It’s that time of year again where we sit dunking a mince pie into a hot chocolate thinking sod it and contemplating the year that has been. How do you feel when you look back at the last 12 months? Do you feel you made the most of all of the opportunities 2014 presented? Did you have the drive and energy to succeed at your goals and ambitions? Did you grow as a person? Did you build upon your knowledge and skillset? Did you make a difference?
A New Year is on the horizon and if you’re not too happy with your answers to the questions above then make sure next year is different to the last with some positive changes and achievements. At Fitter Food one of the key things we help our members understand is how to be the most awesome version of themselves. We want everyone to stride through 2015 feeling strong, confident and empowered with the knowledge and understanding of what it takes to make their mark in life. Why not set out with a view to making 2015 your best year yet and rather than just stumbling through Christmas and New Year in a blur of stuffing and selection boxes take some action now. Use the time out over December and the holidays to put some serious plans in place. Reflect upon the things that you really wish to accomplish and start to implement the steps to get there.
We firmly believe whatever you do next year should be built upon a solid foundation of good health. In the words of functional medicine doctor Bob Rakowski “You need to eat right, think right, sleep right, move right and poop right!” so alongside your life changing adventures make sure the following health resolutions feature in your grand plans for 2015:
1) Refine Real Food For You
“Avoid food products containing ingredients that are a) unfamiliar b) unpronounceable c) more than five in number or that include d) high-fructose corn syrup” (Michael Pollan)
Next year should involve establishing the nutrition conventions that truly work for you. We have shouted from the rooftops that we want everyone to “eat REAL food!” so hopefully by now most of your food should swim, run, fly or grow in the ground or on trees. Beyond this it’s simply about refining the principles to meet you daily needs.
Lots of people attempt paleo or primal nutrition and give up because they feel it’s not working. It does work and should make up the majority of your meals. Often there is a degree of fine tuning to be done; some individuals need to fix their digestive system which may be a little broken by stress, antibiotics or a life of processed foods. Typically people need to play around with their macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates and fats) as well as their total calorie intake to hit that sweet spot. Experiment with “safe starches” like potatoes and rice and trial some dairy products. Many people also need extra help giving up their nutritional crutches – usually something revolving around sugar, caffeine or alcohol. This is where our plans are helpful as we’ve witnessed the power of accountability and the safety in numbers, which is is a huge aid to a positive mind set.
Spend next year refining your paleo approach to make sure it works for you. Everything we do at Fitter Food endeavours to give you the tools, knowledge and ‘know how’ to do this, as well as the confidence to make the right decisions about your nutrition. In 2015 we’ll continue to launch plans, seminars and books to help everyone adapt the principles of Fitter Food as we firmly believe it is the most effective nutritional approach and want everyone to experience the success we have observed time and time again.
2) Be A Fitter Chef
“This magical, marvelous food on our plate, this sustenance we absorb, has a story to tell. It has a journey. It leaves a footprint. It leaves a legacy” (Joel Salatin)
A goal for everyone next year should be to spend some extra hours in the kitchen experimenting and expanding your culinary repertoire. We even surprise ourselves sometimes with the awesome creations we can put together with Fitter Food! We want everyone to embrace food as fuel and nourishment but also strongly feel that food must remain a source of pleasure in your life to enable you sustain this approach. Increasing your collection of healthy meals is an integral part of this, the more recipes under your belt the more Fitter Food becomes second nature and you need never deviate from the principles.
We have been busy in the kitchen and are adding over 50 brand new recipes to our online programs and it’s our personal mission for 2015 to keep offering more and more tasty recipes to inspire everyone to get cracking in the kitchen. There’s little chance of you falling off the wagon and finding your face in a bag of Malteser’s when you have our Cashew Teasers on the menu!
3) Have a Performance Goal
“Keep doing what you’ve always done and you’ll get what you’ve always got” (Matt Whitmore at the Fitter Food Academy, though we suspect he ‘stoled’ it!)
Too many people start and end the year running the same speed, lifting the same weights and turning up to the same old class. Our bodies were designed to be challenged and the resulting physiological adaptations increase our fitness in every sense. This includes strength, speed, stamina, agility, co-ordination and not to mention have a huge impact on your body composition as you become efficient at burning fat for fuel and building lean muscle mass to meet these challenges. The more we can challenge our body, the fitter we become. The key word here is ‘challenge’ – many of us get stuck in the same old training routine and forget that our bodies need constant stimuli. If we do experience a plateau often people feel the solution is to train harder or longer which certainly isn’t the case.
What most people lack in their training regime are goals and structure. A goal offers you a purpose and a positive focus beyond the fit of your jeans or the numbers on the scales. It presents an exciting journey where you discover skills and attributes you may never have realised you had. A program gives you the direction you need and also the safety and effectiveness that is essential when it comes to performance. It also allows you to monitor your progress.
Spend the next few weeks exploring some performance goals you could work towards in 2015. Perhaps take up a sport, enter a competition or simply increase your training skills set with a personal trainer or coach. Whatever you decide make sure you end next year as the fittest you’ve ever been!
And if you need some Fitter Food help, we are now running online personalised training programmes. Contact us for more details.
4) Get Your Head in The Right Place
“Calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence, so that’s very important for good health” Dalai Lama
The role and importance of a healthy mindset can never be emphasised enough. If you feel low or miserable it can be easy to seek comfort in the unhealthy stuff. To eat the wrong foods, drink too much caffeine or alcohol, skip the gym or maybe hit the gym a little too often and just generally do destructive things. If you don’t feel confident you’re unlikely to implement positive changes, take awesome risks and venture into the unknown.
We frequently observe the best of intentions in many people derailed by events that are simply out of their control. However, there are many practices and measures that we can implement on a daily basis to protect ourselves from the impact of these events and make ourselves more robust to unexpected change. Building a sense of inner calm is a key aspect of this as it improves our ability to cope and gives us strength in the face of adversity. Of course this doesn’t happen overnight and there are often lots of long standing doubts, fears and negative thoughts that we may need to address first of all.
This is something we’ve needed guidance on ourselves and we have invested in some external coaching from Paul Watson (BSc). We met Paul at Her Story Foundation and loved his honest, real and practical approach to a healthy mindset. He has spent the last twenty years working as a strength and conditioning coach and high performance manager in professional sport so he’s an expert in mind mastery. He’s been helping us learn “how to live in the moment” and build a sense of peace and focus within our fast paced lifestyles. Paul has kindly agreed to help out with our Fitter Food member programmes and will bring sound words of wisdom to the Fitter Food table, helping to educate people about the importance of a mindfulness.
5) Get Your Learn On
“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.” Kofi Annan
The science of nutrition has evolved rapidly in the past few years and we strongly hope that the government will revise their guidelines and advice sheets based on the new learning. For a start they could update the population on the fact that fat isn’t bad for you! As it’s pretty unlikely this will happen, the onus is on you to be an eternal student and make time in your life to read and understand what basic science suggests we need for optimal health.
We’ll be running more Fitter Food Academy educational events across the UK in 2015, rounding up all of the essential, ‘need to know’ information with the legendary Emma Mihill and Anna Marsh Nutrition so look out for more details on our Facebook Page and we always discuss the latest news and research on Fitter Food Radio.
The following books are also a great place to start and offer a comprehensive review of the science on nutrition, exercise and healthy lifestyle choices. Also the blogs and websites run by these health professionals are always current and up-to-date on the need to know information:
Chris Kresser’s Personal Paleo Code www.chriskresser.com
Paul and Shou Ching Jaminet’s Perfect Health Diet www.perfecthealthdiet.com
Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint Solution www.marksdailyapple.com
Oh, and of course Fitter Food if you haven’t read that already 😉
One final thought….
“You only live once and it’s important to live life to the fullest. Have no regrets and don’t waste time on sugar hangovers and other crap!” (Fitter Food)