Wednesday 16 November 2016

Recipes - more nutritious salads

Beetroot & Feta Salad

I was checking out the vege rack today and noticed that I still have some beetroot sitting there from last week.  Now, I'm not a person to extravagantly throw away veges just 'because', so I have made a choice to make a salad from the beetroot.  I always keep some feta in the fridge for moments such as these!

So, I was on the search for a recipe that will suit me and be relatively easy to make (I currently don't have any rocket or lettuce in the garden, so this limits most recipes for me).

I found this interesting looking one on BBC Good Food 

Here is the recipe:

1kg heirloom beetroot 
200g feta cheese
100g pumpkin seeds, roasted

zest and juice of one lemon
2tbsp white balsamic or white wine vinegar
2tbsp extra virgin rapeseed oil

Now, I'm usually great at changing the recipe to suit what I have in the cupboard.  So, for my salad today, I'm going to do the following:

Change the white balsamic to carmelized balsamic and white wine vinegar mixed. 
Reduce the rapeseed oil (and change it to olive oil), to 1tbsp
The amount of beetroot, feta cheese and pumpkin seeds will be reduced based on the weight of beetroot I have.

Boil the beetroot (skin on), for about 20 - 30 minutes until they are tender, drain and leave to cool.
Peel (now, if you're worried about pink/red fingers, use gloves. I'm not fussy, so am happy to peel without gloves. I find if I wash my hands quickly, it's not so bad, and the colour usually goes within a day).
Slice the beetroot
Mix the dressing ingredients together, usually I do this in a shaker. Season. Pour over the beetroot. 
Cut the fetta into small cubes, toast the pumpkin seeds (I normally heat these in a pan over the stove until they start to roast), then scatter these over the top of the beetroot and toss together.

For a kilogram of beetroot, this serves 8 people, with 204kcal per serve

Borrowed from BBC Good Food

Thursday 3 November 2016

Recipes - Nutritious Salads

Whole Grain Salad

I'm always on the lookout for recipes that fit in with my lifestyle and healthy eating plans.  Also, those that can utilise the produce from my garden (as it comes to it's richness).  As such, when I find something I want to try out, I look at it from my balanced eating point of view, the calories (there are some things I just don't want to change) and the tastiness.

This recipe I found at ShareCare and I thought I would pass it on for you all.

In my view, it has veges (fibre and colour) and nuts/seeds (protein/fibre), cheese (protein/fats), grains (carbohydrates) and olive oil (fats).

I would do a few things differently, because I like to play with a recipe.  For example, I would remove the radish (blah, don't like them), but add a sweet chilli, one of those lovely big ones you see in the markets.  I would use mozzarella, but not the low-fat one, seriously, the amount of fat in mozzarella, you don't need low fat!  I would also swap out the extra virgin olive oil for an infused oil, I have one with rosemary and garlic in it - yum!  Finally, me being me, I would add a drizzle of my carmelized balsamic vinegar - it's divine.

Now that I've made those changes, I think I may very well put it together for next week's lunches! At approximately 275 calories a serve, it certainly fits in with my lifestyle

1/2 bell pepper (yellow or orange), seeded and chopped
1/2 large tomato, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup chopped radish
1/4 cup chopped green onion or red Bermuda onion
1/4 cup finely chopped dried fruits (apricots, raisins, figs, etc.)
2 tbsp nuts or seeds (sesame, sunflower or chopped almonds, walnuts, etc.)
4 oz low-fat mozzarella cheese, diced
3 cups cooked brown rice, whole grain pasta, couscous or bulgur
Juice of 1 lime
1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbps finely chopped fresh chives (or 2 tsp dried)
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint or cilantro (or 2 tsp dried)
Salt and pepper to taste
Preparation (Serves 5)
In a large bowl, combine bell pepper, tomato, radish, green or red onion, dried fruit, seeds or nuts and cheese. Mix lightly with a fork. Fluff the cooked grains with a fork and combine with the salad mixture.
In a small container with a tight fitting lid, combine the remaining ingredients. Seal tightly and shake until combined. Add to salad mixture and toss to coat.
Borrowed from ShareCare

Monday 26 September 2016

Wanting to Snack - And Want To Know What's Tasty And Healthy?

Snacking Healthily

Being on a life journey, discovering ways to change your eating habits to create healthy, tasty, sustainable habits, that create a healthier you, can sometimes feel like an uphill battle! BUT, there is help, check out these wonderful ideas on healthy snacking, originally from IsagenixHealth.

However, we understand that you may also want to branch out and start creating other healthy snacks in the kitchen to keep yourself fueled between meals on Shake Days. This leads to one important question: How should you build your own Shake Day snacks at home?

All you need are these four tips to set yourself up for snacking success.

1)      Fill up with fiber.
The foundation of your snack should be a food that provides a good source of dietary fiber. Choosing fiber-rich foods helps you to feel more satisfied with fewer calories. Snacking on fresh fruit and vegetables between meals makes sense because these foods are generally low in calories and are a good source of fiber and other nutrients. A few other great options include whole-grain pita wedges or crackers.

2)      Add protein, good fats, or both.
Combining a source of fiber with protein and a little bit of good fat is the best recipe for snacking satisfaction. Protein and fiber are the two factors that help you feel most satisfied after a meal or snack, and adding a small amount of fat helps to slow digestion and provide a more gradual, steady source of energy. Some good picks for protein foods might be a hard-boiled egg, a quarter cup of cottage cheese, or a handful of almonds. Foods made with beans or peas like hummus offer both protein and fiber together in one package.

3)      Choose a right-sized snack.
One of the most important factors in building a better Shake Day snack is planning a portion size that will keep you within your target calorie range. For some people, a 100-calorie snack is a perfect fit. A 200-calorie snack might be a better choice for people who are more active, or on days when you have a more intense workout planned.

4)      Plan ahead.
One key to healthy snacking is to plan ahead. The best time to prepare snacks is when you are not feeling hungry. This way, you will be able to choose your snacks without a rumbling stomach overwhelming your better judgment. For example, you might want to prep your snacks in the evening to get ready for the next day, or it may work better for you to plan ahead for an entire week.

Putting it together
If you’re looking to put these Shake Day snack tips into practice, here are a few ideas to help inspire you. This list of 100- and 200-calorie snacks blend fruit, vegetables, or whole-grain foods with a source of protein and a little fat for a snack that satisfies.

100-Calorie Snacks
  • One cup fresh, crunchy vegetables, plus two tablespoons of hummus
  • Ten roasted asparagus spears with a squeeze of lemon, plus one hard-boiled egg
  • Two stalks of celery, plus one tablespoon peanut butter
  • Two whole-wheat crackers, plus two teaspoons herbed cheese spread and six cherry tomatoes
  • Fifteen raspberries, plus a half cup low-fat, plain Greek yogurt
  • One cup of strawberries, plus seven whole cashews
  • One cup of cubed cantaloupe, plus two slices of ham
200-Calorie Snacks
  • One large apple, plus one package of string cheese
  • Six dried apricots, plus two tablespoons of shelled sunflower seeds
  • One medium banana, plus one tablespoon of almond butter
  • Half of a whole-wheat pita, plus one cup of sliced cucumber and two tablespoons crumbled feta
  • Ten grapes, plus ten pecan halves
  • Two cups air-popped popcorn sprinkled with chili powder, plus three tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • A quarter cup dried fruit, plus 10 almonds
Snacking on Shake Days can help you to manage your appetite and keep cravings under control—but only if you choose wisely. When hunger hits between meals, being prepared with the right kind of snack can mean the difference between letting excessive hunger lead to overeating and unhealthy food choices and staying on track with your health and weight-loss goals.

I have found some of the following easy and filling snacks (okay, I'm very lucky, hubby does make up the homemade hummus for me!):

  • hummus and carrot sticks
  • Greek yoghurt and a small handful of berries, often I'll also add a couple of almonds
  • Apple

Monday 19 September 2016

Raising Healthy Kids In The Kitchen

Weight Loss Begins In The Kitchen

How many times do you include the kids in the food preparation for dinner, or for their specific meals?  By including the kids, you ensure they respect where the food comes from, how it's cooked, how you cook it, and it sets them up for a healthy future in that they understand how to feed themselves quickly and easily, without resorting to quick unhealthy takeaways.

Obesity in our kids is on the rise, you can see it in so many places, and we need to find ways to combat this.  Often there is discussion around the food convenience in this regard, it is too easy to say you're tired, can't be bothered preparing a meal, or that it's too late to make something nutritious. Is this really true?  When you look at the quality of the takeaway meals, I believe it's quicker, easier and more nutritious to quickly prepare a stirfry in your own kitchen.

Imagine involving your kids as well, that way, it's not all about you preparing and cooking the meal (obviously, it does depend on the age of your children).

Here's a great article from Isagenix Health giving some great easy and implementable tips to get your kids involved in the kitchen - if they help prepare it, I've found they also make sure they eat it!

I also love the link to Eat Right, giving tips on what is age appropriate tasks in the kitchen for your kids.

Raising Healthy Kids Starts In The Kitchen
There’s an art to cooking with youngsters. It’s about sharing favorite recipes. It’s about passing on family traditions. Yet it’s a forgotten art in many households. For busy parents these days, it’s tough to find time to make dinner for a family, much less include kids in the process.
As any busy parent knows, including kids in cooking meals requires time, patience, and some extra cleanup. But experts agree that it’s well worth the added effort to help children gain skills that they can use their entire lives.
Help Prevent Obesity
To help children and adolescents avoid becoming overweight or obese later in life, the American Heart Association recommends that parents engage in the following two practices (1):

  • Minimize the number of meals eaten outside of the home. Through better observance and control of meals in the house, parents are able to more closely monitor the quality of the food, the way that it is prepared, and the portion sizes for their children.
  • Set aside structured family meal times. While it’s not always possible, parents should try setting aside at least one night a week to come together and eat as a family. In addition, have children help prepare food so they will have a more positive attitude about meal time.

4 Tips to Cooking With Your Kids
Enlisting the help of your kids to help in the kitchen can be a little intimidating, and cause for a headache. But with the following four tips, you can take some of the stress out, and focus on the fun!

  • Set your kids up for success. Structure their work areas so that they are less likely to spill or break anything and give them age-appropriate tasks.
  • Set aside a time for cooking when there are no added time constraints. For example, weekends and school holidays can be a great time to do some fun activities in the kitchen with your kids.
  • The easier a meal is to prepare, the more likely kids will be to want to try making them again. Try starting with things like breads, muffins, pasta, smoothies, salads, and sandwiches.
  • Focus on creating balanced meals. Encourage children to serve themselves a variety of foods including fruits and vegetables (even if they won’t eat all of them).

While it’s inevitable that kids will snack on unhealthy foods like potato chips at school or enjoy some ice cream for a friend’s birthday, what’s most important is how they eat most of the time. This is where parents play a huge role. Studies suggest that when children help with meal preparation, they are much more likely to give new foods a try all on their own (2). Children who are involved in preparation also have a more positive attitude toward healthy eating, and tend to enjoy an increased variety of foods, including those dreaded vegetables (2-5).
Outside of the nutritional benefits kids gain, they also gain a sense of accomplishment for having contributed something to the family by helping prepare the meal. Most importantly, it’s a fun opportunity to pull kids away from the television or other electronics, and spend quality time together trying something new as a family.

  1. Gidding S, Dennison B, Birch L, Daniels S, Gilman M, Lichtenstein A, Rattay K, Steinberger J, Stettler N, Van Horn L. Dietary Recommendations for Children and Adolescents. Circulation. September 27, 2005, Volume 112, Issue 13.
  2. Cooke L. The importance of exposure for healthy eating in childhood: a review. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2007 Aug;20(4):294-301.
  3. Cunningham-Sabo L, Lohse B. Impact of a school-based cooking curriculum for fourth-grade students on attitudes and behaviors is influenced by gender and prior cooking experience. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2014 Mar-Apr;46(2):110-20. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2013.09.007. Epub 2013 Nov 20.
  4. Ritchie B, O’Hara L, Taylor J. ‘Kids in the Kitchen’ impact evaluation: engaging primary school students in preparing fruit and vegetables for their own consumption. Health Promot J Austr. 2015 Aug;26(2):146-9.
  5. Cunningham-Sabo L, Lohse B. Cooking with Kids positively affects fourth graders’ vegetable preferences and attitudes and self-efficacy for food and cooking. Child Obes. 2013 Dec;9(6):549-56. doi: 10.1089/chi.2013.0076.

Chicken with Spinach and Feta

Chicken with Spinach and Feta

I love to share the recipes I use in my daily healthy living.  Especially when they show balance in eating.

Over the weekend, we tried out a Greek recipe. It is Chicken with Spinach and Feta.

What I loved the most about this recipe, apart from the fact that it's Greek and takes me to the Islands in an instant, is that it was simple, easy to follow and produce, and had an impact on the taste buds! Healthy living is about impact

250g English Spinach (though I used local Silverbeet, much the same leafy green vege)
40g feta cheese, crumbled (I did cut it up, it does stick to the fingers!)
2 single chicken breast fillets (approximately 200g each)
1/2 tblsp olive oil
40 ml sour cream
1 tblsp chopped fresh parsley

30g butter
1 tblsp flour (plain)
1/2 cup (125 ml) chicken stock
1/2 cup (125 ml) white wine

Step 1: Prepare the spinach and feta filling
Wash the spinach and steam until just wilted, drain well and cool - you will be handling this and adding the cheese, so make sure it is cool when you do the next step

Combine the spinach and the feta into a bowl.  

Cut a pocket into the side of the chicken breasts. Fill with the spinach mixture, may seem like it's overfull, but when you close this pocket up with toothpicks, it works fine.

Close the pocket with toothpicks, it took about four for each chicken breast for me to feel they were secure.

Step 2: Prepare the sauce
Melt the butter in a small saucepan, take off the heat and add the flour. Whisk in until all the lumps are gone, away from the heat. Return to the heat and gently heat until the sauce is bubbling.  Remove from the heat again, and gradually stir in the stock then the wine. Replace onto the heat and stir until the sauce boils and thickens up.  It doesn't thicken to a consistency of custard, but more like a runny gravy, which is just fine.

Step 3: Cook the chicken
If you have a pan that does not require oil, then merely heat the pan, if it does need oil, then add the olive oil and heat.
Add the chicken and cook until it is browned on both sides.  Stir in the sauce, bring it to a simmer, then allow it to cook, covered, for 25 minutes.
Stir in the sour cream and parsley until heated through.

Step 4: Serve and enjoy!

Cooking and preparation took approximately 45 minutes.  
Nutrition per serve:
Calories 535
Kilojoules 2252
Protein 56g
Fats 32g
Carbs 13g

We served this with steamed cauliflower to add more fibre.  It was filling, balanced (fibre, protein, good quality fats and small carbs) and nutritious.

Thursday 15 September 2016

Outsmart Mindless Overeating

Mindless Overeating

Have you ever eaten a meal and then not really remembered doing it? It's a bit like when you have moments when you are driving a car, and you suddenly realise you've turned right and you can't remember doing it!!  Well, that's about not being in the moment, not being present! 

Have you ever considered why you still feel hungry after eating a meal?  This article from Isagenix Health gives you some great tools to utilise to ensure you are not eating mindlessly and that you are focusing on what you are eating, so you can be present and allow your body to fully enjoy the experience!

When you sit down to eat a meal, there’s a lot more affecting your eating choices than just your appetite. Subtle surroundings can actually influence how much you eat.

A recent study published in the journal PLoS ONE suggests that whether you are eating lunch with coworkers or out to dinner with your family, the people you eat with have an effect on how much you eat (1).

Other studies have shown that the amount you eat during a meal can also be influenced by the size of the dishes used to serve your food. Researchers have shown that serving a meal on a large plate can cause you to significantly underestimate your serving size and can result in eating more than you intended (2, 3).

We’re all surrounded by subtle influences that can encourage mindless overeating. Here are four strategies you can use to tune out your environment, become more mindful, and put yourself back in charge of how much you eat at each meal.

1.      Focus on Your Food
Part of eating mindfully is paying more attention to your food at every meal and snack. Take time to really taste and enjoy each bite. Savoring your meal will also help you pace yourself. It takes a while for your stomach to tell your brain that it’s full (4). Eating at a slower pace will give your body time to feel satisfied before you begin feeling overly full.

2.      Choose To Be the Tortoise Instead of the Hare
When dining with a group, sit next to the slowest eater. There’s almost always one person in every group who is still working on the main course when everyone else has moved on to the dessert menu. Since we unconsciously mirror the behavior of our dining companions, why not use this tendency to your advantage? Sitting next to the slowest eater in your group can help you moderate your own pace.

3.      Outwit Optical Illusions
Large plates and glasses can lead you to consume larger portions without noticing the increase in serving size. When you’re at home, it’s easy to outsmart this optical illusion by choosing smaller cups, plates, or bowls, but that is not the case when you’re dining out. However, you can outsmart the illusion by asking for half of your food to be put in a to-go box before you start your meal. That way, you can eliminate concern for accidental overeating right from the start.

4.      Know Your Limits
Another way to beat mindless overeating is to set some limits for yourself beforehand. If you’re heading to a restaurant, decide what you’ll order while you’re still at home. Stick to your decision. If you’re at a buffet or a potluck, come up with some limits ahead of time. You might set boundaries such as a number of pizza slices, or a commitment that you’ll only eat what you can fit on your plate without going back for seconds. By setting limits in advance, you can help counter the influences in your environment.

Small Changes, Big Impact
By raising your awareness of these common pitfalls and checking in with yourself during mealtimes, you’ll not only receive more enjoyment from food, but you can also avoid mindless overeating.
The size of your plate and the habits of the people you are eating with are just a few of the subtle influences that encourage mindless overeating. Whether you’re eating out or enjoying a meal at home, the key is to take note of influences that are all around you.

To find out more about how you too can be coached into Mindful Eating, contact me!

  1. Hermans RC, Lichtwarck-Aschoff A, Bevelander KE, Herman CP, Larsen JK, Engels RC. Mimicry of food intake: the dynamic interplay between eating companions. PLoS One. 2012;7(2):e31027. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0031027.
  2. McClain AD, van den Bos W, Matheson D, Desai M, McClure SM, Robinson TN. Visual illusions and plate design: the effects of plate rim widths and rim coloring on perceived food portion size. Int J Obes (Lond). 2014 May;38(5):657-62.
  3. Robinson E, Nolan S, Tudur-Smith C, Boyland EJ, Harrold JA, Hardman CA, Halford JC. Will smaller plates lead to smaller waists? A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect that experimental manipulation of dishware size has on energy consumption. Obes Rev. 2014 Oct;15(10):812-21.
  4. Zandian M, Ioakimidis I, Bergh C, Brodin U, Södersten P. Decelerated and linear eaters: effect of eating rate on food intake and satiety. Physiol Behav. 2009 Feb 16;96(2):270-5.

Thursday 14 January 2016

Healthy Mind & Body - Accountability - Completion

Weight Loss Help

After Day 60 was completed ( a couple of days late, for sure), I felt a sense of achievement.  A sense of completing what I initially set out to do.  This sense of achievement doesn't stop here though.  Now it's about completing my next 16 week challenge.

In 13 weeks and 4 days (as you may observe, I am not counting!!), I will be turning 50.  My goal for this 16 week challenge, is to achieve a trim, taught and terrific body by then.  This is not a weight loss challenge. It is a challenge about gaining muscle, more energy, clarity of mind and the love of life.  I am turning 50 with a passion, a mission and a sense of well being that I've not had for a while.

Why have I not had that?  It may be the same for you, sometimes you feel that you are just moving forward and not achieving all that you set out to do.  Life gives us obstacles, and hurdles, and curveballs and many other 'things' that steer you off course of what you set out to achieve.

When I was a child, my ambition was to help mankind to health.  This ambition has not changed. It has taken some detours along the way, for sure.  However, ultimately, the core self belief, that this is my mission in life, has remained true.  I trust that is why I support nutrition and I'm a natural therapist!

The only difference now, with completing my 60 day Healthy Mind and Healthy Body course, is that the focus on this mission is defined, it is full of passion and wisdom and it is being done already!  

By helping others achieve their sense of wellness and health, I am already achieving this mission.  My ability to see it in a bigger format has been clarified. I now know more about the depth that I wish to carry this forward.  The people I want to help, the communities that are looking for the particular help I'm offering and the ability for me to complete this mission is growing.

I seem to have gone off on a tangent - do you do that too?  It's the passion I'm feeling, I'm sure.

In order to complete my initial 16 week challenge, I have started my nutritional program again, I have set myself goals and I have initiated an exercise routine.

When are you setting your goals so that they are achieveable?  When are you starting on your Life Journey?


Contact me now to begin your Life Journey and make 2016 your year!

Monday 11 January 2016

Paleo Diet And Intermittent Fasting

Paleo Diets

The up surge of information on Paleo diets and how they are beneficial to your body revolves around the concepts of no processed foods, limited farmed grains, plenty of protein and intermittent fasting.

As highlighted in this article below, the concept of eating 3 square meals a day, evolved around the evolution of agriculture. That is, around 10,000 years ago.  Prior to that, is the concept of Paleo - eat what is available by hunting and gathering, with limited cooking.  That, essentially, is Paleo!

Read on to learn more about the concept of intermittent fasting and the science behind it and why it's successful:

Beyond Detox: How Fasting "Cleanses" Your Cells

In what is yet another clue that performing Isagenix-style Cleanse Days can be profoundly good for you, nutrition scientists are now encouraging the occasional fast or skipping of meals for better health.

Fasting periodically might also bring the added benefit of “cleansing” cells of junk and debris, according to researchers in a review paper published in the November issue of the scientific journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“Cells possess dedicated mechanisms for the removal of damaged molecules and organelles,” the authors wrote.

Challenging the notion that a typical “three square meals a day” regimen should be considered a standard of healthy eating, the authors wrote that giving cells a steady supply of nutrients in this way keeps cells in “growth mode.”

While in continuous growth mode, cells have little chance of going into a cleansing mode that involves a couple of mechanisms:
  • The first is a sort of molecular “tagging” of proteins that targets them for recycling and re-using their amino acid building blocks by a protein degradation complex known as a proteasome.
  • The second is autophagy whereby damaged molecules and organelles are “cleansed” from cells by lysosomes, those membrane-enclosed organelles full of acids and digestive-like enzymes.
Among the authors of the paper were leading scientists from around the world in the field of intermittent fasting, time-restricted feeding, and calorie restriction.

They included Krista Varady, Ph.D., of the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), who was the lead researcher of a study evaluating the use of the Isagenix system comprising of intermittent fasting (Cleanse Days) combined with calorie restriction (Shake Days).

The Isagenix study, in fact, was included as one of the references in the article as evidence that intermittent fasting combined with calorie restriction could lead to weight loss, which resulted in suppressed inflammation in the body.

Additional studies from Dr. Varady’s lab and those of Mark Mattson, Ph.D., of the National Institute on Aging, have shown that calorie restriction and, intermittent fasting especially, improved insulin sensitivity while boosting fat metabolism.

Furthermore, these dietary approaches could lead to the elevation of ketones in the body. Ketones are chemicals produced during the breakdown of fat and are known to provide some benefits against brain aging.

Moreover, intermittent fasting in animals has led to production of several brain-protective proteins, improved mitochondrial function, and stimulation of the activity of key antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase and catalase.

To obtain the benefits of calorie restriction and intermittent fasting, the authors advocate an eating pattern modeled after our hunter-gatherer ancestors who ate less frequently. Historically, hunter-gatherers, both ancient and modern, rarely suffered from obesity and functioned at a high level physically and mentally.

According to the authors, the pattern of “three square meals a day” began only after the advent of agriculture 10,000 years ago as a result of a continual year-round food supply. “Our agrarian ancestors adopted a three meals a day eating pattern, presumably because it provided both social and practical benefits for the daily work and school schedules,” the authors wrote.

One of the contributing factors to obesity, they argued, was the adoption of sedentary lifestyles combined with multiple high-calorie meals daily.

Another cause of overeating may also be the advent of artificial light and how it affects our internal circadian clocks, which are intended to function on a daily light-dark cycle. The increase in hours awake leads to more opportunities to overeat while also interfering with the sleep/wake and fast/feed cycle that may be a key factor in regulating appetite and metabolism.

With the adoption of a dietary pattern that incorporates periods of fasting, calorie restriction, or both—such as an Isagenix system—along with exercise, healthy eating, and proper sleep, the authors suggest a number of health benefits including reduction of abdominal fat and improved metabolic and cardiovascular risk markers.

Mattson et al. Meal frequency and timing in health and disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 111 (47):16647–16653, doi: 10.1073/pnas.141396511


To learn more about how I can help you in a weight loss journey, check out my Facebook page for tips, laughs and a sense of fun for your Life Journey

Saturday 9 January 2016

Lose Fat While You Sleep

The Perfect Weight Loss Idea!

How many times have you wondered how you could possibly lose weight while you're sleeping?  Wouldn't that be the easiest, best and quickest way to lose weight?

Well, your luck is in!  It has now been shown scientifically that there are ways you can support your body, to increase the fat burn (especially of that stubborn few pounds/kgs that won't shift from around your waist) overnight.  

Essentially, you need a good nights sleep, there are other ingredients too, read on in the article below

Fat Loss While You Sleep
By Michael Colgan, Ph.D.

“Sticky fat” is a great name for the last ten pounds of fat that refuse to leave the building. Often they stick out from the belly or atop the hip bones. But, in many folk who hit a plateau in weight loss, there’s a lot more fat deep inside plumping them up like a goose… You can’t see it, because it`s visceral fat distributed around the liver and kidneys, intestines and reproductive system. Visceral fat is even stickier. Working with top modeling agencies to solve this problem, we know that starvation diets are never the answer. Starvation strips your facial fat before touching sticky or visceral fat. Starvation creates that gaunt, pale, vampire face, the face that likely started the Goth craze.

So starving is useless for models who depend on their looks for a living. We had to develop some special techniques to remove the fat while saving the face. Together with decent proteins, such as IsaLean® Shake or IsaLean® PRO Shake, and a full complement of micro-nutrients everyday, they have boosted many a modeling career.

The most important strategy is thermogenesis, the creation of heat. It occurs mainly through a mechanism called brown-adipose-tissue (BAT), which permits production of heat directly from bodyfat without going through the energy cycle or being burned in muscular activity (1). That is, you can lose body fat without moving a muscle, even while you sleep.

Usual weight loss programs do not activate BAT. Just the opposite. If you go on sudden food restriction, the body automatically turns down heat production, and energy, as a defense mechanism to conserve its fat. That’s why strict dieters generally feel cold and tired.

Scientists used to think that thermogenesis would not work for everyone, because, unlike bears and some other mammals, humans cannot hibernate. A hibernating bear for example, can lose 300 pounds of fat while it sleeps, as its body converts fat directly to BAT, which then creates the heat required to keep it from freezing over the winter.

We`re not as efficient as bears at activating BAT. Nevertheless, recent technology has allowed us to measure human BAT. The body of a 40-year-old man or woman can make sufficient BAT to provide 15 percent of their total energy, and get it all from body fat (2).

There are four steps to activating BAT and thermogenesis, and you need follow all of them carefully to succeed.

1. Melatonin
The first and most important is melatonin, the hormone that turns on in the brain for your sleep cycle.
Melatonin has long proven beneficial in treatment of the metabolic syndrome and diabetes, but until recently we didn’t know exactly why. Now we do. No accident that the bear turns on copious melatonin to activate BAT during the sleep of hibernation. In bears and humans, melatonin acts to convert white body fat to BAT and heat (3).

After about age 20, melatonin declines the human body. By age 40, it has declined by half. You can get some melatonin from almonds, sunflower seeds, coriander, cardamom, and mustard greens. Unless you eat a lot of them, however, it is insufficient to activate BAT (4). The alternative is supplementary melatonin. But most melatonin pills are deactivated by digestive acids in the gut and first pass through the liver. A liquid melatonin spray such as Sleep Support & Renewal™ spray is much better. It is quickly absorbed in the mouth and easily passes through the blood/brain barrier to targets in the brain.

For stubborn fat loss we have used up to 10 milligrams (mg) of liquid melatonin taken last thing every night. Some folk sleep too soundly on that much and wake groggy. So, if you use it, start with one to three mgs and work up. Don’t miss a day or the body will strongly turn off BAT. Then you are two days behind.

2. Sleeping
Here are essential sleeping criteria for melatonin use for fat loss. Inadequate sleep disrupts BAT activity. So get sufficient sleep, seven to eight hours. Sleep cool, which encourages heat production. And sleep dark which optimizes melatonin release.

Using you cell phone or computer in bed is a special no-no as the wavelength of light used to backlight these devices effectively turns off your melatonin rhythm (5). Now, however, you can get an app called “f-lux,” which changes the backlight so it does not affect melatonin.

3. Morning Thermogenesis

It is essential to continue the thermogenesis and fat loss when you wake up in the morning. A strong cup of Arabica coffee on an empty stomach continues thermogenesis and burns body fat through the BAT mechanism for up to four hours afterwards (6).

The chemicals called catechins in green tea, especially epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), are likely more effective than caffeine (6,7). Isagenix Coffee contains Arabica beans and green tea and is available in organic or premium grind. The Brain Boost & Renewal™ supplement, designed for use in the morning, is a good source of EGCG. For sticky fat loss, we supplement with EGCG every day. An e+™ Shot, which contains caffeine extracted from green tea and yerba mate is about equivalent to the caffeine in a strong cup of coffee. The e+ Shot can be used during the day with no side-effects.

In a recent controlled study, two groups of, healthy men used a moderate reduced calorie diet, plus tea for 12 weeks. One group had green tea extract added to the tea to yield high levels of EGCG. The group consuming this tea lost an average of 5.4 pounds of body fat, approximately twice the loss of the control group. Much of the loss was visceral fat from the belly (7).

4. Omega-3s for All-Day Thermogenesis

To turn on thermogenesis, the body has to produce proteins called Uncoupling-Proteins (UCPs) which uncouple the use of oxygen from the production of ATP (our energy molecule). The oxygen can then go direct to production of heat by mixing with and burning the BAT you have activated. But, whenever it’s visceral fat it is under threat, the body turns UCPs way down.

Recent research shows that high levels of the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA, from marine sources, strongly turn up the UCPs again (8). We use up to four grams daily. IsaOmega is a great source. As with every nutritional supplement, start low and slow. Spread out use with each meal during the day to aid digestion.

1. Melatonin. Up to three sprays of Sleep Support and Renewal every night.
2. Sleeping. Cool, dark, and seven to eight hours.
3. Caffeine. Or EGCG each morning, or both.
4. EPA and DHA. Four grams of each spread throughout the day.

Thermogenesis for life and a lot more health benefits besides. If you can look from the front and see your spine, you’ve gone a bit too far.

About Dr. Colgan
Dr. Michael Colgan is a world-renowned research scientist, leading expert in the inhibition of aging, and a member of the Isagenix Science Advisory Board. Dr. Colgan has provided nutrition, training and anti-aging programs to more than 11,000 athletes, including many Olympians. He is director of his eponymous Colgan Institute, a consulting, educational and research facility concerned with the effects of nutrition and exercise on athletic performance, along with prevention of chronic degenerative disease, and prevention of degeneration of the brain. Dr Colgan’s sports articles are published on his blog  


For more information on how you can source these products, check out my website

Thursday 7 January 2016

Losing Weight And Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting

The concept of intermittent fasting has reached the headlines over the last few years.  It's discussed as a means of resting the digestive system in order for the body to process the excess waste it produces without having to continually digest foods.

This method of nutritional cleansing has worked extremely well for me, both for losing weight and for maintaining my target weight.  Maintenance is something I've struggled with since I've been 12 years old!

Read more below on Why Cleansing With Isagenix Works

Even with weight loss clinics readily available, calorie counts on menus, and public policy initiatives aimed at supporting a healthier population, people are struggling to lose weight and keep it off. Of the 45 million Americans dieting each year, 80 to 90 percent of them will regain all their weight (1). The repeated cycle of weight loss and regain shows that the simple remedy of eating healthier and exercising regularly isn’t working.

A new solution is needed to help people achieve a healthy weight and maintain it. Mounting scientific evidence for intermittent fasting as an effective tool for weight loss and maintenance may be the solution for preventing repeated cycles of dieting. Intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating that involves going without food for several hours or up to a couple days. And it can become a lifelong habit.

Cleansing with Isagenix include a specific form of intermittent fasting because cleansers drink the detox-supporting beverage, Cleanse for Life. Not only are cleansers benefiting from intermittent fasting, but they are also supporting their body nutritionally to rid itself of impurities. Cleanse for Life provides nutritional support in the form of antioxidant vitamins and botanicals, which are essential for effective detoxification. Additionally, nutritional support is needed to counteract the oxidative damage caused by toxins.

Studies on intermittent fasting have shown that it’s as effective for weight loss as cutting calories (2). In one study, overweight women who fasted intermittently for six months lost more weight than women who restricted their calories each day (3).

Improves insulin sensitivity
How intermittent fasting works to support weight loss and maintenance is multifaceted. One of the ways intermittent fasting helps is through improving how well insulin ushers glucose from the blood (after eating food) into cells where it is used for energy. It’s an important part of healthy weight management. Similar to how drinking coffee habitually can dull the response to caffeine, an excess of carbohydrate intake can decrease sensitivity to insulin. When people are less sensitive to insulin, they cannot efficiently use the food they eat leading to a cascade of health issues including fatigue and increased hunger—two culprits in weight gain.

Insulin sensitivity is “reset” by fasting. Healthy men who fasted for 20 hours every other day for 15 days had increased rates of glucose uptake, signifying improved insulin sensitivity and better blood sugar control (4). With insulin sensitivity becoming an increasingly common issue among aging adults (5), intermittent fasting may be especially effective for older adults with weight loss goals.

Resets calorie intake
Although it seems counter-intuitive, evidence suggests that when intermittent fasting becomes a lifestyle, less food is commonly consumed during normal calorie days. A study with overweight adults found that they consumed only 20 percent of their normal calorie intake on alternate days (6).

The exact mechanism has not been identified; however, some theories suggest alterations in calorie intake could be due to shrinking of the stomach causing people to become full faster. Another theory suggests that relying on fat for fuel during fasting can up-regulate or down-regulate certain enzymes involved in metabolism affecting appetite regulation. More research is needed, but there’s no denying the benefits of calorie control for weight loss.

Encourages adherence
One of the biggest issues with fad diets is that people cannot adhere to them long-term. They are usually restrictive, can leave people feeling sluggish and tired, and often cause muscle loss. The key to weight loss and maintenance is a diet plan that fits into your lifestyle.

There are various definitions of intermittent fasting and it’s up to the individual to choose what works best for her or him. And while it may seem daunting at first, studies show that satisfaction during fasting increases with time (7).

Maintain muscles mass
Muscle is a very greedy tissue. It requires a lot of calories just to exist and puts the body to work resulting in a higher metabolism. For that reason, muscle is an important player in weight loss. Because fasting requires a period of time without significant food intake (including protein), some fear that it would cause muscle loss.

While long periods of fasting will cause the body to turn to muscle for energy, short periods (24 to 48 hours) are not going to result in significant muscle loss.

A study with 16 obese subjects who incorporated alternate day fasting had an average weight loss of 12 pounds with 99% coming from fat (8). That’s a very different outcome than on most diets—on average, typical dieters shed about 75 percent of weight as fat and 25 percent as muscle, leading to a decreased metabolism and greater risk of weight regain.

Keep weight off for good
Any diet can help you lose weight, but many times it’s at the expense of muscle mass. And once normal eating patterns resume, weight comes back on quickly.

Researchers have evaluated weight patterns for the average dieter. The key is to make a dietary changes that can be maintained for the long-term and support muscle mass. Because there are many ways to do intermittent fasting, it can be integrated into any lifestyle to support weight maintenance.

Cleanse Days, or intermittent fasting days, however, are just another tool in the weight-management toolbox. Combined with a healthy diet including “Shake Days,” regular exercise, quality sleep, and stress-relieving practices like meditation, and they can lead to long-term weight maintenance.

  1. Kramer FM, Jeffery RW, Forester JL, et al. Long-term follow-up of behavioral treatment for obesity: patterns of weight regain among men and women. Int J Obes, 1989:13(2):123-36.
  2. Eshghinia S, Mohammadzadeh F. The effects of modified alternate-day fasting diet on weight loss and CAD risk factors in overweight and obese women. J Diabetes Metab Disord 2013;12:4.
  3. Harvie MN, Pegington M, Mattson MP et al. The effects of intermittent or continuous energy restriction on weight loss and metabolic disease risk markers: a randomized trial in young overweight women. Int J Obes (Lond) 2011;35:714-27.
  4. Halberg N, Henriksen M, Soderhamn N et al. Effect of intermittent fasting and refeeding on insulin action in healthy men. J Appl Physiol 2005;99:2128-36.
  5. Viljoen A, Sinclair AJ. Diabetes and insulin resistance in older people. Med Clin North Am, 2011;95(3):615-29.
  6. Johnson JB, Summer W, Cutler RG, et al. Alternate day calorie restriction improves clinical findings and reduces markers of oxidative stress and inflammation in
    overweight adults with moderate asthma. Free Radic Biol Med, 2007;43(5):665-74.
  7. Klempel MC, Bhutani S, Fitzgibbon, et al. Dietary and physical activity adaptations to alternate day modified fasting: implications for optimal weight loss. Nutr J, 2010;9(35).
  8. Varady KA, Bhutani S, Church EC, et al. Short-term modified alternate-day fasting: a novel dietary strategy for weight loss and cardioprotection in obese adults. Am J Clin Nutr, 2009;90(5):1138-43.

Taken from:

To discover more about why using intermittent fasting has worked for me, check out my story within my blog here, or on Facebook, or on my website

Wednesday 6 January 2016

Looking To Improve Yourself From Within?

This is a great community to join - it's free and will enable you to empower yourself!

Check out Growth U

This is a community about allowing you to grow.  I've spoken often about how growth begins inside and I'm always looking for resources that allow you to do that - this community is free of charge and supportive.

Tuesday 5 January 2016

Healthy Mind & Body - Days 46 - 56


When you are committed to something, do you do it consistently, or do you do it haphazardly?  Consistency creates habits, does haphazardly also create habits?

I'm finding in my current Health Mind, Healthy Body challenge, that haphazardly is also creating habits, or at least habitual behaviour.  I'm sure it relates to the accountability option - I need to be seen to complete the program, as I have been talking to you all about this consistently for the last 56 days - now there are only 4 days remaining on the program, and I'm determined to complete each entry ontime. I want to increase my percentage for this aspect!  Finally, the challenge is kicking in.

Isagenix cleanse
Up to date, and the challenge is on!

Does this ever happen to you? Or are you more likely to keep quiet about your journey, in the hope that noone will notice if you don't complete it, or if you fall off the cycle you have been on?

Maybe you are a little like me, when I first began my weight loss journey in 2013, I kept very quiet about it all. I have tried so many different ways to lose weight, and invariably, there was failure.  So my whole mindset was geared up for failure before I even took my first step!

So, what changed this time?  For me, there was an underlying determination to move forward. I'd never been the weight I was in July 2013 before. I was 83kg, a whopping 28kg above what the weight charts determined I 'should' be for my height.

I was also determined to look after my health.  My Dad had just recently passed away from a digestive related disease (oesophageal cancer), and there was a history in my family of various bowel cancers, so the emphasis was on me to change the patterning in my family, to the best that I could.

My mindset was changing, I could see that.  It was a good start.

Then the physical changes began to occur.  Within a week of starting, I was waking up before the alarm, I was experiencing increased energy, I wanted to go out walking again, and best of all, the scales were changing in a downwards direction!! Yay! Shout from the rooftops time!

Nope - not quite yet

Time to make sure it wasn't just a phase, or a loss of fluid, or a blip in the system.

I had to wait until someone noticed the changes in my face, and the changes in my body shape before I would openly admit that I was on a weight loss journey, again.

Funny how you can have a "fat" mind still isn't it?

Well, this "fat" mind, has taken some time (over 2.5 years since I first started my journey) to begin to "see" me differently.

Passing by a mirror when I am at my goal weight can still be a surprise to me, 2 years after reaching my goal weight!  

This course that I have been doing, looks at not only my mindset, but also my attitude towards nutrition, fitness, energy, motivation, gratitude and more.  All have hit rock bottom at various times of my life, and still occasionally do.  One of the joys I experience now is that I no longer berate myself in my head, I no longer plunge into a binge of food and/or alcohol to cope with failure, I no longer throw pity parties and I no longer think "fat"!

These changes to attitudes have certainly helped me to maintain my goal weight, and are now pushing me to have a more toned body, finally I'm accepting that I have a beautiful body and am a beautiful person inside. Certainly, it has been a journey, and one that I have enjoyed bringing people along for the ride with me.

I'm now in the place where I can freely support others to do the same thing as I have been doing, by offering mentoring and guidance (for free, in case you're asking), alongside an amazing system of nutrition and philosophy.

If you're reading this, you're curious, so drop me a line and we'll see if we can get you started today!

Remember, a New Year, can mean a New You

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