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fitness

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

Recipes

Courgette Chicken ”Pasta”

Courgette Chicken Pasta

Serves 2 – One of my personal favorites.

Ingredients

3 Courgettes

1 Tin of tomatoes

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (8oz)

1 Clove of garlic

1 Red pepper

Paprika for seasoning chicken


    To do

  1. Chop the peppers and garlic and put to the side.
  2. Using a potato peeler or spiralizer, peel the courgettes into ribbons until you reach seeded area and discard.
  3. Season the chicken with paprika and fry on a medium heat until fully cooked
  4. Add the peppers and garlic followed by the tinned tomatoes and lower the heat.
  5. Remove from heat & voila !

 

Omit chicken for Vege option or use fish instead! This tastes similar to pasta but is lower in carbs & calories.

 

Enjoy x

Fitness

The Headon Boxing Academy

Headon Boxing Academy

As most of you have seen from recent posts, I tried my first ever boxing class. Most people associate boxing with injury, danger and essentially just fear the thought of trying it out. Stop right there. Going to that boxing class was such an eye opener for me. Not only does it challenge your fitness, but allows you to adapt and learn new skill sets while increasing your endurance. I fell in love with it so much that I will now be taking part in their Charity fight night programme! If you have ever wanted to try something different and didn’t know where to begin, look no further. What surprised me the most was how safe the class was and nothing like what I expected!

Classes with the Headon boxing academy are held in two locations; Chapter 2 fitness in Sandyford, and Crossfit 353 on Bath Ave. These classes are ran by Sean and Paddy, both former Leinster and Irish Champions who represented Dublin Boxing team. They both are qualified IABA boxing coaches and great fun to work with. As I am a complete beginner who wouldn’t know how to throw a punch, they provided a fun environment that allowed me to learn at a steady pace. I am so excited for my next class and couldn’t recommend these guys more.

The Headon boxing academy is renowned for organising Charity fight night programmes, raising thousands of euros for worthy causes in the process. The Headon brothers train all participants over to ensure a safe and successful fight night! The latest programme offers 6 week training to prepare for a March Fight night which will take place in the Talbot Hotel, Stillogan. This programme is unique in the sense that you can see what it is like to be a fighter and live the whole experience while raising money for a charity!

Could you be a fighter? There are limited places available so make sure you contact Sean or Paddy for more details: headonboxing@gmail.com

I wanted to change up my gym programme & look into CrossFit as well and when I heard about this I had to give it ago. Even if you try boxing and it isn’t your thing, don’t give up. There are many options out there including yoga, boxfit, or one of my go to classes, Body Pump. I couldn’t recommend trying a class with Sean & Paddy even just to see what all the fuss is! You won’t regret it. Email me on info@bodyfitgeek.com with any questions.

x

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Fitness

Training with the BodyFit Geek

I have received many questions on what exactly I do at the gym, so I’ve decided to give you all the main idea of what I try to achieve by going to the gym. I alternate between four day splits however I have been going six times a week at the moment because I have so much time! You can achieve your goals with four great sessions a week, so don’t get too overwhelmed. A few things to incorporate into workouts are as follows;

HIIT– High interval intense training in a popular method used to burn fat. If your goal is to shed excess body fat, I would strongly suggest you throw this into your routine once or twice a week. HIIT training involves alternating between moderate to high levels of intensity and has been shown to burn fat more effectively than regular cardio. Aim to avoid being in a steady catabolic state that many can associate with jogging. The aim is to keep shocking your body with bursts of exercise to increase fat burn. HIIT training is recommended for anyone who is unsatisfied with fat loss. Types of HIIT include kettle bell swings, heavy rope training, boxing and my go to- Sprints. I love sprinting because I find it the easiest to throw into a workout. I sometimes only add 10 minutes of HIIT to the end of a weight training session!

An example of my HIIT training on a treadmill involves warming up with a brisk walk for around 2 minutes, followed by a moderate jog for another minute. I then go into a sprint for 30 seconds and jog for 30 seconds. This is continued for ten minutes on/off.

Cardio acceleration – I find this tough when I decide to add this to a full weight training session. Instead of taking a break in between sets, I add cardio such as kettle bell swings or burpees. I must say that I am truly wrecked after a CA workout but the results are great and I feel fitter since I have started this! I like to add this at least once a week because I don’t really run anymore and find it more time efficient in a busy week.

Super setting – I absolutely love supersets. A superset is when two exercises are performed in a row without a break. For example I would do 8×3 reps of shoulder press followed by 8×3 sets of bench press consecutively.

Light V Heavy – I highly recommend doing lighter weights with high repetitions followed by another day with heavy weight and low repetitions. I find I become stronger faster when I alternate between both. When I lift a heavy weight I am only able to complete 3-4 sets however you should be hitting 10-12 reps with a lighter weight.

Plan your workouts- I urge each and every one of you to make a plan for the week. There is no point walking aimlessly from machine to machine for an hour and then heading home to demolish a chicken fillet roll. It won’t work. You need to pick certain muscle groups and even pair them for a session. I also train legs and abs together because I find it works best for me. If I’m training my back, I would usually train my chest as well. Trial and error will enable you to see what works best for you and don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice.

Please remember, setbacks will happen. That’s life. Your success mirrors how your respond to your failure. Take breaks and rethink your plan. If you aren’t seeing results, gather yourself, regroup and start again. Do not give up, you will get there so commit to your plan and start training!

Fitness

Tackling New Year’s Resolutions

New Year Resoloutions

New Year’s resolutions are probably one of the biggest fails I have come across, but why? It is shown that over 90% of people will not stick to their resolution, so aim to be in that 10% of the population that does. First things first, what really is your goal? If you want to lose weight, you need to ask these questions; How much? Why? What to you hope to look like?  If you hope to tone up and lose weight, you need to start lifting! Running and cardio are amazing for your health and decreases the likelihood of illnesses so incorporate this, but the main focus for those of you trying to lose weight and tone up is too put all your energy into lifting those weights. Many people don’t realise that when you run for twenty minutes, you are burning calories for only twenty minutes, but when you lift weights for twenty minutes, you increase your resting metabolic rate which means you will continue to burn calories throughout the rest of your day! It’s a win win!!

  • You need be a visionary here. Create a vision of what you want to look like and think about how you can change your lifestyle to get there.  Once you know how you want to look, make it your screen saver, stick it to your fridge or leave it beside your bed so you don’t stray from your goal!
  • Another key way of sticking to your New Year’s resolution is training with a buddy! It is so much harder to bail on going to the gym if you’ve already told someone you will go with them. You’re not only letting yourself down but your pal too.  You can even decide to do one class a week with a friend and train by yourself on the other days. It is also nice to change up your work out with classes and can help you generate new ideas into your workouts.
  • Change your diet. If you aren’t happy with how you look, you can probably blame the food you eat. You may be eating very little and are still failing to see results. This is down to what is actually in the foods you’re eating. You need to avoid too much sugary foods, and begin building your diet around fats and protein while limiting carb intake!
  • Keep a diary. If you do not schedule your workouts in to a busy 2016, you will more than likely fail to make a change. A diary can be used to write down what foods you have eaten too so you can face the reality that you are not eating as well as you think. That chocolate bar may be small, but the amount of sugar in it is not, so stop hiding behind that baggy jumper and get moving!
  • Start small and aim big. Any exercise is better than nothing. Try walk for at least 30 mins each day and build yourself up to joining a gym. If you can’t afford that, home workouts are a great way to get fit too. Talk to friends about it and get the support you need!

Hope this helps and please email me at info@bodyfitgeek.com with any questions & check out my new Instagram account @BodyfitGeek.

 

Thanks & Have a healthy 2016

x

Fitness

Getting Started

rope

When beginning to train follow these tips:

1. Get Familiar with equipment

There is nothing more daunting than walking into a gym and not knowing how to use anything! And if you try, you might injure yourself. Everyone starts somewhere.. So ask a member of staff or get a PT to show you!

2. Build yourself up

Just because the girl beside you or your friend can do things.. Doesn’t mean your body is ready yet. So start small & gradually develop your muscles.. You will get there.

3. Do not train the same body part consecutively ( I stress this point)

If you have trained your legs and think you can do it again the next day.. You either haven’t trained them hard enough or you are going to defeat the purpose of training by not allowing the fibres to grow & repair!
Do not do this!!! There is so many areas of the body to target that it’s a struggle to fit them all in during the week.

5. Don’t over train

This is a tricky one because everyone has different gym session lengths. You can fit in a great workout in under forty minutes and you do not need to spend two hours at the gym.

I will be writing a blog “Guide for Beginners” within the week so check back!

Thanks everyone 🙂

Fitness

My 8 week transformation

My 8 Week Transformation

Hi Everyone!

So I’ve completed my 8 week transformation which I decided to do after the summer in Canada. I needed to tone up and lose the excess weight I put on thanks to too many nights out & pizzas….

You will always hit a wall when it comes to training so it’s important to remain open minded and try to incorporate new ideas into both training and nutrition. I decided to add new pieces to my workouts including new circuits where I have pushed myself and feel stronger already! I also have looked into CrossFit which I recommend but am nowhere near an expert in this. I want to continue learning and developing myself as much as possible

This change involved cleaning up my diet, counting macros (sorry to say) and weight lifting. As some of you know I really have gone off cardio and would occasionally go for a run, with a push. I am in the middle of exams but will be putting up a Guide for Beginners which I know a lot of you want info on so I’ll do this ASAP. It will include info on what to eat and how to train. Again, Thank You all for the positive messages and keep checking back for new recipes & tips!

Fitness

When I first started

Weight Training

When I first joined a gym, I ran 4-5 times a week and thought I could run off a bad meal. I may have stayed the same weight but felt I wasn’t getting out what I had put in. I turned to weight training and my body and mind has changed for life. I no longer ‘dread’ the gym, but almost look forward to feeling strong and healthy. The key to success is realising you can’t out-do a poor diet. No amount of cardio will get you the results you long for. There is no quick fix, but i guarantee weight training will get you the result a hell of a lot quicker.