Don’t be afraid to have fun with your food, as with these Feta Walnut Stuffed Cucumbers.
TIME: 20 minutes
½ cup walnut halves
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
½ cup crumbled feta cheese (about 2 oz)
¼ cup organic coconut milk
1 sm clove garlic, minced (½ tsp)
½ tsp mild paprika
⅛ tsp ground red pepper
4 med cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise, and seeded
1. COMBINE walnuts and parsley in blender or food processor and pulse until powdery in texture.
Add cheese, coconut milk, garlic, paprika, and ground red pepper and puree until smooth.
2. FILL cucumbers with feta-walnut mixture, patting into place with fork or spoon. Slice into wedges and lightly sprinkle tops with a little extra paprika.
So you’ve worked your backside off getting into that perfect beachwear, your case is packed, your passport in hand. It’s time to jet off and relax in the sun for a week or two.
But, let me ask you this. Do you return feeling fat, bloated and lethargic? Like you need another holiday just to recover?
If you answer yes to the above let me ask you another question.
You’ve spent weeks making the right choices that have led to a healthy and happy body. You look amazing, you feel amazing, everyone tells you you’re amazing. So why do we sabotage all of that hard work and effort with the temptations and setbacks that a holiday in the sun will bring?
You may remember my holiday diary from the last break I went on. (Read all about it here if you missed it). Well apologies for the absence of blog posts and newsletters, I’ve been away again! This time I was in Lanzarote with my family for three weeks. Determined and driven by my last holiday and how good it felt to follow my B-Fit plan whilst I was away, I was determined to do the same again.
Last time, many people quizzed me on my diary and how my holiday habits were inspirational/crazy/great etc. All I can say is that it is You who makes every decision in your life when it comes to what you put in your mouth. You have that choice and it is that choice that will determine your overall goals.
So, due to popular request, here is a snapshot of my average day on holiday. I feel it is vitally important that I eat well and exercise otherwise I would’ve felt terrible at the end of the holiday;
7:30am: up whilst it is still cool and kids still asleep
Eat a large handful of almonds, goji berries and brazil nuts for my protein fix.
7:45am: Do 15- 20 mins of anti-ageing yoga on the balcony
8:00am: Go for a 20 min run or swim
8:20am: Do 20 mins of B-Fit style weights or interval training
8:45am: Shower then have breakfast with my family. I usually start with green tea, and eat sliced pink grapefruit and water melon followed by scrambled eggs, tomatoes and spinach on rye bread
From 10:00am: We usually have a lazy morning reading, sunbathing and playing with my girls. I ensure that I drink lots of water, especially as it gets hotter.
1pm: We eat out in the shade at our favourite tapas restaurant overlooking the Atlantic. I choose my favourite tapas; padron peppers, setas (wild mushrooms) grilled local fish (viaje) with a large salad and washed down with peppermint tea. We love to have long lazy lunches and really take our time over our food when we are on holiday.
3:30pm to 6pm: After lunch has settled we hit the beach and play bat and ball with the girls, go boogie boarding or just jump in the waves and playing in the sea. I also try and get some more sunbathing in and reading, plus of course lots of water to keep me hydrated in the heat.
7.00pm: Dinner in. My husband Craig is a real maestro in the kitchen and whips up something healthy and nutritious. Tonight it is roast chicken (from the local supermarket) hummus, green salad with avacado, beetroot, peppers onions tomatoes and lots of olive oil. I treat myself to a *glass of Lanzarote organic wine.
8:00pm: Watch a DVD with the family or go and see a show at a local hotel.
11:00pm: Bed, ready for a new day.
*I made the decision to not drink every day and if I did have wine, it was once the sun went down and not too much!
To sum up
Whether you’re self catering or on an all inclusive hotel there are always healthy options to be had that will keep you on track. Try to avoid things like ice creams and daytime drinking which will just raise your blood sugar levels, increase cravings and alter all of your hard work. Stick to fresh meats and fish dishes, without the sauce where possible and avoid bread and pasta if you want to beat the bikini bloat.
We’re well into BBQ season with this lovely weather at the moment. Make sure your burgers pack a nutritious punch with this easy, fab recipe.
Tarragon Turkey Burgers
450g minced turkey breast
Olive oil on hand / organic butter
1⁄2 cup grated courgette
1⁄4 cup chopped red onion
1 Tablespoon of fresh or dried tarragon leaves
1cm thick round slices of butter nut squash (1 per patty)
Organic cranberry sauce
1cm thick round slices of aubergine
2tsp Dijon mustard
1⁄2 tsp vegetable seasoning (Oxo cube)
Celtic sea salt
3 grinds of black pepper
2 large free-range / organic eggs
1. Preheat oven to 180C. In a saucepan of boiling water, blanch the aubergine slices for up to 1 minute. Remove from water, lay on a baking tray (greased with organic butter or baking paper. Brush both sides with olive oil generously and season with Celtic sea salt and pepper. Bake in the oven until soft and brown around 10-15minutes, turning half way.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine turkey mince with courgette, onion, tarragon, mustard, seasoning (or salt) and eggs. Mix thoroughly.
3. Shape into patties and grill in the oven (once aubergine has been removed) until cooked.
4. Steam the squash slices until soft all the way through – do not allow to go soggy, as they need to keep their form.
5. Stack from bottom up, squash, aubergine followed by burger and cranberry sauce, serve with a generous serving of salad including lots of leaves.
Well, isn’t this shaping up to be our best summer yet?!
The glorious weather means we are wearing less clothes and more of our bodies are on show. But are you happy with what is on display? Or are you looking to do something about it whilst the weather still looks set to continue?
Fret not! As a health and wellness professional, qualified personal trainer and nutritionist, I’ve condensed my top tips for fat loss this summer right here for you;
1. Water water everywhere… and lots of drops to drink!
We all know the power of water when it comes to our health and wellbeing. Dehydration leaves you feeling sapped of energy, lethargic and has you snacking unnecessarily. Did you know? When you feel hungry it could actually be thirst! So make sure you reach for that water.
This summer’s water tip is to simply increase your water intake to 2.5 litres a day. You will feel and notice such a difference. Bloating will reduce in your stomach area if you are flushing out toxins by drinking enough water. I highly recommend adding liquid chlorophyll into the mix too for an extra kick of toxin shedding magic!
Not drinking enough water will slow your fat loss so come on! You can up it!
2. Work it baby! And are you working it hard enough?
Whether you’re working out with me one to one, in a group or at home using one of the B-Fit B-Fabulous, ask yourself whether you are actually working as hard as you possibly can in your sessions?
Are you getting the most out of every minute?
Could you push it further (with my help and expertise of course, sensibly and within your limits)
Could you do a bit before bed?
Could you wake up earlier and have a ‘golden hour’ and maybe incorporate the Five Rites exercises?
That extra bit could be the difference between size 12 and 14. Uping your intensity, with the correct program as advised by B-Fit, will ensure that you will see a big change in just a few weeks.
3. Protein is fat busting power! Especially at breakfast…
You know my thoughts and views on getting adequate protein in your diet, but did you know that eating a breakfast full of protein is the very best way to kick start that metabolism and burn the fat!
Quite simply, eating more protein at breakfast time (and throughout the day) will change the way your whole body deals with the issue of storing and using its fat stores.
Try it for one week. Eat a high protein breakfast every day and watch how your energy levels soar. Within days you will be burning more fat!
4. Increase the frequency
With the lighter nights and brighter mornings, be honest with yourself. Could you increase the frequency of your workouts? Instead of 3 a week, could you up it to 4? Maybe an extra one at the weekend whilst we’re having this gorgeous weather? Going from 3 to 4 workouts can increase your results by up to 40%! That’s amazing food for thought.
Here is the question…
Could you increase your training by one session a week to see a 40% increase on your results? Could you?
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Aloe Vera is a nutritional powerhousehouse, containing Vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, Niacinamide, Choline and 18 amino acids.
In Ayurveda, Aloe Vera has many years of traditional use as a carrier to deliver other nutrients directly to where they’re needed. Many companies manufacture Aloe Vera products, but a number on the market have lost much of the plant’s original benefits due to overprocessing.
Because Nature’s Sunshine’s Aloe Vera is so pure it was used in an award winning scientific study which discovered a new polysaccharide (aloeride) proving the immune enhancing benefits of Aloe Vera.
Beware of Aloe Vera juice that claims to have no disagreeable taste as removing the flavour leaves you with a product that is only 10-15% Aloe vera, at best.
Nature’s Sunshine’s Aloe Vera is processed in a special way to avoid the loss of essential vitamins, minerals and other constituents.
I also recommend Aloe Vera gel (not for consumption) as a fantastic natural after sun.
This is one of my ultimate favourite Nature’s Sunshine products. Great for cleansing any excess toxins out of the body that maybe consumed on holiday. And as you will all know by now TOXINS ARE STORED IN FAT! So get rid of toxins and get rid of fat!! Also great for making body more alkaline which has a huge array of health benefits which I will save for another blog!!
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Chlorophyll is non-toxic and safe for use by people of all ages.
In total, in 90 days Lesley has dropped from a size 16 to a size 12, lost 18lbs and a multitude of inches all over. She looks younger, is fitter and her body shape has changed dramatically.
Here she is looking super glam and super happy in that elusive size 12 dress for an important party;
Lesley said; “I started the B-Fit B-Fabulous 21 Day Weight Loss Plan at the beginning of June and took to it well as I had already been following Gaynor’s 7 Step Plan which guides and coaches you to eat clean, whole foods and cut out processed foods and things like gluten and dairy.
I have really enjoyed the recipes in the 21 day book and found them easy to follow and very enjoyable. Even though I don’t have a lot of time, the recipes were quick and easy to do. It has inspired me to make many different things I have not tried before and I’ve even started juicing, which I’m enjoying and will continue to do.
The biggest challenge for me on the plan was cutting out my one cup of coffee with milk. I now have one cup of coffee with hemp milk instead and I don’t notice the difference any more!
By the start of the third week, at 15 days into the plan, my clothes were all too big and hanging off me and I had to keep my trousers up with a belt!
The videos and coaching were really helpful and I loved the exercise videos as they helped me to make sure I was doing the exercise in the right way. Each week the videos progressed as did I, and I was able to do more. (I had never done a press up in my life before Bfit and now I can do! And many other exercises too).
At the end of 21 days I had dropped a dress size, meaning a total of two dress sizes in total since I started training with Gaynor and B-Fit. I am loving shopping for new clothes and I have to try things on as I can’t yet picture what size I am!
I am the lightest I have been since my 20s. I have lost 18lbs since the start of April and getting in touch with Gaynor. I am so grateful I found Gaynor before I set off on my retirement travels. I will still see Gaynor in between my travels but I will so miss going to fit camp but I know that I can do Gaynor’s exercises wherever I am on my travels. I don’t need a gym.
This gorgeous recipe is one of my favourites from week 1 of the B-Fit B-Fabulous 21 Day Weight Loss Plan. A firm favourite in the Stobie house, this is an impressive recipe to showcase at dinner parties too.
4 x 200g snapper fillets
1-tablespoon olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon
1⁄2 tsp ground cardamom
1 clove garlic, chopped
1⁄4 cup chopped coriander
1⁄4 cup flat leafed parsley
juice & finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F)
2. Pat fish dry with paper towel, brush with half the olive oil and season with pepper. Arrange fish in a single layer in a baking dish.
3. In a bowl, mix remaining ingredients to a loose paste. Spread paste evenly over top of fish. Seal baking dish with foil. Bake for 10-15minutes or until cooked (when cooked the fish will flake away easily when pressed with a fork).
As a Mum of two rapidly growing daughters (it is scary how quick they grow up isn’t it?!) there’s always the worry that their gadgets and 21st century lifestyle makes them less inclined to exercise and move their bodies. If they’re only exercising their fingers… there’s a problem!
I recently worked with a Mum and her 14 year old daughter (read her testimonial here) and gentle encouragement coupled with nutrition education and developing a mindset of “healthy not skinny” was paramount to her journey and success.
If you have young people in your family who need a little motivation when it comes to diet and exercise, here are some B-Fit foolproof ways;
Lead by example
If you’re a fridge raider, junk food addict, takeaway queen etc how about starting something together? Whether that is deciding to cut out processed foods together, drink more water each day or even try some new healthy recipes together, working together on a better diet will show your teen that you can lead by example. They’re more likely to stick to it if you’re doing it together.
If your teenager doesn’t like to exercise can you find out why? If she’s self conscious for example, you could explore home based activities (I have a series of home exercise videos for clients that can be done in the privacy of a lounge or bedroom, providing there is enough space).
Can you brainstorm with your teen the types of activities they could do to get moving? They may not have realised that some sports and activities could be classed as exercise. A dance game on a games console for example will help get a teen moving.
If your teen is studying for exams or feeling under pressure, consider a more relaxing form of exercise such as yoga to help with the stress.
As with point one, consider going along to something together. I have had many mums and daughters over the years who have attend my group personal training sessions together. You are more likely to motivate one another working as a team.
Be prepared to supply your teen with the items that s/he will need for their new found exercise. New trainers, workout gear, sports equipment, classes etc all need to be factored in.
When it comes to food, think about getting the kids involved and plan meals together. Not only will this save you money as a family and cause less wastage but you can explore new recipes, tastes and foods together. They are more likely to eat it if they know the nutritional value and have helped prepare the food, than if you just plonk it in front of them.
Prepare lunches. We all know that schools these days have an obligation and a duty to provide the best food possible for students, however, school dinners will always have some element of choice of foods and not all will keep your teen on track. Preparing food at home ensures that they will stay on the right path.
Junk foods including takeaways, confectionary and soda should be limited if not got rid of all together. Obviously this is much harder in principle than on paper. YOU most likely do the shopping for your family. If you don’t buy it… they can’t eat it. Not at home anyway.
Outings as a family
Consider arranging outings as a family such as walks in the countryside, bike rides, rock climbing or visit places such as the Chill Factor in Manchester for a day on the artificial slopes. You will have so much fun as a family and it won’t feel like exercise.
Give positive feedback
Teens need to know that they’re doing well but don’t make it about their appearance. Focus on the skills that they are developing, new pieces of information that they are learning (particularly with nutrition) and the way that they are feeling. Focusing on getting healthy and feeling good should always be applauded rather than weight loss and increased muscle tone. I would go as far as to say, don’t weigh your teens at all and instead try and reinforce these health behaviours so that they are more likely to become long term habits.
For professional help and guidance with your teen and their health and fitness journey, call or email me in confidence 07748 298728 or email@example.com
*Before starting a diet or fitness plan with a child or teenager, please seek the advice of a medical professional.
A lovely thank you present and a few words from another happy B-Fit client! I love my job!
“I would like to thank Gaynor for her fabulous health and dietary advice and workout routines which Gaynor provided for my 14 year old daughter.
My daughter was caught in a cycle of crisps, chocolate, pasta and white bread and limited exercise, little helped by school’s indifference to whether girls were participating in sport or not.
The change has been tremendous! My daughter has now joined a gym and she is a member of the school football team!
Gaynor has made it very clear throughout that it is not about getting ‘thinner’ but ‘healthier & fitter’. As a family we are all eating healthier thanks to Gaynor’s sound and practical advice.
Workout sessions with Gaynor have been worked through to make them adaptable for when exercising at home.
It was not easy in the beginning but Gaynor has managed my daughter’s personality, likes and dislikes with professionalism and expertise. I would highly recommend Gaynor. Thank you Gaynor”.
If you regularly shop in supermarkets you will have most likely noticed the traffic light system on various foods. The red, amber and green colours are designed to alert us to high levels of sugar, salt and fat in our foods, allowing us to make informed and educated choices on the foods that we eat.
However… is the traffic light system flawed?
Firstly, the system is based on research from the 1950s. Research that is now completely out of date. Think about how much we have evolved in even the last 10 years with technology, discoveries and innovation. Why are we therefore using information from almost 65 years ago to determine our health and wellbeing guidelines? Anyway, that is an argument for another day…
Labels on food packaging such as low-fat, sugar free are misleading as we know that low fat foods often contain MORE sugar for taste. We NEED fats in our diets, and with good nutrition education, you will learn exactly what good fats are and why they are an essential part of your diet.
Let’s look at the following foods:
White pitta bread Salmon White pasta 85% dark chocolate Dried fruit Nuts Chunky oven chips Coconut oil Low-fat puree yoghurt Greek yoghurt
The foods in red, according to the traffic light system would be ones to avoid due to their high fat content. Food for thought eh?
We know that the foods marked red here are abundant in nutrients, good fats and minerals that are essential. Looking at the traffic light system, the green on some of these foods most certainly should not mean “Go!”. White pasta and bread products are two highly processed foods, full of toxins. Where are toxins stored? In fat cells! What do you do to shrink fat cells? DETOX by following an approved and carefully monitored programme.
With guidelines like these from the government, it is easy to see how this can be overwhelming and misleading. Next time you look at food labels, the simplest way to deduce it’s health value is to think “If it ran, swam, flew or grown” then it’s probably OK. Foods with the least ingredients as possible, in their most natural form, unprocessed are the ones we should be purchasing. If there are ingredients on the label that you can’t pronounce or E numbers… avoid!
In my B-Fit B-Fabulous 21 Day Weight Loss Plan, the recipes, exercise and coaching is important but I would say that the most vital aspect of this programme (and the reason it is so successful) is the nutrition education. If you learn WHAT you should eat and WHY, coupled with the foods you SHOULD AVOID and WHY you feel more empowered to make the right food choices. The additional benefits of weight loss, more energy, vitality and health benefits are just an additional (and welcome) bonus!
Call/email me in confidence to talk through my nutrition training with clients and how learning to enjoy the right foods for life could benefit you. 07748 298728 or firstname.lastname@example.org