Fit Body Fresh Mind
Maddy
3:15 PM
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Think outside the "calorie burning" box

We´re all short on time when it comes to exercise but the good news is that quality far outweighs quantity! Be smart about what you choose to spend your time & money on. Sometimes less is more! Here are my top tips on how to improve your relationship with exercise and truly achieve the results you want! Read More

Maddy
6:10 PM
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My 6 favorite soul foods


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I don´t know about you but sometimes I reach for food for comfort rather than fuel... Chocolate is my go to food when my soul feels a little depleted and the last few months have been quite challenging... so I have gone through a lot of chocolate :) But it´s also made me look inward and search for other ways to feed my soul. I´m still very much a work in progress and definitely not a master at this whole thing but these are the ones I have found most helpful in lifting my spirit when I have felt down:


  1. Helping others: It can be as little as holding the door open for someone or helping an elderly person with their shopping bag. By helping others we don´t only make their day but we connect with our power to make a positive impact on those around us. This is empowering and makes us feel good. It doesn´t take much time, it costs no money and it makes the World a better place so let´s all do more of that “shit”.
  2. Asking others for help: If you´re anything like me, you probably don´t want to burden your friends with your problems or reach out for help but the reality is, those who care for you will be happy to help you. Not only will it lift their spirit (back to the point above) but they will know that they can count on you for support the next time they need it too.
  3. Being grateful: I can´t emphasize how powerful this has been for me. By focusing our mind on the things we are grateful for we automatically shift into a more positive way of thinking. The way I do this is that every night when I shut my eyes to go to sleep, I think of 5 things to be grateful for. Sometimes it can be as simple as being grateful for having a shelter, food, health, friends & a loving family. Other days I will think about 5 things to be grateful for that happened during that day such as attending a great yoga class or being able to help someone I care for. It may seem futile but it´s a powerful tool in shifting our mind to a more positive mindset and lifting our spirit.
  4. Being vulnerable: This is a really hard one for me and to most people I think. Being honest about how we feel is not always cool nor is it easy but escaping it can bring bigger challenges in the long run. By opening up to others about how we feel, we automatically open up a door for them to do the same and to connect on a more authentic level. Being true to ourselves and those around us makes for a happier soul.
  5. Sitting with sadness: Also one that I struggle with. I always think that there´s something wrong with me when I´m sad and that being sad is being weak but it is not. Sometimes we have good reasons in life to be sad (for more on this, read here). Make time for your sadness, sit with it and don´t put pressure on yourself for not being able to snap out of it. It too shall pass.
  6. Finally, make time for the things that make you happy: This one on the other hand, I am very good at :) I know that spending time with people I love makes me happy. So does practicing Yoga, doing Pilates, horse riding, surfing or just watching the sunset. 

These are my ultimate soul foods and they are just as powerful as reaching out for some really good chocolate (and that´s saying something!). They are all free, easy and available to us at no cost so I hope they are helpful to you in some way too!

"We only live once but if we do it right, once is enough" Mae West


Maddy
8:00 AM
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I pushed, I burnt & I felt the pain but I ain't ever going back!

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“Exercise should be a celebration of what your body can do, not a punishment for what you just ate”

I wish someone had explained this to me as I was clocking up my 10th km on the treadmill for the 7th day in a row. I was 30 seconds ahead of my record and I could feel my whole body screaming in pain but somehow I thought I was doing myself good. My motto was “no pain, no gain” and boy did I feel the pain. I was sore pretty much every single day and I would train so hard that by the time I would leave the gym I would have absolutely no energy left to go out and have fun and do the crazy stuff normal 21 year olds would do. All I could think of was my training, and what I would be able to eat after training, then how I would train to get rid of what I had just eaten. My brain was constantly adding and subtracting calories and it was a complete fcuking nightmare!

I was caught in a vicious spiral. I knew it was not good for me and I was hating myself for it, but I could see no way out. I had no idea what I was running after but I just couldn’t stop. Looking back at it now, I know I was suffering from training addiction but at the time I had no idea what was going on. I looked myself in the mirror and hated what I saw and I thought maybe if I trained a bit harder and clocked up a few more kilometers or a few more gym visits, I would finally see the results I wanted. My trainings were gruesome. I didn´t have a trainer but I was an absolute bitch to myself and the pain I was inflicting on my body was just ridiculous. All I wanted was to feel good in my body and somehow I thought that putting it through pain was going to get me there.

The reason I share this with you today is because the training culture and the “no pain no gain” mentality just keeps growing and I don´t want others to get trapped like I did. I also feel like what is being resonated today is that the more pain you feel, the better it is for your body and the better results you will get. I understand that athletes must sometimes push themselves to the limit to make progress but as normal human beings we shouldn´t have to feel pressured to do the same. Exercise should be fun and it should be about making us feel good, not about inflicting unnecessary pain on ourselves. And I think that the people who want to take part in exercise without pushing themselves to the limit should be as proud of themselves as those who do.

If you don´t feel like getting your ass kicked and that something doesn´t feel good on your body, don´t do it. I´ve seen better results on my own body and on clients since reducing the training intensity and focusing on exercise such as Pilates & Yoga, because it´s gentler on the body than exercise that is just aimed at burning calories.

I know it may seem ironic but I´ve never trained less in my life than in the past 9 months (mainly because of a broken ankle, twice…) but I´ve never felt better either. For the first time in my life, I feel at home in my own skin and I like what I see in the mirror. I think part of the reason for this is because resting and looking after my ankle has forced me to nurture myself and I think it´s all my body has been longing for.

It´s been a long battle and I´m sure there will still be difficult times ahead, but part of the reason why I decided to become a Health Coach was to be able to help others find balance with regards to food, but also with regards to exercise. Being healthy shouldn´t have anything to do with the amount of calories you burn at the gym. It´s about finding the type of exercise that makes your body feel good and making sure the exercise you are doing is somehow contributing to making your life better, not worse.

 

Maddy
2:00 AM
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Eat like a wild child and turn into a lean machine!

Primal diet

I recently listened to Mark Sisson, the founder of the Primal Blueprint, giving a lecture about human evolution and our diet.

Mark´s theory is based on the assumption that we all have a DNA “recipe” to build a healthy human and that the key in doing so is to switch genes on & off based on signals that we give them.

In other words, he believes that our body is designed to be healthy but that our genetic blueprint was set up for us to survive in the wild and not in the type of society that we live in today. So his theory is based on looking at how populations were surviving and striving before agriculture and reproducing this type of behaviour today in order to maintain health and lose any excess weight.

I must say that I strongly believe in this theory and that a lot of the ways I have adapted my own diet has been based on thinking about how we are designed to survive in the wild.

During the 100,000 years we were living in the wild, we would hunt for our food and mainly survive on animals, plants (roots, vegetables, fruits, plants, nuts & seeds). There was no refined sugar, dairy or grains and we did not rely on a specific schedule to eat.

Our food supply varied with the seasons and we ate when there was food available. This often led to periods without food where the human hunter-gatherer would rely on stored fat for energy. It´s only since the start of the agricultural era that humans have had access to grains and have therefore started relying on the sugars derived from carbohydrate for fuel.

This is a pretty simplistic way of explaining Mark´s theory but the bottom line is that he believes that by changing the type of foods that we eat to what was available to us as hunter gatherers and by changing the way we eat to only eating when we are hungry, as opposed to on a set schedule, we can convert our body back to being efficient fat burners. In theory it takes 21 days for this to happen.

I truly believe in looking at our bodies from Mark´s perspective and that the reason a lot of people are struggling to lose weight today is because their bodies are using the food they are eating as fuel instead of digging into their body fat. They are sugar burners instead of fat burners.

And the answer isn´t as simple as skipping a meal here and there or eating less quantity, it´s about overturning the whole system and breaking with some of the guidelines we are given by society in terms of the frequency and content of our meals and start listening to our bodies instead. It´s about breaking the rules and following our guts!

Integrative Nutrition
9:38 AM
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Black Garlic: A New Superfood?

At first glimpse, you might not be so enthralled to put black garlic on your dinner plate. But looks can be deceiving. Does it resemble little jelly-like pebbles of coal? Sure. But its sweet, non-acrid taste and nutritional benefits might make you a believer... Read More