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Healthy Breakfast Recipes

Breakfast is considered one of the most important meals of the day. To be honest I would have to agree a good breakfast can help to get your energy levels up and raring to go, as well as keeping you satisfied to prevent overeating or cravings for sugary foods later in the day.

But it can also be a minefield of unhealthy options if you go with one of the many commercial options. Cereal – massive sugary filled thumbs down, breakfast bars/biscuits-don’t even get me started and well a round of toast just doesn’t really cut it in the raring to go energy boosting, craving stopping stakes.

So what to do? Well I’ll be honest it does require a little forward planning and some preparation but I promise it will be worth it. Once you realise how much more energised you feel and much less hungry on a good breakfast, toast or cornflakes won’t cut it for you anymore either.

It is really important to get some protein and good fats in early in the day, this is what helps to keep your hunger levels at bay and boost your energy levels preventing the dreaded 10.30 am biscuit o’clock slump. It is also a good idea to put some veg in your breakfast, firstly for their many anti-oxidant and health benefits but also to help fill you up.

Most of you will know that I am rather partial to Steak, Eggs and green veg (green beans, broccoli, spinach…….) for breakfast and some of you may think that is madness. “Steak for breakfast? But that is an evening food!” erm says who? The food police? Although I have already converted a couple of you to the idea of erm “evening meats” at breakfast time some of you may still need some convincing, go on I dare you to give it a go.

Don’t fancy steak, well this week I’m eating beef mince with roasted butternut squash, shredded cabbage and a sprinkling of goats cheese, this could easily be done with turkey mince if you prefer and any other veg you fancy. We mix and match to keep things interesting-purple carrots anyone?

Perhaps you’re just not a big meat eater?

Well how about fish? There are so many different kinds of fish you could be mixing it up for months. Try tuna, salmon/smoked salmon, mackerel, kippers, river cobbler, trout………

You could have fish with eggs and some veg of your choice, minus the eggs if you just want veg, you could even have salad (I know a lunch food at breakfast-madness) trust me it isn’t that weird! Or there is a Kedgeree recipe below which is a great one to bulk cook and have prepared for all week.

How about good old fashioned bacon and eggs, you could try turkey bacon if you fancy a change, maybe add some mushrooms and tomatoes. Just doesn’t deep fat fry it, use coconut oil or the grill please!

Or maybe an omelette with bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach whatever you like. I also like to cook them in a muffin tin to eat on the go, or pre prepare a big vegetable frittata and slice it up to go into a box to take with me.

And if you still hanker after the traditional cereal based option how about porridge, you could add some seeds and fruit to up the health benefits.   Or why not try Bircher Muesli –see below for recipe. It is traditionally made with oats but I find they don’t agree with me so this is the recipe I will be using which is from Hemsley and Hemsley The Art of Eating Well and uses Buckwheat instead. But you could still do it with oats if you don’t have an issue with them.

And for those of you that just can’t face food, how about a smoothie. These are really easy to make with any fruit you like, berries, bananas, peaches whatever, just add some milk or natural yoghurt, blend and you’re done. Although I find they aren’t particularly filling done this way so it is best to add maybe a tablespoon of peanut butter, coconut oil,  flaxseeds, handful of oats or a protein powder make it more satisfying. Try to get a protein with very few ingredients like absorb nutrition, or most vegan hemp or pea proteins have very low levels of rubbish added.  (Taste ok when mixed into a smoothie-not so ok on their own!)

Let me know how you get on!


Also just before I sign off  I wanted to share with you this video from a guy who I have a huge amount of respect for he is my go to nutrition guru Ben Coomber, highlighting what our diet industry is doing to our increasing obesity epidemic.


Nicola x

PS. Amazing news this week that my lovely client Sam has managed to lower her previously high blood pressure to normal in just 3 months purely by changing her diet habits. It’s amazing what can be done without drugs. Well done Sam I’m really proud of you!


Bircher                 Muesli – serves 2

60g Buckwheat Groats (soaked overnight)

2-3tbsp of seeds (any you like-pumpkin, sunflower etc.)

125g Natural yoghurt

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp raw honey

1 large apple, grated with skin on

Optional desiccated coconut to serve

In the morning mix all the ingredients in a bowl and you’re done!



Cranberry Quinoa Breakfast Bars-Great to make at the beginning of the week so you’re well prepared.

2 bananas

250g Quinoa (soaked overnight

2 tbsp. chia seeds

100g desiccated coconut

100g coconut flour

60g butter or coconut oil

40g sesame seeds

1tbsp ground cinnamon

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

½ tsp sea salt

2tbsp maple syrup

50g dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 180°c/gas mark 6. Butter a baking dish.

Mash the bananas in a bowl then add the rest of the ingredients plus 100ml water (if you are using a food processor leave the cranberries out until the end).

Pour mixture into a dish and spread out evenly.

Bake for 50mins until lightly golden brown on top. Remove from oven and leave to cool.

You can then slice into bars, and you can also freeze them to keep them fresh and just take one out the night before for defrosting. They also make a great on the go snack.


Choc muggins-I know chocolate! I’ve clearly gone soft!

25g almond meal

2 tbsp. desiccated coconut

1 tablespoon raw cacao powder

½ teaspoon stevia

60ml milk-any kind

Plain yoghurt to serve.

This is too easy it feels wrong, but basically all the ingredients (except the yoghurt) mixed in a mug, microwave on high for 1 ½ – 2 mins and then serve with yoghurt.


Kedgeree – serves 2

1 tablespoon butter

¼ onion finely chopped

100g Basmati Rice

1 teaspoon Curry Powder (any heat you like)

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

2 medium eggs-boiled

100g hot smoked salmon flaked into chunks

Chopped Parsley

Heat the butter and onion until just soft, add the rice and stir until coated in butter. Add curry powder and turmeric and stir. Add 200ml water and bring to the boil. Once boiling turn down heat and simmer for about 10-12mins – check the rice is cooked through. Add the salmon, parsley and the chopped boiled eggs, mix through and serve.

You could make this in advance and have it boxed up and ready to go for the next few days ahead.


Be the Person you Aspire to Be

It has been said in business circles for many years that you should dress for the job you want not the job that you have, referring to the fact that just because you make the tea if you aspire to a higher position you should dress professionally in order to be taken seriously.

Unfortunately for me that would have meant swapping my suit for lycra whilst still working in a law firm-wouldn’t have gone down well but I did start my business around my full time job, went to the gym myself before work so I guess that was me getting into role in a more appropriate fashion.

I think this analogy also works well in terms of health, fitness and weight loss. If you want to be a healthy, fit person then you need to act like one, adopt the daily habits of one and guess what??? That will mean you are one!

If you are currently a bit of a couch potato and aspire to be a healthy, fit, athletic individual then you need to ask yourself.


What would a healthy person eat?

What daily habits would a fit, healthy person adopt?

How would an athlete structure their training?


The answers are the things that you need to start doing right now!

You need to adopt the habits of the person you want to be in order to become them.

So start today.

Want to lose weight?

Have a look at what people who have previously lost weight (and kept it off easily) eat. Adopt the eating habits of people who don’t struggle with their weight. You will probably find they eat 3 balanced meals a day, only eat if they’re hungry and fill most of their diet with fresh vegetables and fruit, protein, healthy fats and some carbs depending on their activity level.

Improve your fitness?

What sort of exercise regime does a toned, lean machine have? Not a sporadic on off one, but a consistent effort maybe 4 x per week. Start exercising regularly, whether that be walking, dancing or cross-fit, just get into the habit and things will start to change.

So if you want to be a better version of you, start to change your habits even if it’s just a little at a time and you will start to become that person-I’ll let you in on a secret……………………………you already are that person you just need to let it show. #BETHEBESTYOU!

And boy’s that does not mean showing up to work meetings in a Spiderman suit………………

So if you need some help with your health, fitness and weight loss, give me a call on 07917681666 to see how Nicola Stuart Personal Training could help you. NS-PT provide Personal Training across Liverpool, The Wirral, St Helens and surrounding areas in your own home or local park.

Nicola x

PS. So now the temperature has well and truly dropped, I love to go for a cold, muddy run with my pooches if not only for the excuse to warm up with a well-earned hot chocolate at the end. But a chemical laden options just won’t cut it. Here’s how to get some health benefits in your hot chocolate without compromising on taste.

1 cup whole milk (Cows, Goats, Sheep, Almond, Coconut whatever milk you like!)

1 TB coconut oil

1/2 TB unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 tsp vanilla

1 tsp honey (use more or less depending on how sweet you like it)


Just heat all the ingredients together over a medium heat, whisking as you go! Once hot, pour in mug and ahhhhhh.




Personal Trainer on Motivation

So now Halloween/Bonfire Night is over we begin the official countdown to Christmas (my mum has been counting down the Fridays to me since around September so I feel like it’s been happening a while, including today there are 6 in case you are wondering).

This is the time we are all contemplating throwing the healthy eating and exercise plan out of the window to be dusted back off again in January.

I think it is important at this time to remember why you are on this health journey. I want you to ask yourself the question WHAT IS YOUR WHY?

I ask people this in their initial consultation as it is an important part of goal setting. Knowing exactly why you want to lose weight, get fitter, give up smoking whatever it is, knowing your exact reasons for doing it will help to keep you on track long term.

Now so many people underestimate the importance of a specific answer. I regularly get “well I’d like to lose weight because I will be happier as a size 10” or “well I just want to tone up”. Not gonna cut it I’m afraid! Firstly, because if you believe your life happiness boils down to being a size 10 you are wrong, but also because the reasons for wanting to lose weight have far deeper impacts than that. Usually what you really mean are, “I won’t feel embarrassed getting changed at the gym, I will be confident on holiday in a swimsuit, or I want to be able to run around with my kids without needing to sit down after 5 minutes” These are your why!

And this theory I use to apply to my work life too. When I am finding things tough, maybe struggling for some motivation or working some really longs days I remind myself why I do what I do.

  • Because I love my job, I love helping people improve their health and achieve their goals
  • Because having had one, I know there are way worse ways to earn a living than this (I’m in my pj’s with a cat sat next to me as I write this, so it’s all good)
  • My long term vision of where I want my life to be-back to that goat farm in the sticks but with a broadband connection so I can work.
  • And my daily WHY??? Because I want to provide for my little Princess Pearly Pony, my two goats, aforementioned kitty and collie dogs as well as Bernard (technically Chris’s but therefore still one of my children) and my horse Lizzie who doesn’t need me because she has an army of staff/an entire family looking after her at her loan home but if she needed me I’d like to know I could be there. My animals are my why, they are the reason I do everything I do and I remind myself of that when I need some motivation.

So, whether it is a health or fitness goal or something else identify your why, be specific and write it down somewhere prominent to keep your going when the journey gets tough.

And if you need an extra kick up the…….well you know where I am!

Nicola x

PS. Mr A is under 15st for the first time in years so he needs a special mention because he has and continues to work really hard on his weight loss journey.



Liverpool Personal Trainer on Weight Loss

A few weeks ago I went on a Donkey Behaviour Course run by a guy called Ben Hart. He is a human and equine behaviourist who works on teaching people the science of behaviour and then helping them to communicate more effectively based on that.  I struggled to train Mr A like a donkey (standard evening in or house!) Now you’re wondering where is this going……….

He also uses a tool called a shaping plan. This is where you set yourself an end goal and then plot the small steps you will take along the way to reach your end goal. If at any time you fall off the plan you just go back to an earlier step and get right back on.

This theory of goal setting ng and plotting the actions to reach it is not revolutionary however it is one that we seem to forget particularly when it comes to weight loss.

For example, Mrs Jones decides she wants to lose 2 stone, so she immediately throws out all the food in her house, begins eating only cabbage soup and goes to the gym for 2 hours every day. Now depending on how much willpower (or stubbornness) Mrs Jones has she is not likely to stick to this plan for much more than a week. And she then goes back to her old eating habits, probably kicked off with a binge and the gym membership a distant memory.

Now at some point Mrs Jones decides she will get back on that horse to lose 2 stone but this time she comes to see me.

Many new clients are very surprised when they begin embarking on their journey with me that I don’t give them some crazy diet to follow or ask them to suddenly start exercising 6 times a week. Instead I ask them to put in one new good habit a week starting with drinking more water, moving onto adding more vegetables to meals, add in 10 mins extra exercise and so on. And over time these small habits build up to some very big changes but they are now as I stated HABITS! Now you will just naturally drink more water, have some fruit instead of chocolate, add loads of green veg to your meals and do 10 mins of exercise.

And of at any point you fall off the wagon, you just go back to a step you feel comfortable with and start the process again.

The shaping plan method can be applied to any goal you want to reach health and fitness related or not, the principle stays the same. Write down your goal, plot out small steps to get you there and follow accordingly.

If you need any help with a shaping plan for your health and fitness goals feel free to contact me.


Nicola x

PS. Is it just me that struggles to drink more water when the temperature drops? So that I’m still taking on plenty of fluids and not just coffee I have been trying out some herbal teas. (The proper ones not the dodgy fruit ones!)

Some of my favourites so far are.

  • Higher Living Sweet Chai
  • Pukka Three Tulsi (Good for high blood pressure apparently)
  • Pukka Peppermint and Liquorice

Let me know if you have any favourites, it’s like cocktail sharing for the health conscious!

Personal Trainer Pumpkin Soup Recipe

So over the past couple of weeks with the theme of nutrition targeted for your specific body type I have been asked how to deal with preparing meals when the parties are opposite body types or as would be in most cases have different calorific needs.

I guess it is fairly straightforward in our house in that both myself and Mr A are operating on a low carb, high protein, high fat diet so from that point of view it does make things simpler, however Mr A is considerably bigger than me in both height and weight so obviously has to eat more calories to maintain his awesomeness.

The simplest way to deal with this could be that you simply prepare smaller portions for one party, although what we actually do is Mr A has other snacks with his meals like a protein bar with lunch or has higher calorie snacks throughout the day. He’d never get away with serving me a small portion………

But what if say one of you is eating high carb the other low carb? I guess the easiest way around this would be to make the same meal but alter the components slightly for each person.

For example, if your meal was pasta bolognaise you could still serve the bolognaise but just give pasta to the high carber and give the low carber some extra veg or perhaps just a very small serving of pasta if they wanted some.  In reality you may well in some circumstances cook different meals but I think with some imagination most meals can be adapted in some way with either portion size or adding more veg to bulk out a meal instead of adding starchy carbs like potatoes, pasta etc. and just changing one ingredient for each person’s desired macronutrient ratio.

To be honest if you just concentrate on serving good, nutritious meals full stop the rest will fall into place whatever the macronutrient ratio.

I feel like that’s not much to say on that but if anyone has any tips of they adapt meals this way then let me know!

Short and Sweet for a Change!

Nicola x

PS. With it being Halloween I feel the need to bestow on you a Pumpkin based recipe.

Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup

1 Large Onion

1kg Pumpkin

450g Sweet Potatoes

2tsp Coriander

1.5 Litres Stock

In a large saucepan, heat some butter or coconut oil and add the onion and cook for 5 mins, Add in chopped Pumpkin,  Sweet Potato and Coriander and fry for 1 minute. Add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer until vegetables are tender.

Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth.




Personal Trainer Talks Protein

So after the last couple of weeks outrageous bombshells that eating more fat can help you lose body fat and that eating carbs after 6pm won’t make you gain weight, I’m moving onto our final macro nutrient……………………..drum roll………………protein.

So first what is protein?

Proteins are made up of amino acids – which help to build our bodies!

There are two main categories of amino acids in the body. There are 9 essential amino acids which the body cannot manufacture and therefore we must consume through our diet.

There are then 4 conditionally essential, our body can make these however in times of stress, illness etc. our bodies cannot make enough and will therefore require extra through diet.

And lastly we have got 6 nonessential amino acids which the body can make itself.

So as mentioned we need protein and its resulting amino acids as they produce important enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters and antibodies, without which we cannot function at all.

Protein replenishes our cells, transports various substances throughout the body, and aids in growth and repair of muscles.

Now listen in if you’re interested in weight loss. Protein in your diet can also increase levels of the hormone glucagon, and glucagon can help to control body fat. This is because Glucagon is released when blood sugar levels go down which causes the liver to break down stored glycogen into glucose for the body to use as energy.

It can also help to liberate free fatty acids from adipose tissue (the fat layer under your skin). So ladies if you’re struggling with the dreaded cellulite despite eating clean and training mean, try increasing your protein.

How much protein you need depends on a few factors, but one of the most important is your activity level.

The basic recommendation for protein intake is 0.8 grams per kilogram (or around 0.36 g per pound) of body mass in the average healthy adults.

However, this amount is only to prevent protein deficiency i.e. it’s the absolute minimum you should be eating.

Now as mentioned we need protein for optimal body function and a good immune system so eating just the minimum amount is actually doing our bodies a disservice. If you are looking for optimal health and/or are exercising it would be wise to increase your intake to at least double the recommended amount i.e. 1.6-2grams per kg (0.70-1g/lb).

It is also important to consider when you eat protein.  After training it is particularly important to eat protein as your body will have broken down its protein stores to fuel your muscles during the workout and it is therefore important to top them back up. This will help you recover and come back stronger next time. This is why many people use protein shakes post workout; it is essentially a convenient way to put protein back in the body.

So, in terms of actual food, what protein sources should you be eating?

Well true to type I suggest sticking to natural sources such as meat, poultry, fish, dairy and eggs (yolks included don’t be disrespecting my hens! And that’s actually where the bulk of the nutrition is).

As mentioned in previous posts, try different amounts and see how you feel, are you energised on more protein, or do you feel sluggish? Try also varying your source of protein and note how they make you feel. You are indeed a unique snowflake and although the basic science principles will be a good starting point you may need to tinker with them a little to find an optimal prescription for you.

So off you go to order your Friday surf and turf and call it getting your macros in!

Nicola x

When should you eat Carbs

So after the earlier controversial saturated fat episode, whilst I’m tucking into my breakfast steak with my coffee and coconut oil I will continue our macro nutrient journey.

Carbs have a bit of a bad reputation with most people, and with most diets advocating cutting them out it seems that people think that the key to all weight loss is cutting out carbs.

The truth is, whether we are using fat as an energy source or not we still need carbs. They support your metabolism and help to regulate your thyroid. Avoiding carbs completely over a period of time can damage your metabolism which will seriously affect your fat loss-the very thing that made you think carbs where the devil in the first place.  But some of us should eat more carbs than others.

If you have been following the body type nutrition posts then you will understand that your bidy type will be a good indicator on whether cutting back on carbs may well help, or if it could be the worst thing you could do. The key is first to decide how carb tolerant you are and then consider whether you function better or certain carbs over others.

This is basically done by trial and error. Keeping a food and mood diary helps. If you have eaten porridge for breakfast and feel energised and satiated until lunch, great this works for you. If you feel a bit sluggish or are starving 2 hours later, then clearly this isn’t the breakfast for you.

It also appears to be very much forgotten that there are carbs in fruit and veg, albeit usually of a much more nutritious kind. So just because you’ve cut out bread doesn’t mean you’ve gone low carb. This is why the atkins diet advocated only certain very low carb veg. So again try different kinds of carbs. I don’t do great on your standard starchy carbs like potatoes, rice, pasta, bread (gluten free for me) they make me feel a bit sleepy so I don’t cut them out I just eat them in my evening meal when I’m going to sleep soon after. I eat quite late due to my working hours so it’s a great way of getting me to feel tired! But I am fine on veg and some fruit so I eat veg with both breakfast and lunch and sometimes have a piece of fruit as a snack, particularly after a workout.

So there are some general guidelines as whether you are most likely carb tolerant or not based on your body type: Ectomorph-High Carb Tolerance, Mesomorph-Moderate Carb Tolerance, Endomorph-Low Carb Tolerance. But as I have said before you may be a mix of two body types as well as being genetically unique to you so some trial and error may still have to come into force to figure out what works best for you.

It is also important to consider the timing of your carbohydrate as this can have an effect – as per my eating starchy carbs at night or fruit post workout. This again should be tailored to your body type.

So If you are carb tolerant eating a lot of carb-dense foods throughout the day will be great for you. And also make sure you time carbs around your workout for fuel and recovery. As a rule have the majority of carbs around workouts and less carbs throughout the rest of the day. Also, if you are eating a lot of carbs you will have less need for fat in your diet as it will not be required for energy.

If you have moderate carb tolerance you should plan your carbs around your workout. The rest of the meals would consist of less carbs and higher intake of lean proteins, veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds.

If carbs just don’t rev up your energy levels it is best to only have carbs post workout to refuel glycogen stores. And keep the rest of your eating to mostly fruit and veg , lean proteins and fats. You will probably find a high fat diet gives you the most energy, but again trial and error.

And no matter what your body type/carb tolerance you should ensure you are eating good, clean carb sources. Just because you are carb tolerant doesn’t mean you should fuel on biscuits!

Good  Carb sources include Oats, Rice and other grains (buckwheat, Quiona etc) Potatoes (I have no issue with the standard white I just find people eat them to excess) Sweet Potatoes,  Butternut Squash and of course all other fruit and veg.


Nicola x

Liverpool Personal Trainer on Fats

So how has your week been? Struggling to stay on track eating clean and training dirty now the weather has turned, when sitting on the sofa hoovering a box quality street sounds more appealing?

Just remember how awesome you feel eating right and getting some exercise and how rubbish you’ll feel if you go off track. And well if your good, just remember as of today it is 8 Fridays until Christmas (thanks for the weekly countdown mum!) so if you keep going you can do a little of the quality street hovering then.

So I thought this week I would go back to the Fat issue and cover other types of fats as I focused mainly on Saturated Fat in my previous post. Mainly because it is incorrectly labelled the bad guy and as you will have read it most certainly is not.


Well this is the fat that even the dieters agree is healthy. Monounsaturated fat (MF), or oleic acid, is found primarily in beef, olive oil, avocados, lard and certain nuts like macadamias.

Like saturated fats, MF form the core structure of the body and reduce your risk of heart disease by raising your HDL (healthy cholesterol), lowering your triglycerides and reducing levels of small, dense LDL(loser cholesterol). MF is also a good energy source as like saturated fat it helps to balance blood sugar levels by providing a steadier stream of energy release than many carbohydrates.



Polyunsaturated fat (PUF) can be split into omega-6 and omega-3. For optimal health we should consume roughly the same amount of omega-6 and omega-3 fat (1:1 ratio), many people unknowingly eat a ratio of up to 25:1! So that’s 25 times the amount of omega 6 your body needs!!

And this is where the puzzle starts to become clear……….. It is this excess consumption of omega-6 that is responsible for our increasing problems with cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, autoimmune disease etc. And poor Saturated Fat and Cholesterol have been getting the blame all along. That’s why your egg yolks look so sad………………….

Omega-6 PUF (Also referred to as linoleic acid) is actually in many foods in small amounts like fruits, vegetables, cereal grains and meat, and also higher amounts in most nuts and dark poultry meat however this is not where the problem lies. Omega 6 is found in very large amounts in industrial processed and refined oils, like soybean, corn, safflower and sunflower.  Those vitalite sunflowers are starting to look a little sinister now aren’t they?

Not only is it the large amounts that are a problem but also the way they are processed, as PUF are fragile and vulnerable to oxidative damage, meaning that during the processing of these fats into oils, spreads etc.  Their original structure gets broken down which creates free radicals (think little monsters bouncing off the walls causing havoc) and it is these little monsters that cause the damage which creates heart disease and many forms of cancer. This brings up the importance of anti-oxidants which I will cover in the near future.

Now I will stress that Omega 6 is an essential fatty acid meaning that is required for proper function of the brain and the body’s ability to makes cells etc. and cannot be produced by the body and therefore must be obtained from the diet. However as mentioned above due to high levels of refined oils in our processed food many of us are vastly over consuming it.


Omega-3 PUFA can be further subdivided into short-chain (alpha-linoleic acid, or ALA) and long-chain (EPA & DHA). ALA is found in plant foods like walnut and flax, whereas EPA & DHA is found mainly in seafood although smaller amounts are found in meat.

Omega 3 plays a key part in reducing inflammation in the body; this inflammation can be presented by joint and muscular aches, skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis and also as weight gain. This is why Omega 3 is a great supplement (particularly fish oil) to take if you are on a weight loss problem, or indeed suffering from any king of potential inflammation in the body.


ALA, EPA & DHA should be considered essential nutrition to obtain from your diet.  However it should be noted that it is possible for the body to convert some ALA into EPA and DHA however most people’s bodies cannot do this efficiently enough.


Now briefly onto the really, really bad stuff. TRANS-FATS!!!!!

Firstly I must highlight there are two kinds of Trans fats.

Natural (aka CLA)



The primary natural trans-fat, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is found in small amounts in the meat, fat and dairy. CLA does not have the harmful effects of Artificial Trans Fats.

An artificial Trans Fat is one that is industrially created as a side effect of partial hydrogenation of plant oils. This is where the cross over comes with Omega 6, in that many of the oils, spreads etc. we consider to be healthy because they are a PUF are actually more like a Trans Fat.

Partial hydrogenation changes a fat’s molecular structure as mentioned above (raising its melting point and reducing rancidity) but this process also results in a proportion of the changed fat becoming trans-fat.

This means the body can no longer recognise nor utilise it as a beneficial fat and it therefore becomes a toxin. Cue monsters in your body.

Right I will stop rambling for now, I have ponies to go and pet (not a euphemism!)

Nicola x


PS. If the turn of weather has made you want to start stocking the freezer full of soup, which is a great idea, here is how to make a base bone stock, which is packed full of nutrients as well as being rich in collagen (great for plumping your skin out ladies!) and keratin also good for skin and hair. This makes a great base for any soup or you could actually drink it on it’s own.

You can use any animal bones, chicken, beef etc which you can get from your butcher, free if he’s very generous but at least very cheap!

You can also add any veg you like.
Just add them all to a large pan, cover with water, put the lid on and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for several hours-maybe do this on a day your in the house! (you can also do this in a slow cooker). The longer it is simmered the more nutrients that are released.
Skim off any foam that forms at the top as it cooks.

Once its done, strain the liquid and use immediately or leave to cool before storing. It will keep for several days in the fridge and you could also freeze it to be used later.

Saturated Fat is Good For You

Good fats

So how are we all getting on eating for our body type?

Just to help with adapting your diet some more I’m going to give you some ideas for good sources of your macronutrients to help keep you eating clean. And whilst I’m here I’m going to explain why we need all of our macronutrients.

I’m going to start with fats. Firstly Fat is not the enemy, eating fat does not make you fat-eating sugar and processed food makes you fat. I know what you’re thinking, “surely the government wouldn’t lie to us………”.

Today I am going to concentrate on saturated fats. Firstly, because it is the source of fat we need the most and secondly because it seems to have (wrongly) had a lot of bad press.  Whenever I tell people up to 50% of my diet comes from saturated fat they look horrified and ask if I’m worried about my cholesterol or that I’m going to have a heart attack. Erm no I’m not, but those low fat yoghurt trufflers should be worried.

We need fat in our diet, it helps our hormones to function (and it ain’t just the ladies that need that), it helps to control our cravings and feelings of satiety and it is also an energy source.

I know this will mess with your heads a bit but saturated fat is good for your heart. Saturated fat reduces the levels of a substance called lipoprotein (a). High levels of this correlate strongly with risk for heart disease. Currently there are no medications to lower this substance and the only dietary means of lowering Lp(a) is eating saturated fat. Put that in your low fat spread and set fire to it. Moreover, eating fat also raises the level of HDL, (the healthy one) cholesterol.


Fat is good for your liver. Eating Saturated Fat has been shown to help clear fat from the liver. (Head wrecker!) Additionally, saturated fat has been shown to protect the liver from the toxic insults of alcohol and medications, and can help to reverse the damage once it has occurred.  (Note. Polyunsaturated Vegetable Fats cannot do this) A healthy liver is the backbone of any weight loss programme as it is involved in metabolising fat, the healthier it is the better able it is to do this.


Healthy lungs require saturated fat in order to have a healthy surface. The fat content of lung surfactant is 100 % saturated fatty acids. Replacing saturated fat with vegetable fats, Trans fat etc. causes this surface to decline which can lead to breathing problems. Research has suggested that the increase of Trans fats in children’s diets along with a lack of saturated fat has played a role in the increase of asthma.

You brain is made predominantly of fat and cholesterol. So it really is important to include healthy fats in your diet. Would you rather your brain was functioning on a man-made chemical substance like sugary doughnuts or do you think it perform better on a nice piece of steak, mmmm steak.

Saturated fats found in butter, lard, coconut oil, function directly as messengers through your nervous system that influence the metabolism, including the release of insulin. Other fats cannot do this for you.

Saturated fats found in butter and coconut oil (myristic acid and lauric acid) are vital for your immune system. Loss of sufficient saturated fatty acids in the white blood cells hampers their ability to recognize and destroy foreign invaders, such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi.

Eating Fat gives you strong bones. As we get older bone mass begins to decline, and can lead to Osteoporosis. Now this is where the shocker happens. Saturated fat is required for calcium to be effectively incorporated into bone.  So all that low fat dairy you’ve been downing has been doing you a disservice. There is very little fat in it to help you absorb whatever calcium is left in it after all that processing. Best stick to full fat for the full range of health benefits and it tastes nicer.


Lastly, research has shown that when women diet, those eating the greatest percentage of the total fat in their diets as saturated fat lose the most weight. Like I told you, I changed my diet to around 30-50% fat and the weight started to drop off without me having to cut calories blah blah blah


So good sources of saturated fat.

  • Meat, particularly red meat. Those of you that know me know I love to have steak for breakfast; it seriously sets me up for the day. But you could have it at dinner time too. (But why wait that long?)
  • Eggs. And don’t you dare disrespect my hens and skip the yoke because of all that cholesterol nonsense that’s where all the nutrition is.
  • Full Fat Dairy.  So that’s full fat cream in your coffee, full fat butter on your potato
  • Lard. Yes I know Lard. Now as with all of these fat sources don’t eat your own body weight in it, too much of anything is bad for you. But cooking with lard is waaaaay more healthy than cooking with vegetable, olive or don’t even get me started on the one cal spray stuff. (Note Olive Oil is good for you but cooking with it changes its chemical properties, stick with it on your salad).
  • Coconut Oil. Well you will know I’m obsessed with this stuff. I put some in my coffee every morning. But you can cook with it, or just eat it off the spoon (tastes a bit like lip balm but it’s worth it for its many health benefits)

As mentioned too much of any of the macronutrients isn’t good for you. But in terms of fats I think it is really important to consider the source. More and more we are realising (as if it wasn’t fairly obvious) that it is the man made fats in our diet that our damaging our health. For example your cooking oils and spreads which have added hydrogen to make them solid at room temperature, which effectively makes them no longer a saturated fat but a trans-fat. So when choosing your ingredients, and this applies to any macronutrient. Check the label. It should a fairly short one. Milk should just say milk, butter will just say butter, and eggs well they don’t even have one!


Nicola x

PS. Well there have been some great changes being made by people at the moment, even the little ones really will add up to a big difference over time.  But I think a special mention should go to Simon Wiggins Wouldn’t Catch Him Snowden for riding his bike to work.



Healthy For Life


Well, what an absolutely crazy week it has been, it started last Friday when I got stuck in traffic and almost got out my car to go and swear at a police officer-refrained and therefore did not spend the week in jail.

How are you getting on with eating for your body type? I will be back writing on this theme next week I just wanted to go off topic a little this week. If your not a deep thinker look away now.

A few things happened this week that have highlighted a few life lessons that we probably all know but often forget when we are just trying to cope with the daily grind.

Firstly, after losing a goat a few weeks ago to illness (yes I keep goats I know it’s weird ) then on Sunday night lost one of my ponies very suddenly and she was only 3 years old and therefore way too young to have been taken. Thankfully I had given her a cuddle that morning for no other reason than because I love her, and I got to say goodbye that night as she was put out of pain.

Secondly, I was talking to a friend who has a job she sometimes spends long hours at and also has a young son and husband (her husband isn’t young just her son!) , she has been signed off work with exhaustion.

Thirdly, I have been with a client this week who I have trained for many years and although she has never showed any signs of ill health we have both known she could have made improvements to her diet, although we were making gains on the exercise so it’s not like she was doing nothing to help her health. Anyway said client had by chance come across a blood pressure monitor and found her’s to be high, and following a trip to the doctor with further tests she also has some liver damage. Scary thought when again she is showing no outward signs of ill health.

It is this third point I’m going to start with. You see, when I am speaking to people about their diet and we discuss their intake of takeaways, alcohol, processed foods, sweets etc many of them say “you only live once” and “a little bit of what you fancy does you good”. Well, yes correct we do only live once (I’m not going to go down a reincarnation route their other places for that!) and if you want that life to be a long, healthy one free of illness and pain then you need to look after yourself.  And it is fact that eating processed foods, takeaways, alcohol  and sugar is bad for your health.  So while I am not saying you can never drink wine, eat cake etc I am saying be aware of what you consider moderation.  One or two glasses of wine a week won’t kill you but one or two bottles just might. Combine that with a takeaway, that daily biscuit or two you have, and the microwave meals you sometimes have during the week and actually that is putting a lot of strain on you liver. ( I will cover this in more detail another time).  Just because you aren’t feeling the effects now doesn’t mean they won’t come back to haunt you later on.  (Pictures Big Mac covered in Ghostly Sheet following you round)

This brings me on to the second point, you see what I said to me friend was firstly she needed to look after herself more in order to be able to do everything she needs to do. He classic answer-I don’t have time! First I said my classic answer of if you don’t have time to look after yourself then your gonna have to make time to be ill! Then I gave her a practical example. I regularly work 15-16 hour days up at 5am home 9.30-10pm, 4-5 days per week adding up to somewhere depending on the week to a 50-70 hour week. I am very fortune that I enjoy my job however that doesn’t stop it being exhausting. So I make sure I do everything I can to keep my health and therefore my energy levels in tip top condition. I have coconut oil in my coffee to help my immune system, I eat predominantely  natural foods-meat, veg, fruit, eggs and goats dairy (cows doesn’t agree with me) and of course I exercise. And bar the odd week of extreme stress i.e this one! I don’t consider my long hours an issue as I’m full of energy to get everything done.

So your lesson on this, if you look after your health the extra stress of your life will be much easier to deal with and won’t seem as much of a problem.

Onto what is really a joint lesson on the first and second point. You do only live once and even the most healthy person could well not be here tomorrow for whatever reason. So, you should consider what is important to you in your life and fill your life abundantly with it. Like I said to my friend, when she said she had really enjoyed picking her son up from school for the first time-do you really have to work full time, classic response-yes I need to make money. I said realistically though if you looked at your finances I bet you could manage on less income, if me and Mr A have survived this far after I left my very well paid job to start a business from scratch I reckon most people can survive on much less. And what we learnt during that time was money doesn’t make you happy, yes it gives you options but really it’s life’s little things that make us happy. For my friend picking her son up from school, me cuddling something fluffy – cat, dog, pony, donkey, goat, Mr A, so long as it’s fluffy.

So, think about what matters to you and spend more time doing it. Trust me no one dies if you don’t hoover the living room and spend time with your kids instead, the world does not end if you leave the washing up to curl up on the sofa with your partner.

You do only live once and for that reason we should spend as much of it happy and with those we love as much as possible, and if we look after our health we are more likely to live a long and healthy life.

So for me that’s more animals less housework(what’s new?) and after proving again this week how amazing he is Mr A your bloody stuck with me and our motley crew.


Nicola x

PS. Ooooh the competition has been fierce this week but I think the accolade has to go to code name Mark Morrison aka Return of the Mack for losing close to 2 stone so far including a two week holiday in there! Seriously Awesome!