Friday, 31 December 2010


I've been doing a little experiment with my body (and mind) throughout December - not something I'd normally do, but this year I just decided to let go and eat and drink exactly what I like and also reduce my exercise. A bit like Supersize Me!! Lol! And if you haven't watched that film, you really should.

Anyway, I've had fun - lots of alcohol,lots of chocolate, mince pies,refined carbs, you name it, I've eaten it. Now thirty one days on, I feel ..................terrible! Not only have I gained over half a stone in weight, I have spots on my face, a rash on my chest and arms, and I feel sloth-like and have a limited choice of clothing that looks good on me. Now I know how it feels to be uncomfortable in my own skin and I can't bear it any longer. I usually like to show my body off - today I'm wearing a baggy jumper that doesn't touch the 'bulges'. Yuk!

So, New Year, New Start as the saying goes and I'll be back to my regimented self! I have been labelled Monica from Friends in the past and want to get back to that role as soon as possible.

How am I going to go about it?

Just like this :

Start dry skin brushing a couple of times a week to get rid of dead skin cells and rev up my circulation.

Use Epsom salts in the bath - helps to detox, and great for the skin.

Drink dandelion, nettle, aloe and any other Detox tea I can get my hands on.

Do the Forever Living Clean 9 Detox diet which involves lots of Aloe Vera Gel drinking, Ultra Lite Shakes (entirely natural no chemicals) and specific weight release supplements (all natural, no chemicals).

Follow that with eating six small meals a day, balanced between good fats, unrefined carbs, and protein - plenty of fruits and vegetables. Skipping meals only sends your body into starvation mode, so you store fat.

Cooking all my meals from scratch. Nothing processed and NO junk.

No alcohol - empty calories.

Eating protein with every meal to build lean muscle tissue. When you have more muscle you burn calories faster and look firmer all over.

Walk and use stairs whenever and wherever I can.

Make time to do one hour of exercise each day :
Alternate days - interval training
Alternate days - resistance training
Plus flexibility and energy boosting exercises.

I'll also be wearing my MBTS or Sketchers for walking to burn more calories and tone my legs.

But more importantly, I have set myself the goal of releasing my 'excess' weight by the end of January and have this firmly in my mindset. That is what is going to get me there. I've also set goals for other areas of my life; have written them down and backed them up with a picture board. All helps to make it real.

How about you join me? Those of you who have piled on a few pounds over Christmas - set your goals and go for them. If you need assistance get in touch,I'd be happy to help.

Have a very, very Happy New Year - I'll be having a glass or two of pink fizz tonight, and savouring every mouthful!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Attitude Is Everything!

One of my dear friends has just recently made a life changing decision to 'up his game'.He had a big chat with himself and has changed his attitude overnight! Amazing and admirable.

I truly believe that if you change your attitude you can change your life. When we're children we all have amazing dreams for the future and they're encouraged! My eldest son wants to be a wildlife photographer and fly around the world taking photos out of helicopters.Fantastic;I'm with him all the way!

As we get older,however, and ground down by daily life, it becomes increasingly difficult to hang on to these dreams.

If you've lost sight of yours, reading today's blog tips to help you give your attitude a positivity boost may help you to find them.

1. Think I CAN,I CAN

2. Count your blessings - have an attitude of gratitude

3. See possibilities, not limitations

4. Look for the good in others

5. Play an uplifting, positive movie in your mind

6. Release rejection from others - let it go through you quickly and move on

7. Don't hold on to negative energy . It serves no purpose and has no place inside of you

8. View problems as challenges to be overcome

9. Change your language . Your wording is accepted unconditionally by your subconscious mind and acted upon

10. Use positive affirmations and self talk as often as possible

11. Associate with positive, nourishing people who make you feel good, and lift you. People who are inspirational, motivated and have aspirations. Not the negative, toxic people who will drag you down

12.Consciously choose words that will point you in the direction of your goals

13. Speak positively about your: finances, career, relationships, and health; you will be rewarded

14. When someone asks you how you are, say Great! Fantastic!. Even if you're not

15. Make positive thinking a habit. Use tools to help you - read books, listen to Cd's, watch DVDS. A habit only takes 21 days to form

16.Choose your attitude at the beginning of each day. We all have the power of choice

17. Do some goal mapping - make a collage, put it up on the wall/carry it around with you; make them real

18. SMILE - always

19. Take care of your appearance - it DOES make a massive difference to how you'll feel

20. Stand tall, good posture really helps


For inspirational books and CDs I love the following authors :
Jim Rohn,
Jeff Keller
Louise Hay
Zig Ziglar
Big Al Schreiber
Paul Chek

I've just read Attitude Is Everything, by Jeff Keller,
Have a great day.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Multi Tasking but Under Achieving..................

I don't know about you but I feel as if I've been chasing my tail recently, and not really achieving much at all. At least not where I need to anyway!!

I feel like I'm juggling heaps of balls in the air, all at once, and am waking up at 4am worrying as to how they're all going to stay up!

Washing, ironing, looking after the kids, cooking, cleaning, business building, servicing existing clients and keeping them happy, taking and picking up dry cleaning, stroking my cats!(they're very demanding),buying, wrapping and delivering birthday presents, seeing my mother!, meeting up with friends, exercising,phone calls, face book!,enjoying long hot bubble baths,walking in the fresh air, and as for sex................!!


Can't go on like this! Not and stay sane anyway, but how do we all survive - life is so, so busy and there's no let up. That is unless you work it into your schedule.

So I've has a big chat with myself and am making some major changes. This all came about when I was away at Lego land with my boys last weekend. The change of scene was great for clearing my head, and for just 'being in the now' instead of all the time trying to think ahead and not appreciating what I'm doing half the time.

My 'Me Time' has been pretty non existent of late and it makes me grumpy. And ask anyone who knows me, grumpy me is not good! My exercise regime has been sadly lacking (other than working out with clients) and I love the feel good endorphins I get from pushing my body so much that I'm missing it terribly.

So from now on I'm going to be anal and plan my weeks every Sunday night so that all the important things are blocked off time wise NOT to be moved.I've been advised to have a maximum of eight things a day on my 'To Do List' (I usually have several dotted about the house, some are pages long!)so that it looks less daunting and more importantly is very achievable. This is turn gives satisfaction - I love ticking them off!

So the plan is in place and I'm determined to keep it that way. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010


OK so we all lose out lust for life sometimes and struggle to see what we have and not what we haven't so to days blog on how to get back your ZING and quickly!

I love the Amercian fitness magazine OXYGEN who include motivational statements on the inside back cover each month, complete with an inspiring image of some description. One that really struck me is this:

" No one is in control of your happiness but you; therefore you have the power to change anything about yourself or your life".

How very true is this! But how often do we blame outside forces for what happens to us? Isn't it a damn sight easier, and makes us feel better if we can lay the blame at anyone elses feet other than our own.

So, first up on getting back your positivity is to take control of YOUR life, its the only one you've got so needs to be grabbed with both hands and worked on, constantly!

No point beating yourself up though - accept what's happening whatever it is and move on from it. Regrets are futile, they serve no purpose, better to take it as a learning curve. And shouldn't learning curves be lots of fun?!?!

I love Louise Hay when I'm feeling anything less than positive - shes an American teacher who has firmly established herself as a leader in the self help book/DVD/CD market.
I play her Feeling Fine Affirmations in the car to remind myself that I am worthy, that its OK to love myself just the way I am, that prosperity will come my way if I open my mind and heart and change the way my sub conscious mind thinks. This can take time but can really change the path of your life.

Playing loud funky music changes my mind set too and singing and dancing to it. My children love it when we all do this together and again it can really change the way you're viewing your life right now, and how accessible and simple is music!

Friends are worth their weight in gold to give you a boost in the right direction too - pick them carefully, you know which ones will help! I have a friend who's big into NLP, so he's fab to help change the deep rooted neural pathways we tend to use over and over and are not necessarily for our highest good.

I have a friend who's a corporate life coach, and she gets me to think outside of the box and break things down into manageable chunks; simple but effective.

I have another friend who like me is a CHEK holistic lifestyle coach - we're so on the same wave length its scary, and we can work together to help each other. Then I have other friends who are just great to chill out with.

Smells have the capacity to lift us too - I love the smells of coconut,cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, and marjoram, and also have a sage burning stick which I find cleanses my home so that I can think clearly.

Up there at the top for boosting positivity has to be exercise; choose the type to suit. You may like to run to clear your head, or lift heavy weights to sweat it out, or need the relaxation and calm of yoga or Pilate's. You can guarantee to feel better by the end of it, and done regularly the effects are cumulative.

Food and drink have an effect on moods too. Fill yourself full of processed junk and you're unlikely to feel at your best. Clean, healthy foods can have the opposite effect in energising us and lifting moods. Alcohol can make you go either way! One or two drinks can be pleasant relaxers, but over do it and black depression can set in! Be careful with this one!

Another OXYGEN positive affirmation is this " Believe in YOURSELF and ALL that you are". And remember you are SO worth it, whatever happening!

In Health and Happiness

Tuesday, 17 August 2010


This blog follows right on from the last TOXIC TUMMY one, which suggests we all need to have a greater awareness of the correlation between what we put in our mouths and the state of our overall health.

How many people suffer regularly from constipation, diarrhoea,excessive burping, excessive wind, bloating, indigestion,and general discomfort in the abdominal area? Irritable Bowel Syndrome (which kind of covers all of these symptoms) is one of the biggest reasons, in this country, for visiting the GP.

Consequently the over the counter medicine market for IBS relieving products is worth billions of pounds, and often are very ineffective and introduce unnecessary chemicals into an already congested system.

I was introduced to an amazing natural product earlier this year, by my acupuncturist - who recommends it for skin problems, and a friend who has a Forever Living Products business - she recommended drinking gel to soothe the gut (and most other areas of the body).

I have since become an avid user of Forevers range of ALOE VERA products, so much so that I now have my own business with them. The drinking gels have had a great impression on me and several members of my family.

Aloe Vera has been used as a medicine for centuries for both animals and humans. It has amazing health giving properties and can be used as a tonic to stay healthy as well as for specific issues.

It contains all eight of the essential amino acids we need, a multitude of vitamins and minerals and polysaccharides that play a big part in restoring and boosting the immune system (70% of which is found in the gut).

This amazing plant, of which the gel from the inner leaf is used to produce a wide range of products from face creams, to deodorants (without aluminium salts -google this, its a BIG deal) is :

- anti inflammatory
- anti- viral
- anti- fungal
- anti bacterial
- helps to soothe the digestive system from the mouth right to the rectum
- effectively helps to detoxify the gut
- acts at a cellular level to help heal and generate healthy tissue

So the drinking gel not only can help the wide and varied symptoms of IBS but can assist in helping ulcerative colitis and crohns disease amongst other diseases of the gut.

Taken daily (I take 30mls x 3times daily because this amount works for me) it helps to maintain good overall health and well being, and is a great tonic for energy.I know someone who adds it to water as an energy drink when cycling!

So if you do suffer from a toxic overloaded body you could benefit greatly from introducing aloe vera drinking gel into your diet - no chemicals, organically grown, no nasty additives, pesticides, herbicides etc. for your liver to have to detox, just a good, clean nutritious food.

For more details on how aloe vera can help you and your family - contact me through Balanced on face book for more info.
Look forward to being able to help you move towards greater health.

In health and happiness,

Tuesday, 10 August 2010


How can we, as a nation, expect to be dis-ease and stress free, when most of us don't seem to be aware that there is a MASSIVE correlation between what we put into our mouths on a daily basis (and so absorb) and the state of our health??

Gillian Mckeith, who I think (despite what people say about her) has done a lot of good for health awareness, promoted the saying You Are What You Eat - and an even better saying is You Are What You Absorb. Every morsel that passes your lips has to go all the way through the digestive system for the body to use for energy, and to keep us ticking over. Is it any wonder that so many of us spend a lot of time in a lacklustre state because our bodies are desperately trying to extract some nutrients from foods that don't contain any, and never have.

Many of the processed foods on the supermarket shelves are "anti-nutrients" and it takes more energy for the body to digest it than it gets out of the food itself in a lot of cases. These foods may include breakfast cereals (some of which contain several spoonfuls of sugar for every bowl eaten- see earlier blog on the subject),processed chocolate and confectionery, refined carbohydrate products such as white bread, white rice, white pasta, pizza, chicken nuggets, cheap processed meats, alcohol, sausage rolls, pork pies, crisps, sweetened and salted nuts, ready meals,chips etc. etc..............

One of the reasons that these foods are so poor in nutrition is that they are refined to the extent that they lack a decent amount of fibre, and we need fibre/roughage to keep a healthy digestive system. Fibre helps the peristalsis action (like waves) of the gut to keep foods moving through our systems and keep us regular! Refined foods contain little roughage and so can get 'stuck' to the colon walls where they accumulate over time. The longer this goes on and the more C.R.A.P foods that are ingested mean trouble as they are effectively toxins sitting inside us. This build up can also prevent any goodness eaten from being properly absorbed and utilised.

Toxins are then absorbed back into the bloodstream where they have the potential to create havoc in the form of minor to major health issues. Refined foods are a large cause of problems such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) which affect millions of people in the UK and is one of the biggest reasons we visit our GPs. In most cases it can be controlled by a change of diet.

So, what we really need is a diet rich in vegetables (particularly green ones) and fruits and good quality meat and fish,nuts and seeds,oils and some complex carbohydrates that still contain roughage - and plenty of water to keep us hydrated and to help move things along! Stagnation of any kind in the gut is a bad thing - and often the cause of sleepiness, headaches, unexplained bouts of illness, lethargy and many,many more health problems.

Over 70% of our immune system is housed in our gut, so if we clog it up with C.R.A.P foods is it any wonder we get sick?!

Do yours a big favour and make 80% of what you consume really great, fresh nutritious foods. You'll reap the rewards for years to come. Who really wants to add to the drain on the NHS? I for one want to have health and vitality to enjoy my life to the full.

In Health and Happiness,


Tuesday, 20 July 2010

What Are We Breathing In?

Who out there is going to own up to having a cleaning cupboard full of a whole host of products, all claiming to do the best job of cleaning a specific area of your house?! Well, you could be damaging your health with these. The Daily Express carried an article today, on a link between household cleaners and breast cancer, including air fresheners and insect repellent.

Not really a big surprise given that the majority (unless stated otherwise) contain man made chemicals which when you're cleaning you're breathing in, and probably getting on your skin, which is porous. It's claimed that the inside of our houses are even more toxic than the air we're breathing outside, which is just a little worrying!

Sherry Rogers an American MD wrote a book which I've blogged about before on several occasions entitled DETOXIFY OR DIE, in which she demonstrates how important it is that we understand the role that toxins, both from the outside world and produced inside our bodies, have on the origin of complex illnesses.

When we ingest toxins in any way shape or form our bodies see them as enemies, and don't know what to do with them. We waste very valuable nutrients attempting to 'disarm' them, and even then they can end up being dumped inside the body usually in our soft tissue - think breasts/testicles amongst others. Long term 'dumping' becomes cumulative and surprise, surprise we get dis-ease within us, and our systems start to break down.

Detoxify Or Die is a scary read and so not for the faint hearted, alot of people prefer to remain ignorant and deal with the consequences as and when they arise!

I for one would rather not be accumulating toxins within me if at all avoidable which is one of the reasons why I use natural cleaning products. How easy is it to make this change? and if it's not for you how do you feel about your children breathing in obnoxious chemicals designed to make your home look and smell nice?

There are many,many ways to avoid chemical cleaners not least of which by using totally natural cleaning ingredients such as lemon juice and baking powder, both of which can give the same effect as Mr Sheen/Mr Muscle etc. etc. without the nasties!

My cleaning cupboard consists of one main cleaning product - Forever Living Products MPD (Multi Purpose Detergent). I use it to wash my dishes, I use it to wash my clothes, I use it to shine my taps, I use it to wash my wooden floors, I use it to wipe down the table and work tops, I use it to get stains out of the carpet, I use it in my bathroom to clean the shower, I use it in my bathroom to clean my tiles, I use it to clean inside my car I boring you yet???!!!

Basically it does everything;I don't need a window cleaner, a tile shiner, washing powder, washing up liquid, shower-spray, a wooden floor foamwash etc.etc.

So not only does it save me money (one bottle lasts approx a month), it saves me cupboard space - but the biggest deal here is that's it's TOTALLY NATURAL, NO CHEMICALS, NO TOXINS TO BREATHE IN FOR ME, OR MY KIDS, OR MY PETS.

I also use tea tree oil as a cleaner because it smells amazingly fresh! Again no chemicals.

Do yourself, your kids, and your pets a MASSIVE FAVOUR - ditch ALL your chemical cleaners and make the change to use natural products only.

I can order MPD for you from Forever Living Products, and let you sample other products in their range (natural -household, beauty and nutritional). Make the change for the better today; what do you have to lose?

MPD can also be used on your pets; its ideal for cleaning horses stables and washing the animals down themselves for example.

Hope you enjoyed the read, and it's opened your eyes a little. Have a think about who is gaining from the hundreds of cleaning products lining the supermarket shelves?!


Monday, 7 June 2010

Mood and Muscle Reviving Massage

I've upped my cycling big time over the last few weeks to prepare my body for the harsh hills involved in the Coast2coast charity ride I'm taking part in at the end of July.On Sunday after several hours in the saddle and a frantic half hour swim my muscles felt well fatigued and in desperate need of a massage.

So today's blog is about the benefits of massage therapy and why we should all pamper ourselves in this way as often as necessary!

Why is massage beneficial?

Apart from the 'feel good' factor massage therapy produces, which for me is everything - there are many, many reasons why massage is beneficial for health.

Benefits of massage :

It relaxes!

It enhances immunity by stimulating lymph flow (the body's natural defense system).

It helps stretch weak,tight or atrophied muscles.

It helps prepare for and recover from strenuous workouts.

It releases feel good endorphins - amino acids that work as the body's natural painkillers.

It improves the condition of the body's largest organ - the skin, especially if coconut oil is used.

It lessens depression/stress/anxiety.

It pumps oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs improving circulation.

It can help reduce blood pressure.

It reduces spasms and cramping in muscles.

It relaxes and softens tired, injured and overused muscles.

It relieves migraine pain.

It alleviates low back pain and improves range of motion.

And more....................

So all in all massage therapy can be a very powerful ally in your health care regime.

The power of touch should never be underestimated.

Balanced, IE ME!, offers Swedish, and sports massage in the comfort of your own home.

I also have two friends, Dan and Ian, who have healing hands, and their massage is the most divine experience. They're worth their weight in gold!Dan is the gym manager and masseur at the Titanic Spa in Huddersfield, and Ian Mulrooney offers remedial massage through Smartwaytofitness.

Go for it! If you've never experienced massage I can't recommend it highly enough.

Monday, 17 May 2010

RISKS - Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway

To Laugh is to risk appearing foolish.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out for another is to risk involvement.
To expose feeling is to risk exposing your true self.
To hope is to risk despair.
To try is to risk failure.
To live is to risk dying,

But risks must be taken,
Because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing,
does nothing, has nothing and is nothing.
He may avoid suffering and sorrow,
But he simply cannot learn, feel,change,grow,love and live.
Chained by his opinions,he is a slave,he has forfeited freedom.
Only a person who risks is FREE.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010


I've had a sore throat for the last week or so on and off (very unusual for me but have been pushing it out on my bike and think my immune system needs a boost) and one of the most soothing things I've found is Manuka Honey, straight from the spoon, or dissolved in a cup of hot water with a slice of lemon.

Manuka honey is an amazing substance and worthy of its own blog post!
It comes from New Zealand, from the Manuka bush which is covered in flowers for four weeks of every year. During these four weeks bees are extremely busy gathering the honey from the Manuka Flower - this bush produces a strongly flavoured honey (very different from traditional honey we eat in this country), rich in texture and very very tasty!

It has amazing properties, the main one being antibacterial, hence it helping my sore throat. And the measure of how high the antibacterial qualities are lies in the UMF level. My recommendation is to go no less that UMF20 which indicates a high antibacterial compound.

Manuka honey is not just good for sore throats and a tasty food for spreading on toast etc. Its antibacterail qualities are said to support the bodys defense system in the gut (70% of the immune system is held here) , and also encourages the growth of good pro-biotic gut bacteria. Great for keeping away winter chills and ills, and has even been provedn to be good for healing wounds, and promoting healthy skin.

It also is said to have antifungal properties, so all in all is a worthy addition to any medicine cabinet; and its 100% totally natural unlike most of the packets and bottles found in medciine cabinets!!

A quick blog today but hopefully of interest!

Wednesday, 5 May 2010


OK so here's a contentious issue - should we be worried about the pesticides on/in our foods? Do they harm us or they perfectly harmless and a valuable addition to modern farming?

Well, I've had a look into the subject and am sincerely of the opinion that we should avoid them where at all possible.If you have the time or the inclination a great book to read (especially for you Lucy) is Detoxify Or Die, By Sherry Rogers who is an American MD.

Not to go into too much detail here and now, but, some scientists are of the view that small doses of pesticides and other chemicals can cause lasting damage to human health. Sherry Rogers goes on to say in her book that because the body doesn't know what to do with these 'foreign substances' they are held in the soft tissue, and that's where they start to accumulate and do damage(particularly in the breat and prostate area).

Damage can occur especially during foetal development and early childhood, so these are specific times to really watch what you're eating and what you are feeding your little cherubs (if you have any choice over what they'll put in their mouths!).

Scientists have enough knowledge on the subject now to know about the long term consequences of ingesting these powerful chemicals to advise that we minimize our consumption of pesticides.

But how do we do that?

The government advises we eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, and really this is the minimum amount; far better to double it!

However, if we're not careful the very foods we eat thinking they're good for us are the ones that contain the greatest amounts of pesticides! Dilemma! So below is a table taken from that lists the Dirty Dozen - IE those containing the highest levels of nasties, so aim to buy organic, and the Clean 15, those that are lowest in pesticides and can be bought and eaten non organic.

Bell Peppers

CLEAN 15 :
Sweet corn
Sweet Peas
Cantaloupe melon
Sweet potato
Honeydew melon

Research by the Environmental Working Group has found that people who eat five fruit and veg a day from the Dirty Dozen list consume an average of 10 pesticides a day. Those who eat from the 15 least contaminated conventionally grown fruits and vegetables ingest fewer than 2 pesticides daily.

By the way, rinsing food does help to reduce pesticides but doesn't eliminate them totally; peeling can help too but then valuable nutrients can be lost with the skin.

The best approach : eat a varied diet, rinse all produce and buy organic where possible particularly from the Dirty Dozen list.

Hope that was useful. Bit tricky to get organic blueberries and strawberries in Wetherby!?

Saturday, 1 May 2010


I've been really struggling to find motivation for exercise (and most other things come to think of it) over the last couple of weeks; yes it happens to Personal Trainers too!! So todays blog is about how I got back my va va voom, big time.

I find that if I have something to aim FOR then I'm much more inclined to stick to a regular pattern of working out - it's specific rather than random. This can be applied to most anything in life too I think.

So, my aim is to achieve three challenges : I've signed up to do the Coast to Coast bike ride in July, from the glamourous Workington to Sunderland! (not quite Brighton to Paris).It's approximinately 160 miles over two days, with a nights camping in between. Its sponsored and I'm doing it for the RNLI.

The second one is a Swimathon over a twelve week period in September when I will swim the equivalent of the Channel; 22 miles. I'm doing it in the comfort of my local pool though!

The third one doesn't need massive amounts of training for but should be loads of fun. A friend and I ahve signed up to do the PINK Aerobics day in Hyde Park on October 3rd. Lots of aerobic classes back to back with some great instructors and funky music!This one is for breast cancer reserach.

I've prepared two written training schedules to keep me on track, and am only on week one, but so far so good! I always find writing things down make them more likely to happen.

As well as a training plan, a training log is a great tool to get used to filling in. You can record your food intake, how many miles you covered, how you felt that day during exercise and how it affected you afterwards, both moods and physically, any ahces and pains you felt and if you really want to add your weight (if this is relevant). It'll help keep you on track and excited about your goal, and can even head off injury.

Food intake is so useful as eating the right foods can affect most of the above; afterall we eat for energy, and physical and metnal repair, all of which are needed to reach ANY goal.

You can also record any ideas you come up with during exercise. I don't know about you but I have some real 'light bulb' moments when I'm whizzing through the countryside on my bike, and also when 'zoning out' whilst pounding up and down the pool. This all kind of reinforces how exercise can and does enrich peoples lives.

So todays top tip if you're lacking motivation it to focus on a goal. It doesnt have to be a major challenge, it can be as small or as big as YOU want it to be, but DO write it down and keep it in an obvious place. Tell people you're doing it too, then you can lean on them for encouragement when you feel like giving up!

Even better sign up to do challenges with friends, then you are way more likley to stick to your plan, and have the added advantage (if you want it) of some company, which can make exercise so much more fun!

Would love to hear about your goal setting, please add comments if you've recently planned something to boost your motivation.

Monday, 12 April 2010

The evil sweet stuff..................

...............Seventy Eight ways sugar can ruin your life.

I make no apologies for to days blog being really hard hitting. Sugar in all its forms is detrimental to our health. We all eat too much of it, whether we are aware of it or not. Its hidden in so many foods, from ketchup to white bread so if you're eating processed foods you're overdoing it on the sugar!

We don't NEED added sugar at all for energy or health, apart form natural sugars found in fruits, vegetables and grains but we are eating so much that each person is reckoned to consume roughly his or her own body weight in sugar each year , and 100 years ago we ate only about 10 pounds each year! (Source Erika Whites Beat Candida Cookbook).

So here goes the 78 ways sugar can ruin your life(by the way this was a recent post on the Metabolic Typing forum - thanks guys) :

1. Sugar can suppress the immune system.
2. Sugar can upset the body's mineral balance.
3. Sugar can cause hyperactivity,anxiety,and crankiness in children.
4. Sugar can cause drowsiness and decreased activity in children.
5. Sugar can adversely affect children's school results.
6. Sugar can produce a significant rise in triglycerides.
7. Sugar contributes to a weakened defense against bacterial infections.
8. Sugar can cause kidney damage.
9. Sugar can reduce helpful HDL cholesterol.
10.Sugar can promote an elevation of LDL cholesterol.
11.Sugar can lead to chromium deficiency.
12.Sugar can cause copper deficiency.
13.Sugar interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium.
14.Sugar may lead to cancer of the breast,ovaries,prostate and rectum.
15.Sugar can cause colon cancer, with an increased risk in women.
16.Sugar can be a risk factor in gall bladder cancer.
17.Sugar can increase fasting levels of blood glucose.
18.Sugar can weaken eyesight.
19.Sugar raises the level of a neurotransmitter called serotonin, which can narrow blood vessels.
20.Sugar can cause hypoglycemia.
21.Sugar can produce an acidic stomach.
22.Sugar can raise adrenaline levels.
23.Sugar can increase the risk of coronary heart disease.
24.Sugar can speed the aging process, causing wrinkles and grey hair.
25.Sugar can lead to alcoholism (alcohol = sugar)
26.Sugar can promote teeth decay.
27.Sugar can contribute to weight gain and obesity.
28.High intakes of sugar increases the risk of Chrohns disease and ulcerative colitis.
29.Sugar can cause a raw and inflamed intestinal tract in persons with gastric or duodenal ulcers.
30.Sugar can cause arthritis.
31.Sugar can cause asthma.
32.Sugar can lead to the formation of gallstones.
33.Sugar can cause candidiasis (yeast infection) - and this can manifest itself in hundreds of different symptoms from sinusitis to brain fog.
34. Sugar can lead to formation of kidney stones.
35. Sugar can cause ischemic heart disease.
36.Sugar can cause appendicitis.
37.Sugar can exacerbate the symptoms of MS.
38. Sugar can indirectly cause haemorrhoid's.
39.Sugar can cause varicose veins.
40.Sugar can elevate glucose and insulin responses in oral contraception users.
41.Sugar can lead to periodontal disease.
42.Sugar contributes to osteoporosis.
43.Sugar contributes to saliva acidity.
44.Sugar can cause a decreased glucose intolerance.
45.Sugar can decrease growth hormone.
46.Sugar can cause a decrease in insulin sensitivity.
47.Sugar increases total cholesterol(think of cholesterol as the body's band aid/plaster, its covering something else up)
48.Sugar can increase systolic blood pressure.
49.Sugar change the structure of protein causing interfere with protein absorption.
50.Sugar causes food allergies.
51.Sugar contributes to diabetes.
52.Sugar can cause toxemia during pregnancy.
53.Sugar can contribute to eczema.
54.Sugar can cause CV disease.
55.Sugar can impair the structure of DNA.
56.Sugar can cause cataracts.
57.Sugar can cause emphysema.
58.Sugar can cause arteriosclerosis.
59.Sugar can cause free radical formation in the bloodstream.
60.Sugar lowers the enzymes ability to function.
61.Sugar can cause loss of tissue elasticity and function.
62.Sugar can cause liver cells to divide, increasing the size of the liver.
63.Sugar can increase the amount of fat in the liver.
64.Sugar can increase kidney size and produce pathological changes in the kidney.
65.Sugar can overstress the pancreas, causing damage.
66.Sugar can increase the body's overall fluid retention.
67.Sugar can cause constipation.
68.Sugar can cause nearsightedness.
69.Sugar can compromise the lining of the capillaries.
70.Sugar can cause hypertension.
71.Sugar can cause headaches, including migraines.
72.Sugar can cause an increase in delta,alpha and theta brain waves, which can alter the minds ability to think clearly - brain fog (see candida)
73.Sugar can cause depression (remember alcohol = sugar)
74.Sugar can increase insulin responses in those consuming high sugar diets compare to low sugar diets.
75.Sugar increases bacterial fermentation in the colon.
76.Sugar can cause hormonal imbalance.
77.Sugar can increase blood platelet adhesiveness, which increases risk of blood clots.
78.Sugar increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

There you go, what a horrendously scary list from one food, hey?. The trouble for most of us is that sugar tastes good, better than good, and its hugely addictive which is why its added to so many processed foods. It makes you want,desire,need more.It gives you a quick burst of energy, which in todays busy, busy lifestyles is a must isn't it?

The Metabolic Typing diet has alot of success with helping to wean people off sugar. It helped me, although I still have the occasional relapse (see previous blog on Easter eggs)I eat a fraction of what I used to years ago. I don't eat processed foods, other than dark chocolate, and most of what I eat is raw and contains minimal sugar. I've also cut my alcohol intake down as the body sees any form of alcohol as sugar.

Sugar has caused me to have many of the above list of health problems, and it is only in the last few years that I've traced them (with some help) ALL back to sugar.

I'd like to help you to get your sugar addiction under control rather than it controlling you. Contact me for a free consultation on how I can help you to clean up your diet.


Saturday, 10 April 2010

Chocolate Eggs

My children were given alot, and I mean ALOT, of chocolate last week by well meaning friends and relatives to celebrate Easter. And of course being children they just want to eat it all at once and the 'pester power' starts to annoy pretty quickly I'm sure you'll agree!

Well, as we were on holiday, on a boat, and at times there was little to do we all (apart from Chris who was navigating the Norfolk broads) ate too much of this chocolate. It started off as my 80/20 rule but turned more into a 60/40 rule, and it wasn't even Green and Blacks!

I enjoyed it immensely for the first day, but on day two my tummy started 'talking' to me. It was communicating very strongly that it didn't like this alien invasion, and was reacting defensively against it. Won't go into too much detail as some of you may be squeamish but it wasn't pleasant. It serves me right, I know. It was totally self inflicted and I'm not complaining. It actually served as a rather useful experiment.

I love it when my body communicates with me because it means I'm in tune with it, and I can react before things get out of hand. It's taken me years to get to this position; I like it but it's still a steep learning curve.

Indigestion is just one of the ways your body communicates to let you know that all is not right inside. And if you take Rennie's, or some other over the counter indigestion tablet, all you're doing is masking the symptoms. They're still there and they are there for a reason. It's the cause you need to work on finding.

The digestive system is very important in detoxification of the body, if its not working you'll get symptoms such as acne, constant fatigue, indigestion, depression, body odour, bad breath, headaches, allergies, skin breakouts, hyperactivity.... the list is endless. It means the toxins inside you are being 'backed up' and have no where to go until your digestion can work efficiently again.

If we constantly eat junk, processed, food with no nutrients contained in it. Drink sugary fizzy drinks that cause tooth decay and blood sugar highs, or even worse diet drinks full of artificial sweeteners.If we don't exercise enough, don't get enough quality sleep and don't learn to let the stresses of life 'go' somehow, we are asking for very unhealthy insides.

To help keep your digestive system healthy you have to eat right - for your body. We are all different, and some of us suit foods that would not suit others. Metabolic Typing allows you to discover what type of body you have to work with, and how best you can do just that. No calorie controls or measuring, just working with a list of foods especially for you, and listening to your bodys reactions and making amends accordingly.

Obviously this list of foods is what I call 'clean' food. Food that has recently lived, whether it be fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, meat, fish, eggs, or whole grains, and good, clean, pure water too. Simple foods made up of one ingredient, not twenty and ten of which are unpronounceable (is that a word John?!). Foods that can pass through your body in the way they should, IE the body takes the nutrients out to utilise, and any waste is eliminated, swiftly.

If you're not eliminating swiftly, IE several times daily you are constipated; some of the foods you are eating are not working for you. Not rocket science, but you would not believe the millions of pounds spent on laxatives in this country. Again this is merely pushing the 'problem' under the carpet, allowing toxins to build up and show up in other ways; health problems. Whilst they may seem minor IE, body odour or recurring tiredness or headaches they should be addressed, and soon before they multiply.

The Metabolic Typing test takes an hour of your life to do. Its pain free, relatively inexpensive but I can guarantee it will change the way you view food, for the better, for life.

If you're happy to continue living with one, some, or many 'symptoms' of an unhealthy digestive system you probably haven't even go this far into this blog post!! If you are still reading its probably because you want to do something to enhance your well being in some way.

I hope so. You really ,really are what you eat, or even better you are what you digest.

Contact me through Balanced on Face book for more information on METABOLIC TYPING, or leave me a comment at the bottom of this blog, and I'll get back to you. Comments welcomed, whatever your view!

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Bouncing Breasts....

..............ha bet that title got you reading didn't it?!

I went to Bath last weekend and during the half marathon on Sunday morning began a study on ladies breasts and how much they bounce whilst their owner is running.

Fascinating, as really the bounce should be minimal to ensure pain free exercise, but more importantly to discourage droop. Unfortunately, I saw a really high number of runners either not wearing a proper bra, not wearing a sports bra, or wearing an inadequate sports bra.

A little fact you may not be aware of: the breast ligaments are called Coopers Ligaments, and if they are continually stretched (IE by wearing inadequate support)they lose tone and it is impossible to regain it. Eventually, therefore, the breast tissue will start to sag. This is just as likely to happen if you are a B cup as it is if you are an F cup or bigger.

I went on a training course in London as part of my new role as a Sweaty Betty Wardrobe Consultant and was privileged to see and hear a really dynamic presentation by a lady from Shock Absorber (the sports bra market leaders).

She quoted an awful lot of figures to us, one of which was quite scary : seven out of ten women wear the wrong size bra. This can result in the breasts not receiving the support they need in the right places. Not only that, but it can look extremely unsightly when bits of boob are sticking out in strange places. I agree with the majority of the male species( and this is not meant to be at all sexist) that breasts are a fabulous part of a woman's anatomy - but in the wrong size bra this can quickly go out of the window!!!

She also told us, and this has been heavily researched, that an every day bra can reduce bounce up to 33 per cent and a sports bra can reduce bounce up to 74 per cent.
A sports bra therefore is a MUST for exercise unless its yoga or Pilates, and even then light support is needed. The more impact, the greater degree of support you need.

Shock Absorber have just launched the Run Bra, available from Sweaty Betty, and it holds the breasts very firmly in place. It's market leader and is truly fabulous, which is why its flying off the shelves as I write.

Sweaty Betty sell a range of sports bras - their own brand crop tops which come in many different colours and are good for impact up to a C cup,or on their own in the summer) and a range of Shock Absorber bras depending on the activity you participate in.

So, the moral of the story is :look after your important assets by getting kitted out with a fundamental piece of clothing ; a sports bra. This and a pair of good fitting trainers are all you really need to exercise in, but probably best to wear something else unless you're a complete exhibitionist ( I am at home, it saves getting clothes dirty!).

If you're guilty of not giving your breasts the support they need, but you'd like to start before it's too late and they start heading south, contact me on 0777 2613786 or through Balanced on face book or email me at for advice on the Sweaty Betty range. You will be amazed at how much better you feel in a good fitting, supportive bra. It'll make exercise feel so much more enjoyable too!

Tuesday, 23 February 2010


How many of you want to release some weight? I say release rather than lose because if you lose something you can always find it again!!

I'd say most all of my clients without fail (with one male exception) have at some stage , mostly ongoing, wanted to shed some pounds.

Today's blog looks at how you can do this - yes really! I've just watched a video by an Australian lady called Natalie,on the Four Steps To Success, and it appears to be one of the most simplest, effective ways of getting what you want/where you want to be. So, I want to share these steps with you. They don't just apply to releasing weight but to every aspect of your life where you'd like to achieve success.

Wow! I'm inspired and I've been on plenty of goal setting courses in my time.

Be very clear about what you want!

Commit to paper what it is you want to achieve,lots of POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS, and always write it in the present tense IE. I am a size x, I enjoy exercising every day, I love and respect my body, I use my body in the way it was designed, I eat a healthy, fulfilling diet, I can easily maintain my clothes size.

Carry copies of this list everywhere with you. Stick it up on the fridge, in the car, in the bathroom, in your bedroom. Everywhere.

Make a vision board!

Spend some time using drawings,photographs, pictures from magazines, diagrams, to make up a vision board of your goals IE. healthy food, healthy looking people doing exercise, the outdoors, mountain bikes, athletes, water etc. This brings the whole thing to life, and often is more effective than the written word. Again make copies to put in various places around the house.

Step out of your comfort zone - this is a necessity if you are to achieve success. You'll soon get used to it!
Step up your exercise, book a health assessment, book a personal trainer, go swimming, clean out your food cupboards, join a gym, check out your local exercise classes and join, ask a friend to run/cycle with you, write a food diary each day so you are eating consciously,read health and fitness books and magazines, google tips on the Internet, ask friends who have already succeeded.

Be a manifesting magnet!

Before you go to bed write down five things you are grateful for in your life, make at least two of them something to do with releasing weight. These will sink into your subconscious mind during the night. In the morning review them.

Discuss with your partner or a close friend or colleague what your life WILL be like when you have achieved your goal weight. This will keep you vibrating at a high level, and so make you a manifesting magnet!

Sounds pretty straight forward doesn't it, so lets go. I'm busy doing it for my new business venture, and am really excited already.
if you'd like to take a look at some of Natalies videos, and they are well worth watching go to

Good luck and keep me posted.
As always if you need assistance with your food, diet and exercise plans contact me, and I'll be more than happy to assist.
Have a great day.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

KitKats and bananas

Apparently you will be relieved to hear that Gordon Brown has stopped eating KitKats! This is with a view to looking 'radiant' for the forthcoming General Election! The mind boggles!

He has in fact replaced them with nine bananas a day. My God! His stomach must be wondering what the hell happened. He's also apparently taken up jogging. Is this all admirable stuff or has the PM lost the plot?

Well stopping eating KitKats is a good thing, IF he was doing it to excess (processed, refined, full of sugar, and unhealthy fats leading to blood sugar spikes, cravings, weight gain, sugar dependency.......... ).

Eating nine bananas is not so good, as this (still) only counts as one portion of fruit a day (you have to be eating different fruit to get the numbers up), and as they are rather carbohydrate heavy and full of fibre they will most probably give him the most terrible stomach ache.

One banana a day is great as part of the five recommended portions of fruit and vegetables for the following reasons :

- they are full of potassium, which we are often lacking in due to the large amounts of sodium we consume (mainly through processed foods).

- they're high in iron to fight anaemia

- they contain fibre which helps keep the body regular

- they are a natural unprocessed food

-they contain vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C

However, nine bananas - could anyone even contemplate eating this number? - is way too many! That's a heck of a lot of fibre for his digestive system to deal with. Likely to result in a very 'dodgy' tummy to say the least. Not sure I'd want to be sitting next to him for too long!

A better way to go would be to ask his staff to leave him a variety of fruit on his fruit bowl, a rainbow of colours/different types would count towards his five a day (some of these should be vegetables actually), and I'd say he'd be more likely to stick to this regime if he was eating a varied diet instead of a banana diet.

Fruit is best consumed with a small portion of protein to balance blood sugar, so maybe he could add nuts and seeds to his fruit snack. Fruit alone, depending on the type chosen can be converted quickly to sugar by the body, and lead to a spike in blood sugar and then a crash. This crash may leave him reaching for the Kitkats once again and he doesn't want to go there that's for sure!!

Think the moral of the story is BALANCE - we all need to eat a wide variety of foods in moderation. Apparently we tend to rely on a list as small as twelve foods as our staple diet. No wonder the body gets bored and doesn't react in the way we wish it would. Time to shake things up and provide a bit of creativity!

Come to me for some cookery sessions and take a look at the fabulously healthy and tasty food options we can create.

The fact that Gordon Brown has taken up jogging is good news, as long as he's building it up gradually - diet goes a long way to making us healthy but exercise as well,really gets things moving along.

I wish him luck, and hope that someone close to him soon recommends that the banana thing should cease. Wonder who came up with the idea in the first place?


Thursday, 28 January 2010


We are a nation of people who sit too much, whether it's in front of the TV, in our cars, behind our desks, in the pub etc. etc. and the bits of us that suffer the most when we do this for long periods are our gluteal muscles and our backs.

Our bottoms are part of the back ex tensor chain, as are our hamstrings, and so it follows that if we have weak butts our backs are more than likely going to be weak too.

How many people do you know who have bad backs? And how many sick days do we lose each year through back ache alone?

So how can we strengthen our glutes, and ultimately help our backs?

The best way to work your posterior is to move it! Surprise, surprise! With walking being up there as the number one movement for overall fitness for anyone, without risk of injury. Walking uphill will work it even harder. If we all hit the 10,000 steps it is recommended we do each day, our backsides and our backs would suffer less.

Fitflops/MBTs and Sketchers are all footwear that can help us whilst walking. They support the foot arch and have negative heel technology that helps posture, and so bottoms and backs - they also encourage glute activation. When you wear them for the first time you'll know about it the next day! They are also supposed to allow you to burn more calories!!

Superb exercises for the glute muscles are squats, and lots of them. Focus fully on the glutes as you come up to standing, and you'll feel it right where you're meant to.

One legged squats for the more advanced of you are even better, focusing more on glute activation than the traditional squat. I get first time clients to do this as part of the fitness assessment as it's a great indicator of glute strength. It's very unusual not to get some knee wobble!

The bridge exercise is also a good one, done lying on your back with bent knees, you lift your bottom in the air and squeeze. There are many variations, including pulsing and one legged bridges but focus your attention on your butt and you'll feel it.

The clam will assist particularly in the outer glute muscle. Lie on your side with knees bent and together. Open up the top leg as high as your knee will go without pulling hips out of line. You'll really feel this after a couple of sets if you're doing it correctly. (persevere if not it can take a while to get correct form on this one).

Power jumps on and off a step are fab butt strengtheners, and will get your heart going too. Use your arms for greater power and do several sets in one go, after warming up!

Start working your butt today and watch how quickly you can have lovely firm,pert cheeks! Try getting up from your desk for ten minutes every hour, and walking around, or do some body weight exercises that require no equipment and so can be done anywhere. Pedometers are cheap and will count your steps, giving you an idea of how many you're falling short and giving you a target to reach!

Go for it!

Wednesday, 20 January 2010


Too many of us are still consuming way too much salt and it can be detrimental to our health, causing high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease amongst other things. According to the Stroke Association, 150,000 people in the Uk suffer from a stroke - worth thinking about!

Our daily limit is advised at 6g - but many many people have no idea how much they are eating as it's hidden in many prepackaged foods from bread to biscuits (yes really).

Ways To Limit Your Salt Intake -

1. Buy fresh food.
Not only will you miss out on all those NON NUTRIENT nasty foods, but you'll gain on the antioxidants and vitamins and minerals contained in fresh, wholesome, unprocessed foods that do not contain added salt.

2. If you do buy 'processed' foods, always check the label. If the food in question contains more than 1.5g or .6g of sodium per 100g then its high in salt and should be avoided. Have a look next time you're shopping and you may well be horrified!

3. Pick a substitute.
If you do need to enhance the flavour of your food try natural sea salt or Himalayan salts which are unrefined and contain vital minerals for your body or use black pepper or herbs instead.

4. Break the habit
Many of us sprinkle salt on our food before we've even tasted it, and this is a habit more than likely learnt from our parents. Try leaving the salt in the cupboard rather than having it on the table. You may be pleasantly suprised to find your dinner tastes perfectly lovely without the white stuff!

Sea salt also makes a great addition to your bath, soak for 20 minutes in a warm bath with a tub of sea salt to aid the detox process, and ease muscles after a hard work out.

Hope this mini blog has been helpful.


Well here we are into the third week of January already! And how many of you are sticking to your New Years Resolutions of eating less, drinking less and exercising more??!! My guess is that the weather hasn't helped at all. Who wants to be up and about and really active when its minus something outside? Actually, having kids helped me during the snow. They loved it and it renewed my zest for making snowballs/snowmen/igloos and sledging. We had a ball and burnt off a few calories at the same time.

Today's blog is really about watching what you put into your mouth and being conscious of it at all times. It's so easy to have a few snacks here and there and eat bigger portions than you should, without really paying much attention to it, or realising that when you add it all together your calorie consumption has far outweighed the amount of movement you have performed in any one day!

And as one of my gurus, Craig Ballantyne, says "you can't out train a bad diet". So even if you are exercising whilst eating too much of the wrong stuff you will not achieve the results you're after.

So, to begin with how about keeping a food diary. I know I've blogged about this before but it's where I start with ALL clients and we always get some results just through them becoming 'conscious eaters'.

It's a very interesting exercise and makes great reading a the end of the week. I can guarantee you'll be amazed at some of the foods that have passed your lips that you don't even remember eating. And most of that food will be non nutrient food such as biscuits/alcohol/crisps/sweets/chocolate/puddings/popcorn/fizzy,sugary drinks.

It's so easy whilst sitting watching TV to eat these foods, almost out of boredom. You're sitting comfortably, engrossed in your favourite programme and there's a packet of biscuits next to you. Without realising I bet some of us could put away most of the packet. Same goes for a bottle of wine, or a bar of chocolate, and it's quite often out of sheer boredom. Same goes for smoking!

Is there an option in your house to do something else whilst watching television? Could you iron, could you exercise? there are many activities that could be done, but perhaps the best way to stop eating and drinking out of boredom is not to have those non nutrient foods within reach at all. Or even in your house.

It's not too late to start a New Years Resolution! How about changing the way you shop? Take your time in the supermarket looking at labels, buying lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains and lean meats and fish. A top tip is to shop just AFTER you've eaten. This will guarantee that you'll buy less junk food, and if it's not in your house then you can't eat it. Simple really.

So two things to try from today's blog - keeping a food diary and conscious shopping and eating. Exercise is next but really you can make a massive difference with the eating and drinking thing before embarking on an exercise regime. Try one thing at a time and you're more likely to make it a long term habit!

How about posting your food intake up on face book or somewhere public, it really focuses the mind if you know someone else will see it!

Lots of luck. Any advice needed contact me.