more fun along the way!)

Here at Isowhey HO I have been teaching exercise classes for the last few months, (see pic below), I have simply turned an office area into a gym, I got some dumbells, a skipping rope and a couple of fitballs and hey presto a Circuit class is born! I also teach Yoga and Pilates on other days. So many workplaces could also implement this type of exercise system into their office space and I’m sure would see a great improvement in their staff morale. Having to go to the gym after work really eats into your own time, and by the time you get there, and get home and eat it’s time for bed!

IsoWhey Workers Workin' out!

SO, by offering this type of activity in the daytime, means no more

“I just don’t have the time” excuse!

What do you think? Does your employer offer any type of exercise allowance? and if they did would you use it?…

*IsoWhey employees completing a work ‘Cardio Challenge’

Don’t Give Up…

Don't Give Up...Don’t give up” – is an amazing song by Peter Gabriel and the fabulous Kate Bush, if you haven’t heard it try and download it – it may bring a tear to your eye but it is haunting and also inspirational – i love it when you can actually hear the lyrics to songs and they actually mean something and have to capacity to move you – so, don’t give up…even when it seems like nothing is going your way, your haven’t lost the weight you wanted, or got the promotion you had worked so hard for, or your partner turned out to be different from whom you thought them to be -or…whatever it may be.

Gratitude…something all of us should find time for, just think of anything positive that is happening or happened in your life and be grateful for it, when you feel down look around and see the others who are not as well off as yourself, and be grateful, – not always easy, but try not to lose sight of your goals and pat yourself on the back for what you HAVE achieved. Sometimes you need to move the goalposts, and thats ok, be aware of what you have done but stay focused on what you need to do. Think about it, write it down, and DO it! Even though I repeat what I say – it needs to be said, and I want you to ‘get it’!

You are creating yourself every day, just know who and what you want to be and keep on aiming for that – you will get there…

 

Monday’s Motivation!…

Stick to your planI said in my last motivation quote how everything starts with a thought – and this is true, you need to actually THINK about anything before it can become a reality…

What I didn’t mention is the fact that just thinking about it isn’t enough…you need to keep thinking about it and then ACTION it, and keep putting it into action until it becomes a habit and part of your life style.

So when you think about starting a fitness plan, or any such plan for that matter, write down what you want to achieve and when you want to see results, be honest and be realistic. Focus on this plan, tell people about it, get excited about it. If you can, put together a ‘storyboard’ of what you want to achieve, cut pictures or words from magazines and put them in a motivation, or vision board – and start to believe that this is you NOW! Don’t think about it in terms of what you WANT to happen – as this is all that will happen, a wanting – put out the thought to the Universe that you are ALREADY there, this is YOU NOW, TODAY, you have already arrived.

Then start living this way, keep to your diet, to your fitness regime – plan each week, be organised, know what classes you will go to, make a commitment with someone if you can…meditate on your goals if you are able to, concentrate on Who you are and Who you want to be…

Do this and your dreams will become your reality, you will be literally living your dream – what more could you want?…

p.s.  try to pass this on, for what you give to others, you are giving to yourself..

 

Commonly asked Questions ANSWERED! – Part II…

Whats YOUR Metabolism?Welcome to the second part in my series of answering some of the many questions I get asked by various clients – there are a lot of myths out there in FitnessLand, and often the actual answers may be specific to your own individual  circumstance… here goes!…

  • “What exactly is my metabolism and can I change it?…”

    Continue On…