'The Flow' Blog - Movement is your Medicine
Superb Thyroid Resources
(0 votes)

Please pass this information on to anyone you know who may have Thyroid challenges.

Functional Diagnostic Medicine shifts the paradigm of conventional healthcare.  The following is a webinar from the founders of the Functional Medicine University (FMU).

Here is the download for the "Rapid Fire Thyroid"

Webinar.
http://www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com/public/743.cfm

Here are the slides of the webinar:
http://www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com/FMUThyroidWebinar.pdf

Visit here if you are a practitioner and want to train in FDM

 
12 Nutrition Essentials - Healthy Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
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12 Nutrition Essentials - Healthy Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Column #119, 4th June 2011

We are what we eat, so it makes sense for the three or so meals we eat each day to contain food that provides us with the nutrients and fuel that builds a strong and robust body and mind.  We can read all the healthy food books we like, attend seminars and courses on nutrition, but all this is of limited use unless we put it into action.  The ultimate aim is for the food we consume at meal/snack times to be enjoyable and healthful helping us to achieve our goals.

Why is this the Difficult bit?

How many cookbooks have you got?  What percentage of the recipes do you use?  Do you use them on a daily basis or just every so often?  The answers I usually get to these questions illustrate that for some reason or other most people don’t make the jump to actually using recipes because it can be too complicated and time consuming or irrelevant in terms of healthy food for the individual.  Many clients initially come to me for nutritional support with a good level of knowledge, but something has prevented them from making this a reality and their breakfasts, lunches and dinners are not the best they could be.  For some reason the choosing, preparing and consuming part of healthy eating just hasn’t happened for them.  There is a mental block or barrier.

Whatever it is, the important thing is that you can overcome this and produce healthy breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks that take you towards your health and performance goals.  Read on to get some tips on how to do this.  It’s pretty simple really.

4 Steps to Change

  1. Awareness
  2. Understanding
  3. Disassociation
  4. Reconditioning

In any part of life, change is often critical in getting what we desire.  That is true if what we have been doing thus far has not got us to where we want to be.  Some people find change easy, for some it is a tricky process.  The four steps above briefly involve the following:  Developing the ‘awareness’ is the first step where you typically experience that there is a need to change and an associated benefit if you do change something.  Of course, this could easily relate to our eating habits where what we consume at the moment is not giving the desired outcome (fatigue, blood sugar problems, intolerance, digestive symptoms).  Awareness also involves looking at our beliefs and thoughts around a particular subject such as healthy eating.  Without awareness it is difficult to make the eventual change and make it stick.

The next step of ‘understanding’ is critical if we want to find out why what we are currently doing is not working for us, especially when it seems to be working for someone else.  So for example, why does eating two slices of toast and margarine for breakfast not lead to an increase in energy, lift in mood and a sustained fullness, which is surely what food is supposed to do – you know, provide health.

Doing some investigation will provide a certain level of understanding, which is a great step forward but if we stopped with being satisfied with this then we would more than likely get stuck or find our progress and change to be slow going.  Now, what if you have been eating that breakfast for the last ten years and it is a habit, a routine, a trigger or comfort, something you enjoy even?  Step three is ‘disassociation’ which is critical to separate us from the thoughts that do not serve our ultimate goals.  For example, your ‘usual’ breakfast or routine five daily cups of coffee are probably more engrained than you realize.  It is enlightening to know that you can take back the control, disassociate yourself from these disempowering thoughts and make space for things that work.  ‘Reconditioning’ completes the work.  Now you can soak up all the ideas and actually put them into practice in your life.  Now it is a reality.

Is it making more sense as to why just having the recipe books on the shelf is not enough?  This would be jumping straight to step 4 and missing out the foundation of steps 1 to 3.  Follow the steps above and you will breathe new life into the enjoyment and healthfulness of the meals you have every single day.

Healthy Breakfasts

I always maintain that the answer to healthy meals is individual in nature.  However, with the above steps in place you can revolutionise your ideas for your first meal of the day.  Unfortunately, our typical breakfasts of today have migrated far from what provides us with what the body needs to perform well.  That’s why it needs special focus early on.  This one change could have a snowball effect on the rest of the day leading to more informed decisions and greater performance.  Think of it this way; if you get breakfast wrong, then you are reacting to its effects for the rest of the day.  This could be anything from (deep breath) needing a bit of a pickup with a mid-morning cuppa, which disrupts your digestion, makes you miss lunch, leads to hunger in the afternoon, but because you are busy you just grab something processed and quick, when in the evening and a chance to prepare some good food, you overeat, sleep poorly and wake up sluggish, reaching for……….. You get the picture.

 

This is a familiar scenario to many and one that many are not prepared to compromise on to reach their goals.  If their goals are not health related, then no problem, but if they are, then going about it like this is tough way to get there.  You might need to completely re-wire your software on this one, but imagine that if you do this successfully, it could completely revolutionise your health, productivity at work, cravings, blood sugar control, hunger, energy levels and mood throughout the rest of the day.  Does it make sense to be extremely carbohydrate heavy with ‘foods’ such as cereals, breakfast bars, fruit juice, pastries, croissants and toast – all of which are processed in some way?  Personally I’ve never understood why breakfast should be radically different to any meal of the day.  I’ve never heard, witnessed or read research to suggest our ‘conventional’ breakfast is nutritious for our bodies.  If you are someone who would not feel like eating anything like meat, fish or vegetables first thing, then just consider why your digestive system is telling you it’s not up to the job – seems like we’re back to step 1 and 2 above.

Healthy Lunches

Does your lunch predominantly include bread, pasta or crackers?  If so and you are achieving in every area of health and performance, then great but if not, might there be some better options?  When we work and our lifestyle is busy its especially rare to see convenient, available options that do not include these foods in some way.  There are however, stress-free ways of achieving lunches that do not lead to energy slumps, cravings and lethargy in the middle of the afternoon.  You can use your imagination for lunches that include meat, fish and fresh vegetables, but if you want a few more there are specific recipes as part of the Nutrition Essentials Program.

Healthy Dinner

For those of us with busy lifestyles do you find other things taking priority over this meal after a day at work?  Picking the kids up, finishing work at home, housework, getting to bed on time etc.  A few simple tips can mean that you don’t need hours of prep time to provide a nutritious dinner and even have enough for lunch the next day.  To help make healthy dinners a reality there are some extra tips on choosing, preparing and consuming healthy food and tons more info at www.functionaltrainer.co.uk.

Some of us will experience major benefits from getting these three nutritious meals established each day, but for those who need a bit more ‘grazing’ throughout the day, there are a whole host of healthy snacks that support your goals of health.

 

Online Program – 12 Essential Nutrition Lessons

Over the next few weeks we’ll go into more detail on each topic.  For anyone who wants to learn more about these topics there are high-quality online resources that provide this entire program and more.

12 Essential Nutrition Lessons

  1. Hydrate
  2. Macronutrients
  3. Healthy Breakfasts
  4. Healthy Lunches
  5. Healthy Dinner
  6. Gluten
  7. Cow’s Milk Dairy
  8. Truth about Fats and Oils
  9. Raw and Cooked Foods
  10. The Soy Debate
  11. Sugar and Alcohol
  12. Organic Food

Each of the 12 Lessons Includes:

  • A VIDEO PRESENTATION that teaches you all they key issues related to that specific topic.
  • An AUDIO RECORDING of the lesson that you can download and add to your iPod, MP3 player or even a CD so that you can listen to the information in your car!
  • A downloadable presentation, in both PDF and POWERPOINT formats for you to print and follow along with the audio presentation (if you’d prefer not to stare at the computer screen!)
  • A PDF ACTION GUIDE, which provides KEY ACTION POINTS for you to implement IMMEDIATELY to enable you to make key the changes that are discussed in each lesson.
  • Additional PDF documents with extra information and resources to help you implement each lesson with minimal stress and disruption to your lifestyle.

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Great North Run 2011: 90-Day Conditioning Program
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Great North Run 2011:  90-Day Conditioning Program

Column #120, 4th June 2011

In 2010 around 54,000 runners started the Great North Run.  13.1miles later, 39,459 crossed the finish line.  That means 14,500 runners who started the race did not make the finish?  That’s 27%.  All levels of ability participate in this event, but does that mean we are willing to accept this risk of injury and prevention of achieving our goal?  New this year is a comprehensive 90-Day Running Conditioning Program to not only get you to the finish line, but also surpass your expectations.

  • Running Training Program
  • Exercise and Strength Coaching
  • Nutrition for Performance
  • Injury Prevention
  • How to recover effectively
  • Step-by-Step, Day-by-Day guidance
  • All levels of ability

Great North Run 2011

The Great North Run 2011 will be the 31st race and participants range from the elite to fun runners.  Most runners are raising money for a charity and many of which are participating in a half marathon for the first time.  Others enter the race as a challenge or for motivation towards a health and fitness goal.  These are all fantastic goals and the race is a special international, national and especially regional event.

90-Day Program

The half marathon training program is designed specifically for you to reach your peak for the Great North Run 2011.  Yes it can be used to prepare for other races, but there are elements of the program that are specific to achieving success in the Great North Run in particular.  Hopefully, you have been training for at least 9 months previous to commencing this program, but the aim of this day-by-day guide is to provide optimal focus and advice to ensure you stay on track and excel with your preparations for the big day.

Why did I write this program?  There were two main reasons:  Firstly I was surprised when I found out how many of the 54,000 starters of the 2010 GNR failed to finish the race.  Secondly, if you search the internet for running training programs, whilst there are some fantastic running programs with details of miles per week, and running-specific training, there is a distinct lack of comprehensive information that covers all the components of running conditioning.  What about the best in strength and conditioning, mental, behavioural and habitual factors and the most advanced nutritional advice or stress, overload and effective recovery strategies?  These factors are frequently underestimated or simply poorly understood, yet are essential to get the best from your running training.

Step-by-Step, Day-by-Day

What does the program include?  I have included all the components that I use with my one-to-one athletes and presented it in an easy to use format that literally guides you day-by-day:

  • Conditioning the Athletic Mind
  • Running Training Periodisation
  • Corrective Exercise and Strength Programs
  • Integrative Health Methods
  • Effective Recovery Strategies
  • Nutrition for Performance

When Does the Program Start?

The official start of this program is Monday June 27th 2011.  This includes 84 days lead up and about a week of recovery strategies.  The 90 days have been designed appropriately for elite runners and inexperienced runners alike.  Care has been taken to ensure optimal progress of any rookies out there and to prevent injury.

For the more experienced and elite runners who may be wondering whether I can add any value to their current training methods, all I ask is:

  1. Are you injury free?
  2. Are you on target to improve your performance?
  3. Is your strength and conditioning a priority at the moment?
  4. Do you get the most benefit from recovery time?
  5. Have you laid a strong foundation on which to build?
  6. Is your nutrition enhancing your performance?

Remember, how you do anything is how you do everything.  If you are not getting the results you desire and yet continue to do what you’ve always done, then you’ll continue to get what you’ve already got.  You must make the bold move to CHANGE (more on this in the next article).  It could be the best thing you ever did for your running performance.  Hey, if you can honestly answer Yes to the above six questions and are perfectly happy with your routine as you have it then that’s great.  If it works, fantastic, there are many ways to skin a cat and I’d love to hear more about it.  If not, there are answers to your questions.

90-Day Running Conditioning Program

The program will be launched in the next couple of weeks. Sign up to my Great North Run Conditioning Facebook Page to stay in the loop.

Plus - Free Daily Conditioning Tips for all FB Fans

First 10 People will get the whole program for 50% off.

Great North Run Conditioning Facebook Page

 

 

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Great North Run 2011: 90-Day Conditioning Program2
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Great North Run 2011:  90-Day Conditioning Program2

Column #121, 18th June 2011

If you have plans to take part in a half marathon this year, then hopefully you have a worked out your strategy for getting to the start line in the right condition.  If not, I might be able to help and if you are already on the ball I may be able to add some value to your plan.

Training for the Great North Run

An extremely popular half marathon in the North East, UK is the Great North Run.  It is just over three months away and the deadline for getting a race number is upon us.  If you need some support during this time, read on for some great conditioning tips.  But first answer these questions to gauge where you are in your progress:

  1. Are you injury free?
  2. Are you on target to improve your performance?
  3. Is your strength and conditioning a priority at the moment?
  4. Do you get the most benefit from recovery time?
  5. Have you laid a strong foundation on which to build?
  6. Is your nutrition enhancing your performance?

If you can answer Yes to these six questions, then you can continue browsing the internet, otherwise read on  to fill in  the gaps in your program.

Half Marathon Conditioning

Conditioning yourself for any half-marathon takes planning.  Whether you are a fun runner or elite you must strengthen your weaknesses and capitalise on your strengths to achieve your potential and target time.  In writing a 90-Day Half Marathon Conditioning Program that could be individualized, followed in a simple manner and which delivered high-class information, it was essential that it included the following topics:

  • Conditioning the Athletic Mind
  • Running Training Plans
  • Corrective Exercise and Strength Programs
  • Integrative Health Therapies
  • Effective Recovery Strategies
  • Nutrition for Performance

I’ve been lucky enough to work with some of the world’s pioneering strength coaches, ultramarathon athletes, movement therapists, soft tissue experts, nutritionists and anatomists.  Now I get to cram as much of this information into a 90-Day program for everyone to follow.  Below is a description of these topics and exactly why they should be part of your program.

Conditioning the Athletic Mind

Many runners are passionate about running because of the mental state and ‘zone’ sensation that it creates.  A way of removing the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life and creating a clarity of thinking.  It is great that running delivers this to us, but what about the mind-set that we in turn, contribute and bring to our running?  The top runners work at this a lot and everyone can learn from these strategies to be more successful with improving running performance.  In fact, I’d go as far as to say that if you skip this stage and just focus on the miles per week, then you’ll miss reaching your potential by a long shot.  Various techniques and strategies are discussed in further detail in the 90-Day Program, some of which are really simple and others more challenging….but that’s a good thing.

As part of your training program have you set your goals for short, medium and ultimate?  Actually, rewind………there is another essential step to take before we set our goals.  First you need to identify the values and reasons behind why you are doing what you are doing (eg half marathon).  What makes it real to you?  In addition this process should include some form of assessments.  Miss this out and it is all but impossible to set effective goals, monitor your progress and design the right programs and plans.

A lot of the above happens at the beginning or early on and then gets revisited during the training program.  If you really want to achieve an ultimate athletic mind set then you need to do some conditioning for your mind too.  This is when it gets fascinating.  Our attitudes to our performance, confidence, set backs, barriers, challenges, training, race day and more are pivotal in determining our success.  Learn some quick and easy tools that give you the mind set that only knows how to progress and succeed.

Running Training Plans

This is the fun bit, what it’s all about:  Getting the miles in each week with different training sessions and watching your progress each week towards race day.  This is the backbone to any half-marathon training program.  With all the athletic mind set conditioning in the world, I doubt that 6 months of that alone would have much impact on performance.

There are lots of good running training plans out there, all slightly different and combining different training techniques, volume, intensity and rest days.  Tempo training, long runs, interval training, hill work, cross training all feature.  To be honest as a regular runner or someone who is committed to a half-marathon, this is the easy part, this should be what makes you tick.

However, you’re looking for the edge.  The secret of how to get the edge is in how you plan all the running around everything else.  Too much and you get injured, too little and you don’t have the stimulus to reach your peak fitness.  The running is what you are aiming to get better at.  The everything else is a combination of complementary strategies that enable you to respond to the training in the most effective way.  Put simply – if all you do is run, run and run some more, you will not reach your peak.  Luckily there is a boatload of ways to do this.

Corrective Exercise and Strength Programs

Another key strategy is to have an Exercise and Strength Conditioning program individualised to you.  Corrective Strength work takes your posture, flexibility, movement patterns, muscle imbalances, fitness levels, strengths and weaknesses and fine-tunes them for enhanced function and running performance.  Work with an exercise specialist who can assess your current level of performance and design programs for your goals and you could follow exactly the same running program you completed last year and get vast improvements.

Having worked with novice marathon runners and International ultra-marathon runners, this conditioning serves to win races, achieve personal bests and stay injury free.  If for example you are doing the Great North Run, you definitely don’t want to be in the 27% who started but failed to finish the 2010 run.  Ensure that you are in condition for this physical and mental challenge.

Integrative Health Therapies

There are many therapies that can help you improve and train for a marathon.  Part of how you plan your running training and exercise programs depends on the additional therapeutic work that you do.  The structural, postural, psychological, detoxification, energy, recovery and strength benefits are often a foundation for the running training to build on.  Here are a few therapies that are structured into the 90-Day program:

  • The Bowen Technique
  • Biomechanics and Podiatry
  • Colonic Hydrotherapy
  • Functional Diagnostic Medicine
  • Metabolic Typing and BioSignature
  • Sports Massage
  • Remedial Massage
  • Trigger Point Therapy
  • Active Release Technique

Are you embracing the new developments and knowledge we have about human function or are your athletic training practices stuck in the 70’s?  Of course, hold on to what works, but look for advancing your outlook too.

Effective Recovery Strategies

If you have scheduled your training well, you will have factored in your rest days where you repair and recover.  But what do you do on these days?  Do you have strategies that increase the speed of recovery, repair muscles and get the most out of the work you have been putting in?  If you have trained for a half-marathon before then you have something to compare against.  This time round focus on some recovery strategies that enable you to recover faster and train harder, leading to better results.

If you are someone who already has the motivation, determination and discipline to complete all the running miles each week and carry out your strength and conditioning and even get the cross training sessions ticked off without fail, then this is where you need to focus.  If you want all the above effort to come to its deserved fruition, then your motivation, determination and discipline to rest, recover, heal and repair is an unequivocal must.  Are you getting the most out of:

  • Enhancing Sleep/Circadian Rhythm
  • Active Recovery sessions
  • Energy Exercises
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Breath Work
  • Detoxification methods
  • Sports Massage
  • Self Release Trigger Points

Nutrition for Performance

The body needs food for fuel.  The energy is used by each and every cell in the body.  The approximately 100 trillion cells in the body make up the organs and tissues in the body and all of them require energy to function in order for the body to run efficiently.  This includes muscle fibers and the energy to complete long-distance races.

Put simply if you do not eat the right foods in the right proportions, then you will not provide the optimal amount of energy for your training, recovery and races.  There are many general principles we can all follow during a conditioning program and in addition there will be fine-tuning, individual principles that are required to reach optimal performance and health levels.

And here’s a clue – the secret is not about pasta parties and carbo-loading.  This is archaic and inaccurate.  Sign up for Free conditioning tips and Special Reports at the Running Conditioning Facebook Page to find out more.

 

90-Day Running Conditioning Program

Free Daily Conditioning Tips for all FB Fans

First 50 People get 50% off.

Great North Run Conditioning Facebook Page

 

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Great North Run 2011: 90-Day Half Marathon Program Week 1 and 2
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Great North Run 2011:  90-Day Half Marathon Program Week 1 and 2

Column #122, 2nd July 2011

This week was the launch of the 90-Day Half Marathon Conditioning Program.  A proud moment for me as I shared the first of the Daily Tips and the first few eBooks were snapped up.  The ultimate goal is to share all the strategies that I use on a day-to-day basis with running clients one-to-one, with as many people who can benefit from them.

The program is for all comers from half marathon target times of under 1.5hrs to 2.5hrs.  Today I will describe some steps of the program from week 1 and week 2.

Tips for Week 1

  1. You've got to have a plan: Whether you are tweaking last year's plan or starting from scratch, today is the day you plan the next 3months (unless you want to take advantage of the program I've already written).  Don't leave it another week or month to get started.
  2. Foot Biomechanics and Podiatry: The nature of running means that over the next 3 months your body will cover many miles and each step you take causes impact from the ground up.  Force will travel from the foot all the way through the ankle, knee, hip, pelvis, spine, shoulder neck........well everywhere really.  This is important because whenever that force finds a weak spot, you'll know about it.
  3. Running Technique Blueprint: Starting as we mean to go on - this week might be the first time you've ever done a TECHNIQUE RUN.  Trying to fit the text-book definition may not be right for your body.
  4. More Tips and Features of the 90-Day eBook: This week we also introduce the first of the Nutrition for Performance tips, Three new recovery strategies, Advanced Stretching Techniques, Phase 1 Exercise and Strength and Two Running Training Sessions.

Tips for Week 2

  1. Bowen Technique: Take the opportunity early on in the program to get some bodywork done.  The Bowen Technique is a soft tissue therapy that will help bring the body back to balance.  I use it with clients to improve posture, reduce tension, increase relaxation, repair and recovery and enhance movement.  Essential for runners of course.
  2. 2. Cross Training: Used correctly, cross training will be part of an effective running training program.  It’ll ensure you increase your fitness for running while preventing overuse injuries.
  3. 3. Phase 1 Exercise and Strength Program: Phase 1 should be well under way now.  Over the 90 Days Program there will be 4 Phases so it is important that you start with a strong foundation.
  4. 4. Other Resources in the eBook: Additional elements to Week 2 include 4 different ways to enhance recovery, your first interval run and an early chance to compare fitness levels.

Great North Run Training 2011

These tips are perfect if you are training for a half marathon such as the Great North Run in September 2011.  Each week will progress your running fitness towards your goal and help prevent injury.  The daily tips are free to follow on Facebook (Running Conditioning) and there will be free Special Reports to download during the program.

Special Report on The 3 Biggest Mistakes Runners Make.

In fact the next Special Report is available FREE to everyone right away.  Download it at the website (www.functionaltrainer.co.uk) or on Facebook and stay ahead of the game.  This report on the 3 Biggest Mistakes Runners make, looks at the reasons why many runners get injured and are unable to fulfill their potential and reach their targets.  The great thing is………all 3 are avoidable.

 

90-Day Running Conditioning Program

Free Daily Conditioning Tips for all FB Fans

First 50 People get 50% off.

Great North Run Conditioning Facebook Page

 

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Get Your '90-Day Running Conditioning Program'

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Gluten Free Cookbook
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Are you aware of the importance of a Gluten Free Diet?

At last a great Gluten Free Cookbook is available.  Karen Maidment is a colleague of mine and she has written a fantastic cookbook that I recommend to all my nutrition and exercise clients.

You might not realise the affect that Gluten has on you. Research shows around 70% of the population have adverse affects to gluten.  So it isn't just the typical gluten intolerance and coeliac symptoms that we need to consider.

60 Easy to Prepare Recipes

Great for IBS, Bloating, Gas, Digestive Symptoms

Stress-Free Meals

Gluten and Dairy Free

For Busy Lifestyles

Healthy Breakfasts, Lunches and Dinner

Maybe this is Tennis Player Novak Djokovic's secret to his superb sporting achievements this year?

Djokovic's nutritionist found out that he was intolerant to gluten, which means that it is not a good food for him.  In fact it would have been disruptive to his metabolism and caused problems from digestive discomfort to reduced energy levels.  Since he has removed gluten (pasta, cereals, bread, additive in many processed foods) from his diet, he has been on fantastic form: Won the Davis Cup, Won the Australian Open, Beaten Nadal on four occasions and reached the US Open Final.

This is a radical shift in society's view of bread and grains etc and even more of a statement against the ill-founded tradition of carbo-loading before an event or competition.  Could it be that consuming an inflammatory food, such as gluten, dairy, soy, alcohol and sugar is detrimental to our performance?  If so, are you willing to make the changes to remove it from your diet?

Change is often a tough challenge and if you can do it you reap the rewards.  Karen's book is part of this step, it's like having your own nutrition coach in the kitchen with you.

Click here to buy "Digest-Ease Cookbook and Lifestyle Plan" by Karen Maidment

 
12 Nutrition Essentials - Water Hydration and Macronutrients
(1 vote)

 

12 Nutrition Essentials - Hydration, Water and Macronutrients

Column #118, 21st May 2011

Why is it that it’s often the simplest things that we aren’t doing in order to achieve our goals?  When it comes to our health this is frequently the case. I field many questions via email or during consultations about the effect of various vitamins, minerals, the latest ‘superfood’ or exercise regime and how this just could be the miracle-cure or missing-link to achieving the levels of health or performance we aspire to.  Well, maybe so but I usually reply in with the question –“How much water do you drink daily?”

Power Base

The basics are the foundation on which to build.  They are the point from which we can be powerful.  Without them we cannot build anything else sustainable.  Granted, the basics do not sound cool, are not all singing and dancing and they may not appear exciting and full of impact, but this is the secret of their success.  Take out the hype and do what works.  Today we look at two very simple essential nutritional lessons, hydration and macronutrients.  Miss these two steps and you are preparing yourself to fail, which most likely includes a lot of time, money and effort.

All the technical and detailed information in the world on supplements and medicines will never take away the fundamental need to get the basics right.  Read on to see why.

Creatures of Habit

We are undeniably creatures of habit.  This relates to our nutritional and eating habits too.  Habits can be things that we typically do daily, but also include all the things that we DON’T do.  The consumption of enough water each day is a perfect example.  The answer I usually get to my question – “How much water do you drink daily?” is often “none” and rarely “enough” (approximately 2 litres / day).  We find ourselves in the habit of not consuming enough water on a daily basis.

Confused.wrong

Now lets not forget that we are talking about something very simple here.  If drinking water everyday has a significant affect on our health and performance and improves our sporting ability, reduces back pain, helps control blood sugar and gives us energy etc…….why aren’t we doing it.  Unfortunately, there is a plethora of poor nutritional information out there in the media.  Whether we like it or realise it or not, we are influenced by this and it affects our decisions and behaviour.  Even those who believe they are drinking sufficient water each day may actually be erroneously including tea, coffee, juice, sports drinks and even just stretching the truth to protect their ego (which is very sensitive).  Stranger things have happened.

In my view, building our awareness is the most positive first step we can take towards making a change in our lives for health, for sport, for vitality.  There is no time to feel negative towards the way we have been doing it, only time to feel empowered about what you can do now.  Experience, learn and progress.

Water and Hydration

There are trillions of cells in the body – skin cells, muscle cells, brain cells, vital organ cells and many more.  Every single cell requires water to function and produce energy to do its job.  If you are dehydrated then there will be many cells that are not able to produce enough energy to do its job.  This might sound a bit complicated – so how does this affect how we feel and function on a day-to-day basis?

Do you think it is possible that symptoms that involve our concentration, memory and clarity of mind could be related to dehydrated brain cells?  Makes perfect sense to me.  What about constantly aching joints and muscles?  If the tissues don’t have enough water to lubricate and contract efficiently then we may not have ideal tension and movement.  Could it be that some headaches are a product of not being hydrated enough and given that we need gallons of water to effectively digest our food (although not consumed together), could digestive symptoms be related to simply not drinking enough water.

Thirsty?  The train has left the Station.

The fact is that if you feel thirsty, then you have been dehydrated for a considerable amount of time.  Thirst is a signal that eventually gets us to do something about it.  We’ve been ignoring the fact that we have been experiencing fatigue, muscle aches, joint pains, low energy, irritability, headaches and abdominal cramps, because we didn’t realise that it was the lack of water that was part of the issue.  Of course this is not to say it is the whole issue.  If you experience any of these symptoms you should seek your healthcare practitioner’s advice.

If you find that you experience being thirsty quite often then consider that your body requires water for all of its functions all day everyday and if you don’t supply it, then it will pull it from your tissues (muscle, bones, joints, spine).  Water is so vital for life that the body will scavenge for it, at the expense of other ‘less important’ tissues and cells.

Can you drink too much water?

If you are already conscious of your water intake and follow guidelines for your body mass, then begin to think on a cellular level.  To function effectively, the cells in our bodies are attempting to maintain an ideal environment and this depends on many things including the concentration of the fluids inside and out the cell and the availability of nutrients, vitamins and minerals.  When you are dehydrated there is not enough water for the cells to take up, but when you drink too much water there are problems too.

For most of us, 8 glasses a day or 2 litres is about right.  Multiply your body weight (kg) by 0.033, to find out how many litres of water should hydrate you on a typical day.  This will also depend on factors such as environmental temperature and physical activity levels.  And no, daily water intake does not include tea, coffee and juice.  In fact this will more likely dehydrate you more.

Water Sources

Research indicates that tap water is often contaminated due to exposure to toxins, fluoride, chlorine and heavy metals.  Ideally you could look into getting a home water filtration system, based on the quality of your water.  Bottled water is another option, but make sure it is from a ‘spring’ and the container is either glass or clear polyethylene.  PVC bottles are likely to leach plastic chemicals into the water.  Bottled water is an altogether different toxin and environmental debate too.

Also, look for a Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) value of 300 or greater.  Water in this form will be utilised most effectively by the body.  Reading the label should ensure that you are drinking quality water daily.

Macronutrients

The same principles as above apply here too.  Our daily eating habits may lack the quality and quantity of macronutrients our body requires for growth and energy.  Judging by the most frequent questions I get asked, it is clear that there is significant confusion about what role fats, proteins and carbohydrates play.  This is where the mindset of one-size-fits all approaches, supplement abuse and fad, extreme diets come in and manage to actually look like a beneficial option.  When we stop and consider what principles these ideas are based on, they quickly come unstuck and look pretty exposed and weak.  There are much more powerful, healthy and simple ways to get your results.

In the Essential Nutrition Lessons program, lesson 2 is on getting the Macronutrients (fat, protein and carbohydrates) right.  Way before you start thinking about this vitamin or that mineral you need to be consuming the correct amounts and type of macronutrients at every meal.  Without this, any extra supplementation is an immense waste of money.  Therapeutic application of supplements is powerful and effective, but not before this step is aced.

All Important Fats, Proteins and Carbohydrates

For some reason it is commonly thought that we only get energy from carbohydrates – this is simply not true, Fats and Protein provide energy too.  It is essential to provide a balance of fat protein and carbohydrates for efficient metabolism.  In addition, optimal metabolism is achieved when we tailor to our individual requirements.

It is impossible for me to write down guidelines of specific amounts of fat, protein and carbohydrates for you to eat.  That would be assuming that we all needed the same amount, which simply isn’t true.  It is also more than just eating a certain amount related to your body mass too, as this ignores the fact that we all use these fuels in different ways.  That’s right we are all individual in the foods we need too.  We will cover the individual side of nutrition later in the program as for now it is essential that we all appreciate the importance and health-giving properties of all THREE macronutrients (Metabolic Typing and BioSignature methods).  That’s right……fat too.  Are you reading this thinking “hold on I thought fat was bad for you, doesn’t it clog up arteries and cause so many modern day diseases?”?  Well the answer is one that you need to find out and be happy with for yourself, but to satisfy my own inquisitive mind I did my own research.  In my opinion I have yet to find any research that validates the current society views on the demonization of fat.  In fact I have had to do a considerable amount of unlearning myself.

This only scratches the surface, the online program does a lot more, your own research will enlighten you, but for now, it is essential that you acknowledge the fundamental role that fat, protein and carbohydrates play in your health.

Online Program – 12 Essential Nutrition Lessons

Over the next few weeks we’ll go into more detail on each topic.  For anyone who wants to learn more about these topics there are high-quality online resources that provide this entire program and more.

12 Essential Nutrition Lessons

  1. Hydrate
  2. Macronutrients
  3. Healthy Breakfasts
  4. Healthy Lunches
  5. Healthy Dinner
  6. Gluten
  7. Cow’s Milk Dairy
  8. Truth about Fats and Oils
  9. Raw and Cooked Foods
  10. The Soy Debate
  11. Sugar and Alcohol
  12. Organic Food

Each of the 12 Lessons Includes:

  • A VIDEO PRESENTATION that teaches you all they key issues related to that specific topic.
  • An AUDIO RECORDING of the lesson that you can download and add to your iPod, MP3 player or even a CD so that you can listen to the information in your car!
  • A downloadable presentation, in both PDF and POWERPOINT formats for you to print and follow along with the audio presentation (if you’d prefer not to stare at the computer screen!)
  • A PDF ACTION GUIDE, which provides KEY ACTION POINTS for you to implement IMMEDIATELY to enable you to make key the changes that are discussed in each lesson.
  • Additional PDF documents with extra information and resources to help you implement each lesson with minimal stress and disruption to your lifestyle.

Read More Articles

Request Details of the 'Nutrition Essentials Program'

Take the Next Step to Enhancing your Health and Performance


 
ME NorthEast Association - May 2011
(0 votes)

ME Northeast and NIHP Team

ME North East Open Day on Sunday 8th May was a great success.

The ME Northeast and the 'Northern Integrative Health Practice' teamed up to deliver The Bowen Technique therapy for people living with ME/CFS. A key principle of Bowen is that 'less is more', meaning that when the body is already under significant physical, emotional, energy, hormonal, digestive stress etc, the last thing it needs is more challenge, pressure, load and stress.  Hence this light-touch non-invasive therapy can look to help the body's natural healing processes and enhance the function of the natural systems in the body.

With the following therapies we are not treating a diagnosed condition/disease/illness.  We are working with the individual to support and enhance function.  Click below to read more.....

The Bowen Technique

Individual Nutrition

Exercise for Energy

Work One-to-One

 
12 Nutrition Essentials
(0 votes)

 

12 Nutrition Essentials

Column #117, 7th May 2011

Would you agree that there is an overwhelming amount of information out there on Nutrition?  Google manages to bring us 99million pages on ‘Healthy Nutrition’ in 0.10 seconds.  Walk into any bookstore and there are hundreds of books to chose from, all contrasting and contradicting each other vying for their own niche.  For someone who is simply looking for some good advice and answers to reaching their health and performance goals, this is a frustrating situation.  Yet it is avoidable. Here’s how.

On a Plate

As a Nutrition and Exercise Coach I have spent the last 7 years searching for these answers and invested in learning from the leaders and experts across the world.  It’s been challenging and fascinating, I’ve learned and unlearned and it will drive forward as we learn more about nutrition and human function.  Surprisingly, what I have seemed to do most of is the Unlearning.  Trying to erase all the non-truths, poor science and engrained beliefs that have flooded the education and media settings.  Why this is the case is a topic best left for another article and today we’ll briefly skip past this to getting some truths and tips that can make a difference to you immediately.

Having enjoyed every minute of this journey is all well and good for someone who is willing to devote their life to it, but what about the person who wants the information and answers in a collected, simple and effective package.  This should not be too much to ask.  Read on and you’ll find some essential lessons that we all need to embrace for a robust health and optimal vitality.

First, The Myths

If your health or athletic performance is not where you would like it to be at the moment, then the key is to change something.  This might be a few factors or just some minor tweaks, but be ready to change something…..even if it’s just a deeply engrained belief system that is not serving you in a positive way.  Lets look at some disruptive myths in nutrition:

  1. Saturated fat and Cholesterol have been demonized.  They are poorly understood and misrepresented.  Do your research into what the body needs them for and you’ll find they are essential nutrients.
  2. Don’t take my word for it.  In fact don’t take anybody’s word for it.  Don’t BELIEVE a word anyone says.  Find out what you feel about it.  What makes sense?
  3. Surprisingly enough, breakfast cereals are not the best choice for breakfast.  Consider that the cardboard box in which they come has been shown to be more nutritious.  ‘Wholegrain, slow release, fat free’ – its all setting you up for challenges with glucose and causing issues with insulin resistance.
  4. Inflammatory foods have been shown to include Soy, Cow’s milk, Gluten, Sugar and Alcohol.  Eating them can contribute to immune problems, arthritis, food intolerance, digestive issues and much more.  These actually make up much of the processed foods out there.  Take them away and it really shouldn’t be a revelation that we’re left with fresh meats, fish, vegetables and fruit.  The question here is, if you aren’t benefiting from eating these inflammatory foods…..who really is PROFITING from it?
  5. One-size-fits-all never works for everyone.  What does work for everybody 100% of the time is finding the individual nutrition that their body is set up to do well on.

Fairly simple really when we take a step back and look.  So lets keep it that way.  From the variety of fantastic courses and colleagues I have worked with, here are 12 Essential Nutrition Lessons we can all benefit from.  If they sound good to you, there are details of a program that might interest you below.

 

12 Essential Nutrition Lessons

Here is a very brief overview of twelve essential lessons on nutrition.  Some seem very simple (almost too simple – maybe that’s why they’re often missed out) and some challenge conventional ideas on healthy eating.  You wouldn’t ever try to change everything at once, but start by adding in one successful step at a time:

1. Hydrate: A perfect example of the simplest of steps, drinking enough water and enhancing hydration is a commonly missed opportunity for health and athletic performance (and that doesn’t mean tea, coffee, juice and sports drinks).  90% of clients I work with in clinic are not consuming enough pure quality water.  Consider that your body requires water for all of its functions all day everyday and if you don’t supply it, then it will pull it from your tissues (muscle, bones, joints, spine).  Are your tissues dehydrated?

2. Macronutrients: Fats, Protein and Carbohydrates are covered in Lesson 2.  It is key to set the record straight early on.  For some reason it is commonly thought that we only get energy from carbohydrates – this is simply not true, Fats and Protein provide energy too.  It is essential to provide a balance of fat protein and carbohydrates for efficient metabolism.  In addition, optimal metabolism is achieved when we tailor to our individual requirements.  Ace this step first before you start thinking about specific vitamins and minerals – put your socks on before your shoes.

3. Healthy Breakfasts: Our typical breakfasts of today have migrated far from what provides us with what the body needs to perform well.  That’s why it needs special focus early on.  You might need to completely re-wire your software on this one, but imagine that if you do this successfully, it could completely revolutionise your health, productivity at work, cravings, blood sugar, hunger, energy levels and mood throughout the rest of the day.  Does it make sense to be extremely carbohydrate heavy with ‘foods’ such as cereals, breakfast bars, fruit juice, pastries, croissants and toast – all of which are processed in some way?

4. Healthy Lunches: Does your lunch predominantly include bread, pasta or crackers?  When we work and our lifestyle is busy its especially rare to see convenient, available options that do not include these in some way.  There are however, stress-free ways of achieving lunches that do not lead to energy slumps, cravings and lethargy in the middle of the afternoon.

5. Healthy Dinner: For those of us with busy lifestyles do other things take priority over this meal after a day at work?  Picking the kids up, finishing work at home, housework etc.  A few simple tips can mean that you don’t need hours of prep time to provide a nutritious dinner and even have enough for lunch the next day.  Some of us will experience major benefits from getting these three nutritious meals established each day, but for those who need a bit more ‘grazing’ throughout the day, there are a whole host of healthy snacks that support your goals of health.

6. Gluten: This is probably one of the most underestimated steps.  Research shows that 70% of us can be suffering from intolerance without noticing it.  The more we understand about Gluten, the more we find that it may account for things such as digestive issues, inflammatory conditions, joint aches and pains, liver and thyroid problems and blood sugar challenges.

7. Cow’s Milk Dairy: Shown to be the Number 1 allergy causing food.  Difficult to argue with.  Either way, if it is causing your body disruption then it would be great to know what alternatives you have at your disposal.  Try 2months off cow’s milk and see if your digestive issues, skin problems, sleep difficulties and immune challenges improve.

8. Truth about Fats and Oils: Unfortunately fat has been portrayed very negatively in our media and almost demonized in society.  Are you open to finding out just how important saturated fats are for your health?  Do you know how many essential roles cholesterol plays in the body?  Furthermore, all the vegetable oils we are ‘told’ to consume leave a lot to be desired in terms of nutritional value.  We owe it to ourselves to get clued up and find our own truth on this

9. Raw and Cooked Foods: Across the internet there are many debates on raw versus cooked foods.  As no surprise to me, what I have found out is that as usual, the answer is an individual one.  There are instances where a 100% raw diet may be the worst thing for your health, but other situations where it may be perfect.  There are benefits to consuming cooked or fermented foods too, but if you don’t get the balance right then we might not be providing the body with the best form of macronutrients, vitamins, minerals and enzymes to aid in healthy digestion and detoxification.

10. The Soy Debate: By Step 10 you’ll probably realize why these 12 steps need to be implemented one at a time, successfully.  Only when you have achieved the step should you move to the next.  Working One-to-One with clients would usually take around 3 months to cover all this valuable material.  In addition we are challenging and changing many habits, routines and belief systems, which takes time if we are to do it right.  The Soy Debate is another such topic and the research linking it to many diseases for many people is powerful information worth learning.

11. Sugar and Alcohol: This won’t come as a shock, but the refined sugar that is consumed by the ton and the gallons of alcohol by the ‘developed world’ populations is detrimental to health.  Most of us are aware of this and make decisions based on that, but are we all aware of other foods (artificial sweeteners, processed foods, diet foods) in the diet that cause major blood sugar challenges, or how alcohol impacts on inflammation, hormonal balance and body composition.

12. Organic Food: Ultimately, it seems a shame that food that hasn’t been tampered with requires a special label and everything else that has been sprayed and engineered is considered normal. Quite bizarre.  However, it now seems that just because it says ‘Organic’, it doesn’t always mean that the food is of greater quality.  There appears to be major marketing, political and economic forces at play.  We’ll cover what choices you can make about your food to ensure you get the best reasonable quality food that you can.

Over the next few weeks we’ll go into more detail on each topic.  For anyone who wants to learn more about these topics there are high-quality online resources that provide this entire program and more.

Online Program – 12 Essential Nutrition Lessons

Each of the 12 Lessons Includes:

  • A VIDEO PRESENTATION that teaches you all they key issues related to that specific topic.
  • An AUDIO RECORDING of the lesson that you can download and add to your iPod, MP3 player or even a CD so that you can listen to the information in your car!
  • A downloadable presentation, in both PDF and POWERPOINT formats for you to print and follow along with the audio presentation (if you’d prefer not to stare at the computer screen!)
  • A PDF ACTION GUIDE, which provides KEY ACTION POINTS for you to implement IMMEDIATELY to enable you to make key the changes that are discussed in each lesson.
  • Additional PDF documents with extra information and resources to help you implement each lesson with minimal stress and disruption to your lifestyle.

Read More Articles

Request Details of the 'Nutrition Essentials Program'

Take the Next Step to Enhancing your Health and Performance


 
Biomechanics at the NIHP
(0 votes)

Great training day with the team at the 'Northern Integrative Health Practice'.  Dean Glozier (Biomechanist, Podiatrist, Bowen Therapist) showed us some fantastic assessment and treatment techniques with a focus on pain management and movement.

Although considering the whole body (kinetic chain) he gave us a lot of insight into the function of the lower leg and foot mechanics.   Check out these pre and post Squats.  In just 5minutes Dean was able to identify blockages through the foot, release and enhance function considerably.  Fascinating for myself as I assess squat movement screens everyday and now have a few more tools in the toolbox.  A full squat profile is like a barometer of function - it relates to athletic performance and injury prevention.

 

1. Squat Assessment Pre   |   2. Bodywork and Release Techniques (fibula)   |   3. Squat Post

Bodywork

Squat Post

Here the Talus (an ankle bone) was out of alignment and was causing a blockage in movement at the ankle.  Therefore the movement was restricted causing compensation patterns. It was most likely that this had been the case for the last 5 years for this person.  What this shows us is that such malalignment/subluxation can be present without us being aware or even in pain

Its great to be able to have the skills to use release and manipulation techniques to improve alignment in function, but the team at the NIHP didn't stop there.  What we were really interested was what was causing the problem in the first place.....The Root Cause.  This is very much an individual-specific answer, but it can be anything from weakness elsewhere in the body, sporting demands, footwear (high heels being the main offenders), occupational demands and even an emotional blockage.

Thanks to Dean for sharing.

 
ME NorthEast Therapy
(0 votes)
Bullion Hall
South Approach
Chester-le-Street
DH2 2ES

 

 

Looking forward to the ME North East Open Day on Sunday 8th May

Together with colleagues from the 'Northern Integrative Health Practice', I'll be working with individuals with ME/Chronic Fatigue to support their health.  Some of the methods/therapies we'll be using include:

The Bowen Technique

Individual Nutrition

Exercise for Energy

Get in touch if you would like more details of this event

 
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Coaching and Therapies

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jack@functionaltrainer.co.uk

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