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My 4 tips for getting in shape for summer

If your holiday is looming and you're starting to panic about getting into a swimsuit and revealing your sausage thighs to the world, then you'll be wanting my 4 tips for getting in shape for summer. 

The trick is not to panic and go on some awful cabbage soup or raw courgette diet. Give yourself a good month of being diligent and you should be able to get in shape and shift few a pounds in time for B-day (that's Beach-day!) Be realistic though, if you have got ALOT of weight to lose, you probably should have started a few months ago, so this really is if you need a bit of a flatter tummy and to feel slightly less wobbly when you're doing you're best Pamela Anderson impression.

Check out my 4 tips for getting in shape for summer

TIP ONE

Drink 2 litres of water day 

If you're feeling a bit bunged up in the bottom department, this can cause unnecessary bloating which could be contributing to your muffin top. Getting enough water, and getting things 'moving' dans la...

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How to get back on the health wagon

...when you've fallen off it in quite a spectacular way. I'm writing this for myself as much I am for you because, in the spirit of full disclosure, I have recently fallen off said wagon and I am in the process of climbing back on to it.  I say climb, it's more of a hoik.

So what's happened?, I hear you cry! You are The Fairy Food Mother, our shining beacon of glowing health, here to guide us on the path of greatness, one green smoothie at a time! Yes, 'tis true. I am she. However, I am also a human person, with flaws and weaknesses (HUH?!), stress and overwhelm, and absolutely zero willpower when it comes to Easter eggs.

These delectable, oval mouthfuls of chocolatey munchiness have been my complete downfall over the last 3 weeks and have tantalisingly tempted me straight back on to the sugar train which has left me feeling fatigued, fat and fed up. Despite knowing that this continuous excess was doing me no good, I just could not seem to stop myself. The combination of...

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How meal planning can help you lose weight

Ok, I realise this is a bit of a sweeping 'miracle-cure' statement but meal planning really can help you lose weight. And I'm not talking about calorie-counting, or cabbage soup or any of those horrendous 'meal replacement shake' diets. Nor am I promising that you'll drop a dress size in 3 days, be bikini-ready in a week, or back to your pre-wedding weight in a fortnight. I'm not silly enough to make those kinds of claims (and nor should you be silly enough to fall for them).

This is about good, old-fashioned sensible eating and a little bit of advanced planning. 

Here are some key ways in which meal planning can help you lose weight:

  • Meal planning takes the stress out of choosing what to eat. Long-term stress is a contributing factor in weight gain. Less stress = less weight!
  • Planning balanced meals means no more getting home, staring at an empty fridge and reaching for a takeaway, standard stodgy pasta supper or packet of biscuits for dinner. Less crap = less weight!
  • ...
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My 5 favourite Nutribullet recipes

I’m a bit obsessed with my Nutribullet and I’m always being asked about smoothies so I thought it was only fair to share my 5 favourite Nutribullet recipes with you. 

There are lots of other blenders out there in various price ranges so there’s no need to feel left out. I’ve recently been introduced to the Breville Blend-Active which comes with portable spouted bottles that I personally feel are less cumbersome than the large Nutribullet cup. However, I do so love my Bullet!

Smoothies are such a versatile food/drink. They are great for breakfast but equally fab for a mid-afternoon snack instead of a slab of sugary cake. They’re also great for sneaking extra veg into kids without them realising! Who knew you could hide spinach in a blueberry milkshake?!

The key to making a well-balanced smoothie is to make sure you include the following components:

– Vegetables – you really can blend any veg. Green leafy veg like spinach and...

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Totally Tropical Green Smoothie

I’ve been dreaming up this green smoothie all day. As I am now on a one-handed countdown (4 days!) until my holiday, I’m doing a last-minute, slightly panicked pre-bikini detox. Nothing but juices and smoothies all day, and then fish and vegetables in the evening (this really is only for a few days, I wouldn’t recommend this long term!)

As you can imagine, by 3pm today, I was pretty starving. I don’t do well on juice detoxes, as you know. I had been concocting my afternoon smoothie since breakfast. It had to have to have all the components of the perfect smoothie:

  1. It had to be filling – this was to see me through until suppertime
  2. It had to be sweet – but not too sweet, as I didn’t want a sugar rush, and then a sugar crash and find myself picking my way through the kids’ tea
  3. It had to contain some vegetables – for fibre, antoxidants and detoxification
  4. It had to be high in protein – an absolute must! This...
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Avoiding sugary snacks

Without a doubt, one of the hardest times for avoiding sugary snacks is between meals. The most common time of day being about 3pm. This is a blood sugar problem. If your meals and snacks up to this time have been heavy on the carb front, your blood sugar levels will have been doing a little rollercoaster dance all day long. Get to the afternoon, and they’re doing more of a horizontal dance (and not in a good way).

Poor blood sugar management is one of the most common underlying causes of many of the symptoms that I see in my nutritional therapy practice. Fatigue, headaches, insomnia, irritability, PMS: correcting your blood sugar levels could go a long way to alleviating the majority of these.

So how can you get through the day without reaching that point where you’d run over a small child to get to a Snickers?

3 top tips for avoiding sugary snacks:

1) Protein for breakfast – this is the key to maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Do not, under any...

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Ditching the sugar

Tune in all week for practical ways for ditching the sugar for good.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of weeks, you may have noticed that sugar is getting a bit of a bad rap. And not a minute too soon in my opinion. For years, it’s all been about the fat. Poor old fat has been taking the blame for every major modern health epidemic – obesity, heart disease, high cholesterol – and sugar has been getting away scot free. Hmm, I wonder why… But not anymore. The game is up. Sugar, put down your weapons, you’ve been busted. The Guardian names sugar as ‘enemy number one in the western diet’ and calls are now being made for manufacturers to face regulation.

For years, sugar has slipped under the radar, being added to foods where fat has been taken out, and consequently compounding the state of health in the western world. But FINALLY, studies are now showing that it’s sugar that is contributing to the...

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My 5 top tips for looking fabulous in a bikini

Going on holiday soon? Having a little panic about exposing your flesh in a bikini? Don’t worry! There’s still time to lose a few pounds without having to resort to the cabbage soup diet, which frankly, no-one wants you to go on. Just follow these 5 easy steps for two weeks and you’ll feel fit and fabulous whether you’re stepping out on Nikki Beach or Newquay Beach:

1) Drink a mug of fresh lemon in hot water upon rising every morning – this kick-starts your metabolism and gives your liver a detoxifying boost.

2) Start the day with  a protein-rich breakfast such as scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, natural yoghurt (doesn’t need to be low-fat) with 2 tbsp of mixed seeds and a small handful of berries, or a continental-style breakfast of ham/cheese and veggies.

3) Eliminate all sugars and refined carbohydrates – that means all your fizzy drinks, sugar added to foods/drinks, cakes, biscuits, muffins, croissants, sweets, chocolate...

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Reducing the amount of sugar you drink

One of the easiest ways of cutting down on the amount of sugar you consume is looking at how much is in your drinks. Because some drinks contain such massive amounts of sugar, limiting your intake of these will go a long way to reducing your overall sugar load. I’ll be looking at fizzy drinks, added sugar to tea/coffee, juice and squash.

1) Fizzy drinks:

With about 8 teaspoons of sugar in a regular can of Coke these really need to be the first drinks to go, especially if you are drinking these every day, several times a day.

  • My advice would be to stop buying fizzy drinks in your supermarket shop so that they are not in the house, and if you have to have one, limit your consumption to when you are out in a restaurant.
  • PLEASE do not switch to ‘diet’ versions. If you think this is healthy alternative, it’s not!

2) Tea and coffee:

If you add sugar to tea or coffee, the simplest thing to do is to stop! You might need to reduce the sugar gradually so that you get...

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New Year’s Schmesolutions

Happy New Year! I sincerely hope you are bringing in 2013 with love and laughter.

Have you made a list of New Year’s Resolutions? Is it the same as last year’s? How did that work out for you?

I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions. They set you up to fail because, usually, by 2nd January, mine have gone out the window.

Isn’t it interesting how a lot of New Year’s Resolutions are based around food or body image? Must drink less alcohol, must drink more water, must lose weight, must do this diet, must eat less carbs, must eat more veg, must get rid of cellulite, must look younger etc etc.

How about if, instead of a lengthy, intimidating list of self-improvements that only make us feel worse about ourselves, we decided on just one and worked at sticking at it? How about if we just changed ‘One Small Thing’?

‘One Small Thing’ is my January gift to you. Pick one change you really want to make, be really specific, make it...

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