Tuesday Tip

Tuesday tip: Watch Those Swaps

Tuesday tip: watch those swaps 🥦🥛

Food fads and ‘healthy’ swaps are all the rage but they may not always be the best option for you and your gut. Sometimes too drastic a cutback or too dramatic a switch can result in GI issues such as bloating, constipation or abdominal pain — or exacerbate pre-existing GI issues. Here’s a few common swaps you may want to rethink.

#1 Cauliflower for Carbs

We’ve all heard of cauliflower rice or pizza crust and whilst it does reduce carbs (and calories) it’s also high in fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAP). These can cause gastrointestinal distress, gas and bloating. Instead stick to white potatoes – full of energy, soluble and insoluble fibre and low FODMAP.

#2 Non-dairy milk

There is nothing wrong with non dairy milk in itself but it lacks the probiotics our gut needs. So if you’re not allergic to dairy then try to have some yoghurt or kefir as well which contains live active cultures. If you are sensitive to lactose these may still be an option for you as the cultures break down the lactose before it reaches your intestines. If you’re vegan then consider going for a probiotic supplement or foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh etc.

# 3 High fat in place of carbs

Keto is all the rage with people ditching carbs for protein and high fat foods. But this can cause both diarrhoea or, due to low fibre, constipation. So just go a bit easy – have half an avocado not a full one, add a little coconut to smoothies rather than 2 tbsp of coconut oil etc. And get lots of fibrous veggies in too.

#4 Sugar alcohols

Sweeteners such as erythritol, sorbitol, mannitol and xylitol are used to sweeten foods with less calories and impact on blood glucose levels. But these sugar alcohols can cause gas, bloating and diarrhoea. You may be better off simply using less sugar and adding spices (ginger, cinnamon etc). Studies have shown the difference in sweetness isn’t even perceptible with the spices.

Happy Tuesday 🤗


Tuesday Tip

Tuesday tip: Stick to your resolve

Tuesday tip: Stick to your resolve 💪🏼

Well it is the start of a brand new year, it’s a classic time for people to set themselves new goals. I talked about setting alternative resolutions last week but you may also have resolved to make this the year you finally start, and stick with, an exercise program but it’s all too easy to give up after a few weeks. You’re not alone, judging by the fact that the January crowds in the gym are long gone by February!

So the question is how to turn your determination into action you can sustain for more than 30 days? Here are a few tips to make sure you start out right:

#1 Define Your Challenge

Write down your fitness goal – be as specific as you can. How do you want to look? What weight or body fat do you want to be? Or what size clothing do you want to fit in to? Or if you’ve got a more specific goal like building strength in a particular area, or tackling a fitness challenge like a marathon or climb or canoe etc? Write it all down and then divide it by 3. That’s roughly your 90-day goal, to get you a third of the way there!

#2 Make Time For Your Health

Work towards 30 – 45 mins of physical activity every day. Now before you panic, that doesn’t mean hitting the gym every day, but it does mean some sort of activity, even if it’s walking up and down the stairs at work, a lunchtime jog, walking the dog, a gentle bike ride, walking part of your journey to work etc. When the weather is good take advantage and get outside – it will make you feel good! If you’re brand new to fitness or coming back from injury then start with two 15 min sessions or three 10 mins ones and build from there.

# 3 Discover What You Enjoy

The most critical part of a long term, sustainable success with a fitness plan is actually enjoying what you do. Choose something that makes fitness fun! Take the chance to try something new – it’s the perfect time – everyone is bringing out their new classes and programs, and there are loads of beginner sessions out there too at this time of year. So dip your toe in a variety of activities and find something that works for you. As a beginner to that activity, almost anything you choose will be challenging, but gains will be made from your very first week which will help you feel motivated to continue – win win!

#4 Find a fitness buddy

Train with a friend who’s at about your level of ability and has similar goals. You’ll be far less likely to skip your workout when you know someone is depending on you. It’s also more motivating when you push each other, and you’ll be far less likely to cut your sessions short. Also try to surround yourself with people who are on a similar journey to you. People who choose healthy lifestyles will engage in behaviours which will rub off on you without you even realising it. They also won’t be the ones trying to sabotage your efforts! So make friends with someone in class, get chatting to the work colleague that cycles in every day, set up a lunchtime netball team… Make it social and you’re more likely to stick to it!

#5 Avoid Comparing Yourself To Others

So although you want to surround yourself with people on the same fitness kick, try not to compare yourself to them. Instead, compare yourself to the you of last week. If you make every week better in some way than the one before then you’re moving forward and making progress. There’s no point comparing yourself to anyone else – everyone is on their own journey and has their own challenges. As long as you are making progress then you’re doing good! That progress can be measured in lots of ways – it’s not just about the scales, walking a little further or faster, adding half a kg to your weights, getting further through the class before needing a break, doing your belt up one notch tighter, adding an extra workout to your week…. measure your progress in multiple ways and you’ll see how far you’ve really come!

What are your goals for 2019?

Happy Tuesday 🤗


Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Alternative Resolutions

Tuesday Tip: Alternative Resolutions 🎉

New Year, New start… it’s a cliche isn’t it?Having said that it IS a good opportunity to refocus and think about what you want to achieve over the next few months. So instead of the usual eat healthy/exercise more, here are some resolutions for self improvement that are doable and a bit more interesting:

#1 Switch your phone off

Put your phone away a bit more – whether for meals, after dinner, when out – whatever – you and your friends and family will enjoy more real face time than FaceTime.

#2 Read

Ditch the telly and read a book – an actual book – be it on paper or kindle. It could be a classic or something newer.

#3 Grow something to eat

Seeds cost pennies and you don’t need to be green fingered – get some vegetable or fruit seeds, pop them in a pot on your windowsill and grow something yummy.

#4 Cook a new recipe every week

Just one recipe, one meal a week – it doesn’t need to be complicated or lengthy – dust down your cook books, or get online for inspiration.

#5 Walk

Walk somewhere you would usually drive or take public transport to. Get off a stop early or park further away if you can’t replace the whole journey.

#6 Plant bulbs

Buy some bulbs (they’re cheap, and some newspapers give them away free at this time of year too!), dig them in (pot or garden), wait – and enjoy some spring/early summer colour!

#7 Say hello

A simple hello, a please, thank you, or even a smile at someone, in a shop, cafe, passing on the street – wherever – will brighten your day and theirs.

#8 Try something new every week

Anything new, doesn’t need to be big – a new food, a new activity, a new route to work, anything!

#9 Focus on others

Do something nice for someone every day/week – a simple compliment, helping a friend, or something bigger and potentially life changing like donating blood, sponsoring a child in need or volunteering.

#10 Celebrate you

Who says you need to change, anyway?! Perhaps you’re perfect the way you are: even with flaws. Maybe these are to be celebrated as unique aspects of you, so focus more on the things you like about yourself!

Happy 2019 everyone 🎉🌟


Tuesday Tip

Tuesday tip: Merry Christmas!

Tuesday tip: Merry Christmas! 🎄

It’s Christmas Day! So my only tip today – is to enjoy your day! However you are spending the day – have a lie in, spend time with friends, family, (or animals) that you love, maybe take a gentle walk, enjoy yummy food, watch Christmas tv etc.

If you’re working then take some time out this evening to do something that you enjoy. Don’t stress about what you’ve eaten, or how little exercise you’ve done, just enjoy the tastes and yummy food, a day or two won’t kill you! Get back to your normal eating and training pattern tomorrow and you’ll be back on track in no time.

Hope you have a lovely Christmas 🎅🏼🎄xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Coping with Xmas Stress

Tuesday Tip: Coping with Xmas Stress 🎄

Stress levels can soar at Xmas, with the pressure of expectations, exchange and excess. Here are some tips to help!

#1 Limit spending

Gift buying and entertainment costs can spiral quickly, so make a budget and limit spending by only taking cash on shopping trips. Make 1 financial decision at a time to avoid losing willpower and overspending. Remember your relationships with friends and family are more important than material objects!

#2 Manage expectations

Wanting things to be perfect can lead to more stress. Dinner being late or a less than perfect xmas tree won’t ruin your day – it may even give you fond memories to laugh about in future! Be realistic with children: they don’t need everything on their list! Xmas is about being together, so plan lots of fun family activities to do.

#3 Take time out

Factor in some time out for yourself – a bath, watching a movie, reading or a walk. You will feel better and be less likely to take your stress out on the rest of the family too.

#4 Don’t fall totally off the wagon

Plan, eat well outside events, stay active  – check out my article (here) for more. If you do find yourself overindulging just remember 1 day of indulgence won’t make you fat, just get back on track the next day and don’t make it a month!

#5 Go for a walk

Studies show physical activity reduces the brain’s response to stress, even more so with other people (by 26%). So try to fit a walk in to your day even if it means walking to work, or school pick up, or just around the block.

#6 Have fun

Laughter is a fab stress reliever. It releases endorphins, boosts circulation, helps muscles relax and reduces physical symptoms of stress. Make sure you have some fun; whether it’s your favourite movie, jokes with relatives, or a fun activity with friends or family.

At the end of the day remember, its just one day, it doesn’t define you or your life. Your friends and family are there all year round and if things don’t go as planned you can always get together in January or Feb instead 🙂

Happy Tuesday 🤗


Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Avoid the Protein Hype

Tuesday Tip: Avoid the Protein Hype 🍞

Protein enhanced products are everywhere now – protein chocolate, protein porridge, protein crisps…. but is there really any benefit? Or is it just a marketing ploy?

Protein is important for muscle repair and growth so it’s vital for those wishing to build lean muscle. It also helps to keep you fuller for longer, so can aid in weight loss as it means you’re less hungry, and less likely to overeat. This has lead to widespread hype and a proliferation of protein-enhanced versions of existing products. These obviously appeal to people interested in weight loss and fitness but are they really worth the calories?

Well in most cases, no they’re not, and you’d be better off making different choices for those calories. Just because the word “protein” is on the side doesn’t instantly make it healthy, or low calorie (in fact in most cases they’re higher in calories) and often not even a great choice for protein content either!

For example in a special K Protein bar you would get 4g protein, 123 cals and 6 g of sugar… great … but a slice of bread will give you 5g protein for only 95 cals and 2g sugar (and at 5% of the price!). If you wanted to get a typical serving of 25g protein you’d have to have 6.25 bars, nearly 770 cals and 37.5g sugar!! Other examples – branded protein smoothies provide about 8g protein, 220 cals and 33g sugar, Snack packs (e.g graze) give about 7g protein, 130 cals and 1g sugar whereas a glass of semi-skimmed milk is 13g protein, 180 cals and 17 g sugar, and a packet of salted peanuts is 8g protein, 171 cals and 1g sugar etc

So if you enjoy these products – then go for it! But if you’re consuming them because you think they’re healthier or better for you due to the protein content then you’d be far better off saving your pennies and calories and just having a piece of toast instead!

Happy Tuesday – Enjoy your toast 🤗


Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Walk the Walk

Tuesday Tip: Walk the Walk 🚶🏻‍♂️

As things get busy in the festive period it may get harder to get to the gym. But we can always walk right? 30 minutes of walking a day has been shown to help reduce stress, improve mood, increase bone density. Walking is a great way to maintain some activity when things get busy (think of all the waking you’ll do xmas shopping!). But how can you get the most from those walks to boost the calories burnt?

#1 Pace

Studies have found walkers who vary their pace burn 20% more calories than those who maintain a constant speed. So add some intervals – 1 min fast walking pace, 30 secs slower etc.

#2 Terrain

Walking on uneven or sloped terrain has been shown to raise calorie expenditure by 30% or more. Hills require more glute, hamstring and quad engagement – big muscles which increase calorie burn and uneven surfaces use more core muscles. So try to include hills or stairs, or even different surfaces like gravel, sand, grass etc.

#3 Arms

Yes you’re mostly using your legs but by using your arms too you can boost heart rate (and cal burn) by 10-15 %. Pump your arms as you walk, or try carrying things (doesn’t need to be actual weights – water bottles work well or maybe xmas shopping if not!).

#4 No phone

Get your nose out of your phone. Walking pace decreases significantly when you’re also on your phone. So put your phone away and don’t dawdle. It will also prevent you looking like an idiot when you walk in to something or someone!

#5 Don’t just walk

It doesn’t just have to be a walk – see if you can incorporate some other moves – lunges, squats, jump jacks, or if you don’t want to do that in public, why not get a bit of an extra workout in by going up stairs two at a time instead of one, or add a little jog, larger strides or walk along low walls (like we used to as a child) – maybe even a little hop-scotch – just have some fun!

Happy Tuesday 🤗