Tag Archives: Bath bootcamp

Merry Christmas

So it’s the last day of work for many people today – time to wind down and focus on other things.

Thank you for reading my blog and wishing you happy holidays

Xmas greeting

ps For any of you in Bath you can see our Christmas Survival Tips in The Weekend Magazine in this week’s Bath Chronicle

pps Here is the link if you want to book your place at January Bootcamp Trial Week – Book NOW

How to survive the run up to Christmas

It’s Christmas time
… mulled wine, mince pies, turkey leftovers, chocolate,
and alcohol, plus time off work – it’s a bad combination for
our waistlines and our motivation, AND it’s cold outside

So how can we survive this festive season without
piling on the extra pounds that take weeks to get rid of?

Screen Shot 2013-12-06 at 08.53.06
Did you know it can take 40 minutes on a treadmill to burn
off a mince pie!

Don’t worry help is at hand – we have come up with our Top
10 ways to enjoy a healthy and happy Christmas for you and
your loved ones.

Christmas is a time when people often go way overboard with
their eating habits, chocolate for breakfast lunch and
dinner and these bad habits make us lethargic and can set
us back months in our fitness goals.

These are just a few handy tips that can help keep you on
the straight and narrow so you don’t go completely off the
rails and undo all the hard work you’ve done this year.

Healthy Start

Start the day with a cup of hot water with a lemon slice and
some warming fresh ginger too if you like it. This will help
to alkalise the stomach and settle your PH levels, important
when you are eating a lot of rich, acidic food throughout
the day. Also a homemade fruit smoothie is a great
alkalising, breakfast alternative.

Ditch the Sweets

Swap sugary sweets and chocolate for fruit – tangerines
and clementines are seasonal, colourful and loaded with
immune boosting goodness. Nuts are everywhere at Xmas too
so grab an handful of healthy fats to keep your sugary
carb cravings at bay.

Liquid calories

This time of year it seems it’s gingerbread lattes and no
end of sugary drinks available everywhere. Add in the mulled
wine and other drinks no wonder our belts needs loosening
before Christmas Day has even arrived. Keep up your water
intake through the festive period as it will keep your
energy levels higher, help stop you drinking as many calorie
laden drinks and flush out those toxins.


Just because your normal routine’s gone out of the window
it doesn’t mean you can’t work out – 10 minutes of HIIT
(high intensity interval training) first thing will set you
up for the day, or go for a 30 minute run or use home exercise equipment.

Walking the dog or just going for a walk with the family is a great way for

everyone to burn calories and enjoy the winter scenery
(especially if Santa brings a bike for the kids).

Immunity boosters

As the days are shorter and the flu season begins one of
the best ways to stay healthy can be through supplements
such as a greens drinks, multi-vitamins and making sure we
don’t neglect our fruit and vegetable intake. Our vitamin D
levels are low at this time of year due to lack of
sunlight, so make sure you get eggs, salmon, sardines and
other seafood into your diet to help keep levels up.

Alcohol Alternatives

Fruit cocktails are a delicious alternative to alcohol or
of course you could offer to drive and stick to sparkling
water with some fresh lime saving yourself a hangover and
your friends a fortune on taxi fare. If you are drinking
just make sure to have a glass of water for at least every
2, ideally 1, alcoholic drink you do have.

Dance the Night Away

If you are out at a party hit the dance floor and burn off
those excess calories – remember to “dance like no one is

Healthy Christmas Dinner

When it comes to the big event it’s actually not an
unhealthy meal – pile your plate high with vegetables,
especially the green ones, have plenty of turkey and hold
back on too many roast potatoes. Cauliflower is a great
source of Vitamin C and it’s good for your heart.

Avoid some foods

While it’s nice to indulge you will help yourself if you can
steer clear of the bread and cheese – Opt for a smaller
plate and pile your plate high with salad on those Christmas
teas and go for meat rather than cheese.

Get your head right

Waiting until 2014 to do anything healthy is a sure fire way
to ensure you start the New Year feeling sluggish, bloated,
tired and depressed that your clothes don’t fit so well. Be
mindful of your eating, drinking and activity over the next
few weeks and allow yourself to enjoy the festive season
using some of these tips without losing site of what your
health and fitness goals are and remember

“Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live”

Tom Hanks has it

Here’s 2 things you may not know…

1. Thursday was World Diabetes Day

2. American actor Tom Hanks was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

{as a side note his latest movie “Captain Phillips” is great and I highly recommend you watch it}

Screen Shot 2013-11-16 at 10.10.37

It’s a sad fact of modern life that we are seeing more lifestyle diseases than ever before
and even in children and young people. Type 2 or “adult onset” diabetes is often the result of a
sedentary life and poor control of blood sugar through a processed and refined diet.

Diabetes is serious in that it can cause nerve problems, eyesight problems, circulation issues,
heart disease, stroke, foot problems.

The good news is that Type 2 can be managed through exercise and a clean, unprocessed diet
that does not contain refined sugars – pretty much the diet we recommend at bootcamp. We are
what we eat so make sure that you and your family are doing everything they can to prevent
longer term health problems.

For me Zest bootcamp is more than just exercise and weight loss –
it’s about short and long term health which surely is everyone’s goal?

So when we say it’s ok to eat nuts, avocado and other fats but not sugar it’s because it will
improve your health. Avoiding fat by having ‘diet’ foods and drinks means you are likely to
be having more (and often hidden) sugar and sweeteners than you need.

Did you know that since the world was told to…

Eat a low fat diet obesity has rocketed along with disease – go figure!

Food manufacturers are not in the business of improving your health and wellbeing,

no matter what they say -I promise.

Anyway on that cheery note have a great weekend and

remember if you are going to indulge a bit at least go for a walk first!


ps If you are in Bath don’t forget our 9am Saturday morning classes are open to everyone who

wants a once a week fitness boost to start off a healthy weekend

My Halloween Trick

No one wanted my treats:(

How was your Halloween? I’m not sure if I was just hanging around different places last year but I don’t remember everyone going to quite as much trouble carving pumpkins last year.

If Facebook is anything togo buy there were some AMAZING carvings, I saw an owl sitting on a wire, fairies with stars and loads more unusual designs – very impressive. (ps Pumpkin recipe coming below)

I was a bit sad that I didn’t carve one but we do have some candle holders that look like mini pumpkins and are SO much easier 🙂

Anyway I did get into the Halloween Spirit (get it!!) a bit and bought some treats for any little faces that knocked on the door. Chocolate, sweets, Haribos, lollipops etc .. no way!

I thought a gluten and sugar free, healthy cereal bar would do the trick and…. it did. We didn’t have anyone knock on the door!

Nakd bar

Word must have got around that there weren’t any “treats” at our house but I don’t agree. Infact once you get off sugar, which many people are kind of addicted to, you really taste the natural sweetness of foods. I used to love a Kitkat or a boost bar – do they still exist? But now if I have a bit of someones chocolate I really don’t like it as find it too sweet. The Nakd bars I had bought for last night were made from dates, cashew nuts and raspberries and in my opinion were sweet tasting and lovely.

Come to think about it they weren’t cereal bars at all really – and not to get confused with Special K and Alpen bars that I wouldn’t recommend to people. These kind of bars are marketed as healthy but have you read the ingredients – not only are there loads of ingredients in the product but also words I don’t understand and they certainly don’t look very close to nature, which is THE healthiest way to eat. If you can recognise what a food is and can pull it off tree, out of ground, hunt or fish for it etc then it’s pretty much certain to be good for you.

Next time you are in the supermarket or even petrol service station have a quick peek at the back of the highly marketed cereal bars and see what you think. Unfortunately it’s harder to get the healthy Nakd bars in some shops – health food shops are your best bet. Let me know what you think if you’ve not tried them before.

If you want a healthier treat why not try a few squares of a dark chocolate – 70% or more cacao content. The fat and magnesium in this kind of chocolate will satisfy you more than a sugar laden chocolate or low fat bar.

If you do what you always done then you get what you always got right? …. so try something new and see what happens.

A bit like the new people doing our first Trial Week at bootcamp – most of them are totally new to the “bootcamp” thing so this way they have been able to try us out. Good news is they all loved it and have signed up for the rest of the month.

Have a great weekend, especially of you are partying Halloween style!

Zita “pumpkin pumping” Alves

ps if you’d like to join our next bootcamp trial week go to http://bathbootcamp.co.uk and sign up for more information.

pps Almost forgot…. if you’d like some clean pumpkin recipes just comment below with your email and I will send them

Is eating fat healthy?

I was a diet food junkie….

Muller light yoghurts
Big bowls of cereals with skimmed milk
Diet coke
Melba toasts (they are low fat and low calorie so ok right?)
Sugar free sweets
Weight watchers soups with a white roll (no butter) and the list goes on.

Food antidepressant

But whilst I was trying to lose weight by reducing my calorie intake through eating less fat,I had no idea that I was giving my body sugar and chemicals.

The lack of fat (and protein) in the foods I was eating just didn’t fill me up, made me feel tiredand was very much to blame for skin conditions I suffered.

Did I lose weight?

Yes some, but I wasn’t healthy and I was just miserable and hungry.

Those were the days before I changed careers and learnt how to be full of energy, vitality and fight disease. I now understand that we should be eating REAL FOOD for better bodies.

All the work I do with 1-1 clients or bootcampers includes getting people to eat foods such as eggs, avocados, nuts, coconut oil and many other “banned” foods of many diet programmes.

What happens is that people look and feel great as a result.

This week there has been a refreshing article in the British Medical Journal highlighting that we should not be afraid of fat.

Here is an extract and I’d encourage you to read the whole article which isn’t long so you can

be clued up as to why not everything you hear in the media, from food manufacturers or even from your doctor may not be true.

Here is a link to the report, some of which I have shared below >> FULL ARTICLE<<<

“It is time to bust the myth of the role of saturated fat in heart disease, argues a cardiologist on bmj.com today.
Aseem Malhotra, interventional cardiology specialist registrar at Croydon University Hospital in London, says scientific evidence shows that advice to reduce saturated fat intake “has paradoxically increased our cardiovascular risks.”

And he says the government’s obsession with levels of total cholesterol “has led to the over-medication of millions of people with statins” (an unfavourable ratio of blood fats).

Saturated fat has been demonised since the 1970s when a landmark study concluded that there was a correlation between incidence of coronary heart disease and total cholesterol, which then correlated with the percentage of calories provided by saturated fat, explains Malhotra. “But correlation is not causation,” he says.

Nevertheless, we were advised to “reduce fat intake to 30% of total energy and a fall in saturated fat intake to 10%.”
He points out that recent studies “have not supported any significant association between saturated fat intake and risk of CVD.” Instead, saturated fat has been found to be protective.

One of the earliest obesity experiments, published in the Lancet in 1956, compared groups consuming diets of 90% fat versus 90% protein versus 90% carbohydrate and revealed that the greatest weight loss was in the fat consuming group.

And more recently, a JAMA study revealed that a “low fat” diet showed the greatest decrease in energy expenditure, an unhealthy lipid pattern, and increased insulin resistance (a precursor to diabetes) compared with a low carbohydrate and low glycaemic index (GI) diet.

Malhotra also points to the United States, where percentage calorie consumption from fat has declined from 40% to 30% in the past 30 years (although absolute fat consumption has remained the same), yet obesity has rocketed. One reason, he says, is that the food industry “compensated by replacing saturated fat with added sugar.”
And despite the fact that in the UK, 8 million people take statins regularly, he asks why has there been no demonstrable effect on heart disease trends during this period?

For anyone who like to learn how to look and feel better the Ziat and Zest Bootcamp way …

Click here to join our Trial Week 

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

Wake up call

What another eventful week it’s been!

The window of courtesy van I had whilst mine was being fixed (due to the badger incident) got stuck open. That was at 6am on way to teach bootcamp so called the AA out who fixed it several hours later – was VERY pleased I had just renewed my membership!

The same day I left my bankcard in a shop and then when got home walked straight into a sharp door latch that we have been meaning to sort out for ages – needless to say it has now been sorted 🙂

Sometimes it takes the final straw to make us do something, eg for me an injury and pain made my husband realise the latch needed sorting properly (the blue tack we had stuck on the end really wasn’t doing the job!).

Maybe you have just had a look at your holiday snaps and thought – “ Boy I am REALLY out of shape and I HAVE to do something NOW.”

Or maybe you are really not bothered and that’s fine.

Whilst it’s always good to have these wake up calls to spur us into action, you can make small changes before things get desperate…

– Drink more water
– cut out weekday drinking
– cut out biscuits every day
– go for a walk at lunchtime
– start having a greens drink every day etc

So if you are feeling bloated, lethargic and out of shape – stop moaning and start doing.

Here is a video I filmed last year of 5 of my top tips that cost nothing to do

If you want a little kickstart to get your post summer nutrition back on track then try our simple 7 day detox that involves no exercise but really works!
Just £7 for a week of tasty, filling meals http://zestbootcamp.co.uk/7-day-detox/

Have a great weekend – I’m off for a long coutryside walk (and hopefully avoiding the rain as had my hair done yesterday).

Zita “AA loving” Alves

ps The good news is that my van is fixed and back with me so I am very pleased. You don’t realise how much you value something until it’s gone so take charge of your health before it’s too late.

pps Our October bootcamp start on Mon 30th September so you have plenty of time to sign up and start getting your health and fitness back on track. http://zestbootcamp.co.uk

Can you really lose weight quickly?

Did you know that you can lose weight really easily by cutting off your leg or maybe an arm? – yes bit extreme right!

Anyway I just wanted to share this quick video tip with you for a less extreme approach

Have a great bank holiday weekend

ps Not sure if you saw The Men that made us Thin last night – it was very interesting to see how some of the truths that many of us in the fitness industry have known about for years, finally being uncovered. You can watch it on Iplayer here

pps Our next bootcamp starts on Monday 2nd September so if you want to improve your health and fitness, and the way your body looks then we woud love to see you. Last month 2 of our campers lost a stone and dropped a dress size in just 4 weeks. Find out more here