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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Friday Five: How to Recharge your Health & Fitness Goals (by Asking Yourself these 5 Questions)

How to recharge your health and fitness goals (go to: www.getfoxfit)

Every so often it’s very beneficial to reinvigorate what you are doing by taking a step back to look at your progress and assess how far you still need to go to achieve your goal(s).

So following on from the SMART goals blog post we are going to ask 5 questions that will recharge your health & fitness goals and help you successfully attain your objective.

 

1. Are you still excited about your chosen fitness path?

Be it running, training at the gym, tennis, CrossFit, powerlifting, football, swimming etc.  Are you still looking forward to spending time doing that?

If yes – awesome!  Let’s take it a step further by asking yourself if you can push yourself more than you have this week?

Can you do your last run in a faster time?  Can you lift 10kg more?  Can you try and score one more goal?  Can you perfect your dive to achieve a faster length time?

In 3 words – Yes You Can!

This is something that I have been learning over the past months – in order to progress and achieve your goal(s) you need to push yourself – get out your ‘safe’ zone, adopt a “Can Do” mentality, put in the hard work and go that extra mile.

If no – go to number 2

 

2. Are you trying new ways of exercising?

Even if you are really enjoying your chosen way of getting and staying fit, it’s always fun and challenging to try a new sport and/or exercise training program.

I have found that the best way to keep the momentum and passion is to do, and try, different things.  Mix it up!

Always do 30 mins cardio, why not try HIIT?  Instead of 4 sets of 10 heavy reps, why not try 3 sets of 15 lighter reps (and use the mind-muscle connection)?  How about doing your cardio outside?  Find some stairs, or a track, or a park – outdoors is your playground.  How about mixing up your weight training exercises? (Loads of ideas here)  How about trying a new sport that you haven’t done before?  Always work out or exercise alone, why not find a training buddy? (Or vice versa).

Give something new a go!  Make, and keep, fitness fun.

 

3. Are you trying new foods or ways of eating?

In order to know what works best for you,  your body and your lifestyle you may need to take a ‘food journey’.  Over the past 2 years I have tried paleo, raw, clean, macrobiotic, vegan and vegetarian.

As much as I thought I needed to “fit” in a box and pick just one, I have settled upon a mixture of macrobiotic, vegan and clean eating.

So, don’t be afraid to try different things, see what works, what doesn’t and make your decisions based on that.

 

4. What are you short term goals?

Let’s revisit your short term goals.  What do you want to achieve this week with regards to food, fitness, health and wellness?

Do you want to hit the gym 3 times this week?  Do you want to hit a new PR?  Do you want to run a faster mile?  Do you want to meal prep your food for the next 3 days?  Do you want to cook a protein packed healthy vegan dish from scratch?  Do you want to ensure you have 3 meatless dinners this week?  Do you want to bake a clean banana bread with your kids?

Whatever your short term goal for this week / weekend or even today is – focus and follow the steps it takes to reach it!

 

5. What are your long term wellness goals?

What do you want to achieve by this time next year, in 2 years, in 5 years?

Have a think about what you would like to do after you have reached your short term goal(s), what is your next step?

Have you thought about how you will maintain the shape / weight / body mass / condition you are reaching to achieve?

Overall wellness and heath is the name of the game, so keep your goals clear and remember to revisit them to stay on track.

 

The world is your oyster so stay driven, stay focused and Just Do It!


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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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Friday Five: 5 Health Benefits and Reasons to Eat Strawberries

Friday Five: 5 reasons strawberries rock (health benefits) by getfoxfit | Lisanne Vos

It’s summer summer summer summer time (sorry for putting DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince in your head) but summer = strawberry time!

These bright red jeweled berries pack a punch when it comes to nutrients, antioxidants and health benefits.

Below are 5 health benefits:

  1. Helps burn stored fat
  2. Helps fight cancer
  3. Builds strong nails and hair and prevents skin from sagging
  4. Promotes blood flow and oxygen, which can result in weight loss
  5. Helps to whiten your teeth

 

Awesome!


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It’s never too late to change your body (true story)

It was 1995, Rhythm of the Night was playing everywhere and there lived an insecure teenage girl.

She used to look in the mirror and wonder why she was “blessed” (ahem, sarcasm) with a bigger behind than fit the rest of her body.  She used to cover it up with long jumpers and by tying things around her waist.

One summer she was lying out in the garden reading Cosmo and came across an article that said “…no matter what training exercises you do, you cannot change the shape of your butt”, well this utterly depressed her and made her think  ‘Oh well, why bother if nothing will change it’, so she lived with it, covered it up with long tops and wore baggy trousers.  No, she was not a fan of this body part at all.

Luckily a sort of “Booty Saviour” came along in the late 1990’s, in the form of J Lo, who made it cool to have a bigger behind.  This helped a little in making Ms Insecure feel a bit better BUT she was still very self conscious.  Let’s flash forward to last year when she started eating clean, lifting weights and doing some cardio – changes started to happen, however bigger and better significant changes started to happen since January this year (under the guidance of her coach and trainer Jerry Koolhoven).  By sticking to a strict, but healthy food schedule and by focussing on specific weight training exercises (namely in the form of squats and kickbacks), this booty of her’s transformed and still is transforming, one squat and one rep at a time and by carefully choosing specific foods to fuel her body, and glutes.

In her head, she is still the girl with the bigger thighs and booty than fits the rest of her body, but progress photos and the mirror shows a different story.  It is indeed possible to transform your body and health.

Learnings

Insecure about your body?  So are many many others.  Embrace those parts and make the most of what you have!  If you want to make them more toned, all I can say is There Ain’t Nothing to it but to Do It (thanks Ronnie Coleman).  It won’t happen over night, but by eating right and working out, you can make changes where you want them.  Have faith, persevere and Just Do It.

Do not believe everything you read, that article all those years ago in Cosmo was very questionable – who was the source? Who was it tested on? Over what period? Through exercise only or also diet? Data and stats can always be questioned so make yourself aware of which to disregard and which to see as true.

That article really made an impact on me and all I can say is that I wished I had started having more confidence in weight training and eating clean way before last year.

So whether your goal is to be healthier, eat cleaner food, cut out sugar, get involved in fitness, take up running, do a marathon, compete for a contest or competition, drop a dress size, tone your muscles, whatever.  Have a clear focus of what you want and go for it.   Try and surround yourself with people who believe in you, or have similar interests, as this will help support you and give you more confidence to reach your goal whilst helping you see body changes that you sometimes don’t see.

The good news – it is never too late to change your body.  Why wait and why be self conscious like I was?  You can start today!

I would love to hear your stories!  Is there something would like to change or have changed?  Please leave your comments below.

getfoxfit

getfoxfit

Sneakers: Asics

Leggings: Nike Legend 2.0 tights (similar here)

Tank: H&M


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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 :)