Archive for April, 2012

7 Muscle Foods for Men

April 29, 2012

Muscle Food for Men

Coffs Coast Health Club is always researching into useful information for its members, we hope you find the posting useful in your quest of health & fitness.    This article, from WebMD,  discusses “muscle food for men”.   It’s so easy to overlook nutritional issues but remember a healthy body starts from the inside out.

Building abs and sculpting muscles begins in the kitchen before you ever hit the club.   Achieving muscle growth is a formula based on adequate calories, fluids, protein, and muscle-fatiguing strength training.

Drinking plenty of fluids, eating the right energy-rich foods along with weight lifting — all timed to fuel workouts and repair muscle tissue — will help you sculpt your muscles.

Nutrition Game Plan

A balanced dietary intake as recommended by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines is a good foundation for meal planning. In general, eating a well-balanced diet with enough calories to support exercise is the prescription, according to the American Dietetic Association (ADA) and American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) position paper on nutrition and athletic performance.

The ADA and ACSM recommend getting enough calories including adequate fat and protein, with an emphasis on five or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables, plenty of whole grains, cereals, beans, legumes, and enough fluid for optimal hydration.

Muscle and Food

Fueling your workouts takes a combination of healthy carbs and protein.

Protein is important to build and repair muscles. Carbs provide the energy to fuel fitness.

You can’t eat protein and expect it turn to muscle. “Pull protein into muscles with exercise,” says Christine Rosenbloom, PhD, RD and editor of ADA’s Sports Nutrition Manual, due out later this year.

Experts recommend these muscle-friendly foods:

  1. Fruit and vegetables – are the foundation of all healthy diets, providing fiber, vitamins, minerals, and fluids. Vegetables contain small amounts of protein.
  2. Low-fat dairy – provides high-quality protein, carbs, and essential vitamins such as vitamin D, potassium, and calcium. Rosenbloom and Clark recommend chocolate milk as a good workout recovery beverage. If you are lactose intolerant, you may tolerate yogurt with active cultures.
  3. Lean meat – This is a great source of protein, iron for oxygen transport to muscles, and amino acids including leucine, which Rosenbloom says is thought to be a trigger for muscle growth.
  4. Dark-meat chicken – Boneless skinless chicken is good, but go dark and increase iron by 25% and three times the zinc for a healthy immune system.
  5. Eggs – The 2010 Dietary Guidelines says an egg a day is OK but don’t throw out the yolk. “Eggs contain all of the essential amino acids and half the protein is in the yolk with other import nutrients like lutein for eye health,” Rosenbloom says.
  6. Nuts – Unsalted raw or roasted are a good source of protein that also contain vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, and healthy fats.
  7. Beans and whole grains – These quality carbs contain small amounts of protein for energy and muscle repair, along with fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants.

Timing Is Everything

Timing is critical in muscle development because you need carbs and protein to perform strength training and protein and carbs for muscle recovery. The best plan is to eat a diet containing both nutrients and small amounts of healthy fats throughout the day.

“Consuming a protein beverage like chocolate milk within an hour after exercise will give muscles the building blocks it needs when it is most receptive for repair” says Rosenbloom, Georgia State University nutrition professor emerita.

If you will be eating a meal within 1-2 hours after a strenuous workout, Rosenbloom says you don’t need a snack and can wait for the meal to provide the recovery nutrition.

How Much?

More than half your calories should come from healthy carbs, says sports nutritionist Nancy Clark, MS, RD. “Carbs supply fuel for energy and prevent protein from being broken down and used as an energy source so always fuel up before working out.”

But be careful: It is a delicate balance of eating enough calories to build muscle but not too many calories, which can lead to gaining body fat.

Protein has a role to build and repair muscle tissue in addition to other functions, like producing hormones and immunity factors. The ADA suggests male endurance athletes get 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, whereas male body builders may need 1.6-1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.

“Two cups of milk contain about 20 grams of protein, which is the amount recommended to stimulate muscle protein synthesis,” Rosenbloom says.

But most people don’t eat by the numbers. So Clark, author of Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook, recommends meal suggestions. “The foundation of each meal is based on healthy carbs, with additional protein like oatmeal with nuts and yogurt; turkey and cheese sandwich with veggies or spaghetti with meat sauce, and a salad. These are all great for body building,” Clark says.

She advises her athletes to divide their food into four equally sized meals and choose three out of these four options: fruit or vegetable, grains, healthy fats, and calcium-rich or lean protein at each meal.

For a food plan designed just for you, consult a registered dietitian.

Get Muscle-Building Results by Fatiguing Muscles

The only way to build bigger, more defined muscles is with progressive resistance training – gradually increasing weights and endurance. Use a weight heavy enough to cause muscle fatigue after 9-12 repetitions. If you can easily do 13 repetitions with good form, you need to increase the weight.

“It is the act of pushing the muscles past the comfort zone that promotes muscle growth and see more definition,” Clark says.

Strength training results show up quicker than aerobic exercise. “It’s encouraging to start seeing enhanced definition fairly soon after working out at least twice a week for 30-45 minutes,” Rosenbloom says.

The exact length of time it takes to start seeing enhanced definition in your muscles also depends on your percentage of body fat. An extra fat layer around your muscles will not let the newly toned muscle show through without weight loss. Clark says gaining 2 pounds of muscle per month is a reasonable expectation.

Strength training is vital to building muscles but it is also an important part of any fitness program and should be done 2-3 times per week for 20-30 minutes. “It is a great investment in your future well-being because you need to use your muscles or you will lose them,” Clark says.

As we age, strength training helps maintain muscle strength, prevent osteoporosis, and decrease muscle and joint injuries.

Rosenbloom recommends going to a gym where you can work with a trainer to understand how to properly perform muscle building exercises to challenge but not injure your muscles.

Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, is director of nutrition for WebMD. Her opinions and conclusions are her own.  http://men.webmd.com/features/muscle-foods-for-men

10 Tips to Change Your Life

April 24, 2012

Coffs Coast Health Club-here for YOU!

We all know change is a hard thing to do, it’s even hard to start.  So how do people change?  I’m sure you ask any person about a change in their life and they will agree upon one thing, change is difficult!  For some the thought of change is so daunting they don’t know where to even begin, perhaps this is you.

Coffs Coast Health Club is committed to helping you,  think of us as your “change agent”.  So never feel alone, we are always here to support you in your quest for change.

If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.
Gail Sheehy

You need to change in order to grow. You can’t grow if you just stay where you are. You can’t grow if you don’t change the way you think and act. In fact, changing your life is a continuous process. It never ends. The moment you stop changing, you stop growing.

I’m not saying that I know everything about changing life. I’m still learning myself. But here I’d like to share with you what I have learned so far.

You need to change in order to grow. You can’t grow if you just stay where you are. You can’t grow if you don’t change the way you think and act. In fact, changing your life is a continuous process. It never ends. The moment you stop changing, you stop growing.

I’m not saying that I know everything about changing life. I’m still learning myself. But here I’d like to share with you what I have learned so far.

Here are ten tips to change your life:

1. Slow down

To change your life, you need time to think and reflect. If you are always busy, you won’t have the time to think about your life let alone taking action to change it. You won’t have the room to apply the tips below. So slow down and make the room for change.

Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.
Eddie Cantor

2. Be willing to change

Willingness is essential. It’s your life; nobody can change it but you. If you aren’t willing to change, then nothing in this world can make you do so.

To build the willingness to change, first you should realize that your life can be better than it is now. No matter how good your life is, it can always be improved. On the other hand, don’t feel hopeless if your life doesn’t seem good right now. You can always change your life for the better.

3. Accept responsibility

Accepting responsibility for your life is a must. Don’t blame other people for the bad things that happen in your life. Don’t blame your family, friends, boss, or the economy. Whether your life goes up or down depends on you and you alone. Once you take the responsibility, real change is within your reach.

We immediately become more effective when we decide to change ourselves rather than asking things to change for us.
Stephen Covey

4. Find your deepest values

Deep down in your heart, there are some principles that you know is true. Take the time to find them. What do you think is the most valuable thing in life? What principles do you think you must follow to live a fulfilling life? These are the values you need to align yourself with. Find them and remind yourself constantly about them.

5. Find your cause

Change is not easy because there is inertia you need to overcome. Just like a space shuttle needs a powerful rocket to overcome the Earth’s gravity, you also need a powerful source of energy to overcome the inertia to change. Your cause is the source of energy you need. Your cause can give you the strength to overcome the inertia. To find your cause, find what matters to you.

6. Replace limiting beliefs with empowering beliefs

Limiting beliefs are among the biggest obstacles that hinder you from changing your life. You need to identify them before you can effectively handle them. To identify your limiting beliefs, observe your mind for thoughts that contain phrases like:

  • “I can’t …”
  • “I won’t be able to …”
  • “I will always be …”
  • “There is no way …”

Whenever you find one, write it down. After some time, look at your list. These are your limiting beliefs.

After identifying your limiting beliefs, you need to replace them with empowering beliefs. Write positive statements that counter the negative ones you wrote before and make positive affirmations using those statements. Do it whenever you realize that a limiting belief is at work.

7. Replace bad habits with positive habits

Besides identifying limiting beliefs, you should also identify bad habits you have. Are there habits that drag you down? Are there habits that you know you need to break? List them all.

Then, rather than focusing on breaking those habits, focus on creating new positive habits that replace them. For example, let’s say the bad habit is watching too much TV. Rather than focusing on reducing your TV time, you should focus on building a positive habit that will use the time in a better way. For instance, you might want to build the habit of reading.

8. Find a mentor

Finding a mentor can greatly help you improve your life. Not only can your mentor give you advice on what to do in certain situations, he can also warn you about possible pitfalls in your path. Without a mentor, most likely you will have to learn many lessons the hard way. Having a mentor will save you serious amount of time.

Getting a good mentor is not easy though. In many cases, you can’t just expect someone to invest his time in you for nothing. At the very least, you should show that you are an open-minded and teachable person. Furthermore, try to be useful to your mentor. Help him in any way you can to make his job easier. This way you send a message that you are a serious mentee that is worth investing in.

9. Have the right expectation

Having the right expectation from the beginning is important. Otherwise, it’s easy for you to be discouraged when things don’t go as expected. Change takes time, especially if you want the change to last. Having the right expectation prepares you to be persistent in difficult times.

10. Maintain the momentum

The most difficult part is always the beginning. Once you go through it, things will become easier if you maintain the momentum. Just think about pushing a car. The most difficult part is getting the car to start moving. Once it’s moving, pushing it will be easy as long as you don’t let it stop again.

Written by Donald Latumahina- an avid learner who has deep passion in information technology (IT) and personal development.

http://www.lifeoptimizer.org/2009/02/17/tips-to-change-your-life/

Learning to Love Exercise

April 22, 2012
We thought this might be of interest,  written by Lavinia Rodriguez from the SMH, it gives  practical ways in which to look at exercise.  Remember if you’re needing some guidance with the “loving exercise” concept, the team at Coffs Coast Health Club are always available to introduce you to this great love affair.  So fall in love with exercise…it makes everything  in life better, we promise!
Generic fitness, exercise, health, weight loss, summer.Gradual change … celebrate incremental improvements.

It may be hard to believe that someone can go from dreading exercise to dreading a day that passes without it. But that’s just what happened to me.

Learning to love exercise wasn’t a miraculous conversion, but a gradual evolution that could happen for anyone. I’m proof.

In younger years, I avoided gym classes, team sports and the outdoors. Like a lot of my friends, I just didn’t want to exert myself.

But by the time I was in graduate school, I was having problems controlling my asthma. All that sitting and studying was having an impact on my weight, too. I knew the trend wasn’t good.

I started to realise that I wanted not only to be lean, but also fit for the rest of my life. I wanted to be stronger and have more endurance.

One of the good things about studying psychology was that I knew none of this would happen if I didn’t change my attitude and the way I thought about physical activity. But that didn’t mean I instantly knew how to do it.

Sure, you can grit your teeth and make yourself do something you don’t want to do. But that’s not the route to permanent change. I wanted to learn to actually like activity.

Looking back, I realised that the reason I learned to love activity is because I didn’t go looking for a magical solution. Instead, I systematically incorporated gradual changes that I knew I could handle. As I succeeded at each one, I found that I was eager for new challenges.

Here are the specific steps I took:

1. Embrace the process: Understanding that change takes time is important. I wanted to get into jogging and had noticed plenty of runners seemingly floating around a one-mile (1.6-kilometre) course on campus. But could I do the same with no exercise history whatsoever? I decided that running a mile without stopping would be a goal I would reach gradually. I alternated between jogging and walking based on my comfort level, increasing the jogging by as little as a few seconds at a time until I was able to jog nonstop for 1 mile.

2. Accept the difficulty: It takes at least some effort to make changes. But the effort shouldn’t be excessive. Pace yourself based on your condition and gently coax yourself to the next level. It’s not about “No pain, no gain”. It’s more like, “Comfort and vigour (minus pain) leads to steady gain”.

3. Pay attention to thoughts: Does any of this sound familiar? “This is going to be so hard!” “The end of the course is so far away!” “I hate exercise”.

That’s what I was thinking. But I decided to catch those self-defeating statements and turn them around – even if I didn’t really believe the new version yet.

“Focus on the present moment, slow down if you need to, but just keep moving forward”, I would tell myself. “You’ll get better and better.” With time, the new positive statements replace the old negative thoughts.

4. Don’t impose strict deadlines: It took me a year to jog a full mile without stopping. But that was back in the mid-1970s, and I’ve been exercising regularly ever since, so who cares how long it took?

If I had put strict expectations on myself, I would probably still be where I started. It was slow, but it worked.

It’s better to focus on taking one step at a time instead of setting deadlines when making major lifestyle changes. You don’t need to keep up with or compete with anyone.

I’ve tried different activities through the years, but I’ve never wanted to stop exercising. My asthma – my main inspiration to get fit – has disappeared.

Walking is my activity of choice because it’s inexpensive, it’s meditative and I can do it anywhere. I enjoy my daily hour of time alone to think, watch nature and greet my neighbours.

Exercising is one of the best pleasures in my life, and I hope that it can become just as much of a joy for you, too.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/learning-to-love-exercise-20120416-1×392.html#ixzz1seXanf66

Autumn is here, it’s time for soup!

April 19, 2012
Immunity Boost Soup

Immunity Boost Soup
Serves 8

1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1/4 – 1/2 tsp sambal oelek
3 cm ginger, grated
2 x 250g rainbow salad or 500g grated beetroot, carrot and broccoli stems
8 cups vegetable stock
1/3 cup white miso **see below for more info on Miso**
2 x 400g tin of lentils, well rinsed
2 x 400g tin of chickpeas, well rinsed
1 lemon
1/2 packet per serve of 250g Slim Pasta Angel Hair, well rinsed
parsley to serve

This is an amazingly quick and easy nourishing and filling soup to boost your immune system for the coming cooler months when coughs and colds are prevalent. Better to be proactive and get your body ready for the onslaught of germs and bacteria.

Heat a large saucepan over high heat, spray with oil spray and cook onion, garlic, chilli and ginger for a few minutes.
Add mixed vegetables and cook for about 5 minutes.
Add stock, bring to a simmer and continue to cook for 10 minutes.
Stir in miso, add lentils, chickpeas and return to a simmer.
To serve place 125g Slim Pasta Angel Hair in a bowl and add soup, a squeeze of lemon and some parsley to serve.

Miso

ALL ABOUT MISO

A fermented paste made from soya beans and rice, barley, wheat or rye, used in Japanese and South East Asian cookery. It imparts a deeply savoury, rich intensity to any dish that’s cooked with it, from a classic miso soup to marinated and grilled fish, fowl or vegetables.

Buyer’s Guide

The range of miso varieties available can be daunting for the novice buyer, but many supermarkets and most specialist shops in Britain will stock a basic selection. The most common types are:

Light-yellow miso (Shinshu miso), which ranges in colour from light yellow to yellow-brown. It’s the most common type of miso and is relatively mild in flavour. It’s very versatile and can be used in all types of dishes.

Red miso (often sold as aka miso), which actually ranges from red to dark brown in appearance and has a strong, salty flavour. It too is very versatile and suited to all types of dishes, from soup to dressings and dips and in cooked dishes.

Sweet white miso (usually sold as shiro miso) is sweeter and lighter in taste, colour and texture. It’s always smooth in texture and is more suited to use in salad dressings, spreads and marinades. It’s fermented for a much shorter time (two to eight weeks) than other miso types, which are usually fermented for three years or more.

Light-yellow or red miso should not be substituted in recipes that call for sweet white miso.

Another type of miso, called hatcho miso, is perhaps the most highly regarded (and expensive) miso. This rich, dark, thick variety is made only from soya beans and a special type of koji. Other types you might see are mugi miso, which is made from barley and soya beans. It often has a chunky texture and is good in soups and stews. Genmai miso (brown rice miso), made from brown rice and soya beans, has a rich, earthy, slightly nutty flavour. Korean grocers will sell a spicy type of bean paste called kochu jang (or gochujang), which is flavoured with red chilli and is great for giving a kick to sauces and marinades.

Storage

Miso, particularly the darker styles, can be kept in the refrigerator for months. The exception is sweet white miso: once opened, the flavour will deteriorate quite rapidly so it should be used quickly.

Preparation

Sweet white miso is perfect for flavouring light soups. When cooking miso soup or miso-based stews, add the miso at the end of cooking time or the heat will cause it to lose some of its flavour. Avoid boiling miso soup after the miso’s added. Miso can also be used on its own as a paste to marinate meat, fish or vegetables. The pungent, salty, and almost earthy quality of red miso is ideal for marinating, and for adding to hearty stir-fries or stews. Diluted with water, miso makes a flavourful bouillon or stock base for soups, sauces, gravies and stews.

Info sourced from:
http://www.weighitup.com.au/recipes/immunity-boost-soup, http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/miso

Let’s get to the “core” of the matter

April 17, 2012

What is Core?

Core is your abs, your hips and your lower back.  Every muscle, every exercise relies on your core.  It’s 29 muscles altogether that start and end every move you make.

Core muscle abs

Core muscle abs

A good friend of mine is currently experiencing  significant’ back pain. You know… the sort of pain that stops you doing what you enjoy and makes simple things like getting dressed and tying your shoe-laces almost impossible.

While there are numerous factors why someone might experience back pain, having weak core muscles increases your risk of getting a sore back.

Typically, when the word “core” is used, it is in reference to the six-pack abdominals and lower back. However, it actually includes a large number of muscles between the abdomen and the ribs. There are many muscles that work together so you need to keep all of them strong enough to do their particular job.

The role of the abdominal and back muscles

When most people think about training their abs’ they focus on a muscle called the rectus abdominis. It’s the one that creates the six-pack look, so women love it and men crave it. Its role is to pull the shoulders towards the hips, but this is only a small proportion of what the core muscles do.

The best way to describe what the muscles of your core do is ‘posture’ and support’. They are responsible for holding the upper body in the proper posture for whatever it is you’re doing, be that standing, lifting something, riding a bike or sitting at your desk. Posture, as in pulling your shoulders back and sitting or standing up tall is the easiest to see.

Support is another major role of these muscles. Think of picking up a bag of shopping, doing squats, or putting something on the top shelf in the kitchen. Your core muscles contract to hold the body rigid and support the spine. If you don’t or can’t contract the core muscles to support your upper body, you will either falter under the weight of whatever you are lifting or put additional pressure on the spine.

The core muscles are also responsible for efficient movement. Without effective core muscles, the upper body would flop about unnecessarily creating a lot more work for other muscles and joints in the body.

Why You Need A Strong Core

The key role of the core is to support the upper body, primarily to prevent injury to the spinal column. The spine is an amazing design with each joint allowing about four degrees of movement. If the muscles are not strong enough, the body may well push the boundaries of this limited range. If the limits are exceeded too much and/or too often, it can cause damage to the ligaments, facet joints or disc between the vertebra.

How most people train their core muscles

Sit-ups, sit-ups and more sit-ups or crunches, crunches and more crunches. Because the rectus abdominis is the most visible muscle it gets all the attention. However, strengthening just this muscle and forgetting the rest is dangerous. It only strengthens the front of the abdomen so there is little support on the sides and at the back. This doesn’t mean you should never do these exercises, but activities that include all the core muscles working together are important.

Examples of how to exercise the core muscles

Just tighten everything up

Get into the habit of tightening up all the muscles around your abdomen and stomach 10 times a day. Create cues, like the phone ringing or every time you have a drink of water to contract the muscles.

Plank or Bridge

This involves holding the body rigid and parallel to the floor, keeping everything from shoulders to ankles in a straight line. Start lying on your stomach then push up onto your toes and elbows, keeping your body straight. I do this when watching TV. Instead of sitting on the couch, I’ll lie on the floor and each time an ad comes on I’ll do a plank for as long as I can. You’ll realise how long the ad breaks are when you do this!

Side plank

This is similar to the plank except you are on one elbow and the outside of one foot. Hold your body in a straight line for as long as you can and make sure you do both sides.

Working on these three is a good start to strengthening your core muscles. Just a few minutes each day can make the difference and could potentially prevent you from experiencing the sort of pain my friend is going through. It is a lot easier to do these before you get a sore back, so don’t wait until something starts to hurt.

Information sourced from – http://lifelongfitness.net

No time for breakfast? Make a smoothie…quick & easy!

April 12, 2012

Breakfast Smoothie with Vegetables too!

We all know breakfast is the most important meal because it gets you ready for your day ahead.  Too busy for breakfast?   Why not start with a quick, healthy & easy smoothie that has fruit & veggies in it… hardly tasting the veggies makes it an easy way to get those extra hidden servings!

  • Preparation Time: 5 minutes
  • Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup plain or Greek-style yoghurt
  • 1 banana, cut up and frozen in chunks
  • 1 cup frozen berries (I like strawberry/blueberry mix)
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1 small carrot, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup milk (whatever you prefer, rice, soy, cow)
  • 1/4 cup orange or breakfast juice

Method:

  1. If you have a lousy blender, it may help to food process this before you add liquid and blend, otherwise add ingredients to blender and blend low for 2 minutes stirring occasionally to help it along. Then move to higher speeds until the mixture is smooth, adding more liquid if needed.

Notes

  • * Keep the frozen to non-frozen ratio equal and you wont need to add ice.
  • * Freeze yoghurt to assure you have a cold mixture.
  • * Try adding ground flaxseed and less oatmeal as flax is a wonderful addition.
  • * Add or subtract any items, (mangoes are wonderful)
  • * I find this to be a good blend for me and my son. Can feed 2-3 people depending on cup size.
  • * Freeze any fruit going off to add to smoothies, its a great way to save from waste!

http://www.taste.com.au/kitchen/recipes/breakfast+smoothie,7007

The secret to a flat stomach

April 10, 2012
By Michelle Bridges, Personal trainer and columnist
A quick assessment of fitness magazine covers in the newsagent leaves me in no doubt that, far from being interested in chiselling a six-pack into ourselves, we’re downright obsessed.A quick assessment of fitness magazine covers in the newsagent leaves me in no doubt that, far from being interested in chiselling a six-pack into ourselves, we’re downright obsessed. Photo: Getty

It would be fair to say that if there was one body part men and women lusted over equally, it would have to be abdominals, preferably abdominals unconcealed by a layer of subcutaneous fat. I’m not talking about lusting over other people’s abdominals – although, judging by the chorus of “Phwoaaaar!” that us girls usually emit when we’re dribbling over a photo of Ryan Gosling with his shirt off, it could be. I’m talking about our own midsection, core, abs – whatever we choose to call that (hopefully) sinewy conduit from pelvis to ribs.

A quick assessment of fitness magazine covers in the newsagent leaves me in no doubt that, far from being interested in chiselling a six-pack into ourselves, we’re downright obsessed. Every cover features a model sporting a pool-table stomach and offers the ultimate promise: “Killer Six-pack in Five Minutes a Day!” “Bitchin’ Abs – Here’s How!”

Now, the bad news.

If you’re in the market for a flat stomach, no amount of sit-ups, assisted by any number of ab machines, will get it for you. Yes, they will work and improve your abdominals, but there are wider issues to take into consideration before you shell out your hard-earned for fitness equipment destined to end up in garage sales.

If you want a flat stomach, the best advice – in conjunction with a sensible diet and regular exercise (of course) – is to get a good night’s sleep. And then to consciously de-stress your home and work environment, and to add stress-relieving activities into your lifestyle.

When we get stressed our adrenal gland, located on top of our kidneys, pumps out a goodly measure of hormones – mainly cortisol – to cope with the situation. Cortisol ramps up your brain’s use of glucose while squirting a bit extra into your bloodstream for good measure. It temporarily suppresses the non-essential bodily functions like the immune, digestive and reproductive systems, to enable us to be primed for the crisis at hand. It’s self-regulating, so when the crisis is over, the body returns to normal.

Trouble is, in today’s world the stresses are constant. The prolonged increase in cortisol levels in your bloodstream results in increased fat deposits around your middle, concealing the transverse abdominus you’ve been honing on the Acme Ab-Orama for the past six weeks. Can you see where this is heading? My flat stomach formula?

De-stress, eat well, exercise regularly.

Michelle’s Tip
The dreaded stomach bloat is the flat tum aspirant’s nemesis. Don’t eat large meals, and avoid fried foods, creamy dishes, soft drinks, white breads, salty foods, processed meats and smallgoods.

http://www.dailylife.com.au/health-and-fitness/dl-fitness/the-secret-to-achieving-a-flat-stomach-20120404-1wbqi.html

Easter Treats Calories-If you want to enjoy a guilt-free Easter, don’t read!

April 7, 2012
The holidays are the perfect time to let things go, we all know that for a fact!  Why not you’re with friends and family,  who wants to think about calories?   STOP right there, don’t let all your months of hard work go to waste…literally to YOUR “waist”!   Before you eat another hot cross bun or have that second chocolate egg this article, from  the weekend SMH,  covers the good, bad & ugly of Easter Treats.  It compares some Easter favorites to the amount of time walking (at a moderate pace) it would take to burn them off.
You’ve worked hard to get to were you are so don’t let too many Easter treats set you back weeks of training.  Just have a think before you take your next bite, is it really worth it?
If you want to enjoy a guil-free Eatsre, you better not read on.

The holiday most people associate with glucose gluttony has arrived and health experts are urging Australians to think about Easter treats in terms of exercise rather than eggs.

Buns of steel do not come from indulging in hot cross buns smothered in butter so dieticians are encouraging us to compare and think about our chocolate and sugar consumption over the holidays.

With the popularity of smartphones and the abundance of weight loss and fitness apps, nutritional information is now merely a click or barcode scan away.

According to virtual food diary Calorie King, it will take the average woman more than 42 minutes of walking at steady pace to burn off the calories contained within one Cadbury crème egg.

Further research will tell you that a medium McChicken meal from McDonalds (that’s including the burger, fries and a Coke) has fewer calories than one shiny, smiley faced Elegant Rabbit egg.

WAtoday.com.au consulted Calorie King and compared some Easter favourites to the amount of time walking (at a moderate pace) it would take to burn them off:

  • 1 Woolworths brand fruitless hot cross bun = 59 minutes
  • 1 Coles brand traditional hot cross bun = 54 minutes
  • 1 generic brand chocolate hot cross bun = 54 minutes
  • 1 hot cross bun from Brumby’s = 50 minutes
  • 1 hot cross bun from Baker’s Delight = 57 minutes
  • A 100g Lindt Milk Chocolate bunny = 2 hours and 23 minutes
  • A 165g Red Tulip Humpty Dumpty egg = 3 hours and 38 minutes
  • A 39g Cadbury Creme Egg = 42 minutes
  • A 17g Cadbury hollow egg = 22 minutes
  • A 200g Red Tulip Elegant Rabbit egg = 4 hours and 38 minutes
  • A 100g Lindt dark chocolate bunny = 2 hours and 11 minutes
  • A 100g Cadbury dark chocolate egg = 2 hours and 8 minutes

The Heart Foundation wants shoppers to skip the eggs filled with crème and caramels and is calling for toasted hot cross buns to be glazed with margarine instead of butter.

Dietician and Jenny Craig Medical Advisory Board member Karen Inge said “caution with portions” is one way to get your waistline through Easter without it expanding.

“You can eat Easter eggs, just not 50,” Dr Inge told WAtoday.com.au.

“Understand that Easter foods should be celebrated on one day, it’s not a month long celebration, swap chocolate hot cross buns for regular hot cross buns and then come Easter Monday give all your leftovers away.”

She also suggested brushing your teeth before eating chocolate which will quash the appetite of even the most steadfast sweet tooth.

Easter is the one time of year where size does matter and health experts encourage all Australians to choose chocolate wisely.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/eat-your-eggs-but-you-better-be-on-the-treadmill-too-20120404-1wdbf.html#ixzz1rLcksDyH

Easter chick cupcakes recipe

April 5, 2012

These cute chicks will keep you and the kids busy over the Easter weekend.  Make some and post on Coffs Coast Health Club’s Facebook page  https://www.facebook.com/coffscoasthc.

From all the staff at Coffs Coast Health Club have a Happy Easter!

Easter chick cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 380g vanilla cake mix
  • 3 tbsps of butter or margarine, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 180g butter, softened
  • 2 cups icing mixture
  • 1 cup coconut, shredded
  • 12 drops of yellow food colouring
  • 24 choc chips (for eyes)
  • 1 handful of cornflakes (for the beaks)

Method:

Preheat oven to 160°C. Line a 12 cup tray with patty pans.

Prepare cake mix as directed on the box and scoop 1/4 cups of the batter into 12 patty pans. Bake for 15-20 mins.

Remove and cool on a cake rack.

Beat butter with an electric mixer until pale and creamy, gradually add icing mixture and beat for 2 mins on high.

Spread this generously over the cooled cupcakes.

Place coconut in a ziplock bag with the food colouring and shake and rub until all the coconut is yellow.

Press the coconut into the icing on each cupcake.

Dot icing on the choc chips and place as eyes and push a cornflake in for the beak.

Happy Easter!!