Friday, 3 March 2017

Happy Place



 A few months back I went on a snowboarding holiday to Bansko in Bulgaria and it was honestly the best week of my life so far. It is safe to say that I found my happy place whilst sat on the side of a snow covered mountain. 
I think people definitely under-estimate the importance of finding their own happy places in life. So, with that in mind, I am going to make it my mission to find my own happy place everywhere I travel to.



Saturday, 18 February 2017

Long time no speak...

It has just occurred to me that previous to my last blog post I have not posted in over a year! So where on earth have I been?!

I have just finished (and passed!) my masters degree which has left me with some spare thinking time. As a result I am going to make it my mission to post much more frequently on '...Fitness Day?' and include some new and exciting topics (similar to my last post). 

So stay tuned and as always let me know if you have any post suggestions!

Sunday, 13 November 2016

World's Most Unusual Protein Snacks


I know this whole thing is going to sound strange, but stick with it and you may be pleasantly surprised!  
 
Have you ever considered that there may be some alternative protein sources out there, aside from animal and plant based sources? Well, i'm going to talk to you guys today about eating insects…yes you heard right actually eating insects…

I have done a lot of research for my MSc dissertation into entomophagy (eating insects) and it appears that the protein content actually rivals that of whey, chicken and beef. Now I’m not suggesting we go ‘I’m a celeb’ style and look under a rock to find our food, but would you even notice if you ate a protein snack that contained insect flour instead of whey? I don’t think we would!

What are some unusual protein snack sources?
Insect protein may be in the form of whole crickets or spiders, a great protein snack right…? Maybe not. However, if you look at the bigger picture, insects can easily be ground down into a powder like substance very similar to that of whey protein. This insect protein powder can then be added into other protein snacks and blends, such as your favourite protein brownies or cookies. This then wouldn’t be too unusual to us. Mix in some other yummy ingredients such as chocolate or nuts and this will be one tasty protein snack.

In the research I conducted for my Master’s degree, over half of the participants agreed that insects could be a great protein alternative to animal sources, with a further third of the population stating they would be willing to use solely insect protein in their diet. They stated the reason for this would be to increase their health and contribute to a better environment. Reducing the demand on livestock for protein can reduce global gas emissions by 100 times and increase land space availability, thus increasing food sustainability for the future. The farming of insects also uses up to 2000 less gallons of water per lb than the rearing of cows.

Eighty percent of the world are already eating insects as protein snacks, so why aren’t
 we?

Commonly consumed insects include locusts, caterpillars and crickets. The nutritional information for the most commonly consumed insects are shown below.
Insect
kcal per 100g
Protein *
% Fat
Locust Flour
436
47.5
22.9
Cricket
117
13.7
5.3
Witchetty Grub
417
13.2
36.2
Silkworm
229
23.1
14.2
Caterpillar
458
66.6
13.9
Beetle
192
27.1
3.7
(Bukkens, 1997)
*crude protein value (total nitrogen content)

As you can see the protein content, of locust flour for example, beats that of most of our most popular protein snacks. In addition, insects contain all essential amino acids.
Do you think that next time you reach for your favourite protein cookie you may think again...? 

Saturday, 2 January 2016

10 Day Water Challenge

As January begins we tend to feel sluggish with a lack of energy and additional Christmas weight. Has anyone ever thought about doing a re-set to combat this? And what better time to do this as a new years resolution..

..So what is a re-set? Resetting is about undoing years of bad habits and learning to make better health choices. The re-set in particular I want to discuss revolves around water. The body is made up of 80% water. The body uses water as a transport medium, moving everything around. Therefore, water moves around waste products and toxins as well as nutrients. Basically, drinking more water will increase the amount of waste (including fat) leaving the body.

Working out how much water you will need..

.. drink 1/2 ounce for every pound of your body weight
.. 0.033 litres per kg

What to expect after 10 days? It goes without saying that you will need to use the bathroom more, this is a good thing as you will be removing more waste. You will also experience an energy boost and get clearer looking skin. A small amount of people have been found to experience bloating (water retention) or headache, this however will pass after the first few days. There has also been a lot of reported results of weight loss and a decreased waist measurement.

How to measure your results? Use a simple indicator of waist measurement and body weight both before and after the challenge. 

The rules:
- drink all your water per day before going to bed 
- any left over water must be drank before starting the next days water 
- DO NOT drink all the water in one go, sip throughout the entire day

Have fun!

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Supplement Series: Raspberry Ketones

With the new year just around the corner, new years resolutions are going to be on peoples minds. Weight loss or more specifically fat loss is guaranteed to be up there on peoples lists of priorities post-Christmas.

A few years ago raspberry ketones were the new 'in' thing targeted for fat loss. But do they actually do what they claim? And are they still they still a popular supplement for weight loss?

Raspberry ketones are a natural substance which give raspberries their scent. They are also used as flavorants in food products and are contained in some cosmetic products. However, the raspberry ketones sold as a weight loss aid are artificially derived and are not natural.

Now for the science - the molecular structure of raspberry ketones is similar to that of capsaicin and synephrine, both of which are known to boost the metabolism. When given to rats, raspberry ketones increased the breakdown of fat and made fat cells release more adiponectin (regulates metabolism and blood glucose). Low levels of adiponectin are associated with diabetes and obesity. However, to achieve the results seen in rat studies you would have to consume 100 times the recommended dosage of raspberry ketones.

Regarding human weight loss there is no conclusive evidence. Some people lose weight - others do not. It may be worth considering though that raspberry ketones have in fact been found to improve hair growth and improve hair elasticity.