What the fuck just happened to me…?

mytattoo

It seems a little bit strange to me that 24 hours after I had the words…

Success

Perseverance

Vision

Discipline

Love

Passion

Ambition

Energy

Inspiration and

courage

…tattooed onto my left forearm, that I fell into a complete and utter meltdown and none of these values were even present within me anymore.

You see – these are my values. The things that I live my life with and the things that I live my life for.

I’ve written before about living with anxiety – you can read about it on this blog somewhere in the past posts. I thought that after 10 years I had pretty much beaten it and got it under control. Until two days ago.

About 12 weeks ago (maybe more) I aggravated my already completely fucked up inflamed piriformis (a rotator muscle that lies within your glutes) by squatting my own body weight on a barbell on my back. Stupid right? I’ve been in pain with this for over a year and yet I’m still training through it. Yes, looking back, VERY STUPID. But when you look in the mirror and you see something different to what other people see, it is VERY difficult to stop training. For I feared that if I missed a days training I would end up like some sort of saggy old blimp! I know this is not true – yet I could not stop. The muscle became so inflamed that it was putting pressure on my sciatic nerve – cue sciatic pain and weird feelings in my leg.

Tried everything from Bowen Therapy to the usual icing and stretching. I’ve been having sports massage now for 4 weeks and although it is excruciatingly sore, I can definitely feel the benefits. I’ve been referred to an orthopedic surgeon but god knows how long that will take!

Time off work.

^^ Might as well have written HELL ON EARTH.

Having my classes covered by other instructors, my one to one clients moved into groups and taken by Lorraine (thank God for her by the way!) – I have sat on my arse for the best part of 3-4 weeks now. Stressing out my head about not exercising and not training my clients. Feeling useless, stupid and bored. There’s only so much writing you can do before even the sound of your own hands on the keyboard starts to get annoying!

Cue Tuesday night, ironically after having an exploding head tattooed on me – my head exploded. Not literally, thankfully!

The headache is the worst. It feels as though someone is sitting on my eyebrows hitting my on the temples with a mallet. I’m dizzy and light headed and I keep forgetting things. Like whole days. I taught three of my classes on Wednesday night past, and I can only remember teaching two of them. Freak out! I’ve lost my appetite, I’m sleeping day and night and I have pretty much lost all motivation for every-fucking-thing. My IBS is the worst it’s been in years – until it settles I won’t go far from home. I was in Sainsburys yesterday afternoon and couldn’t remember how or when I’d even got there. It can be frightening!

^ ^ This is anxiety and this is what some people live with day in, day out. Fortunately, I know that this will pass – and I have the tools and mindset to not let it go on for much longer, I hope. I also know that sometimes you have just got to ride the storm. Things that help for me:

> Forcing myself to be around people…so I sat in a cafe yesterday for an hour even though I didn’t want to.

> Cups of tea with real milk and real sugar, because it comforts me

> Sleeping – LOADS. Which I have been doing

> Writing it down. So that when I look back in a few days time I can laugh it off.

> Exercise.

Fuck. I can’t exercise! Stupid hip injury! So this is why my anxiety has flared up MAJORLY. Exercising, believe it or not, is my drug of choice for my anxiety disorder. Remove it and I suppose it’s like taking someone off their anti-depressant medication without the phasing it out part. Lethal!

So tonight, I’m going to get back to exercise, and listen to my body when it says it’s had enough.

You’ve got to learn to listen to your body. Learn to listen to how your stress comes out. For me – it’s complete shut down mode. For you it could be ANYTHING. Upset stomachs, skin outbreaks, unexplained tiredness. I’m not a doctor so I can’t diagnose you with stress or anxiety. But what I can do is tell you that you have GOT to listen to your body. This is coming from someone who finds that very difficult!

I think I’ve managed to listen to mine before it got too late. I’ve slammed the brakes on now but you can be sure as hell that when my foot goes back on the accelerator – you better watch your back!

Rach 🙂

Even the doctor is bullshitting you…

This post is in response to the many comments, emails, Facebook status updates and forum comments regarding my Herbalife / Juice Plus blog of last week. (https://tryandstaypositive.wordpress.com/2014/05/17/my-uncensored-opinion-on-meal-replacement-diets/)

You may have seen the argument put up by Herbalife distributors that their products are endorsed by a “board of doctors – including the only doctor ever to receive a NOBEL PRIZE in medicine”. 

Well, let me tell you a little bit about Dr. Louis Ignarro. He turned his attention to Herbalife’s product “Niteworks” when he took to the stage in 2003 for the first time under Herbalife’s brand. This is the product he is responsible for – claiming it to reduce blood pressure, inhibit blood clots and strokes and protect against heart disease and diabetes type 2. Now, with this doctors’ absolutely glowing resume that without doubt boasts authority and trust (He is of course Professor of Pharmacology at UCLA’s Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology in Los Angeles) it goes without saying that the Herbalife distributors who were there to see him speak, took his words as the Holy Grail of nutritional supplements. 

What he didn’t tell them was the his product had NEVER BEEN TESTED ON HUMANS – only mice. Now, it doesn’t take a Nobel Prize winning doctor to assume that the only way to know if a product works on humans, is to test it on humans, right? 

What he didn’t tell them was that the key component of Niteworks (Argenine) is consumed every day in meat, fish, nuts and vegetables and the majority of the other ingredients occur naturally in our foods!

What he didn’t tell you was that he was promised a sum of $1MILLION in the first 12 months of the product release. His board agreed a royalty contract that even a Nobel prize winning doctor couldn’t knock back. All he had to do was endorse the product. 

What he didn’t tell you was that his entire medical fraternity turned their back on him when endorsing such an overpriced product (Costing US$90 per month). 

So – I’ll let you read that and make your mind up that yet again – you are being scammed, and bullshitted by Herbalife distributors into giving them your money in return for BULLSHIT products that you can get from eating REAL FOOD. 

What Dr. Ignarro fails to promote is the fact that EATING REAL FOOD lowers blood pressure, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, prevents obesity, lowers cholesterol, lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke, decreases risk of many cancers…. I COULD GO ON ALL DAY LONG. 

Some may say I am wasting my energy and time arguing my corner when it comes to meal replacement – but I don’t care. I will not stand back and watch large companies like this exploit people for their money. I will NOT stand back and watch personal trainers who should know better EXPLOIT their clients and put their health at risk when they should be educating them on real food. I will continue to stand for what I believe in and that is educating people on eating for health – with weight loss being a positive side effect of that.

I think that’s enough from me on your Sunday morning. PLEASE SHARE THIS. 

Rach x

My uncensored opinion on meal replacement diets

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Before I start. This isn’t an article for sensitive people, or people who can’t handle the truth. So if that’s you – don’t bother reading any further. If you want to learn something cool and take away some new information, keep reading. Okay here we go then!

Take a look at the healthy meals in the photo above. On the left is a Herbalife healthy meal and on the right is my own healthy meal. Now, I’m not sure about you but I sure as hell would choose the food over the powder. Here’s the thing – yes, I have very strong opinions on meal replacement diets (of which you are going to read in this article) but I’m not writing this to rant and rave, but rather to lay down the bare facts about what meal replacement diets actually do to your body and your mind when it comes to weight loss. I will be addressing two of the most prevalent in the industry just now – Herbalife and Juice Plus.

This past week alone I have received 4 training enquiries from women who are at their wits end with dieting. They’ve tried EVERYTHING – but what concerned me the most was their words about Herbalife. One said – “Recently I decided to try the Herbalife diet which has made me quite ill” and another “I’ve been on Herbalife but I haven’t lost any weight  – I just feel sick and starving all the time.”  Just so you know the basics – Herbalife’s guidance for weight loss is to replace two meals per day with their Formula 1 Healthy Meal replacement and eat one nutritionally balanced meal. That’s all it says. Now – if you’re like I was (before I became a trainer) – I would be sitting there thinking what the fuck is a nutritionally balanced meal?

So – what’s wrong with replacing meals with Herbalife Healthy Meal replacement powder? Well – firstly let’s take a look at the ingredients. I have selected their “French Vanilla” flavour for the purpose of this article. On the label it says “Formula 1 is a delicious healthy meal that provides a balance of protein and nutrition” – let’s get one thing straight here. Is it fuck a “healthy meal”!! It’s not a meal at all! So – French Vanilla flavour – here are the ingredients with some information about them.

Soy Protein – Denatured GMO (Genetically modified organisms) protein. Numerous artificial flavourings, particularly MSG (mono sodium glutamate – a flavour enhancer), are added to soy protein isolate.

Soy Lecithin – comes from sludge left after crude soy oil goes through a “degumming” process. It is a waste product containing solvents and pesticides and has a consistency ranging from a gummy fluid to a plastic solid. (Source: http://preventdisease.com/news/09/073009_soy_lecithin.shtml)

Corn Bran – another genetically modified organism

Carrageenan – is a toxic emulsifier – All Carrageenan is typically extracted using powerful alkaline solvents. Even at low doses, it has been found to destroy human cells and is linked to various human cancers and digestive disorders. It has also been found to impair human cell repair.

Artificial French Vanilla Flavouring – WOW – they even actually admit in the name – artificial. Enough said!

The above is just one of many Herbalife products littered with fructose, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavours, colours and plenty of genetically modified organisms. Any company that uses ANY of the ingredients listed above doesn’t care about your health. They care about their bottom line and that’s why they use these ingredients. The ingredients are cheap and easy to make into a sweet tasting drink that is addictive to the palate. There is no doubt about it that these ingredients are toxic to the human body.

In my opinion – there are two main reasons that you are tempted to buy products from companies such as Herbalife and Juice Plus.

  1. They promise to deliver you quick and measurable results – and they do!
  2. The distributers (or sales people) are often people of a trustworthy position. Your group fitness instructor, your local personal trainer or even your best friend or family member. Surely someone that you trust wouldn’t be selling you poison? Well I hate to break it to you darling, but you have just been what I like to call – bullshitted!

Oh and before I end this section – don’t give me your shite about Ronaldo taking Herbalife. Does he fuck! He gets paid bazillions to hold a shake and smile at a camera. Do you honestly think an elite athlete is going to create a toxic body? Nah – didn’t think so!

I would say don’t get me started on Juice Plus but then, that’s what this article is for! So who decided to package up your “five a day” in a little capsule? Before all you distributers hurl at me – but this is the easy way for the population to get their five a day, let me explain. For a start – our population should be getting 7 or 8 a day, but that’s for another article. Secondly,  a company who wishes to blend, dehydrate and force your five a day into a PILL instead of EDUCATING people on how to actually EAT their five a day – should in my honest opinion – be closed down. “Juice Plus+ has not been designed to replace real food because it is real food.” COME ON PEOPLE – let’s get REAL here! *Steam coming out ears*

Juice Plus also have a weight loss range (although this is cleverly marketed as their “Shape” range). If I were choosing a shake flavour, I would most likely opt for Chocolate – so here are the ingredients of the chocolate flavoured “Shape” meal replacement shakes:

Soy protein, fructose, inulin, rapeseed oil powder (rapeseed oil, maltodextrin), flavours, algae oil powder (glucose syrup, algae oil, modified starch, sodium ascorbate, sodium polyphosphate, sunflower oil, tri-calcium phosphate, emulsifiers: sunflower lecithin and mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids; natural flavouring, antioxidants: tocopherol-rich extracts and ascorbyl palmitate), soybean oil powder (soybean oil, maltodextrin), pea protein, lupin protein, thickener: guar gum; strawberry pieces (1%), beta-glucan yeast concentrate, mineral blend (calcium carbonate, magnesium carbonate, potassium citrate, sodium chloride, ferric pyrophosphate, zinc sulphate, copper sulphate, manganese chloride, potassium iodide, sodium selenite), anticaking agent: silicon dioxide; beetroot juice powder (beetroot juice concentrate, maltodextrin, acidity regulator: citric acid), acidity regulator: citric acid; glucose syrup, vitamin mix (vitamin C, niacin, vitamin E, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin B1, vitamin A, vitamin B2, biotin, folic acid, vitamin D, vitamin B12).

Holy actual shitballs on fire – 1% Strawberry pieces. That’s it. I’m SOLD! People – I give you – the most toxic meal on the planet. No wonder you’re losing weight – your body is literally crying out for food! How many of those ingredients do you recognise or can pronounce? This makes me so angry that I could go on forever but I think I have made my point.

The meal replacement diet cycle (let’s see how many of you can resonate with this).

Replace meals —> Feel hungry —> Over Eat —> Feel Guilty —> Start diet again —> feel hungry —> over eat —> Feel Guilty…

There is the word that makes me feel really sad. “GUILT”. Losing weight and getting your health back should be GUILT FREE. Long term dieting creates a negative mindset and this is NOT WHAT I STAND FOR. 

Meal replacement shakes are NOT a LONG TERM solution to your wellbeing, your health OR your weight. They are attractive because they offer a quick fix. Their marketing is clever and sucks you in. They are sold by people you know and trust (who will eventually try to get you to sell for them in order for them to make money off your sales). Don’t get sucked in. Have the confidence (and now the knowledge, hopefully!) to say NO to quick fixes, and know that there are genuine people out there (like me) who really are interested in YOU and YOUR HEALTH. If your personal trainer, group fitness instructor or friend are trying to sell you these products –  you have GOT to walk away. They are not interested in your health – they are interested in your money. You can fight this point all you like but the bottom line is that this is true. I have invested THOUSANDS of pounds into my nutrition education in order to bring you a trust worthy service that leaves you feeling awesome for LIFE.

My name is Rachael Watson and I am an advanced nutrition specialist, personal trainer, business owner and writer. I believe in educating people that you are more than just the food on your plate, the number on the scales, and what other people think about you. I will always be completely open and honest with you and will never ever bullshit you. Everything I tell you has a proven researched background which I am always more than happy to share with you. I work with dedicated, motivated women who want to feel empowered to make small changes that will have a big impact on their health and their weight. I am not interested in working with people who constantly make excuses for the way they feel and for that reason, I have an application process to work with me.

If you want to work with me to feel empowered to change the way you feel, and become more than just a number on the scales then shoot me an email to rachael@walkthetalkfitness.co.uk .

For my FREE e-book just enter your name and e-mail address here after clicking on this link:

https://walkthetalkfitness.activehosted.com/f/1

I work with women all over the world both in person and online – so logistics are not an issue. If you’re ready to take control over your health and your weight and want to know more – email me. Take the step. Walk the talk.

 

 

Jo’s Testimonial

Weight watchers, slimming world, diet pills, hundreds of exercise I’ve done em all to try n lose weight and they worked.
Temporarily then I gained what I lost and extra because I hadn’t actually learned about nutrition.
 
Bottom line is I ate sugar laden crap all the time and drank like a fish … Not just booze but diet fizzy drinks up to 6 times a day. 
 
Then one day I was getting ready for a night out ….. Nothing fitted, I felt terrible, bloated and hated pics of myself n thought it’s time to change. 
 
Along comes Rachael and her words of wisdom …….nutrition is key you cant exercise away a bad diet.
 
Boom it’s all changed it was tough at first but I’m a changed woman ….and a substantially skinnier woman !
 
I’ve more energy, I sleep better , my skin is better and to quote a work colleague “you’re unrecognisable” 
 
That’s good enough for me and I don’t go hungry 🙂 

 

The problem with Paleo (Part 1)

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Are you on the Paleo Diet? If I sign up with you, are you putting me
on the Paleo Diet? Are your clients on the Paleo Diet? 

No. No. No. No. NOOOOOO.

If I wanted you to go on the “Paleo Diet” – I would send you to the
“Whole30” website or some shit. I wouldn’t ask you to invest in 
my training if I was just going to shove some standard cookie cutter
program in your face and tell you to get on with it! If you don’t
know what the Paleo Diet is – just go here –http://thepaleodiet.com/

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t have a problem with paleolithic eating. 
Who could argue with eating only fresh, grass-fed, open range meat,
poultry and fish along with plentiful fruit, vegetables and good
oils like coconut oil and olive oil? I get it. It works. I’ve been
there, done that, got the T-Shirt – and IT WORKS! Hell, if we all
ate like this – then our country wouldn’t be in the epidemic of obesity
that we’re in, putting a massive strain on our health service and
economy! 

61.9% of people in Scotland are overweight or obese. 65% of men and 
58% of women in England are overweight or obese. 
ONE IN SIX CHILDREN IN SCOTLAND ARE AT RISK OF OBESITY!

I’ll just let those statistics sink in for one minute…

Let me put this into perspective for you. 
In 1995 – 52.4% of us in Scotland were overweight or obese. That’s
a 9.5% increase in the past 17 years. Imagine if this was to increase
at this rate??? I don’t need to say anymore. 

So, what is the problem with Paleo? Yes – it works. You lose weight,
you get healthier and then what happens? You plateau. The fat loss
stalls, and you’re sitting there with your head in your hands
wondering what the fuck to do next. You don’t have a coach or a 
trainer to ask what on earth is happening so you just revert back
to the way you were eating before. Right? RIGHT. I know this – because
I’ve done it! Nowhere does it mention portion sizes or macronutrient
breakdowns depending on YOUR GOALS and YOUR BODY. It just gives you
a list of foods to enjoy and says go eat them. In abundance. Yes,
the fat loss DOES happen – mostly because in the first few weeks
you’re sitting going “what the fuck can I eat” instead of actually
eating! 

If you want some cool recipe ideas – head over here and buy my new
cookbook – you’ll also be supporting my future editions so go now!

>> http://www.walkthetalkfitness.co.uk/#!no-bullshit-cookery/c1xmf <<

The Paleo Diet is MASSIVELY successful. If it is executed with the
correct guidance – and is tailored, by a professional, to YOUR 
requirements. Eating a paleolithic based diet will have you lose
weight, reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes,
metabolic syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome to name just a few! 
So what is the problem with Paleo? In my opinion, it creates 
disordered eating. It eliminates ice cream, chocolate, pasta – the
things we love to eat and that make us social creatures – making us
less likely to stick to it, get a case of the “fuck its” and binge. 
I know this because I’VE BEEN THERE! And I know you have too – 
because now you’re laughing at the “fuck its” – let’s face it, we’ve
all done it! I’ll tell you more about my experience with Paleo another
day.

So, if you are truly serious about losing weight, and not becoming
an obesity statistic – what can you do about it? Firstly, stop
pissing around with the likes of Slimming World and Weight Watchers.
Giving them £30 a month to weigh you in a room full of other people
really is complete nonsense. Not to mention the amount of money
you spend on their branded bullshittery products that are full of
chemicals with names longer than I can pronounce. STOP following
diets that your colleagues have told you about. This is YOUR journey,
not theirs. STOP reading propaganda online about how you can lose 6lbs
in 5 days by only eating eggs and grapefruit (no really, this is
actually a thing!). 

HIRE A PROFESSIONAL who will motivate you, plan for you and most
importantly KEEP YOU ACCOUNTABLE for your actions. You can apply
for one of my fat loss programs by e-mailing me back –

>> rachael@walkthetalkfitness.co.uk <<

I only work with driven, motivated, hard-working people who will
literally do WHATEVER IT TAKES to achieve their goals. That’s why
I now have an application process for my programs. I don’t just 
work with anyone. So if you’re READY TO CHANGE YOUR BODY right now, 
feel better about yourself, more confident and wake up loving your
body again instead of dreading finding something to wear – get in 
touch today and apply for a training place. Bookings now being 
taken for week beginning 9th June. 

Have a SUPER SEXY SUNDAY. 

Rachael (I eat what I want when I want) Watson

Meal Prep & Eating on a Budget

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I have been touching on the subject of meal prep and food prep this week on my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/walkthetalkfitness) and posting photos of food I’ve been creating, how I’ve made it and sometimes posting the recipe. I get asked a LOT of questions on food/meal prep as well as how I manage to eat so well on a budget. So I’ve put it into this blog for you guys!

This is a blog designed for people who don’t have time to cook. Yes, you read that right. It is also a blog designed not only for the athletes among us, but for those who are just starting their journey to optimal health through nutrition.

A lot of people are surprised when they find out that I spend the majority of the first two weeks training someone sorting out their diet. You are starting a journey that is going to one of the must fun and challenging journeys you’ve ever been on – and we must always strive to be better than we were yesterday. If you look around your gym – you will see that most people are following some sort of structured program. Most of the time they will plan this program meticulously ahead of time so that when the day comes – and you walk into that gym – you know EXACTLY what exercises you’re going to be doing and on which body parts. Why then, do we fail to prepare our nutrition in advance?

Fear of failure? No idea where to even start? I won’t lie to you – to be successful at meal / food prep – you’re going to have to be committed, work hard and be dedicated to what you’re doing. Day in, day out. Week in, week out. That is, of course, if you’re serious about getting the best results from your workout program (which is already planned, right??!).

WHY BUST YOUR ASS IN THE GYM EVERY DAY IF YOU’RE SPOILING ALL YOUR HARD WORK BY UNDER RECOVERING? By under recovering I mean not providing your body with the nutrients it needs to repair and grow muscle tissue that has been broken down in the gym. Failing to replenish muscle and liver energy stores properly thus feeling tired, sluggish and prone to injury and illness. It’s time you got your diet sorted. Stop pissing around pretending that you know what you’re doing and ask for help! Or read the rest of this blog, and it might become a bit clearer.

Planning your meal prep –

I’m going to tell you how I prep. You can take from it what you will. The way you prepare your meals will completely depend on your schedule. Let me give you a typical day for me:

06:00 – Wake Up
07:00 – Lifting in the gym (1.5 hours)
09:00 – PT Clients (3-4 hours)
13:00 – Work from home – admin/writing
16:00 – PT Clients
17:00 – Group Fitness Classes
21:00 – Home
…and everything else in between.

I meal prep 3 days in advance. A Sunday is my meal prep day and I spend around 3-4 hours doing this each week. However, I live alone and do not have any dependents so, if you have a family – I would recommend that you plan your meals for the entire week. It’s actually a lot easier than it may initially seem.

1. Write it down. Get a notebook, or make a chart on the computer if you’re in geek mode (I always use the old fashioned method because I love writing on paper). Headings should be days of the week – split into 3-6 meals (again depending on your situation). Write down what you’re going to have for each meal. It sounds simple because it is. If you have kids, it might be an idea to make a separate list for them to include packed lunch ingredients and snacks, if different to yours. There is absolutely no reason why you can’t meal prep for the kids too. Stop making excuses. 

2. Once you determine the number of meals you’re going to have in the week (or days depending on how many days you’re prepping for) – you can start to write your shopping list for the supermarket. Ultimately you want to walk into the supermarket with your list, like a Boss, and know exact quantities of what you need and where to get it. This is going to save you time AND MONEY. So make your list ACCURATE and SPECIFIC. For example, if you’re making a big bolognese to feed the family, write down 1kg steak mince. Don’t just write steak mince.

3. Save money where possible. We all have this misconception that eating healthily needs to be ridiculously expensive and I’m here to tell you that this is complete and utter bullshit. You can hit a quick Google search for “in season fruit and vegetables” and you can sure as hell bet that these will be the cheapest in the store at this given moment. For example, asparagus is about to come into season here in the UK – it’s going to be dirt cheap. So eat asparagus. Don’t spend a bloody fortune on some shit that’s not in season and has been genetically this, genetically that and flown from the other side of the planet for £10 a kilo! It’s always a good idea to source your meat from local producers – and in bulk. Often your butcher will sell you 5kg of chicken breast for example for almost half what it would cost to buy say 5 lots of 1kg. Buy in bulk and freeze – this is the best way to save money. Also, check out websites like http://www.paleowales.co.uk which always have great offers on meat, game and poultry. Cupboard essentials like rice, quinoa, bulgar, wholemeal pasta, tins of chickpeas, tinned tomatoes, tinned beans like kidney, butterbeans – they’re all pennies and keep forever! They can be added to any meal to enhance the nutrient density. I will touch on this in more detail later. 

Invest in Tupperware (or similar)

It seems like a given, but it’s really critical to your meal prep success that you invest in some really good tupperware. If you’re like me and you love kitchen shopping, then this should be fun! (I love this stuff: http://www.black-blum.com/homepage/). Make sure your meal containers are dishwasher and microwave proof. You don’t have the spend a fortune, just get some bloody tubs!

Keeping your food –

Bro-Tip: I like to slightly undercook my veg, so that when I go to heat it up again – it cooks through. There’s nothing worse than soggy broccoli. Most food will keep for between 4-6 days in the fridge, but if you freak out leaving something in the fridge for just one day, freeze and take out the night before! 

Which leads me to…. – freeze some. Make double what you need for one week, freeze the rest and BOOM suddenly you have two weeks worth of food prep!

Microwave your food when the time comes to eat it. If you’re as busy as me, you will know that the last thing you want to do when you come home from work at night is start cooking a full meal. Then you’re sitting down to eat at 10pm and lying in bed feeling horribly full. So now that your meals are all prepared and in the fridge – just microwave them (make sure they are piping hot before you serve). Believe it or not, and despite any other bullshit you have heard – microwaving food DOES NOT KILL THE NUTRIENTS!

(http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/Microwave-cooking-and-nutrition.shtml)

Now I’m going to go into some depth on how your kitchen should look. You can’t meal prep without some decent equipment. Don’t fuck around making things difficult for yourself by not having the correct tools. That’s like giving a gardener a spoon and asking him to dig a hole. Fuck that. Here’s a list of things that I think are critical to food prep success:

Set of frying pans (different sizes)
Set of good pans (different sizes)
A wok
Sharp chopping knives
Tupperware (discussed above)
Food processor
Hand blender

Store Cupboard ingredients that I always have and that you should always have:

Coconut Oil
Olive Oil
Dried spices & herbs (A-Z!! Always good to pimp the taste of a meal)
Sea salt & flavoured sea salts
Chilli powder (I add this to just about everything!)
Nut butters (almond, cashew, peanut)
Tinned tomatoes
Tinned chick peas
Tinned kidney beans
Quinoa
Wholegrain Rice
Bulgar wheat
Mustard
Tinned Tuna (lasts forever & a quick snack)
Eggs
Honey

Meat, Fish & Poultry

I touched on this above in regards to sourcing this stuff from local producers. I truly believe that we should be supporting our local farmers by buying produce locally. Try to obtain free range and grass fed where possible financially and logistically. You will often find that if you take your prepared list to your butcher and give it to him/her – he will cut you a deal. If they don’t, ask them to! Don’t be afraid to haggle prices. Don’t be afraid to ask for the origin of the meat. If you are on a more restricted budget – try places like Costco who do a lot of bulk buy meat. Please, try to stay away from frozen food shops who sell bags of frozen chicken for super cheap. They’re dirt cheap for a reason – the chicken is pumped full of saline (salty water) to make it bigger. It’s just not good for you. Stay away.

My favourite fish that is dirt cheap – trout. A really good alternative to salmon for those on a budget like me (plus I hate salmon so that works out well). Right now, trout will cost you approximately £2 for about 150g fillet. That’s really not bad at all. Canned fish is also a really good option and it keeps for ages in the cupboard.

Fruit & Veg

There are a couple of fruit and veg companies who delivery locally in my area. One of whom is Orchard Produce run by Ken Reid:(https://www.facebook.com/orchard.produce). You can actually make a list (from your meal prep list of course) that matches your weekly requirements and give this to Ken – he will supply you with everything you need directly from the Glasgow Fruit Market straight to your door, weekly. Alternatively, take your list to the supermarket and fulfill your requirements that way. Remember – find out what’s in season and eat it in abundance!

Tracking your Macros –

If you are a client of mine, or are thinking of joining me for some training, or even if you’re just going to have a right good crack all this nutrition stuff yourself – I suggest you download and use an app on your smart phone called “MyFitnessPal”. I use this religiously to track my nutrition AND plan my entire week in advance. Yes, I could tell you what I’m going to eat on Wednesday. Why? Because I plan meticulously. For example, at the moment I am on a cut – which means that I am eating less calories than my body requires. This is in order to drop body fat. But don’t get all caught up with numbers because that isn’t your job. If you would like me to help you with fat loss and nutrition please just get in touch with me (rachael@walkthetalkfitness.co.uk) because everybody is individual and I cannot give out generic recommendations. I use MFP to create all my recipes for my clients – so they know exactly what is in them nutrition wise, and they can adapt them to suit their goals. Easy peasy and lightening fast.

On the go…

So one of the main questions I get asked is – how do I stay on track when I’m out and about? At work all day, out shopping all day etc etc etc… My answer is plain and simple every single time.

If you know you’re going to be working on Tuesday from 7am until 10pm – then you really have no excuse to get caught out. Plan your snacks in advance and have them ready the night before to take with you. That way, you will not get to that horrible stage of hunger along with feelings of “oh I’ll just grab something from the vending machine – just this one time” or ” I’ll just wait until I get home otherwise I’ll wind up eating shite”. NO. Just NO! If you have prepared in advance – this will never happen.

EATING OUT

Eating out is a difficult one for me to write about, because I rarely eat out at the moment. However, I always advise my clients that most restaurants now have their menu ONLINE. So do your research before you go, decide what you’re having depending on your goals and calculations – and go out and enjoy yourself. Food needs to be enjoyable and flexible – otherwise life would be pretty fucking boring. Research the menu, plan what you’re having, have it. Simple right?

So finally, and I hope you’re still with me at this point, I would like to share some really basic tips that I use every single day in order to stay successful.

1. Prepare the night before. So, you’ve got all your meals prepped for the next few days right? I like to organise what I’m eating the following day, the night before. So I’ll literally put all my food into a bag and into the fridge for that specific day – so that it’s just grab and go in the morning. I even go right down to measuring my almond milk for my protein shake and putting it in the shaker along with the portion of protein I need (Smart Shake is awesome for this as it has compartments). Wake up, coffee down the hatch, grab stuff and get to the gym.

2. Car snacks. Have small tubs of snacks in your car for emergencies. A great idea is to keep a box of mixed nuts, dried fruit and seeds in your glove compartment for emergencies. This has saved my life a few times.

3. Bottled water. I always ALWAYS have a multipack of mineral water in the boot of my car. That way, there is no excuse not to be hydrated at all times. Hydration is seriously important, especially with summer coming in. Get it sorted.

I hope this blog has been of some use to you. If you need any other help with planning your meals according to your goals and you would like to get specific – please just shoot me an e-mail – rachael@walkthetalkfitness.co.uk. 

Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to have dinner…. 

 

It’s all in your head

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Since I wrote my previous blog “Fuck You Anxiety” – I had a massssssive surge of e-mails / following and questions related to it as well as some praise for sharing part of my story. That’s not really the reason I shared it – I just wanted to let other people who feel the same, know that they’re not alone.

A few years ago, when I was completing my university degree, I went on a bus from Hamilton to Glasgow and whilst on this bus, for absolutely NO REASON WHATSOEVER, I had my first every bout of anxiety. I suddenly wanted to get off the bus, and couldn’t, because we were hurtling along the motorway. That’s when it all started. No joke. A bus & a bit of a sore stomach. That’s it. I went through a period of a few months where I could barely leave the house. Fast forward to 2014 and I can honestly say that although anxiety still affect me daily, it doesn’t control my life as much as it used to. I constantly challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone – but I also know when to take a rest from the battle as well. And I’m okay with that.

I’m not going to go into any more detail about what triggered my anxiety in the beginning – but I will say that it is related to my IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) in which I have the irrational fear of being ill whilst I am not at home. Being in a situation which I can’t get out of quickly. Which is a bit fucked up because I actually get a huge buzz from being out of my comfort zone, and I challenge myself constantly. I’m sure others with IBS will know exactly what I’m talking about here.

So I’m going to write a little bit more on the subject today – because anxiety affects more people than you realise, and I really hope that by sharing this, in some way, I can help you realise that 1. You are not alone, and 2. There are a lot of things you can do about it.

What exactly is anxiety? Well, for someone who doesn’t know about it as a medically diagnosed disorder, they assume that someone with anxiety simply gets nervous about something. Being anxious is that fluttery feeling in your stomach that you get before your driving test, before your final exams, after that first date when your phone beeps with a text from her.. And yes, that is anxiety. But for me, anxiety is an overwhelming surge of self doubt that is so strong that it will not only cause me to feel physically unwell, but it completely and utterly rules every single thought that ever goes through my mind. For me – anxiety is being surrounded with HUNDREDS of positive comments from people, having amazing friends & family but then getting hit with one or two negative people and focusing on only the negative. It eats away at me for days, weeks and it’s so powerful that it’s difficult to get back out of it again!

For me, anxiety is the constant analysing of what other people are saying about me and thinking about me. It’s the “what if’s”. It’s the constant war that goes through my mind DAY IN, DAY OUT – every single day that passes without fail. If you could see into the mind of someone who has anxiety – you would see quite a few different “personas”. It’s like looking into a room filled with people all arguing with one another. One person says do this you fucking idiot and stop being so stupid – X,Y & Z will never happen. The the other person says – “but what if….” I’m not saying that someone with anxiety has multiple personalities because that is an entirely different ball game – but what I am saying is that it is a constant war of the mind – and it is never ending.

Most people make unconscious decisions every single day about what they are going to do. The sun’s out – let’s go to the beach. Friday night, at a loose end, let’s go to a restaurant for dinner. A drive. Out with friends. But for someone with anxiety, and I am mostly relating to my own situation here – everything is a military operation, planned in advance in order to satisfy my mind that I am going to be okay. This in itself is absolutely shit – because I am one of the most spontaneous people you could ever meet. I LOVE LOVE LOVE to do things on a whim. I love to travel. I love to eat out. I love being random – because that’s who I am. Having anxiety does not really allow me to be that person very often anymore. I often find myself getting SUPER excited about something, planning it all, talking 100mph about it and then suddenly “BUT WHAT IFFFFFFFFF…..and what will people thinkkkkk” starts. You guys might have seen that I went to see Rihanna last year at Sunderland Stadium of Light right? 55,000 people and me – standing at the very front – in my absolute element. You might think how on earth did I do that if I have anxiety?? On the outside you saw photos of me having the absolute time of my life (and I was, it was one of the best days of my life!), but what you didn’t see what the WEEKS and MONTHS of mental preparation that I had to go through in order to do that. Meticulous planning of driving routes, parking places, walking distances to and from (the list is endless). It was mentally EXHAUSTING but holy shit balls on fire, it was one of the best feelings ever to have achieved that with relatively no blips whatsoever. FUCK YOU ANXIETY! That’s 1-0 to me!

I haven’t had an “anxiety attack” for about 6 months now, because I have learned the signals and can now stop them from blowing out of proportion before they actually happen. But I have had a few belters in the past. It starts with nausea, finishes with sweats, shaking and irrational fears of stuff that realistically will never even happen. Some people have likened an anxiety attack to a heart attack – but personally I have never experienced this, thankfully! You know the weird thing though? They happen for absolutely no fucking reason whatsoever. You can be asleep and wake up having one. You can be sitting watching TV and BOOM. You don’t have to be anxious, to be anxious.

I am constantly concerned about causing people disappointment. What if I suddenly at the last minute have to cancel a class because I can’t get out the bathroom? What if I can’t go out in town with my friends as planned because my head is hosting World War 3? I can’t really plan too far in advance anymore (which is good for my spontaneity I suppose) when it comes to social situations, because I’m unsure about how I’m going to feel on a particular day. I do however, plan meticulously for big events. Sometimes (and this is rare now but still happens occasionally) I have to cancel plans at the last minute. The thought of letting people down eats away at me quite a bit, even though on the outside I radiate an “I don’t give a fuck what you think” aura. I often say yes to plans with people or friends when deep down I know my head won’t actually let it happen. I just want to come across as normal. So I say things I don’t mean sometimes. 

I have to think of the consequences of every single thing that I eat for fear of what it’s going to do to my IBS. If I even get one thing wrong when it comes to my nutrition – it can make me ill for a full week. I just had to get that in there somewhere, because I know a lot of people often ask me how I manage to be so meticulous with my food, and where my willpower comes from. Well, there you have it. If I eat crap, I feel crap. And I don’t want to feel crap because it makes me anxious. End of. 

Perfectionism. I am a perfectionist and I have OCD tendencies when it comes to things being done correctly the first time. I am VERY hard on myself. If I can’t get something absolutely perfect, I would rather just not do it at all. The positive thing about this is that every single task that I undertake, after a huge amount of procrastination for fear of not doing it perfectly, it will get done to 100% of my ability. First time. I hope that made sense. Although I appear confident on the outside as a group fitness instructor – that first night of a new release absolutely TERRIFIES me. For fear of fucking it up and not getting it perfect. “But we won’t know you did it wrong.” True. But I will know. Perfectionism comes hand in hand with being a virgo, and being an anxious virgo. But I quite like it.

So. What can be done about anxiety? This is 100% from my heart. Anxiety to me is all about the perceived threat of something which most probably will never happen. Over the past 10 years, I have been on beta blockers, Prozac (fluoxetine), some other shit with a big long name; I’ve had NLP, cognitive behavioural therapy blaaaah blah blah. None of it helped. Exercise helps, and I have made it into my career and passion because it allows me the flexibility to say no when I need to. It allows me an escape when I need to. The hormonal response of exercise lifts my mood and I can honestly say it has changed my life. My job is such that I focus on other people for the vast majority of my week and I absolutely LOVE my job. I am NOT lucky. I have created this for myself through hard work and determination; and with anxiety, this has been even more of a struggle. So – headphones in, world out – for 1 hour every day – is what keeps my anxiety at bay. Surround yourself with POSITIVE people – who radiate energy no matter how far away from you they are. Surround yourself with like minded people who share interests with you. Surround yourself with polar opposites so that you can LEARN from them. Stay away from drains. Don’t let ANYBODY drain your buzz. 

I would like to create awareness of anxiety by writing this blog. I don’t want anybody to feel sorry for me because I don’t feel sorry for myself whatsoever. It’s part of who I am and I’ve wholly accepted this. This needs to be addressed NOW so that more and more people know that they are NOT ALONE with it and that you CAN CAN CAN CAN dull the effects of it with a wee bit of help. If you know someone with anxiety – please don’t patronise them with statements like, “just think positive and come out with us – you’ll be fine, nothing will happen” or “it’s all in your head, nothing bad will happen”. Yes – you might be right – but to us, the fear is very real, no matter how fucked up it might sound to you. If you want to support someone with anxiety, just show them that you’re there for them when they need you. If they cancel plans at the last minute, don’t make a big fuss about it. Shit happens.

You’re not going crazy. You are NOT alone. Anxiety is VERY COMMON and although I believe it cannot be 100% cured, the effects of it can be massively reduced through lifestyle choices. I would urge ANYBODY who is suffering from anxiety that needs help to talk to someone about it. Someone who understands. Get rid of the negative people from your life who don’t understand or refuse to understand. You don’t need that in your life.

So – in September this year I am going on the vacation of a LIFETIME. For 10 years, I have suppressed my true love for spontaneity and travel because of anxiety – but this year I am saying FUCK IT. In September myself and a friend have booked a 3 week holiday to California. LA, Hollywood, Vegas and Huntington Beach. I have DREAMED about going to these places for as long as I can remember but the war in my head kept saying… what if…? I know it’s not going to be easy, and I know there will be times where my head might win – but I am going to give my fuck it attitude it’s very best shot. How am I planning to prepare myself for this? I’ve considered hypnotherapy & NLP and may try it out before I go but mostly, I am going to not give a flying fuckery what anybody thinks about me. We are going to go out there, and absolutely rock it!

If anybody has any questions, or just relates to this and wants to talk to me about it – just check out my social links on this blog.

The anxiety isn’t gone – but I’ve learned how to live with it 🙂

Rachael