HEALTHY CHRISTMAS TIPPLES

It’s a given that during the festive season alcoholic beverages are going to be on the menu.

Now I’m not saying these recipes are ‘super’ healthy but they are healthier than fizzy drinks, and beers. And the taste will not disappoint either!

Be sure to give these a try and let me know how you get on.

SPICED MULLED WINE WITH CHAI MIX

INGREDIENTS

  • 500ml red wine
  • ½ large orange (or 1 small), halved and sliced
  • ½ tsp Lucy Bee Chai Mix
  • 1 tbsp Lucy Bee Coconut Sugar, to taste
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Add red wine and orange slices to saucepan
  • Gently heat on low heat
  • Add Lucy Bee Chai Mix and Coconut Sugar
  • Stir in to infuse
  • As the wine begins to steam, take off the heat
  • Do not allow to boil
  • Serve in glasses/mugs with cinnamon stick

CHRISTMAS MOJITO

INGREDIENTS

  • Handful fresh mint
  • 2 limes, cut into quarters
  • 2 tbsp Lucy Bee Coconut Sugar
  • 100g cranberries
  • Crushed ice
  • Soda water
  • Rum, optional
  • Dash cranberry juice, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Remove the mint leaves
  • Add to bowl, with lime quarters, coconut sugar and cranberries
  • Mix together
  • Cranberries need to break down
  • Make sure lime juice is mixed well with Lucy Bee Coconut Sugar
  • Tip into two glasses along with ice, rum if using
  • Top with soda water
  • Stir all ingredients together
  • For extra sweetness, add splash cranberry juice if using

ARE YOU GUILTY OF SETTING UNATTAINABLE GOALS?

Over the years I’ve met many people who’ve come to the conclusion that their goals are simply not attainable.

That they can’t lose weight. That they can’t run a 10k. That they can’t wear a short skirt. That they can’t wear a bikini. The list goes on and on …

They basically want to give up. And to be fair it’s totally understandable. I mean who wants to keep falling short? It makes you feel pretty crap right!

It’s at this point that people start re-thinking their goals, when, more often than not, that’s really premature.

For me, the first step when you’re about to give up on your goals is not to adjust the goals but to readjust the action steps you’re taking towards them.

It kinda goes back to that old Henry Ford saying, ‘if you do what you always did you’ll get what you always got.’

Take weight loss as an example.

What most people do, and the reason they continuously get disappointed with their results is they diet. They cut calories. They try and trick the body.

Take it from me you can’t trick the body. That’s not how it works. You have to WORK WITH THE BODY in harmony.

If you’re struggling to reach your goals, look at your action steps.  Are you doing the same as you always did and expecting a different result?

If so, then RE-ADJUST.

If you need guidance on this then pick up the phone for a FREE 1-2-1 consultation. Either email GAYNOR@B-FIT.UK.COM or text/call on 07748298728 to book.

Love Gaynor x

BEAT THE CHRISTMAS BULGE

The festive season is fast approaching and with it comes an onslaught of unhealthy rich foods, long sofa bound days, and sugar-filled treats.

All of this can really challenge our self-care. Many folks seem to mindlessly eat. They get so caught up in the hustle and bustle that they’ve no real clue of how much they ate, drank, what tasted yum and what didn’t.

So to help you stay ahead, and avoid having to loosen your belt a notch or two in the coming weeks, I’ve compiled these 10 easy bulge busting tips to keep you healthy over the Christmas period and beyond …

  1. Look After Your Liver

The liver is one of the most important organs in your body. It helps to get rid of toxins and where do toxins get stored? in fat. During Christmas, your liver gets bombarded with toxins from alcohol, sugar, additives and other nasties. A really simple way to give it some extra TLC is with this Liver Health Formula.

  1. Hydrate

Drink lots of pure filtered water. This is such an easy tip. It’s free, and it will help flush out those nasty toxins.

  1. Eat Your Greens

Pile on the plant-based foods. I’m sure you know that you should be eating a rainbow of vegetables. Fibrous vegetables will ensure that you get adequate nutrients, as well as reducing your bloat and keeping you fuller for longer. Also, make sure you top up and take your daily Pea Protein. It’s portable and all you need is water. Can’t get any simpler than that?!

  1. Use Smaller Crockery

Another sneaky way that junk food makes it’s way into our tummies is via oversized plates and glasses. It’s human nature just to fill it up. Choose smaller crockery and glasses to keep an eagle eye on your portions.

  1. Make Smart Food Choices

Choose fish, meats, salads, fresh fruit, and vegetables. Avoid the processed carbs such as bread, pasta, and pizza. They will make you feel sluggish and bloated.

  1. Research The Buffet Table

Walk around the buffet table to see what’s on offer. Get the lay of the land before you choose and commit. By doing this you’ll avoid piling excessive amounts of food onto your plate and/or making poor food choices. It might sound a little tree huggy but make-up your plate with ‘intention’ and ‘mindfulness’.

  1. Sit Away From The Food.

It’s not a good idea to be within arms reach of the buffet. You’re more likely to snack. Instead, go to the opposite end of the room. That way you’ll have to consciously make a trip back for more.

  1. Slow Down & Chew

Do you ever notice how people seem to mindlessly shovel their food down? Slow down and chew. Chewing allows you to really taste your food and digest it better. But also it gives your tummy time to signal to your brain that it’s full so your less likely to overeat. Pace yourself, and put your fork down between bites. Simple.

  1. Be Restaurant Savvy

Do some prior research. Look at the menu online and pick out the foods that will keep you on track. Also don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. Afterall, it’s your meal. Swap chips for sweet potatoes. Ask for a side salad or steamed vegetables, and avoid the bread basket. If you get offered just say no. It’s a lot easier to avoid temptation when it’s not on the table.

  1. Make A Plate Up, Don’t Pick

I know you’re probably keen to sample everything, and there’s nothing wrong with that but if you choose food straight from the serving dish to your mouth with no plate it’s a lot harder to keep track of your intake. Agreed? so plate up, sit down and enjoy.

Using the tips above will give you a great head start. Now I’d love to hear from you. Have these tips helped? Anything you’d like to add? And which ones are you going to try?

Remember “incite without action is worthless” so take away these nuggets and act on them at your next soiree.

Love Gaynor x

ACAI & BERRY SMOOTHIE BREAKFAST BOWL

This acai & berry smoothie breakfast bowl will spice up your breakfast repertoire. It’s deliciously sweet and fruity. And the frozen banana makes the smoothie extra creamy which just melts in your mouth. Also, there’s 2 superfoods added called acai and baobab. These are both tasty whilst also adding a serious dose of nutrients.

Acai is similar to a grape/blueberry and is harvested from palm trees found around the Amazon river in South America. It’s rich in antioxidants, closely followed by the berries, which are in abundance in this recipe so each mouthful protects your body from free radical damage that can lead to disease.

The baobab powder naturally forms inside the hard-shelled fruit of the African Baobab tree. It boosts your vitamin C and iron levels whilst also boosting your calcium, potassium and magnesium levels. Interesting fact … did you know that it contains more vitamin C than oranges and more iron than red meat? So not to be overlooked!

And then, of course, we’ve got the almond butter which will give you healthy fats and plant-based protein. And the berries, dates, and banana will give you, even more, vitamins and minerals so that you’re well and truly set up to start your day strong.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • ½ cup raspberries
  • 2 medjool dates
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 heaped tbsp acai powder
  • 1 heaped teasp baobab powder

Tip: add a handful of spinach for the extra greens. It won’t change the flavour too much.

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Place all in blender
  • Whizz until smooth
  • Enjoy 😊

10 HERBS & SPICES THAT REDUCE BODY FAT

As well as adding flavour to your food did you know that certain herbs and spices can help you maintain a healthy body weight?

They do this by firing up your metabolism, suppressing your appetite and shrinking fatty tissue.

Not only this they are full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals and may help fight diseases. In many cases, herbs and spices contain more potent antioxidants compared to many well known mainstream food sources. Let me give you some examples.

Cloves (antioxidants 30% dry weight) and cinnamon (antioxidants 18% dry weight) versus blueberries (antioxidants 5% dry weight). Oregano has 42 times more antioxidants than apples, 12 times more than oranges, and 4 times more than blueberries.

From my experience and research, the top 10 herbs and spices that may support your weight loss goals when added generously to food are:

  • Ginger
  • Black Pepper
  • Cumin
  • Mustard
  • Ginseng
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Turmeric
  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom
  • Dandelion

Let’s take a closer look at them:

Ginger

If you’ve ever had ginger tea you’ll know it has a very warming and soothing effect. It’s known to help relax your intestinal tract and is very anti-inflammatory. It may have thermogenic properties that help speed up your metabolism, as well as an ability to suppress your appetite.

Black Pepper

Contains a substance called piperine which blocks the formation of new fat cells. It also increases the bioavailability of other foods.

Cumin

Helps with digestion and energy production, and may improve glycaemic control in people with diabetes. Also been found to improve memory and provide stress-relieving benefits.

Mustard

Interesting fact, the mustard plant is actually part of the cruciferous family of vegetables. Mustard seeds have been shown to boost metabolic rate by 25% so you burn more calories. In fact, 3/5 teaspoon of mustard seeds daily may help you burn an extra 45 kcals per hour.

Ginseng

Boosts energy levels, improves insulin sensitivity, speeds up metabolism and so helps with weight loss.

Cayenne Pepper

Capsaicin is the compound that gives peppers their heat. The heat effect increases the thermogenesis in your body, which in turn impacts on metabolism, weight loss and fat storage.

Turmeric

Turmeric is a yellow-orange spice. Curcumin is one of turmeric’s active ingredients, that reduces the formation of fat tissue by suppressing the blood vessels needed to form it, and therefore may contribute to lower body fat.

Cinnamon

This spice may help boost your metabolism so helping with weight loss. It’s been found to significantly reduce blood sugar levels, triglycerides, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels, as well as increase glucose metabolism, which would significantly improve your ability to regulate blood sugar. So it’s especially great for diabetics!

Cardamom

Cardamom, an aromatic spice with a spicy sweet flavour, is another thermogenic herb that helps boost your metabolism and may boost your body’s ability to burn fat.

Dandelion

The dandelion slows down your digestion, so making you feel fuller for longer. This in turn helps with weight management. Dandelions are also rich in antioxidants, dietary fibre, beta-carotene, vitamin K1, vitamins and minerals, and are beneficial for normalising blood sugar and cholesterol, as well as cleansing your liver.

On the next up-coming blog I’m going to give you some super simple ways to incorporate these herbs and spices into your diet. Can’t wait to share 😊

Love Gaynor x

7 WAYS TO BREAK THROUGH A FAT LOSS PLATEAU

Have you ever experienced a time when you’ve steadily been losing weight/inches and then it just comes to a stand still?! If this rings a bell then maybe it’s time to re-evaluate. These 7 tactics are a good starting point to help you break through the plateau.

Keep An “Honest” Food Diary

This is a proven technique for weight loss. When an “honest” food diary is kept it forces you to keep an accurate account of what food you eat including portion sizes and all the other little indulgences you have here and there that could very well be sabotaging your weight loss efforts.

Get More Sleep

There’s clear scientific links between sleep deprivation and weight gain. It messes up your hormones resulting in an increased appetite, cravings, poor workouts and a decrease in overall energy expenditure. So make sure you get your Zzzzz

Eat More Frequently

And no that was not a typo! Though counterintuitive, increasing the frequency of meals can kickstart weight loss. Skipping meals can lower your metabolism and cause your body to hold onto calories by storing them as fat. Whereas, eating small, but frequent healthy meals throughout the day keeps your metabolism firing. Your blood sugar levels will also be more stable and so you’re less likely to raid the pantry cupboards.

Change Your Workout Routine

If long bouts of steady state cardio and/or doing the same old routine aren’t producing the goods then it’s time for a change as your body isn’t responding. High-intensity interval training (HIIT), is a form of cardio that involves alternating sets of intense exertion with brief recovery and has been shown to burn more fat in a fraction of the time than traditional cardio. The whole idea is to shock and re-boot your system to get it losing weight again.

Increase Protein Intake

Consuming protein has been shown to lead to more fat loss. Healthy protein sources combined with resistance training significantly improves overall body composition.

De-Stress

Stress increases the body’s production of the hormone cortisol, which has been linked to both weight gain and increased appetite. Other side effects of too much stress include poor sleep and digestive problems, both of which will derail your body’s ability to burn fat.

Timeout

If you’re doing everything correctly, and have been doing it for a long time and you’re not losing any weight despite all your hard efforts there’s a possibility your body has shutdown. If you’ve over dieted/over trained your body will be tired, stressed and will fight back. Timeout could be exactly what’s needed to re-set your system.

PUMPKIN STEW

This delicious pumpkin stew will not disappoint. It’s highly nutritious and will definitely keep you toasty on the inside and feeling nice and full on these nippy Halloween nights.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 kg pumpkins
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 carrots
  • 4 new potatoes
  • 1-2 red chillies
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1 mug brown basmati rice
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/4 litres yeast free vegetable stock
  • Handful parsley finely chopped
  • Pinch celtic sea salt or himalayan crystal salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Peel the pumpkin, carrots, onions, garlic cloves and potatoes
  • Cut the onion into fine pieces
  • Finely chop the garlic cloves
  • Cut the carrots into slices
  • Cut the potatoes into cubes
  • Deseed the pumpkin and cut into cubes
  • Deseed the chillies and cut into fine pieces
  • Gently fry the onions and garlic in olive oil
  • Add the rice, mix well
  • Add pumpkins, carrots, potatoes and the chillies
  • Cover and steam for about 10 minutes
  • Add the stock
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Cook on low heat for another 30 mins
  • Stir in the parsley
  • Leave to rest in the open pot for about 5 mins
  • Serve and enjoy

SPICED PUMPKIN PORRIDGE WITH CARAMELISED APPLES & PECANS

It’s officially Autumn and that means squashes and pumpkins are in season. So why not celebrate the new season with this cosy, tasty porridge from Deliciously Ella?

This recipe which serves one is super quick and easy to make. The spiciness of the cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger are a perfect blend and match for the sweetness of the pumpkin puree.

Trust me, this is a must try recipe 😊

INGREDIENTS

Porridge:

  • 80g oats
  • 100ml brown rice milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • Sprinkle ground nutmeg
  • 5 tbsp of pumpkin puree
  • 2 tsp of coconut sugar

Toppings:

  • 1 apple
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 40g pecans

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Peel pumpkin, chop, steam 25 mins until soft
  • Puree pumpkin until smooth
  • Core and slice apple
  • Cook apples/pecans with coconut oil, maple, cinnamon 10 mins
  • Apples to be soft but holding shape
  • Place oats in saucepan with 200ml water and brown rice milk
  • Cook 4 mins stirring continuously
  • Add spices, pumpkin puree and coconut sugar and cook 1 min
  • When porridge cooked, spoon into bowl
  • Top with apples and pecans
  • Serve and enjoy

11 FOODS THAT STOP HUNGER

When was the last time you felt hungry? Not just peckish but cookie monster ravenous? If you’ve been trying to lose weight, you’ll know that feeling all too well. A little hunger is normal, but constant excessive hunger will make you grumpy and prone to unhealthy cravings. The following options will definitely help you resist temptation!

  1. WATER

Strictly not food but I have to mention water as it’s cheap, simple and a very effective way to nip hunger pangs in the bud. Often hunger is mistaken and can actually be an indicator your dehydrated. If you drink more water, you’re less likely to drink other calorie-laden drinks such as sodas. Also drinking water before a meal blunts your appetite. Therefore, you’ll eat less and find it easier to lose those extra pounds. So the moral of the story is drink more pure filtered water.

  1. GREEN VEGGIES

Green veggies, as well as other starchy vegetables such as carrots, are unmatched for their low calorie yet high satiety ratio not to mention high in nutrients. Foods that contain high levels of water, dietary fibre, and protein tend to be the most filling. Some of my personal favourites are broccoli, spinach, and kale.

  1. OATS

Versatile, super filling and cheap, oats are ideal for stopping hunger in it’s tracks. High in fibre and highly absorbent. When mixed with water or a dairy free milk alternative, the oats expand in your stomach and digest slowly. So start your day with oats and ideally combine it with protein/good fats to make it even more filling and a complete meal.

  1. GREEK YOGHURT

Protein’s ability to stave off hunger is well documented and Greek yogurt is super high in it. Also, it tastes great and is low in sugar.

  1. PISTACHIOS

I love my pistachios. Nuts are dense in calories from healthy fats, but pistachios are much lower in fat than other nuts yet still dense and very filling. Make sure to watch your portion size, a handful is all you need.

  1. HUMMUS

Another food high in protein is hummus plus it’s rich in fibre, vitamin C, and good fats. These fats, alongside the carbs/protein in hummus, will keep you nice and full.

  1. SOUP

Soups are great for giving you that feeling of fullness without piling on the weight. To maximise satiety choose a broth-based soup that’s packed full of lean protein and fibre rich veggies. Also, make sure you check out these nutrient-dense soup recipes I shared a while ago!

WHITE BEAN & WINTER SQUASH SOUP WITH KALE

COCONUT LENTIL SOUP

MINESTRONE SOUP

  1. PEA PROTEIN

A quality PEA PROTEIN is perfect for anyone following a weight loss diet. It’s great for stabilising blood sugar levels and cravings.  It’s also a fast and effective way of keeping you fuller for longer.

  1. EGGS

Studies have shown that eggs are an excellent food for increasing satiety and on top of that, they’re cheap, versatile and quick to make. I always have some boiled eggs in my fridge on standby in case I get the munchies.

  1. APPLES

Eating an apple before a meal has been shown to reduce the amount of food you eat. This is due to it’s high fibre and water content. So an apple a day really does keeps hunger at bay!

  1. WATERMELON

Due to it’s high water content watermelon scores high on the satiety index. It’s also packed with vitamin C, minerals, antioxidants, tastes delicious and low on empty calories. Simply pop a slice or two in a lunchbox to enjoy as a snack as and when needed.

If you’re trying to resist unhealthy snacking, focus on these filling, nutrient-rich foods. If you can keep hunger at bay, it’s only a matter of time until the results start showing up in the mirror and in your clothes.

Love Gaynor x

MAKE FAT LOSS HAPPEN FASTER

One topic that gets massively overlooked yet is crucial to fat loss is fibre specifically greens.

There’s no getting away from it but greens are fantastic for our health, well-being, and performance. They are jam packed with nutrients which our body needs in order to function.

Here’s my favourite greens, their benefits and why they’re relevant to fat loss.

SPINACH

Nutrient dense and so easy and convenient to add to meals. The main nutritional benefits of spinach are:

  • Rich in iron for blood health and metabolisation of protein
  • High in vitamin C for immune health
  • High in folate for new cell generation and DNA repair
  • Great source of soluble fibre

KALE

Another great superfood loaded with nutrients. Again very convenient to prepare, cook and eat. The main nutritional benefits of kale are:

  • High in vitamin A, C and K for immune, bone and skin health
  • Rich in potassium for regulating fluid balance and brain, heart and nerve health
  • Rich in iron for blood health and metabolisation of protein
  • Rich in copper for healthy connective tissues, and enzymatic processes
  • Rich in phosphorus for healthy bones/teeth, hormone regulation and improved digestion
  • Rich in manganese for bone health, metabolism and healthy connective tissues
  • Great source of soluble fibre

BROCCOLI

These little midget trees are so good for us. The main nutritional benefits of broccoli are:

  • Rich in detoxifying phytonutrients that help remove harmful toxins
  • Rich in vitamin A and K which help maintain a healthy vitamin D balance/metabolism
  • Great source of soluble fibre

CABBAGE

Cabbage is another great food source packed with nutrients. The main nutritional benefits of cabbage are:

  • Rich in detoxifying phytonutrients that help remove harmful toxins
  • Enriched with indole-3-carbinol which helps metabolise/regulate estrogen which if out of sync will effect body composition
  • Rich in vitamin c for immune health
  • Great source of B vitamins
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Great source of soluble fibre

These 4 veggies are right up there as some of my favourite greens. I really encourage my clients to incorporate these for the many reasons given above.

Not eating enough greens stalls your fat loss. By under eating greens, you’re failing to give your body enough fibre. Insufficient fibre means things like blood sugar levels, insulin sensitivity, nutrient absorption, performance and energy are all effected.

In addition to fresh veggies and for added support make sure you try LIQUID CHLOROPHYLL.

If you address your greens intake not only will your body be healthier and function better, you will drop fat FASTER.

Love Gaynor x

Personal trainer in Crosby, Waterloo, Formby and Merseyside