So, after all that science stuff I’m trying to give you some easy weeks-whilst still keeping it super informative of course. So this week less science more health top tips. So I’m going to start with drinking your fruit and veg. This can be done by either juicing or blending.

Juicing.

Juicing extracts water and nutrients from produce and discards the fibre. This makes the nutrients more readily absorbed and many people find this easier on their digestive system too. However, getting rid of the fibre also means it is absorbed into your blood stream quickly and can cause a blood sugar spike, followed by a crash. This is especially true if you are juicing fruits, as the fructose in fruit is essentially a sugar (albeit more healthy than refined table sugar) and is therefore dealt with by Insulin.  Also when you remove the fibre you may not find the juice as filling.

Blending/Smoothies

Smoothies contain the entire fruit or vegetable meaning the skin is left on. The blending process breaks the fibre content down meaning it is still easy to digest but due to it still being present it releases more steadily into your blood stream and therefore is less likely to cause a crash.

I think with both it is important to try and keep the majority of your ingredients as vegetables as this prevents It from becoming a healthivised (new word) sugar fest!

Although I think there is merit with both options, in my opinion unless you have a digestive issue that does not agree with fibre (some forms of IBS etc.) then I think blending is the better option.

There is also a new kid on the block by the name of Nutri Bullet, which does something called extracting. Basically it rips everything up much finer than your blender so you would get a more juice consistency without losing the fibre. I don’t have one so I can’t vouch for its claims but they are incredibly popular so I guess there must be something in it, other than the fact it is much easier to clean than a blender-which in itself is a winner to me!

So, other than having a liquid lunch not of the alcoholic variety what is the point in all this fruit and veg pulverising???

Well, traditionally Juicing (and all its cousins, I’m just going to call it juice for this blog) have been used a diet tool for detox or just making the age old shake diet at least have some actual nutrition in it.

But you know I wouldn’t be mentioning it because of that since I don’t believe in fad diets, short term fixes etc.

No, juicing is having a bit of a revival at the minute not just as a weight loss tool, but more from a health perspective. It is a great way of getting loads of fruit and veg into your diet really quickly and easily. With a fresh smoothie breakfast you could have 5-6 servings of fruit and veg before you’ve even left the house! I imagine you will be so vitaminsed (I’m at it again) you will be firing on all cylinders all day, and don’t even get me started on your immune system-it will be like a gold medal boxer fending off those bugs-pop, pop, bam Mr flu!

And if you wanted to up the ante a bit further you could add further healthy ingredients to make it an all-round super power juice! Adding a super greens powder will add the amazing health benefits if green veg x 20 without having to eat your bodyweight in kale and cabbage.

Chias, Flax/Linseeds add protein which will make it a more complete meal and is also a great way for vegetarians/vegans to add complete proteins to their diet. Not to mention their anti-oxidant levels and Omega 3 benefit of linseed-this gives my pony a glossy coat so it will do the same for you!

There is also Coconut Oil, Maca Powder, Spirulina, Wheat Grass and many other things you could add that you may not enjoy eating on its own but when added to a tasty juice you won’t even know it’s there apart from the healthy sense of awesomeness you will feel all day.

 

So if you fancy getting your blender out or joining the Nutribullet revolution there are a couple of recipes to get you started below.

 

Nicola x

The Steak and Champagne Trainer

 

Green Smoothie.

5g Seaweed

½ large Cucumber

2 Green Apples

2 Sticks Celery

70g Spinach or Kale-Stalks removed

½ Large Avocado

Large Handful Watercress

Small piece of root Ginger

Small handful of fresh parsley

3 tbsp Lemon Juice

1 tsp Powdered Chlorella or Spirulina

And Blend!

 

Strawberry/Mint Blast

1 Handful Watercress

½ Banana-I’d peel t first I’m not that obsessed with fibre!

6 Strawberries

Handful Mint leaves

1 tablespoon Chia Seeds

1 mug Almond / Coconut Milk

Add water as required, blast all together in blender!

 

And because there is always room for a bit of Chocolate…..

Chocolate Peanut Butter and Maca Smoothie

1 Banana

Handful of Kale

2tbsp Cacao Powder or Cocoa Nibs

2tbsp Peanut or Almond Butter

1 tsp Cinnamon

1-2tsp Maca

1 tsp Flaxseed

Blend and add water as necessary, or try Coconut water for a little twist.

 

 

Oestrogen

Bear with me boy’s I promise this is not a dressed up Bodyform advert, this is still relevant to the male species and if you read on you will find out why.

High Levels of Oestrogen are commonly linked with weight gain and high fat levels.  But which comes first – Chicken (Sorry Hen, Sorry Mr A!) or the Egg?  Does the fat cause the Oestrogen, or does the Oestrogen cause the fat?

Simple answer…………………………….It’s both! Glad we’ve cleared that up!

Firstly, increased fat cells increase the production of Oestrogen, and secondly high levels of Oestrogen slow down metabolism and therefore encourage your body to hang onto fat. Hence a vicious (probably emotional with all that oestrogen!) cycle.

 

Oestrogen causes weight gain by inhibiting thyroid function. Ordinarily Oestrogen and the Thyroid play off each other in an evenly matched game of tennis. However if Thyroid function becomes impaired through such things as high or low blood sugar, due to an Insulin imbalance then that game is no longer evenly matched. Think Andy Murray playing me, I’ll give you a clue I can’t even hit the ball! So impaired Thyroid function = Impaired Oestrogen Function.

The reason this is not just a ladies issue is because testosterone is converted to Oestrogen by an enzyme called Aromatase. Aromatase is the primary source of Oestrogen in men-and you thought you were safe from its clutches!

Aromatase is present is all types of body tissue however the vast majority of it is found in the adipose tissue –that’s body fat to you and me. So boys the more fat you are carrying, the more Oestrogen you’re carrying – hence the man boobs!

 

However this is where is gets complicated – take a bite of your hot cross bun…………………………. Oestrogen actually plays a large role in weight loss!  Don’t spit it back out, it’s true and I shall now in as simple a manner as possible explain why. Without dropping the real science because I know you intelligent folk love it.

Oestrogens presence within a cell decreases the uptake of Lipoprotein Lipase – LPL. LPL encourages fat uptake of a cell, therefore the presence of Oestrogen stops this from happening. So Oestrogen stops cells picking up fat???

Secondly, Oestrogen increases the activity of Hormone Sensitive Lipase-HSL. When HSL is stimulated by Epinephrine it incites the breakdown of fat, this occurs most commonly during exercise, so basically Oestrogen is burning fat whilst you’re on the X Trainer-Cool Huh!

And thirdly, Oestrogen can also stimulate the production of Growth Hormone, which in turn inhibits Insulin Production and forms part of your blood sugar control. It is also inhibits the uptake of carbohydrate for energy and therefore encourages the burning of fat. Yes I’m confused now too!

To be honest the scientists are still scratching their heads a little on this, however what can be proven is that upsetting the apple cart of your other weight loss hormones i.e. Insulin Cortisol, Leptin, Ghrelin has a knock on effect on your Oestrogen function and it should therefore be considered as part of the process.

So I will kick on with what affects your hormones a little more next week , after you’ve all spent the weekend becoming Easter Egg Shaped, if anyone needs me I will be head first into a giant Walnut Whip.

 

Nicola x

 

 

 

Hormones Pt 4

Right after the epic scienceness of the last few weeks I’m going to try and keep this short and sweet-cue 8 pages…………………..

So after aforementioned scienceness (if I use it enough times it will become a real word!)I did promise that I would go through what things in our daily lives can affect all these hormones that are controlling our body fat levels-like little fat controllers, hats and moustaches, the lot!!!!

Firstly, the one I think is most prominent in our culture today-Sugar!!!! You probably picked up on this along the way, but as a recap. When we eat sugar our bodies release Insulin in order to convert it into energy. However if we are continually eating Sugar our bodies are continually releasing Insulin, which can over time lead to blocked messages from Leptin (the hormone that tells you  that you are full). So your body thinks you are starving and stores glucose (sugar/starch) as belly fat.  Then Raised Insulin causes raised Cortisol (your stress hormone) which also then tells your body to release energy/Glucose because in caveman times you would need the energy to run away from a bear; because there is no bear, your body simply releases more insulin to deal with the glucose and the cycle continues. And as previously mentioned in earlier weeks this then leads to blocked messages for other hormones such as Ghrelin which is your appetite suppressant hormone and your whole food control system becomes out of whack.

Sleep! Lack of sleep has been shown to increase Cortisol levels (just mentioned why that is bad) and also has been shown to lower Leptin levels (so you don’t feel full). Along with that, your lack of energy will make you reach for something Sugary to perk you up and well…………………….we know that’s not a good idea.

Stress. I’m sure you’ve guessed why but just in case it’s due to that pesky Cortisol elevation which although in short term stress is actually a good thing due to it increasing memory, mental alertness etc. when constantly raised due to constant high stress levels it can have a negative impact.

Chemicals. Many chemicals that are found in everyday products can have a negative impact on our hormones. Now I’m not saying the Chemical as it stands is the major cause on its own but unfortunately we are now in a world where nearly everything we touch, eat, breathe has some form of chemical in it and it is this overloading that is the problem. Most commonly are BPA’s found in plastic which affect Oestrogen, Pesticides found in/on our food which yes at the time of spraying where considered safe but day in day out ingestion has been shown to disrupt our endocrine system (hormones!), and also to be considered are household things like cleaning fluids, our beauty products and make up.

So in the view of keeping this short and sweet, here’s a little bullet point list of ways to try and balance those hormones out.

  • Watch your sugar and starch intake. Eat whole, natural (like not in a packet) foods as the majority of your diet. If you ignore the rest, I personally believe this is the most important one!
  • Get plenty of sleep. Surviving on 4 hours sleep is not a badge of honour it’s stupid!
  • Try to control your stress levels. Although you probably can’t remove the stress from your life, things such as exercise, yoga, meditation, reading a book etc. can all help to unwind you and manage your stress.
  • Take a look at how many chemicals you come into contact with a day. Now I’m not suggesting you should lead a life free of anything that has a chemical in it, indeed many of them are indeed safe. But perhaps have a look at manageable ways you can decrease them. For instance having a water bottle that is BPA free, having water filter maybe? For me as well as the water bottle, I have switched to a more natural deodorant (Lush.co.uk if you must know) and I’m also doing the same with my skin care-my Lancôme eyeliner however is a chemical combination I cannot exist without! But small steps people, small steps!

 

Nicola x

If you would like some help with your health and wellbeing please contact me regarding Personal Training across Liverpool, The Wirral and surrounding areas. NS-PT Personal Training can help you with weight loss in your own home or Local Park.

So that’s me out the door dinosaur!