clean eating

Veggies - How many do we need?

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Vegetables provide nutrients vital for health and maintenance of your body! The list of benefits Veggies provide is ongoing but below are a few of the important ones!

• Can help you lose weight
• Are high in important nutrients including potassium, folate, vitamin A, vitamin C and the list goes on…
• Can reduce your risk of certain cancers, chronic diseases (such as diabetes) etc.
• Help to keep you immune system strong, heart & skin healthy
•Keep your gut, digestion and brain healthy

HOW MUCH?
Adults need to be eating a minimum of 5 serves of veggies! For kids 4 - 7 years they need at least 4 serves and 8 -18 years at least 5 serves of vegetables.

WHAT IS A SERVE?
A serve of vegetables or legumes (yes legumes such as lentils & beans count as veggies!!)
1 serve =
1/2 cup of cooked veggies
1/2 cup of dried beans, peas or lentils
1 cup of salad veggies

If you are struggle to include your 5 serves of veggies into your diet, My Nutrition E Book & 7 Meal Plan E Book are jam packed with veggie inspired recipes! And you can still receive 30% OFF my 7 Day Meal Plan Ebook! You can add your details here or shoot me a message for the discount code!

Hydration - Quick Tips

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Did you know that on average, Americans drink a little more than four glasses a day!! By not hydrating yourself adequately you can affect your workout, your weight — even your brainpower. Here are just a few quick tips to help you hydrate!

1. Make drinking water a daily habit

2. Feeling thirsty or experiencing dry mouth, flushed skin, fatigue, or head-ache can all be signs of dehydration. Hydrate the body with some water before reaching for panadol

3. Plain water too boring, try adding fresh lemon or lime juice or a handful of berries.

4. To increase your fluid intake, enjoy a few pieces of fruit a day, as well as some
homemade vegetable soup. For example 1 cup cooked sliced zucchini  contains 6 oz of water!!

5. If you find you get to the end of day without finishing your water bottle set a timer as a reminder to drink a glass of water every hour or so!

And remember you don't need to guzzle a gallon of H2O during your exercise session, simply drink to satisfy your thirst and you'll take in what you need.

King Kale

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If you are still yet to try Kale, now may be the perfect time! This nutritional powerhouse supports healthy skin, hair, and bones. With more nutritional value than spinach, Kale should definitely make its way onto your weekly shopping list if its not there already!!

Kales nutrients can help boost wellbeing and prevent a range of health problems. It contains fibre, antioxidants, calcium and vitamin K. As well as a good source of vitamin C and iron. Kale will not only add nutritional value but colour to salads and side dishes!



Kale Fast Facts!

- Kale is high in fibre and contains zero fat
- Kale is a great anti-inflammatory food. One cup of kale is filled with 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids, which help, fight against arthritis, asthma and autoimmune disorders.
- Kale is a great cardiovascular support
- Great detox food: the fibre and sulphur in kale helps to detoxify the body, keeping your liver healthy!

Kale’s versatility allows you to easily add to any of your meals throughout the day! You can enjoy it raw in salads or on sandwiches or wraps, steamed, baked, sautéed or added to soups and casseroles.

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In salads: When using kale raw in salads, massage the leaves with coconut oil or olive oil. Then add your favourite spices or herbs to give them a boost of This begins the breakdown of the cellulose in the leaves and helps release the nutrients for easier absorption.

As a side dish: Sauté fresh garlic and onions in extra-virgin olive oil until soft. Add kale and continue to sauté until desired tenderness. Alternatively, steam for 5 minutes, then drain and stir in a dash of Tamara and tahini.

Kale chips: Massage kale with extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil and sprinkle with a combination of cumin, curry powder or chilli flakes. Bake at 275 degrees for 15 to 30 minutes to desired crispness.

Smoothies: Add a handful of kale to your favourite smoothie. It will add nutrients without changing the flavour very much so you will hardly notice it :)

 

Keep your eyes peeled for next weeks Superfood Series Post! I would love to hear what your favourite superfoods are! Comment below or leave me a message on facebook! ENJOY!

 

The Superfood Series

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Welcome to the SophiaFIT “Superfood” Series! You’ve probably all heard countless times about the nutritional benefits of these everyday ingredients such as blueberries, kale, salmon, commonly labeled “superfoods.” Although there is no official scientific definition of a superfood, the theory behind superfoods are foods that contain high levels of much-needed vitamins and minerals. They can also be a source of antioxidants, substances that shield our bodies from cell damage and help prevent disease. Yes there are a number of common foods that provide these nutrients, there is also an array of more exotic and less mainstream superfoods that are worth getting to know!

Through this series of blog posts I will be going through my favourite and budget friendly “superfoods”! Enjoy!

Calories - The Basics

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Before I leave you to delve into this blog I’d like add that I am not here to tell you or condone calorie counting, as it can become very destructive and turn into a obsession rather than listening to your body! I am providing you with a brief understanding on what a calorie is and how tracking your intake can make a impact on your health, both positively and negatively.

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To lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories than you burn. In theory, this sounds simple. However learning and understanding how to manage your intake of food can prove to be a tricky task! As we are constantly bombarded with information whether it be from friends, TV, magazines or social networks about calories it can makes it hard to know what’s right and what’s wrong!

Firstly, what is a calorie?
A calorie is a measure of energy. In science, it's defined as the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water by 1 degree Celsius. We use calories that we eat and drink for essential functions such as breathing and thinking, as well as day-to-day activities such as walking, talking and eating! Excess intake of calories causes what you eat to be stored as fat therefore consistently eating more than you burn will cause weight gain overtime.

The United States government states that the average man needs 2,700 kcal per day and the average woman needs 2,200 kcal per day.

Keep in mind not everybody needs the same number of calories each day! People have different metabolisms that burn energy at different rates, and some people have more active lifestyles than others.

The recommended intake of calories per day depends on several factors, including:
• overall general health
• physical activity demands
• sex
• weight
• height
• body shape

Your body needs calories to survive! Without energy the cells within your body would begin to die, the function of your heart and lungs would stop and your organs would not be able to carry out the basic processes needed for living!

Now, not all calories are equal! The number of calories in food tell us how much potential energy the contain but not only calories that are important, the substance from which the calories is taken from is vital! These so called “empty” calories are those that provide energy but very little nutritional value. The elements of food that provide empty calories contain next to no dietary fiber, amino acids, antioxidants, minerals or vitamins! Empty calories can be made up of solid fats and added sugars. Solid fats are either naturally found in foods or can be added when foods are processed. Added sugars are sugars and syrups that are added then food or beverages are processed!

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• Cakes, cookies, pastries, and donuts (contain both solid fat and added sugars)
• Sodas, energy drinks, sports drinks, and fruit drinks (contain added sugars)
• Cheese (contains solid fat)
• Pizza (contains solid fat)
• Ice cream (contains both solid fat and added sugars)
• Sausages, hot dogs, bacon, and ribs (contain solid fat)

The foods and beverages above are the main sources of empty calories but many can be found in no solid fat or added sugar products such as low-fat yogurt, no fat cheese or sugar free soft drink.

Choosing unsweetened applesauce or extra lean ground beef, can help keep your intake of added sugars and solid fats low but remember a small amount of empty calories is okay and won’t kill you! It is important to limit empty calories to the amount that fits your calorie and nutrient needs.

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The main thing I would like you to take away from this blog is to ensure your diet is filled with whole, nutrient dense foods which will help you limit your intake of empty calorie foods!

Ditch counting calories and ....
• Opt for nutrient-dense options that our great-grandparents would recognise as food
• Go for a wide variety of in-season produce and ingredients
• Cook, which really is the key to it all
• Cut out processed foods
• Focus on regaining our natural appetite and cutting the cravings

Beat the 3pm Slump

We are know that feeling too well! You’ve smashed out your workout for the day, ate a nourishing, healthy breakfast and lunch but as soon as the clock strikes 3pm all you feel is something naughty like chocolate or chips! Hands up if this is you!

To help you beat the 3pm monster, here is a few snack ideas that you can either keep in your desk draw, your hand bag or at home in the cupboard! Just somewhere you can reach easily when those munchies hit!

Bliss Balls
Bliss balls is definitely the go-to snack for all you sweet tooths as they will not only kick your cravings but will give that extra burst of energy for the afternoon. Just beware of store bought ones that they aren’t packed with added sugar and it’s all natural! Here is one of my favourite bliss ball recipes!

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RAW SALTED CARAMEL BALLS
Makes 18 Balls
Ingredients:
- 1 cup cashews
- ½ cup dessicated coconut (without preservatives)
- 1 scoop of quality protein powder of your choice (pea, rice or whey)
- 15-16 Medjool dates
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or rice malt syrup
- 2 tablespoons raw pepitas
- 2 tablespoons water
- Pinch of salt
- Extra coconut for rolling

Instructions:
1. Blend cashews first in a food processor until in chunk-form
2. Add all other ingredients and blend until formed
3. Pour extra coconut into a bowl or on a plate
4. Roll mixture into small balls and coat in the bowl of desiccated coconut
5. Freeze to set and enjoy
6. These balls will last in your freezer for 2 weeks and are equally delicious if stored in the fridge, once set.

Hummus & Veggies
You truly can’t go wrong with a bit of hummus and veggie sticks! Super simple to prepare and can easily be placed Tupperware container to keep at work or in your handbag for on the go!

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Yogurt & Berries
Natural yogurt or greek topped with berries is a perfect low-GI snack! Low-GI snacks are slowly digested and absorbed which provides more stable blood sugar levels and will help you maintain healthy energy levels! As well as the above benefits this delicious snack will also give you a hit of antioxidants and good bacteria plus it helps satisfy your sweet tooth!

Trail Mix
Trail mixes are a super easy and healthy snack as it provides protein, healthy fats and fibre to keep you satisfied until dinner! This snack also contains zinc, magnesium, calcium and vitamin E!! You can create your trail mix with raw mixed nuts and seeds (think almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts, sunflower and pepitas seeds, along with some dried fruit (such as goji berries, prunes, raisins or dates).

Don’t forget you can receive 50% OFF My New Year Bundle for the month of January! All you need to do is subscribe to my newsletter to receive the discount code! Subscribe HERE!

How to break bad habits!

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New Year, new goals, new habits! The new year is an exciting time for change! As we look forward to the year ahead we look to replace bad habits with better ones to help improve every element of our lives! By nature we are creatures of habits! Don’t get me wrong not all habits are bad! Good habits like regularly exercising and meal prep can form a foundation to a healthy life but its the bad habits such as over-eating on the weekend can sabotage your health without even realising!

So whether you’re battling through a dry January or trying to get over the holiday food hangover, here are a few quick tips to break free of unhealthy habits!

  1. Remember the choice is yours! - Are you reaching for the third cup of coffee or piece of chocolate out of habit? No one “has” to do anything. Think of your “why” before making decisions.

  2. Recognise the ritual and make it healthier - If you view food as a reward, try to replace it with a  treat, such as a short walk, a warm bath or 10 minutes of relaxing yoga

  3. Create a rest routine - Make sure you look forward to getting into bed at night. Turn it into an experience you love, turn your phone to “do not disturb”, light a candle, read a relaxing book and learn how to wind down naturally without technology!

  4. Make smart choices - Start with small, achievable goals. When you go out for dinner eat choose fish or lean meat with vegetables and have a cup of mint tea after dinner instead of dessert. REMEMBER: simple, small changes can make a huge difference!

  5. Savour every moment, say “Cheers!” - Celebration and delight are incredibly powerful tonics. If you have some sweets don’t stress yourself out with guilt. Own it, trust yourself not to eat the whole pack, enjoy the celebration and then move on.

Are you are looking for guidance on breaking your habits and focusing on making 2018 a year of improving your health & fitness, then I would love to hear from you! Send an email to sophia@sophiafit.com for more info! Also make the most of my New Year Bundle Special where you receive both my Nutrition eBook & 7 Day Meal Plan! Subscribe to receive the 50% off discount code here!

Thanksgiving Special!

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How is everyone feeling the day after Thanksgiving? If you are looking for some new fresh, light and clean recipes to cleanse your body from all that holiday eating, my 7 Day Meal Plan e book is available at 30% off today and this weekend only. You can grab it here!. Simply enter the discount code: SPECIAL30 at checkout to receive your 30% of!! 

Offer ends Sunday 26th of November so get in quick so you don't miss out!!