Diet advice from nutritionist Fiona Kirk

When it comes to diets and healthy eating nutritionist and author, Fiona Kirk can rant for Britain – particularly about the crazy lengths to which some will go to to lose post-baby weight and feel great. Deprivation, frustration and denial make us miserable, tired and hungry and have no place at her table. When we learn how to eat, live and love good food and address our own priorities it is a great deal easier to body-swerve the wealth of diet nonsense that is coming at us from all sides and find the fit, healthy individual we know is lurking within! 

EAT, LIVE AND LOVE BEING A NEW MUM

Have you been eating, living and loving pregnancy so much that your fat cells have ballooned and your waistline isn’t looking quite as trim as it was at the time of conception? Or, are you just so goddamned tired that your diet is the last thing you have time to focus on and post-baby weight loss is an immense struggle?

Research shows that whilst we only need an extra 300 kcals each day to gain a healthy pregnancy weight (unless you are expecting more than one) the ‘eating for two’ thing can get a bit out of control and it is all too easy to gain anywhere between 15 and 25 pounds over nine months. Breastfeeding* can be your post-baby fat loss saviour in the first few months after the birth but many new mums either can’t or choose not to breastfeed so a healthy diet that includes regular exercise is the way to go.

Nutritionist, Fiona Kirk has devised a fat loss plan that not only badgers the fat cells into giving up their stores and shrinking but also concentrates on foods that deliver a whole bunch of nutrients to brain and body to ensure you fire on all cylinders all day and well into the night. And, chocolate, alcohol and coffee are not off limits!

So, what works and why?

1. Calcium-rich foods help you burn more calories per day. Add rhubarb yoghurt, tinned salmon, bean soup, Swiss cheese, spinach and watercress to your day.

  1. Omega 3 fats encourage fat burning and inhibit fat storage. Snack on walnuts, drizzle flax seed oil on your soups and stews, add avocado to your salads and eat more mackerel and sardines.
  2. Spices turn up the fat burning furnace. Get down to your local curry house or Thai takeaway and experiment – the hotter the better! Body swerve the creamy dishes and say no to the naan bread, rice and noodles.
  3. Beans, lentils, peas, broad beans and oats prompt less fat storage after a meal. Learn to love porridge, have ready-made bean and lentil salads for lunch and keep bags of frozen peas and broad beans in the freezer for a speedy green addition to your evening meal.
  4. Salmon, prawns and their pink swimming companions increase the usage of fat for energy and accelerate fat burning during exercise. The powerful antioxidant that gives them their pink colour also keeps the gut healthy and prevents bloating and discomfort which can hamper fat loss.
  5. The antioxidants in red wine (and white to a lesser extent) not only reduce the risk of heart disease but also help to avoid blood sugar dips that see us reaching for sugary/salty snacks. Eat a little protein before or with a glass of your favourite poison (meat, fish, beans, nuts, eggs, yoghurt) to lessen the sugar spike and match each glass of wine with a glass of water.
  6. Regular exercise increases the production of dopamine (the reward chemical) in the brain but so do foods. Fish, shellfish, chicken, turkey, eggs, chickpeas and bananas hit the spot and don’t add inches to your waistline.
  7. A double espresso first thing in the morning before you exercise increases the use of body fat for fuel and allows you to perform both longer and harder AND increases the number of calories the body burns after physical exertion.
  8. Adding foods that promote the production of testosterone within the body (guys need loads of it but girls need good levels too) enables fat busting accelerators in body cells to outnumber those that prefer to store it on our hips and bums. Apple, broccoli, red peppers, garlic, onions and lean beef are tops.

 

A DAY OF FAST FAT LOSS

First Thing in the Morning

  • Have a double espresso with no milk or sugar to increase the use of fat for fuel.
  • ‘Get physical’ for 30 minutes if you can. Exercising first thing in the morning prompts the body to fat burn for up to 8 hours afterwards.
  • Shower, turning the temperature to cool/cold for the last 2 minutes to encourage the body to burn more calories.
  • Have a large glass/small bottle of water.

Throughout the Morning

  • Fresh fruit – whole or chopped
  • Fresh fruit juices mixed 50:50 with still or sparkling water
  • Home-made or bought fruit smoothies – avoid the ones with yoghurt
  • Juiced fruits – if you own a juicer, go for it. If not, find a juice bar and experiment

Late Morning (11.30am/noon)

  • 3 Bean Salad from the deli section OR
  • A couple of oatcakes with tinned, mashed salmon and cucumber
  • Large glass/small bottle of water and/or a cup of green tea (great fat burner)

Lunchtime

  • Bowl of soup (meat, poultry, bean, lentil, fish but not creamy)
  • Large mixed salad dressed with olive/flax seed oil and lemon juice. Make it  as colourful as possible but avoid fruit
  • Large glass/small bottle of still or sparkling water

Mid Afternoon

  • A tray or pack of raw baby vegetables with a small pot of hummus OR
  • A cold, cooked chicken leg/breast (remove skin), a couple of tomatoes and a handful of fresh nuts
  • Large glass of V8 or spicy tomato juice

Evening

  • A good helping of lean protein (meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, tofu). Get plenty of garlic, herbs and spices in for extra fat burning
  • At least 3 different vegetables, steamed, stir fried or roasted (not potatoes or root vegetables) drizzled with fat busting flax seed oil
  • Glass of red wine (two if it has been a really stressful and tiring day!) and a bucket-load of water

Bedtime/Middle of the Night Snack

  • A mug of Green & Blacks hot chocolate made with soya milk. If you are up and down all night with the new baby, this will help you to get back to sleep. These foods are rich in the amino acid tryptophan which encourages the production of the sleepy chemical, serotonin

*dieting while breastfeeding is not recommended as there is a risk that your baby could be deprived of essential nutrients.

 

So there you go, I think there are some very useful tips in this diet, I especially like the Green and Blacks Hot Chocolate idea, great for those news mums! Based on the little and often principles it means you don’t get those in between meals munchies or reach for the biscuit tin. It’s very interesting to read about those energy boosting starts to the day too.

If you would like to read more about this diet, 2 Weeks in the Fast Lane, and other Fiona Kirk books and advice then you can visit her website www.fatbustforever.com

You can get your copy of  2 Weeks in the Fast Lane at the special offer price of £7 plus p+p (quote ref UM1011) on the website too!

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Row2Recovery Mount Everest Challenge

Row2Recovery is the brainchild of three former British Army commanders who trained together at Sandhurst before going on to see extensive combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ed Janvrin, Alex Mackenzie and Tony Harris witnessed friends and comrades sustain life-changing injuries, while Tony lost his own left leg when an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) detonated under his vehicle in May 2009.

All three men were profoundly moved by their experiences and feel compelled to help the fallen. From this desire to help, Row2Recovery was born.

I will be taking part in the Mount Everest Challenge, a great way to spice up our day by virtually ‘climbing’ Mount Everest. How do you virtually climb you might ask! Well by entering data from my Fitbug I will have to gradually increase my activity levels to meet increasing step targets.

The 8 week challenge starts on 1st September. An entry fee of just £30 includes a £5 donation to Row2Recovery, a Fitbug membership pack, plus 3 months’ unlimited access to www.Fitbug.com, a unique coaching website. A link-up with Bmycharity also allows participants to raise further funds for the Row2Recovery cause.

To join now, visit https://www.fitbug.com/consumer.joinnow and select the 3 month plan for £49.  At checkout, use the promo code R2R11 to get your membership for £30.

Please support this amazing cause and hopefully have some fun and get a little fitter in the process!!!!

Fitbug and Row2Recovery

I have been sent a Fitbug to test and review

Fitbug is a way of getting fitter and healthier without joining a gym. Basically it revolves around a ‘step counter’ but Fitbug is so much more than that. You connect Fitbug into your computer and upload your step count into your personalised page. You tell Fitbug everything about your day, what you ate, if you did any activity other than walking etc

FitBug Guid
This is an example of how your information looks when input to Fitbug.

Before you start you complete a Health Questionnaire so that you can be given some guidelines based upon your height, weight and preferred goals. I entered my info and chose to ‘Lose Baby Weight’ whilst breastfeeding so that I would get healthy goals that are safe for me and won’t affect my breast milk.

You tell your planner what you have eaten each day so that it can plot how many calories you have eaten against how many calories you have burnt. Fitbug have a database of foods alongside their calorie levels and you can easily enter extra meals or foods as you as you have the nutritional values to hand. Entering your food is quite time consuming but does help you keep track of what you are eating so it is particularly good if you are dieting.

I will be reporting on my progress each week.

Fitbug is currently available for the discounted price of £30 when you use the code R2R11 at the checkout. This includes 3 months’ unlimited membership to Fitbug, and entry into a great challenge called The Mount Everest Challenge, to raise funds for Row2Recovery

Thia 8 week challenge starts on 1st September. A link-up with Bmycharity also allows participants to raise further funds for the Row2Recovery cause.

Row2Recovery is the brainchild of three former British Army commanders who trained together at Sandhurst before going on to see extensive combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ed Janvrin, Alex Mackenzie and Tony Harris witnessed friends and comrades sustain life-changing injuries, while Tony lost his own left leg when an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) detonated under his vehicle in May 2009.

All three men were profoundly moved by their experiences and feel compelled to help the fallen. From this desire to help, Row2Recovery was born.

My mission – 1 week in

So here I am, one week into my mission. This time last week I weighed 11st 13lbs. Stepped on the scales this morning and ……………………………………………………….

I weigh 11st 10lbs. I have been a bit naughty this weekend but during the last week I have been really good, healthy eating, smaller portions and a bit of exercise. Old school but its the best way I know how. Will power is in short supply though I could murder a bacon sarnie!

Munchy Seeds Review


Munchy seeds are a great snack product which  are an excellent natural source of essential vitamins, minerals, oils and fibre too so enjoy them as a healthy snack or sprinkle them on just about everything from jazzing up summer salads, to using them in baking cakes, flapjacks or muffins

There are seven moreish varieties to choose from, some are deliciously sweet, some are savoury and some are sizzling hot.  All are free from artificial colourings and preservatives and pack a punch with masses of crunch, flavour and goodness.

The Munchy Seeds range includes Omega, Pumpkin, Chilli, Vanilla, Munchy Granola, Original Mix, plus the delicious new Choccy Seeds.

I’ve tried seeds before but only in small portions and to be honest plain seeds are pretty dull. Enter Munchy Seeds, they combine different seeds and flavours, so at least you get some variety but what do they taste like? We were sent the Choccy Munchy Seeds and the Omega Sprinkle.

I’ll start with the Choccy Munchy Seeds. Included in the mix are Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds and Apricots, all covered in Milk and Dark Chocolate, this mix is full of vitamin E, Zinc, Iron and Fibre, and is delicious. So delicious in fact that my husband declared “These will be my weekend treat from now on, they are better than sweets!” Believe me, that is high praise indeed!  I liked that they are free from cholesterol, gluten, artificial colourings & flavourings and that the seeds and apricot provide different flavours and textures, so although they are naturally high in calories, they are full of goodness.

The Omega Sprinkle is a savoury snack mix including Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Hemp Seeds, Rape Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Linseed,Flax Savoury Sauce: Soyabeans, Sea Salt & Koji. Really tasty just as a snack or sprinkled over salad for added crunch, I really liked the Omega Sprinkle, its savoury goodness made them a really tasty snack and the fact that its described as a Healthy Heart Mix due to the omega-3 essential fatty acids it contains, make it even better.

Prices start from £1.50 for a 50g snack pack of the Choccy Seeds and you can buy big tubs to go in your cupboard, selection packs and big bulk buy orders. We will definitely be regular customers!

The full range is available on their website http://www.munchyseeds.co.uk/shop along with the full health benefits breakdown and ingredients.

I was sent Munchy Seeds to review as part of My Mission