Archive for the 'Diet' Category

Getting Started: Vitality Habits for Newbies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting Started is Easy

It shocks me how so many people do absolutely no exercise and pay no attention to their diet eating whatever they want whenever they want. One thing all these people have in common is a desire to be healthy, which is natural as is exercising and eating well.

Changing habits can be very daunting, I know many people who want to start a new healthier life but have no idea where/when or how to start. This article aims to be a guide on becoming a new healthier you without giving up the things you love.

Nutrition

this is in some senses the easiest and most satisfying part of becoming healthy. Our bodies are primed to eat certain foods that we have evolved to eat over thousands of years, this involves fresh real food. Head to the Supermarket and pickup a few days supplies of the following foods;

  • Lean cuts of Steak/Lamb, Poultry and Fish (turkey, chicken, cod, tuna, shrimps etc) and Eggs
  • Salad and Vegetables of your choice (no tubers like potatoes)
  • Fruits (Stick to fruits from your own country and in season if possible)
  • Nuts, Seeds and some good quality Olive Oil
  • Apple Cider Vinegar and condiments.
  • Organic Yoghurt
This is all you need to eat well, avoid the bread isle, and all the other sugars and learn to enjoy real wholesome food. Its amazing how good a tray of seasoned, roasted vegetables with a good steak tastes….. feel free to enjoy with a light beer or glass of wine. When was the last time you had an omelette and some fruit for breakfast?
Save all other foods for special occasions like dining at a restaurant with friends or visiting a relatives house for dinner. At these times feel free to have some pizza, a slice of cake or over indulge in anything that you desire. Just make sure you get back on track eating real wholesome foods once your done.

Listen to your hunger

Eat when your body is calling for food. If you feel like something crunchy and juicy grab an apple, if your not hungry at lunch time don’t eat just because its 1PM doesn’t mean you have to eat. Get on with your day and do what you have to do, eating wholesome foods when your body asks for them.
You will be amazed how quickly your body and taste buds adapt to this style of eating. We have beautiful fruits like blueberries and figs why are we eating muffins and croissants for breakfast.

Exercise Plan of Action

Sometimes you just gotta hit the road. I am a firm believer that those of us who have not done any fitness work in years should start by just going for a run. Put on some shorts/trainers and a t-shirt and hit the road even if you struggle after 5 minutes just slow down to a walk (try to do some pushups) and then run again when your ready, just make your goal to break a sweat. You don’t need anyone or any approval to do this workout just your own desire.
You will be shocked at how quickly your body adapts and in no time I am confident you will be running for 20 minutes plus within a few weeks. Once you have attained a basic level of fitness you should start looking into buying a basic dumbbell set or learning how to do body weight exercises like push-ups, squats, lunges, dips and pushups allowing you to start effective circuit type training in order to boost your metabolism. Once your fitness level is adequete consider:
  • Go to a gym and learn for yourself basic resistance training movements like bench press/squats/ dead-lifts knowing what to do in a gym is a great skill to have even if you don’t plan to become a gym rat.
  • Look into a local Crossfit affiliate to workout a few times a week.
  • Start Trail Running
  • Start playing more sports
  • Do Bodyweight circuits
I hope this can serve as a plan of action or starting point for those who are daunted by an exercise and nutrition. It really comes down to doing what we have evolved to do which is eat good real food and move around. Simple 😉

Earn that dinner

When having a big dinner I feel it is our nature to over eat and indulge especially in social environments. Therefore its important that we do not deprive ourselves of feasts of food and alcohol, of course they should be kept in moderation but there is a key to working them into your life.

When we work out our body adapts in several different ways firstly your insulin sensitivity increases this basically means that your body will shuttle energy (food) into your muscles for recovery rather than into fat cells. This improved sensitivity lasts for up to 15 hours so rest assured your morning workout will still be having an effect come dinner time.

If you do resistance work (training with weights) your body will have a reason to put those extra calories to good use. An intense resistance session like that seen in a circuit style weights workout will break down muscle making it want to grow back bigger and stronger making it even more likely your food will go to good use.

So what can we learn from this?

If your going to go and have a huge meal or socialize with friends and family don’t be the dude who sits their and turns down the pasta in favor of a chicken salad, don’t be they guy who doesn’t want that extra bud light. Just earn it! I am not talking about bingeing every-night but when I do I earn my food/drink and I indulge.

You can go about this is two different ways firstly my favorite way is to-do a hardcore workout before dinner. This will usually happen around 4-5 in the evening if I am scheduled to have dinner at 7-8PM. This workout can be done anywhere all you need is a pair of running shoes and some time; 

  • Get a good mix or playlist pumping on your iPod and hit the road and run for 30-40 minutes
  • In this time aim for 100-200 reps depending on fitness level of a mix of a mix of Push-ups/Squats/Dips/Pull-ups/Lunges/Sprints (Count 100m sprints as 5 reps)
  • Enjoy it play around and get endorphins pumping keep telling yourself to earn that dinner!
  • Have a cold shower eat some fruit/nuts if hungry and head out to socialize and have fun.
  • I will usually do some fasted cardio or prolong a IF session the next morning if I have time which is nice to cleanse the system.

Doing this will not only allow you to burn up your food it will also release feel good hormones making your more sociable.

If you aren’t lucky enough to have the time to exercise before the dinner make sure you have done an intense workout within the last 15 hours, ideally have your muscles slightly sore so you know the food is going to good use.

I am not advocating a bad diet, but I realize we have lives to live and from time to time feel like eating whatever we want, just kicking back and forgetting about eating like a caveman. You will probably find that after your splurge you have more dedication to eat well anyway so it will benefit you in the long run, as well keeping you sane.

How to keep fit while Traveling/Working

How to keep fit while Traveling/Working

Fitness and Nutrition while on Holiday/Travelling harder than we come to expect, staying in shape during these times can be a test of will and dedication. I have picked up the following tips that helped me keep in shape during my busiest periods;

-Eat a light breakfast or fast if you do not exercise that morning. Usually I will get up and get going picking up a black coffee en route followed by some fresh fruit/nuts and cold water. This normally keeps me full until midday time if I haven’t exercised. Plus it keeps me mentally sharp and feeling light. If I do exercise that morning I will have a more substantial breakfast around 1 hour after the workout something along the lines of some eggs/bacon and fruit or a high fiber breakfast like yoghurt, nuts and berries.

-If I go out for a big dinner where I overeat I will normally skip breakfast and just drink water especially if I had substantial fats and red meat in the evening meal. Our bodies are very efficient at conserving proteins and therefore we are fine to cleanse in the morning. This depends of course on how you feel in the morning just listen to your hunger.

Drink Coffee this stuff is amazing it helps me keep focused whilst giving me a mood boost. Not to mention its health benefits and cleansing properties. Make it black and have it while your on an empty stomach. First thing in the morning is a great time as it will boost your metabolism and get you feeling good for the day.

Improvise with your workouts; Go for short runs with sprints and jumping squats mixed in, do pull-ups in playgrounds and do loads of pushups (Put some books in a backpack to add weight to these), Use your suitcase as a weight. Keep your workouts short and intense and play as much as you can.

Want a $10 (or less) gym? Buy a used backpack. Now do sets of 10 reps for 3 sets of pushups, pullups, lunges (up a hill), 1 legged squats and put weights/sand/water/books in the backpack. No excuse not to workout, adjust weights as needed….and if you really want some fun, hold the weighted backpack over your head while you lunge up a hill (disclaimer – my version of fun may be different from yours).

Try to explore by renting bike’s or going for Jog’s if your in a new city.

Don’t get too tied up with what you eat! often its out of control we need to socialize and that may mean eating pizza, ice cream, cake whatever. Just try to eat wholesome foods 80% of the time and eat what life throws at you for the other 20%. If you feel guilty about eating something DON’T just workout a little bit harder the next day, to burn off the extra glycogen stores you built up. I usually find after an evening of bad eating my will to eat well and exercise is far stronger.

Enjoy the Fresh Local things. I always find that when traveling the best foods are always things like the local fruits and vegetables or cheese’s so enjoy these things. They are great for you and are something you won’t be able to get again at home.

Eat when your hungry. I mean really hungry not at a small hunger pang. Stick to whole foods when possible, a great post about this is at the modern forager.

-Take a good Multi-vitamin and and Cod Liver Oil. Also keep Zinc Lozenges (Gluconate) at hand for times when your tired or starting to feel run down. These are essential supplements and are needed to bolster the immune system while traveling.

-If you have a big dinner with drinks (wine/beer) etc and over indulge go for a quick run fasted in the morning, this will help flush the toxins out of your body and burn up last nights food. This is a great time to exercise while traveling as it leaves you with the rest of the day to do what you want.

-Remember to keep your brain fit. When travelling you have less distractions and more time to read. Don’t let this oppurtunity slip, remember;

This time next year the only things that will change are the books you read and the people you meet 

Finally Enjoy the journey have fun, try new things and keep fit. At times it will seem hard to go for a workout or run but you will always feel better afterwards.

Great Article on Nutrition and recovery

From the New York Times a must read:

NY Times on Recovery Nutrition

Also a superb article from Project Fit IF Life Blog just cropped up. Important lessons for living simply!

Small breakfast

Supershake consisting of;

– 1 Scoop whey protein and some BCAA’s

-1 Raw egg

-Cinnamon, sea salt and nutmeg

-1 Scoop full fat yoghurt

-1 Tbsp Coconut oil

and a punnet of blueberries which I ate on the side. took a B complex and some Vitamin C

Feeling really peaceful this morning, weather is beautiful! I’ve been listening to music relaxing. Also been listening to the dalai lama’s audiobook

Reason’s for those man boobs (moobs)

Anyone got problems with chest fat? I got some good advice to rid you of your problems, these come froma compilation of things I have picked up over the years to flatten my flabby chest.

  • Drink Red wine with dinner this is a potent anti-estrogenic
  • Make sure you are not Zinc Deficient and take a good Zinc Supplement think ZMA
  • Avoid Soy Foods and estrogenic compounds (microwaving plastic) like the plague
  • Experiment with taking Maca
Thats about is but those are the core essentials and the best of. Try this before you even think about Gyno Surgery!

Should have taken a picture

Breakfast consisted of:

  • 3 Free Range Eggs and 3 Egg whites
  • Organic butter from grass fed cows
  • Spinach and Pine nuts
All scrambled lightly on low heat, I had some Melon and Pineapple on the side. Delicious!