Thursday, September 30, 2010

California Dreaming!

Hi everyone, we hope you are fit and well and enjoying the beginning of autumn. Ryan and I have just returned from a week in sunny California where we spent several days (indoors) learning everything there is to learn about the business of fitness. Some of you may already be familiar with Alwyn and Rachel Cosgrove. They own Results Fitness in Santa Clarita, California, and are two of the leading fitness experts in the USA. They write for various popular fitness magazines , have published "The Female Body Breakthrough" and "The New Rules of Lifting" and have many years of experience in the field of Sport and fitness. Their success has come about through their hard work and determination and a deep understanding of what the fitness industry is all about.

For three whole days we sat in a conference room with 20 other top level Personal Trainers from all over the world and absorbed priceless amounts of information from our Mentors. I don't think my brain has been so active since I left school!

Investing time and money in our education is something that Ryan and I take very seriously. We know that the world of fitness and nutrition is forever changing and we have to be at the forefront of all this change. We need to know that we can give our clients the best of everything and this means that we spend hours of our day learning and fueling our mental energy. Our knowledge allows us to help our clients reach their health and fitness goals regardless of their age or situation in life. We believe that it is not just our duty to write a programme of exercises. We also believe that it is our mission to supply them with nutritional support and sound advice and to offer emotional back up when the stresses of life get in the way of their goals.

Our time in California was certainly well spent and fruitful. After the learning part was over, we took off down to the coast and cruised around Santa Barbara, Ventura and Santa Monica. Watching dolphins and seals swim on the beach was one of the highlights for me and just being next to the Ocean filled my mind and spirit with positive and nourishing thoughts. One of our future goals now is to own a home down by the Pacific where we can wake up each morning to the sound of the waves and watch the sun go down over the horizon! Yes, I will allow myself that dream and hope that it will come true sooner than later.

So now we are back home in Geneve and battling through the jetlag. We are putting a lot of what we learned in California into practice already and our clients will be benefitting hugely from our new found knowledge! Thanks to all of you who allowed us to take time out, we greatly appreciate your support!

Our 21 day Rapid Fat Loss programme will be starting again on October 5th so hurry and sign up before places run out!

Well, that's all from me for now. Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or leave a comment on the blog. We always love to hear from you!

In health and happiness,


Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Swinging Good Bodyweight Workout

Bonjour tout le monde!

Here is the next videos in our series of bodyweight exercises! The first video shows the beautiful Tamara using a TRX, which we rigged up from a tree. The TRX is a great travel tool to supplement your bodyweight training programme. It also comes with an attachement for your door so you can use it inside your home or when you are staying in a hotel somewhere. If you look over to your right on our blog page you can see a link for the TRX. Click on the link if you would like some more information about the product!

The second video shows the same exercise variations but on a playground swing. If you are a busy mom or dad and want a workout while the kids are playing look no further than the swing. It is a challenging addition in terms of stability to your bodyweight exercise programme.

The time format for the workouts will be 30 seconds of work with 30 seconds of rest and then switching exercises. Perform 4-5 rounds for an excellent total body calorie blasting session! I hope you enjoy the videos and if you get through the 4-5 rounds and live to tell the tale then please post a comment below!

Have a Swinging Good Workout!


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Beans, beans, beans!

Beans, beans are good for your heart, the more you eat the more you..... I am sure you all know what comes next! But don't let that put you off eating them! Beans are a perfect food in so many ways. They are a good source of fibre, carbohydrate and protein and are also low in fat. Just 1 cup of cooked beans will provide up to 11 gms of soluble fibre which is a lot for such a small helping. We are all lacking fibre in our diets and this can cause all sorts of digestive issues if not addressed.
After my previous blog about where and how to get protein from a vegetarian diet, I am going to follow up with a few suggestions on how to purchase and prepare these little gems of superfood along with some fabulous recipes for you to try.

Pre-cooked canned beans are a great standby to have in your cupboard and can be used in an instant to make salads or dips or add to soups, however be sure to rinse them well and remove any excess sodium that will certainly have been added to the mix. The optimum way to eat your beans is to cook them yourself. Proper soaking and cooking time can reduce the overall amount of starch and sugars, as well as significantly reducing the oligosaccharide content which causes gas. Some beans take a lot more cooking and preparation than others but the results far outweight the effort involved. To cook dried beans, first of all rinse under cold water and remove any little stones that may have found their way into the packet, believe me, it happens and it can result in an un-welcome visit to the dentist! To re-hydrate the legumes, soak them in a large volume of water for a good 4 hours or preferably overnight. Chick peas, black beans and kidney beans benefit from a lot of soaking. I boil the beans in plain water with no added salt as the salt will prevent the beans from softening. Boil in a large quantity of water for 10 minutes and then reduce the heat and simmer for a further 45 minutes. At this point, I generally remove the cooking water and replace it with clean water and start the process again. Kidney beans in particular need a lot of cooking, so a good 2 hours should produce a nice soft result. Chickpeas and black beans can take less time, so use your palate to check the consistency before you stop cooking them. Once the beans are cooked, they are ready to be used in a variety of dishes. Lentils are much quicker to cook and come in many shapes, colours and sizes. They are a wonderful source of iron as well as protein so make sure you include them often in your regime. There are green lentils, red lentils, puy lentils and tiny black lentils, all of which have their own unique taste and texture, so check out your local shop and see what is on offer.

Black Bean Chili

1 onion, 1 green bell pepper, 2 celery stalks, 3 cloves of crushed garlic, 2 tbs of chili powder, 1 tbs of ground cumin, 1 tbs of paprika, 2 tbs of dried oregano,a pinch of cayenne pepper, 3 chopped tomatoes, 6 cups of kidney beans and 1 1/2 cups of water.

Sautee the chopped onion, chopped pepper, chopped celery, garlic and spices in a large heavy pan for about 8 minutes until softened but not browned.

Stir in the tomatoes, beans and water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally until the chili has thickened and the flavours have blended.

Serve on a bed of brown rice and sprinkle with chopped fresh coriander.

Cannellini Salad
300 g of dried cannellini beans, 1 whole head of garlic, 1 large lemon, a stick of celery and 2 or 3 bay leaves.
Soak the beans overnight in cold water. Drain them and place in a large saucepan along with the celery, garlic, bay leaves and the lemon cut in half. Cover with plenty of water and bring to the boil. After about 45 minutes of cooking, add a pinch of salt to the water and taste the beans for texture, they may need more cooking if they are a bit crunchy. Once cooked , drain off the water and set aside in a large bowl. Meanwhile, make the dressing. Take 3 anchovy fillets, 2 cloves of garlic, 5 tbs of olive oil, 1 tbs of lemon juice, a handful of basil leaves a tbs of chopped parsley and another of mint. Whizz the ingredients in a blender for a few seconds and then add to the warm beans. Let the salad rest for at least 30 minutes before eating so that the flavours can develop.

Mediterranean white bean salad
2 cans of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 tbs of lemon juice
1 tbs of olive oil
1/2 cup of minced red onion
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 plum tomatoes, finely chopped
1 clove of crushed garlic
1/3 cup of chopped basil leaves
Salt and pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a big bowl et voila!

Lentil soup
2 cups of green lentils, 4 cups of water, 1 large can of chopped tomatoes, 2 cups of vegetable stock, 2 cloves of crushed garlic, 1/2 cup of finely chopped red onion, salt and pepper.

Cook the lentils in the water until tender. Drain them and add to a large saucepan. Fry the onions and the garlic gently in a frying pan and then add to the lentils along with the tomatoes and stock. Bring to the boil and then simmer gently for about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat season with salt and pepper and whizz in a blender. A simple but highly nutritious soup full of protein, iron and leptin.

Chickpea and vegetable curry
4 cups of chopped bok choy (cote de bettes), 1 small chopped onion, 1 chopped red pepper, 2 cups of coconut milk, 1 tsp of minced fresh garlic, 1 tsp of minced ginger, 1 tsp of curry powder, 1 large can of cooked chick peas, salt and pepper.

Sautee the onion, garlic and ginger in a tablespoon of coconut oil. Add the chopped peppers, bok choy and curry powder. Stir together before adding the coconut milk and chickpeas. Simmer together for about 20 minutes and season to taste. Delicious served along with some flat bread or with brown rice. Experiment with different types of curry, I often use a hot and spicey thai mix along with a tsp of grated lemon grass. You can also add carrots, squash, pumpkin, courgettes is a very versatile dish and we love it!

I hope you have some fun in the kitchen with these recipes. Beans and legumes are very very versatile and whether you are a vegetarian or not, I believe you should include them in your weekly menus and so benefit from their majestic nutritional content. Bon Apetit!

In health, in the kitchen,

Get Down To Basics!

In this day and age we seemed to be overwhelmed with information! The internet provides us with a facility to gain instant answers to the most bizarre questions on the most random topics. Who knew what the word "google" meant before the internet? Google is defined as a number with a hundred zeros behind it! That is a pretty big number and you can see how it co-relates to the name of the worlds most popular search engine. Side note: I googled the word google for the definition;)

When we realize truly how much information there is at our fingertips, it is no wonder that we get confused about exercise and nutrition. One website tells you that eating nothing but apples for 1 month is the absolute best way to lose weight. Another link takes you to a youtube video of guys doing some pretty extreme exercises with the most horrendous form and then celebrating the fact that they were sick after. So, where do we go to get some reliable information?

I think we truly know that if we stick to the basic principles of exercise and nutrition we will be just fine. You don't have to look too far in the past to see generations who had basic diets and jobs that were more physically demanding than the jobs of today. What it comes down to is if we don't eat nutritious foods and exercise/move regularly our bodies will slowly break down into a state of disease. The biggest killers in the world today are lifestyle diseases, with cardiovascular disease and diabetes topping the list. By sticking to the basics of exercise and nutrition we can take control of our lives and prevent ourselves from being a statistic.

In terms of exercise, what are the basics? For those of you that know me well and have seen our previous videos, I am a big proponent of bodyweight exercises. What can be more basic than that! All you need is your bodyweight to get an excellent workout and there is no stopping point with these exercises. When I was growing up in Colorado, one of the questions that I was always asked was "ow much do you bench?" And my general answer would be "who cares!" These guys were what I call "Meatheads." They only cared about how much weight they could push in a squat or a bench press, regardless of their form. I know because I myself spent some regrettable time as a member of the "Meathead" clan. My so-called fellow "Meathead" clansmen couldn't even perform a simple bodyweight push up let alone a one legged squat, which in my opinion is a true test of strength.

The same can be said about machine training. For those that are in an office job all day sitting in front of a computer the last thing you should do is go to the gym and sit in a machine!! Machines take away our bodies natural support system. The muscles in our body should be working together in harmony to give us the best overall results. Younger children especially should stay away from machine training. The exercise might appear more safe but in reality it interupts a childs growth and development. If you watch a child on a playground you can see how they are masters of bodyweight exercise. Climbing, pulling, jumping, crawling, pushing and running are the staples of a playground experience. You can't get that on a machine. So you can see how basic bodyweight exercises, and their many varieties, should be at the cornerstone of any exercise programme!

Now if you have read Tamara's blog posts on nutrition you know that she promotes nothing but the stripped-down basics. Eat organic unprocessed foods spaced out over several eating opportunities throughout your day. That is about as basic as it gets. Our problem is we make things too complicated. The emotional side of eating is an example of that. Looking for the next magic pill is another example. Everyone has the tools to live the life they want to live. It is just a matter of recognizing that you have the power to "eat great" and "move more!" As fitness professionals our main goal is to empower you to take your health and fitness into your own hands. We can't follow you the rest of your life but hopefully through this blog and our health and fitness programmes, we can give you the tools to live the happy and healthy life that you deserve!!

Dedicated to Your Health and Happiness,

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

How to maintain your protein levels on a vegetarian diet.

If anyone has ever been a vegetarian or is one today, you will probably have been told a thousand times that you can't possibly be getting enough protein in your diet!! I lived with this for many years and yet still managed to be quite healthy and muscular! We all know that meat and fish and other animal sources are high in protein and full of the amino acids that we require for good muscle repair and growth. What is less known is that protein can also be obtained from vegetables, grains and legumes and that if you eat enough of these foods , you will be meeting your daily requirements without eating any meat.

If your choice is to avoid meat, then you will probably be filling up on vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds and will therefore be meeting your daily nutritional requirements. You will however, have to take more care in making sure that your meals are well balanced and that you are eating sufficient food in order to consume enough protein. When you are eating a good balance of these un-processed foods, your carbohydrate, protein and fat ratios will be optimal. If you are trying to build muscle while on a vegetarian regime, it is a good idea to know which plant based foods come in the higher protein category and which ones are lower. Remember that it is important to include a wide range of fruits and vegetables as well, because you also need to consume adequate amounts of micronutrients and vitamins. The alkaline effect of fruits and vegetables will also balance out the acidity that the grains, legumes and nuts provide.

There is a tendency to over consume dairy products and processed soya products when following a vegetarian lifestyle, and this can lead to a high intake of fats, salt and estrogens. Cheese is very versatile and is probably the quickest go-to food when cooking and preparing non-meat dishes but it is also very high in fat and salt. I have to say that I love cheese, but I now only eat goats and buffalo milk cheeses which I find easier to digest and which tend to be lower in fat. As you may have noticed in previous blogs, I am not a fan of soya. Soya has been found to upset the balance and function of our thyroid and is present in nearly all processed foods and drinks. Fermented soya (ie Tofu,Tempeh) is the only type of soya that we should eat and even that should be restricted to a few small portions a day. After much research on the topic I have have become an anti-soya campaigner, but it is up to you to make your own choices and therefore I recommend that you do your own research and decide for yourself what the risks are. I used to believe that if something was on our supermarket shelf and being sold to us as food, it must surely be safe! Knowledge is everything, and when it comes to our food and how we nourish our bodies, it is more important today than ever before, to know what is in our food and where it is coming from.

Anyway, to go back to the subject of protein, here follows an idea of the percentage of protein contained in plant based foods.

High Protein :

Broccoli, spinach,, squash, asparagus, Hemp seeds, Pumpkin seeds, lentils,Tofu, peas, Tempeh, Kidney beans, pea protein powder, rice protein powder, hemp bread and sprouted grain bread.

Lower Protein:

Cucumber, celery, quinoa, oats, almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, peanuts, pistachios, chick peas.

As you can see from this list, it is a good idea to include legumes in most of your daily meals. You can make salads, stews, bean burgers, curries, hummus and various other dips and delicious concoctions with these ingredients. I do find that cooking a vegetarian meal can be a bit more time consuming and you will also have to become quite knowledgable about the protein content of the foods that you are preparing. It is quite simple to cook a piece of meat or fish and just add a pile of steamed vegetables, but there are so many wonderful dishes to be made with plants that I feel you will have a lot of fun experimenting. One of my favourite "fast food" meals is to throw a tin of chickpeas in a saucepan with a tin of chopped tomatoes, add some crushed garlic and some coconut milk,a tsp or two of curry powder or thai curry paste....bring to the boil and allow to simmer while you have a shower or clear up the mess the kids have left for you or cuddle the dog! We eat it hot or cold along with a piece of bread or instant couscous, et voila, dinner in an instant! Tofu and Tempeh are also great sources of protein and are versatile enough to be used in many different recipes from soups and stir fries to burgers and salads.

Please be aware that Vegetarian diets can leave you deficient in some B vitamins and amino acids which could result in anaemia so it is a good idea to have a blood test if you are feeling fatigued or dizzy. Maintaining a fitness routine while trying to lose weight and maintain a good nutritional balance can be quite challenging. Simply do your best to balance your meals and if your protein must come from plant based sources, then make sure that you are eating enough to meet your daily needs.

In health,


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

How does food make you feel?

How does food make you feel?

What role does it play in your daily life?

Do you live to eat or do you eat to live?

For some of us food is a pleasure and for others it is a fear. Our attitude towards it begins at a very early age and it generally begins with an absolute aversion to vegetables! Ask most children what they least like about food and they will tell you without hesitating "broccoli" "carrots" "anything green" or anything "healthy"! But why is that? Maybe for some children the the taste and texture of plain boiled vegetables is un-palatable, and maybe some parents fear giving them anything with too much flavour at an early age in case it upsets their stomachs. Well, go tell that to someone from a third world country, where food is scarce and often highly spiced to mask the taste of rotting meat. There are not many fussy eaters in that part of the world! Children often adopt their parents eating habits, good or bad and will be reluctant to try anything that their parent dislikes too.

So whether your anxieties with food stem from your childhood or from some other time during your growing up years, the fact remains that these habits stay with you for a very long time. When a client comes to me wanting to lose weight, the first thing we tackle is their eating habits. There is no point putting anyone on an exercise regime if their eating habits are off whack! You can run as many miles as you want and lift as much weight as you like, but if you are binge eating or not eating enough or eating foods that disagree with you, then you might as well not bother. To really lead a life of health and wellness, the issue of food must be dealt with as a priority and balance must be restored.

For many people the problem with food is a very complex one. Eating disorders are increasingly common amongst all age groups and people often try to battle through it alone, fearing that they will be judged or considered weak and stupid if they tell anyone their dirty secret. It is not just about being anorexic or bulimic. Even though may be the two most common disorders and will usually require some sort of advanced psychological therapy to be treated, there are many other disorders within our society. Many of these other disorders are considered "normal" and acceptable but they are as equally damaging to peoples lives. There will be those who refuse to eat carbs of any kind and others who claim to have intolerances to just about everything and many more who restrict their diets because of the fear of gaining pounds. Eating disorders come in many different disguises and are often more common amongst those who also have addictive tendencies. We can be addicted to just about anything, be it good or bad. Too much of a good thing can also be damaging and it is why we need to find the balance. We need to eat, otherwise we die, so it is not something that we can turn our backs on and ignore. The first step we need to take towards achieving balance and moderation in our food consumption is to be aware. Once you become aware and accept that there is a problem, the journey to wellness can begin.

Taking some time to investigate not just what we eat but how and why we eat makes moderation more achievable. Keeping a food diary is a great help at this stage. Writing down everything that you put into your mouth on a daily basis throughout the week and including your emotions in the equation can be very eye opening. You may find that there is a link between the chocolate cake craving that you had on Monday, with a particularly stressful experience that you were going through or about to go through that same day. It is often apparent that we go searching for those high carb, high fat comfort foods during moments of anxiety, loneliness and sorrow or when we have an emotional void that needs to be filled. Our emotions are dictating the foods that we are eating and as a result our bodies are suffering the consequences. It is obvious why we eat. We have to eat in order to survive. But what and how we eat is really a very different and complex matter. The relationship between our minds and our stomachs is a volatile one and our bodies are the victims. For us to achieve a healthy balance in life, all aspects of our lifestyle must be in harmony. Eating in Moderation, exercising in moderation, moderating the hours we spend at work and with our families and sleeping the right amount of hours are all part of the big picture. Tip one of those things over the edge and the rest will follow. Moderation is a habit which can be cultivated through knowing that you will be happy giving yourself what you need and not letting the object of your desire become your master. Whenever something becomes an addiction, it is almost certainly time to let it go. If you can learn to love something and use it in a moderate way, be it food or exercise or anything else in your life, then you will never have to give it up. You will learn to use it moderately and be able to enjoy it every now and then rather than allow it to take control and fill you with guilt.

It is apparent to me that women suffer far more from negative relationships with food. We are always trying to "cut down", "eliminate", "detox" or "fast" our way to better health. But in doing so we are simply feeding our insecurites and fuelling our negative attitudes. If your thoughts are focused on trying not to eat food, then your mind will simply focus on food as a temptation and guilty pleasure. If you try to banish food from your mind you will simply crave it even more! Try instead to focus on the benefits of food. Good, nutritious food. Think of the reaction you get from your children when you tell them not to do something...they want to do it more than before. Your mind will do the same. The good angel in your head will tell you that you must not do this or that and the devil in your mind will make it loud and clear that you will most certainly do the opposite! How exhausting to have this continual battle going on in your mind day in, day out! The key to overcoming the negative is to focus on the positive. Think about all the wonderful foods that exist which are nutritious and beneficial to our wellbeing. Think how lucky you are to have that choice and to have that control. Understand that by feeding your mind with good and positive guilt free thoughts, you will be feeding your body with goodness and positive energy through the food that you eat. Once you have achieved a balance in your eating, the excess weight will start to drop off and you will begin to see positive changes in your attitude towards food and eating.

Try using the following tools to help you stay on the right path:

1. Stop and question why you want to eat and if the answer is anything other than hunger, then go and find something else to do.

2. If your need for food stems from a deeper emotional place, then take time out to address that emotion and find a replacement for the food. Try going on a walk, calling a friend, meditating, reading, anything other than eating.

3. If your need for food is a genuine feeling of hunger, then go and prepare yourself something nutritious and satisfying with a good balance of protein and carbohydrate. You will feel guiltless by feeding yourself this way and your mind/body will not feel deprived of what it needs.

Most people find that after a few weeks or months of feeding themselves with healthy nutritious foods, a lot of their cravings for bad, toxic foods will disappear. It can, however, be a long and difficult journey for a lot of people, but a journey that I know will be worth the sweat and tears once you get to a place of balance and moderation.

Eat Clean, Train Smart and Sleep well.....the rest will sort itself out!

In health and happiness,

Fitness Cramming Time!

Reading an article from Brian Grasso, founder and CEO of the IYCA, about cramming inspired todays blog post!

Do you remember how you were as a kid in high school or at university when you studied for your exams? Were you the person that prepared weeks in advance for a big exam and throughout the year took pages of notes that you reviewed on a daily basis? That way you made sure that whatever you learned stuck with you and you wouldn't forget it.

Or maybe, like me, you were a student you was a master crammer! You rarely took notes in class and when it came test time you were up all night studying a whole years worth of material in just a few hours? You studied to the point where if you put anything more in your head it would explode!!
During the test you regergitated everything that you studied a few short hours ago and as soon as the test was over, everything that you had learned would quickly left your brain. This is the way that I got through university! I enjoyed my classes and do still remember some things but the bulk of information is still floating around the air of Grand Junction, Colorado.

If we relate this to our health and fitness, what kind of correlations do we see? Our society now is one that wants a quick fix. We spend months and years giving our bodies the wrong things and not treating it in the best way and we expect that we can change all of that over night!

  • The magic pill that will shed 100 kgs in just three days!

  • 3 minute abs, no wait 2 minute abs, no even better 30 second abs.

  • The apple diet that will detox your body while helping you to drop 15 kgs in a week, just like Gwyneth Paltrow!

  • 20 kgs of muscle by drinking nothing but protein shakes for a month!

I am sure you can fill in the blanks with many more fantastical examples. We are almost all guilty of opting for the easy quick fix! But like cramming for the big exam, if you do get results, do those results last? What has suffered as a consequence of this quick fix solution to all of your problems? You might have lost loads of weight in no time at all but how are your energy levels, are you able to control your food cravings?

The solution is to take a longer term approach to your health and fitness. By making those small changes you are creating those good habits that will add up to big results in the long run! Take weight loss for example, a realistic weekly loss would be about 1 lb. If your goal is to lose 15 pounds of fat you are looking at four months of healthy weight loss to reach your goal! With weight loss happening consistently over time you are able to sustain the results because you were able to create those great habits and won't result in gaining it all back after a week or two of not sticking to "the plan."

Take for example my fitness levels! I am not saying they are amazing but I feel that I can maintain what levels I have without training intensively every day. I didn't get where I am at today by a few months of hard core training! It has taken me several years to improve upon my fitness levels and build a good level of mobility, flexibility and strength. I have had some pitfalls on the way but because of that good base that I created when I was a kid I am able to get back on track a whole lot easier! The knowledge that I built up along the way has seen to that.

My take away point is that if you are seeking a change in your overall health and fitness levels do it in stages. Learn along the way and exchange your old habits, that got you nowhere but another trouser size, for new, life changing habits. If you don't, you might continue to face an ongoing battle of fitness cramming, via fad diets and magic pills, with results that balloon more than Oprah Winfrey!!

FITfully Yours,

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Here comes Autumn!

I really love the Autumn, especially because it is such a rich and colourful time of year. Suddenly all the greeness of the summer is replaced by an explosion of bright yellows, oranges and reds, bringing to our attention the multitude of different trees and plants that surround us. We are rewarded with nuts and fruits and huge orange pumpkins and multi coloured squashes, all of which provide us with highly nutritious foods and a multitude of winter warming recipes. We should look no further than our immediate environment and therein find all the foods that we need to nourish our bodies. We have everything we need in the fruits and vegetables that we grow and in the animals that we rear and if you are a vegetarian, you can fill your pot of wellness with beans and nuts and seeds. No need to ever go to a supermarket again right? Eliminating processed and packaged foods from your diets will do more for your health and longevity than you can ever imagine. Eating seasonal produce and produce that is grown locally will eliminate many of the pesticides that our fruit and veg are doused with in order to survive the journey from far away lands. I really don't want to eat strawberries in the winter and neither do I want to eat oranges in the summer, I love to wait for that time of year when the produce is grown and ripened on the tree and picked hours before it is consumed. Growing up in the Canary Islands, I had access to tree ripened avocadoes, papayas, bananas, mangoes and many more tropical fruits which I consumed in abundance. Nothing I could buy in the supermarket here in Switzerland will ever taste the way those fruits tasted and when I see a papaya sitting on the supermarket shelf here, it looks so sad and so far away from home that I feel sorry for it!! I do buy mangoes and avocadoes because I love them even though I know deep down that they have far less nutrition than they should , however, their waxy skins do protect their flesh from the pesticides that are used to prevent their pre-mature decay.

So here we are entering the early days of autumn and I am surrounded by orchards of apples, pears, plums, grapes and bulging squashes and my mind is full of ideas for healthy and nutritious meals. Bright orange soups and hot spiced fruit compotes aswell as heart warming stews and winter salads. Pumpkins are so much more than an excuse for a Halloween lantern as they make amazing anti-oxidant rich soups and their seeds are little gems of medicinal goodness. Pumpkin seeds are high in tryptophan which means they are useful in treating insomnia. They have also been found to help with rheumatoid arthritis, elevated blood lipids, kidney and bladder disorders as well as parasitic infestations. Research carried out in China found pumpkin seeds to be highly effective in eliminating tapeworm infestations. So much magic in such a tiny seed! Try making a delicious snack by roasting 2 cups of raw seeds mixed with a drizzle of oil and a touch of salt, and bake in the oven for around 45 minutes. And then there is pumpkin pie ofcourse, something our American friends are very fond of and something that I will have to learn to cook this year as I am now married to one!

If you are a meat eater, then you can also benefit from the new season game meat that will be coming into the butchers. Venison, wild boar and hare are all highly nutritous meats and low in fat and offer a great and healthy alternative to our usual beef, lamb and pork. They have a richer flavour and consistency which can be far more satisfying and flavoursome than our more traditional choices. Go to a good butchers and see what they have on offer and try something new and hopefully it will be locally caught and killed too. I was a vegetarian for many years and still have a hard time eating meat and only do so if I truely feel that my body is in need of some extra iron or protein and when that time comes, I will opt for bison or Wapiti/Venison steaks.

Eating well and eating foods that are in season now will strengthen your immune system and prepare you for the coming winter months when we are prone to sickness and colds. The shorter days and lack of sunshine will bring us down and deplete our bodies of vitamin D which in turn will leave us vulnerable to anything from bouts of depression to weakening bones. So stock up and fill your bodies with nutrient dense foods along with a supplement of Omega 3 and Vitamin D3 and get out in the fresh air as much as possible...just 20 minutes of sunshine a day will fill us with our daily dose of strength and will sure put a smile back on your face.

Well, that's all for now. Enjoy the changing season and indulge in what it has to offer you. Take care of nature and it will take care of you!

In health and happiness,

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Metabolic Mania!!!

Hey Everyone,

I hope you are all feeling fit and healthy! Our next video in our series of Bodyweight Training is our 30-15 Metabolic Mania workout. In the video we describe regressions of each of the exercises if you find the main exercises a little too intense.

The workout format is 30 seconds of work on each exercise followed by 15 seconds of rest while changing exercises. Perform all 5 exercises and repeat for two more rounds. If you are feeling brave try not to rest between rounds. If you need the rest try to limit the time you rest each time you perform the workout. For those that are advanced rest 2-3 minutes after the first three rounds and repeat once again for 3 rounds!! Increased speed of the movements also make the exercises more difficult.

Be sure to leave some comments and let us know how many times you cursed our name while performing the workout:)

Metabolically Yours,