Shopping List For Healthy Fat Loss

Are you ready to take charge of your weight and your health once and for all?


Are you ready to feel the best you have ever felt?


Don’t let one more day go by without living the incredible life you’ve dreamed about.


Shopping List  – Basics Part One


Choose gluten free or organic sprouted whole grain products, spelt flour and breads.

Sources include main supermarkets and health food stores ( look for frozen options in smaller stores)



Choose organic dairy products, especially milk.  Beware always choosing fat free dairy – you need the fat soluble nutrients from this food group.


Meats and Poultry

All of the animal protein you choose should be hormone- and antibiotic-free,

Free range, grass-fed, and if possible organic. Sources include local farm markets, your local Butcher or supermarket meat depts. Try to buy local if you can..


Nut Butter

Choose nut butters (e.g., almond, walnut, cashew, or macadamia nut) made from raw (not roasted) organic nuts.



For high-heat cooking, coconut oil is your best choice.

It should be certified organic, unrefined, no chemicals (including hexane), unbleached, not deodorised, not hydrogenated, made from traditional coconut palms only (no GMO varieties), and cold-pressed (no heat used in the extraction process).

Sources include local health food and Asian and Eastern Supermarkets.


For no-heat cooking (sautéing) and use straight from the bottle (on

salads and cooked foods), choose organic extra-virgin olive oil.

It should be cold-pressed, cloudy (unrefined), and sold in a dark bottle. Sources include local health food stores.

NOTE: some of my recipes state EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil.


Omega-3 Supplements


Krill Oil is the Gold Standard  as it is high in Omega 3 and low in Omega 6 – (6’s are linked to increased inflammatory diseases.)

Cod liver oil should be taken in the winter because of its higher vitamin D

content. (Although our bodies synthesize vitamin D from the sun’s ultraviolet

rays, sun exposure typically is insufficient during the winter.) Softgels are more stable than the liquid, which goes rancid quickly and should be kept in the refrigerator. Take according to instructions on the bottle.


Fish oil should be taken in the summer because of its lower vitamin D

content. The softgel form is more stable than the liquid, which goes rancid quickly and should be kept in the refrigerator. Take according to instructions on the bottle, or 1millilitre per 10 pounds of body weight (1teaspoon=5 mls).



Choose Iodised salt unless you have a diagnosed heart problem (you should discuss this with your health care professional)

I don’t believe there’s any point spending extra money on Sea Salt.

NOTE – if you eat fresh or fresh frozen veg or grow your own you probably won’t need to add salt at all.


Aqave Nectar

This is available (as a liquid, like honey). The liquid extract is ideal for all beverages.  Sources include Tesco, Sainsbury’s etc.



A natural, calorie free sugar –from a plant source –  Truvia etc…good for cooking and sweetening drinks. DON’T use aspartame or other chemical artificial sugar substitutes.  Fructose is no better for you and is often manufactured from Corn Starch – and not in good way – don’t touch it.


Water Filtration Systems

Our bodies absorb water not only from food and drink but from food too.

You can buy water filters quite cheaply now… under £5 – they will give you lovely drinking water for months at a time.  Add a lemon or lime – luuvlee..



Do the very best you can with whichever foods are available to you. You may

not be able to find every single food I have listed, but that is ok! I have never had a client not lose weight because they had to make 1 or 2 adjustments. More importantly, make the majority of your food choices “all natural”.


I know from experience with many clients that following the plan 90% of the time gives amazing results.  You will have more energy, concentrate better, your hormones will settle and weight loss – especially fat loss will be easier than ever.


You need calories to train hard – so don’t avoid meals – if you run out of time, supplies or imagination have a protein shake/smoothie….


Train Hard  *   Eat Clean  *   Expect Results



Should You Work A Sore Muscle?

Should You Work A Sore Muscle?

This week I decided it was time to get some serious training into my own program. I woke up the Tuesday sore as @#$%.

Quite sore, then – Oh yes!

So naturally, I worked out – But not Bootcamp – I joined in with a complete Yoga class…….. Huh? Surely not, I hear you say?       You’re meant to rest for 48hrs or until the soreness eases off….. I don’t agree with this idea – anymore.

Most of us have only specific days and times free to train, time is so precious. Fortunately, I don’t adhere to that silliness anymore, and as a result, I’m able to offer great body transformation results in just a few weeks.

You see, it’s not uncommon for delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) to last four or even five days after the completion of an intense training session; however, many studies have concluded that complete metabolic recovery (what you care about) occurs within 48 hours of exercise. In other words, you ARE recovered, yet there is still some residual soreness. Plain and simple, if metabolic recovery has taken place, a muscle can be worked again via the same training method, even if the muscle is still sore from a previous session.

Having said that, plenty of studies have shown that training a muscle while it is still recovering does NOT adversely affect recovery.

Here are just a few: Nosaka K, Clarkson P.M. Muscle damage following repeated bouts of high force eccentric exercise. Med. Sci. Sports Exrc., 27(9):1263-1269,1995. Smith LL., Fuylmer MG., Holbert D., McCammon MR., Houmard JA., Frazer DD., Nsien E., Isreal RG.

The impact of repeated bout of eccentric exercise on muscular strength, muscle soreness and creatine kinase. Br J Sp Med 28(4):267-271, 1994. Chen, TC and S.S. Hsieh.

The effects of a seven-day repeated eccentric training on recovery from muscle damage. Med. Sci. Sports Exrc. 31(5 Supp) pp. S71, 1999. Nosaka K and M Newton.

Repeated eccentric exercise bouts do not exacerbate muscle damage and repair. J Strength Cond Res. 2002 Feb;16(1):117-22.

Conclusion: even if complete metabolic recovery has not yet occurred, the muscle can be trained again.

Now, technically, you could do the same exact workout again, but frankly, there are better ways to approach working a muscle for a second time within 48 hours of a previous session: and I’m sure you know my view on repeating workouts – WE DON’T DO THAT!

Option #1 – Conduct an “active recovery” session. With this approach you’d conduct a light, less taxing training session after a heavy, demanding session in order to facilitate recovery, decrease DOMS, and actually maximize strength gains. Simply put, as long as you continue to stimulate the nervous system, even if your body is not totally recovered (metabolically speaking), you’re going to see much better overall results. An example of this “continued stimulation” would be to do half the number of reps that you normally could do with a given weight, or perhaps train for half the normal time.

To illustrate, let’s say you did a killer workout on Monday. Like Ladders!! LOL. And let’s say you used resistance ( Bands and Med Balls) about 30 minutes of maximal effort. The active recovery method would suggest that on Tuesday, you’d only do 15 minutes with the same intensity. This type of workout both stimulates the nervous system and increases the flow of nutrient rich blood to the recovering muscles, leading to increased strength and recovery.

Option #2 – Change the stimulus and go all out again. If a muscle is still recovering, it wouldn’t be profitable to train it again via the same training method prior to recovery taking place. Yes, the above studies show that doing so will not substantially, adversely affect metabolic recovery, but at the same time, you won’t benefit either.

So what to do? Answer: use a different approach. Stimulate different muscle fibers and in turn yield a different overall physiological response. For example, if your workout was Ladders on Monday you’d want 20:10 Fast and Furious on Wednesday, and you would want 40:20 Metabolic Madness on Friday, and then perhaps Pilates Fitcamp on Saturday all with a variety of intervals and resistance loads.

I mix up the workouts for you and gradually increase the load over each 5 week cycle. You choose the weight/resistance, how many days you train and MOST importantly – what you do on rest days. Just remember this programme isn’t about coasting through or pacing so you finish every interval.. I like to see you challenge yourself and fail sometimes….. Really Go For It!! Every Rep Every Round…

Option #3 – Go for a Brisk Walk. Follow the rest day exercises as part of this system, put your outdoor trainers on, get outside and walk (briskly) for at least 15 minutes on rest days. As you get fitter walk faster – so it will always fit into your lunch break!!

I’m NOT suggesting you get into steady state Cardio Training – we all know that doesn’t give measurable Fat Loss results

Option #4 Try a Yoga or Pilates Session. New campers benefit from a good deep stretch every week, so Yoga with me or at home. Pilates will accelerate your Core Strength progress and allow you to work harder in your other workouts.

Lastly, a quote from a great coach on the subject: “Your body will only increase recovery if you force it to work more frequently. Initially, you may still have residual soreness from the previous workout, but don’t worry. Instead, work through it and your body will improve its recovery rate to the point where soreness will subside.” We all want to increase recovery capacity, gain more muscle, increase strength, and lose more fat? So, forget about “sitting on the bench” because of a little soreness. If you’re a new camper – a LOT of soreness!!! Instead, get yourself back in the studio quickly with one of the above two methods. In return, you can expect a lot more progress with a lot less soreness.

So what about you?

Do you ever train a sore muscle?

Do you judge the effectiveness of your workouts by how sore you feel the next day?

I know I feel great when I can’t sit without yelping! Maybe that’s just me?

Let Me Know…… Jax Allen    080212 ©

Soy Friend Or Foe? Shocking Facts….

Are Soy Milk, Soy Protein, Tofu, and other Soybean-Based Foods Good For You? Or are They Just Making You Fat and Un-healthy?

A look into some of the possible dangers and negative effects on your health of eating too much soy — Can soy even increase belly fat? I wanted to include this article because every day I see so many people that don’t realize that soy is NOT A HEALTH FOOD! Most people have been deceived and mislead by billions of dollars of advertising that soy protein, soy milk, soybean oil, and processed soy foods are “healthy”… when the truth is that soy has many anti-nutrients and negative factors on the body that we should be concerned about. In fact, there is evidence that soy foods could possibly even INCREASE YOUR STOMACH FAT if you eat too much soy or too often. The Dark Side of Soy READ THIS IS MIGHT MAKE YOU CHANGE YOUR VIEW OF SOY PRODUCTS….

Only a few decades ago, unfermented soybean foods were considered unfit to eat – even in Asia. These days, people all over the world have been fooled into thinking that unfermented soy foods like soymilk and soy protein are somehow “health foods”. If they only knew the real truth! The soybean did not serve as a food until the discovery of fermentation techniques, some time during the Chou Dynasty. The first soy foods were fermented products like tempeh, natto, miso and soy sauce. At a later date, possibly in the 2nd century BC, Chinese scientists discovered that a puree of cooked soybeans could be precipitated with calcium sulfate or magnesium sulfate (plaster of Paris or Epsom salts) to make a smooth, pale curd – tofu or bean curd. The use of fermented and precipitated soy products soon spread to other parts of the Orient, notably Japan and Indonesia. Growth-depressant compounds are deactivated during the process of fermentation, so once the Chinese discovered how to ferment the soybean, they began to incorporate soy foods into their diets.

The Chinese NEVER ate large amounts of unfermented soy foods or soymilk

The Chinese did not eat unfermented soybeans as they did other legumes such as lentils because the soybean contains large quantities of natural toxins or “antinutrients”.

First among them are potent enzyme inhibitors that block the action of trypsin and other enzymes vital for protein digestion. These inhibitors are large, tightly folded proteins that are not completely deactivated during ordinary cooking. They can produce serious gastric distress, reduced protein digestion and chronic deficiencies in amino acid uptake. In test animals, diets high in trypsin inhibitors cause enlargement and pathological conditions of the pancreas, including cancer.

Soybeans also contain haemagglutinin, a clot-promoting substance that causes red blood cells to clump together. Trypsin inhibitors and haemagglutinin are growth inhibitors. Weaned rats fed soy containing these antinutrients fail to grow normally.

Soy also contains goitrogens – substances that depress thyroid function. Although soy has been known to suppress thyroid function for over 60 years, and although scientists have identified the goitrogenic component of soy as the so-called “beneficial isoflavones”, the industry insists that soy depresses thyroid function only in the absence of iodine. The University of Alabama at Birmingham reports a case in which consumption of a soy protein dietary supplement decreased the absorption of thyroxine. The patient had undergone thyroid surgery and needed to take thyroid hormone. Higher oral doses of thyroid hormone were needed when she consumed soy — she presumably used iodized salt so iodine intake did not prevent the goitrogenic effects of soy. A very large percentage of soy is genetically modified and it also has one of the highest percentages of contamination by pesticides of any of our foods.

Soybeans are high in phytic acid, present in the bran or hulls of all seeds. Phytic acid is a substance that can block the uptake of essential minerals – calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc – in the intestinal tract. The soybean has one of the highest phytate levels of any grain or legume that has been studied, and the phytates in soy are highly resistant to normal phytate-reducing techniques such as long, slow cooking. Only a long period of fermentation will significantly reduce the phytate content of soybeans. When precipitated soy products like tofu are consumed with meat, the mineral-blocking effects of the phytates are reduced.

The Japanese traditionally eat a small amount of tofu or miso as part of a mineral-rich fish broth, followed by a serving of meat or fish. People who substitute tofu or bean curd for meat can get severe mineral deficiencies Vegetarians who consume tofu and bean curd as a substitute for meat and dairy products risk severe mineral deficiencies. The results of calcium, magnesium and iron deficiency are well known; those of zinc are less well known, but equally as bad.

Far far more healthy is to eat pure grass fed meats, cheese, and butter all high in nutrients and protein rich. Zinc is called the intelligence mineral because it is needed for optimal development and functioning of the brain and nervous system. It plays a role in protein synthesis and collagen formation; it is involved in the blood-sugar control mechanism and thus protects against diabetes; it is needed for a healthy reproductive system. Grass fed beef is very high in this necessary nutrient, in contrast to soy.

Soy processors have worked hard to get these anti-nutrients out of the finished soy product, particularly soy protein isolate (SPI) which is the key ingredient in most soy foods that imitate meat and dairy products, including baby formulas and some brands of soy milk. Soy Protein Isolate is an Industrially Produced Food — Far from Natural or Healthy! SPI is not something you can make in your own kitchen. Production takes place in industrial factories where a slurry of soy beans is first mixed with an alkaline solution to remove fibre, then precipitated and separated using an acid wash and, finally, neutralized in an alkaline solution. Acid washing in aluminium tanks leaches high levels of aluminium into the final product. The resultant curds are spray – dried at high temperatures to produce a high-protein powder. A final indignity to the original soybean is high-temperature, high-pressure extrusion processing of soy protein isolate to produce textured vegetable protein (TVP).

Nitrites, which are potent carcinogens, are formed during spray drying, and a toxin called lysinoalanine is formed during alkaline processing. In feeding experiments, the use of SPI increased requirements for vitamins E, K, D and B12 and created deficiency symptoms of calcium, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, copper, iron and zinc. Phytic acid remaining in these soy products greatly inhibits zinc and iron absorption; test animals fed SPI develop enlarged organs, particularly the pancreas and thyroid gland, and increased deposition of fatty acids in the liver. Yet soy protein isolate and textured vegetable protein (TVP) are used extensively in ready meals, convenience foods, commercial baked goods, diet beverages and fast food products. They are heavily promoted in third world countries and form the basis of many food give-away programs.

Soy Protein Isolate was once considered a waste product (before they discovered they could make money promoting it as health food!) Advances in technology make it possible to produce isolated soy protein from what was once considered a waste product – the defatted, high-protein soy chips – and then transform something that looks and smells terrible into products that can be consumed by human beings. Flavourings, preservatives, sweeteners, emulsifiers and synthetic nutrients have turned soy protein isolate, the food processors’ ugly duckling, into a new age swan. “The quickest way to gain product acceptability in the less affluent society,” said an industry spokesman, “is to have the product consumed on its own merit in a more affluent society.”

So soy is now sold to the upscale consumer, not as a cheap, poverty food but as a miracle substance that will prevent heart disease and cancer, whisk away hot flushes, build strong bones and keep us forever young. Or so they want you to believe! The appropriate government bodies have duly demonised the competition -meat, milk, cheese, butter and eggs -. Soy serves as meat and milk for a new generation of virtuous vegetarians.  In the USA the soy industry hired Norman Robert Associates, a public relations firm, to get more soy products onto school menus. The USDA responded with a proposal to scrap the 30 per cent limit for soy in school lunches. The ‘NuMenu’ program would allow unlimited use of soy in student meals. With soy added to hamburgers, tacos and lasagne, dieticians can get the total fat content below 30 per cent of calories, thereby conforming to government dictates. With the soy-enhanced food items, students are receiving better servings of nutrients and less cholesterol and fat, so says the soy industry. We now know this to be a negative, rather than positive addition to their food supply.

You’ve been deceived into thinking Soy Milk is healthy Soymilk has posted the biggest gains, soaring from $2 million in 1980 to $300 million in the US last year. Recent advances in processing have transformed the grey, thin, bitter, beany-tasting Asian beverage into a product that Western consumers will accept – one that tastes like a milkshake, but without the “guilt”… they claim. The long and demanding road to FDA approval actually took a few unexpected turns. The original petition, submitted by Protein Technology International, requested a health claim for isoflavones, the estrogen-like compounds found plentifully in soybeans, based on assertions that only soy protein that has been processed in a manner in which isoflavones are retained will result in cholesterol lowering. In 1998, the FDA made the unprecedented move of rewriting PTI’s petition, removing any reference to the phytoestrogens and substituting a claim for soy protein – a move that was in direct contradiction to the agency’s regulations. The FDA is authorized to make rulings only on substances presented by petition.

Are soy isoflavones actually toxic? The abrupt change in direction was no doubt due to the fact that a number of researchers, including scientists employed by the US Government, submitted documents indicating that isoflavones are toxic. The FDA had also received, early in 1998, the final British Government report on phyto-estrogens, which failed to find much evidence of benefit and warned against potential adverse effects. Even with the change to soy protein isolate, FDA bureaucrats engaged in the rigorous approval process were forced to deal nimbly with concerns about mineral blocking effects, enzyme inhibitors, goitrogenicity, endocrine disruption, reproductive problems and increased allergic reactions from consumption of soy products. One of the strongest letters of protest came from Dr Dan Sheehan and Dr Daniel Doerge, government researchers at the National Centre for Toxicological Research. Their pleas for warning labels were dismissed as unwarranted.

Research that ties soy to positive effects on cholesterol levels is incredibly immature, said Ronald M. Krauss, MD, head of the Molecular Medical Research Program and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He might have added that studies in which cholesterol levels were lowered through either diet or drugs have consistently resulted in a greater number of deaths in the treatment groups than in controls – deaths from stroke, cancer, intestinal disorders, accident and suicide. Cholesterol-lowering measures in the US have fuelled a $60 billion per year cholesterol-lowering industry but have not saved us from the ravages of heart disease. The health risks of soy are finally becoming known in the media The media have not only questioned the health benefits of soy but begun reporting on the risks. In July, the Israeli Health Ministry warned that babies should not receive soy formula, that children should eat soy no more than once per day to a maximum of three times per week and that adults should exercise caution because of increased risk of breast cancer and adverse effects on fertility. The Ministry based its advice upon the conclusions reached by a 13-member committee of nutritionists, oncologists, paediatricians and other specialists who spent more than year examining the evidence. They concluded that the estrogen-like plant hormones in soy can cause adverse effects on the human body and strongly urged consumers to minimize their consumption of soy foods until absolute safety has been proven. Soy has the potential to disrupt the digestive, immune and neuroendocrine systems of the human body and its role in rising rates of infertility, hypothyroidism and some types of cancer including thyroid and pancreatic cancers.

Soy is also highly allergenic.

Most experts now place soy protein among the top eight allergens of all foods, and some rate it in the top six or even top four. Allergic reactions to soy are increasingly common, ranging from mild to life threatening, and some fatalities have been reported.

People are finally starting to learn that soy is NOT a miracle health food, and more and more expert scientists are issuing warnings about soy. I hope this article has convinced you to consider reducing or eliminating your consumption of soy foods, soymilk, or soy protein.

Fermented soy such as tempeh, natto, and miso are ok on occasion and in moderation.

Interesting stuff – Eh?….

A Nutritional Mineral Journey


MINERALS: Why we need the essential minerals in order to be healthy physically and mentally and hormonally!

Like vitamins, minerals cannot be made by the body, therefore we have to get them from our diets. Here we are going to have a look at the ten major minerals and five trace minerals.

Major Minerals: Calcium, Chloride, Fluorine, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Sulphur, Zinc

Trace Minerals: Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Manganese, Selenium

Calcium: Is needed for building and maintaining healthy bones and teeth and works best when combined with phosphorus and magnesium. Helps with muscle contraction, aching muscles and nerve transmission. Can aid with weight loss and high blood pressure. Can also help to lower the risk of bowel cancer and can ease menstrual pain.

Is essential for blood clotting and for balancing our hormones.

Sources: Dairy products, almonds, dark green leafy vegetables, tinned fish, shellfish, pulses and sunflower seeds, linseeds and sesame seeds.

It is essential to obtain enough calcium for people who do a lot of exercise, particularly for regular runners and those who do weight training!

Chloride: Works alongside sodium and potassium to balance the fluids in the body. Helps with the digestive process- digestion and elimination.

Sources: A balanced diet of whole foods supplies enough of this mineral as a deficiency is extremely rare. Just a pinch of salt provides a third of Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA)

Flourine: This mineral is stored in our teeth and bones.

Sources: Is generally found as flouride in water and food as tiny amounts come from the soil and from animals skin and tissues.

Iron: Is vital for transporting oxygen to and from our cells and for the making of red blood cells. Is crucial also for energy production.

People who do a lot of running or high impact sport should be aware that losses can occur due to the pounding of the feet so may require more than the average person.

Sources: Meat, liver, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, dark green leafy vegetables, brown rice, wholegrains, fortified cereals and oatmeal.

Magnesium: Is essential for healthy teeth and bones. Is needed to help muscles contract and relax and is essential for the nervous system.

Can also help with pre menstrual symptoms/syndrome.

Sources: Milk, meat, wholemeal bread, nuts and raisins.

Phosphorus: Works together with calcium to make calcium phosphorus. Helps to maintain strong bones and teeth, helps with energy production and can help with the metabolism.

Sources: Most foods contain phosphorus, particularly protein rich foods such as fish, poultry, meat, eggs, milk and wholegrain cereals.

Potassium: Is needed to balance the fluids in the body alongside sodium. Is crucial for healthy nerves, muscle function, muscle relaxation and heart functioning. Also aids in ingestion and digestion and transporting nutrients to all cells.

Sources: Is generally found in all fruits such as bananas, apples and pineapples and leafy green vegetables. Wholegrains and sunflower seeds.

Sodium: Is needed to balance the water in the body alongside the minerals and blood and is vital for nervous system.

Sources: Is found in most foods such as meat, dairy products, nuts so is extremely rare to deficient in this mineral.

Sulphur: Helps to balance blood sugar levels, helps with the metabolism and is part of every cell in the body.

Is found in all protein rich foods therefore if you eat sufficient protein such as meat, fish, eggs, you will be obtaining enough sulphur.

Zinc: Is essential for the healing of wounds, for the nervous system and for the immune system. Helps to balance the hormonal system, the menstrual cycle and for male and female fertility.

Sources: Meat, chicken, fish, seafood, eggs, seeds, nuts, wholegrains, oats, pumpkin and sunflower seeds and dairy products.

Chromium: The main role is to balance our blood sugar and hormone balance as well as our metabolism. Helps to reduce sugar cravings and may help with diabetes.

Is important for heart function.

Sources: Wholegrain cereals, wholemeal bread, rye bread, brewers yeast, eggs, chicken, lamb, honey, grapes, raisins, apples, swiss cheese and potatoes.

Copper: Is vital for DNA and RNA (part of our genetic make up) and essential for the synthesis of every cell in our bodies. Is an antioxidant therefore may help in the prevention of cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants help our bodies to fight infections and ward off free radicals.

Sources: Many foods contain copper such as meat, green vegetables, nuts, raisins, bread and cereals.

Iodine: Helps to make up the thyroid hormones which in turn help to control our metabolism.

Sources: Milk and milk products, seafood and seaweed, kelp and iodized salt.

Manganese: Is vital for reproduction and for DNA and RNA. Is essential for brain function, reproduction and for the making of red blood cells. Helps to keep blood sugar levels stable.

Sources: Wholegrains, oats, rye, green leafy vegetables, eggs, nuts, carrots, watercress, berries, pineapple and grapes.

Selenium: An antioxidant which helps to ward off free radicals, helps to boost the immune system and is essential for male and female fertility. Helps against heart disease and certain cancers.

Sources: Wholegrains, wheatgerm, eggs, brazil nuts, fish-especially tuna, meat, chicken, mushrooms.

So to sum up this weeks article on ‘minerals’ we can again see that if we are lacking in any one of these then our health and well being will be at a disadvantage.

We can see that we need to have a varied ‘diet’ in order to obtain the essential minerals to function at optimum levels. Remember, our health isn’t just about how we look on the outside but also about how our bodies are functioning on the inside!!!


3 Diet Rules You Need To Know…

OK, now on to the 3 diet rules you need to know...
Ready for them?
I like to keep the diet "rules" simple, so here goes...
"Rule" 1
Eat more...
Fruits and vegetables
Low-fat and low sugar dairy (like plain Greek yogurt)
Whole grains (I like quinoa)
Lean protein
Beans and Legumes
"Rule" 2
Eat less...
Cereals and sweetened yogurt
White carbs such as bread, pasta and rice
"Fake foods" like rice cakes
Snacks such as granola bars and wheat crackers
Salty or fried snacks
"Rule" 3
Eat a lot less often...
Sweetened drinks such as soda and iced tea
Bagels, muffins, cakes and cookies
Butter, mayonnaise, and full-fat salad dressing
Hope this is simple enough to follow. : )


Vibration Training & Multiple Sclerosis

Vibration Training has benefits for MS sufferers

A vibration training pilot study has revealed a potential to improve strength, flexibility and coordination of people suffering from Multiple Sclerosis. Power Plate International and the MS Society ran a study with 10 people who were all assessed at the start to provide a baseline and then again 8 weeks later.

They investigated how the Power Plate, a vibration platform, could improve muscle power, strength and coordination, mobility and functional reach.

It used the MS Impact Scale (MSIS) and Pain Effects Scale (PES) to help assess the effect on quality of life.

Although only a small study, the results showed 8 out of 10 progressed enough to increase the intensity of vibration and exercise for a longer period of time.

2 of the 10 could complete all the tests at the start of the study

10 out of 10 completing the final assessments.

Arm and leg power improved or remained the same in 7 of 10.

9 of 10 improved strength and coordination testes.

6 of 10 improved mobility scores

9 of 10 improved their MSIS score

6 of 10 either improved or maintained their PES score.

NOTE: I have read many studies on vibration training and although it has been shown to be VERY effective in the rehabilitation field, and will aid in the recovery of muscle there is NO evidence to suggest it aids weight loss or more importantly fat loss.

This conclusion is aslo supported by my own observations –  Gym staff and PT’s are now giving standard weight training and other resistance exercises to clients while standing, squating or lunging on the vibration platforms.  Claims of 10 minutes on a Power Plate is the equivalent workout to hours in the gym or studio are not accurate. Certainly the members I see using them and the many clients I have that bought their own units – have not been transformed in mere minutes a day!!  I fear as with most ‘at home’ and ‘miracle’ gismos they are destined for the dusty, spare room and eBay.

Inflammation Omega 3 & Krill Oil

Tiny Fighters For Inflammation In Your Body

An interesting article for you …….

By Kevin DiDonato MS, CSCS, CES
Inflammation could affect many different areas in your body.
According to research, inflammation can lead to cognitive decline, dementia, increased pain associated with PMS, and increased pain associated with arthritis.
Now, some research suggests, that krill oil could lower inflammation, which could lower pain and improve different aspect of your life.
Let me explain…
CRP and Stroke Risk CRP, or more commonly known as C-reactive protein, is a marker found in your blood that determines if and how much inflammation is found in your body.
A positive test result would show your CRP levels are greater than 1.0 mg/dl of blood.
Levels higher than 1.0 mg/dl, research suggests, could indicate increased levels of inflammation is present in your body.
High CRP levels could increase your risk for heart disease or having a stroke. Also, depression and cognitive decline, shows strong correlation to increased inflammation levels inside your body.
In fact, according to clinical studies, high CRP levels increased stroke risk, especially with a history of stroke, by nearly 70%.
Also, depression and cognitive decline bears a strong correlation to increased levels of inflammation in your body.
However, increased inflammation can also cause increased pain in people suffer from arthritis.
Krill and Inflammation Based on clinical research, krill oil can potentially be a new way to fight inflammation.
Researchers recruited 90 subjects with a confirmed diagnosis of heart disease, osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
They administered either 300 mg daily of Krill oil or a placebo.
They noted, after only 7 days of treatment, the krill oil group decreased CRP levels by 19.3%.  Comparatively, the placebo group showed an increase in CRP levels by 15.7%.
After 14 days, the krill oil group decreased CRP levels by 29.7% compared to the placebo group which CRP levels increased by 32.1%.
And after 30 days, the Krill oil group decreased CRP levels by 30.9% compared to the placebo group which showed an increase in CRP levels by 25.1%
They also tested to see if Krill oil could lower pain scores, stiffness and functional impairment related to arthritis.
The krill oil group showed pain scores decreased by 28.9%, stiffness decreased by 20.3% and functional impairment decreased by 22.8%.
They concluded that 300 mg of Krill oil could significantly lower CRP levels and pain scores associated with different forms of arthritis and heart disease. The Power of Krill C-reactive protein is a clinical marker for inflammation.
Inflammation can increase pain in arthritic conditions, lead to cognitive decline and even lead to depression.
However, according to clinical studies, Krill oil could reduce CRP levels which could potentially reduce your risk for stroke, cognitive decline and even depression.
Krill oil could also have the potential to improve inflammatory markers associated with arthritis and reduce pain for arthritis sufferers.

7 Super Festival Fat Loss Strategies

7 Super Cheltenham Festival Fat Loss Strategies

We’re just about back on track following the excess of Christmas and New Year and the Cheltenham Festival is upon us. A day or two out at the races, fabulous meals in local restaurants or entertaining at home can pile on the pounds, and reck all your good intentions. I work with real people that expect to live healthy active and fun lives. Here’s a list of EIGHT different strategies you can use to curb the “typical” event weight gain, stay on track for your health and fitness goals.

Enjoy! Strategy #1: Feast On Protein

So you’re checking out the buffet set-up and you’re contemplating what to eat. I’m betting there’s a turkey, ham, shell fish or salmon. Eat it, and only that, until you’re full. Protein is, by nature, very filling. By filling up on lean protein, you’ll avoid other, potentially more destructive food at the buffet. And best yet, you still leave satisfied. Another benefit of protein is that it also helps your body process carbohydrates more effectively by stimulating the release of a hormone that helps to control blood sugar and curbs fat-storage. So, if you do add pastries and cakes, they’ll be much less of a threat to your waistline.

Strategy #2: DON’T Drink All Your Calories

Calories in drinks are wasted calories. They do nothing to make you feel full, and can very easily add on a serious amount of damage (calories) to any event. You will have a flutter and have a win or two. You won’t enjoy the experience without a glass or two of something to celebrate. The important thing is that you are prepared.

Being wise, for the weeks leading to the festival you swapped your wine and spirits for water. For variety beyond plain water, you chose flavoured water or soda with a slice or lemon or lime. If you did have a glass of wine it was a long chilled spritzer. When you celebrate you’ll keep to small glasses and every other drink will be a soft option (hopefully calorie free) You’ll save yourself the extra fat around your tummy that Alcohol brings and be clear headed the next day too.

Strategy #3: Know Your First Move

While we’re on the topic of drinks, here’s a great tip to go into any party with. Before you set off, pour yourself a big glass of water, drink it down, and wait 15 minutes before eating anything. Mingle with your friends, say hello, etc. …. This is a simple, extremely effective way to curb your appetite and give yourself a sense of fullness before heading to the bar or restaurant and is sure to make a difference in the amount of food you add to your plate.

Strategy #4: Be Prepared

I’m sure you know never to go shopping when you’re hungry as you’ll just end up buying everything in sight, spending too much, and making unhealthy choices because everything looks “so good”. Well, I’m going to give the same suggestion for the festival, although my clients will be the ones having what ever they fancy as they’ll be on a cheat day – but more about that later. Instead of starting the day with your stomach growling and mouth watering, make sure you arrive in the exact opposite condition.

How? Easy. Eat a BIG, healthy meal just prior to heading off. So a good breakfast with plenty of protein, or even a small healthy meal before you go out to a restaurant in the evening. Easy, super effective way to avoid falling into temptation.

Strategy #5: Be “Normal” Arrive “Full”

This one goes right along with the previous tip. Most people don’t eat anything all day leading up to a big meal out in order to “save up” the calories. Big mistake, and for several reasons. Be normal….. First, when you go into a meal or party incredibly hungry, you will always overeat. Bigger portions of calorie dense, fatty/carb-laden food – MANY more calories than you would have normally eaten throughout the day. Secondly, eating nothing all day only to end with a big, high-fat/high-carb/high-calorie meal leads to a greater percentage of those calories than normal being stored as fat. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by starving yourself all day. Eat as you normally would and then hit the party.

Strategy #6: Deplete Before A “Big” Day

This tip is great as “damage control”. One of the things I do to “prep” for a big day full of food and drink is add a depletion workout the day before. This sounds a lot worse than it is.. You may or may not know, but there’s plenty of “food” stored within your muscles in the form of both carbohydrate and fats. They are actually stored within your muscle tissue as an energy source to fuel activity. Fat is a slower energy source, so something as simple as doing a lot of walking the day before a party is a great way to deplete some of your fatty energy stores. So find your walking shoes a friend or two and head up to Cleeve Hill – you could even borrow a dog!

Strategy #7: Speed Up Your Metabolism

As for your stored carbohydrates, go with one of my fitcamp style workouts. Keep the load light – so bodyweight only, do a lot of fast repetitions – 10 exercise for about 1 minute each and really “go for the burn”- work to failure every time. You could do the workout twice each day leading up to your busy festival events. Going to a day long event with depleted energy stores (brought about by energy-depleting exercise) will lead to much of your calories refilling stores as opposed to being tacked onto your belly, hips, and bum.

Any good trainer will give you a healthy eating plan that keeps you full and allows your favourite treats – even alcohol. My clients understand how to plan cheat meals and reward days for special events just like the Cheltenham Festival.

I expect my clients to live a full life and still get great results.

Enjoy the festival and avoid putting on body fat!!

For daily motivation, diet & exercise tips follow me on twitter @jaxallenfitness

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Why Alcohol On Your Cheat Day Is A BAD Idea!

Why Alcohol On Your Cheat Day Is A BAD Idea!

I get more questions about Cheat Days than any other subject.

Now the party season is over and New Year Resolutions are almost forgotten, it’s time to re-focus on goals and make sure you put a plan into action to reach them.

Seems that a lot of you are using Cheat Days as their weekly excuse to indulge not only in their favourite foods, but also a considerable amount of alcohol.

Bad idea – I have clients that train really hard Monday to Friday – then blow it all at the Pub Friday and Saturday nights.   It’s such a shame to see their efforts go to waste. I suppose at least they’re getting out and meeting ‘real’ people…. Rather than indulging in nights in with a video and a bottle of wine ( to themselves!!)

The entire purpose of the Cheat Day is to increase your leptin levels, to reset your metabolism and create a hormonal environment that will allow you to burn fat.

Alcohol consumption will probably cancel out ALL of those positive benefits. In fact, alcohol has been shown to acutely LOWER your leptin levels which is in direct opposition to everything you are trying to accomplish with a Cheat Day.

In the end, Cheat Days + Alcohol = Fat GAIN.  So why do it?

Does that mean that you can’t drink at all on your Cheat Day?

Anything more than 2 drinks will begin to have a negative effect.

The rule is, if you feel the effects of your drinks you’ve consumed too much.

Focus on your goals, and in order to reach them you will need some level of sacrifice. Know that, embrace it, and move forward toward your goals.

My clients know they can use a full blown eat-whatever-you-want Cheat Days as frequently as every 5th day to lose fat at record speed, so it really isn’t that bad is it?

That being said, if alcohol is more important than your fat loss goals then I suggest you have a different decision to make.


So, this Friday when you settle in front of the TV or order your drink at the bar make an educated, considered decision – do you want to lose fat or not?


Any questions email me at


Eat Clean  *   Train Hard   *   Get Results

Worrying Levels of Iodine Deficiency in the UK

If you keep up with my scribblings – you’ll know that I promote Iodine supplementation – especially if you like me don’t eat much dairy and avoid adding salt to your food. It’s even more important if you are training hard and/or restricting your food intake.

12 April 2011 Last updated at 00:51
Worrying levels of iodine deficiency in the UK

By Michelle Roberts Health reporter, BBC News
The researchers suggest fortifying salt with iodine would help
Researchers are warning iodine deficiency could be becoming endemic in the UK and are suggesting manufacturers should start adding it to table salt.

A study involving more than 700 teenage girls at nine UK centres found more than two-thirds had a deficiency.

Experts say the problem stems from children drinking less milk, which is a common source of iodine.

Women of childbearing age are most at risk – even mild deficiency can harm a baby’s developing brain.

Iodine deficiency is the most common cause of preventable mental impairment worldwide, affecting a third of the world’s population. It also causes thyroid problems.

Since 1993 the World Health Organization (WHO) has conducted a global programme of salt iodisation to boost dietary levels and prevent deficiency, largely in the developing world.
” Our data suggest the UK is now iodine deficient, warranting a full investigation of the UK iodine status”
Lead researcher Dr Mark Vanderpump

Many European countries, including Switzerland and Denmark, have also signed up to the WHO programme.

In the UK, however, it is not compulsory for manufacturers to add iodine to salt.

Dr Mark Vanderpump, who conducted the latest study on behalf of the British Thyroid Association, says this “could be the most viable solution”.

Low levels

The study measured the urinary iodine levels of 737 teenage girls from nine UK centres – Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Dundee, Exeter, Glasgow, London and Newcastle.

Nearly 70% of the samples revealed an iodine deficiency and nearly a fifth (18%) of samples showed very low iodine levels, below 50μg/L rather than the acceptable minimum of 100μg/L.

The researchers say a large-scale investigation into the iodine status of the entire UK population is now needed to understand the full extent of the problem.
Iodine deficiency is the world’s greatest single cause of preventable brain damage
Dietary sources of iodine include milk and seafood
Source: WHO

Dr Vanderpump told a meeting of the Society for Endocrinology: “Our data suggest the UK is now iodine deficient, warranting a full investigation of the UK iodine status. We need to look into this now to decide whether public health bodies need to step in.”

He said, historically, half of our dietary iodine intake has come from milk. “One cup of milk gives you about 50% of your daily iodine needs.

“And tests on milk show that its composition has not really changed, so it must be that children are drinking less milk than before. That’s what we suspect.”

He said the phasing out of free milk for school children had not helped matters. Currently in the UK, free milk is only offered universally to the under-fives.


Dr Vanderpump, a consultant physician at the Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust, said it was time to look at adding iodine to dietary salt.

“The World Health Organization has made iodine-deficiency a global priority and has been campaigning for at-risk countries to add iodine to their salt, a campaign which has been very successful.

“If it turns out that we do have a problem, this could be the most viable solution.”

Cathy Collins, a spokeswoman for the British Dietetic Association, said it might be simpler to target teenage girls and advise them to drink more milk and eat more of other foods rich in iodine, such as seafood.

“I’m not surprised by the findings because teenage girls do not tend to drink a lot of milk or eat a lot of oily fish.

“Getting girls to have a bit more of these in their diet might help, or taking a multivitamin every day would give them 100% of the iodine they need.”

She said it was unclear whether other age groups were also deficient, but said it was likely that many people were not getting as much as they ideally need.

A Department of Health spokesman said: “We monitor the nutritional status of the population through a rolling programme of diet and nutrition surveys. We keep track of emerging research and will consider the need for assessing iodine status through urinary analysis in future surveys.”