health

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Your New Years Checklist

So the clock struck 12, and now it's 2017. Remember how a few weeks ago you decided to make some changes... maybe get on top of your fitness as your new year’s resolution. Now that it's here, knowing where to start is the biggest obstacle.  What is going to suit you: time-wise, goal-wise and budget-wise. Depending on the type of person you are, you may be able to just step in the gym and pick it up from there, but knowing what all the machines do, how many reps to do, when do you have your protein shake and if butter is a carb? These are all the things that may put up road blocks before you even start.

So with that in mind, this is your NYR Checklist:

1.     Get a program: it’s the easiest way to start. It's planned for you, it takes out all the guessing, you just have to do all the hard work. Programs can be done up by Personal Trainers, Online Coaches, 12 Week Challenges or you can find an eBook. Each option has it's ups and downs, so choose one that is going to get you results.


2.     Set a goal. This is your absolute dream, what you picture in your head when all the hard work is done. Make it specific: date, location, what you will look like, where on your body you want to see the change, how much weight/muscle, what you want to feel like etc. Write it all down and put it in a place you can see.
 

3.     Throw out all of your junk food. This can be a cleansing process. Refined carbs, sugary treats, soft drinks. Anything that you know is naughty, throw it out. This will help you resist temptation, boredom is one of the many reasons we overeat.
 

4.     Set missions throughout. So let’s say the first mission is to get to the middle of February and stay on track with the plan. Having mini goals to look forward to helps the time pass, as results won't happen over night, so you must be patient! Set little reminders in your diary.
 

5.     Always have a bottle of water. Keeping hydrated can increase energy levels, keep you healthy and help fight of food cravings.
 

6.     Up your game, some people will plateau throughout their fitness journey, so it's up to you to find out why... you can get a PT, see a dietitian, naturopath, do more exercise, research vitamins and minerals, start using supplements, there is a whole new level you can step up to.
 

7.     If you fall off the program, don’t worry, don’t stress. The last thing you want to do get upset and feel like you haven’t done anything. You have laid down the foundation for what is your fitness journey. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are your biceps.
 

8.     Assess! If its not working, are you doing the right thing for your goals? Are you just going for runs, are just lifting weights, have you been doing any ab work?  Making sure you are following the right program for you goals is integral to your outcome. I've seen a lot of people doing the wrong things when it comes to there pushing forward and trying to achieve results. Your body type plays a big role in what you have to do. Weights or Cardio, do you want to be strong and lean or do you have a few extra KGs to lose? The ERL12 challenge was put together to help define your body. Not everyone wants to be skinny, some people actually want to be bigger, and that’s including girls, if you want a nice butt to look nice in a pair of jeans, you're not just going to go for walks. We designed the programs so you can do what you want to do, beginner, intermediate, advanced, the ERL12 will get you results. Registrations for the January round of ERL12 are still currently open. The next 12 week program will begin January 16, 2017. Register here today>>>

fitnessinfo

Brotein

By Beau

It seems to me that there is not enough information on protein - what it's used for, where it comes from, where it goes. Most of us know that protein helps the muscles repair and grow within the rebuilding phase known as the "super compensation phase" where your body breaks down and mends itself with the delivery of water and glycogen around the body.

//Where is it?
Protein can be found in meats, eggs, dairy, dark green leafy vegetables and supplements such as protein shakes and BCAAs. Handy chart here.

//How much?
Now the amount of protein the body can handle per day is 0.8 grams per kilogram of your bodyweight for sedentary men & women, 1.0 – 1.2 grams per kilo for elite female athletes and 1.2 – 1.5 grams per kilo for elite male athletes (EG if you weight 61kg: 61kg x 0.8 grams = 48.8 grams per day). But what happens if you go over your limit? Where does it go? Does  your body burn it up? Does it come out in your poop or does it just disappear?

The correct answer is that what hasn’t been utilised metabolically by your body is broken down into building blocks known as peptides. Peptides are further broken down into amino acids, the amino acids are absorbed through the small intestine's lining and enter the blood stream.  From here, some of the amino acids build the body's protein stores. Excess amino acids are converted to fats and sugars that will store through out the body and flow out the kidneys and out of the urinary stream.

Don’t forget that there is also harm in retaining excess protein. For example, excess protein may lead to dehydration, because protein metabolism requires extra water for utilisation and excretion (i.e. elimination) of its by-products. Since exercising individuals are already at an increased risk for dehydration, the additional strain of protein waste excretion may further promote dehydration as well as kidney damage. So when you hear dudes talking about protein and how it makes them huge and they need as much of it as they can it's not the correct information. Fitness and health is so widely misinterpreted and should be tailored to you for the best and safest results!

So make sure you eat the right amount of protein and drink plenty of water!

Food

Herbs That Heal

Herbs may actually be able to replace pharmaceuticals for some individuals, as more and more studies are proving their usefulness for treating the body. The benefit of being able to use herbs to treat problems in the body is that they usually do not have side-effects. I've put together a free download chart for you of some more common herbs and their benefits.

Food

7 Tips for Healthy Eating on Holiday

fruit

So if you've caught my posts on Instagram you'll probably notice that Beau and I are in Thailand at the moment on a nice little getaway. If you're anything like me then you probably don't want a few weeks of holiday and relaxation to mess up all your hard work. I've put together a few tips to help you stay on track with your eating habits, because yes it's nice to enjoy some treats and it's fantastic to get to try different foods whilst you're on vacation - but if you overdo it you're probably not going to end up feeling too crash hot when you get back home anyway.

1) Stay hydrated! Keeping hydrated is going to help stop your body from sending a false 'hunger' signal to your brain, more often than you realise your sense of 'hunger' (or wanting to just snack on whatever you see) is actually your body trying to tell you that you need to drink some water.

2) Try to avoid sugary drinks These may seem like a treat if you don't have them very often, but sugary drinks are just empty calories. If it's hot where you are and water isn't quite refreshing enough try to have a soda water and pop some fruit into the bottle if you can.

3) Don't worry about leftovers One thing that seems to have been drummed into most of us since we were kids is to "finish your plate". Once you're satisfied (not stuffed full) stop eating. Just because someone serves you a huge meal at a restaurant or hotel does not mean you have to eat everything on the plate.

4) Don't let yourself get hungry Hunger leads to poor food choices, make sure you've got snacks so that you're not just eating 3 basic meals a day.

5) Snack wisely Try to find somewhere to buy yourself a bunch of unprocessed, simple food that you can snack on if you really need something to eat between meals (nuts/fruit/veggies always make good snacks to just grab and go). Beau and I walked down the markets and picked up a bunch of fruit for the equivalent of just a few Australian dollars.

6) Use good judgement Does the food look fresh? Do you have a decent idea of what ingredients are in it?

7) Limit starchy carbohydrates At the hotel we are staying in Phuket they provide breakfast every morning, and a lot of the options tend to include things like toast, croissants, rice & noodle dishes, and other highly processed carbohydrates. On top of that many of the restaurants and food stalls around load up their meals with rice or noodles, so keep an eye on the amount of carbohydrates that you are eating (that aren't fruit/veg) because you don't necessarily want too many of these, they will fill you up but the sense of fullness will not last very long at all.

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Food

Benefits of Tumeric

tumerictea

Turmeric, an ancient spice from the same family as ginger, is something that could be missing from your life. Turmeric contains some handy little things called curcuminoids, the main ones are curcumin, desmethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin. These fellas are responsible for most of the anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic and antioxidant properties that turmeric contains. This spice can be helpful as a natural therapeutic relief to tissue injury, arthritis, phlebitis, tuberculosis, fevers, allergies, sinusitis, fibromyalgia, gastritis, tissue irritation and autoimmune disorders (McMahon, 1997). Turmeric is also packed full of micro-nutrients that your body requires, like niacin, sodium, calcium, copper, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc and vitamins C, E, and K.

So lets simplify and break down 5 things turmeric can do for you:

1. It is an anti-inflammatory Although short-term inflammation can be necessary for the body, long-term (chronic) inflammation can work against your own tissues and cells (Singh & Aggarwhal, 1995). The curcumin, which I mentioned before, is so anti-inflammatory that it has matched effectiveness with some medical-grade anti-inflammatory drugs (Jurenka, 2009).  Beau’s fibromyalgia was causing him a lot of pain one day (more than usual) and he was aching all over and felt like he was getting the flu, but had no other symptoms, so I made him a turmeric tea. Beau said that he used to mainly get the pain through his hips and he noticed that an hour or two after the tea the pain had just disappeared. He drinks it every day now.

2. Fights colds and flu Heat 1 cup of milk with ½ a teaspoon of turmeric (and then strain out the turmeric and drink the milk – it does not taste pleasant…) as a natural remedy to colds and flus. Studies have shown that the spice can help reduce the symptoms and severity of colds (Turmeric: the golden spice’, 2013).

3. Helps indigestion and weight loss There have been some studies which have shown that curcumin is able to help reduce symptoms of indigestion and bloating and acts as a natural thermogen. If you’re not yet familiar with the world of supplements a thermogen is a product that promotes thermogenesis. Thermogenesis is a process that takes place when the central nervous system of the body burns fat in order to maintain it’s regular temperature. Increased rates of thermogenesis can mean increased body temperature but also greater fat burning and faster weight loss (Jin-Gyu, 2014).

4. Relief for arthritis and other joint inflammation The pain from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can be relieved by the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric. In addiction to the pain relief because it’s a ‘natural pain killer’, turmeric has been found to also destroy free radicals in the body, free radicals can damage your cells.

5. Controls diabetes Turmeric has been found to moderate insulin levels, improve glucose control and increase the effectiveness of diabetes medications (Finney-Brown, 2011). It is still best to consult a medical professional before taking turmeric capusules for this purpose.

So there you have it! Five great things about turmeric, and there are way more too! The easiest way to have turmeric is half a teaspoon in a cup of boiling water (like a tea). The taste does take a bit to get used to, if you really can’t tolerate it try adding some cinnamon and/or raw honey.

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References:

Finney-Brown, T 2011, ‘Turmeric for diabetes’, Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism, vol. 23, no.2, p 96.

Jin-Gyu, K 2014, ‘Beneficial dietary effect of turmeric and sulphur on weight gain, fat deposition and lipid profile of serum and liver in rats’, Journal of Food Science and Technology, vol. 51, no. 4, pp. 774-779.

Jurenka, J 2009, ‘Anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, a major constituent of Curcuma longa: a review of preclinical and clinical research’, Alternative Medicine Review, vol. 14, no. 3, p 277.\

McMahon, S 1997, ‘Tumeric: from kitchen cabinet to medicine chest’, Vegetarian Times, vol. 240, p 70.

Singh, S & Aggarwhal B 1995, ‘Activation of transciription factor NF-kB is suppressed by curcumin (diferuloylmethane)’, Journal of Biological Chemistry, vol. 270, no. 44, pp. 24995-25000.

"Turmeric: The Golden Spice." Facts For You 8 Jan. 2013. General OneFile. Web. 26 Oct. 2014.

Food

How Much Is Enough?

One thing I tend to notice is people saying they're eating "pretty healthy" but then their serving sizes are quite large. It's so easy to overeat and not even realise it, and if you are trying to lose weight eating more calories than your body needs is still going to eventually cause you to gain weight. The sizes that restaurants feed you is not a single serving! I've done up a little downloadable chart that has a bunch of pretty common foods and how much of them actually qualifies as a serving.

Click on the image below for it to open full resolution.

servingsizechart

How many of these should you eat per day? Vegetables: 5 servings Fruit: 2 servings Milk, yoghurt, cheese, nut milks: 2.5 servings (4 if you're over 50 years of age) Grains: 4-6 servings Meat, eggs, nuts, seeds: 2.5-3 servings Junk food (this includes alcohol too): 0-2 servings Servings can be higher for more active individuals.

Did any of the serving sizes surprise you? 

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