Friday, April 30, 2010

Excuses - What Excuses!

This was sent to me last week. It's a good read and makes you think 'are you in this for the long term or are you just trying for a quick fix?' Which in my opinion never works.


I wanted to talk today about excuses for why many people don't workout or miss workouts. Here's a common theme I see all the time at the gym...

Somebody that was doing well working out and finally starting to get results at the gym all of the sudden stops coming in for several months. When they eventually come back and start working out again a couple months later, they're usually back in horrible shape, have gained back all the weight or more, and lost most of their strength gains that they worked so hard for.

So while talking to them, I'll ask where they have been the last couple months, and that's when the excuses start... Perhaps it was that they had a special assignment at work and have been "too busy" to work out lately -- Or perhaps it was that they had a shoulder or arm injury so they thought that they couldn't work out during this time -- Or perhaps they had a knee, ankle, or leg injury so they thought they couldn't work out. -- Or perhaps they were busy with house renovations, or family issues, or too busy with the kids, etc, etc, etc... excuse, excuse, excuse.

You can see where I'm going with this... if your health & fitness and how you look and feel is important to you, then there is no such thing as an excuse. Either you want it, or you don't, and it's either going to be a priority in your life, or it's not! After all, your health and fitness determines not only how good you're going look and feel every day that you're on this planet, but also how long you'll exist on this earth to enjoy the time you have with your friends and family...

So with all of that said, why wouldn't you make your fitness a priority in your life!

Here's my opinion on the example excuses above...

*Excuse #1 - Too busy at work:
Ok, so why don't you squeeze in really brief but really intense 5 minute workouts before and after work each day... after all, that's only 10 minutes of your time, and despite popular belief you CAN stay in excellent shape working out as little as 5 or 10 minutes a day (as long as your time is well spent with the right exercises and right intensity).

Part two tomorrow

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ward off Winter sickness

This is the cold and flu season, so perfect time to feature this article about how to ward off sickness... although these tips can work anytime of the year to keep you healthy.

First of all, let's clear up a misconception about why more people get sick in the winter, compared to warmer times of the year.

So many people still have the misconception that the cold temperature itself can make you sick...This is not true. There are 2 theories that I think have the most validity as to why more colds, flu, and sickness occur in the winter:
  1. It may have to do with people generally spending more time indoors in the winter and thereby being exposed to more germs in enclosed buildings.
  2. People don't get much sunlight in the winter and therefore, Vitamin D levels in the body drop significantly, which reduces immunity. Most people don't realize how important sunlight and Vitamin D levels really are towards so many functions inside their body. Even for people that get outdoors in the winter often, if you live to the North of an imaginary line from approximately Atlanta to Los Angeles, the suns rays are not strong enough in the winter months to stimulate any significant Vitamin D production inside your body. This aspect of lack of Vitamin D production and lowered immune strength in the winter months is what is most likely the REAL reason why more sickness goes around in the winter.
But the purpose of this article is not to debate about the causes of winter colds and flu... the purpose is to provide tips to help bolster your immune system to fight off sickness before it gets a hold of you. So here is my little ritual that I've been using for a few years now and really seems to keep me from getting any colds, flu, or any sickness at all. As a matter of fact, I can't remember the last time I was legitimately sick. Every time I feel a cold or something starting to come on, I do this ritual, strengthen my immune system, and my body always fights it off before I actually get sick....

Focus on Vitamin D (but not in pill form) You need to be careful about artificial forms of vitamin D in many vitamin pills, as artificial vitamin forms are almost always either ineffective or possibly even detrimental compared to natural forms.

For this reason, you need to get your vitamin D naturally. The sun is the best source, and leads to a powerful strengthening of your immune system when your body can naturally produce Vitamin D from moderate sun exposure.

Since you may not be going on a tropical vacation this winter, how can you still keep Vitamin D levels from falling dangerously low in your body? Well, the best food sources of natural Vitamin D are egg yolks, fatty fish, organ meats, and some mushrooms. I also like to take a SMALL dose of cod liver oil daily in the deepest months of winter to make sure my vitamin D levels don't fall too low. Make sure to take only small doses of cod liver oil, as large doses can give you an overdose of Vitamin A. I take half of the recommended dose on the bottle.

FYI - The synthetic version of Vitamin D is ergocalciferol (vitamin D2), while the natural form is cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). btw, fortified milk has added D2, not D3... so that's not a good source.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pork, Lime & Peanut Salad

A lot of you ask for low carb food etc so here's your first recipe. I'll be posting new recipes here regularly, so be sure to check back.

  • 800gm pork fillets,sliced thinly
  • 6oml lime juice
  • 4cm piece ginger grated
  • 500gm choy sum or bok choy chopped
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 medium carrots cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves
  • 1 cup coriander leaves
  • 4 green onions thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts(toasted unsalted)
Sweet Chilli Dressing
  • 1tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp sweet chilli sce
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 small red chilli finely chopped.
1) Place pork in lg bowl with lime and ginger place in fridge 3hours or overnight.

2) Make dressing-place in ingredients in jar shake well.

3) Stir fry pork in batches ,cover to keep warm.

4) Stir fry choy sum with the water until just wilted.

5) Place pork,choy sum in large bowl with carrot,herbs,onion,and dressing; Toss gentley to combine,sprinkle with peanuts.

Nutritional breakdown
Per serving 6.8gm carbs / 10.4 fat / 321cal / 48gm protein
(serves 4)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Training & Eating

Talk about being slack! I started this and haven't kept it up, so now we are going to let all you teamtrainers know about it. That should keep me honest.

Waka ama

As most of you know, Cindy and myself have been doing Waka ama (outrigger canoe) for the last 18months. We love this sport you compete with the best bunch of people you could hope to meet.

Low impact, so no broken bones sprains etc. As you all know the older you get the harder it is to bounce back from injury. This sport enables as to use our gym training, compete, and not get hurt. Unlike a lot of you who always seam to be hurting yourselves, playing social sport.

I encourge you to come down to the club and give it a go its addictive.

Team Training

The results we see at the end of each and every T/T 5 week block just blow us away. New people getting fit and enjoying there training. The hard core who come to each and every block not missing a day pushing themselves to levels they didnt know they could acheive. You guys rock! keep up the AMAZING WORK.

The weather is starting to cool down but don't let it put you off your training. A polyprop under your t-shirt is all you need just make sure you bring something warm to wear before and after training. Also NewWorld sell Thermotech gloves, only $10, that will keep those fingers of yours warm as toast.

Food & Eating - the second installment

Food has far more functions that just making us feel full. It can control the way we look, think, feel and function. Every cell of your body needs energy and certain nutritional goodies to work! Despite this, we rarely make decisions about food based on what our body needs - most of us eat when the clock indicates it’s time, or because after a glass of wine with friends, we just can’t resist that delicious looking cheese!!

When it comes to food, the first step to making better choices is to have a clear understanding of what nutrients your body needs to keep it working at its best! The truth and reality is: we don’t need saturated fat to make our bodies work, and sugar is not helpful for most people and provides no other nutrition than the burst of energy it supplies. The flip side of this is that for our bodies to work at their best, we need to focus on the time we are eating our meals. Also, remember in NZ there are several things we need to be aware of, such as...many of us don’t get enough iodine (a mineral!), we are often short on omega 3 (helps the brain and a million other things...) and more fibre really would help us all...errr... ‘function better in the lower area!’.

Transforming the way you eat is not about DIETING and not being able to enjoy the foods that you love, but it is balancing up what you REALLY need for your body to work, with tasty treats which are only for now and then. For results from your training, look at the way you shop, cook, plan, serve, think and feel about food. To get the right food in – now and always - start by helping yourself make better choices, EVERYDAY! For more information about making good choices and being healthier now and always, check out

Claire Turnbull – Director of Mission Nutrition
Claire is the Nutritionist for Healthy Food Guide magazine, the Millennium Institute of sport, Newstalk Zb, Easymix FM and regularly features of TV shows including breakfast, Campbell live, Good Morning and Close up.