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03/10/2010

Magnesium – How much? What foods?

Magnesium has been found to be involved in over 300 enzyme actions in the body and is thus considered very important. It is found widely in both plant and animal sources including the following foods:  Green vegetables, legumes, peas, beans and nuts, and some shellfish and spices. Most unrefined cereals are reasonable sources, but highly refined flours,  fruits, oils and fats contribute little. There is evidence that low magnesium in the body may cause insulin resistance which means it could be a precursor to diabetes. The recommended range depending on who you believe for adult males and females is between 320 – 420 mg.  Here is a day of eating with a good amount of magnesium and good choices in general. 1 bowl all bran (138mg) with skimmed milk, 1 kiwi fruit and 4 medium strawberries, Grain roll (24mg) with avocado, tuna, tomato, rocket, tabouleh and capers, Skimmed latte (31mg), 30g almonds (78mg) and 3 apricot halves, Brown rice with sesame seeds (84mg), Grilled chicken breast (57mg) with soy and lemon dressing, ¼ cup sautéed mushrooms in ½ tbsp sesame oil and veggie stock, ½ cup steamed spinach. That all sounds pretty doable!
24/09/2010

Clean and press

This is one of the best exercises you can do. Pleas seek medical advice before attempting! Also, you really should have an exercise professional there with you when you first try this one. So basically folks, let’s use common sense here. I hope this video helps you along the ‘learning’ process. I make no claims or necessarily share any affinity. with the guy talking but for the most part is a clip on how to do a very important functional move. When I say ‘functional’, think picking up shopping backs and hoisting them to a high shelf. Squat clean and push press
20/09/2010

Who else wants to grab life and live it like there is no tomorrow?

The subject of this post was just going to say, ‘New Site’ but in the end I thought that was boring and went with the one you saw and the one that compelled you to check this out! If you have www.bestpracticeliving.com.au as your home page ( you should have!)  it is now time to change it to wwwbestpracticept.com.au/ Hi to all. You will notice that we have a new look site which is aimed at helping you achieve the subject of this post. But if you train with us, you will already know this. There are still a few things to be updated but the essential, workable shell is there. You will also notice that our special, no make that ridiculous offer from our brochure is the central piece. So if you or someone you know is looking at starting personal training, it is well worth a look. And believe me it will be pulled soon as my accountant WILL kill me if I continue past September 30. But what I wanted you to really know is that each week we will be updating with useful information in the blog  in the area of motivation/psychology, nutrition/eating well and of course the mechanics of a great training and effective programming. It will be worth reading! We have some great things coming up this year still. Check out the site regularly for updates. We have the Brissie to Gold Coast ride, a ‘Push ups for charity’ event and a ‘I used to be able to….” challenge, if you remember the leather […]
02/08/2010

Does Alcohol Make You Fat?

Here is a great little article on something I get asked all the time. Alcohol is something which we all enjoy but what does it do if weight loss is our goal. By Alan Russell Question: Does alcohol make you fat, or is it the mix and food consumed along with it that causes one to gain weight? Answer: This is a question often asked near the holiday season, possibly by clients wondering what they can “get away with.” Your question was formed in two parts: “Does alcohol make you fat?” and “…does the food consumed along with the alcohol contribute to weight gain?” Both scenarios are correct. If you look at the caloric profile of the macronurtients carbohydrate (CHO), protein (PRO) and fat (FAT), each provides a specific amount of energy measured in calories. Basic laws of thermodynamics say that if one’s intake of calories is greater than their expenditure, the excess calories will be stored in the form of body fat. Use the following chart to find the caloric value in foods and drinks. Nutrient Kcal/gram CHO 4 PRO 4 FAT 9 Alcohol 7 Kcal/oz For example, one 12-ounce beer yields 84 Kcal (12 x 7). On a typical drinking binge, several alcoholic drinks can be consumed, leading to excessive calories consumed for that day. That number alone doesn’t appear too alarming, but multiply that by the number of drinks consumed in one day, one weekend, cumulative amount in one month, and you begin to see how alcohol consumption might increase the storage of body fat. In most instances […]
02/08/2010

What drives you?

I read a very interesting book last week on motivation. It is called Drive by Daniel Pink. If I could summarise it in 20 words or less it would be this. “The intrinsic interest you have in a task will be more powerful than any extrinsic reward you may earn from doing it” That was probably more than 20 words but it was close! The book was predominantly aimed at business and the management of people but the similarities to what we do with clients is striking. Yes it is good to aim for a 10 or 20 kg loss of body fat or to get a stronger back, but the real goal of adhering to a positive habit of an all round active lifestyle will only be achieved when you actually get to enjoy the process and not just the short term benefits. Exercise needs to become ‘just something you do’ and the sooner you can get in to that mode the better. The other  main tenet of the book was that, for a task to become intrinsically interesting a person must experience autonomy in doing it, usually a quest for mastery (which never ends) and finally a purpose bigger than themselves. Well oddly enough the people we have found who become the most successfully healthy and committed are those who end up really ‘getting in to’ some type of exercise or activity, they develop an insatiable quest for mastery of that but also know that true mastery is not possible (therefore endless interest) and lastly they have a purpose which usually involves the encouragement of others.   […]
19/07/2010

Fighting with Fibre

Fibre fibre fibre… what is the deal? It is plastered all over products in the supermarket and the media tells us we should eat it but why is it good for us? Fibre is defined as the material in our plant foods that our digestive enzymes cant break down into absorbable nutrients. There are two types of fibre – soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibre is what the name says – soluble but it is also undigestible carbohydrates. What does it do I hear you ask? slows digestion (great for weight loss and feeling full!) moderates blood insulin moderates blood sugar levels reduces cholesterol provides energy for beneficial intestinal bacteria which alters the environment to suppress the growth of harmful bacteria and improves the overall health of intestinal cells Therefore in a nutshell it -protects against heart disease and diabetes. Insoluble Fibre – speeds the passage of food through the digestive system by adding bulk to the intestinal contents. It also reduces the absorption of carcinogens and other undesirable molecules as the contents spend less time in this highly absorptive area. Fibre is found in pretty much all of our fruits and vegetables. It would be a mistake to think that a juiced orange or carrot (taking out the fibre content) is as valuable as the whole fruit or vegetable. EAT WHOLE FOODS and now you know why your mum got on your case as a kid – “EAT YOUR FRUIT AND VEGES!”
09/07/2010

The good ol’ US of A

I came across these little beauties on sparkpeople.com. That is a pretty cool website by the way for giving support to those on a fat loss program. I can tell you with meals like this in the States, a lot of support is needed! It is breathtaking just how many calories and artery choking trans fats are in these meals. Needless to say – Avoid like the plague unless you have just survived 2 months in the freezing alps with out food! They kind of understate below the straight out craziness of these meals. But read for yourself. Quizno’s Large Tuna Melt – While tuna is a good protein source, when it is mixed with high fat dressings the negatives far outweigh the positives. Add to that a large portion size and you manage to create a 1,700-calorie sandwich that provides 133 grams of fat including 26 grams of saturated fat along with more than 2100 mg of sodium. Chili’s Smokehouse Bacon Triple Cheese Big Mouth Burger with Jalapeno Ranch Dressing – Obviously when it takes more than a line to write the title there are too many items in the sandwich for it to be low calorie. This sandwich includes items from a variety of food groups but for most people watching their weight, it also includes more calories than they should have for the entire day with about 1900 calories as well as 138 grams of fat and a whopping 4,201mg of sodium. On the Border Firecracker Stuffed Jalapenos with Chili con Queso – If you are sharing this appetizer with […]
07/07/2010

It’s just not fair!

One of the truly unfair aspects of life is that you cannot ‘store’ fitness. You can train hard for a long period of time and make some great gains only to see it all disappear at a distressingly faster pace than it took to get! But, at the same time one of the ultimate truisms of life is that it is the journey and not the destination that counts. That is also a hard one to get your head around when goals are what drive us. I was thinking about all this today when we were out on the kickbike in the cold and the relative dark with a few best practice diehards sweating up a storm around me. It is funny what goes through your head at 6am in the morning! Consistent exercise is one of those things that has the rare quality of having physical, mental, social and it could be argued financial benefits. I suppose it is easy to understand the first three but financial? I can hear you saying, “but hang on I am ‘paying’ for this”. Well yes you are but I can tell you that those who aren’t exercising are paying far more for not. The investment in one’s self is the best that can be made because everything else literally emanates from that base. A highly functioning body.   A great mental outlook.  Many active friends to go on adventures with. These are the spoils for you my friends,  if you can to consistently quieten that innervoice which screams for the doona or argues for that […]
05/07/2010

What is your engine size?

Have you ever wondered about the size of your own engine? You know the engine (heart, lungs and circulatory system) that drives your body?? VO2 max stands for the maximum rate that your body can consume oxygen whilst exercising. The larger the amount of oxygen that you can present and utilise at the working muscle, the fitter you are. It is like comparing a 4 cylinder engine with a V8. The latter engine has way more power and consumes way more fuel because it has a bigger capacity to deliver output. Now combine a big engine with a light body and you have the best of both worlds, case in point formula 1 race cars, which have huge engine power and a very light weight yet super strong chassis. Now let’s put some numbers and real life examples to you. Lance Armstrong, light body, huge engine and therefore an amazing VO2 max. He has one of the biggest VO2 max scores in the world. He has been tested at around 88ml of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute. The average person has about one third of that ability. Obviously there is a certain amount of natural endowment with this particular element of fitness. Lance was standing near the top of the queue when this ability was being handed out. The thing that he also brought to the table was an incredible amount of determination and a tolerance level to withstand some serious discomfort. So what about us mere mortals? It has been said that your absolute VO2 max can be […]