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To eat it or not!

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.


Do you skip breaky because you are just not hungry, but you force yourself to eat because you heard you are supposed too as its healthy?


The truth is – there are health benefits if you eat breakfast and also if you skip breakfast. It depends on your goals but for the purpose of this of this post let’s take the question above.


You eat breakfast because it’s the most important meal of the day. Whose mum said this to them most days. Mine certainly did.


Research suggests that breakfast eaters are most likely health seekers. (this is not equivocal, and I am not saying if you don’t eat breakfast, you are not healthy). Breakfast tends to be a healthier meal of the day for most; intentions for the day are good so we make good choices, therefore, you are getting extra micronutrients in there and a good macro split generally to fuel your morning. Think fruit and great yogurt, eggs on wholegrain toast as examples.


Me personally, I’m a big breakfast fan! However, I am up at 5am most days and don’t eat until 9am. That’s only because I am manic in the mornings. If I ate it at 5am I would likely want to eat again at 9am again so I just don’t. I’m just not hungry at 5am.

If you are not hungry in the morning and you feel good off it then just don’t eat it. It will make very little difference to your day.


If you are skipping breaky for weight loss reasons (AKA intermittent fasting, basically skipping a meal and therefore most likely creating an calories deficit) but then find you overeat a lunch because you are so ravenous then maybe think about bringing back breakfast and that is not the diet for you.
There is a lot of nuance here so feel free to message me if you have a specific goal.

Take away – if you want to eat it then do, if you don’t then don’t, it probably doesn’t matter!


My breakfast most days is kiwi, frozen berries, Greek yoghurt, nuts and chocolate. Weekends I’ll have bagels and eggs.
Do you eat breakfast? Any breakfast inspo recipes??


#breakfast #food #foodporn #foodie #instafood #lunch #healthyfood #yummy #foodphotography #delicious #dinner #brunch #coffee #foodblogger #foodstagram #homemade #instagood #healthy #love #goodmorning #breakfastideas #foodlover #healthylifestyle #tasty #vegan

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My Healthy Habits Challenge

Hello!!

I’ve been MIA on here lately! I’ve been very focused on starting and growing my Nutrition business, Whole health with Emma. Its going great and I am really loving helping people on a 121 basis.

I am really keen to make a bigger impact in making healthy feel easier. So, via my Instagram and Facebook platforms (wholehealthwithemma) I have set up a 6 week challenge. I wanted to share it here too incase you wanted to join in.

The purpose of the challenge is to help make us more aware. As a dieting society we are mostly focusing on taking away things in the pursuit of health (carbs, breakfast etc.) and we should be focusing on what we can add. Developing the things that we already do day to day, with a few tweaks here and there. Such as sleep, hydration and activity. These things can make a huge difference in how we feel.

This challenge is not a diet. So if you are already following a diet or plan of some kind, this will just complement it without a lot of effort.

Why should you get involved?

Its free
Its easy
Its fun
It will make you accountable
You will feel better
You may lose weight
You will be more mindful
It does not require huge changes

Why you should get involved?

Aside from not wanting to improve your health I can think of a single reason.

How will it work?

The Sunday before I will release that habit we are working on for the week, you just do that specific habit per day that week. Each day I will post something relating, motivational, do Q+A’s about the subject and I will be doing it to so I will tell you how I am getting on too. Easy! I will release a checklist this week that you can use to check off daily.

Who’s keen? You don’t need to tell me, even take part under the radar or join in whenever you like.

More to follow xxx

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How Are Our Hormones Really Affecting Our Fat Loss Goals?

I want to tackle two areas in this article. 

The first is, are our hormones making us gain weight?  We have all said or at least know someone who has said that our contraceptive method has made us fat.

Here is the harsh truth that I know many will not want to hear.

Only consuming more energy (food) than you burn will make you gain fat!  Energy balance, it’s the principle of fat loss. FACT!

BUT (phew there is a but)

Hormones can play a role in helping us consume that energy.  I will explain.

The appetite hormones

We have what is called the “hunger hormone” AKA Ghrelin. This stimulates our appetite.
Then we have Leptin.  Leptin tells our brain we are full and promotes energy balance, we like leptin!!

These two hormones can be affected by lots of factors.  Lack of sleep can make your hunger hormone (Ghrelin) for example sky rocket making you hungrier that day.  We want to keep ghrelin low during a fat loss phase so eating a whole foods diet with lots of protein will keep you fuller for longer.   We want to be more leptin sensitive.  We can do this by getting enough sleep, resistance training, avoid crash dieting, getting enough fibre and so on.  Oh, wow look at that, balance and moderation!

Lady hormones

So, we are all aware of the hormone’s estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.

I will tackle each individually.

Estrogen – this increases in the first 14 days of our cycle (known as the Follicular phase) then decreases very quickly after ovulation around day 14.  Let’s call Estrogen the nice hormone, we like estrogen.  It keeps us on the straight and narrow and sane 😊 It also plays role in decreasing our appetite during the first 2 weeks of the cycle.  If you are to start a diet for fat loss then this is when you want to do it.

Testosterone – We don’t have lots of this as its predominantly the male hormone but this is at its peak for us around ovulation.  As this is when we have this highest chance of getting pregnant and testosterone improves our sex drive.  Women who have PCOS can have 2-3 times more testosterone than women without and their cycle can be as long as 35 days compared the average 28 days of someone without PCOS.  More testosterone can bring symptoms with it and women with PCOS hold body fat more central.

Progesterone – Let’s call this the horrid hormone.  This rises from day 14 (luteal phase) right up to us getting our period.  This causes the mood swings, can affect our sleep causing us to be irritable.  We burn a higher number of calories in this phase, it can be up to 300 more.  We also become more resistant to insulin which means we don’t tolerate carbohydrates as well but we crave them.  Combine this with the affected sleep making our ghrelin hormones rise we end up consuming 500 calories on average a day more during this phase, hello weight gain!

So, you could say your hormones are helping you gain weight but its still energy balance that is what makes you gain fat.  Understanding this can help you if you do suffer with the symptoms of the follicular phase.

As we head towards menopause these hormones decline and periods will stop eventually.

Is my pill/coil/implant etc. making you fat then?

Not directly, but it will be affecting your hormones and all the above will be happening!  You can however hold a little more water with some contraception though which you will see on the scales.

It’s very different for everyone.  Some are affected and some don’t even see aa difference.

Exercise and the female cycle

The second thing I would like to discuss is training and exercise in relation to hormones.

Have you ever been to the gym and lifted a personal best only to find the following week you can’t lift it off the floor!  Or done the best run of your life to two days later feeling like a slug?

It’s our menstrual cycle messing with us.

We mention above the Follicular phase and the Luteal phase.

Follicular phase – days 1-14 of our cycle.  This is when out Estrogen is high and when we are at our strongest.  This is when we should be doing our heavy lifting and HIIT sessions, we also get less muscle soreness during this time.  Around day 14 (ovulation) out testosterone is high; we may get out best work out here!

The Luteal phase – days 14- 28 ish.  Progesterone starts to rise and that yoga pose we were doing a week ago now seems impossible.  Our balance and co-ordination are off, we can’t lift for shit and our works outs are just less satisfying.  Planning the lighter exercises here would make sense.

I think once we know this and we understand where we are in our cycle then we can give ourselves a break, not beat ourselves up as much. 

Take away – understand your cycle.  If you are in a fat loss phase you can try and do your deficit in the first too weeks and then hit maintenance calories in the 2nd phase.  You will still make progress.  Its important to point out that we are all so different, some months we are good and others it hits us hard.  If you suffer with PMS plan your training around this, don’t force yourself to do a workout that is possible not going to benefit you.

Its tough being a woman but we just have to get on with it!

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Real Life Update!

Its been over 6 months I think since I wrote a post about myself and not about Nutrition. Two things prompted this post. 1. It’s been a year since I started my blog, for those who don’t know I actually started this blog to talk about my journey quitting alcohol. 2. I wasn’t feeling any inspiration about a nutrition topic to cover.

So I am hear today to talk about my journey back to alcohol after 6 months off. We talk about quitting all the time but never really talk about what happens after we decide to drink again. I never did and I think it was because I felt a little shame that I decided to drink again. Just a quick recap – my plan was to stop drinking for 3 months, even though I found it difficult for various reasons I also enjoyed the benefits so much that I ended up doing 6 months. I then made a decision to start drinking again but in moderation.

Funnily enough starting drinking again also tied in to COVID kicking in here in Australia. I had 2 rules. I wasn’t allowed to drink bubbles and I am not drinking in the house. The first drink I had after 6 months was a bottle of bubbles shared with a friend in my house LOL. I broke my own rules straight away. That first drink felt nice as I got that relaxed giggly feeling you get when you only have a couple. I thought to myself, yes, I can do this moderation thing.

I’m not going to tell you about every drinking session I have had so I will fast forward and put it into a nutshell. Drinking in moderation is hard, its probably harder than completely quitting but it is getting easier. Its hard because I get the fear when I know that I am drinking that I cant control myself with how much I drink, I get the fear about how guilty I will feel, I worry I wont get up early and be productive and that will also make me feel guilty, I get hangover fear. So basically I am ruining the whole experience before I even do it, so I say to myself then why am I even drinking?

I also set myself a rule that I will drink no more than 1 bottle of wine a week. Have I stuck to that? Mostly but I have had a few slip ups.

In the whole 6 months that I have been drinking again I have got really drunk once. Very recently at a hen party, I felt so gross on the way home I regretted how much I drank, I drank bubbles and didn’t stick to any of my rules. I know most people who read this will think Oh chill out, live your life blah blah blah. I also have these debates with myself, I know I give myself a hard time but that’s the way I am. Getting drunk brings me zero joy now and I try and avoid situations where this might be involved.

What I am loving is a couple of glasses with a meal, or sat on my balcony watching the sun go down with my husband. I seem to able to moderate in my own environment and I no longer crave more alcohol like I did before.

Stopping drinking absolutely changed my whole relationship with myself and now with alcohol. It made me realise that I am happier and more productive without it, I love sleep, my mind is clearer, my body just feels strong and healthy and I no longer give a shit if people think i’m boring if I don’t drink.

I do think I will eventually just stop drinking and it will feel natural and not such an effort. I haven’t drank for 3 weeks right now just because I haven’t, no effort has gone into it and that just proves to me that my weekends and evening no longer revolve around wine. I never get stressed anymore and crave wine to make me feel better so its not emotional involved in my life anymore, that’s the one that I am most proud of.

So, is it nice to be drinking again? It’s hard to keep control. Am I happier now I’m drinking again? No. So why am I drinking again, why not just stop? I think this is part of my journey and we all have a different one, I hope mine does lead to me being a slow lane drinker or a non drinker.

Emma x

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PCOS in a nutshell.

It’s very difficult to put PCOS in a nutshell but I am going to give it go.  All that I talk about is based on current evidence.  PCOS is still not fully understood even by the specialists, there is ongoing research being done and things change the more that is discovered.

What is PCOS?

Polycystic ovary syndrome.  To have the syndrome you will be diagnosed with two of the following and some females can have all three.

  • Hyperandrogenism – high levels of androgens causing symptoms such as oily skin, acne, facial hair, irregular periods and also alopecia
  • Polycystic ovaries – ovaries develop numerous small collections of fluid, called follicles and may fail to regularly release eggs
  • Oligo/Anovulation – where ovulation is irregular or not there at all

What are the characteristics of PCOS?

  • Menstrual dysfunction which can also lead to infertility or increased pregnancy complication
  • Insulin resistance and increased risk factors for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease
  • More prone to anxiety and/or depression
  • More prone to obesity or weight gain as metabolism could be up to 40% slower

It’s difficult to say what the treatments are exactly because it depends on what symptoms you have as no one case is the same.

Of course, see your doctor and they will provide medical treatment.

So how can a Nutritionist help?

We can help a huge amount.  Lifestyle is a key treatment.

Getting to a healthy weight/BMI – is shown to improve PCOS symptoms dramatically.  This will improve insulin resistance.  The method we use again will depend on the symptoms.  For example – one study shows that a low GI diet can improve menstrual regularity and improve insulin sensitivity. 

Metabolic adaptation – this means that you require less calories than someone without PCOS.  Sometimes it can be up to 40% less.  The harsh reality is that you will be on a lower calorie diet.  Seeing a nutritionist to help with this is beneficial as we can set you where you need to be and make sure the method for the lower calorie diet is that one that benefits your health.

Exercise – aside from helping to boost mood therefore helping to reduce depression and anxiety symptoms its help can help you reach your weight loss goal.  Resistance training will improve insulin sensitivity too.

Supplementation – research is still ongoing but there are some great studies suggesting supplementing with vitamin D and omega 3’s is very beneficial.

Summary

It’s a very complicated syndrome with no one way to treat it.  It needs a dedicated period of experimentation and recording to find them method for the specific symptoms.

I would suggest seeing a Nutritionist (me please) and committing to a 12 week plan.

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Myth Busting

There are so many nutritional myths out there they could all have their own article but instead I thought I would take a small handful of the ones I come across a lot.

Does high insulin level prevent weight loss?

NO!! The myth is that if you eat a high carbohydrate diet (even if you are in a calorie deficit), it releases the hormone insulin which then makes your body store fat.  Its absolute tosh and has never been proven, ever! I understand why people believe it!  There are some very high-profile doctors out there promoting this theory, they say low carb is the only way.  They have only one agenda, to sell their book!

There are many studies that dis prove this theory but I will name one that categorically disproves the insulin theory.  In this study by Kevin Hall (Hall et al. (2015) Cell Metab) there were no significant differences in body fat losses when comparing isocaloric low carbohydrate and high carbohydrate diets in a tightly controlled metabolic ward. 

Let’s have a carb party 😊

Eating little and often speeds up your metabolism and helps you lose weight.

NO!  This one is a very popular myth and still well believed.

This meta-analysis (Schoenfeld et al. (2015) Nutr. Rev.) found no significant differences between meal frequency and changes in body weight.  There are lots more studies to mention and all have found no significant difference when eating lots of meals compared to eating 2 big meals a day for example.

The only times eating smaller meals more often can benefit you is for muscle gain and that’s more specific to protein feedings.

Eat what fits within your lifestyle without any stress over timings!

Does eating red meat increase the risk of cardiovascular disease?

NO!  Meat eaters will love this one and as this one has been around a long-time people find it hard to not believe but evidence is evidence.

This meta-analysis (O’Connor et al. (2016) Am. J. Clin. Nutr.) showed that consuming more than 0.5 servings of red meat per day did not significantly affect lipid-lipoprotein profiles or blood pressure, both risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Many of the studies that do show a link to red meat and increased risk of CVD are correlation studies.  What this means is that the people taking part in the study were also less likely to be physically active, more likely to be smokers, drink more alcohol, have a higher energy intake and have a higher BMI which are all related to CVD so how can you specifically blame the red meat.

Rather than focusing on reducing red meat you would be better off getting to a healthy weight, being more physically active, drink less alcohol and not smoke.  All proven to reduce the risk of CVD.

Red meat is actually extremely nutrient dense food containing protein, fat, iron, zinc and many other micronutrients.  Just saying.  Moderation!

Is eating more than 7 eggs per week bad for your cholesterol?

HELL, NO and thank god!!

There are many studies to refer to so I am going to pick the one with the most eggs consumed in a week.  This study showed that eating 21 eggs per week for 12 weeks resulted in no significant changes in ‘bad’ cholesterol and actually improved other blood lipid markers for health, including levels of ‘good cholesterol and triglycerides. (Mutungiet al. (2008) J. Nutr)

However, I should state that there are hyper-responders to eggs (as with everything).  If you do have high cholesterol then remove eggs for a while, change nothing else and get re-tested, if its still the same then change other lifestyle factors and keep the eggs.

I’m a big egg fan.  They are super nutritious and contain small amounts of very nearly all the essential micronutrients we need and they have up to 8g of Protein per egg.

I think that’s enough for now, I may do another next week with another 4.

Are there any myths out there that you are unsure about??

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Things You Need to Know About Protein

Nearly every single client I see in the clinic is not eating enough Protein, both male and female.

Unless you are really into muscle gains most people don’t even know why we need it and what it does for us.  I have to try and change this as I think most Nutritionists would say it’s their favorite macro and we will prioritize it over the other macros, for good reason.

I’m going to try and keep the science bit to a minimum but do bear with me as its important you know.

What is protein anyway?

Proteins are large, complex molecules.  Proteins are made up of smaller units called amino acids, which are attached to one another in long chains. There are 20 different types of amino acids that can be combined to make a protein.  There are essential and non-essential amino acids that we consume through food.

But why do I need Protein?

Let’s clear one common misconception about protein.  You do NOT eat/drink Protein then turn into Arnold Schwarzenegger (if only).  We do need to consume protein from our diet to provide amino acids for growth and maintenance of tissues.  So, the amount you need really depends on your health and activity level.  If you have had surgery for example, eating higher protein diet will help your recovery.  If you are training hard with heavy weights you may need a higher protein amount to support the recovery of your muscles and help them grow.

If you are in a calorie deficit as you are trying to lose fat its important to keep your protein high so you do not lose muscle mass.

There are lots of other reasons that are not just muscle growth related as to why we need Protein, here are a few more and each one could have its own article!

  • Immune function support
  • It has a high thermic effect of food – which means you burn more calories metabolizing it
  • Supports weight loss – higher protein meals have higher satiety
  • Supports healthy nails and skin growth
  • Protein is also an energy source

Protein myths debunked

Myth 1 – You can only digest 20-30g of protein in one sitting – NOT TRUE
We digest all of our protein however you may not need more that 20-30g per sitting for muscle protein synthesis AKA muscle growth)

Myth 2 – Protein makes you fat – NOT TRUE
The only thing that makes you gain fat is a calorie surplus.

Myth 3 – To much protein is bad for your kidneys in healthy individuals – NOT TRUE
There is not one study that supports this statement. 

Myth 4 – Protein shakes are for body builders – NOT TRUE
Protein shakes are great if you don’t have time to sit and eat food, they are not better than food but a complete protein is a complete protein. 

So how much Protein should you be having?

The recommend amount is 0.8g per kg of body weight but evidence supports that we go higher than this.

I would recommend a guide of 1.2 – 2.7g for kg of body weight.

The 1.2 would be for a non-active healthy person, the more active you get then it should increase.  1.5 is a great start.  A 60kg female would need around 90g of Protein.

Why should your Protein come from?

We have complete and incomplete protein.  Remember those amino acids I mentioned at the beginning, well they are pretty important.  We need them to make up complete Proteins.

Complete proteins –They contain all the essential amino acids in adequate amounts

They are found in all animal-based protein sources

Incomplete proteins – which means deficient in at least one essential amino acid

Usually plant-based sources which can be difficult for vegan’s as they can’t have any animal products, its not impossible though.  Vegan’s need to be aware of how to combine their protein source to make up a complete one.  For example, mixing rice with beans.

Side effects of not getting enough Protein.

  • You are tired – your body isn’t recovering and its effecting your energy levels
  • Brittle nails
  • You are not making the progress you wanted in the gym
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Increased risk of bone fractures
  • Risk of infections and low immune, you keep getting sick

I think that’s enough incentive to check how much protein you are eating.  You may not even know that’s its low.  Take a look at your diet and see how much you are eating.

Tips to increase protein

  • Aim for 20g minimum per meal
  • Make your snacks high protein – tuna, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, eggs, lentils, chickpeas
  • Throw in a protein shake or bar if you are struggle to consume through food – you can add protein to your oats, smoothie or yogurt
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Hold the Salt or Pass the Salt?

For as long as I can remember we have been told that salt is bad for us, it will give you high blood pressure and you will have a heart attack!

Turns out that this may not be the case.

Let me say that first, too much of anything is a bad thing, so keeping in mind throughout this post that I am not encouraging excessive salt intake.

What is salt?

Also know as Sodium chloride.  Salt is 40% sodium and 60% chloride.  You can get many different forms of salt.  Sea salt, Himalayan salt and the table salt we all know to well. 

Why do we need salt?

Aside from it may be making our food taste better we actually need salt!  The essential minerals in salt act as important electrolytes in the body. They help with fluid balance, nerve transmission and muscle function.

What we all thought we knew about salt.

That too much salt contributed to high blood pressure and heart disease. New studies are now showing that this is not quite the case.  This study (link below) found there was no actual link between salt intake, high blood pressure and risk of heart disease.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21731062/

What happens if we restrict salt?

Evidence in recent years is emerging that restricting salt is bad for us as we are not getting enough.  It can contribute to the follow.

Reduced hydration, especially in athletes
Muscle cramps
Higher risk of heart attack
Headaches
Weakness
Cognitive decline in elderly
Irritability
Sleep disruption

Wow hey, who knew!

Which one is the healthiest? 

They actually don’t differ a huge amount, but it seems Celtic salt is the king salt! 

Table salt – is heavily processed however the pro’s to table salt are that it has iodine added to it so we do not become iodine deficient.  Table salt has the least mineral content with the iodine aside.

Sea salt – its less refined that table salt with a slightly higher mineral content.  However, it’s said to have a higher metal content and to contain trace plastics.

Pink Himalayan rock salt – is rich in minerals, containing all 84 essential trace elements required by your body. Pink salt can assist in many bodily functions, such as reducing muscle cramps, promoting blood sugar health and promoting healthy pH in your cells.

Celtic sea salt – is an unrefined, unprocessed and sourced from clean coastal waters.  Containing unprocessed and naturally forming minerals contains a higher mineral content than Himalayan and even contains trace amounts of iodine, naturally.

Benefits of adding natural salt

  • Balances electrolytes and prevents muscle cramping
  • Helps you stay hydrated
  • Can Improve sleep
  • Supports a healthy nervous system

Recommended daily amount.

The government guild lines for an adult are 1 teaspoon a day (6g).  If you already eat a lot of processed food, then you will be getting more than enough (maybe too much) so don’t add extra salt to your food.  If you eat lots of fresh food adding some natural salt will benefit your health.

Take home message – moderation again!!

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Should You Be Gluten Free?

Yes!!  If you have Celiac disease or non- celiac gluten sensitivity.

This really is one of the biggest myths.  The amount of times I have heard people say that something is gluten free so it’s healthy, or they have cut gluten from their diet and they feel so much better.

First of all, lets explain what gluten actually is.

Gluten is a group of proteins found in cereal grains. These proteins, called prolamins and glutelins, comprise 75–85% of the total protein in bread wheat.  It gives dough its elasticity and makes bread soft and chewy. 

In this day and age, for some reason and I cannot pinpoint when this happened, everyone started to blame their stomach issues on gluten.  I came across a study whilst looking at some research and it tested 336 people who thought they had a gluten intolerance and put them on a gluten free diet.  The results found that out of all those people on 27 of them had a gluten intolerance and 26 actually had celiac disease.  The others had issues because of a number of different issues.

Stomach related issues can be stress (huge one), Irritable bowel syndrome, a diet change, a wheat allergy or another allergy such as lactose. 

I have known many people remove gluten from their diet and have claimed that they feel better.  That’s great.  However, if you remove gluten from your diet you are also removing cakes, biscuits, all breads and other highly processed foods.  Of course, they feel better, they have removed all the junk from their diet and probably replaced it with fresh and higher nutritious foods than they were eating before. 

Other foods containing gluten are

Wheat
Spelt
Rye
Barley
Bread
Pasta
Cereals
Beer
Cakes, cookies, and pastries

Notice how most of these foods are the ones we tend to over consume?  Could this be why we feel so bloated and tired after eating them, because we ate too much?  Could it be not its not actually the gluten’s fault?

Are Gluten free versions better than normal versions of food?

Yes, if you have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity.  Otherwise absolutely not.  They are very expensive and usually have extra additives added to make then taste similar. 

If you do think you have a problem with gluten you should go to your doctor to be tested rather than just assuming it is gluten, you could be focusing your energy on the wrong problem when you could be fixing the right one. 

It is believed that 0.5-15% of the western population may have a reaction of some kind to gluten, its not as high as you would think.

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Support!

This week has been one of the the harder ones in regards to being sober.

In Australia Melbourne cup is one of the biggest events in the calendar. We get to finish work early, we get super dressed up and head off to whatever venue has been booked for us. Its a really good day. The free drinks flow, the food is usually delicious and everyone gets hammered. I am usually the one who is most up for it. This year was different. I wasn’t drinking. I was determined to still enjoy myself and not dread the event.

I called the venue ahead of arriving to ask what non alcohol drinks they have, they had Carlton zero, I was happy as! It make a difference if people think you are drinking then you don’t have to explain yourself.

We arrive at 12.30pm, the race is at 3pm, I left at 3.30pm LOL! I have 3 Carlton zero’s, had a nice time but I started to feel the turn in the way people were acting and knew it was my cue to leave. The main reason of telling this story is the my manager didn’t drink and stayed with me the whole time. She wanted to support me, it meant a lot as I would never ask anyone too or expect anyone too. It helped.

I am finding that a lot of people are very supportive, more so than I expected. My best friend is great and really understanding as to why I am doing it. My work colleagues get it. My 8 year old daughter who obviously doesn’t understand the main reason behind it but I think is benefiting from me not drinking the most.

The biggest shout out needs to go to my husband. He is one of my 10 followers and reads every post. If you read my first introduction to the blog you will know that one of my fears was it affecting our relationship in a negative way. We think that our relationship is built on our love to socialise (as well as other things of course) which in turn means our love for alcohol and getting boozy. Nearly 7 weeks to not drinking and I am thinking how wrong that is that we think that. Ok so we are not out dancing the night away until 3am, we are not having drunken conversations that will mean nothing the next day or laughing hysterically at things that are not actually not funny but how often do we even do that anymore? I think the last time was a year ago when we had a night out in the city.

Instead and I hope he will agree we are probably in the happiest place we have ever been. I don’t know why. When I try to pin it down one of the things that come to mind is because I or even we are less irritable, my mood is better so I am more tolerant, I feel calmer, I feel good! He does too, he is drinking a lot less and making an effort to eat healthier. If I didn’t have his support or if he moaned about it then this process would have been so much harder. I am so grateful for him.

Its made me realise how important support is and surrounding yourself with those who do support you is a must.

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FOMO

I don’t get it anymore. It probably stopped about a year ago for me. I used to get it bad. I never missed anything and said yes to everything. Every work event, every social event, literally everything.

When I first got to Sydney form the UK being invited out and attending was the only was to meet people and build relationships. You are not sure who you actually want to be friends with so you have to try them all out, right? So I would go out at least twice a week. They were all drinking events, some free and some not free, didn’t matter, all would end with me being drunk. There is a big bubbles culture here with groups of girlfriends. There’s constantly a bottle being bought by who’s ever round it is and your glass is always full. You cant monitor how much you drink therefore before you know it you’ve drank 2 bottle of prosecco and you are hammered!

After 2-3 years of this is Sydney I started to tire of it. Sick of the horrendous hangovers, bored of the bear fear and I would always get my self in trouble by talking to someone about something I shouldn’t to some I shouldn’t have said it too so would have constant anxiety.

I made some great friends along the way but if I look back I am confident I didn’t make them friends because they liked me wasted, surely it was because they actually liked me!

So yeah, I just got over it. I also know that after 9pm when everyone is sloshed no-one remembers anything anyway so i’m not missing out there.

These days I’m much happier staying in with the fam, movie nice food and bed at 10pm (if not earlier), or a nice meal with a friend, long walks or something active. S many people will say I am boring, that’s there problem, I couldn’t be happier doing those things.

So I think the new term is JOMO, joy of missing out. I love that.

Metabolism myths

Following on from my post yesterday.

I think its important to tell you about some well know myths in regards to things that boost your metabolic rate that we have all be saying to ourselves for years.

Myth – you must eat smaller meals and often
Truth – it doesn’t matter when you eat you meals

Myth – You must eat breakfast to kick start your metabolism
Truth – Nope, there is no evidence to support this

Myth – Eating after 8pm slows your metabolism.

Truth: Your metabolism has no idea if its 8pm or 8.05pm, it’s the calories over the day that matters, not the time.

Why? The thermic effect of food. This means that your body burns calories breaking your food down. So if you eat 2000 in 5 meals or in 1 meal it will still use the same amount of energy breaking it down. It doesn’t matter what time of the day it is.

Your metabolic rate

First of all, do you actually know what your metabolism is?  I feel like it’s something we say a lot but without actually understanding what the hell we are taking about.  

A common one is I eat breakfast because it speeds up my metabolism.  
What is Metabolism?Metabolism refers to all the chemical processes in your body.  From lungs breathing, heart pumping, brain ticking, body temperature, food digestion and processing.  All of which needs energy (calories)

The speed of your metabolism is commonly known as metabolic rate.

Here are 3 tips to increase that rate (and its’ not to eat breakfast)

  1.  Lift weights – increase your lean muscle mass, the more muscle you the more calories you burn.  This is why you may see your metabolic rate slow down as you age, because you are also losing muscle as you age. 
  2. Eat more protein – it has a higher thermic effect (burns more calories just processing it through the body) than carbs or fat, by a lot!
  3. Drink water – water-induced thermogenesis, cold water may help slightly more as the body has to heat up the water.  Another reason to drink more!

You are welcome 🙂

Happiness!

Happiness is an outlook not an outcome.

Any of these sound familiar?

I’ll be happy when I’m lost 10kgs
I’ll be happy when I move house
I’ll be happy when I get a new job
I’ll be happy when I get a boyfriend
I’ll be happy when I have a baby

I’ll be happy when its weekend.

All of these are outcomes. We tend to put our lives on hold until then, but what if we never get the outcome? A lifetime of unhappiness? What if you get your goal and it actually doesn’t bring you that happiness?

We have to find happiness in the process. We have to find happiness in the small things.

Let’s take losing weight as an example. We all see it a such a slog. It doesn’t have to be.

The process of getting there can be really fun. The small goals you tick along the way, the things you learn about your body, the changes you see, the changes you feel. If you enjoy the process then you’ll be so much happier.

We also need to appreciate the smalls joys we have through the day and find happiness in the things we can take for granted.

Examples for me are
My morning coffee
How my dog greets me in the morning
A morning hug or kiss from my husband and daughter
The sun shining
All the food

This is just to name a few. Such small things but things that bring my genuine happiness every day.

Try to think of 4 things for your day ahead that bring you actually joy or make you smile.

 

Enjoy the process!!

My Mum!

My Mum!


I started working with my mum’s and her nutrition in November 2020. She is now halfway through her journey.


My mum has struggled with her weight for as long as I can remember. She’s done all the diets, all of which failed her.


My mum has some health struggles. She has type 2 diabetes which is lifestyle related. She has high blood pressure, and she has suffered with poor mental health on and off since I was born.
Her quality of food was poor, she was quite inactive, she was prone to binges, and her protein was very low.
Fast forward 6 months and my mum has lost 16kg!!! How amazing is that! It’s the best thing she could have done for her health, and I am so proud of her.


How did she do this?

We created a calorie deficit by focusing on better food choices and upping her movement. In the last 4 weeks my mum has started tracking her calories so she can learn more about the caloric values of food and portion control.


She is 64 years, and she has just started going to the gym. We put together a plan that will help you maintain/build some muscle which is so important as we age. She also has a step target she tries to reach every day.


She has a protein goal to reach daily as its important for her bone/muscle health, immunity and recovery.


She includes fruit and veg into every meal.
She went to the doctors the other day and her blood sugars have returned to normal therefore she is longer diabetic. She has more energy, and she is loving going to the gym, she goes with her granddaughter which is super cute.


She still has a little way to go but I know she will get there.


There are no excuses for her. She knows she has to do this for a better quality of life.
It’s amazing what having that extra support can do to help you reach your health goals.

Have a little patience

We as humans expect immediate results.
Know this – Instant results are not going to happen.  You have to show up every day, take action.  You don’t have to be perfect, but action is better than no action.  One decision at a time.

That action can be anything that gets you closer to your goal and it needs to be consistent. For example, a step goal. I am always banging on to my clients to get there NEAT up! Why? If they are trying to lose fat then this goal is in place because it will create an energy deficit for them, if they don’t do it chances are that energy deficit is not as big. They won’t get the results they want.


Hit those non-negotiables consistently and you will get there! You have to be patient.

It’s the booze!!

I am one week into not drinking.

I know that’s not a lot to some but to me I am super proud, especially that I got through the weekend.


Last year I quit drinking for 6 months. It was hard at first, but it got easier. I felt amazing. Not drinking helped me get through my nutrition exams, helped me focus and get better sleeps. I also lost 3kg without trying.
No tracking calories
No cutting out carbsNo intermittent fasting
All I did was cut out drinking. Those calories add up without you even noticing.


Why am I telling you this?


Because I have been trying to lose a couple of KGs and it’s not been going to plan. I know it’s the booze. After one week my heart rate has dropped, my sleeps are deeper, I feel great, and I am making better choices.


I will try to not drink for 4 weeks but I’m just gonna roll with it and not put a time on it. I won’t be weighing myself either until after the 4 weeks.

I believe in balance; I believe in moderation. I know this contradicts that. We all want both those things, but sometimes we have to eliminate the thing that is bring us down for a while, once we get to where we want to be then moderation can be the next goal. Alcohol is something we do not need.


Tip – if fat loss is the reason, you halt the booze for a while, then do not replace it with anything, for example – alcohol free drinks that are high in calories. Or food.

Why I eat 4-5 times a day!

And it’s not because it speeds up your metabolism (myth)!


When I was a teenager me and my sister used to sit our rooms eating pringles and dairy milk chocolate. I am talking about a full tube of pringles and a 500g bar of dairy milk each, in one sitting. Back then we were just eating “treat” food whilst watching friends. Now this would be calling binging. We would do this a few times a week. This cycle of eating continued through my 20’s right into my 30’s.


It would be followed by feelings of guilt, disgust and self-hatred as to why I have no control. Oh and of course, weight gain.


Roll forward a few years and I think I have cracked it. I think it will always be a work in progress though.


Binging is usually followed on from some kind of restriction. This is the cycle I lived in for many years.


Here is how I cracked it, but it didn’t happen overnight.

My biggest tip – I make sure I eat every 3-4 hours. Which means I have 4-5 meals a day. Why? This way, you never quite get to that ravenous stage of hunger where you want to eat everything in sight. I always have snacks on hand.


If you think you have a severe case of binge eating. For example, you eat a high volume of food in one sitting, and it’s related to your emotions in some way, its actual a recognized disorder. You should seek help and visit a dietician.

Let’s deal with today!

If the long goal overwhelms you the adjust your mindset and focus your efforts on today.


We as humans are always looking for that instant gratification. Instant rewards. That’s ok.


Here’s the thing.


It is what we do today that will get us closer to that goal.


Get that instant satisfaction for every good decision you make, tick those boxes, go to bed each night knowing you did your best today.


One day at a time.


You will be where you need to be before you know it.

The diet after the diet

AKA Maintenance!

This is the most important part of the diet!

You lost the weight, now you need to learn how to keep it off.  And it’s not by going back to your old habits.
Let me tell you a harsh truth.  You will never be able to go back to your old ways if you’re old caused you to be overweight in the first place..  This is how we get yo-yo dieters.

You will forever and ever have to manage your energy balance, eat your fruit and veg, stay hydrated, sleep the best you can and be active if you want good health and a stable weight.  Truth!  FOREVER SO JUST ACCEPT IT!
Here are some tips to help you avoid that weight gain once you have achieved your goal.

  • Bring your calories up by 10% each week until you hit your maintenance.  You will need to be weighing in to do this.  For example, your deficit calories were 1600.  Add 160 week 1, another 160 week 2 and so on.  Your weight will fluctuate due to the extra food volume and probably water from the extra carbs.  You may see a slight gain, this should settle. 
  • Once you hit a calorie amount and your weight is stable, you feel good, then this is most likely your maintenance, you can live here now!
  • If you are happy at these calories you must keep up that same step counts and workouts.  If you reduce this, you will be burning less calories and you weight will then start to gain again.  If you want to reduce you steps, then you must reduce your calories too.
  • Eat your plants!!

I have a couple of spots left for August, message me if you are keen 🙂

Happy Anni to me!

Its Whole Health’s 1 year anniversary today!


What a year it’s been! I have worked with over 30 clients 121 on their Nutrition and lifestyle goals which isn’t bad to say I only do it 1 day a week. I have loved helping each client as they are all so unique, I have learnt so much.


I’ve also changed my mind 100 times on the direction I want my business to go.
So many of my clients wanted exercise advice which I am not qualified to give. I realised I could be a one stop shop and help them in more ways. I am about to qualify as a PT so I can also offer this service.


I have so many plans for my business that I’ve not even scratched the surface.


As a thank you for your support in the last year I am giving away my Nutrition guide. Its full of health info, useful tips and hopefully making it seem easier, which is always my aim.


DM me your email address if you would like me to send it over (if you are already on my email list you should have a copy sat in your inbox 🙂