Do you VALUE YOUR HEALTH?

How much do you value your Health?

Seems like an easy question, but you wouldn’t believe how many people don’t actually put any value on their Health….

Where does Health rate in your priorities?

Would you choose investing in your Health over that new pair of shoes or that night out?

Now I know these sound like crazy, random questions but its something I often think about.

For me – Health ranks near the top. I would rather invest in my health (Whether that means gym, classes, nutrition, food, time) than buy something materialistic.

Now listen…there is nothing wrong with buying yourself something or enjoying a night out with friends, but when it comes to a choice between that and you HEALTH, what would you choose??

So where is this going I hear you say?….

Well I see a lot of people “wanting” to lose weight/tone up/results and then also saying they’d love to attend a gym/class/buy a dvd/join an online program…..but they never seem to invest or they umm and ahhh it – but then in the same breath will go to starbucks 3 x times spending about £15 a week/go on a night out every weekend spending about £100+/waste a £5 here and there on meaningless stuff and eat out for their lunch (normally crappy food) a few times a week…..Im sure if you added all that up you’d see what I mean.

People say they don’t have the “money” or disposable income to be able to invest in their health and fitness, but will go out splurging on materialistic things/alcohol/ciggies…etc…..guess what, its called “Priorities”

Ruthless?? Maybe so…but you and I both know its the truth.

Ive used the word “INVEST” a lot because thats what it is….when you INVESt in your Health, you are making a commitment and showing how much you value your health, don’t see it as an expense, as this just brings negative feelings and reminds you of nasty bills you need to pay every month.

You INVEST in your home to make it nicer/better/cosy…..so why wouldn’t you invest in your health this way

Investing in your health shouldn’t be seen as a bill…its a MUST

BTW if you have done the things above – it doesn’t make you a bad person, its your life and your choices…but I ask WHY….WHY wont you value your health more??

Spending £5 (ish) on a Fitness Class that is going to get you results (in my eyes) far outweighs that large coffee at a coffee shop

Spending some ££ on an Online Program or Personal Training (in my eyes) far outweighs that pair of red shows you bought, that you cant walk in but you bought anyways and may wear once.

How much do you value your health???/

Its totally up to you what you spend your hard earned money on, but before you moan that you feel fat or that you aren’t getting the results you “deserve” then step back and take a look on what you are investing your money on.

Are you ready to make an investment in YOU and YOUR HEALTH?

Are you ready to VALUE YOUR HEALTH more?

Jen x

Say YES in 2017

At the beginning of a new year, we usually focus what we are giving up – sugar, alcohol, takeaways, bad habits

However, what happens if you focus on what you really want instead of what you dont want?…staying in the positive as opposed to negative

So I ask you, in 2017 what are you saying YES to?

It could be more cash, more success, more meaningful relationships, more FUN, more exercises more healthiness

When you focus on on what you DO want rather than what you DONT want….your thought processes change and its like you are telling the universe…IM READY!!!

Thoughts become things (well Buddha said anyways)…so whatever you think of thats what you attract, so think more of what YOU DO want…and that’s what you’ll attract, I dare you to give it a go 😉

The thing is, when it comes to our dreams we often have a list of no-nos, like if we are wanting to lose weight we say “no weight gain, no laziness” or when we want to find a relationship we say “no losers, no cheaters” but we often don’t think of our yes-yess…. so this means that are attention and focus is more on what we don’t want than what we do want.

So What are YOU saying YES to this year???

Let me know, lets share ur positivities and make 2017 the year we LOVE OUR BODIES and give them what they deserve

YOU ARE WORTH IT (Whether you lose L’Oréal or not haha)

I believe in YOU

Jen x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Calling all Busy Working Women in Liverpool

Busy Working Women workshop 2017

So whats the workshop all about?

Well it’s for YOU..…and all us likeminded women who just find themselves so busy, the workshop is going to give you all the tools you need to really kickstart yourself in 2017 and smash those goals.

Workshop will be Mon 9th Jan at 630pm – £20pp

30 min Fat Burning HIIT Workout – guaranteed to help you burn off all those Mince Pies and Prosecco
30min Easy Fitness Yoga Workout – guaranteed to de-stress you after the Christmas Period and leave you feeling detoxed.
45min talk on my TOP TIPS for smashing your Goals in 2017, fuelling you with all the tools you need to take charge
Handout of TOP TIPS, so that you can start to organise your Health and Fitness Schedule for 2017
Video Presentation (after the workshop) with all my TOP TIPS and lots of advice to really help you, plus you an always refer back to it at anytime if you need that kick
Q&A at the end, so that you can ask me any burning questions or concerns you have about starting this new journey

SPECIAL BONUS – 2 mini home workout videos sent to your email after the workshop

Are you ready to make 2017 the year you shine and smash everyone of your goals?

Then don’t delay, I would LOVE for you to be there and be part of this workshop…with only 10 places available BOOK NOW

Book your space now and know that you are already starting 2017 with your best self in mind.

www.bookwhen.com/jensbookings

Jen x

And so 2016 is nearly at the end…..

Hey Everyone

I was going to do this in a LIVE Video (you know how much I LOVE my videos) but I don’t think I could do it without being all emosh….therefore Ive decided to write this as a blog instead

2016 has been a very very tough year for me..most days Ive struggled to get out of bed, which therefore has made turning up to teach and put on the smile and motivate people very hard….you see at the end of 2015 I lost my best friend (My Grandad), as most of you know, and it really took its toll on me. There has been days I cant even motivate myself, never mind anyone else…some days Ive cried to and from classes, but then managed a smile for you all..and you all made it a little easier to smile and do the classes

Why am I saying this? Because I want to say THANK YOU to all my Class Member and Clients for all your commitment, energy, hard work, smiles and motivation in ALL Classes this year, without you all I don’t know how I would of carried on.

Having a business and doing a job I LOVE has been the 1 thing that stopped losing complete control of my life, don’t get me wrong its me tough and really hard for me, but I found some strength within and gained strength from YOU ALL that helped me get through it, even in my darkest days.

YES I know there will always be days like this, we all get them, but if I keep doing what I LOVE – nothing can stop me…..and if I keep being able to teach people like YOU then it’ll all be fine

Thanks for an amazing year of classes, its been an absolute pleasure to teach you all and watch your fitness levels improve and I cant wait to see what 2017 brings.
I hope you all have an amazing Christmas, spent with those who you love

Jen x

LOVE YOUrself

Love Yourself

Do you Love YOU? I mean deep down really LOVE YOU….and not in a conceted way or a selfie pout kinda way….I mean Self Love.

This is something I have recently started getting into and reading lots of books by Hay House, Mel Wells and looking into lots of research and also through my recent love of meditation from “calm”

Now when I say self love….it may sound weird and some people actually think it’s wrong to love yourself and that’s fine, I mean we are al different after all. But how can you love anyone else or expect anyone to love you when you one love yourself.

YOU are an amazing human being, with so much potential and so much to give….you have gotten where u r now with all of life’s ups and downs and yet here you are living and smiling.

If you were to speak to your best friend the way you sometimes speak to yourself…..how do you think they would feel? Speak to yourself the way you do your best friend whom you love, be your own best friend and show yourself some LOVE.

LOVE YOUR BODY – yes you can – regardless of lumps, bumps, curves – who cares? It’s YOUR body – you live in it and no1 else does…so learn to love it and suck it up buttercup, you have an amazing shell of a body to live in…start showing it some love,instead of finding the flaws and criticising yourself….really look at yourself and smile and see beyond it all. Love your body enough to NOT restrict food and Love your body enough to NOT see exercise as a chore.

LOVE YOU – think of all the people who love you – they do for a reason right? because you are worth it (flick ur hair in the style of L’Oreal if you must) but they love you because they see something special in YOU…..so start looking deeper and seeing that same something special.

LOVE YOUR FOOD – probably one of the biggest relationships we all have is with food…am I right? Love/Hate and all that jazz. We’ve all been “on a diet” haven’t we, we’ve all restricted ourselves and stopped ourselves from eating something we love because of the calories (blahh blahh) – and yes of course it’s good to eat healthy and make the right choices…BUT it is also OK to have a little bit of what YOU LOVE every so often…and when you do DONT beat yourself up about it….so what?? Create a great relationship with food and you will never have to diet again.

TELL YOURSELF “I LOVE YOU” EVERYDAY – I started a book called “mirror work” and it’s 21 days program and it gives you tasks to do – which means talking to yourself into the Miri with positive affirmations, now I don’t mean full on convos and looking like a nutter…but it’s allowing yourself to look yourself in the eye everymorning (or whenever u pass a mirror) and saying out loud/in your head – that I LOVE YOU or some other positive affirmation, rather than a negative comment about yourself…yes at first it seems weird and a little scary but trust me after a few days it becomes norm and also…you start believing and after all that’s all that matters.

ITS OK TO LOVE YOURSELF

Show yourself some LOVE and reach deep inside your heart and soul and start to realise how amazing you are and how much you deserve to be LOVED.

Now go and tell yourself that I LOVE YOU!!!!

Jen x

The Life of a Fitness Instructor

The Life of a Fitness Instructor

There is a lot of misconceptions around the Life of a Fitness/Class Instructor…..the majority of people think because you are a Fitness/Class Instructor then life is all rosy and that we are perfect and eat perfect and don’t need to worry about our weight and how we luck…….OMG how wrong is that! A lot of people also expect that all Fitness/Class Instructors should be size 8 skinny minnies wearing crop tops……oh please as if!

Yes I love my job, I love teaching but the Life of a Fitness Instructor isnt as glamourous as it seems…..I get a lot of “easy for you just teaching a few classes  day” or “You get to exercise and get paid…lucky you” or even better “ you must be able to eat what you want with all the classes you do” and the other hand when someone once said “GOD you should be skinny the amount of classes you do”….. The Life of a Fitness Instructor is full of fun. laughs, smiles, new challenges, confidence, happiness and the chance to meet people…and this is the side everyone see’s and admires (and the side we thrive off of course), when in truth the other side of the Life of a Fitness Instructor (the side no1 see’s and understands) is full of sweat, tears, nerves, injuries, mental and physical draining, self doubt, fatigue….carrying on when you are sick and having the balls and confidence to stand up infront of a room full of people and be the 1 everyone is concentrating on and looking at when inside you are falling apart….that is the hardest part ever! Its like show business…standing up and basically performing and for that hour (or whatever) putting a smile on your face and forgetting everything. Also Standing up infront of a room of women, who look up to you and feeling a like a big frump in your clothes and feeling like a fraud….even though no1 else in the room feels that way but YOU……thats a toughie too…..

Yes I eat “clean” I watch what I drink, but on the same note I am human and we all have slip ups, bad days and days when we are just NOT on track….YES I ADMIT IT IM NOT Superhuman!!!!  I make sure I have enough food to fuel my body for what I am doing throughout the day, but being a Fitness/Class Instructor also comes with working unsocialable hours….teaching classes morning, afternoon and evening….which you might be thinking “yeh but I work 9-5” well yes of course but you get structured lunches and breaks……I basically eat when I can! The majority of my classes/clients are morning, lunchtime, teatime….therefore I never eat at the “right” time (not that there is such thing) and sometimes I’ll even admit that I skip meals because of timing and tiredness some nights when I get home 8-9pm and I am physically and mentally too tired to eat or make food (lazy as it may sound, weve all been there) and of course by being this way, again it in no way helps the body. What I will say though it that 80=90% of the time I am spot on, always have snacks, protein shakes, fruit, nuts to hand and try and make food…no matter how tired I am.

I need to train myself (weights) and eat the right foods….otherwise, no matter how many classes I teach, I would balloon up…..but the more classes I teach, the more out of shape I get…honestly, no messing, take last night for example….I was squatting and lunging arounf my bedroom in pairs of demin shorts that I have bought for USA (size 14 should I add) to try and get them to somehow stretch and fit me, because half of them dont….do you know how sole destroying this is? YES I hear you saying….well there you know, we do understand (well I do) how YOU feel we YOU say you cant fit into something

Being a Fitness/Class Instructor does not make you super human…..we are actually just human like everyone else, and we battle with the same weight, self confidence and body image issues as everyone else…………its just we know how to hide it well 😉

Take myself for an example (well kinda seems right seens as I am the one who is writing this) I teach 19-20 classes a week, have 3-4 PT clients a week also…..on top of this actual Physical Work….I also train 3-4 times a week (weight training) and practice prancing around and making routines up, pretty physically demanding hey? So you would expect me (according to society and their views) for me to be a size 8 munching on lettuce and having a shake for lunch…and skipping brekkie…..yeh yeh right as if!!!!! If I was a size 8 Id be on a drip and if I didnt eat I would of killed someone by now, these are the misconceptions I mentioned earlier about us Fitness People.

On top of all the classes we teach, we spend hours and hours outside of class preparing routines, music and class lesson plans….they dont just miraculously come to us in class…..but again this is the side no1 ever sees

In truth….the more classes I teach, the more out of shape I get…YES you heard me right……Us “Aerobic” Instructors can suffer from what Charles Poliquin calls “Chunky Thigh Syndrome” …this is when your whole body has adapted itself to aerobic exercises (due to the enormity of classes taught) to the point where it stores more fat…which turns the body into a fat storing machine and this fat tends to be stored in the lower body..hence the term!!! Yes you may lose weight doing cardio…but you will be you but smaller….hardly any (if any at all) tone to the body…..So as yo can imagine because I teach about 19-20 classes a week, and the majority of them being aerobic based (Zumba, Aerobics, Aqua) and the odd LBT and Tone class, can you now see why the more I teach the more out of shape I get…..but this also applies to the general public who attend “too many” cardio/aerobic based classes a week.

I do what I do because I LOVE it, I get such a buzz off helping people, making a difference and getting people to achieve their goals…..but man is it hard going!

No matter how many years Ive been teaching, I still get nervous before every class…especially when starting a new class or if new people attend an existing class….but I suppose this shows I still care and I have passion for what I do. But 1 thing I want to say is (and I think as Instructors we have ALL experienced this at some point in our careers)…..the worst thing EVER is when people come to your class and look at you, talk about you and basically show no interest at all and when on water breaks the snigger with their friends and its so obvious its about YOU……No matter what class you go too…always show the Instructor some respect but YOU dont realise how hard it is to stand up infront of people and have their full attention and them watching and following every move, word and action you do…..Every Instructor has experienced this, all I will say is always put yourself in the instructors shoes…..BUT again this works both ways and Instructors should also welcome and embrace new people and new classes and make them feel comfortable in class, and I am a firm believer in that is what I do in every class I teach, I would hate for someone to ever feel out of place, uncomfortable in my presence

We are NOT superhuman.
We have the same body issues as everyone else.
We DONT eat lettuce and lick dust.

We are just like you

SO next time you go to class….think of this and give your instructor a smile

I LOVE my classes and my ladies…….

Jen x

Say NO to Caffeine

What Is Caffeine?

Caffeine is a drug that is naturally produced in the leaves and seeds of many plants. It’s also produced artificially and added to certain foods. Caffeine is defined as a drug because it stimulates the central nervous system, causing increased alertness. Caffeine gives most people a temporary energy boost and elevates mood….but as I said this is only temporary!

Caffeine is in tea, coffee, chocolate, many soft drinks, and pain relievers and other over-the-counter medications. In its natural form, caffeine tastes very bitter. But most caffeinated drinks have gone through enough processing to camouflage the bitter taste…..fancy a cuppa??

Got the Jitters?
Many people feel that caffeine increases their mental alertness, but higher doses of caffeine can cause anxiety, dizziness, headaches, and the jitters. Caffeine can also interfere with normal sleep…..erm why would we want these effects on our body?

Caffeine can aggravate certain heart problems. It may also interact with some medications or supplements. If you are stressed or anxious, caffeine can make these feelings worse. Although caffeine is sometimes used to treat migraine headaches, it can make headaches worse for some people….an the latter is more common in most people. Caffeine addiction is a matter of perspective, but the fact is that millions of people begin their day with it, and can’t seem to function without their daily tea/coffee or energy/soft drinks!!

Facts about Caffeine
#1.It does not boost your Energy.
Caffeine does not boost your energy.It is a mild stimulant which acts temporarily. But many people are not aware of this.Though people who take caffeine regularly are generally less sensitive to its effects.

#2.It increases anxiety.
Caffeine causes more anxiety. It also causes jitterness and you will feel more active than normal time. Too much anxiety is also very bad for your health. It leads to many problems.

#3.It increases blood pressure.
Regular intake of coffee can also boost your blood pressure. This affects your health and blood pressure and can become a serious problem to handle. When people are stressed and taking coffee, this will increase your blood pressure

.

#4.It reduces many minerals.
Minerals like Magnesium ,potassium and zinc are needed in building up of your body in day to day life. Constant drinking of caffeine leads to reduced minerals in your body.

#5.It is hard to get out of it.
Consuming caffeine daily will become addictive and it is very hard to stop it. For stopping it you have to gradually reduce the intake to stop it. More people need their fix of morning coffee to startup their day.

#6. It is hard to sleep.
Some people find it harder to sleep if their caffeine intake is more than 2 cups. Their sleep gets disrupted and they will have trouble getting to sleep. As if sleep isn’t enough of a problem on its own!

#7. Stopping of caffeine leads to temporary problems 
Once you planned to stop caffeine and you start reducing the intake you will find many problems like depression/cravings…an the feeling you ”NEED” that caffeine fix. Your day will not go as it normally used to. This will pass.

#8. Caffeine does not improve memory.
Some feel that intake of caffine will boost your memory but it is not true. Intake of caffine does not boost your memory.

#9. It reduces calcium for your bones.
Calcium is a very important mineral for your bones. Caffeine intake 
reduces the calcium for your bones in your body and increases the risk of osteoporosis. Women are the mostly affected if calcium is reduced.

#10. Caffeine does not give you energy.
Many people drink energy drinks which contains caffeine. Actually caffeine does not give you energy but stimulates your nervous system andadrenals. So you think you feel energised……it’s a big fat coffee lie!!

#11. It increases stress in your body.
Constant intake of caffeine leads to stress in your body. It will take long time before these levels come to normal……Youll seein big offices all the Business Execs constantly supping Coffee?!!

#12. It stimulates the flow of stomach acid.
Caffeine also stimulates the flow of stomach acid. So people who have stomach or ulcer problems should avoid it….and people who don’t, you might as well start avoiding it anyways!

#13. It does not have any nutritional value.
Caffeine does not contain any nutrition benefits to the body. Intake of caffeine is not useful to you in any ways. So it is better to avoid it……what more of a reason do u need??

#14. It can lead to dehydration.
Caffeine intake more and more can lead to dehydration, which can then lead to headaches e.t.c blah blahhh

#15. It already raises your blood sugar.
Caffeine raises your blood sugar levels which if increases more can lead to diabetes and other related illnesses (extreme cases)

If you are trying to beat caffeine addiction, you may have problems with caffeine withdrawal. Here are some of the symptoms:
Fatigue
Drowsiness
Headache
Depression
Anxiety
Difficulty concentrating
Decreased motivation
Flu like symptoms

To avoid these problems, reduce your intake of caffeine gradually, beginning with what you normally consume at night, and then reducing your consumption during the day in gradual steps….then RID yourself of ALL of it.
Eating “Clean” to keep your blood sugar stable will help avoid energy crashes that make you want to reach for that fizzy drink or cup of coffee….think do u REALLY NEED it? REALLY!!!

Proper structured exercise, helps you maintain stable blood sugar levels, and avoid the energy fluctuations that cause you to reach for the caffeine to perk yourself up, thus avoiding the negative health effects of caffeine, without caffeine withdrawal…..get moving!!!
What should you have instead?:
WATER (it’s a no brainer really isn’t it)
Herbal Teas
GREEN TEA
Tulsi Tea (before bed)
Try it and see how you feel, at first itll be hard and you will HATE it…but think of the long run ☺

Do you eat your greens?

Superfoods (Super Heroes of the Food World)
Yes you’ve heard it before…..there is such things as super foods and didn’t your mum always say “Eat your Greens”….
Watercress, Broccoli, Spinach, Sprouts, Parsley and Kale will help lower Estrogen Levels (want to get rid of that Bum & Thigh FAT?….then these are the Super foods you need….they are like the SuperHeroes of Bum Fat assassination)

Green Leafy Veggies are the dogs wassits…..here is why:
Reduce risk of Heart Disease and Cancer
Contain easily digestible proteins, enzymes and vitamins.
They act as transfusions for Blood Health
They act as a tonic for the Brain and Immune System and a cleanser for the Kidneys (like Clearasil for the Kidneys)
Highly Nutritious
Good sources of Fibre and Iron
GREAT for helping estrogen balance in hip, bum an thigh fat
Helps reduce FAT from those stubborn areas
Help regulate bodys PH Levels
Helps eye sight
Increases the Livers ability to detoxify
Contains LOTS of Vitamins and Minerals that are ESSENTIAL for the Body
Improve the functioning of the Immune System
Support the Cardiovascular System

Green plant foods balance your pH. Many modern foods are acidic in nature and can lead to health issues, so balancing your body with neutralizing foods like greens keeps your body’s pH at a healthier level.

Some dark greens include omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are important to many of the body’s functions, especially for brain function.

Chlorophyl in green plants acts as a blood detoxifier.

They are high in nutrients and enzymes necessary for your body to function, such as iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium and vitamins, including vitamins K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins. (Dead foods like white bread, refined sugar, cookies and the like rob you of health and vitality.)
In greens, you’ll find a variety of phytonutrients including beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which protect your cells from damage and your eyes from age-related problems.

Greens are powerful antioxidants, and they support the immune system.

And these are just some of the benefits of eating greens. Living a longer more productive life is the best one!

Kale: This nutrition powerhouse “offers everything you want in a leafy green,” says Nussinow, who gave it her first-place ranking. It’s an excellent source of vitamins A C, and K, has a good amount of calcium for a vegetable, and also supplies folate and potassium. Kale’s ruffle-edged leaves may range in color from cream to purple to black depending on the variety.

Spinach: Popeye’s favorite vegetable has 20 calories per serving, plus it’s packed with vitamins A and C, as well as folate. And because heat reduces the green’s oxalate content, freeing up its dietary calcium. Spinach leaves can be cooked quickly in the water that remains on them after rinsing, or they can be eaten raw in salads. This mild-flavored vegetable can be added to soups, pasta dishes, and casseroles.

Broccoli: Rich in vitamin C and is also a good source of vitamin A, potassium, and folate. Americans eat about 6 pounds of it a year. Its stalks and florets add both crunch and color to stir-fries. While some kids may call this veggie “trees,” they often like it best raw or steamed with a yogurt-based dip.

Cabbage: Although paler in color than other leafy greens, this cruciferous vegetable is a great source of cancer-fighting compounds and vitamin C. Available in red and green varieties, cabbage can be cooked, added raw to salads or stir fries, shredded into a slaw, or made into sauerkraut.

Watercress 
Watercress is a leafy green vegetable with a peppery flavor and is often added to salads or used on top of sandwiches. It is a good source of beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that may prevent and manage arthritis, cataracts, and macular degeneration, as well as maintain healthy hair and skin. Watercress is also a good source of vitamin K, which may prevent bone fractures.

Lettuce 
There are various types of lettuce, but all of them are leafy green vegetables and are low in calories, making them a terrific addition to any weight-loss plan. Some types of lettuce, such as romaine, green leaf, red leaf, bibb, and butterhead, are good sources of antioxidants, including beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and quercetin, which help prevent arthritis, cataracts, and macular degeneration, as well as maintain healthy hair and skin. Lettuce is also a good source of potassium, a mineral involved in managing blood pressure and preventing osteoporosis. In addition, all lettuce varieties contain vitamin K, which may prevent bone fractures.

Arugula 
Arugula (also known as rucola and rocket) is a cruciferous and leafy green vegetable with a peppery taste and is often used in salads. It is a good source of potassium, a mineral involved in managing blood pressure and preventing osteoporosis. Arugula may help boost memory due to phytochemicals — antioxidants found in all cruciferous vegetables. Like other salad greens, arugula is very low in calories, which makes it a great addition to any weight-loss plan.

Health Benefits
Dark green leafy vegetables are, calorie for calorie, probably the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food. They are a rich source of minerals (including iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium) and vitamins, including vitamins K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins. They also provide a variety of phytonutrients including beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which protect our cells from damage and our eyes from age-related problems, among many other effects. Dark green leaves even contain small amounts of Omega-3 fats.

Perhaps the star of these nutrients is Vitamin K. A cup of most cooked greens provides at least nine times the minimum recommended intake of Vitamin K, and even a couple of cups of dark salad greens usually provide the minimum all on their own. Recent research has provided evidence that this vitamin may be even more important than we once thought (the current minimum may not be optimal), and many people do not get enough of it.

Vitamin K:
Regulates blood clotting
Helps protect bones from osteoporosis
May help prevent and possibly even reduce atherosclerosis by reducing calcium in arterial plaques
May be a key regulator of inflammation, and may help protect us from inflammatory diseases including arthitis
May help prevent diabetes
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin, so make sure to put dressing on your salad, or cook your greens with oil.
As a general rule, you should aim to eat at least five servings of vegetables daily (that’s about 2 ½ cups of cooked vegetables), and that includes leafy greens. As long as they’re prepared in a healthy way, leafy greens, like other nonstarchy vegetables, are a great addition to your diet and offer countless health benefits.

Leafy greens are full of vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting phytochemicals. They are rich in fiber, an important nutrient for weight loss and maintenance because it keeps you feeling full and helps control your hunger. Fiber can also lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and help to temper blood-sugar swings by slowing the absorption of carbohydrates into your bloodstream after meals. This lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Leafy greens also contain a lot of water, which helps keep you hydrated and contributes to beautiful skin and hair.

Some leafy greens, like collards and kale, are particularly rich in calcium, which helps keep your teeth and bones strong and reduces your overall risk for osteoporosis. Calcium also contributes to muscle function and blood-pressure management. Leafy greens contain potassium as well, which further protects against osteoporosis and helps manage blood-pressure levels.

The antioxidants like vitamin C, lutein, and zeaxanthin that are contained in leafy greens may help reduce your risk of cataractsand macular degeneration. Vitamin C helps the body make collagen too; collagen is a major component of cartilage that aids in joint flexibility, may reduce your risk of arthritis, and keeps your skin and hair healthy and beautiful. Research shows vitamin C may also slow bone loss and decrease the risk of fractures.

Leafy greens that contain beta-carotene, such as collard greens, spinach, and Swiss chard, contribute to the growth and repair of the body’s tissues. Beta-carotene may also protect your skin against sun damage. Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body, and food sources of beta-carotene are the best way to get your vitamin A fix, since extremely high doses of vitamin A in supplements can be toxic and lead to bone, liver, and neural disorders as well as birth defects. Food sources of beta-carotene are entirely safe, though, since the body regulates how much beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A.

Leafy greens are an excellent source of folate, which can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and memory loss. And since folate contributes to the production of serotonin, it may help ward off depression and improve mood.
The vitamin E found in green leafy vegetables works with vitamin C to keep skin healthy as you age. This vitamin also helps protect your skin from the sun’s damaging rays and may help reduce your risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.

Almost Carb-Free
Greens have very little carbohydrate in them, and the carbs that are there are packed in layers of fiber, which make them very slow to digest. That is why, in general, greens have very little impact on blood glucose. In some systems greens are even treated as a “freebie” carb-wise (meaning the carbohydrate doesn’t have to be counted at all).

Struggle to get them into your diet? Maybe these ideas will help
Add your greens to Smoothies…yes I know it sounds crazy BUT I add Spinach to nearly every Smoothie I make and all it does it turn the actual drink green…you cannot taste it at all and its a GREAT way to get your daily intake….
Make a stir fry and throw all diff veggies in, mix with meat and rice/cous cous and then it wont seem too much
LOVE a roast? substitute a few potatoes for some veggies
Make a Salad….pack it with all ur fav veggies and enjoy
Experiment…you never know you might surprise yourself

With all the benefits mentioned above, you would be crazy not to get more greens into your diet!!!!

Sunshine, Fresh Air & Vitamin D

Sunshine, Fresh Air and Vitamin D

With the lovely weather we are currently experiencing, it felt kind of apt to write this Article…so I hope it inspires you to get out into the Fresh Air 🙂

Now I must firstly say if you are considering going out into the “Sun” please make sure you keep hydrated and that you are fully protected at all times….whether you are just walking in it or exercising….we dont want no lobsters strutting around

So with all this talk of Sun, Fresh Air….may I present “Vitamin D” maybe not a Vitamin you are very familiar with, and this is because for so long Vitamin D has only really been used to prevent rickets……BUT NO Offence Vitamin C but Vit D may now be the bee’s knee;s as you body relies on it….so move over C and make way for D!!

Vit D also always used to be the “robin” the Calciums “batman” but this is all a change – Vit D actually encourages the absorbtion & metabolism of Calcium and Phosphate levels in Blood!

Vitamin D is a major player in overall Health and may be just what the doctor ordered. Vitamin D is the “Sunshine Vitamin”……but as we all are in thw UK…we dont really see a lot of sunshine throughout the year (which actually explains why so many people suffer from SAD in the Winter) To Avoid getting SAD in the Winter make sure that when the sun is shining that you try and get out there and top up your Vit D stores….you never know when you may need them.

Anyways…here I am waffling on about how amazing Vit D is…..well incase you think its all BS…take a look at the list below:
Boosts you Immune System
Can be obtained from Sun, Food and Supplements (foods: Cod Liver Oil, Eggs, Fruit and Veg)
Helps maintain a Healthy Weight
Regulates Blood Pressure
Helps lower MS and Diabetes levels
Helps prevent the onset of Osteoperosis and Arthritis
Helps reduce Stress, Anxiety and Depression (how happy do people seem when the sun is shining??)
Anti Inflammatory agent
Regulates Blood Sugar Levels (which will in turn help with Diabetes and Weight)
Increases overall Health and Wellbeing in people

Lots of us are deficient in Vit D – without even realising it, maybe from the foods we DONT eat or just for the simple fact we dont get enough sun/daylight as we should…lets be honest if you are stuck in an office all day with artificial lighting and air con…its not really the ideal way to get VIt D stored topped up. Now I am not saying give up your job and go and work outside…but what I will say is GET OUT whether its on your break, lunch or even getting off the bus a stop earlier….ENJOY this sun and increased hours of daylight whilst you can….because we will all soon complain when its gettin darker and colder. Even if you just get out for 10-15 mins…surely thats better than nothing?

FRESH AIR.

When its cold and dark in Winter the last thing we all want to do is go outside, so we stay all snuggled up in the warm….but gone are the days of that….I know we are having a lucky spell at the moment with the weather, but surely this should make you want to make the most of it all?? As I said before, whether it means just walking somewhere, standing outside on your lunch or even exercising outside…the benefits to Fresh Air are endless:
Increase Overall Health (as above)
Lowers Stress and Depression
Lowers Blood Pressure
Helps you Sleep zzzzzzzz
The “Happy” Chemical “Seretonin” is higher in the brain during this time of year…when the days are longer…..so lots of happy smiling people……surely this is a good thing
By exercising outside – this will provide the body with more Oxygen, that will assist with metabolism and helps muscles convert the sugar to energy and makes the body more efficient _ BONUS!!!!

So what are you waiting for?? Log off Facebook and GET OUTSIDE…because if this isnt going to last for long….you better make the most of it!!!

Get some VIt D onto your skin, absorb into your body and top up the stores

Breath in the Fresh Air and full your lungs

You’ll be amazed at how FAB you will feel just by doing this….Oh and did I say its FREE!!
The sun has got his hat on….hip, hip, hip HORAAAYYYY!!!

Smile…Enjoy…..Live!!!

Eating Out Healthy – Liverpool

So following on from the recent survey one of the things requested that I write about was healthy eating choices whilst eating out. So I thought Id put together this short little article with some hints and tips on eating out and some places Ive personally visited and found healthy and yummy! I am sure there are plenty of other places…always new places cropping up isn’t there.

Anyways……People often say “I cant stay on track when I go out for food as its hard and no healthy choices…Im sorry but “bulls**t” – it just takes a little bit more patience and a little bit more time…and lucky for us, a lot of restaurant and eateries are getting a lot more savvy now…especially when it comes to allergies and specific nutritional requirements.

If you are wanting to stay on track, healthy and avoid the BAD stuff, but still wanna be able to eat out and enjoy yourself…here are some of my top tips!!

Be fussy – if you want substitute something on the menu for something else – ASK!! Seriously you will be surprised how easy it is, after all the restaurants want to make you happy and you want to enjoy your food – I always substitute chips for Sweet Potato or ask for some veggies – I mean its nothing too technical for the chef
I always opt for Fish or lean meat – or sometimes I quite often go for the veggie option….well as long as it isn’t pasta (vom)
Avoid the sauces and dressings….they are laden with sugar and salt
Dont think you always need to have a dessert…why? If your food is nutritious enough, you should be full and feeling good from your meal….if your food was sugar and bad fats laden…yes of course your body is going to crave a sweet dessert
Get some nice water with your meal – dont have an alcoholic drink!! If you need something sweeter than water…ask for sparkling water with a slice of lemon/lime or mint….they have all this  behind the bar – so no biggie
I love a plate of veggies and fish/meat – it fills me, is nutritious and doesn’t leave me feeing bloated and wanting more
I always ask for more veggies and more often than not….as a side dish Veggies is an option!

Most restaurants/cafes now have Gluten Free, Veggie, Dairy Free and Vegan options…but sometimes you will need to ASK!!! They normally have a serrate menu or will be able to tell you want meals meet your nutritional criteria. Just ASK…..after all if you dont ask you dont get!!

Places Ive personally eaten at (bearing in mind I am gluten free and dairy free)
Leaf – Bold Stree
GIVE Kitchen – Brunswick Dock
Bills Kitchen (L1 – under Bierkeller)
Pizza Express – they do a fab superfood salad and offer GF on most of their dishes
Marino Lounge – New Brighton Prom
Crust – Bold Street
Zizzi – L1
Las Iguanas – L1
Pret – Liverpool
Trattoria 51 – Old Hall St
Egg Cafe – off Renshaw St

So go along and try them out

There are so many more options now -a-days and people and companies are becoming a lot more savvy…so YES you can eat out and stay on track and be healthy, its just about being more aware, asking questions and looking at the menu!!!

If in doubt – go online and check the menus before you eat there or ring ahead….it may sound like a big fuss but for the price of your health – it really isn’t

Now go out and enjoy yourself!!

Jen x