Chocolate, Butter & Coconut Oil Healthy & Anti-Ageing!

3 SATURATED Fats that Actually SLOW Aging in Your Body
Yes, ALL three of these foods have a high ratio saturated fats, but studies are showing that they actually improve your heart health and fight aging. Read on…
The majority of the population these days still seem to “fear” fats in the diet because of all of the fat-free and low-fat propaganda of the 80’s and 90’s that falsely made people think that all fats are bad for us. Nothing could be further from the truth!
As a health blogger, fitness coach and Nutritionist, I observe people’s eating habits all the time… and I constantly see well-intentioned, but misinformed people choosing egg whites instead of whole eggs, even though studies show that the “fatty” yolks contain almost all of the anti-aging benefits, heart-health benefits, and 90% of the valuable antioxidants and vitamins/minerals in an egg, whereas the whites contain very little nutrition at all. Not only that, but egg yolks have been proven to raise your GOOD cholesterol, and improve the good to bad ratios.
I also see people constantly choosing “low-fat” and “fat-free” options of various foods in the supermarket despite the fact that most of these options contain a LOT more carbs and sugars to replace the fats that are taken out, which actually leads to FASTER AGING by increasing the amount of Advanced Glycation End Products(AGEs) that your body produces. These nasty little compounds called AGEs speed up the aging process in your body including damage over time to your organs, your joints, and of course, wrinkled skin.
Plus, it’s high blood sugar from all of those extra sugars and carbs in “low-fat” and “fat-free” choices that increase AGEs in your body on a daily basis leading to faster aging. On the other hand, all of those FATS that people have been avoiding for years can actually SLOW the aging process by keeping your blood sugar lower and more stable, hormones balanced, and for other reasons too.
In fact, it’s absolutely imperative to get enough healthy fats in your diet to keep your hormones balanced, blood sugar under control, prevent cravings, and to SLOW the aging process in your organs, skin, and joints. 
And I’m NOT just talking about the obvious healthy fats that you hear about in the news all the time, such as almonds, walnuts, avocados, fish oil, and our beloved olive oil… all of those examples ARE definitely healthy and contain loads of beneficial nutrients that can help you to live longer, healthier, and leaner…
Here are THREE more examples of “fatty” foods that most people falsely think are “unhealthy” simply because they do contain certain ratios of saturated fat… But in reality, these foods are shown in studies to protect our bodies from the ravages of aging and even help us to stay lean…
1. Grass-fed (outdoor reared) butter & cream
Yes, delicious smooth and rich BUTTER (real butter, NOT deadly margarine!)… It’s delicious, contains loads of healthy nutritional factors, and does NOT have to be avoided in order to stay healthy and get lean. In fact, I often use grass-fed butter whenever a spread is called for, like on a juicy treat slice or three of fruit bread. 
There’s a lot of confusion about this topic… in fact, I attended a Science Festival lecture that was talking about fat and one of the first things a nutritionist ‘banned’ was saturated fat. It just shows that the majority of the population still doesn’t fully understand that butter (grass-fed only!) can actually be a healthy part of your diet.
In fact, there’s even ample evidence that REAL butter can even fight aging and help you to lose body fat for a couple of main reasons:
   a. Grass-fed butter is known to have high levels of a healthy fat called CLA, which has been shown in numerous studies to have anti-cancer properties, and also has been shown to help burn abdominal fat and build lean muscle. I use a powdered CLA supplement in my recovery shakes. 
   b. Grass-fed butter also has an ideal balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids (unlike conventional grain-fed butter) which helps fight inflammation in your body, and can help balance hormones, thereby helping to slow the aging process, and keep your body lean.
   c. The healthy fats in grass-fed butter also contain MCTs (similar to the MCTs in coconut oil), which help to boost your immune system and are readily burned by the body for energy. The healthy fats in grass-fed butter also help to satisfy your appetite and control blood sugar levels, both of which help you to stay lean!
If you have a hard time finding a grass-fed butter at your grocery store, Kerrygold Irish butter is one of my favorites, and the cows are 100% grass-fed on lush green pastures in Ireland. It’s one of the richest butters in colour that I’ve seen, which indicates high levels of carotenoids, powerful antioxidants that help fight ageing. 
Note for people who are dairy sensitive or think they might be:  
People that are dairy sensitive or intolerant are generally NOT sensitive to butter or cream. This is something that’s highly misunderstood in the nutrition industry, even by most authors and doctors. The truth is that it’s almost always either the lactose or the casein that people are sensitive to, and butter or cream has nothing more than traces of either since butter and cream is solely the fat portion of dairy while the lactose and casein have mostly been removed when the fat is skimmed off the milk. The amount of casein in butter or cream is negligible compared to milk.
Also, fermented dairy generally doesn’t give people any problems either (kefir or plain yogurt) because the lactose has been digested by the microbes, making kefir 99% lactose free usually. Plus, even the casein in kefir and yogurt is MUCH more highly digestible because the microbes have already performed a little pre-digestion on it.

2. Super Dark Chocolate (72% cacao content or higher) 
It might not be a secret anymore, but yes, dark chocolate (NOT milk chocolate) can be a very healthy food, even though it is technically calorie dense. 
However, I would contend that dark chocolate can actually HELP you to burn off more body fat if you’re the type of person that has a sweet tooth and likes to eat a lot of desserts. In this case, just 1 or 2 small squares of dark chocolate can many times satisfy your sweet tooth for only 30 or 40 calories as opposed to 500 calories for a piece of chocolate cake or a piece of pie. 
Also some brands of dark chocolate that are in the mid 70’s in % cacao content or higher, can have a fairly high ratio of fibre content (I’ve seen some brands have 5-7 grams of fibre out of 15 grams of total carbs per serving), and relatively low sugar content compared to the amount of healthy fats. In fact, that’s one of the “tricks” I use to select a good quality chocolate… I look for more total fat than total carbs (or about the same number of grams of each).
The importance of that fact is that it means many dark chocolates will not greatly affect your blood sugar and will have a fairly blunted blood sugar response compared to other “sweets”.
In addition, dark chocolate is also very rich in healthful antioxidants, including a powerful compound called theobromine which has been shown to help lower your blood pressure and have other health benefits. 
Dark chocolate also contains antioxidants called flavanols with dozens of health benefits… One study found that eating as little as 6.7 grams of chocolate per day has a protective effect on your heart. Other studies show benefits to your digestive system by improving the ratios of good to bad bacteria in your gut, possibly due to the catechins and polyphenols in cocoa.
The reason I say to choose dark chocolates with at least 72% cacao content is that the higher the % of cacao, the lower the % of sugar. However, this does mean that any chocolate over 80% cacao content will generally start to get a more bitter taste and have very little sweetness. If you like this type of taste, then the higher % cocao, the better. Otherwise, a good 75% dark chocolate is in my opinion an almost perfect combination of lightly sweet with a rich velvety chocolate taste. 
You can also reap the benefits of the antioxidants and fibre without all of the calories by using organic unsweetened cocoa powder in your smoothies or other recipes.
The bottom line is that you can enjoy small to moderate amounts of dark chocolate and also cocoa powder daily, and it only helps you to stay lean and fight the aging process in your body.

3. Coconut oil, coconut meat, coconut flour, and coconut milk
Coconut milk and oil are great sources of a super healthy type of saturated fat called medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), including a component called lauric acid, which is a powerful nutrient for your immune system, and is lacking in most western diets. In addition, MCTs are readily used for energy by the body and less likely to be stored as body fat compared to other types of fats.
Eating coconut oil can help improve the health of your skin from the inside out… But in addition to being healthy internally, coconut oil is also known to be great for the health of your skin externally as a skin moisturizer that’s healthier for you than most lotions since natural coconut oil allows you to avoid the harmful chemicals found in many lotions. 
Coconut oil is even shown to help improve your thyroid function as well as helping to protect your brain from Alzheimers.
There are even direct studies that show that coconut oil can help you burn off abdominal fat more efficiently.
Along with coconut milk and coconut oil as healthy fat choices, we’ve also got coconut flour as a healthier flour option for baking. Coconut flour is an extremely high fibre flour alternative (almost ALL of the carbs in this flour are fiber and not starch!). Coconut flour is also VERY high in protein compared to most flours and is also gluten free! 
Just beware that if you’re going to use coconut flour for baking, it absolutely NEEDS to be mixed with other flours as it sucks up moisture like crazy…make delicious baked goods by mixing coconut flour with almond flour and quinoa flour in equal parts, and adding slightly more liquid ingredients than the recipe calls for.

Enjoy your fats and NEVERTHELESS feel on a ‘diet’



Low Carb Lunch Ideas

#2 low carb lunch

Spaghetti squash with Kale, chick peas and hazel nuts. 

Oh my Gosh, the Nutrition!
Winter squash rocks because it is a powerhouse veggie. Unlike summer squash (re: zucchini, crookneck, pattypan), winter squash has had a lot more time to develop and pump itself full of vitamins and minerals throughout its lengthy life on the stem. We’re talking oodles more vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), vitamin C, manganese, potassium, and even some extra dietary fiber thrown in just for kicks. This combination of nutrients spells good news for asthma sufferers, those with heart disease, elevated cholesterol, or inflammatory conditions such a rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.  
The other bonus? Nature designed summer squash to be rather delicate, with a high water content for those hot summer days when we need a cool down. Naturally, their shelf life is rather short during our abundant harvest season when produce is plentiful. On the flip side, winter squash has a tough outer skin and lower water content, which allows it to be stored for a very long time – some varieties up to six months. This means that we can keep these vitamin bombs around for a long time after the first frost to provide our bodies with the nutrition we need to see us through the long months of winter when there is nothing fresh in sight. 
Put that in your oven and roast it. 

This dish is so yummy – like Oh my Gosh yummy. I wanted to create something totally special and seasonal, with rich, earthy flavours, and satisfying comfort. Everyone loves pasta and the way it is like getting a hug from the inside, right? Well, this dish comes pretty close, except that instead of that really heavy feeling you get after a plate of penne, spaghetti squash is filling in an energizing way. I bet you will be very surprised at how delicious it is all on its own, straight out of the oven – I nearly ate a meal-sized portion to myself before combining it with everything else. I just couldn’t stop myself! I’m totally wild!

Oh my Gosh, Spaghetti Squash
1 spaghetti squash
1 bunch kale
1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 can)
3 cloves garlic
olive oil
sea salt
pinch crushed chilies
¾ cup toasted hazelnuts
Pecorino Romano (hard sheep’s milk cheese)

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. 
2. Prepare the spaghetti squash by cutting it in half lengthwise, removing the seeds, rubbing the inside of each half with a drizzle of olive oil, then seasoning with salt and pepper. Place face down on a lined baking tray and place in the oven – cook for about 45 minutes.
3. While the squash is baking, prepare the rest of the filling. Wash kale well and remove the tough center rib of each leaf. Roughly chop kale into small pieces. 
4. Heat oil, ghee, or butter in a frying pan, then add minced garlic, crushed chilies to taste, and a pinch of sea salt. Cook 2 minutes until fragrant, then add chopped kale and cook until the leaves are bright green and just starting to lose structure. Throw in the chickpeas and cook just to warm. Remove from heat. 
5. Remove squash form the oven when it is cooked through. Using a fork, scrape out the insides, which will pull away from the shell in strands, like spaghetti (whoa). Place all strands in a bowl, and toss with the kale and chickpea mixture. At this point you can either serve it from the bowl, or mix it everything together and place back in one half of the empty squash shells for a beautiful presentation. Sprinkle with chopped toasted hazelnuts and shaved Pecorino Romano. Enjoy.

Consistency is Key! 

Don’t Cheat a Diet
I’m not sure how many times I’ve written or read this, but it’s true. The dietary system or nutritional framework that you choose to employ is far less relevant than your level of compliance within it. The reality is that most nutritional approaches have very similar principles, the overriding one perhaps being that you need to eat within your calorie requirements, being in a deficit if your goal is weight loss.
Fitness Truths: the three reasons you’re not burning fat

Is this really what you had for breakfast?

Most systems will assume that most of what you consume comes from decent sources, with the key messages being to drink more water, eat your vegetables and get enough protein. Regardless of what you choose, the bottom line is that you’ve actually got to do it, consistently.
Don’t Skip a Workout

Cheating on the gym is the same as cheating on your diet: it doesn’t work. Again, most approaches and systems will share common underpinning principles, such as prioritising resistance training for example, so what you choose to do is far less important than you actually doing it consistently.
The simple way to think of nutrition and exercise when it comes to changing your body shape and composition, is that your diet will look after fat loss, while your training or exercise will look after your muscle mass – think toning – and cardiovascular health. Both are important. 
The bottom line is that you need to turn up three times per week, focus your mind on the task at hand, and give it a good go.
Do Invisible Training

Invisible training is a term I borrowed from a well-known coach in professional sports, which refers to various recovery and regeneration strategies, or the things that we do outside of the gym that often go unseen. 
Fitness Truths: three reasons you’re not burning fat

I use the term in general fitness circles to describe the exercise or movement that we do outside of our structured workouts – that is, activity that keeps the systems ticking and burns additional calories. Things such as walking to work, taking the dog out, playing tag with the kids, taking the stairs, swimming a few lengths on holiday, and all of the other things that you do not record or perhaps think of as exercise, but are actually equally, if not more important than, your scheduled sessions.
 Written by -Claude Vacassin is founder of W10 Performance,

Can You Snack Healthy?

There are more options than you think!!

Sometimes, the whole world of snacking seems to be based on the one thing you’re supposed to limit: refined carbs. Even the “healthier” packaged items, like granola bars, smoothies, and crackers, are full of them. If you look past the vending machine, though, you’ll find plenty of other tasty options, like these smart snacks. The best part? They’re as easy to toss together as they are delicious. 

#1 Low carb snack

Apples and Cheese

Sweet and salty flavors add up to a great snack. Pair half a cup of apple slices with string cheese for about 10 grams of carbs. The combination of protein, fat, and fiber makes it a filling and satisfying nosh.
#2 low carb snack

Avocado on a Crisp

Avocados have a place in your diet outside the guacamole bowl. Mash one-quarter of a ripe avocado and spread it on two light rye crisps for a crunchy, creamy snack with 18 grams of carbs, plus plenty of fiber and heart-healthy fat. It’s like a mini open-faced sandwich.
#3 low carb snack

Yogurt and Cucumbers
  Take your yogurt in a savory direction. Use a cup of low-fat, plain Greek yogurt as a creamy dip for 1 cup of refreshing cucumber spears. It adds up to12 grams of carbs and a mega dose (20 grams) of appetite-satisfying protein. It’s like a version of the famous Greek dish, tzatziki.

#4 low carb snack

Turkey Roll-Ups

Deli turkey has uses beyond a sandwich filling. Lose the bread and roll up 1 ounce of sliced turkey in lettuce leaves with mustard. This light, crisp snack has about 3 grams of carbs and will get you through the afternoon.

#5 low carb snack 

Cottage Cheese With Berries

Cheesecake doesn’t make for a healthy snack option, but you can mimic a little of the flavor in a healthier way. Pair a cup of low-fat cottage cheese with half a cup of fresh or frozen blueberries and a little of your favorite no-calorie sweetener. The result? A dessert-like snack with 18 grams of carbs.

#6 low carb snack

Better Beef Jerky

Jerky has been going upscale in recent years, and there are better options now than the over-processed mystery-meat versions you’ve had before. Look for jerkies made from grass-fed beef, which have big flavor and just 10 grams of carbs per serving (about 1.5 ounces). 

#7 low carb snack

Celery and Peanut Butter

Remember eating this snack with your homework after school? It’s still a good idea! Fill two medium celery stalks with 2 tablespoons of natural-style peanut butter for a nibble that will take you back to your childhood, with only 9 grams of carbs.

#8 low carb snack

Hardboiled Egg With a Kick Nuts

Mixed nuts are an all-time snack classic for good reason. They’re just as satisfying at your desk as they are at a party. One ounce of crunchy, salty, mixed nuts will keep your energy up for hours for only 5 grams of carbs per ounce.

Hard-boiled eggs are the original grab-‘n’-go power snack. Cut one in half and spread on a little hot sauce (such as sriracha) to make it as full of flavor as it is of protein. That’s a zesty bite for less than 1 gram of carbs.

#9 low carb snack


Mixed nuts are an all-time snack classic for good reason. They’re just as satisfying at your desk as they are at a party. One ounce of crunchy, salty, mixed nuts will keep your energy up for hours for only 5 grams of carbs per ounce.

#10 low carb snack
Kale Chips

Even kale haters come around when they taste kale chips. Some store-bought varieties have less than 10 grams of carbs. You can cut that number even further by making them at home. Tear the leaves from a bunch of kale. Rinse and dry them. Toss with 1 tablespoon of oil and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Roast them in your oven at 300 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until the kale is crispy.

#11 low carb snack


Also called steamed soybeans, edamame taste great, are full of fiber and protein, and have just 8 grams of carbs in a half cup of shelled edamame. They’re easy to make in your microwave, so keep a bag in your freezer.

#12 low carb snack

Hummus and Red Bell Pepper Wedges

Though they’re often spotted together, hummus isn’t married to high-carb pita bread. Spread 1/4 cup of hummus onto wedges cut from one red bell pepper for a filling, tasty snack that has 16 grams of carbs.

#13 low carb snack 

Stuffed Tomato

Get the health benefits from tuna without all the carbs that come with your typical tuna sandwich. Pack 3 ounces of canned tuna into a ripe tomato half for a hearty snack with only 3.5 grams of carbs.

Coca-Cola ‘trying to manipulate public’ on sugar-obesity link

Coca-Cola has spent millions of pounds funding research institutes and scientists who cast doubt on the link between sugary drinks and obesity.

The drinks firm is said to have links to more than a dozen British scientists, including government health advisers, who counter claims that its drinks contribute to obesity.

The revelation of Coca-Cola’s scientific funding comes weeks after the government rejected a tax on sugar sweetened drinks, despite support from Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies, the British Medical Association and TV chef Jamie Oliver.

An investigation by The Times published on Friday revealed the full scale of Coca-Cola’s funding of scientists.

According to the investigation, Coca-Cola spent £4.86 million setting up the European Hydration Institute (EHI), a seemingly independent research foundation which has recommended sport and soft drinks of the sort the company sells to the public, including children.

The newspaper claimed that Ron Maughan, chairman of the EHI’s scientific advisory board, is an emeritus professor from a university which received almost £1 million from Coca-Cola while he provided nutritional advice to leading sports bodies.

Maughan has advised UK Athletics and the Football Association and has also been a consultant for Coca-Cola and other drinks companies since the 1990s, according to The Times.

Coca-Cola is said to have provided support, sponsorship or research funding to a variety of British organizations including UKActive, the British Nutrition Foundation, the University of Hull, Homerton University Hospital, the National Obesity Forum, the British Dietetic Association, Obesity Week 2013 and the UK Association for the Study of Obesity.

Through its trade organizations, Coca-Cola representatives have met government officials and ministers more than 100 times between 2011 and 2014, according to The Times. Coca-Cola is also said to host a parliamentary dinner.

Faculty of Public Health board member Simon Capewell accused Coca-Cola of trying to shape public opinion.

Coca-Cola is trying to manipulate not just public opinion but policy and political decisions. Its tactics echo those used by the tobacco and alcohol industries, which have also tried to influence the scientific process by funding apparently independent groups. It’s a conflict of interest that flies in the face of good practice,” he said.

New York-based nutrition researcher Marion Nestle warned scientists should not take money from Coca-Cola.

In my opinion, no scientist should accept funding from Coca-Cola. It’s totally compromising. Period. End of discussion,” said Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health.

Coca-Cola of Great Britain said: “We rely on scientific research to make decisions about our products and ingredients and commission independent third parties to carry out this work.”

Professor Maughan recognized “the need for caution” over industry funding but said that much good research would not otherwise have taken place. Loughborough said its research studies were subject to a strict code of conduct.

Eat Yourself Fitter!

How to Eat Yourself Fitter 
Okay, so today’s tip is all about protecting your immune system so you can perform at your best all year round. 
The key is, quite simply, what you eat… especially AFTER you’re been doing exercise. 
Truth is, you can follow all the fancy training programmes you want, but if you’re laid up with coughs and colds each winter, you’re never going to reap the rewards of all that hard work. 
So you need to ensure your body gets enough of those nutrients that support your immune system, including: 
• Vitamin A – well supplied in liver, eggs, all orange and red fruits and vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots. 
• Vitamin C – found in citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits, kiwis, all the berries, also well supplied in tomatoes and peppers. 
• Vitamin D – good sources include eggs, milk, butter, cod liver oil and some other fish oils. 
• Essential fatty acids (i.e. omega-3 and omega-6 oils) – good sources include all the fatty fish (trout, sardines, herrings, salmon, mackerel, pilchards, etc.) as well as unrefined whole grains and nuts and seeds, especially, hemp, flax, walnuts and pumpkin seeds. 
• Zinc – a vital immune nutrient; good sources are high quality, lean cuts of meat and fish and shellfish; also found in whole grains and some nuts and seeds, such as walnuts and pumpkin seeds. 
• Selenium – well supplied in unrefined whole grains (eg wholemeal bread), all seafood and some nuts and seeds, especially Brazil nuts. 
But as well as the above, you need to consider a post-exercise nutritional strategy. 
That info comes next! …..

Eat Well. Train Hard. Expect Results! 


Ellie – Testamonial

I met Ellie when she joined my Pilates sessions as a guest. A busy mother of a grown up family, walking her dogs twice daily, a keen dancer and working full time she needed a no nonsense solution to her needs.

This is Ellie’s transformation story.
(In her words)
In May I went to the Doctor because I felt rubbish, I was tired, grumpy, sleeping poorly, my skin was dry and flaky, my hair was coarse and thinning and my nails were peeling and breaking.
I was overweight and nothing I tried could shift the excess.
The doctor suggested a Well Person MOT and blood tests. I also decided that I would also take matters in my own hands and start following more closely the nutritional and exercise advice offered by Jackie.
I started slowly, making little changes, then attended Jackie’s irks hop in June and it was a revelation. I learnt so much!! I feel better than I have for a long time, many, many friends and family have noticed too!
Everyone wanting to know what I had been doing to make such a transformation, including my GP when I went back for 2nd blood tests in July.
Hair, skin, nails, posture, sleep, energy and flexibility ( which has been noted at by dancing class) all improved. The classes are great fun too!
Thank you Jax

I will let the stats speak for themselves
Weight: 9st 6lbs
Dress Size: 10/12
Cholesterol: 5.6

Weight:8st 5lbs
Inches Lost: 13
Dress Size: 8
As you can see Ellie was very pleased with her results. She’s a great example of a client that gradually made nutritional changes, committed to regular exercise sessions and worked hard to stick to her simple plan.
She followed this blog, my twitter feed and joined my support group too.

If you read this and want the same results – get in touch for FREE trial. I have a few trials of 7, 14 and 21days to show just how simple it is to get REAL results without starvation, fad diets, crazy exercise, hours on the treadmill or running through mud!

I offer science based Nutritional Coaching, Intelligent group exercise, Support and guide acne based on over 30years experience working as fitness instructor and teacher trainer.

My sessions are based in my private wellness studio in Cheltenham – arrange your trial today – don’t put it off any longer.
Within a few weeks, just like Ellie, you could feel like a New woman!

Text: 07831 680086
Friend me on Facebook: Jax Allen
Follow me on Twitter: JaxAllenFitness

Eat Clean. Train Smart. Expect Results