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A Fitter Christmas Wish List

How many times have you been asked for some Christmas gift ideas in the last few weeks only for your mind to go completely blank?! It has happened to us a couple of times as well so we thought we’d help you out by offering you a ‘Fitter Food’ inspired wish list, oh and of course we have added some knowledge bombs along the way. Feel free to send to Santa directly – if you ask us he looks in need of a few health tips.

Dear Santa. I’ve been very good this year, please could I have…

1. A Nutribullet

smoothieThis kitchen gadget has changed our lives! Firstly, on the nutritional front you can whack a lot of stuff in one of these and it retains all of the nutrients unlike some other juicers on the market. It’s not about extracting the juice from your fruit or vegetables as it keeps the skin, flesh and fibre in your smoothie, these are the bit’s you essentially want as they contain most of the minerals, antioxidants and nutrition that feeds friendly gut bacteria. Secondly, we’re never keen on anything that either takes up a huge amount of kitchen space or requires lots of cleaning and maintenance. The Nutribullet is basically a large plastic cup, you fill it with stuff, pop it onto the base and whizz. It’s that simple, you wash the cup and you’re done! The super speedy blending mechanism means you can also add nuts and seeds and still be left with a creamy, smooth drink. We have super smoothies most days of the week and are in the kitchen playing around with different concoctions for our January detoxers.  If Santa turns up with the goods check out our Nutribullet tips below and give this Creamy Berry Smoothie a go:

Top NutriBullet Tips

  • Add pinches of ginger powder, cinnamon or nutmeg for an extra antioxidant hit.
  • Always add a serving of protein in the form of powders, nuts/nut butter or avocado to help keep blood sugar levels stable.
  • Keep fruit to 1-2 pieces maximum to limit the sugar content.
  • Fats are awesome but don’t get carried away, 1-2 tablespoons per person is usually enough.
  • Get the greens in and disguise them with xylitol, nut butters, cocoa, coconut milk or flavoured protein shakes like Sunwarrior, Solgar or Jarrow. 

 Creamy Berry Smoothie

  • 1 scoop vanilla whey/rice protein
  • 1 x handful organic spinach
  • 1 x handful raspberries
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 dessertspoon cashew butter

Nutribullets are available from John Lewis, Amazon and Robert Dyas

2. Some GreenPan Cookware

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Most cookware is typically made from aluminium, however, studies are suggesting human exposure to this heavy metal may be associated with cancer and neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease. This is easily avoidable by simply swapping your daily cookware to ceramic, stainless steel or glass alternatives.  A decent non-stick frying pan is also one of the most important bits of kit you need to make life, not to mention  the washing up, much easier. If you’re sticking to Fitter Food you’ll no doubt be using it often so it’s worth investing in a good one. We love the GreenPan which has a ceramic non-stick coating or another good option are the Ceracraft Pans.

 3. A Libre Travel Tea Glass Infuser

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These Libre Travel Tea Infusers are totally awesome, especially for those early morning starts as there is no need to wait for your tea to steep. Just pour in the hot water and head out the door. The infuser is glass but encased in plastic to improve durability (we’ve dropped ours few times!) and keeps it insulated so your brew stays piping hot, so important! The stainless steel filter keeps the sediment out so you can use it for loose leaf tea or water infused with fresh lemon, mint leaves, ginger chunks etc.  There’s even a “Big Tea Lover’s” one if you want to super size your brew. 

4. A Gift Hamper From Perfectly Paleo

PastedGraphic-11This website needs a warning sign it’s so dangerously packed with lots of amazing stuff and the paleo gift hampers in particular are a great gift idea to keep you stocked up with healthy treats over the festive season.  They’re also a great way of showcasing how tasty paleo food really is to the non-believers you might be hanging out with over Christmas, you can bet they’ll be diving straight into some Big T’s Jerky and after a few mouthfuls of a Primal Kitchen bar will be asking more about this paleo lark. The Chocolate Box and Christmas Meat Box are going on our list, guess who asked for which? 

5. Something Fitter

IMG_7362What better way to show someone your love and care about them than offer them the gift of health? Ok enough of the cheese (unpasturised or not!) but the truth is we often sort out our loved ones with some great books on nutrition, fitness or some new training equipment to play with for Christmas. It’s always hugely appreciated as often simply not knowing where to start or being worried about costs is a barrier for some people who do wish to invest more in their health.

We have a number of products and services you might wish to consider as a gift for anyone who needs a little helping hand. Our Fitter Food book is a great place to start for anyone that is new to paleo nutrition. Alternatively, if they need some direction, steering and motivation we run online group programmes with daily support and professional mentors to keep people on the right track plus lots of educational webinars of wider reading as we know it often helps to hear health advice from external sources.

We also offer 1-2-1 Nutritional Therapy packages helping people with digestive issues, skin health, immune dysfunction and allergies such as eczema and asthma.  And as we mentioned in our previous blog, 2015 is the year we all need to be more awesome so maybe a bespoke training programme from Matt could be necessary to help hit that performance goal. Email us for more information on any of these items as we’d love to help.

6. An Eye Mask (no, really!)

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What the….?? You might be wondering what the heck we’re on about. However, most of our recent guidance has been focused on sleep health and the importance of the circadian rhythm. We spoke at length about this at our Fitter Food Academy event and a takeaway point was the importance of sleeping in a dark room to avoid disruption of our sleep hormone melatonin. An eye mask is a simple way to do this, you can even get yourself a lavender scented one to enhance the calming, relaxing effect. Zone Sleep is a great place to pick up one and they also specialise in breathable bedding so you can treat yourself to some Egyptian Cotton bed covers too, equally essential for a good night sleep 🙂

7. A few Salt Lamps 

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We’re big fans of these, not only do they provide a lovely soothing light, they also help to cleanse the air inside your home.  Crystal salt lamps increase the number of negative ions released into your home reducing allergens and irritants in the air and neutralising some of the harmful effects of artificial electromagnetic frequencies.  We have them on our bedside table and next to the TV and laptop in our lounge.  Grab yourself a couple and turn your house into an awesome, orange chill out zone.

8. A HRV Monitor

HRVIf you are looking at taking on some performance goals in 2015 yet are conscious of retaining good health and not pushing your body beyond its limits, then getting savvy with heart rate variability (HRV) is a great idea. Monitoring HRV has been established as so much more valuable than just monitoring your heart rate. HRV refers to the variation in time intervals between heartbeats.  Research evidence increasingly links high HRV to good health and a high level of fitness, whilst decreased HRV is linked to stress, fatigue and even burnout. You can now purchase a monitor that allows you to measure your own HRV upon waking, a great tool for anyone participating in frequent, hard training including endurance events, adventure racing, CrossFit and kettle bell training. You will need to purchase a monitor and receiver like Ithelete to tracks your HRV, they offer you a simple traffic light score reflecting your fitness to train, lower scores would denote it might be time for a recovery day, light movement, more food and sleep until your higher score returns.

9. Some Weightlifting Shoes

V24382Weightlifting shoes have a raised heel. We use them for squat sessions as they allow you to squat into a deeper position by increasing the range of motion in the ankle joint and keeps your posture in a stronger, upright position throughout the movement. Having an elevated heel also improves muscle activation as you drive back up. Weightlifting shoes are also more stable around your foot providing a strong and consistent base on which to land and push through. Not only will this improve performance, it’s also protects against injury. We have Adipower shoes, Nick Horton offers an awesome summary of the different brands here. If you want to read more check out this awesome article by our pal Chet Morjaria

10. A LoveLula Gift Card

image46Established by a team passionate about chemical-free skin care, make up and ethical living. The LoveLula team is made up of highly qualified beauty therapists, make-up artists and industry specialists who actively seek out the most luxurious, effective, pure, natural and organic products. 

We always emphasise the importance of natural skincare as some degree of what we place on our skin is absorbed into the body.  Limiting exposure to chemicals is important so it’s a good idea to begin gradually swapping you personal care products for natural alternatives. This goes for the guys too and there’s an awesome selection for men, including moisturisers, shave cream, deodorant and aftershave. This is definitely on our list.

11. A Water Filter

 bobbleWe all know that tap water isn’t that great for us. It’s packed with chlorine, fluoride and pumped through lead or copper pipes making it loaded with chemicals and substances that can cause biochemical imbalances in the body. Other toxins including hormones from the contraceptive pill and Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) are also often present having not been effectively removed in the sanitisation process. A recent study discovered over 56 pharmaceutical drugs found to be present in tap water including cholesterol medication, the anti-convulsant carbamazepine, tranquilizers and anti-depressants. Shocking, huh?

As we drink a lot of water on a daily basis it’s good to implement some filtering measures.  As a minimum a Bobble Bottle allows you to filter water on the go by running the water through a carbon filter, it doesn’t remove all the toxins but it’s a start. You can buy tap and house filters that clean the water via reverse osmosis, these are more expensive and if you are renting you may wish to opt for a portable water filter like an Eva Water Filtration System instead.  If you are concerned about hormones in the water a Water Distiller is the best option for purifying your water. 

12. Some Epsom Salts

dsc_0429As awesome as Christmas is there is often a degree of stress involved what with dashing around shopping, the Christmas parties, catching up with fiends and family. Often by the time the 25th arrives most of us can be left feeling rather exhausted and irritable. Stress drains the body of magnesium and increases levels of adrenaline. When dissolved in warm water, Epsom salts are absorbed through the skin and help to replenish levels of magnesium in the body.

Magnesium is a calming mineral as it helps to boost serotonin, a good mood chemical within the brain. Magnesium also increases energy and stamina by supporting  the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the energy currency made within our body’s cells. The wonders of Epsom salt have been well known for hundreds of years and bathing in them at least three times a week for around 20-30 minutes not only helps to relax the nervous system it can also help treat skin issues, relieve inflammation and ease muscle strains.  

Just in case you do enjoy a tipple or two during the festivities, Epsom Salts should be on your pre- and post- party regime as the sulphates in the salts help to flush out toxins and stimulate the lymphatics system.  It’s best to buy them in bulk and Just A Soap have 25kg sacks which are a fraction of the high street prices.

What’s on your Christmas list this year? Let us know if there is anything cool we missed! Have a fantastic Christmas and we look forward to helping you be more awesome in 2015.