Tuesday 27 March 2012

A busy day is not an excuse for not making a good healthy dinner.
I have had a busy day today with back to back clients, and starting again at 5.00pm and working until 9.00pm. So I need (and the family needs) a good healthy dinner, but I don’t have time to cook for a long time. Solution……pick up a charcoal grilled chicken, make a nice salad and in 10 minutes you'll have a really nice dinner.
Cut up the chicken, and for a healthy alternative – don’t use the skin, place the chicken on a plate.
Quinoa salad
Serves 4

1 cup cooked quinoa
2 cups parsely chopped
2 cups mint, chopped
2 large handfuls, baby spinach leaves
1 small red onion or 2 shallots, finely sliced
½  cumber, chopped
2 ripe tomato, chopped or 250 g cherry tomatoes
20 g pumpkin seeds
20 g almonds or pistachio, chopped

1 lemon juiced + zest (30 ml)
2 teaspoons honey
100 ml cold pressed olive oil
fresh ground pepper

Combine all the dressing ingredients until creamy.
Mix together parsley, mint, spring onion and spinach.
Add the tomato, cucumber, seeds, quinoa and almonds.
Mix in a few tablespoons of the dressing.
Spoon into a large serving bowl and enjoy with the chicken.

Yours in Health & Fitness,

Sunday 25 March 2012

It’s great with a healthy heart but what about the brain?

The human has approximately 60,000 thoughts per day and many of them - around 95 per cent - are the same thoughts we had yesterday and the day before.

You don’t have to stop yourself thinking in a negative way, but simply notice certain thoughts. The more you are aware of your thoughts, and the extent to which you are influenced by them, the more you can take responsibility and shift the negative thoughts into something positive.

About 20% of Australians are affected by depression; it is like diabetes or asthma, an illness. We use the term depression in normal conversation to describe distress or unhappiness due to something unpleasant that has happened to us. This depression is perfectly normal, it is usually for a short period of time, and usually doesn't last long or affect us much in the long term.

Compared to depressive illness, which is a much more severe and prolonged condition with persistent sadness, negativity, and difficulty coping.

From research we now know that the gray area in the brain is the centre for our attention, emotions, memory and consciousness. Related research also showed that depressed patients had measurable changes in the amygdala and the hippocampus, crucial in stress response. The amygdala is the central for emotional life, but through research they have also now found that the memory centre is also involved in stress and depression. In research in 1996 they found that depressed patients hippocampus was 15% smaller than a control group, which may explain why depressed patients sometime complain about learning and memory trouble.

This might also explain why Alzheimer's patient suffers from mood deterioration, since the disease starts with erosion of the hippocampus.

Depression doesn’t t only affect the brain but also the body, shutting down the drive to sleep, eat, have sex and generally not feeling like looking after ourself.

In the early 1990 scientists found that brain-derived neurotrophic factors
(BDNF) protects neurons against cortisol (the stress hormone) in areas that control mood, including the hippocampus. While very high levels of cortisol can decrease BDNF, antidepressants and especially exercise can increase BDNF. It is the boost of BDNF that encourages neurons to connect to one another and grow, making it vital for neuroplasticity and neruogenesis.

The great thing with exercise is that it gets us moving, which stimulates the brain stem and gives us more energy, passion, interest, and motivation.
Exercise doesn’t selectively influence anything, it adjusts the chemistry of the entire brain to restore normal signals and make you think clearer and remember good things.

Exercise will not solve all the problems around depression but it definitely helps the mood, even if it is just when we have had a bad day.

Yours in Health & Fitness,

Tuesday 20 March 2012

We need good posture to show off confidence

As a personal trainer I work with people with bad posture every day, most people do not realize how important posture is. Since most people spend 6 or more hours sitting each day and not exercising enough our backs are under huge pressure.   

Posture causes pain that ranges from the most common low back pain, shoulder and neck pain to frequent headache. Bad posture is a downward spiral because your body typically compensates for bad posture with worsening posture. Your lower body posture changes too, and when you start walking around with bent knees, you really look prematurely old, and probably feel it as well.

Bad posture also interferes with our confidence and how people look at us. The way you walk down the hallway, across the parking lot or into a room is a powerful first clue to how you feel about yourself. Walk erect with the head held high, your shoulders back, your chest out and your stomach in. With that positive and confident walk you create respect without ever saying a word.

So how do you achieve a good posture?

Obviously the first natural solution would be to start exercise the back muscles in the right alignment, but sometimes we might need a bit of support to assist in the process.

When we try to correct bad posture by changing, like trying to stand straight, sometimes we do that by tightening other muscles already struggling against the other muscles.

We assume that to correct bad posture, all we have to do is to stand or sit straighter. Once we have made this effort we are confident our posture is good – while we remember to do it.

Swedish Posture support is a brilliant new Swedish product that you will assist you to activate your back muscles; it works as a reminder for you and your muscles where to work for a good posture. Because it “forces” you to keep a good posture in a relaxed way your muscles will slowly “learn” the new position and feel comfortable in that position.

I am not qualified to give medical advice, nor will I give any. So start out by consulting a doctor before you try the posture support if you have pain due to your bad posture.

Swedish Posture support is so discreet that you can wear it under your clothes for support at work or put it on over your clothes at home for a bit of relief after work.

Better posture will not only give you BETTER POSTURE but also:
·         Give you a better, more confident image
·         Instantly takes off a couple of kilos in appearance
·         You will look and feel younger
·         Improves circulation, digestion & breathing
·         Eliminates many aches and pains

Swedish Posture supports are now available on my web-shop, www.newfitness.com.au

Yours in Health & Fitness,

Monday 19 March 2012

Go a bit nutty

Nuts are rich in natural oil, so it’s to no surprise that some people would say that nuts is not good for your because they are fatting. Nuts are classified as a good fat – that is the body knows what to do with it, unlike trans fat, which can clog arteries. Most nuts are a mix of omega-3 and omega- 6 fatty acids, which are essentials for heart and brain health, but also for balancing hormones.

Nuts are high in protein and fibre, and they offer many mineral and vitamin benefits.

But even though they are very healthy for us, we still need to eat them in moderation. Three or four in you breakfast muslie, and small handful (you need to be able to fit them in one palm) and you have a good source for the day.
I always have a few chopped up almonds in my morning muslie, and three or four and almonds and two to three walnuts together with a square of 70% dark chocolate for my afternoon green tea, that gives me energy for the afternoon and takes me through to dinner.
Yours in Health & Fitness,

Wednesday 14 March 2012

The boys in the family may not be so happy, but I’m making vegetarian pasta today. It’s very nice, and you can always add a couple of boiled eggs for protein if you would like.

Pasta with roast pumpkin, feta & basil

Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 375g fettucine
  • 1/2 small butternut pumpkin (500g), peeled, sliced 1cm thick
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 125g feta, crumbled
  • 3 roasted red capsicum (180g), thickly sliced
  • 1 cup baby basil leaves
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Cook the pasta in a saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender, then drain.
  3. Meanwhile, toss the pumpkin with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and lay flat on a baking tray. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes until tender.
  4. For the dressing, place the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a small bowl with lemon juice and zest. Whisk to combine.
  5. Combine the drained pasta, feta, capsicum and basil in a bowl. Add the dressing, season with salt and pepper, then toss to combine. Gently stir through the roasted pumpkin and serve

Smaklig måltid (swedish for enjoy your dinner)!!!

Yours in Health & Fitness,

Sunday 11 March 2012

Why are we not happy with what we have?

More and more people “hit the wall”, are on antidepressants and are not happy with their situation. Why is this?

We have access to great food, fantastic homes, we live longer but we still don’t live happier.

Our ancestors were on a constant run to find food and safe shelter, is that what we still have in us – that we need to find another safe shelter for the next season?

I don’t think so. We are living in such a consumer society nowadays so instead of appreciate what we have we want something new, something more and different all the time.

We are working more and stressing more to keep up, but we are not enjoying the outcome or the life we are living.

I think it is time we slow down appreciate what we have, and take the time to look at the birds and see the flowers grow. If we force our self out of the “running wheel”, we might find that we have time for hobbies and that we are living in a great place, have fantastic families and friends – who we should spend time with and appreciate.

There is nothing wrong with dreams and goals, they will make you grow and develop. But that’s different from running away from what you have. A dream and a goal is part of who you are, it will assist you to develop a more fullfilling life here and now.

Stop running ( you know me - so keeping running for health but not to get away from what you don’t like – solve that) , smell the flowers, do something fun with your family and your friends and live your life here and now!!

Yours in Health & Fitness,

Tuesday 6 March 2012

I'm making fish soup tonight.
Again, it is a nice, quick recipe and it taste beautiful!

Fish soup
Serve 4 pers.
600-700g fish
2 chopped yellow onions
3 chopped garlic cloves
2 tbsp olive oil
1 finely sliced carrot
1,2 liter water + 3 fish stock
1tsp thyme
1 can chopped tomatoes
1/2g saffron
2 dl white wine
400 g prawns
Fresh Parsley
Fresh Thyme

Prepare the vegetables
Fry onion and garlic in a big pot, add the carrots.
Add water, fish stock, tomatoes, salt and pepper.
Simmer for 30 minutes. add saffron and white wine after half the time
Add the fish after 30 minutes and simmer for 3-6 minutes, then add the prawns and leave for 1-2 minutes (just enough time for the prawns to get warm)..
Sprinkle the chopped parsley and thyme on top.

Enjoy a nice and healthy dinner!

Yours in Health & Fitness,

Monday 5 March 2012

Check your curves

If you want an example of good posture, just look at a young child – their movements are easy and effortless. As we get older, bad habits such as slouching and inactivity cause muscle fatigue and tension that ultimately lead to poor posture.
Good posture feels effortless, which is why traditional ‘good posture’ suggestions like shoulders back and sticking out your chest may feel uncomfortable too.
Most people would say they feel their posture could be better but it is very rare that we actually do something about it.

Modern living means most of us are not as active as previous generations. We spend long hours sitting at a desk, in our cars or slouching on the coaches.

In these situations you are not using your muscles as nature originally intended. Parts of your body get overworked such as your neck and shoulders whilst others will get weaker, invariably the lower back.

We think about posture as someone having rounded shoulder or hunched over, but it effects so much more. It is very hard keeping a good posture and having a potbelly; if you slouch you will also have poor core strength and weak pelvic muscles.

So check your curves and do your core, pelvic floor and back a favor start looking after your curves.

Yours in Health & Fitness,