Category Archives: Weight loss

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.

11253650_1028927033792443_5867605202461163622_n

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.

11828686_1034826256535854_2321330021383891457_n

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

Gut feeling

So during the hottest week of the year I had to get a loan vehicle as mine was in the garage for repair and although I rarely use the air- conditioning, the fact the hire vehicle didn’t have any really threw me! Luckily the fact is was diesel wasn’t a problem as that is what I use normally.

BUT…

If I had put petrol into it I dread to think how much time, hassle and money I would have used to sort it out.

So why is it that we often put the wrong fuel into our bodies and wonder why we feel sluggish, tired, have bad skin, brain fog, have aches and pains, indigestion or anything else that just generally makes us feel – yuk.

Yesterday I donated blood and was chatting to someone whilst we were enjoying our well deserved tea and biscuits after donation, and I’m not sure how but we got onto subject of digestion and he said he was off to buy his wife some probiotic yoghurt drinks. The conversation reminded me that I should do a blog post about gut health.

Ever thought about the phrase we use “gut feeling”?

Well it is because often our gut (digestive tract) is referred to as our second brain and that’s why if we don’t treat it properly we won’t be firing on all cylinders.

“We are what we eat” yes but really we are what we absorb and given our gut is filled with billions of bacteria (good and bad) then our top priority should be to assist digestion and absorption as much as we can.

Ofcourse firstly we need to avoid anything that we are intolerant of – common ones are gluten and dairy and often people aren’t great with soy or even eggs.

Following on from that we should support our system with natural foods in their original state, with plenty of raw fruits and vegetables for their enzymes.

As well as eating vegetables at every meal then you can boost your enzymes and digestion by having a daily greens powder such as Lean Greens, especially important if you are way on business or holidays or just when you can’t get access to as many green vegetables.

I was recently telling the story of when I was travelling in Hungary and Czechoslovakia about 22 years ago (yikes some of you might were probably in nappies then!) that the food was really stodgy – dumplings, bread and some meat and NO green or raw vegetables. I was constipated and felt awful 🙁 The supermarkets literally had big gaps on shelves where there were things missing and there wasn’t much of anything in the supermarkets (makes you realise how very lucky we are in the UK) so one day when I saw a man selling cucumbers on the roadside, yes that is all he had, I grabbed several and started chomping away as my body was telling me that is needed fibre and enzymes.

Luckily we have no excuses not to eat well except maybe laziness 🙁

Have you ever taken antibiotics? If so watch this…

Anyone who has taken a course of antibiotics (which are prescribed to kill the bad bacteria but unfortunately also kill the good bacteria in our gut) should follow up with a course of probiotic capsules which you can buy in good health food shops.

As I told the man at the blood donation, I’d avoid the Yakut and Actimel type drinks as they contain sugar and are an expensive way to get what you can better in a capsule. (plus for me I don’t believe in all that packaging which we have to dispose of).

Another great way to get some fibre and good bacteria into the gut is through raw sauerkraut that you can buy in good health food shops. It is fermented cabbage and great to add alongside your meals to help digestion.

11159452_10155485040280384_8328803398240685022_n

There is far more detail that I could go into but I just want to make it simple and this post is already long!

As a side note if you have never donated blood then why not give it a go – apart from the free teas and biscuits, it is also a great way to get your iron levels checked. I’ve been donating for years (infact I recently got my 25 donation certificate which was a lovely surprise) and I’ve always passed the first check for iron levels but yesterday I didn’t so they did an extra test and I was fine to donate. It made me think though that it is a good way to see if you are low on iron (which can make you feel tired) which many people are due to poor diet or lack of absorption which highlights the importance of gut health. A bit like coming to trial week at Zest Bootcamp, I say to people why not try it as you will never know until you have a go. If you’d like to find your nearest blood donation session click HERE

have a great weekend

Zita 🙂

Ps If you are near Bath and would like to join Zest Bootcamp for a trial week then click HERE  

 

 

Easter chocolate tip

My butt Hurts

Just a super quick blog post today ….

FREEZE your chocolate.

Yes – out of sight, out of mind.

I’m sure by the time you get to Easter Monday you will have eaten enough so make some space in the freezer and throw a few easter bunnies in there for next time you fancy a nibble.

Have a great Easter and if by the middle of April you are still feeling like you need to work off that easter chocolate then sign up for a trial week at Zest bootcamp.

After just 2 sessions I had this lovely email from one of our new ladies who is in her 50’s …

“I am looking forward to Friday. I cannot remember the last time I looked forward to exercise so much.  I like the variety and the positive, encouraging approach.”

So if you want to feel great in your clothes and enjoy the journey of regaining or kickstarting your fitness then give us a try. Click here to read some of our testimonials 

Burger and chips

It was Mr Z birthday and he REALLY wanted to have a burger at somewhere we found that does a great one – no it wasn’t Grillstock this time, although they do a great one too 🙂

Just a pub in Somerset – The Talbot Inn in Mells, for any of you who might be interested.

But what made it so good is that they use high quality ingredients – and my view is that if you are going to eat a meal out why not think about quality and not quantity.

Did you know that poor quality food, such as regular fast food, is so devoid of nutrients and is really “dead, beige food” that your body makes you eat more and more because the cells are not being nourished.

You can be overweight but malnourished believe it or not!

That is why eating foods close to nature in their natural state that are packed with nutrients will satisfy you.

Anyway – I decided to also have the burger with birthday boy and enjoyed it because I asked them to ditch the bun and to switch the fries it came with for a portion of greens that were on the menu as a side order.

It tasted great, I wasn’t stuffed and bloated after and I had more nutrients to help digestion and health.

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 10.03.38

So next time you go out to eat why not ask for more vegetables, sauce on the side, an extra side salad, no bread at the table – anything you need to in order to maintain your journey to better health and happiness.

Have a great weekend and I saw this great quote today from Christian Dior ..

“Zest is the secret of all beauty. There is no beauty that is attractive without Zest

Can’t agree more 🙂

Zita “burger burger” Alves

ps For any of you who may have enjoyed too many burgers or chips and want to get in shape for the start of summer (which is coming soon) then the best way to kick-start your fitness is to join our next trial week at Zest bootcamp which starts 30 March.

Ditch the diet

So now it feels like Christmas is well and truly over it seems the adverts are all about booking a holiday and infact they are right – we should be thinking about our beach bodies now not in June.

Rather than starting a drastic diet (that cuts out everything you love) in January or a few weeks before you head off for your holiday why not start to swap your bad habits for healthier ones now and lead a healthy lifestyle.

Good food

A sustainable plan should allow for treats whilst supporting your body so that you have:

  • Loads of energy
  • Glowing Skin
  • Able to wear anything you want
  • Feel good wearing clothes that show off your body
  • Good sleep
  • Toned body
  • Free from illness and disease
  • Feeling happy and healthy

It’s not that difficult to achieve all of these but you have to start doing something such as:

  • Drinking a herb or fruit tea instead of a cappuccino or latte
  • Going out for a walk during your lunch hour
  • Taking a big bottle of water to work with you and making sure you have drunk it all by the time you leave
  • Adding some more vegetables into your dinner
  • Having nuts and fruit for a snack instead of a biscuit or cake
  • Only having alcohol one night a week instead of several
  • Starting the day with a green smoothie (check out some recipes in my cookbook)
  • Swapping your lunchtime sandwich for a vegetable soup or a salad
  • Joining an exercise class

It’s great to see how already after just 2 weeks at bootcamp our new members are noticing they can do more (that’s why we make the 4 weeks a progressive programme that gets harder). No matter what level you are starting at you can always make improvements – even if you feel other people are much fitter than you. Everyone has to start somewhere and that’s why our longer term members are very supportive of new people as they know how it feel when you start out and even just the warm up gets you hot and sweaty.

Our next trial week starts on Monday 2nd February so if you are still struggling to get back into your clothes after Christmas or are feeling bloated and lethargic and just not as healthy as you’d like to be, then why not join us?

Maya Tweeted this a few days ago “Feeling amazing – thought I’d hate exercising outdoors but I love it” and Fiona loved being back at bootcamp doing boxing after several months off.

For any of you ladies who aren’t able to get to Bath for bootcamp but want to do something for your health why not join our f.ree webinar on Thursday 29th January at 8pm

“Ditch the diet forever –  7 Simple strategies that get results and you wish you’d known years ago”  – REGISTER HERE

Look forward to seeing you soon at bootcamp or on the live online webinar

Zita

Sweat fat crying

Easy to follow diet

So not long until Christmas and as I’ve said in previous posts you can either give up and eat all the high calorie treats that are everywhere at the moment or you can still keep on the healthy nutrition for 80% of the time and allow your self to enjoy some Christmas treats in the run up to the day Santa arrives.

During most of the week you can focus on eating vegetables, meat, fish, some nuts, some fruit and some starches such as sweet potato, rice, quinoa plus making sure you get plenty of water every day.

10687001_879473112071170_872597106918375118_n

This means that if you fancy a glass of mulled wine, mince pie or gingerbread latte occasionally you can enjoy it without putting on the average 5-10lbs that most people put on over the upcoming festive season.

Here is a quick tip I recorded to share with you to ensure you don’t have an excuse of being too busy to eat properly.

Also if you don’t yet have my 7 day detox diet plan which is packed with tasty, filling meals that are easy to prepare then grab a copy and follow it for an easy way to feel less bloated and sluggish.

If you add in some exercise then you will feel more energetic and vibrant.

Yesterday I had this lovely text from one of our Zest Bootcampers

“Zest Bootcamp has been life changing – really!”

So if you want to make 2015 the year you get your health and fitness sorted out we would love to help you. Why not sign up for a trial week at Zest bootcamp if you are in or near Bath – hundreds of people that we have helped over the last 6 years can’t be wrong 🙂

Grab your easy to follow 7 day healthy eating plan here so you can feel great in your festive clothes!

Rainbow nutrition

There is something magical about a rainbow, infact I saw one on Sunday after having got soaked with an unexpected shower 🙁

So when I came across this image I thought it was the perfect way to show people how many different fruits and vegetables there are out there to try.

Fibre, water, vitamins, minerals, enzymes – just a few reasons to include fruits & vegetables into your diet EVERY day.

colourful fruit & veg

We are all guilty (me included) of often going for the same old choices so why not use this image and cross off as many as you can by the end of August.

Maybe you could get the kids involved too.

If you lack inspiration then checkout my cookbook which includes some great smoothie recipes that are easy to make, filling and tasty as well as being packed with good nutrition.

Perhaps you really struggle with time in which case having a shot of lean greens every morning is a great way to get a supercharged vegetable hit (you can also add it to smoothies).

Enjoy the challenge 🙂

Stop eating C.R.A.P

Until yesterday I was going to write about gratitude – which I still will on another blog post but I changed my mind as had to get this off my chest.

It seems the no make-up “selfie” has gone crazy on Facebook over the last few days and whilst I love the intent and the fact it’s raising awareness and money for breast cancer – a cause VERY close to my heart, I have a different approach.

stop eating crap

Yesterday I was in a major chain supermarket filming some educational nutrition information about how to choose the best foods for an online programme I’m running. We chose a large store so the ranges on offer would be as wide as possible and it truly shocked me how much rubbish is on the shelves.

I honestly hadn’t even heard or seen a lot of the brands of food and drinks that were on offer – is that because I don’t watch much TV or read magazines where they are advertised maybe? It could be that I use a fruit and vegetable box scheme for the majority of my foods, as well as farm shops, health food shops and I also prefer smaller supermarkets for other bits that we need.

Ok I know many of you have children and you need to shop for everything in one place to make life easier but really I’d say that 75% of what is there you DO NOT need. The cereal aisle for example, which I call the sugar aisle, is immense and squashed down the bottom on a tiny shelf we finally found some organic porridge oats – which are not only “closer to nature” the way I prefer to eat, but also work out much cheaper bowl for bowl than some of the so called “healthy” mueslis and granolas.

Want to get fat? Then check out some of the ingredients in a yoghurt – double cream, sugar, butter!!! Yes steam started coming out of my ears when I read that – can you believe it!

As you may realise this subject is one that I am super passionate about and I could talk all day about it. We got half way around the supermarket before they came over and told us to stop filming as it wasn’t allowed… kind of expected that to happen 🙁

So whilst breast cancer is not always straight forward I understand, we have got to start thinking more about what we put in our bodies, hence I write and say what I do to help people understand the truth and not what the food manufacturers and media mostly tell us, but in the end it is your choice of course.

Anyway here is a photo of a sugar, wheat and diary free “experiment” that turned out really well….

beetroot choc protein bites

I’ve just had one of my cookbooks reprinted so if you struggle with ideas of what healthy meals to prepare that are easy to make and taste great I recommend you have a look as I think you might be surprised. The 90 recipes are sugar and wheat free, and mainly dairy free too. Many of the mums on our online programme have said how they now love some of the fruit smoothies as alternatives for breakfast, as well as the fruit pancakes which everyone loves! For dinner the kids seem to all love the Spanish meatball recipe so check it out HERE

have a great weekend and if you are in Bath don’t forget you can sign up for a trial week at our outdoor bootcamp classes to see how we can help you feel healthier and happier.

Zita

ps Recipe for these chocolate treats coming next time as this post is long enough already.  You can sign up above for my 7 day detox and then you will the first to know about my future blog posts to make sure you don’t miss out:)

Follow the rainbow

Happy New Yeer – better late than never!

I decided not to talk about New Year resolutions as for many people it’s all about taking things out of their lives, such as smoking, sweets, chocolate etc.

Why not think about what we can ADD into our lives in 2014 – (more patience and kindness wouldn’t go amiss from what I see on the streets and roads most days)

Try increasing the amount of:

1. Sleep

2. Water

3. Raw fruits and vegetables

4. Fresh air

5. Movement

Add a little of these everyday and see how much better you feel, maybe on week 1 you focus on getting to bed earlier, once you’ve nailed that add in the water etc. The key is to stick to it for the whole 3-4 weeks for it to become a healthy habit – don’t dip in and out otherwise it won’t be as effective long term.

colours of foods

Nature is pretty clever, crazy how we ignore it and end up eating packaged “dead” , beige food most of the time!

Yesterday I shared this quote on Facebook which seemed to baffle a few people:

“mosquitoes seek the stagnant water, but do not cause the pool to become stagnant” eat properly, hydrate, move, sleep, go outdoors, relax

What is means is that we need to to care of the “pool” our bodies and then the “mosquitos” the bugs, viruses etc will not take hold as we will not be an attractive “host”, instead our immunity will be strong and the invaders will not be able to take hold.

Eating the colourful foods above is a great start.

This week I’ve had some great feedback from women I’ve met which I wanted to share with you.

One busy working mum of 2 was moving house before Christmas (can you imagine the stress of that!) and she started taking Lean Greens to keep up her energy and immunity and it worked much more than she expected.  T

The other lady did my 7 day detox after the New year, lost 8lbs and said she found it easy.

Both of these show how important it is to put the right fuel into our engines, just like our beloved cars.

So if you feel like you need a focus to get back on track with the healthy eating and exercise but don’t know where to start then the online 21 day shape up plan would be perfect for you. In the past people have lost significant amount of weight, inches and felt amazing after doing the programme that you can do anywhere in the world as you don’t need to come to our classes. All the workouts, nutrition, mindset information is laid out plus you get a support group that are going through the programme together. We start on Jan 20th so check out this page to find out more –Click here

Have a great weekend

Zita

ps If not today, when? >>>21 day shape up please<<<

My before and after photos

Enough was enough

It was the final straw – I had to do something….

Everyone kept telling me I had to sort it out and I kept saying yes, I will soon – blah blah blah.

Then I realised I had to stop procrastinating and actually do it……

What was it?

Sorting out my office!!!

I’m a bit of a hoarder, ok a BIG bit, and like to be prepared (just in case)… Well I was a girl guide and “be prepared” was the motto. ….I’d love to share a photo but I’m too embarrased of what a state I’d let it get into:(

But having collected almost 15 years of paperwork – yes that’s when I changed careers from super stressed out office executive to become a personal trainer – it was all getting a bit too much

I decided to block out some time in my diary and JUST DO IT!

Easy – no it wasn’t but I kept thinking of how good I’d feel after I finished.

On the plus side I found loads of long lost things including a double page spread I had in Health & Fitness Magazine 10 years ago – times flies!

health&fitnessmagazine 2003

So if like me you keep procrastinating about doing something whatever it is – try and take the first step. For me I blocked out a day in my diary.

If you want to improve your energy levels, fitness, drop some pounds so your jeans feel better but keep putting it off then make a decision to just do something towards starting.

For those of you in Bath we are making it even easier for you by running a trial week at bootcamp so you don’t have to commit to the whole month. This way you can try out 3 sessions which will include bodyweight exercises and some fitness boxing and see if you like the group and want to stay for the remaining 3 weeks of the month’s bootcamp.

You can find out more by emailing me with “ TRIAL WEEK” in the subject header and I’ll send you more info.

Maybe you feel too embarrased to exercise in public? A bit like me too embarrassed to show pictures of my office for fear of judgement.

I have some news, you’ve got to get over it. Human beings ALL fear being judged, strange really, bet lions and tigers don’t give a damn what a Zebra thinks of them!

Many of our bootcampers were apprehensive about joining up for fear of not being fit enough, making a fool of themselves or just being out in public doing something unfamiliar. That’s one reason we have the testimonials on the website to help allay some of your apprehensions – see what  Zest bootcampers say here 

For any of you further afield who want to stop making excuses the 21 day shape up plan is coming back so watch this space.

So instead of trying to work in a messy office where I couldn’t find anything and just felt frustrated every time I walked in I decided to MAKE A CHANGE and now I LOVE being in there!

Same opportunity exists for you to make a date in your diary to start a healthier lifestyle – email me with the words “TRIAL WEEK” in the subject header to fitnesszita@gmail.com and I’ll be in touch.

Have a great weekend
Zita x

ps I just remembered it’s national Curry week so best reason I know to check out my new “clean and lean “ curry cookbook (especially in this colder weather if you want to hot things up!) Packed full of tasty meals and snacks that are all “fat loss friendly” – Order your copy here http://zestbootcamp.co.uk/cookbooks/

pps Remember too we have our “Saturday Supercamp” class which involves boxing and equipment and is available as a drop in class for anyone not able to do the weekday classes. 9-10am in AlexandraPark for just £7