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June 2009

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Fitness A peak at What’s Inside

Editors Note

Are You Fit for the Fairway?

The Summer holidays are looming! But first there’s exams to be done. We’ve got some great tips in this month’s issue on how to manage stress and how to make the most of your time during the exam period. Whether you are taking exams yourself or your children are, you’ll find some excellent advice within these pages for yourself or to pass on to those you care about. On the subject of time, which a lot of readers will state as their main reason for not exercising or going to the gym, we have another great article which will motivate you to make the most of your time and encourage you to change your habits.


Make sure your kids don’t become couch potatoes over the Summer months by following the top tips on keeping them active. If you’re going on a golfing holiday or planning to play more during the coming months we have some excellent fitness advice to ensure you get the most from it. We’ve got our usual expert nutritional advice and tasty recipes along with a fat busting workout that only takes 13 minutes! There’s plenty more inside to keep you fit and healthy this Summer. You’ve no excuse, just go and do it!

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Yours in Fitness Derry O Donnell

Contact Details: Life and Fitness Magazine Ltd., Curraghgraigue, Borrisoleigh, Co. Tipperary. Tel: 0504-51945 Email: Web: Life and Fitness Magazine is published monthly by Life and Fitness Magazine Ltd. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the permission of the publisher. The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of the publisher. Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Check with your GP before trying any remedies. While every effort has been made to ensure that all information contained in this publication is factual and correct at time of going to press, Life and Fitness Magazine cannot be held responsible for any inadvertent errors or omissions contained herein.


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Life and Fitness Magazine - June 2009 - 3

Life and Fitness Magazine Contents May 2009 p. 10 p. 12 p. 16 p. 18 p. 19

Your Fitness Questions & Answers Why women would should lift weights Guidelines on Nutrition & Activity 5 Reasons you may not be losing weight How to Quit Smoking without Gaining Weight p. 26 Best Fat Loss Workout in 13 mins!

p. 28 Top Tips to have an active summer with your kids p. 30 An Intelligent Diet p. 32 Mouth watering HEALTHY Recipes p. 36 10 Best Tips to Manage Exam Stress p. 19 Alcohol during pregnancy p. 44 Dealing with Bereavement

ement g a n a Time M nts de for stu p


Alcohol & Pregnancy



6 Easy ways to save your ho on liday

“Have the dogged determination to follow through to achieve your goal; regardless of circumstances or whatever other people say, think, or do.� - Paul J. Meyer 4 - Life and Fitness Magazine -June 2009

me i T e Mak tness! i For F p


Life and Fitness Magazine now available for digital download go to

Dr. Muireann Cullen joined the Food and Drink sector of the Irish Business and Employer’s Confederation in January 2008, to manage the Nutrition and Health Foundation. She has a wide range of dietetic experience spanning research, clinical and private practice, regulatory, public health and industry. Muireann obtained a PhD in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from Trinity College Dublin in 2001. She is both a member of the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute and the Nutrition Society.

Meet some of our Contributors One of the US’s top fitness management consultants, Ted Vickey is the former Executive Director of the White House Athletic Center under the Bush, Clinton and Bush administrations. He is President of FitWell LLC, a fitness consulting company to Corporate America and the golf industry. He has been a golf fitness contributor for many blogs, websites, magazines, radio and television programs including Tee Time Radio ( and the Capital

Golf Weekly television show on Washington DC NewsChannel 8, a member of the Board of Directors for the American Council on Exercise (ACE). Watchdog, and founder of serving the fitness needs of golfers worldwide. Ted received his degree in Exercise and Sport Science from Penn State and has been an ACE Personal Trainer since 1992. During his career, Ted has helped countless numbers

Elaine Rogers BA, MLBCAI, MIITD, Dip ICT is a qualified Business Coach and Trainer. She works with SMEs, Multinationals and Government departments. Following an early career in Finance and Credit Control, she studied to become an IT Specialist. As well as her extensive Training and Development experience, Elaine

Jim O’Shea works as a counsellor from Furze, Thurles. Ph. 087 8211009 . JimO’Shea’s book ‘When a child dies. Footsteps of a Grieving Family’ is published by Veritas. The royalties from this book will go to the Children’s Hospital in Crumlin.

Philip Phelan is the Program Director of Litton Lane Training and he holds a wide range of qualifications and experience. Philips qualifications include certificates in fitness instruction, personal training, resistance training and course tutoring. He also possesses a B. Sc. in physiotherapy (TCD) and a masters in medical science (UCD). He is also the fitness and injury expert with the VHI healthcare website and also acted as the fitness expert on The Afternoon Show in 2007.

holds a BA in Computers and Mathematics from UCC and Diploma in Training and Development from the IITD. She also holds the JEB Diploma in ICT Skills and is a qualified Microsoft Train the Trainer. Elaine has recently undertaken a fitness regime and took on the challenge of integrating her new program into her day.

Chef Gavan Murphy began his culinary adventure at Ballymaloe Cookery School in 1994. In 2000 his journey took him to Los Angeles, where his interest in health and nutrition flourished, naturally merging with his cooking experience. Gavan has worked as a consulting chef for a multi-national sports nutrition company, as well as a personal chef to the stars, often working in conjunction with celebrity trainers. He created The Healthy Irishman with the hope of educating the public about healthy eating

Catherine Connors-Bevalot has been studying and practising holistic therapies and treatments for ten years. She is a Stress Management Consultant, Time-Management consultant and Holistic Therapist, Trainer & Teacher. She is based in both Paris, France and Tipperary, Ireland.

Life and Fitness Magazine - June 2009 - 5


Is lack of energy a problem for you? Co-enzyme Q10 – the nutrient that fuels the body Science has discovered the key to human energy production. It is a vitamin-like substance called co-enzyme Q10 which cells need in order to make energy from fat, carbohydrate and protein. By taking it as a supplement, you can

counteract the age-related energy decrease everyone experiences and get access to physical reserves you never knew you had. Co-enzyme Q10 gives bodies a natural energy boost that may even help ward off diseases.

After a long hard day of work do you feel tired quite often? Is lack of energy a problem for you? Studies have demonstrated that by taking Q10 as a supplement in capsule form, we may be able to stave off some of the physical and mental changes that occur later in life by virtually refuelling our cells. The substance is old as the human race, perhaps even older, but science has now learned how it works and why we need it. And for the first time in history, Q10 is available in your local pharmacy as a revitalising food supplement.

being. But more recent studies even suggest that the compound may actually help prevent or treat heart disease. The explanation seems to lie in the fact that, after a certain age, our cells lose some of their ability to produce energy. This corresponds well with the fact that Q10 levels become reduced after the age of 20-25 years. Once a cell slows down and produces less energy, it becomes increasingly vulnerable. This change sets the stage for a number of physical breakdowns, including disease.

New “batteries” People who start using Q10 do indeed describe the effect as having new batteries installed. It doesn’t give you an instant “kick” like black coffee or ginseng. It has a permanent effect that typically sets in a few weeks after you start taking it. Suddenly, you feel that you can overcome much more. You don’t need as much sleep, you feel much more alert, you find yourself doing things you didn’t have the energy for earlier, like working out in the gym, doing the weekly shopping or housecleaning.

Studies show the way Numerous scientific studies have been conducted on Q10, many of them demonstrating how the substance boosts energy levels. In a group of Finnish cross-country skiers, those supplemented with Q10 in capsules had significantly more endurance, compared with those who got identical capsules with an inactive substance. Moreover, the Q10-supplemented athletes faired better in competition and training events and even recovered faster. Here are some other indications scientists have discovered about coenzyme Q10:

Energy and well-being So far, scientists have managed to show that Q10 supplementation increases the overall energy output, contributing to a person’s endurance and physical well-

Energy and well-being First of all, boosting your energy metabolism with Q10 makes you feel

6 - Life and Fitness Magazine - June 2009

more alert, more awake and more on top of things. You will have more of a physical surplus. Allowing you to enjoy an active life. This is essential for quality of life.

Heart Q10 is vital for the heart, as your heart needs to produce huge amounts of energy to support its pumping action. Not surprisingly, people with chronic heart failure respond extremely well to supplementation with co-enzyme Q10. In fact, Q10 is a well-documented and recognised therapy in the treatment of chronic heart failure.

Preventing side effects of cholesterol lowering drugs Statins, a widely used class of cholesterol lowering drugs, are believed to cause exercise intolerance and damage muscle tissue. A team of researchers from Columbia University discovered in 2004 the reason for that. They described how their patients on cholesterol-lowering medicine displayed significant reductions in their levels of co-enzyme Q10. They drew the conclusion that the comprehensive Q10 reduction observed with statin use may explain commonly reported side effects like fatigue, exercise intolerance, muscle pain as well as muscle degeneration.


I feel much more energetic and vital “Q10 is the only substance that has had a noticeable effect on me. In fact, I didn’t realise how effective it was until the time I stopped taking the capsules and my energy levels plummeted”, says Mary Johnson.

The bottom-line is the most important: Mary has more energy and feels more vital than ever thanks to the co-enzyme Q10 supplement she has been taking for more than seven years now. “These capsules make me feel great and they give me the power to enjoy my rather busy life”, says the 52 year old woman. “As a matter of fact, Q10 is the only product that has had a noticeable and permanent effect on me”, she says.

The funny thing, however, is that Mary had bought the product for her husband as a Father’s Day gift. He was very busy during that period and needed some extra energy. But he never touched them, they just stood there in the cupboard, so Mary started to use them.

“At first, I didn’t notice much of a difference”, she has to admit, “and once I had finished my first box I decided to stop. Then I could feel the difference, my energy levels dropped and I didn’t feel fit like before, so I started on the capsules again and haven’t stopped since that time,” Mary tells.

The body’s own energy The most natural energy source Co-enzyme Q10 is a vitamin-like nutrient which cells need in order to produce energy. With age, the body’s levels of the substance become reduced. A supplement is the most natural way to compensate for the loss and restore your energy. Prize winning formula Q10 Pharma Nord contains co-enzyme Q10 in a prizewinning vegetable oil formula in soft, light-protected gelatine capsules. This has been shown to provide superior bio-availability, compared with co-enzyme Q10 in tablet form or as granulate or powder.

Used for research Because of Q10 Pharma Nord’s superior quality, the product has become an official reference for the International Co-enzyme Q10 Association (ICQA). Its benchmark status gives it a leading position on international markets.

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Life and Fitness Magazine - June 2009 - 7


Why should I do aerobic exercise? The heart is a muscle, and just like other muscles in the body it needs to be exercised to become strong and healthy. Aerobic exercise is what you can do to keep your heart healthy.... Aerobic exercise strengthens the heart and will help keep you and it healthy. Any form of aerobic exercise where the heart is working and you are having to 'puff' is beneficial to the heart. It can take some time to improve your heart health, but some functions such as oxygen delivery will improve almost immediately. You'll be surprised how good a little aerobic exercise will make you feel!

When your heart becomes stronger, more oxygen can be circulated to your body with greater

efficiency. This improved efficiency results in less work for the heart, and thus a slower heart rate. The most notable adaptations accompanying aerobic training include:

What sort of aerobic exercise should I do?

Essentially and form of activity that gets your heart going and your lungs puffing is aerobic! Options range from walking, swimming, and • An increase in heart size (your heart can grow social sports, to running, cycling, and competiby 20% in size!) tive multisport events. The simple rule to re• An increase in blood volume member is that you need to move! Aerobic • A decrease in resting heart rate (a good resttraining requires movement so get moving. ing heart rate is below 70bpm) You don't even need to make it a full on train• An increase in cardiac output due primarily to ing session: simply walk more during the day, increased stroke volume take the stairs not a lift, park your car a little • An increase in oxygen capacity (you can use further away and walk. All those little bits of more oxygen per minute) extra aerobic activity add up and can make a • A reduction of blood pressure (excellent for good difference to your heart health. heart disease risk) How can I test my heart health? • Improvement in body fat levels (great for your health) Your best option is to visit your doctor and take a thorough health check. In addition, you So you can see aerobic fitness training has may want to visit a fitness centre or personal some excellent benefits for your heart and trainer who can conduct a fitness assessment health. Now, how do we get started?! for you

Does walking really work? Walking as a health activity seems to be popular with health authorities & even the Prime Minister. But a recent Canadian study appears to fly in the face of wisdom by claiming that walking is not enough on its own to achieve any real health benefits

step regime for six months as did the group that was given the more intense exercise program. Both groups burned off the same amount of energy.

A team from the University of Alberta compared more traditional moderate intensity fitness regimes with the often recommended 10,000 step a day walking plan and found that the improvements in fitness achieved by the exercisers were markedly higher than those of the walkers.

Harber did not dismiss the benefits of walking out of hand though, saying that the 10,000 step program was a good introduction to exercise, and advocated gradually introducing more vigorous activity into those steps; ‘Across your day, while you are achieving those 10,000 steps, take 200 to 400 of them at a brisker pace’ she said.

Dr Vicki Harber, who led the study, said that the results had shown that gentle exercise was not enough to get people fit, and voiced her concern that too much emphasis was being placed on encouraging people to do walk and take any form of gentle exercise, when in fact this in itself is of little real value; ‘Generally, low-intensity activity such as walking alone is not likely to give anybody marked health benefits compared to programmes that occasionally elevate the intensity’ she said. The researchers studied 128 sedentary people, dividing them into two groups of walkers and exercisers. The walkers undertook their 10,000

8 - Life and Fitness Magazine - June 2009

The researchers measured blood pressure and lung capacity in both groups and found that the walking program increased oxygen intake by an average four per cent, while the exercise group achieved a ten per cent increase.

Professor Stuart Biddle, an expert in exercise science at the University of Loughborough, concurred with Harber that current guidelines for exercise may not go far enough. But he also warned that increasing the recommendations to include more vigorous activity could be something of a shot in the foot as it could well deter the more sedentary among the population from exercising altogether, whereas the walking guidelines at least seemed achievable; ‘you have got to strike a compromise between physiology and psychology. The harder you make it, the fewer people will actually do it’ he said.


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4 benefits you will NEVER get unless you fix your metabolism 1. Real Weight Loss 99% of weight loss plans deliver ‘false’ weight loss i.e. mostly just water loss and very little fat loss. This is the reason why people lose weight from theiand ‘stick’ after 2 to 3 weeks – because they were never burning fat in the first place! Fixing your metabolism is about burning REAL fat. The results are very dramatic. Even a few pounds and you will notice the change. Because you are burning REAL fat you do not ‘stick’ after 3 weeks and it is way easier to keep the weight off after.

2. Your Best Shape Ever The only way to shift stubborn fat from your stomach or hips and thighs is by fixing your metabolism. The only way to balance ‘top’ heavy and ‘bottom’ heavy bodies is to fix your metabolism. Both of these problems are influenced by ‘metabolic’ changes including high blood sugar levels, poorer digestion, a sluggish liver and hormone imbalances. The only way to correct them is to fix your metabolism.

3. Stop the Misery of Weight Loss

4. Miraculous Health Benefits If you never wanted to lose weight the most important reason of all for fixing your metabolism is for the

Hunger, cravings, tiredness and poor results are just some of the things people experience when trying to lose weight. Most people describe weight loss as a miserable experience. The truth is that most people suffer and make sacrifices that are totally unnecessary and of no benefit. This is what happens when you are relying on diet only or diet and exercise only – the margin for error is very small. When you fix your metabolism you attack weight loss from a number of angles. It is about a balanced and sensible approach. Food balance is more important than calorie counting, so you can eat quite well and have a few drinks every week. Fixing your metabolism builds your energy and stops cravings. Fixing your metabolism is about getting great results but looking and feeling great too.

There is only 1 CORRECT WAY to lose weight and keep it off!

miraculous health benefits. – the same metabolism changes that underlie weight gain, often progress to serious illness and disease including the big 3 – heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Now currently nearly 1 out of every 3 people get cancer! That is a shocking statistic but it is going to get worse and could become 1 out of every 2 within the next 20 years! You must start taking careful note of the metabolism changes in your body –constipation, bloating, bad breath,cysts, fluid retention, poor skin and indigestion to mention a few. You must start to take action to cure them now. Don’t mask the mover with medications. The greatest medicine of all is in your own hands. Don’t become a victim. You have the power in your own hands to greatly reduce your risk of serious illness and disease

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Your questions answered Question



I am 28 years of age, female and I am trying to lose weight. I go to the gym six days a week and spend 1 hour 20 mins each session. I want to know is this too much, should I work harder and less time. My weight is 13 stone 2 lbs and I want to get to 11st 8lbs over next two and half months.

I hear that weights are good for weight loss then I hear interval training is best. There is so much advice out there. What is the best programme that I can use that's simple?

Is there a guide or register for qualifications in the fitness industry out there that is the same worldwide? I intend going traveling next month to US and after that to Australia, will my Irish cert be recognised?

Answer Answer You are really putting in a big effort to reach your weight loss goal and this is the first vital component of any training program. The plan to loose 22 lbs in 10 weeks is a very achievable target and should result in long term weight loss as you will be loosing the extra weight at the correct rate. This gives your body a chance to become familiar with the reduced body weight thus reducing the risk of yo-yo weight loss and subsequent gain. My first observation would be that your sessions are too long at present. I normally recommend no longer than one hour in the gym as after this the quality of your training may reduce. With this reduced length of session you will as you have said yourself be able to increase the intensity of the session resulting in improved results. I would also advise that you go to the gym on five days per week, take one day to go for a walk or swim for variety and one day of complete rest. This will help avoid over training and burnout. You need to be still healthy and energetic when you reach your goal as oppposed to fatigued and lethargic. Yours sessions should be a mix of interval cardio work and weight training. Vary the type of machines and exercises as well as the lengths of interval that you use for best results. Practice good warm up/cool down, nutrition, hydration and rest/sleep habits in order to get the maximum from your training.


Answer You sound a bit confused and frustrated maybe! You are correct in that there are constantly different opinions and approaches being put forward in the area of weight loss. The trick is to take the best of all the ideas/theories and put them together in your program. There may be more than one way of getting the job done so don’t worry about what anybody else is doing. In actual fact following one method for a period and then changing to a slightly different one, may be the best thing that you could do as the body adapts to any program really quickly thus reducing the benefits obtained. Just be happy with your own plan and get going with it!

In answer to your question you should be using both weight training and interval work. This will ensure that your metabolism is kept at the maximum. You could include both in one half and half like session or alternatively you could spend one session on the weights and then the next one on intervals. You will need to take at least one full day of rest each week.

There is no one qualification that will guarantee you employment everywhere in the world. Each gym around the world will have its own policy on the qualification requirements of its staff. Some may be happy with what you have while others may be looking for the qualification of their own country. In any case I would recommend that you have a full copy of the syllabus and examinations that you have completed as well as plenty of references from any employers that you have worked for in this country so that you can supply this information if required. There are some examinations such as the ACSM which are widely recognized and it might be an option for you to do something like this before you go. You should also do some research into vacancies in your country of choice and the entry criteria for those in advance of going abroad.



Send your questions to:- Workout Effectiveness Tip

Slow lifting. Many people contract their muscles slowly and then release more quickly. But if you lift slowly in both directions, you are maximizing each move. Lift and lower to a 5-second count in each direction.

10 - Life and Fitness Magazine - June 2009


Ask your question! Have you a fitness related question you would like answered? Simply email us at: or by Post to: Life and Fitness Magazine, Curraghgraigue, Borrisoleigh, Co. Tipperary. Our expert Philip Phelan of Litton Lane Training will answer your queries.

Philip Phelan is the Program Director of Litton Lane Training and he holds a wide range of qualifications and experience. Philips qualifications include certificates in fitness instruction, personal training, resistance training and course tutoring. He also possesses a B. Sc. in physiotherapy (TCD) and a masters in medical science (UCD). He is a qualified Pilates instructor and speaks on topics such as back pain prevention and treatment, in a variety of corporate settings. He has worked in commercial fitness centres and freelance class and client training and he currently works as chartered physiotherapist to underage international football teams. He has trained two county gaelic football teams and a number of club teams as well as Olympic and professional boxers. He is also the fitness and injury expert with the VHI healthcare website and also acted as the fitness expert on The Afternoon Show in 2007.

Workout Tip Unless it is the primary focus of your training, do cardio after, not before, you lift weights. Or do it during another part of the day, or better still, on a separate day. If you perform aerobictype exercise first, you'll be fatigued for your weight training. As a general rule, strength training has less of an impact on cardio than cardio has on strength training."

Quick Tip If you do make it into the gym, make every minute count. Have a personal trainer help you create an intense circuit training routine that will keep you moving the entire time, instead of standing around in between sets. Circuit training consists of several exercises that can be done right after another. Not only will you get a great total body workout, but all the moving around will get your heart rate up and you’ll end up getting a great cardio workout as well. Life and Fitness Magazine - June 2009 - 11


Improve your body image with weights

Why women should lift weights

Do you want to improve your body image? Well, who doesn’t! A new study shows that strength training, particularly for women, may be the perfect answer!

Do you think lifting weights is just for men? Aren't you better off doing hours of aerobic exercise? Think again because women can gain significant benefits from weights training and it wont make them bulky!

A recent study was performed at Canada's McMaster University, and the researchers included Kathleen Ginis, PhD, of the school's kinesiology department. Participants were 28 men and 16 women. They were 21 years old, on average, and had been sedentary for at least six months. That meant they had been physically active for less than two days per week.

A lot of females go to the gym and use the aerobic machines to achieve the body shape and fitness they are seeking. This is fine, but a good fitness program for anyone - male or female - should have balance between all the training modalities. What a lot of women leave out is strength or weights training. We think this is a big mistake!

The participants were given a survey that asked various questions about their body image. They rated how anxious they felt about other people evaluating their bodies, and how satisfied they were (or weren't) with their bodies, amongst other questions. Baseline measures of body fat, muscularity, and strength were measured. All participants did strength training five days per week for 12 weeks, under a personal trainers supervision. All participants improved on strength, body fat, and muscularity and had better body images at the study's end. But women and men saw things a bit differently. For men, body image improved if they simply felt better for doing strength training. They didn't need to see objective evidence of their gains in strength. Women's body image also improved if they personally felt good about their progress. But they also got an extra boost in body image from objective measurements of their increased strength. The study was small, especially in terms of female participants, the researchers note. Still, they write that 'the results support the notion that strength training provides women with objective positive feedback about their physical capabilities, which, in turn, causes them to feel better about their bodies.'

Now you might think strength training is just for men, or maybe you're worried that you'll bulk up if you lift weights (admittedly no one wants to look like a female body builder!). But in reality strength training reduces body fat, increases lean muscle mass, gives you shape, increases tone and definition, provides numerous mental benefits, wards off osteoporosis, and even helps your body burn calories more efficiently. Wow, what a fantastic training tool! You don't need to worry about bulking up you'll actually look thinner because your muscles will be more toned. And increased lean muscle mass will provide you with a bigger "engine" to burn calories so even on days when you don't workout you'll be burning more energy! Females can definitely benefit from weights training. Strength training will help you: • Increase your strength and stability: strong muscles enhance your ability to move and lift things. Your aerobic workouts will be more effective because with extra strength you can work harder. • Maintain and increase your bone mineral density: working your body with weights increases bone density and decreases your risk of osteoporosis. When bone is stressed appropriately through muscle movement, it gets stronger. • Control body fat by boosting your metabolic rate: when you lose muscle, your body gradually becomes less efficient at burning calories. That's because muscle burns three times more calories than fat does. The more muscle mass your body has, the more efficiently and quickly it burns calories, even when you're at rest. • Reduce your risk of injury: building muscle protects your joints from injury during aerobic exercise and in normal daily activities. Strength training also helps protect your lower back and keep it healthy. • Improve your overall body image: studies suggest that women who strength train feel more self-confident and have an improved body image. Still not convinced?! Consider the alternative - if you don't use your muscles, you lose your muscles. Your lean muscle mass diminishes with age, and your muscles will actually shrink if they're not used. This is especially important for older women and osteoporosis risk because resistance training decreases your risk of falls, increases your bone density, and increases your general strength and stability.

12 - Life and Fitness Magazine - June 2009


mma Holland, a legal secretary in Dublin, dropped 5 dress sizes from a 16 to an 8 and experienced remarkable health benefits from taking YORKTEST’S foodSCAN food intolerance test. Emma suffered from acne, bloating, tiredness and extreme constipation and despite being a regular gym user Emma found “I’d tried lots of diets but all they did were make me ill and pile on the pounds. The health aspect was something I had been seeing my doctor about because I’d not felt well for maybe eight years ever since I moved to Dublin in 2000. My doctor put me on tablets and sent me for tests suggesting my condition was IBS. At its worst I suffered from bloating to the extent where people would give up their seat for me on the bus because they thought I was pregnant. The constipation was very unpleasant for me because I would go weeks, sometimes a month, before I could go, and you can imagine what was going through my mind as the pain increased. I was also becoming increasingly tired and my face was covered in terrible acne. The spots on my forehead were really sore to touch and none of the creams ever helped. It also did nothing for my self-confidence and nights out were an ever-decreasing rarity. Nothing really worked until my mum put me on to a food intolerance test called foodSCAN 113. As the test I took was a blood test I thought it would be more accurate because it sounded more scientific so I gave it a go and what a decision that was. When the results came back I had to cut out wheat, gluten, dairy, egg and yeast and it was tough. The difference though has been amazing. The acne and stomach pain have all cleared up but most amazing is the weight: I have lost 4 stone and gone from a dress size 16 to an 8. The only problem I have now is my wardrobe. I had to buy a new dress recently when I went to Amsterdam and I measured a size 8.


Finding the right ingredients hasn’t always been easy but once I knew what I could and couldn’t eat and found the right places to buy the food - life was much easier. I got some food over the internet. It’s tough but with the right recipe books and of course the right test, I can live a normal live again. I’m not sure about Christmas yet but at least I know what foods trigger off the symptoms so as long as I stay away from those I should be fine.” Emma’s partner Colin Cox says… “It is amazing the change in Emma and even I have been feeling the benefit of a better diet. To go along with Emma’s new regime, I haven’t been drinking any milk and I’ve got loads more energy too. How Emma managed to be so ill for so long is incredible.”

Emma Holland took a €30 first step food intolerance test from YORKTEST laboratories. The test offers a negative/positive result from a tiny amount of blood which the customer sends off to a laboratory in the UK. In Emma’s case, her results identified a positive so she then upgraded to the second step or a foodSCAN 113 (RRP €350). Using the same blood sample, this test will identify the actual foods causing the food intolerance and the degree of severity.

Call now for a FREE consultation


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Making time for Fitness By Elaine Rogers Seefin Coaching

It’s quite common that at the beginning of every year, 9 out of 10 people will make a resolution to start a fitness program of some kind. This can evolve quickly into a panic sign-up to a Gym, or starting a quick-fix fad diet, or spontaneously giving up something we consider fattening. So how did you do this year? We all know that most of us should be more active in our lives. We all know that most of us need to eat healthier, spend less, walk more, visit our mother-in-law more frequently, but just where are we supposed to get the time to manage all this?

Firstly, it is imperative that all these “shoulds” and “need to’s” and “supposed to’s” be analysed, broken down and prioritised.

Reasons why people begin a fitness program: • They want to lose excess weight • They want to maintain their weight • They want to tone up muscle or increase muscle mass • They want to increase their fitness levels • They want to maintain their level of fitness • They want to counteract the negative and damaging effects of an illness or ailment

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Ask yourself what are your motivating factors behind the thoughts of getting fit Do we want to feel and look better, fit into a smaller size, show Jennifer next door that we can do it too, look like a celebrity, keep our mother/spouse/sibling happy?

Unfortunately, the reality is, that the only true way to be successful in anything in life, is to really want it for ourselves, and that includes fitness and health. If our motivation comes from another person, it is possible that the success rate will be quite low.

Decide if a fitness regime is really for you and what you want to do Once we figure out your specific reason for embarking on a program and that it really is coming from the heart, we will understand if it is a fitness issue or if perhaps, a healthier and lower calorie eating plan is sufficient. A nutritious diet is the key to a successful fitness program, so there is no fitness program that will not incorporate a healthy eating plan.

Visit your GP and get a general health checkup and discuss your wishes We should talk to our GP about what we want to do, and get a general check-up. A 3 year old check up does not qualify! We can also discuss any fears or worries we have to help put our minds at ease.

Consciously decide to go ahead with the plan We can talk about it, tell others about our plans. This will help make us more accountable and more likely to go ahead with the plan. Write about it, even if just to ourselves. Visualise ourselves at our ideal weight or ideal fitness level, whether it’s fitting into that little black number for an upcoming event, or running that minimarathon instead of walking it next month. Talk about it some more. Keep talking about it and go out and buy the gear that is required or recommended.

Make it as easy as possible to stick with the plan. If we are joining a gym, we need to take into account travel and showering time. Would we realistically spend 2-3 hours, 3-4 times a week, for a 45 minute workout? We can decide when our best time is or find out through trial and error. Maybe it suits to go to a gym on our way to work. Perhaps we have the willpower to maintain a regime at home to save time. Maybe it suits better to pal up with a buddy to go on power walks from home, or travel to the gym together. We should use whatever systems we need to keep up the motivation and level of momentum.

Decide what type of fitness best suits you If we don’t like running, swimming might be a better option. If we don’t like water, joining a club of outdoor sports may be a good way to increase fitness, and get some fresh air. Maybe our workplace have a gym that we can use immediately after work.

When deciding to join a gym, we need to take distance, level of interest, cost, and disturbance to our day into account. Walking and running are easier, natural, and more pleasing forms of exercise. They also help build stamina, promote weight loss, and make for increased healthy living.

Decide on our goals, and set SMART goals

If a man knows not what harbour he seeks, any wind is the right wind - Seneca

Setting goals will help us pace ourselves better and if there is an objective in mind, this will help motivate us to continue. Having a specific goal, will also help map our progress and help us decide whether the chosen fitness regime is effective or not. A goal is a very important part of our program.

“Ask yourself what are your motivating factors behind the thoughts of getting fit”

Know that it is imperative to incorporate our fitness into our life and keep the regime regular, like sleep or eating

Think about this: “I want to be fit”. “I want to lose loads of weight”, “I want to be healthy”. These statements have no way of providing a goal, measureability or accountability for our program. Our goals need to be SMART:





General goal: "Get in shape."

General goal: “I want to be thinner.”

Specific goal: “I will take a weekly inventory of my diet to identify problem areas. I will walk 30 mins on good days, and exercise inside for 30 mins when the weather is not good”.

Measurable goal: “I want to exercise until I fit into the evening gown I bought 3 years ago.”

Non-Attainable: “I want to lose 12 lbs in the next 2 weeks”

pecific –


ealistic –

Unrealistic Goal: “Within one month, I want to look like a WWF wrestler.” Realistic Goal: “By the end of the year, I want to build up my muscle mass through diet and weightlifting so I can join the local amateur wrestling club.”

Reward yourself at stages By breaking our program into stages, we can reward ourselves when we achieve our goals of each stage. A reward could be a massage, a night out with friends in an Indian restaurant, an indulgence of our choice, a new hair style to suit our new look, or a new outfit to enhance our new shape. Don’t beat yourself up if you have a bad week or day

We all have off days, what more can I say? But when we fall off the wagon, that is not the opportunity to throw in the towel, or throw our hands up in the air, or say to ourselves “I told you so”. It is merely a learning curve to demonstrate how important it is to keep on track. We need to pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off and on we go. We write off the day or week (holidays can be horrendous routine breakers), and continue with our plan, just as we planned

Take sufficient time out to recover from illness or injury If we take ill or suffer an injury, it is imperative that we get it checked out and deal with it accordingly. There is no requirement for martyrdom. We need to provide ample time to improve our health or nurse an injury. Refer-

easurable –

ttainable –

More attainable: “I want to lose 2 lbs in the first week, and then 1 lb a week for 11 weeks”


imely –

Untimed Goal: “I am going to do this program.” Timely Goal: “I am going to begin this program tomorrow and lose 10 lbs within 6 months. I’ll achieve this deadline by spending one hour each day working through my program.”

ring to a specialist or GP is important so that we don’t cause further damage to our health.

Note: A fixed daily fitness routine can seem boring or monotonous after a while. It’s important to maintain interest and continue with our exercise and eating plan. Most people, stop exercising, once they think that they can no longer lose more weight. Others get lazy or become unexcited by the prospect of the daily exercise regimen.

We can keep the program interesting by making certain changes in the exercises or focusing on short-term goals. The lesser the monotonous nature of the regime, the more likely we will follow the program through.

So, decide if Fitness is important in your life and decide if you are willing to put in the effort. Speak with people who have already embarked on this journey and get tips from them. Be aware of the downfalls and temptations. Most people experience an increased natural interest in eating healthier once they began feeling fitter. They go hand in hand.

To conclude: • Ask ourselves what are the motivating factors behind the thoughts of getting fit • Decide if a fitness regime is really for you and what you want to do • Visit your GP and get a general health check-up and discuss your wishes • Consciously decide to go ahead with the plan

So how do we keep motivated? The key here is to incorporate our program into our day at a convenient time, and stick with it for at least a month so it becomes routine or habitual. It is said that a habit takes 28 days to form. Once that initial month is over, the body will be over the shock and have adjusted accordingly, and be looking for the sessions like it looks for home time form work or eating time at dinner.

* Know that it is imperative to incorporate your fitness into your life and keep the regime regular, like sleep or eating * Decide what type of fitness best suits you * Decide on your goals, and set SMART goals * Reward yourself at stages * Don’t beat yourself up if you have a bad week or day * Take sufficient time out to recover from illness or injury

Life and Fitness Magazine - June 2009 - 15


American Cancer Society guidelines on nutrition and activity According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), up to one third of the cancer deaths in the USA each year can be attributed to diet and physical activity habits....

However, the risk of developing cancer during one's lifetime can be substantially reduced by maintaining a healthy weight, staying active throughout life and consuming a healthy diet.

If you drink alcoholic beverages, limit consumption: • Drink no more than one drink per day for women or two per day for men.

ACS Recommendations for Physical Activity:

each day; however, for overall health, the ACS supports the recommendation to consume higher levels, depending on calorie needs, as stated in the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Dietary Guidelines for Americans."

Whole Grains:

The ACS has released its most recent set of guidelines on nutrition and physical activity for cancer prevention. These recommendations, based upon a synthesis of the current scientific evidence on diet and physical activity in relation to cancer risk, represent a contemporary and concise summary of the totality of that evidence.

• Exercise and leisure: Walking, dancing, leisurely bicycling, ice and rollerskating, horseback riding, canoeing, yoga

• Home activities: Mowing the lawn, general yard and garden maintenance

"Consumption of high-fiber foods is associated with a lower risk of several chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and diverticulitis. Consuming high-fiber foods, such as legumes and whole grain breads, cereals, rice, and pasta, is therefore highly recommended, even though data for an association between fiber and cancer risk are limited. Because the benefits of whole grain foods may derive from their other nutrients as well as fiber, it is preferable to consume whole grain foods rather than fiber supplements."

ACS Recommendations for Individuals:

• Occupational activity: Walking and lifting as part of the job (custodial work,farming, auto or machine repair)

Processed and Red Meats:

Moderate Intensity Activities:

• Sports: Volleyball, golfing, softball, baseball, badminton, doubles tennis, downhill skiing

Maintain a healthy weight throughout life:

Vigorous Intensity Activities:

• Balance caloric intake with physical activity.

• Exercise and leisure: Jogging or running, fast bicycling, circuit weight training, aerobic dance, martial arts, jumping rope, swimming

• Avoid excessive weight gain throughout the life cycle. • Achieve and maintain a healthy weight if currently overweight or obese.

Adopt a physically active lifestyle: •Adults: engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity, above usual activities, on 5 or more days of the week. Forty-five to 60 minutes of intentional physical activity are preferable. •Children and adolescents: engage in at least 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous physical activity at least 5 days per week.

Consume a healthy diet, with an emphasis on plant sources: • Choose foods and beverages in amounts that help achieve and maintain a healthy weight. • Eat five or more servings of a variety of vegetables and fruits each day. • Choose whole grains in preference to processed (refined) grains. • Limit consumption of processed and red meats.

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• Sports: Soccer, field or ice hockey, lacrosse, singles tennis, racquetball, basketball, crosscountry skiing • Home activities: Digging, carrying and hauling, masonry, carpentry • Occupational activity: Heavy manual labour (forestry, construction, firefighting)

The Dietary Recommendations Some Specifics Consume a Healthy Diet, with an Emphasis on Plant Sources:

Vegetables and Fruits: "Eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits may reduce cancer risk both directly and indirectly by contributing to maintenance of a healthy weight. Vegetable and fruit consumption has also been found to be associated with reduced risk of other chronic diseases, particularly cardiovascular disease, an important contributor to overall morbidity and mortality in the United States. For cancer risk reduction, the recommendation is to consume at least five servings of a variety of vegetables and fruits

"Although meats are good sources of high quality protein and can supply many important vitamins and minerals, they remain major contributors of total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol in the American diet. The recommendation is to limit consumption of processed and red meats. To accomplish this, choose lean meats and smaller portions, and use meat as a side dish rather than as the focus of a meal. Legumes are especially rich in nutrients that may protect against cancer and can be a healthier source of protein than red meats. Although cooking meat at high temperatures, such as in grilling or frying, can produce potential carcinogens, care should be taken to cook meat thoroughly to destroy harmful bacteria and parasites, but to avoid charring."

If You Drink Alcoholic Beverages, Limit Consumption: "People who drink alcohol should limit their intake to no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink a day for women. The recommended limit is lower for women because of their smaller body size and slower metabolism of alcohol. A drink of alcohol is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits. Alcohol consumption is an established cause of cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, and liver. For each of these cancers, risk increases substantially with intake of more than two drinks per day."

WEIGHT LOSS NSA AG is the new licenced partner of the German Olympic Team The Swiss undertaking, NSA AG with its headquarters in Basel is a licenced partner of the German Olympic Sport Federation DOSB until 2011.The co-operation will extend to the Olympic Games in London in 2012.

This was announced by NSA and DOSB through their official marketing agent German Sport Marketing recently at a sales and marketing conference at the renowned Rhein- Main Halle in Wiesbaden .

NSA will appear as the “Exclusive Partner for Nutrition” with its Juice Plus brand and, with its connection to top athletes, will set out the importance of well-balanced nutrition - an important concern for the DOSB. “Fitness and nutritional health are central themes that are at the top of our agenda. NSA will perform a valuable contribution as a partner” says DOSB director-general Michael Vesper.

Through sponsorship the athletes will profit directly from the partnership.

Juice Plus consists of the essence of ripened harvested fruits and vegetables in capsule form and is available from the marketing partner of NSA. Studies since 1995 regularly show that, through the natural agents in Juice Plus, regeneration processes are accelerated and defence powers strengthened.

Andre Gerber, sales and marketing director of NSA states “ We are proud to work together as official partners of the largest sport association of the world and to be allowed to bring our specialist competence in the field of nutritional research. Simultaneously we want to use the Olympics as an impetus for our sales and marketing and open new avenues.”

What Juice Plus+® is:

add more nutrition from fruits and vegetables to your diet, every day.

• Juice Plus+ is whole food based nutrition, including juice powder concentrates from 17 different fruits, vegetables and grains. Each ingredient is specially selected to provide a broad range of nutritional benefits.

• Juice Plus+ is supported by clinical research conducted by researchers at leading hospitals and universities around the world and published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

• Juice Plus+ is a complement to a healthy diet. Juice Plus+ is the simple, convenient, and inexpensive way to

• Juice Plus+ is recommended by thousands of doctors and health professionals around the world.

Formore information on using Juice Plus + or becoming a distributor of Juice Plus + please phone 087-6595258 Life and Fitness Magazine - June 2009 - 17



Reasons why you may not be losing any more weight

1. Drinking too much alcohol or fizzy drinks. Although there is no fat in most alcoholic drinks they contribute to fat gain because of the calorie content of alcohol. The energy in alcohol must be burned immediately, while your body is busy burning the extra calories from the drink your body will have no choice but to store most of the calories ingested from healthy meals. Alco-pops are even worse they supply calories through the alcohol AND tons of extra energy through the added sugars. Even normal pop or soda should be cut out or at least severely restricted because of the effects on blood sugar levels. You should be drinking more bottled water instead of soda if you want to keep losing fat weight. 2. Too little exercise or less effective routines. We all know we need to exercise in order to stay trim but many people still don’t do enough activity to burn off the energy from food or overcome a slow metabolism. You should strive to be active for the most part of your waking hours, or exercising for 20-30 minutes at least 3 times a week. If you’re very overweight and struggle to exercise then you need to be doing more low level recreational activities. Many people get fed up with going to the gym and doing the same old routine. When a routine becomes boring you should change it as constantly repeating the same routine can ruin its fat loss potential. Our body adapts very well to exercise and repeating something your body can complete easily won’t cause any physical changes. Yes, you will still burn calories but if your body has adapted to your present, daily calorie intake then you’ll not lose any more weight. A great way to boost results is to rechallenge the body by trying different kinds of activities; swimming, ice skating, dancing salsa or even rock climbing. If an activity becomes fun you’ll do it for longer and end up burning much more energy to lose weight. 3. A reduced metabolism

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Low calorie diets tend to work well during the first few weeks then they become ineffective for losing further weight. The reason is they cause the metabolism to slow down, thus your body adapts to the limited calorie intake. If you respond by lowering your calorie intake further you’ll probably end up losing even more muscle and hitting a weight loss plateau again. This cycle may continue until your resolve finally breaks and you go back to your previous eating habits. The secret is to lower intake slightly while providing good nutrition with plenty of protein to limit muscle loss. Doing some weight training will help boost the metabolism and speed fat loss. Remember the motto “Burn the Fat, but Feed the Muscle!” 4. Skipping meal too often It sounds simple, if we eat less we should lose weight. For this reason many people skip meals but the body responds by going into starvation mode, the muscles break down in order to maintain the amino acid pool, the result is a lowered metabolism. Also if you let your blood sugar drop too low you’ll end up with strong hunger pains and probably end up eating far too much at the next meal. Try to eat healthy, small meals or snacks 5 – 6 times a day, starting with a good breakfast that contains good quality protein. Learn to stabilize blood sugar levels through the G.I. way of eating. 5. Eating too much sugar and salt Excess sugar and salt are often combined together in many processed foods. Eating too much sugar in one meal causes increased blood sugar levels; the body must respond and lower it back to normal. The result is most of the excess sugar is eventually stored as body fat. This is where some people get confused because they eat sugary foods or drink lots of soda which contain little fat content, and don’t realize how it can cause fat storage. Try to reduce sugar intake.


Get fit, feel sexier, 'perform' better! We always thought exercise and fitness training was good for you.... but we didn't think it was this good!

Would You allow someone to buy You off with food? By Michelle May, M.D. A client recently shared this amazing insight and I asked her permission to share it with you. I hope it will help you see your eating from an entirely different perspective! "I've noticed that sometimes when I am feeling resentful about something, I reach for food as a sort of compensation for having had to put up with the source of the resentment. "Once I realized this particular trigger, it struck me as totally absurd! If someone offered me food under those terms, I would NEVER accept it. Just imagine someone saying, 'Listen, I've decided to treat you unfairly on this issue, but I'm happy to buy off your bad feelings with this plate of goodies.' I can think of several impolite responses that I might choose...but there's no way I'd accept food in return for being taken advantage of! I would be offended that someone would even make such an offer. And yet, that's precisely what I'm doing each time I feel resentment and reach for food to soothe myself. "Now that I realize what I am really doing, I'm going to be more careful to avoid such situations and when necessary, assert my right to fair treatment. I know that I have better coping skills than eating, if I just remember to use them." The next time you find yourself reaching for food to soothe a hurt, an insult, or an injustice, ask yourself, if this person offered me food to make up for it, would I take it?

Gee, what more impetus do you need in order to start a fitness program?! Research involving 408 undergraduate students at the University of Arkansas (USA) has determined that college students who exercise frequently are more likely to rate themselves higher with respect to sexual desirability and sexual performance than those who exercise less and don't rate themselves as fit. 'Much of the research that has been done has focused on sexual satisfaction and desired frequency of sexual behavior due to improvements in physiological functioning as a result of exercise', says researcher Tina Penhollow. There's plenty of research out there on the health benefits of fitness, but not much research into how exercise can improve perceptions of oneself sexually. The study, which included 408 undergraduate students, found that college students who exercise frequently and see themselves as physically fit are more likely to rate themselves higher with regard to sexual performance and sexual desirability than those who exercise less and don't rate themselves as fit.

Lack of sleep related to weight gain New research carried out at Case Western Reserve University in the United States has drawn a link between sleepless nights and weight gain in women..... The study appeared to show that those women who slept for less than five hours a night were 32 per cent more likely than regular sleepers to substantially gain weight, and fifteen per cent more likely to become obese. Head researcher Dr Sanjay Patel said that diet and exercise were studied alongside sleeping patterns but that the weight gain was attributable to the sleeping patterns of subjects. He said; ‘Prior studies have shown that after just a few days of sleep restriction, the hormones that control appetite cause people to become hungrier, so we thought that women who slept less might eat more. But in fact they ate less.’ The results, then, do not appear to contain much logic, so it is hard to actually derive any useful information from them, other than that a good night’s sleep may help not only your beauty, but your figure as well.

Life and Fitness Magazine - June 2009 - 19


Empower yourself to make changes With

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy by Marina O’Donovan

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a logical and sensible method of dealing with Life’s challenges that any of us can learn. It is based on the idea that how we think (cognition), how we act (behaviour) how we feel (emotion) and what is happening in our bodies (physiology) all interact together; so understanding and changing our habitual thoughts and behaviours can be very beneficial. The aim of CBT is to empower the person to generate cognitive and behavioural solutions to problematic aspects of his/her life. CBT uses a variety of techniques directed at three areas: cognition, behaviour and physiology, in order to help with emotional difficulties •

In cognitive work, individuals learn to find alternatives to their unhelpful thinking patterns

In behavioural work, individuals learn activity scheduling (e.g. restructuring their daily life), social skills, assertiveness, etc.

In physiological work, individuals are taught relaxation techniques, meditation etc

In this way, CBT addresses the vicious cycles that can arise between negative thoughts, difficult emotions, selfdefeating behaviour, and physiological reactions. CBT can be effective in helping people suffering from: Depression, Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Phobias, Low SelfEsteem, Addictions, Trauma, Anger Problems, Stress, and Weight Problems.

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CBT is an educative therapy. It teaches the person to be their own therapist – it does not tell the person what to do, but teaches them skills so that they can “repair” and manage the problems themselves. It is an experimental and active therapy, focusing on trying new things out. As a result, CBT is about trial and review. CBT is best described in the following way: •

It is a scientifically-validated and user-friendly psychotherapy approach.

It is goal-oriented and problemfocused

It is active and structured and aims to be time-limited

It explores Cognitions, which are the major influences on how we feel and act.

to look at alternatives and change the patterns. One of the most important areas to examine in overcoming weight problems is your OWN PERSONAL REASONS for your target weight – then how to get motivated, exploring all feelings and sabotaging aspects of Dieting and Exercising in a way that is simple, realistic, achievable and measurable. CBT challenges eating habits and exercise in such a realistic way that it makes sense of the weight you are now and how you arrived at that weight and how you can lose it in a liveable way which prevents future relapse. CBT is extremely useful if the person is prepared to do the work. Research has shown a strong evidence base for effectiveness. It works, it’s powerful, realistic, logical and potentially life changing– it is a therapy that makes sense. Remember, you are the master of your thoughts and director of your own life.

The following is an example of how CBT works with Weight Problems:

Marina O'Donovan BSc. (Hons) Couns./Psych., Prof. Cert. in CBT

Thoughts: “I’ll never lose this weight” – CBT explores this negative thought. Behavioural: staying in, withdrawing and comfort eating – what are the benefits to this form of behaviour?... Physiology: “low energy/craving sweets” – which might be related to?… If you have an understanding of how these things happen, then you can begin

Marina is a professionally trained Integrative CBT Therapist, who has worked in the Swan Family Support Centre, and also ran a successful private practice in South-West Dublin. Along with working in CBT Solutions Marina is Coordinator of CBTi (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy ireland), and tutors in PCI College where she graduated. for more information visit


How to Quit Smoking Without Gaining (Much) Weight Don't obsess over the scale while you're trying to quit. Focus first on kicking the habit, then worry about your waistline. Will you gain weight if you quit smoking? Probably. Four out of five quitters gain some weight—4 pounds to 10 pounds each, on average. The good news, however, is that quitters usually do get back to a normal weight, especially when the focus is on stopping smoking first. Should you put off quitting in order to keep off unhealthy extra pounds? Nope. The science is unequivocal: "There’s no question that any weight gain is preferable to continuing to smoke," Why do quitters usually gain weight? Smokers develop a lifestyle that revolves around smoking rather than eating or exercising. But it’s also true that smoking helps you keep your weight down (if at great cost to your heart and other organs, not to mention your appearance and smell). As a smoker, your body gets used to these facts: Smoking burns calories. Smoking elevates your heart rate and increases your metabolism; when you quit, you burn about 100 fewer calories a day. After quitting, it can take weeks or even months for your metabolism to rebound. Smoking suppresses hunger. Nicotine causes the liver to release glycogen, which raises your blood-sugar level slightly and suppresses appetite. Until your metabolism adjusts, expect to gain about a pound a week. Smoking makes you feel good. Nicotine increases the levels of dopamine (a chemical associated with pleasure) in the brain. Highcalorie treats, such as candy and cookies, produce much the same effect, so after quitting, you may be tempted to replace cigarettes with food. Alcohol boosts dopamine levels as well, and studies show that alcohol use tends to increase after quitting. This mechanism may explain why bupropion (Zyban), an antidepressant that works on the brain’s dopamine system, has shown to be helpful for smoking cessation.

Smoking gives you something to do with your mouth and hands. Eating does the same—and makes you feel less deprived by your decision to quit. Smoking dulls your taste buds. After you quit, food begins to taste and smell better, so you may find yourself wanting to eat more. Smoking is reliable when other things are not. People use both cigarettes and food as a way to deal with boredom or stress, as a reward, or as a crutch in social situations. Don’t think about your weight so much Experts recommend focusing on the quitting process first and getting to the matter of your weight later on. "If you’re dieting while you’re trying to quit, there’s too much deprivation going on". Obsessing about keeping weight off while attempting to quit may even be counterproductive—on both fronts.

members of the CBT group also gained less weight than the other groups. "Sometimes folks—particularly women— gain more, paradoxically, when they are concerned about weight gain, depending on how they approach the issue of quitting and weight," says Michele Levine, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. What to do about weight gain Once you’ve congratulated yourself for quitting smoking (and given your body a few weeks to settle down), it’s time to work on replacing your bad habits with some good ones. Conquer your smoking triggers. For example, if you were used to smoking after a meal, get up from the table and brush your teeth instead. Sidetrack that oral fixation. Experts recommend chewing celery, carrots, sugar-free gum or candies, or playing with a straw or toothpick. Try cognitive-behavioural therapy. This can help you focus on taking care of yourself— quitting first and then working on weight control.

This dynamic is especially common for women, for whom weight gain can be such a tricky issue. (In addition to weight issues, research shows a range of other sex-based smoking differences.) In a 2001 study, 219 women who wanted to quit—but were concerned about gaining weight—were divided into three groups. One group received cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) designed to help them accept a modest weight gain in exchange for the benefits of quitting smoking. Another group was given weight-control counselling and daily calorie goals. A third group (the control group) received counselling sessions in which they discussed their interpersonal relationships. A year later, 21% of the CBT group had successfully quit smoking, compared with 13% of the weight-control group and 9% of the control group. On average, the

And consider this core advice for controlling your weight, whatever the situation. Eat smaller, more frequent meals to increase your metabolism and avoid getting so hungry that you overeat. Eat high-protein, high-fibre foods because they fill up your stomach more (and because they’re better for you).

Exercise. Instead of going to smoke or grab a high-fat snack, take a walk or go to the gym. Keep in mind that moderate exercise, such as a walk during lunch, will actually decrease your appetite, because as you exercise fat breaks down and enters your bloodstream. The extra muscle mass you gain by exercising will also help increase your metabolism, not to mention that exercise helps you deal with stress, boredom, and tension.

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By Ted Vickey

How to monitor your golf Fitness intensity You want to be able to hit your drive just a bit further, avoid those dreaded “yips� on the greens and to look better while sitting on the 19th tee. One of the most effective ways to achieve all these goals is to begin a golf specific exercise program. The #1 question I am asked about a fitness program is how hard must a person exercise to see results and more importantly to stay safe. If you workout too hard, you will get sore, tired and dread your program, yet if it is too easy, you will not see the desired results and question the time and effort you are putting forth. To reap the most cardiovascular benefits from your workout, it is necessary to exercise within

a recommended intensity range. In some respects, gauging our exercise intensity can be a difficult task. Heart-rate assessment is a commonly used method for monitoring exercise intensity. For some, however, this method can be difficult to master, particularly during exercise. One of the easiest ways to monitor your exercise intensity is to rate perceived exertion (RPE). Whether you walk, jog, bicycle, bench step, climb stairs or perform low-impact aerobics, your exercise intensity should be within a range of comfort. By becoming familiar with the RPE scale, you can continually assess your exercise intensity and ensure a level of exertion that is comfortable. (continued next page)

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SPORTS (continued)

Why use RPE? (Rate perceived exertion) Monitoring exercise intensity with the RPE scale is beneficial because:

1. It provides a double-check on heart rate, especially when the target heart-rate zone is estimated from age.

2. Assessing RPE can be performed without stopping to ''check'' it, as is necessary with heart-rate monitoring.

3. There is no equipment you can buy to accurately describe your perception of intensity (whereas heart-rate monitors can be expensive for accurate pulse count).

An increase in exercise intensity is directly related to elevation in exercise heart rate and other metabolic processes. Consequently, RPE can be used alone or together with heart rate when monitoring exercise intensity. During aerobic activities, perceived effort is a combination of sensory input from muscles, joints, breathing rate and heart rate. By using the RPE scale, you can more accurately ''describe'' your sensation of effort when exercising and gauge how hard you are working. Plus, RPE helps you evaluate your internal comfort zone, or ''how you feel'' during the exercise session, with respect to the normal sensation of exertion, breathing, and even discomfort.

How many times have you exercised and not felt comfortable, or seemed to be extending beyond your comfortable exertion level? The use of your perceived exertion is helpful in monitoring intensity in order to avoid uncomfortable exercise sessions.

How to use RPE Perceived exertion is assessed by use of a 0-to-10 chart to rate the feelings caused by your exertion. For example, quietly sitting in a chair would have a rating of 0. Adding a gentle waving of your arms might increase the effort rating to 0.5. Walking at a pace that you feel is moderate would be given a rating of 3. Remember, the rating of your exertion should be completely independent of the pace you think you are walking; it is dependent solely on the feelings caused by the exertion. Increase the pace to a run and add a hill and you could work your way up to a 10 on the scale. The recommended RPE range for most people is usually between 3 (moderate) and 5 (strong).

Who uses RPE? Regardless of fitness or training, anyone can use perceived exertion to effectively gauge exercise intensity. Whether you are new to aerobic exercise, or a fitness enthusiast, use the RPE scale to become familiar with your perception and description of exercise effort. Using RPE, your exercise sessions will be more effective and more enjoyable.

Gearing up for Golf - The Key Componements Golf is rapidly becoming the sport of choice for many Americans. While some view the sport as slow-paced, golf actually requires a great deal of strength and stamina, not to mention skill. While you may not have to be in the best cardiovascular shape to play golf, your muscles, particularly those of the legs and upper torso, must be both strong and flexible to keep your handicap below an embarrassing level.

week. A recent study found this regimen to be extremely effective. As similar studies have shown, strength training brings about significant improvements in lean body weight, reduced body fat, increased leg strength and joint flexibility and a reduction in systolic blood pressure. But more important, at least to the golfers in this study, was the significant improvement in club head speed. The 17 exercisers increased the speed of their swing by To be successful in golf there are three an average of 5 mph. The control group components of fitness that you should focus on: experienced no such improvements. strength/power, flexibility and cardiovascular endurance. These also are the three most Flexibility important components of any well rounded fitness program. Flexibility is another important key to developing

Strength and Power Developing muscular strength and power is essential for generating club head speed, a determining factor in how far you can hit the ball. The box to the right lists specific exercises that will help you generate more power in your upper body as well as stabilizing strength in your lower body. One or more sets of eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise should be performed three days per

a full, fluid golf swing. Simply swinging the club is not enough, but you can increase the range of motion in your shoulders, trunk, low back and hamstrings with just a few minutes of daily stretching. But don't save your stretching until five minutes before you tee off. Flexibility exercises must be done every day. And always warm up your muscles before you stretch them to increase your range of motion and prevent injury.

By Ted Vickey

Cardiovascular Finally, cardiovascular conditioning is essential to help you keep your energy up during a long round of golf. That conditioning can help you deal with the stress of making a crucial putt or of getting out of a sand trap. Try to fit in at least 20 minutes of walking, cycling or whatever aerobic activity you prefer, three times per week. Improving your golf game requires a bit more than simply playing a lot of golf, but it doesn't mean you have to spend hours in the gym. Try the exercises outlined here and you'll not only come closer to par, but you'll also reap numerous health benefits, such as increased lean body weight, reduced body fat, lower blood pressure and increased strength and flexibility. While it may be difficult to motivate some people to stretch or begin strength training, telling them they might lower their handicap may be just the ticket to get them to head to the gym. Or work out at home. Whichever is most convenient. The point is to do it, regardless of whether it's for health or for a better golf score.

Life and Fitness Magazine - June 2009 - 23


A new Fitness Phenomenon hits Irish Shores Heather Gordon, a fitness instructor and professional Irish dancer from New Jersey in the USA, landed on Irish shores in August 2007. As she holds an Irish passport, she decided to stay here and introduce a new fitness programme she trained to teach in the USA. That programme was Zumba Fitness. At the time there were no other Zumba instructors in Ireland and the programme was unknown in this country. Fast forward to today and thanks to Heather’s work there are 20 instructors spread across the country teaching Zumba at various gyms and fitness facilities. The Zumba revolution has begun and classes are regularly packed out with up to 50 people.

Zumba is one now one of the fastest growing fitness programmes in the world and has over 13,000 instructors worldwide. In many countries, such as Germany, it is the fastest growing fitness programme. Heather teaches to various audiences including Children, Teenagers, Adults and Older Generations. The beauty of Zumba is that almost anyone can do it. It gives people the opportunity to try something a bit different and the popularity of the programme is testament to the fact that people enjoy taking the class.

Now teaching 15 classes per week, Heather attributes the success of Zumba in Ireland to the fun factor – “this class is more like dancing at a party or a latin club rather than being in a gym. People love the party feeling associated with a Zumba class and this keeps them coming back again and again.”

Heather’s dance background has enabled her to combine flowing, effective and sometimes sizzling dance moves with eclectic beats to create an energetic atmosphere in her classroom. Her following has grown considerably and she now regularly attracts 40 – 50 attendees per class! Zumba has been so popular at some facilities that they have dropped their members only policies and allow people to “pay as you go”.

Where did Zumba come from?

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vor and international zest into the mix and you've got Zumba!

Not only is Zumba enjoyable, it is a very effective means of getting in shape and attendees can burn 600-800 calories in a single class. Unlike many anaerobic classes which brand themselves as “aerobics”, Zumba keeps the class member’s heart rate in the fat-burning zone. Due to this simple fact, by taking 2-3 zumba classes a week, gym goers can expect to lose body fat and tone up. The programme will not give you muscles like Hercules but it will tone you up and get you in shape.

Heather’s fitness journey began when she learned Irish Dancing as a child. Upon graduating college with a Biology Degree she toured as a professional Irish Dancer with Lord of the Dance, Gael Force and lately, Celtic Rhythm Dance. While not on tour, Heather pursued a career as a personal trainer. Zumba offered the chance to combine her love of dance with a career in the fitness industry.

Celebrity fitness trainer, "Beto" Perez, stumbled upon the concept of Latin inspired fitness in his native country of Colombia (South America) in the mid 1990's. One day, he walked into his class and realized that he had forgotten his aerobics music, and his only option was to grab whatever tapes he had in his car. Beto's tapes were comprised of the songs that he loved, the traditional Latin salsa and merengue music with which he had been raised. But it was a challenge to improvise a whole class on the spot using non-traditional aerobics music. Beto rose to the challenge and from this last-minute improvisation was born a revolutionary fitness program – Zumba! The class soon became the most popular class at his fitness facility.

Business Profile

So what exactly is Zumba? It’s an aerobic workout that combines latin and world dance moves and music in a group exercise class. Zumba features hypnotic rhythms from Latin America, Spain, Portugal, Brazil and the rest of the world. These rhythms are combined with dance styles such as Salsa, Merengue, Samba, Cha Cha and some hip hop to create a sizzling exercise class that has proved to be massively popular among Irish gym-goers. The routines feature interval training sessions where fast and slow rhythms, and resistance training are combined to tone and sculpt your body while burning fat. Add some Latin fla-

An average Zumba class is 55 minutes in duration and includes a proper warm up and a proper cool down.

Heather is currently teaching at numerous facilites including Felda, Aura and JJB in Dundalk, David Lloyd in Dublin, DW Fitness in Belfast and Newtownabbey, and she has more venues in the pipeline. For more information on Zumba and to find out about where you can take a class, you can check out Heather’s website; call 087 9835 279 or email


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Life and Fitness Magazine - June 2009 - 25


The Best Fat loss workout .. That Takes Just 13 Minutes…

Most people who want to burn off some excess pounds and tighten and tone their bodies simply don’t have 2 hours each day to spend in the gym performing the bodybuilding style workouts that most “fitness experts” recommend. Plus, these workouts consist of exercises and techniques that do not exercise the body in the way it is normally used, so they end up building a somewhat unusable strength. In my opinion, most people, unless their main objective is body building, shouldn’t perform the traditional style workouts While I do still believe that machine and free weight strength

by: Phil Ryan

training is the best choice for body building, it is NOT the best choice when it comes to general fitness goals like strength, flexibility, endurance, etc. I don’t know about you, but I can barely fit in 15 minutes for exercise let alone 2 hours… and I personally am not interested in muscle size alone (which doesn’t mean strength and usually leaves you stiff and inflexible)! I’m sure your schedule is probably the same. The good news though is you don’t have to… you can burn fat, increase flexibility, build unbelievable strength and endurance, reshape your body, and build a level of fitness that is truly functional. I want to share with you a workout that I do personally that delivers a great combination of strength, flexibility, cardio and muscular endurance, and fat burning. WARNING: The following workout will not only surprise you, but it will likely go against everything you ever thought to be true about fitness. Also, it is recommend you consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. Are you ready? Good, here it is: The following exercises should be performed with little or no rest between and you may need to adjust the number of repetitions or time depending upon your current fitness level.

• Jumping Jacks –1 minute • Bodyweight squat (one-leg squat for advanced) – 15-20 reps • Push-ups (slower reps for advanced) – as many reps as possible • Kick butts (jog in place and kick your rear with both heels) – 1 minute • Hamstring floor bridge (use swiss ball or one leg for advanced) - 15-20 reps • Superman (lying on stomach w/ arms out to side, lift legs and chest off floor) – 15-20 reps • High knees (jog in place lifting knees as high as possible) – 1 minute • Stationary lunge – 15-20 reps • Torso rotations/twists – 20 reps each direction • Side bends/reaches – 20 reps each direction • Mountain climbers – 1 minute (if you can )

26 - Life and Fitness Magazine - June 2009

• Wall sit – as long as you can hold it • Dips (use chair/bench/stairs) – as many reps as possible There you have it… sounds easy, right? That couldn’t possibly do anything, right? I personally challenge you… try it… no, try it right now! Drop what you are doing and give it a shot and see for yourself. If you find it a bit easy, which I doubt, perform it 2-3 times thru without rest. This workout will deliver more usable fitness results and benefits than any traditional gym or health club workout. Now, you can of course implement this type of workout in the gym and make it even better, but the beauty of this is you can do it anywhere! Also, this is just one example and as you can imagine, there are thousands of other

exercises you can add or replace… I actually recommend switching the exercises every 2-4 weeks or even better is to put together 3 or 4 different workouts and then rotate them. If you are not familiar with one of the exercises just replace it with one you know that works the same part of the body. You can also learn all of these exercises along with dozens of others in my soon to be released video which will consist of several workouts like this that you can do anywhere to build and maintain awesome levels of fitness, even workouts with dumbbells, swiss balls, medicine balls, and more… watch for it in coming months.


The Best Tool For Losing Fat And Building Muscle Resistance training is the best long-term tool for losing fat and building muscle. The more lean muscle tissue you have, the more calories you burn at rest and on the move. The more muscle tissue you possess, the more energy your body will require to maintain that muscle. It gets that needed energy from burning and utilizing calories. And again, the more calories you burn, the more likely fat loss is to occur. Muscle is a very metabolically active tissue. It takes a lot of work for your body to maintain it. Fat, on the other hand, takes no work to maintain. It just sits there, lumped together like, well, fat. This is an important concept in weight loss because the more lean muscle tissue you can build, the more calories that will be burned off, without you having to do any extra work. Your muscle will burn off more calories 24/7 than if you didn’t have that extra lean muscle. This makes the case for why weight training, also known as resistance training, is so important when losing fat and building muscle. Simply because if you can add a couple pounds of lean muscle to your frame, you’re going to burn off more calories, even while sleeping, than if you didn’t have that extra muscle. The more calories you burn off at rest, the more likely that the calories burned off during exercise will create a calorie deficit in your body. A calorie deficit is a must for weight loss to occur. Remember how weight gain occurs from consuming more calories than your body burns off during the day. Since there is no deficit of calories, your body does not have to dip into stored body fat to get energy. In fact, due to the surplus, it stores the extra calories as body fat. If you create a calorie deficit, meaning, your body has used all of the energy from calories it has received from food and it still needs more (like to support muscle tissue) it is going to go after your fat stores to get that energy.

Life and Fitness Magazine - June 2009 - 27


Top tips for an active summer with your kids With the school holidays almost upon us and without the structure of the school day - the challenge for you over the summer is to make sure that your children retain their healthy eating habits and are having at least an hour’s moderate intensity physical exercise (increased heart rate and feeling of warmth but still can talk) per day. This is particularly important when you take into account the rise in obesity and related illnesses in Ireland, particularly in younger age groups. Children who participate in regular physical activity from an early age are more likely to develop and continue an active lifestyle throughout their teenage and

NHF top tips for keeping kids active: • Bike riding is always a fun activity and it can be enjoyed by the whole family. Encourage family outings on bike trails or simply around the neighbourhood. Bicycle riding is a great cardiovascular activity and it also provides some resistance training to the lower body

Quick Tip Plan Ahead If you have a day by day planner or a calendar, write in the times you are going to work out and consider it non-negotiable. Whether it is in the morning or at night, consider your workout part of your daily schedule, not something you will "fit in" if you have time. 28 - Life and Fitness Magazine - June 2009

Author: Dr. Muireann Cullen

adult years. Getting them involved early one hour participating in vigorous activion in a wide range of sports/activities can ty! It is never too early to encourage your help them remain active and interested. children to lead healthy, active lifestyles and the best way to do this is to put down Hours spent watching TV or playing the remote control. You should not just computer games may keep children quiet, lead by example, but get the children but will not be providing them with suffi- involved in deciding what activities they cient exercise. Studies by the Irish Uni- would like to participate in. Interestingly, versities Nutrition Alliance have shown children see exercise itself as an opportuthat the more TV children watch or play nity to spend time together as a family. computer games, the less recreational ac- Exercising together as a family is a great tivity they are engaged in and therefore way to strengthen family bonds and relaare more likely to be overweight or obese. tionships as you get to spend some quality and fun time together. A recent North/South survey found that as a nation each of us spend approximately 19 hours a week watching TVand only

(remember: everyone should wear a bicycle helmet!) • Play games in the park or garden such as chasing, hopscotch, hide and seek, skipping etc. You can also set up games such as an obstacle course, a potato race, rounders or a treasure hunt. Childhood games can be great family fun, regardless of age. • Swimming is one of the best exercises but is limited by weather and access. Swimming is a source of fun as well as excellent physical exercise because it

exercises every muscle in your body. Remember to encourage children to adhere to all safety rules when it comes to swimming, and ensure that they are always properly supervised and know to never swim alone. • Create a mini water park with a paddling pool at the end of a slide, hoses, sprinklers and buckets. • Household chores can be an excellent source of exercise. Everyday activities such as carrying the shopping, taking out the rubbish, hoovering, dusting and washing clothes will provide some calorie-burning activity and help develop a sense of responsibility. Make games out of chores (e.g., play music and dance around while hoovering, or see who can carry in the shopping the fastest) and you’ll find that they won’t be “chores” but will be ways for the whole family to work their bodies and have fun!

FAT FACT It Takes 3500 Calories To Make A Pound Of Fat!


• Let them help wash the car, allowing them to get as wet as they like and they will burn off loads of energy.

And most of all, keep them on the go – ensuring at least one full hour of moderate activity a day.

• Gardening can be a wonderful way to keep active as well as keep the outside of your house looking well. Planting, weeding and picking flowers and/or fruits and vegetables can be a good source of exercise that also provides a sense of accomplishment – and some of the rewards may even be incorporated into your meal plan!

For more health tips check out Other useful website are:

• On cooler days, play twister or organise dance sessions in the house. Regular meals and snacks are important in a healthy diet for active children. 3 meals a day based on Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner and keeping treats as treats is the best routine for any child. Have plenty of healthy snacks in good supply such as yoghurt, scones, popcorn, fresh fruit and vegetables, cheese and crackers. Remember to watch portion sizes and to include dairy foods as well as fruit and veg. Also, good hydration is important for us all when exercising but children are more vulnerable to the effect of dehydration than adults are. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to remain hydrated. Encourage your kids to do the same. Even though children have a lower capacity for sweating, their hydration needs are not that different than adult’s. As a result, they overheat more frequently. Have your child take water breaks every 15-20 minutes while playing outside or participating in a sports activity. Drinking lots of fluids, such as water before, during and after exercise can help children stay well hydrated. Dairy drinks and fruit juices are other hydration options but water should be the first port of call.

The Nutrition & Health Foundation has a multi-stakeholder approach to addressing the health challenges of our nation, by bringing together industry, government, state agencies, internationally recognised scientists, health professionals and other relevant stakeholders. It’s mission is to communicate evidence based information on nutrition, health and physical activity to encourage an improved and healthier society in Ireland.

Dr. Muireann Cullen joined the Food and Drink sector of the Irish Business and Employer’s Confederation in January 2008, to manage the Nutrition and Health Foundation. She has a wide range of dietetic experience spanning research, clinical and private practice, regulatory, public health and industry. Muireann obtained a PhD in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from Trinity College Dublin in 2001. She is both a member of the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute and the Nutrition Society.

Life and Fitness Magazine - June 2009 - 29


The Healthy Irishman Gavan Murphy Chef Gavan Murphy began his culinary adventure at Ballymaloe Cookery School in 1994. In 2000 his journey took him to Los Angeles, where his interest in health and nutrition flourished, naturally merging with his cooking experience. Gavan has worked as a consulting chef for a multi-national sports nutrition company, as well as a personal chef to the stars, often working in conjunction with celebrity trainers. He created The Healthy Irishman with the hope of educating the public about healthy eating.

His Philosophy My philosophy for how one should achieve a healthy balanced diet is simply to fuel the body with wholesome natural foods. Your body needs constant refueling to maintain a high metabolism thus enabling the body to burn any excess body fat. To achieve this, I not only advocate but practice eating smaller portioned meals more frequently throughout the day. This keeps your energy levels at a constant and prevents cravings, which ultimately leads to over-indulgence. I don’t use the word “diet” in terms of losing weight; to me it’s a lifestyle that involves making healthy choices based on eating whole foods that are nutritious and delicious.

The Diet Game Exposed An Intelligent Diet

by Gavan Murphy, The Healthy Irishman

I live in a city where everyone is obsessed with dieting. Some people go about it the right way but most people are looking for a quick fix, which may work initially but not in the long run. With global obesity on the rise the “Diet” industry is making millions from producing different diet plans, foods and supplements, all of which aren’t necessarily doing your body good.

in six months and maintained a 9 lb weight loss at 2 years. How did that happen? What all the participants had in common was the addition of exercise and decrease in calorie intake by about 750 cals per day. In layman’s terms the reason all of the diets worked is because the participants ate less and added exercise. Finally we now have some proof that you don’t have to go on a fad diet to shed pounds, you just have to get smart.

Let’s start with the different types of diets on the market: Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach, Cabbage Soup. Is there a top dog among these diets? Do they work? Which one is the healthiest option? In a recent study published by the New England Journal of Medicine, the best diet out there is any of them yet none of them. Confused? The study assigned 811 participants, 62% women and 38%men, to one of four random diet groups each of which had different carbohydrates, fats and protein ratios. The results? Regardless of which diet was assigned, pound for pound each participant lost an average of 13 lbs

The thing is, as a consumer you have to educate yourself which will help you start making better choices to actually benefit your health instead of going the quick fix route, which does more harm than good. When you crash diet and eat below say 800 calories, your body thinks you’re starving and shuts down your metabolic rate to keep you alive. Your body needs constant refueling to maintain a high metabolism thus enabling the body to burn any excess body fat. But keep in mind calories do count. The suggested healthy caloric consumption amount for women is about 1200 calories and for men about


30 - Life and Fitness Magazine - June 2009

1500-2000 calories depending on build, activity level, etc. I eat at least 6 times a day to keep my energy level at a constant to get me through my active days and believe me, if I miss a meal I get a bit narky. Even with all that eating I’m not overweight because of what I’m eating and because I do exercise regularly. I don’t practice this to “diet,” this is my lifestyle (see my Philosophy on “diets”). Portion control (a serving size of protein should be the size of your palm or a deck of cards) and being a good label reader are going to be your best assets in bringing healthy back. LABEL READING

It’s true, I’m a bona fide label reader so I’m armed with the secrets to crack the code. After all, knowledge is power and taking control is half the battle won. Let’s start with packaging since it’s the first thing we see. Manufacturers try to use keywords to lure us into thinking


their product is healthy such as wholesome, all-natural, multigrain, reduced fat, reduced calorie, fat free, lite, organic, etc. Just because something is fat free or organic doesn’t mean it won’t be loaded with hidden sugar or salt. This is where label reading is key.

nutrients. For example refined grains such as white rice loses about 25% of its protein along with at least seventeen key nutrients from processing. Fortifying the rice adds in some of these lost nutrients, correcting some of the loss from refining and processing.

Manufacturers have to list ingredients in descending order from most to least. That means the ingredients they used most will be at the top of the list and vice versa. Rule of thumb: fewer ingredients usually = healthier food, unless of course sugar is the first or second ingredient. Manufacturers are getting pretty sneaky about hiding sugars since we’re getting savvier with label reading. Other names for added sugars & sweeteners include: • corn syrup • brown sugar • high-fructose corn syrup •

How are we doing? It’s not so hard once you have the facts, right?

Now that we’re professional label readers, let’s review some products that are chock-full of added sugars since sugar = calories. Keep in mind I’m not referring to the natural sugars you’ll find in an orange or in milk. I’m referring to added sugars and sweeteners. The statistics are astounding: An average person consumes 30 teaspoons of added sugar per day--30 tsp! That’s about 500 extra invert sugar • fruit juice concentrate • honey • malt syrup • maple empty calories (the calorie equivalent of a hamburger and fries) syrup • rice syrup or brown rice syrup • agave nectar not involving any sort of nutrients. This amounts to gaining 100 • corn sweetener • raw sugar • molasses • maltodextrin lbs per year! No wonder global obesity is on the rise. I’m hoping • cane juice • evaporated cane juice the following products helps you better understand why label readAnd anything that ends in “ose” such as maltose, dextrose, suing is so important, especially as a parent. crose, glucose, fructose and crystalline fructose. Plain Yogurt - contains no added sugars

Beverages 75% of our calories are coming from sweetened beverages like sodas, sweetened teas, flavored coffees and juices. That is insane.

Fruit Yogurt - contains added sugars Processed foods

Plain Yoghurt

Fruit Yoghurt

Be sure you read your labels when reaching for the convenient canned, boxed, frozen foods and salad dressings. Even though these items are savory they may have high amounts of sugar not to mention sodium stuffed inside. Ever look at a can of corn? Some manufacturers add in sugar. Corn should be corn so look for two ingredients—corn & water. Try it out on other goods, you’ll be amazed at what you find. Yogurt The labels above are a perfect example of how much sugar can be lurking in your “healthy” even “low-fat” or “fat free” yogurt. You’re better off going with plain yogurt and adding in fresh fruit with even a teeny drizzle of agave or honey on top. Cereal Believe it or not some of the “healthy/low fat” cereals have MORE sugar than the obvious sugar laden cereals. This one surprised me!

(courtesy of US FDA)

If any of these are floating around the top then it’s obvious the product is full of sugar. But the trend from manufacturers is to use lots of little sugars in smaller amounts so it buries them in the ingredient list in hopes you won’t notice them. Sneaky, sneaky! Basically if you see lots of different sugars anywhere on the label, you’ve got a high sugar product. It’s also important to always look at serving sizes as labels denote amounts per serving size. You many see the words “enriched with” or “fortified” on the label. Enrichment is the addition of one or more nutrient(s) to a food whether or not it is normally contained in the food with the sole purpose of adding nutritional value to the food. Fortification is the addition of one or more nutrient(s) to a food for the purpose of preventing or correcting a demonstrated deficiency in one or more

Peanut Butter There should only be 2 ingredients at most in your peanut butter, peanuts & salt (I prefer mine without salt) otherwise you’re taking out the nutrition from the heart healthy mono-unsaturated fat and replacing it with things hard to pronounce such as maltodextrin, which should be obvious that it’s not healthy. Of course there are many more but now you have the knowhow to make better choices. There’s no stopping me when it comes to choosing the very best for my health. Now you’re armed as well, so together we’re bringing healthy back!

Life and Fitness Magazine - June 2009 - 31


Photo: Gavan Murphy,

Orange Ginger Chicken with Roast Asparagus Serves 2

them return to room temperature. Keep Marinade!

2 x 8oz chicken breasts Chicken Marinade: 1 cup orange juice 1 tbsp fresh ginger – grated ½ tsp chili flakes 12 asparagus spears Preheat oven to 420F. Put all marinade ingredients in a large Ziploc bag along with chicken breasts. Marinade in the fridge for up to 4 hours. Remove the chicken from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking to let 32 - Life and Fitness Magazine - June 2009

Preheat medium sauté pan / skillet on medium heat for 1 minute. Season both chicken breasts with S&P. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and sear chicken for 2 minutes each side or until golden. To prepare asparagus; trim woody white stalks from the end of each spear approx. 1 -2” in length. Once chicken is seared, place on a foiled roasting tray and pop in oven.

TIP: Add ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth to the roasting tray before popping in the oven. The broth will create steam in the oven and help keep the chicken moist while cooking. Cook for 7-8 minutes in oven or until internal temp. 165F. While chicken is roasting, put marinade in small saucepan and reduce on medium heat on stove. Reduce to half. This will be your sauce. Serve with grilled/roast asparagus.


People typically see chowder as a creamy thick fish soup particularly clam chowder in most places or with tomato as “Manhattan clam chowder.” The word “chowder” is a New England word that came from Newfoundland, where Breton fishermen — who would throw portions of the day’s catch and other available foods into a large pot — introduced the word, and perhaps the fish soup itself. Another possible origin for the word chowder is derived from the Old English “jowter”, which means fishmonger (one who peddles fish). I’d love to claim to have

known all of that but I have to give props to Wikipedia for their insightfulness. What I do know is chowder is usually made from a roux but in this case I substituted the butter for oil. Canola oil is low in saturated fat but is high in monounsaturated fat — a good thing! Monounsaturated fats benefit heart health. I’m not a fan of cream and/or butter in my cooking and to be honest I don’t eat them either but I do love chowder so this is my version of a healthy, no cream or butter version.

Lobster Corn Chowder RECIPE: 4-6 servings: 4 tbsp. canola oil 1/3 cup white flour 4 cups fat-free (skim) milk 1/2 cup white onion - small dice 1 cup carrot - small diced 1 cup clam juice (juice from steaming fresh clams or bottled if you can find it) 1 ½ cups cooked lobster meat - cut into bite size pieces 2 cups white potatoes - medium dice 1 x 15 ¼ can corn kernels or 2 cups frozen 2 tbsp. chives - chopped 2 bay leaves 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth S&P to taste Optional: Since lobster can be pricey you could use mussels or clams if preferred. Or you can keep it as a Corn and Potato chowder.

DIRECTIONS: Preheat a large soup pot on medium heat. Add canola oil and saute onions for 2-3 minutes stirring occasionally. Do not brown. You want the onions to be soft and translucent. Once softened add diced carrots and continue cooking for another 2 minutes still stirring and not browning. If the onion-carrot mixture begins to brown

remove pot from the heat until temperature has dropped. Add flour to onion carrot mixture and stir constantly on the heat until the flour begins to cook and is absorbed by the oil. Continue cooking for 2 minutes stirring constantly. Add clam juice, milk and bay leaf and increase temperature to high so as to thicken the soup. With a whisk, keep stirring soup as it thickens and make sure it doesn’t stick to bottom of pan.

Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low. Add diced potatoes and corn and continue cooking for additional 20 minutes. At this stage you’re cooking the soup to get rid of any raw flour taste. Just before serving add chopped chives and lobster. Taste and season with salt and pepper to your personal preference. If the soup is too thick add enough chicken broth to improve the consistency.

Life and Fitness Magazine - June 2009 - 33


Healthy Guidelines on What to Eat Once you know HOW to eat, it’s important to understand WHAT to eat. There are a million different diets out there that tell us a million different things, but as with learning how to eat, just understanding a few simple guidelines on what to eat can make all the difference, and allow you to tailor a diet to suit your own needs. Natural, Whole Foods To begin, stick as much as possible to whole, unprocessed foods. Eat fresh fruit and veggies rather than juices and frozen or canned produce. Eat lean, unprocessed meats rather than deli or canned meats. Stay away from refined flour, and stick to whole grains as much as possible. Whenever you can, eat organic. Avoid foods with added sugar, salt, oil, preservatives, chemicals, and dyes.

Finally, remember, it’s not just big companies that process foods; you do, too! Avoid overcooking your food, or drowning it in sauces and oils. Food processing techniques suck the essential vitamins and minerals out of food. The more fresh and natural your meals can be, the healthier you will be as a result.

Food for Thought ALWAYS READ FOOD LABELS! The fewer ingredients listed on a product, the better. A fun general rule is to stay away from products containing ingredients you can’t spell. If you can’t spell it, your body probably doesn’t want to process it. Labels will also help you to count calories, which is the key to weight loss. Take in fewer calories a day than you use up, and you will lose weight. Furthermore, labels must tell you what amounts of sugar, fat, vitamins, and minerals your food contains. If you want to be a healthy eater, these labels are going to become your training manual for life.

What You Need to Know

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Sugar – Our bodies convert sugar into glucose, which gives us energy. This is a good thing, unless we get too much of it. Many of us get way too much sugar, not just from sweets, but from carbohydrates like bread and pasta that we consume in amounts too large for our bodies to effectively process. Ideally, sugar should be consumed in moderation. Because sugar is so addictive, it can be hard to moderate. It might mean saying goodbye to super-sweet foods altogether. This is difficult at first, but you’ll find that after just a few weeks of avoiding cake and cookies and candy, the cravings will subside, and your body will get all the glucose it needs from fruit, grains, and other starchy foods.

Fats - Avoid trans fats and saturated fats. Saturated fats come from animal products like fatty meats, milk, butter, and cream, and from cheap tropical oils such as palm and coconut oil. Trans fats are hydrogenated vegetable oils, like margarine. They are used in many processed and fast foods, as are palm and coconut oils. These fats cause obesity and heart disease. Avoid them like the plague they are. Ideally, saturated and trans fats should be replaced in your diet by monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These fats give your body the good cholesterol it needs, and they help to clean out the bad kinds of cholesterol that kill. These fats can be found in unhydrogenated vegetable oils, fish oils, peanut oil, and olive oil. For many of us, an easy transition is to move towards cooking only with olive oil. It’s delicious, nutritious, and it also makes a great salad dressing, whereas creamy dressings, like Cesar and Blue Cheese, turn your body into a fat factory.

Fiber - Make sure to keep your diet high in fiber. Fiber cleans out your digestive tract, and keeps it running smoothly, which in turn helps you to lose weight, and stave off illnesses and disease. Legumes, whole grains, and green vegetables all contain excellent amounts of fiber. Keep your diet high in roughage, and your body will thank you. The Pie Chart Plate

In the end, your dinner plate should like a bit like a “good health” pie chart. On this pie chart, half the space is taken up by veggies (and fruit, to a lesser degree), one quarter is taken by protein, and one quarter is taken by carbohydrates. Tailor your menu to suit your tastes, but make sure you are eating a big salad, and a small potato, or a big pile of green beans, and a small chicken breast. You Are What You Drink Last, but not least, have a look at what you are drinking. Basically, if you are drinking anything other than water, plain tea, or plain coffee, you are venturing into the high-calorie zone. Even fruit juices are as full of sugar and calories as any soft drink. Next time you are at the market, read those labels. You will be shocked at how many juices contain added sugar. You will also be shocked at how high in calories are those juices that don’t contain any added sugar. We are much better off getting our daily servings of fruit from whole, natural sources. In fact, a big glass of orange juice has more calories and sugar in it than a bottle of beer. Of course, we don’t drink six glasses of orange juice at a time, which is where alcohol drinkers really suffer. Do your brain, and your body a big favour, and drink alcohol, and all other sweet beverages, in great moderation. By following these simple guidelines, most people should be able to lose weight, or maintain a healthy weight, and gift themselves with a healthy body that feels great. You don’t have to be strict, starve yourself, or deny yourself delicious food in order to eat healthy. Just make smart decisions, consume in moderation, and listen to your body. It knows what it needs to be healthy, even when your brain is screaming out for a Big Mac.

NEWS & EVENTS Send News to:

Welcome to the world of facial rejuvenation with NeoStrata NeoStrata, a cosmeceutical range of skin care products has recently experienced a revival as the best kept secret in the aesthetic battle against various skin conditions such as acne, pigmentation and rosacea. Researched and developed by doctors and supported with countless medical studies, NeoStrata is set to experience a new lease of life in Ireland with its introduction to pharmacies nationwide. In the 1970’s Ruey Yu, PhD, OMD, a dermatopharmacologist, and Eugene Van Scott, MD, a dermatologist made the ground breaking discovery that alpha hydroxyacid (AHAs) had profound beneficial effects on human skin and are not only beneficial in the treatment of dermatological conditions, such as dry skin, but also effective in stimulating prematurely aged or damaged skin to rejuvenate itself.

This immense discovery gives hope to both acne sufferers the world over and people in search of facial rejuvenation. In 1988, the innovators of AHA’s incorporated their findings into a skin care series called NeoStrata and with the importance of good skin becoming one of the utmost priorities in the area of aesthetics and cosmetology; NeoStrata has grown in both reputation and popularity. With products nationwide claiming to give the perfect visage, the real testament to any product is both customer and dermatologist feedback supported by medical statistics and this remains one of the primary strengths behind the NeoStrata brand.

specific skin classifications and in turn associated conditions. According to Dr. Elizabeth Briden, Medical Director of the Advanced Dermatology & Cosmetic Institute, Minneapolis "Using AHA's and PHA's with their exfoliant and anti-aging benefits can improve the texture and clarity of the skin without the irritation or photosensitivity that can be experienced with the use of retinoid based creams. Continued use of NeoStrata products can help in the reduction of fine lines, wrinkles, and sundamaged skin." A further study reported in the Dermatology Review (2006) reported that Lactobionic Acid has been shown to provide significant benefits on the appearance and feel of photoaged skin.

NeoStrata contains four separate lines within the skincare range that are colour coded according to specific skin types (grey, blue, green and orange) which ensures that you can accurately target

With the incorporation of such ground breaking discoveries such as AHA’s and Lacto bionics NeoStrata has undoubtedly brought the future of skincare to the present.

Online Resource for Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Launched A new resource has been launched to provide information and support to thousands of people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in Ireland and their families. The ‘Rheumatoid Arthritis Clinic’ is the 19th ‘health clinic’ created by the popular health website It has been developed in association with Arthritis Ireland and supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Roche Products (Ireland) Limited. The ‘RA Clinic’ can be accessed at The RA Clinic offers advice on the management of RA both in terms of treatment and guidance on practical day-to-day issues. Its aims are to add to the pool of information about arthritis care offered by Arthritis Ireland, to provide an online resource to aid in selfmanagement and to complement the work of health professionals. The online resource features a wide range of information and support tools to provide practical advice and emotional support to people with RA , including details on the condition, its management and treatment options; RA news updates; a ‘symptom

tracker’ to record and chart RA patients’ progress; and a discussion forum in which people with RA can exchange information and share their experiences with other people living with RA . The website will be updated regularly with news related to RA, new information sections and further tools as they are developed. Mr. John Church, Chief Executive of Arthritis Ireland, said “The Rheumatoid Arthritis Clinic is a much-needed source of information for people living with RA around the country. Many people with RA experience social isolation having to give up work or reducing their social activities, so we hope that the ‘discussion forum’ provides a platform for patients to share their experiences with people in a similar situation. Arthritis Ireland is delighted to have been involved in the development of this valuable resource.” Also commenting on the launch of the RA clinic, Dr Zirke Wiid, Medical Advisor at Roche said “In recent years, there have been significant developments in the treatment of RA. Patients want to be

kept up-to-date with these advances and to know what treatment options and support facilities are available to them. Roche is committed to helping and educating healthcare professionals and patients alike, and we hope that the RA clinic contributes to providing this support.” There are estimated to be around 40,000 people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in Ireland1 and this figure is on the rise. People of any age can develop the condition, but it is most common between the ages of 30 and 50 years2, with seven in ten of those diagnosed with RA having had to give up work as a consequence1. The disease is more common in women, with an estimated 70% of RA patients being female1. It is an ‘autoimmune disease’, so-called because a person’s immune system, which normally helps protect the body from infection and disease, attacks joint tissues for unknown reasons. It can affect many different joints; often resulting in pain, swelling, stiffness and loss of function in the joints.

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by Catherine Connors-Bevalot

So the exams have almost arrived and this might be about the time you are starting to stress a little (or a lot). Studying for exams can be stressful in itself, regardless of the exam in question or how old you are. You have spent months studying multiple topics, preparing papers and study notes and literally spend a lot of your time with your head ‘in the books’. Here are some tips that can help you do your best during finals season with minimal stress -

1. Ask for help If you need help with a subject, or have a final question that you would like an answer to, don’t be afraid to find a teacher or tutor before the exams. It will give you peace of mind and you won’t be spending the night before the exam with your fingers crossed and hoping that question won’t appear on the exam paper.

2. Take a break. If you need a break after your exam, take it and schedule revision time (for the next day’s exam) later in the evening. Relaxation just is just as important during this time.

3. Try not to cram However it’s a necessary evil sometimes, but take a five-minute break after each hour of study. Get up, move about, stretch your body, and maybe grab a breath of fresh air.

4. Be on time Get to your exam on time; in fact get to your exam before time. Arriving when the exam has already started will make you feel uncomfortable and stressed; certainly the glare from the examiner will cause much discomfort. Discomfort = Stress.

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5. Know as much as you can about the exam Take advantage of any practice tests, ask your teacher/tutor what they think might pop up in the exam paper, but don’t take any of these as a certainty, they are merely a hint as opposed to a fact.

6. Know where you’re going Don’t take it for granted that your exam will be given in the school/college you attend. Some exams are given in offcampus/school facilities. Make sure you know the address, floor and room number.

7. Have a good night’s sleep Get to bed early; don’t fall into the trap of spending the night in front of book and developing ‘Owl eyes’. By this stage you should be well prepared for your exam and by hav-


Time management for Students by Catherine Connors-Bevalot

Does it seem like there's never enough time in the day to get everything done? Do you feel like you're always running late or rushing from task to task? You may be surprised to learn that you are not alone, 61% of people from all walks of life, feel like this every day. Time Management is a wonderful skill to learn and with exams just around the corner, now would be a good time to start. Learning how to manage time as a student is a skill that will be invaluable to you for the rest of your life. However you don’t have to be a student in order

Catherine Connors-Bevalot has been studying and practicing holistic therapies and treatments for over ten years. She starting her career in massage therapy and reflexology, and this began a decade of passion and future intensive study into other areas of Holistic therapies and Stress & Time management. Her workshops and seminars are popular with businesses, health centres, adult learning centres, schools and private clients. Catherine's policy is based on the belief that her customers' needs are of the utmost importance. Her entire goal is committed to meeting those needs. As a result, a high percentage of her business is from repeat customers and referrals.

to use the advice in this article, as Time Management is a skill anyone, of any age can start to learn. In a nutshell the purpose of Time Management is to provide a structure to your life, you will have greater peace of mind as your days and/or weeks are planned in advance. You will be able to predict times when you will be at your busiest and therefore able to get tasks completed ahead of time. You will feel that you have a greater sense of control and planning your time will put you in charge of your own life.

I often hear people using the phrases ‘when I find the time’ or ‘this will help

to save time’, but here is the reality, you cannot ‘find’ time and you cannot ‘save’ time. What we can do is reduce the amount of time that you spend doing certain activities and maximising the time you do have. Jim from Tipperary, Ireland had this to say – “I think the majority of people spend the most of their early lives in the hands of their employers instead of loved ones. And then again we work so our economy can provide health care and education for our familles and friends – Catch 22”.

(continued overleaf)

10 best Tips to Manage Exam Stress ing a good night’s sleep you will be refreshed the next morning and ready for the day.

8. Prepare an ‘Exam bag’ And have it ready ahead of time, keep a good supply of paper, pencils, pens, rulers and a working calculator. Don’t find yourself the morning of the exam rushing around the house looking for a pen that works for example. 1. Keep your bag and pencil case clean and well organized. It will help you keep on time and unflustered. 2. Don’t forget to pack a small bottle of water, a snack, some aspirin and your glasses if you wear/need them.

9. Eat before the exam.

10. And finally, before you enter the exam hall Go to the bathroom beforehand, make sure you have a sweater or cardigan as the room may be cooler than you were expecting, wear a loose t-shirt should the opposite be true and clothes should be loose and comfortable.

I would like to take this moment to wish you all the best of luck on your upcoming exams, and remember the more prepared you are in advance the less stress you will experience on the day.

“Teachers open the door….. You enter by yourself” – Famous Chinese Proverb

Have a good breakfast, there may not be the time or opportunity to eat a snack before you enters the exam hall. An empty stomach can make you feel tired, anxious and shaky. Life and Fitness Magazine - June 2009 - 37


Everyone has the same amount of time in the day; it’s the one common link between every living creature on the planet, no matter what way you want to ‘slice it or dice it’ the day only contains 24 hours. That’s 168 hours per week - so were does your time go?

Answer the following questions No. of hours per day

tomorrow, or next week/month/year/lifetime preferably’? Do bills go unpaid and household jobs left undone? Does the laundry build up and only get done when you’re down to your last underpants (which have been turned inside out to get a second wear)? If you answered yes to any of these questions then you are not alone, over 78% of people claim that they waste too much time in the day. This ‘timewasting’ is called procrastination.


On average, how many hours a day do you engage in grooming activities? (Eg. Taking a shower, blowdrying hair, shaving etc)


How many hours a day do you spend on meals, including preparation and clean-up?


How much time do you spend commuting to and from campus per week? How many hours a day do you spend doing errands?


How many hours per week do you participate in co-curricular activities? (Eg. Student organizations, gym, sports etc)

‘If we were to think of time in the same manner as we think of money then perhaps we would spend it more carefully’

No. of Total days hours per week per week

On average, how many hours do you sleep each night?


On one hand 78% of people feel that they waste too much time in the day and on the other hand 61% of people said that they did not have enough time in the day to do the hobbies or activities they enjoy, we have to ask ourselves how this can happen? How can we waste time and yet not (at least) do the things we love? It doesn’t make sense does it, but this is what happens when Time is not managed properly.

“I don’t even want to look at my desk anymore, I’m in my second year of nursing school and the work piles up, I keep intending to do it but always find something else to do, or just watch TV. As the work piles higher and higher it just becomes more daunting, I don’t know how I will ever pass my exams, I’m a nervous wreak” – Ann, nursing student, Ireland.

So what can we do in order to change the habits of a lifetime? What changes can we make in our lives? The following are simple and yet very effective changes that can be made in your life today A lot of schools, colleges and universities now offer Time Management workshops to their students; I would highly recommend you attend if one is provided for you. Other option is to attend a workshop from a trained professional; this tends to be a very popular option.

1. So how many hours to you need to study?

How many hours a week do you How many hours per week do you spend in class? How many hours per week do you spend with friends, going out, watching TV, on the internet, going to parties etc?

Add all your totals together and this gives you the full amount of hours per week that you use in daily living and school activities. Subtract this total from 168 hours per week and that give the total amount of hours that are left in your week in order to study……. Now how many of you study for this long?

The first key to Time Management is to know who you are. How do you spend your time? Do you waste time? Do you avoid unpleasant or tedious tasks? Is your motto ‘why do today when I can wait until

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Procrastination has immediate benefits and we can do more favourable tasks, we get to hang out with our friends, we get to surf on the internet, watch TV, or chat on the phone. But procrastination also causes stress as bills are left unpaid, dishes pile up in the sink, homework and study is left undone. But you can change this behaviour and take control of your life today.

Sarah, 23 of London had this to say – “I often find that I’m surfing on the internet for hours and then suddenly realise that I have a paper to research, but by that time I’m too tired and leave it till the next day. But most of the time I end up doing the same thing so that in the end I am obliged to spend a part of the weekend working.”

A lot of universities recommend that students study at least two hours for every hour spent in class. Many students spend, on average, 15 hours a week in class so this would mean that the recommended amount of time for study is 30 hours per week. The reality here is that you need to plan 45 hours per week on school and study, much like a full time job, which it is in every sense of the word.

2. Stop wasting time – many things can provide a distraction from studying if we are looking for ways to procrastinate. Take a moment to think of the 5 tops ways you waste time everyday and try to cut back on these activities.


Time Management tip – ‘Always place one hour of your day aside for unforeseen circumstances – be it a flat tire, your train or bus been cancelled, etc’

3. A good place to start is by planning and scheduling time in a more organized fashion.

you have never used a diary before then I can assure you that you will very quickly get the knack for it and then will wonder how you have managed so long without one.

A necessary investment is to purchase a good ‘day-to-day’ diary and then plan from the longest time span (eg. your semester or month) to the shortest (eg. your week or your day). If

4. At the beginning of every semester use your diary to plan your monthly calendar, and fill our all the major events, exams,

assignment, holidays (plus personal obligations such as weddings, birthdays, concerts etc). Then look at the upcoming week and fill in all your obligations, whatever they may be. List those that are most urgent first (that assignment that has to be turned in by a certain date), and work your way down your list listing all those by degree of importance and urgency.

Life and Fitness Magazine - June 2009 - 39


5. Fill our each day’s ‘to do’ list, the chores you need to do each day in order to meet your obligations within the week or month. The more you can do in advance (as regards exams and/or assignments) then the less ‘panicked’ you will be closer to the time. It’s never really a good idea to ‘cram’ for exams.

Time Management tip – ‘Always start 11. Cut back on extracurwith the subject you like the least or ricular activities find the most boring, as soon as you get these difficult subjects out of the way its As this is the time of the year easier to concentrate on the easier and many students are studying towards more pleasurable subjects that you entheir final’s perhaps its wise to give joy.’ your full attention to your work and study. Cut back on extracurricular activities, although not all activities But remember always say ‘no’ in a (such as sports) as we all need to chill respectful manner, there is no need to out and relax. be aggressive or rude to make your point. However try to cut out ‘clubbing’

o After completing a task, tick it off your list. There is a great feeling of accomplishment by looking at your list getting smaller and smaller.

8. Are you a morning person or do you work better in the evening?

o Don’t forget that your living also takes time and allow for this, for example doing the dishes, cleaning, doing your laundry etc. Plan these tasks in your weekly agenda also.

Learn to know your peak energy zones and plan your day around them (to the best of your ability). As we all know by studying or performing a task it’s easier and quicker when we are full of the necessary energy to do so.

o Review your notes everyday, this will firstly optimise how you learn but also a little each day is much better than trying to ‘cram’ five days work into the weekend.

o When you schedule study time make sure you are in a quite location and free from distraction. If you live in a busy house try going to the library.

6. Don’t try to do too much in your week

9. Learn how to ‘multitask’

Have a realistic idea of how much time a task is likely to take you and then double that time on your agenda, this allows for little interruptions like bathroom breaks and making a cup of tea etc. By trying to do too many, some tasks will be left undone and you will be left feeling discouraged.

For example make your telephone calls while you cook dinner at the same time, or read/type your paper while you do the laundry or on the bus journey home. I used to proof read my assignments in the laundrette.

Try not to fall into the trap of ‘it only takes five minutes’, very few tasks take only five minutes in today’s fast paced world, try timing yourself next time you say those words.

7. Learn to say ‘NO’ 80% of people find it hard to say no to demands made by others on their time. Don’t be afraid to explain that you are studying for exams and therefore unable to help. Friends and family will understand.

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10. Getting a good night’s sleep I cannot stress enough the benefits of having a good night’s sleep, and those of you who read my article in last months issue will know why. We function better, are calmer, better able to focus and concentrate, our ability to learn and retain information is higher than if we were sluggish and tired. The average teenager/adult needs between 7 to 8.5 hours sleep per night.

and ‘pubbing’ coming up to your final exams, hangovers are not much help to either homework or study and finding yourself in bed for half a day roaring for a bucket or on the sofa begging for a litre of Lucozade is not the optimal way to use your time. Finally a word to the parents – this is a stressful time for your child and the following are just some simple guidelines to ensure exams pass as stress free as possible – o Try not to put extra demands on them leading up to the exams (although this doesn’t mean that you have to go around ‘picking up’ after them), but allow them the space they need in order to study. o If your child still lives with you ensure they have a room in the house, free from distraction, is light, airy and free from clutter. o If you child lives outside of the home it’s harder to monitor how they live and the amount of study they do. But try popping around every once in a while to ensure they have all they need etc. o Try not to be a ‘task-master’ or micro-manage your child. Every person is unique and we all learn at a different pace. Respect this and encourage them. Developing good time management habits takes time and can be hard to discipline yourself at first, but with practice you will become masters at managing your time. If you want further information about time management, you may wish to visit my website at


6 Easy Ways to Save on Your Holiday The majority of people today often find that the act of going to a new and exciting location on holiday is a much anticipated happening. Whether the trip is for business travel, a ski trip or for that matter any special trip you need only to determine that it would be a great time to go on a trip and simply go. The problem is that can be an expensive proposition. Not everybody can afford to buy an airplane ticket or can they afford to book a deluxe accommodation or in some cases they just do not have the required funds to spend when they get to their chosen location for their planned trip. Well it so happens that if you know where to look for it traveling does not have to be expensive. If this idea invokes your interest then you must continue reading this article.

ways contact the sellers directly and obtain months before the trip you typically get additional information. your choice of flights and rooms at the best prices. 2. Be flexible about the day and time you travel. During the slow days of the week 5. Travel during the low season. For examyou can easily find many special deals or ple, go to the Caribbean and Mayan Rivera discount prices for both airline tickets and in the summer because in the winter rates accommodation. Airlines may have six or for villas and flights go up. Caribbean eight flights to your destination on a parcruises are cheaper when you go in the ticular day. Say if you need to depart in Autumn versus Winter or Spring. Hawaii the morning, check out all the departures is less costly from mid September to mid that leave in the morning. Since airlines December. charge for tickets according to the availability of seats on the plane, moving your 6. In a foreign country convert money at a time by just one hour or so may save you a local bank for the best conversion. ATMs large amount of cash. affiliated with major credit card companies are great, but watch out for foreign ATMs. 3. You can also save is by traveling with a While they normally won’t charge you a group such as a tour group, travel group or fee, your bank may charge you one! Learn travel club. Group travel is usually aryour bank s policies before you travel. 1. Use the Internet! Anyone with access to ranged ahead of time by travel agencies. the Internet will find it simple to look for They buy in bulk, frequently chartering a These are but a few of the many ways you discount travel offerings ranging from air- whole airplane and reserving a large can make your holiday less expensive. All lines, hotels, villas for rent, cruises or even number of rooms to get the very best rate. you have to do is be resourceful and pick automobile rentals. Almost all tourist rethe best time to travel and you can have lated businesses around the world now 4. Book early! Make your trip plans well that dream holiday that you have wanted have a web site so that you can visit and in advance. Book your cruise a year in ad- so long without destroying your family obtain needed information prior to actually vance for early bird discounts, and get the budget. completing your travel plans. You can allowest rail fares just after the holidays. If you make your reservations several

Life and Fitness Magazine - June 2009 - 41


Alcohol during pregnancy Alcohol and pregnancy don't really mix! Women (and their partners) seeking to fall pregnant should refrain from drinking alcohol, and those who are already pregnant are advised to avoid it.... On current research no one knows exactly how much – or how little – alcohol can harm a developing baby. However, we do know that high levels of alcohol during pregnancy can damage your baby’s mental and physical development, especially in the first trimester (see FAS below). As such, you should take a very cautious approach and the best plan is to abstain from drinking alcohol altogether! What does alcohol do to my baby? Foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) affects babies whose mother’s drink heavily during pregnancy. These babies suffer from mental and growth retardation, behavioural problems, and facial and heart defects. The effects of alcohol on babies are high in women who also smoke, drink large amounts of drinks containing caffeine and who have a poor diet during pregnancy. And this is only the tip of the iceberg as there is now also evidence to suggest that behavioural and learning difficulties can result later in childhood from FAS and the factors that affect it. From a general point of view you should treat your body and what goes into it during

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pregnancy as very important to your baby's health and well being. Drink plenty of water, eat healthy & nutritious foods, and really take care of yourself throughout the entire pregnancy. You only get one chance to start your baby's life in the most healthy and positive way as possible! Cutting out alcohol is not just for women! Women trying to fall pregnant are advised not to drink to enhance their chances of conception, but now this advice can be extended to their partners. A recent study in Denmark revealed that when women consumed 10 or more alcoholic beverages in the week of conception, they were nearly three times more likely to have a miscarriage than those who abstained. However, when fathers-to-be consumed a similar quantity, their partners’ risk of miscarriage was up to five times greater than for women whose partners did not drink! It might be hard to convince your partner to stop drinking but this study shows it has a large affect on your conception chances. How does drinking alcohol affect my baby? When you drink alcohol it quickly reaches your baby through your bloodstream and across the placenta (and into semen which is how it can affect conception). This alcohol has a detrimental effect on the healthy development of the foetus.

Recommendations for alcohol during pregnancy Avoiding or cutting down on alcohol may be easy if you develop a dislike for it early in your pregnancy. But if you find it harder to give up, or tend to use alcohol to unwind, de-stress or socialize it up may require more effort! Try these tips to take alcohol out of your diet: • Experiment by replacing a glass of beer or wine with other stress-reducing pleasures such as a warm bath, soft music, a massage, exercise or reading. • If you miss the ritual of drinking try replacing it with a fresh juice or sparkling mineral water during your evening meal. • If your partner enjoys a drink after work, consider asking him to abstain for a time too so you won’t feel deprived.

We don’t really know what a safe level of alcohol consumption is for a pregnant woman – and it’s probably different for every woman because everyone metabolises alcohol differently. So play it safe and steer clear of alcohol – it’s only 9 months of your life and the one chance your baby has of getting off to a good start in theirs!


Tips to avoid weight gain during pregnancy Should you eat for two when pregnant? Or only when hungry? The nutritional side of pregnancy is never easy to get right, but here are some tips to avoid excessive weight gain during pregnancy.... You often hear that when you are pregnant that you need to 'eat for two'. This is not considered to be true for most people, and a rule of thumb is to increase your caloric intake by approximately 300 calories per day during pregnancy. This will vary with your activity levels, age, and size, so talk to your doctor about what an appropriate intake will be for you. Tips to avoid excessive weight gain during pregnancy 1. Eat a good breakfast: a healthy and nutritious breakfast is the perfect start to the day and will establish a good nutrition pattern for the rest of the day. Skipping this meal means you’ll be more likely to snack and overeat later in the day.

2. Plan your meals: being organised makes a huge difference to how well you eat each day. Having healthy snacks on hand, good food in the pantry, and a plan for the meals ahead means you’ll keep on track and be less open to temptations. 3. Go shopping on a full stomach: it's easy to grab some not so healthy options when you are hungry! Plan your day and make sure you eat before heading out shopping. It will also keep your energy levels up for those long shops. Remember: if you dont buy it, you wont eat it! 4. Drink plenty of water each day: this should be a given for pregnancy full stop, but drinking plenty of water also helps us feel full. Research has shown we often get hunger pangs when we are thirsty, so reach for a glass of H2O before you reach for a snack.

healthy foods. If you do have friends or family members that inevitably indulge you need to be aware of this and look at ways to control it. 6. Eat slowly and savour every mouthful: chew each mouthful slowly and enjoy the food you are eating. Being more aware of the taste and savouring each mouthful will slow your meal down and allow you to stop when you are full. 7. Watch your portion sizes: it's easy to get carried away with portion sizes these days - everything we are served at cafes or restaurants is often a lot of food! Particularly try to reduce the size of processed foods, snacks, or high sugar or fat products. 7. Seek advice: if you have major doubts about your diet during pregnancy then seek professional advice from a GP, dietician, or other health professional.

5. Be aware of sabotouers! Some people can be trouble when it comes to eating

Life and Fitness Magazine - June 2009 - 43


Dealing with Bereavement (Part of a series, continued from last isssue) Do we all grieve the same way? This is a very important question. By assuming that we all grieve in the same way, we can sometimes cause offence and pain to the bereaved by offering well meant but ill-conceived remarks. I used to be extremely angry when people said to me ‘you have an angel in Heaven’. I didn’t want an angel in Heaven. I wanted my child on earth. People were projecting their own feelings onto me. There are many factors that ensure that we all grieve differently. Counsellors call these mediators of mourning. One of the most important is that of relationship and kinship. Clearly a different response may be forthcoming at the death of an aged parent as against that of a child. The death of a distant cousin will evoke a different response to that of a sibling. And so on. The nature of the attachment between the survivor and the deceased is one of the most crucial elements affecting the grief response. Attachment has been much written about by psychologists. It is a complex issue, but at its simplest, the stronger the attachment the greater the grieving pain. A counsellor called Mary Jones once wrote that ‘grief is the price we pay for love’. How often did Isay this when I was grieving for my child, when I prayed for relief from the torment. Of course, I found there was no escape. I loved my child dearly, and hence my pain was great. In a sense it was a contradiction for me to pray for release. It was like praying for release from the love I had for my child. Bereavement writers, however, also caution us that, in some cases, love may constitute a level of dependency that is

44 - Life and Fitness Magazine - June 2009

by Jim O Shea

intolerant of separation. In such cases the survivor may experience intense anger at being left alone. On a contrary level, the death of a person may sometimes be a source of relief to a survivor. This, for example, has been called relationship relief following the death of an abusive partner. There is also a grief reaction called dual relief, i.e. relief for the survivor and for the deceased who had suffered a long, painful illness. Another factor, which influences the nature of grief, lies in the mode of death. These can be broken down into 4 broad categories – natural, accidental, suicidal and homicidal. Within each of these there are many variables that cannot be touched on in brief articles such as these. I would, however, like to look at some subtypes. In this article I will confine myself to a brief exploration of survivors following the death of a person with AIDS. We do not hear much about AIDS nowadays, except in relation to the huge amount of people suffering from it in Africa. But, it is a reality in Ireland, and people whose relations or partners have died from AIDS related diseases suffer particular grief responses. Since AIDS is transmitted through bodily fluids sexual partners may be anxious about their own health, and may confuse some of the physical sensations or illnesses associated with bereavement with those stemming from AIDS. This can greatly add to their anxiety. Survivors may also conceal the real reason for death because of the social stigma associated with the disease. This deception can lead to anxiety, anger and

guilt. There is also the question of the lack of of social support, and the exclusion of a gay lover from the family grieving process. Because AIDS is essentially associated with the gay community, AIDS related deaths may impact heavily upon members of that community, who are often faced with multiple losses. AIDS related illnesses can leave a person mentally and physically impaired, and survivors of these losses often experience intense guilt and prolonged sad memories of the deceased. Sometimes AIDS sufferers develop behaviours similar to Alzheimer sufferers, and this can lead to an early grief response in friends and family. In conclusion, AIDS related deaths often evoke rage, fear, shame, isolation and lack of support. It can cause conflict in families, and encourages secrecy. In a sense, some survivors may be denied the social right to mourn and to seek consolation from others.

Sudden death is one of the factors that profoundly affects the nature of our grief. This is especially true in the early stages. Some bereavement psychologists hold that grief work is not only difficult to start, but harder to complete in the case of sudden death. Some possible reactions to sudden death includes a sense of unreality about the loss, increase of guilt feelings, a sense of helplessness, a sense of being agitated and uneasy, a sense of unfinished business, and a wish to make meaning out of the death.


There is no emotional preparation for a sudden death. I have experienced this. I had no preparation for any type of death. I had never been bereaved, and did not even own a grave. I was only 45 at the time, my parents were youngish, and I never expected to need one for years. For a long time I kept asking myself ‘how did this happen?’, and for many years the ringing of the phone filled me with dread because I feared it might be news that something awful had happened to one of my other children. I was pervaded by a general sense of unease, and my feeling of helplessness was accompanied by a feeling of sheer terror. I felt powerless. Shock is the most palpable and immediate reaction to sudden death. It is natures way of numbing us so that we are not immediately overcome. It can sometimes come before the denial stage of grieving. Bereavement writers have described it as a physical and emotional illness with specific symptoms. it is a temporary anaesthetic. I experienced it fully, but I cannot really describe it. Somehow it was like a physical blast, akin to having a shotgun discharged in my face, and it rendered me helpless for several days. I suppose I was close to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder for a brief period.

Dealing with all the aspects that make grieving different for different people would demand many articles, so I will list other relevant ones. These include the diverse medical, psychological and mental history of the bereaved. Under this would come age, gender and marital status of the bereaved. The type of personality is another factor, and some psychologists show that there are 16 types of personality. This in itself is a major study, because each personality type deals uniquely with problems. The degree of social support available

is another dimension affecting how we grieve.

In terms of gender, there is evidence that women grieve differently to men. This can often cause tension and misunderstanding in a house where different members of a family are at different stages of grieving. In Western society men tend to suppress their feelings more than women, with the important exception of expressing anger. There is also the cultural context, and in an increasingly multicultural Ireland there is an even greater diversity of grieving.

hinder the grieving process. A strong religious belief, for example can be of great help, but for those who have a strong conviction of a punitive God, and the existence of hell, it can add to their pain if the deceased had not lived what they consider a good life. (Part of a series, continued in next isssue)

Jim O’Shea works as a counsellor from Furze, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Ph. 0878211009 His book ‘When a Child dies, Footsteps of a grieving family’ is published by Veritas. The royalties from this book will go to the Children’s Hospital in Crumlin

Religion is a part of culture, and the use of ritual is important. In Ireland funerals are well attended, especially in rural areas, and this can be a great help to the bereaved. The funeral mass can have a powerful effect upon the bereaved, and I recall how vivid the words ‘angels of the Lord take him into paradise’ were. They rang in my ears, and somehow sharpened my sorrow, and made me confront the reality of my loss.

I realise that I have merely touched upon all the factors that influence how we grieve. Some of these can be helpful to some people and some can

Life and Fitness Magazine - June 2009 - 45

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Properties on The Lake or Over Looking The Shannon? We have plenty of choice - both in price and on property spec. Here are some to whet your appetite. Allstone House, Ballina,Co. Tipperary.

Shoreside, Ballina, Co. Tipperary. Block build 1,250sq.ft approx. comprising of 3/4 bedrooms, Lounge, kitchen/dining, utility lovely private garden, quiet culde-sac. Large bright property. Reduced reserve.

€on application. Excuisite circa 3,415sq.ft. detached residence on circa 0.43hectares. withing walking distance of Ballina/Killaloe. Close to schools, shops etc. Magnificent home, all bright

The Beeches, Ballina/Killaloe Guide Price; €485,000.00 Large Detached c.2, 300sq.ft property on very large site in prime location. Greatly Reduced from €550,000. Viewing Recommended for this Large Private Central Propetry.

and spacious rooms, numerous reception rooms, play room,5 bedrooms, 3 ensuite, splended kitchen and family room with outstanding finish and numerous extras. This is definitely a "one off" house and viewing is strongly recommended

3 New Street, Killaloe. Reduced to sell; Guide Price; €145,000 Lovely two bedroom semi-detached home, central to Killaloe with extra large long rear gardens. Double glazed windows, ample parking, plenty of room for expansion if required. Size; Approx. 700sq.ft. Superb opportunity to become a home owner with a good solid home in a reasonable price range

Belkelly, Ogonnelloe, Co. Clare. Superb 4Bedroom Property on C. 1Acre of Landscaped Grounds with Breathtaking Direct Views of Lough Derg. Reduced Guide Price €420,000. Open To Offers.

Ground Floor Commercial Unit (with successful business in situ)


House No. 1a. John's Lane, Killaloe, Co. Clare. Guide Price; €127,500 One of a number of properties available in in an excellent price range central to everything. One bed property with own courtyard

Excellent c.300sq.ft. ground floor retail unit centrally located in Killaloe's Main Street. Established highly successful hairdresser in situ. Tenant unaffected by sale. Guide Price; €165,000.

Carrigatogher, Nenagh. One beautiful property! This is an excellent detached 4 Bedroom home on circa half acre of very private surrounds. Superb value for money in to-day's market. Viewings are definitely advised. Separate large detached workshop/garage. Guiding Price only €235,000!

No. 12 Lough Derg Village, Killaloe, Co. Clare. Guide Price; €285,000. Superb c. 1,100sq.ft. residence in private courtyard overlooking Lough Derg and your very OWN MOORING which allows access to the beautiful lake. Viewing Recommend.

Clare Tipp Properties - WorkingLifeFor You and Fitness Magazine - June 2009 - 47


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48 - Life and Fitness Magazine - June 2009

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Life and Fitness Magazine - June 2009 - 49

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50 - Life and Fitness Magazine - June 2009

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Life and Fitness Magazine Ireland Issue 4  

Life and Fitness Magazine is a new fitness and health magazine distributed through gyms, leisure centres and newsagents throughout Ireland....

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