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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

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

IMMUNE BOOSTER SMOOTHIE

It’s a well-known fact that during the autumn/winter months our energy, mood and general health take a dip, so we do need to boost our immune system to keep colds and the flu away.

Instead of waiting until you’re in the midst of it all start building up your body’s health defences now.

And I’ve got the perfect antidote …

The Ultimate Immune Booster Smoothie which is crammed full of vitamin C, beta-carotene, zinc to strengthen you up from the inside out and digestive enzymes from the pineapple. It’s nutritious and tastes delicious.

Another tip – freeze your bananas. It makes the smoothie deliciously chilled.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 chopped banana
  • 1 cup mango
  • ½ cup cantaloupe
  • ½ cup diced pineapple
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds
  • 2-3 tsp pea protein

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Whizz it all together in a blender and enjoy

Know a friend who hasn’t signed up for my FREE weekly emails? Simply ask them to email GAYNOR@B-FIT.UK.COM or text/call me on 07748298728 and I’ll sort it all out.

So what’s your favourite smoothie recipes? Lemme know, and we might even publish it on here 😊

WHAT’S YOUR EXCUSE?

Do you make excuses not to exercise and eat healthily?

If so, you must watch this NIKE NO EXCUSES VIDEO

We’ve all made excuses. Yours truly included.

No time. Don’t have the knowledge. No money. Bad genetics. Too tired.

Yadda yadda yadda.

The truth is that if you really wanted to you’d find a way.

As Tony Robbins says:

“It’s not about resources but about being resourceful”

Let me give you some examples:

If the kids are at their swimming lesson could you be doing some laps around the pool?

Could you save time by not surfing through socials and instead prep your food?

How about getting up 30 mins earlier to squeeze in a little exercise?

Can you take something out of your schedule to free time up for your health?

These are just a few ideas off the top of my head.

Always remember, you have a choice how you spend your time and what you prioritise.

Our brains are so clever we’ll search for any reason to self-sabotage, procrastinate, and justify the nonsense in our heads.

You need to take a truth pill and be brutally honest with yourself. It’s not about beating yourself up, it’s about being honest to make things happen. This empowers you. Whereas when you make excuses you’re giving your power away.

The bottom line is you can be fit and healthy no matter what your situation and background IF you want it badly enough.

And by the way, this approach doesn’t just apply to your health and well-being but anything in life.

So mon ami no wiggling out of this one!

What’s your go to excuse? And how are you going to knock it on the head?

Let me know and if you need help trying to hatch a plan so you can get fit and healthy get in touch as I can help. I’ll be with you every step of the way. Simply email GAYNOR@B-FIT.UK.COM or text/call me on 07748298728.

Love Gaynor x

THE ULTIMATE ANTI INFLAMMATION SMOOTHIE

This recipe is an absolute powerhouse.

Jam packed with nutrient dense ingredients that work.

On top of this …

It’s quick to make, delicious, highly alkaline, and no flashy kit or weird ingredients in sight. Just real simple food.

It also contains 2 of my favourite anti inflammatory ingredients turmeric and ginger. I’ll blog about them soon. Many studies have shown these 2 foods may be more effective than prescription drugs.

I hope this has wet your taste buds. Let’s dive straight into the recipe.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 inch grated fresh ginger
  • 1 inch grated fresh turmeric
  • Handful baby spinach
  • Handful watercress, rocket or arugula
  • 1 small avocado
  • ½ capsicum
  • Handful flat leaf parsley and/or coriander
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • Pinch cayenne
  • Pinch salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Add ginger, turmeric, avocado and coconut water to blender
  • Blend to form a base
  • Add remaining ingredients
  • Blend until smooth

Health to enjoy 🙂

Love Gaynor x

UNDEREATING & TOO MUCH CARDIO SLOWS DOWN FAT LOSS

Have you ever been guilty of under eating, and doing excessive cardio to lose weight? Be honest!

If I had a pound for every time I hear these scenarios I would be one rich Gaynor.

I can see the temptation BUT in the long term it will slow down your fat loss and have a negative impact on your overall body composition.

Here’s why…

Slower Metabolism 

Your metabolism is affected by the amount of calories you consume each day, it adapts to this and responds accordingly.

If you drastically drop your calories for too long you will lose weight, but you will be causing your metabolism to slow down too quickly.

You will eventually hit a plateau and struggle to progress. You see by this point there are fewer calories left in your diet to remove and let’s face it there’s only so much cardio you can do. In other words, you’ve maxed out your options too soon.

The best way to lose fat is slow and steady by gradually feeding and allowing your body to utilise fat stores whilst feeding it correctly to protect your metabolic rate. Believe me, you do not want to mess up your metabolism from doing things extreme. Not only is it unhealthy but it also messes up your hormones which can be very tricky to correct.

Less Lean Muscle  

Another common knock on effect of under eating is a loss of lean muscle. Muscle will be catabolised very quickly if you’re not consuming enough calories and amino acids from quality food sources.

A loss of muscle stalls your metabolism and affects the look of your physique. Nice lean muscle gives tone, definition and curves ladies so do not be afraid of it.

Also, muscle is metabolically active tissue, therefore, the less you have the fewer calories you burn. The more you have the more calories you burn.

Poor Performance 

The less muscle you have the poorer your performance will be when exercising. You’ll be weaker as you’re trying to run your body on a low tank of fuel.

The knock-on effect of poor performance is you’ll struggle to stimulate the muscle properly to burn off calories and every workout will become harder. It’s a vicious circle.

All of these negatives can be avoided and managed, just by eating sensibly, ensuring you’re not under eating and allowing gradual positive changes to take place.

Like with many things patience is key. You will get there I promise.

Love Gaynor x

GREEN TEA – A FAT BURNING PHENOMENON

Want to lose body fat? Want to lose it naturally and easily?

If so, keep reading cos today we’re talking Green Tea and how it’s considered one of the healthiest beverages on the planet and proven to help you lose body fat.

The secret lies in a compound in Green Tea called Polyphenols which helps you get lean. Hence, it’s become so popular as a drink.

As you know, there’s tons of health fads out there. Most are total nonsense, but Green Tea is one of the good guys and gets the thumbs up from me.

It’s been enjoyed for its taste and medicinal powers for 5000 years originating from China. It’s made from fresh leaves of the camellia sinensis plant and comes in various forms such as dried leaves, decaffeinated, capsules, and liquid preparations.

Health Benefits

The secret behind the benefits lies in the powerful antioxidants it contains. Green, oolong, and black teas all come from the same plant but what makes green tea healthier is the way it’s processed. Green Tea is steamed as opposed to fermented. This prevents the valuable compounds from being oxidized resulting in the highest concentration of powerful antioxidant polyphenols, keeping the caffeine content low and tannins (that inhibits absorption of nutrients) non-existent. These antioxidants neutralize free radicals and may help prevent health problems such as cancer, heart disease, and premature aging.

Green Tea also contains alkaloids such as caffeine that provide a stimulant effect which means you can skyrocket your 24-hour energy expenditure to create the perfect environment for maximum fat burning.

Other benefits of green tea are it reduces cholesterol, lowers blood pressure and prevents abnormal clots, it boosts immunity, treats cardio vascular, inflammatory and liver diseases as well as diabetes, stress, arthritis, skin damage and infection.

Harmful Effects

The only possible negative is the caffeine content. And as you know drinking excessive caffeine for prolonged periods can cause insomnia, nausea, irritability, palpitations, urination, headaches and loss of appetite.

However, green tea contains a quarter the caffeine of coffee, and you would have to be drinking a ton of it to cause these side effects.

Here’s some tasty green tea recipes for you to try …

Mint Green Tea

  • 1 tsp green tea
  • 1 tsp fresh mint, chopped
  • 200 ml boiling water

Place the green tea and the mint in a warmed teapot. Add the boiling water, cover and leave to infuse for 5 minutes. Serve hot or chilled.

Heart Chai

  • 1 tsp green tea
  • 1 tsp black cumin seeds
  • 1 cm piece of cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp lemon balm
  • Small pinch of cayenne
  • 300m ml rice, oat, hemp or your fav nut milk
  • 1 tsp honey (optional)

Place all the ingredients, except the honey in a small saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 2 minutes. Strain into a large cup, add the honey if desired, and serve.

One final important point …

Don’t over steep green tea otherwise it will taste bitter and astringent. Not nice ☹

Thanks as always for all your love and support. And as usual hit me up with any burning Q’s you have. I’m here to help.

Love Gaynor x