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ALAN LEVI PERSONAL TRAINING

GET STRONGER, LIVE LONGER

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Gorgonzola Chicken

Posted on December 2, 2012 at 5:03 PM Comments comments (0)
Bored of chicken as a meal, then try this simple and delicious culinary delight.
 
Butterfly two breasts of chicken, place some gorgonzola inside, and then wrap in some parma ham. Place in an oven at 180 degrees for 40 minutes or till the chicken is cooked.
 
Serve with rocket salad,cherry tomatoes, mozarella, and basil leaves. Simple and delicious!

More than just an omelette !

Posted on October 21, 2012 at 11:16 AM Comments comments (0)
Try out this super-omelette recipe for a real meal !
 
Crack four eggs into a bowl, add some herb seasoning (I got mine from the Cuckoo fair and they are a perfect blend of thyme, marjoram, ginger etc, and they come in different varieties like "Cor Blimey" or "Egyptian"). Add a dash of sea salt and some black pepper to taste. I like a bit of veg in mine, but can't be bothered to steam spinach etc so I just flake some seaweed in (the same stuff that sushi rolls are wrapped in - any supermarket or health store will stock them). Take a knob of coconut oil, and heat on a frying pan, Whisk the egg mix thoroughly and slowly pour onto the (now heated) frying pan. Swish the egg mixture around until  the omelette has set.
 
Once it has set, sprinkle some parmasan cheese on top and grill for a few minutes.
 
Now get some smoked salmon and rocket salad, take the omelette and place the rocket and salmon on top, fold and demolish. .
 
Lovely!
 
GET STRONGER, LIVE LONGER

What's the big deal about magnesium?

Posted on September 16, 2012 at 4:38 PM Comments comments (0)
I often get asked why magnesium is so critically important- why don't I focus more on calcium or some other minerals. And why can't I get enough magnesium from my diet?
 
Well the simple answer is, unfortunately due to the poor quality of soil nowadays, zinc and magnesium are woefully inadequate in our diet. Yes you can get a lot from eating nuts and seeds, but not what I would call a therapeutic dosage (enough to offset health issues such as poor sleep for example). And even if you could get it through your diet, the net result of eating all those nuts and seeds would be a very fat person who was sleeping well !
I have detailed below some of the attributes of magnesium:
  • Magnesium helps lower cortisol (stress hormone)
  • It lowers C-reactive proteins
  • It is the ultimate stress management mineral because it calms the nervous system and supports adrenal glands that have been worn out
  • It can reduce high blood pressure
  • It is a critical component in the treatment of chronic fatigue
  • It can alleviate or cure insomnia
  • Magnesium deficiency results in weak muscles and fatigue
  • Magnesium is involved in over 200 enzymatic reactions in the body,
    in particular those processes involved in energy production (ie,
    production of ATP).
  • Magnesium is required for the proper functioning of nerves and
    muscles.
  • Magnesium is involved in the acid/alkaline balance of the body and in
    the regulation of body temperature.
  • Magnesium is involved in the activation of enzymes necessary for the
    metabolism of carbohydrates, fat and protein, and the production of
    hydrochloric acid.
  • Magnesium improves absorption and retention of calcium.
  • Magnesium is needed for cardiovascular health and for the regulation
    of heart rhythm.
 
So, if you are interested in getting the best quality magnesium available, visit my online shop where you will get FREE postage and packing for a limited time, and a discounted price!
 
Get Stronger, Live Longer !

Free Intermittent Fasting e-book

Posted on August 27, 2012 at 3:00 PM Comments comments (42)
I often get asked by clients what I think about Intermittent Fasting. Well, there is a lot of research to suggest that it has dramatic effects on a whole raft of health issues ranging from cancer risk to Type II diabetes. But do I recommend it? Not really, I feel people struggle enough with issues around food - just getting them to eat the RIGHT stuff is hard enough, let alone telling them that twice a week they aren't to eat anything! However, that is not to say its not worth trialling or that I won't give it a go, and for those of you who are interested, please read this exceptional book by Dr John Berardi which will give you a balanced, scientific and thought provoking analysis of IF, and the various types of protocol available to you to try.
 
I certainly WOULD NOT recommend IF to pregnant Mum's or people with a history of eating disorders, nor those who are currently underweight.
 
Get Stronger, Live Longer !
 

Marlon Brand and Oil Pulling

Posted on August 25, 2012 at 9:51 AM Comments comments (0)
Marlon Brando sat in a restaurant in the 1960's being relentlessly  pursued by an annoying papparazzo. Eventually he called the man over and said "Is there anything you want, that you haven't got?". The papparazzo mused, and then said, "Yeah, a photo with your sunglasses off". With that, Brando decked him, breaking his jaw and knocking out 5 teeth. Whatever your views on press intrusion into celebrities lives, this cost Brando more than a law suit, it nearly killed him ! The rampant pathogens in the irritating photographers mouth infected the cut in Brando's hand resulting in him getting admitted into hospital and requiring some pretty serious treatment. The moral of the story? The mouth is a hot-bed of microbial and bacterial action.
 
So, what can you do to prevent Paps-Mouth? Well, this great bit of advice came from my friend, Michael Obadia, a man with no formal qualifications in fitness but with too much time on his hands. . .it is the Ayurvedic practice of OIL PULLING. I cannot tell you how annoyed he was when Charles Poliquin posted an article on Oil Pulling on his website, because I am sure he feels he invented it!
 
Anyway, what is oil pulling? Basically you take a tablespoon of Organic Extra Virgin Coconut oil and swish it around your mouth. You suck, pull and push it through your teeth.
 
So why on earth  would you do this - well Charles Poliquin points out that peridontal disease has been linked with everything from chronic fatigue to osteoarthritis, heart attacks and hypertension.And a 2009 study showed that oil pulling and mouthwash had comparable effects on dental hygiene, but that oil pulling destroyed plaque, eliminated bacteria and nearly cured all evidence of gum irritation.
 
So how does it work? Well in Jonny Bowden's exceptional book "150 Healthiest Foods on Earth" he details that coconut oil is antimicrobial, antibacterial, and that the medium chain triglycerides kill streptococcus (throat infections, pneumonia, sinusitis), staphylococcus (food poisoning, urinary tract infections), neisseria (meningitis, gonorrhea, pelvic inflamatory disease), Chlamydia (genital infections, conjunctivitis, periodonitis) and Helicobacter pylori (stomach ulcers) !! And the best part? It decimates bad bacteria, but doesn't harm good bacteria at all. It can also be used on Athletes Foot.
 
It can be used for frying because it has a high smoke point (the level at which oils and fats start to oxidise) and it can be used in boiling water as an energy drink! This is because the medium chain triglycerides are a ready source of energy. It will destroy stomach pathogens and improve thyroid function.
 
If you are interested in purchasing this SuperFood (given a Gold Star in Bowden's book) then please feel free to purchase it from my online store.
 
Get Stronger, Live Longer !
 
 

Don't bleach your tea

Posted on May 20, 2012 at 7:42 AM Comments comments (0)
Green tea is arguably one of the best drinks you can consume. It is a potent antioxidant, has been shown to accelerate fat loss and is excellent for hearth health. Here are some little tips to get the most out of your green tea consumption.
 
Tip 1: Buy unbleached tea bags. Chlorine is used to give tea bags that nice white colour, but that chlorine will also leach into your health-providing drink.
 
Tip 2: Don't pour boiling water straight onto the tea. This will burn the delicate leaves. Instead, leave the kettle for about 5 minutes, than pour onto the bag, and allow to steep.
 
Tip 3: Try this interesting addition to your Super smoothie (see my previous posting). Put two green tea bags in a cup. Pour on  the hot water, steep, cool, pop in the  fridge and add to the next smoothie you make! It tastes lovely and has just ramped up the antioxidant value of your smoothie no end.
 
Enjoy !

The Best Diet for Fat loss

Posted on May 13, 2012 at 9:47 AM Comments comments (0)
This has to be the most contentious, fiercely debated and most disputed area of any in the fitness industry. Hopefully this article will inject a bit of balance and common sense into what can become quite a heated debate.
 
For starters, lets jettison the term diet. Just reading it raises my stress hormone - it insinuates that here is a quick fix that you can do for a few weeks/months/years, get into great shape and then return to the pies and deep fried Mars Bars, a happier, leaner and healthier human. Nonsense.
 
We need a new paradigm. A lifestyle shift that won't make you a freak at social gatherings, a simple to follow, safe and effective method that will ensure that you get the results you want without making you miserable, neurotic, calorie counting, or fat phobic.
 
So what is it? Well a client of mine recently asked me to condense my approach to nutrition into a bite sized chunk (excuse the pun). I tried to nail it in two points:
 
1. Ensuring that insulin levels stay nice and stable throughout the day
2. Avoiding foods that cause inflamation
 
So how do we encorporate that into something that we can apply on our plates?
 
Well, lets keep it simple - fat and protein have little effect on blood sugar levels, so if we eat those at every meal than that is a good start. When we talk about fat we need to be thinking olive oil, avocadoes, fish oil, coconut oil, nuts and seeds and fish oil.
 
Protein - well lets have a source of animal protein at every meal. Since the media hysteria about red meat and cancer I do think it pays to be a little circumspect - try not to eat deli meats that are full of preservatives and nitrates, these have been linked with lung dysfunctions and as chemicals are best left out of the body. No, instead I think a quote from Mike Mahler (incidentally a vegetarian who has got exceptional results without animal protein) is applicable - if you are going to eat meat then make sure it is of the best quality you can possibly afford. On a budget? Then just eat a little less!
 
Next step, never eat carbs. Ever. Don't touch them, look at them or even think about them. They are the work of the devil. JOKING. It is this nonsensical approach that is going to cause all sorts of problems - no, just be a bit careful around them. Jonny Bowden once said no one ever got diabetes from eating carrots, and the hysteria around carbohydrate intake annoys me no end - however carbs do break down to glycogen faster than fat or protein. That being the case lets choose them wisely.
 
If you eat ample dark green leafy vegetables and moderate proportions of fruit then that is a good start - just eat the pasta, rice, potatoes or veg as an "earned" meal. How do you earn it? Simple, you either ONLY consume it post workout OR on a "cheat day".
 
The point is this method means that you are not restricted, curtailed, penalised or considered a social outcast when you eat out, you just aim to earn the right to eat them.
 
Every nutritionist I have ever read (certainly the ones worth reading) agree - boosting carb intake scientifically and in a timed fashion accelerates fat loss, and does not impede it. From Dr Mauro Di Pasquale, Jonny Bowden, Charles Poliquin, Dr John Berardi and Tim Ferriss all agree (to differing levels) on this approach.
 
Finally, avoid foods that inflame. Too much Omega 6 will inflame and grains have a tendency towards inflamation as well. I was privelaged to attend a seminar on gluten intolerance with the worlds leading authority, Dr Tom O'Bryan and quite honestly it would put you off bread and gluten based products for the rest of your life. If you are not sure if you have gluten intolerance and don't have the ability to screen for it try this:
 
Do you suffer from joint inflamation, brain fog or IBS? Trying to shift inches around your waist to no avail? Try taking all gluten out of your diet for a couple of mohths (no bread, pasta etc). If you symptoms dramatically clear up, stay off it - for life! Yup, no going back, even the smallest amount will trigger the inflamatory cascade, and that inflamation will then last a long time. Another tell-tale sign is if you are from Celtic extraction, or have fair hair and blue eyes - people with this genetic make up tend more towards gluten intolerance due to the fact that it hasn't been in their ancestral food chain as long.
 
But I thought gluten intolerance was just coeliac disease? I hear you mutter. Well, according to Dr O'Bryan this end stage of serious intolerance to gluten is the tip of the iceberg - the real impact of gluten intolerance is actually terrifyingly broad - from brain lesions to Hashimoto's disease, thyroid dysfunction to arthritis. It is the inflamatory fire that will target your bodies weakest link. Villous atrophy (the destruction of the delicate villi of the small bowel) is symptomatic of only ONE area that gluten intolerance can target and therefore the idea that coeliac disease is primarily a disease of the small bowel is outdated.
 
So maybe, pop the sandwich down in favour of a salad with chicken and pine nuts?
 
The key is moderation - a low-carb diet for the rest of your life is a shortcut to insanity, but if you think you are going to become the living embodiment of a Olympian strength, muscularity and leaness on a diet of pasta, rice, bread and potatoes. . .dream on.
 
Even my most sceptical clients report a dramatic, yes, dramatic, reduction in bloating and abdominal discomfort when they remove these foods from their diet - and then report diabolical discomfort when they treat themselves on it again. So there is food for thought there (pun intended).
 
And eat more regularly. Recently there was a TV program on glamour model Jodie Marsh getting in preparation for a bodybuilding contest. She was waking up in the night to eat meals, her personal trainer brow-beating her into upping her calorie intake, setting alarms to remind her to eat. She dropped from 17% body fat to 13%. So if you want to lose body fat you need to eat every 2-3 hours. If you miss a feed just imagine your body happily cannibalizing your hard earned muscle tissue - because that is EXACTLY what is happening. A client of mine has over the past few months taken to this method and has lost a stone, even though she feels like she is eating all the time. It feels good not to go hungry wouldn't you agree? And if you are happily sustained, what are the odds you are going to go on a energy drink and chocolate bar binge? Not much because your blood sugar levels won't require such a massive boost.
 
In summary. . .earn your carbs, eat more, drink more water, eat more veg, and don't forget your fat. I am off to drink 4 tablespoons of Spanish olive oil right now, for heart health, joint health and because I have nothing better to do. . .
 
Ta ra!
 
 
 
 

Another fantastic weight loss drink

Posted on April 28, 2012 at 2:49 PM Comments comments (0)
This is a fantastic weight loss drink taught to me by Charles Poliquin and originated by C.Leigh Broadhurst as a remedy for diabetes.
 
Simply take 3 rounded teaspoons of cinnamon and put them in a cafetiere. Pour on 33 fluid ounces of boiling water, steep, cool, and then decant. Sip this in small quantities (8 ounces, four times a day). After 1-3 weeks reduce this to 1 cup a day. This is an excellent blood sugar management drink. Type 1 diabetics can use it but should start at one cup a day and monitor their insulin requirements very closely as they may dramatically reduce.
 
Cinnamon is one of these best spices you can use for blood sugar management and by extension it will have a positive effect on body composition. If the drink doesn't appeal then what you can do is put a teaspoon of cinnamon into your coffee - this in itself will help with weight management. Anecdotally a client of mine dropped her Ldl cholesterol by increasing her cinnamon intake as well !
 
Enjoy, and let me know how you get along with this. . .
 
 

Super Fast Meal Replacement

Posted on March 4, 2012 at 8:35 AM Comments comments (1)
We all lead busy lives, and sometimes this can compromise good nutrition. But the hasty pace of modern society is no excuse to cram our face full of biscuits, energy drinks and crisps  - so when you are pushed for time try this Super Smoothie for a true energy boosting wonder-drink. The added bonus? It tastes DELICIOUS !
 
What you need (by the way, I don't have shares in Waitrose!):
 
A blender, a bag of frozen dark fruits (Waitrose), a bag of flax seed.pumpkin.sesame seed ground mix (Waitrose), Organic cinnamon (Waitrose), Mini pots of Yeo Valley Plain organic yogurt (umm..Waitrose), ginger, nutmeg,(yes, you guessed it...), 1 scoop of Whey Protein (www.myprotein.co.uk or Salisbury Health Foods). My current favourite is Boditronics Banoffee Pie.
 
Into the blender you pop:
 
2 large tablespoons of the flax seed mix
Why? Packed full of essential fatty acids and rich in fibre this stops this smoothie becoming a high-glycaemic sugar rush
 
Teaspoon of cinnamon
Why? Because cinnamon is one of the greatest spices you can use for blood sugar management. Dr's use the compounds found within it to help with Type 2 diabetics and it has a great weight management effect
 
1 scoop of Whey Protein
Why? Because whey protein is very bioavailable, meaning the working muscles absorb it very rapidly, it helps add a bit of protein balance to the drink, is rich in Branch Chain Amino Acids, is low glycaemic and can help with high blood pressure
 
1 cup of water or fruit juice
Why? If you want to stay low GI I would recommend water, if you have arthritis or gout then I would add cherry juice as it is anti-inflamatory and helps disperse uric acid build up. Make sure it is as pure as possible, you don't want any added sugar if possible, and the more tart, the bettter
 
1 mini pot of Yeo Valley Organic Plain Yogurt
Why? Anti inflamatory and rich in good gut bacteria
 
1 slice of ginger
Why?Good for raising your bodies internal temperature (for fat loss) anti inflamatory and good for digestion
 
1 dash of nutmeg
Why? Good for dopamine production
 
1 cup of frozen dark fruits (frozen)
Why? Packed full of anti-oxidants and vitamins and a powerful anti-inflamatory
 
Blend, serve and drink.
 
This smoothie is particularly good for those with joint related or inflamatory issue, but is a brilliant blend for anyone who just finds that they have run out of time for a decent meal but doesn't want to compromise on their nutrition.
 
ENJOY!

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