The Benefits of Exercise
We all know that exercise is good for us; here are a few reasons why:
~ Reduces stress
~ Promotes positive mood
~ Improves sleep
~ Along with a healthy diet, helps with weight control
~ Bone strength benefits
~ Reduces depression and anxiety
~ Improves strength and flexibility
~ Boosts energy levels
~ Can reduce risk of diseases such as Type 2 diabetes
I cannot stress enough the importance of setting yourself goals. I break your goals up into manageable chunks, so for example, instead of just saying 'I want to be thinner', we would say, 'I would like to drop 2 dress sizes within 8 weeks and I'm going to achieve this through a combined weights and HIIT training program, with an eating plan guideline'. We will create your fitness goals, and adjust them accordingly, as you move along your journey towards a healthier lifestyle.
I'm a big believer in stretching and proper form. All training sessions with me ensure that your muscles are functioning as they should be before progressing to more advanced workouts. Without proper muscle function you could end up with injuries.
If you're starting to work towards a healthier lifestyle then keeping a food diary, especially at the beginning, is a really good idea. It will help us review the types of foods you are eating, and to see such things as where your 'weak' spots are, such as when you get sugar cravings.
Why Hire a Personal Trainer?
YOU'RE A BEGINNER & NEED GUIDANCE
I can show you effective and safe exercises.
I will push you in your workouts to make sure you don't give up!
Hiring a professional, certified trainer means that your safety will come first and foremost.
WORKOUTS DESIGNED FOR YOU & YOUR GOALS
By an expert in their field. I can give you realistic and measurable goals.
Workouts that will get results, instead of just going through the motions at the gym and not seeing the results you would like.
I will make sure you show up, and let's be honest, if you've paid for the time you're more likely to turn up!
Without the right food to fuel your body you're not going to look and feel great. I can help with this by offering food guidelines and even going to the grocery store with you.
DON'T LIKE A TRADITIONAL GYM SETTING
We can workout at your home, at the local park, or at my workout studio near Memorial Park. No need to go near a gym.
Help Prevent Overeating
Before heading out to a social event eat a small handful of nuts or dried fruit. They will fill you up enough to help stop you eating too much at the buffet.
Drink Your H2O
Sometimes hunger is mistaken for what is actually thirst. Make sure to drink water regularly to ensure you are hydrated. This will help with overeating and it's also great for your general health and skin.
Date, Nut & Cocoa Treats
On those days when you fancy something sweet, but don't want to blow all your good plans, try these very tasty date, nut & cocoa balls. Yum. Easy peasy as well. To make this many balls simply use:
1 cup dates
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
1/8 cup unsweetened cocoa powder...
1/8 cup shredded coconut (have another 1/4 cup for rolling your balls in)
Sprinkle of salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp. of almond milk to bind the mixture (you may need to alter this).
Put the dates in the food processor & blend
Add in the nuts, shredded coconut, salt, cocoa powder, & mix
Add in the vanilla extract & start to mix in the almond milk until the mixture looks damp enough to roll into balls (use as much milk as needed).
Next, scoop into quarter size balls, shape, & then roll in the shredded coconut you set aside. Enjoy! (They'll keep for a couple of weeks in a Tupperware.)
Prepping jar salads on a Sunday, for work lunches, saves a great deal of time (& money!) during the week. Just remember to put your dressing at the bottom, then the hardy veg next (such as chopped peppers), carbs, & then protein/leaves/nuts & seeds towards the top - stops the leaves & things getting soggy.
These particular jar salads contain the following:
balsamic vinegar dressing, red & yellow peppers, celery, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, spinach leaves, chopped walnuts, & finished with egg.
The beauty of jar salads is that you can make them from whatever veggies, beans, & protein you like.
... & this is what it looks like when tipped onto the plate & ready to eat:
Start The Day The Right Way
I have found that if you start your day with good choices you will more than likely carry on the rest of the day making good choices. How about something healthy like this for breakfast? Berries topped with full fat Greek yogurt with oats, chopped nuts and seeds.
Want extra flavor? Toast the oats, nuts and seeds. You can do these in batches and store them in an airtight container: spread your oats and/or nuts/seeds on a baking sheet and bake at 350F for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you eat this well at the beginning of the day you're less likely to grab that fast food for lunch.
Many green smoothies taste too 'green' for me, in other words, it's like drinking grass! This one is yummy.
In a blender:
1 small chopped green apple
Half frozen banana
1/3 cup vanilla almond milk
2 heaped tablespoons full fat Greek yogurt
Large handful of spinach
1 heaped tablespoon almond butter
Small drizzle of honey (about 2 teaspoons)
Extra ice if you like it thicker & cold.
Eat 'Real' Food
Try to always eat food that has been processed as little as possible. Generally, the more processed the food the less nutrients it contains. If you ever hear the phrase 'real' food, this is basically what this means - eat food that is as close to its natural, real, state as possible. A good example would be oatmeal*. You can eat home made oatmeal using just oats and water and milk, then add your own dried fruits, nuts, cinnamon.... Or you can buy a packet of processed oats that contain artificial flavors, preservatives, sugars, and so forth. The home made version contains more nutrients and less artificial stuff.
Pictured is a snack I made with cottage cheese (with no additives), strawberries, and flax seed crackers made with just whole wheat flour, whole grains, oats, flax seeds, honey, salt & olive oil. It took 2 minutes to prepare.
* Some classify 'real' food as food that is unchanged by man, so oatmeal has been processed a little, but for illustration purposes oatmeal is a good example.
Black Bean Brownies
Let's be honest, we all have those moments when we just want something rich, chewy & that little bit sweet, but at the same time we don't want to blow our healthy eating plans... so I'm always on the look out for healthy alternatives for 'treats'. I recently came across some great recipes for vegan energy bars on this website: http://www.nomeatathlete.com/homemade-energy-bar-recipe/ & found a great one made from black beans... yes you read that correctly!
The result? Delicious. I never thought that bars made from black beans would taste so good!
What's in them?
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup almond butter
¼ cup agave
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ cup of oats
½ cup cocoa
½ cup almond flour
½ cup shredded coconut
½ cup raisins
How to make:
In a food processor quickly blend the black beans (this stops any black bean lumps). I then simply threw in all the other stuff & mixed! If it's a bit dry add a little water, if it's a bit wet add a little almond flour.
Grease a 13×9 pan with baking spray or rub with 1 tablespoon oil, then spread mixture into pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes.