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Tackle the Christmas Stone

girl

 

It’s that time of year again, New Year’s resolutions are in close sight and that 2016 body never happened. I will discuss some easy to follow tips so you can avoid the Christmas stone, and set you up for your weight loss journey in 2017.

 

Be Realistic

If you decide that over the holidays you won’t touch a drink or have desserts and chocolates, you’re only lying to yourself. It is a time to be merry and you’re surrounded by family and friends who can’t get enough Christmas pudding. Decide on a few Christmas nights out that you will limit yourself to 2 drinks and won’t eat something sweet for the night. This is achievable. Making unrealistic decisions only makes you feel lousy that you didn’t stick to them. Relax and enjoy your Christmas without over-indulging.

Set a goal

Decide in advance that you will go for a 30-60 minute walk on Christmas Eve, Christmas day and Stephens Day. This is only a small part of your day and can really help you keep on track of your fitness. Bring the family along, make it a tradition. Most likely your local gym is closed, but walking helps you burn lots of calories and you don’t even notice.

Home workout

As your gym is probably closed around the festive time, a home workout can burn just as much fat as any gym workout. Jump squats, burpees, jump lunges, push ups, sprints outside anyone? Try some plyometric work and notice how you can even sweat more than you do in the gym. Don’t know why plyometric training is? Google it. You will not regret. Sweat is fat crying as they say….

Buy a training diary

Grab a cheap planner (or one from paperchase for you stationary lovers) and plan your workouts on a weekly basis. This will keep you on track and help you stay motivated lalala NO REALLY. When its written in front on you, you are more likely to just get it done. If you don’t know how to go about making a workout plan, you can look it up on a number of websites or ask your gym if they create personalised ones (most do). I also have some plans in recent posts and will add to these if you guys want a weekly plan over Christmas.

Caloric intake doesn’t matter as much as diet

If you are only eating 1,000 calories a day, but the source is a take away, you won’t  get any results for all that training you’re doing. If you are putting in so much effort to train and motivate yourself, why throw it away on foods that can’t nourish your body? Think of your body as a machine. If you want it to be able to lift, sprint and look athletic, you have to provide fuel from the right source. You wouldn’t put diesel into a car that needs unleaded , so don’t put junk into your soon to be beach bod (you get the idea). Track your diet and minimise your intake of processed foods.

Christmas Dinner

Try not to grab seconds. This is when your eyes become bigger than your belly and you have three helping of the Christmas dinner as well as all the trimmings. You then retire to the couch and sleep the day away. Try and limit yourself to one helping per sitting and go for a brisk walk to reduce the  food-coma induced bloat. Bloating is normal after you eat as your stomach because your intestines are expanding and contracting to assist digestion, so don’t beat yourself up about a bloated tummy, it goes.

 

BALANCE

Enjoy the festive season and don’t feel guilty if you miss a few gym sessions and have a bad day or two. You’re only human, after all. The holiday comes once a year, but do not make excuses if you long for a fit and healthy lifestyle. It is a lifestyle, not two weeks of exercise followed by a month as a couch potato watching Netflix. Get up, get moving and get fit.

 

A healthy body assists a healthy mind. You have to look after yourself in all aspects throughout the year. To be healthy outside, you must be healthy inside and to do this you must love yourself through and through. Merry Christmas Everyone, Best wishes to you all xxxxx

Healthy Eating Recipes

White choco chip protein cookies

cookies

The white chocolate is a guilty pleasure, so if you really want, replace it with high % dark chocolate

Ingredients

7 egg whites

¼ cup of coconut flour

2 scoops of Vanilla protein powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

70% Dark chocolate chunks or White chocolate chips (optional) EVEN BOTH

Tablespoon of vanilla essence or toffee flavouring

 

To do

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
  2. Mix together egg whites, coconut flour, protein powder, flavour of choice and baking soda in a blender.
  3. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. Spoon the mixture equally on baking sheet (around 10 cookies)
  5. Leave in oven for 15 minutes or until fully cooked.
  6. Leave to cool on wired rack & enjoy some delicious cookies J

 

Fitness Healthy Eating Recipes

Protein Carrot Cake

Protien Carrot Cake

Here’s a little something different – Treat yourself to a healthy dessert during the summer nights 🙂

Ingredients

400g Carrots

1 Cup Rolled Oats

3 Egg whites, 1 yolk

Vanilla extract

100g Coconut flour

Vanilla Whey Protein ¾ scoop

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

10g Shredded coconut

 

Frosting/Icing

150g Low fat cream cheese

150g low fat vanilla greek yogurt

1-2 Tbsp Vanilla extract

2 Scoops Vanilla protein powder

Coconut flakes

Handfull of White chocolate chunks (Optional)

 

To do

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  2. Peel & chop up carrots and blend in a blender with all other cake ingredients above.
  3. If the mixture seems too liquidy, add more oats.
  4. Line tray with baking paper, and add cake mixture slowly.
  5. Put in oven for 45-50 minutes.
  6. While the cake is baking, the frosting can be prepared.
  7. Add all of the frosting ingredients and whip until a thick texture forms.
  8. When cake is baked, allow to cool on wire rack for an hour before icing.
  9. Spoon the icing onto the cake and smooth over, then sprinkle coconut flakes onto the top with white choco chips!

Voila, Enjoy x

 

Fitness Healthy Eating

‘The Bloat’ is real.

yogaaa

Let’s not beat around the bush here, food is confusing, carbs are confusing, and losing weight isn’t easy at all. I thought I would take a different approach and write a blog post aimed for people who suffer with any kind of daily bloating, gluten sensitivity, IBS or suffer from IBD like myself. I have included some tips which have helped me along the way, but stress I am not a nutritionist or doctor so always get a second opinion.

I have received lots of different opinions with regard to my health and was always told a high fibre diet was good for me.. which unfortunately was misleading. Don’t get me wrong, it is all well and good for those capable of digesting food like normal intestines should, however for people who have a ‘food baby’ more than they had hoped, keep reading. I feel this is also quite topical as the rise in obesity/type II diabetes is increasing by a frightening amount.

In my opinion, the most important factors to understand when reducing ‘’the bloat’’ include the glycemic index (GI), gluten and fibre.

  1. Glycemic Index      

A glycemic index, more commonly known as low GI foods is something I adhere to on a daily basis. Carbohydrates are ranked from 0-100 according to their effect on our blood sugar levels. Low GI foods are absorbed and digested slowly, therefore slowly releases Glucose during the day. High GI foods cause an insulin spike in our blood levels. This spike causes the liver to store fat as glycogen, but let’s not get too into the science behind this. There are a number of Low GI Foods which I include in my diet and highly recommend;

  • Rolled oats
  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Quinoa
  • Beans
  • Nuts

I have not included brown/whole wheat breads here as I am not able to eat these with my condition. Some symptoms of coeliac disease/ gluten intolerance are very similar to ulcerative colitis and therefore I will generalise my recommendations here.

High GI foods I would avoid include:

  • Table sugar
  • White bread/bagels
  • Sugary cereals
  • Soft drinks/Sodas
  • Watermelon
  • White rice

Not only will a low GI diet help you burn fat, you will see a major increase in energy levels also. If you do consume High GI foods, make sure to eat them after waking up, as your body has been in ‘’famine’’ for around 7 hours. Also, if you are taking too much whey protein (which I do at times) and find it is causing a significant bloat, try switching to casein for a little while as it does not spike insulin levels as much as whey. Ideally, a person should be taking in both whey and casein daily from their diet to aid protein synthesis and slow protein breakdown, however timing is key so research this.

Although some complex carbs fall into high GI, the only way to know what works best for you is trial and error.

  1. GLUTEN

I’m sure you all have noticed how popular gluten-free diets have become, but have you ever asked what is gluten? Gluten is proteins found in grains such as wheat, spelt and barley. I do not practice a 100% gluten free diet, but I try reducing gluten intake as much as I possibly can. Gluten can cause the body to initiate an immune response on the intestine in coeliac disease patients, similar to that of UC disease. Gluten intolerance causes symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain and flatulence. People suffering from irritable bowel disease will also show discomfort and pain when eating food containing gluten.

Avoid foods with gluten such as; beer, pastas, cereal, sauces, crisps, pizza and fries.

  1. FIBRE

Fibre is the most controversial on the list. Why? Because patients with IBS are told to have a high fibre diet, while patients with IBD are told to have a low fibre diet. Based on family and friends with IBS, I would advise a low fibre diet if you do suffer from pain and swelling of the abdomen after eating. If you do have a disorder remember all of my advice should be overlooked by a physician.  Anywaaaaay, I always have a low fibre diet and believe me when I say the pain is real if I do not follow this.

I will begin with Foods to avoid;

  • Green vegetables are hard to digest (Broccoli, Spinach, Kale (unfort), Brussel sprouts
  • Onions
  • Brown rice
  • Whole wheat/whole grain breads
  • Be aware of certain spices

When in doubt, Drink peppermint tea!

These conditions can all be brought on by stress. Try to relax and do something you love once a day. Try to exercise, whether it is walking, yoga, or weight lifting. Increasing activity will also aid a better and undisrupted night sleep. Take a bubble bath, light some candles, do whatever needs to be done.

I can also guarantee most readers do not drink enough water. To be honest, the world should add a reminder to their phone.. DRINK WATER NOW. We need 6-8 glasses a day, and that isn’t taking into account extra water loss from activity. Also alternate between green teas as this boosts metabolism.

Sometimes diet isn’t enough to aid symptoms of irritable bowel. Mild medications are available to soothe discomfort and reduce bloating. Discuss further with your medic J

Specifically For Ulcerative Colitis Sufferers <3

  • It is recommended to avoid certain lactose-containing products, which is why I have almond milk instead of regular cow’s milk. It is also lower in calories too! Be careful though, get your calcium from yoghurt, feta cheese or supplements-(do not rely on these).
  • Alcohol causes a flare in ulcerative colitis disease patients and will run down the immune system & increase symptoms such as mouth ulcers and bleeding. Try to avoid as much as possible.
  • A low residual diet goes along way after a bout of steroids and a serious flare. This involves refined foods, well cooked vegetables, fish etc. It’s pretty bland but definitely aids recovery time.
  • Take probiotics daily. This ensures your bowel has the healthy flora it requires and boosts your system against infections of the colon.
  • Sleep is essential for improving and immunity. Try to get 7-9 hours per night.
  • Iron supplements shouldn’t be taken by UC patients as it cannot be properly absorbed by the intestine. Try eating foods high in iron, as well as iron transfusions if anaemia is v. bad.

 

Any questions on above info please email info@bodyfitgeek.com. Also I advise anyone to overlook the above info with a GP if in any doubt as diets and symptoms differ for each patient.

 

Much love, Olivia xxx

Fitness Healthy Eating

Not achieving your results? This may be why

transoformation

Are you not getting out what you put in? There may be a few reasons you feel that failure is your best friend these days. Based on my experience, a combination of no no’s can add up and just bring you ten steps back from your goal. You need to stop, regroup and breathe. Every journey has ups and downs and it is solely up to you to take control of your life. You must stop making excuses or blaming others for things that you aren’t happy with in your life. You will get on top of things if you re-evaluate everything piece by piece. I have put together a few major reasons as to why I did not reach my goal for so long. Don’t get me wrong, I still have bad days, where I don’t eat as clean as I should, and drink a glass of wine or ten with my girls, but it is so important to relax from time to time for your own mental health. My blog is new enough to the scene, but I hope to not only promote healthy eating & fitness in a time of an obesity epidemic, but to also communicate how important exercise is for your mind. Anyway, I went on a bit of a tangent so here are some possible causes for your setbacks;

  • Portion sizes

I guarantee you that the majority of people have more than one portion size per meal. This can be detrimental to your diet as you think you are eating correctly, yet you’re not changing shape and feel disheartened. My best advice would be to look up correct portion sizes online or to use the palm rule; Make sure the meat and vegetables on your plate are similar to the size of your palm.

  • Energy-Dense Foods

This is the amount of energy/kcal/calories (whatever you want to call it) per gram of food. It is known that carbs contain 4 calories per gram; protein contains 4 calories per gram also, while fat contains 9 calories per gram. Don’t let this scare you away from fats please! Unsaturated fats are essential in your diet; however you can eat half the amount of fat to meet caloric requirements. The aim is to eat less energy dense foods as they will fill you up at less of a caloric expense.

  • Weight lifting but still running…

I must be careful here. If your ultimate goal is to lose weight then yes, do go ahead. HOWEVER. Lifting weights essentially allows you to torch fat while building muscle. When you run at the same speed, you are burning not only calories, but muscle too. This is detrimental if you want ‘’abs’’, or any sort of toning really. If you feel guilty because you are just doing a weight session and feel you need some cardio in your life, check out HIIT training, or simply walking. HIIT training is when you perform high-intensity exercises within time intervals. This involves pushing your body as hard as possible to bring up your heart rate and then taking a 30 second ‘’rest’’ period. Check out my other blog for details on types of HIIT training.

  • Nutrition

The issue may simply lie in your day to day food choices. Evaluate your diet and how much macronutrients you are having in comparison to your body weight. My blog on ‘Food Shopping with BodyFit Geek’ gives some ideas of what foods I buy each week. Balance is key and living a healthy life does involve planning and preparing meals. If you leave your meals up to time and chance, you will probably have an unhealthy diet.

  • Environment

Every person will suffer from their environment whether it be at home, in school/college, or at work. The key here is if you want to change your body, communicate with friends and family. It is next to impossible to achieve a major transformation if people in your household continue to make poor food choices or make meals for you at times. Family are renowned for the ‘ah go on, have one’ attitude. DON’T FALL INTO THE TRAP. Simply say no, think of the sweat you shed in the gym and you’ll succeed. I think this factor is one of the hardest to overcome, however if you talk about what your goals are and make it clear you do not want to be that human garbage bin, there should be no more problems. If people in your life don’t support you, ditch them. They ain’t worth it.

  • Burn more than you consume

At the end of the day, if you burn more calories than you intake in a day, you will lose weight. Simple fact. Just be mindful of how you go about this and never dip into unhealthy methods. Your health is your wealth, so be kind to your mind.

  • Alcohol use or abuse

Last but not least, al-co-hol. I’m sad to say this is the main culprit in failing to meet your goals. Why do you ask? It is filled with empty calories. There are 7 calories per gram which is sad for all you vino lovers. Moderation is key. This will not always stand by you and one month won’t be as great as the other, but begin by reducing the amount of days you have alcohol, then move on to units, until you feel comfortable enough to stop drinking for a month altogether. If you feel this is too much of a commitment, definitely look into cutting down at least. Results are worth it, I promise.

transoformation

I have reached the end of my blog for today and just want to say I am overwhelmed that I have been nominated for the Health & Lifestyle award  the most aussome readers choice award with Her.ie. What a pinch me moment! I love this blog because of all you readers & I am fuelled to continue by your comments and support. So just a massive thanks to everyone who voted for me!

BFG out xxx

Healthy Eating Recipes

Quinoa Chicken & Veg bowl

Quinoa Chicken & Veg

Serves 2-3

Ingredients

2 Boneless, skinless Chicken breasts

150g quinoa

Vegetable stock

Chia seeds

40g green olives, pitted

30g sweetcorn

2 tomatoes

2 cloves of garlic

1 whole avocado

2 tsp paprika

Sprinkle of salt & pepper

1 lime

 

To do

  1. Boil chicken breasts in saucepan and allow simmering.
  2. Place stock cube in 500g water and bring to boil, and then add quinoa. Stir well until seeds have opened. Do not remove until all water has been absorbed.
  3. Finely chop the tomatoes and olives and place in bowl.
  4. Add sweetcorn to bowl and toss Chia seeds in.
  5. Slice an avocado into chunks and add to the bowl.
  6. Then add the chopped garlic, salt, pepper and paprika.
  7. Add all of these ingredients to the cooked quinoa and mix.
  8. Slice the chicken breast and add into the quinoa bowl.
  9. Squeeze lime juice on top.

 

Hope you all enjoy! The Nachos in the picture are a separate recipe, get it here

Homemade cuisine

Homemade cuisine

Healthy Eating

Food shopping with the BodyFit Geek

Shopping with the BodyFit Geek

As I have previously mentioned in my earliest blog post, what you put into your shopping trolley is what you will eat when you’re craving food. If you throw biscuits & soda into your cart, kiss those abs goodbye. I truly believe developing a physique depends on 70% diet, 30% training. Why? Because you can’t out train a poor diet. Ever. So.. Let’s see what should be purchased at the supermarket. Things I try avoid eating include foods containing wheat, gluten (found in wheat) or processed high sugar and salted foods! I like to eat roughly the same amount of fat and protein a day, with fewer carbohydrates! Here is what the BodyFit Geek puts in her shopping cart and why;

Vegetables

Sweet potatoes – contain beta carotene (precursor of Vit A) which will essential nourish your hair condition.

Carrots – So easy to grate onto any salad bowl which is great for your skin

Red peppers – I add this to almost every dish I make. It is packed with Vit C and adds a splash of taste!

Courgette – I grate courgette instead of pasta and when bulking porridge oats (Zoats) Recipe up soonJ

Butternut Squash – underrated but delish. Vitamin C helps prevent ageing and helps skin glow

Asparagus – A quick & easy addition to add beside a protein meal, helping to reduce bloating and contains asparagine, a natural diuretic aiding the body to detoxify.

Meat & Fish

Chicken Breasts – Great source of protein. I usually stick to 4oz/meal.

Turkey breasts – An alternative to chicken if you have just had far too much! For both, try getting a lean cut that are boneless and skinless. Getting breaded meat defeats the whole purpose! Turkey has a slightly higher protein fat ratio of 27g protein per serving.

Lean Steak Mince – Cook up some chilli con carne with lean mince & chuck in some butternut squash. Delicious dish!

Smoked salmon – I would usually eat smoked salmon with eggs for breakfast every morning!

Eggs Eggs & more Eggs

Eggs are so essential in building muscle & maintaining growth that they get their own food group in my books! Scramble um, fry um, make up an omelette, doesn’t matter as long as you’re eating them! One egg contains 13g of protein at around 150 calories. If you are making an omelette, just use one yolk with lots of egg whites to keep cholesterol at bay!

 Nuts, Seeds & Grains

Quinoa – Low in carb, high in protein, what’s not to love? Contains essential amino acids aiding growth and repair & is perfectly nourishes skin and hair. Oh it’s also gluten free!

Rolled Oats – I would either have them for breakfast with protein powder & berries sprinkled on top, or in the evening I would make them into Zoats*

Brown Rice – Usually a 70g portion per person is plenty to go with protein & fat for din dins!

Walnuts – Contain omega-3 fatty acids and are easy to throw onto any meal!

Protein Granola – If I’m feeling bored of oats or eggs, this is another option for breakfast

Almond milk – Unsweetened almond milk is lower in sugar & calories than cow or goats milk & doesn’t taste that different!

Fruits

Bananas- High in potassium & magnesium which balance electrolytes and has digestive and cardiovascular benefits

Raw Blueberries- known for their importance in maintaining a healthy heart.

Raspberries- Ketones found in raspberries increase fat metabolism in cells and can help prevent obesity. Both berries show anti-inflammatory effects.

Fats

  • There are many types of fats, so be sure to know what you are buying.

Avocado – Packed with vitamins A,C and E a long with iron and other minerals, avocados are perfect antioxidants. They taste great in salad bowls or as homemade guacamole.

Coconut oil – Anything I cook is made with coconut oil, however other nut based butters are just as great!

Peanut butter- Probably the best thing ever. I actually add this into most of my recipes or just have it on some plain rice cakes as a snack throughout the day!

Cottage cheese – This muscle building food contains casein; a slow digesting dairy protein which raises blood amino acid levels. It also contains live cultures similar to that of probiotics, aiding nutrient absorption.

Just fancy a snack? Treat yourself.

  • To avoid packing it in altogether & bingeing on unlimited bars of chocolate or sweets, make sure you cheat a little, but plan the amount & around your training regime.

Protein bars – Quest barrrrrs! Just try a cookies&cream and tell me you don’t love it? Won’t happen.

Chocolate covered raisons – Be careful though, they are high in kcal so a handful is plenty!

Protein shake- Grab some tasty whey or hemp protein powder and make up a shake.

Lenny & Larry protein cookies – Grab these from SuperValu!

Gluten free rice cakes – Add some peanut butter to these or even spread some banana on them.

Frozen yoghurt- A scoop with some myprotein chocolate syrup is a very nice cheat treat !

Things to note

  • What are antioxidants? They combat free radicals to prevent DNA damage. LDL cholesterol must be kept at low levels by preventing oxidative stress. As oxidised cholesterol can lead to artery damage, antioxidants are important in our diet to avoid heart disease and heart attacks. Antioxidants also prevent diabetes complications and have been linked to reducing cancers.
  • Alcohol- Pretty much finds its way into every shopping cart. Again, plan when you are going to drink and how much you will drink. I can’t stress enough how important it is to let your hair down, but also to tie it back up time and time again. Try to go a few weeks without a drink and see how wonderful your body and mind can feel. Moderation is key here.
  • Leafy greens- As you can probably see, these do not go into my shopping cart as I have IBD. However, they are full of vitamins and are great to eat raw so of course buy these if you can tolerate them!

 

Email info@bodyfitgeek for any questions & follow my Instagram- Bodyfit_geek

Hope you enjoyed the blog and thank you all for your kind words and support x

Healthy Eating

Common Misconceptions: Body Image

BodyFit Geek - fitness blog

When people think about changing their bodies, common words surface such as dieting, weight loss and calories. To begin, if you want to change your body shape, no ‘diet’ is going to get you there, and if it does, it won’t last long. You need to view changing your body shape as a permanent alteration of your body’s metabolic system. To do this, you cannot simply expend more calories than you eat, as some have thought for many years. The source of where the calorie comes from is another essential part of making a change. To essentially ‘eat clean’, calories must come from sources such as whole grains, vegetables and nuts. You need to be aware of what macronutrients you are consuming daily and the amount.

Macros are proteins, carbs and fats. Another common mistake that was introduced by the food industry is that fats make you put on fat..WRONG!! Unsaturated fats found in avocados and nuts are essential in building your body up and developing muscle. You will not get fat from eating unsaturated fats, however do avoid excessive intake of saturated fats from animal sources of food.

Carbs are the baddy behind body fat (Check out my article on complex carbs). Protein is your best friend when aspiring to change your body! Protein is needed for energy, boosting metabolism and muscle repair. Protein sources include meats such as chicken and fish, eggs, yoghurt, lentils and cottage cheese and of course, Protein Powder.

Feel free to drop me an email if you have any questions!

Healthy Eating

Complex Carbohydrates

complex carbs

Hey everyone,

One key way of changing your body shape is to befriend complex carbs! I suggest avoiding all Simple carbs (those made of glucose). Simple carbs include table sugar and milk. Although fruits are rich in nutrients, be aware of them as they are packed with simple sugars.

Complex carbs are made of longer chains of sugars and therefore take the body longer to metabolise, and make you feel fuller for longer. These include whole grains, beans and nuts.

Other tasty complex carbs to add to your plate include sweet potatoes, veges, oats, quinoa.

Simple ways to incorporate complex carbs into your diet is to substitute brown rice for white and whole grain brown pasta for white pasta. I would encourage changing to nut based milks such as coconut or almond milk! They are much lower in calories contain less sugar per ml.

I love to bake, but unfortunately white flour is too refined to show any body changing results, so I recommend using oats or oat flour. I use these when baking protein treats! (Recipes to follow)