Fitness On A Vegan Diet

“You never fail until you stop trying” – Albert Einstein

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  Being a personal trainer and going on to a plant-based diet is still a relatively new thing. It was the culmination of many events in my life but now it seems like a decision that I can’t belive took me until aged 29 to reach.

  Going on a plant-based diet is a way of blocking out all the noise that has surrounded you since you were young about the ability of your muscles to be strong. It is a way of ignoring all the messages about what made you big, all the messages about what to drink for healthy bones, all the messages about what supplement to buy for your heart – they were all pretty much a way to make money out of you for little-to-no benefit other than for the producer. In fact, their benefit was often at the detriment of you.

Today we are smarter. The internet and the accessibility of the scientific research gives us the opportunity to find out for ourselves and turn off the noise that surrounds you as we go about our lives. Furthermore, we’ve become bored by ads knowing full well their intention.

“My Goal is to help 5,000 people start on to a vegan diet and thrive with healthy nutrition, expert exercise and mindful relaxation practices. This is my way of helping people with the three largest components of their health; their nutritional, physical and mental health.”

By providing 3 workouts, 2 nutritional plans and 1 relaxation exercise every week I am providing the foundation for people to follow a plan that works.

The information is based on the principles outlined above and are targeted for people who have a very busy schedule, people who don’t have time to research all the facts, people who want to learn about the benefits of the plant-based diet and people who are bored with hearing the noise.

For my community is everyone who wants to be the change in the world they want to see. It’s my way of effecting the world, one healthy person at a time. The future is bright if the future is plant-based. Be a part of it and know that every day you are making the difference.

Want to Lose Bodyfat? Try these 5 Essential Exercises…

5 Essential Exercises to Burn Body Fat

Exercise 1: Rowing

If you want to hit the whole body quickly and you want to boost your metabolism to burn fat then rowing is one of your must-do exercises. It targets the whole body, ‘what you put in – is what you get out’ in this case.  When you see your times getting lower with each practice you’ll be inspired to go harder again and again! I’ve witnessed benefits in every age group of client I’ve worked with this exercise.

KEY APPROACH:

Set a maximum 1000m or 2000m distance and try to complete it as fast as possible. Make the stroke as long and as powerful as you can. Try at the start of your workout 2x a week.

Exercise 2: Sprints

Running is the second most natural thing for your body after walking. Sprinting at maximum speed will get lipids (stored body fat) out of storage and into your bloodstream quickly.

KEY APPROACH:

Try one minute on, one minute off to start with on the tredmill. Get 10-15 rounds out on a speed that matches up to a 7/10 for you. Once you’ve got that done you can reduce the time resting to 30s instead and see if you can complete it at the same speed. Try this 2x a week after your weight training workout.

Exercise 3: Spinning

Pressing a 20kg weighted wheel in revolutions as fast as you can is almost the definition of high intensity interval training. Spinning is a powerful way to break up the monotony of regular cardio with powerful tunes and a group mentality.

KEY APPROACH:

Put the resistance up so high that you can’t turn the wheel when sitting on the seat. You’ll need to stand up to get momentum. Once you’ve got momentum go hard for a maximum of 30sec and then turn the resistance down and spin lightly for 90sec while sitting back down. It may sound easy now, but trust me the 1:3 ratio of work to rest works a treat when the 30 sprint is done at maximum intensity. Complete this 8x at the start of a workout 1x a week.

Exercise 4: Pull Ups

Asking you to lift your bodyweight from a hanging position is where many of my clients have closed down mentally and said; “There’s no way I can do that!”.

EVERYONE can do it, you just need adjustments to suit your capabilities. Your 30-40% stronger on the way down (negative phase of movement). So practice that. This exercise improves your posture, it uses the largest and most powerful muscles in the upper back and will boost fat burning hormones (HGH) in the bloodstream.

KEY APPROACH:

Knock out as many pull ups as possible every set for 8 rounds – 2 minute rests between. If you can’t pull up (yet) use a box, a band or jump up to get yourself above the bar. Slowly lower yourself into the full hanging position and repeat for 3-5 reps. Also complete 8 times. Try to do this minimum 2x a week.

Exercise 5: Resistance Band Squat Jumps

Boost balance, proprioception, speed and power with this squat jump exercise that will give the body every reason to start breaking down energy stores to provide energy for explosive movement.

KEY APPROACH:

Using a resistance band just above the knees, walk sideways like a crab to engage your glutes for 20 reps each side. After you’ve prepped/activated for jumping, stand with your hips slightly wider than hip width and the feet pressing away from one-another on the ground. Squat down into a deep position and jump up and tap the feet (using only the toes) on the ground with the legs together underneath you, immediately spring off the toes back down into a deep squat position – its like a star jump but with a squat and a band.

Do 20-30 reps 5x with a 60second rest between each set. You’ll be sweating, burning, activated and filling with pride at how hard you’re working just using your body and a band.

Do You Have A Nutritional Deficiency?

How do we find out if we have a nutritional deficiency?

A complete blood profile test can be done by your doctor. It will asses your overall blood and cellular health as well as your risk of disease. But, as most of you roll your eyes at the thought of having another thing to add to the list of things to do, I do have an alternative suggestion…

(You’re welcome to get in touch if you do want to get blood tests, I have a comprehensive list that you can ask your doctor to do for you – if your interested)

The reality is; dietary deficiencies are very common so the chances are…yes, you’ve got one! (No matter how good you think your diet is)

This is a problem because when you’re deficient in key nutrients, your physiology doesn’t work properly. And when your physiology doesn’t work as it should, you feel low on energy. How can you expect to smash a workout, go for a run or complete a great day at work if you don’t feel energized?

Here’s some stats…

deficiencies

I’d like to point out that I believe that RDA is a particularly underwhelming estimation for what’s needed to maintain a “healthy individual”. Nevertheless, it’s a start….

What are the common nutritional ‘red flags’ to look out for?

  • water (low-level dehydration)
  • vitamins and minerals (much lower levels in non-organic fruits and veg)
  • protein (particularly in women/men with low appetites)
  • essential fatty acids (95% of the population is deficient!)

That’s the power of removing nutrient deficiencies. When our bodies don’t have the nutrients they need to carry out their daily functions, we all suffer. But as soon as we get these nutrients, we begin to thrive.

GOOD NEWS IS…You can practically remove the chances of having a nutritional deficiency in an easy, natural way; super green powders.

plantforcegreens

I use Third Wave Nutrition’s ‘Plantforce Greens’ blend, it has no artificial ingredients or additives and it is 100% organic. Packed full of green leafy vegetables, plants, grasses and algae’s it provides you with a wide spectrum of phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals essential for all you’re daily bodily functions.

I don’t gain anything by referring people to this company other than the knowledge you’re getting a perfect product for its use.

Furthermore, you can use code ‘Mojo’ at checkout for 20% off your basket!

Of course, many of you may ignore this advice (to buy a short-cut to nutritional efficiency) as it wasn’t even in your paradigm for a health conscious decision to make, and will continue to hope that your covering your bases through your diet – especially as the ‘short-cut’ costs yet more money. I totally understand and I’ve had the same conversation in my own head many times before.

The most frequent truth I encounter as a personal trainer is that the basics are often the hardest things to put into place. This is why I recommend this, it’s a short-cut, it’s natural, it’s real-food based and there are absolutely no side-effects, issues with production or chemicals.

We can all improve areas of our diet. If you feel like this would be a good addition to a smoothie or juice in the morning..great! Do it! If this sounds a bit outlandish and impossible to introduce, I get it.

The idea of this post is to share, learn, understand, apply new ideas how you see fit and get on with your life. I’m just grateful your even taking an interest in your health.

Thanks for reading and if you think it was a helpful piece, please give it a share with someone who you know might gain some benefit from reading it too.

Merry Chritsmas and Happy New Year, Patrick

 

 

The Highlights – ‘The 5 Ways of Wellbeing’

I’ve been on a journey since I was a skinny teenager at 17 years old working on a gym floor cleaning machines, giving inductions and helping to sell products (an old-fashioned gym instructor).

It’s 2019, I’m a Personal Trainer in North London with over 12 years industry experience and 9 years running my own PT business, MoJo Wellbeing Ltd.

The longer I’ve been in the job the less motivated I’ve been in being a glorified exercise babysitter. My motivation has been to become the best ‘functional health coach’ I can be. This is someone who helps people change their lives for the long-term. That person should spend their later years thriving, free of disease and chronic inflammation. Looking good while you’re doing it is just the bonus you get while you’re at it.

In order for this to happen, you need to have 5 key ‘ways’ in place in your daily routine. I’ve outlined these for you below. This is level 1, so if you’re already a level up I can set you up with the next steps you need to take. Let’s open a discussion about it..

WAY 1

Exercise

You need to have a basic level of activity for a minimum of 30 minutes a day.

The combination of increases in a sedentary lifestyle (for most) and constant food availability has had a huge effect on ancient metabolic processes that govern our bodies. This has led to a huge outbreak of type 2 diabetes and obesity led by excessive storage of energy as fat and increasing insulin resistance. Being active for 30 minutes a day, even if broken up into six 5 minutes intervals can help slow the negative effects of that.

For most of you that will mean walking up the escalators in the tube station rather than standing still, or taking the stairs instead of the lift at work…what I’m getting at is; you have to find every opportunity to move possible throughout the day. Just the stairs and escalator tips won’t be even close enough.

You must find ways of getting on your feet regularly around the office or work space, arrange special meetings and/or set a recurring alarm on your phone. You can monitor this on your phone easily with health apps. Take pictures and send them to your accountability partner (way 5).

Way 2

Nutrition

A vegan/plant-based diet that’s got adequate plant protein and keeps you healthy is not as hard as some people think. I’ve managed it for over 19 months. I keep a low body fat percentage, I’m stronger and I’ve not yet been sick or injured.

In a randomized trial by the journal of Nutrition & diabetes this year they found that, ‘plant protein intake significantly decreased fat mass, improved insulin resistance markers and improved body composition in overweight individuals in comparison to the control diet group’ (1). Furthemore, there are countless studies not only showing the benefits on fat mass but also of a vegan/plant-based diet in reducing the chances of almost every chronic health problem.

Yet, people care more about what they need to eat to help them stay fit, healthy and lean. That’s why I’ve built a plant protein list and what foods are best to combine them with for my clients.

Way 3

Hydration

The importance of hydration has been a big topic in helping my clients achieve results for years. In 2015, a study by researchers at Loughborough University found that, ‘that mild hypohydration, produced a significant increase in minor driving errors…the magnitude of decrement reported, was similar to that observed following the ingestion of an alcoholic beverage’ (2).

To put it simply – mild dehydration can have a big effect on your ability to exercise, on the functionality of your brain, on your ability to remember, on your pain threshold and on your basic motor skill function. Getting the right amount for you is vital for wellbeing and there are considerations to take into account like body size, activity level and gender.

Here’s a calculation to get a rough idea of how much you should be drinking.

Drink half an ounce for every one pound of bodyweight.

If you need help doing this please get in touch and I’ll help you calculate yours.

Way 4

Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep has become ‘the hack’ for successful, wealthy individuals who are concerned with their optimum health in the fast-paced western working world. Yet, this rule applies more importantly to the unemployed, mentally unwell, public sector worker’s and children. The research is flooding out stating it could have a significant effect on health issues ranging from age related diseases (dementia and Parkinson’s) to mental health (anxiety, depression and ADHD.

Let’s understand one thing first, getting below 7 hours or above 8 hours for the majority of the population is going to hinder you rather than help you. Research conducted in Korea found that too much or too little sleep increases the risk of depressive symptoms in people who suffer hypertension/high blood pressure (3). Furthermore, a Harvard Medical Health letter published it analysis of multiple studies which found that poor ‘sleep-hygiene’ could increase the likelihood of triggering a bi-polar episode, contribute to anxiety, disrupt the routines of people with ADHD and cause a development of depressive feelings (4).

I have a huge list tips to help maximise your sleep and a blog post for my 5 essentials for a better nights sleep. But the best first practice you can implement today is this…make your bedroom a place that is your sanctuary, you should only be doing two or three things in there; sleep, make love and maybe light reading of an actual book. No TV’s, no working or catching up with e-mail’s and definitely no eating!

Way 5

Mindset

This ‘way’ is what I’ve experienced to be the most important of them all. It’s the goal setting practices and adherence aspect to the four other ‘way’s’. How you manage your time, how you plan your day and how you prioritize your daily activities will determine whether your life with become the happier and healthier life you deserve. In essence, that is all we are striving for; happiness and health. Earning money is all about having “time” to do the things that make you happy.

That’s why I have a 3 stage process to help program your day so you can adhere to the tasks you need to achieve your goals.

  1. Accountability
  2. Sharing your goals
  3. Giving your goals a deadline.

These are the keys to your success – and by success I mean wellbeing!

Let’s Get It

#mymojomatters

References:

(1) Kahleova.H et al, Nutrition & Diabetes, A plant-based diet in overweight individuals in a 16-week randomized clinical trial: metabolic benefits of plant protein, 2018 Nov 2;8(1):58.

(2) Watson P, Whale A, Mears SA, Reyner LA, Maughan RJ. Mild hypohydration increases the frequency of driver errors during a prolonged, monotonous driving task, Physiology & Behaviour, Volume 147, 1 Aug.15, Pages 313-318

(3) Son YJ, Park C, Won MH. Impact of Physical Activity and Sleep Duration on Depressive Symptoms in Hypertensive Patients: Results from a Nationally Representative Korean Sample, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2018 Nov 22;15(12)

(4) Harvard Mental Health Letter, Sleep and Mental Health. July 2009. Accessed April 29, 2018.

 

5 Essential Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep

Hey Sleepy Heads!

Being a personal trainer who focuses on all aspects of your wellbeing, I’ve noticed how people in Hampstead and Highgate seem to sleep a lot less than I do!

I’ve been ‘in the ear’ to all my clients about sleep for a while so it’s only right I get ‘in the ear’ about sleep to my friends and followers digitally too! What I find quite strange is that I shouldn’t even have to be doing this; we all know sleep is vital, so why do so many people neglect it so much?

I’ve heard it all before; “I’ve got too much to do/I only need 5 hours/I’ll catch up at the weekend” to know that people actually believe that this is an option AND think they are living a healthy lifestyle. The truth is, if you don’t sleep enough, you’re more likely to be obese, you’re more likely to be diagnosed with cancer, you’re more likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s and you’re more likely to suffer cardiovascular health issues – to name just a few. What is pretty clear from the research I have done is that, you will definitely have a poorer quality of life, if you disregard your sleep quality. I want to tackle this, so I’ve put together 5 essential tips that you can act on TODAY to help you make the right decisions to get a better night’s sleep.

Let’s jump right in!

Tip 1: GET MAGNESIUM – this is the natural ‘anti-stress’ mineral (– I know right? We all need this anyway). Research has shown that diets high in magnesium result in deeper and less interrupted sleep cycles.

The best food sources of magnesium are green leafy vegetables (surprise surprise), spirulina, chlorella and 100% raw cacao. Sadly, the average person is magnesium-deficient and deficiency has been shown to increase the likelihood of insomnia. So, it is absolutely key you get this mineral in your diet. An important note to make is that organic food contains much more magnesium than large scale, ‘conventionally’ produced food, which is almost totally devoid of magnesium.

Alternatively, you can supplement magnesium easily without even having to take it orally. I use third wave nutrition (www.thirdwavenutrition.com) MAG OSTEO which includes K2, Zinc and B vitamins for added benefits. If you use the link above you will get a 20% discount on your entire order – not just the magnesium! I take it using their powder because magnesium tablets or pills draw water into your gut that can cause poor digestion and diarrhoea.

If that’s not for you, another way to supplement magnesium is to absorb it through your skin; you can get body sprays and magnesium bath salts that are both incredibly efficient at absorbing magnesium, and are a great excuse to have a bath or massage ;-). 

Tip 2: GET BLACKOUT BLINDS – clinically proven to help you get the best sleep ever! This one has been a big one for my wife and I; we’ve noticed an amazing difference when sleeping ‘blacked out’. If your skin and eyes absorb light from your window, it stimulates the body, therefore moving your sleep cycle away from the deep DELTA waves that flow in the most relaxing and regenerative sleep cycles. Instead your sleep becomes restless and disturbed.

Tip 3: GET A SLEEP ROUTINE – the body thrives on rituals and patterns. By setting a specific time to get ready for bed every day, you’re giving your body the message it needs to prepare for a good night’s sleep. If you’re up watching telly late, blue light from the screen stimulates your eyes and hormones are released to activate functions you need when awake. Poor sleep ensues, then the next night you try and ‘catch up’ on sleep by going to bed at 9:30pm. Your body has no idea what’s going on and you will lie there awake, thinking about what you need to do tomorrow rather than falling asleep peacefully today. A often hear of people waking up with an alarm set for 6:30am, and then hitting ‘snooze’ (sometimes multiple times!). This is the most stressful and ineffective way to start the day. You’ll feel more tired, more frustrated and you’ll have a poorer night’s sleep the following night.

Tip 4: GET A BEDTIME TEA – 20 minutes before getting ready for bed, make a tea proven to improve sleep quality and sleep latency.

First tip is to find a quality Reishi medicinal mushroom extract; this has been scientifically proven to decrease the time it takes to fall asleep and improve the time spent in deep sleep.

Second tip is to find a good quality Valerian root tea; a natural sedative and proven to be as effective as synthetic sleeping pills. This root can be so powerful that if you take too much, it could make you feel so well rested that you could feel overly drowsy the next morning!

Finally, the ‘grandmother’s favourite’ tip: Chamomile – not only good for helping you ease into sleep, but also for improving digestion and expelling unwanted gases from your colon. Give these tips a try – and let me (and others) know how you found them!

Tip 5: GET A HIGH PROTEIN/HIGH FAT/LOW CARB SNACK ONE HOUR BEFORE BED – It’s been a big day at work…you’ve spent the day constantly making important decisions – and tiredness has finally kicked in. The last thing you want to do is cook a big meal, so what do you do? 1) Order Deliveroo, 2) make something quick (usually a pasta dish) or 3) head straight for the ice cream in the freezer! My most valuable tip will get you out of this sticky situation…don’t bother ordering, cooking OR binging.

Stay calm and eat something low in carbs, high in fat and high in protein – you’re more likely to sleep like a baby. Low carbs reduce the likelihood of an insulin spike while sleeping and high protein and fat fuels healthy regeneration of muscle tissues, providing fuel for the functioning of your cells during restorative sleep.

MY BEST OPTIONS FOR THIS? Almonds, pumpkin seeds, cashew nuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, hulled hemp seeds! Crack some sea salt over them (or have the ‘nut butter’ versions with some raw veggies) and I promise you, you will feel more rested, more rejuvenated and better prepared for the tasks you need to complete the next day.

So there are my 5 essential tips for a good nights sleep! Plenty of information to get your teeth into and even if you only use one of them, it could greatly change the quality of your sleep and general wellbeing. Please share with anyone who has problems sleeping or you think might benefit from this information…Thank you and see you next time.

Patrick Moore Jones