Category Archives: Healthy habits

Sleep Hygiene

Hands up who feels full of energy and vitality?

There can be a variety of reasons, including nutrition, but one of the simplest lifestyle habits we can look at is sleep.

If you’ve been following me for a while you probably know that I am a fan of having good sleep “hygiene”.

What’s that you may ask?

Well, it’s a way to ensure you get a good nights sleep by following certain rules including:

1. Having a room as dark as a cave – so no l.e.d lights showing (in hotels I turn clocks around and cover TV light with something). At home we have black out blinds so that in summer when sun rises early (and I don’t want to) I won’t be awoken by light.

2. A cool room with some air – having a window open is vital and if you live somewhere where there is outside noise you may need earplugs to help at first until you get used to it. Ideal temperature is 60-67 so maybe you need to turn down the radiators in the bedroom if you like the rest of the house cosy.

3. Establishing a good wind down routine is essential and that means turning off phones, laptops and any other “blue light” brain stimulants at least 30 mins before sleep. Better to switch to reading a good old fashioned book if you want to wind down. Having a bath will also help as it raises your external heat so your core temperature drops slightly.

4. I’ve put this as a separate point because I think it is too common – do not have your smart phone in the bedroom as an alarm. Go get a cheap battery powered travel one and use that and turn your wifi and phone off at night and keep in another room. The electromagnetic frequencies are messing with our brains and at night when we are trying to repair we shouldn’t be interfering with it.

5. Don’t do a hardcore workout too close to bedtime as it will stimulate your central nervous system. Yoga and stretching exercise is better late in the evening.

6. You probably know that avoiding stimulants such as coffee in the afternoon is wise if you have trouble sleeping and also not eating a rich, heavy meal late at night won’t help you drift off either so pay attention to those habits.

7. Getting outdoors into natural daylight, especially in the winter will also help you sleep better along with regular exercise – I always sleep better the days I have exercised. That’s one of the benefits of our group outdoor exercises in Bath at Zest Bootcamp.

8. Trying to get up and go to bed around the same time each day will also improve your ability to sleep.

So hopefully that will give you some ideas and here is the science bit….

Click here to read a great article about WHY we need to get more sleep – it’s very informative and a bit worrying really at how damaging the lack of sleep can be.

Go on have a read – you may not know that sleep has a huge impact on weight loss too.

And if you’d like to get a healthy eating kickstart then grab a free copy of my 7 day kickstart packed with delicious, filling recipes HERE.

Sweet dreams

Zita x

ps I’d love to know what you do to get a better night’s sleep so let me know below …

Simple sweet snacks

I’m not sure about you but Christmas feels like an age ago with the chocolate overload that many of us seem to have enjoyed over the festive season. Since then we’ve had dry January and lots of green juices to get our bodies back in shape and ready for spring. Now it’s time to start thinking of that summer holiday you may have booked and maybe the beach body you are looking to feel confident of. So along with regular exercise you need to find a sustainable way of eating that doesn’t feel like you are depriving yourself. One of my new clients remarked on how I clearly love my food which she liked. It’s true I do love food (maybe it’s my Portuguese heritage) and I really believe life is too short to miss out on eating delicious things. If you also love food and ned to exercise to balance it out check out my blog post with a bodyweight workout that anyone can do to get fitter and stronger and if you are off to ski it is perfect. Click here for the free workout 

Sometimes nothing beats a little sweet treat with a cup of tea or coffee so why not make it a healthy one that you can enjoy.

ZITA’S PROTEIN BITES 

These easy to make high protein tasty treats are packed with good nutrition, fibre, good fats and are a satisfying way to enjoy a sweet treat that also gives you a good boost of protein. All ingredients should be available in good health food shops or supermarkets and the protein powder can be ordered via this link – click here. (You could use alternative protein powders too)

INGREDIENTS

2 packets of TRIM vanilla Protein powder

2 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter or almond butter

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1 tablespoon coconut oil

2 tablespoons almond milk or other milk

1 tablespoon molasses or other sweetener

2 tablespoons hulled hemp seeds

1 tablespoon cinnamon

METHOD

Melt coconut oil with peanut butter and molasses and add to dry ingredients with milk, mix well and roll into small balls then refrigerate. Balls can also be rolled in sesame seeds to finish. Makes about 10 balls

Alternative recipe

2 packets TRIM chocolate protein powder

2 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter or almond butter

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1 tablespoon coconut oil

2 tablespoons almond milk or other milk

3 tablespoons chopped walnuts

1 tablespoon cinnamon

Enjoy

Zita x

7 day kickstart eating plan

The mulled wine and mince pies were great but now your waistline is tighter, your energy levels are fading away and you want to get back some sense or normal eating aka healthy, instead of having chocolate or cake for breakfast (just because it is Christmas).

I know exactly how you feel, infact many years ago before I changed careers to become a trainer, I used to eat chocolate for breakfast the whole year! No wonder I was several dress sizes bigger than I am today.

Anyway luckily I discovered a much better way of eating that makes you feel great and is easy to fit into a busy schedule.

My 7 day kickstart programme is the perfect way for you to get back on track and that is why I am giving it away for FREE as I know how rubbish it is to feel bloated and lethargic and how fantastic it is when you discover that you don’t need to feel like that anymore.

Click here to get your FREE COPY of the plan plus you will get access to our private Facebook group for extra tips and support.

I was also known as the cake monster at work in my previous career because when it was someones birthday I’d be at the front of the queue! No wonder I had such bad skin, no energy and moved like a 60 year old instead of the young 28 year old that I was. This is why I am SO passionate about helping you feel better because I don’t want you to suffer the way I did.

>>>> The plan will work if you work the plan so click here to get your copy today and start as soon as you are ready – that doesn’t mean waiting until the end of January one all the Xmas chocolates have gone! <<<<

Have a great day and if you haven’t already go grab a large glass of water and hydrate -your post Christmas body will love you for it.

Zita x

ps If not now when? Look after what matters most… your HEALTH.

I won Product of the Year

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I’m delighted to have won an award at Maximise 2016 annual conference and awards organised by Women’s Business Club.

The day was held in the beautiful Pittville Pump rooms in Cheltenham and was packed with all kinds of businesses who had stands, alongside a variety of speakers, a fashion show and then the award ceremony at the end.

I had a stand to share my cookbooks and the Total Body Shape up Plan as Zest Bootcamp classes and 1-1 personal training is location dependant and people came to the event from all over the country.

Stand at Maximise

One of the talks I went to was about Mindfulness, something I know I need to practice more of so spent a lovely 10 mins calming my thoughts and learning some great tips.

On a practical level I took a big bottle of water with me to have at the stand so I knew I could stay hydrated as well as some healthy snacks as wasn’t sure what kind of food would be on offer – planning is key to eat healthily. (hopefully you spotted the water in the photo)

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The fashion show included some lovely hats and other designer accessories from Tricia Designs.

I caught up briefly with Sheryl Andrews who has just launched her book “Managing your Critic” as well as Carol of Pink and Green skincare products – infact I was having a nice cup of tea and chatting to Carol when I suddenly realised they were calling my name as I had won an award!

Total Body Shape Up Plan won best “Product of the Year” award and here I am with Angela De Souza, founder of Women’s Business Club , the Mayoress and singing coach Amy Box.

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It was great to see all the winners of other awards and lovely for Jennifer Hall, aka The Life Buddy to win an award for speaker of the Year – Jen previously hosted the Bath Women’s Business Club which I now host once a month. If you are reading this and based in or near Bath why not come next Wednesday to our special #shoplocal Christmas market event where you can either just shop between 11-12 noon and then go or you can book the networking business lunch and get a free table beforehand so you can showcase your goodies and make some festive sales. The meeting is held at beautiful Bailbrook house and you can book here 

It seems wearing my pink dress was a hit again as I had endless compliments about it and I kept  telling people that it is because I had my colours done by House of Colour so I knew that the colour suited me and therefore had the confidence to wear such a bright dress. If I had time alongside the health & fitness I would train as an image consultant and help others discover what colours suit them best as I am really passionate about it but in the meantime I can point you in the direction of Gilly who is a local Bath/Bristol stylist who I’m sure would love to help you.

Back to feeling healthy, if any of you would like to get a plan in place for the start of 2017 and focus on eating healthier and putting your health back on track I’d love to share the shape up plan with you as it is a simple way to eat good food to nourish your body.

There are shopping lists of what to buy each week and what to eat each day/week plus recipes and I guarantee you will love the food.

I’m going to offer you a special price of £57 for this 8 week plan if you buy it before 10 December (after that it will be going back to the £77 full price).

Sorry the discounted link has now expired, however you can still purchase the 8 week plan by clicking here 

You can read more details about the Shape Up Plan by clicking here  but really all your need to know is that once you receive your manual you follow it, along with being supported in the private Facebook group, and the result is that you will look and feel fantastic just like a few of these people before you.

”My energy levels are SO much better”

“It has reduced sweet cravings associated with sugar lows”

“I am sleeping better despite menopausal night sweats”

”I’m going out on my bike for longer and can manage it due to better eating”

”I’ve lost inches and feel good – even though I’ve not followed the plan exactly as I am a vegetarian – happily recommend it”

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 Invest in what matters most …. YOU


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Why wait to look after your health?

Don’t wait for there to be a problem for you to pay attention to your health.

I’ll be surprised, if like me, you don’t know of at least one person going through cancer treatment at the moment.

It’s a fact of life that some people will be diagnosed with cancer however I believe we should all be thinking about preventing it, along with other diseases as much as we can.

Crime of the century – did you know that currently in the USA 1 in 5 people smoke, a dramatic drop from 50% in 1964 however tobacco still kills more people than HIV, alcohol, illegal drugs, suicide and murder combined!

I don’t particularly want to live until I’m 100, but I do want to prevent as many diseases as possible so it goes without saying that I don’t smoke, and actually never have  When I met up with my husband I was glad he was an ex smoker. Sadly he did restart at a time of extreme stress but he is now a total non-smoker as is my mum who gave up in her 60’s, a bit later than she should as it had already done damage so she now has to take daily medication before every meal for periphery artery disease.

So all I’d like to share here is that if you or someone you care for is still smoking there is so much help out there to stop smoking such as patches etc but how about hypnotherapy which I know really works for a lot of people.

Why wait – you health is precious.

As well as cutting out the bad habits which also include alcohol, stress and negativity, lack of sleep and rest, sugar, lack of exercise and movement etc we also need to nourish our body with as many nutrients as we can.

That’s why you may know I am a fan of #eatmoreveg. A colourful plate of vegetable should be a must for at least one meal a day, every day, every week, every month, every year.

You are what you eat so why not fill your body with all the vitamins and minerals that nature has given us and fight disease from inside.

VEGETABLES ROCK 🙂

courgettes

Here is one of my favourite vegetables that I always order an extra bag of in my Riverford vegetable box each week – courgettes, and they are in season now in the UK.

I’m sure many of you will have discovered spiralizing courgettes is a healthy way to reduce your starch intake and use in place of noodles and pasta.

They are also great griddled. Peel or slice hearty strips and cook for a few minutes on a griddle or in the oven. Serve as a side dressed with feta, chilli and parsley or just add into a salad for an extra boost.

Grated raw courgette is also prefect to throw into an omelette or into some pastryless mini quiches with some turkey or bacon.

Why not try them baked in a cake as an alternative or addition to a carrot cake or even as a way to add some moisture and bonus nutrients to a chocolate cake.

Did you know I have a 90 recipe cookbook full of gluten free breakfasts, lunches and dinners- you can find out more here

Healthy Pancake Day

Here is one of my favourite recipes that if you haven’t tried it you will wish you had known about it years ago!

It’s great for breakfast or snack you can take on the move or when you want something sweet but healthy.

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It’s gluten free (good if you have any auto immune diseases or inflammatory condition as often gluten makes these conditions worse)

It’s sugar free (good if you want to protect your teeth and also keep your blood sugar stable for better energy, fat loss and long term health)

It’s high in protein (good if you want to feel fuller for longer, reduce carb cravings, help muscle building and repair)

It’s dairy free (good for people unable to digest lactose or whose body is intolerant of dairy – many people notice that bloating, wind and bad skin are all improved once they stop dairy)

It’s quick and easy (good for everyone including children)

So all you need is a ripe banana and 2 eggs plus some coconut oil or grass fed butter.

Mash the banana, add the eggs and blend well

Heat the oil or butter and cook slowly then serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

You can also serve with a dollop of coconut milk yoghurt and some berries.

What’s not to like – enjoy!

Zita x

ps If you’d like to enjoy other gluten free and sugar free recipes check out my 90 recipe cookbook here and if you would like to have a very easy nutrition plan that each week tells you exactly what to do with shopping lists, meal plans and recipes then click here to find out more

Are you a Ferrari or Fiat?

 

Ferrari

Love your liver and it will love you back 🙂

Drinking less alcohol (it is dry January after all)

Drinking more water (yes I know you know that but do you do it?)

And…

Eating natural, unprocessed food is what our bodies are designed to thrive on, yet we still stuff them full of toxic, manmade rubbish and wonder why we have bad skin, no energy, feel bloated and just not very healthy.

Simply put – if you had a Ferrari I doubt you would go to the cheapest petrol station and fill it with whatever dirty fuel was on offer – you’d more likely give it premium fuel so that it ran smoothly. Ofcourse you definitely wouldn’t put diesel into a petrol car as we know that is a recipe for disaster (I’ve very nearly done it!)

So if you want to get your engine running better… then try my simple 7 day detox which doesn’t involve drinking any grass flavoured teas or anything fancy – just real food that tastes great, including tasty smoothies for lunch and delicious protein packed lunches and dinners.

Andrew from New York loved the recipes and after 7 days his jeans felt much better.

Lisa (a busy mum of 2) lost 6lbs!

At just £7 what have you got to lose except those post Christmas pounds that might still be hanging around.

Zita's 7 Day Detox

Click here to start feeling great 

Ofcourse you need to maintain a healthy diet for longer than just 7 days but this has proved to be a great kickstart to get you either back into or just starting healthy habits.

Coconut Berry Detox Smoothie

Coconut Berry Detox Smoothie

I also now offer an 8 week Total Body Shape Up Plan for people who are ready commit to carrying on healthy habits that will get even more results. Find out more about the 8 week shape up plan that involves regular exercise at our Zest Bootcamp classes in Bath alongside the online nutritional plan (which anyone can do anywhere) by clicking here 

Total Body Shape up Plan results So remember if you want to be run like a Ferrari you have to put the best fuel in 🙂

Zita x

PS Our next trial week at Zest Bootcamp in Bath starts on 1st February so why not come and see how much fun it is – don’t let the word bootcamp scare you.

Never too old

“You are never going to be as young as you are right this minute”

How does that make you feel?

Worried, depressed, not bothered… whatever you think there actually isn’t much you can do about it right?

Kind of… you can either seize every moment you have and enjoy life as no matter what your age, none of us really know how long we will be around for so why not be the best we can be whilst we are here.

Or you can just moan but that’s a waste of energy in my opinion. Yes your joints may be a bit more creaky than when you were younger, and the thought of wearing high heels all night doesn’t appeal as much as it used to, but think of all the bonuses of having been around a few more years than some people. You have SO much more life knowledge and experience that gives you so much more confidence than many young people lack.

Today many people are remembering 9/11 but I am also remembering my school friend who lost her battle with cancer 4 years ago. I have been lucky enough to have those extra years she never had so often when things are getting on top of me I remember how lucky I am.

So today my message is just to be thankful for what you have and make the most of the present  moment and tomorrow – you can’t change the past but you can change the now. Perhaps you haven’t been putting enough time and energy into your health and fitness and maybe now is the time to stop making excuses and prioritise it. Here is one of our lovely Zest  Bootcamp members explaining why she joined us 2 years ago and has been coming ever since. (I caught her on video directly after a 6.30am boxing workout!)

Look after your health because no one else can do it for you. Here is one of my super healthy smoothy recipes that will instantly make you feel 10 years younger!

KERMIT SMOOTHIE 

1/4 ripe avocado

Small or half large banana (can also add couple of strawberries if you prefer a sweeter smoothie)

1 cup of almond, rice or coconut milk (ideally unsweetened)

Heaped teaspoon of tahini (sesame seed paste) or almond or cashew butter

Large handful of watercress and/or spinach

Ice cubes and 1 cup or more of water to achieve preferred consistency.

And that’s it – blend it like Beckham!

(Add more banana and use spinach instead of watercress for a sweeter drink that kids will love.)

Have a great weekend – go do some lovely things that make you happy no matter what your age

Zita x

ps Next trial week at Zest Bootcamp in Bath starts soon if you want to see what Alison was talking about – we’d love to share our passion for health and fitness with you 🙂 Book here

Fear of failure

Why is it we don’t do things we really want to?

Mostly because we fear the judgement by others – if we fail, and often we worry about what people will think even when we succeed. How crazy is this!

Why should we care what others think?

It is our business – not theirs.

Fear of failure stops us doing many things we probably could.

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Apart from being taught the proper way to do something we don’t yet know how to do, it is our belief that could be stopping us.

So first step is find an expert – whether it is Mary Berry showing you how to avoid a soggy bottom in The Great British Bake Off, Brendan Cole from Strictly Come Dancing getting your hips to move properly in the Cha Cha Cha or a fitness coach showing you how to get stronger and fitter.

Using the celebrities on Strictly as an example – they may not have the skill set but they have the belief that they can do it, and their dance partners must also show they have the belief.

Our minds are powerful machines so use them to visualise yourself achieving those things you can’t yet do – but you must really want to do them otherwise you won’t dig deep enough to challenge yourself.

Anyone has achieved anything great has made a million mistakes along the journey to get there – me included.

But it’s ok to make mistakes, learn from them and move on. Sometimes the mistakes are what lead you to your true path so if in school you were no good at sports and even hated P.E that doesn’t mean that today you can’t discover something you are good at and you love.

Not everyone wants to exercise outdoors in the beautiful fresh-air with a group of supportive like-minded people but I bet if you gave it a go for just 1 week (3 sessions) you might discover that actually fitness can be fun.

One-thing I love to see at Zest Bootcamp is women, especially the overs 40s, doing some fitness boxing for the first time. They end up loving it which is why we do Boxercise style workouts at least once a week at our 4 week bootcamps.

Many of these women worried if they would be the fattest, most unfit ones in the class and were nervous of joining but they ultimately decided that the goal and result they wanted to achieve was far more important than the temporary discomfort they would feel by coming along and trying a few of the classes.

Last week we had a bootcamp social night out with some of the Zest Bootcamp crew who weren’t lounging on a hot sunny beach somewhere abroad. It was great fun and fabulous to see how gorgeous everyone looked and there is no denying that these ladies who didn’t know each other a few month, years ago, look radiant, healthy and happy.

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So if you’d like to get fitter, healthier and happier (no mater what your age or ability) please let us help you or if you have always wanted to do some Latin Ballroom dancing then go book a class – there are loads around.

Who cares what other people think – it is YOUR business, not theirs 🙂

Zita x

Our next taster week starts soon so click here to book your place