Category Archives: Health

HOW TO EXERCISE YOURSELF YOUNG [ANTI AGEING SERIES PART 1]

Prevention is definitely better than cure when it comes to anti-ageing. To do this effectively, we need to address our health both internally and externally.

Numerically, we’re all ageing at the same rate which we can’t stop. Yet some people appear to defy the digits on their birth certificate. Why do some 50-year-olds look like 30-year-olds? It’s not all down to surgery, expensive potions, or faddy trends. Research is increasingly pointing towards lifestyle factors which can play a pivotal role in dictating the rate we age at namely exercise, nutrition and general self-care. Today I just want to focus on exercise.

It’s no secret that regular exercise delivers an array of benefits, from increasing strength to deterring disease and illness. But it also has another major benefit that’s often overlooked: a regular fitness regime can take years off your age biologically.

Here are six ways in which exercise has been proven to make you look and feel younger:

EXERCISE MAKES YOUR CELLS AGE SLOWER

Scientists have long known that telomeres affect the ageing process. These caps, found at the end of chromosomes, get shorter as we get older. New research has indicated that regular exercise can help to lengthen our telomeres, effectively slowing the ageing process.

EXERCISE IMPROVES YOUR SKIN

That glow you get after completing a workout? Turns out it has lasting benefits. Research has found that regular exercisers over the age of 40 are more likely to have the supple skin of people ten or even 20 years younger. Exercise also boosts collagen and helps reduce stress that can have a huge impact on our skin health. More on this in part 3 when we touch on stress.

EXERCISE BOOSTS YOUR METABOLISM

Alas, the female metabolism slows around the age of 35 onwards, making it easier for weight to accumulate. Try my 1-2-1 PERSONAL TRAINING or my SMALL GROUP PT SESSIONS to fight the flab and boost your metabolism.

EXERCISE IMPROVES YOUR CIRCULATION

Sweat your butt off and move your body at least three to five times per week. It gets your circulation going and helps rid your body of accumulated toxins which in turn clears the skin.

EXERCISE IMPROVES YOUR MEMORY

Do you ever get those senior moments when you forgot something?!!! It’s long been known that people who remain mentally alert are less susceptible to the effects of ageing. Well, it turns out that the key to keeping a healthy mind is keeping a healthy body. Regular aerobic exercise has been shown to increase the size of the hippocampus (part of our brain) boosting our memory, focus and cognitive skills.

EXERCISE DETERS BAD HABITS THAT SPEED UP AGEING

Fast food, cigarettes and excess alcohol all wreak havoc on the body. If you’re following a regular exercise regime, you’ll be far less tempted to indulge in these pitfalls that can ruin your health and speed up the ageing process.

We can’t choose our chronological age but we can do something about our biological age. It’s yours for the taking if you decide and take consistent action. The many benefits of exercise are simply too great to ignore.

That’s it for today. I’ll be back next week in your inbox with part 2 of my anti ageing series on how to eat yourself young. The final instalment will be on how to self-care yourself young.

Have a super week my friend.

Gaynor x

5 THINGS YOU CAN DO NOW TO LOSE FAT FOR SUMMER

Even though it’s mid April there’s still plenty of time to make dramatic changes to your diet and lifestyle for the good of your health and to get you on your way to achieving that summer body.

So, what can you do now to help ensure fat loss in time for Summer?

1. DRINK MORE WATER

With the temperatures rising, it is important to ensure you are well hydrated. You should be drinking a minimum of 2 litres of fresh drinking water per day for optimum health and wellbeing. Drinking water not only helps vital organs carry out their necessary functions but it flushes out toxins too. A lot of the time we have cravings and hunger pangs is actually because we are dehydrated. Drinking enough water each day will also stop you overeating.

2. GET PLENTY OF SLEEP

Yes, that’s right sleep. Sleeping and resting allows our bodies to repair and recover. When women don’t get enough sleep, the hormone cortisol causes us many pesky problems. Not enough sleep, coupled with stress, causes cortisol levels to rise. Cortisol is the ‘stress hormone’ and is secreted during the body’s ‘fight or flight’ response to stress. Higher levels of cortisol lead to increased abdominal fat which is associated with a variety of other health problems in the body. So, get the recommended eight hours of sleep, try not to stress and your cortisol levels will reduce.

3. START WEIGHT TRAINING

Don’t just rely on cardio to keep that body fat away. Participating in cardio based exercise burns fat for up to 12 hours afterwards. If you incorporate resistance training into your plan, your body burns fat for up to 72 hours afterwards as it works on repairing the muscles following training.

4. EAT A RAINBOW

All of my clients, whether one to one or part of my group personal training course benefit from my nutritional advice too. I have seven key principles which I get my clients to follow. One of the easiest to remember, which is why I’m sharing it here, is to ‘eat a rainbow’. I’m talking about a variety of different coloured fruits and vegetables (organic where possible). We are told to get our ‘five a day’ for essential health but why stop at five? In Japan, the recommended number of fresh fruit and vegetable portions is 17! Make sure you give your body essential vitamins, nutrients and micronutrients with a varied healthy diet.

5. TRY THE B-FIT B-FABULOUS 21 DAY WEIGHT LOSS PLAN

Just 21 days! That’s all you would need to give me in order to show you all the secrets to successful fat loss. My B-Fit B-Fabulous 21 Day Weight Loss Plan is a fat busting detox that GUARANTEES a 8-14lb weight loss or you drop a dress size in 21 days. But don’t let me tell you about it, see the results for yourself from my clients here …

Lorraine loses 13b with the B-Fit B-Fabulous 21 day Weight Loss Plan

Lesley drops from a size 16 got a 12 in 90 days!

Kristina keeps two stone off!

Karen rids her household of 35lb of excess weight

Jenny’s B-Fit B-Fabulous 21 Day Plan testimonial

So you see that summer body doesn’t have to feel and be so far away. Want to know more? Simply text or call me on 07748298728 for a free, no obligation, confidential chat about you and your goals.

Love Gaynor x

THIS DRINK WILL DETOX YOUR KIDNEYS & BODY FAST

Over the last few years, I’ve written about the benefits of detoxing quite a few times and highlighting common health challenges that a detox can remedy. To summarise these are:

• Tiredness
• Bloating
• Insomnia
• Stress
• Depression
• Mental fog
• Moodiness
• Cravings
• Fluid retention
• Bad breath
• Gall bladder issues
• Bad skin
• Weight loss resistance
• Indigestion
• Body odour

Some folks are skeptical and question can a detox really solve all these issues? I get it but equally, if you step back it’s not surprising if you take into consideration the number of toxins we’re exposed to on a daily basis in food, water, cleaning products, toiletries etc it’s not uncommon for the average human to be exposed to millions of toxins each and every day. All these toxins interfere with our body and hormones. Then people try to medicate and this adds even more toxins and throws the body even more out of sync. Instead, let’s get back to nature as medicine.

Here’s a simple, fast and delicious detox drink to try. Make sure you use organic ingredients to minimise adding more toxins and chemicals into the body.

INGREDIENTS

• 2 lemons
• ¼ cucumber
• 1 ½ apples
• 2 kale leaves
• 2 celery stalks
• 2 spinach leaves

INSTRUCTIONS

• Place ingredients in juicer/food processor
• Blend until smooth

Let’s do a quick rundown of each of the ingredients and their detoxifying benefits.

LEMONS

Lemons contain citric acid, which aids in the production of digestive juices. It can encourage daily bowel movements, which work to cleanse the colon of any toxins acquired through food. Lemon juice has also been shown to help prevent kidney stones and ensure kidney health due to the high content of natural citrate.

CUCUMBER

Cucumbers work to prevent water retention, which is the excessive build-up of fluid in the circulatory system. This is due to a few compounds cucumbers are rich in including potassium, vitamin C, and folic acid.

APPLES

Apples have been a major part of detox diets for years. Apples contain pectin, a fiber that prevents the build-up of plaque in blood vessels. The cellulose in apples helps the digestive system move waste quickly through the intestinal tract. Apples are also rich in calcium, iron, phosphorus, and potassium, all of which add to its detoxifying abilities.

KALE

Kale contains over 45 different flavonoids that provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

CELERY

Celery alkalises the body and balance its pH. It also hydrates and replaces electrolytes. Celery encourages bowel movements and reduces the risk of harmful calcification in the kidneys.

SPINACH

Glutathione is one of my fav antioxidants. In fact, it’s referred to as the ‘mother of all antioxidants’ due to its potent health benefits. Toxins, poor diet, pollution, and stress can all reduce your body’s natural supply of glutathione. But spinach is loaded with the stuff!
If there’s one take away from all this, its that there’s so much in nature that can significantly improve our health.

In my B-FIT B-FABULOUS 21 DAY PLAN, this is exactly the sort of stuff I help you with. And you don’t just lose nasty toxins but fat too. Make sure you check it out!

Gaynor x

10 TIPS TO SPRING CLEANING YOUR BODY

Spring cleaning doesn’t just mean it’s time to clean the house. After a winter full of hearty foods and being stuck indoors, we can all use a little detox to prep our bodies for the Spring.

As you know I’m a massive advocator of detoxing. In fact, I recommend to all my clients to detox 3-4 times per year for many health reasons.

According to Ayurveda, a Spring detox is the perfect time of year for cleansing. Once it gets a little warmer, the human body is wired to shed off extra winter pounds that kept us warm during the winter and flush out toxins that were accumulated from heavy wintery foods.

So here’s 10 tips to help you get started.

TIP 1 – DRINK WARM WATER WITH LEMON

Start your morning with a glass of hot water and the juice of half a lemon. This will cleanse your digestive tract, release unwanted toxins and hydrate you.

TIP 2 – STAY HYDRATED

Drink at least 2 to 3 liters of fresh water per day, including herbal teas. Some people think this will make them more bloated, but the opposite is true – it helps the body flush out toxins and reduce bloat.

TIP 3 – USE HERBS & SPICES

Using herbs and spices improves digestion and metabolism. Cinnamon, ginger, fennel, and mint are all great options for teas. Also, cook your food with liberal doses of herbs and spices. Use culinary herbs such as basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano and spices such as turmeric, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, mint, sage, and parsley in generous amounts.

TIP 4 – ELIMINATE ALCOHOL & PROCESSED FOODS

Cutting out alcohol and processed foods during a detox works wonders for fat loss. Alcohol and processed foods are full of additives and toxins. Believe me, you’ll be glad you ditched them. Give it a go, and see the difference to the belly bloat.

TIP 5 – CUT COFFEE

Cutting out caffeine will enable your hormones to get back to normal and for your body to work effectively. We are not supposed to run off coffee and if you need it to get up in the morning, something is wrong. Giving up coffee can be hard for the first couple of days, but the benefits are well worth it plus you’ll find that you sleep better.

TIP 6 – GO ORGANIC

Pesticides and other nasties feature so heavily in our food chain that it’s no wonder our bodies are fighting against toxins. Reduce your exposure to toxins in food by eating whole, fresh organic foods. This will massively benefit your health, reduce toxins in your body and so help fat loss. Also make sure you consume plenty of fibrous green vegetables every day to ensure you get enough vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients into your diet and also to support the detoxification process.

TIP 7 – DRY SKIN BRUSHING

Your skin is an organ of elimination, just like your kidneys, liver, and colon. Dry skin brushing helps keep the pores clear and the skin active to assist the body in this cleansing process. It also helps to increase blood circulation. Dry brushing exfoliates the skins outer layer and stimulates the sweat and oil glands, providing more moisture for the skin.

TIP 8 – MASSAGE

Massage is a great way to help improve circulation, activate the lymphatic system and aid in the detoxification process.

TIP 9 – SAUNAS & STEAMS

To increase the detoxifying effect try a sauna, steam room, hot bath and cardio for induced sweating. Most gyms have sauna and steam rooms that you can use after a workout. If you don’t have access to one, take a hot bath with epsom salts, ginger powder, and baking soda every night before going to sleep. Also, run, do yoga, jump, dance, whatever gets your heart pumping and brings a sweat on.

TIP 10 – BREATH

Seems pretty obvious right?! But in a rushed stressed out society our breath tends to be rushed and shallow. Our lungs rarely get a chance to open up and fill up with fresh air to completely cleanse from all the stale gases. Take a few minutes in the morning to just breathe deeply. Two-to-one breathing is a practice of exhaling twice as long as every inhalation. It’s a great technique for cleansing the lungs and calming the nervous system.

So are you going to jump on board and do a Spring detox with me? I hope so. If you do have any questions don’t be shy, reach out and ask me! Simply email GAYNOR@B-FIT.UK.COM or text/call to 07748 298728.

Love Gaynor x

SICILIAN CHICKEN WITH BLOOD ORANGES

I’m so in love with blood oranges that I set out to find a dish that highlighted their deep citrus flavour and absolutely beautiful colouring.

Blood oranges are in season right now, and I’m a huge advocate of ideally using produce when it’s in season. If for any reason blood oranges are not available then this dish can be made with navel oranges.

This dish is perfect for a dinner party with friends and pairs really well with fresh steamed vegetables, rice and quinoa.

This recipe serves 3-4 people, is gluten and wheat free and only takes 20 mins to prep.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 blood oranges
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1-2 whole cloves
  • 2 red onions, peeled and sliced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • Seeds from 3 cardamom pods
  • Pinch grated nutmeg
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig dried thyme
  • 40g green olives pitted
  • Pinch Himalayan salt
  • Ground black peppercorns to season
  • 300ml chicken stock for quick cook or 750ml chicken stock if slow cooking

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Start by grating the zest from half an orange and set aside
  • Juice two oranges (one that you’ve taken the zest from) and set aside
  • Slice the remaining orange (skin on) and set aside
  • If slow cooking, preheat the oven to 150C, 300F, gas mark 2
  • Melt the coconut oil in a deep pan, on a high heat
  • Add the cloves and chicken thighs and brown each side
  • Turn down the heat
  • Add the onion and sauté for 2-3 mins until golden
  • Add the garlic and cook for another minute
  • Add the cumin, chilli flakes, cardamom, orange (juice, zest and slices), nutmeg, bay leaves, thyme, olives, seasoning and stock
  • For a quick cook, place the lid on and cook for 15 mins on a medium heat then remove the lid and cook for a further 5-8 mins until the chicken is cooked through and the stock has reduced and thickened
  • For a slow cook, bring to the boil, cover and slow cook in a preheated oven for 2 ½ hrs
  • Serve with steamed veggies, brown rice or quinoa

HOW TO AVOID THE MID AFTERNOON SUGAR CRASH

Does this sound familiar? It’s 3 p.m. Lunch seems like forever ago and your stomach starts to rumble and grumble. You start to lose focus and dinner seems so far away.

Well, you’re not alone – this afternoon dilemma happens to me too. It can be caused by a number of factors and can often be solved by simply having a glass of water.

If you try this and you still feel hungry, then yes, you could probably use a little snack. However, when you reach for that snack, you want to make sure you’re making a choice that will sustain your energy. The best options combine nutrient-rich fruits or veggies that give quick energy and hydration combined with a lean protein or fat for staying power. Do your best to avoid sugary or starchy foods that give you a quick boost, but cause a crash quickly after.

To give you a better idea of what I mean, I’ve listed below some of the best and worst things to reach for if you’re craving a snack.

Avoid these …

  • Granola bars
  • Yogurt with added sugars
  • Diet drinks
  • Vending machine options (mostly packed with added sugars)

All of these include ingredients that will actually make you more tired over time. They’re tricky because whilst they give you a boost of energy straight away, they also cause you to crash.

Indulge in these …

  • Nuts and veggies with 1-2 tbsp hummus, plain yoghurt or guacamole
  • Green smoothie (3:1 ratio of vegetables to fruit)
  • Dry roasted chickpeas or edamame

These options combine protein and good fats, which give you the energy boost you need. Plus, they keep you sustained for longer periods of time, which prevents you from having an energy crash before dinner.

Keep it clean and simple and always listen to your body.

Love Gaynor x

THE BENEFITS OF GROUP EXERCISE

Small group PT courses are more than loud banging music, fast movements, and shouts of encouragement. These one hour blocks of time offer fun social opportunities, a ton of health benefits, motivation and accountability.

I’ve been running my SMALL GROUP PT COURSE for years and it’s super popular and here’s some of the reasons why:

Social Atmosphere

Attending a small group PT course gets you up off the couch and out to meet local people and make new friends. You’re likely to have more fun exercising in a group than training on your own. Small fitness groups are a wonderful place to meet people who have similar lifestyle goals and needs.

Motivation Boost

Participating in a small fitness group challenges you to work out beyond your perceived limitations. It’s psychological because you tend to want to push hard for the trainer and to keep up with your fellow classmates. Also, the trainer observes your body for signs of fatigue and will motivate and push you to your limits.

Health Benefits

Group exercise comes in a variety of workout styles and formats.

In my SMALL GROUP PT COURSE there’s only 6-8 people and we focus on 6 progressive fat burning sessions (1 per week for 6 weeks) to help you lose weight, tone up, improve your health and fitness and feel fabulous.

But …

It’s so much more than just a course because it includes my proven B-Fit 7 step plan, weight loss and lifestyle advice, nutrition tips on how to eat healthily for life without counting calories, and your own programme designed to do at home.

The other benefit of a group environment especially if you’re a newbie and not sure on good exercise form is that the trainer will spot-check you, correcting your positioning if necessary.

Accountability

A group exercise setting helps keep you accountable and disciplined. When the trainer and other participants ask why you were absent, they generally are concerned for your well-being, and you’ll not want to have an answer like “I sat on the couch” LOL

If you’re required to prepay, your accountability and commitment to attend also increases. That’s exactly why my SMALL GROUP PT COURSE is paid in one go to ensure you’ve got skin in the game and remain committed. It’s tough love but I need you to have both feet in and go for it.

Variety

Doing the same old routine over and over can feel dull and mundane after a while. But small fitness groups tend to emphasize variety to keep it fun and fresh whilst getting you fit and in great shape.

Workout Buddies

One thing I love about small group exercise is the community environment. When working out in a group you’ve other people doing the same workout as you. If you continue going to the same group you’ll probably start to become friends with many of these people. They then become your support system, and the people you can lean on when you’re in a fitness rut.

Price

Lastly, there’s no doubt that if you want very specific results and guidance through your fitness journey 1-2-1 PERSONAL TRAINING is the way to go. But for some folks, personal training isn’t an option due to price. That’s exactly why I developed my SMALL GROUP PT COURSE as an affordable alternative yet no compromise on quality and results.

Overall group fitness has many advantages. It can be a great option for someone who needs a support system, someone on a budget, or someone new to fitness.

Gaynor x

ROAST VEGETABLE & CHICKPEA STEW

This has to be one of my all-time favourite dinners to make at this time of year. It’s real comfort food and is perfect if you’re looking for a simple, quick nutritious meal. Plus, it makes getting your 5 a day easier as it’s jam packed with courgette, aubergine, tomato, onion and garlic. I think it tastes great with a simple side of quinoa, wholegrain rice or roasted sweet potatoes.

The chickpeas provide a ton of nutritional benefits too. The high fibre content helps us poop regularly and keeps us feeling full. The high iron content gives us energy, and chickpeas are a low GI food so they’re great for stabilising blood sugar levels.

So, pop on your apron, and let’s dive straight into the recipe.

INGREDIENTS

• 2 courgettes sliced
• 1 aubergine sliced
• 1 red onion sliced
• 3 garlic cloves chopped
• 1 x 400g can chick peas drained
• 2 x 400g can tinned tomatoes
• 2 tablespoon tomato puree
• 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
• Pinch chilli flakes
• Salt & pepper
• Olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS

• Preheat oven 180c fan
• Prepare all your vegetables
• Place in a baking tray with the chick peas
• Add a good drizzle of olive oil, salt & pepper
• Give everything a really good mix
• Bake 35-40 mins
• Place tomatoes/puree, maple syrup, chilli flakes, salt/pepper in pan
• Heat over a medium heat
• Bring to the boil and reduce temperature
• Simmer 10-15 mins
• Once veggies cooked, stir through the tomato mixture and enjoy

MANGO & SESAME QUINOA

This is a great recipe for any time as it’s clean, delicious and nutritious. I love the way this recipe combines the sweetness of mango with the savoury flavours of the tamarin and sesame seeds. The avocado makes this dish lovely and creamy whilst the lemon adds a tang, and it only takes 15 minutes to make too!

INGREDIENTS

  • 120g quinoa
  • 1 mango
  • 1 avocado
  • 4 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 100g pomegranates
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • Salt & pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Cook the quinoa
  • Allow to cool
  • Peel and chop the mango
  • Peel, de-seed and chop the avocado
  • Half and squeeze the lemon
  • Mix the mango and avocado together
  • Add the sesame, lemon juice, pomegranates, tamari, salt, pepper
  • Add the quinoa and serve

10 AMAZING WAYS TO USE COCONUT OIL

I cannot tell you how much I LOVE coconut oil.

Most people have cooked with it but this Superfood has literally tons of uses. It’s versatile, cost effective plus incredibly healthy. Trust me your body and health will thank you for it.

Read on to find out how many products my one jar of coconut oil has replaced!

Cooking Oil

Coconut oil is high in saturated fat so consuming excessive amounts isn’t advisable for your hearts sake. However, the manufacturing process and chemical properties make it healthier than its counterparts. It isn’t refined, bleached or odorised. But make sure you choose cold pressed and virgin coconut oil to reap these benefits.

Hair Conditioner

Did you know that coconut oil penetrates the hair and prevents protein loss? It sure does. All you do is take a dollop of coconut oil and comb it through your tresses. Not the most glam of looks but I wear a shower cap and sleep with it in. Then the next day I just shampoo and style as usual.

Face & Body Cream

Coconut oil is also a great moisturiser as it’s rich in fatty acids plus it leaves a lovely sheen on the skin. It helps give relief from skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis and will help soften fine lines and wrinkles.

Highlighter & Contouring

Want the Kim Kardashian highlighting and contouring look? use a small amount of coconut oil to highlight your cheek and eyebrow bones. You can also press a small amount of coconut oil on top of your makeup to give a nice dewy glow.

Mouthwash

It sounds weird I know but let me explain why coconut oil is a great mouthwash. It’s called oil pulling which is an ancient Ayurvedic practice to keep tooth decay, bad breath and gum disease at bay. Remember, coconut oil is antibacterial so it’s brillant for our teeth. So how do you oil pull? It’s simple. Take one tablespoon of coconut oil and swish it in your mouth for 10-20 mins until the oil turns cloudy and murky. This is the bacteria being pulled off. Then spit the oil out.

Makeup Remover

The oil nature of coconut oil means that makeup will wipe off easily because it breaks down water resistant substances. I’ve used it to remove my mascara and I have to say it works a treat! Just take a small amount of oil between your palms to warm it up. Glide it across your skin and use a cotton pad to remove the makeup. Keep repeating until your skin is thoroughly cleansed.

Dairy Alternative

Because of its emulsifying properties it’s a good dairy substitute. Use it on toast as a butter/margarine replacement. Add to coffee instead of milk.

Soap

Again, the anti-bacterial qualities of coconut oil make it a perfect candidate for a soap alternative. And it won’t just kill those nasty germs but it will also leave your hands silky soft.

Shaving Cream

Think about it. Coconut oil is a natural lubricant and so perfect to shave with. Lather it on and you’ll see that your razor will just glide over your skin as you shave.

Cuts & Bruises

Coconut oil just doesn’t have anti-bacterial qualities which makes it perfect for cuts and bruises … it also has anti-fungal properties too. And that means it’s perfect for conditions such as athletes foot.

There are many brands around but one of my favourites is Lucy Bee’s coconut oil. It smells heavenly and 100% pure.

So which use are you going to give a try? Let me know how you get on. Also have you any uses I haven’t mentioned? If you do, please let me know. I’d love to hear from you.

Gaynor x