Recent Blog Posts

  • New fitness trends for 2019New Fitness Trends for 2019

    When you think about what new year resolutions you’ll have in 2019 there is a good chance that getting in shape will be one of the first things you will think of. After all you don’t have to go far to come across the “New Year, New You” posse. And while we tend to start January with a spring in our step ready to start with a wonderful new schedule that includes plenty of time for exercising, we might not actually know what to do. Or perhaps you’re a bit bored with your current exercise routine and stuck in a […]

  • Positive thinking and my daily mail adventureThe power of positive thinking: how to overcome a gluten baby. Fast.

    This is a “behind the scenes” story about eating gluten when you are not meant to, massive bloating, surprises, crash dieting, bruises, damage limitation and how positive thinking helped me turn it around fast. Last Monday I had a blood test first thing in the morning. I had to fast for 12 hours prior to that and although it’s not a big deal as I practice intermittent fasting almost every day, I felt it was a good excuse to treat myself and my other half to a massive pile of Danish pastries for breakfast. This is something I hadn’t done […]

  • 6 reasons you are tired6 Reasons you are always tired that have nothing to do with sleep

    We’ve all had those nights where schedules don’t allow you much rest time, and where you wake up feeling more tired than when you went to bed. That’s your body’s way of telling you that it needs more sleep, period. But what about those times where you just feel tired and you really don’t have a good reason? Maybe you’re spending enough time in bed and maybe you’re even getting close to the recommended number of hours for sleep. Even still, though, you feel zonked—tired all the time. If that’s the case, then it might be that something else is […]

  • men's health week 2018Let’s think about men’s health issues. This year is all about diabetes.

    It is Men’s Health Week 2018 from the 11th to 17th of June and this year the focus of the week for men’s health issues will be on diabetes. Men are more likely to get diabetes, more likely to suffer complications, face amputation and are more likely to die from diabetes. If we truly value the men in our lives more needs to be done to prevent this from happening. Don’t be afraid to think for them because, unfortunately, it’s quite common for men to still feel uncomfortable talking about issues regarding their health and we need to act now […]

  • How to reduce post workout muscle sorenessHow to Reduce Post-Workout Muscle Soreness

    How to Reduce Post-Workout Muscle Soreness Muscle soreness? It happens—especially if you’re trying to build strength or flexibility, are challenging yourself, or are doing a new workout. But soreness, unfortunately, can derail exercise, even for a few days. And derailing plans for a few days can mean that you get off a positive routine and have to start all over again—or even worse, get discouraged and don’t start at all. However, there are pre- and post-exercise steps that you can take to help minimize the length of time and depth of muscle soreness. For example, although it might be tempting […]

  • Golden years5 easy lifestyle changes to consider in your golden years

    So, you’ve finally reached your golden years and have come to the point in your life when you’re ready to retire, or perhaps you already have.  Your kids have moved out and now have families of their own, you’ve worked hard to accomplish your career goals and now what? What do you do with your newfound spare time? What can you do to ensure you’re staying happy, healthy and able to accomplish the things you’ve been waiting to do all your life? Exercise! If you’ve never exercised before, or even if you’ve stayed active, exercise can bring a whole new […]

  • paleo and keto diet differencesWhat’s the difference between Paleo and Ketogenic diet?

    There are plenty of diets that end up being fads and flashes—here one year, gone the next. But other eating plans tend to have more staying power. Take both the paleo and ketogenic diets as two examples, which often are confused with each other. Lets talk about paleo first. Adherents of the paleo diet draw their inspiration from what they say are the eating habits and patterns of our ancient hunter-gatherer ancestors. Paleo draws much of its fare from meat and seafood, but particular strains of each—grass fed and wild. Nuts and seeds are OK too, as are fruits and […]

  • Clients Frequently Asked Questions[VLOG] Prospective clients’ questions and answers

    When I hired my first Personal Trainer some 10 years ago or so I had about a million questions and many doubts about the whole thing. I was somewhere in between anxious and terrified as I didn’t really know what to expect. Now that I have been on the other side of the table for almost a decade I always remember that first experience when I meet a prospective client and try to make the process as fun and laid back as possible. It’s a bit of a game of questions and answers to paint an accurate picture of the experience […]

  • Wherever you are at, that's the perfect place to startThe perfect time to start a weight loss program

    So many times I see people over complicating their body transformation projects because they think they have to get many things into place before they can start. So they research the latest weight loss program, read, absorb information, hesitate, get frustrated, get overwhelmed, feel inadequate, worry and so on without ever concluding much. The truth is the best place to start a weight loss program is exactly wherever you are at when the idea strikes, whenever you feel inspired to create those changes in your body composition. Having a burning desire to succeed is what’s going to keep you going over […]

  • Yoga for strength and relaxationHow Yoga Can Help with Relaxation and Strength Building

    It’s obvious that yoga helps you with many aspects of your life which includes: mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. While in any given pose, you allow your body to relax at a cellular level while strengthening your body. The mind-body practice of yoga is designed to bring together your body, mind, and spirit through physical poses, breathing and relaxation. It can help you reduce stress that might cause the body harm by lowering blood pressure or your heart rate. Poses range from super easy to advanced so anyone can do it. Yoga has been highly regarded as a way of […]

  • The difference between try and triumph is a little umph6 common mistakes people make when trying to lose weight

    Working on a fitness makeover can be a lonesome time for some. My experience as a coach is that a lot of clients are almost ashamed to admit to their friends or colleagues that that’s what they are trying to do. So they tend to isolate themselves and keep their weight loss journey a secret for fear of failure and having to hear “I told you it wouldn’t work”. There is a lot of conflicting information available on the subjects of fitness and weight loss and it’s very difficult to navigate through a myriad of journals, articles and blogs to […]

  • get out of a funk with your fitness projectHow to get out of a funk with your fitness project

    It’s quite normal to hit roadblocks and get stuck in a funk whenever we embark on a project of any kind and health overhaul and fitness projects are no exception to this. People often start off with the intention of improving their health, wealth and fitness levels on Jan 1st each year with all the zest in the world only to find themselves having a crisis somewhere down the line. By crisis I don’t mean accidents, misfortune or failures. The worst thing that can happen to any of us is reaching the moment when we wake up and realize that we have lost our mojo. […]

  • success winning attitudeM = Mindset [what SMART stands for]

    Your mindset is the key to success. You will never see any fat loss program through to the end unless your head is in the right place. In fact, being in the wrong frame of mind will often prevent you from getting started altogether. This is, in my opinion, one of the biggest obstacles that a lot of people face in the beginning. Let’s take my client and friend Lori for example. It’s not unusual for her to work long hours every day of the week doing mostly physical work. It’s a well paid job and she loves it but it […]

  • Confidence Sexy Size Sexy ShapeS = Sexy Size [what SMART stands for]

    The name SMART Fitness Makeover came about during a conversation that I had with one of my past marketing coaches. We were bouncing ideas back and forth during a re-branding effort and in the end we settled on SMART as it was the perfect acronym for all the things that my approach to fitness and weight loss stands for and also an acronym that is well known in goals setting circles. Amazingly I managed to blog regularly for almost two years without ever talking about it… so time to correct this! Let’s start with the first letter: S = sexy size. We […]

  • Case study: how to get into the best shape of your life after 40She got into the best shape of her life. After 40. A case study.

    Belinda (nor her real name, of course) was a housewife who became a mother later in life, in her late thirties. Like the majority of my clients, she came from a privileged background: living in a luxurious country home with her family and with plenty of time and resources to pursue her interests. When I met her she was in her early forties and was starting to feel the effects of the peri-menopause. She was in a fairly good shape, her body type was mostly ectomorph and therefore she was naturally lean. However she felt that she was starting to […]

  • Stay fit even when super busyHow to get fit (and stay that way) when you are super busy

    I am always a little bit sad when Summer ends because I love the longer hours of daylight, the warmer temperatures, sleeping with all the windows wide open and finding excuses for spending time outdoors. Most importantly, I can upgrade my back garden to outdoors exercise area where I can enjoy a lot more space and plenty of fresh air. Clients are usually on holiday and so I get to slow down too for a short while. When Autumn starts life gets busy on all fronts again. Not just for me but for my clients too. For many of them the […]

  • Being consistent with your efforts will bring you resultsStep 4 – Stay Consistent To Keep Off That Stubborn Fat!

    “Living well on a day-to-day basis brings eternal happiness” By Rich “Slayer of Stubborn Fat” Tweten CPT, Author I realize that you may have tried a fat loss program and diet in the past only to quit for some reason. If this is so, please accept the fact that this time, things really could be different for you! I know you’re searching for more happiness. The results that you’ll get by becoming more active and eating more healthily will allow you to become happier as a person and hopefully you’ll enjoy the journey as well. It’s the journey that will […]

  • Win your day with these 4 simple steps4 Simple Steps to Win Your Day. Every Day. [Infographic]

    I am in the very fortunate position of being able to wake up naturally a lot of the time and only having to set the alarm clock some of the time. Even so Mondays can be difficult as they mean leaving behind the chilled pace of the weekend and getting ready to face whatever challenges life will bring as the week unfolds. I find solace in setting up the alarm clock 30 minutes before the time I actually want to get up to make sure I start the day with some me time to set myself up for success. No […]

  • banish excuses and get on with your fat loss planStep 3 – Small But Consistent Steps Of Action To Slay Stubborn Fat

    “Make good things happen for yourself or bad things will surely happen to you” By Rich “Slayer of Stubborn Fat” Tweten CPT, Author After you make new and empowering decisions related to living a healthier lifestyle, I’m sure you’ll realize that there are more actions you’ll need to perform on an everyday basis. This will take greater personal effort, but if you don’t take the necessary actions that are needed now, it will take far greater energy in the future to start living a healthier lifestyle and to deal with the painful consequences which will follow. So, don’t get overwhelmed […]

  • SAD winter depressionDon’t let SAD drown your spirit. 5 tips for excellent mental health this Winter.

    In the past few weeks (I am writing this in October, 2016) I have noticed a resurgence of social media posts about mental health to raise awareness and dispel the myth that it’s something to be ashamed of. I am totally on board with this as there is nothing worse than realising that someone who is near and dear to us is putting on a brave face to appear “normal” whereas in reality they are fighting an almighty battle with depression inside their heads all day every day. It’s heart breaking. It’s not my place to discuss severe mental health […]

  • Set your reasonable fitness goals with visualisationStep 2 – Set Your Reasonable Fitness Goals Using Visualization

    “To get what you want, you must know what you want” By Rich “Slayer of Stubborn Fat” Tweten CPT, Author I’m about to guide you through an exciting and fun journey inside your imagination. What once was the impossible dream is now going to become very real as you visualize exactly how your new body is going to look and feel after using an effective exercise and nutrition plan for 90 days. By seeing the target and aiming for it, you’ll have a much greater chance of hitting the bulls-eye! Coming up, you’ll find an assignment with questions that are brought to […]

  • DNA testingDNA testing for fitness and fat loss: my experience so far.

    As a New Year’s treat in January 2016 I decided to have a go at DNA testing after it came highly recommended to me by a successful professional fighter that I met at a social event. I was curious as to what information about my physiology it would reveal that I hadn’t already worked out with experience, intuition and a huge amount of fitness tests that I undertook in my youth when I was a competitive gymnast. Where can I get a DNA test? I looked up a number of companies offering genetic testing in relation to fitness and nutrition […]

  • Step 1 – You Must Transform Your Body Now!

    “The first step towards transformation is awareness” By Rich “Slayer of Stubborn Fat” Tweten CPT, Author Have you accidentally programmed your body to be fat for life? That’s an incredibly scary thought, yet it may be true! Remember back to a time when you made the decision to slay stubborn fat. Once motivated, I’m sure you did whatever you believed was necessary at the time to drop those ugly and unwanted pounds. Did you go on a diet? Did you start an exercise program? Did you buy a fat loss product that promised amazing results? Regardless of the path you […]

  • healing from bone bruising requires a lotBone bruising: a year into my convalescence

    Last week (5th September) I celebrated a year since my infamous injury that caused me extensive bone bruising to the femur and tibia. A lot has happened since I last wrote about it back in March and as I learned many new things I thought it was time to record my progress for posterity and in hope that anyone in my situation will find it useful. Between March and the end of May not much had changed in the way of my regimen: I still had physiotherapy sessions albeit further apart and I carried on exercising at the gym at least […]

  • The ultimate fitness makeover checklist12 things you need to banish your love handles once and for all

    When you take the decision to undertake a Fitness Makeover you have already overcome the first big obstacle in your quest: inertia. Now you have to gather your tools and resources so that you can actually get started and gain the momentum you need to make this task easy peasy. This in turn will help you stay the course and see your body transformation project through to the end. Below is a list of all the things you need to finally banish those love handles once and for all. By the way, some of the links below point to products […]

  • Poopámon Go workoutThe Poopámon workout: when your horse becomes your Personal Trainer!

    In this blog I bring you another clever workout… actually it’s not really a workout, more like turning something mundane and routine into something useful in the context of a weight loss and fitness program. It’s not that I don’t take fitness seriously, it’s that over the years I have come across a variety of clients and the majority of them hate the idea of actually working out and yet they want to be fit. What to do?! My challenge, in these cases, is to find every day activities that can be modded into exercise so that in the end we […]

  • My easy recipe for fitness makeover successMy secret recipe for Fitness Makeover success

    When it comes to fitness and weight loss there is so much information available in the blogosphere that it’s truly hard to know where to start. I suppose it all boils down to what resonates best with you once you find a few reputable sources of information. You could choose between a bodyweight workout plan, exercises that you can do at home without the need for fitness equipment or you could choose a full on gym program to help you lose weight. Whichever road you choose to follow it’s good to have a map to help you stay the course […]

  • Comparative ReviewIntense or Very Intense Program: which one is better for you?

    When people ask me how my work …eeeerrr… works they are often surprised when I tell them that I don’t sell Personal Training sessions but instead sell programs (or packages) and outcomes. There’s a reason for this and it’s a very important one: PT sessions are often perceived by clients as a series of one-offs in which I am expected to dish out exercises and counting reps for an agreed length of time and perhaps give some nutritional advice on top. Then go home and wait for the next session if and when it’s going to happen (and this is […]

  • Free YouTube workoutsFREE workouts on YouTube: 30 Day Shred review

    Free online workout videos on YouTube often come up in conversation with potential clients or people that I meet at social events: “what is the best workout to lose weight in 30 days?”. Occasionally they ask me what I think of one program or another and as I don’t bother with the free stuff I sometimes have a hard time offering some genuine guidance. So I did some research. Up to not long ago one of the most popular free workouts on YouTube used to be the 30 Day Shred Program by Jillian Michaels with over 35 million views. It […]

  • Never underestimate the power of a basic 20 min workoutHow to jumpstart your fitness with a simple 20 min workout

    When you start out in fitness (or start back with it) it’s never a good idea to go at it gung-ho with a crazy intense workout. If your body isn’t used to structured exercise you must ease yourself into it gradually at a pace that suits you. This will help you gain strength and develop the co-ordination you need to eventually tackle the more advanced techniques. The best strategy for making continuous progress whilst staying safe is to master the absolute basics and then move on from there. Basic workouts aren’t for the weak, they can be incredibly challenging if […]

  • Couple walking around some hillsFrom zero to hero in 12 weeks (of walking). A Case Study.

    It’s difficult for me to talk about real life clients because the nature of the work I do with them is very personal. As an Exercise Referral Specialist I often work with people who have health issues varying from mild to serious to life changing and one of the reasons they choose to work with me is that I assure them of the utmost discretion. After all, who would want their personal and intimate issues being exposed to the whole of the internet? Nevertheless I would like to tell you the story of how one of my past clients went […]

  • The magic pill for weight loss: an eraserWant to erase the effects of a bad diet overnight? Try this!

    Every now and then I used to do temping for a sports supplements company. I worked in their Customer Service Dept. answering clients’ questions on a variety of subjects. Sometimes I got to see some true gems coming through the inbox. One of the questions that came through on a regular basis was the classic: “I overeat and I live a sedentary life. Will fat burners* help me lose 10 pounds fast?” …eeerrrr… nope! They won’t on their own. I promise you, seeing what people ask about supplements is a great learning experience as I used to be resist exploring this side of […]

  • FriendsGood friends are great for your health

    Relaxation and time out are fundamental ingredients for a successful Fitness Makeover. Not that we need any reasons to hang out with our favourite people in the world but sometimes we get so caught up with our lives that we forget to stay in touch. We really ought to make a point to never sacrifice time with our friends in favour of other pursuits. Science offers the theory that we are not so much what we eat but who we eat with… meaning that if you are on a journey to reshape your body you might get a higher chance of […]

  • Always be kind to yourselfMind your language! Learn how to use self-talk effectively.

    The language we use can be very powerful. The words we use to communicate with our loved ones, our colleagues, business partners, bosses, acquaintances, readers can make or break somebody’s day. They can set the mood, they can inspire, they can scare, they can bring about happiness and they can make us feel powerful. The words that we use when we “speak to ourselves” via our thoughts are just as powerful and way more important than those spoken by others. This is what is known in psychology as “self-talk” and it usually consists of an internalised running commentary of how […]

  • Q. Do I have to workout for hours every day to lose weight? A. No. Maybe. It depends.

    Does the prospect of a mammoth workout make you cringe and act as an instant put off from even considering structured exercise? I agree. I would be put off too. Especially by my vague answer…  😉 The thing is a vague answer is the only answer to this type of question if asked in these terms. And it’s a question that the majority of prospective new clients ask me when we first meet because there is a lot of confusion around this subject. Here’s the thing… If you have been reading my blogs for a while (thank you) you know that I […]

  • The three main body types or somatotypesBoost your fat loss results by making the most of your body type

    If you have been good and kept up with your New Year resolutions to be slimmer and fitter by now you will probably be ready to show off your buff body to the world. If for some reason you haven’t then you are probably starting to feel the pressure as Summer is approaching fast and time seems to be slipping away. Please don’t feel like giving up on the idea of rocking the beach with a nicely toned body and a flat belly. With the right strategies you can fast track your fat loss results and be ready for your […]

  • DOMSThe secret to a lightning fast recovery from any workout

    About a year or so ago I met one of my clients for the first time (let’s call her as Amethyst). During our initial consultation, like many others before her, she confessed that she was terrified at the prospect of experiencing any kind of pain during or after exercise. I explained to her that there are different types of pain that mustn’t be confused with each other: there is the “burn” that we experience when we work a specific muscle group over and over again and that’s a good sign that we are creating the right stimulus to instigate changes. But […]

  • Inner Spring Cleaning all year roundInner Spring cleaning: why probiotics are your friends

    During the past couple of weeks the buzzword on social media has been “Spring Cleaning”. This expression seems to be incredibly versatile and it can be applied to almost any field of interest: from decluttering around the house, to reorganizing files and directories, removing Facebook frenemies… but Spring cleaning can also be applied to our thoughts and habits. Spring in the UK can be a funny time of the year. Actually, for someone like me who still remembers being too warm most of the year in Italy, Spring in the UK can be a source of tears because there are […]

  • A bowl of frozen berriesA berry easy way to enjoy a delicious treat packed with many health benefits

    There are many things that make the prospect of Summer getting closer alluring. Food-wise I believe one of the biggest anticipations is finally being able to eat fresh berries. And I mean literally just picked off the plants, fresh, scented, juicy. Perhaps accompanied by a glass of Champagne whilst sitting outside under a canopy of trees. Who else is salivating already? But wait! Isn’t fruit a big no-no when it comes to fat loss? Au contraire, in my opinion nothing is truly off-limits. Some things are perhaps more likely to hinder your progress, others can be downright destructive if you are […]

  • Social media tree2016 Social Media Image Size Cheat Sheet

    This post is for all the friends that read my blog posts on a regular basis (thank you!) and with whom I occasionally sit down and discuss what I am doing to promote and grow my fitness business. Social media is a big part of it and I find it both a Godsend (does anyone remember leafleting?) and an almighty pain in my f**king arse, especially when it comes to creating content and images. Content is the easiest one of the two, images are a real headache because of the squillion different sizes and formats required for each social media […]

  • Earth, Wind, Fire and WaterThe “Elemental Diet” – a brief look at the approach to nutrition for optimum health from a Traditional Thai Medicine Theory point of view

    I hate doing cardio at the gym. This much I have in common with 95% of my clients. However, in the ultimate effort of turning a negative situation (cardio) into a positive one, when I really think about it, the time that I am forcing myself to spend sweating on a pushbike going nowhere is actually one of the few opportunities that I have to read a book without stealing precious time away from other important tasks. Apart from the rower most other cardio machines are great for this purpose: plonk the book or tablet (as in my case) on the […]

  • Chocolate to help you lose weightChocolate to help you lose weight? Yes please! ♥

    You will be pleased to know that chocolate is indeed good for you… or, more precisely, I am just about to reveal some of the wonderful array of raw cocoa powder benefits. First of all it’s important to distinguish between pure unsweetened cacao powder made from roasted and crushed cocoa beans and chocolate which is made by combining cocoa powder, cocoa butter and anything else you find in a chocolate bar: milk, nuts, emulsifiers, soya lecithin, sugar, etc. If chocolate is all that’s available then dark chocolate for health (the darker the better) is a better choice than any other […]

  • Step 5: dish out and enjoy!The Twitter Dinner Experiment starring my “Venison Ragu'”

    ABSTRACT In the past few weeks I managed to catch up on a lot of unfinished projects and systems that needed to be set up which has freed up a lot of my time previously taken up by stressing over said incomplete tasks. I never really got the hang of Twitter and often wondered why is it that people spend so much time on it. I must say, I don’t often see that many interesting posts as my stream appears to be cluttered with tweets from companies promoting other companies so I set out to turn this around. METHOD – […]

  • Cinnamon extract powderCinnamon: your new BFF against love handles?

    The internet and social media can be funny things. It seems that at some time or another a subject gets into the spotlight and everyone writes, or at least rewrites, about it. Cinnamon is not exempt from this and I still remember the flurry of memes and inspirational quotes about it plastered on every social media channel that I follow. According to some of these memes the humble Cinnamon is supposed to help us with weight loss by regulating insulin and on top of that it is said to have anti-aging properties. For totally selfish reasons I felt curious to find […]

  • Supplements to heal bruised bonesBone bruising: how to heal from it. What I learned in the past 6 months

    This weekend just gone (5th March 2016) was the 6-month-versary of my knees exploding during a tame Parkour training session. To say that it’s been an enlightening journey and an emotional rollercoaster is an understatement. In the immediate aftermath of the silly accident with devastating consequences the prevalent emotions were panic and despair. As someone who enjoys being active all the time, suddenly finding myself confined to a sofa without the choice of getting up and moving brought on fear and sadness. I was devastated at the prospect of having to take time off as at my age physical prowess […]

  • Midnight Spring Colours PaletteAlways look like a rockstar by leveraging the magic of colours

    Despite having been born and raised in the fashion capital of Europe (that’s Milan in case you wonder) I must admit that I sometimes feel like I wasn’t bestowed with the same innate sense of elegance that a lot of my friends have and that fashion is indeed a mystery. My main criteria for choosing what to wear on any given day tends to be something like this: is it at the top of the pile of clean stuff? Yes = that will do, No = in the washing basket. I love dark colours and black in particular. Turns out […]

  • My weekly organic food deliveryDon’t panic, go organic!

    Below is my first ever Periscope broadcast on the subject of how easy it is to switch to an organic produce diet… if you live in the UK (specifically in Essex) at least. I am still not that good at keep fit videos as I seem to run out of things to say quickly so further down is an “almost transcript” of my ramblings with a few bits added to it that I meant to say on the day but escaped from my brain before I could actually say them… 😀 The reason that prompted me to do this broadcast […]

  • NASTY INJURY = LEARNING OPPORTUNITY

    The past couple of months (since my last blog post) have been rather action packed with lots of new and different work and business opportunities, travel, fun, friends, new connections and parkour classes. Yes, finally, after struggling for ages to make it happen it all very suddenly came together and I was able to have a go at a sport that I find fascinating and reminds me of my early childhood’s shenanigans. I have been preparing for it for the past 15 months or so since discovering the Metabolic Effect style of training which helped me reverse my aging process […]

  • Agnus Castus benefitsPMS, PCOS, menopause: learn how Agnus Castus benefits those who suffer

    A few weeks ago I was reading the transcript of a training call I attended a few months back and my attention was caught by a snippet in which the herb Vitex Agnus Castus was mentioned as having progesterone-like effects that are beneficial for women suffering from bad PMS, PCOS and those approaching menopause. Having suffered all my life from fairly severe PMS symptoms including breasts so sore that somebody waving a hand a foot away would make me wince I decided to investigate this further as this herb sounded like it had superhero potential during a difficult time each […]

  • I found the remedy for ManFlu!Discovery: I found the remedy for man flu!! [RECIPE]

    The last few weeks have been crazy busy for both of us with a lot going on and so I was looking forward to the long weekend to get some much needed rest and maybe go out and about just for the Hell of it. …but then… the stress of seeing Hamilton being pipped out of victory at the Monaco GP (May 2015) by Rosberg must have been too much for my other half as he “woke up” on Bank Holiday Monday with a brutal case of man flu. What to do? Dealing with a man who is suffering from […]

  • Cucumber waterNot keen on water? Let cucumber come to the rescue.

    One of my clients’ biggest complaints when I tell them they need to make sure they drink adequate amounts of water is that they don’t like the taste of it. These are often people that add squash to their water or consume large quantities of carbonated drinks loaded with sugar or their evil sugar free counterparts. Sure, especially here in Essex, UK tap water tastes like a swimming pool and is laden with hormones and chemicals so I can sympathize with my clients on this. My solution has been to switch to drinking natural mineral water that I can buy […]

  • No fridge? No problem. What to do when the shit hits the fan.

    If you have been following me through my blogging challenge you will be well aware of how important good nutrition is for me. And I am sure that because of that you will be able to imagine just how horrifying it was for me to wake up last Thursday to discover that my fridge-freezer was no more. In truth I knew this event was imminent but not that imminent. The signs were all there: ice a foot-deep inside the freezer (it was meant to be a no-frost appliance), crazy amounts of condensation in the fridge compartment, loud clonking noises, rust […]

  • The “Is your body beach ready?” comedy

    If you have been spending time on Facebook in the last couple of days you will have seen people commenting on an article that appeared in The Independent where they reported about the uproar caused by an advertising campaign from a company that sells protein supplements. The advert asks the question “Is your body beach ready?” next to an image of a stunning young model looking fit and healthy (and airbrushed) in a bikini. As i was reading about the reactions that this advert caused I couldn’t ask myself “WHY?“, why is it that people can find the time and […]

  • 5 ways to measure your progress5 ways to measure your progress

    Today has been another lazy Sunday, as all Sundays should be, and it’s also one week since I started “Project 8”. It got me thinking about what changed in my body composition in the last 7 days and if, indeed, anything  changed… the answer is a big yes, I lost a lot of excess water but also some fat. My tummy is visibly smaller and my legs better defined. Whenever you embark on a fitness makeover journey of any scale it’s important to measure your progress for a number of reasons: first of all how much you have changed tells […]

  • The video experiment

    Well… this is it folks! That’s Helene and myself discussing issues around confidence as our respective clients see them. Off to cringe in a corner!! 😀

  • Popping my cherry. Again.

    Of course I am talking about video-making cherries here…   A huge thank you to Helene Musso who helped me make the first video that anyone will ever get to see (because she is going to post it on her blog even if I have the only copy here). Videos are one of the many things I always say I want to do but never actually do. I had a couple of go’s in the past and I am grateful for the Anti-video Gods out there that caused me to sabotage my own efforts. I think I did the first video […]

  • Red Cabbage Sauerkraut – or Lactofermination is Your Friend

    I never used to love sauerkraut. In fact, I kind of hated the stuff. I never really got it, until I fell in love with fermented foods ( kimchi was the real gateway drug in this story). Now, I love the stuff. The sauerkraut I had in Germany was amazing…

  • How to get leanHow to get lean without sacrifices

    The majority of prospective clients I meet have a similar burning question: how to get lean without having to make any sacrifices both in terms of food and time spent exercising. The reason they ask is that they are typically only interested in shrinking a dress size or two but they see that as a major undertaking. My short answer to the burning question is usually “no sacrifices needed”. However, the long answer is “it depends on what you perceive as a sacrifice” and “how well you understand the benefits of the process of learning what makes your metabolism tick”. […]

  • Recipe: Cod & Watercress Parcels

    This is lovely and can’t wait to give it a go. Healthy, easy and delish! On the table in under half an hour, these parcels are a quick and healthy supper. Cod and watercress together are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids and iron. Served on a bed of Mediterranean brown rice, this main course will keep you fuller…

  • Project 8 started yesterday!

    Last weekend I decided that I would be a size 8 again this Summer. Just for the hell of it. This means that as of yesterday I am going to be focused on making choices that will always support me as I move towards this goal. DIET I won’t be on one. They don’t work. I will however make sure that I construct my meals in a way that works with my unique metabolism and will give me all the nourishment I need without screwing with my hormones. That means that at no point during this project I will go hungry […]

  • A day to relax and reflect

    Today is Sunday and a day to switch off from the grind of daily life almost completely. I am having a mini-holiday as I am staying at my other half’s place in South Essex. It’s not exactly 1000 miles away from home but far enough to be a completely different place, different landscape, different people and nothing to remind me of home. Having a short break like this is a bit like breathing unpolluted air at high altitudes: refreshing and nourishing. It clears my mind, it helps me reconnect with my purpose and helps me get back on track if […]

  • Recipe: Mung Beans Soup

    For some reason, back in 2012, in an attempt to eat more vegetarian meals I bought a bag of dried mung beans without knowing anything about the best ways to cook them. Come to think of it I can’t even remember why they are supposed to be good for me!  😀 At first I thought I’d use them to make a mung bean salad and they were sort of revolting so I gave up eating them altogether for a while. However, “knowing” that the original plan was a good one I set out to find recipes that would make these […]

  • Do Less to Achieve moreMuffin tops not budging? Try this.

    The thing I hate the most about getting older is that it takes me 10 times more strategic effort to lose fat when I fancy “wearing” the sculpted look than it did less than 10 years ago. Sometimes I even want to believe that it’s because calories double in value when ingested in your forties. It’s no news that as we get older we start to lose muscle at a rate of 2 to 5% over each decade and with it part of our ability to burn fat for energy all day long. It’s also no news that as our […]

  • KombuchaKombucha: the elixir of life

    When I first realised that I was suffering from chronic fatigue a few years ago, I spent an awful lot of time trying to understand my problem and looking for a solution. After putting Dr. Google through his paces I discovered that one of the many causes of chronic fatigue was malabsorption of nutrients from my food due to damages to the intestinal wall courtesy of my gluten intolerance. Even with the best intentions it’s not always possible to be 100% gluten free, especially when traveling or sharing the place with people who don’t suffer from the same intolerance or […]

  • I ♥ Thai Yoga Massage

    The first time I went to Hong Kong to study Kung Fu I spent a few weeks out there with my martial arts instructor and a few fellow senior students. We would spend our days learning and practicing and occasionally, as a treat for all the hardwork we would be accompanied across the border at Shenzhen for an overnight stay at the local massage parlour. I guess the place was the equivalent of one of our Spas and, although it looked a bit dodgy to me, it was in fact respectable. At least the part where female clients were being […]

  • The haybarn workout

    This morning I was on hay & straw delivery duties at the stables. It happens once every 3 or 4 weeks and is always a good reason to have a moan upon waking up. The reason is that when you get a whole bunch of men and women together in a barn they seem to almost completely lose their ability to perform simple algebra and keep count of how many of this have been stacked here and how many there. As we were busy doing a chain moving each bale from the delivery truck to its storage place via many, […]

  • Recipe: Rice Salad

    Today is an uncharacteristically warm Spring day and we didn’t fancy anything too hot to eat but at the same time we wanted something nourishing to help us recover from the lack of excitement in today’s Chinese GP (Forza Seb, Forza Kimi). My other half suggested a refreshing rice salad which took a whole 18 min to prepare. There will be plenty more of these to come as the temperatures go up so I shall be making them in i dustrial quantities and keep them boxed up ready to use when I have a busy week.  

  • Apple and potato cakeRecipe: Apple and Potato cake

    Yes you read that right: you can make delicious cakes mixing fruit and vegetables. On this occasion I used potatoes to substitute part of the flour to help retain some of the moisture that would otherwise be lost if I just used ordinary gluten free flour. And the combined flavour of apples and potatoes goes so well together it should be made illegal. In a feable attempt to mitigate the damages done by all the sugars in the cake I replaced some of the gluten free flour with mixed nuts flour (made by simply mixing a bunch of mixed nuts […]

  • Space you need to exerciseMythbuster: “I don’t have enough space to exercise”

    Today I would like to discuss another “myth” that many of my new of prospective clients seem to hold true: you need massive amounts of space and a lot of equipment to be able to exercise. My answer is that this is simply not true unless of course you are practicing sports like athletics, basketball or gymnastics, etc. If you are looking to get fit from nothing and want to shed weight you don’t need a lot of space at all. As a general, very rough, guide… if you can dance in your front room without bruising your elbows or […]

  • Motivation vs InspirationSeeking motivation vs. Feeling inspiration

    (aka the battle between self sabotage and empowerment) A few years ago, when my fitness business was still in its infancy, I worked with a marketing mentor and while reviewing some of the copy on my website she inadvertently helped me cement my resolution to change the way I offer my services. She pointed out that she felt intimidated when she read that I was looking “for people who were committed and dedicated” to work hard towards their fitness goals and like her, lots of potential clients might feel the same because they might be looking for someone to keep […]

  • Cooking takes too much timeMythbuster: “Cooking takes too much time”

    Whenever I signup new clients the Fitness Makeover journey starts with a thorough review of their existing lifestyle and nutritional habits to see where we can replace convenience food that they might be relying on, which is often nutrients poor, with freshly prepared meals that are nutrients rich. Btw, the reason I keep talking about food is that it’s the most important part of any weight loss program. There is no amount of exercise, no matter how intense, that will make up for eating crap. Every single time, without fail, I can be guaranteed to be given a whole list of reasons […]

  • Tiramisu come una voltaRecipe: REAL Tiramisu’

    Today is Easter and as part of my boyfriend’s Italianship (learning to be like an Italian) we are spending all day in the kitchen cooking awesome food. Just like my mum does. After eating insane quantities of chemical Tiramisu’ bought from various supermarkets, we decided to try and make our own using real ingredients that had never been in a lab. BUT for the first attempt we waited until we arrived in Milan (back in March) where we would be able to buy locally produced everything. Organic. One of the awesome things about our trips to Italy is that regardless […]

  • Fitness for lifeFitness for life? It was destiny!

    During my last trip to Milan to visit my family I subjected my long suffering boyfriend to the visual torture of old family photos. He said that he found the experience enjoyable (I suppose self-preservation kicked in) and in the process pointed out all the signs that foretold a life of fitness and sports. This is actually something that people often ask me: “how did you end up working in the fitness industry? how did you know that that was what you wanted to do?” I didn’t actually, it mostly happened by accident. But it started more or less like this. […]

  • The Black Crow

    Yesterday as I working at a client’s house I suddenly heard a knocking noise coming from one of the windows. Couldn’t work out what it was until I suddenly saw this gi-enormous gorgeous black crow calling and pecking at the window frame. I am not a big fan of birds and am happier when they are several hundred metres away from me, however this particular bird seemed to be wanting to chat with me and so, after my client spent a few moments freaking out and touching all the touchable things in superstitious realms, intrigued, I thought I’d look up some […]

  • Doing the blogging challenge from your bedSo… I am up for a challenge… a blogging challenge, that is

    You know that moment when you listen to a speaker and they challenge you to do something and, enthused by their presentation, you think it’s a good idea to throw yourself in at the deep end? For me this happened last Wednesday when, after many tries, I was persuaded by my good friend Helene Musso to attend one of the Winning Women group meetings (headed by Rosemary Cunningham) to do a bit of networking. Because we had both been so busy we didn’t really have a chance to look up the speaker, the lovely Sarah Arrow, and so it was […]

  • Want a new challenge? Pole Fitness may be the answer.

    Pole fitness offers many benefits: it helps you develop all over body strength, encourages flexibility, stimulates creativity, is uplifting, it teaches you to step out of your comfort zone in order to achieve the impossible. It’s also character forming because of all the physical and mental challenges it presents, “forces” you to switch off from your daily worries and treat yourself to some nurturing “me” time… and let’s not forget that pole dancing does help you lose weight and sculpt your body whilst celebrating your femininity at the same time. With consistent training you can expect your fitness levels to improve […]

  • Old clients vs new clients: the fun never ends.

    As the New Year chaos has now settled I find myself working with a variety of clients each week. Some have been with me for years,  others a few months while others have only just started. I must say I really enjoy the challenge of having to serve each type of client every day and having to adapt to different circumstances with each one of them. But it’s only when I sign up new clients that I realise just how far the “old” ones have come along in their training. In fact, as I throw them a challenge or two […]

  • Beef and kale soup

    If like me you have your seasonal organic fruit & veg delivered every week you may find yourself in the same dilemma from time to time: what to do with all the kale in the fridge? This cruciferous vegetable (from the same family as broccoli and cabbage) has many health benefits: it is said to help lower cholesterol (when steamed), helps lower the risk of at least 5 types of cancer (breast, colon, bladder, ovary and prostate), helps with detoxification, is high in fibre and antioxidants as well as anti-inflammatories. In addition it’s low in calories and so it can […]

  • When I used to pole…

    I remember joining Polemania School of Fitness as a student in December 09 inspired by Maxine Bett’s winning performance at Miss Pole Dance UK 2009 and decided that I had to have a go. After all I started my sporting life with gymnastics at the age of 6 and was competing at regional level in Italy by the age of 8. At the age of 14, after developing a strong aversion to the beam, I moved on to jazz dance and performed several times in shows and competitions that I also choreographed. So, pole dancing huh? How hard can that […]

  • Green smoothieMeal in a glass (green smoothie)

    There are many factors that can make or break your weight loss efforts. Eating the appropriate amount of food for your body type is just one of them but a very important one. Whenever I meet a new client part of the process of establishing a base line is looking at their current eating habits. We look at both quality and quantity of food eaten every day. We count calories and we count macros (protein, fat, carbs). It’s not uncommon for clients to be surprised when I tell them that they are not eating enough food in a day to […]

  • The Wonders of Milk Kefir

    If you follow me on social media you will often see me talking about my probiotics drinks. The reason for this is that they have been nothing short of absolutely magic in helping me overcome health issues related to my food intolerances and the damages that ensued. Probiotics help ensure that your intestine is populated with good bacteria, the kind that will help you digest and absorb all the nutrients in the food you consume every day. They also keep your bowel movements regular and, most importantly, they ensure that your immune system is working correctly and even help you cope […]

  • Curtsy Lunges For Perfect Buns

    Curtsy lunges are a variation of the ordinary forward or reverse lunges and are performed along a different plane by activating the inner thigh muscles to achieve the crossover movement. When performed correctly they will help you sculpt and tone your legs, hips and buns for that super hot look and the strength to match. When you execute a curtsy lunge you engage 4 different muscle groups in your lower body: quadriceps: front of your thighs, you use them to squat and stand up; hamstrings: back of your thighs, you use them at the same time as the quadriceps; gluteals: bun muscles, the […]

  • Guilt Free Carbonara

    Sometimes, when we work really hard and perhaps we are having a hard time in general it’s easy to start craving comfort food. When it’s really strong the urge can be very hard to resist and so the best tactic is usually to give in and stop stressing. We can make up for our “indiscretions” tomorrow. Also, it has to be said that sometimes when we get cravings it might be simply be that we haven’t been eating enough to support our daily activities. In the quest to achieve the ultimate beach body it’s not uncommon for people to cut back […]

  • Molasses: why they are so good for you.

    When chatting to my Thai Yoga Massage buddy a while ago she mentioned that she used molasses as a sweetener as part of her healthy eating regime. Having only used molasses to trick my horses into ingesting disgusting medicines in the past I was familiar with the horrible smell and taste but was never aware of the many health benefits that they bring to the table. This is what I learned: Blackstrap molasses are a byproduct of the refining processes of the sugar cane plant. Unlike refined cane sugar which is highly toxic for our bodies, molasses are so rich […]

  • Butternut Squash SconesButternut Squash “Scones”

    As far as seasonal produce goes Autumn sees the beginning of the squashes and pumpkins season. I love all of them as they have a sweet and warm flavour that’s perfect to give us some comfort as we progress through to the colder days and nights. Soups and roasts are perfect destinations for our squashes but have you ever tried making cakes with them? They are absolutely gorgeous as a partial substitute for flour adding moisture and colour to the finished items. Using them in cakes is also a great way to actually using them, especially if your weekly delivery […]

  • In Essex Life Magazine, October 2013 issue!!!

    In the October issue of Essex Life Magazine!

  • Octopus Risotto RecipeRecipe: Octopus Risotto

    I must have said this already but I’ll say it again… one of the best things about where I live is that the local supermarket occasionally has little gems in the Reduced to Clear section. One of my recent treasure troves were a bunch of octopuses that nobody (else) wanted. When I was a child I remember my uncle used to go fishing at the crack of dawn on the Italian Riviera and come back around lunch time with freshly caught octopuses. Apparently these are buggers to catch as their tentacles are like superglue on rocks and can be dangerous […]

  • How eating potato cakes made me a better person today

    Yesterday I had a lovely afternoon wandering around the streets of Londinium as I joined my other half in the waiting game to get a new passport for our imminent Italian adventure version 2.0 (bigger, better, faster). One of the biggest problems I face when I am out and about is hunger and specifically being able to find food that a) isn’t going to sabotage my slimming efforts and b) agrees with my intolerance to gluten. Usually this means being granted the honour of a couple of suitable choices from a large menu while I watch my other half eat […]

  • Headstand on the beachHow handstands can help you bring sexy back

    Whenever I meet a new client in person, I get an idea of how fit or unfit they are just by looking at their shoulders. This muscle group is often overlooked by people when they embark on a fitness program on their own and yet shoulders are so important to give an overall impression of strength and fitness. In fact, I would say that having great shoulders can help you look fitter than you really are and as such they should be one of the first muscle groups to be addressed in any body sculpting program. There are different ways […]

  • Why I think pole fitness is ace

    Pole fitness (dancing) provides a great workout that helps you loose weight, shrink a dress size or two and gain more flexibility. With consistent training you can expect your fitness levels to improve together with your strength and stamina giving you a beautifully toned body while also learning to express yourself through dance. It doesn’t matter what gender, age or size you are: pole fitness students typically come from all walks of life. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that most students are not super gifted athletes but perfectly ordinary women and men with an extraordinary zest for life. They […]

  • HoopingHula Hooping is fun. Period.

    You will be surprised to discover that Hula Hooping is not just a fad that started in the 50′s or a phase you went through in childhood. As an activity, hooping actually dates back to the ancient Egyptian and Greek civilizations with records showing that people were already doing it in 500BC with hoops made out of grapevines, rattan and other hard grasses. Can’t imagine that have been very comfortable or even easy to do but hey, you do what you can with what you’ve got! Fast forward to the 21st Century and hula hoops have seen a resurgence in […]

  • Oats and Raisins Breakfast Cookies

    These are favourites of my other half who is a bad influence as he “forces” me to eat as many as he does every morning… which is a lot. Way too many if we want to stay lean and mean. A word of warning: if your family members have a sweet tooth don’t make these cookies or you’ll find yourself forever in the kitchen making more! The original recipe comes from the Able and Cole website but I have adapted it to suit my food allergies and it now looks something like this…

  • Cabbage Soup with Chicken and Bacon

    Today’s simple recipe is a sneaky little tactic to employ if you hate eating cabbage but you want to because of the many health benefits it brings. Although I wouldn’t advise anyone to go on a cabbage soup diet, I am confident that this dish would allow anyone to survive unharmed and well nourished for ages. Most importantly, this dish is low in calories but has a substantial helping of proteins and fat which will help prevent an insulin spike and will in fact help shed some extra body fat.

  • In “So Essex” Magazine in April 2012

    So this is was the last one of the “trilogy” of short articles that I wrote for So Essex magazine this year. I loved the process of having to express myself concisely and educate readers on the three main aspects of my Personal Training business. The short editorial on pole dancing was the hardest one to write because so much has already been said that I really didn’t want to repeat what thousands of pole dance studio owners and writers have already said about the discipline. So I thought I’d say something that I have reflected a lot on, the […]

  • In “So Essex” Magazine – Mar 2012
  • In “So Essex” Magazine – Feb 2012
  • Lactose free protein supplements

    After hours of Google searches back in 2011 I finally managed to find a protein supplement that’s safe for me to use despite my lactose intolerance. These two tubs look rather sexy with all the funky colours and fruity flavours. I  must say that I am relieved at having found these as I really don’t think I could have carried on eating steaks at 10pm for much longer in order to provide my body with the protein it needs to repair itself, grow and stay lean. And the dudes on Ebay where I got them from had the courtesy of […]