Reflections before Resolutions

Well, I hope you all had a lovely day with family or friends yesterday and Santa brought you everything you wanted. Maybe like me you have to do the whole thing again today with the outlaws, I’m exhausted already but Speedy Steve (the father inlaw) has promised Gluten Free Christmas Pudding just for me, so it would be rude not to!

Anyway I’m not going to ramble on as your probably picking at leftover mince pies reading this and the longer you sit the longer you will be eating.

So once the boxing day fun is over, and you’ve ram raided boots because a half price gift set is too good to miss it is that time of year we start to reflect on the past year before beginning a new one.

So I want you to just spend a few minutes writing down all the positive things that happened this year no matter how big or small.

Then I want you to think about the people you have shared your life with this year and why they are so important to you. Maybe you could write down why certain people mean so much to you, what qualities do they have that you admire and why do you cherish having them in your life, you don’t have to show them the list but I bet if you did it would be amazing.

Anyway, I think it is important to reflect on the past year before we go on to the whole new years resolution thing next week. Being specific about what you enjoyed most about the present year should help you to consider what sort of goals would truly enhance your 2015 rather than saying the usual get fitter lose weight…….zzzzz

And whilst we are reflecting I just want to tell all of my clients you have been awesome in 2014, I’m proud of what each and every one of you has achieved this year whether it be big or small and I look forward to moving into smashing out the park your 2015 goals with you. You keep me inspired to keep pushing, keep learning and moving forward. Thank you!

 

See you in 2015!!!!

 

Nicola x

 

 

 

Healthy Christmas Dinner

Have A healthy Christmas!

I know I sound like a stuck record, stop eating, stop partying, stop having fun………

But just know that I do it for your own good. Anyway, I am not about to suggest in anyway that you skip Christmas and have salad for lunch instead, nor am I going to suggest turning wine into water.

You see the thing is, the actual traditional Christmas dinner is not actually bad news, it’s more to do with the quantity we eat.

It’s obvious really as the main component traditionally is turkey.

Turkey is a rich source of lean protein. It is full of vitamins including iron, zinc, potassium and phosphorus.; As well as vitamin B6 and niacin, which are both essential for the body’s energy production.  It also contains Tryptophan, which produces Serotonin; essential for a robust immune system.  So it isn’t the bird giving you that after dinner slump!

So let’s move on to the vegetables.

Sprouts. Love them or loathe them these little green bundles pack a powerful punch.  To be honest I could have wrote a whole blog on their health benefits but I didn’t think it would be that popular.

Brussels sprouts contain a plethora of  anti-oxidants such as thiocyanates, indoles, lutein, zea-xanthin, sulforaphane and isothiocyanates and other words I cannot say or spell. Together, these phytochemicals offer protection from many forms of cancer.  And you said you hate them!

Brussel Sprouts contain Di-indolyl-methane (DIM), which is found to be good for immune function, and is also anti-bacterial and anti-viral. Remember that next time you have a virus.

Brussel sprouts are an excellent source of vitamin C; A and E. Again this helps them in their cancer busting properties as an excellent source of anti oxidants. They also contain Vit K which is good for bone health as well as many B6 and Niacin.

Parsnips?

Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the Parsnip. Don’t get me wrong Parsnips contain many phyto-nutritents, vitamins namely C and B, minerals and anti oxidants as well as being a good source of fibre.

However, they are one of the startchy vegetables meaning they contain (natural) sugar which can cause your insulin levels to spike. And  during the festive period it is common to roast them with honey (more sugar) making them an unhealthy addition to the table. Just have a couple then!

Carrots?

Carrots are rich in anti-oxidants namely Beta Carotene that help to prevent cancer, vitamin-A that helps to maintain good eyesight (your mum wasn’t lying when she said they’d help you see in the dark) and also assist with fertility. In addition, they are rich in Vitamin B-complex.

And of course because they are orange it is the vegetable law that they contain Vitamin C.

So depending on how you prepare them-you can add some butter just not the whole block!

Potatoes?

Well this is when it gets tricky, as essentially potatoes aren’t bad for you, and to be fair neither is goose fat ( I just did it again, told you fat wasn’t bad for you???) but if you look at it from a basic calories in, calories out equation due to the quantity we tend to eat, as well as everything else you may have eaten that day unfortunately they can be seen as the baddie. So your going to have to choose – more roasties or more post lunch quality street? I know which one I’m choosing and it doesn’t come in a shiny wrapper.

And then there are the extras (no not those kind!) the stuffing, gravy pigs in blankets and whatever else may be traditional in your house.  Again they may be made with good quality, natural ingredients but on a feast like this the old calories in calories out (although I hate it!) does have to be considered.

So Bullet Points Again!

  • Load up on loads of turkey meat
  • Loads of green vegetables and carrots
  • Couple of potatoes, pigs in blankets
  • Little bit of gravy and stuffing
  • STAY AWAY FROM THE QUALITY STREET! I REPEAT STAY AWAY FROM THE QUALITY STREET!

 

Nicola x

Ps. To those of you I won’t see before have a lovely Christmas, take some time to relax and reflect on the year so your ready to take 2015 by the horns!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Only the Strongest Will Survive!

So I reckon by now with the constant rounds of Christmas shopping, Christmas parties and excessive mince pies to be eaten some of you are already starting to feel the strain?

Well if you want to make it through the season still in one piece and ready to take on the new year all guns blazing then it’s time to take action.

Firstly, you need a plan! Write down anything you still need to do/buy and go and do it! Do not leave it until Christmas Eve I promise you’ll thank me for it when you’re sat chilling on the sofa with friends or family drinking a glass of something fizzy, whilst other people are tearing their hair out battling the shops.

Second and most importantly is keeping your health on track. All that rich food, alcohol, late nights will play havoc with your immune system as well as your gut.

So we will start with your immune system. If you want to survive the rest of 2014 intact, listen up.

When you are not out partying, try and keep your diet full of wholesome, nutritious food. That’s lots of fruit and veggies and good quality protein (poultry, fish, meat, eggs, pulses etc.). This will help to keep your energy up!

Then, I suggest if you don’t already adding a multivitamin plus extra Vitamin C to your daily routine. I personally like a dissolvable Vit C – like Berocca, because it also encourages me to drink plenty of water. If your are likely to be overdoing the alcohol, (Making my disapproving face but I know your ignoring it) then consider adding a Milk Thistle supplement too as this will help to support your liver.

Where possible make sure you are still getting plenty of sleep, drinking plenty of water and generally taking care of yourself.

It is also helpful to at least try and keep up some form of exercise (no dancing at midnight fuelled by champagne does not count………….or does it?). Continue to pre plan your workouts so you know where they will fit into your week. If you really don’t have time for your regular workouts, make time for some short circuits maybe 10-20mins that you can do most days, if you need some inspiration send me an email. I promise that 10-20mins will be worth it when you don’t feel like a slug on 1st Jan!

Right so I think that’s my mum style lecture over (Not my actual mum she is more likely to be handing out the wine).

Bullet Points!

  • Make a Plan
  • Eat plenty of fruit and veg
  • Take some extra supplements
  • Sleep
  • Drink Water
  • Fit in some exercise

 

Nailed it!

 

Nicola x

12 Days of Christmas Workout!

So since you are all probably well into festive bulking season by now, I thought it only right to try and encourage you to do a workout.

So here goes my 12 days of Christmas workout – I expect you to sing along as you do it!

  • On the First Day of Christmas my Trainer gave to me A tuck Jump and a Burpee
  • On the Second Day of Christmas my Trainer gave to me 2 Jumping Lunges and A Tuck Jump and a Burpee
  • On the Third day of Christmas my Trainer gave to me 3 Tricep Press Ups, 2 Jumping Lunges and a Tuck Jump and a Burpee
  • On the fourth day of Christmas my Trainer gave to me 4 Mountain Climbers, 3 Tricep Press Ups, 2 Jumping Lunges and a Tuck Jump and a Burpee
  • On the Fifth day of Christmas my Trainer gave to me 5 Squat Swiiiiinnngsss! 4 Mountain Climbers, 3 Tricep press Ups, 2 Jumping Lunges and a Tuck Jump and  burpee
  • On the 6th Day of Christmas my Trainer gave to me 6 1 leg deadlifts, 5 squat swings, 4 mountain climbers, 3 tricep press ups, 2 jumping lunges and a Tuck Jump and a Burpee
  • On the 7th Day of Christmas my Trainer gave to me 7 Plank Twists 6 1 leg deadlifts, 5 Squat swings, 4 mountain climbers, 3 tricep press ups, 2 jumping lunges and a Tuck Jump and a Burpee
  • On the 8th Day of Christmas my Trainer gave to me 8 Reverse Lunges, 7 Plank Twists, 6 1 leg deadlifts, 5 Squat swings, 4 mountain climbers, 3 tricep press ups, 2 jumping lunges and a Tuck Jump and a Burpee
  • On the 9th day of Christmas my Trainer gave to me 9 Hand walkouts, 8 reverse lunges, 7 plank twists, 6 1 leg deadlifts, 5 squat swings, 4 mountain climbers, 3 tricep press ups, 2 jumping lunges and a Tuck Jump and a Burpee
  • On the 10th day of Christmas my Trainer gave to me 10 Perfect Press Ups, 9 Hand walkouts, 8 reverse lunges, 7 plank twists, 6 1 leg deadlifts, 5 squat swings, 4 mountain climbers, 3 tricep press ups, 2 jumping lunges and a Tuck Jump and a Burpee
  • On the 11th Day of Christmas my Trainer gave to me 11 Dorsal Raises, 10 Perfect Press Ups, 9 Hand walkouts, 8 reverse lunges, 7 plank twists, 6 1 leg deadlifts, 5 squat swings, 4 mountain climbers, 3 tricep press ups, 2 jumping lunges and a Tuck Jump and a Burpee
  • On the 12th Day of Christmas my trainer gave to me 12 high squat jumps, 11 Dorsal Raises, 10 Perfect Press Ups, 9 Hand walkouts, 8 reverse lunges, 7 plank twists, 6 1 leg deadlifts, 5 squat swings, 4 mountain climbers, 3 tricep press ups, 2 jumping lunges and a Tuck Jump and a Burpee
Phew! Workout Done!
And if your seeing me this week, yes this might be in your session, no I won’t be doing the singing!
Nicola x

Festive Damage Limitation

Well, as the advent calendars have been cracked open the official Christmas countdown has begun! I don’t have one this year although I’ve noticed my mum has bought the dogs one each…………………………we’ll be having words!

Anyway, it is traditionally the time of year when everyone throws the diet out the window, let’s their hair down in a string of social events telling themselves they will start again in January. Yes, you the know the 1st of January every year when you wake up hung over, bloated and several pounds heavier than you were in November? Do you really want to be there again this year?

I’m hoping the answer is no you don’t! Now I’m not saying you should remain a Teetotal Rabbit fooder (is that a word?) throughout the festive season. But you do need to decide how much of a blowout is really worth undoing all your hard work this year.  If you’re happy with seriously loosening your belt and then having to get your graft on in the New Year then that’s fine, it’s your choice and as long as you are ready to commit to putting the work in come January then I don’t really think there is a problem with having a few weeks off the healthy wagon. But it really is important not just for your waistline but for your overall health that you rein back in once the festivities are over.

But what if you don’t want to undo your hard earned results, but you don’t want to become a social hermit? Well, in that case it’s just about putting some what I call “damage limitation” strategies in place to help you stay on track.

Firstly, I know I sound boring but keeping your alcohol intake in check will help A LOT! Decide whether you really need to drink at every event you attend. After work quiet drinks, maybe you could just stick with lime and soda and save you’re drinking for the full work party?

Christmas Eve? Maybe just have one or two to save yourself from a hangover for the big day and you can enjoy your glass of compulsory breakfast fizz rather than using it as hair of the dog (you know you’ve done this!)

And then there’s the food! Now most of you will know, I’m not a big drinker but food is my weakness! And many of my clients have already said your offices have started to fill up with tins of chocolates, mince pies etc. which make sticking to healthy eating really difficult. Now I can’t really do anything about your companies obsession with trying to fatten you up like Christmas turkeys, and aside from me stalking you in the office to intercept any mince pie incidents ( I am available to hire for this service though…..) you are just going to have to do your best to avoid them. Maybe just pick your favourites and allow yourself a little treat on a Friday. Try not to just eat sweets because they are there. Ask yourself if you are hungry, do you even really like those sweets, and how will they make you feel? If the answer is probably a bit sick and bloated along with a potential sugar crash, back away! Honestly, you’ll feel great about that decision later!

How about taking the initiative and taking a fruit basket into work, more people than you think will be grateful for it!

Right, diet morals lecture over for now, I just want you to keep on the clean eating as much as you can, we still have a few weeks to go until the day itself and I don’t want you feeling bloated  before dinner in your sparkly Christmas day dress……..fellas. So keep that in mind when you pass the quality street tin!

Nicola x

PS.  I have to issue a formal apology to some of my male clients, as more than one of them has sent complaints that due to my advice serious consequences have arisen. Apparently, following my advice has caused throughout this year several clothes shopping trips (the most hated of shopping trips known to man!) as current wardrobe items where now too big, and it may also be an idea for me to start offering a discount at a good suit shop. Sorry guys! I think to prevent this becoming an issue in future I will have a T Shirt printed-“Warning this Personal Trainer May cause Weight Loss”