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.

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.

 

What is the Right Diet FOR YOU!?

I’ve decideed to give a sneak peak into my first eBook – ‘What is the right diet for you!?’

Below is the first chapter; a simple analysis of what your options are going forward when choosing a diet. If you like what you see, please ‘follow’ the blog and when I release the eBook anyone already following will recieve a FREE copy as a gift for your support. Thank you and enjoy!

Chapter 1 – What are your options?

What is the most frequent question I am asked about diet?

“Patrick, what is the best diet to follow?” or “Patrick, what should I eat after our session?”

The most frustrating thing about this question is, I wish I could give you a straight answer! It would be easy to say; ‘chicken and veg/salad’ or ‘turkey burgers with sweet potato mash’. But, it is not that my decision to follow a plant-based diet is the reason behind why I can’t give you this answer; it’s far more complicated than that.

The annoying but truthful answer to this is…

THERE IS NO ‘ONE-SIZE FITS ALL’ APPROACH.

Unfortunately this answer is also the most frustrating for my client’s to hear.

I can hear you saying it in your head right now; “Surely there is one diet that is better than most…can’t you just tell me what that one is? I haven’t got time to research and read everything and you seem to know what you’re talking about!”

Here’s why I can’t give you a concrete, or a pre-written, diet plan that has been shipped out on a mass-scale. It will not account for the diversity of the people that are following it. You need to think about your diet with a broader perspective. You’ve heard too much mumbo jumbo and your head may be in a bit of a muddle.

Think about this:

  1. Would a diet that works for “all” take into account a persons body type/shape?
  2. Would it take into account how affluent you are (budget)?
  3. Would it take into account the amount of time you have?
  4. Would it suit people from different cultures?
  5. Would it (you see where I’m going with this) take into account someone’s age?
  6. Would it take into account someone’s ethical beliefs?
  7. Would it take into account someone’s gender?
  8. Would it take into account previous experience of undertaking diets?
  9. Would it take into account the cooking facilities available to them?
  10. Would it take into account the size of their fridge/freezer?

This list goes on, and on, and on. I’m not even going to get into the discussion about whether that person in question lives close to a health food shop or farmers market…

To make matters more confusing are, your options for ‘diets’ are ENDLESS.

Paleo, vegan (my choice), vegetarian, atkins, intermittent fasting, 24hour fasting, 5-2 fasting, low-fat, high-carb, regular small meals, irregular big meals, gluten-free, dairy free, macro’s measured, juice cleanses and that list goes on and on…

Now you can see the issue I have with just giving an ‘off-the-cuff’ answer to the simple question I’m asked now, right?

I’m going to use myself as a good example as to why you cannot discount or support any one approach.

I’ve followed low-carb – seen results, intermittent fasting – seen results, high-carb – seen results, dairy-free – seen result’s. Just because it worked for me, and my particular set of circumstances, at that age, with the time I had, doesn’t mean I can ‘cookie cut’ that approach and just give it and say, “use that”. That would be ridiculous, wouldn’t it?

FURTHERMORE, THAT WOULD NOT MAKE ME A RESPONSIBLE COACH EITHER!

The pro’s reading this are saying right now, “Patrick, you’re making this difficult, in order to lose weight you need to exercise more and eat less – it’s pretty simple!”

SIGH….

Well actually diets are actually very similar to other aspects of life; you may succeed in the short-term, but actual success long-term is where everyone falls down.

In order to succeed we need to follow these 3 steps:

  1. Implement behaviors based on knowledge we’ve learnt through other people’s experiences.
  2. Assess whether those behaviors work for you.
  3. Adjust those behaviors to suit you until we get the result we set out to achieve.

Let me make this VERY clear, all diets follow a similar pattern; they get you to focus on what types of food you’re putting in your mouth and how much, they get you to focus on the quality of the food your eating and they get you to control your apatite through the speed at which you eat or frequency.

What I prefer is a nutritional progression model (the ‘Precision Nutrition Model’) versus asking people to “follow a diet”. Because that is what ‘real’ coaches actually do!

Key Understanding 1 –

Understand the word ‘diet’ and what it means. There is no ‘end date’ to your diet, there is no ‘Quick! Fix! Blitz!’ Your diet is carefully selected and implemented after an assessment of your circumstances related to you.

Lets explore this more in the next chapter.

SpartanFam’s Free Outdoor Sessions

 

These guys are an inspiration to other vegan personal trainers in London – like me!

For me, they are setting the pace for one of the best ways to contribute to your community and share vital knowledge and guidance for young people in areas where gangs and violence can be a problem.

I was humbled to have been asked to work an extra hour in my local school unit on Elthorn Road in Archway. I had only been volunteering there for 12 weeks and now i’m working 2 hours a week, every week for the new school year. This time not only will I be working with the kids who have been referred there for bad behaviour but I am now also planning 1 hour weekly lessons for the social anxiety kids.

I have a goal to be working 5 hours (or more!) by September next year and I’m planning on proposals not only to be working in units with kids in smaller groups but also on a larger scale in secondary schools.

Please follow and share the work that SpartanFam are doing in the community and let people know where they can find them @spartanfam or their website www.spartanfam.com