Fruit and Vegetables … what is the big deal?!

Fruit and Vegetables … what is the big deal?!

“Eat your fruit and veg” is a phrase you have probably heard repeatedly since you were a kid … from your parents, in school, by your doctor, health advertisements. But why is it so important to eat enough fruit and vegetables?!

Micronutrients

Vitamins and minerals are essential to life!! We need them to access the energy and building blocks from our food, to recover and repair from training, to fight disease, to concentrate, and much much more. Essentially, to have the get up and go to attack each day!! Fruits and veggies are rich in vitamins and minerals, and different fruits and veggies (especially those of different colours) are rich in different vitamins and minerals. So get that variety in!!

Fibre

The average UK adult does not consume the recommended 28g fibre per day (UK government guidelines). Fibre is essential for gut health. It keeps our food moving along through our digestive system, preventing it from getting stuck and starting to ferment, gas and damage our gut (nice!!), and it provides fuel for the gut bacteria we need to digest our food properly and maintain good health. In addition, certain fibres support lowering of ‘bad’ cholesterol.

Calorie control

Fruit and vegetables are high volume and low calorie, because of their high water and fibre content. So if you are looking to lose weight, loading up on these can be a massive plus in feeling fill and hitting your goals. Vegetables are typically lower calorie than fruit, so bear this in mind as you make your choices through the day. If you are not looking to cut calories (perhaps you are even focussed on adding body weight), do not avoid fruit and veg!! You still need the micronutrients and fibre ☺. Instead focus on the slightly higher calorie options, such as banana, mango, avocado, and parsnips.

Reduced risk of chronic disease

Increased intake of fruit and veg is correlated with decreased risk of several chronic ‘lifestyle’ diseases including high blood pressure, heart disease and certain cancers. Whilst correlation is not cause, it is thought the impact of fruit and vegetables on gut health, bodyweight, body function and also the likelihood of consuming large amounts of refined and processed food products has a causative role in reducing these disease risks.

So, eating fruit and veg is clearly important.

But how much?!

You might know that the recommended daily intake of fruit and veg varies widely across the world. In some countries it is seven portions, in some it is ten portions, and in the UK it is just five! Guidelines differ principally because different countries rely on different research to develop their guidelines, may have different definitions of what counts as one portion, and consume different types of fruit and veg. It is going to be hard to overdose on fruit and veg; the more you can get in the better! At a minimum, I suggest aiming for five handfuls of different vegetables each day, and two of fruit (remember that micronutrient and fibre variety!).

And what counts?!

Fresh, frozen, tinned (if it is not in a sugar syrup!) in unlimited amounts! Dried fruit and juice can only count for one serving a day (30g and 125ml), because they have such a high sugar concentration (and the juice has reduced fibre and micronutrient content).

Easy ways to up your intake …

Add grated courgette or carrot to your morning porridge or bircher muesli

Add a side salad to lunch or dinner (add in fruit for added variety and yum!)

Have veg sticks and guacamole as an afternoon snack

Go posh and make some spiced roasted veggies for a starter (refrigerates well, so you can prep ahead!)

Nutrition in a busy life!

Nutrition in a busy life!

In the last blog, I highlighted some practical strategies to help you optimise your nutrition when life is hectic. Over the next few blogs I want to dive a little more into some of the science behind each meal of the day, and highlight some things you can think about as you make food choices through the day.

Starting with breakfast …

So, you wake up. Get ready. How many of you eat breakfast? I am going to try and convince you why eating breakfast can be important if you need to maintain focus and concentration from the start to end of your day, as well as training volume and intensity!

Most cells in our body want to use glucose as their primary source of energy. In particular the brain. So, our bodies try to maintain our blood sugar levels within a narrow range that means a constant supply of glucose can be provided to all the cells of the body. When we are in this range, we have sustained energy and we can do work. If our blood sugar gets lower than this range, we are fatigued, we can’t concentrate, we are hungry. Energy is low. You may not always consciously register this. Particularly if you are in the habit of running on empty.

In the morning, when we haven’t eaten since the evening before, our body has to work to maintain blood sugar levels. Our body is breaking down the glycogen and fat (and muscles, if we are really in energy deficit) to keep the blood sugar up. So, if you need to be mentally alert and focussed, you might want to take this stress off your body (particularly if it is already fighting fatigue, a cold, work induced stress, injury etc) and eat!

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Okay, so assuming I have convinced you (if you were skeptical) that breakfast is the bomb, what should you eat?

In terms of sustained energy, not all foods are created equal!! The main rule: avoid foods that are essentially all sugar. Why? Sugar is sugar. It does not need to be digested, it is already small enough to pass straight through our gut and into the blood and around the body. So it moves rapidly into the blood. Blood sugar levels spike – high and fast. Yep, this will give you an energy surge. But the body keeps blood sugar within a range because high blood sugar is dangerous. So the body reacts quickly and aggressively to strip the excess sugar from the blood. In its haste, we overshoot. Blood sugar levels crash below the ideal range. You feel an energy crash … you get hungry quickly, and moreover crave the food that will quickly raise blood sugar and increase your energy. i.e. more sugar. You're on a blood sugar roller coaster, and it's hard to get off it. So – choose foods that also contains a mix of starchy carbohydrates, proteins and fats, with fibre. This gives you a steady release of blood sugar over time … giving you sustained energy across the morning. 

Common challenges – you don’t have time, or you don’t like eating first thing. A coffee with full fat milk plus a banana will do. Or a handful of nuts with berries. Takes two minutes. And you can eat them on the go (although preferably sitting down for the benefit of digestion … a topic for another time!).



I would eat better but...

I would eat better but...

I work long hours / I hate cooking / I am a busy parent / I have a million hobbies / I am not sure what ‘eating better’ means / it is expensive / [insert other reason].

Here are some practical strategies, backed by science, that you can implement even in a busy life to improve your nutrition. It might not make it ‘perfect’, but all movement in the right direction is progress and will help support long term health and performance. You work hard in the gym, don’t lose it at the table!!

DON’T HAVE MUCH TIME …

1.      Bulk cook curries, pastas, porridge etc at weekends and refrigerate / freeze for the week ahead

EATING ON THE GO…

2.      Buy fresh and avoid ingredients that don’t sound anything like food!

3.      Make a ‘go to’ list of healthy choices at your usual lunch and dinner spots, i.e. simple ingredients, including protein and vegetables. This removes ‘in the moment’ decisions that are more likely to be excessively processed or high in calories

 

INCREASE YOUR FRUIT AND VEG INTAKE …

1.      Add fruit to your breakfast

2.      Add a side salad to your lunch (if your lunch spots don’t sell one, take a detour to the supermarket on the way to work for a £1 salad bowl)

3.      If you don’t buy fresh fruit and veg because don’t know when you will be home to eat it, buy frozen (it is as nutritious!)

 

LOOK AFTER YOUR BACTERIA …

1.      Those in your gut that is! Eat bacteria (fermented food) daily. Full fat yoghurt, soft aged cheeses, kombucha, kimchi, miso, sauerkraut all work!

 

SNACK WISELY …

1.      Choose natural yoghurt with some fresh fruit and honey over low fat flavoured yoghurt

2.      Switch crisps for veg sticks and hummus, or nuts with a shaking of salt

3.      Eat good quality chocolate – Green&Black and Lindt over Nestle and Cadbury

4.      See the BBC website here for ideas.

5.      Plan your snacks to avoid making unhealthy choices in a fit of hunger!

 

DRINK WELL …

1.      Drink 1ml per kcal you eat; keep a bottle on your desk and sip through the day!

 

Find out more at www.feedfuelperform.com and on Instagram @sinead.feedfuelperform. 

And please do get in touch if you want to have a chat with me, or are interested in knowing how I can support you achieve your nutrition goals. You can reach me via my website or Instagram account, or on email at sinead@feedfuelperform.com.

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Last 2 weeks!

Last 2 weeks!

Let's finish with a BANG!

Only 2 weeks left. I hope most of you by now know their body and know what works!

To spice it up the last 2 weeks will be a competition. We are starting Tuesday 22nd:

You can get 3 points a day:

1 point  - Workout that day at least 10min

1 point - Get your calcories close or only eat the food allowed on scaled version

1 point - don't eat any sugar and drink no alcohol

You will keep track of your own score and on Saturday you inform me of the total score from Tuesday till Saturday.

You will be working in teams: 

Colette and Karen

Emma Roy and Julie

Pauline and Zoe

Rachel and Debbie

Nikki and Honor

Hendri and Sam

Charlotte and Graham

Lauren and Robbie

Bev and Clare

Mia and Dom

Kathryn and Loretta

Glen, Eline and Emma P stepped out  of the challenge so I left you out. If you like to join let me know!

For every point per day you lose, both you and your partner will be punished with 10 burpees the following day. So communicate with eachother and make sure you do your burpees! So if partner A gets only 1 point and partner B get 2 points you both have to do 30 burpees!

Let the BEST TEAM win! And keep in mind if you stick to the points you most likely will lose body fat as well!

 

Clever Bodies

Clever Bodies

Our Bodies are very clever!

Today I had a conversation with a very nice ladiy and I thought I should share with you all what we discussed.

Some people, especially ladies, have at some point in their lifes used a crash diet. For example 2 months before your summer holiday you go for 3 weeks on a super low calorie diet to loose weight. And I can guarantee you all that you did loose weight, a LOT! Then a year later when the summer comes again you try to do the same as it worked so well and guess what... It doesn't work this time, you hardly loose anything...

Why? Our bodies are super clever and learn to adapt. So if you hunger yourself for 3 weeks your body will adapt. So next time when you do the same your body remembers this stage of starvation and will adapt by slowing down your metabolism. So most people will go lower and lower in calorie in take to get the result they are after. But no matter how low you go, it won't work.

For the last 6 weeks I have been telling you to always eat enough.. If you don't eat to perform you won't get the result you are after. All of you are CrossFitters which means that in every session you do tough workouts. If you under eat you won't be able to perform in the gym. You will be tiered, you  won't recover as quick and your body will constantly be in a protective mote.

So if you are still cutting your calories, and if you still are far away from hitting your macro's you might as well stop your challenge as you won't get any results!

Same goes for working out in the gym. I have been observing a lot of people who are doing the challenge and how they perform in the Box. I noticed, and especially with the ladies, that you don't push yourself. Our program is designed to get stronger and fitter, but again your bodies are very clever. So if you do your thing, sweat and get a bit out of breath your body will adapt. The only way you will see CHANGE in your body shape, fitness and strength is when you get OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE because if you get to that point, that is where your body constantly needs to adapt and that is where CHANGE HAPPENS!

So stick to your calories and if you have been under eating for a long time it will take weeks for your body to 'get better' again and to work normally. The more you workout and the more you push yourself the quicker the adjustment comes.

 

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So from now on I hope to see you all FLAT ON THE FLOOR after every workout. Push yourself to the limit, even if this is hard. CHANGE HAPPENS when you  MAKE IT HAPPEN! It doesn't just happen. Keep working and keep pushing! Force your body to adjust.

 

 

See you in your next workout!

Agnes

 

What is important?

What is important?

Learn to know your body

So we are now getting close to half way the challenge. By now you should all have tried different things to get to the correct macro's or if you are doing the scaled version you have find a new way of eating.  

Anyone can give you a diet, but in the end its important that you understand your body and you understand food. Everyone reacts differently to different foods and it's up to you to know how your body reacts. You all have got a set of total calories with the correct macro's. Now it's time to play around with these. If you eat a lot of starchy carbs, how do you feel after? Do you prefer to skip breakfast, because it just makes you feel sick? How do you feel after a very fatty meal? 

Protein feeds the muscles, it helps to repair them after a workout and makes them grow. Carbohydrates are a sugar for the body; it gives you energy. Starchy carbs like pasta, potatoes, rice and so on are easier to digest and will give you that sugar shot quicker and vegetables are digesting slower and therefor give you a more balanced sugar level. Fat is like carbs; it gives you energy but fat also slows down your metabolism. That is why we like to eat all 3 together as the fats will make sure your hormonal balance stays in tact and all gets slowly digested.

So now you have got your macro's right lets see how you react to it all. If you eat all your calories, do loose more weight? Yes - keep eating, as eating less will put you in starving mote. How do you react to fats? Try to eat a bit less for 3 days and see what happens? How do you react to starchy carbs? Try to eat less of it for 3 days and see what happens...

 

I have added my pictures of now and 4 weeks ago. In this period I have lost 3.8 kilo. For some that sounds like nothing, for some its sounds like a lot... It just depends on your target. My target was to loose 4 kilo's of weight, so I am pretty happy. In the photo's you can see the difference of 3.8 kilo... 

But this is just looking at body appearance and body weight... Some of you informed me of what is happening 'behind the scenes'. Some of you started with a very high blood pressure and found with eating healthier the blood pressure dropped, some of you felt always tiered and found that with eating healthier you feel more energised, some of you had bad skin and found with eating healthier the skin has improved, some of you suffered from constipation and found that with eating healthier this has gone..

Remember that eating different, better.. knowing your body will improve much more then just your appearance!

Keep it going guys!

Changing your body composition

Changing your body composition

It's time to get your six-pack!

A lot of you are doing well in the challenge and have lost a lot of weight, or changed body shape. For everyone who is getting more happy with the way they have changed its time to now start changing your diet to a more muscle building diet where you still loose body fat but built muscle at the same time.

How does this work?

You stick to the macro's and calories you are having for now but you eat them differently. You need to fuel your muscles and work around your training program.

This work best if you train at leat 3 times a week, preferable more.

If you want to work on your six-pack and look more lean you need to eat more often. Stop with the 3 times a day meals and go to 5-6 times a day meals/snacks (still sticking to the same calories)

With everything you eat (a snack or a meal) you eat protein. So always protein, all the time. You eat most of your carbs around your workout. So you eat your starchy carbs (sweet potatoes, brown rice and so on) before and after your workout. You eat your less starchy carbs away from your workout like vegetables. Make sure you eat a lot of greens every day though as macro's are important but micro's (vitamins and minerals) as well!

Your fats you only eat away from your workouts. Fat's slow down your metabolism and therefor stop the carbs going into your muscles. So Fat's only away from workouts.

To give you an idea: I like my 3 eggs and fried banana in the morning. My eggs and the coconut oil I use to make this is most of my fat for the day already. So if I decide to train in the morning I will swap my dinner (turkey and sweet potatoes) with my breakfast (banana and eggs). This way I have most of my fats in the evening when I already have done my workout in the morning and the carbs and protein already have done their work in my muscles.

During your workout you can have a carbs with protein shake to fuel your muscles again.

So what do you need to change:

- eat 5-6 times a day

- eat protein in every meal and or snack

- eat your starchy carbs pre- and post- WOD's

- eat your Fat hours away from your WOD's

- have a WOD fuel shake with protein and carbs.

Let's get lean guys!

 

How much can you cheat?

How much can you cheat?

Tips to help you stay on track

You have started this challenge because you want to feel better and look better. To feel better you need to eat healthy and consume only the right carbs, fats and proteins.

It's all about how much you want something and what you are willing to do for it. In our daily lives we are constantly confronted with choices. If you want to achieve a certain goal you need to make sure you make the right choice.

If you go to a restaurant you have the choice to go for the french fries and large puddings, or you can choose the meat/fish option with the vegetables.  It's up to you to make that choice.

Obviously we all need to have a cheat every now and then. Especially if you like to continue this challenge after the 12 weeks and maybe for the rest of your lives. The best way I believe to go about this is to have set rules for yourself.

We already discussed before that you should not have sweets in the house if you know you can't resist them. So make the correct choice in only stocking what's good for you. You can also have fixed 'cheat days'. For example Friday night is your fixed Fish and Chips day or your MC Donald day. And on Saturday evening you have some wine and some extra snacks.

If you set yourself fixed days that you can cheat (a bit) you make the choices on the days that you should eat lean and clean easy. If you are in that restaurant on a clean and lean day you don't even have to make a choice, you know what you must eat.

Be flexible but only on set times and days. On all other days you don't have alcohol in the house, you don't stock the 'wrong' foods and you stick to the challenge.

Let's all give this a try. Set your own goals and 'cheat' days and eat Clean on all other days.

Let me know how it goes.

Agnes

 

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Breakfast idea

Hi all Quick and easy meal, usually one of my breakfast options. Smoked salmon, 1 egg, broccoli and steamed sweet potato that I have fried in a little coconut oil to crisp up.

Very tasty and super quick X

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Breakfast Idea

This is a really nice breakfast which fills you up and is quick to make. My version is fried egg, avocado and baby tomatoes on rye bread but you can adapt or change as needed. I.e. Adding bacon would bump up the protein, using regular bread if you don't like rye etc. It's a little high on fat, however it's all good fats and you can balance it out over the rest of the day.

Colette

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Week 4!!

Week 4!!

How are we doing?

Most of you noticed in week 1 that you have been eating way to much Fat for too long. What does this mean?

Well if you eat a lot of fat your metabolism changes. People on very low carb- and high fat diets change their metabolism so much that their body doesn't know how to burn carbs anymore. So if you, like me, have been eating too much fat your body might find it very hard to digest all the carbs in the beginning. You are in a way changing your metabolism. 

So if you feel that your body is slowing down in loosing weight, that might be the problem. Stick to it though and try to stay low in fat.

I also noticed that a lot of you are not working out as much as you  should. If your body is learning to digest all the carbs it is very important that you train A LOT! training will help your body to digest the carbs and will sent the sugars straight to your muscles instead of storing it as fat. Make sure you hit the gym a lot! Kick start your body to burn those carbs.

Keep it going guys!

Extra Challenge Week 4

Extra Challenge Week 4

We are entering week 4 

Most of you are doing really well. Some loose more body fat then weight on the scale but that is fine and common. 

For week 4 I would like to give you all an extra challenge. As we are doing a macro based challenge we have learned that an hormonal balance is very important in any diet. If you missed this scroll down on the CCblog and find the post on this.

Within the Felxi diet we are allowed dairy but I would like you all to exclude all dairy from your diet for a week. The people in the challenge who lost most weight in the first week are most likely very sensitive to hormonal changes and dairy is filled with growth hormones as its produces to make calves grow fast. 

To exclude dairy from your diet for a week you are doing a great test to find out what effect dairy has on your body. If after a week you start taking dairy again, but you are straight in the toilet or feel bloated you know that you might want to exclude dairy for ever from your diet.

If you like milk in your coffee try something else like Coconut milk or learn to drink it black. Same for your tea or try some different tastes of tea.

Good luck everyone with week 4!

 

 

The 3 things NOT to do

The 3 things NOT to do

We are not your regular walk in gym, boot camp or fitness program you have tried. We coach CrossFit in our top of the range facility delivering excellence in functional fitness. We offer small group coaching sessions to help each individual to full fill their fitness goals. 

3 BED TIME QUESTIONS

3 BED TIME QUESTIONS

We are not your regular walk in gym, boot camp or fitness program you have tried. We coach CrossFit in our top of the range facility delivering excellence in functional fitness. We offer small group coaching sessions to help each individual to full fill their fitness goals. 

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Healthy Carrot Cake Recipe

Hi all

Thought this recipe may appeal to some of you :)

Healthy Carrot Cake – I’ve not made this but it’s come highly recommended

Makes 14-16

Ingredients:

1 egg

200ml natural yoghurt

1 orange, juice & zest

250g spelt flour

2tsp baking powder

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

5tbsp agave nectar

1 large or 2 small carrrots – grated

3tsp mixed spice

A handful of dried fruits to your liking (sultanas/raisins/cranberries)

A handful of nuts or seeds to your liking (almonds/linseeds/sunflower seeds)

  1. Whisk the egg, yoghurt, juice & zest of orange

  2. Mix together the flour, baking power, bicarb of soda

  3. Add the spice, fruit, nuts/seeds, carrot & agave nectar to the flour mix

  4. Pour the wet mixture over the dry mixture & fold (do not stir or whisk) until just combined

  5. Divide into muffin cases or muffin tin, silicone cases recommended so they don’t stick

  6. Top with a pink of nuts & seeds

  7. Bake at 180 degrees C/gas 4 for 15/20 minutes or until a skewer in the centre come out clean

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Take your time to read this post

Take your time to read this post

We are not your regular walk in gym, boot camp or fitness program you have tried. We coach CrossFit in our top of the range facility delivering excellence in functional fitness. We offer small group coaching sessions to help each individual to full fill their fitness goals. 

How to spend your 10min workout

Practise your Double unders!

If you are not sure what to do on the days you don't do CrossFit but still need to workout.

What about practising your double unders? They are hard work, make your heart rate go up and they just need A LOT OF PRACTISE!

Watch this video to get started.

 

Knee Pain - try this in the box

Knee Pain - try this in the box

We are not your regular walk in gym, boot camp or fitness program you have tried. We coach CrossFit in our top of the range facility delivering excellence in functional fitness.

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Juice for sale

Brand new, never used Jason Vale juicer in need of a home! Some how I have ended up with 2. Message me if your interested and would like to buy. Thanks Karen

Sent from my iPad

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Juice for sale

Brand new, never used Jason Vale juicer in need of a home! Some how I have ended up with 2. Message me if your interested and would like to buy. Thanks Karen

Sent from my iPad

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