JUICES AND SMOOTHIES - WHAT IS HIDING IN YOURS?

Are you a lover of fresh smoothies and juices ? I sure am!

Juices and smoothies are a fantastic and convenient way to help get your daily dose of fruit and veg in. However they can also help you go over your daily recommended intake of sugar and can be very high in energy, both of which are not very helpful in  assisting you to reach your health or weight loss goals. 

juice.jpg

JUICE

When making or selecting a juice you want to go for one that has more vegetables than it does fruit. The higher dose of veggies helps to reduce the amount of sugar you'd get if you were selecting one containing only fruit. It also helps to add some extra fibre.

When you are whipping up your next juice at home or out for breaky, try to go for more veggies (2-3) than fruit (1-2). My favourite fruit choices in juice would have to be berries or lemon. Both are lower in sugar than many other fruits and the lemon adds a refreshing hit. 

SMOOTHIES

Sometimes nothing beats a post workout smoothie. You've worked hard and they can be such a refreshing, thirst cleansing and nourishing way to refuel your body. They are also perfect for those that are on the go as are easy 'meals'. 

Just as with juices, they can also pack a big energy hit which is not always ideal. I try to make sure my smoothies contain a good protein source such as Protein powder or Greek yoghurt to help with muscle recovery and satiety. Again I use the veggie rule & try to make sure I have more or equal parts veggies to fruit.

Some great additions to your smoothie or juice are:

VEGGIES

  • Spinach

  • Avocado

  • Silverbeet

  • Kale

  • Celery

  • Cucumber

  • Beetroot

  • Carrot

  • Tomato

  • Avocado

  • Cucumber

 

FRUIT

Lower sugar options:

  • Lemon

  • Lime

  • Strawberries

  • Raspberries

  • Blueberries

  • Pear

Moderate - higher sugar options:

  • Mango

  • Watermelon

  • Banana

  • Apple

  • Orange

  • Dates

  • Watermelon

 SMOOTHIES:

  • Don't forget a protein source - protein powder, greek yoghurt

  • Your choice of liquid I.e: Water / almond milk / coconut milk / coconut water / milk

Other ingredients to add a little extra:

  • Ginger

  • Mint

  • Nutmeg

  • Cinnamon

  • Chai seeds

  • Flaxseed

  • Psyllium husk

  • Cinnamon

  • Nutmeg

  • Nut butter

Juices and smoothies can be perceived as being super healthy because they've got fruit/veg in them. The thought of adding veggies to your smoothie may not appeal to you but you may be pleasantly surprised.  Cucumber, zucchini, celery etc all contain a lot of water and won't ruin the flavor of your favorite smoothie. 

There are so many ways to mix a juice or smoothie, you ultimately need to be making or selecting one to suit your specific goals. 

Keep in mind next time you've got your juicer going or adding one to your breakfast order the hidden sugar and energy content and try to get some veg in there. If you don't know what to do with any left over pulp, try adding it to a muffin mixture. 

Be mindful when making your next juice/smoothie & don't be scared of the veggies!

Brooke x

 

SHAPING YOUR LOWER BODY - BENEFITS OF UNILATERAL MOVEMENTS

Squats, deadlifts, leg press; all great compound exercises that are effective in building strength and conditioning your lower body.

Often overlooked though are the unilateral or single leg movements that should be incorporated into your workouts if you are after shape, tone and strength through your lower body.

I am a big lover of unilateral movements. I find them very challenging and it helps you realise what areas or sides of the body require a little more work when they are singled out.

Unfortunately I’ve recently started to avoid the single leg movements for the lower body and will do for the remainder of my pregnancy as it started to contribute to some pelvic girdle pain. I can honestly say I’m missing my lunges and single leg squats. But for those of you that don’t have any PGP and are looking to change up your leg routine a little and start seeing some changes to your lower body, I highly recommend incorporating some unilateral exercises.

Unilateral movements are fantastic for:

  • Increasing your strength – that one leg has nowhere to hide and can’t rely on its buddy to help it out of the exercise. All of the focus is in the one leg at a time. When coupled with a healthy diet assists in improving muscle tone and shape of the area due to the recruitment and activation of various muscle fibres.
  • Improving your balance – standing on one leg can be challenging at the best of times. When you add movement into that or some added resistance it will really challenge both your balance and posture, leading to:
  • Improved core strength and stability – your core muscles need to work harder and remain activated to assist in balance throughout the movements, resulting in a stronger core.
  • Assists with muscle activation and recruitment – performing unilateral movement’s forces you to focus on the specific muscle groups you want to recruit to successfully complete the exercise. This helps build that mind-muscle connection and activate muscle fibres that might normally go unnoticed when performing a normal squat or deadlift.

Some of my favourite single legged exercises for shaping and toning the lower body are:

  • Bulgarian split squat
  • Back stepping lunges
  • Side lunges
  • Single leg hamstring curl
  • Single legged press
  • 45 degree side single leg press
  • Single legged deadlift
  • Pistol squat
  • Cable kickbacks
  • Donkey kicks

When performing single leg exercises form is super important and in benefiting from the results and avoiding injury. Be sure to start with body weight or light resistance. Some of the above exercises also really challenge your balance so are great at assisting to improve this and your proprioception. To make them more challenging keep the tempo to a 1:3 or 3:1 ratio or even super slow, add in some bottom half pulses or isometric holds to really feel the burn.

Add 1-2 of these exercises into your next leg routine, or perform a circuit of 3-4 of them on a regular basis to help see some changes to that lower body.

Brooke x

GOOD MORNING!

I love adding slices of citrus fruits to my water to make it a little more thirst quenching and regularly have a glass of lemon water each morning.

Lately I have been making some juice that is a more concentrated to kick start my morning. I call this juice good morning! With its citrus and slightly tart punch it is enough to wake any one up.

This juice mix is full of health benefits without being full of sugar like most other juices. Whilst juices are a great way to get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals they are often highly concentrated in sugar (fructose) which can send your blood sugar levels up very quickly. Lemon is a fruit that is low in sugar containing just 2.5g per 100g; a huge difference when you compare this to apples 10g, bananas 12g or mangos 14g.

Some of the benefits of this simple concoction are;

  • Get your daily dose of vitamins: vitamin C, B6, A, E, potassium and more
  • Assists to cleanse your liver and aid digestion
  • Strengthen your immune system
  • Studies have also shown that lemon juice can aid in eliminating the occurrence of kidney stones
  • Help control blood pressure for those with high blood pressure
  • It’s tasty & refreshing

What you need:

Ingredients

  • 2 x lemons
  • 1 x orange
  • 400ml water
  • Crushed ice

Method

  • Peel and de-seed lemons and orange
  • Cut into quarters and place into blender of choice (If serving immediately add some cubed ice blocks)
  • Once the fruit is well blended, add the water and blend for another 3-4 minutes. If you wish to have a more concentrated juice add less water. However adding water helps to dilute the fructose

Like all fresh juices it is best to consume soon after making them, however I find the above ingredients make enough to last me one glass a morning for about three mornings. It is best to refrigerate in an air tight container and shake each morning prior to drinking.


DON'T UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF PROTEIN!

Like its fellow macronutrients fat and carbs – protein is often followed by controversy around optimal intake, benefits and potential health effects when consumed in excess.

The optimal protein intake for building muscle, losing body fat and helping with recovery is widely discussed, and so it should be! Protein is an essential nutrient that plays an important role in fuelling our bodies during training and assists in the building and repairing of muscle tissues. But with so much information out there around high protein - low carb diets and thousands of protein supplements on the market, you might be asking yourself; how much protein should I be eating? When should I be eating it? And are there certain types that I should be consuming? All great questions to be asking as the quantity, quality and timing of protein intake are three important factors if maintaining lean muscle mass, improving recovery and weight loss / maintenance are your goals.

How much Protein?

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8grams per kilo of body weight per day. For a 60kg female this equates to 48grams of protein per day. It is important to note the RDA is based on the requirements of sedentary individuals and represents the amount of consumption required to avoid deficiency - this is not an ideal recommendation for those pursuing an increase in lean muscle mass. Studies have shown a protein intake greater than the RDA is needed for optimal growth and recovery, and a greater requirement exists for those undertaking regular resistance exercise. This increased need is required to optimize development, repair and maintenance of muscle. For active individuals training approximately five times per week could consume 2.0g/kg/body weight per day without adverse health effects and to maximize muscle protein synthesis. For a 60kg female this would be ~120g protein per day. Be sure to spread your protein intake evenly throughout the day and try to incorporate it in every meal to allow for maximal muscle protein synthesis (60kg female, 120g/day, across five meals = ~25g of protein per meal). When it comes to protein consumption and training, a dose of 20-25grams as soon as possible after exercise is beneficial. This amount is generally found in a serve of protein shake, five to six egg whites or 80-100g of chicken breast.

 What type of protein?

 From protein shakes of whey, hydrolyzed WPI , casein and soy, to foods such as eggs, meat and milk, no wonder there is confusion as to what form of protein is best, and when. Studies have revealed there are varying effects on the form of protein ingested post training. It is recommended a high quality dose of protein such as dairy, egg or lean meat post workout is beneficial to maximally stimulate muscle protein synthesis. These proteins are fast-digesting, so emptied from the stomach at a greater rate. This could be in the form a WPI shake, low fat milk (has been shown to be more superior over soy proteins) or pre prepared chicken breast for those that may be lactose free. These sources also contain the branched chain amino acid leucine, which has been shown to further assist with building muscle and burning fat. Casein and blended protein powders (often containing a mixture of casein and WPI), is relatively insoluble and forms a gelatinous material when ingested (or mixed with yoghurt = delicious!). Due to this jelly like property, casein has a slower rate of digestion, and promotes a slow, but steady released of amino acids into the body. Best to save casein protein for later in the day or as a ‘night time’ protein to assist in recovery overnight. Keep those fast absorbing, high quality proteins immediately post exercise.

 Timing

Studies have looked into the various timing and effectiveness of protein ingestion pre, during and post workout. Many of us may consume branched chain amino acids (BCAA’s) during or ‘intra’ workout. The consumption of BCAA’s during resistance training has been shown to enhance muscle protein synthesis during exercise, suppress muscle protein breakdown and enhance protein balance during and after exercise. The biggest bang for your buck in terms of timing of protein ingestion, to promote the most favourable effect is as possible following exercise. This will assist in reducing muscle damage, enhance recovery and promote lean muscle improvements. So be sure to keep a protein shake, recovery bar or pre-packed meal in your gym bag to maximize your hard work and keep those gains.

Like most things in life, too much of one thing is generally never good. Make sure that you don’t replace other important macronutrients such as fat and carbohydrates with protein. If you do so, especially with carbohydrates, it can lead to a more rapid rate of fatigue, performance is likely to suffer and in extreme cases, other nutrient deficiencies can be of concern. Bottom line; if lean muscle mass is your goal, get the quantity, quality and timing right and the results will follow. Approximately 20grams of high quality protein (think Maxine’s Burn protein powder), as soon as possible following resistance training - don’t underestimate the power of protein!

Source: http://www.balancefitnessandnutrition.com....

EXTREMES ARE EASY. STRIVE FOR BALANCE

Welcome to Balance Fitness and Nutrition - I am so excited to be launching the BFN web page!

Here you will find delicious recipe ideas, fitness tips, lifestyle inspo, blogs on things I love (or don’t), and how to get in touch with me should you wish to get some help on achieving that balance. Be sure to check in regularly so you don't miss a thing! 

What does balance mean to you?

Balance - harmonious or satisfying arrangement or proportion of parts and elements.

Balance is something that we all strive for in life, whether it is the work/life, friends/family or save/spend balance. It is in a constant state of flux and needs to be actively worked on in order to maintain it.

Extreme - Of the greatest severity; drastic.

We have probably all undergone some form of extreme in our life, and sure it can be easy, but is it sustainable?

Why work hard day in, day out before an upcoming event or holiday, only for that event to pass or the holiday to arrive and all of your hard work goes out the window. You are then left feeling deflated (and maybe a little bloated), and like you need to start all over again.

I am a huge believer in finding nutritious foods and forms of physical activity that you enjoy. If you enjoy something, you are more likely to commit to it and in turn succeed and reach your goals. I believe whole, nutritious foods and daily physical activity are valuable tools that can be utilised to help keep our minds and bodies running at their optimum. Movement and food can be the best medicine and most of us don’t know how good our bodies are designed to feel.

Our overall health, quality of sleep and happiness are all heavily influenced by how we fuel our bodies. It is a constant cycle that can go two ways;

  • When you are tired, you make bad food choices and can’t be bothered exercising (or vice versa). Quality of sleep is then impacted due to the poor dietary choices and lack of physical activity. This cycle continues the next day you wake from a poor night’s sleep feeling tired, sluggish, irritated and sometimes depressed.
  • When you are physically active you are more likely to want to fuel your body with nutritious, plentiful food, which in turn improves our quality of sleep and mental well-being.

To be happy with others, we need to first be happy with ourselves, so put yourself first – wellness starts from within.

I hope that my website provides you with a source of inspiration to help you on your quest for balance.

 Enjoy! X


Thank you Pure Design Co for helping me make this happen.