Clean Lean Weight Loss

Posted on |

Julie George admits she was always the girl at the back of every photo, or even better still, the one behind the camera.  She never wore a dress.  As the clothing sizes crept up, her self-esteem plummeted.  The tipping point was when size 18 felt too small and she couldn’t walk the dogs without huffing and puffing. Julie realised that her lifestyle was killing her.

Five years later and forty five kilos lighter, Julie is a trim size 8 and almost unrecognisable in her outlook and appearance.  She exercises in the gym, goes to classes and has established healthy habits that work with her philosophy of eating for life rather than dieting.

“It’s been a long, slow journey,” said Julie.  “At first I made lots of mistakes. I didn’t want to put myself out there and ask for advice, so I gathered bits and pieces of information along the way. I mainly tried to find out what people had done that didn’t work, so I could avoid that.”

Clean Lean Protein

The first step for Julie was to get her eating sorted out.  She came across Nuzest products at a Health 2000 in-store demo and bought a small tub of Clean Lean Protein.  That was the real beginning of her weight loss journey.  Julie started to learn more about clean eating and, using CLP, replaced unhealthy snacks with healthy shakes and started to cook meals at home rather than relying on takeaways.

“It’s opened up a whole new world,” she said.  “I knew nothing about nutrition and used to constantly beat myself up if I binged. The trick is to work out why you’re making those choices and deal with it.”

Exercise programme

Once her eating was under better control, Julie upped her exercise using a treadmill at home.  As the weight came off, she started to feel like she was on the right track.  However, when her weight loss plateaued, Julie pushed the treadmill more, clocking up 10 kms and reducing food intake to 500 calories, well below her daily limit.  This sent her into adrenal fatigue.  On a friend’s advice, Julie plucked up the courage to go to her local gym for some help and soon got her eating and exercise into a more sustainable balance.

Good Green Stuff

“I’ve found that it’s quite easy to lose weight, but it does take time, effort and consistency,” said Julie. “Clean Lean Protein and Good Green Stuff have been lifesavers throughout my whole journey — and they taste good!  I love the fact the Good Green Stuff has a great balance of vitamins and minerals in each serve. The cleaner the product, the better it is — clean burning fuel has been key for performance, results and cuts my cravings.  There are no hidden sugars or artificial additives in Nuzest products.  They just make it easier to stay on track.”

As a side benefit, the household change in diet and lifestyle means that Julie’s husband has also lost a massive 50kg.

9 week Health Plan

Julie is currently working on her last health goal — to reduce the visceral fat around her internal organs.  That means losing a few more kilos before she goes into maintenance mode.  “My eating plan is pretty strict and consistent, but it’s only for nine weeks and I know it’s going to work – I’ve got this,” she laughs.

“I feel like I’ve grown out of my old skin and habits.  I’m a bit like a kid learning everything for the first time.  I’ve got so much more energy. I now love doing exercise and lifting weights. I used to take hours getting ready to go out and nothing looked good.  Now I can chuck on anything and I’m gone.  It has taken such a weight off my shoulders, mentally and physically.”

Thank you so much Nuzest – your products have helped me become a NuMe 😊

Julie’s Nine Week Food Plan

Breakfast: Porridge with 15g of Clean Lean Protein

Morning tea: 15g of Clean Lean Protein plus one scoop of Good Green Stuff and some LSA

Lunch: 1 cup basmati rice, 250g of zucchini noodles and 50g of spinach

Afternoon tea: Clean Lean Protein plus LSA and fat free yoghurt (instant pudding consistency)

Dinner:  Egg whites plus 100g spinach and a handful of tomatoes

Supper: 20g Clean Lean Protein mixed with fat free yoghurt

Kim’s weight loss story

Posted on |

Kim Alexander, hairdresser, shares her weight loss story with Nuzest

“At my heaviest I weighed 151.9 kg.  I was accepted for a weight loss operation on 28th of August 2016 and had to get down to a goal weight before they would operate.  I was looking for supportive products to help me when I bought a pack of Nuzest’s Clean Lean Protein and Good Green Stuff with the Eat, Live, Move programme.

I worked through the programme with the support of Kirsty McKelvie at Hardy’s and gained a much better overall understanding of the importance of nutrition.  I scaled back my eating and introduced some shakes and healthier meals.  I’m on my feet a lot at work and I used to really crave sugar as a quick energy boost — but that just made everything worse.  Once I started using the protein and greens shakes, I found that I felt fuller and the Good Green Stuff really helped to stop my sugar cravings.

I needed a programme that made sense and it had to be simple.  A lot of people see me now and don’t believe that I’ve lost the weight without going to the gym or doing hours and hours of exercise.

Clean Lean Protein and Good Green Stuff shakes help fuel my body to burn fat.  I lost 35kg before the operation and have now lost a total of 69.4 kg in less than a year.  People assume that weight loss operations are guaranteed to work but only around 5% are successful in the long term.  Most people don’t stick with the lifestyle changes and slip back into old eating habits.  Clean Lean Protein and Good Green Stuff have made all the difference.  I really want people to know what these products have done for me.”

Kim celebrating a milestone in her weight loss journey when she had lost as much as her colleague weighed!

 

Kim endorsing our new Eat Live Move programme, launched in stores nationwide

Nutrition that helps you shine from the inside out

Posted on |

Your wedding day is one of the most memorable days of your life so you want everything to be perfect, but for many brides their search for perfection leaves them feeling stressed out and anxious.  Nuzest nutritionist and naturopath, Cliff Harvey advises brides-to-be to forget crash diets and crazy exercise regimes in favour of some simple dietary changes.

“The human body is an amazing machine,” says Cliff.  “It performs millions of processes every day to move us around and turn thoughts into actions.  Good food, containing all the vitamins and minerals to run these processes, is critical for the body to work well – true beauty (clear skin, shiny hair, sparkling eyes) really does start on the inside.”

Cliff defines a healthy diet as one that is made up of 80% natural, whole, unprocessed food.  These foods are most likely to contain greater amounts of valuable micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants) that help your body work well, fight stress and, in the process, lose fat and gain muscle.

Frantic dieting and over-exercising is often counter-productive, creating a boomerang effect rather than building the foundations for sustainable good health.  Supplements can be useful to help simplify your move to a healthier diet according to Cliff — but they should not be used to replace real food.  Sensible supplementation takes the guesswork out of good nutrition; ensuring that your body’s metabolic pathways are properly fueled, leaving you healthier and more vital.

Good Green Stuff is a once-a-day shake that offers complete nutritional support.  Containing 75+ ingredients that include the very best forms of vitamins and minerals in a real-food base of greens, fruits, vegetables, herbs and berries; Good Green Stuff is strengthened with antioxidants, probiotics and digestive enzymes.

“Good Green Stuff feeds your body and your mind,” says Cliff.  “Adaptogenic herbs help sharpen your mental processing and reduce stress; a careful mix of vitamins and minerals support digestive health and immunity and, most importantly, all the ingredients are present in forms that are easy for your body to absorb and use.”

For best results, make changes to your diet, add a supplement and start (or continue) to get regular exercise at least three months before your wedding.  This will support any weight loss goals and give you peace of mind knowing that you are getting all the nutrients you need to really shine on the big day.

Eight ways to find your shine

Eat the rainbow:  Reduce carbs and boost your intake of vegetables and berries.  Work towards eating more than six fist-sized servings per day and at least one serving each of green, orange/yellow, red and purple options.

Eat meals not snacks:  Avoid comfort food and take the time to eat properly balanced meals.  Research suggests a link between snacking, increased obesity and poorer quality food choices.  If you’re stretched for time, protein smoothies are a quick, easy, nutritious meal.  Add Good Green Stuff to make sure all your bases are covered.

For healthy eating on the run, choose a high-quality plant protein like Clean Lean Protein as a base for morning and afternoon meals.  Many people find that making one large smoothie in the morning (including greens and berries plus small amount of good fat like avocado or coconut cream) and splitting it in half provides an easy-to-grab nutrition boost when the 2-3pm munchies hit.

Eat protein at every meal:  Protein speeds up your metabolism more than carbs and fat.  A higher protein diet is associated with lower body fat levels and lean muscle gain.  Protein also helps you to feel fuller for longer – making comfort food less of a temptation.

Hydrate!  The human body gets through about 100ml of water an hour so you need at least two litres per day to stay hydrated.  Kick-start your day by drinking two large glasses of fresh, purified water as soon as you wake up.  Add half a squeezed lemon or one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to one. (why?)

Cook extra dinner:  Save half for lunch the next day.  This will help you to avoid less healthy options during the working day.

Get enough sleep:  Sleep is crucial for recovery, repair and restoration of our bodies.  It’s also vital for hormonal balance.  Even one night of poor sleep increases the likelihood of over-eating and sugar cravings.  Sleep deprivation also makes us more prone to mood disorders.

Learn to relax:  Stress is not external but internal and is directly related to our bodies storing more fat.  Learning to relax more can significantly help with weight loss.

Stay active & do what you love:  Find activities that you enjoy.  If you’re not into boot camps or running, try dance or yoga.  You are much more likely to continue exercising if you have fun while you’re doing it.  Find a community to support and share your exercise of choice, it can really help you to keep your health and weight loss goals on track.

Go to our recipes pages for some delicious, healthy meal, snack and smoothie ideas

Article One: The Urge to Feast – Understanding Why Most Diets Fail

Posted on |

Are you of fuller body but wish you were leaner? Try as you might are you constantly tempted by foods that you know aren’t helping you? Do you feel as if you’re fighting a losing battle? If you answered yes to those questions — relax — you’re perfectly normal. It’s a natural part of our evolutionary hardwiring to want to feast on today’s high calorie foods. Foods made from grains, bread, pasta, chips, pizzas and sugary confectionary can seem tantalisingly seductive.

In hunter-gatherer days we didn’t come across sweet foods very often, so when we did, we needed to gorge ourselves and store the excess calories to get us through leaner times. Most of us still have those same urges today. It’s one of the reasons why we crave sugary, starchy and fatty foods and why it can be so hard to stop eating once we start. Unfortunately, these days we rarely face times of famine and the majority of us are nowhere near as active as our hunter-gatherer predecessors. The effects of which are mirrored in our bulging waistlines and spiralling rates of chronic disease.

This genetic evolutionary survival mechanism is one of the reasons why sugar is like a drug to us and becomes so addictive. If you’ve ever gone told turkey and stopped eating sugar for any length of time you’ll know how your palate changes and your body finally stops being tempted by it. But like an alcoholic that takes a drink after a period of abstinence, give in to sugar again and it’s doesn’t take long before the regular need for it overwhelms your will power once more.

Being genetically coded to survive times of famine rather than feast, it’s hard for many of us to maintain a lean physique when we’re faced with overstocked kitchens and high calorie foods tempting us on every street corner. Diets today are often full of refined carbohydrates that force the body into an over-production of insulin, also known as our ‘fat storage hormone’. Insulin’s responsible for maintaining a balanced blood sugar level, which in turn maintains our energy levels and acts as one of our main metabolic hormones. When insulin is imbalanced, the result can have negative consequences for our health, and our waistline. One of the main ones being that it switches the body over to burning sugar predominantly for energy instead of fat. More on this in the next two articles though…

For now, let’s stay with insulin for a bit longer.

Insulin allows blood sugar to enter the cells to supply the body with energy, but continually choosing foods – and drinks – high in sugar, combined with being overweight, has a strong effect on the delicate balance between blood sugar and insulin levels. This is why insulin balance is at the root of so many common illnesses and disorders. Given that our bodies are built to deal with sugary foods as a rarity rather than the norm, a condition called insulin resistance develops when we consistently eat foods high in glucose.

Under such circumstances, the pancreas is forced to pump out more and more insulin to try and regulate the excess sugar (glucose). Unfortunately, the body can only sustain a limited number of insulin receptors on each cell. Consequently, insulin receptors are continually activated and over worked and can’t successfully bind to the overwhelming amount of insulin. Working under such pressure insulin receptors, over time, lose their sensitivity and become ‘resistant’ to insulin, creating a danger zone when blood glucose is starts to rage out of control.

The knock on effect is that the body is literally unable to extract the glucose from the blood to power the muscles and they become starved of energy. Despite the excess of glucose in the blood – with more being consumed daily – the brain kills the desire to be active because the muscles have no energy. High glucose in the body is also toxic. If it rises too high, the liver is the only organ in the body that can get rid of it because the liver doesn’t require insulin to process glucose. But this comes at a high price in terms of weight management.

The liver converts excess glucose to triglycerides (fatty acids) and packages them up in fat cells for safe storage in adipose tissue (a community of fat cells, more commonly experienced as a bulging waistline or extra unwanted pounds in hard to shift places). Here the fat cells are rendered harmless to the body and left in storage until they may be needed as a future fuel source – not an easy source to access if you continue to flood the body with sugary or fatty refined carb foods on a daily basis. The higher the glucose levels, the more fat cells we need to create, generating a vicious, perpetual cycle.

The good news is that the cycle can be broken. Shifting your fuel sources and re-establishing some evolutionary norms allows the body to return to balance once more. One of the first steps being to start burning fat instead of sugar for energy, which in turn allows the desire to be active to flourish once more.

And there’s a clue for article number 2 in this series…!

Article Two: How the Body Uses Energy

Posted on |

Energy is the stuff we generate from burning fuel. It runs all the processes in our body, effectively keeping us alive. We sometimes think of food as energy, but it’s really an energy source rather than energy itself.  We can get energy from any of the three groups of macronutrients, namely fats, carbs and protein. As you’ll be reminded when you read the Nutrition Facts on the back of food labels, fats yield over twice as much energy as the other two groups. A molecule called ATP (which stands for adenosine triphosphate), is actually the body’s key fuel and we have microscopic energy-producing factories in our cells, especially muscle cells, that exist specially to provide us with all-important ATP that can be generated from fats, carbs or proteins. These are called mitochondria (Fig 1).

While we need to eat food to give us energy so that we can go about our lives, it’s important to realise that food is so much more than an energy source. Food is actually better thought of as information for the body. In it are a gamut of other compounds and molecules that help a bunch of different pathways in the body to work properly. For example, if you don’t have sufficient levels of particular micronutrients like B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, iodine and biotin, your body finds it difficult to create energy from food. More than that, we need compounds from colourful pigments in plants so that our immune systems can work effectively, our gut bacteria have the resources they need to work on our behalf and to scavenge and neutralise free radicals produced through the body’s normal activity.

Unless you are paralysed or severely ill, nearly every one of us has the capacity to move very quickly, at least for very short periods of time, be this for a few seconds rather than minutes. (Yes, even the world’s number one couch potato has this capacity!)  This ability is gifted to us through evolution and it’s what made us capable of the ‘flight and fight’ response that’s been essential to our survival. This response requires healthy lashings of adrenaline combined with readily available ATP from a compound we all have in our bodies in small amounts called creatine phosphate.  This ATP, delivered through what is known as our creatine phosphate (CP or phosphagen) system, gives us enough energy for immediate but very short bursts of activity lasting just a few seconds.

If the couch potato were to find his house on fire, the chances are he’d run out the door pretty quickly rather than face being toast because he didn’t feel up to moving. The CP system would rip him off the couch and get him flying in the direction of the exit and then when that immediate energy source was burned, some five or six seconds later, he’d have to rely on one or other of his other two energy systems; this is exactly the same process used by our ancestors when confronted head-on by a sabre-toothed tiger.

If we need to keep going for more than a few seconds, we need to rely on a different energy system. As alluded to above, we have two main options: we either burn fats, carbs or proteins without oxygen in a series of reactions called anaerobic glycolysis. Or we burn our fuels in the presence of oxygen in a process we refer to as aerobic respiration. The former is effectively our short-term energy system, as distinct from the CP or immediate energy system we spoke of above. The latter is our long-term energy system. If you want to run a marathon, long-distance cycle, mow the lawn or vacuum your house, you’ll be using your aerobic system. Having good aerobic fitness is about burning fuel efficiently at moderate levels of intensity, and still being able to put down reasonable power but not incurring an oxygen debt that pushes you above your aerobic threshold. Your anaerobic system is different in that its purpose if for shortish bursts of high intensity activity.  You can only use it for a few minutes at a time because you can’t sustain the oxygen debt for too long – and lactic acid build-up in your muscles, a side effect of this energy system, tells you to back off.

The anaerobic system yields a bit of energy as ATP and requires adequate amounts of readily accessible fuel, especially as glucose, a simple unit of carbohydrate. By contrast, your long-range endurance system, aerobic respiration, is there for you to keep going, as long as your overall fitness can manage. If you’re well trained, you can literally function in aerobic mode all day long. While you’re at it you can still deliver occasional bursts of energy in anaerobic or even CP mode, but you’ll soon want to back it off to a more moderate pace if you’re planning on walking, running, rowing or cycling for most of the day. The aerobic system relies on ATP being produced in your mitochondria, which hang out especially in muscle tissue. Bigger, stronger, leaner muscles have more mitochondria and mitochondria of greater volume. People who are frail have fewer mitochondria and weaker muscles. Aerobic respiration produces creates around 17 times more energy as ATP through reactions within the mitochondria called the Krebs or citric acid cycle and the Electron Transport Chain than the aerobic glycolysis that takes place in the muscle tissues outside the mitochondria (Fig. 1).

The body’s fuel of choice for the aerobic system is fat. It delivers, as I said above, over twice as much energy as compared with burning carbs or protein. The reason we all have a tendency to put on fat around our middle and under our skin (adipose fat) is precisely so we can use it as a fuel when we need it. The trouble is, many of us have lost the ability to burn fats efficiently and this is increasingly thought to be one of the reasons why overweight and obesity have become such a problem in so many societies. More on that in our next article.

This leaves us with one more energy system, aerobic glycolysis, which we can think of as our long-range energy system. It’s one that produces lots of ATP

Article Three: How to Burn Fat More Efficiently

Posted on |

How to Burn Fat More Efficiently

We’ve learned that fat burning is a system we’ve developed to allow us to use energy over long distances. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors, whose genes we share almost unchanged, would roam their environments on the hunt for food for hours or even days on end. We would not be around today if they cold only hunt successfully if they could refuel on bags of potato chips or cans of coke every few hours. They would genuinely be running on empty, using fuel that they had previously stored. Someone who gets lost in the desert and is unable to hunt successfully will die, usually after a few days without food and water. But it’s not the lack of food that causes death, it’s the lack of water. Most of us can function, given water, for well over two weeks without food. That’s because we burn first of all our fat reserves, and then we that runs out, we start burning protein as muscle tissue. What’s ingenious about it is that we also generate another fuel when we burn fat called ketone bodies. These ketone bodies – or ketones for short – are actually are brain’s favourite fuels. If you keep burning fat, and continue to not eat over many days, the levels of ketones in your system can get so high they kill you. That’s why for many years ketones were thought of as bad compounds because they were known to occur at very high levels in people who were starving to death. To keep ketones as low as possible, you need to shut down your fat burning system. The best way to do that is by taking in lots of carbs.

Now, think about all those overweight people in the gym who you’ve seen working out on treadmills and cycling machines who never seem to lose weight. Chances are they’re working out for under an hour at a time and they’re also downing glucose- or sugar-laden energy drinks or energy gels to keep them going. Their diets might also be low fat and high in refined and processed carbs like white bread, pasta, pizzas and white rice.

What we now know is that we need to back off eating carbs to encourage our bodies to burn fats. This is one reason that there’s been so much interest in law carb diets, as well as ones that increase the amount of healthy fats. These kinds of diets are often referred to as Low Carb High Fat or LCHF diets. But it’s not just a question of what you’re eating, it’s also about how much and when you’re eating.

When we start exercising aerobically our bodies normally rely on the most readily accessible fuel. It’s actually not fats, carbs or protein. It’s a compound called glycogen that’s stored in our liver and muscles. If we’re replenished with glycogen from a good meal with plenty of complex carbs from vegetables, starches or grains the night before, most of us will have a reserve of some 500 – 800g of glycogen. This will be sufficient to act as our main fuel for around 60 to 90 minutes of moderate intensity exercise. So if you’re going to do some aerobic work in the gym and stop after just 30 minutes, you will have barely started to

burn your fat reserves, irrespective of whether the machine in the gym tells you you’ve been in your fat burning zone for that half hour. You’ve burned part of your glycogen reserve that will be replete if you down an energy drink or another carb source after your workout.

What the fat burning zone inscribed on your treadmill, stepper, rower or gym bike is telling is however is right if you’re prepared to stay in this low to moderate heart rate zone for some time. This fat burning zone is approximately 60-70% of your maximum heart rate, which is roughly 220 minus your age, although it can be considerably higher than this if you’re very fit. But how many people can manage over an hour of aerobic work in the gym. Three or four times a week. Not many as it happens.

That’s one reason why, when it comes to burning fat, getting outdoors and doing a long walk or cycle ride makes a lot more sense for many people. But it requires time – something not many of us have in abundance. But perhaps you can manage this once or twice a week if you really try, ideally not on consecutive days.

Such is the flexibility of our bodies’ systems that there are also other ways of burning fat. Intermittent fasting is one of the best ways of getting there. It’s a somewhat fancy term referring to a pattern of eating that involves eating both less as well as less often than a normal Western person might typically eat. There’s actually nothing odd about this way of eating – our ancestors almost certainly ate this way. They certainly didn’t eat three meals a day with snacks in between. They would go through cycles of feast and famine – and it’s important to realise we are supremely well-adapted to famine because if we weren’t, we’d not be here today. And bizarrely, it’s now the excessive feasting that’s much more likely to kill us than the famine…

One of the most useful rules with intermittent fasting is to try to cut down on your meal frequency by avoiding eating within five hours of your last meal. Another point involves cutting out snacks between meals, as well as all refined and processed carbohydrates like white bread, white pasta and white rice. Doing a couple of training or exercise sessions on a completely empty stomach (other than water) will also help you shift towards being a better fat burner. As will engaging in very short bursts of high intensity exercise, with rests of the same or double the duration in between. This is called High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT and you’ll find plenty of information about it on the internet, such is its popularity given its proven role in triggering mitochondrial function and fat burning. Depending on what your fitness goal is, you can adjust the pattern of your HIIT sessions to deliver different results.

With a personal trainer with extensive experience in HIIT, there are even HIIT regimes suitable for people with serious diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity. It may seem a bit tough, but think of it as short and sharp, with good rewards. Get it right and your metabolism will become super flexible, using whatever fuels are most efficient. You’ll generate ketones at low levels

(nutritional ketosis) to keep your brain super sharp and you’ll even burn fat while you sleep!

When you’ve finished a bout of training over 20 or 30 minutes, make sure you consume around 20 grams of good quality protein to help your body recover and your muscles to grow stronger following the exercise trigger you’ve delivered to them. It’s a good idea to get this protein in within a 30-minute window of completing your activity. If the activity has involved long periods of endurance, you might also want to add some complex carbs and branched chain amino acids to the mix, as well as a good quality multi-nutrient product with plenty of good quality vitamins and minerals, botanicals, probiotics and other micronutrients that help support your multiple body systems.

Article Four: 10 Steps to Getting – and Staying – lean!

Posted on |

10 Steps to Getting – and Staying – lean!

If you’ve read the preceding 3 blogs in this series you’ll now know the ‘What’ and the ‘Why’ regarding healthy weight management. This final blog is all about the ‘How’ – in 10 easy steps, because it’s really, honestly, not complicated. And I can say that because I’ve done it. After 25 years of trying to find a solution to my own health and weight management issues, these are the steps I took which led to both my professional aha-moment and my personal weight management salvation. What’s more, it didn’t take long to make huge changes that have now become permanent.

Here you go…

1. Start by working out a weekly menu plan that incorporates three meals per day, with no snacks or drinks in between, other than water. Prepare to be on this for 8-10 weeks. Leave at least five hours in between meals to let your digestive and immune systems rest and recover. Some scientists uphold that our digestive tract typically receives more immune challenges in a single day than our whole body does in a lifetime. That’s because food, which comes from outside our body, generates an immune reaction because it needs to be screened and responded to accordingly to make sure it won’t harm us. This is why resting your digestion for extended periods between food or drink is so important. Grazing through the day puts your immune system on continuous red alert, saps your body of energy and leaves it in a permanent state of low-grade inflammation, all of which predisposes you to a significantly higher risk of chronic disease, let alone upping the number of calories you’re eating that aren’t offset by your activity level.

2. Include good quality protein at every meal and make sure you get at least a gram of actual protein (not simply protein-containing food) for every kilogram of body weight (that about 2 oz for every 10 lbs of body weight). For instance, 100 g of chicken breast contains about 20 g of protein, 100 g of beef, typically about 25 g of protein and 100 g of legumes averages between 7-9 g of protein. Nuzest’s Clean Lean Protein is a perfect choice for meals on the go or for a cost effective way to increase your daily intake of protein. It’s particularly useful for vegans and vegetarians who may well be getting insufficient protein. Make sure you’re mixing it with Nuzest’s Good Green Stuff if you’re using it as a meal replacement to feed all 12-body systems with targeted nutrition.

3. Drop your fears about fat, including saturated fat, and make sure you’re getting enough of the right kind, but avoid trans fats, hydrogenated fats and fats damaged by high temperature cooking. That means including some good quality, organic butter (exclusively grass fed cows where possible – as long as you’re not sensitive to dairy. If you are, use coconut, avocado, olive oil or another healthy fat instead), extra virgin coconut oil, avocados, tree nut oils (e.g. macadamia nut oil), olives and unfiltered extra virgin olive oil. Clear your cupboards of common vegetable oils e.g. rapeseed (canola), sunflower, safflower, soybean, corn etc. It’s the protein and higher level of fat that keep you fuller for longer and give you better fuel for making energy so that you won’t crave sugar and refined carbs.

4. Keep your portions sizes modest and if necessary eat off a breakfast rather than a dinner plate. Eat mostly whole, real and unprocessed food. Minimal processing of some foods is OK, but always avoid ultra-processed and highly refined foods. Check out the Alliance for Natural Health’s Food4Health plate to get some guidance about how to balance your protein, carbs and fats, along with key pointers on food preparation and eating habits.

5. Make sure you’re eating all the six main colour groups of vegetables and fruit on a daily basis (green, orange, red, yellow, blue/purple/black and white/tan/brown). We call this eating a rainbow every day. Plates of colourful food every day help you ensure you’re getting the full phytonutrient spectrum into your diet. Nuzest’s Good Green Stuff is loaded with phytonutrients to bump up what you’re getting from your food because they are Nature’s best (and safest) medicine. Try to introduce a new vegetable that you may not have had before every week.

6. Remember that not all carbs are created equal. For the ominovores among you, in order to optimise your fat-burning metabolic pathway, try and remove all refined, starchy carbohydrates (e.g. refined grains, pizza, pasta, pulses/legumes, quinoa, amaranth, bread, cakes, biscuits, sugar and bagels etc) from your diet. Instead of starchy carbs, use a diverse colour range of vegetables as the carbohydrate base of your meals. These not only provide complex carbs, but also all-important phytonutrients. For vegetarians and vegans, keep the pulses/legumes and quinoa in your diet (as these are important protein sources), but do cut out other grains and all refined, starchy, sugary carbs as above. Vegetables and fruit are great sources of complex carbs and, eaten in sufficient quantity, they provide an ample intake of carbs for most people’s energy requirements. For those who have particularly high energy requirements, such as athletes, rice, especially brown rice, and coarse oats, in small to moderate quantities according to need, alongside other protein and vegetable sources, are the grains least likely to cause adverse inflammatory or immune reactions in most people. Always try to source certified gluten-free oats if available.

7. Fruit, whilst full of good stuff (phytonutrients), is also full of sugar, so limit yourself to no more than three fruits (or a handful of berries instead of one fruit) a day – eaten with or immediately after a meal, where possible. Remember, no snacking!

8. By increasing your vegetable content, with some fruits, you will naturally increase your fibre levels, both soluble and insoluble. Fibre is essential for the healthy functioning of your digestive tract and isn’t something you can scrimp on.

9. Recover the lost art of chewing! The slow, methodical, mechanical chewing along with the release of associated salivary enzymes is actually the first stage of digestion and is really important for gut function and general health. Try chewing each mouthful of solid food 30 times before swallowing.

10. Where possible and when available, buy certified organic, biodynamic or sustainably produced meat, poultry, dairy, vegetables and fruit. Where you can’t, check out the US’ Dirty Dozen list of the foods most likely to be pesticide-contaminated, and the Clean Fifteen that are likely to contain no or harmless levels of pesticide residues if sourced from ‘conventional’ production.

If you’re a meat eater and once you’ve established this eating pattern for 8 – 10 weeks, you’ll probably find that you’re ready to drop one meal of the day to naturally create a longer fast. Whilst each of us is different, many people find that they want to drop breakfast and fast through from dinner the night before till lunch the next day. But you may also want to keep breakfast and drop one of the other meals. This is a perfectly natural progression – or I should say regression – back to a more evolutionary norm given that we’re built for famine and not for feast. Intermittent fasting also has the benefit of calorie restriction because you eat less in a day, so trust your body and go with flow. If you’re vegan or vegetarian this will likely be more difficult to achieve without using a protein shake like Clean Lean Protein, as you’ll have to eat more carbs in order to get sufficient daily protein.

Are supplements really worth it?

Posted on |

Are supplements really worth it?

By Cliff Harvey

There have recently been a number of articles like this one:

http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/most-dietary-supplements-useless-but-here-are-the-ones-you-should-take/

making the claim that most dietary ‘supplements are worthless. And you know…I might almost be inclined to agree with them that ‘many’ supplements are indeed not worth the money, but this has more to do with the quality of forms and ingredients used, or because certain supplements do offer more hype than substance. Some of the claims made lack credibility though:

“Protein powder: Skip it and eat beans, tofu, nuts, fish or meat instead”

I’ve always said, and continue to say that food comes first. So you might be forgiven for thinking that I agree with this. But I don’t…

Protein powders are no better than food derived proteins, but they are also no worse. They are simply protein. So what someone should use at any given time comes down to two things: convenience and cost.

Sometimes it is difficult to prepare a robust, nutritionally sound meal, but conversely it is easy to whizz up a smoothie that contains a quality protein powder, along with lots of great, whole-foods like berries, nuts and vegetables, making a great meal. Protein powders also compare reasonably with meat, fish and chicken cost-wise and so the added convenience of a protein powder doesn’t need to come at a high cost. Cost and convenience are two of the factors that we see affecting compliance with a good diet, and so, if a protein can help with these, it’s likely to be beneficial.

“Creatine: Skip it – eat meat instead”

While the article suggests that there are moderate benefits to taking creatine (I would say that the effects can be pretty profound actually) they go on to say that you should just eat meat to get your creatine intake. Animal muscle tissue contains approximately 0.5% creatine by weight, and so to get an effective dose of creatine you’d need to eat around 1kg of meat per day in addition to what you’re currently eating! Given the well over 1000 peer-reviewed papers published on creatine and showing overwhelming benefits and the extraordinary amount of meat you’d have to eat to get these same benefits, it’s clear that supplementing is a good idea! And creatine isn’t just for bodybuilders! The muscle-building and strength and power improvements are likely to benefit most gym-goers but more importantly for everyday Joes, emerging evidence suggests that creatine can play a valuable role in improving brain health and function.

Ginseng: Skip it — while some research finds that it can help curb fatigue, scientists say more is needed to prove that it’s safe

Ginseng has a long history of use in traditional medicine and is typically regarded as safe. When we have foods and herbs that have been used for many thousands of years without adverse effects we need to take that into account. In fact, this is one of the criteria for common culinary herbs and foods being Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS) by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Of course whenever using a herb for a medicinal purpose it is important to get advice from a qualified, registered health practitioner who is trained in the use of herbal medicine (such as a properly qualified naturopath or medical herbalist.)

Fish oil pills: Skip them — you can eat salmon instead

Fish is great, but it can be simply too difficult to ensure that you are getting enough of the beneficial omega 3 oils consistently unless you eat a lot of oily fish. Although there is some debate about the value of fish oil supplements, the evidence shows that fish oil supplementation is cardioprotective (1) and exerts positive effects on markers of cardiovascular health like improving ‘good’ cholesterol, reducing fats in the blood and reducing blood pressure.(2-5) Increased consumption of omega 3s from fish or fish-oil supplements reduces rates of all-cause mortality, cardiac and sudden death, and possibly stroke,(6, 7) and benefits from fish oil supplementation are seen in depression.(8, 9) A modest but consistent benefit from fish oil is also seen for joint swelling and pain, and morning stiffness.(10) Not all fish oil supplements are created equal though. Some reports have shown that fish oil can be oxidised and rancid by the time it reaches the consumer. Make sure you use a reputable brand of fish oil.

What about Multi’s and Greens?

Many of us don’t get all of the micronutrients from diet alone. This is especially true of vitamin A, B1, B6, B12 and iron. And a whopping 25% of us don’t get enough zinc, while nearly one half of us don’t get enough selenium!(11) Without all of these vital nutrients we are unable to do anything well. You can think of vitamins and minerals are like the spark plugs in a car—they may not seem too important, but without them, nothing can happen! So it makes sense that a quality multi can help to fill the gaps in your diet. Quality is key though. Many multi formulas use poorer (cheaper) forms of vitamins like B9 and B12 [natural-folate-vs-synthetic-folic-acid] and others, that are either not as effective, or could even be harmful in the long-term. Always choose a whole-food based, high-quality multinutrient like Good Green Stuff.  Likewise, most of us now don’t eat the recommended quantity of veggies every day. A quality Greens / multi helps to stock up your green intake for the day.

Many other supplements have considerable evidence backing their benefits, from magnesium to vitamin C, to zinc, just to name a few. A qualified and registered practitioner can help you to determine which specific supplements you should and shouldn’t take.

Conclusion

While some of the statements circulating on the net have value, it is unwise to become too ‘absolutist’ about a pro vs. con position towards supplements.

Each supplement should be evaluated on its merits including:

  • Does it use quality ingredients?
  • Does it use the best forms of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients?
  • Does it have a sound, evidence-base for its use?
  • Does it include ingredients that actually work…or just ones that are trendy?

The evidence clearly shows that some supplements offer tremendous benefits and that many of us don’t get enough of even the essential nutrients from diet alone and so there is a sound AND evidence based rationale for supplementation.

 

References

  1. Delgado-Lista J, Perez-Martinez P, Lopez-Miranda J, Perez-Jimenez F. Long chain omega-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease: a systematic review. British Journal of Nutrition. 2012;107(SupplementS2):S201-S13.
  2. Montori VM, Farmer A, Wollan PC, Dinneen SF. Fish oil supplementation in type 2 diabetes: a quantitative systematic review. Diabetes Care. 2000;23(9):1407-15.
  3. Eslick GD, Howe PRC, Smith C, Priest R, Bensoussan A. Benefits of fish oil supplementation in hyperlipidemia: a systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Cardiology. 2009;136(1):4-16.
  4. Balk EM, Lichtenstein AH, Chung M, Kupelnick B, Chew P, Lau J. Effects of omega-3 fatty acids on serum markers of cardiovascular disease risk: A systematic review. Atherosclerosis. 2006;189(1):19-30.
  5. Campbell F, Dickinson HO, Critchley JA, Ford GA, Bradburn M. A systematic review of fish-oil supplements for the prevention and treatment of hypertension. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. 2013;20(1):107-20.
  6. Wang C, Harris WS, Chung M, Lichtenstein AH, Balk EM, Kupelnick B, et al. n−3 Fatty acids from fish or fish-oil supplements, but not α-linolenic acid, benefit cardiovascular disease outcomes in primary- and secondary-prevention studies: a systematic review. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2006;84(1):5-17.
  7. León H, Shibata MC, Sivakumaran S, Dorgan M, Chatterley T, Tsuyuki RT. Effect of fish oil on arrhythmias and mortality: systematic review. BMJ. 2008;337.
  8. Appleton KM, Rogers PJ, Ness AR. Updated systematic review and meta-analysis of the effects of n−3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids on depressed mood. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2010.
  9. Appleton KM, Hayward RC, Gunnell D, Peters TJ, Rogers PJ, Kessler D, et al. Effects of n–3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids on depressed mood: systematic review of published trials. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2006;84(6):1308-16.
  10. Miles EA, Calder PC. Influence of marine n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on immune function and a systematic review of their effects on clinical outcomes in rheumatoid arthritis. British Journal of Nutrition. 2012;107(SupplementS2):S171-S84.
  11. University of Otago and Ministry of Health. A Focus on Nutrition: Key findings of the 2008/09 New Zealand Adult Nutrition Survey. Wellington: 2011.

10 ways to get more GREENS!

Posted on |

As a Health and Nutrition Coach I focus my advice on getting more of the good stuff in – rather than taking things away and if there is any one food that we should be crowding into our diet it’s green veggies!

When we strive to get more greens into our diet we are naturally crowding out the foods that might be making you feel awful.  The more greens we consume, the more we strengthen our immune system and support overall health.

Leafy greens are alkaline and mineral rich. They are high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and vitamins A, C, E and K. They are also loaded with fibre, chlorophyll and many other micro nutrients and phytochemicals to help put more pep into our step.

There are so many different greens out there, and there is more benefit to enjoying a wide variety rather than having just spinach every day for the rest of the month.

If you’re like I was however, finding ways to get your greens is easier said than done. To help make things easier, I’ve put together a list of tips to help your day become maybe just a little bit greener.

 

  1. Add to scrambles: I love eating eggs, nature’s multi-vitamin, but why not give them a boost by adding some greens to your omelettes and scrambles. The taste is neutral but the benefits are far from. Simply add some olive oil or butter to the pan, add some chopped greens (spinach and silver beet are nice) and then pour over your eggs and scramble as usual.

 

  1. Spirilize: If you haven’t got a sprializer – you totally should! Kids love watching the curly courgette noodles come through the other end (ok I admit it, I love it too) and they make a great swap for your spaghetti bolognaise. When it comes to pasta, it’s really the sauce that adds the flavour so why not swap out your noodles for spirilized courgette (or other vegetables) and enjoy a nutritional boost without compromising flavour.

 

  1. Swap out your rice: Curry is delicious with a bed of greens. Again, it’s the curry itself that packs a flavour punch and the rice is really just a way to add some bulk. So, why not serve your curry on a bed of sautéed greens?  Still not convinced? How about chopping some greens up and simply adding to your curry instead. That way you still get your rice AND your greens.

 

  1. Hide in stews: I don’t like the thought of “hiding” greens but adding them to stews and soups can be a great way to get some additional green goodness. Chop them up finely and tell the family it’s fresh herbs – or better yet – add some fresh herbs as well!

 

  1. Snack time: There are some pretty amazing green snacks out there these days. Kale chips can be purchased from just about any health-minded store and are also really easy to make. You can also make some amazing dips with avocado or even coconut yogurt and kimchi and use celery to scoop it up. The opportunities are endless.

 

  1. Use as a wrap or burger bun: I know, it doesn’t sound nearly as exciting but trust me, once you try it, the flavours are so much richer. Even popular restaurants and take-away places are offering bun-less options. Give it a try – you wont regret it!

 

  1. Chop up finely and put into fritters: I tend to “hide” greens into everything. If you’re making a kumara fritter or any other type of veggies, why not finely chop some greens such as silver beet or spinach and add them to the mixture? You can sauté first but if you chop them fine enough there really isn’t any need (and that’s just an extra step right?).

 

  1. Prep in advance so you’re more likely to use them: Ah yes, “Sunday prep day”. No matter what day it is, if you have the time why not chop up some extra veggies so that you can simply grab and go on the run or when you’re beginning to get a little bit ‘hangry’? Or, if you’re a super busy person, just chop some extras when you were going to need them anyways and tuck the extras away in the fridge.

 

  1. Add them to smoothies: Smoothies are the ultimate place to get some greens.  If you really want to go incognito blend into your favourite chocolate smoothie and no one will know.  Spinach and silver beet have a fairly neutral tastes so are my top choices when it comes to covert smoothie action.  Kale is fine too but has a much stronger flavour.  Another trick I enjoy is freezing chopped courgette for smoothies. They make the smoothie creamy and cold without changing the flavour.  Teamed with a scoop of Vanilla Clean Lean Protein – no banana necessary.

 

  1. Get some Good Green StuffCan’t seem to make time for veggies? Or just need an extra boost – there’s always Good Green Stuff.  My green insurance policy in one convenient scoop.  Because sometimes…. Well life is busy.

 

Have a look at this great recipe:

Good Green Gummies! 

2 cups coconut milk

1 scoop Good Green Stuff 

1 handful of spinach 

1 banana

2 Tbsp powdered gelatine 

 

Warm the coconut milk in a saucepan. 

Place the warmed coconut milk and the rest of the ingredients in a blender and blend until well combined. 

Pour into a baking paper lined square baking dish. 

Place in the fridge to gel then cut into squares. 

Article One: Supporting your body’s innate detox capacity

Posted on |

You might wonder why governments allow so many chemicals to be released into the environment? Why are there so many chemicals in our food, water, clothes, toiletries, cosmetics and cleaning products? Are the pesticide residues in our foods really safe?  And what about the indoor or outdoor air we breathe, the water we drink, or the plastic containers we store our food in, or put our kids’ school lunches in?

What about those artificial flavours, preservatives, colours, sweeteners or technological additives that are laced through so much processed food we find in supermarkets? Then there’s the chemicals released from vehicles, factories and power stations.  The list is seemingly endless. While some industrial compounds have been evaluated for safety, the majority haven’t. Where safety has been evaluated, the studies are always based on individual chemical compounds, studied in isolation, often on animals or bacteria. The fact is, we’re human, and we’re not exposed to these chemicals in isolation, but rather as highly complex mixtures that are almost impossible to study. Not only is each one of our exposures different, our genetic ability to handle these exposures is also different. That’s why some of us react very differently to others.

The harsh reality is that more of us are not coping well with this chemical assault. This may be seen by high levels of certain liver enzymes that are doing their best to work overtime to detoxify our bodies but have been overwhelmed. Chemical overload can manifest in a multitude of ways and can lead to, chronic fatigue syndrome, anxiety or disturbed sleep patterns, among many other things.

Apart from reducing your chemical load as far as you can, you can also help support your detoxification system. This means making sure you eat a healthy, balanced and varied diet, drink at least 2 litres of spring, mineral or filtered water daily (more of you’re exercising intensively, especially in hot weather) and taking some supplementary nutrients. A daily serving of a broad spectrum ‘supplemented food’, such as Nuzest’s Good Green Stuff, with it’s powerpack of 75 ingredients that feed all 12 of your body systems—including your detoxification, digestive and immune systems—is a great place to start.

We hope you enjoy your low-tox living journey. It makes perfect sense in an increasingly toxic world, and it’s the way of the future.

Article Two: What’s your toxic burden?

Posted on |

Our bodies do remarkable things every day to manage the load of chemical toxins to which we expose them. Some of these we produce internally, being products of our digestion and metabolism. But we also get exposed to a plethora of toxins in our external environment, absorbing them in the food we eat and the water and beverages we consume or wash in. We inhale them in the air we breathe and we absorb them through our skins each time we shower or bath. Our bodies are very well adapted to the toxins we produce internally—because they’ve had millennia to adapt and develop ways of getting rid of them, often in a modified, detoxified or partially detoxified state. It’s the chemicals we absorb from our external environment that have changed so much in recent times—especially over the last 50 years which is just a whisker of time in evolutionary terms.

Environmental Medicine is a rapidly expanding field that looks at the interplay between our bodies and genes and the complex mixtures of synthetic, as well as natural, compounds to which we’re exposed daily. Most of us are exposed to a cocktail of around 20,000 new-to-nature, industrially manufactured chemicals each day. If we’re in good health, eating and hydrating properly, many of us can handle this assault, with our on-board detoxification systems doing a great job ‘biotransforming’ toxins and getting rid of their metabolites in our urine, faeces or sweat. Some fat-soluble compounds, such as dioxins, which can be found in chlorine-bleached tampons, nappies and some municipal drinking water, aren’t readily excreted. They may be ‘biotransformed’ into compounds that are more toxic and much of it gets dumped in our fat. If we then burn fat, we risk releasing these fat-soluble toxins into our circulation. More of the 10 trillion or so cells that make up an adult body then get re-exposed.

We’re rapidly learning that most of us benefit from reducing our toxic chemical burden.  Since most forms of cancer are environmental, this is a good idea to help reduce your long-term cancer risk. But there are often other benefits like less fatigue and fewer jangled nerves.

The first step to reducing your toxic chemical burden is finding out more about your sources of exposure. You can then remove these entirely or substitute for safer, less toxic products. This process will take time, but think about swapping out at least one product in your home or office every week for something safer. Studying the US website of the Environmental Working Group (www.ewg.org) is a fantastic place to start.

Article Three: Low-tox living — 5 top tips for lowering your toxic burden

Posted on |

Have you ever considered what your toxic body burden is?  Does that mean anything to you?  If it doesn’t, hopefully this series of articles will help you to ‘lighten your load’ if necessary.

The term body burden refers to the level of environmental toxic load our bodies are carrying whilst still attempting to function normally.  By environmental toxins we mean things like heavy metals from air pollution, pesticides ingested in or on our food or leached into the food supply through soil and water, hormone-disrupting chemicals in our personal care products and plastics or chemicals like fluoride that are added to the water supply.  And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

Every day we are also bombarded by chemicals from industry, waste incinerators, air travel, household cleaning products, building materials, cigarette smoke and way more.  You get the picture.  We might have a lot more convenience, but we also have a hugely increased health risk from the wide-spread use of new-to-nature molecules.

Here are 5 top tips to help you unload or avoid some of that burden:

Food and Water – clean up your survival staples.

Go organic where you can to lower your exposure to pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, fertilisers, antibiotics and a host of other chemicals that find their way into our food supply. Check out the Dirty Dozen+  for produce you really don’t want to eat if it’s not organic and the Clean Fifteen , for produce you can. Ensure that your meat is either organic or pasture-reared/grass-fed and free range to lower the quota of hormonal by-products from stressed animals on top of other contaminants. Reduce the amount of food you’re consuming that comes wrapped in plastic, because certain plastics (particularly the soft, bendy ones) leach oestrogen-like mimicker molecules (xenoestrogens) into our bodies that play havoc with our hormonal balance. Reduce your exposure to tap water by installing a good quality filter at home, particularly if your municipal water is fluoridated. Try not to buy drinking water in plastic bottles as it may be full of xenoestrogens, particularly if you live in a hot climate.

Personal care toiletries and cosmetics – cleanliness and vanity, but at a price.  Switch your brands to those derived from natural ingredients that are free of hormone-imbalancing and potentially cancer-causing contaminants. From heavy metals like lead and mercury in our mascara and lipsticks, to hormone disrupters in our shampoo and body wash and known carcinogens in hair dyes, our personal care products can be a toxic soup that’s in contact with our skin day in and day out. And our skin is the largest organ in the body — what goes on it, goes in it!

Household chemicals – get rid of toxic vapours.
Much like personal care products, our homes should be places of rest, recuperation and recovery. But building materials, fire retardant and stain removing fabrics, deodorisers and cleaning products create a noxious environment of toxic vapours that put your family and pets at risk.  Say no to as many optional extras as you can and switch your household cleaners to natural alternatives or return to the traditional cleaning agents of yesteryear like vinegar, lemon juice and washing soda.

Air pollution – support the most important survival staple of all!
From cigarette smoke to car fumes in inner city living, we are surrounded by air that’s full of less than wholesome particulates. If you live in the city try to have foliage near windows to ‘soak’ up the air pollution. Cycle through parks when you can and walk on pavements/sidewalks as far away from the road as possible. Amazing that research is showing that walking even 1m away from the road on the pavement decreases the amount of inhaled particulates.  It’s not so much the heavy metals anymore but nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds that are causing distress.

Rest and movement – Nature’s natural healers.
Make sure you have adequate sleep for maximum regeneration and recovery. That means 6-9 hours a night in a totally darkened room to allow your pineal gland to produce melatonin – the regenerative, ‘mopping-up’ hormone!  But just as you need sleep, you also need movement.  We are designed to be active beings engaging G-force on a regular daily basis to stay healthy and support our biotransformation/detox pathways.
US Centers for Disease Control Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals http://www.cdc.gov/biomonitoring/pdf/FourthReport_UpdatedTables_Feb2015.pdf