Posts Tagged 'Nutrition'

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 😉

Practicing what I preach: How I stayed fit on Holiday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After my recent blog post on staying fit while traveling or working I had to put it to good use on a holiday to the south of France in which I indulged in wine, expresso’s and the french Riviera lifestyle, whilst keeping/improving my physical shape.

Workouts

I decided the best plan of action was to do a short fasted (Check out my post on fasted workouts) workout most mornings, the views in the cote d’azur were stunning so jogging was a must but I worked in some crossfit style WOD’s to improve time efficiency and keep my muscles toned. The mornings were the best time to workout as it was still relatively cool and gave me the whole day to do as I pleased. Some examples of my workouts;

  • 10 minute run- Stopped by the sea did pushups/lifted rocks and went for a swim (10 minutes) – 10 minute run back to the hotel.
  • Warm-up run 5-10 minutes – Circuit of Pushups/ Pullups (on a tree branch)/ jumping squats – Cool down walk back to hotel (10 minutes)
  • Run 400m/15 Burpees and 15 Dips (on handrails) repeat 3 times
These were all done fasted with an expresso before hand. On days when my legs were feeling tired I would do the less running based workouts and days I indulged too much the night before I would go for more slow paced running workouts to sweat it out. They also allowed me to take in the beautiful scenery and inhale the fresh sea air, I managed to work out most mornings but on occasions I listened to my body and took a day off.
I also managed to keep active at the beach by playing volley ball, swimming and walking a lot, this definitely helped me keep burning fat and pushed my energy flux up while having fun at the beach.
Motivation
I’ll admit it some morning the last thing I wanted to do was exercise, but sometimes you just got to hit the road, trust me you will always feel better after your done. Here are some great resources for inspiration and motivation to workout:
Diet
Sticking to a good wholesome diet was not hard in the south of France, in fact if you enjoy good food its pretty simple there was abundance of fresh fruit from the region including amazing local apricots/figs and plums. The diet in France is similar to that of Italy with less of an influence on pasta and pizza.
  • Most mornings I would break my fast with provincial fruit and a small piece of local cheese with coffee. This was a perfect breakfast as it kept me light but allowed me to enjoy the local fresh food offerings.
  • Lunch would usually be a salad from the region usually a Nicoise which is full of good stuff like olives, anchovies, eggs and tuna. This would be complimented with a glass or two of wine and washed down with an expresso.
  • Dinner was when I would usually indulge as I was usually in a social environment and also wanted to enjoy what the restaurants had to offer, this included anything from excellent pizza’s some nights to superb grilled meat and roasted vegetables other nights. Other nights I would enjoy the local/fresh  baguette with a selection of cheese’s and charcuterie with wine which has various benefits or a few beers.
  • Snacks would usually be an apple or few apricots.
Dining on holiday should never be a time to deprive yourself, just make good choices enjoy what the culture has to offer and eat well.
Supplements
This was pretty simple I packed some good multi-vitamins and some magnesium citrate and took them daily. Although I didn’t take fish oil I tried to eat oily fish daily which seemed to keep me supple. I also used Vitamin C and Rhodiola Rosea for times I had been out late and drunk a few too many glasses of wine and woke up feeling tired.
Oh and some sun screen!
In a Nut Shell
Doing these simple things allowed me to keep in great shape throughout my holiday while having an awesome time socializing with friends and family, don’t forget this is the most important thing about holidays and it can easily be merged with your lifestyle without depriving yourself of what your surroundings have to offer. In fact I found my healthy habits allowed me to experience and get the most out of the local culture.

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!

What I’ve been reading this week….

Some really good stuff on the net check it out;

5 Things your missing

Am I a Food Elitist? are you?

Q&A with Dalai Lama

Best way to cook your veggies?

Enjoy!

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

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!

 

Energy Tips – How to avoid those slumps

Ever felt a slump, like sleeping at times when you really don’t need it? I have figured out how to get through these problems effortlessly and possibly by doing the things you would least expect.

1. Take a deep breath. breathing in deeply through your nose right down to your stomach really revitelises your body and mind. try do 2 or 3 of these whilst in a slump.

2. Raw foods. I am a big believer in the power of raw foods, finding them easier to digest and more energizing. I will frequently start the day with the following shake:

  • 2-3 raw eggs (only free range/organic)
  • Some frozen Spinach and Berries
  • 1 scoop of protein powder
  • Shot of expresso (Optional I sometimes have an expresso upon waking instead)
  • Splash of cinnamon
  • 1 TBSP of milled flax seed
  • 100ml of organic plain yoghurt
3. Eat less not more during the day, stay light all the time allowing your insulin levels to remain low and therefore allow you to avoid brain fade/fog which is associated with heavy meals due to the digestion and insulin release.
4. Stay hydrated with a few glasses of ice cold water when you feel lethargic this tends to awaken your body and revive how your brain.
5. Exercise or break a sweat (Preferable first thing in the morning) daily this helps facilitate blood flow around your body and gets your mind ready for the day ahead. On top of this it allows your lymphatic system to function better and this is essential to energy flux.