GETFOXFIT | IFBB Bikini Fitness Athlete & Kidney Cancer Survivor Lisanne Keir

Contest Prep | Weight Training | Fitness Motivation | Nutrition & Healthy Living Inspiration


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Friday Five: Top 5 Food Tips to Help you Reach your Heath Goals and Create the Body of your Dreams

Top 5 Food Tips (www.getfoxfit.com)

 

STRENGTH –

Anyone can workout for an hour, but to control what goes on your plate the other 23 hours… that’s the hard work!

 

Ain’t that the truth.

You can sculpt, build, lift, push, pull and sweat as much as you can through exercise, but without the right food (and portion sizes) to fuel your body it won’t change as much as you want.  It’s not just about being strong in the gym but OUT of the gym, in the other 23 hours.

Last year I intensively worked out and ate very healthily however my body made the most dramatic changes when I modified what I ate, how I ate and my portion sizes.  Yes, I was eating healthy food but just way too much and being the carb monster that I was, the percentage of macronutrients that I ate was WAY off.

Once I set my goal the biggest thing I needed to do was change my habits and emotions towards food as well as eat smaller portions, different % of fats, carbs and protein, eat more often (every 2-3 hours) and, like I said before, stick to the plan.  No ifs or buts.

Food really is a science, that’s what makes it so interesting.

Abs really are made in the kitchen!

On that note, here are my Top 5 Food Tips 

1. Portion Control

I cannot stress this one enough!

We all built individually and need different amounts of calories and % of macronutrients (carbs, fats and proteins) depending on your goal(s), so what may work for your friend / sister / neighbour / training buddy may not work for you.  In my case, I was eating the same (if not bigger) portions than Maarten, my husband, who weighs nearly twice my weight!  No wonder I didn’t see any changes for all of those months.

You can check out some example of portion control on my Pinterest board here.

2. The best exercise you can do is walk away from the kitchen and fridge with a glass of water! 

Last year you could find me hovering around the kitchen, usually at times when I wasn’t so busy and had time to think about food.  I would go in there and nibble on a handful of nuts, or have a few sneaky crackers here and there.  Dates filled with walnuts were a huge favourite of mine – so I would have a handful of those too a few times through the day.

I thought I was being healthy BUT I wasn’t paying any attention to the calories or nutrition of the food I was eating.  Yes, dates and walnuts are healthy but they are packed with fats (even though they are good fats) and sugar (even though they are natural sugars), so are high in calories and carbs too.

Even though I was eating healthy options I was consuming far more calories than my body needed.

So next time you find yourself in the kitchen, looking for munchies – get yourself a big glass of water instead!  More often than not we are either “bored” or dehydrated when we think we’re hungry.

3. Be mindful what and when you eat

I have learned to say no.  Believe me, this was a massive thing for me.  I would always eat what, when and where I wanted.

I absolutely love food, especially cakes and would never ever turn down the offer of one.  Birthday parties, work gatherings, dinners out etc. were always exciting times when I would eat any of the things on offer.

However I had to make a conscious decision to really see and take on board all that I was eating – it’s an interesting thing to do – as, like I said, there were those moments alone in the kitchen with the sneaky handful of snacks that I wouldn’t consider as extra calories or even think about… but they all mount up.

So, think before you eat.  Make smart choices.   And learn to say “No”.

4. Keep a ‘food diary’ for a week

Something that made a huge impact was keeping a “Food Diary / Schedule”.

I really wanted to see what, how much and when I was eating so I started using the “Notes” function on my iPhone and ‘writing down’ what, when and how much I was eating.

What an eye opener!

Again – yes all healthy things, but WAY too much – especially in the evening.  I had formed habits, like eating peanut butter on toast with a tea at 20:30 when I would watch The Big Bang Theory.  That was my ritual.  And these were very unnecessary nutrients and calories that my body didn’t need, since I had already ate enough carbs and fats through the day.

So I had to change my habit and make a conscious effort to replace this ritual with something else… which has now become a salad and green tea.

Writing things down and seeing what I was eating was really interesting.  Give it a go!

5. Be accountable to someone other than yourself 

Another biggie!  Sometimes being accountable to yourself is just not enough.  “No one will know if I have that biscuit / croissant / McDonalds etc.”  You, of course, but sometimes the pleasure outweighs the guilt, so you eat it anyway.

However, having another person to be accountable to (and not wanting to let down) can really help you focus, stick to the plan and help in the motivation department.  For me this person was my coach Jerry Koolhoven.

So share your goal with someone (your partner, a friend, a colleague whoever) and go for it!

Another blog post you may find interesting and like to read is:

Hungry, or think you are hungry?  

 


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Clean and Easy Snack: Apple, Carrot & Celery Juice

Apple, Carrot & Celery Juice (getfoxfit)

In need of a healthy and clean snack?  May I suggest one of my favorite juices!

It is so super easy to do and can be enjoying within just a few minutes… nourishing your body with vitamins, minerals, nutrients and antioxidants.

Ingredients: 

1 x apple

1 x carrot

2 x celery sticks

1/3 glass filtered water

Method:

Wash, peel, chop up and blend.

Looking for more clean eating recipes and ideas?  

For lunches and dinners – click here

For snacks – click here

For lunchbox ideas for yourself and the kids – click here

For yummy desserts – click here

For those  interested in the difference between juicing and blending (like I was), check this out…

Juicing vs Blending


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Friday Five: 5 Clean Eating Swaps

In my experience getting healthy, and eating healthier, has been something that happens one decision at a time.  Making choices that you will stick to – not just for one day or a few weeks, but making the same decision so often that it becomes habit.

When I first set out on eating cleaner there are a few swaps that I made, which have stayed with me up until this day.  Simple swaps can make a huge difference.  Like I said, it’s these incremental changes that pave each day out to make a healthier you.

5 Clean Eating swaps (via getfoxfit)

Below are my top 5 clean eating essential swaps:

1. (Cooking) oil / butter SWAP FOR extra virgin coconut oil

Not only is it the healthiest oil to cook with but it has loads of health benefits.  A win win!  A side note – extra virgin olive oil is very good for you, but should only be used cold, not heated up as an oil to cook with.

2. Salad dressings SWAP FOR Apple Cider Vinegar or biological balsamic vinegar (pls check out the ingredients for sneaky E numbers!)

Many pre-packaged salad dressings have added sugars, chemicals, E numbers and salt, which all lead to weight gain and a build up of toxins in your body.  My advice is to go simple by adding a little extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar or biological balsamic vinegar – not only will they spice up your veggies but apple cider vinegar has many of health benefits too.  For more spice in your salad add black pepper corns and cayenne peppers (which boost your metabolism and burn fat).

3. Latte / macchiato / cappuccino SWAP FOR black coffee / espresso

OK, this took a major switch for me, habitually and emotionally.  I knew that when I sipped on my latte coffee I was consuming unnecessary calories that wouldn’t help me lose body fat and I also knew that I was drinking something that was full of sugar which my body just didn’t need.  So, one day – motivated by the knowledge that my latte (as yummy as it was) just wasn’t benefitting my health, I switched to black coffee.  Granted, it didn’t taste like my latte BUT I’m now converted.  I can actually taste the gloriousness of the actual coffee (rather than the milk or sugar which I added to it), it gives me a productivity boost, fuels my work outs and is my new found morning friend.  Give it a go, you must just like it. BTW, black coffee can also help you lose weight!

4. Black tea with sugar and milk SWAP FOR green tea

Being British I grew up with PG tips and earl gray tea, which I would drink with milk and sugar.  No matter what situation, tea would always be the answer, as well as a staple 10:30 mid morning habit.  However I have been a green tea devotee for over a decade now when I made the decision to switch, knowing that it was packed filled of health benefits (for instance it helps fight cancerous cells, fights inflammation and helps aid weight loss).

5. Sugary snack or biscuit SWAP FOR rice cracker with nut butter

This was another habit I had to break – mid morning and evening sugary snacks.  My best advice is to just go ‘cold turkey’ – get rid of the sugary snacks.  If I have them in the house, then I knew they are there, and there was just too much temptation.  Instead of reaching for the biscuit / chocolate etc.  go and spread some yummy nut butter on a rice cracker.  It not only fuels you with good carbs and fats but is a very good substitute for biscuits or snacks.


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Clean Eating Dinner Inspiration – Quick & Easy Japanese Fish Soba Noodles

Image

Prep and cooking time: 10 mins

Ingredients (for 2 people):

Coconut oil (1 tbls)
Japanese seasoning (no added salt) (2 tbls)
Any white fish (I usually opt for haddock or cod) (400g)
Soba noodles (200g)
Spinach (6 big handfuls)
Spring onions (3)
Ginger (3 inch piece)
Garlic (3-4 cloves)
Himalayan salt and pepper (to taste)

Method:

Bring a pan of water to the boil, then cook the soba noodles for 10 mins.
Heat the coconut oil, garlic and ginger in a wok, add the rest of the ingredients and cook for 6 mins.
Drain the noodles then add them to the wok.

Easy peasy, clean eating dish :)