Today marks our 45 days on the 90 day plan. First half – done & dusted. It seemed so far away when we started back on the 15th January. Time flies anyway, it is how we use the time we are given. And, I really made sure I wasted none this year in efforts to get in shape. First two months of the year are probably the toughest for us as a family because we have four family birthdays in a space of less than six weeks. And, yet, both my husband and I celebrated all of them in style and cruised through it without a cake, simple carbs or alcohol whilst allowing everyone else, right before our eyes, to enjoy themselves with all the food and drinks that were not on our plan. I think we surprised ourselves even. Where was this resolve last year? I do not know, but, I certainly found it this year.
It has been exactly four weeks since I decided to embark on the journey of cleansing my body of sugar and toxins, reducing my overall body fat and really proving to myself that I can be this fit and strong woman and mother in her mid forties. I am already delighted with the progress I made to date, and, even more importantly, I enjoyed every moment of this journey! My husband is too with already his lowest ever body fat of 14%.
Why was this important to me in the first place, I wonder? When I ask myself that, my immediate gut feeling leads me to the answer that has less with body image, but with the disciplines and struggles one needs to have in order to achieve it. I do not necessarily want a muscly body, the one you see at body competitions, but I do admire the sacrifice and hard work, blood and sweat one goes through in order to achieve it.
I have been coaching clients into a better health since 2004, however, despite all the trainings and education, I have never had a health coach myself to guide me and make me accountable for the choices I make in order to achieve my wellness goals. Despite my own best efforts, while I was in what is considered a pretty GOOD shape, I have felt for a while that I needed to take it up a notch and get to the next level so I can inspire more people that we can all be fit at forty, fifty and beyond. Of course, I wanted this for myself too.
“On 24th November 2016 I ran out of clothes, nothing I owned fitted me anymore.
Time for change, I joined a gym, started walking and did exercise workouts at home, I was 86.5kg at the time, I worked hard with the exercise and two months later – I weighted 84.2kg, I could not believe how little weight I had lost for all the effort!
To up my exercise I joined my local CobraFIT workout class, I was surprised to see a few people I already knew at the classes and was very welcomed by all and really enjoyed the workout.
BREAKFAST is a family affair in our household. My children were as young as 6 months when they started with the shakes and I have taken shakes throughout pregnancy too, so this is something that we ALL do and enjoy and understand the nourishment value we get from it. My children will have a smaller shake with some fruit and a honey on whole grain toast or an egg or some whole grain cereal such as porridge as an example, my husband and I will only have a 350ml shake in soya milk or greek yoghurt OR even made in water with some of our Protein Drink Mix to help with protein, but without the sugar present in milk. I also add some of our Oat Apple Fibre too to keep my fibre level high from the start of the day. I also add some fruit or even vegetables to my shake and this breakfast. It gives me 25 grams of protein per shake and over 10 grams of fibre. I add more protein for my husband, so kick starts his day with 30 grams, which is optimum for the man of his built.
My healthy breakfast is between 250 – 300 calories which is just perfect for anyone wishing to lose weight or even maintain.
My parents have been my inspiration throughout my life, each of them for different reasons…
My father died when I was 19 from lung cancer and I grew up feeling that he was destroying his life with smoking and an unhealthy life in general. My mother, on the other hand, whilst having gone through breast cancer treatment herself, has always been very aware of the power of nutrition, has always taken care of her health… She made nutritious concoctions using plants and herbs, sought after ancient health recipes, even drank raw quail eggs daily to recover after her breast cancer treatment (I only discovered as an adult that they are full of anti-inflammatory Omega 3 fats), amongst other things. I am talking Bosnia & Herzegovina, in 1970s… Not modern Britain… 🙂
This week I celebrated my 43rd birthday! October has most definitely always been my favourite of all months and having my birth date in October I find rather special. This year I spent most of my birthday on my own, apart from being treated to a lovely massage in the morning and a great, fun evening with family over cake and champagne and, in between, literally hundreds of Happy Birthday messages.
Being on my own, however, was just what I needed and almost my own gift to myself, long walk through town, treating myself to a lovely meal, as well as a long bath at home that I generally never have time for as well as it being an opportunity to reflect on my life and work and these few but short hours of solitude is probably the best gift anyone could have given me.
Why should you bother to exercise and how exactly to squeeze it in your busy lifestyle?
Or are you, perhaps, thinking: everyone else is doing it except you, so you will look out of shape and feel silly?
Wrong. It is NEVER too late to start exercising.
Exercising is not just for under 30s. Your body is yearning to get lively as it is designed for activity, but, if allowed, it will begin to seize up, fatten up and generally degenerate. So, whatever your age, moderate exercise can help with your wellness as it builds and strengthens muscles, improves skeletal density (keeps osteoporosis at bay), gets your heart pumping, helps shift plaque from your arteries, helps mobilise toxins trapped in fat cells, uses up stored fat reducing stored weight, and many more benefits.
Exercise, however, is just one part of the equation. You may have heard this before, or you may hear it for the first time, in which case you may well be surprised, but your health is 80% down to your nutrition and 20% down to exercise. Therefore, poor fuel will equal poor performance.
Being healthy could be incredibly easy, if one possesses the right knowledge and is ready to make the necessary changes in their diet and habits without resorting to fad diets and quick fixes as they clearly do not work.
Here a few tips that I have learnt over a decade from the leading doctors and nutritional experts in their field and that is a basis of how hundreds of people that came to me for help and advice got great results:
1. FREQUENCY. Start eating 5-6 SMALLER meals per day! Frequency is one of the keys to stable blood sugar levels! So, do not eat like a Sumo Wrestler! Breakfast Skipper (Or Any-Meal/Snack-Skipper) – this is for you!
2. PROTEIN. Every meal and snack MUST contain Protein OR Protein + Complex Carbohydrate (Think FIBRE) for a stable blood sugar level that, remember, is THE KEY to a fast metabolism. 1 gram of protein per 1 lbs of lean muscle is about right (1.2-1.5 grams if exercising, up to 2gr if building muscle)! I measure muscle mass for my clients.
3. PLANT PROTEIN. We do not have enough of it in a diet! I get it through my Herbalife Formula 1 Shake. The best meal on the planet. How are YOU going to get it? I don’t know if you are ready for solutions that are already available. You can go my way, I would be the happiest to oblige, or you can figure out your way, it is your choice, just REDUCE the amount of animal protein in your diet. Eggs/ bacon for breakfast, chicken for lunch and beef for dinner and perhaps fish in between is a sure way to weaker bones and kidney problems due to the acid nature of animal produce that leaches Calcium out of your bones, not to mention links of animal protein to cancer.
4. FIBRE. Most of you don’t have enough, research shows around 15 grams per day, so no wonder so many suffer from digestion related problems! Minimum 25 grams per day for women and 35 grams for men and you will not have as much digestive issues. Can help with eliminating fat too.
5. SUPPLEMENTATION. It is a general knowledge now, so please also don’t believe your so called expert friend that we can get everything from food. We can not and there is a growing (and sufficient) body of evidence to support it. Also, don’t just go for your cheap local store supplement. Unless it is a Pharmaceutical Grade, you indeed are wasting a few pennies you are spending on them! Naturally, I take Herbalife’s Formula 2 Multivitamin, XtraCAL and RoseGuard, our powerful antioxidant. You get what you pay for!
6. WATER. Minimum 2 litres a day! Many need a lot more! Around 350ml for every 10kg of body weight is a good guide! Know how much you drink! Tea and coffee do not count! Water on it’s own or with some fresh lemon juice! If you do not like water – start liking it! It is a BASIC human need after AIR itself! We are creatures of habit – you CAN do it!
7. FRUIT. Limit to 2-3 servings per day and try not to have it on its own, add a few nuts, seeds or some natural yoghurt, especially if you are overweight as insulin will be sensitive and you need to offset sugar from fruit with some protein. Ideally 10 grams of protein per snack and 20-25 grams or protein per main meal, without blowing your calorie ceiling.
8. 5 A DAY MYTH. You need MORE, basically! Japanese believe they need 17 a day (although their servings of fruit and veg are 60 grams per serving, not 80 grams – that makes it 13 A Day here in the UK). They supplement on top too! Can you beat that? I personally would trust Japanese. They are one of a few nations that have their health figured out!
9. BREAKFAST. THE most important meal of the day, as your mother must have told you! Each time you skip it or have toast or cereals – you contribute to FAT STORING or, even worse in my opinion – causing nutritional deficiency! My family and I have Formula 1 shake instead. 20+ grams of plant protein and all the nutrients our bodies need. If this is not your cup of tea – happy for you to go and figure! Just DITCH your Cereal (Killer).
10. EXERCISE. Last for a reason, but not THE LEAST! Your weight loss results will be result down to 80% above mentioned nutrition (following every single tip from above, not just one or two) and only 20% exercise. Of course, benefits of exercise outweigh its benefits just for weight management, but as long as you don’t think you can out smart your body by eating junk and exercising! Because – you won’t! Nutritional needs of your body for Protein and Fibre as well as Vitamins and Minerals increase when you exercise, so, you need a great support from above! Stick to 30 Minutes per day, 5 Days a Week. Mix of Cardio, Resistance and Weight Training. Check out our CobraFIT!
11. 100% MENTAL ATTITUDE. Yes, there is 11 and THIS is a magic ingredient. It is a First AND Last ingredient. A bad attitude is like a flat tire. You can’t go anywhere until you change it. Work on yours daily.
There is a lot more I could have mentioned, like serving sizes, Omega Fats, importance of keeping your Cortisol levels in control, taking rest, talking about the importance of keeping your body in an alkaline or PH Balance state for weight management/ health, alcohol, coffee, foods for heart health etc… But, I think the above guidelines take care of it, so, you do not need to know. Not for now. See how great you feel with “just” the above and you will want more!
Hope it was simple enough and, if in any doubt, just ASK! In the mean time, be happy and healthy. Generate happiness and health through making a daily decision that you will be exactly those two things! That is a healthy attitude, to start you off! Salut!
Ruth has been my client since July 2015. She originally came to trial our High Intensity Interval Resistance Training workout, CobraFIT, at the very new venue at the time, Bathford School in Bath that happens to be very close to where Ruth lives. After a trial and a Wellness Evaluation that included Body Composition Check and Nutritional Consultation, Ruth decided to start on our 3 Day Nutritional Trial and after great results, decided to start on the plan that would include personalised meal plan to which she consistently added a CobraFIT class each week.
I was well aware that Ruth was getting great results and my other clients who happen to work with Ruth were also telling me how impressed they were with her obvious transformation, but when Ruth walked into the CobraFIT session last Thursday in her brand new skin tight fitness gear, everyone’s jaw dropped as she looked simply amazing and transformation was obvious. Here is her story:
“The change in my weight and body shape are now obvious for all to see. Friends are stopping me in the street astonished at the amount of weight I have lost and it really is all due to following the Herbalife programme and changing my lifestyle habits too.
“A year ago I was a desperate woman. After a year of struggling with diets I had lost only 7 pounds of the 4 stone I had gained over the last 5 years. A new sedentary job and two babies had left me drowning in baby weight – standing only 5’4” tall, I was 13 stone. As I approached my mid 40s I had begun to believe I would never wear my favourite size 12 clothes again.
I didn’t feel myself. I felt out of control and dominated by food. I was scared I would end up like people you hear about who can’t leave the house. I was embarrassed, breathless, tired and down. A life of shapeless tent-wearing awaited.
I turned up at Sanela’s not really knowing what to expect but her immediate injection of positivity and conviction made me want to give her Herbalife three day nutrition trial a go. I lost a pound and knew this plan was for me. Each week Sanela met with me, texted me and kept me on track. She taught me how to choose foods to keep my appetite under control, gave me snack ideas and adjusted my diet to analyse where I was going wrong (who knew you could consume a day’s worth of calories just in cappuccinos!).
As energy returned and I stopped poisoning myself, I found extra focus to meditate and set up positive cycles that fed into each other. More energy – more focus, more focus – better choices – more energy… If you put spare energy into things that are good for you your wellbeing will grow.