Food Swings & Hanger

tumblr_n6ebufzHkw1to7xk2o1_1280I love Caity Weaver NBC headline from 2011 “Watch out for ‘food swings’ when hunger and anger collide (hanger)”. Food swings & hanger are both something that I am very familiar with. In order to avoid those often scary, often frustrating, often blood curdling hunger induced mood swings ensure that your blood sugar levels do not drop to low between meals.

Amanda Salis of the University Sydney writes a great simplistic explanation for the phenomenon that is “hanger”. Physiologically hanger can be broken down to low blood-glucose levels, which if these levels fall far enough, your brain will perceive it as a life-threatening situation. Most other organs and tissues in your body which can use a variety of nutrients to keep functioning, your brain is critically dependent on glucose to do its job. You may have already noticed this dependence your brain has on glucose; simple things can become difficult when you are hungry and your blood glucose levels drop. You may find it hard to concentrate, for instance, or you may make silly mistakes. Or you might have noticed that your words become muddled or slurred. Another thing that can become more difficult when you are hungry is behaving within socially acceptable norms, such as not snapping at people. So while you may be able to conjure up enough brain power to avoid being grumpy with important colleagues, you may let your guard down and inadvertently snap at the people you are most relaxed with or care most about, such as partners and friends. Sound familiar? It certainly does to me!

To avoid food swings and hanger plan meals ahead of time and carry snacks in the case of unavoidable delays. Hopefully these tips will help you to keep the hunger monsters away and help you to be an easier and more enjoyable person to be around.


A Lean Life


Nutrition 101 – Part III – Protein


Nutrition 101 – Part III – Protein

Protein- Amino Acids: basic building material.

It is recommended that between 10% – 35% of calories should come from protein.  Most people get plenty of protein, and easily meet this need by consuming a balanced diet.  Our body requires protein for the following:

  • Growth (especially important for children, teens, and pregnant women)
  • Tissue repair
  • Immune function
  • Making essential hormones and enzymes
  • Energy when carbohydrate is not available
  • Preserving lean muscle mass

Protein is found in meats, poultry, fish, meat substitutes, cheese, milk, nuts, legumes, and in smaller quantities in starchy foods and vegetables.

When we eat these types of foods, our body breaks down the protein that they contain into amino acids which are the building blocks of proteins.  Some amino acids are essential which means that we need to get them from our diet as our body cannot produce them on its own, while others are nonessential which means that our body can make them.  Protein that comes from animal sources contains all of the essential amino acids that we need.  Plant sources of protein (except for soya products), do not contain all of the essential amino acids.

Limiting Amino Acids

Protein synthesis needs all required amino acids to be present in the correct quantities at the same time in the body.  If one essential amino acid is in short supply, it is called a limiting amino acid and will reduce or stop protein synthesis.

Vegetarians: Vegetarians must be careful of limiting amino acids but with careful food.  It is possible to reach all essential amino acids creating a complete meal.  They may eat lentils or chick peas, but unless these are combined with grains, the legumes will be synthesized as carbohydrate instead of protein.

Complete proteins: Animal sources; such as meat, chicken, fish, dairy produce and eggs contain all of the essential amino acids.

Note: Soya products (soya beans and soya products) are the only plant source that is a complete protein.

Incomplete proteins: which are food that is deficient in one or more of the nine essential amino acids; they are generally of plant origin e.g. grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetables. The right combinations of fruit and vegetables can compensate for their individual limitations. Fruit and vegetables lack Vitamin B12 and this will need to be provided in supplemental form if no animal or dairy proteins are consumed. Unlike animal proteins, fruit and vegetables are low in fat and full of fibre.

Protein Requirements

Requirements will depend on influencing factors like

  1. Tissue growth needs
  2. Quality of dietary protein
  3. Additional needs due to illness or disease

There is 4 kcals available per gram of protein. The recommended daily allowance is calculated by weight and includes age related adjustments needed for growth. An average female would require 0.9grams of protein per kilo of body weight and a male would require 1g of protein per kilo of body weight. This would change if the individual had a high activity level or was an athlete. A child aged between 1 -3 years old would need 0.55 g of protein per pound of body weight.

Get up, get out, get moving, get active, get healthy, get happy.


A Lean Life

Nutrition 101 – Part II – Carbohydrates

Nutrition 101 – Part II – Carbohydrates

So many people see as a bad food and blame carbohydrates for being over weight.  Therefore the first thing that a lot of people do when they want to lose weight is cut out carbohydrates. There are two main problems with this thought process, the first being that in the majority of cases being over weight is due to over consumption of any or all macronutrients (Carbs, Proteins or Fats).  The second problem is that not all carbohydrates are bad but the very bad carbohydrates however are very bad.


Some carbohydrates should be avoided and cut out of your diet completely, these include fizzy drinks, fruit drinks, candy, chocolate, cakes, biscuits, white breads. A general rule of thumb that I would use is anything that has been highly processed and is highly preserved should be considered as a bad carbohydrate.  Too often I hear people blaming potatoes for weight gain, they are then having a healthier option of rice with their meal but washing it all down with a glass of coke or a glass of wine. It would be fair wiser to stick to have you potato and giving up the coke or wine.


Why are carbohydrates so important? Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of fuel and energy.  Our bodies convert carbohydrates easily into energy, however having an excess of carbohydrates does not simply mean that you have an excess of energy, any excess carbohydrates is converted into body fat.  Without getting too much into the science side of things, carbohydrates are converted into glucose and all of the tissues and cells in our body can use glucose for energy.  Carbohydrates are important to and are needed by the central nervous system, the kidneys, the brain, the muscles, including the heart to function properly and efficiently.

Make sure you understand the importance of carbohydrates so that you understand the importance of the fuel you are putting into your body.  You wouldn’t knowingly chose bad dirty fuel for you car so why would you fuel your body with highly processed, refined, simple carbohydrates that will not fuel your body efficiently and  are more likely to cause obesity. Fuel your body as though it were a beautiful Lamborghini, Porsche or Ferrari and put only the best quality fuel into it (and what I mean by best quality is natural complex carbohydrates not award winning, rich fine dining!).

Get up, get out, get moving, get active, get fit, get healthy, get happy!


A Lean Life

Safety Tips for Road Running

Road Safety Tips for Road Running

It is important to remain safe, aware of your surroundings and be seen while running on the roads. I often see people running on the road at night when it’s dark and they have dark clothes on, ears phones in and running on busy roads instead of the foot paths. Here are some important safety tips to take on board if you are a road runner.

1. Tell somebody your route and how long you plan to be gone. Tell somebody or leave a note at home about where you plan to go and how long you plan to be out.

2. Carry some sort of identification on yourself. Run with proper ID, and carry a cell phone with emergency contacts taped to its back.

3. Assume that you are invisible. Don’t assume that a driver can see you. In fact, imagine that a driver can’t see you, and behave accordingly.

4. Face on coming traffic. Always run on the same side of the road as the oncoming traffic. It’s easier to see, and react to, oncoming cars. And cars will see you more clearly too.

5. Make room. If traffic gets heavy, or the road narrows, be prepared to move onto the footpath, the hard shoulder of the road or even grassy ditches.

6. Be seen. Wear high-visibility, brightly colored clothing. When out near or after sunset, reflective materials are a must. If you don’t own reflective clothing, a lightweight reflective vest is a great option. And use a headlamp or handheld light so you can see where you’re going, and drivers can see you. The light should have a bright LED (drivers see blinking red as a hazard).

7. Unplug your ears. Avoid using iPods or wearing headphones, you need to be able to hear approaching vehicles. If you do use headphones, run with the volume low and just one ear bud in.

8. Watch the hills. When they crest hills, drivers’ vision can suddenly be impaired by factors like sun glare or backdrops.

9. Beware of high-risk drivers. Steer clear of potential problem areas like entrances to car parks, petrol stations and housing estates where there may be heavy traffic.

10. Watch for early birds and night owls. At odd hours be extra careful. Early in the morning and very late at night, people may be overtired and not as attentive.

11. Mind your manners. At a stop sign or light, wait for the driver to wave you through—then acknowledge with your own polite wave. That acknowledgement will make the driver feel more inclined to do it again for the next walker or runner. Use hand signals (as you would on a bicycle) to show which way you plan to turn.

12. Always ensure you are dressed appropriately for your run. Check the weather to ensure that you won’t be too hot or too cold while running. Also ensure you have suitable running shoes. If you need to you should perhaps get fitted for your running shoes so that you know what type suit your feet.

13. If you are running with a buddy be sure to run single file on narrow roads so that you are not causing an obstruction.

Get up, get out, get moving, get active, get fit, get healthy, get happy!


A Lean Life

Relaxation, Rest & Recuperation


Relaxation, Rest & Recuperation

It is so important to listen to your body for signs of stress from over training, over working or over doing it in any form.  I had recently taken up Rugby but since starting training over a month ago my knees have been aching and a little weaker so although I enjoyed the training and the games I have decided to give up the sport and give my body the extra bit of rest that it is looking for.  Working as a personal trainer and giving fitness classes I need to remain injury free so there really was no choice for me to make.

It is important that you too listen to your body and what it is telling you.  It may be telling you that it needs some relaxation from stresses or a rest to recuperate and rejuvenate.  This does not mean you should kick back and do nothing, it is important to always keep active and moving!

Everyone has a different way of resting, relaxing and recuperating the body and the mind.  It may be worth while trying some yoga, meditation or even a bath.  Or perhaps something a little more active like a walk, run, cycle or swim.  Find a way to distress yourself by resting, relaxing and recuperating, or more importantly know when you need these and you will be a much happier person.

Get up, get out, get moving, get active, get fit, get healthy, get happy!


A Lean Life

Yummi Sushi Rolls!

Yummi Sushi Rolls

I hope everyone has had a great weekend. I was treated to a fabulous dinner of yummi Sushi this evening. It has given me countless ideas of amazingly healthy Sushi roll combinations. Its a great way to make a rice, chicken or fish and veg meals look amazing and taste unreal! Sushi rolls are now on my to do list and when I give them a try, I will share it here with all of you. My favourite this evening was prawn, avocado and cucumber. Have you tried Sushi and if so what is you favourite combination?

Get up, get out, get moving, get active, get fit, get healthy, get happy!


A Lean Life

Lidl Workout Gear – Out Monday 2nd Of March

Lidl Workout Gear – Out Monday 2nd Of March

Lidl stores have more men and women’s workout gear available in their stores this Monday the 2nd of March. I will be popping in to check out their ladies’ performance vest tops and their medium impact sports bras.  The style of sports bra that they are advertising appears to be more supportive that the usual sports bra designs that they offer so it might be worth your while checking them out ladies!

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I have no probably using the gym clothing from Lidl but personally I would always purchase a branded better quality gym shoe to ensure that I am getting accurate foot support. My trainer of choice is Adidas, I think that the always just feel like cushions wrapped around my feet whilst also offering support.


I might also check out the ladies running shorts so that I am prepared for running in sunnier weather later in the year! Would you buy sports and gym gear from Lidl and if so what might you be checking out this Monday? Check out the link below to see what will be in store on Monday.

Get up, get out, get moving, get active, get healthy, get happy!


A Lean Life

No. 28 Fit February Challenge

No. 28 Fit February Challenge

It’s the 28th and the last day of February and also time for workout number 28!

This workout is a jog so let’s hope the weather doesn’t get too bad!

Warm up with a 5 minute walk

Jog for 2 minutes 30 seconds

Walk for 30 Seconds

Repeat this interval 6 times

Cool down with a 5 minute walk

Once completed stretch the legs out and relax!

Get up, get out, get moving, get active, get fit, get healthy, get happy!


A Lean Life

No. 27 Fit February Challenge 

Tomorrow is finally Fit Friday and time for workout No. 27. I had hoped to schedule a run for workout 27 but unfortunately I don’t think the weather will allow an outdoors run! So it will be an indoor workout with body resistance so let’s get started!

Warm up – Repeat 4 times

30 Seconds Jumping Jacks

30 Seconds Mountain Climbers

30 Seconds High Knees

30 Seconds Pendulum Swings

Main Phase

10 Push Ups

10 Tricep Dips

10 Squats

10 Glute Bridge

10 Rising Planks

10 Back Extensions

20 Alternating Lunges

30 Seconds Wall Seat

Repeat Main 3 times in total and enjoy. Once completed, stretch the full body and relax.

Get up, get out, get moving, get active, get fit, get healthy, get happy!


A Lean Life

No. 26 Fit February Challenge

Tomorrow is the 26th of February and it is the 26th Fit February workout challenge! Workout No. 26 is a 30 minute full body workout. This workout will work on times so have a stop watch at the ready.

Let’s get started, with a 5 minute warm up.

30 Seconds x Jogging on the spot

30 Seconds x High Knees

30 Seconds x Jumping Jacks

30 Seconds x Heal Kicks

30 Seconds x Pendulum Jumps

Complete warm up exercises set one more time

Main Phase

30 Seconds x Wall Seat

20 Seconds x Squats

10 Seconds x Jogging on the spot

30 Seconds x Plank

20 Seconds x Rising Plank

10 Seconds x Jogging on the spot

15 Seconds x Right Lunge Hold

15 Seconds x Left Leg Hold

20 Seconds x Tuck Jumps

10 Seconds x Jogging on the spot

30 Seconds x Glute Bridge

20 Seconds x Back Extensions

10 Seconds x Jogging on the spot

30 Seconds x Russian Twists

20 Seconds x V Hold

10 Seconds x Jogging on the spot

Complete the above set of exercises 5 times in total, adding up to 25 minutes in total. When completed stretch out the body fully, holding all your stretches for 30 seconds. Enjoy!

Get up, get out, get moving, get active, get fit, get healthy, get happy!


A Lean Life