Author Archives: Clare Miller

Six questions to ask when choosing a personal trainer

What or where did you study your personal trainer qualifications?  Check your trainer’s qualifications against the REPs database at www.exerciseregister.org.  A background in exercise science is preferable. Why should I choose you as my personal trainer?  An experienced trainer is happy to earn your trust, so ask them to lay out their experience and perhaps even offer a reference or two; especially references from people similar to you.  A reference from a 21 year old male weight trainer doesn’t help you if you’re a 45 year old woman who wants to get back into exercising after a break. Do you take continuing educational courses?  Fitness trends change fast.  A personal trainer should take a refresher course every three years. Could I speak to your clients whose goals are similar to mine?  Ask for a phone number so that you can … Continue reading

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Are you a pendulum dieter?

Dieting is often a see-saw of eating habits, being strict and restrictive one day, and giving in and eating it all the next, i.e. going from one extreme of the pendulum swing (dieting) to the the opposite extreme of the pendulum swing (overeating). What will work over the long-term is balanced eating (somewhere in the middle of the pendulum swing). So it’s important to ask yourself some questions to determine where on the pendulum you usually hang, or to understand how you might be swinging from one end to the other … What steps can I take to stop myself swinging between dieting and overeating? What are the extremes about dieting that aren’t helpful? What are the extremes of over-eating that aren’t helpful? What is good about finding balance? What does balance look like for me? What does balance that … Continue reading

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The A-Z of diets (literally)

If you’ve ever thought through the list of all the types of diets around, you may be surprised to learn that there’s at least one for every letter of the alphabet!  Some good, some not so good.  But what’s the basis of long-term health and wellness?  Consistently eating the healthy options, with proper portion control and regular exercise …. Alphabet Name A Atkins B Body Reset Diet C Cambridge D Dukan E Eight-hour diet F Fasting Diet G GI Diet H Hairy Dieters I The Intermittent Fasting Diet J Juice Master Diet K Kind Diet L Liver Cleansing Diet M Metabolic Effect Diet N Nutrisystem Diet O Overnight Diet P Paleothic Diet Q The Q Diet R Rosemary Conley S Slimming World T Thyroid Diet U Ultra-metabolism Diet V Vegetarian Low Carb Diet W Weight Watchers X X Factor Diet … Continue reading

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Small changes for big results?

Small changes, that are incorporated consistently over the long term, can often bring big results.  Taking small steps instead of giant leaps will get your further on your wellness journey (remember the hare and the tortoise!) A few ideas of some small changes that can have some dramatic, big results: Add more water – reduce sugary soft drinks, fancy coffees, wine … Water keeps you hydrated without all the hidden calories of nutritionally empty drinks. More water is a small change, with big results. Add smart snacks – reduce junk snacks.  (Keep trigger foods out of the house.  Prep by having the good snacks readily available). A small change, and leaving you with small change from not buying expensive treats on the run. Add whole grains – subtract the ‘white stuff’.  Whole grains take longer to digest have kept the … Continue reading

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If your grandmother wouldn’t recognise it, don’t eat it!

“If your grandmother wouldn’t recognise it, think twice about eating it.” Dr Michael Mosley.  The idea being that there are so many processed and reinvented variations of ‘food’ available in the shops now, that it’s getting harder and harder to determine what is healthy vs what might be not. A similar idea would be, “If it’s made in a plant (factory), don’t eat it; if it is a plant, eat it”.  The more natural, home grown or locally grown, home-made, unprocessed, unpackaged, unboxed food you can put on your plate, the better. Writing out a meal plan for the coming week, shopping accordingly, and prepping in advance, can all go along way towards not being overwhelmed by cooking fresh produce from scratch.  If you made it, you know what’s in it!

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How can we resist giving in to temptation?

“A study suggests that the key to defeating the temptations of instant gratification is the ability to picture what the future will be like if only we did not give in.”  So, if we can conjure or imagine or visualise a detailed image of how we will look / feel / act / what we will wear / what we will eat once we have been diligent in our eating and exercise, we will more easily stick to our goals and more easily resist temptation. In other words, you have to have a big enough ‘why?’ to keep temptation at bay. Our ‘why’ can come in two forms – why not exercising and not eating well would not be good for you and will have long-term health consequences, and why exercising regularly and consistently sticking to a healthy eating plan … Continue reading

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Could you be a flexitarian?

No that’s not a swear word, but rather a good idea! You may not be a vegan or a vegetarian, but could you consider being a flexitarian?  In other words, replacing meat occasionally for health reasons or having meat-free days to lower your overall animal protein and fat intake. Often our concern is that we won’t feel full or satiated without meat, or that we won’t get enough protein without meat.  Here are some ideas for meat substitutions that should answer all our concerns. Beans, lentils, chick peas, red kidney beans as a meat substitution in soups, stews and curries. Beans on toast. Replace some of the meat in your spaghetti bolognaise with some hidden veggies. Try ‘meat free Monday’s and have a vegetable taco or veggie burger option. Why not consider some good vegetarian recipes to replace one or … Continue reading

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Health ideas from around the world …

We always learn a thing or two about healthy eating from other cultures; if anything, it will add a bit of zing, spice and interest to your meals … Here are a few ideas to incorporate. East Africans incorporate whole grains as a staple food.  Whole grains are a good source of fibre and protein. Just a healthy way to eat. The Amazonians eat a multitude of seeds and nuts which are high in essential fatty acids which keep the blood vessels and nerves healthy.  They call this the ‘jungle effect’ and a quick way to eat healthy. The Swiss think beyond the gym.  They make exercise as a regular part of their daily routines.  The average Swiss person walks twice as far as the average person and they love to hike.  The little ‘extra’ things like getting off a … Continue reading

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Fitness crazes from around the world …

If you’re feeling like you’re stuck in a rut, or just want to add in a few new ideas to your regular exercise habits, why not try a few ideas from fitness crazes from around the world.  Yes, they are genuine ideas! Zuu – if you love animals; think frog squats, bear crawls, gorilla jumps – started in Australia for mums and dads who want to incorporate exercise with their kids. Obstacle Training – think Ninja Warrior.  Run, swing and pull ups using your own body weight through various obstacles.  Started in Japan and now a craze worldwide.  Some people even build obstacle courses in their own back yards. Napercise – not just a way to be lazy.  45% of adults don’t get enough shut-eye, and getting enough sleep is good for your overall health. Boxing raves – A boxing … Continue reading

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How to accept yourself now …

It is very easy to get caught up in the cycle of disliking your own body, having a low image of yourself or hating your body because it can never be as good as the images we see day in and day out in the media.  We have to work hard to start liking ourselves as we are (not meaning we don’t have to work at exercise and well-being, but rather in the way of not accepting the cultural norms of what a good body supposedly looks like.  Think Dove adverts, not Vogue magazines … Here are a few tips to help yourself. Get rid of social media – or at least unfollow and unlike pages, blogs and #tags that make you think about your appearance unnecessarily, make you dissatisfied with your looks, or promote products that will ‘make you … Continue reading

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