Hands up who wants to feel great in their clothes or on the beach this summer?
Hands up who needs to keep an eye on the quantity and quality of their food intake to help achieve that?
Ok so now we have that sorted you will be pleased to know I have the perfect solution for you with these super easy, healthy and filling pancakes that have the added bonus of being dairy, sugar and gluten free 🙂
Blend all ingredients together and fry in coconut oil then serve as desired. I topped them with some Coyo coconut yoghurt and some frozen dark cherries. The yellow colour of these pancakes comes from the curcumin in the protein powder – great for inflammation so if you used another protein powder they would look and taste different 🙂
If you’d like to get a 10% discount on any of the products from Raw Sport and Revolution Food just use code ZITAFIT at checkout 🙂
These pancakes make a great breakfast as the protein content is high and will therefore keep you fuller for longer and your blood sugar stable – the magic solution for weight loss.
Protein is key for muscle repair so when we exercise we need to ensure adequate amounts and for vegans or vegetarians using a protein powder in smoothies or recipes such as this can really help boost intake.
If you can get away with eating more calories and want a delicious variation then I recommend spreading some cashew butter between 2 pancakes – yummylicous 🙂
Cashew or Almond butter works really well with protein pancakes
If you’d like to get that six pack ready for summer the other thing to focus on is working your core so why download your free copy of my 10 minute workout that gets results.
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.
ps I’d love to know what you do to get a better night’s sleep so let me know below …
Whether you are happy with the result of the referendum or not, the one thing you can control is your health and wellness.
No matter what life throws at us,no one can deny that being in good health, feeling fit and energetic will helps us deal with things better.
So if you stayed up late or all night to watch the votes come in, be sure to get to bed early tonight as when we don’t get enough sleep our immunity is one of the things that suffers so you will be more prone to catching any summer colds flying around.
Also our sugar cravings can go a bit wild if we miss out on the correct amount of sleep and appetite a bit haywire – the body is so clever and looks after us if we look after it.
This week at bootcamp we have gotten a little wet to say the least but even in the rain the park looked beautiful and everyone got a good workout so stop making excuses and just get on with it – exactly like the crews did as shown in one of the videos on my Instagram page here
Result or excuse you can’t have both as proved this week by a previous personal training client coming back for support as she thought she could do it on her own but 6 months later she feels rubbish because she stopped exercising and eating well.
Also a new 1-1 client, after just a few weeks, is noticing how much fitter she feels, her clothes are looser, she is sleeping better and her confidence is going up – she stopped making excuses and put energy into herself which in turn will rub off in a positive way with her children, husband and at work.
*** Don’t wait for there to be a problem to start paying attention to your health. ***
High blood pressure and other health conditions can often go unnoticed for many years, especially if someone isn’t overweight as they might assume they are healthy.
So I vote that you prioritise your health
have a great weekend
Zita “not at Glastonbury festival so no face painting this weekend” Alves
ps For anyone who prefers to exercise indoors why not download your f.ree copy of my core workout if you haven’t tried it yet. Click here
Ladies if you are struggling with how you feel about your body then I’d love to help you. I share some of my health & wellbeing tips during this interview I did with sought after Dating coach Ane Auret who, just like me, is passionate about helping women to feel their best.
Click the link below to listen to the podcast and find out how you can easily do something about the way you feel.
So it’s Jungle time again – I’m a celebrity get me out of here is back on TV.
I’m actually not a major fan (more of a Strictly girl as I LOVE dancing) although I have watched a bit of it already.
What is evident is the importance of food in our lives. Susannah of “Trinny & Susannah” mentioned how food has been in her mind her whole life so the thought of maybe missing a meal is alien.
We are so lucky to be able to get food anywhere, anytime and pretty much anything we want but this can lead to the problems we have with overeating and being disconnected from our bodies… mindless munching of a huge box of popcorn at the cinema, always having a biscuit with your cup of tea, having a muffin everytime you go to a coffee shop etc etc.
So in the run up to Christmas, when we are surrounded by even more food, just take a moment to connect your brain to your body and ask “am I really hungry?” Perhaps you could drink some water and wait another hour before you eat – maybe you could be satisfied with a smaller portion – or maybe you could add more vegetables to your plate and reduce the amount of pasta or potatoes.
But if you do want to get into your LBD before Christmas you could do a few things:
Use an app on your phone to ensure you walk 10,000 steps a day
Only eat 3 meals a day and don’t snack in between
Use my Fat loss cookbook to “clean up” your breakfasts, lunches and dinners – Click here
Buy a copy of the Bath Chronicle each week to get my weekly bodyweight workouts that are in the colour Bath Weekend Magazine.
Join a taster week at Zest Bootcamp – last one of the year starts Monday.
Failing all the above you could go on the jungle diet – rice and beans with a few spiders and cockroaches thrown in for good measure!
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.
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.
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 🙂
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.
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.
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
Ps If you are near Bath and would like to join Zest Bootcamp for a trial week then click HERE
I was at a networking meeting yesterday doing a presentation about my business to a group of ladies and as I’m sure you realise by now I love my food so thought I’d make them a little healthy treat to have with coffee after lunch.
Although I could have found a recipe I just thought I’d freestyle again so popped into the shops to get some dried fruit and nuts and see what I could whip with some of the staples I always have in the cupboard.
Given that one lady was gluten and dairy intolerant I wanted to make them as “clean” as I could.
Good news is that they went down very well with the business ladies and even the guys that I train who are in a band liked them so different type of people gave them the thumbs up 🙂
Why not get your children making them with you as they are a great natural alternative to all the sugar laden snacks that the supermarkets have available for children.
Dates are a great way to add natural sweetness to recipes but if you have any blood sugar issues or are trying to lose large amounts of body fat then go easy on them and make them an occasional treat. They are great source of iron and potassium and important dietary fibre.
DATE & NUT BALLS
These healthy sweet treats are gluten free, dairy free as well as only containing natural sugars, good amounts of fibre, protein and healthy fats.
250g dried apricots
250g walnuts (could use any nuts)
2-3 tablespoons of organic virgin coconut oil
2-3 teaspoons of cinnamon
2 tablespoons chia seeds
Splash of coconut water (could use water)
Few tablespoons of peanut powder*
Lot of sesame seeds to roll balls in at end
Put everything except sesame seed into a blender and mix well. Make into small balls in your hands then roll in lots of sesame seeds.
These made about 40 treats and they are best stored in the freezer or fridge. Also I think that maybe adding some more nuts, a few spoons of almond or peanut butter or even some raw cacao powder might taste nice and make it slightly less sweet. Why not experiment as that’s exactly how I came up with these 🙂
* This gives you taste and protein without the fat so great for cooking. I found it in Tesco but you can buy online as you can any of the ingredients you cant find in health food shops. I often add it to smoothies for a lovely taste.
ps If you would like 90 recipes that are gluten free, packed with good nutrition and easy to prepare then have a look at my recipe book HERE
My last few posts seem to have all been about food – mostly chocolate 🙂 so now it’s time for a change.
When was the last time you felt grateful for something or someone?
Hopefully not too long ago – maybe even today already.
I finally started a gratitude jar to make a note of little things I am grateful for each day. Many people keep a gratitude journal and log some positive events that happened during the day before they go to bed. Another way to do it is each morning to state 2 or 3 things that your are grateful for. This can help set up your brain ready for a positive day. You may have seen on Twitter and Facebook the “100 happy days” challenge where people have been posting pictures of things that make them happy.
Some days it can be hard to find the positivity we all love and benefit from, infact some weeks, months and even years can seem to bring nothing but “challenges” or you might call them problems.
It’s unlikely any of you reading this have not experienced illnesses, deaths, marriage break ups etc of close friends and family, even work colleagues but even during these low points you can still take a moment to notice all the nice things around us.
I’m currently working with someone who has terminal cancer, a brain tumour and the way it manifests physically is similar to symptoms of a stroke survivor (but a bit worse in terms of his speech). I was really saddened to hear how he was treated recently at an upmarket hotel – the staff thought he was drunk and refused him to go into the bar. Imagine how upsetting that was for his family who were with him. We need to be more accepting if people don’t fit the norm, they may be a reason they walk and talk funny.
It’s ok if you think the fact that putting on a few pounds is the end of the world but in reality it probably isn’t, so how about thinking of all the lovely things that make you smile or feel warm inside – they are out there we just need to see them.
It might be the:
Colourful spring flowers
The pretty pattern on top of a flat white at a coffee shop
The smell of fresh bread baking
The smile from a stranger
A hug from a friend
A car letting you out at a busy junction
Hearing a busker playing some beautiful music
Coming home to someone special after a tough day
An unexpected card saying thank you for something
A beautiful sunrise
The list really is endless…..
The gratitude log, journal or jar can help us take our thoughts to more uplifting experiences.
Did you know the brain is programmed to remember negative things easier than positive ones – this is what helps us realise that when we step out into the road and almost get hit by a car that next time we should look both ways first. It is our self preservation toolkit…. but doesn’t help our mood somedays when all we seem to do is negative brain chatter.
So my challenge to you over the nest few weeks is a daily gratitude log or jar – whatever works for you.
I’m grateful that the Blood Service can accept my blood ( as many people are unable to donate who want to) so a few times a year I give about 45 minutes of my time (the actual donation takes about 10 mins) to donate blood. In fact this week was my 23rd pint! Why not give it a go as you can book an appointment plus there is free tea and biscuits so what’s not to like! You can find out more or book up at a local venue here
ps I am VERY grateful for the fact my body works and allows me to get out and exercise – what is your excuse for not exercising?
If you want to sign up for a trial at our bootcamp classes in Bath click here
So there I am in the park trying to do some gentle (yet highly effective) Pilates exercises for my core and stabilising muscles when the grass cutting tractor suddenly arrives and literally covers me in tiny cuttings!
Once I had “dusted myself off, picked myself up” … I headed back to my van and recorded a quick tip that will help any of you struggling with your weight loss, health and fitness goals.
For anyone in Bath our next 4 week bootcamp starts on Monday 22nd July if you also need someone to “make you do your exercises” as many of our campers admit they need hence they come month after month – plus ofcourse it’s great fun and you get a lovely dose of fresh air too 🙂