Nutriton – why I encourage you to break the rules

Nutrition can be such a minefield. There’s so much conflicting info and it changes all the time.  And there can be so many rules! Cut your carbs, don’t eat after a certain time, eat breakfast as soon as you wake……..

How do you know what to follow?  My advice is instead of getting caught up with rules around what you should/shouldn’t eat, get in touch with you and your body and work out what’s right for you.  Trying to follow someone else rules can cause a lot of stress.  Stress is exactly what we want to avoid as it takes us into the wrong part of the nervous system to nourish the body and get it working optimally.

Instead of following a set programme, I encourage my clients to get to know themselves and what works for them.  Start by becoming aware of how certain foods make you feel.

Are you sluggish lacking energy? Do you feel hungry or bloated? how well do you recover after training?

Getting to grips with what your body specifically needs is a bit of a science experiment.  eg. Some of us do better on less carbs, some of us feel awful!

After a lot of trial and error over the years I finally know what works and doesn’t work for me. What works for me doesn’t necessarily fit into the rules of what the experts say you ‘should’ do. Here are some of the ‘rules’ I regularly break:

  • I don’t eat my first meal till around 11/12pm. This is usually eggs on gluten free toast with some spinach on side which is a balanced meal of protein, fat and carbs.
  • I eat carbs with my evening meal, usually some rice or potato along with veg.
  • I eat quite late in the evening.  My last meal is often around 9.30pm – not ideal but I work evenings and that’s what time I get home.
  • I have the odd treat when I feel like it, usually some dark choc, a coke or the odd beer or vodka on the weekends.
    This means I don’t binge. When I used to restrict myself and be perfect during the week, it would lead to binges on weekend.

It all goes back to balance – I’ve always stuck by the 80/20 principle. If you eat well 80% of the time, the body can handle a bit of sugar or cake the rest of the time.

Trying to force yourself to follow rules that don’t suit your lifestyle is a much more stressful way to live.

So my advice is let go of the rules and get to know your own body. Work out what’s right for you instead of trying to fit in with someone else’s model.

ps here’s a pic of my puppy Larry and his balanced meal. He just needs to work on actually chewing his food no


What I learned about creating a lasting relationship

Recently I was invited to take part in a 30 days challenge by my mentor Dax Moy.   It was all about getting back to your message and start to put it out there to connect with the right people. This came along at the perfect time to help me regain some direction and focus. I’d kind of got a bit complacent and had been coasting along for a while.

It turned out to be a lot of work on re-setting habits. What I learned from this experience was this is the exact same mental journey that most people go through when they start a fitness regime.

Dax compared this to starting a new relationship and how there are 3 main phases:

Phase 1 – You are raring to go, enthusiastic and motivated. You make extra time for the new thing because it’s new, fun and exciting. You’ve decided you’re going to get fit so you put everything into it.  (Does this sound familiar?)

Phase 2 – Despondency. The novelty has worn off and disappointment sets in. Life starts to get in the way and you stop putting in the same effort. You make excuses to yourself, start to miss sessions (or prioritise dates!) the small habit changes you were making become less frequent.  This is where most people drop off.

Phase 3 – Acceptance. The thing becomes a habit or permanence in your life.

In my recent journey I certainly went through all these stages. I started off so enthusiastic, loving the accountability.  One of the things we had to do was daily check in videos in morning and evening,  This really works for me because I hate letting other people down.

Then I started to get busy. I fell behind in the tasks, I didn’t want to do the check videos anymore. I could hear myself saying why do I have to do this? I don’t have time for this.   Instead of feeling excited about the tasks I was now irritated.

I considered dropping out and spoke to my coach about it. We spoke about how dropping out would bring me no benefit whatsoever so I kept going. I decided I would do as much as I could in the allocated 45 mins per day.

Over the 30 days I learned a lot about this process of starting a ‘new relationship’ and committing to it. Because I didn’t quit and kept going I was able to change my habits.  In that 30 days I achieved more than I have in the last 6 months.  I managed to fit in 45 mins of work in every day, even when I was busy, even when I didn’t feel like it.

Whether it’s establishing a fitness routine, developing a new relationship or creating any new habit, the problem most people have is they quit before they reach that acceptance phase. They quit somewhere in the middle when it becomes difficult, when the motivation is gone.

When you give up at this stage nothing really changes for you. You haven’t done ‘the thing’ long enough to re-set a habit. You go back to your old patterns – the ones you’ve been doing forever that are very hard wired. Like having a glass of wine after work instead of going to the gym…..

And you don’t feel good about yourself as you didn’t keep your promise to yourself 🙁

Imagine you made yourself the same promise I did?  That every day for the next 30 days you gave yourself 45 mins to focus on you.  To prioritise working on your body and mind.

What do you think would change by the end of the 30 days?