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Monday, 18 March 2013


The CF diet recommends a moderate intake of fatty foods. Why?
Because we are promoting weight loss here people, and fat is high in calories. BUT we do need to eat some fats in order for our body to work efficiently. Nerves, brain cells, skin, tissue, hormones, the transport of vitamins and minerals all need fat to function.

Healthy fats are unsaturated fats, which come from plant foods like nuts/seeds/avocado and from oily fish.

Try to stay away from saturated and trans fats which promote heart disease.
Unfortunately we live in world where portion sizes are majorly distorted. Your average bumpkin in the state of Texas might think nothing of consuming a meal 3 times the size of a Rhinoceros’ arse. I’ve been to International House of Pancakes – I’ve seen the menu.

You would be surprised at how little you need to eat in order to survive. The men and women you see on the cover of ‘Muscle Magazine’ aren’t ripped because they eat 25 steaks a day – they are most probably injecting steroids.
We actually only need 1g of protein per kg of body weight per day to sustain lean muscle. Which isn’t a right lot. So don’t be sucked in to the marketing trap of high protein food claims.

Same goes for micronutrient. Don’t go spending your wage pack at Boots on supplements, antioxidants, vitamins – you will get enough by eating a clean diet with a wide variety of fruit and veg.

No we are not suggesting you eat portions that would starve your average pet hamster. You must be sensible with your choice of food if you want to 1. Lose fat and 2. Sustain lean muscle.

“But isn’t it all about calories in and calories out?”

By all means, create a deficit in calories and you will lose weight. But eat non-nutritional foods and your body will look fucking shit. Greasy hair, flaky skin, poor muscle definition, osteoporosis, tooth decay, bad breath… the list is endless…

It is SO essential that you eat a balanced, nutritious diet. Would you rather eat 5 cheese burgers a day within your daily calorie allowance, or would you like to live to see your grandchildren and feel physically fit to handle them!?

Sunday, 10 March 2013

More Magic Marketing - Slim in Sleep!

“Just a quick question in regards to some wraps I found & was wondering if they were CF friendly.”

I got this question via email from one of last month’s most well-behaved, dedicated Mini Challengers – you know who you are ;) Top marks for swotting up before the big March Challenge kick-off.

What makes a clean, balanced meal?

In order for your muscles to work/contract you need to provide them with energy. Your cells need glucose to produce energy (ATP). Complex carbohydrates are an essential part of your daily diet to sustain your energy needs.

The best supply of glucose when following a balanced diet for weight loss – we aren’t talking about Olympic athletes or body builders here - comes from whole grains. These contain nutrients and fibre which slow digestion, and release energy (sugar) into your blood stream at a steady rate, preventing a spike in blood sugar levels.

When your blood sugar levels spike from eating sugary foods (white carbs/sweets/sugary drinks) your body releases the hormone insulin. This sends the excessive amount of sugar into storage in your fat cells, leaving you with depleted energy levels and major munchies!

By adding whole grain carbs to breakfast or lunch – you are eating something substantial to give you enough energy until your next meal.

Don’t get caught up in the ‘protein’ obsession. Yes we need protein to sustain lean muscle, but in adequate amounts. Good protein sources are lean meat – chicken/turkey breast / fish, eggs, legumes, nuts and seeds. Grains like amaranth and quinoa are also a good source of lean protein AND provide you with slow release energy. Bonus.

When selecting whole grain bread or wraps as a carbohydrate option with a main meal – remember portion control.

This protein bread recommends 100g as a serving. 50g would suffice.
Laughably, it markets ‘slim in sleep’ – suggesting that this additional protein will help you to lose weight at night time? Yes, protein has a high thermic effect (uses energy to break it down) and increases satiety, but look at the fat and calorie content.
You require approximately 1g of protein per kg of body weight. A serving of this bread provides half of the recommended daily protein intake for a woman weighing 60kg. Adding this to a meal already containing lean protein means you will be eating as much as your full day’s protein allowance – in just one sitting.

If you overdo your protein intake not only do you put major strain on your kidneys, but the excess calories will be stored in fat cells.
It’s all about finding a balance.

Eat natural, clean foods and avoid anything processed.
Obviously we can’t expect you to harvest your own grain and bake your own bread. Although this would be pretty damn good!

Portion control is key. This bread is ‘enriched’. Enhanced/enriched foods have been played about with – stick to food with a very small list of ingredients. If this is as long as your arm then run a mile!
It does rate itself for its high fibre content – you need approx 30g of fibre per day for a healthy digestive system. But this is outweighed by other factors. It is enhanced with protein from soy and seeds, resulting in a high fat content. Not smart when trying to lose weight.

To simplify this so you don’t try to end your life rocking back and forth in the ‘health foods’ aisle of Carrefour….

Balanced Diet:
For slow-release energy: whole grain carbohydrates
For muscle/tissue repair and maintenance: lean protein
For a healthy digestive system: fibrous vegetables
For essential vitamins and minerals: fresh fruit

All of the above contain micronutrients essential for a healthy body inside and out.

Make sure you check out the CF Shopping list and of course, The Holy Grail.
Happy Eating ;) x

Flex like a Bitch

As the next Challenge approaches, there are lots of ways to help protect your body from possible injury.

If you want to reach the finish line of the next challenge feeling fit and healthy, you need to train smart and eat right.

Suddenly embarking on a high intensity-training programme can leave your body in a lot of shock! It will be under pressure it has never felt before. As well as stretching and correct form, which our lovely trainers will drill into you, diet comes into play…in a big way.

This is why calorie counting does my head in. We are not just recommending clean, balanced meals because of low calorie content – Sod off Weight Watchers.

Vegetables, lean protein, fruit, whole grains and pulses contain various vitamins and minerals essential for achieving optimum health.
You will be training hard therefore you must replenish your body with the correct nutrients so it can grow strong, healthy and super sexy ;0)

Cartilage is a connective tissue that is found in many parts of the body, most importantly between bones. It absorbs force and distributes it equally, protecting joints under load and during movement. Without this, the very concept of high-knee-running would be a mere fantasy.

When cartilage is damaged or worn away, the affected joint becomes painful, stiff, and limited in its range of motion – kiss the splits goodbye.
Vitamin C plays a vital roll in the formation of collagen, which forms the basis of connective tissue. You can find this saucy Vitamin in the following CF diet friendly foods;

Grapefruit, lemons, oranges, kiwis, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, pineapple, papaya, peppers, tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts.

Omega 3 rich foods have an anti-inflammatory effect. Inflammation can cause major pain – ever had sore knees after squatting?? You can find this gem in walnuts, pumpkin seeds, oily fish like salmon and herring.

Vitamin E is your knight in shining armour when it comes to combating exercise-induced stress on your body’s cells. Shield yourself by eating almonds, sunflower seeds, spinach, whole grain breads and cereals.

Zinc is needed for the body's defensive (immune) system to properly work. A lack of zinc can slow collagen formation in connective tissue. Zinc yourself up (yes I just said that) with oysters, pumpkin seeds, crabmeat, sunflower seeds, whole meal flour and bread, turkey.

Copper is also needed for the maintenance of connective tissue. It works alongside zinc to stimulate the immune system to fight infections, to repair injured tissues, and to promote healing. You can find this in oysters, lobster (here’s your excuse for fine dining ladies! – unfortunately it is not found in Champagne), sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, crab, chickpeas, lentils, whole meal bread and whole grain cereals.
BUT there are foods that diminish these effects – food high in saturated fat like red meat and dairy. So steer clear of these or you risk more than a severe bollocking in your Food Diary Feedback…so there!

The important thing is to create the right balance, as getting too much of one nutrient and not enough of another can have a counter productive effect.
There are supplements you can take to help avoid injury to joints, and combat long term degenerative diseases that can put an end to your training days – Say sayonara to osteoarthritis.

WARNING: don’t get carried away and buy into the marketing too much – sports supplements are a lucrative and misleading industry.

We recommend:
Glucosamine – Highly productive in the formation and repair of cartilage. This supplement can relieve pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis. It helps to increase mobility and reduces the joint space narrowing (bone-on-bone…ouch!).
Chondroitin Sulphate - One of the building blocks of cartilage. This promotes the water retention of cartilage, keeping it spongey, as well as elasticity, thus helping to reduce joint pain and increase mobility (hello again drunken cartwheels at Sandance).
You can buy these at any reputable pharmacy (Life Pharmacy / Boots).
A clean balanced diet = Healthy bones and joints = happy squatting at CF :)

Bring on the March Challenge x

Food Currency

At CF we are not big on Calorie counting. Why?

As well as being socially ridiculous, cracking out your calculator at Nandos is no healthy way to monitor the nutrients you are putting into your body.
This article sheds light on portions in relation to calorie content, which will help you to make the right choices size-wise.

Remember, you cannot compare the cals from a chocolate bar to those offered in a balanced meal of veggies, whole grains and lean protein. Yes it may taste ‘nice’ but is this your body reacting to a refined sugar fix or is it really satisfied??
Your body is no fool. Eating non-nutritional foods (junk!) is no way to obtain a healthy, hot body. Besides, a 6 pack will be of little use if you have clogged arteries!
Fad diets and ‘diet pills’ do not work. Drastic measures like skipping meals can lead to ‘starvation mode’. Your body clings on to fat reserves and burns lean muscle in an attempt to ‘survive’. This does no justice for body composition. Your metabolic rate increases depending on the amount of muscle you sustain. Who wants to be ‘skinny fat??’.

Depriving yourself of essential nutrients has a negative impact on your body’s ability to burn fat effectively.
When you eat sugary foods or foods lacking in nutrients like fibre, which slow down digestion rate, the hormone insulin is released. This puts any fat-burning on hold, and enables the extra sugars in your blood to be stored in cells. Too much sugar will be stored in FAT cells.

This sudden drop in blood sugar levels results in energy depletion and you are left feeling tired and hungry again. If you eat 1 biscuit, you are likely to polish off the rest of the packet too.

Eating clean, healthy foods that release energy at a slow rate keep you feeling satisfied and energised, as well as providing you with essential vitamins and minerals for optimum health.

I hope I explained that well. Nutrition is a complex diva.

Bring on the March Challenge Food Diaries. x

Clever Marketing

At CF we live and breathe the concept of 'clean eating'.
This does not entail polishing your snickers, dousing hot dogs in bleach or ordering a Big Mac with a Diet Coke.
I've lost count of how many times I had to argue the poor nutritional value of brand cereals (Rob Newbould).
It is amazing what big name brands can get away with when trying to trick the consumer into buying their product on the pretence of 'healthy eating'.
Next time you amble around Spinney's open your eyes to the conspiracy of 'clever marketing'. I absolutely love this blog... x
I really, really (don't) hate to burst your bubble here people. In preparation for the next Challenge... and sea of food diaries...those of you taking sanctuary in your convenient lunch of 6 inch turkey salad on wheat bread - please read this article and think again before you join the queue at Subway.

...And see why I am not just being a pedantic, ruthless bitch when you get pulled up in big red writing for your 'Eat Fresh' fast food options. lth/article-1365424/Subway-vs-McDonalds-The-artery-clogging-truth-favourite-fast-food-chains.html

As CF regulars like masterchef Peppy Dosanjh can tell you, eating clean is all about home cooked meals with (genuinely) fresh ingredients. We have got so many helpful downloads on our website, so use and abuse these to plan, prepare and perfectly execute your Challenge Diet...bring it!!

If you have any questions please feel free to email me:
So at the local gym – in Bradford – they are selling these ‘Sculptress Diet Bars’ – pink wrapper, branded with the word sculptress like ‘princess’ and ‘diet’ – aimed at women obviously. Clever marketing.

With 215 calories per bar, most of which are from sugars – can this really be considered as a healthy snack option?

I query how our prehistoric ancestors got by without one.

Take a look at the ingredients:
Milk proteins (whey protein concentrate, milk protein isolate, calcium caseinate, emulsifier: soya lecithin), glucose syrup, milk chocolate (14%) (sugar, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, cocoa mass, emulsifier: soya lecithin, flavouring), humectant (glycerol), honeycomb pieces (8%) (sugar, glucose syrup, vegetable fat, water, raising agent: sodium bicarbonate; emulsifier: soya lecithin), concentrated mixed fruit juice, rice starch, sunflower oil, mineral blend (potassium phosphate, sodium chloride, magnesium phosphate, ferric pyrophosphate, zinc oxide, cupric gluconate, manganese sulphate, potassium iodide, chromium (III) chloride hexahydrate, sodium selenite, sodium molybdate), L-carnitine L-tartrate, milk mineral complex, vitamin blend (dextrose monohydrate, vitamin C, vitamin E, niacin, biotin, vitamin A, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin D, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B12, vitamin K), flavouring, caramelised sugar syrup, green tea extract, antioxidant (mixed tocopherols), sweetener (sucralose).

...Good luck to your body attempting to process all that shite.

Eating foods high in chemicals and other nasty additives makes a lot of extra work for your liver as these need to be broken down and eliminated from your body.
215 calories = 1 medium chicken breast and 1 cup of chopped garden vegetables.
This provides you with essential vitamins and minerals without the strain on your liver.