Winter warmers . . .

This month began on a high following the birthday celebrations of my 80-year-old Mum! Considering she had a health scare a few weeks earlier, I’m happy to report she was in fine form, surrounded by her brood of eight children, eight grandchildren and various in-laws – it was wonderful for the whole family to show Ivy our appreciation and love; I’m sure you’ll agree – Mums are special people.

Exercise – Circuit training

If you’re having problems getting into an exercise routine before the winter sets in or want to add a bit of variety to your weekly routine then a group exercise session could be just the ticket. I’m really into whole body conditioning and circuit training or classes which offer you the chance to try different exercises without getting bored. This is not to say that the workouts are easy – quite the reverse; they are a mixture of cardio moves with weighted resistance exercises, which are fairly high intensity. Circuit training is a great fat buster too and as temperatures drop we all need a bit of fire in our lives to keep our energies high as well as keeping us fit.

This season, clients are enjoying the challenge of these sessions but you can join my class starting January 7th 2012 – get in touch to reserve your place!

Increase protein in your diet without eating more meat

As a fully signed up carnivore in the middle of game season, it’s difficult for me to cut back on animal produce. But with so many reports suggesting that high meat diets are unhealthy and contribute to diseases like fatty liver, heart disease and certain cancers, etc, I’m always interested in ways of lowering my intake. To be fair, I only eat red meat or chicken once a week and otherwise I will choose fish, eggs and tofu and beans if I’m pushed as protein options.

The main issue is what to eat to increase your protein intake and gain the full eight essential amino acids which our bodies need to get from food. Animal produce offers this in one hit and are called complete proteins.

  • Oats, quinoa, beetroot, tofu and avocados, should be your first port of call – these foods offer complete protein packed with other high value nutrients, such as fibre, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids.
  • Brown rice, fresh and frozen green peas; chick peas and lentils all have fairly good levels of protein, but need to be combined with each other to form a complete protein – most cultures have a version of this; rice and peas are the great West Indian combo, and three bean salad or rice and lentils are other good options.

Assess your diet and think about adding a few of the above foods a couple of times a week – at the very least you’ll add more variety and nutrients to your daily intake while reducing the load on your digestive system which can’t be a bad thing!

We’re on the run into Christmas next month so be sure to look out for my tips on how to survive the parties in one piece.

Until next time

Jacqueline x

Holiday magic . . .

If you’re one of those lucky people about to go on holiday, make sure you take enough sun protection – can you believe I actually got a bit of sunburn on my forehead recently without feeling a thing! Mind you, it was 44 degrees for a couple of days in the Tuscan heat of Il Borro spa – just back home after a very successful week teaching meditation, 

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Summer bliss . . .

At last we appear to be safely into the season of great weather, travelling and a lot of fun!

May could not have been a more exhilarating month – especially as it’s historically a time when I meet my heroes. A couple of years ago, it was Louise Hay and this year I had the opportunity to spend a day in the presence of Deepak Chopra.

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Reasons to be cheerful … spring is in the air!

Yes, we’re at the end of yet another hard winter and what a relief – time to start getting into shape for the summer fun and holidays. I’m celebrating with a beach trip next week!

Now is the time to change your diet by eating lighter foods such as more green vegetables and fruit as well as cutting back on heavier winter foods. Move to granola with yoghurt rather than porridge every day.

Energy speeds up as daylight hours increase – move to this beat by waking up earlier, even if it means spending a little more time in bed planning your day, before you actually get up.

Remember, your clearest part of the day will be in the morning because once the day gets going there will be people and situations blocking your way to un-interrupted, clear thought. You can always go to bed earlier, but can’t always get back time in the morning for thinking clearly without interruptions.

I admit to being totally hooked on this one – waking up around 5.30am and boring my partner with my chirpiness at 6am!

Below are a few tips to help you beat the late afternoon energy slump:

  • Up the protein: Ensure your lunch includes high-quality protein such as salmon, tuna, chicken, eggs or cold beef or lamb. Protein helps keep you full for longer, and there’s evidence that it’s better for alertness than a high-carb meal.
  • Eat low-GI (low-glycaemic index) carbs: Next, go for slower-digested low-GI carbohydrates for long-lasting energy. For instance, swap white bread for a solid grainy or rye bread if you’re having a sandwich lunch. Go for brown basmati or wild rice instead of white rice and beans & pulses such as baked beans on grainy toast, chickpeas in a salad with tuna or a dhal/lentil – they have one of the lowest GIs of all carbohydrates.
  • Healthy Snacks: plan to eat a small but healthy afternoon snack to make it to dinner. Forget the chocolate bar – it’s a high-fat treat that doesn’t stick with you for long. Healthy high-energy snacks are things such as a handful of almonds, walnuts or mixed nuts (ideally unsalted), fruit, cheese with rice or oatcakes, a mug of lentil, minestrone or pea and ham soup, or a small fruit salad with yoghurt.

“It's official - Britain's women are the fattest in west Europe" – this hard headline about the state of women’s health in Britain is cold comfort for those wishing to change their shape.

I agree, we tend to be fatter in England than our European counterparts, but these stats are simplistic and infer the cause to be that we are eating or drinking too much.

Other factors such as stress hormones affect women badly – trying to run a home, work and bring up children requires an incredible amount of energy and support and sadly many women attempt to do the lot on their own.

Keep an eye out next month for information about my new stretching and meditation class – Ma’At and our first Your Health is Your Wealth event.

Happy Valentine’s!