Posts

CHAOS TO CALM – An afternoon of YOU time!

From Chaos to Calm, join us for a fabulous afternoon event designed just for YOU!  

Ever feel like you’re in a perpetual state of chaos in your life, like calm is a dim and distant memory, never to be restored?

Do you feel as though you’re a slave to your to do list?

Do you know you need to take better care of yourself but just don’t know how to break the bad habits you’ve fallen into or how to find time to take care of yourself?

Are you losing hope of ever feeling energetic and excited about life again?

If so, this event could be just the ticket!

Join us for an afternoon dedicated entirely to helping you go from chaos to calm, from surviving to thriving.

In this four hour session you will have the undivided attention of a life coach and personal trainer, a nutrition and weight loss specialist whose focus is on emotional eating addiction and recovery and a reflexologist. Between us we’ve got all bases covered!

Through a combination of talks, exercises and group discussion you’ll discover:

  • How to reduce the stress in your life
  • How to combat overwhelm
  • How to set boundaries to protect your energy and your sanity
  • How to put yourself back in the driver’s seat of your life
  • How essential oils can support your mental and physical wellbeing
  • How to make the best nutritional choices, not just on your good days, but on your bad days too.
  • Learning to understand why we make the food choices we do, when we really don’t want the results these choices give up!
  • How to reclaim your innate power

 

Why not show yourself some love this Valentine’s and join us? After all, your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship you will ever have.

Further Details:

Chaos to Calm is an afternoon devoted to reawakening women to their innate power through teaching them how to use essential oils to support their health and wellbeing, how to re-evaluate the way they are living and start making changes to reduce their levels of stress and overwhelm, and how to nourish themselves in a way that supports their wellbeing.

The afternoon will begin with a grounding meditation, using therapeutic grade essential oils to help you disconnect from the busyness of your life and be present in the space.

Using her extensive knowledge of and passion for essential oils, Adele will then demonstrate how they can assist in supporting you to manage the white noise you experience in relation to your never ending to do list. She will cover how essential oils can support your emotional well being, help to create relaxation, improve the quality of your sleep and help to support your body’s systems, with a focus on hormones.

In Corinne’s session you’ll be given the permission and space you need to start questioning the way you are living and how it is or isn’t serving you. During this session you’ll be introduced to ways in which you can reduce stress and overwhelm in your life, be provided with practical tools that you can implement right away and be woken up to your innate power so that you can take back control of your life.

As a recovering addict, who has only recently found her personal way from ‘chaos to calm’ Sonia knows the absolute importance of good nutrition to both nourish our bodies and regain the balance we all need for us to live the lives we deserve. Using her own simple YOUtrition routines and strategies, Sonia will gently guide you to a stress free way of eating that won’t add an extra burden to either your already busy lives or your overstretched pockets, as well as addressing some of the reasons why we continue to make the food choices we do, even when they are the very choices that keep us in an unhappy space.

Treat yourself this Valentines and join us on 17th February, 1.30 – 5.3o in Beaconsfield. 

Link to book tickets below

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/chaos-to-calm-tickets-42075378590

 

hangovers

Sugar Hangovers – They do exist!

As a recovering alcoholic of over 27 years, I know more than most how debilitating hangovers can be.  Not just physically, but emotionally as well.  It feels now as though I awoke, almost every week, of every month of every year for 27 years with a pounding headache, swollen eyes, parched dry mouth, dehydrated yet profusely sweating, unrefreshed as well as with no energy or zest for the day ahead. Now though, just over 2 gloriously, easy years of sobriety, which is not dependant on any interventions, support or therapies, I wake almost every morning refreshed, with a clear brain and eyes, fresh skinned and raring to go.  Not so great for my son, who is not a morning person, but perfect for my puppy, Gorby, who is!

In short, my life has changed completely and I feel amazing. Until recently. Since I started to research sugar and its affects on our weight and physical and emotional health, I have made an astounding discovery.  If I eat too much sugar regularly, I wake up with almost the exact same symptoms as a vodka binge! I am experiencing sugar hangovers.  This is incredible to me.

I started my nutrition and weight loss practice, YOUtrition, after realizing that making simple, easy and straightforward changes to the foods I ate made a huge difference on every level to my health (at the beginning this was as a rear-guard action to counter balance the damage caused by my drinking), as well as my weight. And whilst this has now become a way of life that keeps me slim and in tip top physical shape, I have also noticed a huge shift in my emotional wellbeing.

Then of course, the better I feel, the better able I am to make the best food/lifestyle choices, as I love the way I feel now and I am thriving on every level.  So, sugar has been relegated to a small corner of my nutritional intake, a small slice of birthday cake or slice of occasional pizza – I am very  sociable.  Becoming sugar free was not even a conscious decision, it just came about because the wholefoods I choose to eat and love, don’t come with any pre-packed, processed nasties.

That is all well and good, but to write about sugar and its affects, I needed to actually eat the stuff, so I made a deliberate decision to include in my daily diet, for just one week, some of the food products I rarely eat.  Bread, shop bought cakes with my coffee on dates with friends, refined pasta, shop bought sauces etc.  I didn’t over eat, I just can’t, my body knows when to stop and sends very clear signals, which I cannot ignore, but still I ate differently and my God, the change I felt was almost immediate.

I am bloated (though no extra weight yet), my waist is thicker, my skin is duller, my hair (never anyone’s idea of a crowning glory), lifeless, my eyes are puffy in the morning, I feel sluggish and dehydrated and worst of all, I have no energy, little enthusiasm and my mood is lower. In short,  I have woken every day this week sufffering from sugar hangovers and the only thing that shifts them is either a huge jolt of caffeine, or a “sugar hair of the dog” in the form of a sugary breakfast that then starts the depressing and depressive cyle all over again.

I am only aware of this change because this is not my natural way of living/eating. And  I know I can’t live like this. My body is under siege from the assault of rubbish it now has to process and get rid of –  this stuff has literally nowhere to go, or has any use in my poor body so can only be stored as fat, mainly around my waistline (just where I want it most!). Plus, and by far the worst aspect for me, my emotional wellbeing is struggling too.  This then is a complete no brainer, I eat rubbish, I feel like rubbish.  End of experiment.  End of the sugar hangovers.

One week later, back to my normal eating habits, I feel amazing again.  Fresh, relaxed, my humour intact again and raring to go. Up and ready for my early morning puppy walk – let’s do this Gorby.

Give yourself just five days of eliminating processed foods – and they are all sugar/salt drenched, they have to be for longevity on the shelves and to compensate for the taste that’s lost through processing, and you will see and feel an amazing difference.  Don’t just trust me, trust our body, it will literally change a gear and whiz you towards where you want to be with your weight and health.

If you need any help or support in ditching your sugar hangovers and living an easy sugar free life – and it is easy as well as much less expensive, contact me.  I want you to feel the way I do every single day. I deserve to feel this way and so do you!

sugary

Sugar Addiction Questionnaire from my A Simply Sugar Free Life recipe book

As part of my YOUtrition, A Simply Sugar Free Life recipe book, I have devised a simple questionnaire to help you identify your triggers, moods and feelings around sugary foods (well, actually if they are not whole foods, they are “food products”), and on how much these “food products” feature in your life.

How much control does sugar seem to have over you? How much do you think about these foods and how often do you consume them?

By completing this questionnaire honestly, you are taking a first huge step towards acknowledging the power and prominence sugar has in your life and then, with my help, starting to make the changes in both foods and behaviours that will get you living a slim and healthy Simply Sugar Free Life.

Don’t overthink your answers, a simple Yes or No, (your immediate response) is all that is needed.

When you have finished, look back and review your answers.  There are no right or wrongs, it’s just about you, what you eat and how you feel about what and why you eat.

If you would like to send me your completed questionnaire, email me through my website, I will send you back a quick summary which will depend on how many Yes answers you have!

Do you have a sugary food/drink every day? Yes No
Do you feel you need sugary foods to get you going? Yes No
Are you aware if you haven’t eaten a sugary food on any day? Yes No
Do you feel proud of yourself if you haven’t eaten a sugary food on any day? Yes No
Do you often think about your next sugary treat? Yes No
Can you stop after two sugary treats or does it trigger a binge? Yes No
Do you feel guilty after eating sugary foods? Yes No
Do you feel that sugar has control of you? Yes No
Do you go out of your way, even when you are tired or fed up to buy sugary foods? Yes No
Do you think eating sugary foods will make you feel happy on a bad day? Yes No
Does your energy crash after breakfast/ lunch? Yes No
Do you choose sugary foods that you know are unhealthy over healthier choices? Yes No
Do you think you a sugary food will make you feel better or comforted? Yes No
Have you ever tried stopping eating sugar and not been able to stick with it? Yes No
Do you feel drawn to sugar foods even when you don’t feel like eating? Yes No
Do you find it difficult to resist a dessert even after a big meal in a restaurant? Yes No
Does eating sugar affect your mood, either by not having some or overindulging? Yes No
Do you feel upset and guilty when you have eaten a sugar food? Yes No
Are you often tired and lacking energy? Yes No
Do you hide how much sugar you eat? Yes No

* A Simply Sugar Free Life to be published in November 2017

 

 

 

Gluten

Going Gluten Free? What else are you cutting out?

Recently I was in LA, in what appeared to be the gluten free capital of the world.  The restaurants there offer a huge selection of innovative healthy meals which were completely delicious to a sometime health freak (who also does like a little something sweet to finish with), and I truly thrived on the foods. I write that because of one of the biggest challenges I face when I travel, which is a lot, is eating out.  I want to maintain the feeling of physical and mental wellbeing I have at home where I am in control of my eating, but obviously it can be more of a minefield when I am away. Whilst I know how to make the best choices, if the restaurant isn’t particularly good, even their best choice can arrive sugar and salt soaked from the definitely not homemade ingredients.  Anyhoo, no point in complaining and spoiling my trips or my companions, I just re-adjust when home.

Back to LA.  I was really struck by the amount of gluten free foods. Almost every meal had a gluten free option.  There must be a Coeliac epidemic in LA, or, if not that, an overwhelming preponderance of gluten sensitivity.  Maybe there is something in the water……….. Strangely, the few I met that I knew well enough to ask without offending, if they had been tested, all said no.

Self-diagnosis can be a tricky experiment and give wildly inaccurate results. It is estimated that only 10% of all those who go gluten free have Coeliacs’s disease.

Coeliac is a hereditary autoimmune disease with potentially serious consequences, such as Type 1 diabetes, MS and some intestinal cancers to name a few, so it is imperative Coeliac ‘s stick to a gluten free diet. Then there is gluten sensitivity, much more common and definitely a real condition where people can experience extremely unpleasant symptoms such as depression, abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhoea if they eat gluten, so they also need to avoid it.

My concern with the gluten free bandwagon is that too many who cut out gluten seem blissfully and dangerously unaware of the necessary vitamins they are depriving their bodies of, and that they may well need to boost with other foods.  So, below are my top vitamin boosting recommendations to living the healthiest life if you are gluten free.

B6 – needed to fight infections, found in chickpeas, tuna, salmon, chicken breast and turkey.

Folate – Another B vitamin, need for cell growth. Think green to boost your folate levels: spinach, asparagus and brussels sprouts all are high in the nutrient, as are green peas and broccoli. If you eat 10 spears of asparagus or two-thirds of a cup of boiled spinach, you’ll be more than halfway to your daily folate goal.

Vitamin D – sunshine vitamin. Studies have shown that people with Coeliac’s or gluten intolernance are often very deficient in this vitamin.  Few foods naturally contain much vitamin D, but there are exceptions including cold water fish like swordfish and sockeye salmon, which contain substantial amounts. An egg yolk contains about 10% of the vitamin D you need each day. If you consume dairy products, you can look for products fortified with vitamin D.

Calcium – Bone strength. Like vitamin D, calcium is found in dairy products, milk, cheese, yogurt etc, be careful though if you are lactose intolerant. If you are, look for tofu or canned fish with bones. Some orange juice brands also contain added calcium (as with vitamin D-fortified products, just make sure to buy only gluten free).

Iron – Oxygen carrier. Anaemia is a common symptom of Coeliac disease, so those who suffer from it need to be more careful than average to get enough iron, either through their diets or through supplements. People who don’t have Coeliac but who are following the gluten-free diet also need to be careful. Iron is easy to get if you eat meat: beef and turkey contain plenty. Oysters also are high in iron, and tuna contains some iron. If you follow a gluten-free vegetarian diet, you can obtain iron from soybeans and legumes.

Vitamin B12 – Fight fatigue. Vitamin B12 helps maintain your nerve and blood cells, and those who are particularly deficient in B12 can find themselves fighting constant fatigue. Meat, fish and dairy products tend to be the best sources of vitamin B12, so vegetarians and vegans often are more deficient. A meal-sized portion (4 oz. or more) of salmon or trout will provide 100% of your recommended daily intake, while 6 oz. of beef will give you half of what you need. A cup of milk or an ounce of hard cheese will provide about 15% of your vitamin B12 requirements.

So, please, before you decide to exclude any food group, do check what else you will be removing from your diet. Make sure that you are not missing out on any other vital vitamins or minerals. If you are, your health will suffer in ways you may not be expecting.

frozen

FROZEN YOGURT – A healthier, Delicious & Versatile Alternative to Ice Cream

Frozen yogurt, along with my banana ice creams have taken the place of my favourite full fat, dairy summer time treats.  Now, I did not see that coming.  From when I was a little girl, I have always loved an ice cream.  I remember with such fondness the ice cream van coming to our street what seemed like every day of the year, but surely can only have been in the summer.  The blare of tinny, jangly music to announce its arrival and its gooey, sweet, synthetic offerings covered in either chocolate, or strawberry sauce, nuts and a flake if I had a few extra pennies.  Ah, delish!  But it was not ice cream and definitely had no real chocolate or strawberries in the sauce.  In fact, because of my knowledge now, I shudder to think what ingredients were in those garishly bright coloured sauces.  Anyway, I digress.

Now at 53, my tastes have evolved.  I do still like my sweet, icy desserts, but now I prefer the fresh taste of the fruit melting on my tongue and the quality of the ice cream sliding down my throat is of paramount enjoyment to me. Sadly though I can no longer scoff an ice cream every day without it hugging my waistline for the rest of the summer.

So, what to do? I am absolutely not prepared to give up frozen treats, so have experimented and the results are fabulous.  Frozen yogurt, like my banana ice creams are so easy to make, only three basic ingredients, delicious and refreshing to eat and so much lower in saturated fat (that’s the one we should be checking out on food labels).

For ice cream to be labelled ice cream, it must contain at least 10 percent milkfat and this is usually met through the addition of cream. Top quality, premium ice creams can contain as much as 16 percent milkfat. Frozen yogurt is not made with cream and does not have a fat requirement.  Without the added cream, frozen yogurt is much lower in fat. In one cup of ice cream the fat content is 15g fat, 9g saturated fat.  Frozen yogurt comes in at, per cup, 6g of fat, 4g of saturated fat.  A huge difference.

However, whilst frozen yogurt is much healthier, you do need to keep an eye on portion sizing, especially if you go for some of the higher fat additions.

So, how to make.  Frozen yogurt is so simple. For a basic, but still delicious one, grab, Greek yogurt (higher in protein), honey, and fruit (packed with fibre and nutrients). That’s it.  Literally, that’s it! You can serve in a bowl, cone or pop a lolly stick in before you freeze and you have gorgeous “ice lollies” for the kids.

  • 1 x cup plain Greek Yogurt.
  •  4 x cups frozen, fresh fruit or drained tinned fruit
  • 2 x 3 tbsp honey.

Blitz until the consistency you like, either creamy for approx. 5 mins, or if with “bits” in for 3 – this is entirely up to your taste.Freeze for a minimum of 2 hours, depending on how much you make.You can add to your frozen yogurt any fruit you like. Below are some other suggestions. Obviously, some are healthier than others, but you know that right!

  • Add cinnamon, allspice, peanut butter or Nutella in to the blitz
  • Caco powder & mint essence
  • Add crushed nuts as a topping
  • Add more fruit as a topping

So, make some today, keep in the fridge and be ready for a sunny afternoons delicious and nutritious treat.

looking

Looking and Feeling Amazing For Summer on YOUtrition’s 6 Week Group Program!

Looking & Feeling  Your Best  for Summer with YOUtrition – I make simple changes that work in your life easy and fun, REALLY!

Testimonials

*I have counted calories for over 16 years and nothing has worked for me before, but you do. Thank you!*

*Sonia, I love you and now I love me. I know I can stick with this, its me!*

With my YOUtrition program,  Looking & Feeling Your Best For Summer, I understand that the great, easy, tasty recipes you will get from me are not enough.   The tips on planning & prepping whilst vital, will get you to where you want to be, but maybe not keep you there.

I address both the “why” of our food choices and eating habits as well as the fabulous food.  My uniqueness lies in my 25 year drug & alcohol addictions.   For so many years I  was beyond desperate to be different and knew what I should be doing but just couldn’t stick with it.  Now at 53 years old, in the menopause (suffering no symptoms because of my way of eating) at 5ft 8, and weighing a steady 9st 7lbs, I do it easily.  This experience and my incredible strategies for long lasting change are what I do differently and what I share with you on my programs.

A one hour group session once a week for 6 weeks.  The group dynamic creates an excellent opportunity to work through what is and isn’t working for you and to find a way around an obstacles – believe me, as a group, we always find a way.

  • Professional, individual, qualified nutrition & weight loss support and information – this is no franchise diet club run by an unqualified rep!
  • A basic food plan – recipes and tips.
  • Every week a new breakfast, lunch and dinner recipe along with snack ideas –  based around the group’s needs, abilities and time constraints.
  • A shopping and meal planner
  • A food diary to keep with you and keep you motivated.
  • Professional exercise advice.
  • Strategies around food and your lifestyle that you build on over the 6 weeks, giving you confidence in yourself and your abilities and literally giving you the tools to set you and your food choices up for life.
  • Access to a private What’s App group message that I write on every day and that you can also contribute to.  This ensures you stay on track long after the program has finished.
  • A one-off  Maintenance session 4 weeks after the Program ends, to see how you are doing and to reinforce the program.

I create a powerful and non-judgmental environment where you are given the recipes, the motivation and the absolute support you need to create new habits.  New habits take six weeks to form, hence the length of my program.  Every week you will sit, in a small group, talking through what worked for you and what didn’t, receive at least one new recipe and in a truly supportive, encouraging space we work to find what’s right for YOU!  Not me, not the person sitting next to you, YOU!  We laugh, occasionally we cry and we clap a LOT.  We don’t just focus on the food we focus on the “why” of the food and find the way forward for you.


I preparing for my Summer programs for the areas local to Beaconsfield, High Wycombe and Slough, so please contact me for more information and to reserve your space!

The cost of the 6 Weeks to Looking Great & Feeling Great is £100.

YOUtrition has been featured in

pesto

Hey Pesto! Quick, easy, delicious & nutritious pesto sauces

I love a pesto sauce, so quick, versatile and tasty and healthy – bit of a winning formula, don’t you think? I am on a sugar free quest right now (it is the subject of my next book), so I am working on as many fabulous sugar free recipes as possible, and pesto sauces are perfect.

Homemade in about 5 minutes, pesto sauces have long been one of my favourite go to solutions for any time when I have unexpected guests or simply run out of my prepped meals (and that does happen even to this self-crowned Queen of Prep). They can be stored easily for up to three days in the fridge and used not just with pasta meals, but on pizzas, in sandwiches, as dips, on chicken or salmon and the list goes on…….. See what I mean by versatile?

With pesto sauces, you don’t even have to rely on fresh leaves/veg, well I don’t, which is perfect if you return home as silly o’clock, as I did last month from LA, with horrible jet lag and absolutely no inclination to go anywhere or see anyone other than my sofa and Netflix.  Whilst I do usually have a store of frozen homemade meals, I always have a store of frozen veg.  Cauliflower, chopped spinach and even herbs.  And at times when the fridge is bare, they really do come in to their own when I need something quick and after a trip away, a hefty dose of nutrients.

I don’t want you to think though that pesto sauces are just about the times when I am tired, they most definitely are not.  I often use them to jazz up dinner parties – many a dull looking meal has been transformed by a gloriously glossy, beautifully jewel coloured, delicious pesto.  And for my 19-year-old son and his friends they are one of their most popular choices when they visit.  A huge bowl of pasta, homemade pesto and pulled chicken or tinned tuna are among their favourite meals, so easy to cook and there is miraculously very little mess.  Hallelujah!

So, my pesto sauces are whizzed in little more than 5 mins, less  time than it takes to cook some wholemeal pasta, courgetti or sweet potato pasta, and I have a fabulous nutritious and delicious meal that I will really enjoy.

I have put together a few of my fav pesto sauce recipes for you to try, but I would also like you to be brave and chuck in some of your favourite leaves & nuts, give them a whizz and see what you can create, maybe add chilli, or jalapenos and if you love it, let me know.

Method for all pesto’s.

Place all ingredients in food processor and blitz!  It’s as easy as that for all the recipes.  As you can see, I have often written 1 – 2 of ingredients, because we all have different tastes, and as long as you have the basic ingredients, just add or take away the garlic, parmesan and nuts to suit you.   Add salt and pepper to taste and you’re good to go.

It is important to note that with the olive oil, start with a little and add as required – as it is high in fat, I add splashes of water at the end to get the consistency I require, and I only ever use up to 1 tbsp on my own portion of courgetti.

Classic Basil Pesto 

  • 100g basil
  • 1 – 2 garlic cloves
  • 60g pine nuts
  • 50g parmesan cheese
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Watercress & Brazil Nut Pesto

  • 100g watercress
  • Handful of basil
  • 40g brazil nuts, chopped
  • I squeezed lemon
  • 2 – 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 20g parmesan cheese

Spinach & Walnut Pesto

  • 100g spinach leaves
  • 1 – 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 squeezed lemon
  • 2 – 3 tbsp chopped walnuts
  • 30g parmesan cheese
  • 2 – 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Cauliflower Pesto

  • 1 medium cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 2 tbsp chopped walnuts
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 – 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 30g parmesan cheese

Red Pepper Pesto

  • 1 x jar peppers, drained
  • 1 – 2 garlic cloves
  • 70g blanched almonds or cashews (not blanched)
  • 40g parmesan cheese
  • 2 – 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
plates

Want to Lose Weight? Change Your PLATES!

When I start working with a new client who wants to lose weight, there are two things I ask them to do immediately. One is to change their drinking habits, limit their caffeine, cut out alcohol and fizzy drinks and to replace all with water – pure, life giving, beautifying, simple and cheap water.

The second is to buy smaller plates.  Much smaller plates.  I ask them to put their standard size plates in the cupboard out of sight and only to use the new smaller ones.  Every single client who follows just these two tips lose weight even if they make no other immediate changes.  There is of course more to YOUtrition’ s method than water and smaller plates, but they are an excellent start.

The first tip, the water, all my clients understand.  Ultimately, whether you like water or not, and there is so much you can do to jazz it up, we all know that water is good for us and that it has no calories.  Most aren’t aware that it also takes the edge off hunger but they soon notice that and learn to love this elixir of life. The plates are a different story.

To demonstrate why I ask them to buy the smaller plates, I place on my table four plates dated from the 1970’s, 1980’s 2000 & 2009.  The difference in sizes is quite incredible and of course as our plates have grown in size, so have our portions.

In fact, we have gone from eating off 8.5” plates to 12” dinner plates in 40 years.  Can you imagine the extra calories as each plate grows?  Let me tell you that the 1970’s plate would have held approx. 800 calories, the 1980’s plate 1000 calories, the 2000’s plate 1600 calories and the 2009 plate a whopping 1900 calories. Now imagine a portion from the 1970’s of any meal on a modern day plate, it would look woefully small and yet is more than enough for all our bodies needs.

Then there is the quality of the foods on these plates. I am old enough to remember bread being sold in brown paper bags, which lasted only one day to today’s loaf that can last up 7 days. What is the difference?  There must be something “extra” in the bread. Now, in our instant gratification, fast everything, including food world, meals can be so easy to buy pre-prepared, beautifully coloured and wrapped in plastic ready for us to heat in our super quick microwaves and decant on to our huge plates.  These ready meals have plenty of ingredients, most of which aren’t food related, but not the ones we need.  They often lack both nutrients and the fibre required to keep us full, and so we can eat much larger portions.  I guess you can see where I am going with this………

Not only that, but along with the rapid advancement of technology, we now have remote controls for everything from the tv to the lighting at home.  I don’t think my 19 year old son has ever had to rouse himself from the comfort of his armchair to either turn the tv over or volume down.  We now have emails to whiz between departments so no longer have to move from our desks to confer with colleagues. Most of us have at least two cars per household (more if you have grown up children), so there is no need to walk anywhere. There are enormous supermarkets that cater for all our shopping needs from food to furniture,  and we can do our whole life shop in one place if we wish, rather than wander up and down the high street going to the bakers, butchers etc before lugging our heavy shopping home. Or better still, we can shop from our computers at home and get anything delivered.  Is some cases, it can even be put away by the lovely chap who drives it to our door.  So not only are we eating more, we are also moving less.

There is however, one element of our increased food consumption life that hasn’t overly changed, and that is the size of our stomachs.  They have remained pretty much the same regardless of our fast food world and humongous plates. Still, not to worry, as we continue to consume ever larger portions of unsatisfying “foods” that offer little taste and no nourishment, our stomachs are becoming increasingly stretched and distorted to accommodate the load.

So, take my professional advice, all of it works. Pop out to any supermarket, buy yourself a few smaller plates. Ignore the processed food products, fill half your plate with veggies, one quarter lean protein and healthy fats, and the last quarter grains or wholemeal carbs and take the first important step to successful weight loss.  I promise you, within a week, you won’t even notice the difference in portion sizes.  Then of course come back to me for some more tips.  Happy eating everyone!

YOUtrition

YOUtrition – No Fads, Lotions, Potions, Gells Or Spells!

What is YOUtrition and why am I different?  What do I know that other “diet clubs” don’t (well, I am not a diet club for a start). Am I another fad foodie offering an unsustainable diet plan with weird lotions/potions/gels or spells to guarantee a slim you forever?  No, I am not.  So, let me tell you what I am, who I am and why I am different.

At the age of 53 years (young), and after 27 years of seemingly hopeless addictions at times to both alcohol and drugs, I am now easily and happily sober. I tried all the interventions out there along with a fair few quacks, none of which had any impact.  At the time, I didn’t understand why but now I do and that knowledge is the difference  that I, as YOUtrition, bring to my clients.

Let me explain.  For the 15 years I was desperate to be clean after my son was born I searched high and low for an answer.  An external answer to an internal problem. A cheap sticking plaster if you like. One which didn’t fit properly, that didn’t allow the wounds underneath to heal and so I stayed drunk.  I made the fundamental mistake of relying on a book, class or person to have the secret to my alcohol free life.  To tell me what to do.  But I knew what to do, I needed to stop drinking, I just couldn’t.  So of course nothing worked for me. Plenty of people told me what I already knew, but not one had any impact. I thought I was destined to live and die an alcoholic. And then something, or rather someone, did work.  And that someone was me. I found that the only way forward for me was to think differently about what alcohol gave me (or rather took away) and by the simple change of thinking differently I was able to make different choices. Alcohol free ones.

Then there was all the interventions. Excellent in theory, except that they seemed to have a “one size fits all” policy (much like a diet plan), which was perfectly understandable as, again like a diet plan, they deal with large numbers of people, not the individual. However, even the individual therapists I saw had an accepted view of  treatment for addiction and recovery.  Sadly though, not many of us fit that one size.  Believe me I tried. Time and time again. But I struggled to fit myself into the constricting guidelines which didn’t resonate with me and so, also time and time again, I slipped and fell off a wagon that had no seat for me in the first place.

Does that sound to you like some of your food struggles?  Do you find that the weight loss recipes and diet rules just don’t work for you? That clubs telling you what to do, when frankly you already know, just don’t “click”? Do you then find because they didn’t click that the reliance on willpower and perceived deprivation and restriction becomes depressing and unsustainable?  If you experience any of those thoughts and feelings, you haven’t found the right fit for you. You haven’t found your click.

My passion is to find YOUR right fit (your click)!  What works for you and why.   I provide simple, tasty, health giving and stress free recipes that you and your family will love and work to put food back in its rightful place in your life.  A place of physical and emotional nourishment and a time of bonding for you and your family. But more importantly,  I focus on your thoughts as to the “why’s” of your eating habits and choices and it is understanding the why’s which is your food struggle game changer.  Change your why’s and everything becomes easy.  I  know this because I live this!

I want my life, after so many years of struggle to be simple and I keep your life simple too. If you find your favourite family meals are unhealthy,  I simply swap out ingredients for a healthier version. Planning and prepping a chaotic nightmare?  I soothe your bad dreams away and replace them with strategies that work. Struggling to fit healthy eating in around your work/life commitments? I always find a way that works.  A way that you tell me works because you can stick with it.

I challenge your often long held thoughts and belief’s around your food choices and eating habits.  I know that so many of these come from childhood, where often we were rewarded with foods,  or maybe chastised if we don’t eat everything on our plates or  suffered some emotional upheaval that we haven’t had the skills to cope with and overate instead. I put these firmly in the past.  Together we laugh at your food monsters, turn them on their heads, pack them up, drop them in a bucket and then chuck them down the drain.

YOUtrition’s method works! I know what worked for me and I know by helping you think differently about food and its place in your life, that I can make it work for you. You are my passion.  Everyone deserves the chance  that I so thankfully found for myself.

I put you, your weight and health first until you are able to. Until you have learned the habits and healthy food choices and skills that will stand you in good stead for life. Once you have those firmly in place, you pick up the baton and the wellness and dress size you desire really does become a long term reality and not just a summertime fling. A fling that once the the love affair with your new size and restrictive diet ends, finds you slinking back to the eating habits and food thoughts that bought you to me in the first place.

I work with small groups and 1-2-1’s, so contact me to see what I can do for you!

 

eat

Eat Well to Live Well – Top Tips For Your Busy Life

In  our modern super highway lives,  we can feel as though we are in constant motion, striving to produce our best in every area of our lives which can be quite a juggling act (sounding familiar yet?) so it is imperative that we eat well.

I know that most of us are juggling more than just one ball, in fact on the whole we are Olympic standard jugglers, with our work, child care, parent care, animal care and “you name it, I’ll do it” care balls, all constantly in the air as we deftly catch and relaunch them to keep life running smoothly.  There is one ball though that most of us leave, lying dusty on the floor as we feel it comes last.  It is our self-care ball.  The one that is all about us.

However, to be truly successful in any and every area of our lives, we must put ourselves first and the one of the easiest way to do this is by making food and drink choices that best support our mental and physical selves.

My son is working hard on his exams at the moment and he often tells me he hasn’t had time for lunch.  A friend who has reached a wonderfully old age  tells me he has been working hard in the garden and that he too hasn’t eaten during the day.  I am very upset when I hear both of my loved ones tell me this, especially as they sometimes say it it with, “I am working so hard, I don’t have time” pride. I get upset because I know that good nutrition is vital to their wellbeing, success and happiness in every area of their lives, and guess what, the same applies to you.

When we prepare for an important client meeting we make sure everything is 100%, our PowerPoint slides are perfect, the meeting venue is easy for everyone to reach, the timing works for everyone, someone is on hand with refreshments.

When you are planning do you ever think, I must make sure I eat properly before I go in?  I must make sure I am properly hydrated?  I know if I am not my concentration might be affected and my ability to give my best.

If you are properly fuelled you are giving yourself the best chance of being energized, full of vitality, and ready to face the day’s work and challenges. If you are not, you can feel exhausted and irritable, relying on jolts of caffeine and processed sugars to get you through the day?   Which scenario best applies to you?

When we are busy, eating can become a fight between what you crave and what you know is going to nourish you as sadly they are rarely the same foods, then making good choices can feel frustrating and an added stress.   The best way to avoid food stress is to plan your food in advance.

My food choices are rarely made on the day, they are made the night before or earlier – in the same way my work and home life is planned.  It is unusual for my planned day to change so dramatically that I have to all abandon my choices, but it does happen and even that I am prepared for, so here are YOUtrition’s top 7 practical tips to eat your way to success.

YOUtrition’s Top 7 Practical Tips to Eat your Way To Success.

Spend one hour at the weekend planning for your week’s meals, making a shopping list and stick to it! Make wholefoods priority, not food products. If the label has ingredients you don’t understand, they belong in a laboratory, not your body. If you feel you might be tempted with other “treats” shop online.

Spend another hour prepping simple, easy meals for the fridge/freezer. Follow the mantra, cook once, eat twice. Any time you spend now will be gained back when you need it most.  When you are tired and hungry at the end of a busy day and something nutritious is ready to be popped into the microwave or oven.

In the same way you plan your next day, plan your food. Are you at home or in the office? How much time do you expect to be travelling?  Are you staying overnight? Call ahead, ask if there is a fridge/microwave you can use.  Know your day and make your food plans.

Try to include protein and healthy fats at every meal. They keep fat burning, keep you feeling fuller longer than carbs and limit the mid-morning & mid-afternoon sugar slump.

Eat breakfast every day. Those who eat a healthy breakfast lose 30% more weight than those who don’t, and make better food choices throughout the day.

Never leave home without water and a wholefoods snack, a small banana, a boiled egg, handful of mixed nuts etc. – don’t be caught short and hungry or thirsty. Make sandwich bags for snack a must on your shopping list.

Stay hydrated. Limit caffeine.  The shot of caffeine we use in the morning to get us going can also cause anxiety in an already stressed day. The same with energy drinks. Two cups of coffee is fine, then switch to decaff or herbal teas.

Remember that in every situation there is a healthier choice, even in a motorway service station, you just have to choose it!

Finally, dear ladies, in the words of Virginal Woolf,

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well”