Category Archives : Nutrition and Healthy Eating

A place to discuss healthy eating, wellness and clean foods.



Have you every heard the saying: To succeed in life you MUST work hard and make sacrifices?

What about.. To lose weight you MUST eat salad and starve?


Or maybe- Look at this boxer, he must eat the best diet ever and train all day to be that good!


There are so many more things that we know we MUST do. Or so we have been told anyway. But let’s look at some “successful people”… lets face it some of them just inherited their parents money. Have they really worked hard and made sacrifices?!


Some of the best athletes on the planet eat 10,000 calories a day and have abs… So erm… whats this eat little thing all about hey? Maybe just fuel your body appropriately?


Tyson Fury notoriously eats burgers and chips and often says how he skips the occasional training session yet hes the champ!


We are told throughout our lives that we MUST do this or that to achieve our goal.chicken-and-broccoli


But it is not the only way.


Today we discuss how what peoples perceptions may be of the “norm” could be completely untrue! Do you really think that eating those little bread sticks all day is truly the best way to lose weight?!


Let’s first talk about a guy I over heard in Starbucks.


“My mate Steve, right, hes like in awesome shape, great abs and stuff, he trains 3 times a day and eats 16 meals, all broccoli and chicken. I swear mate this is the way to go.”

Some background

The reason I am rambling on here is that yesterday I visited a conference in Cardiff and listened to Dr Kitrina Douglas. If you don’t know who she is, she was a international golf super star winning the European Championships, English open, has been on various TV and radio shows and has written several research papers.


She was speaking at a conference about how players in the sporting world are told that they MUST dedicate their entire lives, sacrifice everything, attend the training camps, and follow a certain blueprint or they will never make it.


She read pieces from her research where the majority of sports people admitted that the sport was basically their life, and everything else came second.


She then read from some who took a different view. An alternative approach and still succeeded.


For example Kitrina herself did not follow the standard protocol. She played golf because she enjoyed it and her dad was her inspiration. She didn’t think that when she won a tournament that her dad would now be proud of her, she already knew he was regardless of the result.


This stuck in my mind yesterday and I wanted to write a little piece about how diets seem to have influenced peoples minds over the years.


First off:

You must eat very little so that you can lose weight!


This has been put in everyone’s minds since they were young. “Go on a diet. Eat less. Stop binge eating. Cut the carbs out. Fat is bad. ”


All of this is something that we are told from an early age. We believe this because it is what everyone says. So it must be true right? When we then see someone eating clean healthy foods, perhaps high in fats, we question and think they must be cheating. Because it is not the norm is it.


But in truth eating more nutritious foods, eating good fats for satiety, eating carbs for energy and eating protein for repair and maintenance (an extremely simplistic way to look at it) and eating plenty of it, we can see that the body will benefit far more for it.


In fact I urge you to pop over to Mezz blog on how she tackled Anorexia and now, by eating a LOT more food, looks healthy and strong.


Boxers must sacrifice 16 hours of their day to train and eat right or they’ll never succeed

hmmm. Really. lets see Tyson Fury, world champ… He is a self proclaimed FAT MAN of boxing, and Anthony Joshua who is a chiselled looking machine has been offering Fury some weight loss tips. But has that stopped Fury from succeeded? Far from it he is despite anyone’s feelings toward the man, a World Champion. THE world champion. You don’t get there by pure luck. He does work hard but he often says he eats burgers and takes lots of time off training. One quote from a press conference: Fury said: “Boxing doesn’t even mean much to me otherwise I wouldn’t go into camp four stone [heavy] every week having eaten every pie in Lancashire and drunk every pint in the UK.”


So what about Carbohydrates?


NO Carbs before Marbs they say?!

Yet carbohydrates are the primary source of fuel from our brain. Completely avoiding them is something that is going to do far more harm than good, be it physical or psychological.  Let’s briefly discuss orthorexia;


  • an obsession with eating foods that one considers healthy.
  • a medical condition in which the sufferer systematically avoids specific foods that they believe to be harmful.
  • Read up on that and tell me that avoiding carbs and milk and fruit is healthy…



In summary, we are brought up believing in certain health myths, yet most of the time there is another way.


You need to find a diet and lifestyle regime that fits your lifestyle, fits your goals and most importantly doesn’t ruin you psychologically.


Just because your mate Steve down the gym eats broccoli and chicken 24/7 18 times a day washed down with a protein shake, doesn’t mean this will work for you.


There are far too many factors that will influence your choice in a diet and the most important factor is YOU.


Don’t be like Steve. There truly is no need!


If you need assistance with training or diet just get in touch.

So is protein now bad for you?

So is protein now bad for you?

If you were listening to any kind of news yesterday you would have certainly heard that “Protein supplement advert claims ‘wrong and immoral’ ” as the British Dietetic Association announced that they believed marketing for some products is both ‘Wrong and immoral’.

This was countered by the body representing the sports nutrition industry who said that extra protein allows people to train harder.

You can see the full report on the newsbeat website, but all you need to know is the above and that the industry that sells protein supplements is growing year on year and is worth BILLIONS.

In this post I am going to talk a bit about why we need protein, in what form and any advice that the NHS give. I will give my personal view on protein supplements.

What is it?

Protein is a very important macro nutrient that we certainly need in our diet. It is key to building and maintaining all types of body tissue, famously muscle tissue. Amino acids are used for muscle growth and can be sourced from our proteins we consume.

What do the Doctors say? Where can I get my protein from?

You can read on the NHS Living Well site ( that some forms can be dangerous, and mainly that we should aim to get our protein from our meals, from sources such as meat, eggs, dairy and beans.

 How much do I need?

So the Food standards agency says only 55g on average, but dietitians and publications will say 1.2-1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight if you are active or especially lifting weights.

Many body builders aim for more, but they are probably wasting their time, money, and calories!

I think the modern version of “p*ssing away your money” is drinking too much protein supplement!

That’s right, if your body can’t process the excess you will excrete it in your urine.

My take on it?

I have no problem with clients adding some protein supplementation to their diet if required. Sometimes for convenience (it is easier to shake some powder at work from a tap than try to cook some omelettes!), sometimes for enjoyment (Have you tried musclePharm-bars, mmm) and sometimes to just top up the amount of calories they have had (within reason depending on macros).

What I do have a problem with is companies that sell shakes as a means of weight loss by advertising “healthy weight loss” “RAPID muscle growth” “meal replacement” etc.

There is no way that a protein shake is a replacement to a good healthy, nutritious and well prepared meal, but if you find it easier and quicker to grab a protein bar as a snack or supplement in between meals, then go for it!

So is protein bad for you? NOPE. Can it be if you take too many supplementation products, yes it certainly can.

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You don’t need to move

You don’t need to move Mountains!

Something funny happened last night, and I need to talk about it here because it relates to fitness and life in general.


So I got in from a boot camp and gym session and sat on the sofa next to my girlfriend and she said to me “I think we need to look at moving house, I have looked around and have found this three bedroom town house with two reception rooms…”

I was a bit stunned as we moved in three months ago to a really nice flat and it’s awesome.moving-mountains

Just stay with me a second here…

So I was trying to work out where this sudden need to move came from, and upon questioning it turned out that we didn’t have enough room in the house.

I broke it down further by asking more questions and came to the conclusion that it was basically all because I stored my clothes on the bed in the spare room instead of putting them away properly.

So it was nothing to do with the actual size or anything to do with the current flat.

But the solution to my girlfriend was to simply move house around Christmas time.

Now let’s look to relate this to fitness…

I NEED to go on a super shake diet three times a day so I can look good!


I am going to train 3 times a day so that I can eat pizza. 

Part of my role as a personal trainer is to break down the barriers and get into the problem that a client really has.

The above examples show that some people think of the most drastic solutions to a problem, but actually ignore the real underlying problem.

Instead of going on a crazy mad shake to lose a load of weight, how about addressing the problem that got us there in the beginning. How about maintaining a good diet, training program and healthy living lifestyle to get to a desired goal, and keep it there, instead of panicking a month before an event?!

Or instead of training 3 times a day to eat pizza (oh yea I am guilty of this one at times) why not again adopt that steady balance of good and bad food, with a training plan that will help you achieve your goals?

There’s often an underlying problem that needs addressing, and I think it is safe to say we can dig deeper to find a root cause, rather than assuming its one thing and panicking massively!

So next time you go on a bit of a crazy path, why not ask yourself 5 times why.

Here’s an example imaginary chat:

Client: “I am really fat and I have no choice but to sell my house and go and train in a Buddhist temple in Thailand…”

Trainer: WHY do you NEED to sell your house and move to Thailand to train at a buddhist temple to reach your goal?

Client: “Well I need to lose weight and it’s a great program”

Trainer: But WHY does it need to be in Thailand and so expensive?

Client: “Errrr well I have found it online!”

Trainer: “But why havent you looked at other ways of training, maybe in the UK or near home?!”

Client: “Yeah I guess I could do that!”

Trainer: “Why do you need to adopt this crazy approach anyway, WHAT IS YOUR MAIN PROBLEM?”

Client: “I just cant keep motivated. “

Trainer: “Ok so here we have a start to finding your problem!”

Next we need to ask WHY to the motivation question. You can repeat this process many times to really find the underlying problem.

I think you all get the point here, but I thought it was worth sharing!

So basically, no I am not moving again and will be a good lad and put my washing in it’s allocated spot!

Asian inspired quick beef noodles

Give our beef noodles a go and let us know what you think!

Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
1 small handful fresh basil leaves, roughly choppeddesert-18
1 small handful fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
1 tbsp fish sauce (nam pla)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 inch piece fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp honey
60g (dry weight) vermicelli, or use noodles of your choice
1 tsp ghee or coconut oil
350g lean stir fry beef strips
2 spring onions, finely sliced
8-10 small asparagus spears
1/2 – 1 red chilli, finely sliced
100g sugar snaps

to garnish:
1 tsp unsalted peanuts (optional)
1/2 tsp sesame seeds

In a bowl, mix the lime juice and zest, mint, basil, ginger, fish sauce, soy sauce and honey. Bring a small saucepan of water to the
boil. Add the vermicelli, stir well and cook for 2-3 minutes until tender. Drain. Melt the oil / ghee in a frying pan over a heat. Add the beef and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring to brown all over. Transfer beef to a plate and set aside. Reduce heat to medium.
Add the spring onions, asparagus, red chilli and sugar snaps to the frying pan. Sauté for 3 minutes, stirring. Add the sauce to the frying pan and stir well. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the vermicelli to the frying pan and stir.
Transfer the contents of the pan to serving bowls. Top with peanuts (if using) and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.


Rich chocolate and strawberry brownies

Treat yourselves with our tasty rich chocolate and strawberry brownies

120g fresh strawberries
160g Greek yoghurtdesert-19
50ml unsweetened almond milk (or use milk of your choice)
1 egg
2-3 tsps stevia (or use any granulated natural sweetener)
50g porridge oats
20g cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
60g dark chocolate chips
20g chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 200 C / 400 F. Line the base of a medium sized square oven dish with baking paper. Mash the strawberries in a large bowl until all lumps are removed. Add all of the remaining ingredients except the chocolate and walnuts and mix thoroughly.

Stir in the chocolate and walnuts. Transfer mixture to the oven dish, and gently even out the surface with a spatula.

Bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes. Slice into 9 pieces.

Nectarine, vanilla and chia smoothie

Give our nectarine, vanilla and chia smoothie a try for breakfast this morning.

It’s easy all you need is…

180ml unsweetened almond milk (or use milk of your choice)desert-17
1 small ripe banana
1 ripe nectarine, stone removed
1 tsp chia seeds
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 ice cubes

Put all of the ingredients into a blender, almond milk first and pulse until creamy.

Add more almond milk if required, to achieve the desired consistency.

Mango and chocolate sundae

Treat yourself this weekend to our mango and chocolate sundae!

100g frozen mangomango-and-chocolate-smoothie
70g ripe banana
30ml unsweetened almond milk (or use milk of your choice)
3g cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
30g crunchy nut butter (any variety)
30ml cold water
15g fresh berries to decorate

Place the mango, banana and almond milk in a blender. Pulse until creamy. Spoon into a dessert glass and refrigerate.

Place the cocoa powder, vanilla extract and nut butter in a saucepan over a medium / low heat. Add 1-2 tbsps cold water. Stir well until combined. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Spoon the chocolate sauce over the mango and top with the berries.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Chicken and butter bean stew

Winters coming folks, nothing better than coming home after a long day in work to a nice stew!

2 tsps ghee or coconut oil
1 medium sized white onion, finely choppeddesert-11
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
1 medium sized carrot, peeled and sliced
4-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
350g fresh chicken breast, diced
1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary handful of cherry tomatoes
200g chopped tinned tomatoes
1 pint chicken stock (fresh or made with one organic stock cube)
Pinch of ground black pepper
200g tinned butter beans, drained
200g Savoy cabbage, shredded

Melt the ghee / oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and sauté, for 3-4 minutes, stirring until soft. Add the celery and carrot and sauté, stirring, for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and gently fry for 3 minutes, stirring. Transfer the contents of the saucepan to a plate and set aside.

Add the chicken to the saucepan and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring to seal on all sides. Add the rosemary and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook for 1 minute. Return the onions, celery, carrot and garlic back to the saucepan and stir well. Stir in the tinned tomatoes and stock. Bring to the boil then reduce to a gentle simmer. Add the black pepper, cover and cook for 5 minutes.

Stir in the butter beans, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the cabbage, cover and cook for 3-4 minutes. Serve.

Dill baked trout

Try our dill baked trout! It’s so easy all you need is…

2 trout fillets, gutted and sliced in half (approximately 350g)desert-10
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried dill
Juice of one lemon

Preheat oven to 180 C/350 F. Place the trout fillets on a foil lined tray (use a large sheet of foil – big enough to wrap around the fish).

Season with salt, pepper and dried dill. Squeeze over the lemon juice. Bring the edges of the foil up and over the fillets and seal in a loose parcel. Oven bake for 20-25 minutes until the fish is cooked throughout. Serve.