RECIPE: Coconut Almond Grain Free Porridge

This porridge recipe is easy and delicious! No wonder I’ve had it so many mornings recently. If you’re intolerant to oats or just wanting to try a new version of porridge, this is the recipe for you!

Coconut Almond Grain Free Porridge

• ¾ cup (180 ml) unsweetened almond milk3-Minute-Coconut-Almond-Porridge-3
• 6 tablespoons (39 grams) unsweetened shredded coconut
• 3 tablespoons (21 grams) blanched almond meal/flour
• 1½ tablespoons (about 10 grams) golden flaxseed meal
• ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) pure vanilla extract
• Pinch of sea salt

Place all ingredients in a saucepan and gently heat while stirring. You can add your choice of flavourings and natural sweeteners eg cinnamon, coconut sugar, maple syrup.

The porridge is ready once it starts to thicken which usually only takes a couple of minutes.

Top with your preferred choice of fruit, nuts and seeds. Drizzle some more maple syrup or honey if needed and enjoy!

2016 – Nutrition First Week Back – How Was It?

So how was your first week back? Are you happy with the effort you put in, do you feel like you have a plan in place to tackle your 2016 health and fitness goals. For many people, last week was like training through a veil of syrup – sluggish bodies, weak muscles, difficulty breathing and general pain pain pain. Guess what – this week is going to be better. YAY! By now you should have crossed the “first session back” barrier and almost recovered from your delayed onset of muscles soreness (loving the 3 days of not being able to lift your arms or sit on the loo without strategically lowering yourself).  You should have hopefully either gone cold turkey on crap food and picked up a lean/clean eating plan immediately, or, by now have finished the Christmas/New Years leftovers so no excuses. Most of you are back a work after a break (or party season), so your mind should be focused and re-energised.  This week, let’s just make sure ALL the foundations are in place to ensure your success –remember: It’s YOUR body, YOUR year, YOUR choice – make it happen.

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2016 Nutrition – SORT IT OUT

It may take you a couple of weeks to settle into an eating plan but given the amount of booze, carb dense foods, party canapés and general crap consumed over the Christmas/New Year period, most of you should find that starting up a clean eating plan is easy, and more to the point, incredibly appealing! If you are not craving the dodgy food, yet you are still struggling to stick to a plan. It’s time to look at why. From experience I would suggest it simply boils down to the following:

  1. You are mentally not ready to commit to your goals – and for me this is simply psychology and mindset. You cannot get upset with the results you didn’t achieve, by the work you didn’t do. Nobody is going to magically strip you of 5kg body fat; there is not a little angel who is going to turn up with your lean/clean meal every 2.5 hours; food does not suddenly appear from the supermarket in your fridge! You need to DECIDE you WANT to eat clean and COMMIT to doing so
  2. You decided on an eating plan and didn’t follow through with any concrete actions – in other words, you became a “gunna” and not a “doer”. As your trainer, I don’t want to hear that you’re “gunna do a supermarket shop tomorrow or Saturday” or that “you’ll buy food when you’ve got through everything else”. DECIDE on plan then GO BUY FOOD required. You don’t see a marathon runner rock up to a race without shoes, get your back of house in order so you can deliver on plan
  3. You decided on an eating plan, bought all the food and then forgot to prepare for the day in advance – basically did the hard yards and simply couldn’t carry it though. The old adage of “failure to plan is planning to fail” rings true; you absolutely MUST know what you’re eating a day in advance. You must be prepared with meals, snacks and the times that you will consume these. This will prevent blood sugar drops and spikes, remove the opportunity for you to cheat and ensure that you are nutritionally balanced/sound for fuel for the day.

Quick checklist for yourself then – am I 100% motivated and committed to this? Can I stick to plan 5 or 6 days without fail per week? Do I have the correct food in the house? Do I have a menu sorted? If the answer is YES then you are good to go. Nutrition is THE most important part of your training regime, if you are eating poorly, you can train for hours on end and you will never see results. Get yourself booked in with a PERSONAL TRAINER to advise you on the best plan: contact a RIM PT TODAY

 DECIDE, DO, DELIVER and you will witness the fitness results.

 

New Year – New You – SET GOALS

Let’s start 2016 with a big dose of reality – it is time to admit that the festive season is OVER and re-enter the real world! Back to work, back to training, back to eating “normal” food (as opposed to Lindt balls for breakfast and entire wheels of Camembert at afternoon BBQs) – most importantly – back to the things that actually make you feel good.

The hardest thing about starting is making that first step, and it’s absolutely imperative that you are in the right mind set to do so. Today’s post is about realigning your focus, guiding you to set manageable fitness goals and then helping prepare you to begin (or in most cases – get back on track) with your Health and Fitness objectives.

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Top Tips for Health and Fitness goal setting:

  1. Always set in achievable increments – 3 month goal is a good timeframe
  2. Focus on something to move towards, rather than away from – i.e. I want to get down to a size 10, as opposed to I want to get rid of copious amount of fat
  3. Goals must be measureable  – i.e. wanting to get buff or lean does not cut it – how buff, how lean, look at body fat %, kilograms, measurements
  4. Move away from purely setting appearance goals  – we encourage clients to set across the following areas:

Strength – how many push ups on toes do you want to be able to complete?

Cardio – perhaps you want to be able to run without stopping for 30min?

Flexibility – what about touching your toes?

Speed – target yourself to a time across 100m sprint

Diet – do you need to increase water intake to 3L, add in 2 pieces of fruit per day?

Rest – commit to getting 7 hours sleep per night, no excuses

  1. Set yourself an interim goal at the midway point so you know you are tracking, this will help keep you motivated and realign your focus if you have dropped off

It also helps if you write down your goals, verbalize or commit them to your family, friends or trainer – take 5 min of your day to think carefully about what 2016 means to you and what you want to achieve this year – now go get em!

Progression is Power

Summer has finally hit, and I bet  that you wish that you had done more fitness wise in the lead up to December……..

You know what? I’m here to tell you today, that so does EVERYONE. We all wish that we had trained harder, eaten cleaner, focused more, achieved more – but what I’d like you all to do is rather than berate yourself for not living up to your ideal targets, sit back and look and what you have achieved since the start of the year and what you can STILL achieve across the next 4 weeks.  Fitness and motivation has to come from within: make the decision to keep pushing yourself and remember than any step forward in the right direction is still that – a movement towards your goal, edging you closer and closer. Just because you slipped up and ate cake today, doesn’t mean you’ll bang on 5kg overnight, just because you overslept your one boot camp session, doesn’t render you unable to lift your target kettle bell. Remember it’s consistency that will ultimately get you to your targets, and it might take a little while to form the fitness habits you need – as long as you’re nourishing your body, moving and improving training wise, then you can pat yourself on the back because you have achieved the most desirable results of all – PROGRESSION. You have the power, knowledge and tools to shape the next 4 weeks so make the decision and keep pushing yourself to succeed.

not a diet or a phase

 

Tough Mudder

On the weekend I was lucky enough to be involved in something that will stick with me ‘til I die. Along with 4 other tough, fun and adventurous souls, I participated in Tough Mudder 2015! If you have done this event already in your life then you’d understand what your body has to go through. If not, well it should be added to your list of things to do before you die for sure!

With the day starting off in the early hours, we all met up to have somewhat of a celebratory team breakfast. Not just to fuel for the day, but also to give ourselves a mini pat on the back for the previous 10 weeks of training that we had all put ourselves through in order to participate in the event. In case you were wondering, I did go the pancakes (good bit of carbs before an endurance event is ok for the body).

After a 1 hour drive out to Broadford, we were all set and ready to go with our fluoro sweatbands and zinc drawn on our faces. As you can imagine, doing this event for the first time had us all a little bit nervous when we were waiting at the starting line. However, this disappeared quite quickly and replaced with sheer joy when the starting gun went off!

 

Throughout the course we were faced with mud pits, wall climbs, monkey bars over murky waters, ice baths, tear gas and some seriously undulating terrain! But the best was definitely saved until last. With 20km of running through mud, we arrived at our final obstacle to get us through to the finish line. What better way to finish a gruelling 5-hour day than to be electrocuted running through a mud pit!!! We all gathered just in front of it and made a team dash to the finish line. May I just say, being zapped in the face with three wires is definitely not something any of you should do at home…however, at the end of this arduous event, it felt rewarding to have that little bit more pain inflicted on the body.

After crossing the finish line, I’m proud to say that this was an experience of a lifetime! The 5 of us have been bonded by our efforts throughout the day, as well as the 10 weeks of training leading up to the event. In fact, we are so pleased with our efforts and enjoyed it so much that we are now looking for more adventure races to complete throughout the rest of the year, and going on in 2016. Next stop Spartan Stadium Race in Geelong on the 5th of December! Massive thanks to all who supported us throughout the day and weeks in the lead up! BRING IT ON!!!

The Benefits Of Group Training

Generally at this time of year, you get a massive influx of new people wanting to train. This is fantastic, as who doesn’t want to train in the lovely weather that Australia has to offer in Spring?!?! For those of you that are still struggling though, I want you to pay extra special attention to what I have to say next.

Group training in an outdoors environment is the best way to get your life back on track. If it was never on track, then this is by all means the place where you want to start! Why Group Training you ask? Well, generally speaking, group training has the highest retention rates out of all training methods. Why? Because people don’t only use it as an opportunity to train, but to socialise with like-minded people.

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  1. Motivation – Catchy music, fast- paced moves and an instructor with a seemingly endless amount of energy. Having other people exercising alongside you can also give you the boost you need to keep moving.
  2. Accountability – Just like PT, group training sessions hold you accountable for turning up and putting 100% effort into your workout.
  3. Fun – Exposure to a fun and social environment is why many people prefer group training to a lone gym session.

Think about it though, you get the benefits of training as well as catching up with friends or even family….what’s not to like about it?! Message us now to book in a group session with RIM!

How To Gain Maximum Strength

A lot of people are currently doing stupid amounts of reps. They set out wanting to make themselves strong, but are they really doing it right? A lot sadly are not. And this is a shame as it means that the time that they spend in the gym is partially wasted. If you want strength, focus on the load that you’re lifting!

A safe and reliable concept for this type of training is the 5×5 method. 5 repetitions for 5 sets, seems pretty simple, right?

It is a very handy method when teaching your body deal with the stresses it must overcome to develop strength in your muscles. It may not seem like you’re doing much in terms of reps, but it gives you the chance to load your weights right up. In fact, when performing the 5×5 concept, you should be struggling to complete the last rep or two of each set. Make sure you’re also giving yourself plenty of rest in between sets too. If you want to make another serious push for the next set, the muscles being worked will need time to gain their energy back. Generally you want to give yourself at least a minute in between each set.

So next time you are in the gym, or smashing a boot camp session, try giving your body a real test. Ramp up the weight, turn on your kick-ass power track, and lift like you’ve never lifter before!!!

Lifting Weights Gives You The Edge #2

Lifting Weights Gives You an Edge
#1 You’ll Build Stronger Bones
You lose bone mass as you age, which increases the likelihood that you’ll one day suffer a debilitating fracture in your hips or vertebrae. That’s even worse than it sounds, since Mayo Clinic researchers found that among men who break a hip, 30% die within one year of the injury. In addition, significant bone loss in your spine can result in the “dowager’s hump” or hunch-back. The good news: a study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that 16 weeks of resistance training increased hip bone density and elevated blood levels of osteocalcin- a marker of bone growth- by 19 percent!
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#2 You’ll be More Flexible
Over time, your flexibility can decrease by up to 50 percent. This makes it harder to squat down, bend over and reach behind you. But in a study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine, scientists found that three weeks of full-body workouts a week for 16 weeks increased flexibility of the hips and shoulders, while improving sit-and-reach test scores by 11 percent. Not convinced that weight training won’t leave you “muscle-bound”? Research shows that Olympic Weightlifters rate second only to Gymnasts in overall flexibility!

 

Lifting Weights Will Give You The Edge

#1 You’ll lose 40% more body fat: This might be the biggest secret in fat loss. While you’ve no doubt been told that your aerobic exercise is the key to losing your gut, weight training is actually far more valuable!
Case in point: Penn State University in the US, had researchers put overweight people on a reduced-calorie diet and divided them into 3 groups. One group didn’t do any exercise, another group performed aerobic exercise 3 days a week, and the third group did both aerobic and weight training 3 days a week. Each of the 3 groups lost nearly the same amount of weight of 10kgs. But the lifters lost about 3kgs more of fat than those that didn’t pump any iron!
Why?
Because the lifters weight loss was almost pure fat, whereas the other 2 groups lost just 6kgs of fat, along with around 4kgs of muscle. Do the math and you’ll see that the weight lifters lose about 40% more fat.
This isn’t a one time finding either. Research on non lifting dieters shows that, on average, 75% of their weight loss is from fat and 25% from muscle. That 25% may reduce the scale weight, but it doesn’t do a lot for your reflection in the mirror. It also makes you more likely to gain back the flab lost. However, if you weight train as you diet, you’ll protect your hard earned muscle and burn more fat instead.
Think of it like liposuction. The whole point is to simply remove unattractive flab right? That’s exactly what you should demand from your workout.
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#2 You’ll Burn More Calories
Lifting increases the number of calories you burn while you’re sitting on the couch. One reason: your muscles need energy to repair and upgrade your muscle fibres after each resistance training workout. For instance, a university of Wisconsin study found that when people performed a total body workout comprised of just 3 big muscle exercises, their metabolisms were elevated for 39 hours afterward! The exercisers also burned a greater percentage of calories from fat during this time compared with those who didn’t lift.
But what about during your workout? After all, many experts say jogging burns more calories than weight training. Turns out when scientists at the university of Southern Maine used an advanced method to estimate energy expenditure, they found that lifting burns as many as 71 percent more calories than originally thought. The researchers calculated that performing just one circuit of eight exercises, which takes about 8 minutes, can expend about 159 to 231 calories. That’s about the same number burned by running at a 16km/h pace for the same duration!

 

#3 Your Clothes will fit Better
If you don’t lift weights you can say goodbye to your biceps, your nice bum, abs, pretty much anything that people generally work out to achieve in perfecting. Research shows that between the ages of 30 and 50, you’re likely to lose 10 percent of the total muscle of your body. And that percentage will most likely double by the time you are 60!!!
Worst yet, it is likely that lost muscle is replaced by fat over time, according to a study in the American journal of Clinical Nutrition. The scientists found that even people who maintained their body weights for up to 38 years, lost 1.5kgs of muscle and added 1.5 kgs of fat every decade! Not only does that make you look flabby, it increases your waist size. That’s because just 1kg of fat takes up 18 percent more space on your body than 1kg of muscle. Thankfully, regular resistance training can prevent this fate!
#4 You’ll keep your body young
It’s not just the quantity of the muscle you lose that’s important, it’s the quality. Research shows that your fast twitch muscle fibres are reduced by up to 50 percent as you age, while slow twitch fibres decrease by less than 25 percent. That’s important because your fast twitch fibres are the muscle that is largely responsible for generating power, a combined measure of strength and speed. While this attribute is key to peak performance in sport, it’s also the reason you can rise from your living room chair. Ever notice how the elderly often have trouble standing up? Blame fast twitch fibres that are underused and wasting away.
The secret to turning back the clock? Pumping iron, of course. Heavy strength training is especially effective, as is lifting light weights really fast!

 

Fueling For Endurance Events

One of the toughest things about endurance events is fueling for it. So, I’ve explored, and come up with, a few helpful little bits of information on how to prepare your body with the right fuel for those long slogs!

Discount the Fat Fad
The biggest fuel supply we have is virtually unlimited amount of fat we can carry on our body- but it’s not the preferred fuel source for exercise. Fat is slow to convert into usable energy for muscle contraction. It’s used more during lower intensity exercise like walking, and used least at high intensity exercise where carbs are preferred. It’s currently popular with low carb diets to push for “fat adaptation”, however this needs to be used with caution. Fat adaptation will affect training performance if used all the time by reducing your capacity to consistently train at a higher intensity. Fasted training may work well for longer, slower sessions, but not during sprint or intervals. You will miss the performance adaptations that explosive intense training provides.

Metabolic Flexibility Is Key
Metabolic flexibility means being able to be a good fat burner as well as a good carb burner. You can create this by periodising your nutrition to compliment your forever changing training. Train low carbs for a few weeks during the off season or fasted during select training sessions to gain the benefits of improved fat metabolism. Keep in mind that it is imperative that on competition days you fuel your body with enough carbs to allow you to perform at your personal best.

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Glycogen and Glucose
We have a 2 hour supply of glycogen, the carb stored in your muscles and the liver. Glycogen stores are larger in the muscles that are used during training, which is part of training adaptation. During very intense activities you use most largely muscle glycogen. In smaller amounts, we also have pure glucose in the bloodstream, which is commonly referred to as “blood sugar”. Blood glucose is maintained at a level of 5.6mmol/l (a measurement of a chemical substance that equals the number of atoms in 12 grams of carbon) in healthy individuals. Any excess from our food intake is absorbed from the blood into the muscles to store in the form of glycogen. During exercise if your blood sugar levels dip below 5.6 you start to feel hungry, a little dizzy and/or light headed. At that stage you know it’s time to eat!

Prepare your Meals
Choose slow releasing carbs to form the base of your meals to help stabilise energy levels and replenish glycogen stores. These include legumes, wholemeal bread, basmati rice, pasta, sweet potato, quinoa or fruit. Faster releasing carbs are more appropriate for snacks just before heavy training sets for competition. Use high GI carbs like rice crackers, potatoes, sports drinks and gels. Although sport is important, general health is equally important. Including lean protein foods will help with muscle recovery after strenuous sessions, and of course always eat your veggies!