diet and nutrition

Reflecting on 2017. What worked and what didn't work.

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Well here we are in 2018! The start of a new year is an exciting time and it presents the perfect opportunity to reflect.

I like to look back at the previous year and consider some of the things that worked well for me, and also some of the things that didn't work quite so well. This helps me to focus more on the things that worked and learn from the things that didn't.

2017 was without a doubt a significant year for me personally and professionally. Not only has Natural Form evolved into a profitable and thriving business, one that I am truly proud of, but I have also grown so much as a person. My approach to life and business has changed and my vision has become clearer and focused.

I am incredibly excited to see what 2018 will bring but first I am going to consider and reflect upon 2017.

Here are some of the things that worked well for me in 2017:

1. Eating a healthy and clean diet - When I do this my energy is better, my body feels fantastic, my digestive system functions properly, my focus and concentration is enhanced, I am more patient and my general mood is improved.

2. Meditation and mindfulness - 10 to 20 minutes of guided meditation everyday helps me to feel balanced, calm, focused and connected.

This is a one of my favourite guided meditations . . . .  

3. Foundation Training - These simple exercises and movement patterns are so incredibly powerful and they have had a massive impact on my life. I try to practice Foundation Training for about 15 minutes everyday. It keeps me strong, flexible, decompressed and enables me to live an active life without back pain.

4. Morning routine - My morning routine sets me up for the day and ensures that I am focused and productive. My morning routine: Shower, coffee, foundation training, movement practice, smoothie, walk (gratefulness), list 5 goals for the day.

5. Gratefulness walks - I started doing these in October last year and I have found them to be powerful and worthwhile. I try to do a gratefulness walk everyday. I always feel positive, focused, calm and energised after.

6. Patience - I have always been quite an impatient person. I like things to happen quickly and I have in the past focused too much on the end goal. In 2017 I learnt to enjoy the process and be more a patient person. The result has been a feeling of calmness and increased confidence in my vision and the decisions that I make.

Here are some of the things that didn't work quite so well in 2017:

1. All work and no play - The first part of the year I had us all working way too hard. We were as a family stressed, tired and unhappy. We decided to switch things up and we reevaluated. We put in place family time and slowed things down a bit. The results were instant and we have maintained this approach ever since.

2. Over training -  At points last year I was definitely guilty of over training. My own personal lifestyle and training program can be quite intense, but I was also training with my clients to help motivate them. The problem with this is that it can lead to injury and exhaustion. Over training does not work.

3. Setting unrealistic goals - Goal setting is important and it's something that I do daily however it can be detrimental. People often overestimate what they can achieve in one year and underestimate what they can achieve in 3 years. Unrealistic short term goals can lead to increased feelings of pressure, stress and disappointment. Goals should also be reviewed and updated regularly.  

What I have learnt:

Reflecting on 2017 and making these two lists has helped me to clarify my thoughts and consider how I should best approach 2018.

I will most definitely be continuing with healthy eating, meditation, foundation training, gratefulness walks and a more patient approach!

If something isn't working for me then I do my best to acknowledge it and then set about making the changes needed to improve the situation.

I am sure that in 2018 I will learn a few new things that work for me and also a few that don't, I will however continue to strive to be the best I can be.

Happy new year!

James

Weight Loss - What to Eat and What Not to Eat

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Lots people have weight loss goals and despite good intentions they often fail. The simple reason for this is that weight loss can be quite hard to achieve, especially on your own. This is just one reason why you might need a personal trainer?

Here at Natural we have fine tuned our approach to weight loss and we believe that weight loss is best achieved by combining diet, exercise and commitment.

Here is a very simple breakdown of some of the key diet aspects of our approach. Please note that when we refer to diet we are referring to what you actually eat, the term diet has been misused and this often causes confusion.

Diet - Keep it Simple

  • Drink lots of water - At least 2 litres every day. Hydration is essential, every cell in your body requires adequate hydration. Drink water before bed, first thing when you wake up and throughout the day.

  • Eat lots of vegetables - They detoxify the system and offer excellent nutritional value. Eat a wide variety of veg everyday, raw and / or steamed. All vegetables are good for you! Fresh, organic and sourced locally when possible.

  • Protein - Eating high quality protein will encourage weight loss and support muscle growth and repair. Upping your protein intake in combination with increased training will help with weight loss and developing lean muscle mass. Fresh, free range, grass fed and organic when possible.

  • Healthy fats - Healthy fats, including some saturated fats are very good for you but if your goal is weight loss then only in moderation.

  • Fruit - Eat a variety of fresh fruit everyday. Great as a snack, in smoothies or with yogurt for breakfast or a dessert. Fresh, organic and sourced locally when possible.

  • Wholegrain carbohydrates only! - Wholegrain bread, pasta and rice can be part of a healthy diet but should only be consumed in moderation. Minimal carbohydrates and carbohydrate free days are very effective when it comes to weight loss. Always avoid white bread, white pasta and white rice because of a high GI.

  • Healthy snacks - Very important! When you are feeling hungry and low on energy you are more likely to make bad food choices. Convenience is key, you should always have a healthy snack nearby.

  • Sugar - It can be quite addictive and toxic to the body. It leads to weight gain and causes inflammation. Check food labels and be conscious of hidden sugars. Avoid all foods with a high GI.

  • Diet and low fat products - Most low fat products are high in sugar and most diet products are contain synthetic sweeteners. These are not good options and should be avoided.

  • Processed foods - Typically made with poor quality ingredients and are high in both salt and sugar. They also often contain lots of additives, preservatives, colourings and unhealthy fats. They are not good for you!

  • Alcohol - High in sugar, leads to dehydration and is toxic to the body. Alcohol consumption should be kept to an absolute minimum and if you do drink alcohol, don’t binge and always choose low alcohol percentage options.

In Conclusion

Don't over complicate things, keep it simple and take the time to find a variation of this approach that will work for you. Changing your diet and eating healthy can have a quite profound impact on your energy, emotions, concentration, general health and so much more. If you don't believe us then check out our client testimonials here.

Give it a go!

For more info on our weight loss programs click here