Posts Tagged ‘Toormina’

Glen Barnett discusses the Squat

June 21, 2016

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To squat or not to squat. For most people squatting is not a problem but there are those who find squatting difficult for many reasons.   Let’s check in on your squatting technique because squatting is a really great exercise that is very functional – meaning it is something you do a lot of everyday and probably don’t even realise it.   Here are some examples:  sitting down then standing up from your kitchen chair – that’s a squat, same as sitting and standing from the toilet, the lounge, from the bed, getting out of the car etc etc.  So if you’re having trouble doing any of those things then with some isolated squatting practice you will improve those functional day to day squats. Afterall you do get what you train for.

Squats will also shape your legs and your butt, improve your core strength and back strength and make you stronger throughout your lower body.

Firstly as a simple exercise start with your feet about hip width apart.

  • Breath in then as you exhale stick your butt out
  • Bend your knees
  • Then bend them further to lower your butt down.
  • Stopping before your butt gets to knee height.
  • Keep your back straight (don’t become a hunch back).
  • Keep your head up and eyes forward.
  • Chest out and shoulders back.
  • Weight equal on both feet but lean slightly backward.
  • Drive through outside of heels and sides of feet to stand up! Nice work one done.
  • Can you do 10? If so try 3 sets of 10 with 1minute recovery by walking or jogging on the spot.

Here are some different ways to do a squat; each increases the intensity.

  1. Use a chair – sit down stand up
  2. Add hand weights or a barbell
  3. Add a jump to make it a jump squat
  4. Jump up onto a stair or block then step back down

If you’d like more information then give Jacqui or Glen a call on 66586222 to organise a free session.

Glen Barnett discusses the Hamstring Muscles

May 24, 2016

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Forget the Brazilian Butt Lift to keep the back of your legs and your butt toned – try this effective hamstring exercise to keep gravity at bay.   Your hamstring muscles are the ones at the back of the upper leg.  They play a really important role in your core stability and knee stability.  So how do you get them stronger and more toned?   Firstly, if you have any knee or lower back problems check in with your physio or personal trainer before doing this exercise.

Level 1

Lay on the ground, with your feet about hip width apart. Now step your feet further away from your body so your legs are almost straight.  Pull your toes back so your heels are digging into the ground.  Lift your pelvic floor, draw your belly in and tighten your butt as you lift your hips off the ground then return them part way down.  That’s one repetition.

Increase your pace as you do 8 more then control your movement as you slowly lift one leg and foot upward at a time as if you were slowly walking.  Do about 6 then go back to the quick butt lifts.  Try doing the quick butt lifts alternating with the slow walking for about 1 minute. Have a break for 30 seconds and try another 1 minute set. Repeat.

Level 2

Now to make it harder, place your feet on a stable chair (one that doesn’t slide away from you) and do the same format or even harder…

Level 3

Place your legs on a fit ball.  The fit ball of course is very unstable so the idea is to keep it a still as possible as you do the exercise.  Feel your hamstrings sing!

Call Glen or Jacqui on 66586222 for more information.

 

 

 

Coffs Coast Health Club eNews – September 2015

September 1, 2015
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**NEWSFLASH** Coffs Coast Health Club Moonee COMING SOON!!!

The biggest announcement we have ever made has now arrived, yes that’s right we are opening a second Coffs Coast Health Club in Moonee on Saturday 19th September to help us cater for the entire Coffs Coast. moonee shop
If you live or work on the southside between Nambucca & Coffs, then Toormina is the club for you, however if you live or work on the northside between Coffs & Corindi, then Moonee is the club for you.
Current members of Toormina can transfer their home club to Moonee if that is more convenient for them or what most people have done is simply upgrade to a 24/7 Freedom Membership, which offers access to all classes & equipment in both facilities for only $19 p/w.

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The new Moonee club will provide the same services as Toormina & the limited Foundation Memberships are now selling fast. Lee Kennedy is the Moonee Health Club Manager & can be contacted directly on 0409 079 311 or via lee@coffscoasthc.com.au to secure your new membership or transfer but be quick as we only have 100 Foundation Memberships available.
We are also offering 2 weeks FREE Membership to all current members for every friend they refer that becomes a member of the new club too, so share the message far & wide if you like.
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Last 2015 Personal Trainer Course STARTING SOON!
The Australian Institute of Personal Trainers is proud to introduce their NEW Certificate IV in Fitness – Complete Personal Trainer and Diploma of Business qualifications package.AIPT

Start a career as a Personal Trainer and gain the necessary skills to run and manage your own successful fitness business at the same time.
The Certificate IV in Fitness – Complete Personal Trainer qualification will allow you to gain real hands-on practical experience in a real gym, with a real trainer.


As part of this new qualification package, you will also complete the Diploma of Business building on the units you completed within your Certificate IV in Fitness and will help you to develop your skills across a wide range of business functions including managing your own business through to being a program coordinator or business manager within a larger business.

The Diploma of Business is VET FEE-HELP* approved too, so you can study now and pay later – with no time lost!
Contact Chris O’Mara, your local Campus Manager directly on 0475 757 531 for further information.
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Introducing Healthy Him!4fe2240be4d1b_image

This is Weight Loss Coaching for men!  Healthy Inspirations has always been a successful weight loss program for women with great success stories far and wide.  As some men (spouses and sons) have seen the success of the ladies a few of them have asked ‘what about us’.  This has prompted Health Inspirations to trial a few everyday blokes on the program with a few tweaks here and there.  These men have gone on to have great weight loss results and have been rewarded not only with improved health but also more knowledge on weight loss and the ‘real’ foods available to them on the Healthy Him program.  
th55SLOJSOOne of our Coffs Coast Health Club Healthy Him participants Justin has lost 21kg on the program which has seen him about to become the Healthy Inspirations Healthy Him National “Poster Boy”!
To celebrate the Launch of Healthy Him, Healthy Inspirations Coffs Harbour, are offering a special rate to any of the men in your life during September! Receive OVER $50 OFF your Resource Kit and your 1st and 2nd consultations FREE when you select one of the 4 plans below:
1.       Weight Loss Coaching – Over The Phone, Only $14.99 per week or 
2.       Weight Loss Coaching – Face 2 Face Only $19.99 per week, or  
3.       Weight Loss Coaching plus Personal Training – Face 2 Face,  Only $35 per week for 30min or $60 per week for 60min sessions, or 
4.       Group Weight Loss Coaching plus Group Personal Training – Face 2 Face, SAVE 40% on each 30min or 60min session
WHICH ONE SUITS YOU BEST? Simply choose your program above for a minimum 12 week period to watch your mind and body transform for the better. 
Call or drop in to see Simone 0402 202 864, Leslie 0423 284 421 or Sheree 0434 480 782 in the Healthy Inspirations office for more information
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Member Appreciation Day Was Fantastic!thankyou

Thank you to everyone that participated on Member Appreciation Day.  It was so fabulous to see so many of you to help us celebrate 6 years since we first opened our doors and the start of our crusade to empower the Coffs Coast to be the happiest and healthiest community in Australia. The classes, the events, the offers and the atmosphere around the club was amazing and days like this are a true testament to the quality of our Coffs Coast Health Club community.
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COFFS COAST BOOT CAMP Starts October!

Outdoor fitness based training, 60min sessions, twice a week, for all ages and ability levels.
The exercises are based on a mixture of body weight exercises, games, team activities and loads of fun.
Sessions are designed to BootCampLogo2
keep you motivated in a small and safe group environment with the personal attention of a trainer. Individuals, groups and corporate sessions are all available. Boot Camp – targeting fitness and fun for everyone!Boot-Camp1

Starts:   6th October (5 week course
Ends:     5th November
Days:     Tues and Thurs

Time:    6-7a
Venue: Boambee Bay & South Sawtell Headland
Price:      Re-enlistees      $159 for 10 sessions
Members           $179 for 10 sessions
Guests               $199 for 10 sessions

Contact Glen Barnett, Personal Training Manager on 0411 037 097 to reserve your spot today!
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Attack That Summer Swimsuit!
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Spring is the perfect time to work on your health and fitness as the warmer weather gets you motivated and inspired to get back on track before summer. 
Why not try a class that is guaranteed to get you fitter, stronger, leaner and healthier? 
ATTACK is the high energy sports inspired cardio class that builds strength and stamina and it is on our Toormina timetable on Wednesdays at 6.30pm, Thursdays at 9.30am, Fridays at 5.30pm and Saturdays at 8.30am.  It will also be on our Moonee timetable after we open on September 19!
There are options to suit everyone so that you can work within your limits and succeed. Give it a try today!
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Pamper Dad With 25% Off Massage This Fathers Day!
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Here are a few quick massage facts…
~ Did you know that by massaging and pulling on the top, middle and bottom of your outer ear lobes once per day, you can improve your immune system?
~ Did you know that massage stimulates the release of endorphins which are the body’s natural pain killers?
~ Did you know that having a 60 minute massage can provide the same benefits as 7-8 hours of sleep for your body?Massage sessions are so popular that we now offer massage Monday to Sunday! To help you pamper dad this Fathers Day we are offering 25% OFF. That’s a huge saving of $15!

BOOK NOW by calling 6658 6222 or dropping in to reception and we will have it ready for you tied with a bright red ribbon!
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Is Pain or Injury Holding You Back from Achieving Your Health Goals?

physio-enewsAre you like the majority of people who try to ignore their niggling injuries and hope they’ll go away?  Or are you using them as an excuse to sit on the couch rather than get out and get moving?  

The good news for you is that there’s now even greater availability for physio appointments at Coffs Coast MedFit! In response to the growing demand from our members, the physio team from Mid North Coast Physio are now available four days per week to make sure our members can get the best appointment for their lifestyle.  Why go anywhere else when you can see a physio within the club and get the right advice to get you back working out ASAP – they can also advise your trainer or group exercise instructor on how to help you on your rehab journey. 
And DON’T FORGET you can take advantage of their special offer for SPRING! All new clients get to have a FREE pre-assessment to find out what is wrong and what they can do to help.  This means you get to access their skills and knowledge for free to create a plan to return to full fitness quickly.
To make an appointment with the physio team at Coffs Coast MedFit call 1300 27 37 47.

Short Term Workout Options for Friends & Family!
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Do you have friends or family that are in town during the school holidays? Would you like to save them some money & get them working out with you? Well due to popular demand we are now offering some short term workout options for them…

Single Visit – adult only $15, student or baby boomer only $10, incl access during all supervised hours.
Week Pass – adult only $29, student or baby boomer only $19, incl access during all supervised hours.
Simply see reception or call 6658 6222 to take advantage of these offers for a limited time.

Click here for more information on membershippersonal trainingweight lossmassage therapyrehabilitationgroup exercisechildmindingprivileges card & fitness careers or call us on 6658 6222 for more help.

Invite your friends for a FREE TRIAL & grab yourself a new training buddy!

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Sincerely, 

Your CCHC Team

 
 



 
 
 
 

 
 

 

 

Coffs Coast Health Club talks about Lunch Box Nutrition

February 9, 2012
Lunch box nutritionHealthy, no-fuss lunches

Lunch box nutrition

Pack a school lunch with a healthy punch for your kids with these healthy lunch box tips and lunch recipes that beat cheese and vegemite sandwiches any day.

Making lunch every day of the school year can be tiresome for mothers (and kids) so remember to mix up your menus and keep trying out fresh ideas to keep your child interested in the healthy treats you’re tucking inside their lunch box.

Sandwiches can get very boring, but you can mix things up by using lebanese bread, wraps, rice cakes, English muffins, crispbreads and cracker biscuits with a mix of nutritious fillings. Why not try:

  • A sliced boiled egg wrapped in cling wrap along with some lettuce leaves to build your sandwich when you are ready to eat it
  • Leftover roast meat with grated carrot, chopped lettuce and chutney or tomato sauce
  • Grated cheese and chopped celery, or carrot
  • Cream cheese and sultanas

 

Healthy lunch box idea: Corn pikelets recipe

These wholemeal corn pikelets will jazz up any lunch box.  Whether they’re for recess or the main event, these fibre-rich pikelets taste great, and give children the energy they need to power through the school day.

These corn pikelets are great for breakfast or just anytime you need a nutritious snack. You can triple the batch and freeze some for later.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 cup wholemeal self-raising flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • butter to fry and spread

Method:

In a bowl, whisk together flour, egg and milk to make a batter.

Stir in corn kernels.

Heat frying pan and add 2 teaspoons of butter. When sizzling, drop in tablespoons of mixture.

Turn over and cook the other side.

Spread with butter.

Notes

  • This batter is best used straight away.
  • You can make a larger batch of these and freeze them for later.
  • I tried using margarine to spread on these and I have to say that the butter tasted so much better.
  • For a sweeter taste add 2 tsp of honey. Reduce the milk a touch to compensate for the extra liquid.
  • This recipe was created by Jennifer Cheung for Kidspot, Australia’s best recipe finder.

Healthy lunch box idea: Mini quiches with hidden veg recipe

Do your kids love quiche in their lunch box, but you shudder at the fat levels? These cute mini quiches are fast, full of protein and bursting with (sneakily hidden) veggies. Even better, you can use last night’s leftover vegetables to fill them.

These cheesy mini quiches will be popular with your kids – and they need never know that they are packed full of healthy vegetables that have been pureed and sneakily hidden in the egg and cheese mixture. Yum!

Serving Size:

Makes 24 mini quiches

Special Info:

Nut free

Ingredients:

  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ½ cup mashed potato
  • ½ cup mashed or pureed carrot
  • 1 cup grated tasty cheese

Method:

Place pastry sheets on a work surface to defrost for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 180°C.

Select a 24 small hole cup cake pan or 2 x 12 hole pan. Cut 12 holes from each pastry sheet with a scone cutter that is slightly larger than the holes. Carefully push pastry circles into pan (no need to grease). Divide cheese between pastry cases. Whisk eggs and milk together in a jug, then whisk in the mashed vegetables. Pour egg mixture into pastry cases to just below the top. Keep whisking the mixture to make sure the vegies are evenly distributed. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden.

Notes

  • These are a version of Messy cheese pies with the added bonus of hidden leftover mashed vegetables. I had potato and carrot in the fridge, but you could use other yellow/orange vegetables (pureed pumpkin, sweet potato, corn, yellow zucchini)
  • Mini quiches freeze well; just reheat in the oven to make sure the pastry is crisp.
  • Recipe created by Melissa Hughes for Kidspot.

Healthy lunch box idea: Vegetable and chicken sausage rolls recipe

 

Hot or cold, these chicken and vegetable sausage rolls will disappear out of the lunch box in minutes. Deceptively nutritious, these sausage rolls combine kid-friendly flavours with hidden vegetables, protein, fibre – and even omega-3. Beat that for a healthy school lunch.

Ingredients:

  • 8 Pre-prepared frozen puff pastry sheets
  • 1kg chicken mince
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons LSA, (a mix of ground linseed, sunflower and almond kernels), optional
  • 1 cup flaked quinoa or amaranth, optional
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1kg vegetables
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 egg for brushing pastry, cracked and mixed lightly

Method:

Pre-heat your oven on high (around 210°C).

Chop up all the vegetables as small and fine as you can.

In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients except for the puff pastry and the extra egg (which will be used to brush the pastry). Massaging all of the ingredients together can be the best way to make sure they are well combined.

After the puff pastry is defrosted, cut a sheet in half and lay in front of you as a long rectangle.

Using a tablespoon lay out the sausage roll mix in a long line at the bottom of the sheet, just remembering not to make it too thick. Keep in mind you will need to roll the puff pastry over the sausage roll mix so that there are two layers of pastry overlapping by at least 1cm.

Before rolling up the mix in the pastry, brush some egg as ‘glue’.  Keep the roll whole, brush with more egg on top and place on a tray with baking paper.  Keep in the fridge.  Repeat this process until all of the mix is used up.

With a sharp, thin bladed knife, cut the logs of sausage rolls into smaller pieces. Each roll makes 7 or 8 bite sized sausage rolls.

Lay each piece 2cm apart on a tray lined with baking paper.  Don’t try and squeeze too many on one tray as they will steam rather than bake and you won’t get a golden colour from the pastry.

Bake on high for 15min, until the pastry starts to golden then turn the oven down to 180°C.

Depending on the strength of your oven, you may need to move trays around from top to bottom and keep an eye on the bottom of the sausage rolls that they don’t become too dark.

Notes:

  • The trick is to keep the size of the vegetables in the sausage rolls as small as possible – bring out the food processor from the cupboard if need be!
  • Adding LSA (a mix of ground linseed, sunflower and almond kernels) which is high in fibre, protein and Omega 3 makes these far healthier than most sausage rolls, along with adding quinoa flakes rather than just breadcrumbs which is high in fibre and protein.
  • The following vegetables work well in these sausage rolls: onions, garlic, carrots, celery, zucchini, mushrooms, broccoli, eggplant, corn, peas, leek amd spinach.
  • You can also use the following but they will need to be boiled first so they are soft – sweet potato, celeriac and pumpkin.
  • This makes a big batch (over 100 small pieces) so you can freeze them and bring them out at times when you don’t feel like cooking but want your kids to have vegetables.
  • This recipe was created by Sonia Anthony from Chef Sonia & You for Kidspot, Australia’s best recipe finder.

7 Secrets of Low-Stress Families

January 28, 2012

What did researchers see when they spied on every living, breathing moment of 32 families for four days straight?

With the school year about to kick off we thought you might need some help in the family “stress” department.  Of course you know that working out at Coffs Coast Health Club helps to reduce your stress levels, add to that  some other strategies that might just come in handy.  Best of wishes this week as your children start the 2012 school year.

It was the first experiment of its kind: Thirty-two California families opened their doors (their front doors, bedroom doors, even bathroom doors) to researchers from UCLA who wanted to find out how they manage the demands of work and family life. With a three-person crew, researchers occupied families’ homes for four days from morning until bedtime, recording every minute spent folding laundry, every homework panic, every dinner table dispute about the yuckiness of vegetables. The researchers conducted interviews with each of the family members and measured their stress levels throughout the day. The families were studied between 2002 and 2005; each had two working parents, two or more children, and a mortgage — a profile that looks like many American households. “When I observed these families, I felt like I was looking in at my own life,” says lead researcher Tami Kremer-Sadlik, Ph.D., director of research at UCLA’s Center on the Everyday Lives of Families. “I’m a working mom with two children, and I could identify with the women we studied who reported feeling pressed for time and who were trying to balance work and family demands.” But among those stressful moments, researchers also saw the key instances of warmth and love that make great families. And as Kremer-Sadlik and other female researchers who had their own families found out, getting a glimpse into the lives of other families gives us a unique perspective on how to better take care of our own. Use what they learned to calm stress and create joy in your house.

1. Low-stress couples don’t divvy up the chores.
For one part of the project, Kremer-Sadlik and a colleague studied how couples’ division of housework was connected to their marital satisfaction. “Surprisingly, it didn’t matter how evenly couples split up the chores,” Kremer-Sadlik says. “We found that both spouses were happier when both felt like they were working toward the same goal, regardless of who did more” (and women did more across the board). “The women in happy marriages told us that their spouses seemed to have an understanding of what needed to be done. We observed their husbands setting the table while their wife was cooking, or straightening up without being told what to do.” Sound too good to be true? Know that just talking about your joint mission for the family can eliminate much of the “keeping score” conflict. “The happy couples often discussed their shared goals for their family,” she says. “There was more of a we-ness there — and that spilled over into chores. Their attitude was more, ‘We do for our family,’ not, ‘I do this for you.’” But with two working parents’ and children’s schedules to coordinate, researcher Darby Saxbe, Ph.D., a 33-year-old mom from Los Angeles, observed many couples communicating only about who needed to do what. “It felt like they were running a business!” Saxbe says. “Squeezing in little moments of fun with your partner — whether you steal a quick kiss or exchange a joke — makes a difference.” And researchers noticed that in some homes where the wives expressed more appreciation, the husbands also took on more household tasks.

2. Low-stress families find small moments of togetherness.
Every mom fantasizes about taking the perfect family vacation or spending a blissed-out day with her husband and kids. But real-life bonding time is made up of much smaller events. “I think a lot of us have this idea that we need to create big moments of togetherness, but we saw so many times that families had opportunities to connect throughout the day that they weren’t aware of,” Kremer-Sadlik says. Those small moments might be the 10 minutes you spend braiding your daughter’s hair or your time spent cheering on your son at his Little League game. “I remember one moment when a daughter and mom were folding laundry, and the daughter stuck her foot in a sock and challenged her mom to find her foot among the pile of laundry,” she recalls. “It was a loving moment of laughing and playing around in the midst of daily life.”

Belinda Campos, Ph.D., whose focus in the study was family relationships, noticed the same thing. “There’s this cultural ideal of wanting to carve out quality time,” says the 36-year-old from Irvine, CA. “But many families overlooked the daily stuff that keeps you connected.” One example was the way families reacted when dads came home from work. “There were two types of behaviors among the families: those where the wives and children greeted the dad with a warm hello, and those where the children never got up from their video games and the wives greeted Dad with logistics like, ‘Did you pick up the chicken for dinner?’” Campos says. “But those seconds after Dad walked in the door may have shaped his mood for the night. It’s such a small thing; that’s the moment to acknowledge that a person is coming into a place where he matters.”

3. Low-stress parents are role models — not pals.
Treating your partner with respect is not only good for your marriage — it also actually affects the whole family dynamic. “When spouses showed patience and support, as opposed to being impatient, sarcastic, or critical, their children were more respectful toward them, and the smoother the households ran,” Kremer-Sadlik says of her findings from a previous study. “Their mini goals throughout the day, such as getting dinner on the table or finishing homework, ran more smoothly and more pleasantly.” The same was true for parents who set the rules for the kids, as opposed to those who let their children help make the decisions. “When parents delegated chores to their children, rather than asking them which chores they wanted to do, there were fewer tantrums and arguments,” Campos says. “There was still affection and humor in homes where parents were the bosses, but there was never a question of who was in charge.”

4. Low-stress moms make dinner from scratch.
Believe it or not, using processed convenience foods for dinner doesn’t actually save you cooking time. That’s what really surprised 39-year-old mom and researcher Margaret Beck, whose focus for the study was food preparation. “All the families spent roughly one hour preparing dinner, whether they used processed foods or fresh ingredients,” she says. The moms who prepared more convenience foods tended to overcompensate by having more courses — either side dishes or separate meals for the kids — which wasted time. And if you want your children to eat what’s on the table: “The kids who assisted in the food preparation always ate what was served,” Beck says. “And the mood in the house was lighter and happier when the kids spend cooking time in the kitchen.” Talk about a win-win!

5. Low-stress moms take five minutes of me time.
There’s a secret to being fully present and enjoying family life after a demanding day at work: “The findings suggested that when women unwound alone for 5 or 10 minutes, it set a positive tone for the rest of the night,” says researcher Shu-wen Wang, a 28-year-old mom from Los Angeles who helped review more than 1,540 hours of footage. “Moms reported unwinding by exercising, gardening, or having a candy bar — not that I recommend that last approach! I always felt selfish taking time for me, especially after working all day, but this study proved to me how healthy it is for moms and their families.”

6. Low-stress families watch TV together.
If you feel guilty every time your family plops in front a television after a long day rather than doing something more interactive, don’t sweat it. “Families who watched TV together showed many bonding behaviors,” Campos says. “Bonding can be sharing snacks, high-fiving each other if the Lakers score a basket, or guessing trivia questions together during Jeopardy!” Even sitcoms can bring you closer. “When families laugh together during a TV show, that’s a shared moment they have in common, and it creates a memory,” she says. So on days where you just can’t muster the energy to recruit the kids for crazy 8’s or kickball in the yard, know that a little TV time can be good for your family too.

7. Low-stress families embrace daily rituals.
“I used to believe that spontaneity and excitement were what kept couples connected, but it’s truly the routine and continuity that set the foundation for making family relationships thrive,” Wang says. “Whether it was a couple sitting down at the end of the day with a cup of coffee or parents reading a bedtime story to their children, these little moments are what make family life so comforting and kept couples close.” Sometimes, the mad-dash moments seem to define our days, but “it’s only when we find moments to slow down that we can fully appreciate those everyday moments that make a family,” Saxbe says. “I remember watching a mom kissing her son and tucking him into bed. The son responded, ‘I want another kiss, Mommy!’ So the mom kissed him again. They repeated this five or six times — it was so sweet! Watching this made me appreciate how lucky I am to have a family I care about and how I how important it is to cherish these little moments of love when they come along.”

Originally published on September 13, 2010 http://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/seven-secrets-of-low-stress-families

The Benefits of a Good Nights Sleep

January 22, 2012

6 Surprising Sleep Wreckers

Do you wake up in the morning feeling more tired than you did when you went to bed? If so, something is disturbing your sleep. But do you know what it is?

Some reasons for sleep loss are obvious — espresso nightcaps, wailing newborns, and insensitive neighbors playing the drums. But the causes of sleep loss aren’t always so clear.

“People often don’t have any idea what’s disturbing their sleep,” says Thomas Roth, PhD, director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. “There’s a lot of misattribution. They assume it’s one thing, but it’s actually something else entirely.”

Why such confusion?  “People often wake up in the night without realizing it,” Roth tells WebMD. “You can be awake one or two minutes at a time in the night and you won’t remember it the next day.”

While some of these unremembered wake-ups are normal, too many will leave you chronically exhausted. And many common causes of sleep loss result in just this sort of brief, hard-to-catch awakening — making it even harder to sort out the cause.

Here are six surprising causes of disturbed sleep.

Sleep Wrecker 1: Pets in Bed

While lots of people let their pets snuggle in bed with them for comfort, evidence suggests that animals in bed make it harder to sleep.

According to a survey by the Mayo Clinic Sleep Disorders Center, 53% of people who sleep with pets say that their animals disturb their sleep. Animals just don’t have the same sleep and wake cycles that we do. So 3 a.m. to your cat might seem like an excellent time to start pouncing on your feet. Even more subtle disturbances — the clanking of the tags on your animal’s collar as it shuffles around — can wake you up.

If you’re feeling chronically exhausted, take a break from the interspecies slumber parties to see if it makes a difference with your disturbed sleep.

“Really, there are other places for your dog to sleep besides your bed,” says Jodi A. Mindell, PhD, professor of psychology at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and author of Sleep Deprived No More.  If you can’t bear to kick your pets out of the bedroom, which is the ideal, at least set up a new spot for them on the floor.

Sleep Wrecker 2: Alcohol and Nightcaps

As a cause of sleep loss, this is often a surprise to people. Doesn’t drinking make you drowsy? Isn’t that why people have nightcaps? Isn’t that why college parties always end with everyone passed out on the floor?

But the body’s response to alcohol is more complicated than you might think. “Alcohol affects the rhythm of sleep,” says Mindell. “It acts as a sedative at first, but then a few hours later when blood alcohol level drops, it will wake you up again.”

To prevent your glass of wine from waking you up later, stop drinking two to three hours before bedtime.

Sleep Wrecker 3: Undiagnosed GERD

People who have GERD — gastroesophageal reflux disorder — often find the nights difficult. Once they’re lying down, the acid can back into the esophagus, causing heartburn and pain. Some try to sleep propped up on pillows to cope.

“Acid reflux is a biggie when it comes to disturbed sleep,” says Ronald Kramer, MD, a spokesperson for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and specialist at the Colorado Sleep Disorders Center in Englewood, Colo. “Whenever I see a person with sleep problems, I always screen for it.”

What you might not know is that GERD doesn’t always cause such dramatic symptoms. Some people might only have one constant symptom: disturbed sleep.

“Even if you rarely have pain, the acid can still be waking you up at night,” says Kramer. GERD can cause other nondescript symptoms too, like chronic cough. If you have GERD that’s interrupting your sleep, getting treated for it is important. Not only will treatment help you sleep, but it will reduce the risk of serious health problems later.

Sleep Wrecker 4: Medicine, Vitamins, and Supplements

Some of the most common causes of disturbed sleep are in your medicine cabinet, but you might not suspect them at all. Common drugs, like steroids for asthma and beta-blockers for high blood pressure or heart problems, can keep you up at night.

Despite being called “narcotics,” so can opioid drugs for pain. While they relieve pain quickly — and can make you feel drowsy in the process — they can also lead to sleep apnea.

Botanical supplements can cause sleep loss, too. Supplements like ginseng and guarana are stimulants. Even vitamins aren’t free of risk.

“Vitamins B6 or B12 can give people vivid dreams, and that can wake people up,” says Mindell. “It’s much better to use those in the morning.”

If you’re having chronic sleep problems, go to your doctor with a list of all the medicines, vitamins, and supplements that you use. Ask if any of them could be causing your sleep problems.

Sleep Wrecker 5: Pain — Even Mild Pain

Just about any painful condition can cause disrupted sleep. Headaches, back pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and menstrual pain are all common causes.

What you might not realize is that the pain doesn’t even have to be particularly severe to cause sleep loss. In fact, it doesn’t even have to wake you up.

Pain signals sent out by your body can fragment your sleep, reducing the amount of time you spend in deep, restorative sleep. You might not wake up, but your sleep will be less restful.

“People with chronic pain often wake up feeling more tired than they were when they went to bed,” says Roth.

Even if you have only mild chronic pain, it’s worth checking it out with a doctor.

Sleep Wrecker 6: Being Exhausted — as Opposed to Sleepy

Here’s a common scenario. You come home from a long day at work, completely exhausted.  You stumble into the bedroom, fully expecting that as soon as your head hits the pillow, you’ll be out.

But somehow, that’s not what happens.  45 minutes later, you’re still staring at the ceiling. What’s gone wrong?

“Contrary to what people think, being exhausted doesn’t necessarily make people sleep better,” says Roth. “There’s actually a big difference between being exhausted and being sleepy.” Roth points out that if you ran 50 miles and then dropped down in bed, you would unquestionably be exhausted. However, your body might be far too revved up to sleep.

Regardless of how worn out you feel, always take some time to unwind. “Don’t rush to bed after a stressful day,” says Roth. Instead, spend some time sitting quietly first. It could save you lots of tossing and turning later.

Or Is It a Sleep Disorder?

Of course, you could also have an undiagnosed sleep disorder, one of the common but hardly surprising wreckers. About 40 million people in the U.S. suffer from sleep disorders, conditions that can seriously interfere with the quality of your rest.

For instance, periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD) causes your legs to jerk rhythmically while you’re asleep, disturbing restful sleep. Sleep apnea causes snoring and brief interruptions in your breathing, which can also wake you from deep sleep.

Since these conditions only manifest themselves when you’re asleep, you might not know you have the symptoms. Many people have sleep disorders for years before they’re diagnosed.

Or your partner may have the sleep disorder — disturbing your sleep as well.

“If your spouse is snoring and kicking in the night, neither of you are going to sleep well,” says Mindell.

There are plenty of other causes of disturbed sleep — a bedroom that is too hot or too cold, shades that don’t block enough light, noises that can be muffled by a sound machine, hot flashes during menopause. Figuring out what might help can take some trial and error.

The important thing is to take action. If you’re having trouble sorting out what could be causing your disrupted sleep, ask your doctor or schedule an appointment at a sleep clinic.

You should also take time to think more seriously about sleep and how much you’re getting. Do you need four or five cups of coffee to get through a typical day? Do you always have to sleep in on the weekends? Do you tend to fall asleep immediately as soon as you get into bed? Those are typical signs of sleep deprivation, says Roth.

“People learn about nutrition and exercise in grade school, but nobody teaches us anything about the importance of sleep,” says Roth. “As a society, we need to accept that better sleep has to be a priority.”

WebMD Feature

By R. Morgan Griffin

Reviewed By Marina Katz, MD

Menopause weight gain: Stop the middle age spread

January 15, 2012

Most women gain weight as they age, but excess pounds aren’t inevitable. To minimize menopause weight gain, step up your activity level and enjoy a healthy diet.

By Mayo Clinic staff

As you get older, you may notice that maintaining your usual weight becomes more difficult. In fact, the most profound weight gain in a woman’s life tends to happen during the years leading up to menopause (perimenopause). Weight gain after menopause isn’t inevitable, however. You can reverse course by paying attention to healthy-eating habits and leading an active lifestyle.

What causes menopause weight gain?

The hormonal changes of menopause may make you more likely to gain weight around your abdomen, rather than your hips and thighs. Hormonal changes alone don’t necessarily trigger weight gain after menopause, however. Instead, the weight gain is usually related to a variety of lifestyle and genetic factors.

For example, menopausal women tend to exercise less than other women, which can lead to weight gain. In addition, muscle mass naturally diminishes with age. If you don’t do anything to replace the lean muscle you lose, your body composition will shift to more fat and less muscle — which slows down the rate at which you burn calories. If you continue to eat as you always have, you’re likely to gain weight.

For many women, genetic factors play a role in weight gain after menopause. If your parents or other close relatives carry extra weight around the abdomen, you’re likely to do the same. Sometimes, factors such as children leaving — or returning — home, divorce, the death of a spouse or other life changes may contribute to weight gain after menopause. For others, a sense of contentment or simply letting go leads to weight gain.

How risky is weight gain after menopause?

Weight gain after menopause can have serious implications for your health. Excess weight increases the risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. In turn, these conditions increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. Excess weight also increases the risk of various types of cancer, including colorectal cancer and breast cancer. In fact, some research suggests that gaining as little as 4.4 pounds (2 kilograms) at age 50 or later could increase the risk of breast cancer by 30 percent.

What’s the best way to prevent weight gain after menopause?

There’s no magic formula for preventing — or reversing — weight gain after menopause. Simply stick to weight-control basics:

  • Move more. Aerobic activity can help you shed excess pounds or simply maintain a healthy weight. Strength training counts, too. As you gain muscle, your body burns calories more efficiently — which makes it easier to control your weight. As a general goal, include at least 30 minutes of physical activity in your daily routine and do strength training exercises at least twice a week. If you want to lose weight or meet specific fitness goals, you may need to increase your activity even more.
  • Eat less. To maintain your current weight — let alone lose excess pounds — you may need about 200 fewer calories a day during your 50s than you did during your 30s and 40s. To reduce calories without skimping on nutrition, pay attention to what you’re eating and drinking. Choose more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Opt for lean sources of protein. Don’t skip meals, which may lead you to overeat later.
  • Seek support. Surround yourself with friends and loved ones who’ll support your efforts to eat a healthy diet and increase your physical activity. Better yet, team up and make the lifestyle changes together.

The bottom line? Successful weight loss at any stage of life requires permanent changes in diet and exercise habits. Take a brisk walk every day. Try a yoga class. Trade cookies for fresh fruit. Share restaurant meals with a friend. Commit to the changes and enjoy a healthier you!

Excuses for NOT exercising…

January 8, 2012

Dog ate my shoes

Excuses
Get moving… exercise helps increase energy levels so stop dozing, get up and go. Photo: Newscom

For every excuse for not exercising, personal trainers have a compelling answer, writes Kayte Nunn.

We all have reasons why we can’t take better care of our bodies, whether it’s time, our ”situation”, an old injury or that we don’t know where to start. But the people who make their living helping us to work out have heard all the excuses and none of them stand up to scrutiny. We asked three personal trainers how they combat some of the most common – and creative – excuses.

IT’S MY SITUATION

I’m too tired

The owner of Vision Personal Training in Sydney, Matt Malouf, says once he has established this excuse is genuine (and not just laziness), ”I’d find out if they are getting enough sleep and where they are spending their energy. Are they stressed? Once you get into a good exercise routine, the endorphin release will boost your energy levels and give you that spark you’re after.”

I have no time

”I’d aim to understand where they are spending their time, then work out a way of fitting exercise in,” Malouf says. Even if it’s when you’d usually be asleep, or in a few blocks of spare time during the day. ”We all have the same time but it’s how we choose to spend our time.”

I can’t afford it

”There are plenty of things you can do for free or within a limited budget,” says holistic lifestyle and exercise coach Chris Jones of Primal Movement, based in Brookvale. ”You’ve just got to include some level of movement in your daily habits. If someone wants specialist help, then they’ve got to question, ‘Can I afford not to do it?’ People tend to find plenty of money for their coffees and wine.”

I travel so much, I can’t keep a regular schedule

”There are many exercises you can actually do in your hotel room and plenty of hotels have pretty good gyms these days,” says personal trainer Nicky Greenlees, who runs Babes with Babes on Sydney’s northern beaches. ”Even in your hotel room, you can do body-weight exercises, use some water bottles, a Yellow Pages … Get on the net and find some exercises on YouTube or see a personal trainer for ideas.

”Most people don’t do enough stretching, so this can be a good time to do that, too.”

I’M CLUELESS

I don’t know where to start

”Just start moving,” Malouf says. ”Go for a walk around the block.” If you join a gym or personal training studio, see a trainer; they should design a program based on your starting level.”

I don’t have the right gear or clothes

It doesn’t have to be complicated, Malouf says. ”A pair of shoes and any kind of comfortable clothing is suitable to exercise in.”

IT’S MY BODY

It makes me feel sick

You don’t have to exercise until you feel sick. ”Take the intensity down,” Greenlees says. ”Working at the lactic threshold [when the going starts to become extremely tough] is not something that has to be done all the time. Exercise is meant to be enjoyable.”

I get too sore

Jones says ”often people are not getting to bed on time or [don’t] have their nutrition right”. If you have a lot of stress in your life and your nutrition is poor, then it’s harder for your body to recover properly and you suffer more with muscle soreness, he says. The answer is to ensure you are eating good-quality food and ”ensure sufficient rest and recovery periods are built in”.

I have bad knees

”Whether it’s a new injury or an ongoing problem, I’d refer them to a physio and work with their health professional in planning an exercise program,” Malouf says. ”There’s always something we can do – we can focus on upper-body or core training. Cycling can rehabilitate but sometimes, depending on the injury, it can do more damage.”

My boobs are too big

”Get yourself a good sports bra and double- or triple-layer this with a crop top or a sports top with an internal bra,” Greenlees says. If chafing is a problem, there are some good anti-chafing products on the market.

I’m pregnant

”Unless you’ve been advised by your doctor not to, light exercise is actually a really good idea to help you through your pregnancy,” Greenlees says. ”Just don’t start doing anything new or overexert yourself,” she says. ”Yoga for pregnancy is great and it’s also important to keep your strength up. Staying fit also really helps with recovery from the birth.”

I’ve just had a baby

”There are fantastic classes available where you can exercise with your baby, or classes that offer babysitting,” Greenlees says. ”Exercising after you’ve had a baby has been shown to help with postnatal depression and it’s a good way of giving you some time out.”

I’m not fat; I don’t need to

For Jones, it’s not about fat. ”We encourage people to think bigger picture, to set goals other than fat loss. There are also lots of skinny people who aren’t very healthy.”

IT’S MY MIND

It’s boring

”The best exercise program is the one you’ll do. Not everyone wants to go to the gym or to be a runner,” Jones says. ”Be creative and find something that you enjoy doing. Vary what you do so that it doesn’t become boring. If they’ve got good goals and get past the initial hurdle, most people will find they start to enjoy their success.”

I’ll start next month

Malouf is blunt. ”What will be different next month? What’s stopping you from starting now?”

http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/dog-ate-my-shoes-20111022-1md3l.html#ixzz1bZc9cQhn

Keeping your word in 2012

January 1, 2012
Here is some useful advice on making changes in your life.  You can do it “anytime” of the year but since we are clocking over a new year seems appropriate we talk about it today.  Firstly,  if you’ve deviated … don’t beat yourself up, just acknowledge it and get back on track.  Need some help,  just ask.   We at Coffs Coast Health Club are here for you & all your healthy resolutions!

Like starting a diet on a Monday, making a New Year’s resolution every year is something many of us do without much thought. As Shelly Horton discovers, if you are going to keep your pledge, you need to be smart about it.

American philosopher Elbert Hubbard said: ”Many people fail in life, not for lack of ability or brains or even courage but simply because they have never organised their energies around a goal.” What he meant was you can change your life, you can achieve your goals, it just takes work.

No one doubts the sentiment – or importance – of our most common New Year’s resolutions, whether losing 10 kilograms, reducing our alcohol intake, quitting smoking, exercising more or getting some balance in our lives. But why do they usually not work out?

Bad habits

Clinical psychologist Grant Brecht says most of us think making a New Year’s resolution is like pressing ”control alt delete” and rebooting our lives. ”They have become a ritual for us – but most are not thought through properly. As a result, most are broken within three to five days.

”It’s become a ritual to make a New Year’s resolution; we’ve done it for generations … it’s the one time in a year we spend a few micro-seconds on setting goals and our vision for the future,” Brecht says.

”People come up with the resolution with very little thought, often alcohol-fuelled, and they don’t go through goal setting in a strategic manner. These are knee-jerk reactions and a bit flippant, not actual goals.”

Follow through

”Most people don’t expect that they’ll follow through – if only think about it for a short period of time – then they only stick to it for three to five days post New Year’s Eve,” Brecht says.

But there are ways to make them stick. The first step is to call it a ”goal” instead of a ”resolution”, then think it through carefully. ”Spend the first couple of weeks of January jotting down your ideals and values,” Brecht says.

”Goal-setting has to be strategic and linked to our value set; we each have 50 to 60 real values, such as acceptance, gratitude, caring, success and so on. When we set goals, they need to be specific to our value base, otherwise they’re are not worth doing. It needs to make a difference and lead towards a more rich and fulfilling life.”

The best resolutions will affect your quality of life, Brecht says.

”They hit the ‘me’ and then the ‘we’. They are the most valuable sorts of goals you can set.”

Brecht recommends using a framework to help you set and stick to goals, such as the SMART criteria, because the more preparation and thought you put into it, the better chance you have of succeeding (see breakout box, left).

”The worst resolution is if you simply look in the mirror on New Year’s Eve and just say, ‘I want to lose some weight.’ That’s not really anything that you’re likely to stick to. Instead, make it ‘I need to be fit for life because I want stave off a heart attack and live longer, and looking good in a swimsuit is just a bonus,”’ Brecht says.

Be realistic

Setting fantasy goals is another bad idea. ”If you say, ‘I want to play tennis like Roger Federer,’ but you don’t have any natural skill and don’t want to practise much, you’re just setting yourself up for failure,” Brecht says.

Make sure you write down your goals, too. ”Keep them on your desk at work, on the fridge, beside your bed, wherever you can eyeball them so you don’t forget them,” Brecht says. ”It’s important to check in on your progress every couple of weeks.

Positive change

”But remain flexible. If you’ve deviated from your goal, don’t beat yourself up, just acknowledge it and get back on track. If you beat yourself up, you’ll demotivate yourself.”

You should also see goal-setting as a challenge, not a problem.

”When it’s a challenge, the energy flows in and we’re positive,” Brecht says.

”When it’s a problem, you tend to feel pessimistic about the past and say things like, ‘I’ve failed before, so why bother?’ If you’re positive, you are more inclined to get positive results.”

This year I’m going to …

”I never make them. I make resolutions all the time and action them immediately. I’m not waiting around until the first of January!”

Alex Perry, fashion designer.

Alex Perry

”To drink less and eat more apples!”

Matt Stafford, DJ and star of The Stafford Brothers on Fox 8.

”To finally crack it in the US market.”

Chris Stafford, The Stafford Brothers.

”In 2012 I’m determined to touch more people inappropriately. It seems silly not to at least make an effort.”

Julia Morris, comedian.

”My resolution is to write as many songs as possible and to learn French fluently!”

Casey Burgess, Hi-5.

Casey Burgess.

”After a few years of hard work this is my New Year’s resolution … more time with family, more time in the ocean, more time in the garden … my garden. I hope everyone gets to do the same.”

Jamie Durie, celebrity gardener.

”Drop the rest of my breakfast [radio] belly, finish writing my book and volunteer with Youth Off the Streets.”

Mieke Buchan, TV and radio presenter.

”Exercise more, eat less sugar and learn to chew my food properly.”

Toni Pearen, actor.

Toni Pearen

”Generally, I am always making new resolutions so I don’t save them for January. Currently, I am trying to run six kilometres a day. It is killing me.”David Campbell, singer.

”Reflect – put time aside every day to appreciate my job and how lucky I am.”

Dan Ewing, actor.

”To appreciate more and stress less. Oh, and I want to learn how to play the guitar.”

Harry Cook, actor.

”To be more patient. I’m even rushing myself to write the sentence! My wish for the world … is that kids are allowed to be kids and adults act like adults.”

Charli Robinson, radio and TV presenter.

”If I had to pick one thing it would have to be patience. I need more patience.”

Zoe Balbi, actor.

”To have continued success but my main resolution is to spend more time with my loved ones in the midst of jet-setting the country.”

Timomatic, singer-dancer.

”To take over the world – pretty easy to do, right? Oh, and to quit smoking – even easier to do!”

Josh Flinn, Australia’s Next Top Model mentor.

Josh Flinn.

SMART GOALS

S (Specific)

Your goal is well-defined and clear enough that anyone looking at it can understand what you want to do.

M (Measurable)

You’ll have a clear map of how you will achieve your goal – with concrete criteria for tracking your progress.

A (Achievable)

Make sure your goal is realistic and that you have the time and resources to achieve it. Share your goals with others, especially if you are enlisting help.

R (Relevant)

Is your goal really going to have a positive effect on your life? That’s crucial to how willing you will be to do the necessary hard work.

T (Time-based)

Give yourself a deadline. Create a timeline and make yourself accountable. Be practical – you can’t lose 20 kilograms in four weeks but you might be able to shed half a kilogram a week in 40 weeks.

Information sourced from The Sydney Morning Herald

http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/keeping-your-word-20111231-1pg01.html#ixzz1iCZOq3I9

Ask the Diet Doctor: The Real Deal on Detox and Cleanse Diets

December 27, 2011

This time of year a question that might be on our mind is should I start a detox and cleansing diet?  Here are some frequently asked questions and what Dr. Mike Roussell has to say about the idea of detoxing.  Coffs Coast Health Club throws open its doors tomorrow so if you really want a “detox” come and sweat out some of those toxins that have been building up over the holiday season.

“The Real Deal on Detox & Cleanse Diets”

By Mike Roussell, PhD

Detox and Cleanse Diets

Q: “What’s the real deal with detox and cleanse diets—good or bad?” —Toxic in Tennessee

A: Detox and cleanse diets are bad for a number of reasons: They waste your time and, depending on the duration and the level of restriction, they may do more harm to your health than good. One of the problems with ‘detoxes’ is that they are very vague—What toxins are being removed? From where? And how? These questions are rarely answered, because most detox plans lack any real scientific basis. In fact, I recently challenged a room of 90+ fitness professionals to show me any evidence in humans (not mice or in test tubes) that lemon detoxifies your liver, and no one could come up with anything.

When a client comes to me to detoxify or cleanse their system, it tells me that they’re not feeling good physically and maybe emotionally. To help them start feeling better, I work with them to reset three key areas of their body: focus, metabolism, and digestion. Here is what to do to optimize these three areas and why it matters:

1. Digestion
Your digestive track is a powerful system in your body that actually has its own nervous system. Alleviating digestive problems is one of the fastest ways to start feeling better.

What to do: Start removing potential allergenic foods from your diet such as wheat, dairy, and soy, while also taking a daily probiotic supplement. Focus on eating ample fruits & vegetables in addition to proteins (beans, eggs, meat, fish, etc) and a variety of oils. After 2-3 weeks, slowly add back gluten-, soy-, and dairy-containing foods one at a time; one new food type every 4-5 days is as fast as you want to go. Monitor how you feel as you add each of these foods back into your diet. If you start to have bloating or other gastrointestinal issues, this is a red flag that you might have an allergy or intolerance to one of these food types so keep it out of your diet moving forward.

2. Metabolism
Your body can store environmental toxins and metals in your fat cells. This is the only area that I think we can truly detoxify ( actually remove toxins from your system). By burning the fat stored in fat cells, you cause the fat cells to shrink. As a result the fat-soluble toxins are released.

What to do: When resetting your metabolism, don’t focus on restricting your calories, as we don’t want to depress your thyroid function. Instead focus on eating the nutrient-dense foods mentioned above and exercising at least 5 hours per week. The majority of that exercise should be high-intensity metabolic training (a few intense exercises repeated in a circuit with little to no rest to push the body to its absolute limit).

3. Focus
It’s not uncommon for me to find clients running around with empty energy stores, using caffeinated beverages to help them surge through meetings and long work days. Here’s why that’s bad: Relying too much on stimulants like caffeine wreaks havoc on your focus, sleep quality, and ability to optimize stress hormones.

What to do: Stop drinking caffeinated beverages altogether. This will cause headaches for the first couple days, but it passes. When you’re no longer hopped up on caffeine, it will become clear that you need to start getting better sleep at night. Make a deal with yourself to get 8 hours of sleep each night. This will also help with resetting your metabolism, as quality sleep is essential for optimizing weight-loss hormones like growth hormone and leptin.

Practicing mindfullness meditation is also important for resetting your focus. Research shows that people who regularly practice mindfullness meditation have a greater ability to focus on tasks and avoid distraction. You don’t need to go out and buy a meditation pillow so you can sit in the lotus position for hours each day. Just start with a simple 5-minute meditation. Sit and count your breaths, one to ten, repeat, and try to focus only on your breathing and not what’s on your to-do list. You’ll find that even 5 minutes is enough to make your feel rejuvenated. Make a goal of working up to 20 minutes 3 times per week.

A final note: Please don’t go on any crazy detox or cleanse plans. Try following these simple steps instead to reset your metabolism, focus, and digestive track for 3-4 weeks, and you’ll feel great, improve your health, and lose weight as a bonus!

Meet the Diet Doctor: Mike Roussell, PhD
Author, speaker, and nutritional consultant Mike Roussell, PhD is known for transforming complex nutritional concepts into practical eating habits that his clients can use to ensure permanent weight loss and long lasting health. Dr. Roussell holds a bachelor degree in biochemistry from Hobart College and a doctorate in nutrition from Pennsylvania State University. Mike is the founder of Naked Nutrition, LLC, a multimedia nutrition company that provides health and nutrition solutions directly to consumers and industry professionals via DVDs, books, ebooks, audio programs, monthly newsletters, live events, and white papers. To learn more, check out Dr. Roussell’s popular diet and nutrition blog, MikeRoussell.com.