Tuesday 18 December 2012

Christmas Around the corner

Christmas is the time of the year that in theory is supposed to bring peace, joy and love.

I have always loved Christmas, as a little kid I could start “planning” Christmas and the presents to everyone way before the shops started to decorate for Christmas.

If you think this is silly, just think for a moment about when the shops start thinking about Christmas now.

Anyway, Christmas turned out pretty much as all Christmas do, school holiday, family together, lots of presents, great food and sometimes winter sports.

I’m not the little kid anymore planning Christmas like the little elves, but I still do love Christmas. But suddenly I can see Christmas turning into the most stressful time of the year for most people.

Isn’t it sad!

Being in the health and fitness industry I can see the stress on people in so many different ways. We stress about the presents, the long time we have to spend with all the family, and we stress about the food and if we will put on weight.

How can we enjoy Christmas and let it bring peace, joy and love under those circumstances?

Because we can’t really ignore (and shouldn’t) Christmas let’s think about some “tools” we can use to make it that magic stress free season it should be, and be able to really enjoy Christmas and the festivity season.

Try these “tools” for a magic festivity season:

1.    Don’t wait

Start all ready now with a positive attitude towards Christmas. Even if Christmas is not your favorite time of the year, find 5 things you do like about the season and treasure them and the rest will look much better.

2.    Stop

When you start feeling overwhelmed with it all; (1) Stop, have a break from it all (2) Do something not involving preparations, read a book, watch a movie, listen to music or exercise. 

3.    Think about something that you DON’T have to do

We do have a lot “must” we it comes to Christmas; my list is as long as Santa’s list, but what would happened if we didn’t do everything? It will still be Christmas and I’m sure everyone that celebrates Christmas with you would be as happy as last year. Maybe you can use the extra time for something “Christmassy” that you would LIKE to put more time on. 

4.    Food and exercise

So we have managed to keep presents and expectations on a reasonable level, but around the corner is the next stressful event. All that lovely food and all the entertaining which makes it harder to keep your normal eating habits and maybe means less time for your normal exercises.

Instead of feeling that you have to avoid food during Christmas, think add food, which mean try to add your healthy food as new exacting dishes on the Christmas table. If you have started to eat and add a lovely salad to all your meals, you will definitive enjoy that with your Christmas and festive season food too.

Make it as a routine to go for a walk either before or after your meals. Most of us are on holiday during this time of the year, so we DO have the time for a walk or two every day.

      5. Enjoy NOW 

Whatever stressful events the holidays have in store for you, there is joy in the moment if you look for it. Sometimes, it’s hiding, but it is there.
Merry Christmas and A Happy Fit New Year!!!

Yours in Health & Fitness,



Monday 19 November 2012

Can I exercise even though my knees sound like 100 year old hinges?

As we get older most of us experience that our knees have their own language with creaking and grinding. As long as you don’t have any soreness or pain in your knees you can happily continue with whatever exercise you are doing.

Creaking and grinding usually come from the cartilage under the knee cap that over the years gets a bit uneven.

When you develop the creaking and grinding in your knees it is very important that you warm up properly before exercising. Do 10 minutes of a good pace walk or a little bit of jogging before you commence your training. When you slowly increase the intensity the circulation and you heart rate slowly increases and you joints will build up synovial fluid, which reduces friction between the articular cartilages of the synovial joints during movement.

The knee needs to be maintained well, not to develop any acute problems, so a well executed leg training program is very important. Train the muscles around the knee so they can stabilize the knee, and make sure that the knee cap is tracking well. If the knee cap is not tracking right the pressure on the cartilage increases and the likelihood of more server problems accrue.

It is also important to stretch your quadriceps muscles and iliotibial band, the knee cap inserts to these muscles. If you have tight muscles around the knee they put pressure on the knee and knee cap that might not track well.

Happy pain free training!

Yours in Health & Fitness,


Wednesday 14 November 2012

You know I like quinoa. It’s perfect to have at home; you can mix and match it with anything.  My newest invention!
Quinoa salad
Serves 1
1 cup cooked quinoa
½ cup red cabbage, chopped
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
2 large handfuls, baby spinach leaves
1 spring onion, finely sliced
4 cherry tomatoes, sliced
A hand full pine nuts, roasted

½  lemon,  juiced
Olive oil
Fresh ground pepper

Balsamic vinegar

Combine all the ingredients and add the dressing.

Yours in Health & Fitness,

Tuesday 13 November 2012

Stay fit and fool time!!!

Age is on everyone’s tongue these days and believe it or not we can actually control it. 

Just imaging being 85 and have a metabolic age of 40, you might say that is not possible, but more and more studies show that it is very much possible. We can even restore our brain, but I’ll leave that discussion for another time.

We sometimes say that age is just a number, and it couldn’t be truer. An overweight 30 year old that spends most of his/her time in front of a computer at work and in front of a TV at home, could have a metabolic age on 70 or 75 years old.

A Swedish study has been done with men 80 years old and older, the oldest where 93. All the men were still keen cross-country skiers. In the control group you also had healthy 80+ year olds that only did short slow walks with the dog.

The study shows the group of men that did the skiing, moderate to high-intensity training, had a fitness level as an average 40 year old, but the control groups’ fitness were on a level expected of an 80 year old.

15-20 years ago we didn’t discuss much about strength training and what effect muscles had on an aging body. We now know that all our welfare diseases are direct or indirect connected to muscle atrophy. Higher muscle mass will decrease the risk many of the chronic metabolic disease like diabetes, since the body can more easily regulate blood sugar levels.

Metabolic age is different from chronological age. Your chronological age is your age by calendar years, while metabolic age depends on your metabolism or overall chemical processes of the body, which are based on your health. Metabolic age is measured by comparing muscles mass and weight. Older individuals tend to have lower caloric requirements for a variety of reasons, ranging from a reduction of physical activities which reduces the demand on calories for energy to a reduction of muscle which also reduces the body's need for energy.

Your muscles and internal organs are lean tissues. People who age well, who seem to be far younger than their years, retain their lean tissue mass. The more lean tissue you have the longer life.   

So to stay physically and mentally young, keep your muscles strong and keep your cardio training on a moderate to high intensity.

Invite me for your 100-year birthday party!!!!!  

Yours in Health & Fitness,


Monday 5 November 2012

My be-healthy top list

Being happy and healthy is like love or marriage, you need to look after it and nourishing it to be able to enjoy it.

Exercise, exercise work as a cure for everything for me. If I feel life is a bit too much for me, I’ll put on my training cloths and off I go - doing something, running, weights, cross fit, step – whatever gets the endorphins to kick in.

Eat, as years go on and my body demands more attention I’m eating more and more greens and fresh food and I can feel the energy in my body because of that. Eat something green with every meal and don’t be afraid of food and calories. Yes, watch the portions, but not to the extent where you starve yourself. We all have to eat to be healthy.

Sleep, we can’t recover if we don’t get some rest. I know I need at least 7 hours per night to feel good, but how much sleep we need depend on you as a person. I’m not going to tell you how much sleep you need, you probably know yourself how much you need to feel good, but most people do need 6-8 hours per night.

De-stress, the body needs a bit of stress to work well but constant stress is not good for our bodies. It is important to find a way that you can catch your breath and get you body and mind calm.

Have fun, we can’t take life too serious. Just have some fun, laugh with some friends, watch a funny movie anything that gives you a chuckle.

Balance, for me balance is when I feel that all components in my life are on a “fun” level. I can have a laugh at work, I can laugh with the family at the dinner table, my loved ones makes me feel happy and loved, and I have a rich social life that I enjoy.

We are part of our lives and we need to look after it, so if we keep Walt Disney’s “The Lion King” in mind and follow “ Hakuna Matata; don’t worry be happy”, we’ll be able to live a happy, healthy and filling lives until we are as old as we would like to be.

Yours in Health & Fitness,

Wednesday 31 October 2012

You can never go wrong with chicken and vegetables, it works on a busy week day or for a nice weekend dinner.

Pesto chicken with grilled zucchini
Serves 4
Cooking time 25min

6 medium zucchini, sliced thickly lengthways
1 tsp lemon rind
1/3 cup sun-dried tomato pesto
4 chicken breast fillets, cut into thirds
Drizzles olive oil over the zucchini, cook on heated oiled grill plate until tender. Place zucchini in a medium bowl and sprinkle with rind. Season.
Combine pesto and chicken in a large bowl. Cook chicken on heated oiled grill plate, brushing occasionally with pesto mixture, until cooked.
Serve chicken and zucchini with some baby rocket leaves.


Yours in Health & Fitness,

Monday 29 October 2012

Sugar the “drug” that is making us fat and lacking energy

The whole world is facing an epidemic with the population getting fatter, and even though the medical professionals are able to treat more and more of deadly diseases, we are getting unhealthier; we are overfed but under-nutritioned.
For a long time we thought that fat was the villain in the drama, but we are now realizing that sugar is the bigger threat.

The reason we get fat from sugar is that we don’t realize that we are eating it; this is due to a hormone called leptin. After insulin has stored energy in the cells there is a hormone called leptin which is supposed to let us know that we have eaten enough. So, if the insulin is bypassed the leptin is not triggered and we don’t know that we have eaten enough.

Sugar is a carbohydrate, which provides our bodies with energy. Carbohydrates can be classified into two kinds, high GI and low GI carbohydrates. GI stands for Glycemic Index, which is the scale that measures how fast certain carbs are broken down into our bodies.

Low GI takes longer time to break down whereas high GI carbs, breaks down very fast and you get hungry again quicker.

Although we might think that it is relatively easy to just cut out the food containing   sugar, it’s not that easy.

On a food label sugar can be listed in a many varied ways, usually you have an indicator about the direct sugar content and that can be 7gr but if your look at the carbohydrate content, which can be 48gr, you suddenly have a product with 48gr sugar. Sugar can be, brown sugar, cane sugar, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose and so on.

All sugar contain 4 calories per gram, and simple sugar on its own have no nutritional value.

Sugar increases our blood sugar and insulin levels which will cause our body to begin storing and stop burning fat, if we don’t exercise on such a high level that we use all the energy straight away.

Due to the impact sugar has on our insulin levels with a drop after its initial high, it’s like a drug and it leaves us feeling tired and hungry and craving more sugar.

Although there are still many opinions surrounding sugar’s impact on our bodies, sugar is said to contribute to suppressing the immune system, upsetting the body’s mineral balance, contributing to hyperactivity, and anxiety and depression, these are just a few of the effects that sugar has on our bodies.

The problem is that many of us don’t realize how much sugar we are actually eating. Most sugar comes from processed food that we eat, not the sugar we add when we cook ourselves.  A lot of us look at processed food as fast food, but processed food is food that has been altered from its original, like “fat free yoghurt”, yes the fat is gone but to save the taste the manufacture has added sugar, or the “sugar free lollies”. How can we have sugar free lollies that still satisfy our taste buds, artificial sweetening, which will still keep playing havoc with your insulin level.

So if you would like to reduce sugar in your diet you might try:

·         Learn to enjoy foods that are naturally sweet, like fresh fruit

·         Use spices and herbs to enhance flavors, like cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger

·         Make homemade sauce and toppings

·         Use dried and fresh fruit to sweeten yoghurt and cereal

·         Understand nutrition labels, 7gram of sugar is equal to 1 tbsp of sugar

·         Remember that the less processed food you eat and the more whole food with fruit and vegetables you eat, the less craving you will have for sugar.

It’s your health and you are in charge!!

Yours in Health & Fitness,